Science news from New Scientist

New Scientist logo

New Scientist logo

New Scientist is a weekly science magazine which covers the latest developments in science and technology.

All content is copyright New Scientist.

New Scientist - News

New Scientist - News

Last feed update: Saturday June 23rd, 2018 05:58:07 PM

Physics of knitting shows why your sweater is so nice and comfy

Friday June 22nd, 2018 05:17:00 PM
The spacing of stitches in knitted fabrics lets friction cascade through the material, which allows it to stretch without the yarn getting any longer

Cannabis oil: what is it and does it really work as medicine?

Friday June 22nd, 2018 01:54:00 PM
The UK government is reviewing medicinal cannabis after two boys with severe epilepsy were withheld cannabis oil treatments. Here's everything you need to know

Herpes viruses in the brain linked to Alzheimer’s disease

Friday June 22nd, 2018 12:45:00 PM
A detailed molecular analysis of hundreds of post-mortem brains supports the controversial theory that viruses contribute to Alzheimer’s disease

Why is the UK running out of CO2 and what will it mean?

Friday June 22nd, 2018 12:29:00 PM
UK beer, fizzy drinks and meat producers have all warned of CO2 shortages disrupting supplies and have called on the government to act. So what's going on, and how bad is it?

Swarm of robot wildlife will check for life in an Italian lagoon

Friday June 22nd, 2018 11:49:00 AM
Robotic lily pads, mussels, and a robofish are drifting through the water in a Venetian lagoon, checking oxygen levels and signs of microscopic life

We’ve just seen a huge space explosion and don’t know what it is

Friday June 22nd, 2018 11:24:00 AM
There’s an enormous, fast-moving explosion in space  - nicknamed "the Cow" - that's unlike anything we’ve seen before, and astronomers are scrambling to figure out what it is

US Army has made a plastic bandage that swells to patch wounds

Friday June 22nd, 2018 11:22:00 AM
Most soldiers who die from potentially survival wounds suffer from uncontrolled bleeding. The US Army developed a bandage material that can seal wounds faster and more effectively

Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft is gearing up to bomb an asteroid

Friday June 22nd, 2018 11:09:00 AM
A Japanese spacecraft is closing in on the tiny asteroid Ryugu, where it will drop off landers and explosively take samples of dust to analyse back on Earth

First evidence that gut bacteria help wire young brains

Friday June 22nd, 2018 10:48:00 AM
Experiments in mice have shown for the first time that bacteria found in the gut of babies and children seem to play a role in brain development

These eerie rock towers may have been built by microorganisms

Friday June 22nd, 2018 10:30:00 AM
Rock “chimneys” twice as tall as a person that tower above a lake in California may have been built, in part, by microorganisms

Why memes are the latest casualty in EU’s war on Silicon Valley

Friday June 22nd, 2018 10:03:00 AM
The European Union is attempting to stand up to the might of Google, Facebook and Twitter with a new copyright law, but it could just kill off memes

Mystery gibbon found buried in tomb of ancient Chinese royalty

Thursday June 21st, 2018 07:00:00 PM
The skeleton of an entirely new - but now extinct - species of gibbon was found in the tomb of Lady Xia, grandmother of China’s first emperor, and was probably her pet

Many psychiatric conditions have the same genes in common

Thursday June 21st, 2018 07:00:00 PM
Several conditions including anxiety, depression and anorexia all share a common set of genes, which could lead to better diagnoses

More penalty shoot-outs needed to make future World Cups fairer

Thursday June 21st, 2018 05:30:00 PM
Bad news for England: only extra penalty shoot-outs plus a new points system will discourage collusion in future football World Cups, says Ignacio Palacios-Huerta

Children seized at US border will face lasting health effects

Thursday June 21st, 2018 04:22:00 PM
The psychological and physical effects of serious trauma are likely to impact the children being separated from their families at the US border for years

Moths fly 1000 kilometres with Earth’s magnetic field as a guide

Thursday June 21st, 2018 04:00:00 PM
Bogong moths are the first insects found to use Earth’s magnetic field to navigate long distances, during their epic migrations across Australia

World’s first sanctuary for beluga whales to open in Iceland

Thursday June 21st, 2018 04:00:00 PM
Conservation charity Sea Life Trust has spent six years developing a plan to bring the 12 year-old belugas, nicknamed “Little White” and “Little Grey”, from captivity in China to an open water refuge

Colonists could use genetically modified bacteria to settle Mars

Thursday June 21st, 2018 02:49:00 PM
Mars colonists could build their habitats and clothes from “living” self-healing materials and make them air-tight with rubber grown by E. coli

Why the moral panic over Fortnite is nothing to worry about

Thursday June 21st, 2018 02:30:00 PM
From Fortnite to gaming addiction, anything to do with children and the digital world seems to provoke unnecessary scare stories

Colony ship to nearest star only needs crew of 100 to survive

Thursday June 21st, 2018 12:00:00 PM
A mission to Proxima Centauri b, the closest Earth-like exoplanet, would take over 6000 years – but you only need a small crew to get started

Just four tweets can reveal the identity of an anonymous troll

Thursday June 21st, 2018 11:46:00 AM
Remaining anonymous online is an increasingly difficult task. Just four geotagged posts is enough to identify trolls from a phone company’s database

Team moon vs team Mars: the battle over the future of NASA

Thursday June 21st, 2018 11:00:00 AM
Decades of infighting and political interference have got NASA no closer to landing astronauts on the moon or Mars. Can its new leader spark a relaunch?

Ötzi the Iceman ran out of rock to make his tools before he died

Thursday June 21st, 2018 10:45:00 AM
Ötzi the Iceman, a prehistoric man found mummified in a mountain glacier, was short of crucial supplies in the days and weeks before his violent death

NASA outlines its plans to deal with a large asteroid impact

Wednesday June 20th, 2018 07:57:00 PM
NASA is designing and testing missions to deflect a potential asteroid from hitting Earth, and working with emergency responders to plan for a day when one does

Eating less red meat protects against endometriosis

Wednesday June 20th, 2018 03:59:00 PM
Minimising red meat consumption seems to protect against endometriosis, according to a study of more than 80,000 women who were followed for two decades

Cocaine in the water makes eels hyperactive and damages muscles

Wednesday June 20th, 2018 01:01:00 PM
There are low levels of cocaine and other drugs in many rivers, and lab studies suggest that European eels are suffering muscle damage as a result

The Milky Way has devoured 15 other galaxies since it formed

Wednesday June 20th, 2018 11:15:00 AM
Our galaxy formed fast, and with an appetite. It’s devoured 15 other galaxies, including a big one nicknamed Kraken that we didn’t know existed until now

Robo bomb squads compete to gather evidence after a drone attack

Wednesday June 20th, 2018 10:52:00 AM
Obstacle courses, simulated chemical spills, and IEDs are just some of the challenges bomb squads tackle with ground robots and drones at the Robot Rodeo competition

The New York bird with a song that may be a thousand years old

Wednesday June 20th, 2018 10:00:00 AM
A walk in the Hudson Valley 1000 years ago may have sounded similar to today. A simulation shows the songs passed down by swamp sparrows can last a millennium

Stealth sheets can make you appear invisible to infrared cameras

Wednesday June 20th, 2018 09:00:00 AM
A cloaking material renders objects almost completely invisible in infrared light and could have military applications

Black men are left out of cancer trials because of their biology

Wednesday June 20th, 2018 07:00:00 AM
Prostate cancer is more common in African Americans, but they are less likely to be included in drug trials. Unintended biological biases are partly to blame

A huge number of mystery microbes are living on your skin

Tuesday June 19th, 2018 05:00:00 PM
We thought we knew about most of the species in our bodies’ microbiomes, but a study has revealed a large number of previously-unidentified organisms

Special cells could let you control your diabetes with coffee

Tuesday June 19th, 2018 04:00:00 PM
A cup of coffee after a meal might be enough to keep diabetes under control, thanks to caffeine-triggered cells that have been engineered to release insulin

IBM’s debating robot argues it out with human for first time

Tuesday June 19th, 2018 03:21:00 PM
IBM's AI has taken on humans in a public debate. Though it made some very robot-like errors, the AI won one debate and lost the other, based on a crowd vote

Alien preppers could hoard stars to survive in a doomed universe

Tuesday June 19th, 2018 02:46:00 PM
Dark energy is accelerating the expansion of the universe, meaning eventually all galaxies will be inaccessible, but aliens could be working on a solution right now

Time to end the cruel ban on using cannabis therapy for epilepsy

Tuesday June 19th, 2018 11:19:00 AM
Ill-conceived and outdated drug laws in the UK are denying children with severe epilepsy vital medicinal cannabis treatments. That must change, says David Nutt

Football’s a mess: don’t let technology spoil that

Tuesday June 19th, 2018 09:00:00 AM
The video-assisted refereeing technology being introduced in this year's World Cup will supposedly cut errors – but that ignores what makes football great

A robot has performed eye surgery on humans for the first time

Tuesday June 19th, 2018 08:00:00 AM
For the first time, six people have had eye surgery performed by a robot that was able to filter out the tremors from a surgeon's hand

Trump has directed the US military to establish a Space Force

Monday June 18th, 2018 06:36:00 PM
President Trump has announced the creation of a Space Force, the first new US military branch since 1947, but it’s not yet clear what this new corps will do

HIV prevention drugs could delay diagnosis if you get infected

Monday June 18th, 2018 05:35:00 PM
HIV tests may be giving incorrect results for people taking PrEP to avoid getting the virus, meaning they may be HIV positive for months without knowing

Being a feminist may subconsciously protect you from stereotypes

Monday June 18th, 2018 04:00:00 PM
Negative stereotypes can detrimentally change your behaviour. But a study suggests that feminists may be protected from the idea that women are worse at maths

Male peacocks can make females’ heads vibrate at a distance

Monday June 18th, 2018 03:15:00 PM
Peahens have fan-shaped crests on their heads, and it seems males can make these crests resonate by making a specific noise with their tails

The first Americans had pet dogs 1000 years earlier than thought

Monday June 18th, 2018 12:44:00 PM
There were domestic dogs in North America 10,200 years ago, according to a re-examination of an ancient dog skeleton that looks like a small English setter

Following trends and easy answers isn’t the way to a good life

Monday June 18th, 2018 10:00:00 AM
Vegan clothes, biofuel and wood-burning stoves have all been offered up as ethical, environmental choices – but the evidence behind them is much more murky

Knowing your DNA can help you stick to a healthier lifestyle

Friday June 15th, 2018 11:01:00 PM
When people are advised to live more healthily, they usually give up quickly. Now a study suggests that genetic data can persuade people to make lasting changes

Nano-infused black goo is incredibly stretchy and self-repairs

Friday June 15th, 2018 07:00:00 PM
An accordion-shaped nanomaterial is the key ingredient in a sticky, self-healing gel that might one day help people with paralysis to communicate

How can you tell if a video is a deepfake? Just look at the eyes

Friday June 15th, 2018 02:50:00 PM
Fake videos created by AI are often so good it’s hard to tell if they are real or not, so a new fakery fighting tool tracks eyes to identify the real deal

Mediterranean diet is still good for you but only if you’re rich

Friday June 15th, 2018 01:28:00 PM
A landmark study that touted the benefits of the Mediterranean diet has been retracted, but eating more fresh fish and veg is still good for you, if you can afford it

Bacteria may survive temperatures hot enough to melt lead

Friday June 15th, 2018 01:00:00 PM
Few living things can cope with temperatures above 100°C, but a controversial study suggests some bacterial spores can withstand 420°C heat for over 30 minutes

Underwater robot finds second world war bomber plane on seabed

Friday June 15th, 2018 11:07:00 AM
A Fairey Swordfish, a type of second world war bomber, was found off the coast of Malta using autonomous underwater robots that search the sea floor

AI can detect early signs of Parkinson’s from brain scans alone

Friday June 15th, 2018 10:12:00 AM
An AI could identify signs of Parkinson’s from brain scans alone. One day it could be used to spot the disease before physical symptoms show

DeepMind’s AI can ‘imagine’ a world based on a single picture

Thursday June 14th, 2018 07:00:00 PM
A neural network has taught itself to ‘imagine’ a scene from different viewpoints, including how shadows move and textures vary, based on just a single image

Wild animals are turning nocturnal to keep away from humans

Thursday June 14th, 2018 07:00:00 PM
Dozens of species all around the world are abandoning the day and becoming more active at night, to avoid contact with humans

Spiders can ‘fly’ because they make near-invisible paragliders

Thursday June 14th, 2018 07:00:00 PM
We’ve finally solved the mystery of how even fairly big spiders can take to the skies, and it turns out it’s because they make flying machines that can barely be seen with the naked eye

We’ve seen a gigantic black hole tear a star in half and eat it

Thursday June 14th, 2018 07:00:00 PM
We’ve gotten one of our best looks yet at a star being devoured by a black hole, thanks to astronomers who watched a decade-long meal

Your brain absolutely cannot resist doughnuts – here’s why

Thursday June 14th, 2018 04:00:00 PM
Foods that are high in both carbohydrates and fats super-charge the activity in our brain’s reward centre, explaining why we find them so appealing

Alarm as ice loss from Antarctica triples in the past five years

Thursday June 14th, 2018 02:00:00 PM
The loss of Antarctica’s ice has been accelerating ominously since 2012, and could lead to big rises in sea level if the rate of loss keeps increasing

EU will limit the use of palm oil as car fuel but won’t stop it

Thursday June 14th, 2018 12:45:00 PM
The European Union will make only minor tweaks to “renewable” energy policies that are actually increasing greenhouse gas emissions and driving deforestation

Is research in jails the way to end wars over dietary guidance?

Thursday June 14th, 2018 11:00:00 AM
US researchers say studies in prisons could firm up evidence on salt intake and health. The doubters will still doubt, say Mike Lean and Alastair Campbell

How authors are gaming Amazon’s algorithms with 3000-page books

Thursday June 14th, 2018 10:24:00 AM
Amazon pays authors in its Kindle Unlimited programme based on the number of pages people read, which is causing some writers to publish incredibly long books

When a daddy longlegs is attacked by a flatworm things get messy

Thursday June 14th, 2018 09:00:00 AM
In the forests of Brazil, pitched gladiatorial contests are being fought between flatworms armed with slime and spider-like arachnids with body-chopping spikes

Vegan-friendly fashion is actually bad for the environment

Wednesday June 13th, 2018 06:00:00 PM
Animal-free alternatives to fur and leather are on the rise, but many use plastic materials that end up harming ocean creatures. Is there any way to dress ethically?

Psychedelics may help your brain cells form new connections

Wednesday June 13th, 2018 06:00:00 PM
LSD and other members of the psychedelic family make neurons grow more branches, potentially explaining how they might treat depression

Watch a 3D-printed magnetic critter fold and move all by itself

Wednesday June 13th, 2018 06:00:00 PM
By embedding magnetic particles into rubber, we can 3D print little shapes that fold, morph, and move around on their own in the presence of a magnetic field

The brain has a special clock that tracks sleepiness

Wednesday June 13th, 2018 06:00:00 PM
A chemical clock has been found in the brains of mice that keeps track of how long it’s been since an animal last slept, and how sleepy it should feel

Why tidal power won’t solve the world’s renewable energy needs

Wednesday June 13th, 2018 05:48:00 PM
There are widespread calls for the UK government not to abandon a trailblazing tidal power project, but this energy source is no green panacea, says Hans van Haren

Stop the reckless video-assisted refereeing experiment now

Wednesday June 13th, 2018 05:00:00 PM
The football World Cup is about to deploy a flawed technology that risks destroying what makes the beautiful game so great, says fan Chris Nee

Net neutrality officially ended this week – now what?

Wednesday June 13th, 2018 03:00:00 PM
After months of public outcry and legal wrangling, a US law about how internet access can be sold has been repealed

The US wants to build an X-ray bomb to destroy chemical weapons

Wednesday June 13th, 2018 01:45:00 PM
Regular explosives risk spilling chemical or biological weapons when aimed at storage sites. So the US is experimenting with using massive X-ray bursts instead

Magnets can make wine taste better by sucking out bad flavours

Wednesday June 13th, 2018 01:00:00 PM
Tiny magnetic beads can be stirred through wine to capture unwanted chemicals, then pulled out with a magnet to improve the flavour

Parkinson’s disease may be caused by virus that kills gut bugs

Wednesday June 13th, 2018 12:00:00 PM
People with Parkinson's seem to have some differences in their gut microbiome - but is this cause or consequence?

Britain’s hedgehog population has fallen 66 per cent in 20 years

Wednesday June 13th, 2018 12:01:00 AM
Britain only has 58 wild mammal species to start with, and many have declined sharply in number since 1995 – with hedgehogs suffering a particularly severe fall

The LHC has found the Higgs works perfectly – which is a problem

Tuesday June 12th, 2018 04:40:00 PM
The Higgs boson has been seen acting just as the standard model of physics predicts – which leaves us without clues to dark matter and other mysteries

Antimatter neutrinos caught shape-shifting between flavours

Tuesday June 12th, 2018 03:44:00 PM
We’ve seen antineutrinos morphing from one ‘flavour’ to another, and it could help us figure out why the universe is full of normal matter and not antimatter

Gene editing embryonic stem cells might increase risk of cancer

Tuesday June 12th, 2018 02:00:00 PM
Genome editing with CRISPR may select for cells with mutations in a key anti-cancer gene, but now we know of this risk it should be possible to ensure treatments are still safe

To combat white nationalist extremism, first understand it

Tuesday June 12th, 2018 09:00:00 AM
There are many assumptions underlying our ideas about why someone becomes a terrorist. The evidence does not always back them up

NASA’s Opportunity rover is stuck in a huge dust storm on Mars

Monday June 11th, 2018 04:36:00 PM
A dust storm bigger than North America has blown up on Mars, and it’s blocking out the sunlight that powers NASA’s ageing Opportunity rover. Is this its last gasp?

Africa’s 2000-year-old trees of life are suddenly dying off

Monday June 11th, 2018 04:00:00 PM
In the past decade most of the oldest baobabs, many of them sprouted over two millennia ago, have died unexpectedly and few new ones are sprouting

Clouds of spinning diamonds around stars solve an old mystery

Monday June 11th, 2018 04:00:00 PM
Tiny diamonds in clouds circling bright young stars may be the source of unexplained microwave radiation from space that has baffled astronomers since 1996

A self-balancing exoskeleton lets wheelchair users walk again

Monday June 11th, 2018 01:15:00 PM
An exoskeleton is being tested that helped a wheelchair user to walk for several hours without pain. It supports its own weight and mimics the wearer’s natural gait

A renewables revolution is afoot – but who will benefit?

Monday June 11th, 2018 10:00:00 AM
Donald Trump's commitment to coal is short-sighted and wrong-headed. A 100 per cent renewable future is coming – and other countries will reap the rewards

We can tweak immune cells to be much better at wiping out HIV

Friday June 8th, 2018 07:00:00 PM
Studying the immune cells of people who can keep HIV under control in their bodies has yielded new insights that might enable all people with HIV to do the same

Trump v Kim: The mind games that led to the Korea summit

Friday June 8th, 2018 04:44:00 PM
The road to the Singapore summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un has been marked by nuclear bluffs. Let's hope the talks are for real, says Christopher Boehm

Your personal cloud of microbes can be used to identify you

Friday June 8th, 2018 04:00:00 PM
When a person enters a house, they leave behind a unique set of microorganisms that could serve as a fingerprint – and it seems to be accurate enough to spot individual people

Sperm whales are tracking fishing boats and stealing their fish

Friday June 8th, 2018 02:25:00 PM
Fishing boats in the Gulf of Alaska are being stalked by enormous sperm whales, which charge in and rip huge volumes of fish from the lines

Watch real football matches in miniature played on your desk

Friday June 8th, 2018 10:30:00 AM
Augmented reality headsets, like Hololens, can recreate a football match on any flat surface. The viewer sees tiny 3D versions of real-life players running around on a virtual pitch

Mars has complex organic material that may be from ancient life

Thursday June 7th, 2018 07:00:00 PM
The Curiosity rover has found methane in Mars’s atmosphere and complex organic molecules preserved for 3.5 billion years. Both could have come from life

Nipah: the unknown virus that could be the next pandemic threat

Thursday June 7th, 2018 05:22:00 PM
A virus most people have never heard of has killed 17 people in India, and disease experts are getting concerned

Seals only sleep with half their brain when they’re out at sea

Thursday June 7th, 2018 04:00:00 PM
Northern fur seals mostly sleep with half their brain while they’re at sea, but sleep with all their brain while on land – unlike any other animal studied

Why Richard Branson’s promises about space tourism are empty

Thursday June 7th, 2018 03:26:00 PM
The billionaire businessman says he'll ride into space within months, paving the way to routine suborbital passenger trips. Don't get too excited, says Paul Marks

Sour tastes may make you more adventurous and take bigger risks

Thursday June 7th, 2018 02:07:00 PM
A gambling experiment has found that the taste of umami seems to make us more conservative in our choices, while sour flavours may promote risk-taking

Surveillance drones can now spot violent attacks as they happen

Thursday June 7th, 2018 12:02:00 PM
A drone surveillance system can spot violence in a crowd, including stabbing and strangling, but some worry the consequences have not been thought through

Kidney cancer spreads by pretending to be white blood cells

Thursday June 7th, 2018 12:05:00 AM
Many people with cancer die from secondary tumours, and now we know how some cancer cells are able to spread around the body and move into other organs

Party drugs are here to stay, but they don’t have to be killers

Wednesday June 6th, 2018 06:00:00 PM
Crack downs on psychedelic substances are failing to protect people from harm. Drug tests at festivals and nightclubs to check they are legit could be a better way

Lightning reveals where Jupiter stores its ‘missing’ water

Wednesday June 6th, 2018 06:00:00 PM
Decades ago a space probe found less water on Jupiter than expected, and now astronomers have tracked some of that water down by mapping lightning storms

Why are there so many devastating volcanic eruptions right now?

Wednesday June 6th, 2018 04:57:00 PM
High-profile volcanic eruptions in Hawaii and Guatemala are grabbing the headlines, but geophysics isn't responsible for connecting the two disasters

Apple’s new app is designed to help you use their tech less

Wednesday June 6th, 2018 01:00:00 PM
A new app called Screen Time will show iPhone and iPad users how many notifications they receive, how often they pick up their device and how much time they spend on different apps

Anti-acne cream clears up skin without any nasty side effects

Wednesday June 6th, 2018 11:36:00 AM
A new anti-acne cream that blocks inflammation is more effective and has fewer side effects than existing lotions, a clinical trial has found

AI construction worker plans the fastest way to put up buildings

Wednesday June 6th, 2018 11:22:00 AM
By considering hundreds of millions of potential schedules, an AI construction manager works out the best and fastest way for builders to put up a new building

4-year-olds care more about plants and animals than sick people

Wednesday June 6th, 2018 11:16:00 AM
When we’re young, we care less about people – so much so that 4-year-olds care less about teachers and police than they do about dogs, monkeys and rosebushes

Feed aggregation powered by Syndicate Press.
Processed request in 0.0294 seconds.