The reason behind the decline of woolly mammoths has been fiercely debatedFlying Puffin/Wikimedia Commons

BBC series to air from inside Addenbrookes 

The BBC TWO series ‘Surgeons: At The Edge of Life’ will be filming inside Addenbrookes Hospital, as it is set to return for its fourth series next Thursday (11/11).

The series documents complex, life-saving surgical procedures, and provides insights into what life is like for the surgeons working in operating theatres. 

Both Addenbrookes and Royal Papworth Hospitals will be covered in this series, and a special episode will be filmed at Addenbrookes Major Trauma Centre. 

The third series was filmed in Addenbrooke’s Hospital from 2019 to early 2020, shortly before the pandemic began. 

Woolly mammoths extinction caused by climate change

Cambridge scientists have proved that the extinction of woolly mammoths was caused by climate change. 

The team of geneticists used DNA sequencing to analyse environmental plant and animal remains, which were taken from soil samples collected in the Arctic over the course of 20 years. 

The results, published in Nature, found that when the climate warmed up, the mammoths’ grassland habitats were replaced by trees and wetlands, and the vegetation that they ate became scarce. The speed of this change meant that the mammoths did not have enough time to adapt. 

The reason for their decline had been fiercely debated, with some scientists claiming that humans had hunted them to extinction.

The decade-long research project was led by Professor Eske Willerslev, a fellow of St John’s College, and director of the Lundbeck Foundation GeoGenetics centre at the University of Copenhagen.

Professor Willerslev said that the discovery was “a stark lesson from history”, and that it shows how “unpredictable” climate change is. 

Willerslev commented: “The early humans would have seen the world change beyond all recognition - that could easily happen again and we cannot take for granted that we will even be around to witness it. The only thing we can predict with any certainty is that the change will be massive.” 

No more cracked phone screens?

A new research project has developed the technology to form next-generation composite glass, which could be used to provide clearer image quality and be less prone to cracking.

The glass, which uses perovskite crystal technology to trap and store light energy, has the potential to be used for smartphones, LEDs, computer and TV screens.

The material is “extremely sensitive to light, heat, air and water”, and the research marks the first time that the material has been produced outside the controlled environment of a laboratory. 

The study, which was conducted by the University of Cambridge and the University of Queensland, was co-authored by Dr Thomas Bennett, from Cambridge’s Department of Material Science and Metallurgy.

“This is an example of how fundamental science leads to fantastic discoveries and a possible real-life application of metal-organic framework glasses,” Bennet said

He added that there were many possible combinations for the product and that a lot of work needs to be done before it can be used commercially.

“There are a huge amount of different combinations and it’s definitely going to be a big effort to determine which components seem to give the best combinations.”

‘Significant’ Oliver Cromwell document added to Huntingdon archive

A document signed by Oliver Cromwell has been added to Huntingdon council’s archive.

The deed, which documents Cromwell’s sale of a property in Huntingdon, dates back to 1627. At the time, Cromwell was facing financial and social difficulties and had his first mental health crisis the following year.

Cambridgeshire City Council bought the deed for £5,000.

Stuart Orme, a historian and curator of the Cromwell Museum in Huntingdon has said that the finding is “significant” because there are very few documents from Cromwell’s early life. 

Orme stated that “[Cromwell] did leave a vast quantity of paperwork - there are more writings and speeches by him than any other non-royal individual prior to the Victorian period. However, there's very little from his early life, which is why this is more significant."

The Huntingdon Council hopes to display the deed in the Cromwell Museum in the near future.