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Fish 'capture and store 1 million tonnes of carbon'

Scientists have found that deep sea fish remove and store more than one million tonnes of Co2 from UK and Irish surface waters every year.

Fish deep offshore. Credit: PA

This natural carbon capture and storage scheme could store carbon equivalent to £10 million per year in carbon credits, according to the new study.

Researchers are warning that large-scale fishing and mining in deep waters could deplete this "valuable" resource.

The team from the University of Southampton and Marine Institute, Ireland, used novel biochemical tracers to piece together the diets of deep-water fish revealing their role in transferring carbon to the ocean depths.

New planet dubbed 'mega-Earth' discovered

A new rocky planet dubbed a "mega-Earth" has been discovered in a distant star system.

The heavyweight world is up to 17 times more massive than the Earth, scientists announced.

A new planet, known as Kepler-10c, has been discovered Credit: Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics/PA

According to scientists, the planet should have evolved over time into a gaseous "mini-Neptune."

Instead, Kepler-10c has managed to remain solid despite being more than twice as old as the Earth.

"We were very surprised when we realised what we had found," said astronomer Dr Xavier Dumusque, from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, who has led the research.

The discovery suggests that potentially life-bearing rocky planets may be far more abundant than was thought, and some could be immensely ancient.

Faulty genes 'cause night munchies'

Night-time snacking is the result of your genes, according to new scientific research.

Scientists from the Salk Institute in California have found that 'night munchies' are linked to a faulty PER1 gene, which controls the body's sleeping and eating patterns.

Late night snacking has become a ritual for many people, but its cause may lie in science Credit: Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press/Press Association Images

If a person's sleeping and eating habits become desynchronised, this can lead to night-time hunger pangs which disrupt sleep and may lead to over-eating and weight gain.

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Ian Read: 'We like that AstraZeneca science is in the UK'

Pfizer's chief executive has moved to calm fears about the impact of his company's proposed takeover of AstraZeneca on British science.

Pfizer chief executive Ian Read has moved to calm fears about Pfizer's takeover of AstraZeneca. Credit: Pfizer

Speaking on a video on Pfizer's website, Ian Read pointed out the strength of the UK's academic institutions, saying:

"When we looked at AZ, we liked their science, We liked where their science is being done, which is in the UK.

"And we know we have good science in the UK in the Cambridge, Oxford, London and other universities."

Pillinger was everyone's favourite eccentric scientist

As the face and driving force behind British attempts to explore Mars, Professor Colin Pillinger became everyone's favourite eccentric British scientist. Today, on news of his death, at the age of 70, his successes and even his heroic failures were remembered and celebrated.

His friend, and ITV News Science Editor, Lawrence McGinty, reports on the man with the stand-out side burns and burning enthusiasm for space:

Family: Pillinger death 'devastating and unbelievable'

The family of planetary scientist Professor Colin Pillinger told the BBC his death was "devastating and unbelievable".

Planetary scientist Professor Colin Pillinger died today aged 70. Credit: Johnny Green/PA Wire

The pioneering scientist, who was best known for the ill-fated Beagle 2 mission to Mars, became a professor in interplanetary science at the Open University in 1991.

He also earned a host of other qualifications and numerous awards during his prestigious career.

Prof Pillinger best known for ill-fated Mars mission

Planetary scientist Professor Colin Pillinger, who died today aged 70, was most famous for the ill-fated Beagle 2 mission to Mars.

Professor Colin Pillinger with the Beagle 2 landing craft in 2002. Credit: Tim Ockenden/PA Archive

The craft was supposed to land on the planet on Christmas Day 2003 and search for signs of life but vanished without a trace.

It was last seen heading towards the red planet on December 19 after separating from its European Space Agency mothership Mars Express.

Afterwards Prof Pillinger spoke of his frustration at the failed probe, and said there was nothing that should not have worked.

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