This week in the news: Scottish Salmon farming firm announced a profit increase of almost 50%, astronomers have discovered an 'exomoon' and the Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded to a woman.
Salmon farming firm Scottish Sea Farms (SSF) has said its profits increased by almost 50% during a year of high demand and prices for its fish. Jim Gallagher, managing director of the Stirling-based business, said: “We supported our strategic clients in all markets, and at the same time grew both our export volumes and value. We also invested ?£15m in infrastructure with the primary focus of further enhancing the health and welfare of our salmon. This includes progressing our new RAS freshwater smolt facility at Barcaldine, near Oban, due to open in 2019.”
More than 500 hens have been rehomed after an appeal was launched to save them from slaughter. Jill Sykes, a coordinator for the British Hen Welfare Trust in Stonehaven, took 510 hens to her private land on Saturday for a rehoming day open to the public. She said: “We saw a lot of people turn up. There seems to be a demand for it. There is so much life in these hens still and sometimes the industry deems them too old. I think little by little we can make a change.”
Uganda’s army has introduced its own brand of condoms to help prevent soldiers contract HIV. It is named after the Swahili word for “protection”. Nearly 6% of Ugandan adults are living with HIV but strides have been made in reducing the number of new infections. The Ulinzi condom, which comes in a camouflage packet, should help stop soldiers bringing HIV back home after a tour of duty, said ministry of health’s Vastha Kibirige.
Astronomers have announced the possible discovery of the first known moon outside our Solar System. The ‘exomoon’ was spotted in data from Nasa’s Kepler spacecraft, and later watched using the Hubble telescope. Astronomers David Kipping and Alex Teachey have published their results in Science Advances journal. The object is the size of Neptune and orbits a planet the size of Jupiter – but with 10 times the mass. Mr Kipping and Mr Teachey say that further observations are needed to understand the distant planetary system.
The Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to a woman for the first time in 55 years. Donna Strickland, from Canada, is only the third woman winner of the award, along with Marie Curie, who won in 1903, and Maria Goeppert-Mayer, who was awarded the prize in 1963. Dr Strickland shares this year;s prize with Arthir Ashkin, from the US and Gerard Mourou, from France.