28 articles from SATURDAY 3.2.2024

‘The situation has become appalling’: fake scientific papers push research credibility to crisis point

Last year, 10,000 sham papers had to be retracted by academic journals, but experts think this is just the tip of the icebergTens of thousands of bogus research papers are being published in journals in an international scandal that is worsening every year, scientists have warned. Medical research is being compromised, drug development hindered and promising academic research jeopardised thanks to...

The surprising reason insects circle lights at night: They lose track of the sky

It's an observation as old as humans gathering around campfires: Light at night can draw an erratically circling crowd of insects. In art, music and literature, this spectacle is an enduring metaphor for dangerous but irresistible attractions. And watching their frenetic movements really gives the sense that something is wrong—that instead of finding food and evading predators, these nocturnal...

Scientists discover 12 star-gobbling black holes shining in infrared light

At the heart of nearly all large galaxies lies a supermassive black hole (SMBH). Some of these black holes may be steadily feeding on surrounding gas and dust, while others lie incognito with barely any material to eat. But no type of meal gets a black hole to light up its surroundings quite like anContinue reading "Scientists discover 12 star-gobbling black holes shining in infrared light" The...

Of Two Minds review – a curiously satisfying psychological mystery

Burgeon & Flourish; iOSFusing real movie footage and interactive free-association components, this is a compelling and at times enlightening experienceOnce considered a creative cul-de-sac, the interactive movie – a video game made from filmed footage – is undergoing a renaissance. Like 2022’s Bafta-winning Immortality, Of Two Minds asks players to piece together a mystery from found...

10 feared dead in Chile forest fires

Chilean firefighters were battling rapidly expanding wildfires Saturday that officials fear have claimed around 10 lives and are threatening hundreds of homes, prompting the president to declare a state of emergency.

Common food preservative has unexpected effects on the gut microbiome

Food manufacturers often add preservatives to food products to keep them fresh. The purpose of these preservatives is to kill microbes that could break down and otherwise spoil the food. Common additives like sugar, salt, vinegar and alcohol have been used as preservatives for centuries, but modern-day food labels now reveal more unfamiliar ingredients such as sodium benzoate, calcium propionate,...