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34,744 articles from Guardian Unlimited Science

When the mystical goes mainstream: how tarot became a self-care phenomenon

Tarot used to be seen as the domain of the credulous. It’s now seen as a means of coping with the present, thanks to psychology-minded practitioners like Jessica DoreWhen Jessica Dore was growing up, her mother had a tarot deck from which she’d pull cards – much to the mounting mortification of her daughter. As a child, Dore went along with it as fortune-telling fun. But “as an adolescent,...


TUESDAY 26. OCTOBER 2021


Why pregnant women need clearer messaging on Covid vaccine safety

Analysis: early uncertainty around vaccination advice for expectant mothers has left them confused and hesitantPregnant women are being turned away from Covid vaccine clinics, experts warnCoronavirus – latest updatesIn the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, there was uncertainty around almost everything, from who was more adversely affected by Covid-19 to who should get vaccinated first...

London hospitals use ‘James Bond medicine’ to tackle rare heart condition

Royal Brompton and Harefield send teams to save cardiogenic shock patients at other hospitals‘People say it’s a miracle, but it’s not: the Royal Brompton saved Christina’World-leading NHS doctors are using “James Bond medicine” and cutting-edge technology to save the lives of people whose hearts collapse due to a rare and often fatal cardiac condition.Royal Brompton and Harefield...

Astronomers spot first possible exoplanet outside our galaxy

Saturn-sized planet candidate has been identified in Whirlpool Galaxy 28m light years awayA possible Saturn-sized planet identified in the distant Whirlpool Galaxy could be the first exoplanet to be detected outside the Milky Way.The exoplanet candidate appears to be orbiting an X-ray binary – made up of a normal star and a collapsed star or black hole – with its distance from this binary...

The psychology of masks: why have so many people stopped covering their faces?

In England, masks are expected and recommended in crowded and enclosed spaces – but not legally required. Many have abandoned them altogether. What would convince everyone to put them back on?Dave stopped wearing his face mask “the second I didn’t have to. I grudgingly wore it, because it was the right thing to do and because it was mandatory,” says the teacher from East Sussex. “But I...

Covid-19: with cases on the rise, will ‘plan B’ be enough in England? – podcast

Many experts have called for the reintroduction of some public health measures to reduce transmission rates. However, the government has repeatedly said it is not yet bringing in its so-called ‘plan B’ for England. Madeleine Finlay speaks to science correspondent Nicola Davis about what ‘plan B’ could entail and whether it would help us avoid the need for more stringent and longer-lasting...

Why people believe Covid conspiracy theories: could folklore hold the answer?

Researchers use AI – and witchcraft folklore – to map the coronavirus conspiracy theories that have sprung upResearchers have mapped the web of connections underpinning coronavirus conspiracy theories, opening a new way of understanding and challenging them.Using Danish witchcraft folklore as a model, the researchers from UCLA and Berkeley analysed thousands of social media posts with an...

The world was woefully unprepared for a pandemic. Let’s be ready for the next one | Elhadj As Sy

The Global Preparedness Monitoring Board is calling for a coherent action plan to counter future health emergencies Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageTwo years ago, three months before coronavirus erupted, the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB) issued a warning to the international community that a pandemic was only a matter of time, and that the world was not...


MONDAY 25. OCTOBER 2021


David Frost says EU close to breaching Brexit deal over science programme

Minister ‘quite concerned’ about delay to finalising UK’s participation in €80bn Horizon Europe schemeA fresh Brexit row has been blown open with Brussels after David Frost accused the EU of being close to breaching the trade deal struck last Christmas.He said the UK was “getting quite concerned” about Brussels delaying ratification of the UK’s participation in the €80bn (£67bn)...

Maskless ministers are peddling dangerous nonsense | Letters

Dr Karen Postle says Tory MPs’ views on masks would be mildly amusing if it weren’t for the gravely serious consequences, while Susannah Kipling despairs that ‘virtue’ is being hijacked as a term of abuse. Plus letters from Emma Blashford-Snell, Mike Terry, Rosemary Gill and Christine GallagherAre Tory ministers vying with one another in a contest to portray the most libertarian, populist...

Alien false alarm: ‘Extraterrestrial’ radio signals turn out to be human

Australia’s Parkes Observatory detected an ET-like pattern that suggested something was out there. But it was just a case of mixed signalsGet our free news app; get our morning email briefingAstronomers searching for alien life thought they’d spotted signs of intelligence beyond the solar system – but the signals turned out to be human.Parkes Observatory’s Murriyang radio telescope...

Singing lemurs have a distinctly human sense of rhythm, study finds

Indris sound like ‘bagpipes being stepped on’ but their 1:2 beats are the first to be identified in non-human mammalsThey have fluffy ears, a penetrating stare and a penchant for monogamy. But it turns out that indris – a large, critically endangered species of lemur – have an even more fascinating trait: an unexpected sense of rhythm.Indri indri are known for their distinctive singing, a...

The last great mystery of the mind: meet the people who have unusual – or non-existent – inner voices

Does your internal monologue play out on a television, in an attic, as a bickering Italian couple – or is it entirely, blissfully silent? Claudia*, a sailor from Lichfield in her late 30s, is not Italian. She has never been to Italy. She has no Italian family or friends. And she has no idea why a belligerent Italian couple have taken over her inner voice, duking it out in Claudia’s brain while...

Archaeologists find ‘missing link’ in history of Fountains Abbey

Discovery of foundations of ‘industrial scale’ medieval tannery at abbey has astonished expertsIt is Britain’s biggest and most famous monastic ruin and one that conjures up bucolic images of peace, reflection and very little noise apart, perhaps, from the occasional waft of Gregorian chanting.In reality, archaeologists have revealed, Fountains Abbey near Ripon was as busy, noisy and...

Starwatch: how to see Pegasus the winged horse

Seventh-largest constellation is most easily spotted by finding the square denoting the horse’s bodyWe began the month with a look at the constellation of Cassiopeia, the vain queen who inspired the wrath of Poseidon, so we will end it with a look at another constellation derived from that same myth: Pegasus, the winged horse.In the Greek myth, the hero Perseus rode Pegasus to the shoreline to...

British scientists being ‘frozen out’ of EU research due to NI row, claims MP

Bill Cash says UK still not being made full member of Horizon Europe science programme linked to dispute over NI protocolUK scientists are being “frozen out” of the £80bn EU research programme Horizon Europe because of the ongoing dispute over the Northern Ireland Brexit protocol, a House of Lords committee has claimed.Participation in the science research programme is being hampered by the...


SUNDAY 24. OCTOBER 2021


Coronavirus live: UK A&Es in ‘terrible place’ as chancellor rejects calls for immediate ‘plan B’

Latest updates: medical leader says emergency departments are struggling to cope as Rishi Sunak says Covid numbers don’t suggest action needed todayUK government paving way to bring in ‘plan B’ Covid rulesDarker skies and colder weather are perfect conditions for Covid to thriveRussia sees record deaths as country prepares for new curbsSee all our coronavirus coverageChina has given complete...

Mystery of the environmental triggers for cancer deepens

Study shows that our knowledge of why tumours form is still inadequateScientists will have to rethink how environmental triggers allow tumours to form and develop, one of Britain’s leading cancer experts warned last week. Michael Stratton, director of the Wellcome Sanger Institute, said recent results from an international cancer research study – which aimed to pinpoint environmental triggers...

An invisible threat has pushed us to our limits. Small wonder our brains are overwrought | Emma Kavanagh

Don’t beat yourself up if Covid times get to you. We need release from all the stressFor me, it was a shoe. One missing shoe. Honestly, it wasn’t even a great shoe, just one that I wear to walk the dog. But it was gone. Apparently to the same place all the solitary socks have gone, up there in footwear heaven. And, really, after the two years that we’d had, one would be forgiven for...

Mummy’s older than we thought: new find rewrites the history books

Discovery of nobleman Khuwy shows that Egyptians were using advanced embalming methods 1,000 years before assumed date The ancient Egyptians were carrying out sophisticated mummifications of their dead 1,000 years earlier than previously thought, according to new evidence which could lead to a rewriting of the history books.The preserved body of a high-ranking nobleman called Khuwy, discovered in...

Leos are most likely to get vaccinated, say Utah officials. Is it written in the stars?

Health authorities compared vaccination rates with Zodiac signs, but the results may require further investigationExciting news for people who believe in science enough to want mass vaccination, but not enough to think horoscopes are made up: Utah’s Salt Lake county health department says there’s a big difference in vaccination rates depending on your Zodiac sign.At least, that’s what...


SATURDAY 23. OCTOBER 2021


Whistleblowing requires courage, but don’t expect Facebook to change its ways | John Naughton

Frances Haugen’s ‘testimony tour’ of revelations about the tech company makes good copy, but will its executives listen?If you wanted a paragon of astute, thoroughly modern whistleblowing, then Frances Haugen is your woman. She is the former Facebook employee who revealed that the company knew about the harm that some of its products, especially Instagram, were causing but did little or...

I knew that was going to happen… The truth about premonitions

Uncanny and creepy, premonitions that turn out to be authentic can feel profound. But is there science to explain them?Around seven years ago, Garrett, was in a local Pizza Hut with his friends, having a day so ordinary that it is cumbersome to describe. He was 16 – or thereabouts – and had been told by teachers to go around nearby businesses and ask for gift vouchers that the school could use...

Covid testing failures at UK lab ‘should have been flagged within days’

Senior scientists say problems at Immensa site show private firms should not be carrying out PCR testsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageHealth officials should have known about major failings at a private Covid testing lab within days of the problem arising, rather than taking weeks to shut down operations at the site, senior scientists say.About 43,000 people, mostly...