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2014: The year of crystals

Dec. 31, 2013, noon

Happy New Year! The United Nations have named 2014 the International Year of Crystallography, marking 400 years since Kepler first examined the symmetry of snowflakes.

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Ancient DNA from "Pit of Bones" sequenced

Dec. 12, 2013, noon

DNA retrieved from a 400,000-year-old leg bone has raised new questions about human evolution.

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Philippines: The wake of a super typhoon

Nov. 20, 2013, noon

On 9 November, Super Typhoon Haiyan broke records by making landfall with wind speeds over 315 kilometres per hour.

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Experts reset the body's clock

Nov. 7, 2013, noon

Using specially modified mice, scientists at Kyoto University have found a way to “reset” the part of the brain responsible for keeping track of time, raising the possibility of a cure for the effects of jet lag. Watch Time Zones to learn more about why international travel disrupts our body clocks.

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Fright Night!

Oct. 31, 2013, noon

To mark Halloween, we take a look at the origin of some of its traditions – from carving pumpkins to ducking for apples to trick or treating.

Watch Expansion and Contraction to find out the scientific explanation behind supposedly “haunted” houses!

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Nobel prizes announced

Oct. 8, 2013, noon

Two of this year’s Nobel prizes have been announced, recognising outstanding achievements in physiology and physics. The former went to a trio of scientists who have together explained how cells in the body organise and transport molecules, while the latter has been awarded to François Englert and Peter Higgs for their theories on mass and subatomic particles.

Watch Nobel and Dynamite to find out more about the man who founded the Nobel awards.

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Scientists say hello to several new species

Sept. 24, 2013, noon

Over the summer, scientists have introduced the world to several newly discovered species, including lizards, birds and a new type of spiny rat – the latter found living in the island group where Alfred Russel Wallace formulated his influential theories of evolution in the 19thcentury.

Watch Darwin’s Dilemma to find out how Wallace’s work helped to inspire the writings of Charles Darwin.

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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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