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Tian Tian keeps zoo staff waiting

Sept. 11, 2013, noon


For over a month, Edinburgh Zoo’s giant panda Tian Tian has been under constant observation, as scientists and panda fans watch and wait to see whether she is pregnant. However, as time goes on the chances of a successful birth are dwindling.

Watch Twig film Fertilisation to learn more about conception in humans.


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Kepler forced into retirement

Aug. 28, 2013, noon

After four and a half years of planet hunting, the Kepler space telescope has been forced into retirement. Despite the best efforts of NASA’s engineers, the telescope can no longer remain steady enough to continue its mission. However, scientists hope that it can be adapted to serve other functions, thereby continuing to advance our knowledge of the Universe.

Watch the Twig film Hubble Space Telescope to hear the story of another telescope’s technical difficulties – and NASA’s ingenious solution!

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Future food

Aug. 14, 2013, noon

Last week, scientists and food critics cooked and ate a burger that had been grown from stem cells in a laboratory. Its creators hope that their work will make meat eating more environmentally friendly, while helping to alleviate global hunger.

Watch Twig film Feeding the Planet to learn more about food shortages and the impact of cattle farming.

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Sleeping cycles

July 31, 2013, noon

Extensive research into sleep patterns has revealed that we are likely to sleep less and take longer to drift off when there is a full moon – just one of many ways in which the Moon exerts its influence over life on Earth.

Watch Twig film The Moon and its Effect on Life to discover the links between the Moon and fertility.

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US endures deadly heat wave

July 13, 2013, noon

The heat wave currently affecting southwestern regions of the USA has exacerbated the spread of wildfires in Arizona, which this week resulted in the deaths of 19 firefighters.

Watch the Twig film Killer Heat Wave to learn more about the dangers of unusually hot and dry weather.

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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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