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37,700 articles from Guardian Unlimited Science

Pioneering NHS trial targets brain tumours before surgery

Exclusive: Radiotherapy prior to operation could be key to reducing likelihood of tumours regrowing quickly, researchers sayThe NHS has begun a world-first clinical trial of a pioneering treatment technique aimed at extending the lives of people with brain tumours.A team of radiologists, neurosurgeons, oncologists, nurses, physicists and pathologists are using detailed MRI scans and highly...

Air pollution causes chess players to make more mistakes, study finds

Co-author of paper says results have implications for anyone who has to think hard in polluted areasChess experts make more mistakes when air pollution is high, a study has found.Experts used computer models to analyse the quality of games played and found that with a modest increase in fine particulate matter, the probability that chess players would make an error increased by 2.1 percentage...

Can we restore England’s lost wildlife? – podcast

This week the government published a major environmental improvement plan for England. It has pledged that every household will be within a 15-minute walk of green space or water, the restoration of 1.2m acres of wildlife habitat, and that sewage spills will be tackled with upgrades to wastewater treatment works. Madeleine Finlay speaks to the Guardian’s environment editor, Fiona Harvey, about...

Will Steffen fought passionately for our planet. To honour him we must follow his lead | Penny Sackett

I am filled with grief at losing my friend at a time when we need his calm, direct voice more than everThis week science lost one of its greatest Earth system experts, Australia lost a skilled, passionate communicator of climate science and the world lost a humble soul of the highest humanity, kindness and integrity. As did scores of others, I lost a colleague and friend when Will Steffen left us...


WEDNESDAY 1. FEBRUARY 2023


Pit find in Germany reveals how Neanderthals hunted huge elephants

125,000-year-old bones of 70 animals – each about three times the size of today’s Asian elephants – discovered near HalleNeanderthals may have lived in larger groups than previously believed, hunting massive elephants that were up to three times bigger than those of today, according to a new study.The researchers reached their conclusions, published in the journal Science Advances on...

Vikings brought their animals to England, research suggests

Experts find evidence at Derbyshire cremation site of horses and dogs originating from the Baltic ShieldWhen the Vikings arrived in England they didn’t just bring their helmets, axes and beards –they also brought their horses and dogs, research suggests.Experts studying cremated remains associated with the Viking great army that invaded England in AD865, say they have found evidence of...

Discovered in the deep: the anglerfish with vampire-like sex lives

A deep trawl has brought up a potentially new species of a fish whose extreme mating methods include permanent physical fusion“I sometimes describe anglerfish as looking like a satanic potato,” says James Maclaine, senior curator of fish at London’s Natural History Museum, who believes a new species of the fish may have been discovered.Many anglerfish are globular and lumpy in shape. They...

Dr Phil: daytime television talkshow to end after 21 seasons

Phil McGraw dispensed advice to rebellious teens, disfunctional families and troubled celebrities for 25 yearsDr. Phil, the US talkshow that saw Dr Phil McGraw divvy out life advice to individuals and which became a regular on daytime television around the world, is set to end later this year after 21 seasons.Hosted by McGraw since 2002, the show saw him advise guests who were troubled by...


TUESDAY 31. JANUARY 2023


Yale honours black girl wrongly reported to police over insect project – video report

A nine-year-old girl who had a neighbour call the police on her as she worked to eradicate invasive insects from her home town has earned honours from one of the US’s most prestigious universities. Bobbi Wilson, who is black, unwittingly set off a national discussion about the dangers of racial profiling when a neighbour called the police on her on 22 October as she used a homemade repellant...

‘Less clumpy’ universe may suggest existence of mysterious forces

Survey could mean there is a crucial component missing from so-called standard model of physicsOne of the most precise surveys of the structure of the universe has suggested it is “less clumpy” than expected, in findings that could indicate the existence of mysterious forces at work.The observations by the Dark Energy Survey and the South Pole Telescope chart the distribution of matter with...

‘Charmouth crocodile’ identified as new genus of croc-like creature

Remains of 2-metre-long animal were discovered in 2017 by two fossil hunters for whom it has been namedScientists have identified a new genus of fearsome crocodile-like creature that once hunted off what is now Dorset’s Jurassic Coast.The remains of the 2-metre-long animal were discovered by fossil hunters after a series of landslips on to a beach in 2017, and the newly recognised beast has been...

Mammals that live in groups have longer lifespans, research finds

Researchers identify 31 genes associated with social organisation and longevityMammals that live in groups generally have longer lifespans than solitary species, new research into nearly 1,000 different animals suggests.Scientists from China and Australia compared 974 mammal species, analysing longevity and how they tended to be socially organised. Continue...

Gene editing company hopes to bring dodo ‘back to life’

Company is raising further $150m to pursue research on dodo which became extinct in 17th centuryThe dodo, a Mauritian bird last seen in the 17th century, will be brought back to at least a semblance of life if attempts by a gene editing company are successful.Gene editing techniques now exist that allow scientists to mine the dodo genome for key traits that they believe they can then effectively...

Bizarre ‘whirlpool’ appears in night sky above Hawaii

Phenomenon believed to have origins in launch of military GPS satellite from SpaceX in FloridaA camera on top of Hawaii’s tallest mountain has captured what looks like a spiral swirling through the night sky.Researchers believe the strange phenomenon is linked to a military GPS satellite that launched from a SpaceX rocket in Florida. Continue...

China claims Covid wave is ‘coming to an end’ as tourism and factory activity rebound

Government figures, which cannot be verified, showed big rises in travel and hospitality activity during lunar new year compared to the same time last yearChina’s wave of Covid is “coming to an end”, health officials have claimed, saying there had been no sign of a new surge from the lunar new year holiday period, despite a big increase in travel compared to last year.Government figures...

Yale honors Black girl, 9, wrongly reported to police over insect project

Bobbi Wilson’s efforts to rid her town of the spotted lanternfly unwittingly touched off a national discussion about racial profilingA nine-year-old girl who had a neighbor call the police on her as she worked to eradicate invasive insects from her home town has earned honors from one of the US’s most prestigious universities.The Yale School of Public Health earlier this month held a ceremony...

How to spot the exotic green comet (and what might get in the way) – podcast

This week star gazers will be hoping to catch sight of an exotic green comet that last passed by Earth 50,000 years ago. But, unlike the view our Neanderthal ancestors would have had, light pollution will make witnessing this celestial event an impossibility for many. Ian Sample speaks to astronomy journalist Dr Stuart Clark about how best to see the comet, and why it’s time to rethink our...

Three or more concussions add up to long-term cognitive problems, study suggests

Multiple concussions in a lifetime were shown to affect the ability to plan and pay attention, though research also underlined health benefits of playing sportGet our morning and afternoon news emails, free app or daily news podcastExperiencing multiple concussions may be linked to worse brain function in later life, suggests a study of nearly 16,000 people.Among 15,764 people aged 50 to 90, those...


MONDAY 30. JANUARY 2023


Rare ‘mother of pearl’ clouds spotted over Scotland

Iridescent clouds formed of ice crystals are usually found in extremely cold air above polar regionsExcited weather watchers have captured stunning images of rare “mother of pearl” clouds, which have formed high up in the atmosphere over Scotland.Such clouds tend to develop in the extremely cold air above polar regions, but were spotted on Sunday evening and Monday morning by BBC weather...

What is the radioactive capsule missing in WA used for and how dangerous is it?

As authorities scour the desert for the missing source, here’s what we know about how it works and what threat it poses to humansFollow our Australia news live blog for the latest updatesGet our morning and afternoon news emails, free app or daily news podcastAuthorities are continuing the search for a tiny radioactive capsule lost along a 1,400km stretch of Western Australian desert highway.The...

Starwatch: Auriga hidden in plain sight beside its famous neighbours

Constellation is often associated with Greek myth of Phaeton, who went on reckless joyride with the sunThis week, search out the northern constellation of Auriga, the charioteer. It was first listed in Ptolemy’s second-century compendium The Almagest, making it one of the oldest constellations.Although often overshadowed by its neighbours, Orion and Taurus, Auriga contains the sixth brightest...


SUNDAY 29. JANUARY 2023


The human genome needs updating. But how do we make it fair?

Healthcare’s standard genome is mostly based on one American. As we enter the era of personalised medicine, this bias has drawbacks for much of the world’s populationIn June 2000, Bill Clinton, the then US president, stood smilingly next to the leaders of the Human Genome Project. “In genetic terms, all human beings, regardless of race, are more than 99.9% the same,” he declared. That was...