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34,735 articles from Guardian Unlimited Science

US ‘very concerned’ despite China denials over hypersonic missile

Disarmament ambassador casts doubt on ability to defend against technology after reports of test The United States is “very concerned” about China’s development of hypersonic technology, US disarmament ambassador Robert Wood has said, after reports that Beijing had recently launched a hypersonic missile with a nuclear capacity.“We are very concerned by what China has been doing on the...

Valneva Covid vaccine could be as effective as Oxford jab, study suggests

Vaccine produced by French company uses inactivated Sars-CoV-2 virus and can be stored in fridgeCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageA coronavirus jab based on traditional vaccine technology might be as effective as the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, data suggests, offering new hope for global vaccination efforts.Vaccines currently approved for use in the UK deliver...

TGA dismisses bid to make contraceptive pill available over the counter in Australia

Two applications were made to amend poisons legislation so that the pill would not need ongoing prescriptions from doctorDownload the free Guardian app; get our morning email briefingA push to make the contraceptive pill available over the counter has been dismissed by Australia’s drugs regulator.In an interim decision, now open for further consultation, the Therapeutic Goods Administration...

Factory farms of disease: how industrial chicken production is breeding the next pandemic

At least eight types of bird flu, all of which can kill humans, are circulating around the world’s factory farms – and they could be worse than Covid-19One day last December, 101,000 chickens at a gigantic farm near the city of Astrakhan in southern Russia started to collapse and die. Tests by the state research centre showed that a relatively new strain of lethal avian flu known as H5N8 was...

Starwatch: early risers can enjoy a Mercury morning

Copernicus never saw it, so the story goes, but here’s your chance to chase the elusive planetThis coming week, there is a chance to spot the elusive inner planet Mercury in the morning sky. It will be tricky as the solar system’s smallest planet will only appear low in the dawn sky before the sunrise washes it away.The chart shows the view looking east from London at 0700 BST on 25 October....

Russian movie crew return to Earth after filming 12 days on the International Space Station – video

A Russian actor and a film director have returned to Earth after spending 12 days on the International Space Station, shooting scenes for The Challenge, the first movie filmed in orbit. Actor Yulia Peresild and director Klim Shipenko joined cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky in a Soyuz capsule that landed as scheduled on Kazakhstan’s steppe. The film, if completed on time, will beat a Hollywood production...

Psychosis cases soar in England as pandemic hits mental health

75% rise in referrals for first suspected episode of psychosis between April 2019 and April 2021Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageCases of psychosis have soared over the past two years in England as an increasing number of people experience hallucinations and delusional thinking amid the stresses of the Covid-19 pandemic.There was a 75% increase in the number of people...


SUNDAY 17. OCTOBER 2021


Australia could see Covid surge from new variants even after 80% vaccination when border reopens

Modelling shows increased risk of outbreaks if a mutation similar to the transmissibility of Delta were to circulate with international arrivalsFollow our Covid live blog for the latest updatesVaccine rollout and rates tracker; cases and data trackerGet our free news app; get our morning email briefingIf the Australian international border is reopened while highly transmissible Covid-19 variants...

Ecstasy, LSD and magic mushrooms: are these drugs the future of therapy?

Scientists treating depression and a range of other mental illnesses have been running controlled trials using MDMA and psychedelic drugs such as LSD, and the results have been encouraging.Dr Robin Carhart Harris, head the Centre for Psychedelic Research at Imperial College London, discusses his work showing how psilocybin (or magic mushrooms) can be used to assist psychotherapy for...

We put our child in charge for a day – it was both terrifying and freeing

One day a year our daughter does as she pleases and it’s always great fun… and a good education for us allWe call it her “in-charge day”. A day when our nine-year-old daughter Flora is in charge, and we are, effectively, hers to command. A day when all the traditional hierarchies between parent and child are reversed, when she can fulfil her fantasies, refuse to do anything she doesn’t...

Polygenic screening of embryos is here, but is it ethical?

The first child born using the technique arrived last year. But can it really help reduce diseases in a new generation, or is it ‘techno-eugenics’?The birth of the first IVF baby, Louise Brown, in 1978 provoked a media frenzy. In comparison, a little girl named Aurea born by IVF in May 2020 went almost unnoticed. Yet she represents a significant first in assisted reproduction too, for the...

Pregnant women at risk from NHS workers’ mixed messages over safety of jab

Expectant mothers tell helpline that midwives are advising them against vaccines despite threat posed by virus• Coronavirus – latest updates• See all our coronavirus coveragePregnant women are being advised by some health professionals not to have the Covid vaccine despite an edict from the NHS that they should encourage them to get the jab. One in six of the most critically ill Covid...

Russian film crew return to Earth after shooting the first movie in space

Actor and director land safely in Kazakhstan after spending 12 days on the International Space Station shooting the first movie in orbitA Russian actor and a film director have returned to Earth after spending 12 days on the International Space Station shooting scenes for the first movie in orbit.Yulia Peresild and Klim Shipenko landed as scheduled on Kazakhstan’s steppe early on Sunday,...


SATURDAY 16. OCTOBER 2021


Figures of Babylon: oldest drawing of a ghost found in British Museum vault

A 3,500-year-old image tablet of a ‘miserable male ghost’ gives up its secretIts outlines are faint, only discernible at an angle, but the world’s oldest drawing of a ghost has been discovered in the darkened vaults of the British Museum.A lonely bearded spirit being led into the afterlife and eternal bliss by a lover has been identified on an ancient Babylonian clay tablet created about...

Well you would say that: the science behind our everyday biases

Covid has turned us into pandemic experts, all too ready to gainsay scientists and distorting our reasoning, but psychology can help us understand how our prejudices are formedAs I wasted an hour’s worth of petrol trying to find more petrol last month, Justin Webb poked at the chief secretary to the Treasury, Simon Clarke, on the Today programme, seeking a reason why much of the country is...

More power to Mark Billingham’s book-hurling elbow. I might join in | Rebecca Nicholson

Life’s too short for bad literature, so let’s follow the writer’s exampleDo you ditch a book if it does not immediately grab your attention or do you trudge through it joylessly, weighed down by some invisible obligation to complete it, no matter how arduous the task? The writer Mark Billingham got stuck into this endless debate at the Cheltenham literature festival last week, admitting that...

Viva la vulva: why we need to talk about women’s genitalia

Ignorance about the basic biology of vulvas is still shockingly high – yet there are huge health benefits, physical and emotional, to be won with better understandingIf you have a vulva between your legs, could you identify the seven separate structures in a mirror? If your partner has a vulva, can you identify theirs?For over half the population, the vulva is a significant part of their body;...

'Johnny'll love that': Ringo Starr wishes Nasa Lucy mission well – video

The Beatles drummer, Ringo Starr, was among those asked to add their messages to a Lucy mission plaque. The spacecraft has set off on a 12-year quest to explore eight asteroids, mostly around Jupiter's orbit. The mission was named after the 3.2m-year-old skeletal remains of a human ancestor found in Ethiopia nearly a half a century. Dr Donald Johanson discovered the remains while the Beatles song...

Nasa’s Lucy rockets into the sky with diamonds to explore asteroids

Spacecraft with name inspired by a skeleton and the Beatles, and with lab-grown gems, starts 12-year questA Nasa spacecraft named Lucy has rocketed into the sky with diamonds on a 12-year quest to explore eight asteroids.Seven of the mysterious space rocks are among swarms of asteroids sharing Jupiter’s orbit, thought to be the pristine leftovers of planetary formation. Continue...

How did Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin fail to dominate the billionaire space race?

The company employs the world’s top engineers and has access to unlimited money but is plagued by safety concerns and toxic workplace cultureThe billionaire space race is only a race by name. In actuality, there is SpaceX – and everyone else.Only the company founded by Elon Musk nearly two decades ago has sent a rocket booster into orbit and landed it safely again. Only SpaceX has landed a...

Chinese astronauts arrive at space station for longest mission

The Shenzhou-13 vessel docked at its space station to kick off a record-setting six-month stayThree astronauts successfully docked with China’s new space station, state media said, on what is set to be Beijing’s longest crewed mission to date and the latest landmark in its drive to become a major space power.The three blasted off shortly after midnight on Saturday (1600 GMT) from the Jiuquan...


FRIDAY 15. OCTOBER 2021


‘Sensational’: skeleton buried in Vesuvius eruption found at Herculaneum

Archaeologists find remains of fugitive during first dig at site near Pompeii in almost three decadesThe partially mutilated remains of a man buried by the AD79 eruption of Mount Vesuvius at Herculaneum, the ancient Roman town close to Pompeii, have been discovered in what Italy’s culture minister described as a “sensational” find.Archaeologists said the man, believed to have been aged...

Why Britons are tolerating sky-high Covid rates – and why this may not last

Analysis: as Covid cases reach 40,000 a day, scientists think normalisation is partly to blame for the lack of public reactionCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageIt’s one of the conundrums of the current phase of the Covid pandemic; the UK has among the highest number of infections across the world and a death toll that continues to steadily climb, yet the national mood...