The latest stories from the Science & Environment section of the BBC News web site.
New research suggests that the global reduction in wildlife is connected to an increase in human trafficking and child slavery.
A Russian satellite containing geckos could plummet to earth if control is not regained, according to reports.
A discovery of 150 million year old fossils in Siberia indicates that feathers were much more widespread among dinosaurs than previously thought.
Specially designed mobile games can help scientists answer important questions about cognition, a team finds.
Sub-Saharan Africa's agricultural sector needs to harvest the fruits of biotechnology in order to establish sustainable development, says a Chatham House report.
A ban on sending leftover food to landfill is needed to move away from a 'throwaway society', say MPs.
The UK government wants to scrap a community veto which allows local politicians to block a future £12bn nuclear waste repository.
Burning wood to fuel power stations can create as many harmful carbon emissions as burning coal, according to a government report.
Europe's Rosetta probe has acquired new images of the comet it is chasing through space.
Nasa is asking for help to get data back from future science missions orbiting Mars or roaming its surface.
The timing of when a girl reaches puberty is controlled by hundreds of genes, say scientists.
Jealousy is not just part of the human condition, a study suggests, it appears to be hard wired into the brains of dogs too.
Changes in the Antarctic climate are showing up in the fur seal population, say scientists who have studied the animals for 30 years on the British Overseas Territory of South Georgia.
A crew of sailors is embarking on a pioneering citizen science expedition through the Northwest Passage between Canada and Greenland.
Members of the European Union will have to boost their energy efficiency by 30% by 2030, according to the European Commission.
Zoologists find that bats use the pattern of polarised light in the sky at sunset to help them navigate.
The UN's seabed authority issues exploration licences that accelerate a search for valuable minerals on the ocean floor.
Part of a city in north-west China is sealed off and dozens of people placed in quarantine after a man died of bubonic plague, state media say.
Geologists discover that the stress applied by gravity is what controls the shape of dramatic sandstone landmarks.
The largest ever four-winged dinosaur has been discovered in China, with remarkably long feathers on its hindwings and tail.
The Kepler Space Telescope has spotted a distant world with the longest year of any planet in the mission's inventory.
At least six passengers on the Malaysia Airlines plane were heading to a major international Aids conference in Australia.
British astronaut Tim Peake has picked "Principia" to be the name of his mission into space next year.
Grow-your-own pacemakers are a step closer to reality, after pioneering experiments in pigs.
Europe's mission to land on a comet was always going to be difficult, but the pictures released this week of the giant ice ball illustrate just how daunting the task will be.