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118 articles from Guardian Unlimited Science

Coronavirus live news: France says UK quarantine will lead to reciprocal measures as global deaths pass 750,000

France and Spain report highest post-lockdown Covid-19 cases; Trans-Tasman travel bubble ‘on pause’; Iraq reports record daily infections. Follow the latest updatesUK adds France to Covid-19 14-day quarantine listFrance says UK quarantine will lead to reciprocal measuresGreece: UK passengers barred from flights over confusing formMobile crematorium in Bolivia as deaths surgeSee all our...


THURSDAY 13. AUGUST 2020


Climate change most likely cause of woolly rhino extinction – study

Analysis of ancient DNA from Siberia finds human hunting probably not to blameThe woolly rhino may have been wiped out by climate change rather than human hunting, researchers have revealed.Enormous, hairy and with a huge hump, the woolly rhino roamed northern Eurasia until about 14,000 years ago. The cause of its demise has been much debated, with remains found near prehistoric human sites...

Vasectomies: men recall final cuts and close shaves | Letters

Rob Delaney’s frank and funny account of his vasectomy revives memories for readers including Mike Cashman and the Rev Trevor SmithRob Delaney’s article about having a vasectomy (‘Could I feel what they were doing? Yes’, 12 August) brought back memories from when I had one because my wife and I did not want more children.The surgeon gave me a local anaesthetic and I was cut above my penis....

I was Obama’s Ebola tsar. US healthcare workers are dying at a shameful rate | Ronald A Klain

More than 900 healthcare workers have died in this pandemic. Many of those deaths could have been preventedHealthcare workers usually bear the brunt of an epidemic. Doctors, nurses and other medical personnel are in constant contact with people who may be infected. The cruel math of such potential exposures, multiplied over and over, inevitably takes a toll.Covid-19 is no exception. Lost on the...

Study revives debate over breast cancer screening age

Update to long-running study finds screening from age of 40 rather than 50 could save livesScreening women from the age of 40 for breast cancer has the potential to save lives, according to a study that will reopen the debate over the timing as well as the risks and benefits of routine mammograms.A group at Queen Mary University of London looked at data on 160,000 women between the ages of 39 and...

Up to 6% of England's population may have had Covid, study shows

Imperial College home testing programme suggests 13% of Londoners have antibodiesCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageAbout 3.4 million people in England – 6% of the population – have had Covid-19, with infections more common among members of black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, according to the results of a large home antibody testing study.The results from...

I'm disabled but was told I won't receive critical care if I get Covid. It's terrifying

I use a ventilation machine at night and by early March, I could see that if I were to catch coronavirus, I’d be in serious troubleTowards the end of last year, I’d just got my life back on track after a long stay in hospital. I was discharged with round-the-clock care that transformed my life.I am disabled and the care package I was on before I was admitted to hospital didn’t provide enough...

From the archives: the chemistry of crime fiction – podcast

The Science Weekly team are taking a summer break – well, some of them – and so we’re bringing you an episode from the archive. And not just any episode, one of Nicola Davis’s favourites. Back in 2017, Nicola sat down with with Dr Kathryn Harkup to discuss a shared love of crime fiction and the chemistry contained within their poisonous plots Continue...

Coronavirus live news: New Zealand confirms 13 new community cases; Russia vaccine due in fortnight

‘We do believe there will be further cases,’ says New Zealand’s Ashley Bloomfield; Russia vaccine not yet completed its final trials; global deaths climb towards 750,000. Follow the latest updates‘They’ve jumped the gun’: scientists worry about Russia’s Covid-19 vaccineCovid-19 may have been circulating in New Zealand for weeks, as fresh case emergesFrench and Dutch on alert over...


WEDNESDAY 12. AUGUST 2020


Bushfire scientists call for Australia to set up national fire monitoring agency

Inconsistencies in how fires are measured across the states leads to confusion over how much of the country actually burned, experts sayA group of bushfire scientists have used an article in one of the world’s leading scientific journals to call for Australia to establish a national agency to monitor the scale, severity and impacts of fires.The eight scientists from Australia and Spain say...

'They've jumped the gun': scientists worry about Russia's Covid-19 vaccine

Rising chorus of concern over Sputnik V vaccine stems from opaque development and lack of mass testing Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageIn 1977, Scott Halstead, a virologist at the University of Hawaii, was studying dengue fever when he noticed a now well-known but then unexpected feature of the disease.Animals that had already been exposed to one of the four closely...

Sputnik review – smart Soviet-era sci-fi chiller

The alien is the least of the horrors in Egor Abramenko’s mostly gripping suspense, set in a dour 80s army facility with an unwanted visitor‘We sent two into space. Three came back.” At first, no one notices the extraterrestrial stowaway when a Soviet rocket lands back on Earth; the creature is tucked out of sight, getting comfy in the oesophagus of one of the two astronauts on board. But it...

We have no idea if the Russian Covid vaccine is safe or effective | Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz

The only discernible difference between Russia’s vaccine and others is that this one has skipped most of the testing phases • Russia’s coronavirus vaccine: will it work, and is it safe?Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, there’s been one hope that we’ve all relied on. We’re all waiting, with baited breath, for the day that scientists announce a successful coronavirus vaccine, because...

'Could I feel what they were doing? Yes': Rob Delaney on the pain and pleasure of his vasectomy

The actor and comedian decided it was time to have the procedure after he and his wife had had four children. Here he writes candidly about the experience, and why it was the kindest cutI got a vasectomy a few months ago. A vasectomy is when they cut and tie off the vas deferens, which are these little tubes in your ball sack (scrotum) so that there’s no sperm (sperm) in your jizz (semen) when...

Global report: New Zealand begins mass testing as Australia records deadliest day

New Zealand to conduct ‘tens of thousands’ of tests; 21 deaths recorded in Australian state of Victoria; US health secretary sceptical of Russia vaccineCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageAustralia suffered its deadliest day of the pandemic so far, with 21 deaths in the state of Victoria, as authorities in New Zealand’s largest city prepared to conduct “tens of...

Coronavirus live news: Lebanon sees record cases after blast; New Zealand's biggest city heads into lockdown

WHO warns displacement of people in Beirut risks accelerating Covid-19 spread; four new cases in Auckland, New Zealand; Australia suffers deadliest day. Follow the latest updatesRussia approves vaccine despite testing concernsFrench and Dutch on alert over rise in casesLost on the frontline: the 900 US health workers who have diedSee all our coronavirus coverage 3.59am BST Nibarchana Oli has tried...


TUESDAY 11. AUGUST 2020


The Guardian view on artificial intelligence's revolution: learning but not as we know it | Editorial

GPT-3, the software behind the world’s best non-human writer, is a giant step forward for machines. What about humanity? Bosses don’t often play down their products. Sam Altman, the CEO of artificial intelligence company OpenAI, did just that when people went gaga over his company’s latest software: the Generative Pretrained Transformer 3 (GPT-3). For some, GPT-3 represented a moment in...

Powerhouses: nanotechnology turns bricks into batteries

Research could pave way for cheap supercapacitor storage of renewable energyThe humble house brick has been turned into a battery that can store electricity, raising the possibility that buildings could one day become literal powerhouses.The new technology exploits the porous nature of fired red bricks by filling the pores with tiny nanofibres of a conducting plastic that can store charge. The...

Coronavirus: health secretary Alex Azar expects US vaccine by December

Azar plays down significance of Russian vaccine progressHealth secretary predicts ‘tens of millions of doses’ by year’s endThe US health secretary, Alex Azar, said on Tuesday morning that America hopes to have a coronavirus vaccine approved by December and tamped down Russia’s celebrations over unveiling its own vaccine after rapid development.“The point is not to be first,” Azar said....

'As the tundra burns, we cannot afford climate silence': a letter from the Arctic | Victoria Herrmann

I study the Arctic. The decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord is reprehensible – but we can’t give up hopeWhen you stand facing an exposed edge of permafrost, you can feel it from a distance.It emanates a cold that tugs on every one of your senses. Permanently bound by ice year after year, the frozen soil is packed with carcasses of woolly mammoths and ancient ferns. They’re...

Covid-19: tracking the spread of a virus in real time – podcast

Central to infectious disease control is tracking the spread of a pathogen through the population. In Cambridge, UK, researchers are looking at genetic mutations in samples from Covid-19 patients to rapidly investigate how and where hospital transmissions are occurring. Dr Estée Török tells Nicola Davis what this real-time pathological detective work can reveal about the origins of an outbreak...

Coronavirus live news: Global cases top 20m as WHO chief says ‘it’s never too late to turn outbreak around'

Deaths likely to pass 750,000 this week, says WHO; Trump considers blocking Americans who may have Covid-19 from coming home; EU health agency calls for new lockdowns; Follow the latest updatesGlobal cases pass 20mFrance extends mask use as Greece says it is in second waveGlobal report: Covid cases worldwide near 20 millionWorld map: which countries have the most cases and deaths?See all our...