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36,427 articles from Guardian Unlimited Science

‘Incredible milestone’: Nasa launches rocket from Australian space centre

Successful launch from Arnhem Space Centre in Northern Territory marks agency’s first from a commercial spaceport outside US Follow our Australia news live blog for the latest updatesGet our free news app; get our morning email briefingNasa has successfully launched a rocket from the Northern Territory – the first commercial space launch in Australia’s history.Troublesome winds caused the...


SUNDAY 26. JUNE 2022


Gold miner in Canada finds mummified 35,000-year-old woolly mammoth

Discovery in the Klondike ranks as the most complete mummified mammal found in the AmericasIt was a young miner, digging through the northern Canadian permafrost in the seemingly aptly named Eureka Creek, who sounded the alarm when his front-end loader struck something unexpected in the Klondike gold fields.What he had stumbled upon would later be described by the territory’s palaeontologist as...

Frogs that lay eggs on land – new genus named after WA teacher whose lab was a campervan

Anstisia biological group named after Marion Antsis, who wrote an acclaimed book on amphibians after retiring as a music teacherFollow our Australia news live blog for the latest updatesGet our free news app; get our morning email briefingFour frog species in Western Australia that lay their eggs on land have been identified as a new genus and named after a retired high school music...

Can our mitochondria help to beat long Covid?

Mitochondria are the body’s power plants, fuelling our cells. New research shows they play a role in many aspects of keeping us healthy – and could be the key to unlocking treatments for chronic diseases, including Parkinson’sAt Cambridge University’s MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit, Michal Minczuk is one of a growing number of scientists around the world aiming to find new ways of...

How I cope with feelings of envy by saying the Arabic word ‘mashallah’

How the phrase ‘what God has willed has happened’ helped me shift feelings of jealousy towards admiration and respectI don’t feel envy very often and that isn’t because I don’t know anyone who is worthy of it. The people in my life are nothing short of brilliant. My friends and family are talented writers whose books and magazines I display proudly on my shelves. They are erudite...

Johnson faces possible legal action over delay to Covid public inquiry

Campaigners say they will seek judicial review amid fears delay could lead to loss of evidenceBoris Johnson is facing possible legal action over a delay to the start of the Covid-19 public inquiry, which campaigners fear could lead to evidence being destroyed.The prime minister pledged in parliament that the statutory inquiry into the UK’s handling of the pandemic, which has so far resulted in...

Vaccinologist Sarah Gilbert: ‘We need to be better prepared for a new pandemic’

The woman who co-developed the AstraZeneca vaccine on reassuring doubters, her new book and having a baby penguin named after herDame Sarah Gilbert, 60, is a professor of vaccinology at Oxford’s Jenner Institute and author, with Catherine Green, head of Oxford University’s clinical biomanufacturing facility, of Vaxxers – a gripping narrative about developing the AstraZeneca vaccine that is...

Brain damage claim leads to new row over electroshock therapy

Experts divided on effectiveness of ECT and concerned by overuse in women and the elderly It is one of the most dramatic techniques employed in modern psychology. An electric shock is administered directly to the brains of individuals who are suffering from depression.But electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is controversial among some psychologists and is now the focus of a huge row – which erupted...

First of three Nasa rockets to take off from Northern Territory space centre

Rocket carrying instruments to study the evolution of the universe will be Nasa’s first launch from commercial port outside USGet our free news app; get our morning email briefingThe first of three Nasa rockets scheduled to launch from the Northern Territory is due to take off on Sunday night, carrying precision instruments that will give scientists new data on the evolution of the cosmos.If all...


SATURDAY 25. JUNE 2022


Britain is being hit by a new wave of Covid – so what do we do now?

Health experts answer the key questions arising from the latest surge in infectionsBritain is now going through its third major wave of Covid-19 infections this year. According to the ONS Infection Survey released last week, about 1.7 million people in the UK are estimated to have been infected in the week ending 18 June, a 23% rise on the previous week. This follows a 43% jump the previous week....

Sleep scientist Russell Foster: ‘I want to take the anxiety around sleep away’

The Oxford professor has studied our circadian rhythms for decades – and says much of what we think we know is wrongBorn in Aldershot in 1959, Russell Foster is a professor of circadian neuroscience at Oxford and the director of the Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology. For his discovery of non-rod, non-cone ocular photoreceptors he received numerous awards including the Zoological Society...


FRIDAY 24. JUNE 2022


Our global food supply is at risk when high gas prices limit the creation of fertiliser | Andrew Whitelaw

We need synthetic fertilisers to produce enough food for the world’s population – there are no other alternatives yetSign up for the Rural Network email newsletterJoin the Rural Network group on Facebook to be part of the communityIf water is the source of life, fertiliser is the source of scaleable food production.The increasing cost of fertiliser is one of the largest contributors to a...

US to proceed with production of biofuels despite global food crisis

Campaigners call to prioritise grain for human consumption over its use as a fuelThe US will press ahead with biofuels production, the deputy secretary for agriculture has said, despite increasing concerns over a global food crisis, and calls from campaigners to prioritise grain for human consumption over its use as a fuel.Jewel Bronaugh, the deputy secretary of agriculture, said US farmers could...

Go fish: Danish scientists work on fungi-based seafood substitute

Team call in Michelin-starred restaurant to help crack challenge of mimicking texture of seafood From plant-based meat that “bleeds” to milk grown in a lab, fake meats and dairy have come a long way in recent years. But there is another alternative that scientists are training their sights on, one with the most challenging texture to recreate of all: seafood.Scientists in Copenhagen are...

The Guardian view on Paul McCartney at Glastonbury: a state occasion | Editorial

At 80 years old, the one-time Beatle offers a vision of optimism and empathy just as moving as the pageantry of the platinum jubileeA week has passed since Paul McCartney’s 80th birthday, and on Saturday he will play to a huge crowd at the Glastonbury festival. The great surge of reminiscence and celebration these two events have triggered – not least online, where millions of pictures,...

Boom in UK dog fertility clinics raises welfare and ethics concerns

Experts worry about financial incentives for unnatural breeding methods without regulationCanine fertility clinics have boomed in the UK during the pandemic, experts have revealed, as calls grow for greater oversight of the industry.The clinics offer services ranging from artificial insemination to ultrasound scanning, semen analysis, progesterone testing and in some cases caesarean sections....

Nasa halts auction of moon dust and cockroaches expected to sell for $400,000

Space agency says daughter of entomologist sold samples from 1969 Apollo 11 mission that belonged to NasaNasa wants its moon dust and cockroaches back.The space agency has asked Boston-based RR Auction to halt the sale of moon dust collected during the 1969 Apollo 11 mission that had subsequently been fed to cockroaches during an experiment to determine if the lunar rock contained any sort of...

Pompeii excavation unearths remains of pregnant tortoise

Animal thought to have been seeking place to lay egg in ruins of quake-hit home when Mount Vesuvius eruptedArchaeologists in Pompeii have discovered the remains of a pregnant tortoise that had sought refuge in the ruins of a home destroyed by an earthquake in AD62, only to be covered by volcanic ash and rock when Mount Vesuvius erupted.The 14cm (5.5in) long Hermann’s tortoise and her egg were...

Covid vaccines cut global death toll by 20m in first year, study finds

First major analysis examines impact across 185 countries since first jab was administered in December 2020Covid vaccines cut the global death toll by 20 million in the first year after they were available, according to the first major analysis.The study, which modelled the spread of the disease in 185 countries and territories between December 2020 and December 2021, found that without Covid...

Primary-age children’s screen time went up by 83 minutes a day during pandemic – study

Global analysis finds increase most sharp among age group, prompting concerns about impact on healthScreen time during the Covid pandemic increased the most among primary schoolchildren, by an extra hour and 20 minutes a day on average, according to the first global review of research.The sharp rise in screen time was associated with poorer diets in children, poor eye health, deteriorating mental...


THURSDAY 23. JUNE 2022


Scientists discover world’s largest bacterium, the size of an eyelash

At about 1cm long, Thiomargarita magnifica is roughly 50 times larger than all other known giant bacteriaScientists have discovered the world’s largest known bacterium, which comes in the form of white filaments the size of human eyelashes, in a swamp in Guadeloupe.At about 1cm long, the strange organism, Thiomargarita magnifica, is roughly 50 times larger than all other known giant bacteria and...

Spread of ‘free-range’ farming may raise risk of animal-borne pandemics – study

If we can’t dramatically cut meat consumption then intensive ‘factory farming’ may be comparatively less risky, say authorsThe industrial farming of animals such as pigs, poultry and cattle to provide meat for hundreds of millions of people may reduce the risk of pandemics and the emergence of dangerous diseases including Sars, BSE, bird flu and Covid-19 compared with less-intensive farming,...

Inca-era tomb unearthed beneath home in Peru’s capital

500-year old structure, found in working-class area of Lima, thought to contain remains of society elitesScientists have unearthed an Inca-era tomb under a home in the heart of Peru’s capital, Lima, a burial believed to hold remains wrapped in cloth alongside ceramics and fine ornaments.The lead archeologist, Julio Abanto, told Reuters the 500-year-old tomb contained “multiple funerary...

Rewilding with wolves: can they help rebuild ecosystems? | podcast

After wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone national park in 1995, researchers noticed some big ecological changes, leading to the regeneration of the landscape. It’s an argument used to justify the return of apex predators – but it’s increasingly being challenged. Phoebe Weston talks to Ian Sample about whether wolves really have the power to shape ecosystems, and what that means for the...


WEDNESDAY 22. JUNE 2022


Mites that mate on our faces at night face extinction threat

Study of tiny parasites points to gene loss from adaptation putting them on dead-end evolutionary courseGliding through grease, and protected by our pores, tiny Demodex folliculorum mites lead a secretive life within our skin, only emerging at night to mate on our foreheads, noses and nipples. Successful as these sexual encounters are, their days as independent parasites may be numbered.The first...

Bionic robo-fish able to remove microplastics from seas revealed by scientists – video

Scientists have designed a tiny robot fish that is programmed to remove microplastics from seas and oceans by swimming around and adsorbing them. Microplastics are the billions of tiny plastic particles which fragment from bigger plastic things used every day. They are one of the 21st century’s biggest environmental problems because once they are dispersed into the environment they are...

Female scientists less likely to be given authorship credits, analysis finds

Disparities extend to lower chance of being named on patents and to areas such as healthcare where women dominateFemale scientists are less likely to receive authorship credit or to be named on patents related to the work they do compared with their male counterparts – including in fields such as healthcare, where women dominate – data suggests.This gender gap may help to explain...

Scientists unveil bionic robo-fish to remove microplastics from seas

Tiny self-propelled robo-fish can swim around, latch on to free-floating microplastics and fix itself if it gets damagedScientists have designed a tiny robot-fish that is programmed to remove microplastics from seas and oceans by swimming around and adsorbing them on its soft, flexible, self-healing body.Microplastics are the billions of tiny plastic particles which fragment from the bigger...

Bi by Julia Shaw review – the past and present of a maligned minority

A tour of the science, culture and history of bisexuality that ranges from the vehemently political to the charmingly weirdAccording to periodic reports in the media, bisexuality has been a brand-new fad since at least the 1890s. It was all the rage in 1974, for example, when the US magazine Newsweek discovered “Bisexual Chic: Anyone Goes”. A generation later, in 1995, the same magazine...

Half in UK back genome editing to prevent severe diseases

Survey also finds younger generations far more in favour of designer babies than older people areMore than half the UK backs the idea of rewriting the DNA of human embryos to prevent severe or life-threatening diseases, according to a survey.Commissioned by the Progress Educational Trust (PET), a fertility and genomics charity, the Ipsos poll found that 53% of people support the use of human...

Terrawatch: saltier oceans could have prevented Earth from freezing

Study may have solved paradox of the faint young Sun – which shone 20% less bright in Archean timesThe Sun shone 20% less brightly on early Earth, and yet fossil evidence shows that our planet had warm shallow seas where stromatolites – microbial mats – thrived. Now a study may have solved the “faint young Sun paradox”, showing that saltier oceans could have prevented Earth from freezing...

Wrist-worn trackers can detect Covid before symptoms, study finds

Sensor tech can alert wearer to Covid early, helping to prevent onward transmissionHealth trackers worn on the wrist could be used to spot Covid-19 days before any symptoms appear, according to researchers.Growing numbers of people worldwide use the devices to monitor changes in skin temperature, heart and breathing rates. Now a new study shows that this data could be combined with artificial...


TUESDAY 21. JUNE 2022


UK flight schools hire instructors for electric aircraft as fuel prices bite

Pilot schools are recruiting instructors to meet demand for more sustainable and cheaper trainingPilot training schools in the UK are actively looking for instructors who can teach on electric-powered aeroplanes, as the surging price of fuel gives a boost to the country’s emerging zero-emissions market.The global electric aviation industry remains in its infancy, with the Slovenian-made...

UK scientists urge higher uptake of Covid boosters among elderly

Fifth of people over 75 in England have not had fourth vaccine, raising concern as case rate rises againAround a fifth of people aged 75 and over in England have yet to have a fourth Covid jab, data suggests, leading to calls for a renewed push for vaccination of the vulnerable amid rising infections and hospitalisations.According to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), in the...

If we want to fight cancer, we should tax the companies that cause it | Jon Whelan and Alexandra Zissu

We tax cigarettes and sodas because they’re bad for you. We should tax companies that put carcinogens in the environment​​Americans don’t agree on much of anything lately. Except taxes – who doesn’t hate taxes? And also cancer: everyone hates cancer.Maybe hating cancer was on President Joe Biden’s mind when, earlier this month, he shared plans to reduce the cancer death rate by at...

When stressed, we ‘catastrophize’ – but we can learn to calm our irrational fears | Sophie Brickman

Our primitive brains summon up worst-case scenarios to protect us from danger. In today’s world, that can be debilitatingThe first day I returned to work after maternity leave, I walked to the office racked with a fear I knew to be highly unlikely: that our new, and loving, caregiver would push the stroller across the street at the precise moment a reckless driver ran the light. I imagined the...

Life will find a way: could scientists make Jurassic Park a reality?

Just a few years from now, herds of woolly ‘mammoths’ could be roaming the Siberian tundra. Are dodos and dinosaurs next for de-extinction?What Alida Bailleul saw through the microscope made no sense. She was examining thin sections of fossilised skull from a young hadrosaur, a duck-billed, plant-eating beast that roamed what is now Montana 75m years ago, when she spotted features that made...

Seagrass meadows: can we rewild one of the world’s best carbon sinks? – podcast

They support an incredible array of biodiversity and may also be some of the world’s most effective carbon sinks. But vast swathes of seagrass meadows have been lost in the last century, and they continue to vanish at the rate of a football pitch every half hour. Madeleine Finlay makes a trip out of the Guardian office to visit a rewilding project in Hampshire. She speaks to marine biologist Tim...