The Telegraph today reported that……………
A cow that burps less is being bred by Canadian scientists in an attempt to reduce the greenhouse gases responsible for global warming.
Cows are responsible for nearly three-quarters of total methane emissions, with most of the gases coming from burps which are 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas.
Stephen Moore, a professor at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, is examining the genes responsible for methane produced from a cow’s four stomachs in order to breed more efficient, environmentally friendly cows.
Mr Moore, professor of agricultural, food and nutritional science, has recently published a study in the Journal of Animal Science having completed primary tests to breed animals that produce 25 per cent less methane.
However, more work needs to be done before the long-term impact is known.
He said: “We are working on producing diagnostic markers for efficient animals. We are looking at the next generation of technologies that will enable us to determine the genetics of an animal through a blood test or testing some hairs that you might pluck from the animal.”
Ways of having cows produce less methane is to grow them faster, thus lessening the period between them standing in a field and getting to market.
Mr Moore said cows could also be bred to better covert food into muscle, so producing less methane and waste.
The Telegraph today reported that………
A Missing dog from Cornwall was found 550 miles away.
A pet dog which disappeared from its home in Cornwall four months ago has been found over 550 miles away in Scotland.
The 17-year-old collie called Lucy vanished from Sonya and William Mckerron’s house in Redruth on February 6.
They spent months looking for her and had given up all hope of seeing her again until they received a call from an animal rescue centre in Edinburgh.
Lucy was found in a garden in East Lothian and the homeowners had taken her in to be scanned for a microchip.
Sonya then drove to Scotland to be reunited with her pet at the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home last Saturday.
“It feels overwhelming to see her as we didn’t think we would ever find her again. I was in the house and I went to the toilet and when I came out she was gone from the drive, never to be seen again.
“We hunted high and low, phoned everybody including rescue centres and because she is chipped we thought we would find her.
“She is not a wanderer but from now on I will be keeping an eye on her so that nobody steals her.”
Dave Ewing, the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home manager, said he suspected Lucy had been taken by someone rather than having just become lost.
“I am confident Lucy was taken by someone either because they thought she was genuinely lost and they were doing her a favour or they knew they shouldn’t have taken her.
“When we saw her chip had a Cornish phone number we thought we would just try it but we were expecting it to be an old number and that her owners had moved.
“So the staff here were over the moon to find the owners still lived there and that they could be reunited with Lucy.”
An eco-warrior has been evicted from the cave he lives in on his allotment patch in Brighton, East Sussex, because it doesn’t have a fire exit.
Hilaire Purbrick, 45, has inhabited the seven-foot cave he dug on his plot and dined off the land for the past 16 years.
But after having the dwelling checked by the fire brigade, Brighton and Hove City Council decided it did not have enough exits and sought an injunction banning him from entering it.
Mr Purbrick ignored the order and continued to live in the cave, but was pulled back into court on Tuesday when a judge granted the council a possession order which will allow him to be formally evicted and banned indefinitely from the site.
Mr Purbrick now plans to take his fight to the European Court of Human Rights, claiming his right to a private life and freedom has been breached by the order.
“I am still living there and intend to continue to do so,” he said. “I know lots of people in this town who live in houses with only one door with no fire exit.”
The keen gardener has a history of overcoming legal challenges to his earthy home.
In 1999, town hall authorities threatened to remove him, claiming he was running an illegal vegetable shop.
But Mr Purbick won a reprieve after claiming his site “was hardly a Sainsbury’s” and he only had one customer – a pregnant woman who bought his sprouts.
The following year he successfully fought an eviction order after complaints he was keeping chickens and bees without permission.
Granting the possession order at Brighton County Court, Judge Jonathan Simpkiss said there were legitimate health and safety concerns that the cave could collapse.
“The council considers this was a danger to life. They have a responsibility to the public,” he said.
Mr Purbrick’s decision to appeal to the European courts was made after the judge refused leave to appeal in a UK court, saying it was a “hopeless cause of trying to resist the inevitable”.
Kissing the Blareny Stone in Ireland could give you more than just the gift of the gab after it was named as the world’s most unhygienic tourist attraction.
Researchers said the Stone, kissed by up to 400,000 people a year, rates as the most germ-filled of sites – although it admitted it had no scientific evidence to back its case.
Local legend has it that visitors who bend over backwards to kiss the stone built into Blarney Castle, near Cork, Ireland, are rewarded with the ‘gift of the gab’.
But internet travel website TripAdvisor.com believes those who kiss the stone are likely to end up with something else other than fluent speech as it is so germ ridden.
A wall outside a theatre in Seattle, Washington, was placed runner-up in the competition.
Since 1990, tens of thousands of people have stuck their unwanted chewing gum to the wall turning it into a tourist attraction.
The act began with people waiting in line to visit the theatre. The wall has been scrapped clean twice since 1990 but is still covered with gum.
Some visitors have even moulded shapes and faces out of their gum.Oscar Wilde’s tomb in Paris is the third dirtiest attraction having been covered with lipstick prints.
St Marks Square in Venice, Italy, is fourth due to the thousands of hungry pigeons who descend on the place leaving behind their waste.
The handprints and footprints of stars outside Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood makes the top five.
According to Tripadvisor the historical Hollywood landmark is covered with grim from the hands of countless visitors who see if their hands and feet match those of the stars.
Along with choosing a dress and booking a honeymoon, there is one other item to add to the wedding checklist in Japan: hiring fake friends.
Office Agents, a Tokyo-based company, rents out friends, work colleagues and even relatives to pad out the guest list.
For £127, one of the company’s agents will attend the wedding as a guest, while a heart-tugging speech will cost an extra £64 and a song or dance will set clients back a mere £32.
Brides or grooms who want to impress their prospective partners with their sheer volume of friends are among those secretly padding the guest list with fakes.
The recession has also boosted the popularity of the service. With unemployment rising and a growing number of Japanese in part time jobs, people rent fake bosses or colleagues.
Others turning to the company for fake work-related guests are those who have recently lost their jobs but want to maintain an air of respectability, according to Hiroshi Mizutani, who heads Office Agents.
“We’ll attend the wedding as your friend instead of your friend,” said Mr Mizutani.
“Suddenly, a guest might not be able to make it. Or maybe you are concerned about the gap in the number of guests you have compared to your partner. Or, there are many temp workers these days and they may be uncomfortable inviting the boss.”
At one recent wedding, the groom secretly arranged for all 30 guests to be hired as friends and family members as it was his second marriage and he did not want the same guests present as the first time round.
The company also provides the hiring of fake companions at events ranging from corporate functions and funerals to private events.
Stand-in lovers, pretend secretaries and distant relatives are among a colourful cast of popular roles played by the company’s army of fakers.
Describing the necessary credentials for his “fakers”, Mr Mizutani said: “They are cheery and clean and look like they have regular jobs.”
A huge intricate crop circle sculpted in a sea of barley has appeared near an ancient British burial mound in Wiltshire.
The formation, measuring approximately 350ft (100 metres), seems to depict a Yin Yang pattern and appeared on May 25 beneath Windmill Hill, near Devizes.
It was captured on camera at an area close to the great man-made mound of Silbury Hill, Wiltshire.
As many other crop circles previously spotted in the area, it seems to follow the Yin and Yang theme.
The green and then golden fields of the world’s crop circle capital of Wiltshire have spawned an array of patterns in the past that have fascinated those who seek them out.
Enthusiasts and experienced crop pattern hunters have often spotted formations appearing close to these sacred sites.
The crop circle season extends from April to harvesting in September, and is believed to be worth millions of pounds to the local economy.
Windmill Hill is thought to date to the Early Neolithic period some 5000 years ago, 3700 BC and was constructed as a causeway enclosure. It is the largest known of its kind measuring 21 acres (8.5ha).
It consists of three rings of concentric ditches, which were probably dug out in the same manner as the deep Avebury ditch, using antlers and oxen shoulder blades.
It was a major task taking many man-hours over many years.
It is thought that the camp was at its most important as a farming community during a relatively peaceful and prosperous time of approximately 3000- 3500 years until the advent of the Romans when their presence is evidenced by traces of a villa found on the western slopes of the mound.
The remains of a Loch Ness-style creature that lived in the English Channel 200 million years ago have been found on a beach.
Archaeologists have spent months piecing together dozens of old bones found encased in limestone on Britain’s Jurassic Coast by a fossil hunter.
After nearly completing the jigsaw-like puzzle they have disclosed that the skeleton, which is 70 per cent complete, is that of a 12ft long plesiosaur.
The marine reptile resembled the Loch Ness monster with its long thin neck and tail, four large flippers and razor-sharp teeth.
Plesiosaurs existed during the Jurassic period 150 to 200 million years ago when what is now the Channel was a shallow, tropical sea.
Detailed examination of the bones revealed teeth marks from where a predatory dinosaur would have feasted on the carcass of the “lake monster”.
Richard Edmonds, science manager for the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, said: “They are rare. There are only 10 known examples of complete or even partial skeletons of this species.
“I have been doing this for 30-odd years and I have only ever found the odd bone.”
The remains were discovered by Tracey Marler under rocks on Monmouth Beach near Lyme Regis, Dorset.
She first found a single bone in limestone. She and partner Chris Moore, an expert in fossils, returned to the scene and they found four more bones.
After further excavation about 150 vertebrae bones and parts of its skull and jaw which had one tooth in it were uncovered.
“It came out in pieces but you could clearly see how it looked. The tail bone was in position,” said Mr Moore.
“Some of the back bones were completely in place where they should be and the neck bone was there as well. You could see some of the bones had actually been chewed up a bit.
“There are teeth marks and you can see how the skeleton had been torn apart by some other nasty marine reptile.
“Plesiosaurs lived in shallow, warm tropical seas. They had long necks and sharp teeth and would have chased after and eaten fish.
“Their predator would have been the ichthyosaur which was carnivorous.”
Natural England worked closely with the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site team to carefully extract the fossils.
It is hoped the skeleton will go on public display at the Lyme Regis Museum.