feed info

33,097 articles from Guardian Unlimited Science

Nasa picks Elon Musk’s SpaceX to build spacecraft to return humans to moon

Space agency breaks with tradition by awarding $2.9bn contract to single company in ‘big step’ for moon-to-Mars strategyNasa has chosen SpaceX to build the next-generation spacecraft that will return humans to the moon, further strengthening Elon Musk’s grip on the burgeoning public-private space industry.The $2.9bn contract to build the lunar lander that will spearhead the Artemis program,...


FRIDAY 16. APRIL 2021


What are the new Covid variants and what do they mean for the pandemic?

From Doug to Nelly and Eeek, we look at how mutations are affecting the battle against the virusCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageFrom the moment public health officials started to track new variants of coronavirus, it became clear that the same mutations were cropping up time and again and making the virus more troublesome. What are these mutations, what do they do,...

Analysing long Covid and managing anxiety | Letters

There is a greater need than ever for measured, up-to-date information about this condition, writes Prof Michael Sharpe. Plus letters from Robin Davies and Prof Paul GarnerGeorge Monbiot has written about post Covid-19 illnesses (Apparently just by talking about it, I’m super-spreading long Covid, 14 April). He referred to slides he had obtained from a talk I was invited to give because of my...

India Covid variant found in UK specimens taken in February

Researchers worry that ‘variant under investigation’ contains mutations that could help it evade immune responseCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe first of the 77 cases of the India variant of coronavirus found in the UK were detected in specimens dating back to February, the Guardian has learned.On Thursday Public Health England (PHE) revealed that 77 cases of a...

Women in England almost twice as likely as men to be prescribed opiate painkillers

Experts worried about high use of drugs such as codeine and tramadol after prescriptions rose during Covid pandemic‘I was told to live with it’: women tell of doctors dismissing their painWomen in England are almost twice as likely as men to be prescribed powerful and potentially addictive opiate painkillers, prompting experts to warn that female pain is overly medicated and not properly...

Spacewatch: 60 years after Gagarin, first ‘all-civilian’ mission is in works

Billionaire Jared Isaacman is chartering a SpaceX rocket to take him and three others into orbitThis week was the 60th anniversary of the first human spaceflight. On 12 April 1961, Yuri Gagarin blasted off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The flight lasted 108 minutes and reached a maximum altitude of 327km (203 miles).Following the re-entry of his space capsule, Gagarin parachuted the...


THURSDAY 15. APRIL 2021


‘That’s a lot of teeth’: 2.5 billion T rex walked the earth, researchers find

Experts calculate the total number of the dinosaurs that lived over 127,000 generationsOne Tyrannosaurus rex seems scary enough. Now picture 2.5 billion of them. That’s how many of the fierce dinosaur king probably roamed Earth over the course of a couple of million years, a new study finds.Using calculations based on body size, sexual maturity and the creatures’ energy needs, a team at the...

Whitest-ever paint could help cool heating Earth, study shows

New paint reflects 98% of sunlight as well as radiating infrared heat into space, reducing need for air conditioningThe whitest-ever paint has been produced by academic researchers, with the aim of boosting the cooling of buildings and tackling the climate crisis.The new paint reflects 98% of sunlight as well as radiating infrared heat through the atmosphere into space. In tests, it cooled...

Rapid Covid testing in England may be scaled back over false positives

Exclusive: leaked emails seen by the Guardian show ‘urgent need for decisions’ on asymptomatic testingSenior government officials have raised “urgent” concerns about the mass expansion of rapid coronavirus testing, estimating that as few as 2% to 10% of positive results may be accurate in places with low Covid rates, such as London.Boris Johnson last week urged everyone in England to take...

Human cells grown in monkey embryos reignite ethics debate

Scientists confirm they have produced ‘chimera’ embryos from long-tailed macaques and humansMonkey embryos containing human cells have been produced in a laboratory, a study has confirmed, spurring fresh debate into the ethics of such experiments.The embryos are known as chimeras, organisms whose cells come from two or more “individuals”, and in this case, different species: a long-tailed...

Britain must harness the social sciences to fight post-pandemic deprivation | Will Hutton

The wealth of research going on around Covid and inequality could be used to help everyone lead healthier livesWill Hutton is the incoming president of the Academy of Social SciencesFor the past year the repeated government invocation has been that it will “follow the science”. As the world knows, the general direction of scientific advice, although there have been occasional dissenters and...

Brian Gardiner obituary

Palaeontologist who studied the bony ancestors of salmon and cod, and what lungfish had in common with four-limbed animalsEarly in his scientific career, Brian Gardiner, who has died aged 88, was seduced by fossils – the remains, shapes or traces of ancient organisms preserved in rock. Brian wanted to learn how these should be interpreted and classified and what they reveal about evolution. In...

Do humans respond differently to screams of pleasure and pain? – podcast

Why do we scream? Whilst past research has largely focused on using screams to signal danger and scare predators, humans scream in a much wider range of contexts – from crying out in pleasure to shrieking with grief. Madeleine Finlay speaks to Prof Sascha Frühholz about his new study identifying what emotions humans communicate through screams, and how our brains react differently to distinct...

Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid vaccine research ‘was 97% publicly funded’

Analysis rebuts claim by Boris Johnson that jab was developed ‘because of greed’Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageAt least 97% of the funding for the development of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine has been identified as coming from taxpayers or charitable trusts, according to the first attempt to reconstruct who paid for the decades of research that led to...


WEDNESDAY 14. APRIL 2021


Magic mushrooms show promise in treatment for depression, study says

Trial suggests psilocybin combined with psychological therapy is as effective as antidepressant drugMagic mushrooms have a long and rich history. Now scientists say they could play an important role in the future, with their active ingredient a promising treatment for depression.The results from a small, phase two clinical trial have revealed that two doses of psilocybin appears to be as effective...

Surge testing for Covid expanded to two more London postcodes

Households in Southwark and Barnet added to test drive in effort to curb spread of South African variantCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageSurge testing has been expanded in London to two further postcodes in a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus variant first identified in South Africa.On Tuesday it was announced that surge testing would be carried out in...

Roman site uncovered in Scarborough hailed as first of its kind in UK

Remains of buildings near Yorkshire town said to be ‘most important Roman discovery of last decade’ When developers broke ground on the outskirts of Scarborough, they were hoping to build a housing estate ideal for first-time buyers, families and professionals, with en suites, off-street parking and integrated kitchens galore. But before shovels had even hit earth, they found someone else had...

Flying giant pterosaurs had longer neck than a giraffe, say experts

Intact remains, discovered in Morocco, may help engineers create stronger lightweight structuresPterosaurs, one of the first and largest vertebrates to learn to fly, have often been seen as the cool cousins of the infamous Tyrannosaurus rex.Now scientists have discovered the 100m-year-old secret to the success of the flying pterosaur: a neck longer than a giraffe. Continue...

Single Pfizer or AstraZeneca dose produces strong antibody response

Scientists say the AstraZeneca vaccine has a greater effect when it comes to the cellular responseA single dose of either the Oxford/AstraZeneca or the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine generates a big protective antibody response against the coronavirus in the over-80s, researchers have found.The first study to look at the comparative performance of the two vaccines that have been in use in the UK in...

Will Covid vaccines protect us against new variants? | Julian Tang

New strains such as the South African variant that’s emerged in south London will require constant vigilance as lockdown easesAll viruses mutate. They do this to adapt and survive better in their specific host. The virus that causes Covid-19 is no different: it has moved from the animal realm, where it most likely originated in bats, to the human world. Since then, scientists have been locked in...

Sitting in a tin can: why sci-fi films are finally telling astronaut life like it is

New Netflix drama Stowaway is the latest in a crop of movies that suggests space travel is more random death and boredom than warp speed nineAnybody who fancies watching a new science fiction film this month can count their lucky stars. A Netflix drama, Stowaway, features Anna Kendrick, Toni Collette and Daniel Dae Kim as a trio of astronauts who are on their way to Mars when they discover that an...

Apparently just by talking about it, I’m super-spreading long Covid | George Monbiot

A professor has suggested that press coverage could make people believe they have the conditionRejoice! A mystery has been solved. We now have an explanation for long Covid, a condition afflicting many thousands of people. A super-spreader has been identified. Important as this finding is, I’m reluctant to call for the vector to be eradicated. Why? Because it’s me.In a presentation to the...

The Sleeping Beauties by Suzanne O’Sullivan review – 21st century health mysteries

Sleeping sickness, strange behaviour and mass hysteria ... a neurologist makes sense of ‘psychosomatic’ illnessIn Sweden in recent years, hundreds of children of refugee families have fallen into coma-like states and not woken up again, sometimes for months or years. Dozens of people in three Nicaraguan communities have had tremors, convulsions, breathing difficulties and hallucinations that...

UK study on mixing Covid vaccines between jabs to be expanded

Researchers to examine whether mixing vaccines may give longer-lasting immunity against virus Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageA major UK study examining whether Covid vaccines can be safely mixed with different types of jabs for the first and second doses is to be expanded.Researchers running the Com-Cov study, launched in February to investigate alternating doses of...