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Caterpillar found to eat shopping bags, suggesting biodegradable solution to plastic pollution

A common insect larva that eats beeswax has been found to break down chemical bonds in the plastic used for packaging and shopping bags at uniquely high speeds. Scientists say the discovery could lead to a biotechnological approach to the polyethylene waste that chokes oceans and landfills.

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Study identifies hundreds of genes that influence timing of puberty and alter risk of several cancers

The largest genomic analysis of puberty timing in men and women conducted to date has identified 389 genetic signals associated with puberty timing, four times the number that were previously known.

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Opinion: Worthless mining waste could suck CO₂ out of the atmosphere and reverse emissions

Could waste material from mining be used to trap CO 2 emissions? A new £8.6 million research programme will investigate the possibilities. Simon Redfern (Department of Earth Sciences) explains, in this article from The Conversation.

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#EarthOptimism: Recovering species must be celebrated or we risk reversing progress

Cambridge conservationists will unite with colleagues across the globe on Earth Day this Saturday to lionise environmental victories and show there is cause for hope – the decisive component in the fight to save disappearing biodiversity.

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Scientists discover two repurposed drugs that arrest neurodegeneration in mice

A team of scientists who a few years ago identified a major pathway that leads to brain cell death in mice, have now found two drugs that block the pathway and prevent neurodegeneration. The drugs caused minimal side effects in the mice and one is already licensed for use in humans, so is ready for clinical trials.

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Cambridge named as a centre for the UK Dementia Research Institute

The University of Cambridge has been announced as one of the centres that will form the UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI) alongside Cardiff University, the University of Edinburgh, Imperial College London and King’s College London.

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Opinion: How ‘frugal innovation’ can fight off inequality

With inequalities set to get worse, it’s time to take radical action, says Jaideep Prabhu, Director of Centre for India & Global Business, Cambridge Judge Business School, writing for The Conversation. Could the answer lie in the ‘frugal revolution’ that is already under way?

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Algorithm matches genetic variation to disease symptoms and could improve diagnosis of rare diseases

A faster and more accurate method of identifying which of an individual’s genes are associated with particular symptoms has been developed by a team of researchers from the UK and Saudi Arabia. This new approach could enable scientists to take advantage of recent developments in genome sequencing to improve diagnosis and...

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Opinion: We could soon face a robot crimewave … the law needs to be ready

Are robots capable of committing crime? Yes, says Christopher Markou, PhD Candidate at the Faculty of Law, writing for The Conversation - but what should we do if it does?

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New cohort of Gates Cambridge Scholars announced

Ninety new Gates Cambridge Scholars will form the Class of 2017.

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