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Should cats be culled to stop extinctions?

Scientists are calling for a widespread cull of feral cats and dogs, pigs, goats, and rats and mice to save the endangered species they prey upon.

Their eradication on more than 100 islands could save some of the rarest animals on Earth, says an international team.

Islands have seen 75% of known bird, mammal, amphibian and reptile extinctions over the past 500 years.

Many of the losses are caused by animals introduced by humans.

Exoplanet tally set to pass 4,000 mark

The number of planets detected around other stars - or exoplanets - is set to hit the 4,000 mark.

The huge haul is a sign of the explosion of findings from searches with telescopes on the ground and in space over the last 25 years, according to BBC.

It's also an indication of just how common planets are - with most stars in the Milky Way hosting at least one world in orbit around them.

Jupiter's unknown journey revealed

It is known that gas giants around other stars are often located very near their sun. According to accepted theory, these gas planets were formed far away and subsequently migrated to an orbit closer to the star.

Now researchers from Lund University and other institutions have used advanced computer simulations to learn more about Jupiter's journey through our own solar system approximately 4.5 billion years ago. At that time, Jupiter was quite recently formed, as were the other planets in the solar system. The planets were gradually built up by cosmic dust, which circled around our young sun in a disk of gas and particles. Jupiter was no larger than our own planet, according to Science Daily.

The results show that Jupiter was formed four times further from the sun than its current position would indicate.

Hen harriers 'vanishing due to illegal killing'

Hen harriers are disappearing on English grouse moors due to illegal killing, according to a scientific study.
The birds of prey are one of England's rarest birds, and a protected species.
Data gathered over a decade found satellite-tagged hen harriers were ten times more likely to die or vanish when they were on or near areas used for shooting, according to BBC.
Researchers say there is no plausible explanation other than illegal killing.
The analyses "confirm what has long been suspected - that illegal persecution is having a major impact on the conservation status of this bird," said co-researcher Stephen Murphy from the wildlife body, Natural England.

Scientists grow 'mini BRAINS' striving to cure motor neuron disease

Mini brains have been grown in a lab by scientists striving to cure motor neuron disease. 

The tiny organoid - approximately the size of a lentil - was made of connected human brain cells, according to Daily Mail.

It was then able to create connections with nearby spinal cord and muscular tissue. 

Scientists say they were able to see it spontaneously merge with the spinal cord of the animal while also contracting the muscles.