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31,049 articles from Guardian Unlimited Science

Dreading a dark winter lockdown? Think like a Norwegian

Studies show people living in the Arctic Circle are armed with a mindset that helps combat the long ‘polar night’. It might come in handy for us all…When Kari Leibowitz first arrived in the Norwegian city of Tromsø, she was both intrigued by, and fearful of, the approaching winter. Two hundred miles north of the Arctic Circle, the city does not see the sun from mid-November to mid-January....

The next pandemic is on its way. Coronavirus must help us prepare for it | Sally Davies

Scientists estimate we will face a health emergency at least once every five years. Our new initiative seeks a better response• Sally Davies is a former chief medical officer for England We are at a crossroads. As the impacts of Covid-19 continue the world over and the second wave moves through Europe, we have a choice to make. Will we simply respond to the here and now, or do we take a moment...

UK risks losing contract for new climate research centre because of Brexit

Proposed centre with up to 250 jobs is linked to EU Copernicus satellite programmeThe UK is at risk of losing the contract for the expansion of a flagship European weather research centre based in Reading because of Brexit.The European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) has been based in Berkshire for the last 45 years but its future EU-funded activities are now the subject of an...


FRIDAY 25. SEPTEMBER 2020


What Australia needs to do to avoid a third Covid wave

Lessons from other parts of the world show we should lock down early, rely on evidence – and get used to wearing masksVictoria and Melbourne trend mapVic hotspots list; Australia interactive; NSW trend mapMelbourne’s stage 4 rules; Victoria’s ‘step 3’ rulesSign up for Guardian Australia’s Covid emailAs Victoria reaches the end of its second wave of the coronavirus, the focus is now on...

The Guardian view of golf's wedge issue: the triumph of brain and brawn | Editorial

Art gives way to science in yet another sport. But won’t we all lose out when the magic is gone?Bryson DeChambeau sounds like a character from a novel, one perhaps set on the Côte d’Azur in the 1930s, a raffish figure with a taste for the high life. He is, in fact, a 27-year-old golfer from California, and the only high life that interests him is the flight of a golf ball, which when hit by...

'Any breed could do it': dogs might be a Covid tester's best friend

Researchers around the world are training canines to sniff out the virus – could they be deployed for mass testing?Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageIt is simple and pain-free, could be used to test for coronavirus in care homes, airports and schools, and might just be more realistic than the UK government’s £100bn “Operation Moonshoot” mass screening plan. Its...

UK scientists begin study of how long Covid can survive in the air

Researchers will test length of time virus stays infectious in different climatic conditionsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageIt is the question scientists around the world are trying to answer: how long can the coronavirus survive in the tiny aerosol particles we exhale? In a high-security lab near Bristol, entered through a series of airlock doors, scientists may be...

Not accounting for sex differences in Covid research could be deadly

Analysis suggests too little attention is paid to gender disparities in medical trialsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageHistorically, medical research has often taken a one-size-fits-all approach, lumping women and men together despite growing evidence that the sexes differ in how they catch and fight disease.A stark example was the heart drug digoxin, which was widely...

Blasts from the past: how ice age ponds are coming back to life

Once watering holes for mammoth and elk, Herefordshire’s neglected ancient ponds are being restored Ecologist Will Watson is hunting for Britain’s largest blood-sucking leech in a 14,000-year-old pond in Herefordshire. The elusive medicinal leech (Hirudo medicinalis), grows up to 20cm long and has only officially been recorded three times in the county in the past two decades. In the ice age...

France and Spain scramble to deal with sharp rise in Covid infections

Coronavirus cases in France jump to record high as Spanish government calls for Madrid lockdownCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe number of new Covid-19 cases in France has jumped to a record high, while in Spain, the western European country hardest hit by the virus, the Madrid authorities have rejected the central government’s call for a lockdown across the...

MS treatment a step closer after drug shown to repair nerve coating

Side-effects of bexarotene rule out use but trial suggests other drugs may halt multiple sclerosisDoctors believe they are closer to a treatment for multiple sclerosis after discovering a drug that repairs the coatings around nerves that are damaged by the disease.A clinical trial of the cancer drug bexarotene showed that it repaired the protective myelin sheaths that MS destroys. The loss of...

Coronavirus live news: Iceland cluster traced to non-isolating French tourists; virus 'becoming more contagious'

US scientists believe virus is mutating, becoming more contagious; 100 cases in Reykjavík linked to two French visitorsRio cancels Carnival for first time in a century as global deaths near 1mWhat lessons can Europe learn from Sweden’s Covid-19 experience?Helsinki airport enlists sniffer dogs to detect CovidMarseille fury at Paris decree to shut its bars amid record case riseUK coronavirus...

Boris Johnson is delaying the inevitable again – and watching as Covid-19 surges | Polly Toynbee

The prime minister’s inadequate new measures are a product of his reckless nature. They endanger businesses – and livesCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThere’s so much deja vu, you have to pinch yourself. The difference in this particular version of Groundhog Day is that Boris Johnson learns nothing from his mistakes. Last time, lockdown came too late, thousands...


THURSDAY 24. SEPTEMBER 2020


Genetic or immune defects may impair ability to fight Covid-19

Exclusive: significant proportion of severely ill people have inborn errors, study findsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageA significant proportion of patients who develop life-threatening forms of Covid-19 have genetic or immunological defects that impair their ability to fight the virus, research has found.In papers published in the journal Science, the Covid Human...

We won't beat Covid by channelling Churchill | Letters

Boris Johnson’s Churchillian language does not impress Richard Teverson, while Katherine Arnott dismisses the prime minister’s appeal to people’s common sense. Plus letters from Patrick Cosgrove and David Boyd HaycockI, like so many others, am slack-jawed at the incompetence of this government’s response to Covid. Our death rate is terrible and the continued mixed messages from “go to...

Coronavirus continuing to mutate, study finds, as US cases rise

Experts believe virus is probably becoming more contagious but US study did not find mutations made it more lethal The Covid-19 virus is continuing to mutate throughout the course of the pandemic, with experts believing it is probably becoming more contagious , as coronavirus cases in the US have started to rise once again, according to a new research.The new US study analyzed 5,000 genetic...

'Close to 100% accuracy': Helsinki airport uses sniffer dogs to detect Covid

Researchers running Helsinki pilot scheme say dogs can identify virus in secondsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageFour Covid-19 sniffer dogs have begun work at Helsinki airport in a state-funded pilot scheme that Finnish researchers hope will provide a cheap, fast and effective alternative method of testing people for the virus.A dog is capable of detecting the presence...

Covid-19: is it possible to predict how sick someone could get? – podcast

Nine months in, and with over 30 million people having been infected with Covid-19, we now know some of the main factors that put people at higher risk of a severe case of the disease, such as age and having other health problems. But there is still a lot to learn about why some people, and not others, become very ill from catching Sars-CoV-2. Nicola Davis takes a look at the researchers...

UK Covid-19 vaccine trial set to infect healthy volunteers with virus

Researchers hope to begin world’s first human challenge trials at east London quarantine facility in JanuaryCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageHealthy volunteers in the UK could soon be deliberately infected with coronavirus in the world’s first human challenge trial to find out which Covid vaccines work.Government-funded studies, which it is believed will be...

Coronavirus: fifth of people likely to refuse Covid vaccine, UK survey finds

Survey of 70,000 people finds only 49% are ‘very likely’ to get vaccine once one is available Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageA fifth of people are likely to refuse a Covid vaccine when one becomes available, according to the largest survey of UK attitudes and behaviour during the pandemic.The survey by University College London of 70,000 people, which was...

10,000 more deaths than usual occurred in UK homes since June

Excess deaths in private homes prompts fears people are avoiding hospitals due to CovidSome 10,000 more deaths than usual have occurred in peoples’ private homes since mid June, long after the peak in Covid deaths, prompting fears that people may still be avoiding health services and delaying sending their loved ones to care homes.It brings to more than 30,000 the total number of excess deaths...

Fear of contacting GPs during Covid outbreak 'fuelling missed diagnoses'

Study of GP records in Salford shows diagnoses up to 50% lower than expected in springCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageConcerns around contacting GPs during the coronavirus outbreak could be fuelling a rise in missed or delayed diagnoses, researchers have said.A growing body of research has suggested that patients have avoided seeking medical attention because of the...


WEDNESDAY 23. SEPTEMBER 2020


Scientists develop 'tiny wind turbine' to scavenge energy from gentle breeze – video report

Scientists have developed a 'tiny wind turbine' that can take energy from a gentle breeze, such as that made as you walk.The device comprises two plastic strips in a tube that flutter or clap together in the presence of airflow. That energy, powered by the contact and separation of two materials, can be bottled up and stored for use, according to researchers.Scientists in China hope the...

6,178 new Covid cases recorded - close to record from early May – as it happened

Scotland records highest daily cases total; Keir Starmer presses Boris Johnson on Covid testing at PMQs; ‘clear upward curve’ in cases in WalesShortages threaten Johnson’s pledge of 500,000 UK Covid tests a day10pm nightlife ban ‘not a silver bullet’, Raab admitsSix ways to get through the next six monthsGlobal coronavirus updates – live 5.57pm BST Just interviewed the Labour leader...