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33,990 articles from Guardian Unlimited Science

Testosterone in women’s athletics - podcast

Genetic advantages in sport tend to be celebrated, but that isn’t always the case when it comes to women’s athletics. At the start of July, two female runners from Namibia, Christine Mboma and Beatrice Masilingi, were told they couldn’t compete in the 400m race in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics unless they reduced their naturally high testosterone hormone levels. Shivani Dave speaks to Katrina...

Extreme weather will be the norm and UK is not prepared, report warns

Last year was first to be in top 10 for heat, rain and sunshine, as scientists say UK’s mild climate is at an endExtremes of weather will strike the UK more frequently owing to the climate crisis, scientists said after data showed that last year was one of the warmest, as well as one of the wettest and sunniest, on record.Last year was the first to figure in the top 10 for heat, rain and hours...

Australia Covid live update: 2 million in western Sydney face tougher lockdown as some construction resumes

Residents of eight local government areas banned from leaving hotspots unless they are essential workers; tradespeople now allowed into clients’ homes. Follow all the day’s newsJust 39% of NSW residents over 70 are fully vaccinatedNSW restrictions; NSW hotspots; border restrictionsVic hotspots; Vic restrictions; border restrictionsQld hotspots; Qld restrictions; border restrictionsVaccine...


WEDNESDAY 28. JULY 2021


Genetic engineering test with mosquitoes ‘may be game changer’ in eliminating malaria

UK scientist says gene-drive study rendering female insects infertile may lead to ‘self destruct mosquito’ field tests within 10 yearsScientists have successfully wiped out a population of malaria-transmitting mosquitoes by using a radical form of genetic engineering to render the females infertile – in the most advanced and largest ever test of use of the technology to fight the disease.As...

Astronomers detect light behind black hole for first time

Telescope picks up unexpected ‘luminous echoes’ – smaller, later and of different colour to bright flaresAstronomers have detected light behind a black hole deep in space for the first time.Bright flares of X-rays were spotted bursting from a supermassive black hole at the centre of a galaxy 800m light years away, which is relatively normal. Continue...

Richard Lewontin obituary

Pioneering biologist and geneticist whose research showed the emptiness of traditional biological concepts of raceThe American scientist Richard Lewontin, who has died aged 92, was intimately involved in some of the most important discoveries, and feuds, of evolutionary biology during the decades in which it passed from knowing that genes existed to specifying them in precise molecular terms.His...

‘Wiggly’ fossils found in Canada may be earliest known animal

Scientists believe the unusual tubular structures may be the remnants of prehistoric spongesIntricate patterns of tubular structures discovered in giant ancient reefs may be the remnants of prehistoric horny sponges and the oldest known fossils of animal life on Earth.Researchers found the unusual features in vast reefs that were built by bacteria 890m years ago and then pushed up by geological...

Covid vaccine map: how are countries around the world doing?

More than 2bn Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered worldwide. Find out which countries are vaccinating the mostCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageSince the first Pfizer vaccine against Covid-19 was injected into the arm of a British woman in December 2020, hundreds of millions of vaccine doses have been administered worldwide.Dozens of countries now have...

Johnson rejects Gove remark that Covid vaccine refusers are ‘selfish’

PM emphasises positive benefits of having jab and appears to distance himself from vaccine passport planCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageBoris Johnson has rejected Michael Gove’s assertion that people who refuse to be vaccinated are “selfish”, as he and another minister argued that it was better to encourage people to see the positive benefits of receiving the...

Cautious welcome for rapid antigen tests to control Sydney Covid outbreak, despite reliability concerns

Premier indicates rapid tests may be used by year 12 students returning to school as well as some businesses Follow the Australia Covid liveblogNSW Covid update: 177 new cases as some construction restrictions lifted and Sydney lockdown extended by a monthVaccine advisory group urged Australian health department in 2020 ‘to get as much as you can’NSW restrictions; NSW hotspots; Vic...

Are Covid jabs ‘Trump vaccines’? No, but I’ll call them that if it means people will take them

Trump sycophant Sarah Huckabee Sanders says the ex-president deserves credit for the jab rollout. If that’s the price of herd immunity, so be itForget Pfizer or AstraZeneca, the hottest shot this summer is the Trump vaccine. Hang on, you might cry: there is no such thing. Well, Donald Trump’s former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders – a woman who has always had an unusual...

The incredible true story of the cancer patient who didn’t have cancer | Ranjana Srivastava

People deserve better than a never-ending stream of unproven practices dangled before them in the guise of hopeTen years ago a desperate young woman walked into my office and declared: “I need your help. I am dying of cancer.”Her story was incredible. At an integrative medicine seminar she had won a special blood test as a door prize. Thinking of having some bloods done anyway, she had taken...

A third of middle-aged UK adults have at least two chronic health issues – study

Childhood poverty and health issues before adulthood all factors in decline in mid-life wellbeingMore than one in three middle-aged British adults are suffering from at least two chronic health conditions, including recurrent back problems, poor mental health, high blood pressure, diabetes and high-risk drinking, according to research that warned that health in midlife is on the decline.The study...


TUESDAY 27. JULY 2021


Australia Covid live update: Sydney lockdown to be extended as millions in Victoria and SA awake to eased restrictions

Gladys Berejiklian expected to announce four-week extension as single bubbles, rapid testing and accelerated vaccination rollout considered. Follow all the day’s news 10.34pm BST Chris Minns: We have offered bipartisan support for the health advice over the last four weeks and we will do as well going forward. At the moment what New South Wales needs to hear is a united front from the political...

Galileo Project: scientists to search for signs of extraterrestrial technology

Team will search for evidence of extraterrestrial life by looking for advanced technology it may leave behindA team of scientists will embark on a new international research project led by Harvard University to search for evidence of extraterrestrial life by looking for advanced technology it may leave behind.The Galileo Project is led by Harvard astronomy professor Avi Loeb. Loeb co-founded the...

Don’t blame men for the climate crisis – we should point the finger at corporations

Male spending – on petrol and meat – is apparently worse for the environment than women’s. But it’s the system, not individuals, that needs to changeSorry, boys, but it’s all your fault. Melting ice caps, flash floods, rising sea levels: men are to blame for the lot of it. Please don’t drown the messenger, I’m just relaying the results of a Swedish study that found that men’s...

People shielding still eight times more likely to get Covid-19, study finds

Scottish analysis finds that despite shielding, high-risk individuals were more at risk of catching virus and dyingCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coveragePeople advised to shield during the first wave of the pandemic were eight times more likely to get Covid-19 and five times as likely to die following infection than the general population, a study has indicated.Researchers...

NSW Covid update: 172 new cases as Berejiklian flags greater Sydney lockdown lasting into September

NSW premier expected to announce Covid roadmap as Blacktown apartment block locked downFollow our Covid live blog for the latest updatesNSW restrictions; NSW hotspots; border restrictionsVaccine rollout tracker; get our free news app; get our morning email briefingThe New South Wales premier, Gladys Berejiklian, has hinted at a prolonged lockdown in greater Sydney well into September as case...

Sporting super spikes: how do they work? – podcast

In the lead-up to the athletics competitions at the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020, Shivani Dave takes look at how advances in running shoe technology are resulting in records being smashed. Talking to Geoff Burns, a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan who specialises in biomechanics, Shivani asks how so-called ‘super spikes’ work and if the mechanical advantage they provide...

Jeff Bezos offers Nasa $2bn in exchange for moon mission contract

Billionaire lost out to Elon Musk’s SpaceX in lunar bidContract is to build craft to take astronauts to the moonFresh off his trip to space, Jeff Bezos on Monday offered to cover up to $2bn in Nasa costs if the US space agency awards his company Blue Origin a contract to make a spacecraft designed to land astronauts back on the moon.Nasa in April awarded SpaceX, owned by rival billionaire Elon...


MONDAY 26. JULY 2021


Life expectancy lower for white and mixed ethnic people than Black and Asian groups – study

Findings of Office for National Statistics analysis consistent with previous research say experts People from white and mixed ethnic groups had lower life expectancy compared with Black and Asian groups in England and Wales between 2011 and 2014, according to analysis by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).The study linked 2011 census and death registration data to produce estimates of life...

UK Covid: 24,950 new cases, lowest daily total for more than three weeks – as it happened

This live blog is now closed. For the latest coronavirus updates from around the world, you can read our global Covid blogUK cases fall sixth day in a row but hospitalisations on riseCovid patients in ICU tell of regrets of refusing to get vaccinatedAdditional emergency workplace testing to be introduced in EnglandSummary of Keir Starmer’s LBC phone-inSummary of Downing Street lobby...

Did you solve it? Clueless sudoku

The solutions to today’s puzzlesEarlier today I set you three ‘clueless’ Sudoku and an ‘almost clueless’ Killer Sudoku. For discussion and tips you can read the original column here.For a printable page of all the puzzles click here. Scroll down for the solutions. Continue...

‘Record-shattering’ heat becoming much more likely, says climate study

More heatwaves even worse than those seen recently in north-west of America forecast in research“Record-shattering” heatwaves, even worse than the one that recently hit north-west America, are set to become much more likely in future, according to research. The study is a stark new warning on the rapidly escalating risks the climate emergency poses to lives.The shocking temperature extremes...

How do we know when England has reached a peak in Covid infections? | Graham Medley

The trajectory of the pandemic might look more like a range of hills rather than a single mountainWhile the government’s decision to remove most lockdown measures in England was widely expected to result in a large wave of infection and disease, the number of new cases of Covid-19 has been falling over the last five days. Many hope this could mean that we’re past the peak. Yet the reality is...