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37,692 articles from Guardian Unlimited Science

Yale honours black girl wrongly reported to police over insect project – video report

A nine-year-old girl who had a neighbour call the police on her as she worked to eradicate invasive insects from her home town has earned honours from one of the US’s most prestigious universities. Bobbi Wilson, who is black, unwittingly set off a national discussion about the dangers of racial profiling when a neighbour called the police on her on 22 October as she used a homemade repellant...

‘Less clumpy’ universe may suggest existence of mysterious forces

Survey could mean there is a crucial component missing from so-called standard model of physicsOne of the most precise surveys of the structure of the universe has suggested it is “less clumpy” than expected, in findings that could indicate the existence of mysterious forces at work.The observations by the Dark Energy Survey and the South Pole Telescope chart the distribution of matter with...

‘Charmouth crocodile’ identified as new genus of croc-like creature

Remains of 2-metre-long animal were discovered in 2017 by two fossil hunters for whom it has been namedScientists have identified a new genus of fearsome crocodile-like creature that once hunted off what is now Dorset’s Jurassic Coast.The remains of the 2-metre-long animal were discovered by fossil hunters after a series of landslips on to a beach in 2017, and the newly recognised beast has been...

Mammals that live in groups have longer lifespans, research finds

Researchers identify 31 genes associated with social organisation and longevityMammals that live in groups generally have longer lifespans than solitary species, new research into nearly 1,000 different animals suggests.Scientists from China and Australia compared 974 mammal species, analysing longevity and how they tended to be socially organised. Continue...

Gene editing company hopes to bring dodo ‘back to life’

Company is raising further $150m to pursue research on dodo which became extinct in 17th centuryThe dodo, a Mauritian bird last seen in the 17th century, will be brought back to at least a semblance of life if attempts by a gene editing company are successful.Gene editing techniques now exist that allow scientists to mine the dodo genome for key traits that they believe they can then effectively...

Bizarre ‘whirlpool’ appears in night sky above Hawaii

Phenomenon believed to have origins in launch of military GPS satellite from SpaceX in FloridaA camera on top of Hawaii’s tallest mountain has captured what looks like a spiral swirling through the night sky.Researchers believe the strange phenomenon is linked to a military GPS satellite that launched from a SpaceX rocket in Florida. Continue...

China claims Covid wave is ‘coming to an end’ as tourism and factory activity rebound

Government figures, which cannot be verified, showed big rises in travel and hospitality activity during lunar new year compared to the same time last yearChina’s wave of Covid is “coming to an end”, health officials have claimed, saying there had been no sign of a new surge from the lunar new year holiday period, despite a big increase in travel compared to last year.Government figures...

Yale honors Black girl, 9, wrongly reported to police over insect project

Bobbi Wilson’s efforts to rid her town of the spotted lanternfly unwittingly touched off a national discussion about racial profilingA nine-year-old girl who had a neighbor call the police on her as she worked to eradicate invasive insects from her home town has earned honors from one of the US’s most prestigious universities.The Yale School of Public Health earlier this month held a ceremony...

How to spot the exotic green comet (and what might get in the way) – podcast

This week star gazers will be hoping to catch sight of an exotic green comet that last passed by Earth 50,000 years ago. But, unlike the view our Neanderthal ancestors would have had, light pollution will make witnessing this celestial event an impossibility for many. Ian Sample speaks to astronomy journalist Dr Stuart Clark about how best to see the comet, and why it’s time to rethink our...

Three or more concussions add up to long-term cognitive problems, study suggests

Multiple concussions in a lifetime were shown to affect the ability to plan and pay attention, though research also underlined health benefits of playing sportGet our morning and afternoon news emails, free app or daily news podcastExperiencing multiple concussions may be linked to worse brain function in later life, suggests a study of nearly 16,000 people.Among 15,764 people aged 50 to 90, those...


MONDAY 30. JANUARY 2023


Rare ‘mother of pearl’ clouds spotted over Scotland

Iridescent clouds formed of ice crystals are usually found in extremely cold air above polar regionsExcited weather watchers have captured stunning images of rare “mother of pearl” clouds, which have formed high up in the atmosphere over Scotland.Such clouds tend to develop in the extremely cold air above polar regions, but were spotted on Sunday evening and Monday morning by BBC weather...

What is the radioactive capsule missing in WA used for and how dangerous is it?

As authorities scour the desert for the missing source, here’s what we know about how it works and what threat it poses to humansFollow our Australia news live blog for the latest updatesGet our morning and afternoon news emails, free app or daily news podcastAuthorities are continuing the search for a tiny radioactive capsule lost along a 1,400km stretch of Western Australian desert highway.The...

Starwatch: Auriga hidden in plain sight beside its famous neighbours

Constellation is often associated with Greek myth of Phaeton, who went on reckless joyride with the sunThis week, search out the northern constellation of Auriga, the charioteer. It was first listed in Ptolemy’s second-century compendium The Almagest, making it one of the oldest constellations.Although often overshadowed by its neighbours, Orion and Taurus, Auriga contains the sixth brightest...


SUNDAY 29. JANUARY 2023


The human genome needs updating. But how do we make it fair?

Healthcare’s standard genome is mostly based on one American. As we enter the era of personalised medicine, this bias has drawbacks for much of the world’s populationIn June 2000, Bill Clinton, the then US president, stood smilingly next to the leaders of the Human Genome Project. “In genetic terms, all human beings, regardless of race, are more than 99.9% the same,” he declared. That was...

Survivors of childhood trauma often grow up believing they are unworthy | Andrea Szasz

Being conditioned as a child to see toxic relationships as almost normal can prevent an adult make loving connectionsThe modern mind is a column where experts discuss mental health issues they are seeing in their workWell-spoken and seemingly confident, Jane* came to therapy as a single, 55-year-old woman after a string of “toxic” relationships. In our first session, she wondered why she was...

‘It was all for nothing’: Chinese count cost of Xi’s snap decision to let Covid rip

After three years of lockdowns, the country was ill prepared for its abrupt ‘freedom’. Now, with some estimating 1m deaths, public anger is growingWhen Sunny* thinks back to March last year, she laughs ruefully at the ordeal. The 19-year-old Shanghai student spent that month locked in her dormitory, unable to shop for essentials or wash clothes, even banned from showering for two weeks over...

May I have a word about… rummaging around on the Antiques Roadshow | Jonathan Bouquet

We know the show turns up gems from the house and garden – but don’t forget the linguistic ones tooIf there is a television equivalent of comfort food, then surely it has to be the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow. Presenter Fiona Bruce is a perpetual ray of sunshine, the experts are to a man and woman warm hearted and the people clutching their possessions always radiate hope that they are offering...

Plant toxin hailed as ‘new weapon’ in antibiotic war against bacteria

Scientists say albicidin has allowed them to take a giant step forward to creating a powerful new range of antibacterial drugs Scientists have discovered a plant toxin whose unique method of dispatching bacteria could be used to create a powerful new range of antibiotics. The prospect of developing new antibacterial drugs this way has been hailed by doctors, who have been warning for many years...


SATURDAY 28. JANUARY 2023


No sunlight, no soil – no worries as vertical farming looks stacked with promise

Stacked Farm can produce perfect-looking strawberries, tomatoes and baby cos all year round. But will high energy inputs be its achilles heel?Follow our Australia news live blog for the latest updatesGet our morning and afternoon news emails, free app or daily news podcast Not far from the fertile farmlands known as Australia’s salad bowl, rows of fruit and vegetables are being cultivated...

Otherlands author Thomas Halliday: ‘Some people have insisted on reading the book backwards’

The paleobiologist and author of Foyles’ nonfiction book of 2022 on Earth’s deep past, the joys of the British Library, and how early four-limbed vertebrates helped him find his feetThomas Halliday was born in 1989 and raised in Rannoch in the Scottish Highlands. He studied zoology at Cambridge before specialising in paleobiology for his master’s and PhD – winning the Linnean Society Medal...


FRIDAY 27. JANUARY 2023


‘Remarkable’: Eastbourne shipwreck identified as 17th-century Dutch warship

Klein Hollandia discovery ‘opens up fascinating chapter in rich, shared maritime history between UK and Netherlands’• Shipwrecked: how tech is revealing world of 3m lost vesselsA remarkably preserved shipwreck known only as the “unknown wreck off Eastbourne” has finally been identified as the 17th-century Dutch warship Klein Hollandia which was involved in all the big battles in the...

US moves to simplify Covid vaccines into yearly dose to target variants

The FDA asked its scientific advisers on Thursday to help chalk out plan to move to a flu shot-like schedule for coronavirusThe US is poised to make Covid-19 vaccinations more like a yearly flu shot, a major shift in strategy despite a long list of questions about how to best protect against a still rapidly mutating virus.The Food and Drug Administration asked its scientific advisers on Thursday...


THURSDAY 26. JANUARY 2023


Science journals ban listing of ChatGPT as co-author on papers

Some publishers also banning use of bot in preparation of submissions but others see its adoption as inevitableThe publishers of thousands of scientific journals have banned or restricted contributors’ use of an advanced AI-driven chatbot amid concerns that it could pepper academic literature with flawed and even fabricated research.ChatGPT, a fluent but flaky chatbot developed by OpenAI in...

Feline uncertain? Cats do give clues if the fur’s about to fly, study finds

Study of 105 pairs of interacting felines decodes the cat behaviour that puzzles humans – and flags up the unsubtle battle cry of claws and yowlingWhen cats get together it can be difficult to tell rough and tumble play from a full-blown scrap. Now researchers say they have decoded feline behaviour to help owners spot when the fur might be about to fly.Dr Noema Gajdoš‑Kmecová, first author...

Loyalty card data could help spot ovarian cancer cases sooner

Researchers find pain and indigestion medication purchases were higher in women who went on to be diagnosedLoyalty card data on over-the-counter medicine purchases could help spot ovarian cancer cases earlier and enable more patients to fully recover, researchers have found.Pain and indigestion medication purchases were higher in women who went on to be diagnosed with ovarian cancer, usually about...

Archaeologist hails possibly oldest mummy yet found in Egypt

The 4,300-year-old mummy was found at the bottom of a 15-metre shaft near the Step Pyramid at SaqqaraEgyptologists have uncovered a Pharaonic tomb near the capital, Cairo, containing what may be the oldest and most complete mummy yet to be discovered in the country, the excavation team leader has said.The 4,300-year-old mummy was found at the bottom of a 15-metre shaft in a recently uncovered...

We are all playing Covid roulette. Without clean air, the next infection could permanently disable you | George Monbiot

As rich people plough money into ventilation to protect themselves, those with long Covid are treated as an embarrassmentYou could see Covid-19 as an empathy test. Who was prepared to suffer disruption and inconvenience for the sake of others, and who was not? The answer was often surprising. I can think, for instance, of five prominent environmentalists who denounced lockdowns, vaccines and even...

Misophonia: how ‘sound rage’ destroys relationships and forces people to move home

Sent into apoplexy by whistling noses? Can’t bear the sound of people eating? You could be one of the many people affected by this potentially debilitating conditionAs a teenager, I remember being moved almost to tears by the sound of a family member chewing muesli. A friend eating dumplings once forced me to flee the room. The noises one former housemate makes when chomping popcorn mean I have...

How will ChatGPT transform creative work? – podcast

ChatGPT has been causing a stir since its launch last year. The chatbot’s ability to produce convincing essays, stories and even song lyrics has impressed users, and this week attracted a multibillion-dollar investment from Microsoft. Ian Sample speaks to Prof John Naughton about how ChatGPT works, hears from author Patrick Jackson about how it will change publishing, and asks where the...

Asteroid 2023 BU about to pass Earth in one of closest ever encounters

No danger, says Nasa, from delivery truck-sized asteroid that was discovered on Saturday and will pass lower than communication satellites An asteroid the size of a delivery truck will pass Earth in one of the closest such encounters ever recorded – coming within a tenth of the distance of most communication satellites’ orbit.Nasa said the newly discovered asteroid would pass 2,200 miles...

Six lifestyle choices to slow memory decline named in 10-year study

Over-60s who combined more healthy lifestyle choices enjoyed most benefit, found Beijing researchersA combination of healthy lifestyle choices such as eating well, regularly exercising, playing cards and socialising at least twice a week may help slow the rate of memory decline and reduce the risk of dementia, a decade-long study suggests.Memory is a fundamental function of daily life that...


WEDNESDAY 25. JANUARY 2023


Ignore the ‘superpower’ boasts – UK pharma looks superchallenged

NHS crisis, withdrawal of tax credits and exit from EU blamed for fall in UK share of R&D marketBig pharma is unhappy about the prices it is being paid in the UK – a state of affairs the rest of us might instinctively regard as welcome, as it suggests the NHS is still world class when it comes to negotiating terms for branded medicines. The UK spends about 9% of its healthcare budget on such...

Terrawatch: Santorini braces as explosive volcano stirs

Activity detected in Kolumbo, just off Greek island, which is likely to trigger tsunami when it next eruptsIt has been quiet for nearly 400 years, but Kolumbo, an underwater volcano just off the Greek island of Santorini, is not asleep. A previously undetected magma chamber is gradually filling with melt, prompting researchers to recommend real-time monitoring of the volcano.The last time Kolumbo...

Net zero by 2050 in England and Wales equals ‘extra 2m years of life’

Study points to ‘substantial reductions in mortality’ and significant health benefits if policies implementedReaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions in England and Wales by 2050 will lead to an extra 2m years of life, a study suggests.The UK is legally committed to hitting net zero by 2050. Many of the proposed policies will reduce harmful environmental factors such as air pollution, and...


TUESDAY 24. JANUARY 2023


Humans able to understand other apes better than thought, research suggests

Study from St Andrew’s University gauges ability of people to interpret bonobo and chimpanzee gesturesWe may not be able to strike up a conversation, debate politics or chat about the meaning of life with other great apes, but our ability to understand one another might be greater than once thought.Researchers have discovered adult humans can discern the meaning of gestures produced by bonobos...

Nasa to test nuclear rockets that could fly astronauts to Mars in record time

Project, in concert with US government agency Darpa, aims to develop pioneering propulsion system for space travelNasa has unveiled plans to test nuclear-powered rockets that would fly astronauts to Mars in ultra-fast time.The agency has partnered with the US government’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) to demonstrate a nuclear thermal rocket engine in space as soon as 2027, it...

Doomsday Clock at record 90 seconds to midnight amid Ukraine crisis

Scientists warn of ‘unprecedented danger’ and say ‘Russia’s war … has raised profound questions’A panel of international scientists has warned that humanity’s continued existence is at greater risk than ever before, largely as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists set its Doomsday Clock at 90 seconds to midnight, the closest to midnight the...