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36,426 articles from Guardian Unlimited Science

UK monkeypox outbreak not yet under control, say experts

Suggestions vaccines may need to be offered to all men who have sex with men to combat spread of virus‘It’s taken so long’: Monkeypox patients raise concerns over UK tracing delaysThe monkeypox outbreak in the UK is not yet under control, experts have warned, with some suggesting that vaccines may need to be offered to all men who have sex with men.Monkeypox, which is to be given a new name...

Bird flu is on the rise in the UK. Are chickens in the back garden to blame?

The risk to humans from the disease, spread by wild birds, is low but a record level of outbreaks this year has researchers worriedBird flu outbreaks rose nearly fivefold last year, creating an urgent need for research into preventing the spread of the disease, according to the head of a new consortium investigating the virus.The record of 26 outbreaks involving H5N1 in 2021 has been shattered,...

Inquiry urged into ‘parental alienation’ court experts

Lawyers and MPs in England and Wales express concern over ‘unregulated’ psychologists who play key role in disputes over domestic abuseMPs, lawyers and charity leaders are among those calling for an urgent inquiry into the use of unregulated psychological experts in the family courts, after an investigation by the Observer.In a letter sent to the justice secretary, the victims’ commissioner...

Where science meets fiction: the dark history of eugenics

The scientist and author Dr Adam Rutherford looks at how the study of genetics has been warped for political endsIt’s a quirk of history that the foundations of modern biology – and as a consequence, some of the worst atrocities of the 20th century – should rely so heavily on peas. Cast your mind back to school biology, and Gregor Mendel, whose 200th birthday we mark next month. Though...


SATURDAY 18. JUNE 2022


Mystery of Waterloo’s dead soldiers to be re-examined by academics

Modern techniques to test traditional explanation that most bones from 1815 battle were ground into powder for fertiliserIt was an epic battle that has been commemorated in words, poetry and even a legendary Abba song, but 207 years to the day after troops clashed at Waterloo, a gruesome question remains: what happened to the dead?While tens of thousands of men and horses died at the site in...


FRIDAY 17. JUNE 2022


Did a Martian have a break – with a KitKat? | Brief letters

Litter left behind | Getting rid of things | Moving on from Partygate | Russian spy’s wrong turn | The Green Man in the treeCall me a peddler of conspiracy theories if you like, but I have had a good look at that piece of silver paper on Mars and it looks very much like a KitKat wrapper to me (Nasa rover sighting reignites fears about human space debris, 16 June).David GerrardHove, East Sussex...

Scientists harness light therapy to target and kill cancer cells in world first

Exclusive: experts believe new form of photoimmunotherapy may become fifth major cancer treatmentScientists have successfully developed a revolutionary cancer treatment that lights up and wipes out microscopic cancer cells, in a breakthrough that could enable surgeons to more effectively target and destroy the disease in patients.A European team of engineers, physicists, neurosurgeons, biologists...

This is going to hurt: how to have awkward conversations

We’ve all had an everyday interaction go horribly wrong. Experts give advice on how to handle difficult issues like sex, money and even dog pooTricky conversations are easy to put off – but dodging them only makes things harder. They’re often about something that could make life easier or better but the fact that the exchange may be embarrassing or difficult for one party or both, forms a...

For hydrogen power to be a climate solution, leaks must be curbed

Unlike carbon dioxide, hydrogen does not have a direct effect on climate – it affects other pollutantsWe are taught at school that hydrogen burns to produce water. This is part of its image as clean fuel. But new analysis is providing warnings for the engineers who will create and operate our future energy systems.In 2021, the UK government launched its hydrogen strategy, providing a roadmap to...

Greenery and bright colours in cities can boost morale – study

Researchers in France used virtual reality to test the impact of tweaks made to urban settingsHaving bright colours and greenery in our cities can make people happier and calmer, according to an unusual experiment involving virtual reality headsets.A team of researchers at the University of Lille, in France, used VR to test how volunteers reacted to variations of a minimalist concrete, glass and...


THURSDAY 16. JUNE 2022


Rare Anglo-Saxon burial site found along HS2 route – video

An Anglo-Saxon burial site containing over 140 people along with their belongings has been uncovered near Wendover, Buckinghamshire, along the route of the HS2 railway. 'To find this number of individuals is really unique,' said Rachel Wood, a lead archaeologist working on the site. A total of 138 graves were found at the site, making it 'one of the largest Anglo-Saxon burial...

How much money is needed for ideal life? Most are OK with £8m, study finds

Research counters idea that everyone want to be as rich as possible, though many Americans want $100bnHow much money do you need to lead your “absolutely ideal life”? The answer for most people, according to new research by university psychologists, is $10m (£8.6m) – but not Americans, who say they need at least $100m, and frequently insist on $100bn.Academics at the universities of Bath,...

Sweden: surgeon convicted of bodily harm over synthetic trachea transplant

Court finds that Paolo Macchiarini carried out experimental procedure on patient who was not critically illA Swedish court has found an Italian surgeon, once hailed for pioneering windpipe surgery, guilty of causing bodily harm to a patient, but cleared him of assault charges.Paolo Macchiarini won praise in 2011 after claiming to have performed the world’s first synthetic trachea transplants...

Nasa rover sighting reignites fears about human space debris

Mars object thought to be piece of thermal blanket from when Perseverance touched down on planetNasa’s Perseverance rover typically beams back evocative images of bleak dusty landscapes, red-hued sandstorms and Martian rock samples. So its operators were surprised to receive an image on Monday of a shiny silver object resembling a discarded crisp packet wedged between two rocks.The object, the...

‘It’s like the loss happened yesterday’: how long is too long to mourn?

Losing a loved one can be life-changing and, for some, debilitating. Could a diagnosis help, or are we medicalising a natural human emotion?For a while, Davina Rivers thought something wasn’t right with her. “It will be seven years in November since my husband died, and I’m still grieving for him every day, I miss him every day, I wish he was here every day,” she says. She has suffered...

‘If you work hard and succeed, you’re a loser’: can you really wing it to the top?

Forget the spreadsheets and make it up as you go along – that’s the message of leaders from Elon Musk to Boris Johnson. But is acting on instinct really a good idea?There are, it seems, two types of “winging it” stories. First, there are the triumphant ones – the victories pulled, cheekily, improbably, from the jaws of defeat. Like the time a historian (who prefers to remain nameless)...

‘Stunning’ Anglo-Saxon burial site found along HS2 route

Remains of more than 140 people found at site in Buckinghamshire, along with trove of personal items An Anglo-Saxon burial site containing the remains of more than 140 people interred with some of their most favoured objects, including jewellery, knives and even a personal grooming kit, has been discovered by archaeologists working on the HS2 route.The site, near Wendover, Buckinghamshire,...

How Google’s chatbot works – and why it isn’t sentient – podcast

Last week an engineer at Google claimed that an AI chatbot he worked with, known as LaMDA, had become ‘sentient’. Blake Lemoine published a transcript of his conversations with LaMDA that included responses about having feelings and fearing death. But could it really be conscious? AI researcher and author Kate Crawford speaks to Ian Sample about how LaMDA actually works, and why we shouldn’t...

Doctors warn against over-medicalising menopause after UK criticism

Seeing natural event as hormone deficiency requiring treatment could increase women’s anxiety, say medicsDoctors have hit back at critics saying they are failing menopausal women, and said that treating menopause as a hormone deficiency that requires medical treatment could fuel negative expectations and make matters worse.Writing in the British Medical Journal they said there was an urgent need...


WEDNESDAY 15. JUNE 2022


Mystery of Black Death’s origins solved, say researchers

International team link spike in deaths at cemeteries in Kyrgyzstan in 1300s to start of plague pandemicResearchers believe they have solved the nearly 700-year-old mystery of the origins of the Black Death, the deadliest pandemic in recorded history, which swept through Europe, Asia and north Africa in the mid-14th century.At least tens of millions of people died when bubonic plague tore across...

How cannabis-fed chickens may help cut Thai farmers’ antibiotic use

Scientists observed fewer cases of avian bronchitis and superior meat after chickens given cannabisIt all began when Ong-ard Panyachatiraksa, a farm owner in the north of Thailand who is licensed to grow medicinal cannabis, was wondering what to do with the many excess leaves he had amassed. He asked: could his brood of chickens benefit from the leftovers?Academics at Chiang Mai University were...

WHO to rename monkeypox virus to avoid discrimination

Urgent move to change name comes after scientists call it ‘inaccurate’ and ‘stigmatising’ as virus spreadsThe World Health Organization has said it will rename monkeypox to avoid discrimination and stigmatisation as the virus continues to spread among people in an unprecedented global outbreak of the disease.Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO’s director general, said the organisation...

‘I swear I saw faces in the darkness’: can you scare yourself happy?

From a walk in the woods at night to exploring a ghostly derelict building or riding a bloodcurdling rollercoaster, can a dose of fear make you forget your everyday worries?‘Fifty feet, Danny!” Lucy shrieks as we ascend to the top of the Big One, the UK’s tallest rollercoaster. “One hundred feet … one hundred and fifty feet … two hun …” she continues. “OK, I get it; we’re...

The strawberry moon – in pictures

The moon reached its full stage on Tuesday, during a phenomenon known as a supermoon because of its proximity to Earth, and it is also called the strawberry moon because it is the full moon at strawberry harvest time Continue reading...