Science news

From the archive, 20 November 1970: The diary of a persistent schoolboy zoologist

Guardian Science - Thu, 2014-11-20 05:30

‘25 Oct. Bought a French grass snake for 15s. The snake has not eaten yet. I offered it some flies but it refused to eat them’

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Challenges for US-Iran nuclear talks

New Scientist - news - Wed, 2014-11-19 21:00
An interim deal freezing Iran's nuclear enrichment programme expires on 24 November – the race is on to agree a new deal

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Gay gene discovery has good and bad implications

New Scientist - news - Wed, 2014-11-19 20:30
The finding that male homosexuality has a strong genetic component should be a boon for gay rights – but it could backfire

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Bacteria on Russian ‘sex satellite’ survive reentry

Guardian Science - Wed, 2014-11-19 20:23
Geckos used to study reproduction in space die in orbit, but thermophilic microbes still able to multiply after landing

A Russian “sex satellite” mission studying the cosmic reproduction of geckos, flies and bacteria has returned to Earth with the geckos dead but some of its bacteria still alive.

Two basalt discs with bacteria samples had been affixed to the outside of a Foton-M satellite that was launched into space by a Soyuz rocket in July. After almost six weeks in orbit 350 miles above the earth and a fiery reentry into the atmosphere, a strain of bacteria resistant to extreme heat was found alive in three of 24 indentations on the discs, a researcher from the mission announced at an astrobiology and aerospace medicine conference in Moscow on Wednesday.

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What it's like to have Parkinson's for 15 minutes

New Scientist - news - Wed, 2014-11-19 19:30
A theatre company in London is using simple technology to build a first-hand experience of disabling conditions like Parkinson's

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Hackathon develops tech tools to fight Ebola epidemic

New Scientist - news - Wed, 2014-11-19 19:00
Innovations such as pulse readings by webcam and triage by SMS are just some of the ideas coders are pursuing to help rein in Ebola

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Contact lenses with built-in video could be 3D printed

New Scientist - news - Wed, 2014-11-19 18:30
A new technique for 3D-printing nanoscale LEDs into contact lenses could one day turn them into heads-up video display – or tools to spot pilot fatigue

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'Good viruses' defend gut when bacteria are wiped out

New Scientist - news - Wed, 2014-11-19 18:15
Some viruses may help protect the body from disease and injury by keeping the gut healthy, much like "good bacteria" do, suggests a study in mice

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Sun’s magnetic field sparks lightning on Earth

Guardian Science - Wed, 2014-11-19 18:14
Changes in the field could be used to forecast lightning in an area, alerting power companies and hill walkers to risks

Lightning is by its very nature unpredictable, but forecasting when and where it will strike has become easier following new research.

Space scientists have found that lightning strikes in the UK are being driven by changes that are occurring millions of miles away deep inside the sun. They found that the frequency of lightning strikes follows regular patterns that match the rotation of the sun’s magnetic field, increasing by up to 50% under certain circumstances.

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Today on New Scientist

New Scientist - news - Wed, 2014-11-19 17:30
All the latest in why it's simpler to be two things at once, mystery Russian spacecraft, weed evolution (it's our fault) and more

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US and China's emission cuts may not be enough

New Scientist - news - Wed, 2014-11-19 17:00
Pledges made last week won't keep global warming below the 2 °C limit. But adopting best practices could allow the US and China to go beyond those promises

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Tagged fish make an easy meal for eavesdropping seals

New Scientist - news - Wed, 2014-11-19 16:53
Seals learn quickly that "pings" make tagged fish easy to find, putting tagged animals, and scientific findings based on tagging studies, at risk

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UK mission to the moon launches Kickstarter campaign - video

Guardian Science - Wed, 2014-11-19 16:48
Lunar Mission One launches a crowdfunding drive on Wednesday, which offers donors a chance to have a digital memory box buried on the moon. The project plans to launch a robotic probe by 2024 to drill deeper below the surface than ever before. More than 800 people signed up within hours, after being asked to pledge £60 or more Continue reading...
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Plastic pads let you climb walls like Spider-Man

New Scientist - news - Wed, 2014-11-19 16:29
Using a new adhesive, climbers can now shimmy up walls gecko-style. Plus the greatest human migration tracked by smartphone and the danger of killer robots

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Electrical brain stimulation beats caffeine – and the effect lasts longer

Guardian Science - Wed, 2014-11-19 15:38

Half an hour of brain stimulation on sleep-deprived military staff improved their performance twice as much as caffeine

Researchers in the US have used electrical brain stimulation to boost the vigilance of sleep-deprived military personnel working on an airforce base.

Experiments on 18- to 42-year old men and women on active duty found that half an hour of electrical brain stimulation improved their performance twice as much as caffeine, and the effect lasted three times as long.

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Dawn of farming sparked speed-evolution in weeds

New Scientist - news - Wed, 2014-11-19 15:31
Just a few millennia after farmers began domesticating crops, weed species had also adapted to survive exclusively on agricultural land

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Flushing is a feminist issue this World Toilet Day

New Scientist - news - Wed, 2014-11-19 15:06
These striking portraits reveal a daily struggle for sanitation that affects the health, safety and schooling of millions of women and girls

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Women on the pill have more to worry about than fancying their partner

Guardian Science - Wed, 2014-11-19 14:39

The hormonal impacts of taking contraceptive medication for years on end are neither properly understood nor reported

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Rosetta mission lander detects organic molecules on surface of comet

Guardian Science - Wed, 2014-11-19 13:52

Philae spacecraft beams back evidence of carbon and hydrogen that could provide clues about origins of life on Earth

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