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First new seeds put into Svalbard’s upgraded doomsday vault

By Adam Vaughan The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is open for deposits after upgradesGlobal Crop Diversity TrustHundreds of plant species around the world will be backed up today at a “doomsday vault” in the Arctic, the first deposit since an upgrade to futureproof the Norwegian facility against climate change. The seeds of onions from Brazil,…

UK government refuses request to explain cost of hitting net zero

By Adam Vaughan Protesters have called for the UK to hit net-zero emissionsMike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty ImagesThe UK government has refused a request to explain why its estimated cost of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 is tens of billions of pounds more than its independent advisers found. Last summer, shortly before the UK…

Record-breaking hot years look set to continue through the next decade

By Michael Marshall There may be many record-breaking warm years on the horizonAlexandros Maragos/GettyThe recent streak of record-breaking hot years is set to continue throughout the next decade. It is likely that every year from 2019 to 2028 will be one of the ten warmest on record. “After the last five years, we’ve really separated…

Tackling air pollution may accidentally trigger serious health issues

By Adam Vaughan Cleaning up dirty air might sometimes make things worseImaginechina Limited/AlamyCities tackling one major air pollutant risk inadvertently making things worse by fuelling the growth of another, potentially more harmful type of pollution. Many urban areas around the world are in breach of World Health Organization guidelines on PM2.5, particulate matter with a…

Albatrosses strapped with sensors help spy on illegal fishing boats

By Adam Vaughan A wandering albatross coasting over the seaImage courtesy of Alexandre CorbeauBirds carrying radar sensors have been used to spy on fishing boats, revealing a quarter of vessels in the Indian Ocean are operating illegally. Globally, illegal fishing is estimated to cost £17.6 billion a year, but satellite monitoring can be costly, sometimes slow…

CRISPR-edited chickens made resistant to a common virus

By Michael Le Page Gene edited and virus resistantPavel TrefilCRISPR genome editing has been used to make chickens resistant to a common virus. The approach could boost egg and meat production worldwide while improving welfare. The altered chickens showed no signs of disease even when exposed to high doses of the avian leukosis virus (ALV).…

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