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Image caption: Yellow banded dart frog.

 

A group of scientists and policy makers have published a report this week warning how international goals to reduce poverty are being weakened by the increasing rates of biodiviersity loss.

 

I don't think the report got a huge amount of press coverage but it highlighted an important fact: that a lot of the causes of poverty and biodiversity loss are often the same.

 

Natural History Museum plant expert Dr Sandra Knapp was part of the research team and says there needs to be more research into these links. She also mentioned how the Darwin Centre will be a good place where experts can get together and discuss these big issues. Read more in this article.

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Ancient humans in the news

Posted by Yvonne Oct 8, 2009

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Image caption: A scene of ancient Britain with early Neanderthals hunting in Swanscombe, Kent.

 

The last 7 days has seemed to me to be all about ancient humans here at the Museum.

 

Last Thurday evening, an amazing human-like creature was revealed to the world. Named Ardipithecus ramidus, or Ardi, the female is 4.4 million years old and gives us important clues about early human evolution. The international team of scientists worked for 17 years on Ardi and other finds from the same site, and published 11 papers altogether.

 

And this week, another team of scientists including those at the Natural History Museum, got funding for the 3rd phase of the Ancient Human Occupation of Britain project (AHOB). They have found evidence for human occupation in Britain as far back as 700,000 years.

 

These two projects, are examples of research that bring the fascinating story of human evolution to life. From the relatively recent snapshot of ancient humans in Britain to a possible human ancestor close to the time the human evolutionary branch separated from the common ancestor we share with chimpanzees.

 

Find out what Chris Stringer, our human origins expert, has to say in the Ardi article and the AHOB article.

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Image caption: This underwater observatory is being put into position 30m under the sea in western Sweden.

 

Scientists, including Adrian Glover from the Natural History Museum, have developed the world's first underwater observatory connected to the internet.

 

The observatory is currently 30m underwater in a fjord on the west coast of Sweden and is beaming images of a community of scavenging creatures living on the remains of a dead whale.

 

Scientists anywhere in the world are now able to carry out research in real-time on one of the least-studied enviromments on the planet.

 

Technology advances in cabling and underwater instruments helped make this system possible. However, there a few hurdles to overcome along the way, including a sudden infestation of barnacles! http://http://www.nhm.ac.uk/about-us/news/2009/september/first-underwater-observatory-live-online39820.html



Yvonne

Yvonne

Member since: Aug 27, 2009

This Nature News Blog will bring you snippets of news about the work of Museum scientists and other science and nature news.

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