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Last feed update: Wednesday May 18th, 2022 09:15:20 AM

Smart contact lens could directly deliver glaucoma drugs when needed

Tuesday May 17th, 2022 04:00:39 PM
A wireless contact lens that monitors eye pressure and delivers glaucoma drugs on demand has been tested in animals

‘Funk fungus’ is a funny phrase and scientists now know why

Friday May 13th, 2022 01:13:22 PM
A study looking at more than 55,000 pairs of words has found why word pairings like “gnome bone” and “spam scrotum” seem to be more amusing than their constituent parts

Quantum communication system could detect earthquakes

Tuesday May 17th, 2022 11:50:23 AM
Quantum-encrypted messages sent through cables over long distances are sensitive to tiny vibrations, suggesting a possible by-product of a future secure network

Pairs of giant planets may make their star systems ultra-habitable

Monday May 16th, 2022 06:10:18 PM
Simulations of more than 140,000 possible planetary systems show that pairs of giant planets like Jupiter and Saturn may make their star systems more hospitable to habitable Earth-like worlds

Beekeepers are struggling to keep up with farms’ pollination needs

Tuesday May 17th, 2022 10:00:13 AM
As demand for crops grows, the pollination services provided by the honeybees managed by beekeepers are becoming increasingly insufficient

Cryptocurrency mining is still on the rise despite huge price drops

Tuesday May 17th, 2022 08:00:40 AM
The value of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has plummeted in recent weeks, but the computer power devoted to the industry continues to rise

Nearly a third of bites by malaria-carrying mosquitoes are in the day

Monday May 16th, 2022 08:00:48 PM
Detailed analysis of mosquito bites in the Central African Republic found that, contrary to assumptions, many occur indoors during the daytime when people are not well protected by traditional anti-malaria defences

Two newly described Amazon fish species are on the brink of extinction

Monday May 16th, 2022 04:00:25 PM
New varieties of South American darter fish were documented in Brazil’s Apuí region. But deforestation in the area means they may soon be extinct

Plan to feed phone data of NHS mental health patients to AI mothballed

Monday May 16th, 2022 04:10:49 PM
An AI was designed to predict when people are at risk of having a mental health crisis, based on their health records, but plans to extend the project with mobile phone data seem to have been scrapped

Emphysema missed among Black men in US due to race-adjusted lung tests

Sunday May 15th, 2022 05:40:30 PM
Poorly supported assumptions about typical levels of lung function among Black men in the US are leading medics to miss cases of emphysema

Irritable bowel syndrome may be caused by overreacting gut cells

Friday May 6th, 2022 09:27:48 PM
Epithelial cells in the gut remain active in mice even after an irritant clears, which may be the source of chronic gut pain associated with irritable bowel syndrome

Vaping may be an effective way to quit smoking during pregnancy

Monday May 16th, 2022 04:00:56 PM
E-cigarettes may be more effective than nicotine patches as a tool for quitting smoking during pregnancy, suggests a UK study

How serious is monkeypox and what are the symptoms?

Monday May 16th, 2022 03:44:06 PM
Since 7 May, the UK Health Security Agency has announced three cases of monkeypox, two of which required hospital care

Covid-19 news: Just 7 per cent of 5 to 11-year-olds in England jabbed

Monday May 16th, 2022 01:42:39 PM
A regular round-up of the latest coronavirus news, plus insight, features and interviews from New Scientist about the covid-19 pandemic

COP26: No countries have delivered on promise to improve climate plans

Monday May 16th, 2022 11:25:51 AM
In Glasgow, 196 countries promised to “revisit and strengthen” their plans for curbing emissions, but there is little sign of this happening before the next talks in November

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is packed with floating life

Monday May 16th, 2022 09:00:57 AM
Beautiful floating organisms called neuston are gathered up by the same ocean currents as plastic pollution, and they may be endangered by clean-up efforts

Overturning Roe v Wade would be a disaster for public health

Wednesday May 11th, 2022 06:00:00 PM
Ending abortion protections in the US could start the unravelling of many hard-won rights – with dire consequences for health and equality

Red salamander found in Panamanian forest is a new species

Monday May 16th, 2022 08:00:45 AM
The new-to-science Chiriquí fire salamander was found by a Panamanian team that has been investigating one of the least-explored regions of Central America

Strange state of matter made into a pancake-shape for first time

Saturday May 14th, 2022 02:00:42 PM
A supersolid is an exotic state of matter that behaves like both a solid and a fluid. It was first predicted 60 years ago, but has only recently been created in the lab

Protein gel could help treat type 1 diabetes

Friday May 13th, 2022 07:00:40 PM
The gel, which was implanted alongside a pancreatic cell transplant in monkeys with type 1 diabetes, releases a protein that kills overactive immune cells, preventing the pancreatic cells from being rejected

AI suggests how to make beer with whatever ingredients you have

Friday May 13th, 2022 04:00:34 PM
Brewers could create new recipes that produce beers with desired properties using AI, and it will even work if you are missing some ingredients

Sweater includes a wireless charger to keep your gadgets topped up

Friday May 13th, 2022 02:00:55 PM
A sweater containing tubes filled with a liquid metal alloy can charge up wearable electronic devices

Launch of UK ‘moonshot’ ARIA research agency delayed until end of year

Friday May 13th, 2022 12:00:38 PM
Neither ARIA’s chief executive nor its chair have been appointed yet, though announcements are expected imminently

Genetically engineered bacteria have learned to play tic-tac-toe

Friday May 13th, 2022 10:00:24 AM
E. coli bacteria modified to act like electronic components called memristors can be set up to act as a simple neural network and trained to play noughts and crosses

Clever birds forced to find new homes as Cambridge lab faces closure

Friday May 13th, 2022 09:00:37 AM
A seminal research lab that has revolutionised our understanding of the minds of rooks and jays is set to be closed down as funding dries up

Which countries will do well at Eurovision 2022 – according to science

Saturday May 14th, 2022 06:00:47 AM
Neuroscientists measured 75 volunteers’ physiological responses while they watched eight countries’ performances to predict which songs will do well in the popular vote

What’s next for Event Horizon Telescope after its black hole pictures?

Thursday May 12th, 2022 07:44:31 PM
Now that the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration has released its image of the Milky Way’s black hole, the team is focusing on making movies of the two photographed black holes and finding other distant black holes large enough to study

What is at risk if Roe v Wade is repealed in the US?

Wednesday May 11th, 2022 04:05:00 PM
State laws could restrict abortion in large parts of the US, and other reproductive healthcare offerings may be at stake if Roe v Wade is overturned

How dragonflies use ultrafast wing movements to flip over in flight

Thursday May 12th, 2022 07:00:02 PM
When dropped upside down, dragonflies rapidly flip 180 degrees by changing the angle of their wings – but only if they can see their surroundings

Growing plants in soil from the moon doesn’t really work very well

Thursday May 12th, 2022 04:25:37 PM
Thale cress plants have been grown in regolith, the fine dust that covers the moon’s surface, using samples from Apollo missions – but they turn out small and stunted

Coral reefs have conveyor belts of mucus running across their surface

Thursday May 12th, 2022 04:20:25 PM
Tiny cilia on coral reef polyps coordinate to generate currents that run across the reef surface, perhaps to carry food to all colony members

A steroid might be why octopuses starve themselves after mating

Thursday May 12th, 2022 04:00:24 PM
After mating, female octopuses increase production of a steroid hormone, which may drive them to starve themselves while guarding their eggs

First picture of our galaxy’s supermassive black hole revealed

Thursday May 12th, 2022 02:07:52 PM
The Event Horizon Telescope collaboration has released the first picture of our galaxy’s supermassive black hole, Sagittarius A*, and it’s just as predicted

The lab coat and lone genius – science’s most infuriating stereotypes

Wednesday May 11th, 2022 06:00:00 PM
Television often portrays researchers as lab coat-wearing weirdos who hate social interactions, but the name of the game is collaboration plus hoodies. We need to get better at showing the public what we do, says Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

Ants treat infected wounds of nestmates with medicine from their back

Thursday May 12th, 2022 12:00:48 PM
Matabele ants (Megaponera analis) in sub-Saharan Africa apply an antimicrobial substance to nestmates whose limbs are lost while raiding termite nests

Flu vaccine cuts risk of heart attack in following year by 34 per cent

Thursday May 12th, 2022 10:00:36 AM
A meta-analysis of studies involving 9000 people suggests those who receive a flu vaccine also gain some protection against heart attacks

Dismissing Australian mammals as weird hurts efforts to conserve them

Wednesday May 11th, 2022 06:00:00 PM
When Australian animals such as platypuses and wombats are described as bizarre or primitive, it makes it harder to protect these incredible, highly adapted species, says Jack Ashby

Computer powered by colony of blue-green algae has run for six months

Thursday May 12th, 2022 09:00:02 AM
Blue-green algae, a type of cyanobacteria, set in a container on a windowsill powered a computer continuously for six months using photosynthesis

‘World-leading’ research not confined to elite universities, says REF

Thursday May 12th, 2022 12:01:29 AM
The Research Excellence Framework, an assessment of UK universities’ research output, has found that “world-leading” research is distributed across the country rather than concentrated in a few elite institutions

UK environment watchdog rebukes government for slow action on nature

Thursday May 12th, 2022 12:01:12 AM
Cross-government support for the 25-year environment plan lacks the gravitas or urgency of the UK’s net zero goal, says the Office for Environmental Protection

Invisible 3D printed tags turn simple objects into gaming controllers

Wednesday May 11th, 2022 11:00:47 PM
Adding invisible tags to 3D printed objects could link the objects to information or turn them into controllers for gaming

Kenyan chameleons evolved brighter colours after moving to Hawaii

Wednesday May 11th, 2022 07:20:17 PM
Chameleons introduced to Hawaii in 1972 have started flaunting brighter colours, probably because they have fewer predators to hide from

Mars was wet more recently than we thought, according to Chinese rover

Wednesday May 11th, 2022 07:00:45 PM
There may have been liquid water on Mars much more recently than we thought, according to an analysis of rocks by China’s Zhurong rover

Some medicines prescribed to treat back pain may prolong the problem

Wednesday May 11th, 2022 07:00:09 PM
Two drugs called dexamethasone and diclofenac relieve pain in the short term but may block healing of the injury and so cause worse pain long term

Google calls for urgent switch to quantum-safe encryption as US delays

Wednesday May 11th, 2022 04:00:19 PM
A US body in charge of choosing new encryption algorithms that can withstand quantum computers has delayed announcing them due to undisclosed legal reasons, while a team at Google is calling for an immediate switch

Circular cities experience more rain than square or triangular ones

Wednesday May 11th, 2022 12:00:21 PM
The shape of a city can influence the amount of rainfall it gets, because circular cities are better at mixing air fronts together

Virtual reality mask adds realism by making it harder to breathe

Wednesday May 11th, 2022 09:00:55 AM
A mask that can make it easier or harder to breathe by controlling your air supply adds more realism to virtual reality

A soil bacterium forms multicellular organisms with specialised roles

Wednesday May 11th, 2022 10:00:22 AM
A type of Streptomyces bacterium that lives in soil forms multicellular structures in which some bacterial cells have specialised roles, like the cells of complex organisms – and a computer model suggests how this phenomenon evolved

Amazon deforestation in April was the worst in modern records

Tuesday May 10th, 2022 11:52:41 AM
The area cleared in April almost doubled, from 579 square kilometres in April last year to 1012 square kilometres, despite a pledge to halt deforestation

Amazon river dolphin may actually be multiple species

Wednesday May 11th, 2022 08:00:16 AM
Genetic analysis has previously hinted that there are several species of Amazon river dolphin, and now differences in skull shape have added to the evidence

A tiny graphene device could detect neutrinos from the big bang

Tuesday May 10th, 2022 09:00:00 PM
Neutrinos from the early universe have never been detected directly but a device that uses the atom-thick material graphene might be able to change that

Rat testicle cells make sperm after being frozen for 23 years

Tuesday May 10th, 2022 07:00:05 PM
Pre-pubescent children who become infertile because of cancer treatment may be able to make sperm after reimplanting frozen testicular tissue, if animal research translates to humans

Maxwell’s demon experiment could be made real without breaking physics

Tuesday May 10th, 2022 06:58:12 PM
A thought experiment called Maxwell’s demon, long hypothesised to break the laws of physics, could be made using simple electronic devices at macroscopic scales – without upsetting the laws of thermodynamics

Deadly 1918 flu pandemic may be source of modern milder seasonal virus

Tuesday May 10th, 2022 04:00:57 PM
Viruses sequenced from century-old lung samples in German and Austrian museums have shed light on how flu can change over time

India’s extreme heatwaves show the need to adapt to a warming world

Tuesday May 10th, 2022 11:57:24 AM
India is no stranger to high temperatures but they don’t normally occur in March and April, when many people aren’t used to dealing with extreme heat

Virtual tennis racket uses air jet to recreate feel of hitting a ball

Tuesday May 10th, 2022 10:00:12 AM
A controller called the AirRacket shoots out a burst of compressed air to produce strong forces similar to those produced when striking a ball

Inside big tech’s $925 million plan to speed up carbon removal

Monday May 9th, 2022 07:30:04 PM
Backed by Alphabet and Meta, Frontier is a $925 million approach borrowed from vaccine creation that hopes to boost embryonic companies taking carbon out of the atmosphere

Jackals seen stealing kills from lynx as they expand range in Europe

Tuesday May 10th, 2022 08:00:39 AM
Camera traps in Slovenia have recorded golden jackals eating deer recently killed by Eurasian lynx in the first sign of conflict between these carnivores

We have 48% chance of breaching 1.5°C target by 2026, says Met Office

Tuesday May 10th, 2022 12:01:32 AM
Temporarily passing the threshold does not mean the world has missed the Paris Agreement’s goal, but it shows we are getting very close

Roe v Wade: Are period-tracking apps still safe to use in the US?

Monday May 9th, 2022 06:30:04 PM
Some period-tracking apps share data with third parties. With the potential rolling back of abortion protections in the US, people are reassessing if the data collected by these apps could be used as evidence against them

Chemical computer can be programmed to solve hard problems

Monday May 9th, 2022 05:30:33 PM
A chemical computer can now be programmed to solve concrete problems. The way it performs calculations is closer to a brain than a traditional computer so may help researchers to better understand how brains work

Aliens could say hello by arranging planets in prime number pattern

Monday May 9th, 2022 05:00:50 PM
A sufficiently advanced alien civilisation would be able to arrange the orbits of the planets in its star system in a pattern that could never form naturally, signaling its existence to others

Bats buzz like bees and hornets to scare off hungry owls

Monday May 9th, 2022 04:00:24 PM
For the first time, researchers have recorded mammals mimicking the sounds of stinging insects as a survival mechanism: mouse-eared bats buzzing to keep barn and tawny owls at bay

How quickly can you catch covid-19 again if you have already had it?

Monday May 9th, 2022 11:30:46 AM
Since omicron became the dominant coronavirus variant, reinfections are on the rise – but it is unclear how long people can expect to be protected between bouts of covid-19

Will bitcoin succeed in the Central African Republic? Probably not

Monday May 9th, 2022 09:00:01 AM
The Central African Republic has become the second country to adopt the cryptocurrency as legal tender, but experiences in El Salvador, the first nation to do so, point to a gloomy outlook

Child hepatitis outbreak shows the pandemic can still surprise us

Wednesday May 4th, 2022 06:00:00 PM
Without investigating all the possible health impacts from the pandemic, we will remain at risk of further nasty ambushes like the hepatitis outbreak in children

Privileged people misjudge effects of pro-equality policies on them

Friday May 6th, 2022 07:00:23 PM
People from societally advantaged groups think equality-promoting policies will affect them negatively, even if they would actually benefit

Why is it hard to count the number of deaths caused by the pandemic?

Friday May 6th, 2022 05:09:19 PM
A new estimate by the World Health Organization suggests that deaths from the pandemic are much higher than official figures – but that is because these figures are unreliable in many places

Man who received pig heart transplant has died after pig virus found

Friday May 6th, 2022 03:41:15 PM
Viral infection may explain why a pig’s heart failed months after being transplanted in a ground-breaking surgery

Children’s lack of time in nature is ‘appalling’, says Jane Goodall

Friday May 6th, 2022 02:11:54 PM
The award-winning primatologist says the war in Ukriane is preoccupying her and she is losing sleep over the “horrific” conflict

Virtual ‘answering machine’ records the real world while you are in VR

Friday May 6th, 2022 09:00:10 AM
People using virtual reality at work could use a new system to capture what happens around them and play back a 3D reconstruction later

Scientists made a laser beam shaped like a photorealistic cat

Friday May 6th, 2022 08:00:54 AM
Laser beams normally take the shape of a dot, but by manipulating light with liquid crystals, researchers have bent one into the shape of a photo of a cat

Hungry worms will risk being hurt if it helps them reach a meal

Thursday May 5th, 2022 07:20:57 PM
When enticed by the smell of buttered popcorn, food-deprived nematodes are more willing to cross a toxic copper barrier to reach the smell of a snack compared to their well-fed counterparts

Vaquitas could breed their way back from the brink of extinction

Thursday May 5th, 2022 07:10:33 PM
The 10 remaining vaquitas have enough genetic diversity to rebuild their species, but only if there is a dramatic reduction of illegal fishing operations in the Gulf of California

Vast reservoir of water discovered under the ice in Antarctica

Thursday May 5th, 2022 07:00:31 PM
Ice streams in Antarctica carry ice from the continent’s centre to the ocean, and there appears to be a huge amount of water buried beneath one, which may affect its flow

Brain cells that are linked to Parkinson’s disease finally identified

Thursday May 5th, 2022 04:10:17 PM
High-tech genetic sequencing has found the brain cells connected to the movement disorder, which could lead to new treatments

Chinese rover finds lunar soil could make oxygen and fuel on the moon

Thursday May 5th, 2022 04:00:17 PM
Lunar soil collected by the Chang’e 5 rover has been analysed, revealing it could be used to help generate oxygen and fuel on the moon

Anti-vaccine views may soften after people hear extreme implications

Thursday May 5th, 2022 03:31:51 PM
Taking anti-vaccine arguments to the extreme makes unvaccinated people in the US – but not the UK – more likely to say they will get covid-19 shots

Secret images hidden in mirrors and windows using liquid crystals

Thursday May 5th, 2022 03:00:34 PM
A technique borrowed from ancient “magic mirrors” uses liquid crystals to conceal images from all but the exactly the right kind of light

Simple webcam test could show whether you lack a mind’s eye

Thursday May 5th, 2022 10:00:37 AM
It may soon be possible to diagnose people with aphantasia, the inability to picture images in their head, using a simple test

It worked with cigarettes. Let’s ban ads for climate-wrecking products

Wednesday May 4th, 2022 06:00:00 PM
Outlawing adverts that push high-carbon products such as SUVs would be a simple win for regulators looking to take climate action, says Andrew Simms

Vaccine may protect against the virus behind multiple sclerosis

Wednesday May 4th, 2022 07:00:21 PM
The jab could ward off Epstein-Barr virus, which causes glandular fever and is increasingly being linked to multiple sclerosis, lymphoma and stomach cancer

Obesity drug achieves average weight loss of 24 kg in clinical trial

Wednesday May 4th, 2022 11:16:10 AM
People who had weekly injections of a drug that mimics natural appetite-suppressing hormones lost 22.5 per cent of their body weight on average

How to make sure your houseplants are sustainable

Wednesday May 4th, 2022 06:00:00 PM
The rise in demand for exotic houseplants is damaging the environment. We need to make sure our gardening is green, writes Beronda L. Montgomery

Flying insects splatting on cars have dropped by 60 per cent in UK

Thursday May 5th, 2022 12:01:29 AM
Citizen science survey finds decline in insect ‘splats per mile’ was 65% England, 55% in Wales and lowest in Scotland, at 27.9%

Toxic foam from polluted rivers causes health problems in Colombia

Wednesday May 4th, 2022 08:03:21 PM
Clouds of foam containing toxic chemicals are floating through a neighbourhood on the outskirts of Bogotá, and residents say they it is making them sick

Just 1 in 20 adults in England exercise their muscles enough

Wednesday May 4th, 2022 08:00:38 PM
A survey suggests only one in 20 people aged 19 to 64 are meeting England’s strictest weekly strength exercising guidelines  

Planting trees rather than bioenergy crops sucks more CO2 from the air

Wednesday May 4th, 2022 07:50:04 PM
Compared with capturing the CO2 released by burning bioenergy crops, planting forests will lock away more carbon while also causing much less water stress and pollution

These are the five most extreme heatwaves since records began

Wednesday May 4th, 2022 07:40:03 PM
Two of the world’s five most extreme heatwaves occurred in the US, with the others in South-East Asia, Brazil and Peru

Watch a swarm of drones navigate a forest without crashing

Wednesday May 4th, 2022 07:20:00 PM
A new navigation system for drones reduces the processing power needed to avoid obstacles, even in tricky environments like forests

Swapping fifth of meat for microbial protein could halve deforestation

Wednesday May 4th, 2022 04:00:18 PM
Even a modest shift from ruminant meat to microbial proteins could cut deforestation and carbon emissions 56 per cent by 2050

How repealing Roe v Wade in the US will lead to more women’s deaths

Wednesday May 4th, 2022 02:01:07 PM
A large body of evidence shows that restricting access to abortion doesn’t reduce the number of abortions, only increases the risk of death for those who need them

Send thousands of people to orbit, says space tourist Jared Isaacman

Wednesday May 4th, 2022 01:05:05 PM
Billionaire who recently flew to orbit says that we should have big ambitions for the near future of space travel

Male manakin birds with acrobatic mating dances evolved smaller bodies

Wednesday May 4th, 2022 12:01:13 AM
Some manakin males court females with elaborate aerial routines – and in these species, males have evolved to be more lightweight for extra agility

A single genetic mutation made humans more susceptible to cancer

Tuesday May 3rd, 2022 04:00:32 PM
Since we split from chimpanzees, a single letter change in our DNA appears to have made us more likely to get cancer, possibly as a trade-off for extra fertility

AIs could be hacked with undetectable backdoors to make bad decisions

Tuesday May 3rd, 2022 02:41:06 PM
The AI algorithms used in business are often built by third-party companies, which means it is theoretically possible for rogue workers at the firms to insert undetectable backdoors into the AI

Rocket Lab briefly caught a falling rocket with a helicopter

Wednesday April 27th, 2022 01:55:34 PM
In a world first, Rocket Lab caught its Electron rocket as it fell from space, using a hook mounted on a helicopter, but then had to let it go

VR could use a muscle-stimulating device that forces your head to turn

Tuesday May 3rd, 2022 07:00:40 AM
A device that uses electrodes to stimulate points on the neck can force a wearer to turn their head – which could be used to direct attention in virtual reality environments

Huge flightless swan roamed the ancient seas with a cradle on its back

Monday May 2nd, 2022 10:05:33 PM
A fossilised leg bone found in Japan belonged to a prehistoric swan species with adaptations similar to several other water birds, including a duck-like bill and the feet of a loon

Planet-sized telescopes could be possible using quantum technique

Monday May 2nd, 2022 10:00:30 PM
Huge networks of interconnected telescopes may run into image-sharpening problems that classical physics can’t handle. Accounting for the quantum properties of starlight could allow astronomers to get past these constraints

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