Did you miss? Meters, docs & binocs

Highlights from OU science in the news this week:

Could your electricity meter save £££s and the planet?

That's the hope behind the smart meter technology being developed by Oxford spinout Intelligent Sustainable Energy, as Martin Arnold reports in the FT.

Interview: Fred Taylor talks Venus & clouds

One of the mysteries of Venus is the strange patches in the clouds that show up in ultraviolet light.

Sins of the mothers

Whether you turn out to be a good or bad mother is partly down to how you were treated by your own mother: at least if you are a rat.

Red spiral galaxies: a gentle decline

Some galaxies, like some humans, can enter a period of graceful decline rather than suffer violent transformation, according to two new studies.

Roads 'imprison' forest elephants

Road-building in Africa's Congo basin could spell catastrophe for the forest elephant.

New research by WCS and Save the Elephants published today in PLoS One shows that encroaching roads create a 'siege mentality' in forest elephants as they avoid roads, associating them with the threat of poaching.

Sterile or virile? How about both...

Is it better to sterilise males with a dose of radiation or by inserting a gene?

That's part of the thrust of an article by Clive Cookson in the FT on the work of Oxford spinout Oxitec.

Mind control: why not?

In a fascinating article in Scientific American Oxford's Gero Miesenbock explores the history of optogenetics - combining optics and genetic engineering to study specific types of cells.

Gero's particular interest is in combining genes that encode for cells that either emit or respond to light with neurons: in order to study brain circuitry.

Save the Everglades... faster

It's easy to think there are two main roadblocks to saving wild habitats, apathy and money, but a new report into conservation in the Everglades suggests a third: bureaucracy.

Putting biodiversity on the web

It might seem like the days when non-scientists could make big contributions to science are long gone but in fact we could be entering a new age of 'citizen science'.