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Flying high

July 12, 2013, noon

For the first time, a prototype aircraft has flown from one coast of the United States to the other using solar power alone. The team behind the Across America project hopes that their accomplishment will promote the use of clean and sustainable solar technologies in transport and other areas.

Watch Twig film Solar Power to learn more about how solar power works.

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Dying for a swim

June 13, 2013, noon

A local council in the United Kingdom has taken the unusual step of adding black dye to a popular swimming spot, in a bid to deter bathers. With a pH almost as high as ammonia, the ‘blue lagoon’ at Harpur Hill in Derbyshire posed a significant threat to the health of swimmers, and councilors hope that, by making the pool less visually appealing, fewer people will risk entering its waters.

Watch Acid and Alkalis, Part 1 and Part 2 and find out why high and low pH values can be so hazardous.

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80-year-old sets new Everest record

May 29, 2013, noon

On the 29 May 1953, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest. Sixty years later, an 80-year-old Japanese mountaineer has followed in their footsteps, becoming the oldest person to conquer its formidable peaks.

Watch Twig film Japan: Encouraging Population Growth to learn more about Japan’s ageing population.

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Safety in numbers

May 16, 2013, noon

This month, billions of adult cicadas will emerge all across North America, having spent the last 17 years maturing underground. Watch Twig film Primed for Survivalto find out how prime numbers play a part in this remarkable life cycle.

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Life on Mars

May 1, 2013, noon

Living on Mars may seem like the stuff of science fiction. But now a private company is offering people the opportunity to do just that! There’s just one catch: it’s a one-way trip. Watch Mars.

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IVF pioneer dies at 87

April 17, 2013, noon

Robert Edwards, the pioneer of in vitro fertilisation, has passed away aged 87. His ground-breaking research in the latter half of the 20th century revolutionised the field of human fertility, and earned him a Nobel Prize.

Watch the Twig film Medical Marvels: IVF to learn more about IVF.

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Planck map

April 4, 2013, noon

On 21 March, researchers at the European Space Agency unveiled a new map of the Universe, based on data collected by the Planck space telescope. The map details the distribution of cosmic microwave background radiation, helping to develop theories of how the Universe first formed.

Watch the Twig film Nobel Prize By Chance to find out how the existence of cosmic microwave background radiation was first discovered – purely by accident!

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Should GPs prescribe e-cigarettes?

March 22, 2013, noon

A British company is seeking to have electronic cigarettes approved as a medical product to help smokers quit their dangerous habit. But how successful can e-cigarettes be, and are they really as harmless as their makers claim?

Watch Twig film Smoking: The Damage and witness the harmful effects smoking has on the lungs.

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Optimal prime

March 5, 2013, noon

In 300 BC, Euclid proved that there are an infinite number of prime numbers. Ever since, mathematicians have sought to discover larger and larger examples – with the latest an incredible 17 million digits long! Watch Twig film Prime Numbers: A Pattern in the Primes to learn more about primes – and the financial rewards for unlocking their secrets!

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The king in the car park

Feb. 15, 2013, noon

Earlier this month, researchers at the University of Leicester announced that ancient bones unearthed from beneath a supermarket car park belonged to 15th century English monarch Richard III. Watch Twig film Forensics: Bog Bodies to discover the ways that investigators can unlock the identity of dead bodies.

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