How do hearing people learn BSL as a foreign language?

British Sign Language (BSL) is the first language of deaf people in the UK. There has been an enormous increase in the numbers of hearing people learning BSL in recent years. In 2009 there were an estimated 190,000 hearing adults who had learned at least basic level BSL. Hearing adults learn BSL as a second language for a hobby or personal and professional reasons. However we know almost nothing about how hearing adults learn to sign and whether it differs to learning a spoken second.

Jomon wetland archaeology: a new palaeo-nutritional approach

Japan is famous for its long and unusual archaeological record and in particular the so-called Jomon cultures which lasted from around 10,000 years ago until the importation of rice-agriculture only 3,000 years ago. During this period no animals were domesticated and only a small range of plants were cultivated (but not domesticated) and this contrasts with most other areas of the world, including all Europeans. 

How continents form: insights from minute mineral inclusions

The Earth has a bimodal surface elevation reflecting the contrasting chemical and mechanical properties of the continental and oceanic crust. The oceanic crust is dense, unstable, and recycled back into the mantle within 200 Myr through plate tectonics, whereas the continental crust – due to its lower density – tends to remain at the Earth’s surface, recording each step of our planet's evolution. For billions of years the continental crust has evolved to form the environment we live in and the resources we depend on, and yet how and when it formed remain a great matter of debate.

Treating the Mary Rose with smart multifunctional nanomaterials

Salvaged in 1982, the Mary Rose provides an unprecedented insight into Tudor society and technology. Although the low oxygen environment underwater helped to preserve the wood, interactions with bacteria, sea-water salts and sulfur compounds have and can continue to damage and degrade the wood structure. Whilst buried under the seabed, hydrogen sulfide formed by sulfur reducing bacteria migrated into the wood. This reacted with iron ions, from corroded fixtures, to form iron sulfides.

Artisans in Ecuador, 1975–2015

Since the Spanish conquest of the Incas, the social and economic fortunes of artisans in Ecuador have been influenced by changing national and international circumstances. From the colonial period, through independence and the liberal revolution to the mid-twentieth century, when Ecuador became the world’s largest banana exporter, artisans have been an important part of the country’s political economy.


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