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34,735 articles from Guardian Unlimited Science

Britain’s Covid numbers show we need to move immediately to ‘plan B’ | Kit Yates

Our comparatively good position has been eroded and now, heading into the winter, the data looks truly alarmingKit Yates is director of the Centre for Mathematical Biology at the University of BathAll the Covid indicators in the UK are going in the wrong direction. They have been for a while now. Cases are surging upwards; hospitals are feeling the strain of increasing numbers of Covid patients,...

South Korea launches its first homemade space rocket

President hails ‘excellent’ test, as rocket gets high enough, but fails to put dummy payload into orbitSouth Korea’s first domestically produced space rocket reached its desired altitude but failed to deliver a dummy payload into orbit in its first test launch.The South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, still described the test as an “excellent accomplishment” that takes the country a step...

UK Covid live: Labour demands 500,000 per day booster jabs target, saying ‘wall of defence is crumbling’

Latest updates: shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth warns current booster programme will not be completed until March 2022England: minister denies there is ‘plan C’ to ban Christmas mixingBritish Medical Association says ‘time is now’ for Covid plan BTory MPs appear to heed Javid call to set example by wearing masksWho can get a Covid booster jab in England?Global Covid updates –...

Global heating ‘may lead to epidemic of kidney disease’

Deadly side-effect of heat stress is threat to rising numbers of workers in hot climates, doctors warn‘You shouldn’t work if your kidneys are failing – but people can’t afford not to’Read more in the Harmed by heat seriesChronic kidney disease linked to heat stress could become a major health epidemic for millions of workers around the world as global temperatures increase over the...

Deep within the UK’s shocking Covid data, there may be reasons for optimism

Analysis: soaring cases in schools are adding to the pool of the immune – which could soon see some community infections fallCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageIt is hard to be upbeat about the latest numbers. The government’s Covid dashboard is awash with red and upward-pointing arrows. New cases have climbed 17% on the week. Hospital admissions are up 11% and...

Plantwatch: one of world’s rarest trees found near Welsh coast

Only 30 Menai whitebeam remain, all in a narrow strip of steep land in a nature reserveOne of the world’s rarest trees grows in north Wales. There are only 30 of the Menai whitebeam left in the world, all growing along a tiny strip of steep coast in a nature reserve by the Menai Strait.“I was amazed to realise that such a highly threatened tree could be found in the nature reserve not far from...

Who are Insulate Britain and what do they want?

For the past few months Insulate Britain have been blocking roads in an effort to pressure the government into sealing up the UK’s leaky, draughty housing-stock. So why are a group of eco-activists facing confrontations from angry drivers, and even risking injury, for insulation? Shivani Dave speaks to environment correspondent Matthew Taylor about Insulate Britain’s demands and explores the...


WEDNESDAY 20. OCTOBER 2021


Solar storm confirms Vikings settled in North America exactly 1,000 years ago

Analysis of wood from timber-framed buildings in Newfoundland shows Norse-built settlement 471 years before ColumbusLong before Columbus crossed the Atlantic, eight timber-framed buildings covered in sod stood on a terrace above a peat bog and stream at the northern tip of Canada’s island of Newfoundland, evidence that the Vikings had reached the New World first.But precisely when the Vikings...

Why is it business as usual in England while Covid infections rise?

Analysis: a winter plan has been set out but implementing it could be hampered by political squeamishnessCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageMore than 20 months into the Covid pandemic and with a tough winter looming, the public could be excused for having a distinct sense of deja vu.Infection rates are rising sharply, scientists and senior NHS figures are sounding the...

UK Covid live: Sajid Javid warns country could hit 100,000 cases per day and urges people to get jabs

Latest updates: health secretary says ‘pandemic is not over’ but confirms UK will not implement its ‘plan B’ measures just nowJavid vows to protect NHS but says Covid cases could hit 100,000 a dayNo 10 to buy new antiviral treatments for Covid in time for winterComplacency holding back booster rollout in England, says NHS bossMorocco bans flights from UK, Germany and NetherlandsCoronavirus...

No 10 to buy new antiviral treatments for Covid in time for winter

Trials show one of the drugs cuts risk of hospitalisation or death for patients by halfCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageNo 10 has made deals to buy hundreds of thousands of doses of two new antiviral treatments for coronavirus, ministers have announced, with the hope they will be approved for use in the UK ahead of the winter.One deal covers 480,000 courses of...

Your green credentials may be linked to your genes, scientists say

Identical twins have more similar views on environmental issues than non-identical ones, study findsSome people are more environmentally conscious than others, and scientists say the reason could be in their genes.A study has found that identical twins had more similar views on conservation and environmentalism than non-identical twins. The researchers say this suggests there could be a link...

Surgeons successfully test pig kidney transplant in human patient

Researchers in US say trial on dead person is a ‘significant step’ toward animal-to-human organ transplantsSurgeons have attached a pig’s kidney to a human and watched it begin to work, a small step in the decades-long quest to one day use animal organs for life-saving transplants.Pigs have been the most recent research focus to address the organ shortage, but a sugar in their cells, which...

Jane Goodall on fires, floods, frugality and the good fight: ‘People have to change from within’

The climate emergency has been a wakeup call to everyone, and the ethologist and environmentalist is working as hard as ever to defeat it. She discusses horror, hope and heroism in her late 80sIn Jane Goodall’s new book, there is a vivid description of her “deep bond” with a beech tree in the garden of her childhood home in Bournemouth. She would climb into its branches to read, hauling...

Floating props and little sleep: Russians describe filming world’s first movie in space

Film crew say shooting was a ‘huge challenge’ and they had to learn to walk again after 12 days in orbitTheir movie props floated around, sleeping was difficult and they used Velcro to keep objects in place but Russia’s first film crew in space said they were delighted with the result and had “shot everything we planned”.Yulia Peresild, one of Russia’s most glamorous actors, and film...


TUESDAY 19. OCTOBER 2021


Without Covid-19 jab ‘reinfection may occur every 16 months’ say scientists

Reports grow of repeat SARS-CoV-2 infection as experts warn prevalence among schoolchildren risks health of older people as vaccines waneCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageAs Covid-19 infections surge in England people are increasingly reporting catching SARS-CoV-2 for a second or even third time. New analysis has suggested that unvaccinated individuals should expect to...

‘Case closed’: 99.9% of scientists agree climate emergency caused by humans

Trawl of 90,000 studies finds consensus, leading to call for Facebook and Twitter to curb disinformationThe scientific consensus that humans are altering the climate has passed 99.9%, according to research that strengthens the case for global action at the Cop26 summit in Glasgow.The degree of scientific certainty about the impact of greenhouse gases is now similar to the level of agreement on...

Offshoot of Covid Delta variant on the rise in England

UK Health Security Agency monitoring AY.4.2 as daily cases at highest level since late JulyCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageA newly detected coronavirus variant is on the rise in England, with the virus believed to be an offshoot of Delta.According to a briefing from the UK Health Security Agency, released on Friday, “a Delta sublineage newly designated as AY.4.2 is...

Is a ‘negative microwave’ – a device that quickly cools food and drink – possible?

The long-running series in which readers answer other readers’ questions on subjects ranging from trivial flights of fancy to profound scientific and philosophical conceptsI’ve been grappling for decades about how you’d get a “negative microwave” to work, a device that very quickly cools things such as food or drinks without having to pre-fill it with something that’s already cold. I...

Earth’s demise could rid galaxy of meaning, warns Brian Cox ahead of Cop26

Unique events that led to civilisation mean its demise could ‘eliminate meaning in galaxy for ever’Humans might be the only intelligent beings in our galaxy, so destroying our civilisation could be a galactic disaster, Prof Brian Cox has warned leaders in the run-up to Cop26.Speaking at the launch of his new BBC Two series Universe, the physicist and presenter said that having spoken to the...

Unfreezing the ice age: the truth about humanity’s deep past

Archaeological discoveries are shattering scholars’ long-held beliefs about how the earliest humans organised their societies – and hint at possibilities for our ownIn some ways, accounts of “human origins” play a similar role for us today as myth did for ancient Greeks or Polynesians. This is not to cast aspersions on the scientific rigour or value of these accounts. It is simply to...

Covid-19: v | podcast

Last week, testing at a private Covid lab in Wolverhampton was halted, after the UK Health Security Agency found tens of thousands of people may have been falsely given a negative PCR result. But since the start of September, scientists had been alerted to strange patterns in the testing data which suggested something was out of the ordinary. Anand Jagatia speaks to Dr Kit Yates, a mathematical...


MONDAY 18. OCTOBER 2021


We must not allow Covid deaths to be ‘normalised’ | Letters

Dr Jo Fayram hopes the apathy of the British public will not last; Professors Joe Sim and Steve Tombs condemn the government’s lamentable failures; Professor Patricia Deps reports on Brazil’s Covid inquiry; and Margaret Farnworth highlights a super-spreader football matchLast week the government’s response to Covid was criticised in a report by two Commons committees for apparently pursuing...

Sharp-eyed diver finds Crusader’s ancient sword on Israeli seabed

Metre-long relic, encrusted with marine organisms, is believed to be about 900 years oldA sword believed to have belonged to a Crusader who sailed to the Holy Land almost a millennium ago has been recovered from the Mediterranean seabed thanks to an eagle-eyed amateur diver, the Israel Antiquities Authority has said.Though encrusted with marine organisms, the metre-long blade, hilt and handle were...