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Image copyright Nist.gov Fears of another Grenfell-type fire are stunting the spread of wood-based buildings in the UK. The government is planning to reduce the maximum height of wood-framed buildings from six storeys to four. The move’s been recommended by the emergency services in order to reduce fire risk. But it contradicts other advice to …

Image copyright Universal Images Group via Getty Images Image caption A 17-year periodical cicada up close After spending 17 years underground, millions of cicadas will be emerging in parts of the United States. Periodical cicadas are expected to come out in early summer across southwest Virginia, parts of North Carolina, and in West Virginia. The …

Image copyright SPACEX Image caption The crew went so far as to strap themselves into the Crew Dragon capsule Nasa astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken have completed their dress rehearsal for Wednesday’s flight to the International Space Station. The mission, the first crewed outing from American soil in nine years, will see the pair …

Image copyright Jon Winslow / Department of Inland Fisheries Image caption Loons have been known to defend their chicks against eagles As with global affairs, nature has its pecking order. And in a contest between the bald eagle, America’s national bird, and a common loon, which is featured on Canada’s dollar coin, few would bet …

Image copyright SpaceX Image caption Crew Dragon will become the first commercial spacecraft to carry humans to the space station Elon Musk’s company SpaceX is about to launch its space vehicle – the Crew Dragon – with astronauts onboard for the first time. Here, we answer some common questions about the mission. Why is a …

Image copyright SpaceX Image caption Astronauts Doug Hurley (R) and Bob Behnken (L) are the chosen crew for the mission Key officials at the American space agency (Nasa) and private launch firm SpaceX have signed off next week’s historic mission to the space station. Astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken will ride to orbit from …

Image copyright Getty Images UK scientists are to begin testing a treatment that it is hoped could counter the effects of Covid-19 in the most seriously ill patients. It has been found those with the most severe form of the disease have extremely low numbers of an immune cell called a T-cell. T-cells clear infection …

Image caption Pripyat – a town purpose-built for the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant workers – has become a forested ghost town. Environmental scientists have called for the conservation of nature to be at the centre of the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. With countries still ensnared by the crisis, scientists have urged governments to …

Image copyright NASA Image caption Behnken (L) and Hurley (R) flew in from the Johnson Space Center in Texas Nasa astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken have arrived at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to prepare for their historic mission next week. The pair’s flight to the International Space Station (ISS) will be made …

Image copyright Virgin Orbit Image caption The rocket, LauncherOne, is designed to carry small payloads into space British businessman Sir Richard Branson is looking to this weekend to debut one of his new space systems. Virgin Orbit, based in California, will put satellites above the Earth, using a rocket that’s launched from under the wing …