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Chorus around Jupiter's moon 

• Listening to electro-magnetic waves around the earth - converted to sound - is almost like listening to the chirping of birds. Such waves, known as chorus waves, cause polar lights and can also damage spacecraft. Now a team of researchers from the University of Potsdam in Germany has found that such waves are intensified a million-fold around Jupiter's moon Ganymede. This study will help in the quest for new energy around planets in the solar system and in the distant corners of the universe.

Penguin loss

• The largest King Penguin colony has lost 90 per cent of its population, according to a study in Antarctic Science. The colony on Pig Island, a French territory in the southern Indian Ocean, has just 60,000 breeding pairs left. The researchers suspect that climate change could have a role to play in this, as it has had with other penguin colonies in Antarctica. Competition for resources, diseases and relocation may also have contributed to population loss.

Plastic, tamed

• Scientists are developing new plastics that, when prompted, self-destruct for reuse. Decades ago, synthetic polymers became popular as they were cheap and durable. Now, researchers at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, US, have created a plastic that doesn't just melt on heating, but disintegrates into simple molecular units, ready for recycling.

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