758,215 articles

UK coronavirus live: two-week 'circuit break' considered to halt Covid surge in England

Health secretary Matt Hancock refuses to rule out second national lockdown as ‘last line of defence’ ‘Circuit break’ plans for England to prevent new lockdownUK test and trace ‘barely functional’ as 11 million face lockdownNHS worker attacked on London bus in Covid mask row, say policeGlobal coronavirus updates – live 10.34am BST The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, told LBC that Cobra...

Letter-writing staved off lockdown loneliness. Now it’s getting out the vote.

For the past couple of years, Courtney Cochran hosted a Nashville-based meetup group called the Snail Mail Social Club. Before the pandemic, it involved people gathering, pen and paper in hand, to write letters together. “It was a fun social endeavor,” Cochran says. “You got some face-to-face connecting time with people.” When the coronavirus made…

Van Morrison criticises 'fascist bullies' in anti-lockdown Covid songs

Songwriter uses new material to condemn UK government, scientists and celebritiesCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageVan Morrison has described the British government as “fascist bullies disturbing our peace” in one of three new tracks he has written to protest against safety measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.On No More Lockdown, Morrison sings: Continue...

Study suggests substantial proportion of pet cats and dogs are infected with SARS-CoV-2 by their owners

A small study by Canadian veterinary science experts being presented at this ESCMID Conference on Coronavirus Disease (ECCVID, held online from 23-25 September) suggests that a substantial proportion of pet cats and dogs can be infected by SARS-CoV-2 by their owners. Furthermore, in several cases pets found to be infected had COVID-19-like respiratory symptoms at the time their owner had COVID-19.

Australia's stinging trees: if the snakes and spiders don't get you, the plants might | Irina Vetter, Edward Kalani Gilding and Thomas Durek

Noxious nettles with venom similar to that of scorpions are helping scientists understand pain and how to control itAustralia is home to some of the world’s most dangerous wildlife. Anyone who spends time outdoors in eastern Australia is wise to keep an eye out for snakes, spiders, swooping birds, crocodiles, deadly cone snails and tiny toxic jellyfish.But what not everybody knows is that even...

90-minute British DnaNudge COVID-19 test is accurate, Lancet study finds

A British COVID-19 test known as DnaNudge that gives results in just over an hour and which requires no laboratory was accurate in almost all cases, an academic review in the Lancet has found. Faster testing could allow more people to return to work or permit testing on entry to hospital, thus slowing a second spike in coronavirus infections. The new test, based on the design of a DNA test...

90-minute British DnaNudge COVID-19 test is accurate, Lancet study finds

A British COVID-19 test known as DnaNudge that gives results in just over an hour and which requires no laboratory was accurate in almost all cases, an academic review in the Lancet has found. Faster testing could allow more people to return to work or permit testing on entry to hospital, thus slowing a second spike in coronavirus infections. The new test, based on the design of a DNA test...

Coronavirus Australia live update: NSW, WA and Queensland agree to raise caps on international arrivals

Victoria reports 45 new cases and five more deaths as NSW announces six cases; Queensland will reopen border to ACT residents from 25 September. Follow liveFollow our global coronavirus live blogFlight caps fight looms at national cabinet as Morrison pledges pandemic health funding‘A moment of cheer’: 100-year-old Victorian man leaves hospital after surviving coronavirus fight‘I volunteered...

Melbourne life during coronavirus: share your photos of the highs and lows of 2020

Lopsided sourdough, cupboards full of toilet paper, or matching trackpants. What does your Australia 2020 scrapbook look like?There will be, for most of us living in Melbourne, no holiday snaps to memorialise this year. No big weddings. No gathering of old friends at the comedy festival. Instead our lives, for much of the past six months, have been spent inside our homes and nodding politely to...

Ancient human footprints in Saudi Arabia give glimpse of Arabian ecology 120000 years ago

Using high resolution paleoecological information obtained from fossilized footprints, a new study published in Science Advances presents ~120 thousand-year-old human and animal footprints from an ancient lake bed in northern Arabia. These findings represent the earliest evidence for humans in this part of the world and show that human and animal movements and landscape use were closely linked.

Private health insurers paid hospitals 247% of what medicare would

While recent hospital price transparency initiatives have increased information about procedure-level prices available to patients, employers who pay for most private insurance have little usable information about the prices negotiated on their behalf. A new study based on data from more than half the nation's hospitals finds that prices paid to hospitals nationally during 2018 by privately...

Melbourne academics win Ig Nobel prize for research showing worms vibrate like water

Physicist Ivan Maksymov and applied mathematician Andriy Pototsky placed worms on subwoofer in ‘what if’ momentBlasting a speaker to move garden worms in a regional Victorian backyard might sound more like a high school science experiment than a breakthrough in neuroscience.What started as an exercise in curiosity of two academics from Melbourne’s Swinburne University has found vibrations...

New UK Covid test is effective but won't impact numbers as hoped

Suitable for clinics but not homes, the DnaNudge test is unlikely to fulfil the government’s ‘Moonshot’ testing goalsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageA rapid test for coronavirus made by DnaNudge that was said by ministers to be part of a grand plan to deliver millions of tests in England, works well in hospitals but will not scale up to help the government’s...

Ecologists sound alarm on plastic pollution

Ecologists examining plastic pollution entering oceans, rivers and lakes around the world annually, outline potential impacts of various mitigation strategies over the coming decade. The researchers estimate the scale of human response needed to reduce future emissions and manage what's already floating around out there and recommend a fundamental shift to a framework based on recycling where...

A scientific first: How psychedelics bind to key brain cell receptor

For the first time, scientists solved the high-resolution structure of these compounds when they are actively bound to the 5-HT2A serotonin receptor on the surface of brain cells. This discovery is already leading to the exploration of more precise compounds that could eliminate hallucinations but still have strong therapeutic effects. Psilocybin - the psychedelic compound in mushrooms - has...

Curve at tip of shoes eases movement but may lead to weaker muscles, problems

The scientists found that the more curved a toe spring is, the less power the foot inside the shoe has to exert when pushing off from the ground while walking. That means foot muscles are doing less work, and this, the researchers hypothesize, may have consequences such as less endurance and make people more susceptible to medical conditions like plantar fasciitis.


THURSDAY 17. SEPTEMBER 2020


Seven footprints may be the earliest evidence of humans on the Arabian Peninsula

Experts say discovery of 120,000-year-old prints could shed new light on spread of Homo sapiens out of AfricaA set of seven footprints made at a lake about 120,000 years ago have been hailed as the earliest evidence of modern humans on the Arabian Peninsula – a discovery experts say could shed light on the spread of our species out of Africa.The path by which Homo sapiens spread around the world...

European Space Agency awards Hera asteroid mission to German firm

Deal worth £118m covers design, manufacturing and testing of ESA’s first planetary defence missionThe European Space Agency has awarded a €129m (£118m) contract to the German space company OHB. The deal covers the design, manufacturing and testing of Hera, the ESA’s first planetary defence mission.Hera is the European contribution to an experiment called the asteroid impact and deflection...

Polarization over energy and climate in Canada

Positive Energy today released new survey results examining Canadians' views on the role of oil and gas in Canada's current and future economy, and the respective roles of federal and provincial governments in the country's energy and climate future. This novel survey explores how party affiliation, ideology, region, gender, and age may influence opinions on these topics. The survey, conducted by...

Race to rescue animals as Brazilian wetlands burn

Wildlife guide Eduarda Fernandes steers a speedboat up the Piquiri river in western Brazil, scanning the horizon for jaguars wounded in the wildfires ripping through the Pantanal, the world's biggest tropical wetlands.

'Cellular compass' guides stem cell division in plants

The stem cells tasked with creating and maintaining biological tissues have a difficult job. They have to precisely divide to form new specialized cells, which are destined to different fates even though they contain identical DNA. An obvious question then is: How do the cells divide in all the right ways to produce a healthy tissue? This was the grand motivating question for Andrew Muroyama, a...

Study shows quizzes improve academic performance

About a year ago, a conversation during a faculty meeting piqued Marcus Crede's interest. A senior faculty member in Iowa State University's Department of Psychology said that he believed frequent quizzes help students better grasp classroom material. Crede, an associate professor of psychology, was skeptical that something as simple as a quiz could positively impact students' academic...

NASA finds a fading wispy Tropical Depression Vicky

NASA's Terra satellite found Vicky to be a shadow of its former self, devoid of precipitation around its low-level center. Any precipitation had been pushed far to the northeast from wind shear. Vicky looked like a wispy ring of clouds on visible satellite imagery and nearby Hurricane Teddy is not helping.

Hurricane Sally's Fierce Rain Shows How Climate Change Raises Storm Risks

As hurricanes go, Sally was not especially powerful. Rated a Category 2 storm when it struck the Gulf Coast on Wednesday, it was soon downgraded. But climate change likely made it more dangerous by slowing it down and feeding it more moisture, setting it up to pummel the region with wind and catastrophic rainfall.Sally was crawling at about 3 mph when its eye made landfall early Wednesday near...

New high-speed test shows how antibiotics combine to kill bacteria

Researchers at Uppsala University have developed a new method to determine—rapidly, easily and cheaply—how effective two antibiotics combined can be in stopping bacterial growth. The new method is simple for laboratories to use and can provide greater scope for customizing treatment of bacterial infections. The study is published in PLOS Biology.

Satellite catches nighttime view of major hurricane Teddy

An early morning infrared image of Hurricane Teddy taken from NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite shows the proximity of the strengthening hurricane to the Lesser Antilles island chain and Puerto Rico. Teddy is a major hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

Poop knives, arachnophobic entomologists win 2020 Ig Nobels

Maybe this year's Ig Nobels, the spoof prizes for dubious but humorous scientific achievement, should have been renamed the Ick Nobels. An anthropologist who tested an urban legend by fashioning a knife out of frozen human feces, and a man who found that spiders oddly give scientists who study insects the heebie-jeebies, are among the 2020 winners. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Thursday's...

Hubble captures crisp new portrait of Jupiter's storms

This latest image of Jupiter, taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope on Aug. 25, 2020, was captured when the planet was 406 million miles from Earth. Hubble's sharp view is giving researchers an updated weather report on the monster planet's turbulent atmosphere, including a remarkable new storm brewing, and a cousin of the famous Great Red Spot region gearing up to change color—again.