• By Helen Briggs BBC News 18 September 2019 Image copyright Getty Images Human childbirth can be a long, painful, drawn-out process, needing assistance and sometimes taking days.So why do close living relatives like chimps have an easier labour, giving birth in hours and on their own?In an attempt to answer this evolutionary question, scientists have been looking at how ancient members of the...

  • By Matt McGrath Environment correspondent 18 September 2019 Related TopicsClimate change Image copyright Getty Images Coastal areas in the UK and Northern Europe will experience an increase in "compound flooding" in coming decades say researchers. These events, where storm surges and heavy rainfall combine, will become more common thanks to rising global temperatures. Devon, Cornwall and the...

  • By Dulcie Lee & Kate West BBC News & File on 4 17 September 2019 Image copyright Family photo Image caption Dani says she was sexually harassed at Cambridge University Dozens of students who reported sexual assaults to their university have said they were failed by complaints processes that left them traumatised.A BBC investigation found universities received more than 700 allegations of...

  • 17 September 2019 Image copyright AFP Image caption The Vektor centre has a huge collection of dangerous viruses (file pic) A major Russian research centre studying lethal viruses including Ebola and HIV says there was no biological contamination from an explosion and fire in one of its buildings.The fire was caused by the explosion of a gas canister during refurbishment work at the Vektor...

  • By Helen Briggs BBC News 17 September 2019 Image copyright Ben Tapley/ZSL Image caption Giant salamander: Not one species but three A newly-identified amphibian is possibly the largest on the planet, according to DNA from museum specimens.Reaching nearly two metres in length, the South China giant salamander is critically endangered in the wild.Scientists say renewed conservation efforts are...

  • By Mark Kinver Environment reporter, BBC News 17 September 2019 Image copyright Eviatar Nevo Image caption Scientists are excited by the presence of "beneficial mutations" in wild relatives of wheat Wild relatives of food crops, such as wheat, host an abundant array of genetic material to help the plants cope with a changing climate.In a study over 28 years showed that populations of wild wheat...

  • By Paul Rincon Science editor, BBC News website 17 September 2019 Image copyright Gemini Observatory/NSF/AURA Image caption Two-colour composite image of C/2019 Q4 (Borisov) obtained using the Gemini North Multi-Object Spectrograph (GMOS) on Hawaii's Maunakea Astronomers are gathering measurements on a presumed interstellar comet, providing clues about its chemical composition.The object, C/2019...

  • 16 September 2019 Image copyright Bjorn Vaughn Image caption Many parts of Indonesia are burning Almost every year, a smoky haze blankets the South East Asian region - signalling the return of forest fires in Indonesia. For many in this region, grey skies and a lingering acrid smell are not unfamiliar, but 2019 has already brought with it some of the worst haze levels in years.But what causes...

  • By Roger Harrabin BBC environment analyst 16 September 2019 comments Related TopicsClimate change Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionThe acceleration in melting of the ice sheet covering Greenland has shocked researchersExtreme events linked to climate change, such as the heatwave in Europe this year, are occurring sooner than expected, an ex-chief scientist says.Prof Sir...

  • By Jonathan Amos Science correspondent 16 September 2019 comments Related TopicsClimate change Image copyright CAMS/COPERNICUS/ECMWF Image caption CAMS produces five-day forecasts. Currently, thinning (blue) is greatest in the region towards S. America The ozone hole over Antarctica this year could be one of the smallest seen in three decades, say scientists.Observations of the gas's depletion...

  • By Jonathan Amos Science correspondent 15 September 2019 Image copyright NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM Image caption Wasps, bees, sawflies and ants all belong to a grouping of insects known as Hymenoptera - and Gavin Broad is an enormous fan Want to know the best way to kill a cockroach?Well, first inject some powerful neurotoxins directly into its brain. This will make the bug compliant; it won't try...

  • 13 September 2019 comments Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionPainted lady butterflies have been seen across the countryA once-in-a-decade mass emergence of painted lady butterflies saw nearly half a million recorded across the UK.Results from the Big Butterfly Count, which took place over three weeks this summer, showed 30 times more painted ladies arrived in the UK than...

  • 13 September 2019 Related TopicsNobel Prize Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The researchers used probes to measure the left and right testicles of 22 postmen and bus drivers Research measuring if there is a difference in temperature between the left and right testicles is one of the winners of this year's spoof Nobel prizes. Fertility experts Roger Mieusset and Bourras Bengoudifa...

  • By Helen Briggs BBC News 13 September 2019 Image copyright Getty Images Dolphins living in the English Channel are exposed to a "cocktail of pollutants", say scientists.A study found some of the highest recorded levels of toxic chemicals and mercury in the bodies of bottlenose dolphins off the French coast.Researchers say more needs to be done to tackle the "invisible" problem of lingering...

  • By Matt McGrath Environment correspondent 13 September 2019 Related TopicsClimate change Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The expansion of electrical grid connections has increased use of SF6 It's the most powerful greenhouse gas known to humanity, and emissions have risen rapidly in recent years, the BBC has learned. Sulphur hexafluoride, or SF6, is widely used in the electrical...

  • 12 September 2019 Image caption A sign has been put up in Machynlleth by opponents of the Summit to Sea project Hostility towards a rewilding scheme is a result of misunderstanding and farmers should not be concerned by it, the project's director says.Rewilding Britain's Summit to Sea wants to increase biodiversity and restore ecosystems in 10,000 hectares of mid Wales and almost 30,000 hectares...

  • 12 September 2019 Related TopicsWorld War Two Image copyright Tom Tangye/JNCC Image caption The wreck could be that of a Swedish cargo ship sunk off Orkney in 1940 Scientists carrying out a survey of deep sea habitats off the Northern Isles may have sighted the wreck of a ship sunk by a German U-boat in 1940.The vessel is believed to be the Lagaholm, a cargo ship from Sweden, a neutral country...

  • 12 September 2019 Image copyright Archeomodena Image caption The skeletons, buried in Roman times, have been holding hands for around 1,500 years Researchers have found that a couple of skeletons known as the Lovers of Modena, because they are holding hands, were both men.The researchers could not determine the sex of the skeletons when they were found in Italy in 2009 because they were badly...

  • 12 September 2019 Related TopicsUK climate change protests Image copyright William Watson Image caption Roger Hallam, co-founder of Extinction Rebellion, was arrested in Bethnal Green on Thursday Five environmental activists have been arrested over plans to fly drones near Heathrow Airport on Friday.Climate change activist group Heathrow Pause said it aims to use devices within the no-fly zone...

  • By Mark Kinver Environment reporter, BBC News 12 September 2019 Image copyright Reuters Image caption Aerial view of a suspected illegal logging site in Brazil A historic global agreement aimed at halting deforestation has failed, according to a report. An assessment of the New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF) says it has failed to deliver on key pledges. Launched at the 2014 UN climate...