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Last feed update: Saturday October 20th, 2018 05:02:11 PM

7 explanations for why mysterious radio bursts are coming from space

Friday October 19th, 2018 10:30:00 AM
Astronomers are scratching their heads over extremely fast radio bursts. Now they're making a list of all the theories for what - or who - is making them

AI tries to help you protect your children from cyberbullying

Friday October 19th, 2018 10:00:00 AM
Artificial intelligence is being trained to spot cyberbullying on social media so that hurtful posts can be removed before they reach vulnerable teens

Old honeybees make a drumming sound to get young slackers working

Friday October 19th, 2018 06:00:00 AM
The more experienced bees in a colony sometimes run around the honeycomb drumming with their bodies - which seems to energise younger colony members

Banning straws isn’t enough. We must get serious about climate change

Thursday October 18th, 2018 04:50:00 PM
To head off climate disaster requires difficult changes to our lifestyles, says Adam Corner, and politicians must not be afraid to say so

Mantis shrimps punch with the force of a bullet – and now we know how

Thursday October 18th, 2018 03:00:00 PM
The mantis shrimp has an incredibly fast punch, and it’s because of a structure called a saddle that stores energy and then releases it like an archer's bow

Your brain is like 100 billion mini-computers all working together

Thursday October 18th, 2018 03:00:00 PM
Recording the electrical activity of the fine branches of human neurons has revealed that our brain cells are much more sophisticated than those of other animals

Your genes affect which university you go to but that’s no surprise

Thursday October 18th, 2018 01:00:00 PM
A study has found links between a person's genes and university. But intelligence and other complex traits are shaped by both genetics and environment

The BepiColombo spacecraft is about to blast off to Mercury

Thursday October 18th, 2018 10:15:00 AM
On 20 October, the BepiColombo spacecraft will begin a 7-year journey to Mercury, where it will orbit and investigate the many mysteries of Mercury

Pregnancy changes how hundreds of genes work in a woman’s body

Thursday October 18th, 2018 06:00:00 AM
Genes that alter their expression during healthy pregnancies have been identified for the first time, potentially helping us to predict at-risk pregnancies

Why plans to achieve zero suicides might actually be counterproductive

Wednesday October 17th, 2018 05:00:00 PM
Health bodies and politicians are aiming for zero suicides, but doctors are warning this ambitious goal is simply unrealistic

World’s oldest fossils might turn out to just be ancient rocks

Wednesday October 17th, 2018 05:00:00 PM
In 2016, researchers unveiled 3.7-billion-year-old fossils – a reassessment suggests the ‘fossils’ are actually physical scars left when the rocks were deformed

Cosmic supercluster is largest object ever seen in the early universe

Wednesday October 17th, 2018 03:00:00 PM
A gigantic supercluster of galaxies that existed just two billion years after the big bang could tell us how much dark matter was around in the early universe

2019 Breakthrough Prize winners set to receive share in $22 million

Wednesday October 17th, 2018 02:00:00 PM
Silicon valley’s Breakthrough Prize reveals the 21 scientists who have been recognized this year for work in drug design, biology, astrophysics, and mathematics

Human placenta stem cells help people recover from hip surgery

Wednesday October 17th, 2018 12:30:00 PM
The placenta is usually discarded after childbirth but it's a source of mesenchymal stem cells – and they help people regain muscle strength after hip surgery

Gravitational waves from black hole pairs could act like tractor beams

Wednesday October 17th, 2018 11:50:00 AM
When two black holes orbit one another, they create a swirling vortex of gravitational waves that could trap any nearby objects like a sci-fi tractor beam

Male birds can be good singers or good looking, but not both

Tuesday October 16th, 2018 11:01:00 PM
The prettier the bird, the worse it sings. A study of over 500 species has revealed that birds evolve to attract mates in one of two ways, and don’t combine them

Special coating gives condoms self-lubricating powers

Tuesday October 16th, 2018 11:01:00 PM
A polymer coating turns condoms slippery once it comes in contact with body fluids – and it doesn’t dry out

Wildlife photography prize goes to stunning picture of golden monkeys

Tuesday October 16th, 2018 10:00:00 PM
Hellbenders, vampire finches, and mud-daubers were among animals depicted in winning photographs in the 2018 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition

Nicotine exposure in male mice may trigger ADHD in their offspring

Tuesday October 16th, 2018 06:00:00 PM
Mice are more active and have attention problems if their fathers had nicotine in their diet, perhaps because the chemical triggers epigenetic changes in sperm

Let’s embrace the joy of moonmoons and more playful scientific terms

Tuesday October 16th, 2018 04:30:00 PM
Some say the astronomical term moonmoon makes light of a serious field of study, but it seems a shame to abandon it for po-faced alternatives

Making games like Red Dead Redemption 2 shouldn’t be such hard work

Tuesday October 16th, 2018 03:40:00 PM
Reports that 2018’s blockbuster video game saw people working 100-hour weeks are troubling, given that tech firms could make workers’ lives easier, says Michael Cook

Half-hearted cannabis legalisation move leaves patients in limbo

Tuesday October 16th, 2018 02:07:00 PM
Medical cannabis is to be available in the UK from November, but tight restrictions will drive patients to alternative sources, says Henry Fisher

Alien life could spread between solar systems on interstellar rocks

Tuesday October 16th, 2018 01:45:00 PM
Researchers have calculated that living organisms may be able to hitch a ride aboard interstellar rocks to spread not only between planets, but across the galaxy

Bill Gates leads global call to accept realities of a warming planet

Tuesday October 16th, 2018 10:30:00 AM
A coalition of major global figures say we must do much more to adapt to our rapidly warming world, and we need to do it fast

Electric chewing gum zaps your tongue to create a virtual flavour hit

Tuesday October 16th, 2018 06:00:00 AM
An 'unlimited chewing gum' uses an electric charge to trick you into experiencing flavours – and they don’t fade in the way chewing gum flavour usually does

National bans on smacking children linked to less teenage violence

Monday October 15th, 2018 10:30:00 PM
A survey has found that teenagers get into more fights in countries where it is legal to spank children, but there could be several explanations for the link

Will there be beer shortages as the world warms? Well, maybe

Monday October 15th, 2018 03:00:00 PM
Predictions of beer shortages and rocketing prices as extreme weather hits barley production should not be taken too literally but do highlight a very real problem

Earliest ever animal fossil is a 660-million-year-old sponge

Monday October 15th, 2018 03:00:00 PM
Chemical evidence locked in rocks and oil suggests that the first animals were alive 100 million years earlier than we thought from fossils

Rabbit-killing virus may have mutated to kill hares too

Monday October 15th, 2018 11:44:00 AM
Brown hares are turning up dead across the UK, raising fears that myxomatosis – the rabbit infection in ‘Watership Down’ - may have mutated to target hares

Wheat flour to be fortified with folic acid in the UK

Monday October 15th, 2018 11:22:00 AM
Folic acid helps prevent birth defects but is most effective taken around the time of conception. Adding it to wheat could benefit unplanned pregnancies

Mysterious cosmic radio signal spotted unusually close to Earth

Monday October 15th, 2018 11:13:00 AM
The first fast radio burst to be detected in a nearby galaxy may provide clues about what – or who – is able to transmit these strange, powerful signals

Amateurs used a Chinese satellite to photograph Earth and the moon

Friday October 12th, 2018 01:56:00 PM
A tiny Chinese satellite in lunar orbit is designed to accept commands from amateurs, and has captured a new view of the Earth and its moon

We can harness algae with magnets to deliver drugs inside our bodies

Friday October 12th, 2018 10:51:00 AM
If we attach tiny magnets to fast-swimming algae, we can load them up with drugs and steer them deep into the human body to deliver targeted medical therapies

Humongous fungus is older than Christianity and weighs 400 tonnes

Friday October 12th, 2018 10:00:00 AM
A gigantic fungus that lives under the ground in a Michigan forest is even larger than initially estimated and may have been around for at least 2500 years

The US wants a laser weapon that shouts at people before burning them

Friday October 12th, 2018 09:00:00 AM
The US Marines are developing a laser weapon that can shout at people from 100 metres away. It can also be turned up to deafen, dazzle or cause painful burns

Mice eat too much food if their great grandmother did the same

Friday October 12th, 2018 12:01:00 AM
When mice are given a high-fat diet their great grandchildren are more likely to put on weight – and they show a greater than expected taste for alcohol

Police can now use millions more people’s DNA to find criminals

Thursday October 11th, 2018 06:00:00 PM
Consumer genetic databases are becoming powerful tools for identifying criminals, and a new technique could link you to forensic data held by US police

Soyuz crash could kill the ISS and set space flight back decades

Thursday October 11th, 2018 04:29:00 PM
A Russian Soyuz spacecraft has crash landed after an attempted launch to the International Space Station, which may throw a wrench in space flight plans

AIs invent weird new limbs to beat virtual obstacle courses

Thursday October 11th, 2018 03:10:00 PM
Simulated robots can learn to control their bodies in many creative ways, and now they can also build the best limbs for crossing through an obstacle course

We are a step closer to making babies with same-sex genetic parents

Thursday October 11th, 2018 03:00:00 PM
We are getting better at creating mice with same-sex parents but we are still nowhere near the point at which this could be attempted in people

Nikon Small World photo competition reveals nature in minuscule detail

Thursday October 11th, 2018 03:00:00 PM
Peer into nature with these amazing images from the Nikon Small World microphotography prize. They include a bug bubble house and the eye of a weevil

T. rex may have used its long feet for stealthy surprise attacks

Thursday October 11th, 2018 03:00:00 PM
Carnivorous dinosaurs generated seismic waves with every footfall – but because of the shape of their feet they may have masked their presence approaching prey

Medicinal cannabis will be available in the UK from next month

Thursday October 11th, 2018 02:24:00 PM
The UK Home Secretary has announced that doctors will be able to prescribe medicinal cannabis from next month following a specially commissioned review

We’ve missed many chances to curb global warming. This may be our last

Thursday October 11th, 2018 10:52:00 AM
Keeping warming to a manageable (but still dangerous) 1.5°C is possible, strictly speaking, but it will be the largest project humanity has ever undertaken

75-million-year old ocean microbes live forever on almost zero energy

Thursday October 11th, 2018 10:50:00 AM
There is so little food in the mud at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean that individual microbes living there use just 0.00000000001 joules of energy each year

Astronauts make emergency landing after Soyuz rocket malfunctions

Thursday October 11th, 2018 09:46:00 AM
A rocket carrying two people to the International Space Station has just made an emergency landing in Kazakhstan after a booster malfunctioned 

Old homes around the world must be retrofitted to meet climate targets

Wednesday October 10th, 2018 11:01:00 PM
Countries need to start a massive programme of retrofitting old homes to make them carbon neutral if the world is to meet the global emission reduction target

Great Ormond Street launches hospital of the future with AI and robots

Wednesday October 10th, 2018 05:00:00 PM
Step inside the hospital of the future, where face recognition tracks everyone who enters and robots roam the corridors

We need to get better at supporting people who lose a pregnancy

Wednesday October 10th, 2018 03:37:00 PM
This week is Baby Loss Awareness Week, but more must be done to help those who, like me, have suffered a loss, says Petra Boynton

AI’s dirty secret: Energy-guzzling machines may fuel global warming

Wednesday October 10th, 2018 03:00:00 PM
Advances in artificial intelligence could lead to massive growth in energy use as smart machines push into every corner of our lives

Bees suddenly stopped buzzing in the US during the 2017 solar eclipse

Wednesday October 10th, 2018 02:00:00 PM
When the moon hid the sun in the 2017 total solar eclipse, bees across the US suddenly stopped buzzing around - only one bee aross 16 locations buzzed

Potentially catastrophic Hurricane Michael is about to hit Florida

Wednesday October 10th, 2018 01:50:00 PM
Hurricane Michael intensified faster than expected overnight and is now headed for Florida. It was fuelled by abnormally warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico

Moons can have moons and they are called moonmoons

Wednesday October 10th, 2018 10:53:00 AM
If a moon is big enough and far enough from its planet, it can host its own smaller moon, called a ‘moonmoon’ - and four worlds in our solar system fit the bill

Are Virgin Galactic and Richard Branson really going to space soon?

Wednesday October 10th, 2018 10:50:00 AM
Richard Branson has said that his space flight company, Virgin Galactic, will go to space “within weeks”. Here’s what you need to know about his claims

Rabbits flee when they smell dead relatives in predators’ droppings

Wednesday October 10th, 2018 10:20:00 AM
Rabbits avoid nibbling grass in areas scattered with predator droppings – particularly if those predators have been fed on bunnies

You can recognise around 5000 faces, from family to celebrities

Tuesday October 9th, 2018 11:01:00 PM
For much of human evolution our ancestors may have encountered only a few hundred people in their lives – but we can each recall about 5000 distinct faces

Falling rocks can explode so hard that only nuclear weapons beat them

Tuesday October 9th, 2018 03:00:00 PM
If big rocks fall far enough they can explode with more energy than any non-nuclear bomb – and the ensuing shockwave can snap large trees half a kilometre away

Ancient ‘living fossil’ fish has scales that act as adaptable armour

Tuesday October 9th, 2018 11:30:00 AM
The coelacanth fish has scales that can change their internal structure if they are pierced by a predator to stop cracks spreading

Home of the gentle giants: How humans live with Galapagos tortoises

Tuesday October 9th, 2018 10:25:00 AM
The Galapagos archipelago is a growing tourist attraction, which is adding to the problems faced by the islands’ famous giant residents

Three people had their brains wired together so they could play Tetris

Tuesday October 9th, 2018 10:00:00 AM
Three people played a game of Tetris using brain-reading caps. This is the first time several people have collaborated through brain-to-brain communication

Google+ to shut down after 500,000 people’s personal details exposed

Tuesday October 9th, 2018 09:45:00 AM
The social network Google+ is shutting down for regular users, after it discovered a flaw in March that exposed personal information of up to 500,000 people

What is ‘problem internet use’ and is it really a problem?

Monday October 8th, 2018 11:01:00 PM
Researchers are calling for recognition of mental health problems caused by excessive gaming, gambling and social media, but lumping these together may not be right

Jupiter’s moon Europa may have a belt of 15-metre-tall ice spikes

Monday October 8th, 2018 03:00:00 PM
Landing on Jupiter’s moon Europa will be even harder than we thought due to a forbidding belt of huge ice spikes that could trap or incapacitate a spacecraft

Naysayers rise to the top because we naturally treat them as leaders

Monday October 8th, 2018 02:39:00 PM
Openly negative and critical people are often elected leaders, perhaps because we perceive their disregard for social niceties as a sign of power and independence

What you need to know about the big UN climate report out this week

Monday October 8th, 2018 01:30:00 PM
A special report on limiting global warming to 1.5°C has been released. Get caught up on why it matters

Swallowing a vibrating capsule could help relieve constipation

Monday October 8th, 2018 12:00:00 PM
Capsules that are programmed to vibrate when they reach the large intestine have been shown to stimulate bowel contractions and relieve chronic constipation

Front-runner in Brazil’s election wants to pull out of climate treaty

Monday October 8th, 2018 10:52:00 AM
The far-right winner of the first round of Brazil's presidential election wants to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement and cut down the Amazon rainforest

Hubble Space Telescope taken out of action by faulty gyroscopes

Monday October 8th, 2018 09:41:00 AM
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has been temporarily shut down as technical faults have hampered its ability to point in the right direction

Economics Nobel prize given for putting a price tag on climate change

Monday October 8th, 2018 06:15:00 AM
The 2018 Sveriges Riksbank prize in economic sciences has gone to Paul Romer and William Nordhaus for integrating climate change and technology into macroeconomics

We’ve spotted the shock wave from an invisible explosion in space

Friday October 5th, 2018 06:12:00 PM
For the first time, astronomers have spotted the shock wave from a powerful space explosion called a gamma ray burst without being able to see the burst itself

Cassini revealed three big surprises before diving into Saturn

Friday October 5th, 2018 03:00:00 PM
Before the Cassini spacecraft melted away in Saturn’s atmosphere, it hurtled between the planet and its rings 22 times - and made some strange discoveries

Hundreds of physicists condemn sexist talk at CERN on women in physics

Friday October 5th, 2018 02:29:00 PM
Following a talk by Alessandro Strumia at particle physics lab CERN that sparked outrage about sexism, hundreds of researchers have rallied together to push back against his claims

How should we control the power to genetically eliminate a species?

Friday October 5th, 2018 02:00:00 PM
The power to re-engineer or eliminate wild species using a “gene drive” needs to be brought under international governance, say Simon Terry and Stephanie Howard

IVF success boosted by drug that helps embryos implant in the womb

Friday October 5th, 2018 01:07:00 PM
Women given a drug that increases blood flow to the womb have a significantly higher chance of giving birth through IVF

Conquer your fear of public speaking by practising in virtual reality

Friday October 5th, 2018 12:23:00 PM
Practising public speaking in virtual reality lets people confront their fears in a safe environment and become more confident in front of real-life audiences

People in Chile are currently evolving the ability to digest goat milk

Friday October 5th, 2018 10:35:00 AM
Most Europeans have a genetic mutation that allows adults to digest milk, but it is less common elsewhere. Now it is spreading through Chile, and we don't know why

Smartphone with a finger crawls across the table to stroke your wrist

Friday October 5th, 2018 09:32:00 AM
MobiLimb is a fake finger that plugs into a phone's USB port. It can provide extra interaction, including stroking your wrist and dragging itself across a table

Hundreds of tonnes of UK hospital waste piles up including human limbs

Friday October 5th, 2018 08:38:00 AM
A huge backlog of NHS hospital waste has been revealed in a leaked report. It is believed to include pharmaceutical waste and a small number of amputated limbs

Wind farms do affect climate – but they don’t cause global warming

Thursday October 4th, 2018 03:00:00 PM
A study has claimed that large-scale wind power in the US would cause significant warming, but this is misleading and could harm take-up of renewables

Faecal swaps could help stop heart transplants from being rejected

Thursday October 4th, 2018 01:00:00 PM
Giving mice a faecal transplant made them more tolerant of a subsequent heart transplant, hinting the gut may be key to avoiding organ rejection

Tree rings reveal plague hit medieval Europe’s construction industry

Thursday October 4th, 2018 11:30:00 AM
Dating timber used to build European houses between AD 1250 and 1699 reveals that building activity fell during the Black Death and the Thirty Years’ War

First known exomoon could be a baffling monster the size of Neptune

Wednesday October 3rd, 2018 06:00:00 PM
Last year, New Scientist reported the possible discovery of the first ever exomoon. Now new evidence suggests that if it does exist, it is very strange

Row with Russia and SpaceX delays could leave NASA unable to reach ISS

Wednesday October 3rd, 2018 05:00:00 PM
Talk of sabotage on the International Space Station has exposed cracks in the US-Russia space relationship that could see NASA unable to fly astronauts into orbit

AI has reimagined nature and it’s both amazing and terrifying

Wednesday October 3rd, 2018 01:20:00 PM
A pack of brown dogs look like majesties of nature, but they’ve actually been dreamt up by a DeepMind AI

T. rex evolved into a monster predator by dumbing down its brain

Wednesday October 3rd, 2018 12:35:00 PM
The very first tyrannosaurs were relatively small dinosaurs – and the skull of one of them seems to have contained a brain with a more complex shape than that of the enormous T. rex

Chemistry Nobel Prize awarded for harnessing evolution to help humans

Wednesday October 3rd, 2018 10:03:00 AM
The chemistry Nobel Prize goes to Frances Arnold, George Smith, and Gregory Winter for controlling evolution to create proteins that solve chemical problems.

Third lander arrives on asteroid Ryugu with only 16 hours to live

Wednesday October 3rd, 2018 09:20:00 AM
Japan has just dropped off its third lander on the surface of the asteroid Ryugu. It has less than a day to complete its mission before its batteries run out

Gaia spacecraft prepares to weather an incoming meteoroid storm

Wednesday October 3rd, 2018 07:00:00 AM
A spacecraft currently mapping the Milky Way could be pelted by space dust next week, so the European Space Agency is putting up its shields

Idly tapping your fingers can make you think time has slowed down

Tuesday October 2nd, 2018 11:01:00 PM
Moving a body part in time to a rhythm alters your perception of time, causing it to either stretch or contract – providing new clues about which parts of the brain control our body clocks

Distant dwarf planet called ‘The Goblin’ could point to Planet X

Tuesday October 2nd, 2018 05:33:00 PM
There is a 300-kilometre-wide ice world in the far reaches of the Solar System - and its orbit is consistent with the presence of the hypothetical Planet X

It has been a good/bad week for women in physics

Tuesday October 2nd, 2018 04:50:00 PM
At last, a third Nobel, but it has been a decidedly mixed week for female physicists

Facebook’s AI is writing short stories and they actually make sense

Tuesday October 2nd, 2018 03:20:00 PM
Making machines that write stories is incredibly hard. But a new approach from Facebook’s AI team has produced some surprisingly good tales

Cargo ships through the Arctic may cool the region with pollution

Tuesday October 2nd, 2018 02:26:00 PM
Sending more cargo ships through the Arctic as the sea ice retreats might actually reduce the warming in the region, but it would also threaten human health

Baby giraffes with small and oval markings are most likely to die

Tuesday October 2nd, 2018 11:00:00 AM
Masai giraffes born with large or round spots may find it easier to hide from predators than giraffes with small or elliptical spots

Donna Strickland is the third woman ever to win a physics Nobel Prize

Tuesday October 2nd, 2018 10:17:00 AM
The winner of the Nobel Prize in physics includes a woman for the first time in 55 years, going to Arthur Ashkin, Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland

Fluke experiment hints deep brain stimulation really treats depression

Monday October 1st, 2018 03:00:00 PM
People with depression treated with deep brain stimulation suffered unexpected relapses when the batteries went flat, hinting the treatment isn’t just a placebo

Domesticating tomatoes took millennia – we can now redo it in 3 years

Monday October 1st, 2018 03:00:00 PM
With CRISPR gene editing technology we can now rapidly domesticate wild plants to create tasty and healthy food

It is 2018, so why are we still debating whether women can do physics?

Monday October 1st, 2018 01:28:00 PM
A talk by a physicist at CERN suggesting that women aren’t as good as men at physics has sparked outrage. I was there, and people are right to be offended, says Jess Wade

Massive Facebook data breach left 50 million accounts exposed

Monday October 1st, 2018 10:54:00 AM
Facebook has suffered the biggest hack in its history. It left the personal details of 50 million accounts exposed, including Mark Zuckerberg's

Physicist sparks gender row after claiming women are worse at physics

Monday October 1st, 2018 10:28:00 AM
Physicist Alessandro Strumia gave a talk at CERN, home of the Large Hadron Collider, claiming that women are inferior to men when it comes to physics research






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