Scientists bid to create new GM crop

A team of scientists at Rothamsted have been working on a plant - to create a new variety of flax which contains Omega 3 fish oils

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University of Hertfordshire study suggests that technology is preventing sleep

Technology keeping us awake Credit: ITV Anglia

New research from the University of Hertfordshire suggests computers, tablets and smart phones are adding to an epidemic of sleep deprivation.

A survey indicates that almost seventy eight percent of people in the UK are exposed to sleep-disruptive blue lights from gadgets before going to bed.

Stevenage sandpit helps test rovers on a mission to Mars

by Stuart Leithes

A giant sandpit in a warehouse in Stevenage, Hertfordshire is helping in the vital research into space missions to the planet Mars.

A newly-enlarged test area has been opened at Airbus Defence and Space to put Mars rover vehicles through their paces.

The Mars Yard, which is now 30 metres by 13 metres, will be used to fully develop the European Space Agency's ExoMars rover mission due to be launched in 2018.

Click below to watch a report from ITV News Anglia's Stuart Leithes

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Petition against more 'destructive' Richard III research

The man who helped find the final resting place of King Richard III in Leicester has launched a petition against plans for more scientific tests on the former monarch's remains.

The University of Leicester announced earlier this month that it wanted to map the King's entire genetic code.

More scientific tests are planned for Richard III's remains
More scientific tests are planned for Richard III's remains Credit: ITV News Central

John Ashdown-Hill has written a blog in which he labels the research "destructive" and "gratuitous", and urges others to sign his petition to block any more testing.

The University has denied the claims, saying it has abided by all ethical codes governing research on human remains.

King Richard III is a figure of immense historical and cultural significance and the information that we hope to obtain from sequencing his genome will provide insights into the health and ancestry of the king and his historical environment.

We, along with our partners, are committed to treating the mortal remains with dignity and respect as we work together for a reinterment at Leicester Cathedral as soon as the legal process allows.

Mobile phone game could help develop new cancer treatments

Cambridge is helping to lead the way in medical advances with the help of a new app for your phone or tablet launched by a leading cancer charity.

It comes on the day the World Health Organisation has predicted the number of cancer cases will reach 24 million a year by 2035 - but says half could be prevented.

The phone app comes in the form of a game which will help scientists in Cambridge to analyse gene data - and ultimately help to develop new treatments.

David Wood reports on the latest craze.

Super-fast broadband goes live

The first stage of an £11 million project to bring super-fast broadband to Northamptonshire will be completed this morning.

The Minister for Culture, Ed Vaizey, will be in Towcester as the new fibre-powered cabinets go live. They, along with other cabinets in Weedon and Paulerspury, will provide fast internet to 4,000 homes and businesses in the local area.

The new service is due to be rolled out across the county by next month.

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Hawking: We will prove existence of multiple universes

5,500 galaxies seen through the Hubble telescope Credit: NASA

In a talk at the National Science Museum to mark the start of a new exhibition Prof Hawking also says the Large Hadron Collider may prove the existence of multiple universes.

Known as M-theory Hawking says multiple universes would occur naturally.

"These multiple universes can arise naturally from physical law. Each universe has many possible histories and many possible states at later times, that is, at times like the present, long after their creation.

Most of these states will be quite unlike the universe we observe, and quite unsuitable for the existence of any form of life. Only a very few would allow creatures like us to exist."

Ending his talk, he tells his audience: "So remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and hold on to that child-like wonder about what makes the universe exist."

Hawking: I only studied for an hour a day at Oxford

Professor Stephen Hawking during a talk at the Science Museum Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Professor Hawking has admitted he was a slacker at university.

As a student of natural science at Oxford University, he once calculated that he did about 1,000 hours of work during his three years at Oxford - an average of an hour a day.

"I'm not proud of this, I'm just describing my attitude at the time, shared by most of my fellow students," Prof Hawking told an event to celebrate the launch of the Science Museum's new "Collider" exhibition.

"Because of my lack of work, I had planned to get through the final exam by doing problems in theoretical physics and avoiding questions that required factual knowledge.

"But I didn't sleep the night before the exam, because of nervous tension, and so I didn't do very well. I was on the borderline between a first and second class degree."

Nonetheless, Hawking was awarded a first and went on to pursue a glittering career in mathematics and cosmology at Cambridge University, where he is now Director of Research at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics.

Hawking reveals he lost $100 bet on the God Particle

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