VIDEO: Monument honours the Land Girls

BBC test - Tue, 2014-10-21 20:26
A sculpture created in honour of women who served in the Land Army during World War Two - built with £85,000 in donations - is unveiled.
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VIDEO: Pregnant Kate appears in public

BBC test - Tue, 2014-10-21 20:10
The pregnant Duchess of Cambridge has made her first public appearance since an announcement that she was suffering from acute morning sickness.
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VIDEO: More UK troops arrive in Sierra Leone

BBC test - Tue, 2014-10-21 20:06
More British troops have arrived in Sierra Leone to help in the fight against the Ebola outbreak.
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VIDEO: More UK medics travel to Ebola area

BBC test - Tue, 2014-10-21 18:49
International development secretary Justine Greening travels with soldiers from the Royal Army Medical Corps to Ebola-hit Sierra Leone.
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VIDEO: Storms hit UK amid hurricane aftermath

BBC test - Tue, 2014-10-21 18:28
The view from South Ayrshire, Huddersfield and County Down, as the tail-end of Hurricane Gonzalo hits the UK.
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VIDEO: Polish MEP on joining UKIP group

BBC test - Tue, 2014-10-21 18:18
The BBC's Damian Grammaticas speaks to Robert Iwaszkiewicz about joining the UKIP grouping in the European Parliament
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AUDIO: Kellie: My brothers don't accept me

BBC test - Tue, 2014-10-21 12:13
Kellie Maloney says her brothers have not accepted her decision to become a woman.
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AUDIO: Pooley's parents support his return

BBC test - Tue, 2014-10-21 10:21
The parents of William Pooley, the British nurse who contracted Ebola while volunteering in West Africa, support his return to Sierra Leone to resume his work.
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Secrets of Dinosaur Ecology discovered in fragile amber

Heritage Daily - Tue, 2014-10-21 10:08
The research conducted by Ryan McKellar’s sounds like it could of come straight out of Jurassic Park: he studies pieces of amber found buried with dinosaur skeletons. However, instead of re-creating dinosaurs, McKellar uses the tiny pieces of fossilised tree resin to study a world where the extinct animals thrived.

Novel techniques for investigating very tiny pieces of fragile amber buried in dinosaur bonebeds has the potential to fill the gaps in knowledge about the ecology of dinosaurs, said McKellar, a research scientists at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum in Saskatchewan, Canada.

“Basically it puts a backdrop to these dinosaur digs, it tells us a bit about the habitat,” said McKellar. The amber can show what types of plants were abundant, and what the atmosphere was like when the amber was formed, he explained. Scientists are then able to collate details regarding what kind of habitat the dinosaur lived in and how the bonebed formed.

The preliminary findings about dinosaur ecology, habitat and other results from four different fossil deposits from the Late Cretaceous in Alberta and Sakatchewan, Canada, was presented on Monday, October 20th at the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting in Vancouver, Canada.

“Just a few of these little pieces among the bones can show a lot of information,” McKellar said.

The type of amber that the scientists work with is not the jewellery grade variety that can be constructed into a necklace or earrings. “This type of amber hasn’t been pursued in the past. It is like working with a shattered candy cane,” he said. It is called friable amber, which has a crumbly texture and it is very fragile.

 McKellar and his colleagues work with very small pieces of amber, measuring just a few millimeters wide. But even samples on such a small scale can contain huge clues to the past.

Before hardening into amber, the sticky tree resin would often collect animal and plant material, such as leaves and feathers. Scientists have called these contents ‘inclusions’, which they study along with the surrounding amber as it contains clues to environmental conditions, like surrounding water sources, temperature and even oxygen levels of the ancient environment.

Insects have also been known to be included in the amber, which can be extremely helpful to scientists. An example being, the discovery of an aphid, stuck directly to a duck-billed dinosaur with some amber. With a find like this, scientists are able to track insect evolution, find their modern relatives, and see how the may have interacted with dinosaurs, said McKellar.

“When you get insects, it is like the frosting on the cake- you can really round out the view of the ecosystem.”

Insect trapped in amber: WikiPedia

Improvements in processing friable amber have made this research possible. Instead of the old technique of screening amber in a glycerin bath, the scientists reduce crumbling by vacuum-injecting the amber with epoxy, said McKellar.

Friable amber is widespread across the North American Continent in association with coals, and in the uncovered bonebeds, which means the area of research has grown with the new techniques. It enables scientists to sample at a finer scale, and still fill some gaps in the past, especially regarding insect evolution, said McKellar.

Some of the early results of this method will be presented from amber pieces discovered with the skeleton of ‘Scotty’ the Tyrannosaurus rex, in Saskatchewan, Canada. McKellar will also be including case studies from three other bone beds: the Danek Bonebed near Edmonton, Alberta; Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta; and the Pipestone Creek Pachyrhinosaurus Bonebed near Grande Prairie, Alberta.

Contributing Source: The Geological Society of America

Header Image Source: Wikimedia

Categories: General

VIDEO: Presenter Mike Read sings UKIP calypso

BBC test - Tue, 2014-10-21 10:04
Former Radio 1 DJ Mike Read sings a comic pro-UKIP song prompting criticism from some who object to him affecting a Caribbean accent for the calypso style song
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VIDEO: British medics head to Sierra Leone

BBC test - Tue, 2014-10-21 09:30
Some 80 army medics are travelling to Sierra Leone as part of UK efforts to tackle the Ebola outbreak, as screening begins at Gatwick.
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VIDEO: European and UK police join forces

BBC test - Tue, 2014-10-21 08:23
Police from across Europe have been brought to the UK to help catch foreign criminals in Operation Trivium.
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VIDEO: UK Ebola vaccine tests continue

BBC test - Tue, 2014-10-21 07:44
As UK efforts to find a vaccine for the Ebola virus continues, Tim Muffett met some of those trying to develop new treatments, and some of the volunteers willing to test it.
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VIDEO: EU pesticide ban 'threatens crops'

BBC test - Tue, 2014-10-21 07:38
A report published today claims that banning too many pesticides will lead to lower yields on farm, which in turn could result in an increase in food imports, and job losses
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VIDEO: Man guilty of fake-girl webcam sex

BBC test - Tue, 2014-10-21 07:31
An Australian man is convicted of performing a sex act in front of a webcam "watched by" a computer-generated child he believed was real.
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VIDEO: UKIP Calypso 'made my ears vomit'

BBC test - Tue, 2014-10-21 00:53
UKIP Commonwealth spokesman Winston McKenzie has said the song UKIP Calypso, which is performed with a mock Caribbean accent by DJ Mike Read, is "fantastic".
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VIDEO: Some paedophiles 'won't be charged'

BBC test - Tue, 2014-10-21 00:04
Some paedophiles with images of child abuse will escape prosecution, the head of the National Crime Agency says.
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22-piece orchestra to play concert in hard hats in former air raid shelter below Newcastle

24 Hour Museum - Tue, 2014-10-21 00:00
The Underground Orchestra will invite their audience into the former coal waggonway and air raid shelter for a performance inspired by the north-east.
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22-piece orchestra to play concert in hard hats in former air raid shelter below Newcastle

24 Hour Museum - Tue, 2014-10-21 00:00
The Underground Orchestra will invite their audience into the former coal waggonway and air raid shelter for a performance inspired by the north-east.
Categories: General

How the RAF Museum is conserving the world's last remaining World War Two Dornier bomber

24 Hour Museum - Tue, 2014-10-21 00:00
Culture24 talks to RAF Museum Conservation Centre Manager Darren Priday about the project to conserve the remains of the last German Dornier 17 World War Two bomber.
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