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Myriad challenges of mental illness

Guardian Science - 35 min 9 sec ago

I am pleased to see the choice of charities for the Guardian Christmas appeal this year, as I have worked as a mental health nurse for more than 30 years. Beyond the Cuckoo’s Nest is a project in Rotherham that has been active for over 20 years. The main aim is to challenge stigma by giving a voice to people with lived experience of mental health conditions, especially psychosis. This often involves presentations in schools and colleges. 

Your article on young carers (Haven for isolated young carers of parents with mental illness, 13 December) brought to mind an experience we had in a local secondary school. Year 11 students listened to experiences of mental health difficulties and recovery. As we were leaving one explained that she was a young carer for her mother, who had been diagnosed with a psychosis seven years earlier. She had never disclosed this at school because of fear the stigma would lead to her being bullied. Having heard people describe their experience, she now felt able to talk about her own experience. A teacher pointed out that a support plan could now be developed for the girl.

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Categories: Science news

How to think about… Alien contact

New Scientist - news - Thu, 2014-12-18 20:00
First, try not to think about what alien life might be like. Then wonder whether we have any chance of finding it (full text available to subscribers)






Categories: Science news

2014 science breakthroughs: no more ageing, cave art and landing on a comet

Guardian Science - Thu, 2014-12-18 19:28
Accolade for Philae probe and its mothership, Rosetta, but top spot in journal Science’s list goes to genetic researchers Continue reading...
Categories: Science news

US, Russian space travellers: 'There is no borders in space between us'

Guardian Science - Thu, 2014-12-18 19:04
  • The two men will make longest-ever flight on International Space Station
  • Year-long stay will serve as test-bed for future trip to Mars
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Categories: Science news

Brown bears, wolves and lynx numbers rising in Europe

Guardian Science - Thu, 2014-12-18 19:00

Land-sharing model of conservation is helping large predators thrive in the wild – and even the British countryside could support big carnivores, study finds

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Categories: Science news

Birds detect approaching storm from 900km away

Guardian Science - Thu, 2014-12-18 17:00
Infrasound may have alerted warblers to the massive storm, prompting them to fly more than a thousand kilometres to avoid it

A group of songbirds may have avoided a devastating storm by fleeing their US breeding grounds after detecting telltale infrasound waves.

Researchers noticed the behaviour after analysing trackers attached to the birds to study their migration patterns. They believe it is the first documented case of birds making detours to avoid destructive weather systems on the basis of infrasound.

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Categories: Science news

#Rosettawatch: first snaps of Philae's arrival on 67P

New Scientist - news - Thu, 2014-12-18 15:57
This first photo by ESA's Philae lander after its touchdown on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was a warning sign that things hadn't gone to plan






Categories: Science news

Plant extract trumps nicotine patches to quit smoking

New Scientist - news - Thu, 2014-12-18 15:52
For decades, smokers in eastern Europe have used cytisine from laburnum trees to help them quit. Good results in a new trial could make cytisine much more popular






Categories: Science news

Texas police hunt for man who shot television weatherman in parking lot

Guardian Science - Thu, 2014-12-18 15:31
  • Morning show meteorologist hit twice while in his car and underwent surgery
  • KCEN reported ‘person of interest’ in custody but cops won’t call him suspect
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Categories: Science news

Fear artificial stupidity, not artificial intelligence

New Scientist - news - Thu, 2014-12-18 12:17
Stephen Hawking thinks computers may surpass human intelligence and take over the world. We won't ever be silicon slaves, insists an AI expert






Categories: Science news

Multitalented giant clams keep corals reefs healthy

New Scientist - news - Thu, 2014-12-18 11:45
The molluscs provide homes, safety, privacy and food to many creatures, which makes it all the more important to stop their decline






Categories: Science news

Isro blasts India’s biggest rocket into space

Guardian Science - Thu, 2014-12-18 11:15
Unmanned capsule on board GSLV Mk-III, designed to carry three astronauts, is also successfully tested

India successfully launched its biggest ever rocket on Thursday carrying an unmanned capsule that could one day send astronauts into space, as the country ramps up its ambitious space programme.

The rocket, designed to carry heavier communication and other satellites into higher orbit, blasted off from Sriharikota in the south-east state of Andhra Pradesh in a test mission costing nearly $25m (£16m).

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Categories: Science news

The best popular science books of 2014: Physical sciences

Guardian Science - Thu, 2014-12-18 10:39

Today, I share a list of what I consider to be the best popular physical sciences books of the year, hoping that you’ll find lots of interesting and unusual ideas for all the maths-astro-physics-chemistry buffs on your holiday gift-giving list!

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Categories: Science news

Rhyme and reason: Writing poems in computer code

New Scientist - news - Wed, 2014-12-17 20:00
Beyoncé's tweets as sacred text, error messages that tell a tragic tale and the looping program of a failing relationship: we parse a new literary phenomenon (full text available to subscribers)






Categories: Science news

Methane on Mars: does it mean the Curiosity rover has found life?

Guardian Science - Wed, 2014-12-17 18:52
Nasa’s announcement of the discovery of methane – which on Earth comes largely from life – has sparked speculation

The results are certainly tantalising. From time to time, Mars belches out clouds of methane, a gas that on Earth comes largely from life. When animals and other organisms eat food they produce methane as a waste gas. From one end or the other, that gas ultimately finds its way out into the air.

Nasa’s announcement on Tuesday that its Curiosity rover had detected wafts of methane in the Martian air was met with immediate speculation that life might be the source. It might. Communities of microbes could be living under the Martian surface and churning out the gas. Perhaps the corpses of long-extinct bugs are being heated in the Martian interior and vaporised into methane. But any number of other processes that involve nothing as spectacular as life can and do make methane too. The problem is that detecting methane alone is never enough to answer the question of whether or not we are alone.

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Categories: Science news

Giant robotic insect takes its first steps

New Scientist - news - Wed, 2014-12-17 18:30
A six-legged robot that moves its legs independently can walk over obstacles and rough terrain






Categories: Science news

Army tests radar-laden balloons as part of early-warning missile shield

Guardian Science - Wed, 2014-12-17 18:18

Blimp-like vehicles near nation’s capital will scan for airborne attacks on east coast and help direct military response

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Categories: Science news

#RosettaWatch: Comet lander could wake up next year

New Scientist - news - Wed, 2014-12-17 18:02
The Philae lander is getting enough sunlight to keep warm, team members say, and the Rosetta spacecraft may have already taken pictures of its landing spot






Categories: Science news

World’s first ‘three-parent’ babies could be born in the UK

Guardian Science - Wed, 2014-12-17 17:55
MPs will be asked to vote on whether to allow mitochondrial transfer technique to prevent inherited genetic diseases

A further step towards creating babies using DNA from three people has been taken by the UK government with the announcement of new regulations to be put before parliament. The move was hailed as a “milestone” by the head of one charity representing those affected by mitochondrial diseases, which the controversial fertility technique aims to prevent.

MPs will be asked to vote on whether the UK should become the first country in the world to legalise the procedure, an IVF technique that uses genetic material from a mother and a father as well as a donor egg – minus its nucleus – from another woman.

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Categories: Science news

Today on New Scientist

New Scientist - news - Wed, 2014-12-17 17:30
All the latest on newscientist.com: block rockin' beasts, evolution, asteroid soil for space farms, sexology, tsunami shield, Martian methane burps and more






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