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34,719 articles from Guardian Unlimited Science

Nasa announces uncrewed flights around the Moon to begin in February 2022

The Orion capsule will be launched on the Space Launch System, paving the way for the resumption of people to walk on Earth’s satellite againNasa has announced plans to launch an uncrewed flight around the Moon in February 2022, paving the way for astronauts to once again set foot on Earth’s satellite.The US space agency said on Friday that it was in the final phase of testing to send its...


FRIDAY 22. OCTOBER 2021


How it feels to go into space: ‘More beautiful and dazzling and frightening than I ever imagined’

Chris Boshuizen was one of four astronauts – including William Shatner – who flew into space with Blue Origin. Here he describes the wonder of the journeyIt was a balmy morning in the west Texas desert when Chris Boshuizen stepped into Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin rocket capsule for a journey most of us will never experience.He waved a quick goodbye to the Amazon billionaire and took his seat...

How to retrain your frazzled brain and find your focus again

Are you finding it harder than ever to concentrate? Don’t panic: these simple exercises will help you get your attention backPicture your day before you started to read this article. What did you do? In every single moment – getting out of bed, turning on a tap, flicking the kettle switch – your brain was blasted with information. Each second, the eyes will give the brain the equivalent of...

‘What a fool’: fellow actors criticise William Shatner’s space flight

Dame Joan Collins and Brian Cox unimpressed by historic trip, saying ‘let’s take care of this planet first’The Star Trek actor William Shatner’s recent historic space flight saw him boldly go where some fellow actors refuse to follow, as the nonagenarian was labelled a “fool” for taking part in his record-breaking jaunt.Dame Joan Collins, who once appeared in an episode of the science...

Victorian government used ‘low grade’ mask study to justify mandate, experts say

Researcher ‘staggered’ that institutes used newspaper photos to assess mask use and effect on Covid ratesFollow our Covid live blog for the latest updatesVic: hotspots; restrictions; vaccination rates by postcodeVaccine rollout tracker; cases and data trackerGet our free news app;get our morning email briefingA study relied on by the Victorian government to justify its strict mask mandate has...


THURSDAY 21. OCTOBER 2021


Ivory poaching has led to evolution of tuskless elephants, study finds

Researchers say findings in Mozambique demonstrate impact of human interference in natureIvory poaching over decades has led to the evolution of tuskless elephants, researchers have found, proving that humans are “literally changing the anatomy” of wild animals.A previously rare genetic mutation causing tusklessness has become very common in some groups of African elephants after a period in...

I locked eyes with a stranger crossing the street and felt the blast of pure eros | Brigid Delaney

Chance encounters, serendipity, the glint in the eye – as we open up from lockdown, they’re back baby!It was June 2020, really early in the morning, still dark around the edges, and I was crossing the big intersection at Spencer and Bourke streets in Melbourne.I was half asleep and the only people around were tradies. At the other end of the crossing, I locked eyes with one of them and, out of...

Largest triceratops ever unearthed sold for €6.6m at Paris auction

US collector ‘falls in love’ with 8-metre-long dinosaur found in South Dakota and reassembled in ItalyAn 8-metre-long dinosaur skeleton has sold at auction for €6.6m (about £5.5m), more than four times its expected value, to a private collector in the US said to have fallen in love with the largest triceratops ever unearthed.The 66m-year-old skeleton, affectionately known as Big John, is...

Britain’s Covid numbers show we need to move immediately to ‘plan B’ | Kit Yates

Our comparatively good position has been eroded and now, heading into the winter, the data looks truly alarmingKit Yates is director of the Centre for Mathematical Biology at the University of BathAll the Covid indicators in the UK are going in the wrong direction. They have been for a while now. Cases are surging upwards; hospitals are feeling the strain of increasing numbers of Covid patients,...

South Korea launches its first homemade space rocket

President hails ‘excellent’ test, as rocket gets high enough, but fails to put dummy payload into orbitSouth Korea’s first domestically produced space rocket reached its desired altitude but failed to deliver a dummy payload into orbit in its first test launch.The South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, still described the test as an “excellent accomplishment” that takes the country a step...

UK Covid live: Labour demands 500,000 per day booster jabs target, saying ‘wall of defence is crumbling’

Latest updates: shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth warns current booster programme will not be completed until March 2022England: minister denies there is ‘plan C’ to ban Christmas mixingBritish Medical Association says ‘time is now’ for Covid plan BTory MPs appear to heed Javid call to set example by wearing masksWho can get a Covid booster jab in England?Global Covid updates –...

Global heating ‘may lead to epidemic of kidney disease’

Deadly side-effect of heat stress is threat to rising numbers of workers in hot climates, doctors warn‘You shouldn’t work if your kidneys are failing – but people can’t afford not to’Read more in the Harmed by heat seriesChronic kidney disease linked to heat stress could become a major health epidemic for millions of workers around the world as global temperatures increase over the...

Deep within the UK’s shocking Covid data, there may be reasons for optimism

Analysis: soaring cases in schools are adding to the pool of the immune – which could soon see some community infections fallCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageIt is hard to be upbeat about the latest numbers. The government’s Covid dashboard is awash with red and upward-pointing arrows. New cases have climbed 17% on the week. Hospital admissions are up 11% and...

Plantwatch: one of world’s rarest trees found near Welsh coast

Only 30 Menai whitebeam remain, all in a narrow strip of steep land in a nature reserveOne of the world’s rarest trees grows in north Wales. There are only 30 of the Menai whitebeam left in the world, all growing along a tiny strip of steep coast in a nature reserve by the Menai Strait.“I was amazed to realise that such a highly threatened tree could be found in the nature reserve not far from...

Who are Insulate Britain and what do they want?

For the past few months Insulate Britain have been blocking roads in an effort to pressure the government into sealing up the UK’s leaky, draughty housing-stock. So why are a group of eco-activists facing confrontations from angry drivers, and even risking injury, for insulation? Shivani Dave speaks to environment correspondent Matthew Taylor about Insulate Britain’s demands and explores the...


WEDNESDAY 20. OCTOBER 2021


Solar storm confirms Vikings settled in North America exactly 1,000 years ago

Analysis of wood from timber-framed buildings in Newfoundland shows Norse-built settlement 471 years before ColumbusLong before Columbus crossed the Atlantic, eight timber-framed buildings covered in sod stood on a terrace above a peat bog and stream at the northern tip of Canada’s island of Newfoundland, evidence that the Vikings had reached the New World first.But precisely when the Vikings...

Why is it business as usual in England while Covid infections rise?

Analysis: a winter plan has been set out but implementing it could be hampered by political squeamishnessCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageMore than 20 months into the Covid pandemic and with a tough winter looming, the public could be excused for having a distinct sense of deja vu.Infection rates are rising sharply, scientists and senior NHS figures are sounding the...

UK Covid live: Sajid Javid warns country could hit 100,000 cases per day and urges people to get jabs

Latest updates: health secretary says ‘pandemic is not over’ but confirms UK will not implement its ‘plan B’ measures just nowJavid vows to protect NHS but says Covid cases could hit 100,000 a dayNo 10 to buy new antiviral treatments for Covid in time for winterComplacency holding back booster rollout in England, says NHS bossMorocco bans flights from UK, Germany and NetherlandsCoronavirus...

No 10 to buy new antiviral treatments for Covid in time for winter

Trials show one of the drugs cuts risk of hospitalisation or death for patients by halfCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageNo 10 has made deals to buy hundreds of thousands of doses of two new antiviral treatments for coronavirus, ministers have announced, with the hope they will be approved for use in the UK ahead of the winter.One deal covers 480,000 courses of...

Your green credentials may be linked to your genes, scientists say

Identical twins have more similar views on environmental issues than non-identical ones, study findsSome people are more environmentally conscious than others, and scientists say the reason could be in their genes.A study has found that identical twins had more similar views on conservation and environmentalism than non-identical twins. The researchers say this suggests there could be a link...

Surgeons successfully test pig kidney transplant in human patient

Researchers in US say trial on dead person is a ‘significant step’ toward animal-to-human organ transplantsSurgeons have attached a pig’s kidney to a human and watched it begin to work, a small step in the decades-long quest to one day use animal organs for life-saving transplants.Pigs have been the most recent research focus to address the organ shortage, but a sugar in their cells, which...

Jane Goodall on fires, floods, frugality and the good fight: ‘People have to change from within’

The climate emergency has been a wakeup call to everyone, and the ethologist and environmentalist is working as hard as ever to defeat it. She discusses horror, hope and heroism in her late 80sIn Jane Goodall’s new book, there is a vivid description of her “deep bond” with a beech tree in the garden of her childhood home in Bournemouth. She would climb into its branches to read, hauling...

Floating props and little sleep: Russians describe filming world’s first movie in space

Film crew say shooting was a ‘huge challenge’ and they had to learn to walk again after 12 days in orbitTheir movie props floated around, sleeping was difficult and they used Velcro to keep objects in place but Russia’s first film crew in space said they were delighted with the result and had “shot everything we planned”.Yulia Peresild, one of Russia’s most glamorous actors, and film...


TUESDAY 19. OCTOBER 2021