Science news

Urgent call for new drugs to treat causes of Parkinson’s

Guardian Science - Sat, 2015-02-21 22:00
Doctors and scientists believe urgent action is needed to discover new medicines to tackle degenerative nerve ailment Continue reading...






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Work of prominent climate change denier was funded by energy industry

Guardian Science - Sat, 2015-02-21 21:32
  • Willie Soon is researcher at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
  • Documents: Koch brothers foundation among groups that gave total of $1.25m
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Stunning fossils: Mother giving birth

New Scientist - news - Sat, 2015-02-21 16:30
A unique fossil captures this ancient ichthyosaur as she was in the middle of delivering her three offspring (full text available to subscribers)






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Nasa astronauts begin spacewalk to prepare docking port for shuttles

Guardian Science - Sat, 2015-02-21 16:08

Station commander Barry Wilmore and flight engineer Terry Virts set out on six-and-a-half-hour spacewalk, the first of three outings over the next eight days

A pair of US astronauts floated outside the International Space Station on Saturday to begin rigging parking spots for two commercial space taxis.

Station commander Barry “Butch” Wilmore, 52, and flight engineer Terry Virts, 47, left the station’s Quest airlock shortly before 8am ET to begin a planned six-and-a-half-hour spacewalk, the first of three outings over the next eight days.

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What goes on inside a proton?

Guardian Science - Sat, 2015-02-21 14:50

Quarks and gluons make weird slopes and shapes inside the proton. Understanding them precisely was important for the first results from Cern’s Large Hadron Collider, and continues to be so as we approach the restart over the next few weeks

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'Superbug' outbreak that killed two unlikely to spread beyond LA hospital

Guardian Science - Sat, 2015-02-21 13:00

Expert cautions that antibiotic-resistant bacteria needs to come under control but says ordinary Americans do not need to worry

A “superbug” outbreak made national headlines this week, as up to 179 patients at the UCLA Ronald Reagan medical center in Los Angeles were potentially exposed to “nightmare” bacteria through a pair of specialized gastrointestinal tools. The germs may have been a contributing factor in the deaths of two people, doctors said.

Related: Superbug at LA hospital linked to two deaths and 179 potential infections

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Stunning fossils: Turtles caught in the act

New Scientist - news - Sat, 2015-02-21 11:00
You don't need to be a fossil expert to work out what these two turtles were up to just before they died (full text available to subscribers)






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It’s easy to sneer at the wannabe Martians, but I can’t help but admire their pioneering spirit

Guardian Science - Sat, 2015-02-21 08:00
Whether or not they actually get there, the dreamers and entrepreneurs of Mars One represent a collaborative, hopeful, outward-looking ethos that seems well worth celebrating Continue reading...
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Arctic biologist: I can't keep up with climate change

New Scientist - news - Fri, 2015-02-20 20:30
Antje Boetius is watching Arctic ecosystems transform at an alarming rate, using every tool at her disposal in a bid to keep track of it all (full text available to subscribers)






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Stunning fossils: Dinosaur death match

New Scientist - news - Fri, 2015-02-20 18:00
The Velociraptor and Protoceratops were engaged in a desperate struggle when they were abruptly buried by a landslide (full text available to subscribers)
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Today on New Scientist

New Scientist - news - Fri, 2015-02-20 17:45
All the latest on newscientist.com: the most amazing fossils ever found, Robo-raven, Mars One delay, laser spark plugs, and more






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Smelly caterpillar dresses as snake to avoid predators

New Scientist - news - Fri, 2015-02-20 16:00
This stinky insect likes to pose as a snake, and it looks pretty convincing. But what about the genetics behind its cunning disguises?






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Oliver Rackham obituary

Guardian Science - Fri, 2015-02-20 15:55
Leading ecologist of trees and landscape who debunked the ‘pseudo-history’ of forests

Oliver Rackham, who has died aged 75, was the leading historian and ecologist of British woodlands, and then of the landscape as a whole. He also set new standards for research linking ecology with archaeology through his work in the Mediterranean Basin, especially on the island of Crete. He was one of those few people who combine originality with encyclopedic knowledge.

His work greatly increased scientific understanding and attracted a wider following, primarily through his books. The first, Hayley Wood: Its History and Ecology (1975) was an account of the finest wood left on the boulder clay of western Cambridgeshire, near St Neots. It analysed the evidence of the historical management of the wood: the tall standard trees cut for timber used in building; and the coppice (trees cut periodically to ground level) for firewood, the wattle in “wattle and daub” and hurdles. He also dealt with pannage – releasing domestic pigs to eat acorns that would be poisonous to cattle. For this work, Oliver drew on the Ely Coucher Book, compiled in Latin in 1251 to detail the bishop’s manors.

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Beijing subway swipe data betrays social class

New Scientist - news - Fri, 2015-02-20 15:00
Urban planners in China's capital are using smartcard data to help them devise better policies and direct resources for social programmes






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New books party: books that arrived recently

Guardian Science - Fri, 2015-02-20 14:50

This week, I share my thoughts about four books that span a number of non-fiction genres; science and nature, atheism, philosophy and politics

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Lasers set to zap engines into running more efficiently

New Scientist - news - Fri, 2015-02-20 13:00
Replacing the spark plugs in engines with lasers could lead to more complete fuel combustion and greener cars






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Where does the sun go? Ukip candidates' science questions predicted

Guardian Science - Fri, 2015-02-20 12:15

A Ukip candidate recently asked the important question ‘what happens when renewable energy runs out?’ This is something science hasn’t considered, so what other curveballs could UKIP end up throwing at the scientific community?

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Feedback: Men make monthly mistakes

New Scientist - news - Fri, 2015-02-20 12:00
A whale's hall of fame, send soccer standard to safety, double-deck decibel distress and more (full text available to subscribers)






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Let’s stop pretending going to Mars is for mankind

Guardian Science - Fri, 2015-02-20 11:59
Much scientific discovery is for the betterment, amusement and curiosity of a lucky few in this world. Those without water, meanwhile, are temporarily forgotten

I read the news of the proposed one-way trip to Mars for up to 40 lucky Earthlings with curious fascination. First, I browsed through the 100 candidates who had made the shortlist. Of course there was a Nigerian, a certain Ighodalo whose upbeat personableness came across well in his application video. No matter how bizarre the enterprise, I am always glad to see Nigeria represented. Next, I discovered that to fund the mission, both the journey out and the first years on the red planet will be turned into a reality show: perhaps Big Brother Mars, The Only Way is Martian, The Real Housewives of the Athabasca Valles. I could go on for a whole episode of Star Trek.

What struck me as I surfed through the profiles of shortlisted candidates and watched applicants’ interviews, was that the mission is surrounded by a certain rhetoric of progress. Going to Mars will move humanity forward and open up new frontiers; it will be a veritable leap for mankind. I watched a woman look forward to the day her statue will be planted on Mars’s red soil in honour of her services to mankind. I watched a father willing to leave his wife and children behind for a chance to make this jump for humanity. I watched a young man speak of his application as a “sacrifice” for the rest of us. Through the glories of modern science, mankind is once again forging ahead.

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