The world's leading space agency, Nasa, has an ambitious new Grand Plan: to "identify, capture and relocate" an asteroid.
Outlining the Agency's $17.7 billion budget proposal for 2014, Nasa administrator Charles Bolden said the mission would ensure the United States remained in the forefront of space exploration and scientific discovery for years to come.
It's a sobering thought for all us carriers of the Y chromosome, but prostate cancer kills almost as many men every year as breast cancer does women.
According to Cancer Research UK some 41, 000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year, but 10,700 will die of the disease, making it the fourth most common cause of cancer death - and second only to lung cancer in men.
We've come a long way since 1995 when Michael Mayor and Didier Queloz claimed the first official detection of an exoplanet orbiting a distant star - the somewhat prosaically named 51 Pegasi b, orbiting a sun-like star some 51 light-years from earth in the constellation Pegasus.
Where do you go if you want to know everything there is to know about dinosaurs?
Well obviously you could ask any passing nine-year-old boy, but if you can't find one of those you're going to need The Complete Dinosaur, 2nd Edition. Eleven-hundred pages of rigorously researched and engagingly presented dino-facts and figures set out in 45 chapters covering everything from the earliest discoveries to the latest fossil-dating technologies and written by some of the world's leading palaeontologists.
It may sound fanciful, but a growing body of evidence seems to suggest there may be a link between violent crime and - no, not policing strategy, or sentencing reform, or even trends in drug abuse, but - exposure to lead.
Yes that's right, the base metal element lead, Pb, or more exactly the lead-based chemical compound Pb(CH2CH3)4 added to petrol to make car engines run more smoothly.
A new technique known as optogenetics is lighting up the field of neuroscience. The idea involves genetically engineering neurons to respond to light, and then using powerful lasers to stimulate and control their expression.
The technique holds out the promise of new treatments across a range of previously intractable neurological disorders, from Parkinson's disease to epilepsy. And that promise is already being turned into tangible benefits - if only at this early stage in animal models .
Guy Fawkes' night may still be fresh in the memory, but astronomers are already jostling for ringside seats at an even more spectacular fireworks display.
Over the next few months the supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy will set about consuming a vast cloud of interstellar dust and gas - somewhat prosaically known as G2 - that has strayed too close to the singularity's event horizon.
Crows - as any child familiar with Aesop's Fables can tell you - are very smart birds. But are they smarter than children?
According to Aesop "A crow, half-dead with thirst, came upon a pitcher of water..." to cut a long story short, the crow realised that by dropping a succession of stones into the pitcher it could raise the level of the water and "...quench his thirst and save his life".
What would it take to break the impasse on GM crops?
That's a problem that has been exercising minds at the Agricultural Biotechnology Council, which is urging the government to adopt a strategic plan for agriculture that includes a central role for biotechnology.
"This is Philosophical Transactions from 1716, and Halley's paper - which is in Latin - is number five in the volume".
Taking care not to damage the brittle, yellowing pages the Royal Society's chief archivist and librarian Keith Moore turns to one of the seminal scientific papers in both the Society's - and science's - history. Edmund Halley's 1716 essay - A New Method of Determining the Parallax of the Sun.
Is the enlightenment over? Earlier this year the president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Nina Fedoroff, used the platform of her annual address to the country's leading academy of science to warn that the politicization of science - across a range of issues from genetic modification and immunisation strategies to evolution and climate change - was driving the country into a new dark age.
"Fewer people believe in climate change with each passing year, and the conviction that vaccinations cause autism is alive and well. What a tragedy," she said.
Tom joined the BBC as a general news reporter in 1990, interviewing Mikhail Gorbachev on a train to Cornwall for Radio 1 and covering the conflict in Rwanda before joining the Today programme.
After a brief stint at Newsnight, Tom returned to Today to focus on science and the environment. He covers an eclectic mix of developments in physics and astronomy, medicine, genetics, wildlife and climate change - from super massive black holes to preserving adder habitats.
A former presenter of Radio 4's Costing the Earth, he won a Foreign Press Association award for his series on wildlife in Britain in 2000, and a British Environment and Media Award for his coverage of climate change in 2001.
He should have been part of the Sony award winning team that covered the launch of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in 2008, but sadly the giant atom smasher broke shortly before the awards ceremony and the judges looked elsewhere.
Born in 1964, Tom graduated from Sussex University in 1986. He lives in north London with his partner and three children.
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