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Tag: Life

Huge plan to map the DNA of all life in British Isles

Huge plan to map the DNA of all life in British Isles

Science
Tony JolliffeSeventy thousand species.That’s the best guess for the tally of life, including plants, animals and fungi, found in Britain and Ireland.And it’s the target of one of biology's most ambitious projects - scientists want to map the DNA of every single one of these organisms. Having these genomes - each a complete set of genetic information for a species - could transform how we understand the natural world. And there could be benefits for us too in the hunt for nature-inspired medicines and materials.In Plymouth, the starting point for this immense task is some thick, sticky mud.Sediment scooped up from the bottom of the Plymouth Sound has been hoisted onto the deck of the research vessel that belongs to the Marine Biological Association.It's placed in a sieve and hosed off, rev...
Britney Spears asks judge to end father’s control over her finances and personal life

Britney Spears asks judge to end father’s control over her finances and personal life

Entertainment
Britney Spears has officially asked a judge to permanently end her father's control over her finances and personal life.The singer, 39, has been subject to a court-ordered conservatorship since 2008 after suffering two mental breakdowns. This means her father Jamie Spears, 68, has been in charge of all her financial and personal affairs ever since, temporarily stepping down from the latter role in September 2019 due to health reasons.A care professional called Jodi Montgomery replaced him on a temporary basis, but the star now wants her to be made her conservator permanently.The Los Angeles court documents also show she wants to be able to completely end the controversial arrangement entirely if necessary. ...
Trillions of lightning bolts may have jumpstarted life on Earth

Trillions of lightning bolts may have jumpstarted life on Earth

Science
March 16 (UPI) -- Trillions and trillions of lightning strikes may have unlocked the phosphorous needed to spark life on Earth, according to a new study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications. "This work helps us understand how life may have formed on Earth and how it could still be forming on other, Earth-like planets," lead author Benjamin Hess, a graduate student at Yale University, said in a news release. Advertisement The building blocks of life -- RNA, DNA and other biomolecules -- require a variety of elements, phosphorus being one of the most important. But billions of years ago, around the time scientists estimate life first emerged, phosphorous was limited and relatively inaccessible, bound up inside insoluble minerals within Earth's crust. Scientists previously...
Etna: Life beneath the volcanic dust of repeated eruptions

Etna: Life beneath the volcanic dust of repeated eruptions

Science
Getty ImagesIrene Corsaro will never forget her first driving lesson under a rain of black ash from Mount Etna. Like many Sicilians from Catania, the 18-year-old has learnt quickly how to make her way home on a road covered in volcanic dust during one of the volcano's 11 eruptions in the past three weeks. A 12th eruption was under way on Friday.Every so often, the volcano's four main craters awake with intense, simultaneous blasts. These episodes create a spectacular natural firework display, replete with bubbles, fountains and flows of lava. Within minutes, neighbouring towns and villages are showered with flakes of ash and other debris.'Lava falling on my roof'Irene's trip with her mother through the deserted streets of her home town of Nicolosi, on Etna's slopes, turned into a nightmare...
‘She really did find heartbreak impossible’: Documentary explores the life of Caroline Flack

‘She really did find heartbreak impossible’: Documentary explores the life of Caroline Flack

Entertainment
In the weeks before she died, Caroline Flack had met with documentary makers in the hope of reclaiming a story she had felt on the periphery of, despite it being hers.A successful presenter, Flack was a former X Factor and Xtra Factor host, a Strictly Come Dancing winner and the face of Love Island, one of the biggest TV phenomena of recent years. But in the early hours of 12 December 2019, she was arrested on suspicion of assaulting her boyfriend, Lewis Burton, and subsequently charged. Image: The new documentary will share Caroline Flack's story. Pic: Flack family/Channel 4 Image: Pictured as a little girl with her twin sister Jody and mum Christine Flack in the 1980s. Pic: Flack family...