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18 April 2018



Best-selling UK chocolate bar goes pink

Have you ever eaten a KitKat? This is a popular snack, which has narrow wafer fingers covered in chocolate. KitKats were first manufactured in the UK city of York in the 1930s and are now sold all over the world. In Japan they are so popular that there are many different chocolate flavours.

Now a new kind of KitKat is coming in the UK. They are made with "ruby chocolate" which is naturally pink, and apparently has a fruity taste. The chocolate is made from ruby cocoa beans and is not as sweet as milk chocolate. It took a decade for a Swiss chocolate processor to experiment with using the ruby beans to make chocolate.

The new KitKat has already gone on sale in Japan and Korea. "We are excited to be able to offer a different type of chocolate for fans to try," said Nestle, the manufacturer.


UK scientists create bug to break down plastic bottles

Waste plastic is a real problem. Around a million plastic bottles are sold every minute around the globe, and just 14 per cent are recycled. Rubbish sites are filling with bottles, and they are affecting life in the sea and the countryside.

Now a research team led by Professor John McGreehan of Portsmouth University has created a bug which breaks down plastic drinks bottles. The bacteria contains an enzyme (similar to those used in some washing powders) which can start to break down the plastic in a few days. It eats the plastic, which means it could be possible to turn it into new clear plastic bottles, which can't be done now.

The scientists accidentally made the bug better at eating plastic while investigating how it works. They believe that within a few years they could make the bug very efficient at eating plastic, and that this might mean than new bottles would not need to be made from oil, but old bottles instead.


How eyebrows changed human communication

The faces of the first humans didn't look much like ours. Where our eyebrows are now, they had a bony ridge across their faces covered with thick hair.

New research at the UK's University of York suggests that the big brows of early humans showed that they were powerful and dominant. But then they found it more useful to get on with other humans, and to show that they recognised each other. So human faces changed, over many centuries, so that they could show lots of emotions and communicate well with each other.


New Lord of the Rings story published

The author of The Lord Of The Rings books died in the last century. But a new story about Middle-earth written by JRR Tolkien, will be published this August.

Tolkien wrote The Fall Of Gondolin over a century ago, when he was recovering after fighting in the First World War. It has illustrations by the same artist as the Lord of the Rings, and has familiar characters such as Orcs and Balrogs.

The story has been edited by Tolkein's son Christopher, who is 93.

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