A Guardian story tells us that DNA sampling techniques may help provide answers to the legend of the Loch Ness monster.

Prof Neil Gemmell, a scientist from New Zealand leading a global team of researchers, said: “I’m going into this thinking it’s unlikely there is a monster, but I want to test that hypothesis. What we’ll get is a really nice survey of the biodiversity of Loch Ness.”

The mission will involve genetic code being extracted from the lake over a two-week period to determine the types of creatures that live there.

And then samples will be sent to labs in Australia, Denmark, France and New Zealand to be analysed.

“There’s absolutely no doubt that we will find new stuff, and that’s very exciting,” said Professor Gemmell.


You may be in for a bit of wait if you fly from Luton Airport in the UK.

The BBC outlines analysis of Civil Aviation Authority data which shows that flights from Luton Airport were delayed for longer than any other UK airport last year.

Planes left 19.7 minutes late on average, with Gatwick, Jersey and Durham Tees Valley next worst.

The top performers were Heathrow - flights were 11 minutes late - Leeds Bradford, Belfast City and London City.

A spokeswoman for London Luton said factors outside its control had an influence on punctuality including air traffic control strikes, late arriving aircraft, bad weather and congested airspace.


There is a big story about treasure hunting in The Guardian.

They tell us that archaeologists at the Museum of London have found items missed by tomb raiders who broke into a Roman sarcophagus 300 years ago

They discovered a single flake of gold, possibly from an earring, and a jasper cameo, which was already an antique when the woman died in the first century AD.

The sarcophagus was found last year during the excavation of a Roman cemetery in Southwark, south London.

It will go on display for the first time at an exhibition at the museum, where the woman lies surrounded by dozens of Roman dead and the objects buried or cremated with them, including jewellery, toys, containers of food and wine and, in one grave, a chicken carcass.


The Independent alerts us to a decline in the numbers of puffins in the UK.

The Farne Islands, off the Northumberland coast, have seen a 12 per cent decline in the birds in the last five years, according to the National Trust, which has maintained the islands for the past 93 years.

Puffins also returned four weeks later than normal to their breeding grounds on the windswept islands, where they rear chicks in burrows, due to the prolonged, harsh winter, the trust said.

National Trust ranger Tom Hendry said: “Initial findings are concerning. Numbers could be down due to stormy or wetter weather as well as changes in the sand eel population, which is one of their staple foods.”


A cracked Chinese brush pot which was originally valued at £20,000 has been sold for £364,000!

The Daily Express says that the small porcelain pot dates back to the 18th century and would have been used to clean calligraphy brushes.

It carries the mark of Emperor Yongzheng of the Qing dynasty, who ruled in the 1700s. Imperial items with his mark are incredibly rare.

John Axford, deputy chairman of auctioneers Woolley and Wallis of Salisbury, Wiltshire, said: “This is a fantastic piece. It wasn't in perfect condition and it even has a network of cracks throughout the body.

“Despite this we had 20 phone lines booked ahead of the sale, so it was not really a shock when it went so far above its estimate.”


Reference list:
The Express (www.express.co.uk)

The Guardian (www.guardian.co.uk)

The Independent (www.independent.co.uk)

BBC (www.bbc.co.uk)