Newly discovered fossils of pollen have shown that flowering plants were present on Earth around 100 million years prior to when was commonly believed. The samples, thought to be 'ancient near-relatives at the very stem of the angiosperm genealogical tree', places the pollen in the Triassic period, rather than the Early Cretaceous period as previously thought. 

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New statistics have shown that in some of Britain's most deprived areas diabetes sufferers account for nearly 1 in 10. The London borough of Brent claimed the highest rate in the country with '10.5 per cent of over-16s having the condition'. The statistics are rather disconcerting, especially when just 3 miles away, in the City of London, there is a low diabetes rate of just 5.5%. 

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Opening it's doors to the public for the first time today, the Big Brother house has been made accessible for two days by the National Trust. The debate on how 'relevant' the pop culture monument is has already been raging on. Certainly, there has been some staunch protesters who have questioned the Trust's decision but tickets have sold out and the move seems to have been embraced by the public. 

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A ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority has banned the broadcasting of a new ad from E-cigarette company E-Lites. The humorous advert depicts a father character leaving a room full of his family to partake of a cigarette. Whilst he is out of the room the baby manages to stand, walk and then break into a Gangnam style dance. It is reported that 65 people complained and the advert was thus outlawed. 

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A research team based in Siberia have recently uncovered a stunning carcass of a long extinct mammoth. The trunk of the 10,000 year old extinct beast has been superbly preserved in the ice and scientists have been able to extract a vile of blood from it. The blood is yet to be seen to contain any living cells but the find has generated speculation into cloning the mammoth. 

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The state of British wildlife has painted a pretty bleak picture in recent times but the red squirrel is proving to be a shining ray of hope. New data has shown that numbers are on the increase, with  the figures signifying a 7% rise since 2012. The count has further documented that the non-native grey squirrels are in decline. It has been reported that this is the first rise in red squirrel numbers since 1876 - the rough date that North American grey squirrels were introduced.

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This weekend will see football clubs across the UK wearing rainbow laces to support the Right Behind Gay Footballers campaign. The campaign to address homophobia within the game is the project of Gay Rights charity Stonewall. The organisation have sent the rainbow laces to all 92 clubs in the football league and 42 Scottish clubs prior to the weekend's games. The charity's deputy chief executive, Laura Doughty, has stressed that it is time that "a visible stand against homophobia" was made in the game. 

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A public vote has recently crowned the gelatinous blobfish as the 'world's ugliest animal'. The vote, carried out by the Ugly Animal Preservation Society, aims to draw attention to these '"aesthetically challenged" threatened species'. Certainly, the society highlights that humanity's conservation projects are largely very egotistical. President of the society Simon Watt has stated that "we only protect the animals that we relate to because they're cute, like pandas."

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This Thursday will see increased numbers of cyclists gracing the roads as the national Cycle to Work Day takes place. The event aims to promote and instill the benefits that cycling provide. Around 760,000 people already cycle to work on a daily basis and this is hoped to extend to 1 million by 2021. 

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The newly published QS World University Rankings has seen the UK's number rise to 6 in the top 20. Since the previous ranking, Edinburgh University and Kings College London shot up the table, rising from 21st to 17th and 26th to 19th respectively. A great result for the UK, it underlines the prestige involved with attaining a degree from these top institutions.

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The latest Virgin Galactic spaceship trials have proved successful and brings the idea of space tourism one step closer to reality. The scheduled test flight last Thursday went smoothly as the galactic spaceship easily broke the sound barrier. The craft reached '69,000 feet above the planet' and hit 'a maximum speed of Mach 1.43'. 

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