feed info

37,310 articles from Guardian Unlimited Science

‘Force of nature’: ex-rugby player Doddie Weir leaves lasting legacy, say admirers

Scotland and British and Irish Lions legend died over the weekend from motor neurone diseaseDoddie Weir, the former Scotland and British and Irish Lions rugby union player who died over the weekend from motor neurone disease, leaves “a lasting legacy” and will, admirers said, be remembered as a man who helped transform people’s understanding of the disease.Weir’s death aged 52 was...

How Emily Wilson turned her teenage X Factor humiliation into comedy gold

A brutal take-down on the TV talent show led Emily Wilson into therapy. A decade later, she has turned her grim experience into award-winning standupIt’s not that Emily Wilson used to be secretive about the fact that, as a teenager, she’d appeared on the American incarnation of the X Factor. Rather, it hadn’t exactly gone well for her – awfully, actually – and by the time she was a...

Readers reply: will we ever set up an outpost on another planet?

The long-running series in which readers answer other readers’ questions on subjects ranging from trivial flights of fancy to profound scientific and philosophical conceptsThis week’s question: Will there ever be world government, and would we want it?Will we ever set up an outpost on another planet? Finnley Clarkson, SheffieldSend new questions to nq@theguardian.com. Continue...

The Song of the Cell by Siddhartha Mukherjee review – mysteries of the building blocks of life

The prizewinning author’s timely, precise study traces our attempts to understand the units that have such an impact on our healthIn spring 1858, the German scientist Rudolf Virchow published an unorthodox vision of the nature of living organisms. In his book, Cellular Pathology, he argued that the human body was simply “a cell state in which every cell is a citizen”. From a single...

Lost city of Atlantis rises again to fuel a dangerous myth

Millions have watched Netflix hit Ancient Apocalypse, which is just the latest interpretation of an enduring tale. But in its appeal to ‘race science’ it’s more than merely controversialFor a story that was first told 2,300 years ago, the myth of Atlantis has demonstrated a remarkable persistence over the millennia. Originally outlined by Plato, the tale of the rise of a great, ancient...

Wellcome Collection in London shuts ‘racist, sexist and ableist’ medical history gallery

Medicine Man exhibits included painting of a black African kneeling in front of a white missionaryA museum in London run by the Wellcome foundation health charity is to close one of its key galleries because it perpetuates “a version of medical history that is based on racist, sexist and ableist theories and language”.The Wellcome Collection’s announcement on Saturday, affects a free...


SATURDAY 26. NOVEMBER 2022


Physicist Sabine Hossenfelder: ‘There are quite a few areas where physics blurs into religion’

To answer life’s biggest questions, says the German theoretical physicist and YouTuber, we need to abandon unscientific ideas such as the multiverseSabine Hossenfelder is a German theoretical physicist who writes books and runs a YouTube channel (with 618,000 subscribers at time of writing) called Science Without the Gobbledygook. Born in Frankfurt, she studied mathematics at the Goethe...

Nasa’s Orion spacecraft enters lunar orbit as test flight nears halfway mark

Nasa considers capsule’s flight a dress rehearsal for the next moon flyby in 2024, with astronautsNasa’s Orion capsule has entered an orbit stretching tens of thousands of miles around the moon, as it neared the halfway mark of its test flight.The capsule and its three test dummies entered lunar orbit more than a week after launching on the $4bn demo that’s meant to pave the way for...

‘The sheer scale is extraordinary’: meet the titanosaur that dwarfs Dippy the diplodocus

One of the largest creatures to have walked the Earth is to become the Natural History Museum’s new star attractionIt will be one of the largest exhibits to grace a British museum. In spring, the Natural History Museum in London will display the skeleton of a titanosaur, a creature so vast it will have to be shoehorned into the 9-metre-high Waterhouse gallery.One of the most massive creatures...

Who wants to live to 100 on a diet of lentil and broccoli slurry? Mostly rich men | Gaby Hinsliff

Instead of searching for the key to immortality, what if we tried to make people’s lives better in the here and now?Shortly after waking, Bryan Johnson drinks a murky concoction involving olive oil, cocoa flavanols and something derived from algae. Breakfast will be a blended green slurry of lentils, broccoli and mushrooms, with lunch and dinner not much different.The 45-year-old American...

Why growing fungi at home is beginning to mushroom

Home fungi growers can boost soil quality in small gardens and cultivate exotic varieties using coffee grounds and online kitsAn increasing number of gardeners are growing mushrooms in their vegetable patches to improve soil quality and grow food in small spaces.Mushrooms are now cultivated in the kitchen garden at Kew Gardens in south-west London and visitors have been keen to know how they might...

‘Surprisingly tasty’: putting Neanderthal cooking to the test

Evidence has been found of complex cooking by Neanderthals. Our writer finds out how their meals might have tastedPity the Neanderthal chef. With only rudimentary cooking implements – a hot rock, some scraps of animal skin, perhaps a favoured prodding stick, plus stones for pounding, cutting, scraping and grinding – their hands must have been a scarred mess, and the woodsmoke from the hearth...


FRIDAY 25. NOVEMBER 2022


Universal flu vaccine may be available within two years, says scientist

Vaccine against all strains of virus hailed as major step in protecting against potentially devastating flu pandemicA universal flu vaccine that protects against all strains of the virus could be available in the next two years, according to a leading scientist.An experimental vaccine based on the same mRNA technology used in the highly successful Covid jabs was found to protect mice and ferrets...


THURSDAY 24. NOVEMBER 2022


Eight glasses of water a day excessive for most people, study suggests

‘One size fits all’ guidance could lead to 20m litres of drinking water being wasted each day in UK, scientists sayA recommendation to drink eight glasses of water a day is likely to be excessive for most people, according to scientists.The suggestion has become accepted wisdom and often appears in health guidance. The latest work, however, the most rigorous study to date on water turnover,...

I always knew powerful people had blind spots – now neuroscience has proved it | Suzanne Alleyne

Science shows us that many of those in authority are so used to wielding it that they are unaware of their privilegeThe thing that people with power don’t know is what it’s like to have little or no power. Minute by minute, you are reminded of your place in the world: how it’s difficult to get out of bed if you have mental health conditions, impossible to laugh or charm if you are worried...

How should we prepare for an ageing global population?

On 15 November the world’s population reached 8 billion, according to the UN. Much of that growth is because we’re living longer. As a species we will continue to age, but eventually stop growing. The UN predicts that in the next century humanity will begin to go into decline. So what happens when societies get older and smaller – a problem some countries are already encountering? Ian Sample...


WEDNESDAY 23. NOVEMBER 2022


Coins study suggests ‘fake emperor’ was real, say scientists

Hoard once thought to be a fraud appears to be genuine, indicating mysterious Roman Sponsian livedA hoard of gold coins once thought to be fakes have been authenticated by researchers who say the artefacts reveal a long-lost Roman emperor.The coins bear the name and image of a shadowy historical figure, Sponsian, whose existence was previously placed in doubt by experts who suggested the coins...

Paralympic athlete from UK in latest intake of ESA astronauts

John McFall, 41, becomes first astronaut with physical disability to be recruited by European space agencyA Paralympic sprinter from the UK has been named among the latest intake of astronauts recruited by the European Space Agency.John McFall, 41, becomes the first astronaut with a physical disability, or para-astronaut, to be recruited by the space agency in a drive to overcome the barriers that...

Velcro, bullet trains and robotic arms: how nature is the mother of invention

Many of the world’s most inspiring solutions have been created by scientists who stole their ideas from the natural worldRead more: What happens when humans meddle with nature?Over millions of years of evolution, nature has worked out solutions to many problems. Humans have arrived late in the day and pinched them. For example, Velcro was invented after a Swiss engineer marvelled at the burdock...

Oldest cooked leftovers ever found suggest Neanderthals were foodies

Pancake-cum-flatbread with a ‘nutty’ taste is first evidence of complex cooking and food cultureIf you thought Neanderthals survived on a diet of foraged berries and uncooked animal flesh, think again. Charred remnants of what appear be the world’s oldest cooked meal ever found have been unearthed in a cave complex in northern Iraq, prompting speculation that Neanderthals may have been...

Discovered in the deep: the squid that makes a decoy out of its own skin

Self-camouflage is just one of the tricks of Brenner’s bobtail squid, a newly found species that is also helping research into microbes in the human gutBobtail squid are the second smallest group of squid in the world, at between 1cm and 5cm from neck to rounded, stumpy butt, and they only come out at night.In 2019, scientists named a new species, Brenner’s bobtail squid (Euprymna brenneri),...

Terrawatch: storms can cause landslides days later, scientists find

Changes in atmospheric pressure can set soils in motion hours or even days after heavy rainCan a change in the weather trigger a landslide? Sometimes, yes, according to research.Most landslides are set in motion by an earthquake or torrential rain, but some have no obvious trigger. In 2009, scientists were stunned to discover that the stop-start Slumgullion landslide in the Rocky Mountains –...


TUESDAY 22. NOVEMBER 2022


No need for six-month wait to try for baby after pregnancy loss, study finds

Analysis challenges WHO health guidance on amount of time women should delay after miscarriage or abortionWomen don’t need to wait for at least six months before trying for another baby after a miscarriage or abortion, an analysis of data suggests, challenging World Health Organization guidance.The research was also at odds with WHO advice that women should delay at least 24 months after a live...

Donald Perkins obituary

Physicist who played a key role from the birth of particle physics in the 1940s to the discovery of the Higgs bosonThe particle physicist Donald Perkins, who has died aged 97, made seminal discoveries about the structure of the proton, and nuclear interactions at extreme energies, and first proposed the use of beams of pion particles in cancer therapy. His career spanned the birth of particle...

The real paleo diet: researchers find traces of world’s oldest meal in 550m-year-old fossil

Remains of slug-like Ediacaran animal Kimberella contain compounds suggesting it had a gut and ate bacteria and algae from the ocean floorGet our morning and afternoon news emails, free app or daily news podcastThe ancient dietary habits of Earth’s oldest animals, which lived more than 550m years ago, have been uncovered by an international team of researchers.Scientists who have analysed...