Main headlines:
Plastic patch in Pacific Ocean growing rapidly, study shows

It is estimated some 80,000 tonnes of plastic is circulating in a patch between Hawaii and California.

Origin of 'six-inch mummy' confirmed

Scientists investigate an unusual, small, mummified skeleton from Chile to establish its medical history.

Curiosity rover: 2,000 days on Mars

The Nasa robot this week celebrates 2,000 martian days investigating the surface of the Red Planet.

'Radical change' needed on countryside

The UK government is failing rural communities and the natural environment, a report says.

Ocean plastic could triple in decade

But there are opportunities to cash in on the "ocean economy", a major report for the UK government says.

New plant list to help deter garden deer

The public is being asked to report damage to garden plants from visiting wild deer.

Triceratops may have had horns to attract mates

Dinosaurs may have evolved horns and frills to attract a mate, according to a new study.

UK will lead European exoplanet mission

A telescope to study planets beyond our Solar System is selected by the European Space Agency.

Northern white rhino: Last male Sudan dies in Kenya

Sudan's death at the age of 45 leaves only two females of his subspecies alive in the world.

Brexit: Ministers suffer nuclear defeat in Lords

Peers vote for the UK to remain in Euratom until a post-Brexit replacement deal is in place.

Children drawing more women in science

A US study shows that more children draw women scientists than they did in the 1960s and 1970s.

Stephen Hawking's ashes to be interred near Sir Isaac Newton's grave

The scientist's remains will be also be interred close to Charles Darwin's grave at Westminster Abbey.

Japanese basket pattern inspires new material

Researchers produce a metal with exotic electrical properties by mimicking a pattern from Japanese basket-weaving.

Breaking mould in male-dominated industry

Three pioneers who are shattering stereotypes surrounding the world of science and engineering.

Macular degeneration: 'I've been given my sight back'

Two patients have had pioneering stem cell therapy to restore their vision.

Changing environment influenced human evolution

New evidence from Kenya suggests that local climate change drove early human innovation.

Stephen Hawking: Tributes pour in for 'inspirational' physicist

Scientists, politicians and celebrities say the physicist's death leaves an "intellectual vacuum".

MPs warn of 'poisonous air' emergency costing £20bn a year

Petrol and diesel cars must be phased out earlier than the 2040 target, Commons committees say.

War on plastic may do more harm than good, warns think tank

A think tank warns of the risk of unintended consequences from the current concern over plastics.

Rising carbon dioxide levels impair coral growth

A new study shows that the atmospheric carbon levels projected by 2060 will affect coral reefs.

Humans 'thrived' after historic Mount Toba eruption

Early humans may have flourished after the largest volcanic eruption in history, according to new research.

Why sharks like it hot - but not too hot

Scientists have calculated the water temperature at which tiger sharks are most active and abundant.

Microplastics are 'littering' riverbeds

Microplastic particles contaminate the riverbeds throughout the UK, research suggests.

UK 'space drones' look to Proton rocket ride

UK-headquartered start-up Effective Space aims to put up its first satellite servicing "drones" in 2020.

Feed the birds, but be aware of risks, say wildlife experts

Wild birds may catch and spread diseases as they gather to feed in gardens, say scientists.

What happens when AI meets robotics?

Researchers in Texas aim to create robots that can cope with our messy world.

Sir John Sulston human genome pioneer dies

Sir John Sulston, a key figure in the race to decode the human genome, has died at the age of 75.

Anger over Sheffield's plan to fell healthy trees

Sheffield City Council's plan to fell thousands of healthy trees prompts angry protests.

Meet the dogs being trained to sniff out looted ancient treasures

Dogs are being trained to detect ancient treasures in an attempt to tackle cultural heritage trafficking.

Last male northern white rhino dies in Kenya

Sudan died in a Kenyan conservancy at the age of 45, after months of ill health.

Footage of first polar bear cub born in UK in 25 years

The "confident and curious" cub was born at Highland Wildlife Park in Kincraig, Scotland.

Stephen Hawking on God, artificial intelligence and mankind's future

Listen to five thought-provoking perspectives from world renowned physicist Stephen Hawking, who has died at the age of 76.

Stephen Hawking's three great contributions to science

The physicist will be remembered mainly for three things, says fellow scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock.

'Boaty McBoatface' sub survives ice mission

The nation's favourite yellow submarine returns safely after a dangerous dive in the Antarctic.

Archaeopteryx flew like a pheasant, say scientists

The famous winged dinosaur Archaeopteryx, once thought of as the first bird, could fly, research shows.

Toxic task

The organisation keeping track of the deadly chemicals held by countries around the world.

Glorious mud

Meet the "mudlarkers" looking for archaeological artefacts along the banks of the Thames.

Adapt or die

In the first of our Future of Work series, we look at how new tech could change our working lives.

Rare poison

Sergei and Yulia Skripal were poisoned by Novichok nerve agents, the PM says. So what are they?

Rotten ideas

As the fight against plastic pollution gains momentum, firms are tackling the issue in different ways.

Obituary: Stephen Hawking

Despite a crippling illness, Stephen Hawking became one of the most respected scientists of his age.

Nerve agents

A nerve agent was used to poison a Russian former spy and his daughter. What are they and what do they do?

Recycling gum

A British designer wants used gum recycled into useful objects - also leading to cleaner streets.

Sound of speed

The Bloodhound supersonic car will produce a huge amount of noise when it starts running later this year.

Fast charge

A breakthrough in materials technology could see fast-charging supercapacitors rival lithium-ion batteries.

Water stress

A report has said the south Indian city is likely to run out of water - but is this really the case?

Lassa fever

Since the beginning of the year, Nigeria has been gripped by an outbreak of the deadly Lassa fever.

Body hack

The body-hackers who believe chips under the skin could replace keys and wallets in future.

Scarcer snow?

In the UK, there is evidence to suggest that snowfall has decreased over the past few decades. Worldwide, it's a more complicated picture.

Wot, no signal?

Billions of people still have no access to mobile services, but nano-satellites could change this.

Burn or bury

Since China refused last month to accept any more foreign waste for recycling, the UK is facing a challenge disposing of its plastic waste.

Nile conflict

A new dam on the river Nile could trigger the world's first war about water, writes Alastair Leithead.

Great White demystified

Shark diving is helping tourists improve their perception about the largest predatory fish in the world.

What lies beneath

Winning photos from the Underwater Photographer of the Year competition

Rocket man

Elon Musk just launched the world's most powerful rocket. It's only a fraction of what he's up to.

Stephen Hawking: A life in pictures

The physicist, who battled motor neurone disease for most of his life, has died at the age of 76.

Stephen Hawking dies: Scientist's most memorable quotes

Remembering some of the key theories and quotes of the world renowned physicist, who has died.

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