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34,043 articles from Guardian Unlimited Science

Giraffe grandmothers are high-value family members, say scientists

As with elephants and orcas, worldly wisdom and childcare brings group-survival perks, research suggestsPillars of family life, the community and often the workplace, grandmothers are a crucial component of human society – now researchers say they may also play an important role among giraffes.Experts conducting a review of giraffe social behaviour say female giraffes live for about eight years...

Tusk master: Wally the walrus departs Isles of Scilly and heads north

Marine experts hope the creature is on his way back to the Norwegian archipelago of SvalbardAfter spending the summer wowing British holidaymakers – and sometimes making a nuisance of himself by accidentally sinking boats – Wally the walrus appears to be trying to head home.The British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) said on Tuesday that Wally had departed the Isles of Scilly, where he had...

Coronavirus live news: US reaches 70% first-shot goal while Japan shifts to home care for most Covid patients

White House greets vaccine news as ‘Milestone Monday’ while Japan moves to ensure it has enough hospital beds amid a spike in Covid casesUS reaches Biden’s 70% first-shot goal as threat to unvaccinated people growsHundreds of health workers in isolation as Delta hits Australian state of QueenslandJohnson dumps ‘amber watchlist’ plan as it emerges top adviser has quit 6.29am BST More on...

Hopes UK trial will allay pregnant women’s Covid vaccine concerns

Researchers aim to determine optimal gap between doses as well as explore potential side-effects in more detailCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe optimal vaccination schedule to protect pregnant women against Covid-19 is to be explored in a UK clinical trial researchers hope will also allay concerns about getting the jab.Last week, Prof Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, chief...

Why don’t we see more meteorites after big asteroid belt collisions?

Amount of cosmic debris reaching Earth has stayed surprisingly constant in last 500m years, say scientistsThis month it is worth turning your eyes to the night sky to watch the spectacular Perseid meteor shower. Peak viewing time will be around 12 August, when as many as 150 meteors an hour will whizz overhead. Generated by Earth passing through the debris left behind by Comet Swift-Tuttle, these...

Trial to test if cannabis-based mouth spray can treat brain tumours

First such study in the world aims to find out if Sativex combined with chemotherapy can help treat glioblastomaCancer charities and the NHS are preparing to investigate whether a cannabis-based mouth spray can treat brain tumours and help patients to live longer.Doctors will give patients across the UK with a recurrent brain tumour called a glioblastoma the drug, which is known as Sativex,...

Reforestation hopes threaten global food security, Oxfam warns

Over-reliance on tree-planting to offset carbon emissions could push food prices up 80% by 2050Governments and businesses hoping to plant trees and restore forests in order to reach net-zero emissions must sharply limit such efforts to avoid driving up food prices in the developing world, the charity Oxfam has warned.Planting trees has been mooted as one of the key ways of tackling the climate...

Hundreds of health workers in isolation as Delta hits Australian state of Queensland

Outbreak forces millions into lockdown in the sunshine state as New South Wales races to administer 6m doses amid Covid surgeSee all our coronavirus coverageHundreds of critical health workers in the Australian state of Queensland have gone into isolation as the country battles a growing Delta outbreak, while New South Wales raced to administer 6m vaccine doses before the scheduled end of lockdown...

The billionaire space race – podcast

Last month, billionaire after billionaire hopped into spacecraft to reach the final frontier. Shivani Dave speaks to Robert Massey, the deputy executive director at the Royal Astronomical Society, to understand what, if any, positives might come from what has been called ‘the billionaire space race’, or if the money and resources spent on space exploration should be redistributed to focus on...

Queensland Covid update: more than 400 health staff in isolation as 16 new local cases recorded

State’s Delta cluster rises to 47, with nine of the new cases in school students and exposure sites in three major Brisbane hospitalsFollow our Covid live blog for the latest updatesMost Australians comfortable with vaccination passports for domestic travel and venues, poll revealsSome Australians turned away from getting Covid vaccine because of register errorsQld hotspots; Queensland Covid...

Smoking-related cancer twice as prevalent among poor in England

Overall cancer rates are higher among the wealthy, finds Cancer Research UK – but smoking and its cancers are now concentrated among the poorSmoking causes almost twice as many cancer cases among the poor than the well-off, according to new findings that underline the close link between cigarettes and deprivation.About 11,247 cases of cancer caused by smoking are diagnosed among the poorest 20%...

Covid restrictions and screens linked to myopia in children, study shows

Hong Kong research suggests less time outdoors and more doing ‘near work’ accelerates short-sightednessCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageSpending more time indoors and on screens because of Covid restrictions may be linked to an increased rate of short-sightedness in children, researchers say.The study, which looked at two groups of children aged six to eight in...


MONDAY 2. AUGUST 2021


Spanish cave art was made by Neanderthals, study confirms

Study says pigments on cave stalagmites were applied through ‘splattering and blowing’ more than 60,000 years agoNeanderthals, long perceived to have been unsophisticated and brutish, really did paint stalagmites in a Spanish cave more than 60,000 years ago, according to a study published on Monday.The issue had roiled the world of paleoarchaeology ever since the publication of a 2018 paper...

Research into non-injectable Covid vaccines brings hope for needle-phobics

Scientists say anxiety around needles could be playing role in vaccine hesitancy in the UKCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe sight of a needle piercing skin is enough to chill a quarter of adult Britons and trigger up to 4% into fainting. But hope is on the horizon for needle-phobics as researchers are working on a range of non-injectable Covid vaccine formulations,...

Microbiologist Elisabeth Bik queried Covid research – that’s when the abuse and trolling began

Bik’s home address was posted on Twitter and she faced a barrage of attacks after dissecting a paper endorsing hydroxychloroquine as treatment When Dr Elisabeth Bik raised serious concerns about the methodology of a paper that claimed hydroxychloroquine was effective in treating Covid-19, the online trolling was relentless.The trolls, mostly supporters of the controversial French professor...

Bob Hamilton obituary

My father, Bob Hamilton, who has died aged 94, was a computer software designer in the industry’s early years, working in the US on the Saturn 4B rocket programme which led to Saturn 5, the launch rocket for the 1969 moon landing.Bob was born in London. His mother, Edith, died when he was seven; he and his older sister, Margot, were brought up by his father, James, who worked for a legal firm,...

Steven Weinberg obituary

Winner of the 1979 Nobel prize whose insights determined the direction of high-energy particle physics for decadesThe American theoretical particle physicist Steven Weinberg, who has died aged 88, was one of the leading 20th century figures in the field. In 1979 he won a Nobel prize for his work uniting two of nature’s fundamental forces, which became a foundation of the standard model of...

Contempt for the unvaccinated is a temptation to be resisted | Dan Brooks

The narrative of a dangerously ignorant minority may appeal, but it is not good for democracyThe Covid-19 pandemic was the perfect disaster for our cultural moment, because it made other people being wrong on the internet a matter of life and death.My use of the past tense here is aspirational. The emergence of the more contagious Delta variant threatens to undo a lot of progress – particularly...

Hundreds arrested in Berlin protests against Covid restrictions

Protesters defy court order banning marches against German government’s coronavirus measuresCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageMore than 600 people have been arrested after participating in protests against the German government’s coronavirus measures, officials have said.About 13 separate demonstrations took place around Berlin on Sunday, despite being banned by a...

Coronavirus live news: China battles to contain surging cases as soldiers deployed in Sydney

China has rolled out mass testing as the country faces its most widespread outbreak in months while soldiers have been deployed to the streets of Sydney as the city struggles to contain its own surge in casesChina tests millions as Nanjing airport outbreak sees Covid cases surgeWellbeing in decline in England as loneliness rises, report showsFauci backs new masks guidance as Florida reports...

Don’t blame young people for vaccine hesitancy. The vast majority of us want to get jabbed | Lara Spirit

If Britain really wants to keep everyone safe, we should be worrying about the lack of supplies to poorer nationsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverage“I was thinking this morning that it is a bit like a race,” Sajid Javid said last Wednesday when commenting on Britain’s vaccine rollout. “The older adults have done their bit. Now we need them to help us start...

Evolutionary ‘trap’ leading young sea turtles to ingest plastic, study says

Researchers find fragments in innards of species that have adapted to develop in open ocean, which has highly polluted areasYoung marine turtles are swallowing large quantities of plastic, with ocean pollution changing habitats that were once ideal for their development into a risk, researchers have found.The impact of plastic on wildlife is a growing area of research, and studies have revealed...

Fruit baskets from fourth century BC found in ruins of Thonis-Heracleion

‘Incredible’ discoveries at submerged ancient city off coast of Egypt have lain untouchedWicker baskets filled with fruit that have survived from the 4th century BC and hundreds of ancient ceramic artefacts and bronze treasures have been discovered in the submerged ruins of the near-legendary city of Thonis-Heracleion off the coast of Egypt.They have lain untouched since the city disappeared...


SUNDAY 1. AUGUST 2021


Scientists warn of risks in easing UK controls for vaccinated arrivals

Edinburgh epidemiologist concerned about spread of ‘escape mutants’ that may defy vaccinesScientists have said that the lifting of restrictions for fully vaccinated arrivals to the UK from the EU and US, which begins from Monday, is not without risk.From 4am on Monday, those who have been fully vaccinated in the US and Europe will be treated the same as British residents, meaning arrivals from...

NHS urged to redistribute near-expiry vaccines as take-up slows in young

Doctors across England raise alarm as 170,000 Moderna doses at risk of expiry within fortnightCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe NHS is facing pressure to redistribute tens of thousands of vaccine doses nearing expiry as demand from younger adults drops.An internal email seen by the Guardian warned of 170,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine at risk of expiry within the...

Not all narcissists are grandiose – the ‘vulnerable’ type can be just as dangerous

The introverted narcissist is harder to spot and may be more sinisterWe pretty much know what narcissism is by now. The description “narcissist” is a buzzword, a darling of amateur analysts. Those needy, charismatic attention-grabbers stride across the world’s stage, using and confusing those who fall for their charms. They have the perfect platform in a culture obsessed with both celebrity...

Ana Raquel Nunes: ‘Extreme weather reveals the fragility of people and places’

The environmental social scientist and expert on the impact of heatwaves on why we must prepare for dangerous heatAna Raquel Nunes is a senior research fellow at Warwick medical school who studies the links between global heating and human health. She has leant her expertise to the World Health Organization, the intergovernmental panel on climate change, the International Science Council and more....

Doggerland: Lost ‘Atlantis’ of the North Sea gives up its ancient secrets

The land mass that linked Britain to continental Europe was rich in early human life until it floodedThe idea of a “lost Atlantis” under the North Sea connecting Britain by land to continental Europe had been imagined by HG Wells in the late 19th century, with evidence of human inhabitation of the forgotten world following in 1931 when the trawler Colinda dredged up a lump of peat containing a...

Coronavirus live news: UK chancellor pushes Boris Johnson to relax holiday rules, reports say

Latest updates: Rishi Sunak says restrictions ‘out of step’ with international rivals, according to media reportsUber and Deliveroo discounts to lure young in England to get jabbedHerd immunity: could Covid be on the run in the UK?Protests in Israel against new curbs as cases are highest in monthAustralian Sky News banned from YouTube for seven days over Covid disinformation 9.07am BST Newly...

Sky News Australia banned from YouTube for seven days over Covid misinformation

Digital giant issues strike after channel posted videos denying the existence of disease and encouraging people to use discredited medicationFollow our Covid live blog for the latest updatesVaccine rollout tracker; get our free news app; get our morning email briefingSky News Australia has been banned from uploading content to YouTube for seven days after violating its medical misinformation...

Discounts from Uber and Deliveroo will lure young people in UK to get Covid jab

Companies will offer credit and price reductions in government push to boost vaccination ratesCheap taxi rides and discounts from the biggest takeaway companies are to be deployed by the government in a desperate effort to boost Covid vaccination rates among the young, amid growing legal and political pressure on Boris Johnson over the use of vaccine passports.With figures inside the cabinet...

Australia Covid live update: Queensland braces for more cases on first full day of lockdown; Sydney authorities in compliance crackdown

Queensland authorities expect case numbers and exposure sites to grow today as three million across the state begin their first full day in lockdown. Follow all the day’s newsNSW restrictions; NSW hotspots; border restrictionsVaccine rollout tracker; get our free news app; get our morning email briefing 11.51pm BST A Sydney man has raised concerns about the Australian Immunisation Register after...


SATURDAY 31. JULY 2021


UK can expect thousands of Covid deaths every year, warn scientists

Disease will circulate alongside flu and other seasonal viruses and become part of accepted winter illnessCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageBritain faces the prospect of thousands of annual Covid deaths for years to come, scientists have warned.They say waves of cases are likely to sweep the country every winter as Covid-19 joins other seasonal viruses, including...

Ink positive: how tattoos can heal the mind as well as adorn the body

Forget the stereotypes – getting inked can be a powerful means of reclaiming your body and processing grief or traumaIf one thing has become obvious in the summer heat and the inevitable baring of flesh, it’s the degree to which body art is now the norm. At the pool, the park, or the pub beer garden, you’ll find an enormous variety of designs inked on the skin representing the breadth of...

Sarah Perry: As an author, I felt useless in the pandemic. So I trained to be a vaccinator

Inspired by a desire to be good and help others during the pandemic, novelist Sarah Perry trained to vaccinate people. But what does it mean to be good when there is so much bad faith?Earlier this year – lockdown three: no sign of spring – I travelled to an airport to try to be good. Dogged for months by the sense of my own uselessness, and having wept with relief and accumulated sorrow when...

NSW Covid outbreak: death toll rises as two-thirds of new cases under 40

Man in his 60s dies at home in south-west Sydney as NSW reports 210 new locally acquired casesFollow our coronavirus live blogState v state: war of words heats up over Sydney and Melbourne lockdownsFrom social distancing bracelets to vaccine priority: how NSW supermarkets are tackling CovidNSW restrictions; NSW hotspots; border restrictionsVaccine rollout tracker; get our free news app; get our...

Queensland Covid lockdown: ‘enormous number’ of hotspots expected after six new cases

Eleven LGAs locked down from 4pm on Saturday as deputy premier says state must ‘go hard and go early’Follow our coronavirus live blogQld Covid restrictions and lockdown: Brisbane and regional Queensland coronavirus rules explainedState v state: war of words heats up over Sydney and Melbourne lockdownsVaccine rollout tracker; get our free news app; get our morning email briefingSouth-east...

Eutelsat Quantum: breakthrough reprogrammable satellite launches

Transmission beams can be reconfigured from the ground, whereas most commercial satellites are hard-wired before launchThe world’s first commercial fully reprogrammable satellite has been launched, ushering in a new era of more flexible communications.Unlike conventional models that are designed and “hard-wired” on Earth and cannot be repurposed once in orbit, the UK-engineered Eutelsat...