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New Scientist - Home

New Scientist - Home


Covid-19 news: New Zealand reimposes Auckland lockdown after new cases

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-11 17:02

The latest coronavirus news updated every day including coronavirus cases, the latest news, features and interviews from New Scientist and essential information about the covid-19 pandemic

How to hug people in a coronavirus-stricken world

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-05 11:15

Hugging has benefits for our health that might make it worth doing despite coronavirus risks – here’s how to reduce the chance you’ll pass on the virus

AI mimics the way doctors think to make better medical diagnoses

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-11 16:00

Most medical AI systems make treatment recommendations based on correlations between symptoms and illnesses – a new AI system uses causation instead, like doctors do

Ordinary bricks laced with conductive fibres can store energy

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-11 16:00

Regular bricks can be turned into energy storage devices through a process that uses their red pigment to create a network of conductive fibres inside the bricks

Baby-mounted cameras teach AI to ‘see’ through a child’s eyes

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-11 14:35

An AI has learned to recognise objects using video captured by a head-mounted camera worn by young children for a few hours per week over their first 3 years of life

Is police use of face recognition now illegal in the UK?

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-11 13:31

The UK Court of Appeal has determined that the use of a face-recognition system by South Wales Police was “unlawful”, which could have ramifications for the widespread use of such technology across the UK

We don't know how accurate the UK's new rapid coronavirus tests are

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-11 12:33

Two new tests that diagnose covid-19 within 90 minutes are being rolled out by the UK government – and while both are promising, neither is supported by publicly available, independent evidence

Menopausal woman gives birth after blood plasma injection in ovaries

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-11 11:38

Five out of 60 women who were menopausal or transiting into the menopause became pregnant after having their own blood plasma injected into their ovaries, according to results of a pilot study

Vaccine for major common cold virus could be ready for use by 2024

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-11 08:00

A clinical trial involving 420 people suggests that a vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus – a major cause of common colds – is safe and effective

Striking image of oily Amazon water shortlisted for photo prize

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-05 18:00

BR-319: Highway to the Tipping Point by Evgeny Makarov is shortlisted for the Royal Geographical Society's Earth Photo 2020 competition in the category A Climate of Change

Fatal cardiac arrests could be hiding opioid overdose deaths in the US

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-10 22:00

A study in San Francisco has found that 17 per cent of deaths ascribed to cardiac arrest were actually caused by drug overdose, most commonly opioids

Dwarf planet Ceres may be home to an underground ocean

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-10 16:00

New analysis of data from the Dawn spacecraft suggests there may be a liquid water ocean beneath the Occator crater on Ceres, the largest asteroid in the solar system

Fabric repels both oil and water thanks to clever silicone coating

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-10 16:00

By studying a fabric’s weave, it’s possible to design an environmentally friendly silicone coating for the individual fibres that makes the material oil and water-repellent

Eardrum implants made from pig guts could fix chronic glue ear

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-10 11:58

Glue ear, a condition caused by sticky fluid in the middle part of the ear, can burst the eardrum in severe cases, and tissue taken from pig intestines could be used to patch up the hole

Forget about blame with miscarriage: its function is entirely natural

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-05 18:00

Many women blame themselves after pregnancy loss and some societies point the finger too, but fertility medicine is busting such miscarriage myths

The Expanse review: A sprawling spaceship-studded saga you should see

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-05 18:00

If you like old fashioned sci-fi of the multistranded, multidimensional epic variety, The Expanse could be for you, says Emily Wilson

Don’t miss: Jamie Foxx and Joseph Gordon-Levitt star in Project Power

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-05 18:00

New Scientist's weekly round-up of the best books, films, TV series, games and more that you shouldn't miss

The Lady Astronaut series tackles historical sexism brilliantly

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-05 18:00

Two recent books imagine a different history of science, but one handles the prejudices of the time much better than the other, says Jacob Aron

Physicists have a massive problem as Higgs boson refuses to misbehave

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-07 14:00

Physicists at CERN hope seeing the Higgs boson do something unexpected could reveal why different particles vary in mass, but so far it is behaving exactly as predicted

How covid-19 spawned a plastic pandemic – and what we can do about it

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-07 12:00

Hygiene fears and the demand for masks have unleashed a plastic pollution pandemic, while industry lobbyists are pushing to roll back bans on single-use plastics

Lisa Piccirillo: How I cracked a 50-year-old maths problem in a week

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-05 18:00

Solving the Conway knot problem took mathematician Lisa Piccirillo on a journey into the fourth dimension. Here's how she did it

An AI can make selfies look like they’re not selfies

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-07 10:00

Computer software can now edit selfie photos so it doesn’t appear the person in the image is holding the camera in their outstretched arm

Covid-19 lockdowns will have little lasting impact on global warming

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-07 10:00

Global lockdowns to halt the spread of the coronavirus will have a negligible impact on global warming, researchers have found. If measures stay in place until 2021, global temperatures will only be 0.01°C lower than expected by 2030

Why are witches hexing the moon on TikTok?

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-05 18:00

Putting spells on the moon, plus science limericks and knights patrolling social distancing, in Feedback’s weird weekly round-up

Obesity may cause cancer simply because larger organs have more cells

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-07 08:00

We’ve just discovered that people who are obese have larger organs and thus more cells that might mutate, which could explain their higher risk of getting some cancers

We just figured out why shaving soft hair blunts steel razor blades

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-06 19:00

Cutting soft materials like hair can blunt even the sharpest blades surprisingly quickly, and now we know why – offering clues to designing longer-lasting razors

Maps of the sun’s corona could help us predict dangerous solar storms

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-06 19:00

The tenuous outermost layer of the sun, called the corona, is invisible most of the time, but its magnetic fields have been mapped for the first time

Super-bright fluorescent solids can be 3D printed in any shape

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-06 16:00

There’s a cheap new way to make fluorescent dyes into solid materials that glow, and it could be used to 3D print objects that guide light into solar cells

Bizarre fossil with an incredibly long neck was a marine hunter

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-06 16:00

Tanystropheus had a neck three times the length of its body, and a new analysis of its skull suggests it lived in the sea, where it ambushed prey

Fruit flies have special neurons that sense the wind to aid navigation

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-06 15:39

Neurons have been discovered in the brains of fruit flies that are used for working out which way to fly based on the wind. The finding could be used to help robots navigate

Nutrition memes forget that there is no such thing as a 'healthy food'

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-05 18:00

Shareable online graphics give easy to understand breakdowns of the nutritional content of food, but they may be misleading, says James Wong

The real reasons miscarriage exists – and why it's so misunderstood

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-05 18:00

New research reveals that miscarriage serves a critical role in human evolution – and in some instances, may even be associated with optimal fertility

In-ear nerve-stimulating device helps people learning a new language

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-06 10:00

An in-ear device that stimulates the vagus nerve helps non-native speakers learn speech sounds from Mandarin Chinese more rapidly and more effectively

What Hiroshima teaches us about coronavirus and the future of humanity

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-05 18:00

The nuclear bomb told us we are the greatest threat to our own survival – and the covid-19 pandemic shows the lessons still to learn, say Anders Sandberg and Thomas Moynihan

Deep-sea microbes survive on less energy than we thought possible

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-05 19:00

We thought we understood life’s minimal energy requirements – but microbes beneath the sea floor survive on hundreds of times less energy than we considered possible

Beirut explosion: What caused the blast and what else do we know?

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-05 16:38

Here's what we know so far about the cause of the massive blast in the port area of the city of Beirut, Lebanon, on 4 August

Disease-carrying animals thrive on our farmed land and in our cities

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-05 16:00

Farming and other human activities are changing the world in a way that favours animals carrying more diseases, including bats – the source of the new coronavirus

Strange lightning on Jupiter may be caused by ammonia snowballs

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-05 16:00

The Juno spacecraft has spotted lightning on Jupiter that’s unlike anything we’ve seen before, and it may be caused by strange, slushy balls of ammonia and ice

Coronavirus pandemic shows no sign of slowing across South America

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-05 12:37

Even after four months of strict lockdowns in some South American countries, cases of covid-19 are still soaring across the continent

SpaceX’s prototype Mars rocket has flown for the first time

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-05 11:31

A prototype of Starship, the rocket SpaceX intends to use to bring explorers to the moon and Mars, has hopped 150 metres into the air in its first flight

A radical new theory rewrites the story of how life on Earth began

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-05 06:00

It has long been thought that the ingredients for life came together slowly, bit by bit. Now there is evidence it all happened at once in a chemical big bang

Coronavirus: US has no cohesive plan to tackle massive second wave

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-04 16:11

The US is battling a massive second wave of coronavirus cases and has no cohesive national strategy to stop the spread

First poison arrows may have been loosed 70,000 years ago in Africa

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-04 14:50

Many ancient bone points are the same shape as poison-tipped arrowheads used today by San peoples in southern Africa, suggesting the practice is ancient

Termite intruders evolved cowardice to squat in another species’ nest

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-04 12:00

Inquiline termites can’t build their own nests and instead sneak into the homes built by another termite species. When the host attacks, the freeloaders run away

Quantum version of the ancient game of Go could be ultimate AI test

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-04 08:00

DeepMind’s AlphaZero AI has conquered Go, an ancient Chinese board game, to become the best player in the world, but a quantum version of the game is much harder

Marine kaleidoscope shows the beauty of coral reefs

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-29 18:00

The vibrant colours of threatened coral reefs are transformed into a natural kaleidoscope in this stunning image created by Dutch photographer Georgette Douwma

Skeletons reveal wealth gap in Europe began to open 6600 years ago

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-04 00:01

Some early farmers at a site in Poland were buried with elaborate grave goods – now it seems these individuals also had access to more productive pastures

Beautiful shell carving was part of Incan offering to Lake Titicaca

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-04 00:01

A 500-year-old stone box found in Lake Titicaca contains a llama carved from mollusc shell and a miniature gold bracelet. They may have been part of a human sacrifice offering to the lake itself

Opening schools in UK without more testing risks covid-19 second wave

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-03 23:30

The UK faces a second wave of coronavirus infections this winter if the country’s testing and contact tracing system does not improve by the time schools reopen, researchers have warned

Economic benefits of vaccination programmes vastly outweigh costs

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-03 21:00

The costs of vaccination programmes are outweighed 20 times by the economic benefits of reducing illness, disability and premature death, a model suggests

Chinese nature reserves focus so much on pandas that leopards suffer

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-03 16:00

China’s conservation efforts to save giant pandas have paid off for the bears, but miserably failed leopards and other carnivores that share their home

Ancient valleys on Mars may have been carved by glaciers

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-03 16:00

Some areas on Mars are covered in huge valleys that many think were carved by rivers in the planet's warmer past, but they may have actually been formed by glaciers, pointing to a chilly early Mars

The US may have the most to lose if Donald Trump bans TikTok

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-03 12:42

A US ban of the Chinese video-sharing app TikTok could see countries developing their own versions of popular US-owned services as the internet splinters across national borders

Finding coronavirus superspreaders may be key to halting a second wave

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-30 11:40

The R number for coronavirus has had a lot of attention, but we also need to understand the K number – the variability in how many people one infects – to stop superspreading

SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule makes splashdown with NASA astronauts

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-03 10:35

The first astronauts to launch to the International Space Station on a commercial spacecraft have now returned, splashing down into the sea off the coast of Florida

Cosmology's new advances show our voyage of discovery is far from over

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-29 18:00

An incredible map of the universe and mind-bending revelations about a supermassive black hole are evidence that the advance of science is far from over – it has plenty of new shores yet to explore

Proxima review: Eva Green shines as a troubled astronaut

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-29 18:00

Alice Winocour's new film Proxima shows the difficulties of balancing family life with a career as an astronaut, finds Simon Ings

The End of Everything review: A rollicking tour of the wildest physics

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-29 18:00

There are many ways that the universe could come to an end. Katie Mack's book exploring them is a fascinating read

Genetic privacy: We must learn from the story of Henrietta Lacks

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-01 05:00

Henrietta Lacks's cells are used in experiments in laboratories around the world but were cultivated without her consent. The lessons from her story are more important than ever, says Maninder Ahluwalia

Sperm have a weird way of swimming and we only noticed after 300 years

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-31 19:00

For 300 years we’ve assumed sperm swim by beating their tails symmetrically, but in reality sperm rotate like a corkscrew while beating their tails asymmetrically

Changing how we make solar panels could reduce their carbon emissions

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-31 19:00

Although solar panels are a source of renewable energy, making them has an environmental impact. A new type of panel has a lower carbon footprint than traditional silicon ones

Australia will use robot boats to find asylum seekers at sea

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-31 14:00

Five-metre-long uncrewed vessels that look like miniature sailing boats will be able to operate at sea for extended periods of time, but plans to look for asylum seekers have human rights groups concerned

Single particles of light can be used for remote 3D surveillance

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-31 12:00

Researchers have taken 3D images by bouncing individual photons from a laser off a building 45 kilometres away, more than 4 times farther than ever before

The invisible superpower that helped dinosaurs conquer the world

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-29 18:00

From beginnings as skulking, cat-sized reptiles, dinosaurs came to rule Earth for 100 million years – but how? Their secret wasn’t teeth or claws, but something deep inside them

Electronic is an epic trip through the history of music

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-31 11:00

Electronic, an exhibition at London's Design Museum, evokes some of the experiences of being in a club. It is a trip through electronic music in all its guises and offers hope that things will be alright in the future

Leonardo da Vinci saw a whale fossil that opened his mind to deep time

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-31 10:00

Renaissance-era polymath Leonardo da Vinci may have seen a whale fossil in his youth, prompting him to speculate that Earth was enormously old

Dark matter map hints at cracks in our understanding of the universe

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-31 08:00

A new survey suggests dark matter is more evenly spread through space than we had thought, which might mean we don’t fully understand how gravity works on large scales

UK temperatures broke records in 2019 as climate change took hold

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-31 00:01

Last year saw the hottest temperature ever recorded in the UK at 38.7°C. All 10 of the warmest years in the UK since records began in 1884 occurred after 2002

Deep-sea anglerfish fuse bodies to mate thanks to an odd immune system

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-30 19:00

Some male anglerfish fuse to the much larger females to mate – they can do so because they don’t recognise their partner’s tissue as foreign material that should be attacked

We can now predict dangerous solar flares a day before they happen

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-30 19:00

Large solar flares can put astronauts’ health at risk and damage satellites, but we haven’t had an early warning system for them – until now

Seal lice can survive the pressure found 4000 metres under the sea

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-30 18:36

When elephant seals go on long dives, they can reach thousands of metres below the ocean’s surface – and the lice they carry with them can withstand the intense pressure there

These are the 12 ways you can drastically cut your dementia risk

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-30 17:30

Up to 40 per cent of dementia cases could be prevented or delayed through lifestyle measures like exercising, socialising and not smoking, says a major review

Extreme rising seas could wipe out assets worth $14 trillion by 2100

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-30 16:00

Coastal floods wrought by rising seas could affect tens of millions more people and wipe out assets worth trillions of dollars by the end of the century, if the world fails to prevent the worst-case climate change scenario

NASA has launched its Perseverance Mars rover and Ingenuity helicopter

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-29 10:56

NASA’s Perseverance rover, which will look for signs of past or present life on Mars and test Ingenuity, the first interplanetary helicopter, is set to launch on 30 July

A weather forecast for fake news outbreaks on social media is coming

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-29 18:00

A social media weather report that predicts outbreaks of propaganda is on its way. It can't arrive soon enough, says Annalee Newitz

How refugee camps in Bangladesh are being defended against covid-19

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-30 12:00

An alarming mathematical model sparked efforts to ramp up testing and defend one of the world's largest refugee camps from the coronavirus. Now the lessons learned are being tried elsewhere

Sharon Moalem interview: Why women are genetically stronger than men

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-29 18:00

We know that women live longer and are less susceptible to certain diseases than men. That may be down to the benefits of having two X chromosomes

Extreme heat from the sun is baking a thin crust on Mercury’s surface

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-30 10:00

Mercury's surface should be powdery like Earth's moon, but the extreme heat it experiences from being close to the sun may be baking it into a thin, hard crust

Which covid-19 treatments work and how close are we to getting more?

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-28 19:04

There are very few drugs shown to help with covid-19, but along with dexamethasone and remdesivir, some new medicines are showing potential

Lyme disease vaccine found to be safe and effective in clinical trial

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-30 08:00

A vaccine against Lyme disease that is safe and stimulated immune protection in 82 to 96 per cent of clinical trial participants could be available by 2025

We’ve finally figured out where Stonehenge’s giant boulders came from

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-29 19:00

Most of the 50 huge boulders used to build Stonehenge’s iconic architecture have a chemical composition that suggests they came from a site 25 kilometres away

Half of Nobel prizes in science go to just five research fields

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-29 19:00

Scientists in just five research fields – including neuroscience and atomic physics – scooped up more than half of the Nobel prizes awarded for science in recent decades

Boosting gut microbes helps protect mice against Alzheimer’s disease

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-29 19:00

A prebiotic supplement that promotes good gut bacteria seems to protect against an Alzheimer’s-like disease in mice and will soon be tested in a clinical trial

The best view of the stars from Earth is on a hill in Antarctica

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-29 16:00

The best place on Earth from which to look at the night sky is a hill of ice in Antarctica – a telescope built there could take clearer images than could happen anywhere else

Black holes are hiding movies of the universe in their glowing rings

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-29 06:00

A faint fuzzy glow around the first black hole image last year baffled astronomers. Now we know what it contains – and it’s more bizarre than we ever imagined

Sarah Gilbert on how her team is making the Oxford coronavirus vaccine

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-28 18:34

Sarah Gilbert, head scientist on the Oxford vaccine for covid-19 explains why we have reason to be hopeful and what her life is like right now

Endangered tigers have made a remarkable comeback in five countries

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-28 18:00

The number of wild tigers is on the increase in Bhutan, China, India, Nepal and Russia, say conservationists

Bacteria dug up from beneath the seabed may be 100 million years old

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-28 16:00

Beneath the Pacific Ocean there are communities of bacteria that have survived since the reign of the dinosaurs – and some individual cells may have been alive for over 100 million years

Coronavirus vaccine hope rises after a flurry of positive results

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-28 14:52

There are more than 160 coronavirus vaccines in development, and we don't yet know if any will work, but a string of promising results offers hope for the long run

Tiny mammals once scavenged meat from giant dinosaur carcasses

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-28 11:50

The first mammals probably mostly ate insects, but bite marks on a bone fragment suggest they occasionally scavenged meat from giant dinosaur carcasses

Stunning night sky pictures shortlisted for astronomy photo prize

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-22 18:00

Images of the night sky taken from an Australian cave and a desert in Jordan are among the shortlisted entries for the 2020 Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year

Watch a beam of light bounce off mirrors in ultra-slow motion

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-27 17:40

For the first time, researchers have taken a video of a pulse of laser light as it moves in three dimensions, using a camera with a shutter speed of a trillionth of a second. It could potentially be used to see around corners

Biggest ever map of the universe reveals 11 billion years of history

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-27 17:20

A huge survey of the universe has been able to peer back into the deep past, revealing 80 per cent of the universe’s 14-billion-year history

Coronavirus: Second wave hits Asia as global cases continue to soar

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-27 15:50

Asian countries such as China and Vietnam are seeing a resurgence of the virus as daily global covid-19 cases hit 300,000, with more than half occurring in the Americas

Research is our best weapon in the fight against covid-19 and obesity

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-22 18:40

The obesity and covid-19 pandemics have been shown to be interlinked, and both urgently require more research to provide clear evidence on how best to beat them

Birdwatching AI can recognise individual birds from behind

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-27 05:01

Artificial intelligence that can recognise individual birds is being developed for biologists studying wild animals, but could also be adapted so that people can identify individual birds in their surroundings

Afterland review: A thought-provoking tale of life without men

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-22 18:00

Lauren Beukes's new speculative novel imagines a world stripped overnight of men. Do women do a better job of running things?

Brave New World review: Dystopian TV without lessons for today

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-22 18:00

A TV adaptation of Brave New World covers many of the same ideas as the book, but is stripped of relevance for the present day

How a Jewish ghetto beat a typhus epidemic during the second world war

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-24 19:00

Jews imprisoned in a ghetto during the second world war stamped out a big typhus outbreak using public health measures like those currently being used to fight covid-19

Why old school technology could shape the future of digital computing

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-22 18:00

Analogue computers were abandoned half a century ago. But to push past the limits of modern day devices, it may be time for a blast from the past