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Genetic treatments could help save the northern white rhino. Only two females remain in the world following the death of the last male this week. Scientists want to use IVF and stem cell techniques to try to conserve the subspecies. The Great Pacific Garbage PatchAfter three months collecting 1.3 million bits of rubbish from an area in the ocean the size of Iran, researchers now estimate there are 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic floating around what is known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The patch lies between California and Hawaii. The next step: cleaning it with a 600 metre floating boom, starting this summer.Space JunkUp in space, researchers are launching a four-step plan to understand and get rid of space debris orbiting our planet. First, they plan to send into space artificial debris with sensors to measure and monitor the real debris. Next, they will test a netting system and a harpoon to capture any debris. Lastly, disposal: a large sail attached to the captured debris will slow it down and lower its orbit, causing it to burn as it falls down to Earth. Meanwhile, scientists at the University of Texas are trying to forecast exactly where space junk will be. Knowing where it is is vital to cleaning it up.Picture: White Rhino, Credit: Jan StejskalPresenter: Roland PeaseProducer: Ania Lichtarowicz
Cosmologist Stephen Hawking died this week. We celebrate his life, and profound contributions to the knowledge of our Universe. John B. Goodenough - When you next plug in your laptop, hearing aid or mobile phone to charge , spare a thought for Professor John B. Goodenough. He is widely credited with the identification and development of the Lithium-ion rechargeable battery. At 95, he’s still full of energy and ideas. Roland tried to keep up with him when he visited his labs recently and finds out what John has in store for the next generation of energy storage.Picture: Cosmologist Stephen Hawking (1942-2018) in NASA’s ‘Vomit Comet’, Credit: NASAPresenter: Roland PeaseProducer: Fiona Roberts
President Vladimir Putin has just announced a whole new suite of strategic nuclear systems being developed in Russia. One of these is a worrying nuclear-powered cruise missile. Worrying - because back in the 1960’s the US tried something similar with their Project’s Pluto and SLAM and it turned out the missiles were too dangerous even to test. We find out how likely experts in the field think these claims are.International Women’s Day (Thursday 8th March 2018) Around the world, more and more women are becoming farmers and responsible for small holdings. Climate change is impacting women globally more than men, a good example is women tend to fetch water and water sources are becoming more scarce, so they have to travel further each day. Agriculture is first in the firing line when it comes to the negative impact of climate change. Is anyone doing anything to mitigate this double-whammy impact on women around the world?In May 1961 the world’s first nuclear ramjet engine, mounted on a railroad car, roared to life for just a few seconds at the Nevada Test Site’s Pluto Facility at Jackass Flats. Credit: Federal Government of the United States