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30,552 articles from Guardian Unlimited Science

Nigel Weiss obituary

Astrophysicist who studied the interaction between the rotation and magnetic field of the sun behind sunspots and solar flaresNigel Weiss, who has died aged 83, was a world authority on the physics of sunspots and the mechanisms driving a cycle of solar activity that lasts for 11 years.Sunspots appear as darker, cooler patches on the sun’s surface that may last from a few days to a few months....

Covid-19 may spread more easily in schools than thought, report warns

US health body highlights risks of reopening after outbreaks in state of Georgia and in IsraelCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageCoronavirus may be more easily transmitted in school and summer camp settings than previously understood, after the emergence of new details of outbreaks in the US state of Georgia and in Israel that have underscored the risks of school...

Deadly diseases from wildlife thrive when nature is destroyed, study finds

Rats and bats that host pandemic pathogens like Covid-19 increase in damaged ecosystems, analysis showsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe human destruction of natural ecosystems increases the numbers of rats, bats and other animals that harbour diseases that can lead to pandemics such as Covid-19, a comprehensive analysis has found.The research assessed nearly 7,000...

Public Health England issues rare alert over illicit prescription drugs

Surge in tablets sold as benzodiazepines, used to treat anxiety or insomnia, linked to hospitalisations and deathsA surge in illicit prescription drugs that have been linked to hospitalisations and deaths in England has prompted health officials to issue a rare national alert.Public Health England (PHE) issued the alert to drug treatment services and healthcare providers about the availability of...

Brain fog, phantom smells and tinnitus: my 4 months (and counting) of Covid-19 | Hannah Davis

I fell sick on 25 March. Four months later, I’m still dealing with fever, cognitive dysfunction, memory issues and much moreI just passed the four-month mark of being sick with Covid. I am young, and I had considered myself healthy.My first symptom was that I couldn’t read a text message. It wasn’t about anything complex – just trying to arrange a video call – but it was a few sentences...

Why is the government buying Covid tests without evidence they work? Ravindra Gupta and Dami Collier

As clinical researchers, we searched for information about the UK’s new 90-minute tests – but found no data about their effectivenessCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageMany of us working in NHS hospitals welcomed the news earlier this week that the government had purchased 90-minute Covid-19 tests. Rapid swab tests, called LamPORE, and 5,000 machines, supplied by...

‘Disgusting’ study rating attractiveness of women with endometriosis retracted by medical journal

Fertility and Sterility took seven years to take down Italian study, which was criticised by doctors for ethical concerns and dubious justificationsA widely criticised peer-reviewed study that measured the attractiveness of women with endometriosis has been retracted from the medical journal Fertility and Sterility.The study, Attractiveness of women with rectovaginal endometriosis: a case-control...

What kind of face mask best protects against coronavirus?

Your questions answered on what type of mask to wear to cut the risk of getting or giving someone Covid-19Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageYes. Different types of mask offer different levels of protection. Surgical grade N95 respirators offer the highest level of protection against Covid-19 infection, followed by surgical grade masks. However, these masks are costly,...

Coronavirus live news: US health secretary Azar to visit Taiwan as Europe faces second wave

Alex Azar praises ‘transparent’ handling of pandemic in veiled attack on China; Trump flounders in interview; France could lose control ‘any time’. Follow all the developmentsUS: Biden tells Trump to ‘step up and do your job’‘We’re fighting a ghost’: six months on victories over virus remain fragileUS: Trump on the ropes over Covid-19 figures in TV interview 4.31am BST Here’s...


TUESDAY 4. AUGUST 2020


Terrawatch: lasting legacy of Taiwan's 2009 typhoon season

Typhoon Morakot left country with more quakes after changing stress pattern in Earth’s crustEleven years ago, Typhoon Morakot slammed into Taiwan, deluging the country with 3,000 litres of rain per square metre in three days. Catastrophic flooding and landslides followed and more than 600 people died.It is considered one of the worst tropical cyclones in Taiwan’s recorded history. But that...

Counting the cost of the UK’s Covid failures | Letters

Jeremy Cushing on the tragic consequences of the pandemic response, Prof W Richard Bowen on the need for more scientifically educated politicians, Joseph Palley on England’s excess deaths, and Betty Cairns on how the dead are being remembered in ItalyI was left confused by Devi Sridhar’s article (The northern lockdown represents government failure. There is a better way, 31 July). She urged...

Letter from economists: to rebuild our world, we must end the carbon economy

The carbon economy amplifies racial, social and economic inequities, creating a system that is fundamentally incompatible with a stable futureFrom deep-rooted racism to the Covid-19 pandemic, from extreme inequality to ecological collapse, our world is facing dire and deeply interconnected emergencies. But as much as the present moment painfully underscores the weaknesses of our economic system,...

Donald Trump on the ropes in interview over US Covid-19 death toll

President again says he is doing ‘incredible job’ fighting pandemic and casts doubt on Jeffrey Epstein’s cause of deathCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageDonald Trump visibly floundered in an interview when pressed on a range of issues, including the number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the US, his claims that mail-in voting is fraudulent, and his inaction...

What is herd immunity and how do we reach it?

Most experts agree containment of Covid-19 is no longer possible, but what is the threshold for reaching herd immunity?Pandemics typically end in one of two ways: cases are tracked and isolated or a population achieves herd immunity, often with the help of a vaccine. Most experts agree containment of the coronavirus is no longer possible. What about herd immunity?What is herd immunity? Continue...

We're thinking about Covid-19 the wrong way. It's not a 'wave' – it's a wildfire | Michael T Osterholm and Mark Olshaker

Like a fire, the virus relentlessly seeks out its fuel, humans, and will keep spreading as long as it has access to thatWe have no previous experience with a worldwide coronavirus pandemic, so when Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, began spreading, public health experts leaned on our experiences with influenza pandemics to inform their predictions. These pandemics are often described in...

Coronavirus: UK virologists criticise handling of Covid testing contracts

Exclusive: experts say decisions apparently being made on ideological groundsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageA group of Britain’s leading virus experts say mistakes are being made in the handling of the Covid pandemic, with testing contracts awarded on apparently ideological grounds to private sector companies rather than based on expertise.In a letter to...

People need support to follow local lockdowns, not orders from above | Stephen Reicher

If communities feel singled out, discriminated against, left behind and ignored, blame the messenger not themCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageAt the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK, we heard much talk of “behavioural fatigue”, the idea that people lack the willpower to endure tough restrictions. Though it wasn’t clear where the idea had come from, it was...

Covid-19: Gilead Sciences urged to study drug that showed promise with cats

Activists accuse company of pushing remdesivir to boost profitGS-441524 has been used to treat a coronavirus in catsCoronavirus – latest global updatesActivists are calling on the pharmaceutical firm Gilead Sciences to study a drug for the treatment of Covid-19 that showed promise in curing cats of a coronavirus.The drug, called GS-441524, is chemically related to remdesivir, an antiviral also...

Covid-19: does more testing always mean more cases? – podcast

Since the beginning of the pandemic, ‘test, test, test’ has been the key message from epidemiologists, infectious disease specialists and healthcare professionals alike. But how does a country know if it’s doing sufficient testing? Or that it’s catching enough of the asymptomatic cases? Nicola Davis speaks to Prof Rowland Kao about the positivity rate, a value that can help to answer some...

Remains of 10,000-year-old woolly mammoth pulled from Siberian lake

Rare find includes skin, tendon and excrement of what is thought to be an adult maleRussian scientists are poring over the uniquely well-preserved bones of a 10,000-year-old woolly mammoth after completing the operation to pull them from the bottom of a Siberian lake.Experts spent five days scouring the silt of Lake Pechenelava-To in the remote Yamal peninsula for the remains, which include...


MONDAY 3. AUGUST 2020


Children who suffer violence or trauma age faster, study finds

Researchers discover links with earlier puberty and signs of more rapid cellular ageingChildren who experience violence or trauma seem to age faster, going through puberty earlier and showing greater signs of ageing in their cells, researchers have found.They say the findings add to a growing body of work that suggests early adversity can become “biologically embedded” with the potential for...

Victoria's contact-tracing effort buckles under the weight of Covid-19 cases

ANU’s Peter Collignon says what’s important now is making sure people who test positive stay at homeStage 4 lockdown rules explainedDownload the free Guardian app to get the most important news notificationsCoronavirus Australia maps and cases: live numbers and statisticsVictoria’s rise in Covid-19 case numbers is occurring so rapidly that contact tracing can no longer be relied upon to...

Will a vaccine or recovery from the virus give us long-term immunity to Covid-19?

New evidence on how our bodies combat the virus has huge implications for the development of a coronavirus vaccineHow to listen to podcasts: everything you need to knowThis episode first aired on Today in Focus, the Guardian’s global daily news podcast.It’s a familiar refrain of the past six months: “When will we get back to normal?” The premise is that once a vaccine arrives or enough...

Survivors of Covid-19 show increased rate of psychiatric disorders, study finds

Researchers found more than half experienced PTSD, anxiety, insomnia, depression or compulsive symptomsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coveragePeople who have recovered from Covid-19 show increased rates of psychiatric disorders including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, insomnia and depression, according to a new study conducted by San Raffaele hospital in...

Russia claims to be ahead of rivals in race to produce Covid vaccine

Moscow says it will start production next month and mass immunisation by OctoberCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe Russian government claims to have stolen a march on dozens of global rivals – including the US and UK – in the race to produce a viable coronavirus vaccine, saying it would start production of a vaccine next month and begin mass immunisation by...

Coronavirus live news: Global cases near 18m as Melbourne braces for further lockdown measures

Residents in state of Victoria wake up after first night of curfew; ‘major incident’ declared in Manchester; Nancy Pelosi says she has no confidence in Birx over handling of pandemic. Follow the latest updatesCoronavirus global report: ‘response fatigue’ fears as Mexico hits 9,000 daily casesVictoria announces stage four coronavirus lockdown restrictions including overnight curfewGreater...

Splashdown: SpaceX capsule carrying Nasa astronauts lands safely – video

US astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, who flew to the International Space Station in SpaceX's new Crew Dragon, splashed down in the capsule in the Gulf of Mexico after a two-month voyage. The successful splashdown, the first of its kind by Nasa in 45 years, was a final key test of whether Elon Musk's spacecraft can transport astronauts to and from orbit - a feat no private...

Coronavirus 90-minute tests to be provided in care homes and hospitals

Experts however have doubts about unproven swab tests for the diagnosis of flu and Covid-19 Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageTwo new tests for Covid-19 that are said to deliver results within 90 minutes are to be introduced across NHS hospitals and care homes, to speed up diagnosis ahead of winter and differentiate coronavirus infection from flu, the government...

NHS England spends £160m on new 'Covid-friendly' cancer drugs

Patients to be given treatments less likely to damage immune system and in some cases able to be taken at homeNHS England is spending £160m on new “Covid-friendly” cancer drugs that will be less likely to damage the immune system and, in some cases, can be taken at home so that patients do not have to visit hospital.NHS England said 2,000 patients had already benefitted from a range of...


SUNDAY 2. AUGUST 2020


Starwatch: summer triangle's celestial pattern soars in northern sky

Deneb in Cygnus, Vera in Lyra and Altair in Aquila feature in Chinese folk story The Cowherd and the Weaver GirlThe summer triangle is a prominent pattern of stars that soars high in the northern summer sky. Marked out by Deneb in Cygnus, the swan; Vega in Lyra, the lyre; and Altair in Aquila, the eagle, these three stars feature in the Chinese folk story The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl. The girl...

Secrecy has harmed UK government's response to Covid-19 crisis, says top scientist

Sir Paul Nurse says lack of openness fuelled poor decisions and put public trust at riskCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageOne of the country’s most senior scientists has criticised government for the “shroud of secrecy” drawn over major decisions in the coronavirus crisis and urged ministers to be more open about the reasons behind their policies.Sir Paul Nurse,...

Nasa astronauts aboard SpaceX capsule make first splashdown in 45 years

Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley land off Florida after two-month voyage that was Nasa’s first crewed mission from home in nine yearsUS astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley, who flew to the International Space Station in SpaceX’s new Crew Dragon, splashed down in the capsule in the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday after a two-month voyage that was Nasa’s first crewed mission from home soil in...

Covid-19: government 'considers indoor mixing ban and M25 block' in England

Government reportedly exploring range of measures to stop Covid-19 infections rising Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe UK government is reported to be exploring a range of measures to stop infections rising and keep Covid-19 in check in England – some of them for use in the event of regional spikes, such as those in Leicester and Oldham, and others that would...

Amitabh Bachchan leaves hospital after catching coronavirus

Bollywood star idolised in India discharged three weeks after contracting ‘mild’ symptomsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan has been discharged from hospital, three weeks after being admitted with coronavirus symptoms after testing positive for the disease.Bachchan’s actor-son, Abishek, who was admitted at the same time, remains...

UCL has a racist legacy, but can it move on?

University College London has removed the names of eugenicists from three of its buildings. How far this goes to address an abhorrent past is much contested The provost of University College London announced in June this year that its Galton Lecture Theatre, Pearson Lecture Theatre and Pearson Building had all been renamed. They are now known by the perfectly unmemorable names of, respectively,...

Cramped workplaces, parties … the factors fuelling local Covid-19 spikes

What have resurgences around the world taught us about how local clusters emerge?Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageIt is not always possible to pinpoint the origin of a local spike in cases, particularly in countries like the UK, where the disease is still circulating at relatively significant levels.But in countries where overall caseloads are lower, and with rigorous...

London night tsar faces down calls to quit: ‘I will be judged for what I do’

Amy Lamé rejects criticism that she hasn’t done enough to save the capital’s night-time culture hit hard by the lockdownIf Amy Lamé feels bruised by calls for her to quit her job, she is determined not to show it. The UK’s first “night tsar” has faced brutal criticism ever since she was hired in 2016 to champion London’s night-time culture. Nightclubs and music venue owners have...

A nuclear arms race in space? It seems we've learned nothing from Hiroshima

As the world marks the 75th anniversary of the dropping of the atom bomb on Japan, it must wake up to the new rearmamentRussia’s apparent test-firing of an anti-satellite weapon in outer space on 15 July, as alleged by the US and Britain, could be dismissed as another of Vladimir Putin’s annoying provocations. That would be a mistake. The alleged new space weapon should be seen in the broader...