Intermediate Word:  hackmatack (a) hood placed over a horse's head  (b) larch tree  (c) cocoanut tea cake  (d) farrier's apron
Difficult Word:
  aepyornis  (b) ancient winged cousin of the pterodactyl  (b) wand used to pull molten glass from the melt  (c) flightless bird of Madagascar  (d) strap holding Scottish highlander's kirtle

Spotty mice flout genetics laws  - BBC  Left:  Mice with the mutant gene have a white-tipped tail and white-tipped feet.  Scientists say they have demonstrated that animals can defy the laws of genetic inheritance. Researchers found that mice can pass on traits to their offspring even if the gene behind those traits is absent. The scientists suggest RNA, a chemical cousin of DNA, passes on the characteristic - in this experiment, a spotty tail - to later generations. The research focuses on a gene called Kit, which comes in two varieties: "normal" and "mutant". The mice inherit two Kit genes, one from each parent; a mutant version gives them a spotty tail.   
BBC Electricity Calculator graphic Your electricity choices revealed  - BBC   Left:  Electricity Calculator  Your ideal mix of generation methods to meet demand in 2020, projected to be 381 billion kilowatt hours (bn kWh), is:  Fossil fuels - 85bn kWh or 21%; Nuclear - 113bn kWh or 28%;  Renewables - 143bn kWh or 36%;  Imports - 17bn kWh or 4%; Reducing demand - 39bn kWh or 10%.    Your preference for renewables goes further than the government's current aim, which sees 20% of UK electricity coming from technologies such as wind, wave, solar and biomass by 2020. "This is a ringing endorsement from more than 100,000 people for mitigating climate change."

To boldly hide where none have hidden before  - BBC   Researchers in the US and Britain have unveiled their blueprints for building a cloaking device. So far, cloaking has been confined to science fiction; in Star Trek it is used to render spacecraft invisible. So far, cloaking has been confined to science fiction; in Star Trek it is used to render spacecraft invisible. In the journal Science two separate teams, including Professor Pendry's, have outlined ways to cloak objects . These research papers present the maths required to verify that the concept could work. But developing an invisibility cloak is likely to pose significant challenges. Both groups propose methods using the unusual properties of so-called "metamaterials" to build a cloak. These metamaterials can be designed to induce a desired change in the direction of electromagnetic waves, such as light. This is done by tinkering with the nano-scale structure of the metamaterial, not by altering its chemistry. 

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