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Last feed update: Saturday December 15th, 2018 06:45:40 AM

Coal power emissions in the US are even higher than we thought

Friday December 14th, 2018 12:00:00 PM
The carbon emissions from lugging coal around can be much higher than thought - up to a third as much as is emitted when the stuff is burned

Breathing in moon dust could release toxins in astronauts’ lungs

Friday December 14th, 2018 10:00:00 AM
We already knew that lunar dust is highly abrasive, but now it seems minerals in the dust can easily react with human cells and release large amount of toxins

Incredible shrinking 3D printer can make really tiny objects

Thursday December 13th, 2018 07:00:00 PM
A method for 3D printing minuscule objects produces them at a larger size and then shrinks them to one thousandth of the original volume

Can a Green New Deal boost the US economy and save the planet?

Thursday December 13th, 2018 04:30:00 PM
Politicians like the newly-elected Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are now taking climate change seriously, but even an ambitious plan to remake the economy may not be enough

Virgin Galactic claims its first successful flight to edge of space

Thursday December 13th, 2018 04:27:00 PM
Richard Branson's space tourism firm says it has finally made a flight to the edge of space - though the craft did not reach the currently accepted definition of 100 kilometres up

Some people have slightly squashed heads thanks to Neanderthal DNA

Thursday December 13th, 2018 04:00:00 PM
Many people carry Neanderthal DNA that can affect brain cell growth and the insulation around neurons – and that may have a small impact on brain performance

We’ve been using CRISPR for years – now we know how it really works

Thursday December 13th, 2018 04:00:00 PM
We can now predict what changes the CRISPR gene editing technique will make to targeted DNA - a finding that will make the tool more powerful than ever before

Childhood hormone treatments may have spread Alzheimer’s proteins

Thursday December 13th, 2018 04:00:00 PM
Last century, tens of thousands of children were given growth hormone from dead bodies. Evidence is building that this may have raised their risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Bizarre fossil that baffled us for years is early starfish ancestor

Thursday December 13th, 2018 02:12:00 PM
Extinct animals called stylophorans have caused confusion for decades, but fossils with preserved soft tissue reveal that they were relatives of starfish

First direct evidence that later school day really does help teenagers

Wednesday December 12th, 2018 07:00:00 PM
Since Seattle high schools decided to start an hour later, students have been getting more sleep – and school attendance and grades have improved

Australia’s ‘marsupial lion’ was a meat-ripping, tree-climbing terror

Wednesday December 12th, 2018 07:00:00 PM
First full reconstruction of Thylacoleo carnifex shows it tore apart its prey like a Tasmanian devil, had the bite strength of a lion, and climbed like a koala

Bitcoin’s price is plummeting – will the cryptocurrency survive?

Wednesday December 12th, 2018 06:00:00 PM
Bitcoin investors have had a rough ride this year as the price of the cryptocurrency has tumbled, making it less economical to produce the coins

Quantum network joins four people together for encrypted messaging

Wednesday December 12th, 2018 06:00:00 PM
A multi-user quantum network shows that secure quantum links between several people at once could be possible using standard telecommunications equipment

Acne study reveals genes for hair follicles are partly to blame

Wednesday December 12th, 2018 01:17:00 PM
The genes involved in producing hair follicles are partly to blame for acne, according to an analysis of the DNA of over 5000 people with severe acne

Endangered relative of the hedgehog may be thriving in Vietnam

Wednesday December 12th, 2018 11:00:00 AM
The Hainan gymnure is a stinky but spine-free relative of the hedgehog that we thought was rare – a new discovery in northern Vietnam suggests we were wrong

When humans are wiped from Earth, the chicken bones will remain

Wednesday December 12th, 2018 12:01:00 AM
When humans have vanished from Earth, one of the most enduring marks of our impact will be the sudden appearance of copious chicken bones in the fossil record

Coral likes to make its ocean home in places with noisy neighbours

Wednesday December 12th, 2018 12:01:00 AM
As larvae, corals drift around the ocean searching for somewhere to live – and they seem to appreciate a spot in an area full of loud fish

Monkeys chill out just from seeing their friends being groomed

Wednesday December 12th, 2018 12:01:00 AM
Barbary macaques became more relaxed and friendlier after seeing another macaque being groomed – a finding that may help explain ‘head orgasm’ videos

Major companies are using AI to decide who you speak to on the phone

Tuesday December 11th, 2018 04:52:00 PM
When you ring a call centre, an AI could be deciding which person will speak to you, based on their ability to influence your decisions

Vibrating crystal made of 10 billion atoms smashes quantum record

Tuesday December 11th, 2018 03:56:00 PM
Testing increasingly large objects proves that quantum mechanics works at larger scales - a finding that could help build quantum computers

There won’t be many more gene-edited babies just yet – here’s why

Tuesday December 11th, 2018 03:00:00 PM
The news of gene-edited twins is more likely to have a chilling effect on research into the technique used than to open the floodgates to millions more edited babies

Drone owners in India must get government approval before every flight

Tuesday December 11th, 2018 12:45:00 PM
A law designed to open up civilian access to the skies in India overturns a ban on drones, but only by giving the government automated control over when they can take off

First close-up look shows asteroid Bennu is a holey watery world

Monday December 10th, 2018 09:33:00 PM
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission arrived at Bennu on 3 December, and its first results show that the asteroid is chock-full of water and covered in huge boulders

Exclusive: Controversial skeleton may be a new species of early human

Monday December 10th, 2018 05:36:00 PM
A skeleton found decades ago in South Africa may be a new species of Australopithecus, and could help reveal when our ancestors evolved to walk on two feet

The Great Barrier Reef is fighting back by losing weak species

Monday December 10th, 2018 04:00:00 PM
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef appears to be getting better at coping with heatwaves overall, as stronger species take over where vulnerable ones get wiped out

City living makes urban male frogs far more attractive to females

Monday December 10th, 2018 04:00:00 PM
Urban male túngara frogs have evolved more elaborate mating calls than their rural brothers, which make them much better at attracting a mate

Spray-on gel slows down the regrowth of tumours after cancer surgery

Monday December 10th, 2018 04:00:00 PM
A spray applied to the wound left by cancer surgery encourages the immune system to attack any cancer cells the surgeons left behind, a study in mice has found

The most comfortable running shoes may actually increase injury risk

Monday December 10th, 2018 03:30:00 PM
Shoes with extra padding are meant to prevent impact-related injuries, but they may do the opposite by making our legs stiffer when we run

Brain scans reveal why your brain forgets details

Friday December 7th, 2018 06:30:00 PM
The way we store and retrieve memories prioritises abstract context over specific details, which might help us learn general lessons from our experiences

Interstellar asteroid ‘Oumuamua slipped by NASA space telescope unseen

Friday December 7th, 2018 02:51:00 PM
The Spitzer Space Telescope failed to spot ‘Oumuamua, the first interstellar object we’ve ever seen, but we were still able to learn something about this strange space rock

China is about to launch a mission to explore the far side of the moon

Friday December 7th, 2018 12:27:00 PM
The Chang’e 4 mission, launching on 7 December, will place both a lander and a rover on the far side of the moon, where no spacecraft has ever landed before

Why Australia’s new encryption laws may actually help criminals

Friday December 7th, 2018 11:54:00 AM
Australia has just introduced new laws forcing companies to give them access to people’s encrypted messages. Cybersecurity researchers say this will likely backfire

Genetic disorders should be the focus of CRISPR gene editing trials

Friday December 7th, 2018 11:00:00 AM
He Jiankui used gene editing in an attempt to make HIV-resistant babies, but most geneticists think the best use of embryo editing would be to prevent genetic disorders

DeepMind’s Go playing software can now beat you at two more games

Thursday December 6th, 2018 07:00:00 PM
A machine learning system called AlphaZero is the first AI that can learn to master more than one game using the same algorithm - it can play Go, chess and shogi

Sorry France, but fuel taxes are a bitter pill we must all swallow

Thursday December 6th, 2018 04:25:00 PM
The reversal of France’s fuel tax sends a worrying message to world leaders meeting this week in Poland to firm up climate commitments, says Olive Heffernan

Phone app can diagnose anaemia from photos of fingernails

Thursday December 6th, 2018 04:00:00 PM
Two billion people have anaemia – now a smartphone app that analyses photos of their fingernails can help them monitor the condition

Geckos sprint across water on air bubbles they make with their legs

Thursday December 6th, 2018 04:00:00 PM
House geckos are too big to float using surface tension, and too small to create enough force to walk across water, so they use a combination of these tricks

Parrots are clever because their brains evolved the same way as ours

Thursday December 6th, 2018 04:00:00 PM
Like humans, parrots have big brains and good communication skills – now we know the DNA regulating parrot and human brain development evolved in a similar way

Facebook grew so big that it destabilised the world. What now?

Thursday December 6th, 2018 03:10:00 PM
Facebook used to “move fast and break things”, but now everything is broken. Here’s what governments can do to rein in the tech giants

Why was HIV chosen as the first target for embryo gene editing?

Thursday December 6th, 2018 10:30:00 AM
He Jiankui has tried to create babies that are resistant to HIV infection. But there are safer ways to protect against the virus than untested gene editing

Earth may be made up of rocks blasted by gusts of solar wind

Thursday December 6th, 2018 08:00:00 AM
The area in our solar system within Mercury’s orbit is empty, which may be because solar winds threw all the rocks farther out, where they helped form planets

Climate change made the sweltering 2018 heatwave 30 times more likely

Thursday December 6th, 2018 12:01:00 AM
A study by the UK's Met Office has found that climate change made this year's northern hemisphere summer heatwave around 30 times more likely

Tiny sun sensor warns you when your skin is about to burn

Wednesday December 5th, 2018 07:00:00 PM
A miniature sensor that can be stuck to your skin, clothing or jewellery monitors your UV exposure and lets you know when it’s time to get out of the sun

Bacteria could protect old paintings from pigment-eating microbes

Wednesday December 5th, 2018 07:00:00 PM
The microbiome of a 400-year-old painting includes bacteria and fungi that eat pigments but a treatment with other microbes can protect the painting from damage

Fossil blubber shows ichthyosaurs were warm blooded reptiles

Wednesday December 5th, 2018 06:00:00 PM
A fossil so well preserved that its skin is still flexible is revealing much more about the marine reptiles called ichthyosaurs that swam in the sea during the age of dinosaurs

Baboons live for months after getting genetically modified pig hearts

Wednesday December 5th, 2018 06:00:00 PM
Genetically modified pig hearts have kept baboons alive for more than 90 days, a threshold that may now allow trials of this type of transplantation in people

Let’s cheer workers at Google who are holding their bosses to account

Wednesday December 5th, 2018 06:00:00 PM
Staff at Google, Amazon and Microsoft are using walkouts, work slowdowns and refusals to build to hold the tech giants to their proclaimed ethics

Gene-editing experiment widely criticised for safety and ethics issues

Wednesday December 5th, 2018 05:30:00 PM
The scientist who led an experiment to create gene-edited babies has been criticised for acting unethically towards the couples and infants involved

Global carbon emissions rose 3 per cent this year (which is bad)

Wednesday December 5th, 2018 05:10:00 PM
Just weeks after a major UN report on 1.5°C warned that CO2 emissions need to fall fast, the latest figures show they are in fact rising fast

UK DNA project hits major milestone with 100,000 genomes sequenced

Wednesday December 5th, 2018 05:00:00 PM
The UK's 100,000 Genomes Project has hit its target for sequencing the genetic data of people with cancer and rare diseases

Tonnes of food are thrown away daily – could meal kits be the answer?

Wednesday December 5th, 2018 04:00:00 PM
The scale of food waste is shocking, with almost 30 per cent of US food ending up in the bin. Firms like Blue Apron and HelloFresh could offer a surprising solution

First baby born thanks to womb transplant from deceased donor

Wednesday December 5th, 2018 11:46:00 AM
A woman has successfully given birth after receiving a uterus taken from a dead person. The success could make womb transplants much more widely available

New medical implants need a higher approval bar than toothbrushes

Tuesday December 4th, 2018 05:30:00 PM
To protect patients we must make it as difficult to gain approval for medical devices as it is for medicines, says Peter Wilmshurst

Your whole office could be a computer thanks to sculpted Wi-Fi waves

Tuesday December 4th, 2018 02:23:00 PM
Bouncing around specially tailored waves can turn an entire room into an analogue computer, which could help build an energy-efficient artificial intelligence

We have all we need to beat the HIV epidemic – except political will

Monday December 3rd, 2018 05:51:00 PM
The latest figures show that preventative efforts are working, if only governments are willing to put them into action, says Deborah Gold

Revealed: the first ever picture of the sun’s north pole

Monday December 3rd, 2018 12:52:00 PM
The sun has a north pole but no spacecraft has ever photographed it. Now the European Space Agency has cleverly pieced a together picture of it using other images

LIGO found four more pairs of black holes, including the biggest yet

Monday December 3rd, 2018 11:45:00 AM
In a reanalysis of all of its data, LIGO spotted gravitational waves from four new pairs of black holes colliding, bringing the total detection count up to 11

Astronauts launch in Soyuz rocket for first time since botched takeoff

Monday December 3rd, 2018 11:31:00 AM
A Soyuz rocket carrying three astronauts to the International Space Station launched successfully, ending a period of uncertainty for human spaceflight

Is visiting a robot brothel ok? Most people say yes, if you are single

Monday December 3rd, 2018 11:00:00 AM
When people in Finland were asked about the morality of visiting a robot brothel most thought it was OK for singles to do it, but not people who were married

NASA spacecraft OSIRIS-REx set to start mission at asteroid Bennu

Saturday December 1st, 2018 12:00:00 PM
The OSIRIS-REx mission is set to arrive at its destination, the asteroid Bennu, which gets dangerously close to Earth and may tell us about the early solar system

Almost everything we know about social media and health could be wrong

Friday November 30th, 2018 03:34:00 PM
Many studies about social media use and health have a fundamental flaw - they use unreliable self-reports about how much people use technology

Space art could be so much more than a shiny satellite in the sky

Friday November 30th, 2018 03:01:00 PM
Orbital Reflector, a giant balloon that will inflate in Earth’s orbit and reflect the sun’s light, is the latest attempt at large-scale art in space. But space art should do more than mimic the stars

Millions of passport and credit card details exposed in Marriott hack

Friday November 30th, 2018 02:38:00 PM
Half a billion people who've stayed at Marriott hotels may have had their data exposed, including passport numbers and credit card details

Stone Age people may have ritually cut off their own fingers

Friday November 30th, 2018 12:15:00 PM
Two French caves contain dozens of prehistoric images of hands that are missing fingers, suggesting people voluntarily had their fingers amputated

Green car tyres can generate energy while monitoring road conditions

Friday November 30th, 2018 08:00:00 AM
Car tyres embedded with silica and nanogenerators can harvest energy from the tyre rolling while also keeping track of whether the road is in good repair

Epic history of light reveals the universe peaked 10 billion years ago

Thursday November 29th, 2018 07:00:00 PM
A gamma ray telescope has revealed that the rate of star formation across the Universe peaked 10 billion years ago and has been going downhill ever since

Some spiders produce milk – and it’s more nutritious than cow’s milk

Thursday November 29th, 2018 07:00:00 PM
One species of spider seems to have worked out how to recycle unused eggs into a milk that contains four times the protein of cow’s milk

Stone tools hint that our first human ancestors lived all over Africa

Thursday November 29th, 2018 07:00:00 PM
We thought the first Homo species evolved in East Africa 2.8 million years ago, but stone tools from Algeria suggest our origins may have spanned the continent

Extinct ‘Denisovan’ people may have lived on Earth’s highest plateau

Thursday November 29th, 2018 07:00:00 PM
The Tibetan Plateau is a tough environment so we thought humans arrived only about 12,000 years ago, but it seems someone was there 40,000 to 30,000 years ago

Prehistoric whales used to simply suck their food out of the ocean

Thursday November 29th, 2018 04:00:00 PM
A 33-million-year-old-fossil suggests some whales evolved baleens for filter feeding only after losing their teeth, so they must have sucked food from the water

‘Scientists are now very sure that the babies really were gene-edited’

Thursday November 29th, 2018 12:32:00 PM
He Jiankui has now presented his controversial work at a gene editing summit in Hong Kong. CRISPR expert Helen O’Neill of University College London was there

Gene therapy eases Parkinson’s symptoms by rewiring parts of the brain

Wednesday November 28th, 2018 07:00:00 PM
A gene therapy treatment for Parkinson's blocks faulty brain circuits. This seems to help create alternate neural pathways for movement and eases symptoms

Green Christmas: How to have an ethical and guilt-free festive season

Wednesday November 28th, 2018 06:00:00 PM
If you celebrate Christmas, it doesn't have to be a feast of rampant consumerism and devastating gluttony. Read our guide to cleaning up your Yule

Making AI research classified will harm US science

Wednesday November 28th, 2018 06:00:00 PM
The US is mulling controls on the sharing of AI, but science can't grow in isolation, says Mark Riedl

Putting a price on CO2 is a smokescreen that hides its human cost

Wednesday November 28th, 2018 06:00:00 PM
Slashing the social cost of carbon emissions reveals the economic charade delaying real action on climate change, says Kevin Anderson

Miniature placentas grown in lab give positive pregnancy test result

Wednesday November 28th, 2018 06:00:00 PM
Researchers hope that tiny placentas grown from human cells can help research into why pregnancies sometimes lead to stillbirths or small babies

CRISPR babies: more details on the experiment that shocked the world

Wednesday November 28th, 2018 06:00:00 PM
He Jiankui has now revealed far more about his CRISPR project, in which he edited multiple embryos to make future children resistant to some strains of HIV

CRISPR scientist says another woman is pregnant with an edited embryo

Wednesday November 28th, 2018 05:30:00 PM
He Jiankui, the Chinese scientist who claims to have created the world’s first genetically-edited babies, says another may be on the way

Roadkill deaths halved on Australian road thanks to a fence of sound

Wednesday November 28th, 2018 05:04:00 PM
A network of alarms activated by approaching car headlights has stopped hundreds of animals from being run over and killed on an Australian highway

EU set to resist air industry attempts to limit climate change action

Wednesday November 28th, 2018 11:26:00 AM
The global air industry wants to stop countries from cutting aviation emissions, but it is likely that the European Union won't agree to such a flawed plan

Some honeybees have four parents or no mother – and we don’t know why

Wednesday November 28th, 2018 12:01:00 AM
The first genetic study of part-male, part-female honeybees shows these bees can have multiple fathers, but it's unclear how this happens

Seagrass loss off the coast of Kenya is fuelling climate change

Wednesday November 28th, 2018 12:01:00 AM
Seagrass meadows grow along shallow ocean shores and lock-up carbon, but satellite imagery reveals that human activity is killing off this vital habitat

The first human farmers continued to forage a wide diet from nature

Tuesday November 27th, 2018 03:00:00 PM
We used to think that our pre-historic switch to farming restricted our diets and deprived us of nutrition, but new evidence suggests this wasn’t the case

The best pollution masks for cyclists block half of bad particles

Tuesday November 27th, 2018 01:54:00 PM
A rigorous experiment that tested anti-pollution cycling masks in busy traffic found that some work better than others, and it all comes down to the design

Rats can make friends with robot rats and will rescue them when stuck

Tuesday November 27th, 2018 11:47:00 AM
Rats that spend time exploring and playing with a robotic rat can become socially attached to it and even help it to escape when trapped

To truly blossom, science requires some unorthodox thinkers

Tuesday November 27th, 2018 09:00:00 AM
What seem like odd ideas often lead to advances. Work on plant memory and learning could be the latest example of how thinking differently changes our view of the world

Some rare fathers pass on an extra kind of DNA to their children

Monday November 26th, 2018 08:00:00 PM
Most of us get the structures in our cells that make energy only from our mothers, but three families have been found that break this rule of inheritance

Spacecraft to study marsquakes lands on Mars after 7 minutes of terror

Monday November 26th, 2018 07:07:00 PM
NASA’s Mars Insight lander made the harrowing descent onto the Red Planet, landing safely in a sandy plain where it will listen for marsquakes

Misuse of pregabalin painkiller has risen 900 per cent in Australia

Monday November 26th, 2018 04:55:00 PM
Painkillers like pregabalin are increasingly being prescribed instead of opioids, but they are being misused for their mood-boosting and sedative effects

Exclusive: UK police wants AI to stop violent crime before it happens

Monday November 26th, 2018 01:58:00 PM
Cash-strapped UK police forces are turning to AI to predict whether individuals will commit a serious violent crime or become a victim of modern slavery

World’s first gene-edited babies announced by a scientist in China

Monday November 26th, 2018 12:49:00 PM
He Jiankui has announced that a pair of twins that were CRISPR gene-edited as embryos have now been born, but the work hasn't yet been independently verified

Breakdown of brain’s autopilot mode may explain Parkinson’s disease

Monday November 26th, 2018 11:45:00 AM
Surprisingly, those with Parkinson’s disease are less likely to make the kinds of mistakes we all make when we aren’t concentrating on a task

Graphene generators could let you recharge a phone with your breath

Friday November 23rd, 2018 03:48:00 PM
Water droplets in the air hold tiny amounts of electric charge that can be harvested by graphene – meaning your breath could power your gadgets

Time to break academic publishing’s stranglehold on research

Friday November 23rd, 2018 02:30:00 PM
Science journals are laughing all the way to the bank, locking the results of publicly funded research behind exorbitant paywalls. A campaign to make content free must succeed

Smart mini-backpacks for chickens can monitor their welfare on farms

Friday November 23rd, 2018 01:38:00 PM
Small backpacks for chickens can monitor their wellbeing by detecting different behaviours. The team behind the idea calls them “Fitbits for chickens”

MS symptoms improved by treatment that attacks glandular fever virus

Friday November 23rd, 2018 11:50:00 AM
The suspected link between glandular fever – mono – and multiple sclerosis has grown stronger after a trial found that treating the virus improves MS symptoms

Morphing brain DNA hints at a whole new way to treat Alzheimer’s

Friday November 23rd, 2018 11:00:00 AM
We've seen brain cells changing their DNA for the first time. The finding could help explain why many drugs for Alzheimer’s disease are ineffective

Sick ants stay clear of their co-workers to stop disease spreading

Thursday November 22nd, 2018 07:00:00 PM
Ants exposed to a potentially lethal fungal pathogen spend less time in the nest - a strategy that helps protect co-workers and the queen from becoming infected

Ancient hippo-like reptile was a giant to rival the dinosaurs

Thursday November 22nd, 2018 07:00:00 PM
We thought only dinosaurs grew into giants during the Triassic, but we've discovered fossils of a mammal-like reptile that was 5 metres long and 3 metres tall

Diabetes can be diagnosed by simply shining a light on your skin

Thursday November 22nd, 2018 01:45:00 PM
Researchers have developed a tool that diagnoses high blood sugar levels simply by analysing the pattern of fluorescent light reflected off the skin

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