866,141 articles


SUNDAY 14. AUGUST 2022


Despite climate, war and Covid, is everything actually … getting better?

The psychologist Steven Pinker has long believed we should be more optimistic – and even current crises do not dissuade himReading and watching the media over the past year, you might be forgiven for thinking that we are facing the collapse of civilisation. We have a shrinking economy, a fuel crisis that may bring on energy rationing and forced blackouts, extreme weather events, the increased...

Building a Martian House review – will this be your tiny gold-foil room on Mars?

M Shed, BristolHow to live well, and sanely, on a freezing, dry planet bombarded with radiation, wonder two artists, whose prototype Martian house also affords a view of our increasingly challenged EarthLiving on Mars is a game for squillionaires and the agencies of superpower governments, for Elon Musk and Nasa, not the average citizen. The reason is obvious and simple: it is mind-bendingly...

Hotter summers to fuel increase in skin cancers, doctors warn

Higher summer temperatures caused by climate crisis will lead to more cases of melanoma, say medicsExperts have said higher summer temperatures caused by the climate crisis will fuel an increase in cases of potentially deadly skin cancers such as melanoma.The UK recorded its highest ever temperature of 40.2C last month, as climate scientists stressed the heatwave was not a one-off and high...

‘I am, in fact, a person’: can artificial intelligence ever be sentient?

Controversy over Google’s AI program is raising questions about just how powerful it is. Is it even safe?In autumn 2021, a man made of blood and bone made friends with a child made of “a billion lines of code”. Google engineer Blake Lemoine had been tasked with testing the company’s artificially intelligent chatbot LaMDA for bias. A month in, he came to the conclusion that it was sentient....

What killed tons of fish in European river? Mystery deepens

Laboratory tests following a mass die-off of fish in the Oder River detected high levels of salinity but no mercury poisoning its waters, Poland's environment minister said Saturday as the mystery continued as to what killed tons of fish in Central Europe.

Iraq's Garden of Eden now 'like a desert'

To feed and cool his buffaloes, Hashem Gassed must cross 10 kilometers (six miles) of sunburnt land in southern Iraq, where drought is devastating swathes of the mythical Mesopotamian Marshes.

New ‘Parp inhibitors’ could prevent certain tumours appearing

Breakthrough research could see some genetic cancers neutralised before they take hold and is already being used for people at riskSue Hayward was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2017. Doctors acted swiftly and she was given a hysterectomy followed by sessions of chemotherapy.But her cancer returned within a year. “I carry a mutated version of a gene known as BRCA1 which makes me...


SATURDAY 13. AUGUST 2022


Angela Rasmussen on Covid-19: ‘This origins discussion is the worst thing about Twitter’

Did Sars-CoV-2 emerge from a Huanan market stall or a lab? For the American virologist, who has been abused online for defending a ‘natural’ origin, the evidence is clearAngela Rasmussen studies the interactions between hosts and pathogens and how they shape disease. Before the pandemic, she worked on the emerging viruses that cause Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers), Ebola, dengue and...

Altruism is supposed to be a selfless act. So why did helping a stranger leave me feeling so foolish? | Martin Love

Helping a hitchhiker should have given me a warm glow of generosity, but ended with me feeling like a gullible shmuckWhat’s the most money you’ve ever given a complete stranger? £20, £30, £50… maybe more? I’ve always been free and easy when it comes to handing out small change on the street, but a couple of months ago I found myself in a different league altogether. I gave a man I had...

How brain surgeon Henry Marsh went from doctor to patient: ‘I blurted out the question we all ask – how long have I got?’

For years, the author and neurosurgeon dismissed symptoms of prostate cancer. Then he finally got the diagnosis he’d been avoiding …It seemed a bit of a joke at the time – that I should have my own brain scanned. I should have known better. I had always advised patients and friends to avoid having brain scans unless they had significant problems. You might not like what you see, I told...

Thawing Arctic hillsides are major climate change contributors

Thawing Arctic hillsides release a significant amount of organic carbon that has been locked in frozen ground for thousands of years but which now can contribute to an already warming climate, according to new research. The finding comes from the study of hillsides in a far north region of Russia, where the researchers also found a significant and rapid increase of collapsed hillsides. The...