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Last feed update: Monday November 20th, 2017 12:18:34 AM

Spongy clay might create huge water deposits deep inside Earth

Monday November 20th, 2017 04:00:00 PM
We might finally know how ocean-sized deposits of water hundreds of kilometres below Earth's surface are getting there: a spongy sort of clay that is bringing it underground

Your music tastes can be changed by using magnets on your brain

Monday November 20th, 2017 04:00:00 PM
Around three minutes of brain stimulation is all it takes to change people’s love of music, and even how much money they’re willing to spend on it

Common condition endometriosis reprograms brain for depression

Monday November 20th, 2017 12:01:00 PM
Endometriosis causes symptoms of mental health problems in mice, and the one in ten women who have the condition are more likely to have depression or anxiety

The New Horizons spacecraft is heading towards a mystery rock

Monday November 20th, 2017 11:00:00 AM
After its visit to Pluto, the New Horizons spacecraft is travelling through the Kuiper belt towards what seems to be one rock - but what if it's actually two?

Why the male infertility crisis could be good news for women

Monday November 20th, 2017 10:00:00 AM
The steep decline in sperm counts is an opportunity to finally dispel the idea that fertility is primarily a women’s issue

Black holes that shred stars burp out cosmic rays and neutrinos

Friday November 17th, 2017 09:23:00 PM
The highest energy cosmic rays and neutrinos that rain down on Earth may come from white dwarf stars being devoured by black holes

The forces that govern matter and light could be united at last

Friday November 17th, 2017 05:52:00 PM
A new grand unified theory seems to unite electromagnetism and the weak and strong nuclear force without resorting to supersymmetry

Rocket-powered Land Rovers can survive deadly roadside bombs

Friday November 17th, 2017 05:14:00 PM
Firing solid rocket fuel motors within 10 milliseconds of an IED blast temporarily makes the vehicle weigh 120 tons, freezing it in place and protecting everyone inside 

We just sent a message to try to talk to aliens on another world

Friday November 17th, 2017 04:38:00 PM
We've just sent a message to a nearby star to see if there's any life there - and we'll only have to wait 25 years for a reply

Biohackers are using CRISPR on their DNA and we can’t stop it

Friday November 17th, 2017 03:16:00 PM
People are starting to alter their own DNA with cheap, easy gene-editing technology. Is it time to regulate CRISPR?

Blue tits divorce their partners if they turn up late to mate

Friday November 17th, 2017 12:45:00 PM
Blue tits were 5 times less likely to stay faithful if one partner had to wait more than 3 days for the other to arrive

Why setting ‘safe’ limits for environmental damage won’t work

Friday November 17th, 2017 12:40:00 PM
The boundaries set for human impacts on the planet are deeply flawed and only encourage us to keep pushing towards them, warns Stuart Pimm

Watch humanoid Boston Dynamics robot do box jumps and back flips

Friday November 17th, 2017 11:50:00 AM
The ability to jump and flip is a step change for humanoid robots, but if you're worried about the robot uprising, have a look at what happens when a robot tries to open a door

Brain implant boosts human memory by mimicking how we learn

Friday November 17th, 2017 11:43:00 AM
A device that zaps the brain with electricity has improved people’s scores on memory tests. It may have the power to help dementia, or boost other brain skills

Tesla’s electric trucks are great but they won’t save the planet

Friday November 17th, 2017 11:08:00 AM
The electric trucks being unveiled by Tesla and co will speed the transition from fossil fuels. But to cut transport emissions, we must curb road freight too

We may know why Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is red instead of white

Thursday November 16th, 2017 09:33:00 PM
The gases in Jupiter's atmosphere should form white clouds, so why do they look red? Two teams have found different recipes for the red in the Great Red Spot

Weak links in US power grid vulnerable in event of catastrophe

Thursday November 16th, 2017 07:00:00 PM
Largest study of 'cascading failures' finds that only a small subset of North America's power grid is at risk from domino-like electrical failure

Gene drives can beat pests, but we can’t afford any mistakes

Thursday November 16th, 2017 07:00:00 PM
Invasive pests could be eliminated by so-called gene drives, but we must make sure they can’t spread beyond our control

Dark matter may be the source of antimatter streaming past Earth

Thursday November 16th, 2017 07:00:00 PM
Two nearby powerful pulsars aren’t responsible for the stream of antimatter positrons snaking past Earth, so dark matter might be behind it after all

Trump to let Americans import ivory and hunting trophies again

Thursday November 16th, 2017 05:31:00 PM
Donald Trump's administration is reversing a ban on the imports of elephant trophies—including ivory—from Zimbabwe and Zambia

Why we should celebrate Scotland’s minimum alcohol price plan

Thursday November 16th, 2017 05:20:00 PM
Death and ill health will be averted now Scotland's pioneering minimum alcohol policy has finally cleared legal hurdles, say John Holmes and Petra Meier

What’s the best way to scare an elephant? Use an AI scarecrow

Thursday November 16th, 2017 05:18:00 PM
Elephants cause a lot of damage, but like other smart animals, they're too smart to scare away. An AI scarecrow that adapts its tactics for continuous scaring could be the answer

Why a female fly will ruin your drink, but a male is fine

Thursday November 16th, 2017 03:31:00 PM
We’re able to sense even tiny quantities of a female fruit fly pheromone, meaning one can ruin your wine no matter how quickly you remove it from your glass

Ancient skull from China may rewrite the origins of our species

Thursday November 16th, 2017 02:08:00 PM
The 260,000-year-old Dali skull was found in China, but it looks a lot like the earliest known members of our species – which were found in Africa

Brain training game linked to lower dementia risk a decade later

Thursday November 16th, 2017 02:00:00 PM
Could just ten sessions of brain training be enough to lower your risk of dementia by 29 per cent a decade later? A study suggests so, but some are sceptical

Amish gene can make them live 10 years longer and avoid diabetes

Wednesday November 15th, 2017 06:00:00 PM
A gene variant that arose six generations ago in an Amish group seems to make people carrying the gene live ten years longer, and protect them from diabetes

A layer of haze keeps Pluto’s atmosphere extremely cold

Wednesday November 15th, 2017 06:00:00 PM
Pluto is far from the sun, so astronomers expect its atmosphere to be cold, but it's colder than predicted. Now we know that soot sends the sun’s heat back into space

Free-fall experiment could test if gravity is a quantum force

Wednesday November 15th, 2017 05:40:00 PM
The effort to reconcile general relativity with quantum mechanics always hits one snag: gravity. An experiment could finally tell us if it is a quantum force

Spiders reset body clocks to avoid 5-hour jet-lag every day

Wednesday November 15th, 2017 04:52:00 PM
Some species of spider have short biological clocks that have to be reset each morning. Being out of sync with the 24-hour cycle in this way might help them avoid prey

We’ve just found a nearby exoplanet that could be right for life

Wednesday November 15th, 2017 04:08:00 PM
A newly discovered nearby world is probably close in size and temperature to Earth. This exoplanet might be able to host life because of its unusually calm star

The ‘space nation’ Asgardia just launched its first satellite

Wednesday November 15th, 2017 02:30:00 PM
Asgardia is a 'virtual nation' that says it aims to build sovereign colonies in space. On 12 November it launched a satellite carrying its citizens’ data

Porpoises twist laws of physics to aim their focused sonar beams

Wednesday November 15th, 2017 11:45:00 AM
Porpoises scrunch up their heads to direct their sonar beams and keep prey within "sight". Understanding how they point sound could help us design better sonar

Why we should build AI that sometimes disobeys our commands

Wednesday November 15th, 2017 10:28:00 AM
In our desire to make ethical artificial intelligence, we better be ready for machines that can choose to say no, says Jamais Cascio

We found our galactic twin 180 million light years away

Tuesday November 14th, 2017 07:14:00 PM
Astronomers have spotted a trio of galaxies that look remarkably like the giant spiral of the Milky Way and its two brightest companions, the Magellanic Clouds

How long should you let a pregnancy run before being induced?

Tuesday November 14th, 2017 07:00:00 PM
If your pregnancy runs past its due date, how long should you wait for a natural birth? It may be safer to induce at 40 weeks, for older mums at least

NHS reforms have failed to boost community-based care in England

Tuesday November 14th, 2017 07:00:00 PM
Re-organising the National Health Service in England has failed to reduce the proportion of people being referred for expensive hospital treatments

If we only ate organic it would be an environmental disaster

Tuesday November 14th, 2017 04:00:00 PM
Organic food production requires more land, but a study claims cutting meat eating and food waste will solve this problem. It won’t

Prairie vole partners split up if one drinks more than the other

Tuesday November 14th, 2017 03:08:00 PM
Prairie voles mate for life, but the bond is likely to break down if one partner drinks more alcohol than the other

Camera spots hidden oil spills and may find missing planes

Tuesday November 14th, 2017 02:46:00 PM
For the first time, a polarising infrared camera – never before used on Earth – has been made small and light enough to detect concealed oil spills

Why people ruin others’ lives by exposing all their data online

Tuesday November 14th, 2017 02:40:00 PM
Doxers causes devastation by revealing targets' sensitive information to the worst elements of the internet. Now the first study to examine doxing shows who is most affected – and a potential fix

Coffee and plant-based diets linked to lower heart failure risk

Monday November 13th, 2017 08:45:00 PM
Drinking coffee, and diets consisting mostly of vegetables, fruit, beans and whole grains, have both been linked to a lower risk of developing heart failure

Big aftershocks could well hit Iran and Iraq in next 48 hours

Monday November 13th, 2017 06:30:00 PM
The magnitude 7.3 quake that struck Iran and Iraq on Monday has already killed 400 and injured thousands, and more tremors could be on the way

Get closer to death to make the most of life

Monday November 13th, 2017 05:50:00 PM
We distance ourselves from dying, but in doing so we could be missing out on the surprising upsides of mortality

In a Spotify world, why does anyone want to listen to cassettes?

Monday November 13th, 2017 05:43:00 PM
A US cassette firm is spooling up production again to meet demand. Do people really want to go back to the flimsy magnetic tape of the 1980s, asks Paul Marks

Should we seed life through the cosmos using laser-driven ships?

Monday November 13th, 2017 04:58:00 PM
Our galaxy may have billions of habitable worlds. A proposal to spread life says we should use giant lasers and light sails to send microbes out to them

Climate change blamed for Arabian Sea’s unexpected hurricanes

Monday November 13th, 2017 04:14:00 PM
A flurry of hurricane-strength storms struck the Arabian Sea in 2014 and 2015, and climate change seems to have played a role

Monkeys learn to play ‘chicken’ in a virtual driving game

Monday November 13th, 2017 04:03:00 PM
Macaque monkeys have been trained to play a computer version of “chicken”, driving virtual cards towards each other to see who flinches first

How social stress makes your brain vulnerable to depression

Monday November 13th, 2017 04:00:00 PM
Bullying and other social stresses may make it easier for inflammatory substances to enter your brain, altering your mood and leaving you susceptible to depression

Tinfoil hat for your router stops bad guys snooping your Wi-Fi

Monday November 13th, 2017 03:21:00 PM
Wireless signal shaper can put your Wi-Fi into the nooks and crannies of your home - and keep it from spilling out into the rest of the world

Gluten-sensitive? It may actually be a carb making you ill

Monday November 13th, 2017 10:30:00 AM
Rather than gluten, fructan molecules seem to be to blame for sensitive guts. If true, gluten-free people could eat soy sauce and sourdough bread again

Your data is too valuable and sensitive to dish out for free

Monday November 13th, 2017 10:00:00 AM
What you buy, watch and read online is scooped up ostensibly to tailor services to you, but it is often sold on. New EU rules will help people take back control

Bad news: Carbon emissions have suddenly started rising again

Monday November 13th, 2017 08:30:00 AM
Emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel are on the rise again. We desperately need more action to stop climate change, and that means putting a price on carbon

Facebook can make your profile pic wink and scowl

Sunday November 12th, 2017 12:00:00 PM
Like portraits and pictures in Harry Potter, your Facebook image will soon react to visitors’ actions with happiness, sadness, or anger

Daytime injuries heal twice as fast as wounds sustained at night

Saturday November 11th, 2017 12:00:00 PM
Burn injuries sustained during the day take an average of 11 days less to heal than night-time burns

A ‘magic number’ of people walking across a bridge makes it sway

Friday November 10th, 2017 07:00:00 PM
We thought walking in lock step made bridges sway, like London’s Millennium Bridge when it opened. But it turns out crowd size matters more than rhythm

Human arrivals wiped out the Caribbean’s giant ground sloths

Friday November 10th, 2017 05:50:00 PM
Many giant mammals in the Americas have died out but it has been hard to say whether humans or natural events were responsible. Now, in the Caribbean at least, we know

Watch a monkey floss its teeth with a bird feather

Friday November 10th, 2017 04:01:00 PM
Nicobar long-tailed macaques have learned to use an array of tools, from wrapping prickly food in leaves to avoid getting hurt, to using bird feathers to floss their teeth

Neptune’s other moons were normal until Triton crashed the party

Friday November 10th, 2017 02:53:00 PM
Neptune’s moons are unlike anything in the solar system, thanks to Triton barrelling in and laying waste to the moons that were there before it

Giant coconut crab sneaks up on a sleeping bird and kills it

Friday November 10th, 2017 02:30:00 PM
Coconut crabs were thought to be purely opportunistic scavengers, but these huge arthropods are actually active predators that may dominate their island homes

Medical cannabis vendors must stop making bogus health claims

Friday November 10th, 2017 02:24:00 PM
There are enough real benefits of medical marijuana, so why are people making them up? It’s time to stop overhyping what weed can do

Charge your phone using ambient light and printed solar cells

Friday November 10th, 2017 02:21:00 PM
Printed plastic solar cells should be able to harvest enough energy from indoor light to power your phone within the next few months

Grow fake versions of rare delicacies like sea urchin at home

Friday November 10th, 2017 01:51:00 PM
Japanese meat culturing project goes beyond hamburger to copy problematic delicacies like sea urchin, foie gras - and someday maybe dinosaur

A bizarre supernova keeps exploding over and over again

Friday November 10th, 2017 12:00:00 PM
The weirdest supernova ever seen is a zombie star that keeps collapsing and coming back to life. It’s so strange, it may be a whole new kind of celestial object

Tracking the first interstellar asteroid back to its home star

Thursday November 9th, 2017 07:41:00 PM
Last month, astronomers saw the first asteroid from outside our solar system speed by. Now, they're tracing its orbit back to find out where it came from

Power really can corrupt people. Here’s what to do about it

Thursday November 9th, 2017 04:57:00 PM
Sleazy scandals show the link between power and bad behaviour. To stop people at the top getting away with it, we need much more scrutiny, says James Bloodworth

Giant star smash-up may have made the biggest neutron star ever

Thursday November 9th, 2017 04:29:00 PM
The collision that produced recent gravitational waves may have left behind the biggest neutron star ever seen. But it might have collapsed into a black hole

Five firms aim to power moon-orbiting way station to deep space

Thursday November 9th, 2017 04:00:00 PM
Deep Space Gateway is NASA’s planned outpost at the moon for launches to other worlds. The agency has awarded 5 contracts to start working out how to power it

Meet the winners of the biggest ever face-recognition challenge

Thursday November 9th, 2017 12:45:00 PM
Everyone from Apple to the security services is scrambling to improve their face-recognition software – just how good is it?

Letting robots kill without human supervision could save lives

Wednesday November 8th, 2017 06:00:00 PM
Calls to ban killer robots ignore the fact that human soldiers can make lethal mistakes. If driverless cars will save lives, perhaps armed machines can as well

Boy with a genetic disease has had almost all his skin replaced

Wednesday November 8th, 2017 06:00:00 PM
Gene therapy has saved the life of a boy with a rare skin-peeling disease. The boy received grafts of sheets of genetically-altered skin grown in the lab

When it comes to climate, Donald Trump is in a club by himself

Wednesday November 8th, 2017 05:22:00 PM
With pariah state Syria now backing the UN pact to curb global warming, the US stands against the other 195 nations of the world. What a disgrace, says Owen Gaffney

Why burying loved ones in unmarked graves could save wildlife

Wednesday November 8th, 2017 04:55:00 PM
If we all abandoned traditional burials and instead were buried in nature reserves, the money raised could help preserve every endangered species on land

AI binges on CSI crime shows and learns to guess whodunnit

Wednesday November 8th, 2017 04:35:00 PM
Predicting the twists and turns of a crime drama are hard enough for us - teaching computers to do it will make them better at understanding complex scenarios

Maths can make sense of Trump’s ‘madman’ North Korea strategy

Wednesday November 8th, 2017 02:30:00 PM
Outlandish threats in the standoff between North Korea and Donald Trump are bluffs whose main aim is to bolster support at home, says game theorist Petros Sekeris

How YouTube Kids can solve its Peppa Pig cannibalism problem

Wednesday November 8th, 2017 01:24:00 PM
When a flesh-eating Peppa Pig ends up on a channel for young viewers, it means YouTube must put its house in order, say Charlie Beckett and Sonia Livingstone

Sheep learn to recognise celebrity faces from different angles

Wednesday November 8th, 2017 12:01:00 AM
The animals were as good as humans at recognising mugshots of the same celebs from different angles, showing sophisticated brain processing of imagery

What we’re doing now will make the ocean completely unliveable

Tuesday November 7th, 2017 05:00:00 PM
Climate change could reduce oxygen levels in the oceans by 40 per cent over the next 8000 years, leading to dramatic changes in marine life

UK is right to worry that tech takeovers may let hackers in

Tuesday November 7th, 2017 04:49:00 PM
Electronic chips made abroad can be altered to allow foreign powers to disrupt critical infrastructure. Nations are right to fret about it, says Paul Marks

Virtual cocktails hijack your senses to turn water into wine

Tuesday November 7th, 2017 04:10:00 PM
Using a combination of LEDs, electrodes and smelly gas, the Vocktail can simulate a variety of flavours to create digital drinks

Your brain signals weaken and slow down when you’re really tired

Tuesday November 7th, 2017 04:00:00 PM
We’ve seen how sleep deprivation disrupts the way neurons communicate with each other, and it may explain why a bad night’s sleep makes it hard to concentrate

Planting trees could mop up ten years’ worth of greenhouse gases

Tuesday November 7th, 2017 03:40:00 PM
The planet is still warming inexorably, with 2017 set to be one of the three hottest years on record, but a major programme of tree-planting could help cool the world

Bitcoin: what a waste of resources

Tuesday November 7th, 2017 01:00:00 PM
The cryptocurrency’s insistence on meaningless computer tasks is outdated, profligate and holds the technology back

I went on a data diet and all I got was ads and paranoia 

Tuesday November 7th, 2017 12:00:00 PM
Tired of your dirty data habits? Here's how to regain control over your privacy and stop leaking more than you need to the big tech companies

We’ve figured out how to ensure quantum computers can be trusted

Tuesday November 7th, 2017 11:54:00 AM
Quantum computers will be useless if we can't trust their calculations. Now, two teams have programmed quantum systems to detect their own errors

China’s dreadful air pollution seems to have got a bit better

Tuesday November 7th, 2017 12:01:00 AM
While China’s capital Beijing is once again suffering a severe smog, a new study suggests that nationally pollution has fallen 21 per cent over two years

Blood cells in chronic fatigue syndrome are drained of energy

Monday November 6th, 2017 05:00:00 PM
Cells from people with chronic fatigue syndrome fail to meet even modest energy demands, adding to evidence that the disease is physiological, not psychological

Enceladus’s hot, gritty core may cook up ingredients for life

Monday November 6th, 2017 04:00:00 PM
Saturn’s moon Enceladus seems to have a sandy core that warms water passing between the grains. This heating could help create conditions that are right for life

Dinosaur mass-extinction let mammals come out in the day

Monday November 6th, 2017 04:00:00 PM
The extinction of the dinosaurs allowed our distant mammalian ancestors to start foraging during the day for the first time – and shaped our early evolution

Why Hawking’s PhD thesis is now an internet-breaking inspiration

Monday November 6th, 2017 03:00:00 PM
Millions rushed to freely access Stephen Hawking's early musings when they went online. More of the same would help ignite young minds everywhere, says Geraint Lewis

Is modern life making today’s teenagers more depressed?

Monday November 6th, 2017 11:30:00 AM
The media is full of stories about a teenage mental health crisis, but the reality is more complex. The real problem is we don't do enough to help those who need it

Gaming addiction probably isn’t a real condition, study suggests

Friday November 3rd, 2017 08:30:00 PM
Very few gamers really meet the proposed criteria for internet gaming disorder – instead they may play excessively to fill gaps in other areas of their life

Alzheimer’s may be able to spread through blood transfusions

Friday November 3rd, 2017 07:30:00 PM
A protein might be capable of spreading Alzheimer’s through blood transfusions and surgical equipment, but we don’t know yet how much of a risk this is

Sharks now protected no matter whose waters they swim in

Friday November 3rd, 2017 06:30:00 PM
126 countries have signed up to cross-border protection measures to conserve whale sharks and many other endangered migratory species

Cosmic rays have revealed a new chamber in Egypt’s Great Pyramid

Friday November 3rd, 2017 05:45:00 PM
Particles from outer space have helped scientists uncover a hidden chamber within Egypt’s most famous pyramid, the first such finding in over a century

We may have found 20 habitable worlds hiding in plain sight

Friday November 3rd, 2017 05:43:00 PM
After taking another look at data from the Kepler space telescope’s original mission we have spotted 20 possible Earth-like worlds that could host life

Europe and the US were most responsible for deadly heatwave

Friday November 3rd, 2017 04:45:00 PM
A lethal heatwave that struck Argentina in 2013 was made more likely by climate change – and greenhouse gases from Europe and the US played the biggest role

Phone sensors can save lives by revealing what floor you are on

Friday November 3rd, 2017 03:16:00 PM
Emergency services need to be able to pinpoint a caller’s location in high-rise buildings – your phone’s barometer could automatically tell them where you are

Anorexia films and documentaries must avoid being voyeuristic

Friday November 3rd, 2017 02:04:00 PM
At last, Louis Theroux's Talking to Anorexia documentary offered a rare, nuanced take on one of the deadliest mental illnesses, says Lara Williams

Massachusetts may end daylight saving time – let’s all join them

Friday November 3rd, 2017 11:17:00 AM
Massachusetts has a plan to stay on summer hours year-round and extend daylight in the winter. Is this the beginning of the end for Daylight Saving Time?

Visual trick fools AI into thinking a turtle is really a rifle

Friday November 3rd, 2017 10:51:00 AM
Changing the pattern on an object can fool an image recognition system into thinking it is looking at something else entirely – raising big concerns about face ID and driverless cars.

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