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Last feed update: Tuesday July 27th, 2021 01:36:01 AM

Most detailed human genome sequence yet reveals our hidden variation

Monday July 26th, 2021 05:41:26 PM
The first analyses of a new and more complete version of the human genome reveal enormous amounts of previously-undetected variation that may underlie disease

Covid-19 news: Daily new cases in the UK fall for sixth day in a row

Saturday July 24th, 2021 05:09:39 PM
The latest coronavirus news updated every day including coronavirus cases, the latest news, features and interviews from New Scientist and essential information about the covid-19 pandemic

Can we fix climate models to better predict record-shattering weather?

Monday July 26th, 2021 04:00:06 PM
The ability of climate models to predict extremes has been called into question following a string of intense weather events around the world

Stars sped up by black holes may outshine supernovae when they collide

Monday July 26th, 2021 11:39:09 AM
Some stars orbiting supermassive black holes are expected to move close to the speed of light, and when they collide they may release more energy than the brightest supernovae

Human innovation caused the chemicals emergency – and it can solve it

Wednesday July 21st, 2021 06:00:00 PM
Over the past century, tens of thousands of chemicals have been released into the environment, causing massive problems. It is time to develop cleaner, more sustainable products

We thought our eyes turned off when moving quickly, but that's wrong

Friday July 23rd, 2021 07:00:10 PM
It’s sometimes been assumed that we experience brief periods without vision every time we shift our focus from one point to another – but now it turns out the assumption is wrong

Termite gut microbes can help turn toxic wood into biofuels

Friday July 23rd, 2021 08:57:14 PM
Microbes isolated from the stomachs of termites can decontaminate timber that has been treated with toxic preservatives, enabling it to be converted into biofuels more easily

Vacuuming DNA from air can reveal which animals are present in an area

Friday July 23rd, 2021 04:56:07 PM
Detecting  DNA in air samples could make it much easier to monitor biodiversity around the world and also help in other fields such as atmospheric science

Stopwatch errors could make race times wrong by a tenth of a second

Friday July 23rd, 2021 03:40:43 PM
Digital stopwatches can make rounding errors of up to 0.11 seconds, which could be enough to change the winner of close races. Although the devices record time extremely accurately internally, they often make errors when converting that raw data to human-readable values

Essential oils help to stop invasive beetles from eating palm trees

Friday July 23rd, 2021 03:17:32 PM
Red palm weevils are invasive insects known for damaging palm trees – affecting the date, coconut and palm oil industries – but a bit of clove or thyme oil reduced the amount of palm stems they ate by 35 per cent

Who counts as an astronaut? Not Jeff Bezos, say new US rules

Thursday July 22nd, 2021 09:45:53 PM
The US Federal Aviation Administration has updated its rules on who counts as a commercial astronaut, making it tougher for space tourists to earn official astronaut wings

Cockatoos are figuring out how to open bins by copying each other

Thursday July 22nd, 2021 07:00:56 PM
A few curious cockatoos learned how to open residential waste bins in Australia, and now other birds have started copying them, with incidences of bin-looting spreading across eastern Australia

Kelp surveys on England's south coast monitor a key climate defence

Thursday July 22nd, 2021 04:09:02 PM
Take a trip aboard a research vessel surveying kelp along England's south coast to see if these plants, crucial for locking up carbon and increasing biodiversity, can recover after a trawler fishing ban went into effect in the area

Ancient Roman road discovered at the bottom of the Venice lagoon

Thursday July 22nd, 2021 04:00:43 PM
An ancient and now submerged road has been discovered in the Venice lagoon in an area that would have been accessible by land during the Roman era, about 2000 years ago

Baby pterosaurs could fly within minutes of hatching from their eggs

Thursday July 22nd, 2021 04:00:42 PM
The wings of hatchling pterosaurs were ideally suited to powered flight, suggesting they took to the air almost immediately after emerging – unlike most modern birds

DeepMind's AI uncovers structure of 98.5 per cent of human proteins

Thursday July 22nd, 2021 04:00:06 PM
Deepmind's AlphaFold can predict the shapes of nearly all proteins in the human body, paving the way for the development of new drugs, and the company aims to use this AI to publish the structures of more than 100 million known proteins

The eternal debate about the eternal inflation of the universe

Wednesday July 21st, 2021 06:00:00 PM
The idea that the universe is continually inflating isn’t confirmed – but there are still some misconceptions about it, writes Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

Astronomers may have spotted a distant alien moon being born

Thursday July 22nd, 2021 01:00:28 PM
Astronomers have spotted a disc of debris around a distant planet called PDS 70 c, and it is massive enough that the young exoplanet might be in the process of forming exomoons

World’s first commercial deep-space communications antenna opens in UK

Thursday July 22nd, 2021 11:52:41 AM
The world’s first commercial deep-space communications antenna – at the Goonhilly Earth Station in the UK - has begun work by receiving images from ESA’s Mars Express mission

We have just two years to stop deep-sea mining from going ahead

Wednesday July 21st, 2021 06:00:00 PM
Deep-sea mining would be an environmental disaster, so we need a global moratorium to halt it in its tracks. Here’s how we go about getting one, says Helen Scales

Virtual roller coaster rides may help unravel causes of migraine

Wednesday July 21st, 2021 09:00:49 PM
Brain scans show that a virtual ride on a roller coaster sets off altered brain cell activity related to dizziness and motion sickness in people who experience migraines

Flexible computer processor is the most powerful plastic chip yet

Wednesday July 21st, 2021 04:00:07 PM
UK computer chip designer Arm has made a 32-bit bendable processor, which is a flexible plastic sheet with a circuit and other components printed onto it

What life will be like now England's covid-19 restrictions have lifted

Wednesday July 21st, 2021 02:40:00 PM
As restrictions lift in England, cases of covid-19 are set to surge. What will England's "dangerous experiment" mean for daily life, and what lessons can other countries learn?

Russia is launching a new module for the International Space Station

Wednesday July 21st, 2021 12:03:54 PM
Russia's Nauka science module is blasting off to the International Space Station after more than a decade of delays

Sharks' spiral-shaped intestines resemble a Nikola Tesla invention

Wednesday July 21st, 2021 12:01:52 AM
Sharks have spiral-shaped intestines that work in a similar way to an unusual valve designed by Nikola Tesla. Studying their anatomy could help improve industrial fluid-pump technology

Male and female mammals kill their own species for different reasons

Wednesday July 21st, 2021 12:01:41 AM
Adult mammals have the capacity to kill other members of their own species, but males generally seem to kill to reduce competition while females kill to protect their young

Last meal of a man mummified in a bog reconstructed after 2400 years

Wednesday July 21st, 2021 12:01:40 AM
Tollund Man ate a simple meal of cooked cereals and fish before being hanged and dumped in a bog in Iron Age Europe

Dogs will ignore you if they know you are lying, unlike young children

Wednesday July 21st, 2021 12:01:26 AM
Dogs tend to ignore suggestions from people who are lying, hinting that – unlike human infants and some other primates – they might recognise when a person is being deceptive

Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos has ridden his own rocket to space

Tuesday July 20th, 2021 02:58:21 PM
Jeff Bezos, world’s wealthiest man and founder of the space company Blue Origin, has ridden his own firm’s New Shepard rocket into space on its first crewed flight

Pegasus spyware scandal: Can Silicon Valley stop government snooping?

Tuesday July 20th, 2021 12:28:43 PM
Spyware sold for use in anti-terror investigations is reportedly being misused by governments to watch journalists and politicians – Silicon Valley firms are battling to end it

Fantastic fungi images capture the magic of mushrooms

Wednesday July 14th, 2021 06:00:00 PM
These magical images, photographed by Guy Edwardes, capture fungi's enchanting quality and their diversity, from the purple amethyst deceiver to the hallucinogenic but deadly fly agaric

Galapagos tortoises use their self-destructing cells to avoid cancer

Tuesday July 20th, 2021 09:54:05 AM
Galapagos giant tortoises are long-lived in part because their cells are surprisingly sensitive to certain forms of stress

Tomatoes have a kind of nervous system that warns about attacks

Tuesday July 20th, 2021 05:15:31 AM
Plants may use their sap transport networks to shuttle charged ions, acting as a kind of simple nervous system to turn on defences against microbes

Meet the puzzle-solving gorillas shedding light on how speech evolved

Monday July 19th, 2021 06:00:41 PM
The evolutionary origins of speech may be glimpsed in the tool-using abilities of great apes, as Clare Wilson discovered on a visit to a wildlife reserve in the UK

Climate change to blame for monarch butterfly's recent decline

Monday July 19th, 2021 04:00:05 PM
Climate change has been the biggest cause of the precipitous decline of the monarch butterfly in North America in recent years, and parts of its breeding range may eventually become inhospitable

Blue Origin boss Jeff Bezos set for launch on his New Shepard craft

Monday July 19th, 2021 03:22:06 PM
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos will attempt to make history tomorrow when his space company Blue Origin launches its first crewed mission to space after 15 uncrewed flights

Cosmic calculation may settle debate about the rate the universe grows

Monday July 19th, 2021 08:00:29 AM
The different methods we use to measure the rate of expansion of the universe have been in disagreement for years, but a relatively new method of measurement seems to be providing the first steps to resolving the dispute

Easing England's covid-19 lockdown puts children in the firing line

Wednesday July 14th, 2021 06:00:00 PM
Taking a "natural herd immunity" approach to the coronavirus that sees people put at risk of infection to gain immunity is unethical – and the same logic applies to easing lockdown restrictions while most under-18s are unvaccinated

Trilobite fossil shows it was attacked by a human-sized sea scorpion

Monday July 19th, 2021 08:00:04 AM
A fossil of a trilobite's head shows the animal had an eye injury that healed, suggesting it may have escaped the clutches of a gigantic predator

Just 1.5 to 7 per cent of the modern human genome is uniquely ours

Friday July 16th, 2021 07:00:22 PM
Just 1.5 to 7 per cent of the modern human genome is uniquely ours – meaning it emerged after we split from other ancient human groups including the Neanderthals and Denisovans

Cannabis was domesticated in north-west China around 12,000 years ago

Friday July 16th, 2021 07:00:08 PM
The cannabis plant originally had multiple uses, and farmers only started breeding distinct strains for drug or fibre production around 4000 years ago

Dubai police will use citywide network of drones to respond to crime

Friday July 16th, 2021 04:44:53 PM
Dubai police will be able to respond to an incident anywhere in the United Arab Emirates city within a minute, thanks to a network of pre-positioned drone bases

Climate change made extreme floods in Germany and Belgium more likely

Friday July 16th, 2021 03:54:24 PM
The weather events thought to be behind the extreme floods in western Europe are becoming more likely due to climate change, according to researchers

Coal-powered bitcoin mining soars in Kazakhstan following Chinese ban

Friday July 16th, 2021 11:58:19 AM
A Chinese bitcoin ban has seen power-hungry miners move to Kazakhstan, where fossil fuels including coal power make up more than 90 per cent of the nation's electricity supply

Weird ‘Borg’ DNA found in microbes takes in genes from other organisms

Thursday July 15th, 2021 06:24:15 PM
Unusual stretches of DNA in microbes are the largest ever elements of genetic material found to move between organisms. Figuring out how they drive methane consumption in their hosts could help us better understand our planet's climate

Strange 3D-printed shapes test 150-year-old mathematical theory

Friday July 16th, 2021 10:00:56 AM
In 1871, the mathematician Lord Kelvin invented a shape called an isotropic helicoid that physicists predicted would behave strangely in a fluid – now it has been tested for the first time

Most bats have noise-cancelling genes that may stop them going deaf

Friday July 16th, 2021 08:00:49 AM
Echolocating bats have genes that protect their ears from intense noise, a discovery that may be helpful for treating hearing loss

Legal lead levels in US tap water may harm people with kidney disease

Thursday July 15th, 2021 10:00:59 PM
Even very low levels of lead in drinking water may be linked to negative health effects in people with advanced kidney disease, a study of people in the US has found

Australia’s covid-free status crumbles as delta variant takes hold

Thursday July 15th, 2021 10:00:08 PM
Australia went more than six months with almost no covid-19 cases and zero deaths, but is now battling an outbreak of the delta variant amid low vaccination rates

3D-printed robotic hand powered by water can play Super Mario Bros

Thursday July 15th, 2021 06:07:15 PM
A 3D-printed robotic hand controlled by pressurised water can complete the first level of classic computer game Super Mario Bros in less than 90 seconds

The mysterious case of declining nutrition in food

Wednesday July 14th, 2021 06:00:00 PM
I've debunked the claim that food is getting less nutritious before, but when a new study turned up I had to investigate further, writes James Wong

World's first 3D-printed steel bridge opens in Amsterdam

Thursday July 15th, 2021 11:00:40 AM
The world’s first 3D-printed steel bridge has opened in Amsterdam. It was created by robotic arms using welding torches to deposit the structure of the bridge layer-by-layer using 4500 kilograms of stainless steel

The fight against coronavirus needs to embrace evolutionary theory

Wednesday July 14th, 2021 06:00:00 PM
We're not taking evolution into account properly in our pandemic strategy – here's why we must change tack, says Jonathan Goodman

Microbes burping methane on Mars may be right next to NASA rover

Thursday July 15th, 2021 01:00:15 PM
Something just a few dozen kilometres from NASA’s Curiosity rover seems to be generating methane – a finding with potential implications in the continuing search for life on Mars

Google demonstrates vital step towards large-scale quantum computers

Wednesday July 14th, 2021 04:00:48 PM
Google has shown that its Sycamore quantum computer can detect and fix computational errors, an essential step for large-scale quantum computing, but its current system generates more errors than it solves

EU's carbon border tax will test appetite for global climate action

Wednesday July 14th, 2021 03:05:50 PM
A controversial carbon tax will be applied to goods imported to the European Union from 2026, as part of a plan to meet the bloc's climate targets by reshaping its economy

How medical tests have built-in discrimination against Black people

Wednesday July 14th, 2021 12:45:00 PM
Doctors all over the world are still using race and ethnicity to interpret medical results despite a lack of evidence for doing so and the harm it can cause. Now pressure is growing to scrap the practice

Is it time for the UK to vaccinate children against covid-19?

Wednesday July 14th, 2021 12:35:00 PM
With lockdowns set to ease and coronavirus cases surging in the UK, children are being left vulnerable to covid-19. Here's the evidence on the pros and cons of vaccinating under-18s

Some people can tell if you have an infection just by looking at you

Wednesday July 14th, 2021 12:01:33 AM
People in different cultures – including hunter-gatherers in equatorial rainforests and city dwellers in Europe – can tell when someone else is in the early stages of infection by looking at them

Finger sweat can power wearable medical sensors 24 hours a day

Tuesday July 13th, 2021 04:00:33 PM
Small biofuel cells can harvest enough energy from the sweat on a person’s fingertips to continuously power wearable medical sensors that track health and nutrition

Neuroscientists are ignoring the differences between males and females

Tuesday July 13th, 2021 01:17:21 PM
Top neuroscience research papers are eight times more likely to only study male participants or samples compared with female-only studies, a review has found

Strange gas in Venus’s clouds may be a sign of volcanoes, not life

Monday July 12th, 2021 08:00:16 PM
Phosphine gas in the atmosphere of Venus was considered a possible sign of life, but it could come from volcanic eruptions sending enormous plumes of lava into the air

Covid-19 deaths in England could peak at 100 per day in August

Monday July 12th, 2021 05:19:14 PM
More than 100 people a day are expected to die and more than 1000 a day be admitted to hospital at the peak of the UK’s current wave of covid-19 cases, the government’s scientific advisers are anticipating

UN plan would protect 30% of oceans and land to stem extinctions

Monday July 12th, 2021 03:00:15 PM
Nearly a third of the world’s oceans and land should be protected by 2030 to stem extinctions and ensure humanity lives in harmony with nature, 195 countries say in a proposed UN plan

North American heatwave must be a driver for stronger climate action

Wednesday July 7th, 2021 06:00:00 PM
Deadly heatwaves and wildfires show us the risks of continued inaction on climate change. Governments need to act if we are to ensure sepia-tinged hellscapes don’t become a norm

Richard Branson reaches the edge of space on Virgin Galactic flight

Monday July 12th, 2021 10:44:48 AM
Richard Branson has finally launched to the edge of space aboard his Virgin Galactic space plane, a flight over 15 years in the making

The world will be watching when England’s covid-19 restrictions lift

Wednesday July 7th, 2021 06:00:00 PM
The UK government will be taking a big gamble by lifting England’s pandemic restrictions in one go. It may be good politics, but is it good public health policy?

A simple word test can reveal how creative you are

Monday July 12th, 2021 08:00:24 AM
Asking people to name 10 words that are as different as possible, as measured by a machine-learning algorithm, is a good test of creativity

Mysterious X-ray flares on Jupiter come from magnetic field vibrations

Friday July 9th, 2021 07:00:46 PM
Jupiter blasts out strange X-ray flares that have gone unexplained for decades, and the mystery has now been solved by vibrations in the planet’s magnetic field

Virgin Galactic may finally send Richard Branson to space on 11 July

Friday July 9th, 2021 04:30:47 PM
Richard Branson, billionaire founder of the space plane company Virgin Galactic, has been planning to go to space for years and may finally take a flight on the company's VSS Unity plane on 11 July

Stone Age Europeans may have worn make-up more than 6000 years ago

Friday July 9th, 2021 03:49:13 PM
6000-year-old miniature ceramic bottles found in Slovenia contain traces of the same minerals later used in make-up by ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians

Fish brains grow when they have to think more and shrink if they don't

Friday July 9th, 2021 12:59:25 PM
The brains of fish grow in more challenging environments and shrink in less challenging ones, sometimes growing and shrinking with the seasons

Sea otters use muscles to chemically generate heat without shivering

Thursday July 8th, 2021 07:00:43 PM
Without a thick layer of blubber to insulate them, sea otters instead rely on their muscles to generate heat directly rather than via shivering

Weird fractal Romanesco cauliflowers start life as failed flowers

Thursday July 8th, 2021 07:00:25 PM
The Romanesco cauliflower, one of the strangest looking vegetables because of its fractal florets, owes its unique shape to the fact that it forms from failed flowers

Crab nebula blasted out some of highest-energy gamma rays ever seen

Thursday July 8th, 2021 07:00:30 PM
Astronomers examining the Crab nebula have found the second highest-energy gamma ray ever spotted, which may change how we think of cosmic particle accelerators

New kind of ice is so bendy it can curl and uncurl without breaking

Thursday July 8th, 2021 07:00:24 PM
A single ice crystal formed into a thin strand can bend almost into a circle and then snap back into its original shape, making it the most elastic form of water ice ever made

Smart fabric radiates heat to keep you cooler in the sun

Thursday July 8th, 2021 07:00:05 PM
Clothes and covers made of a smart fabric that radiates heat and reflects light could help people and objects out in the sun stay several degrees cooler

GitHub's programming AI may be reusing code without permission

Thursday July 8th, 2021 02:46:37 PM
A Microsoft-owned tool powered by artificial intelligence is designed to make life easier for programmers, but some developers say it may be repurposing some of the billions of lines of code it was trained on without permission

Preparing for a warming world will take a new information revolution

Wednesday July 7th, 2021 06:00:00 PM
The heat wave engulfing parts of North America may yet jump-start a technological revolution to help us be better prepared for extreme weather in the future, writes Annalee Newitz

We need to overhaul the language of genetics to root out racism

Wednesday July 7th, 2021 06:00:00 PM
The terminology used in genetics is often scientifically confused or rooted in a racist history. An overhaul is needed to break free from its problematic past, says Adam Rutherford

US Air Force plane navigates by tiny changes in Earth's magnetic field

Thursday July 8th, 2021 09:00:35 AM
The US Air Force will conduct a test flight of an aircraft outfitted with a system that uses Earth’s magnetic fields to help navigate and is more difficult to interfere with than GPS

Climate change made North American heatwave 150 times more likely

Wednesday July 7th, 2021 11:00:24 PM
The recent deadly and record-breaking heatwave in North America would have been “virtually impossible” without climate change, according to scientists

Traded wild animals carry 75 per cent of diseases humans can catch

Wednesday July 7th, 2021 04:00:07 PM
More than a quarter of mammals bought and sold in the wildlife trade play host to three quarters of infectious diseases capable of spilling over from animals to humans

NASA is trying a 'risky' fix for the ageing Hubble Space Telescope

Wednesday July 7th, 2021 03:40:23 PM
NASA will attempt what has been described as a “risky” fix for the Hubble Space Telescope after several weeks of troubleshooting following an unexpected shutdown

High vaccination rates no match for delta as covid-19 variant surges

Wednesday July 7th, 2021 02:00:00 PM
Restrictions in England are coming to an end as many countries are struggling to control cases of the delta coronavirus variant

Lubricant found in a beetle's leg is more slippery than Teflon

Wednesday July 7th, 2021 01:04:50 PM
A lubricant harvested from beetle legs reduces friction more effectively than Teflon. The wax-like material could be used in microrobotics and small prosthetics

Fish are becoming addicted to methamphetamines seeping into rivers

Tuesday July 6th, 2021 11:00:39 PM
Methamphetamines and other drugs can enter freshwater rivers through wastewater, and lab tests show trout can become addicted, changing their behaviour by reducing their activity levels

YouTube’s algorithm recommends videos that violate its own policies

Wednesday July 7th, 2021 09:00:59 AM
A study of user-reported YouTube videos found that the platform recommends videos that have misinformation, show violent or graphic content or contain hate speech

Female vampire bats groom each other and share their food

Wednesday July 7th, 2021 12:01:51 AM
Female vampire bats tend to hang out in groups – but unlike many group-living primates or birds, the colony members groom and share food equally

Sharks in the Gulf of Mexico hunt in shifts to avoid each other

Wednesday July 7th, 2021 12:01:51 AM
The shark species of the Gulf of Mexico work to a 24-hour hunting schedule to share resources, with different species active in the morning, afternoon, evening and night

Cattle vaccine to be trialled in England in fight against bovine TB

Wednesday July 7th, 2021 12:01:42 AM
A vaccine and new test to tackle bovine tuberculosis in cattle are being deployed in field trials in England, as the UK government shifts away from culling badgers to curb the disease

Common colds predate farming and may be older than our species

Tuesday July 6th, 2021 10:00:53 AM
A virus that causes cold-like symptoms was infecting people 31,000 years ago and may have existed 700,000 years ago – in which case it also plagued other hominins like Neanderthals

AI-generated tongue could make game characters look more realistic

Tuesday July 6th, 2021 12:00:51 PM
Without a realistic tongue, characters in computer games look strange when they talk – but there is now an AI-generated solution

Zero-covid countries need to adapt as delta variant surges

Monday July 5th, 2021 03:54:29 PM
Countries that have successfully kept covid-19 at bay through elimination strategies are losing control through a combination of new variants, a lapse in vigilance and low vaccine uptake

Radio waves from black holes in some young galaxies change rapidly

Tuesday July 6th, 2021 08:00:43 AM
Some young galaxies with black holes in their centre change their emissions of radio waves far faster than astronomers thought possible

Male dragonflies may become less colourful as the climate warms

Monday July 5th, 2021 08:00:03 PM
Male dragonflies may lose the colour from their wings with climate change to avoid absorbing sunlight and overheating – but females may remain colourful because they spend more time in the shade

Richard Lewontin: Pioneering evolutionary biologist dies aged 92

Monday July 5th, 2021 05:31:27 PM
Richard Lewontin was an evolutionary biologist who showed that most genetic variation is within populations rather than between “racial” groups

China beats Google to claim the world's most powerful quantum computer

Monday July 5th, 2021 03:02:24 PM
A team in China has demonstrated that it has the world's most powerful quantum computer, leapfrogging the previous record holder, Google

Male seahorses can get pregnant because they lack key immunity genes

Monday July 5th, 2021 11:00:57 AM
Seahorses and their relatives are the only animals in which males get pregnant – they do so because these species lack genes we thought were vital for a functioning immune system

New fossil finds show we are far from understanding how humans evolved

Wednesday June 30th, 2021 06:00:00 PM
We should be wary of attempts to impose a simple narrative on the story of early human evolution – recent discoveries can be interpreted in many ways and future finds are likely to cause further rethinking

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