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Last feed update: Thursday September 21st, 2017 03:29:39 PM

Even jellyfish get sluggish if they don’t have enough sleep

Thursday September 21st, 2017 05:00:00 PM
Jellyfish show all the signs of going to sleep, even though they do not have brains – which were thought to be an essential requirement for slumber

Gravity may be created by strange flashes in the quantum realm

Thursday September 21st, 2017 04:30:00 PM
A model of how wave forms of quantum systems collapse reveals a way they could create gravitational fields, and perhaps even reconcile two pillars of physics

Lightning storms triggered by exhaust from cargo ships

Thursday September 21st, 2017 04:00:00 PM
The world's busiest shipping lanes have twice as many bolts of lightning as nearby areas, and ships pumping soot into the air seem to be responsible

Dinosaurs that seemed veggie also ate the odd bit of shellfish

Thursday September 21st, 2017 02:00:00 PM
Many dinosaurs are thought to have been exclusive plant-eaters, but their fossilised faeces suggest that some of these species also ate seafood

Another lost tribe feared massacred – how can we save the rest?

Thursday September 21st, 2017 11:12:00 AM
Should we leave uncontacted tribes alone or try to usher them into the modern world to protect them from violence and disease, wonders Curtis Abraham

Hurricane Maria confirms dire warnings for 2017 hurricane season

Wednesday September 20th, 2017 07:36:00 PM
As Hurricane Maria continues to cause destruction, predictions that 2017 could be the worst hurricane season since 2010 are being borne out

Robots can hitch-hike on sharks thanks to ultrastrong sucker

Wednesday September 20th, 2017 07:00:00 PM
A suction cup modelled on how a strange faeces-eater attaches to other fish can withstand a pull of 340 times its weight, letting robots ride sharks and whales

Handheld scanner divines how nutritious your food really is

Wednesday September 20th, 2017 06:00:00 PM
Climate change and soil degradation are depleting the nutrients in crops, but now a scanner can analyse grain to help farmers mitigate problems as it grows

Why has a UK team genetically edited human embryos?

Wednesday September 20th, 2017 06:00:00 PM
The aim of the work is to better understand embryonic development, rather than to see if genome editing could prevent diseases in children

Old fathers pass on more mutations to kids than old mothers

Wednesday September 20th, 2017 06:00:00 PM
A huge study of Icelanders suggests that older men pass on four times as many new mutations to their kids than women 

3D-printed alloys could lead to lighter planes that fly further

Wednesday September 20th, 2017 06:00:00 PM
Modern aeroplanes are held together with thousands of rivets and fasteners. That could change soon, thanks to 3D-printed weldable alloys

Infamous three-body problem has over a thousand new solutions

Wednesday September 20th, 2017 05:02:00 PM
A long-standing maths puzzle has 1223 new solutions, more than doubling the number of possible paths three objects can take as they orbit one another

Hundreds of UK women are seeking illegal abortions online

Wednesday September 20th, 2017 04:20:00 PM
Women legally entitled to abortions are attempting to buy pills online because they cannot access clinics due to distance, waiting times and domestic abuse

Our closest star system may be home to a stolen star and planet

Wednesday September 20th, 2017 03:26:00 PM
Proxima b, the nearest exoplanet to Earth, may have been captured along with its star instead of born in the dangerous three-star system where it now lives

Kids everywhere have damaging gender stereotyping set by age 10

Wednesday September 20th, 2017 02:00:00 PM
Global study reveals that gender stereotypes become ingrained in "tween" years, leading to life-long health consequences - particularly for girls

Mexico hit by second huge quake caused by same tectonic strain

Wednesday September 20th, 2017 11:15:00 AM
The country has been struck by its second big earthquake in less than two weeks, causing dozens of buildings to collapse

Shaken baby syndrome is not definitive proof of child abuse

Tuesday September 19th, 2017 02:51:00 PM
While a debate over the medical diagnosis of shaken baby syndrome rages on, one thing is clear: it is no longer proof of child abuse, says Deborah Tuerkheimer

Sacrificial virgin spiders let their nieces eat them alive

Tuesday September 19th, 2017 02:00:00 PM
In one species of spider, unmated females not only care for other spiders’ offspring, they allow the tiny spiderlings to devour their insides

Tool-wielding monkeys push local shellfish to edge of extinction

Tuesday September 19th, 2017 12:12:00 PM
Long-tailed macaques on an island in Thailand are doing such a good job of cracking shellfish with stone tools, they are driving down their prey's numbers and body size

Secrets of butterfly wing patterns revealed by gene hacking

Monday September 18th, 2017 08:00:00 PM
Butterflies' wings have extraordinary patterns and colours, and it turns out they are controlled by a single "master gene" that performs many roles

Thousands likely to be killed by Hurricane Irma’s deadly legacy

Monday September 18th, 2017 06:02:00 PM
Toxic chemicals released by floodwaters, stress, infection and dangerous working conditions will all contribute to hurricane death toll years after winds die

Could we store carbon dioxide as liquid lakes under the sea?

Monday September 18th, 2017 04:32:00 PM
We need to get carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere to slow down climate change, and perhaps deep-sea trenches would be a good place to put it

Sex and aggression linked in male mouse brains but not in female

Monday September 18th, 2017 04:00:00 PM
In male mice, the same brain cells influence both aggressive and sexual behaviours, but for the first time we now know that's not the case for females

No, climate science isn’t wrong, and yes, global warming is real

Monday September 18th, 2017 04:00:00 PM
A study suggests we can emit three times more carbon than we thought and still avoid 1.5°C of global warming - but the results are not as straightforward as they seem

Liquid cats and arousing crocs bag Ig Nobel prizes

Monday September 18th, 2017 03:00:00 PM
The Ig Nobels honor the most hilarious of serious scientific work. This year prizes went to cats that flow, clueless twins, and emotionally manipulative crocodiles

Mysterious flashing star seems destined for an explosive end

Monday September 18th, 2017 12:58:00 PM
A detective story that began in the 1950s when a star seemed to go supernova but survived ended this month when someone figured out what was going on

Blind people repurpose the brain’s visual areas for language

Monday September 18th, 2017 12:10:00 PM
For the first time, language processing has been detected in areas of the brain that usually process vision, highlighting the organ’s extraordinary flexibility

End-of-life chatbot can help you with difficult final decisions

Monday September 18th, 2017 11:39:00 AM
A virtual assistant helps people who are terminally ill feel less anxious about death and more ready to complete their last will and testament

Science after Brexit will be weaker all round

Monday September 18th, 2017 10:00:00 AM
The UK government’s position paper is long on lofty ambitions for future collaboration, but the gory details suggest they will be extremely difficult to achieve

The NHS is using a chatbot to do tedious corporate team-building

Monday September 18th, 2017 07:00:00 AM
The UK's National Health Service and 10 big firms are experimenting with CoachBot, which replaces "coaching and development" staff with an automated chatbot

Watching Cassini’s last moments from inside NASA mission control

Friday September 15th, 2017 07:25:00 PM
The Cassini team was at once somber and excited as they watched the spacecraft’s radio heartbeat flicker out. Mika McKinnon joined them to say goodbye

Brown dwarfs have strong magnetic fields just like real stars

Friday September 15th, 2017 05:11:00 PM
Failed stars called brown dwarfs straddle the line between big planets and small stars. An observation of a magnetic field puts another tick in the star column

Final pictures from Cassini as probe smashes into Saturn

Friday September 15th, 2017 03:55:00 PM
Say goodbye to humanity’s outpost at Saturn with a look at Cassini’s final images before it was swallowed by Saturn’s atmosphere

Cassini takes last look at the ring patterns made by mini moons

Friday September 15th, 2017 03:49:00 PM
These unusual patterns in Saturn's rings give us clues to what happens when planets are born, and may help us understand how our solar system formed

Facebook allowed adverts to be targeted at ‘Jew haters’

Friday September 15th, 2017 12:25:00 PM
Facebook's ad-placing software allowed an investigative news site to target advertising at users who declared an interest in anti-Semitic topics

World hunger is on the rise again due to climate change and war

Friday September 15th, 2017 11:15:00 AM
After falling for over a decade, the number of people going hungry has risen again - and climate change and war are to blame

There are hardly any old fish left in the ocean – and that’s bad

Friday September 15th, 2017 11:12:00 AM
Industrial fishing has disproportionately removed older fish, which tend to be the most adaptable individuals that can best survive environmental change

A rushed response to Hurricane Irma could cause bigger disasters

Friday September 15th, 2017 10:44:00 AM
We must prepare for the bigger storms to come,  but if planners get it wrong, their efforts to protect people could make future mega-disasters even worse

Third-hand smoke in furniture and clothes damages mouse organs

Friday September 15th, 2017 12:01:00 AM
Exposure to smoke residue increases rodents’ stress hormones and puts them at higher risk of diabetes, as well as harming their livers and brains

Tumour bacteria sabotage chemotherapy by destroying cancer drugs

Thursday September 14th, 2017 07:00:00 PM
Giving antibiotics to people with cancer could improve treatment by stopping bacteria from degrading anticancer drugs

Plastic cubes injected into the body could replace booster shots

Thursday September 14th, 2017 07:00:00 PM
Microscopic degradable polymer cubes stuffed with vaccines could spell the end of booster jabs, and lead to a single vaccine that protects against all diseases

Robot made from a DNA strand could deliver cargo in your blood

Thursday September 14th, 2017 07:00:00 PM
Micromachine with two feet and two arms could pick up and deliver drugs in the bloodstream or build chemical compounds, one tiny step at a time

Ultrafast lasers catch electrons relaxing after brief excitement

Thursday September 14th, 2017 07:00:00 PM
Pulses of light that last billionths of a billionth of a second have helped unravel a mystery inside solid objects and could help us build better X-ray lasers

Cassini’s 10 best pictures from its 13-year voyage around Saturn

Thursday September 14th, 2017 04:20:00 PM
On 15 September, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft will crash into Saturn, ending its mission with a bang. New Scientist looks back at 10 of its best images

Tears for Cassini: why it’s OK to well up over a lump of metal

Thursday September 14th, 2017 04:19:00 PM
Expect more of the modern phenomenon of mass mourning for a machine when the space probe Cassini makes its death dive into Saturn, says Joelle Renstrom

It’s too easy for bioterrorists to access dangerous research

Thursday September 14th, 2017 04:00:00 PM
The systems designed to stop potentially risky research being published and used to make weapons of terror have “multiple shortcomings”, warns US report

New £10 note suggests that a cashless society is a long way off

Thursday September 14th, 2017 03:12:00 PM
Even though cashless payments are more popular than ever, we probably won’t be saying bye to cash for a long time – and that’s a good thing

Christmas Island’s only echolocating bat has gone extinct

Thursday September 14th, 2017 01:40:00 PM
The Christmas Island pipistrelle is no more, and the world's largest antelope is at risk, according to the latest update to the Red List of Threatened Species

AI spots Alzheimer’s brain changes years before symptoms emerge

Thursday September 14th, 2017 01:17:00 PM
A machine-learning algorithm that examines MRI scans can identify alterations in how different regions of the brain are connected that indicate future disease

History of zero pushed back 500 years by ancient Indian text

Thursday September 14th, 2017 01:02:00 PM
Carbon dating has revealed that the Bakshali manuscript housed in Oxford contains the earliest known version of our modern zero symbol -- and it is nearly 2000 years old

Wolves and bears to be slaughtered in Romania once again

Thursday September 14th, 2017 12:48:00 PM
In 2016, Romania banned trophy hunting of wolves and bears, but now the government has angered conservationists by permitting hunters to target nuisance animals

Killing thousands more badgers won’t eradicate TB in cattle

Thursday September 14th, 2017 11:13:00 AM
An extended badger cull in England to try to curb bovine TB is a poor decision. It's time to call off the guns, says ecologist Rosie Woodroffe

Why China’s green ambitions will make it the next world leader

Wednesday September 13th, 2017 06:00:00 PM
As the US under Donald Trump turns its back on climate change, China's globalisation agenda could catalyse a green revolution that will make it a superpower

Mysterious lights in the sky seen after Mexico’s huge earthquake

Wednesday September 13th, 2017 04:40:00 PM
Magnitude isn’t the only demonstration of an earthquake’s power. For centuries, mysterious lights have popped up in the wake of strong quakes

Cassini to live-stream its final moments in Saturn’s atmosphere

Wednesday September 13th, 2017 01:02:00 PM
Before the Cassini spacecraft ends its 20-year mission by disintegrating in Saturn’s atmosphere, we have one last chance for new information on the gas giant

It’s a disgrace there are no women on UK’s key science committee

Wednesday September 13th, 2017 12:40:00 PM
When the main science committee in the UK parliament turned out to be devoid of women MPs, a backlash was inevitable, says Lara Williams

The hottest place ever recorded on Earth’s surface was 2370°C

Wednesday September 13th, 2017 12:30:00 PM
When a rock from space crashed to ground 38 million years ago, it briefly heated the impact zone to 2370°C, the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth’s crust

Why the iPhone X’s Face ID is a terrible way to secure your data

Wednesday September 13th, 2017 11:05:00 AM
Apple’s latest phone promises to unlock on seeing your face, and police forces are deploying similar tech to catch criminals – but problems dog the technology

These are the three biggest obstacles for a Brexit science deal

Wednesday September 13th, 2017 11:01:00 AM
The government says it wants to preserve EU science ties in a Brexit settlement but fails to acknowledge the major stumbling blocks ahead, says Mike Galsworthy

Air pollution changes what bugs colonise our airways

Tuesday September 12th, 2017 04:24:00 PM
Higher levels of pollutants in the air correlate with reduced diversity of bacteria in our nose, hinting at a possible mechanism for why pollution causes disease

Meet the vampire ant from hell with huge jaws and a metal horn

Tuesday September 12th, 2017 03:00:00 PM
Linguamyrmex vladi had ferocious snapping jaws and a horn reinforced with metal, which it may have used to puncture prey and drain their blood

Extreme wildfires in the US could lead to long-term lung damage

Tuesday September 12th, 2017 12:30:00 PM
This year’s exceptional wildfire season could drag on until December, and the resulting air pollution poses a serious risk to people’s health

The Caribbean will be recovering from Hurricane Irma for years

Tuesday September 12th, 2017 11:41:00 AM
Florida escaped the worst of hurricane Irma, but islands like Puerto Rico and Cuba were hit hard – and they face a hard road back to prosperity

Failed electric buses remind us that roads not taken do matter

Tuesday September 12th, 2017 09:00:00 AM
Human actions rather than technology undermined London's electric buses 100 years ago, showing there's plenty to be learned by revisiting the past

Eating more salt might save your life? Not so much

Monday September 11th, 2017 05:34:00 PM
The Salt Fix is the latest book attempting to overturn well-established dietary advice, but it leaves a bad taste, says Anthony Warner

Shoe sensor will protect your back from heavy lifting

Monday September 11th, 2017 04:28:00 PM
A couple of simple sensors placed inside a normal shoe and safety hat could alert you when bad posture is about to cause you a nasty injury

If NYC subways obeyed quantum maths trains wouldn’t be delayed

Monday September 11th, 2017 04:28:00 PM
New York's notoriously unreliable subway system isn’t all bad. Some lines follow statistical patterns seen in quantum systems, and run better for it

Rat brains seen replaying scary memories as they sleep

Monday September 11th, 2017 04:00:00 PM
Could this be where nightmares come from? When rats are given a fright while awake, their brains go on to replay their fear when they next fall sleep

Tiny worm burrows may reveal when first complex animals evolved

Monday September 11th, 2017 04:00:00 PM
Microscopic fossil burrows found in ancient rocks reveal that small worm-like animals existed more than half a billion years ago

Thousands of new lifeforms discovered that redraw tree of life

Monday September 11th, 2017 04:00:00 PM
Over 90 per cent of microorganisms are unknown to science, but DNA analysis has unmasked thousands of them and made life's story far more complex

Slingshot around Titan is the beginning of the end for Cassini

Monday September 11th, 2017 01:33:00 PM
The Cassini spacecraft is passing by Titan on its final nosedive into Saturn. Plenty has been revealed about Saturn’s largest moon on Cassini’s 20-year mission

Our sun probably didn’t steal Planet Nine from outer space

Monday September 11th, 2017 12:51:00 PM
If there is a Planet Nine lurking in the outer reaches of our solar system, it was probably born close to the sun rather than snatched up from afar

App creates augmented-reality tutorials from normal videos

Monday September 11th, 2017 11:36:00 AM
Want to fix your car or indulge in some molecular gastronomy? A system that generates the kind of AR tutorials that trains fighter jet engineers could help

Florida suffers coast-to-coast battering by Hurricane Irma

Monday September 11th, 2017 11:00:00 AM
After striking the Caribbean islands and leaving several close to uninhabitable, Hurricane Irma has made landfall in Florida and caused untold damage

Democracy needs an upgrade to ensure it keeps people on its side

Monday September 11th, 2017 10:00:00 AM
If an election winner gains fewer votes than the loser, the system is flawed. To stay the best mode of government, democracy needs to use new technology

Ankle fossil suggests our ancient ancestors leapt like acrobats

Saturday September 9th, 2017 09:00:00 AM
A 52-million-year-old ankle bone hints at first primates jumping rather than clambering from tree to tree – but what drove them to evolve this way is a mystery

Low-oxygen dwarf galaxy shows us how the early universe looked

Friday September 8th, 2017 05:49:00 PM
A star factory with the lowest oxygen level ever seen in such a galaxy could help us understand how the elements were distributed after the big bang

Gel-like ice is the lightest form of water ever discovered

Friday September 8th, 2017 04:59:00 PM
A type of simulated water ice has a molecular structure so sparse it’s like frozen candy floss, making it the lightest type of ice we’ve ever seen

Hurricane Irma tears across Caribbean leaving chaos in its wake

Friday September 8th, 2017 01:15:00 PM
The tropical storm has left a trail of devastation across the region, reducing islands to wreckage and leaving at least 14 people dead

Equifax data breach hits nearly half of US – and isn’t over yet

Friday September 8th, 2017 12:39:00 PM
“Horrendous” hack of Equifax, a US firm responsible for millions of people’s credit ratings, is not the biggest in US history, but the data is the most sensitive

We seem to be getting stupider and population ageing may be why

Friday September 8th, 2017 12:29:00 PM
Average IQ may be falling, a trend some think is due to smarter people having fewer children. Now evidence suggests longer lifespans may be to blame instead

Mexico on tsunami alert after biggest earthquake in 85 years

Friday September 8th, 2017 11:09:00 AM
The US Geological Survey reported the earthquake's magnitude as 8.1, making it the biggest earthquake in Mexico since 1932

Box jellyfish will destroy future oceans by gobbling up the food

Friday September 8th, 2017 08:00:00 AM
As the oceans become more acidic thanks to greenhouse gas emissions, box jellyfish will eat far more copepods – the foundations of marine food webs

Bats crash into windows because of a glitch with their ‘sonar’

Thursday September 7th, 2017 07:00:00 PM
Until bats get very close, their echolocation makes them “see” smooth surfaces like windows as gaps rather than as a solid material – with impactful results

Worrying we are ill when we aren’t is not as bad as it seems

Thursday September 7th, 2017 06:17:00 PM
Extreme health anxiety can be crippling but a lot of today's internet-fuelled "cyberchondria" doesn't need formal psychological treatment, says Zara Aziz

Even a mask won’t hide you from the latest face recognition tech

Thursday September 7th, 2017 05:52:00 PM
A machine learning algorithm has been taught to see through basic disguises, and could identify protesters and criminals hiding their faces – and could render camouflage makeup obsolete

Can the US really nuke North Korea without starting a world war?

Thursday September 7th, 2017 04:08:00 PM
US defence officials are starting to signal a willingness to use nuclear weapons against North Korea on a limited scale. Unsurprisingly, that’s a bad idea

Weird fish fossil changes the story of how we moved onto land

Thursday September 7th, 2017 02:00:00 PM
The 370-million-year-old fish Hongyu chowi doesn’t fit into the evolutionary picture we have created to explain our ancestor’s move from sea to land

Siri and Alexa can be turned against you by ultrasound whispers

Thursday September 7th, 2017 12:53:00 PM
Voice assistants can be controlled using sounds above the range of human hearing and used to download malware, make video calls and post on social media

Baffling ABC maths proof now has impenetrable 300-page ‘summary’

Thursday September 7th, 2017 12:20:00 PM
Mathematicians have struggled to understand a 500-page-long proof of the ABC conjecture for half a decade. A new explainer might be able to shed some light

No, your genes don’t determine whether you love or hate Marmite

Thursday September 7th, 2017 11:38:00 AM
A nonsense PR stunt is doing the rounds, but finding snippets of DNA that are associated with whether you like a particular food doesn’t actually mean much

Hurricane Irma’s epic size is being fuelled by global warming

Thursday September 7th, 2017 09:00:00 AM
The monster storm has the second strongest wind speeds ever recorded for an Atlantic hurricane, and its growth was fuelled by warming waters

Facebook AI learns human reactions after watching hours of Skype

Thursday September 7th, 2017 08:45:00 AM
People use their faces to communicate in subtle ways. A Facebook conversational bot trained on Skype chats had reactions indistinguishable from human ones

The sun just belched out the strongest solar flare in 12 years

Thursday September 7th, 2017 08:40:00 AM
If your GPS has been acting funny, take it up with the sun. Our star has released the most powerful solar flare since 2005

Eight low-lying Pacific islands swallowed whole by rising seas

Thursday September 7th, 2017 07:00:00 AM
As sea levels have risen due to climate change, uninhabited islands in Micronesia have vanished beneath the waves - but some last longer than others

A type of sleep therapy reduces depression, anxiety and paranoia

Wednesday September 6th, 2017 11:30:00 PM
Cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia has been found to also help a range of mental health issues, including negative thoughts, hallucinations and psychosis

Need a creativity boost? Try listening to happy background music

Wednesday September 6th, 2017 07:00:00 PM
Listening to upbeat music has been found to boost people’s creativity – but silence is best for when you’re trying to decide on a solution for a problem

Cancer pen could tell surgeons where they should cut in seconds

Wednesday September 6th, 2017 07:00:00 PM
Around 10 per cent of cancer relapses are caused by tissue left behind during surgery. But a speedy hand-held device could help surgeons remove the whole tumour

Well done John Lewis, gender-free clothes are radical and valid

Wednesday September 6th, 2017 06:39:00 PM
The strict dividing line between clothes for boys and girls is just another way we shape young minds and society for the worse. Good riddance, says Lara Williams

Europe’s last wildernesses are under threat – can we save them?

Wednesday September 6th, 2017 06:00:00 PM
A glut of new dams and motorways in eastern and south-eastern Europe will bring prosperity, but could mean unique flora and fauna will soon be gone for good

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