In the centenary year of the publication of a seminal treatise on the physical and mathematical principles underpinning nature – On Growth and Form by D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson – a Cambridge physicist has led a study describing an elegantly simple solution to a puzzle that has taxed biologists for centuries: how complex branching patterns of tissues arise.
The UK is investing £65 million in a flagship global science project based in the United States that could change our understanding of the universe, securing the UK’s position as the international research partner of choice. Professor Mark Thomson from the University of Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory has been the elected co-leader of the international DUNE collaboration since its inception and is the overall scientific lead of this new UK initiative.
It lived well over 550 million years ago, is known only through fossils and has variously been described as looking a bit like a jellyfish, a worm, a fungus and lichen. But was the ‘mysterious’ Dickinsonia an animal, or was it something else?
An international team of astronomers has detected titanium oxide in the atmosphere of an exoplanet for the first time. The results, reported in the journal Nature, provide unique information about the chemical composition and the temperature and pressure structure of the atmosphere of this unusual and very hot world.
Conservation initiatives led by local and indigenous groups can be just as effective as schemes led by government, according to new research. In some cases in the Amazon rainforest, grassroots initiatives can be even more effective at protecting this vital ecosystem. This is particularly important due to widespread political resistance to hand over control over forests and other natural resources to local communities.
Researchers have shown that defects in the molecular structure of perovskites – a material which could revolutionise the solar cell industry – can be “healed” by exposing it to light and just the right amount of humidity.
Professor John Aston, Professor of Statistics at the University of Cambridge, has been appointed as the Home Office’s new Chief Scientific Adviser.
Newly-described fossil shows how brittle stars evolved in response to pressure from predators, and how an ‘evolutionary hangover’ managed to escape them.
Despite the value that humans get from nature, it is not included in measurements of poverty and well-being. Cambridge's Judith Schleicher and Bhaskar Vira say it's about time this changed.