My finding of the week: Wasps let each other know about available food by banging their abdomens against the walls of their nest. Source: City University, New York
Loneliness is more likely to affect young adults – 10% of those aged 16-24 say that they are 'always or often' lonely. Older age groups are thought to become more 'resilient' to worries about loneliness. Source: Office for National Statistics. Police funding in England and Wales has been cut by 20% between 2010 and 2017. Source: Institute for Fiscal Studies. In Scotland, funding for the police fell by 9% between 2013 – when a single service was formed – and 2016. Source: BBC. Boots has replaced Marks & Spencer as the top brand among women in the UK. John Lewis was second, Heinz third, and Marks & Spencer fourth. Source: YouGov. Brits aren't enjoying eating out as much as they did 20 years ago. The proportion of diners who are happy with the value of restaurant meals has slumped from 69% to 56%, and just 26% bother to dress up when eating out, compared with 39% in 1995. Source: Manchester University. Bill Gates and Angelina Jolie are the most admired man and woman in the world, with Barack and Michelle Obama coming second. In the UK version of the poll, the Queen and David Attenborough came top, followed by the Obamas, Judi Dench, Stephen Hawking, J K Rowling and Prince Harry. Source: YouGov.
Housing prices in Scotland are being pushed up due to lack of supply and demand. The number of new properties coming on to the market has been falling over the past year. Source: Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. The average UK salary for men is £30,547. For women, it is £25,193. The average salary in Glasgow is £27,324; in London, £35,092; and in Edinburgh, £29,066. Source: PayScale. Tesco has reported pre-tax profits of £1.3bn for the year to 24 February 2018 – up from £145m the previous year. Source: Tesco. Although robots have replaced 5% of the workforce from 2011 to 2016, there has been an overall increase in human roles of around 1.5%, due to an increased demand for goods at lower prices. Source: Centre of European Economic Research.
English and Welsh students who took out university loans from September 2012 will now start to pay back when they earn £25,000 a year, instead of £21,000. Source: Department for Education.
The present-day genetic landscape of the UK was largely laid down by the Bronze Age, 4,000 years ago, with a vast migration of people from continental Europe. Source: Harvard University. Three satellites, known as 'Swarm', have mapped out in detail the movement of ocean tides as they sweep around the Earth. Source: European Space Agency. NASA has launched another planet-hunting telescope called the 'Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite' (TESS), which will target small bright stars that are fairly close to Earth. It is hoped that it will find around 20,000 exoplanets, dozens of which will be a similar size as Earth. Source: NASA. Chlorine – a choking agent – was first used as a chemical weapon in battle 100 years ago this year. Source: BBC. Small submersible robots are being used to listen to the wind out at sea. Whilst underwater, their hydrophones pick up noise being made by weather at the surface. Source: East Anglia University. A new material, consisting of a silicon sheet coated with a liquid hydrophilic lubricant, boosts the collection of water from fog in dry areas. A square metre can collect 100 litres each day. Source: Pennsylvania State University. An Atlantic Ocean circulation system, which helps keep parts of Europe warm by distributing and regulating heat around the globe, is weaker now than it has been for over 1,000 years. A significant drop in temperature could radically change some deep-ocean ecosystems and any life that they support. Source: Edinburgh University. Quantum mechanics is being used in a new method for generating random numbers. The numbers will then be used in the encryption of data in electronic networks. Source: National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Physical and mental exercise is not only good for our brains, it has a positive impact on the learning ability of our children. Source: German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases. People who go to bed late and struggle to wake in the morning are more likely to die prematurely than early risers. They are also more likely to have a range of mental and physical illnesses. Source: Chronobiology International. People who have suffered brain injuries are 24% more likely to be diagnosed with dementia. Source: Washington University, Seattle. The average length of time patients have to wait for heart bypass surgery in Wales has almost doubled from 43 days in 2015/56 to 79 days in 2016/17. Source: Welsh government.
Brits aged 65 and over spend the most time on leisure activities – around seven hours and 10 minutes each day. Meanwhile 25-34-year-olds spend the least amount of time on leisure each day – around four hours and 46 minutes. Source: Office for National Statistics.
Great tits who live in cities are far more aggressive than their country counterparts. When played a recording of their species’ song, the urban tits were more hostile in defending their territory. Source: Aberystwyth University.