In the Bay of Biscay, a northern fin whale was spotted by the vintage schooner, Oosterschelde, which is retracing Charles Darwin’s voyage on a conservation research mission. The voyage began in England in August and includes training young scientists and a global survey of bird populations.
From Punta Arenas in southern Chile, Stewart McPherson, director of Darwin200, joined the Tech & Science Daily podcast to discuss conservation efforts, the use of drones to track whales, and the issue of ocean litter. Research led by Sorbonne University in Paris has found that lightning storms occurring simultaneously with volcanic eruptions sparked the genesis of early life by creating large amounts of nitrogen.
Disney has unveiled a prototype device called HoloTile, which is an “omnidirectional floor” that allows a user wearing a VR headset to navigate the digital world by “walking” around. Meanwhile, charities are warning that cancer patients are facing a ‘desperate situation’ after the number of people waiting more than a month to start treatment hit a record high last year.
Data from the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities has revealed that over 100 children are admitted to hospital every day to have teeth pulled out under general anaesthetic. Additionally, astronomers at Cardiff University have discovered a previously unknown source of star dust, which forms the building blocks of rocky planets like Earth – found to be resulting from an exploding supernova in a spiral galaxy around 300 million light years away. Finally, robotics experts at the University of Glasgow’s James Watt School of Engineering have developed a droid guide dog powered by artificial intelligence with the hope of assisting blind people in navigating public spaces more easily.