• By Helen Briggs BBC News 22 September 2018 Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Women have gardened for centuries, but the profession was once a male-dominated world It's a tale of intrigue set at the turn of the 20th century in the seemingly genteel gardens of Victorian Britain.Keen horticulturist sit examinations in the principles of gardening - from the names and orders of common...

  • By Matt McGrath Environment correspondent 21 September 2018 Image copyright YASUYOSHI CHIBA Image caption UN Environment executive director Erik Solheim The head of the UN body that leads on sustainability and green issues has been criticised for extensive and expensive air travel. A draft internal audit, obtained by the Guardian and seen by the BBC, says that Erik Solheim's actions risked the...

  • 21 September 2018 Image copyright JAXA Image caption Rovers 1A and 1B (left and centre), alongside Minerva II-2 (right) which will be released at a later date Japan's space agency (JAXA) believes it has successfully landed two robotic explorers on the surface of an asteroid, making history."We don't have confirmation yet, but we are very, very hopeful," project manager Yuichi Tsuda said.On...

  • By Wesley Stephenson Data journalist 21 September 2018 comments Most people are trying their best to recycle plastic - but the many different ways in which recycling is collected by different councils across the UK has left them confused. What can be recycled and what can't? We are putting more plastic in the recycling than ever before - but pictures of sea life tangled in all manner of waste...

  • 20 September 2018 Image copyright UNSW Image caption Cane toads are highly adaptive and release a destructive toxin Scientists say they have unlocked the DNA blueprint of the cane toad, raising fresh hopes of slowing the animal's destruction of habitats.The amphibian, native to South America, has become a prolific pest since it was introduced in other parts of the world last century.In...

  • By Helen Briggs BBC News 20 September 2018 Image copyright Getty Images Scientists have investigated the calls of giant pandas - and it's not good news for animals seeking a date. Pandas can identify each other from their sheep-like bleats at a distance of up to 20 metres, research found.But they can only decipher the sex of a potential mate if they are less than 10 metres away.In contrast,...

  • By Paul Rincon Science editor, BBC News website 20 September 2018 Image copyright Jaxa Image caption Rovers 1A and 1B (left and centre), alongside Minerva II-2 (right) which will be released at a later date Japan's space agency is preparing to deploy two robotic explorers to the surface of an asteroid.On Friday, the Hayabusa-2 spacecraft will despatch a pair of "rovers" to the 1km-wide space...

  • By Paul Rincon Science editor, BBC News website 20 September 2018 Image copyright Ilya Bobrovskiy Image caption The affiliations of Dickinsonia had previously been unclear Scientists have identified the earliest known animal in the geological record.It's a 558-million-year-old oval-shaped creature that may have borne a superficial resemblance to a segmented jellyfish.Researchers found specimens...

  • By Jonathan Amos BBC Science Correspondent 19 September 2018 Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionThe satellite RemoveDebris will use a net and a harpoon to clean up space junkA British satellite has successfully deployed a net in orbit to demonstrate how to capture space debris. The event took place more than 300km above the Earth.It was part of a series of trials that will...

  • By Pallab Ghosh Science correspondent, BBC News 19 September 2018 comments Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Wasps, often encountered on picnics, have a poor reputation with the public A new study reveals that wasps are largely disliked by the public, whereas bees are highly appreciated. The researchers involved say that this view is unfair because wasps are just as ecologically useful...

  • By Jonathan Amos BBC Science Correspondent 18 September 2018 comments Image copyright AIRBUS DS/MAX ALEXANDER Image caption The €1bn European Space Agency mission is set to launch in February 2020 It's taken a little longer than expected but the Solar Orbiter probe is built and ready to begin testing. UK engineers are putting the finishing touches to the satellite this week before sending...

  • 18 September 2018 Image copyright SpaceX Image caption Artwork: The BFR spaceship will be able to carry humans on a trip around the Moon Elon Musk's company SpaceX has unveiled the first private passenger it plans to fly around the Moon.Japanese billionaire and online fashion tycoon Yusaku Maezawa, 42, announced: "I choose to go to the Moon."The mission is planned for 2023, and would be the...

  • By Jonathan Amos BBC Science Correspondent 16 September 2018 Image copyright SSTL/AIRBUS/ISRO Image caption S1-4 and NovaSAR pictured just before being enclosed at the top of their Indian rocket The first all-British radar satellite has launched to orbit on an Indian rocket. Called NovaSAR, it has the ability to take pictures of the surface of the Earth in every kind of weather, day or night....

  • 15 September 2018 Image copyright DANI NADEL/AFP/Getty Image caption Archaeologists were looking for evidence of plant foods when they discovered the alcohol traces Researchers say they have found the world's oldest brewery, with residue of 13,000-year-old beer, in a prehistoric cave near Haifa in Israel.The discovery was made while they were studying a burial site for semi-nomadic...

  • By Sylvia Smith BBC News 15 September 2018 Image copyright Richard Duebel Image caption Anton Brugger stands in his cactus nursery in Almeria, southern Spain The iconic cactus plant is veering into trouble say researchers. The most serious problem is illegal smuggling. Despite the international ban on uncontrolled trade in cacti, policing the smuggling faces many problems and semi-professional...

  • By Pallab Ghosh Science correspondent, BBC News 14 September 2018 Image copyright Jacob Ammentorp Lund Image caption Thrills, spills and kidney stone removal: Everything you could wish for from a roller-coaster ride Riding on some types of roller-coaster is an effective way of removing kidney stones.This is the conclusion of research that has won this year's Ig Nobel Prize for Medicine.The US...

  • By Matt McGrath Environment correspondent 14 September 2018 comments Image copyright Chesnot Image caption A wind turbine installed in Paris ahead of the Cop21 climate conference in 2015 With many countries struggling to cut their carbon, new data suggests that major cities are making substantial strides to stem their emissions.Twenty-seven cities, including Warsaw, Barcelona and Sydney, saw CO2...

  • 14 September 2018 Image copyright NASA Image caption ICESat-2 fires 10,000 shots a second as it moves around the Earth The American space agency is about to put a laser in orbit to measure the condition of Earth's ice cover. The satellite mission, called ICESat-2, should provide more precise information on how these frozen surfaces are being affected by global warming. Antarctica, Greenland and...

  • By Matt McGrath Environment correspondent 14 September 2018 Image copyright Getty Images Intensive, high-yielding agriculture may be the best way to meet growing demand for food while conserving biodiversity, say researchers. But their study says the approach makes sense only if it is linked to more wilderness being spared the plough.Intensive farming is said to create high levels of pollution...

  • 13 September 2018 Image copyright Guy Anderson Image caption Heulwen had left her nest in Gwynedd and had been flying across north Wales A rare bird of prey mysteriously disappeared when her satellite tag stopped transmitting after she flew across Snowdonia. Hen harrier Heulwen was last known to be near Ruabon Mountain, Wrexham, on 29 August. A tag continues to transmit even when the bird dies,...