Science news

Black holes devour stars in gulps and nibbles

New Scientist - news - Wed, 2015-03-25 14:45
Black holes rip stars apart and feast on them when they approach too close – but some black holes are gluttons while others play with their food






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A Beautiful Mind mathematician wins Abel prize

New Scientist - news - Wed, 2015-03-25 13:54
John Nash, made famous by the film A Beautiful Mind, has won the Abel prize – but not for his best-known work






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Wellcome Trust rejects Guardian's calls to divest from fossil fuels

Guardian Science - Wed, 2015-03-25 12:34

Director of the charitable trust, Jeremy Farrar, says retaining fossil fuel shares gives more influence over such companies – but they would not rule out divesting in the future, should engagement prove ineffective

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Fossil-fuel divestment is not the way to reduce carbon emissions

Guardian Science - Wed, 2015-03-25 12:28
Despite the Guardian campaign, at Wellcome we’ve found it’s more constructive to actively engage with the companies in which we invest Continue reading...






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Chief scientist calls for experts not 'ranting entertainers' to lead debate

Guardian Science - Wed, 2015-03-25 08:53

Ian Chubb releases report on economic benefit of science and maths and calls for issue such as genetically modified food to be discussed in a mature way

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We’re treating soil like dirt. It’s a fatal mistake, as our lives depend on it

Guardian Science - Wed, 2015-03-25 08:00
War, pestilence, even climate change, are trifles by comparison. Destroy the soil and we all starve Continue reading...






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Female polar bear raises hopes of birth in captivity

Guardian Science - Wed, 2015-03-25 01:37

Owners of Highland Wildlife Park hope Victoria, 18, will get chummy with male Arktos during her stay in the Cairngorms

The arrival of a female polar bear at a wildlife park in Scotland has raised the prospect of the first captive birth in Britain in 23 years.

The new arrival, Victoria, is an 18-year-old bear who has spent her life in zoos in Germany and Denmark. On Wednesday, she will be introduced to an enclosure purpose-built to encourage the delicate, potentially deadly, process of polar bear breeding. She is the only female polar bear in Britain.

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Mapping the Great British personality

Guardian Science - Wed, 2015-03-25 01:01

A new survey has provided a snapshot of the country’s psychological landscape

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Smiling Scots, worried Welsh and lazy Londoners: survey maps regional personality types

Guardian Science - Wed, 2015-03-25 01:01

New research by Cambridge scientists analyses the way different personalities cluster across Great Britain

The finding may be no surprise to those outside the M25, but Londoners rank among the least welcoming and most lazy people in the country, according to a survey of personalities in Great Britain.

Related: Mapping the Great British personality

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World's leading zoo association accused of overlooking horrific cruelty

Guardian Science - Tue, 2015-03-24 20:19

Zoos belonging to World Association of Zoos and Aquariums filmed allowing shocking mistreatment of elephants, dolphins, lions, bears, penguins and whales

Dozens of examples of harrowing cruelty towards animals in zoos have been overlooked by the world’s top zoo organisation, animal welfare groups have alleged.

Zoos belonging to the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (Waza) have been filmed over the past five years making animals perform dangerous tricks, confining them to inadequate premises and beating them, contrary to Waza’s code of ethics, which demands the “highest standard of animal welfare”.

Related: World's top zoo organisation accused of links to Taiji dolphin slaughter in Japan

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Angelina Jolie and ovarian cancer: the facts about screening and surgery

Guardian Science - Tue, 2015-03-24 19:38

Faced with unreliable screening, many women with a high lifetime risk of cancer opt for preventative surgery, just as Jolie did. But the timing can be crucial

As an A-list Hollywood film-maker, Jolie has few financial constraints on her medical care. Yet, the medical choice she was presented with and the trajectory of her treatment will be familiar to many women treated in NHS clinics. In Britain, those with at least two first-degree relatives who have had breast or ovarian cancer are eligible for genetic screening. Mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes affect only about one in 500 women, but have a dramatic impact on the risk of developing ovarian cancer.

Related: Angelina Jolie reveals she had ovaries removed after cancer scare

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Remote control of brain activity with heated nanoparticles

Guardian Science - Tue, 2015-03-24 19:30

Researchers are developing new method of wireless deep brain stimulation.

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Swiss cheese is not a sign of Martian climate change

New Scientist - news - Tue, 2015-03-24 19:00
Growing circular pits in Mars's south polar ice cap were thought to be a sign that the planet is warming – but a new model shows it is a natural cycle






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Sheila Ernst obituary

Guardian Science - Tue, 2015-03-24 18:46
Pioneer of radical and feminist psychotherapy Continue reading...






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Today on New Scientist

New Scientist - news - Tue, 2015-03-24 18:45
All the latest on newscientist.com: medieval sat nav, wrecking ball Jupiter, how a flood of aid destroyed a culture, the most awesome spiders, and more






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Sneak attack on science by US Congress must stop

New Scientist - news - Tue, 2015-03-24 18:34
Politicians with industry connections are trying to undermine US pollution laws using open access and conflict of interest arguments, warns Andrew Rosenberg






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Secret-science bill inches a step closer to US law

New Scientist - news - Tue, 2015-03-24 17:55
The US House of Representatives has approved a controversial bill that critics say would hamper environmental regulation – but Obama may still veto it






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How do you thaw US-Russia relations? Launch them into the frozen depths of space

Guardian Science - Tue, 2015-03-24 16:29

Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko will spend a year together on the International Space Station and conduct research into the feasibility of a manned Mars mission

Their respective countries may be going through one of the worst periods of hostility since the end of the cold war, but this week an American astronaut and a Russian cosmonaut will fly up to the International Space Station to spend a year on board together.

Despite the enmities of the cold war and the frigid relations of their governments today, scientists and astronauts from Nasa and its Russian equivalent, Roscosmos, have a fruitful and friendly history of recent cooperation. As the US government has cut space program funding, for instance, Nasa has turned to its Russian counterpart to assist with mission logistics such as sharing a launch pad.

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Five medieval alternatives to sat nav

New Scientist - news - Tue, 2015-03-24 16:00
How did the Vikings find their way over the sea? Medieval artefacts are giving us important clues as to how they might have done it






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Wrecking ball Jupiter paved way for Earth

New Scientist - news - Tue, 2015-03-24 15:33
Jupiter may have ploughed through the early solar system, driving some of the first planets to a fiery death in the sun – and cleared room for planets like Earth






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