Birds may 'see' Earth's magnetism

Research published in PNAS this week reveals more about how a chemical compass could enable migrating birds to find their way.

Wild skills where they're needed

How do you help developing countries protect their precious wildlife?

One approach, being piloted at Oxford, is a new Postgraduate Diploma in International Conservation Practice.

Roots, shoots & sex

Botany was never a passion of mine, but the more I find out about plant science the more interested I become in our leafy friends.

Did you know, for instance, that in woody plants with separate sexes female plants are usually considerably smaller than male plants of the same species?

Where the solar wind blows

Could lifeforms from Venus reach Earth by hitching a ride on the solar wind?

That's the rather startling suggestion made by two researchers following analysis of data from ESA's Venus Express spacecraft.

Trunk call: elephants & mobile phones

What can we do to understand and help Africa's elephants?

According to this week's Current Biology one approach is to give elephants mobile phones.

Not, as you might think, for them to make emergency calls on at the first sign of poachers but rather mobiles that are attached to sensors on the animal to automatically text their whereabouts and regular status reports.

What makes animals the enemy?

This weekend saw two articles tackle the hot topic of the (re)introduction of species from quite different perspectives.

Virtual humans: a quest

In 1741 the automata-maker Jacques Vaucanson gave a lecture at Lyon’s Academy of Art.

RoboCup 2008: Go team Oxford!

An Oxford University team will be one of only two teams* from the UK to compete in RoboCup 2008, the ‘Robot Soccer World Cup’, in Suzhou, China 14-20 July.

Quantum searchlight gets a boost

I've blogged before about the International Linear Collider (ILC), a 'quantum searchlight' needed to answer fundamental questions about the universe likely to be posed by results from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).