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Is coronavirus really in retreat in the UK?

Key questions about Covid-19 answered as lockdowns ease across the four nationsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageEngland is approaching a significant relaxation of lockdown on Saturday, while in Scotland, outdoor cafes and beer gardens will begin to reopen from Monday. But with rises in infection cropping up around the UK is Covid-19 really on the wane? Continue...

Wiring a new path to scalable quantum computing

Last year, Google produced a 53-qubit quantum computer that could perform a specific calculation significantly faster than the world's fastest supercomputer. Like most of today's largest quantum computers, this system boasts tens of qubits—the quantum counterparts to bits, which encode information in conventional computers.

Heatwave trends accelerate worldwide

The first comprehensive worldwide assessment of heatwaves down to regional levels has revealed that in nearly every part of the world heatwaves have been increasing in frequency and duration since the 1950s.

Making food beautiful—and toxic

Toxic chemicals are being used by food sellers across sub-Saharan Africa to improve the look of meat and fish, scientists and food inspectors say, putting the health of millions at risk.

Harvesting hydrogen from nanogardens

Easily produced, nature-like nanostructures of cobalt phosphide are highly effective catalysts for the electrolysis of water, according to research performed by chemist Ning Yan and his team at the University of Amsterdam's Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences together with co-workers from the School of Physics and Technology at Wuhan University, China. In a paper featured on the front...

How to get rid of the coffee-stain effect

The coffee-stain effect is a well-known effect in physics and daily life in which a dark-colored edge remains when a fluid containing particles evaporates. This is caused by an "avalanche" of particles moving to the outer edge, University of Twente scientists showed in a past study. In inkjet and 3-D printing, this is an undesired effect. Now, researchers have demonstrated that the effect can be...

Governments working with one hand tied when it comes to data on vulnerable groups

A new discussion paper published in Policy Sciences by two Leiden researchers claims that governments are working with one hand tied when it comes to data on vulnerable groups. At the core of this paper is the idea that even though the volume of data has increased in recent years, the quality of the data in combination with potential known or unknown data gaps limits government's ability to create...

Civil society groups that mobilized around COVID-19 face important choices

Civil society groups have played an important role in responding to the COVID-19 social crisis in South Africa. Examples include the "community action networks" in Cape Town and Gauteng, as well as similar initiatives in more rural areas, such as the Eastern Cape. They also include extraordinary crisis response efforts by pre-existing NGOs, such as Boost Africa and Umgibe, and novel social...

Researchers solve a 60-year-old puzzle about a superhard material

Skoltech researchers, together with their industrial colleagues and academic partners, have cracked a 1960s puzzle about the crystal structure of a superhard tungsten boride that can be extremely useful in industrial applications, including drilling technology. The research, supported by Gazpromneft Science & Technology Center, was published in the journal Advanced Science.

Image: Hubble captures one galaxy, two asteroids

At first sight, this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope portrays the sparkling stars of AGC111977, a dwarf galaxy located around 15 million light years away and visible in the lower left part of the image. Other galaxies appear sprinkled across the frame, along with foreground stars from our own galaxy, the Milky Way.

Enhancing the performance of solar cells with 'graphene armor'

A team of researchers, affiliated with UNIST has come up with a novel electrode that could greatly improve the stability of perovskite solar cells (PSCs), the most promising candidate for the next generation solar cells due to their low cost and high power conversion efficiency. This is because inserting a protection layer between the metal-based electrode and the perovskite film can prevent...