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life

The Christmas Star Tradition

A plant that symbolises the Christmas season, decorating homes and shops and featured prominently by the florists and garden centres in our cities. We are talking about the Poinsettia, better known to everyone in Italy as the Stella di Natale…

life

Can you be intelligent without a brain?

Can you be intelligent without a brain? The answer is "in a certain sense, yes" and this is demonstrated by a strange organism that looks like yellowish gelatinous mould but that has nothing to do either with moulds or fungi...…

life

Japanese beetles and other alien species

There is a beetle that has been invading the Italian countryside and cities for some time now, a small insect with iridescent green and brown colouring and a row of black and white tufts along each side of its body.…

life

A turtle’s life

World Sea Turtle Day is held on 16 June. First established in 2008, the day is now supported by Sea Turtle Conservancy (STC), which campaigns for the survival of these animals. The day also commemorates Dr. Archie Carr, founder of…

life

The world below

Journey to the Centre of the Earth is a famous science fiction novel written by the great Jules Verne in 1864, as well as a series of films based on it, the first of them in 1959, with the same…

life

Etruscan shrews, ferocity in miniature

Which is the tiniest micromammal, i.e. the smallest mammal on the planet? Up until almost half a century ago, it was Italian, or rather, Etruscan. The Etruscan shrew (Suncus etruscus) may look like a mouse but it is an entirely…

life

International Year of Fruits and Vegetables 2021

This year has been designated by FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations) as the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables (IYFV). Promoting a healthy diet and lifestyle, reducing food waste and losses, improving food production and making…

life

8 March. We remember Rosalind Franklin, the great female DNA scientist.

DNA was first isolated by Friedrich Miescher, a Swiss biochemist in 1869. It was a brilliant, but not complicated operation: DNA can be extracted from a mixture of any cells, even your own, even at home. The recipe for the…

life

In search of the riders of icebergs

International Polar Bear Day, set up by Polar Bears International, a non-profit organisation, was held on 27 February. The aim of day is to increase awareness in all of us of the challenges that polar bears must face daily due…

 
 
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