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40,166 articles from Guardian Unlimited Science

Bonobos not the peace-loving primates once thought, study reveals

Male-on-male aggression more frequent among bonobos than chimps, but aggression between males and females less commonBonobos are not quite the peace-loving primates they have long been considered, researchers say, after finding that males show more aggression towards each other than chimpanzees.Bonobos and chimpanzees are humans’ closing living relatives. While chimpanzees are known to show...

‘This isn’t how good scientific debate happens’: academics on culture of fear in gender medicine research

Cass review found professionals in the field are scared to discuss views amid risk of reputational damage and online abuse Critical thinking and open debate are pillars of scientific and medical research. Yet experienced professionals are increasingly scared to openly discuss their views on the treatment of children questioning their gender identity.This was the conclusion drawn by Hilary Cass in...


THURSDAY 11. APRIL 2024


Feeling angry? Here’s how to deal with it | Letters

Readers respond to Japanese research on anger management techniques Your article (Write down your thoughts and shred them to relieve anger, researchers say, 9 April) reminded me that, in the 1960s, after visiting a preschool group in a monitoring capacity, I felt aggrieved by the way I’d been received. On returning home, I wrote a letter to the person involved, but then calmed down sufficiently...

Banquet room with preserved frescoes unearthed among Pompeii ruins

‘Black room’ with frescoes inspired by Trojan war described as one of most striking discoveries ever made at site in southern ItalyA banquet room replete with well preserved frescoes depicting characters inspired by the Trojan war has been unearthed among the ruins of Pompeii in what has been described as one of the most striking discoveries ever made at the southern Italy archaeological...

Nostalgia: A History of a Dangerous Emotion by Agnes Arnold-Forster review – no place like home

This absorbing exploration of nostalgia raises questions about its slippery nature, and shows how it has been chillingly deployed in politics, from the cold war to TrumpismIn the 1970s there were American press reports of an Iowa man who was tormented by his yearning for the 16-year stretch of time that ran from 1752 to 1768. His misery was the result of not being...

The senior Swiss women who went to court over climate change, and won – podcast

This week, in a landmark case, the European court of human rights ruled that Switzerland’s weak climate policy had violated the rights of a group of older Swiss women to family life. Ian Sample talks to Europe environment correspondent Ajit Niranjan about why the women brought the case and what the ruling could mean for future climate policy.Read Ajit Niranjan’s article about the court case...


WEDNESDAY 10. APRIL 2024


Remembering physicist Peter Higgs – podcast

The Nobel prize-winning British physicist Peter Higgs has died aged 94. The confirmation in 2012 of the existence of the Higgs boson particle, five decades after Higgs had first theorised its existence, paved the way for his 2013 Nobel win. Nicknamed ‘the god particle’, the Higgs boson was part of an attempt to explain why the building blocks of the universe have mass. Ian Sample and Madeleine...

Fox bones at ancient burial site suggest animal may have been kept as pet

Clues at Argentina site raise possibility mammal was buried with human owners about 1,500 years agoThe remains of a fox unearthed at a human burial site in Argentina dating back 1,500 years has raised the possibility the animal may have been kept as a pet, research suggests.Experts say the remains predate the arrival of domestic dogs in Patagonia, which occurred about 700–900 years ago, with a...


TUESDAY 9. APRIL 2024


Peter Higgs obituary

Theoretical physicist whose name was attached to the Higgs boson, a sign of the mechanism underlying the structure of atomsIn 1964 the theoretical physicist Peter Higgs, who has died aged 94, suggested that the universe contains an all-pervading essence that can be manifested in the form of particles. This idea inspired governments to spend billions to find what became known as Higgs bosons.The...

The mysteries of near-death experiences | Letters

Readers respond to Alex Blasdel’s long read on the studies of brain activity immediately after deathAlex Blasdel’s long read contains some fascinating facts and speculations (The new science of death: ‘There’s something happening in the brain that makes no sense, 2 April). However, it is odd to suggest that there are only three approaches to understanding so-called near-death experiences...

Peter Higgs, physicist who discovered Higgs boson, dies aged 94

Nobel-prize winning physicist who showed how particle helped bind universe together died at home in EdinburghPeter Higgs, the Nobel prize-winning physicist who discovered a new particle known as the Higgs boson, has died.Higgs, 94, who was awarded the Nobel prize for physics in 2013 for his work in 1964 showing how the boson helped bind the universe together by giving particles their mass, died at...

Write down your thoughts and shred them to relieve anger, researchers say

Writing negative reactions on paper and shredding it or scrunching and throwing in the bin eliminates angry feelings, study findsSince time immemorial humans have tried to devise anger management techniques.In ancient Rome, the Stoic philosopher Seneca believed “my anger is likely to do me more harm than your wrong” and offered avoidance tips in his AD45 work De Ira (On Anger). Continue...

Yes, total eclipses are very nice. But have you ever smelled bacon? | Zoe Williams

I’d love to feel the beautiful mysteries of the universe. But I have other interestsThe total solar eclipse, visible in parts of Mexico, the US and Canada yesterday, was experienced in the UK only as a “small grazing” (that’s what the astronomers call it), and then only in the north and west of the country. Happily, I went to Lewis in the Outer Hebrides for the eclipse of 2015, where...

Study sheds light on the white dwarf star, likely destroyer of our solar system

Huge gravity of these dense stars, which have burned all their own fuel, rips apart smaller planetary bodiesIt’s the end of the world, not quite as we know it.Scientists from the University of Warwick and other universities have studied the impact white dwarfs – end-of-state stars that have burned all their fuel – have on planetary systems such as our own solar system. Continue...

The vorfreude secret: 30 zero-effort ways to fill your life with joy

How can you change your life for the better today? Learn not just to appreciate happiness – but to anticipate itBe honest: there are times when you have felt schadenfreude, or “delight in another’s misfortunes”. But what about vorfreude? I recently came across this lovely word, which my German-speaking friend translated as “the anticipation of joy”. It struck me as such a hopeful...

Horny tortoises and solar mysteries: what scientists can learn from a total eclipse – podcast

For most people seeing a total solar eclipse is a once in a lifetime experience. But for scientists it can be a fleeting chance to understand something deeper about their field of research. Madeleine Finlay meets solar scientist prof Huw Morgan, of Aberystwyth University, and Adam Hartstone-Rose, professor of biological sciences at NC State University, to find out what they hoped to learn from 8...

Silver coin boom in medieval England due to melted down Byzantine treasures, study reveals

Chemical analysis reveals origin of coinage that stimulated trade and helped fuel development of new towns from seventh centurySeveral decades after the Sutton Hoo burial, starting in about AD660, there was a sudden rise in the number of silver coins in circulation in England, for reasons that have long puzzled archaeologists and historians.The new rush of silver coinage stimulated trade and...


MONDAY 8. APRIL 2024


Millions watch as total solar eclipse sweeps across Mexico, US and Canada – video

Millions of people across 15 US states, Mexico and Canada witnessed the rare and ethereal spectacle of a total solar eclipse on Monday, with cities plunged into sudden darkness and experiencing a precipitous drop in temperatures. The first such eclipse to cross the US in seven years swept ashore in the Mexican beach resort Mazatlán before crossing the Texas border at Eagle Pass and heading...

‘Extraordinary’: total solar eclipse wows watchers in north Texas

The weather largely cooperated as eclipse watchers were awarded with a heavenly event as clouds parted and sun and moon mergedIgnas Barauskas almost missed it.He bought plane tickets from his home in Lithuania to the United States about a month ago. After a series of flight delays, he landed in Dallas around midnight, ready for a once-in-a-lifetime total eclipse of the sun. Continue...

Pregnancy may speed up biological ageing, study finds

Each pregnancy is linked with an additional two to three months of biological ageing, researchers sayPregnancy may speed up biological ageing in women, a study has found.Scientists at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York looked at the reproductive histories and DNA samples from 1,735 people in a long-term, continuing health survey in the Philippines to investigate...

Rare total eclipse of the sun darkens Mexico's skies – video

Observers in Mazatlan were the first to witness a rare solar eclipse as the moon obscured the sun over Mexico. People in the US and Canada were also able to enjoy the spectacle. The most recent total solar eclipse in the US was in 2017, but an interval of only seven years is unusual. The previous one before that took place in 1979, and the next one visible in the US will not be until August...

Partial solar eclipse reaches Texas ahead of total eclipse across US, Mexico and Canada – live

Total solar eclipse will be visible along ‘path of totality’ that measures about 115 miles wide, sweeping across 15 US states beginning at 1:30pm CTFull story – Millions gather across US, Mexico and Canada for total solar eclipseHow and when to watch today’s total solar eclipseFirst contact is when the moon’s outer edge first appears to touch the sun, creating the beginnings of a partial...

If you missed today’s total solar eclipse just wait … until 2044

You might have to travel a bit – and wait a few years – but there will be another eclipse as long as the sun, moon and Earth are in orbitTotal solar eclipse to sweep across Mexico, US and Canada – live updatesMaybe it was cloudy as you tried to view the eclipse, or you live outside the path of totality. Perhaps you enjoyed the spectacle so much that you just can’t wait for the next...

Touch can reduce pain, depression and anxiety, say researchers

More consensual touch helps ease or buffer against mental and physical complaints, meta-analysis showsWhether it is a hug from a friend or the caress of a weighted blanket, the sensation of touch appears to bring benefits for the body and mind, researchers say.The sense of touch is the first to develop in babies and is crucial in allowing us to experience the environment around us as well as...

Millions gather across US, Mexico and Canada for total solar eclipse

Travelers, undeterred by gloomy forecasts potentially spoiling celestial show, assemble from Texas to Maine for rare spectacleTotal solar eclipse to sweep across Mexico, US and Canada – live updatesMillions of people were gathering across 15 states, and in Mexico and Canada, on Monday in anticipation of this afternoon’s total solar eclipse that is expected to deliver a dazzling celestial...

‘Vital for looking after the soil’: fears as UK earthworm population declines

Keystone species has potentially enormous effects on above-ground wildlife and ecosystem functioningInvertebrate of the year 2024: all hail Earth’s spineless heroesNominate your UK invertebrate species of the yearIn 2019, 15,000 children from primary schools across the UK went out to their local playing field. Instead of kicking a ball around, they dug up worms, looked out for birds, and counted...

The big idea: do our political opponents really hate us?

Not half as much as we think, according to the evidence – and there are ways to break the cycle of mutual mistrustPolitics is a firestorm, sometimes literally. In 2023 in the Berkshire mountains of Massachusetts, someone threw petrol on a pro-Trump sign nailed to a tree and set light to it. Three years earlier in the same area, a 49-year-old Trump supporter started a huge blaze after igniting...

Starwatch: exploding nova promises rare sight in coming months

Records show T Coronae Borealis outburst occurs every 80 years or so and is expected between now and SeptemberGet ready for a “new” star to appear in the night sky. Not really new of course, but a star that is now below the naked-eye visibility limit is gearing up for an outburst that will bring it within sight of the unaided eye for the first time since the 1940s.Such a star is called a nova,...

‘I didn’t want to hurt that girl. I just felt this pressure building …’ The sociopath who learned to behave – and found happiness

Patric Gagne has spent most of her life fighting terrible urges. She is also a loving sister, daughter, mother and wife. She talks about her remarkable journeyThere is a slight flash in her eyes as Patric Gagne describes what she calls the “tug” – the moment she imagines something she really shouldn’t do and thinks: “Wouldn’t that be fun?”She laughs. What would once have been a...


SUNDAY 7. APRIL 2024


Solar eclipse: parts of UK crane for a ‘small grazing’

The total eclipse visible in North America may be seen as a partial one in some UK areas – weather permittingMillions of people in the US, Canada and Mexico are planning to gather to watch Monday’s solar eclipse, when the daylight skies will be momentarily engulfed in darkness as the moon passes between the sun and the Earth.More than 31 million people live in what is known as the path of...

The French aristocrat who understood evolution 100 years before Darwin – and even worried about climate change

Georges-Louis Leclerc proposed species change and extinction back in the 1740s, a new book revealsShortly after Charles Darwin published his magnum opus, The Origin of Species, in 1859 he started reading a little-known 100-year-old work by a wealthy French aristocrat.Its contents were quite a surprise. “Whole pages [of his book] are laughably like mine,” Darwin wrote to a friend. “It is...

Bad omens and deep-state lunacy: solar eclipse brings wave of memes

TikTokers and brands are getting in on the rare phenomenon, as astrological warnings and conspiracy theories aboundFrom eclipse donuts to deep-state lunacy, the weeks-long social media buildup to a solar eclipse is birthing memes, marketing gimmicks, and more than a few conspiracy theories. As many prepare for the celestial event in person, content creators have also scrambled to commemorate the...

What do animals do during an eclipse? Observers in US zoos hope to find out

Frantic giraffes, barking gibbons, randy tortoises … previous solar eclipses have revealed varied responses to sudden onset of darknessNot every scientist’s attention will be focused on the skies during Monday’s solar eclipse. Animal behaviorists at several zoos across its pathway will be watching creatures great and small for their reactions to the sudden, unexpected darkness.The research...