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39,940 articles from Guardian Unlimited Science

Scientist fed classified information to China, says Canada intelligence report

Report says Xiangguo Qiu secretly worked with Wuhan Institute for Virology and posed a ‘threat to Canada’s economic security’A leading research scientist at Canada’s highest-security laboratory provided confidential scientific information to Chinese institutions, met secretly with officials and posed “a realistic and credible threat to Canada’s economic security” according to newly...

Study offers hope in identifying high-risk prostate cancer patients

Researchers find way to classify prostate cancer that might help identify 15% of men with more aggressive typeThe most common type of prostate cancer has two distinct ways of developing in the body, researchers have found, opening up new possibilities for identifying which patients need treatment.Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men, with one in eight diagnosed with the disease...

Prologue: the collision – podcast

The beginning of a new series that explores seven stories and the thread that ties them together: artificial intelligence. In this prologue, Hannah (not her real name) has met Noah and he has changed her life for the better. So why does she have concerns about him? Continue...

The debilitating impact of tinnitus, and how a new app could help – podcast

It’s thought that about 15% of us are affected by tinnitus, and despite its potentially debilitating impact on mental health and quality of life, there isn’t any cure for the condition. Madeleine Finlay speaks to John, who has used CBT techniques to learn to live well with his tinnitus, and Dr Lucy Handscomb, a tinnitus researcher who is involved in trialling a new app that could hold promise...

First North Korea spy satellite is ‘alive’ and being controlled, experts say

Changes in orbit of Malligyong-1 suggest Pyongyang is successfully maneuvering the satelliteNorth Korea’s first spy satellite is “alive”, space experts have said, after detecting changes in its orbit that suggested Pyongyang was successfully controlling the spacecraft – although its capabilities remain unknown.After two fiery failures, North Korea successfully launched the Malligyong-1...

Ultra-processed food linked to 32 harmful effects to health, review finds

World’s largest review finds direct associations with higher risks of cancer, heart disease and early deathUltra-processed food (UPF) is directly linked to 32 harmful effects to health, including a higher risk of heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, adverse mental health and early death, according to the world’s largest review of its kind.The findings from the first comprehensive umbrella...


WEDNESDAY 28. FEBRUARY 2024


Russia acknowledges continuing air leak from its segment of space station

Roscosmos admission follows Nasa comments that leak is growing but both agencies say there is no danger to ISS crewRussian space officials have acknowledged a continuing air leak from the Russian segment of the International Space Station, but said it poses no danger to its crew.The Roscosmos state corporation said that specialists were monitoring the leak and the crew “regularly conducts work...

‘Brain fog’ from long Covid has measurable impact, study suggests

Researchers found that deficits equivalent to six IQ points were detectable a year or more after infectionPeople experiencing long Covid have measurable memory and cognitive deficits equivalent to a difference of about six IQ points, a study suggests.The study, which assessed more than 140,000 people in summer 2022, revealed that Covid-19 may have an impact on cognitive and memory abilities that...

‘Plucky lander’: US spacecraft may reawaken after lunar night saps its power

Company that made Odysseus, which is carrying Nasa equipment, plan to resurrect lander once sunlight returns Odysseus, the first US-built spacecraft to land on the moon in more than 50 years, could outperform expectations and still be sending back crucial scientific data weeks beyond its initial planned seven- to 10-day period of operation, mission managers said on Wednesday.The lander, carrying...

Killer fungi detectives: inside the lab that may be fighting the next pandemic

Researchers in Adelaide are at the forefront of finding new fungal pathogens, which are spreading more because of climate change and can be deadly without effective drugsThe first tray of yellow-lidded specimen jars holds chunks of flesh – lung, perhaps, or muscle – some cerebrospinal fluid and another liquid, possibly from a brain abscess. The second holds a rainbow of colourful fungi,...

Man in remission from blood cancer and HIV after remarkable treatment

Paul Edmonds of California is fifth-known person in world confirmed to be in remission from both, says cancer instituteDoctors say a man in California who contracted blood cancer while living with HIV is in remission from both potentially fatal illnesses thanks to a treatment they are hailing as remarkable and encouraging.Paul Edmonds is only the fifth-known person in the world confirmed to be in...

The 280m-year-old fossil reptile that turned out to be a forgery

Modern imaging techniques reveal item thought to be well preserved lizard-like fossil is painted carvingGenerations of palaeontologists have marvelled over a 280m-year-old fossilised lizard-like reptile, Tridentinosaurus antiquus, discovered in the Italian Alps in 1931.Thought to be one of the best-preserved specimens of the species, palaeontologists believed there were even traces of carbonised...


TUESDAY 27. FEBRUARY 2024


One of world’s smallest fish found to make sounds that exceed 140 decibels – video

One of the world’s smallest fish, measuring about the width of an adult human fingernail, can make a sound as loud as a gunshot, scientists have found. The male Danionella cerebrum, a fish of about 12mm found in the streams of Myanmar, produces sounds that exceed 140 decibels, according to a study published in the PNAS journal, equivalent to an ambulance siren or a pneumatic drillOne of...

Microplastics found in every human placenta tested in study

Scientists express concern over health impacts, with another study finding particles in arteriesMicroplastics have been found in every human placenta tested in a study, leaving the researchers worried about the potential health impacts on developing foetuses.The scientists analysed 62 placental tissue samples and found the most common plastic detected was polyethylene, which is used to make...

One of world’s smallest fish found to make sound as loud as a gunshot

Scientists discover how Danionella cerebrum, measuring width of adult human fingernail, can create noises exceeding 140 decibelsOne of the world’s smallest fish, measuring about the width of an adult human fingernail, can make a sound as loud as a gunshot, scientists have said.The male Danionella cerebrum, a fish of about 12mm found in the streams of Myanmar, produces sounds that exceed 140...

‘Joyful madness’: ANU scientist wins global prize for ‘dancing his PhD’ about kangaroos

Four-minute video features drag queens, twerking, ballerinas, a classical Indian dancer and a bunch of friends from CanberraFollow our Australia news live blog for latest updatesGet our morning and afternoon news emails, free app or daily news podcastThe former Canberra scientist Dr Weliton Menário Costa said it “felt like winning Eurovision” when he learned he had won the global “Dance...

How green are electric cars? – podcast

Electric cars might seem like a no-brainer on a warming planet, but there are plenty of people who remain sceptical about everything from their battery life to their carbon impact and the environmental and human rights costs of their parts. Madeleine Finlay consults Auke Hoekstra, known as the internet’s ‘EV debunker in chief’, to unpick the myths, realities and grey areas surrounding...

Odysseus craft’s moon mission to be cut short after sideways landing

Intuitive Machines, private company behind lander, says mission will end after five days rather than the expected to seven to 10Flight control engineers expect to lose contact with the private US moon lander Odysseus on Tuesday, cutting short the mission five days after its sideways touchdown, the company behind the spacecraft, Intuitive Machines, said.It remained to be seen how much scientific...

UK trails other countries on waiting times for cancer treatment, study finds

Research compared access to radiotherapy and chemotherapy in Australia, Canada, Norway and UKCancer patients in the UK wait up to seven weeks longer to begin radiotherapy or chemotherapy than people in comparable countries, research has revealed.The stark findings are yet more damning evidence of the extent to which the UK lags behind other nations, as experts warn that people’s chances of...


MONDAY 26. FEBRUARY 2024


Astronomers spot white dwarf star with metallic ‘scar’

Patch on Earth-sized remnant of star covers larger fraction of pole than equivalent of Antarctica on EarthAstronomers have spotted a star with a dark metallic “scar” on its surface, thought to be the imprint of a doomed planetary fragment that came too close to its host.The white dwarf star, called WD 0816-310, is a dense, Earth-sized remnant of a star about 63 light years away that would have...

More women may be psychopaths than previously thought, says expert

Dr Clive Boddy says assessment skews towards obvious male traits but female psychopathy is more subtleWhen it comes to a typical psychopath, the suited and booted Patrick Bateman from the novel American Psycho might spring to mind, but, according to one expert, the number of women with the neuropsychiatric disorder could be far greater than previously thought.Psychopaths are generally considered...

Scientists confirm first cases of bird flu on mainland Antarctica

Fears for penguin colonies after the discovery of the highly contagious H5N1 virus in two dead skuasBird flu has reached mainland of Antarctica for the first time, officials have confirmed.The H5N1 virus was found on Friday in two dead scavenging birds called skuas near Primavera Base, the Argentinian scientific research station on the Antarctic peninsula. Continue...

Wendy Mitchell obituary

Writer and dementia campaigner who believed that people should have the right to choose their own deathThe writer-activist Wendy Mitchell, who has died aged 68, won hearts and minds advocating for living positively with dementia. She was determined to remind people that those living with the disease are not “sufferers” and that there is “a beginning, a middle and an end to the disease –...

I can’t picture things in my mind. I didn’t realize that was unusual

People with aphantasia can’t mentally visualize things. Mental imagery is a spectrum, and we lie outside it, in the darkI discovered I had aphantasia by accident. When you live your entire life without a “mind’s eye”, it seems completely normal to visualize nothing when remembering people and places, or imagining the future.Two years ago, I wrote an article about pupillometry, or the...

Japan’s moon lander survives two-week lunar night after wonky landing

Unmanned Slim spacecraft responds to signal from Earth after touching down at awkward angle in JanuaryJapan’s moon lander has responded to a signal from Earth, suggesting it survived the two-week lunar night, the country’s space agency has said.The unmanned Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (Slim) touched down last month at a wonky angle that left its solar panels facing the wrong way. But...

‘A soul killer’: what’s behind the US’s critical veterinarian shortage?

As vets turn away from the profession citing poor mental health and high costs, experts say public health is at riskA longstanding shortage of veterinarians in areas across the US has caused crises for some pet owners; contributed to mental health issues among veterinary staff; and could leave the country at risk in terms of food safety and public health, experts have warned.The lack of...

Sponge on a string reduces long waits for diagnostic test for cancer

Exclusive: cytosponge detects precursor to oesophageal cancer, slashing NHS waiting times for endoscopiesA “sponge on a string” used to identify a precursor to one of Britain’s deadliest cancers is helping to reduce the long delays faced by patients who need a vital diagnostic test.An NHS trial of the innovative “cytosponge” has found that almost eight out of 10 people who are assessed...

Starwatch: The moon passes by Spica, the 16th-brightest star in night sky

Blue giant in Virgo constellation pumps out almost 21,000 times the light of the sunOnce again the moon is our guide this week, passing within about 1.5° of Spica, the brightest star in Virgo, the virgin. The full circle of the moon presents an angular diameter of about 0.5°, so it will approach Spica to about six lunar widths.The chart shows the view looking south-east from London at 23.00 GMT...


SUNDAY 25. FEBRUARY 2024


Violence against MPs is unforgivable – but history shows it is not a result of protests | Stephen Reicher

The spectre of ‘the mob’ has long been summoned to limit freedom. There’s just one problem: protests almost never lead to violenceA spectre is haunting Westminster – the spectre of collective violence against MPs. Large crowds chant noisily outside parliament during debates on Palestine; protesters surround Tobias Ellwood’s house; Jo Stevens’ constituency office is vandalised – and...

Is it possible to think about nothing?

The long-running series in which readers answer other readers’ questions on subjects ranging from trivial flights of fancy to profound scientific and philosophical conceptsIs it possible to think about nothing? Surely our consciousness is always whirring away. Paul Lambert, SouthamptonPost your answers (and new questions) below or send them to nq@theguardian.com. A selection will be published...

From lab to plate: a six-course banquet featuring no-kill dim sum and steak frites

Lab-grown meat could become a mainstay in restaurants if products win regulatory approval. Biologists and chefs share menu ideasWhether roasted, grilled, fried or stewed, the combination of fat, umami and texture in a premium cut of meat is difficult to recreate. With sales of plant-based meat stagnating, the hunt for cruelty-free, sustainable and meaty-tasting alternatives continues. Enter...

Is the 100-year old TB vaccine a new weapon against Alzheimer’s?

Studies suggest the BCG jab discovered a century ago could provide a cheap and effective way of boosting the immune system to protect people from developing the conditionScientific discoveries can emerge from the strangest places. In early 1900s France, the doctor Albert Calmette and the veterinarian Camille Guérin aimed to discover how bovine tuberculosis was transmitted. To do so, they first...

Bat bridges and signs on nests: nature conservation’s epic fails – and how to avoid them

Some projects to save species just don’t work. Now, a Cambridge University team is amassing hard scientific evidence of best practiceIt seemed like a good idea at the time: build metal bridges over busy roads and bats would confuse them with trees, it was argued. They would then try to soar over the pylons and, having been tricked into flying higher than normal, would avoid being struck by...


SATURDAY 24. FEBRUARY 2024


OpenAI’s new video generation tool could learn a lot from babies | John Naughton

The footage put together by Sora looks swish, but closer examination reveals its doesn’t understand physical reality“First text, then images, now OpenAI has a model for generating videos,” screamed Mashable the other day. The makers of ChatGPT and Dall-E had just announced Sora, a text-to-video diffusion model. Cue excited commentary all over the web about what will doubtless become known as...

‘Poisoned by chemicals’: citizen scientists prove River Avon is polluted

Charity blames the decline of invertebrates on farming, sewage and run-off from roads and homes, months after the Environment Agency told them the water in Wiltshire river was cleanA citizen science programme has revealed the decline of one of the country’s most significant chalk streams after claims by Environment Agency officials that it had not deteriorated. The SmartRivers programme run by...

Abandoned pipelines could release poisons into North Sea, scientists warn

Researchers say toxic chemicals pose a pollution risk as oil and gas companies are allowed to leave pipelines to rotDecaying oil and gas pipelines left to fall apart in the North Sea could release large volumes of poisons such as mercury, radioactive lead and polonium-210, notorious for its part in the poisoning of Russian defector Alexander Litvinenko, scientists are warning.Mercury, an extremely...

Weekend podcast: the Libertines’ tortured reunion, Marina Hyde on celebrity-dictator bromances, and the simple trick to enjoying life more

From Tucker Carlson to Johnny Depp, a celebrity bromance is the must-have accessory for modern dictators, says Marina Hyde (1m50); The Libertines on feuds, friendship and their tortured reunion by Simon Hattenstone (9m03); and how habituation, a simple behavioural trick, can help you experience less pain and more pleasure by Cass Sunstein and Tali Sharot (35m49). Continue...

US spacecraft on the moon ‘caught a foot’ and tipped onto side, says Nasa

Intuitive Machines CEO says Odysseus tipped over and ended up on its side as it landed onto south polar regionOdysseus, the first US-built spacecraft to touchdown on the moon in more than half a century, is tipped over on its side, according to an update from Nasa and Intuitive Machines, the company that built and operated the lander.The robotic lander descended onto the south polar region of the...


FRIDAY 23. FEBRUARY 2024


Quantum physics makes small leap with microscopic gravity measurement

Experiment records minuscule gravitational pull as a step to understanding how force operates at subatomic levelScientists have detected the pull of gravity on the microscopic scale in a feat that lays the groundwork for probing its nature in the mysterious quantum realm.In an experiment involving sophisticated superconducting apparatus cooled to within a whisker of absolute zero, and brass...

Felicity Grainger obituary

My father’s partner, Felicity Grainger, who has died aged 80, began her working life as a research scientist before moving into the world of academic libraries, eventually becoming head of the library services serving three major medical schools.Born in Bournemouth to Stuart Grainger, a bank manager, and Phyllis (nee Brett), after gaining a first-class honours degree in zoology in 1964 from...

Botanical gardens ‘most effective’ green space at cooling streets in heatwaves

Researchers hope the findings will inform policymakers planning cities for a warming worldFew things are as soothing on a hot summer’s day as a walk through a beautiful botanical garden, but they are not just oases of calm. As climate breakdown fuels soaring temperatures, they could prove crucial in moderating the heat in the streets around them.A comprehensive review of research into the...

‘Very rare’ clay figurine of Mercury discovered at Roman site in Kent

Previously unknown settlement in Small Hythe was once an important infrastructure linkA “very rare” clay figurine of the god Mercury, one of fewer than 10 ever found in Britain, has been discovered at a previously unknown Roman settlement that once sat next to a busy port – but is now 10 miles from the sea.The site of the settlement, in the modern hamlet of Small Hythe (or Smallhythe), near...

US returns to lunar surface for first time in over 50 years: ‘Welcome to the moon’

Intuitive Machines’ spacecraft Odysseus lands after a 73-minute descent, touching down near moon’s south poleThe United States has returned to the lunar surface for the first time in more than 50 years after a privately-built spacecraft named Odysseus capped a nail-biting 73-minute descent from orbit with a touchdown near the moon’s south pole.But amid celebrations of what Nasa hailed “a...


THURSDAY 22. FEBRUARY 2024


Odysseus moon landing live updates: first US lunar attempt in 52 years

Carrying Nasa instruments, Intuitive Machines Odysseus lander aims to be the first US landing on the moon for over 50 yearsThe uncrewed Nova-C lander built by Intuitive Machines launched on 15 February. Its scheduled touchdown near the moon’s south pole would be the first lunar landing of a US spacecraft since Nasa’s final Apollo mission in December 1972, and the first by a non-government...

Switzerland calls on UN to explore possibility of solar geoengineering

Proposal focuses on technique that fills atmosphere with particles, reflecting part of sun’s heat and light back into spaceSwitzerland has initiated a global debate on whether the “risks, benefits and uncertainties” of dimming the sun should be studied by a United Nations expert group.It is proposing that the world body should gather information about ongoing research into solar...