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30,604 articles from Guardian Unlimited Science

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...


MONDAY 10. AUGUST 2020


Planet Ceres is an 'ocean world' with sea water beneath surface, mission finds

Dwarf planet, believed to be a barren space rock, has an ‘extensive reservoir’ of brine beneath its surface, images showThe dwarf planet Ceres – long believed to be a barren space rock – is an ocean world with reservoirs of sea water beneath its surface, the results of a major exploration mission showed on Monday.Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and...

Gene manipulation using algae could grow more crops with less water

Enhanced photosynthesis holds promise of higher yields in a drought-afflicted futureTobacco plants have been modified with a protein found in algae to improve their photosynthesis and increase growth, while using less water, in a new advance that could point the way to higher-yielding crops in a drought-afflicted future.The technique focuses on photosynthesis, the complex process by which plants...

Roger Williams obituary

Physician who created the UK’s first liver transplant programme and worked with George Best to highlight the dangers of alcoholThe six-decade career of Roger Williams, who has died at the age of 88 after suffering a heart attack, lay at the heart of an astonishing transformation in liver medicine.In 1968, while a hepatologist at King’s College hospital in London, he teamed up with the...

Did you solve it? Carry on camping

The solutions to today’s hard onesEarlier today I set you the following puzzle:Six friends – Babs, Charles, Hattie, Joan, Kenneth and Sid – are going camping in France. They are travelling across the Channel on a magic carpet that can take only two people at a time. So, in order for everyone to get across there will need to be 9 trips in total from their starting point in England: 5 across...

Study links cannabis use during pregnancy to autism risk

Research suggests 50% greater risk for children whose mothers report using cannabisChildren born to mothers who report using cannabis during pregnancy have about a 50% greater risk of developing autism, research suggests.While the team behind the work said more research was needed to unpick whether cannabis itself was behind the link, they said the results were concerning. Continue...

Can you solve it? Carry on camping

Sir, your puzzle is so hard!Today’s puzzle is a seasonal update of a cherished gem of British culture: the river-crossing puzzle, in which people travel back-and forth across a stretch of water in a very small vessel. The earliest-known river-crossing puzzles appear in a manuscript by Alcuin of York in the eighth century.Another British cultural artefact from a distant age is the Carry On film....

Coronavirus live news: Global infections near 20m as Australia suffers deadliest day

US cases pass 5m; French virus ship passengers sue cruise company; UK daily infections pass 1,000 for first time since June. Follow the latest updatesGlobal infections near 20mGreece sees highest daily case riseUS passes 5m Covid-19 cases as Joe Biden says pandemic ‘breaks heart’Brazil scientist’s despair as coronavirus deaths hit 100,000See all our coronavirus coverage 12.54am BST The...

Reporting on Covid-19 in Spain: 'peaks, troughs and sacrifices

The Guardian’s Madrid correspondent on Spain’s response and how life as a reporter has changedCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageA chunk of the night of 31 January this year was spent on a fact-finding mission to the James Joyce Irish pub in Madrid, where, over the noise of a loud covers band and the bellowing of customers, I shouted for people’s thoughts on the...


SUNDAY 9. AUGUST 2020


Starwatch: moonlight puts a damper on the Perseid show

Our brightest and most reliable annual meteor shower will be affected this year by the proximity of the half moonThis week one of the most reliable annual meteor showers will be on show. The Perseids will reach their peak activity over the next few days. Start looking tonight, particularly in the early hours of the morning, then again tomorrow night and on Wednesday. The meteors are small...

The Guardian view on Brexit bureaucracy: tied up in red tape | Editorial

Businesses already struggling with the fallout from Covid-19 will be forced to deal with a mountain of new bureaucracy in the middle of a deep recessionThe government did not quite achieve the Brexit breakthrough it was seeking on Friday, when there was hope that a fast-tracked trade agreement with Japan might be reached. But it seems likely that a deal, essentially replicating one signed by the...

Katie Mack: 'I didn't anticipate being in a pop song when I went off to study physics'

The cosmologist, author and Twitter sensation on ‘heat death’, getting heckled by Stephen Hawking – and being name-checked on a No 1 albumKatie Mack achieves two improbable feats with her new book, The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking). First, she writes about the end of the universe with a jauntiness that makes it not actually that depressing. And second, she takes concepts in...

Covid-19: only half of Britons would definitely have vaccination

Survey sparks concern over misconceptions about vaccines and scepticism about science Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageOnly half the population of Britain definitely would accept being vaccinated against Covid-19. That is the shock conclusion of a group of scientists and pollsters who have found that only 53% of a test group of citizens said they would be certain or...

Tough choices need to be made, but reopening schools is a priority

Young people have been hugely affected by Covid-19. We must fight this rise in cases and make classrooms as safe as possible• Coronavirus latest updates• See all our coronavirus coverageRebound, resurgence, second wave – whatever you call it, the current coronavirus situation is worrying. Evidence suggests new infections are increasing in many European countries, including Britain, while in...

We can’t ease lockdown any more, expert warns as testing calls grow

Contact tracing must improve to prevent resurgence in England, say care chief and top scientistCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageOne of the government’s most influential scientific advisers is warning that the loosening of lockdown may have already gone too far and that an urgent increase in coronavirus testing and faster contact tracing is essential to prepare for a...