This week's UK news: 9 August 2013
9 August 2013

Another famous baby on the way

Edinburgh Zoo thinks its female panda may be pregnant. Tian Tian is being carefully monitored, and the zoo thinks her behaviour has changed, and that chemicals in her body have changed too. Tian Tian is also eating less and behaving differently.

But nobody can be sure if Tian Tian is really pregnant as it is very hard to tell in pandas. So we won't know for sure until late August or early September, when she would be due to have her tiny cub (or cubs), which will weigh just 150g. "Results so far are very encouraging," said Chris West, of the charity that runs Edinburgh Zoo. "But we don't want to count our pandas until they are born."

And a new Dr Who is born

Dr Who is one of our most popular TV programmes, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. If you've never seen it, it stars a time-travelling alien (who looks remarkably like a human man) who travels in a spaceship called the Tardis (which looks like a blue telephone box on the outside but is huge on the inside).

The Doctor likes travelling with humans from the UK, and fighting strange aliens from all over the galaxy to protect the Earth. He spends a lot of time fighting the Daleks, metal aliens which say "Exterminate!" and the cybermen, strange white robots.

The current actor playing the Doctor announced that he was leaving earlier in the summer. This week there was a big build up to the announcement about who is replacing him. It is Peter Capaldi, who's best known for playing a very rude advisor to politicians in a TV programme.

Come to Britain - outside London

The British tourism organisation has found that half of the UK's 31million visitors never go outside London. So now Visit Britain is encouraging tourists to visit other fantastic places in the UK, including country pubs, Stonehenge, and cathedral cities like Lincoln and Winchester.

Another place which will be promoted is Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, which was used as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films.

Advertisements will show that Britain is a small country and very easy to travel around, and tell people that they should not worry about driving on the left hand side of the road.

The world's most expensive burger

It cost GBP 250,000, and it was the most expensive burger in the world.

But the burger unveiled at an event in London this week may be the future. For although it was made of beef muscle, it was grown in a lab and no cow was killed or injured to make it.

Dr Mark Post and his team at Maastrict university used stem cells from two cows to grow 20,000 muscle fibres in individual tiny pots. Each one was then straightened out, pressed together, coloured with beetroot and mixed with other ingredients to form the burger.

Google founder Sergey Brin, who funded the research, said it was proof that it was possible to culture meat in this way, and he thought the technology would now move quickly. The researchers now want to make the process more efficient, add fat cels, and grow thicker types of meat such as steaks.


previous entry << >> next entry