878,399 articles

‘Force of nature’: ex-rugby player Doddie Weir leaves lasting legacy, say admirers

Scotland and British and Irish Lions legend died over the weekend from motor neurone diseaseDoddie Weir, the former Scotland and British and Irish Lions rugby union player who died over the weekend from motor neurone disease, leaves “a lasting legacy” and will, admirers said, be remembered as a man who helped transform people’s understanding of the disease.Weir’s death aged 52 was...

How Emily Wilson turned her teenage X Factor humiliation into comedy gold

A brutal take-down on the TV talent show led Emily Wilson into therapy. A decade later, she has turned her grim experience into award-winning standupIt’s not that Emily Wilson used to be secretive about the fact that, as a teenager, she’d appeared on the American incarnation of the X Factor. Rather, it hadn’t exactly gone well for her – awfully, actually – and by the time she was a...

Readers reply: will we ever set up an outpost on another planet?

The long-running series in which readers answer other readers’ questions on subjects ranging from trivial flights of fancy to profound scientific and philosophical conceptsThis week’s question: Will there ever be world government, and would we want it?Will we ever set up an outpost on another planet? Finnley Clarkson, SheffieldSend new questions to nq@theguardian.com. Continue...

The Song of the Cell by Siddhartha Mukherjee review – mysteries of the building blocks of life

The prizewinning author’s timely, precise study traces our attempts to understand the units that have such an impact on our healthIn spring 1858, the German scientist Rudolf Virchow published an unorthodox vision of the nature of living organisms. In his book, Cellular Pathology, he argued that the human body was simply “a cell state in which every cell is a citizen”. From a single...

Lost city of Atlantis rises again to fuel a dangerous myth

Millions have watched Netflix hit Ancient Apocalypse, which is just the latest interpretation of an enduring tale. But in its appeal to ‘race science’ it’s more than merely controversialFor a story that was first told 2,300 years ago, the myth of Atlantis has demonstrated a remarkable persistence over the millennia. Originally outlined by Plato, the tale of the rise of a great, ancient...

Wellcome Collection in London shuts ‘racist, sexist and ableist’ medical history gallery

Medicine Man exhibits included painting of a black African kneeling in front of a white missionaryA museum in London run by the Wellcome foundation health charity is to close one of its key galleries because it perpetuates “a version of medical history that is based on racist, sexist and ableist theories and language”.The Wellcome Collection’s announcement on Saturday, affects a free...


SATURDAY 26. NOVEMBER 2022


Mind the gaps: The world needs to radically transform its educational systems, not just upgrade them

In September 2022 the United Nations organized the first-ever high-level Transforming Education Summit, inviting stakeholders to put forward commitments and tackle the challenges we face. Once again we heard how staggering the needs are: in lower-income countries, 25% of young people and just over 55% of adults are still illiterate, while 250 million children remain out of primary school.

What if the dinosaurs hadn't gone extinct? Why our world might look very different

Sixty-six million years ago, an asteroid hit the Earth with the force of 10 billion atomic bombs and changed the course of evolution. The skies darkened and plants stopped photosynthesising. The plants died, then the animals that fed on them. The food chain collapsed. Over 90% of all species vanished. When the dust settled, all dinosaurs except a handful of birds had gone extinct.

Some Archaea found to have integrons, allowing cross-domain gene transfer

A team of researchers at Macquarie University, in Australia, has found evidence showing that some Archaea have integrons. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the group describes how they used a recently developed technique called metagenome-assembled genomes (MAG) to study the genomes of Archaea samples in a new way, and what they learned by doing so.

Skull and partial skeleton found in Morocco helps link ancient whale species

Three researchers, one with the University of Michigan, the other two with the University of Casablanca, have found a skull and partial skeleton in Morocco that they suggest link together several species of ancient whales. In their paper published in the open access journal PLOS ONE, Philip Gingerich, Ayoub Amane and Samir Zouhri describe the fossils and how they tie together the evolution of...

Study investigates a rare Type Icn supernova

An international team of astronomers has conducted optical and near-infrared observations of a rare Type Icn supernova known as SN 2022ann. The results of the study, published November 9 on the preprint server arXiv, shed more light on the nature of this supernova and its unique properties.

Physicist Sabine Hossenfelder: ‘There are quite a few areas where physics blurs into religion’

To answer life’s biggest questions, says the German theoretical physicist and YouTuber, we need to abandon unscientific ideas such as the multiverseSabine Hossenfelder is a German theoretical physicist who writes books and runs a YouTube channel (with 618,000 subscribers at time of writing) called Science Without the Gobbledygook. Born in Frankfurt, she studied mathematics at the Goethe...

Nasa’s Orion spacecraft enters lunar orbit as test flight nears halfway mark

Nasa considers capsule’s flight a dress rehearsal for the next moon flyby in 2024, with astronautsNasa’s Orion capsule has entered an orbit stretching tens of thousands of miles around the moon, as it neared the halfway mark of its test flight.The capsule and its three test dummies entered lunar orbit more than a week after launching on the $4bn demo that’s meant to pave the way for...

‘The sheer scale is extraordinary’: meet the titanosaur that dwarfs Dippy the diplodocus

One of the largest creatures to have walked the Earth is to become the Natural History Museum’s new star attractionIt will be one of the largest exhibits to grace a British museum. In spring, the Natural History Museum in London will display the skeleton of a titanosaur, a creature so vast it will have to be shoehorned into the 9-metre-high Waterhouse gallery.One of the most massive creatures...

Who wants to live to 100 on a diet of lentil and broccoli slurry? Mostly rich men | Gaby Hinsliff

Instead of searching for the key to immortality, what if we tried to make people’s lives better in the here and now?Shortly after waking, Bryan Johnson drinks a murky concoction involving olive oil, cocoa flavanols and something derived from algae. Breakfast will be a blended green slurry of lentils, broccoli and mushrooms, with lunch and dinner not much different.The 45-year-old American...

Why growing fungi at home is beginning to mushroom

Home fungi growers can boost soil quality in small gardens and cultivate exotic varieties using coffee grounds and online kitsAn increasing number of gardeners are growing mushrooms in their vegetable patches to improve soil quality and grow food in small spaces.Mushrooms are now cultivated in the kitchen garden at Kew Gardens in south-west London and visitors have been keen to know how they might...

‘Surprisingly tasty’: putting Neanderthal cooking to the test

Evidence has been found of complex cooking by Neanderthals. Our writer finds out how their meals might have tastedPity the Neanderthal chef. With only rudimentary cooking implements – a hot rock, some scraps of animal skin, perhaps a favoured prodding stick, plus stones for pounding, cutting, scraping and grinding – their hands must have been a scarred mess, and the woodsmoke from the hearth...