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37,041 articles from Guardian Unlimited Science

Feeling depressed or lonely can age us faster than smoking, researchers say

Digital model of ageing reveals importance of psychological health as well as biologicalFeeling unhappy, depressed or lonely could speed up the ageing processes more than smoking or even certain diseases, researchers have suggested.While everyone has an age based on their date of birth – their “chronological age” – they also have what is known as a “biological age”, based on the ageing...

How a man and his dogs discovered the cause of narcolepsy – podcast

The Breakthrough prizes are described by their Silicon Valley founders as ‘the Oscars of science’, and while they are not as glamorous, they do come with a $3m award. This year, one of the prizes was dished out to Prof Emmanuel Mignot at Stanford University and Masashi Yanagisawa at the University of Tsukuba for their work uncovering the cause of narcolepsy. Their discovery has opened the door...

Nasa crashes Dart spacecraft into an asteroid in 'planetary defense test' – video

Nasa’s Dart spacecraft has crashed into the asteroid Dimorphos 6.8m miles from Earth in the space agency’s first “planetary defense test”. Dart (Double Asteroid Redirection Test)  collided head-on with an asteroid the size of a football stadium on Monday in an unprecedented full-scale test of Nasa’s capacity to defend Earth from a doomsday scenario. The test was humanity’s first...

Nasa prepares to crash spacecraft into asteroid in ‘planetary defense test’ – live

Space agency conducts Dart mission to learn whether asteroid’s trajectory can be diverted away from EarthFictional movies such as Deep Impact to Armageddon and Don’t Look Up would have us believe that the best way to deal with an asteroid hurtling towards Earth is to obliterate it.But scientists at Johns Hopkins University say that’s just what we shouldn’t do.Conventional wisdom for...


MONDAY 26. SEPTEMBER 2022


Space station flies over Hurricane Ian – video

Footage released by Nasa shows a view of Hurricane Ian that can be seen from the International Space Station as it flies over the storm. Hurricane Ian moved near the Cayman Islands and closer to western Cuba early on Monday on course to hit Florida as a major hurricane this week. A surge of up to 2.4 metres (8ft) of ocean water and 25cm (10in) of rain, with as much as 38cm (15in) in...

Can’t get tune out of your head? Try this | Letter

Pianist Susan Tomes passes on advice that she received from a psychotherapist to chase away dreaded earworms Tim Harrison asks for tips on how to get rid of certain music playing on an endless loop in his brain (Letters, 25 September). I once developed a bad case of music-looping after recording an album of jolly 1920s syncopated piano music. The resulting sleeplessness got so bad that I consulted...

Why Nasa is crashing a spacecraft into an asteroid – and how to watch it

The Dart mission’s ‘planetary defense’ experiment hopes to test whether an Armageddon-style impact could be avertedAn unprecedented and long-awaited deep-space venture will take place almost 7m miles from Earth on Monday night when a Nasa spacecraft will be deliberately crashed into an asteroid in an attempt to show humanity can avert an Armageddon-style impact to Earth.Here’s what’s...

Nasa to crash spacecraft into asteroid in planetary defense test

Experiment aims to determine if intentionally crashing spacecraft into an asteroid is an effective way to change its courseA multimillion-dollar spacecraft will collide head-on with an asteroid the size of a football stadium in an unprecedented full-scale planetary defense test by the US space agency Nasa on Monday evening.The 570kg (1257lb) spacecraft named Dart – short for Double Asteroid...

The Big Idea: can you learn to predict the future?

Put any biases aside and you might just become a ‘superforecaster’From Nostradamus to Paul the “psychic” octopus, who supposedly foresaw the results of World Cup matches, there has been no shortage of people who argue they – or their animals – are able to predict the future. In most cases it’s easy to dismiss such claims, be they incredibly vague, biblical-sounding prophecies (as...

No one in physics dares say so, but the race to invent new particles is pointless | Sabine Hossenfelder

In private, many physicists admit they do not believe the particles they are paid to search for exist – they do it because their colleagues are doing itImagine you go to a zoology conference. The first speaker talks about her 3D model of a 12-legged purple spider that lives in the Arctic. There’s no evidence it exists, she admits, but it’s a testable hypothesis, and she argues that a mission...

How I talk to my plants is revealing troubling things | Emma Beddington

I’ve started talking to household objects – and none of us are enjoying what we’re hearingThere has been a flurry of debate about whether people do or do not have an inner monologue. What none of us has, really, is an adequate vocabulary to explain what goes on in our heads, or convey it to others. We can’t grasp how others experience their inner lives, just as we can’t know what they...

Tutankhamun’s burial chamber may contain door to Nefertiti’s tomb

Hidden hieroglyphics could suggest the king is buried within a much larger structure housing the Egyptian queenThe discovery of hidden hieroglyphics within Tutankhamun’s tomb lends weight to a theory that the fabled Egyptian queen Nefertiti lies in a hidden chamber adjacent to her stepson’s burial chamber, a world-renowned British Egyptologist has said.Nicholas Reeves, a former curator in the...

Starwatch: keep an eagle eye out for Aquila in full flight

Constellation’s brightest star, Altair, gives out 11 times more light than our sunThe celestial eagle is in full flight at this time of the year for the northern hemisphere.The constellation of Aquila is one of the 48 constellations defined by Ptolemy in the 2nd century, though it had been mentioned in Greek tradition as long ago as the 4th century BC by Eudoxus. In mythology, Aquila represents...


SUNDAY 25. SEPTEMBER 2022


Target Venus not Mars for first crewed mission to another planet, experts say

Despite its ‘hellish’ environment, scientists argue there are good reasons to focus on ‘Earth’s sister’With a surface hot enough to melt lead, crushing atmospheric pressure and clouds of sulphuric acid, Venus might not sound like the most enticing destination for human exploration.But a group of experts are advocating that our other nearest neighbour, rather than Mars, should be the...

Nasa’s Dart probe to smash into asteroid in first Earth defence test

Aim is to see whether space rocks can be deflected should one threaten humans with same fate as dinosaursMost mission scientists would wince at the thought of their spacecraft being smashed to smithereens. But for those behind Nasa’s Dart probe, anything short of total destruction will be chalked up as a failure.The $330m (£300m) spacecraft is due to slam head-on into an asteroid about 11m...

Nasa delays Artemis 1 moon rocket launch again as tropical storm Ian looms

Third delay in the past month for test flight as technical issues and weather hamper US effort to return to the moon after five decadesNasa is skipping Tuesday’s launch attempt of its new moon rocket over concerns about a tropical storm headed to Florida that could become a major hurricane.It’s the third delay in the past month for the lunar-orbiting test flight featuring mannequins but no...


SATURDAY 24. SEPTEMBER 2022


Want to get a good night’s sleep? First of all, stop trying

Seven expert and unexpected tips for people who have already tried everythingAs a sleep coach, I regularly meet people who have “tried everything” to get more sleep. They have read every article on the subject and devoured every tip on the internet and then adjusted and readjusted their routines based on the advice they have found. Many of them are doing all the right things – spending time...

HRT: inside the complex global supply chain behind a $20bn market

As demand for menopause drugs soars, we trace the oestrogen production line from Chinese soya bean fields to European pharmacy shelvesIn the centre of the factory stand 31 reactors: giant metal globes that can hold up to 10,000 litres of liquid each. Every week, gleaming stainless steel drums arrive by truck at this plant on the outskirts of Oss, in the Netherlands. Their contents are poured into...


FRIDAY 23. SEPTEMBER 2022


Forensic anthropologist Sue Black: ‘The body is really just layers upon layers of memory’

Exclusive: The professor chosen to deliver Royal Institution Christmas lectures talks about a fascination with anatomy that goes back to plucking pheasants as a childFrom a solitary set of finger bones to a fragment of skull in a washing machine, the cases Dame Sue Black has helped solve may seem too gruesome for the joyful spectacle that is the Royal Institution Christmas lectures.But it is not...

Little evidence screaming helps mental health, say psychologists

Experts question long-term benefits of therapy for mental and psychological disordersPopping into a room on your lunch break to have a good scream may seem like a helpful way to let off steam, but experts say there is little evidence the approach offers long-term benefits for mental health.Primal scream therapy (PST) was created by psychologist Arthur Janov in the late 1960s. It is based on the...

Will we ever see pictures of the big bang? We ask an expert

Dr Matthew Bothwell, public astronomer at the University of Cambridge, on whether humans will one day be able to observe the origin of the universeThe pictures from the James Webb telescope – described by Nasa as a “time machine” because the light has taken billions of years to reach us – raise the question: will it be possible to someday see the big bang itself? I asked Dr Matthew...

Dozens starstruck at Northumberland dark skies mass trespass

Participants view Milky Way and Andromeda galaxy as campaigners bemoan restrictions on right to roam“Welcome to the night,” beamed a right to roam campaigner welcoming a coach load of city dwellers to the pitch dark stillness of remote Northumberland countryside on a chilly September evening.The passengers had been attracted by a secretive offer spread on Instagram and by old-school posters...


THURSDAY 22. SEPTEMBER 2022


Water found in asteroid dust may offer clues to origins of life on Earth

Discovery offers new support for the theory that life may have been seeded from outer spaceSpecks of dust that a Japanese space probe retrieved from an asteroid about 186 million miles (300m kilometres) from Earth have revealed a surprising component: a drop of water.The discovery offers new support for the theory that life on Earth may have been seeded from outer space. Continue...

New plagiarism claims against sport concussion guru Paul McCrory

Exclusive: Expert who has downplayed link between concussion and traumatic brain injury is accused of 10 more cases of plagiarismGet our free news app, morning email briefing or daily news podcastThe world-renowned concussion expert Dr Paul McCrory has been accused of 10 more cases of plagiarism, prompting experts to question how much original research the neurologist has produced and whether he...

‘Father of quantum computing’ wins $3m physics prize

David Deutsch, who proposed an as yet unbuildable machine to test existence of parallel universes, shares prize with three othersA theoretical physicist who has never had a regular job has won the most lucrative prize in science for his pioneering contributions to the mind-bending field of quantum computing.David Deutsch, who is affiliated with the University of Oxford, shares the $3m (about...