Starwatch: Venus, Spica and a crescent moon meet at dawn
Water firm wrongly downgraded pollution events, documents suggest
The ‘morning star’ will be joined by the brightest star of Virgo and a waning moon in both hemispheresThere is a beautiful triple meeting in the dawn sky this week. The brilliant “morning star” of Venus is close to Spica, the brightest star of Virgo, the virgin. On the mornings of 8 and 9 December, the already pretty pairing will be joined by a thin waning crescent moon.On 8 December, the...
Following in polar bears' footprints: DNA from snow tracks could help monitor threatened animals
Leaked papers suggest United Utilities logged dozens of incidents as less serious than they had been.
Teaching physics from the din of flying discs
Polar bears are icons of the Arctic, elusive and vulnerable. Detailed monitoring of their populations is crucial for their conservation—but because polar bears are so difficult to find, we are missing critical data about population size and how well-connected those populations are. Scientists have now developed a new tool to help: DNA analysis using skin cells shed in the bears' footprints in...
Record number of girls on Borders College farming course
Disc golf is booming, with record numbers of players turning up each year to partake in the disc-throwing sport. It is also whizzing and whistling. In fact, the sound a disc makes while soaring through the air toward its target is full of information about how fast the disc is flying and how quickly it spins.
How weather apps are trying to be more accurate
A record number of female students have started an agriculture course at Borders College.
Researchers create AI tool with a nose for fraudulent wine
Forecasters are continuing to offer more real-time updates and personalised recommendations.
Machine learning used to analyse compounds in a bottle of wine and trace them back to estateFraudsters who pass off ropey plonk as a high-end tipple may soon have artificial intelligence on their case; scientists have trained an algorithm to trace wines to their origins based on routine chemical analyses.Researchers used machine learning to distinguish wines based on subtle differences in the...
SUNDAY 3. DECEMBER 2023
Earth is running a fever. And UN climate talks are focusing on the contagious effect on human health
Vincent Marks obituary
With Planet Earth running a fever, U.N. climate talks focused Sunday on the contagious effects on human health.
El Niño helped steer storms away from U.S. this hurricane season. What about next year?
Biochemist who transformed the treatment of diabetes and was an expert witness in two high-profile murder trialsVincent Marks, who has died aged 93, was a world expert in insulin and hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar). In 1985, his expert opinion helped to acquit Claus von Bülow of attempted murder, in a case that was dramatised in the film Reversal of Fortune (1990).On 21 December 1980, the...
Readers reply: what is the most unlikely event to have taken place?
This year, a record-hot Atlantic Ocean went toe-to-toe with a strong El Niño for which weather phenomena would steer the hurricane season. The winner?
Secret Sky: Seeing sunspots on paper
The long-running series in which readers answer other readers’ questions on subjects ranging from trivial flights of fancy to profound scientific and philosophical conceptsWhat is the most unlikely event to have taken place? Eva Tilman, County DurhamSend new questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Continue...
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A six-planet solar system in perfect synchrony has been found in the Milky Way
During partial phases of a solar eclipse, one popular activity is to project and capture solar crescents when trees are in leaf. Tiny spaces between leaves can act as natural pinhole cameras, projecting dozens of solar crescent images on the ground. But such projections aren’t only visible when there’s an eclipse — they can displayContinue reading "Secret Sky: Seeing sunspots on paper"
Bottlenose dolphins can sense electric fields, study shows
Astronomers have discovered a rare in-sync solar system with six planets moving like a grand cosmic orchestra, untouched by outside forces since their birth billions of years ago.
I used to be a huge people pleaser, but when I became seriously ill I finally learned to say no
A small team of bio-scientists from the University of Rostock's Institute for Biosciences and Nuremberg Zoo's Behavioral Ecology and Conservation Lab, both in Germany, has found evidence that bottlenose dolphins can sense electric fields. In their study, reported in the Journal of Experimental Biology, the group tested the ability of two captive bottlenose dolphins to sense a small electric field.
‘Drug use is a health problem’: inside one of the world’s oldest legal consumption rooms
After being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, I stopped trying to please everyone else. Now I have better relationships and a healthy, joyful lifeI’m a recovering people pleaser. Suppressing and repressing my needs, desires, expectations, feelings and opinions used to be as natural to me as breathing. To me, it was normal to tell people what they wanted to hear (read: lie) to make them feel...
At Quai 9 in Geneva, safe equipment and healthcare have cut overdoses and illnesses among addicts. But around the world, opinion is divided on whether such projects really workIn a lime-green room behind Geneva’s main train station, a man is slumped over a chair, the heroin he has just injected taking effect. Around him, a handful of others are in the process of reaching that same state of...