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30,571 articles from Guardian Unlimited Science

Covid-19 spread may be levelling off in England, say experts

Latest ONS figures appear to show better picture, even as more lockdown measures relaxedCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageCommunity spread of Covid-19 in England may be levelling off even as some lockdown measures are relaxed, experts said following the release of official data. Related: Preston added to areas with bans on households mixing due to Covid-19 Continue...

'Wishful thinking': the dangers of UK hype during Covid-19

From the UK government over-promising on testing to scientific spin on a vaccine, realism is in short supplyRevealed: UK’s rapid Covid test not yet approved by regulatorsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThey were billed by the UK health secretary, Matt Hancock, as “lifesaving” and “hugely beneficial”: two new coronavirus tests that claim to deliver results...

Revealed: UK's rapid Covid test not yet approved by regulators

Exclusive: no data on accuracy of this and other test bought by government has been published‘Wishful thinking’: dangers of UK hype during Covid-19Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageOne of two 90-minute rapid coronavirus tests bought by the UK government and announced on Monday has yet to be approved by regulators, while no data on the accuracy of either has been...

'We're still so tired': Europe's doctors brace for second Covid-19 wave

When the Guardian spoke to staff in March they had no time for reflection. So what do they think of the new surge now? Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageDuring the initial peak of Spain’s Covid-19 pandemic in the spring, the virus displayed an unexpected mercy. In its spread, ferocity and awful novelty, it left health workers too tired and overwhelmed to look beyond...

Why are indoor settings higher risk for Covid – and are restaurants safe?

Experts say poor airflow, reduced distancing and prolonged exposure are key factors in the spread of coronavirusCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageIn Aberdeen it was pubs, restaurants and golf courses. In Prague it was a nightclub. In California it was a church. Why does Covid-19 appear to spread more easily in some places than others?Prof Devi Sridhar, the chair of...

Six months into Covid pandemic, the UK's isolation programme is still a mess | Anthony Costello

The government is asking people who may have coronavirus to isolate - but it has no idea of whether they’re doing soCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageOn 13 February, 83 British citizens left Arrowe Park hospital, Wirral, after 14 days of isolation, following their evacuation from Wuhan at the end of January. Two weeks was the appropriate quarantine response to...

Covid-19: lack of diversity threatens to undermine vaccine trials, experts warn

Oxford and Moderna trials draw from strikingly white cohort, for a virus that has disproportionately affected people of colourThe remarkably fast progress of two leading contenders for an effective coronavirus vaccine has raised hopes the pandemic may be speedily tamed. But some experts have warned the vaccine trials risk being undermined by a lack of diversity among their participants. Related:...

Total confirmed coronavirus cases in Africa pass 1 million

World Health Organization warns figure is ‘the tip of the iceberg’ and that the true number could be much higherCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageMore than 1 million people in Africa have been infected by the Covid-19 virus, health authorities on the continent have announced. Confirmed Covid cases in African countries have risen fivefold in the the past two months...


THURSDAY 6. AUGUST 2020


Nasa Trojan asteroids mission on course for October 2021 launch

Lucy spacecraft has passed its system integration review and can now be assembled and testedNasa’s Lucy mission has passed a critical milestone in its development: all components of the spacecraft passed a system integration review (SIR) on 27 July, and it can now be assembled and tested in preparation for its October 2021 launch.If it succeeds in its mission, Lucy will be the first spacecraft...

Gerald Lincoln obituary

My friend Gerald Lincoln, the endocrinologist and naturalist who has died aged 75, devoted his life to unravelling the mysteries of nature.Brought up on a farm in Norfolk – the son of Gertrude (nee Holmes), a geography teacher, and Ernest Lincoln, a tenant farmer – he spent his childhood in the countryside, marvelling at wildlife. He also became an adept poacher, carrying toilet paper as an...

Scientists follow the nose to solve mystery of long-necked reptile

Scans suggest Tanystropheus, which lived 242m years ago, lived in water, researchers sayThe mystery of an ancient reptile with a tremendously long neck has been solved, according to researchers who say the creature lived in the water.Fossils of the creature, known as Tanystropheus, were first unearthed in Germany around 150 years ago and further specimens have turned up over the decades, largely...

In tackling the global climate crisis, doom and optimism are both dangerous | Zeke Hausfather and Richard Betts

Overheated polemics won’t solve this emergency – and the apocalypse is a needlessly high bar for actionProtesters march in the streets in an “extinction rebellion” against the climate crisis, with some (but not all) of their leaders claiming that climate tipping points could kill billions in the coming decades. Others dismiss the importance or reality of the crisis, while new books loudly...

The fight over the Hubble constant – podcast

When it comes to the expansion rate of the universe, trying to get a straight answer isn’t easy. That’s because the two best ways of measuring what’s known as the Hubble constant are giving different results. As each method becomes increasingly accurate, the gap between widens. Is one of them wrong? Or is it time to rejig the Standard Model of Cosmology? Madeleine Finlay investigates the...

Meet the white, middle-class Pinterest moms who believe Plandemic | Debra Winter

Think only fringe people believe in outlandish conspiracy theories? Think againWhen a childhood friend, a stay-at-home mom with a flourishing Pinterest account, sent me a copy of Plandemic – a 26-minute viral video falsely claiming manipulated origins of the coronavirus and the medical dangers of vaccines – I realized that conspiracy sympathizers weren’t as fringe as I thought.My friend was...

Can loneliness be cured with a pill? Scientists are now asking the question

Chronic loneliness has little to do with being alone, experts say – could a pharmaceutical treatment help lonely people form meaningful relationships? Shortly after relocating to Texas from California three years ago, Cheryl Webster started hosting a game night at her home as a way of meeting new people. They stopped meeting due to Covid-19, and Webster has only heard from one person in the...

UK coronavirus live: test and trace figures due as Preston could be latest to face lockdown measures

Town faces government intervention after a rise in coronavirus rates, council’s chief executive says; contact tracing figures expected amid concern over programmeGlobal coronavirus updates - liveEngland’s contact tracers make handful of calls a monthUK economy recovering faster than feared, says Bank of EnglandUK staycation boom lifts sales of camping gear 8.40am BST Returning to the planning...

What kind of face mask best protects against coronavirus?

Your questions answered on what type of mask to wear to cut the risk of getting or giving someone Covid-19Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageYes. Different types of mask offer different levels of protection. Surgical grade N95 respirators offer the highest level of protection against Covid-19 infection, followed by surgical grade masks. However, these masks are costly,...

Coronavirus live news: WHO surge team arrives in South Africa as global deaths top 700,000

Florida tops 500,000 cases; Spain sees highest daily post-lockdown infections; Italy threatens to ban Ryanair. Follow the latest updates WHO surge team arrives in South AfricaGlobal deaths pass 700,000Facebook removes Trump post for spreading false information on CovidFrance ‘could lose control of Covid-19 at any time’See all our coronavirus coverage 2.04am BST In Australia, the New South...


WEDNESDAY 5. AUGUST 2020


Nigel Weiss obituary

Astrophysicist who studied the interaction between the rotation and magnetic field of the sun behind sunspots and solar flaresNigel Weiss, who has died aged 83, was a world authority on the physics of sunspots and the mechanisms driving a cycle of solar activity that lasts for 11 years.Sunspots appear as darker, cooler patches on the sun’s surface that may last from a few days to a few months....

Covid-19 may spread more easily in schools than thought, report warns

US health body highlights risks of reopening after outbreaks in state of Georgia and in IsraelCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageCoronavirus may be more easily transmitted in school and summer camp settings than previously understood, after the emergence of new details of outbreaks in the US state of Georgia and in Israel that have underscored the risks of school...

Deadly diseases from wildlife thrive when nature is destroyed, study finds

Rats and bats that host pandemic pathogens like Covid-19 increase in damaged ecosystems, analysis showsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe human destruction of natural ecosystems increases the numbers of rats, bats and other animals that harbour diseases that can lead to pandemics such as Covid-19, a comprehensive analysis has found.The research assessed nearly 7,000...

Public Health England issues rare alert over illicit prescription drugs

Surge in tablets sold as benzodiazepines, used to treat anxiety or insomnia, linked to hospitalisations and deathsA surge in illicit prescription drugs that have been linked to hospitalisations and deaths in England has prompted health officials to issue a rare national alert.Public Health England (PHE) issued the alert to drug treatment services and healthcare providers about the availability of...

Brain fog, phantom smells and tinnitus: my 4 months (and counting) of Covid-19 | Hannah Davis

I fell sick on 25 March. Four months later, I’m still dealing with fever, cognitive dysfunction, memory issues and much moreI just passed the four-month mark of being sick with Covid. I am young, and I had considered myself healthy.My first symptom was that I couldn’t read a text message. It wasn’t about anything complex – just trying to arrange a video call – but it was a few sentences...

Why is the government buying Covid tests without evidence they work? Ravindra Gupta and Dami Collier

As clinical researchers, we searched for information about the UK’s new 90-minute tests – but found no data about their effectivenessCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageMany of us working in NHS hospitals welcomed the news earlier this week that the government had purchased 90-minute Covid-19 tests. Rapid swab tests, called LamPORE, and 5,000 machines, supplied by...