Animals are our overlooked allies in the fight against Covid | Melanie Challenger
It ’s important to recognise the vital role they’ve played in development of vaccines and treatmentsA few weeks ago, I received my first shot of a vaccine against Covid-19. As the newly vaccinated exited the clinic, there was a mix of relief and elation on people ’s faces. We exchanged little smiles of solidarity. If we could have burst into spontaneous applause, I’m sure we would have done.Recently, the lead scientist for the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, Prof Sarah Gilbert,was honoured with the RSA Albert Medal. There are rumours that Gilbert ’s team, along with the pioneers of the mRNA vaccin...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 17, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Melanie Challenger Tags: Medical research Vaccines and immunisation Coronavirus Animals Science World news Source Type: news

England ban on indoor gatherings may need to be reimposed, warns expert
Sage member suggests latest Covid lockdown easing may be reversed if hospital admissions riseCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageA leading scientific adviser to the UK government has warned thatMonday ’s lockdown easingin England may have to be reversed and also cautioned against meeting indoors.Speaking on BBC Radio 4 ’s Today programme, Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust and a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) suggested the ban on indoor gatherings should have remained in place and might need to be reimposed.Continue reading... (Source:...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 17, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Matthew Weaver Tags: Coronavirus England Society Science Infectious diseases UK news Source Type: news

Can you solve it? Are you smart enough to opt out of cookies?
Puzzles about internet deviousnessIt ’s a depressing fact of online life that websites are often shameless in using shady practices, like misdirection and obfuscation, to get us to sign up to, or to agree to, something we do not want.Today ’s puzzles exaggerate the cunning tricks websites use to extract our personal data – but only just!Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 17, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Alex Bellos Tags: Mathematics Education Science Technology Source Type: news

Starwatch: Corvus, Crater and Hydra tangled in ancient tale of figs and lies
Faint constellations representing crow, cup and serpent feature in classical Greek and Roman mythThis week offers us the opportunity to locate three of the fainter constellations that are linked by myth: Corvus, the crow; Crater, the cup; and Hydra, the serpent. Corvus is one of the oldest recognised constellations, dating back to Babylonian star charts from at least 1100BC. Hydra was also recognised by the Babylonians, although Crater is a slightly later invention.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 17, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Stuart Clark Tags: Science Astronomy Space Source Type: news

Tiny traces of DNA found in cave dust may unlock secret life of Neanderthals
Advanced technique used to recover genetic material may help solve the mystery of early manScientists have pinpointed major changes in Europe ’s Neanderthal populations – from traces of blood and excrement they left behind in a Spanish cave 100,000 years ago.The discovery is the first important demonstration of a powerful new technique that allows researchers to study DNA recovered from cave sediments. No fossils or stone tools are needed for such studies. Instead, minuscule traces of genetic material that have accumulated in the dust of a cavern floor are employed to reveal ancient secrets.Continue reading... ...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 16, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Robin McKie Science editor Tags: Archaeology Natural History Museum UK news China Science India Museums Culture Source Type: news

Biden aides defend controversial Covid mask guidance change
Walensky and Fauci defend surprise public health moveRobert Reich: Republican Covid lies follow foreign strongmenThis week ’ssurprise reversal of mask-wearing guidance for those vaccinated against Covid-19 was a “foundational first step” towards returning the US to normal, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) insisted on Sunday, as the agency continued to draw criticism for the sudden and confusing advice.Related:Relief, reluctance and confusion: New Yorkers react to mask-free guidanceContinue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 16, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Richard Luscombe Tags: Biden administration Coronavirus US news Science US politics Source Type: news

What do animals feel? Humans must follow the evidence to find out | Jonathan Birch
Government proposals to recognise vertebrates as sentient beings are welcome, but this should be just the startLook a dog in the eye and a conscious being looks back. A being that feels hunger, thirst, warmth, cold, fear, comfort, pleasure, pain, joy. No one can seriously doubt this. The same is true of any mammal. You cannot watch rats playinghide and seek and doubt that they have feelings – that they are sentient creatures. But as animals become more distant from us in evolutionary terms, some doubt begins to creep in.Consider a beesneaking past the guards of a rival colony to steal honey. Or the Brazilian ants tha...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 16, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Jonathan Birch Tags: Animal welfare Animal behaviour UK news Animals Biology Philosophy Science Law Source Type: news

Daniel Kahneman: ‘Clearly AI is going to win. How people are going to adjust is a fascinating problem’
The Nobel-winning psychologist on applying his ideas to organisations, why we ’re not equipped to grasp the spread of a virus, and the massive disruption that’s just round the cornerDaniel Kahneman, 87, was awarded the Nobel prize in economics in 2002 for his work on the psychology of judgment and decision-making. His first book,Thinking, Fast and Slow, a worldwide bestseller, set outhis revolutionary ideas about human error and bias and how those traits might be recognised and mitigated. A new book,Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment, written with Olivier Sibony and Cass R Sunstein, applies those ideas to organisa...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 16, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Tim Adams Tags: Science and nature books Psychology Artificial intelligence (AI) Culture Technology Source Type: news

How will isolation affect long-term immunity?
Healthy immune systems work best when exposed to microbes. So what will lockdown have done to our resistance to germs?Every time you kiss another human being intimately for 10 seconds, more than 80m bacteria are transferred from mouth to mouth. If you ’re at a party and double dip your tortilla chip into the salsa three times, around 10,000 bacteria will be transferred from your lips to the dip. Say “hi” to your co-workers as you sit down at your office desk and you’ll also be greeted by over 10m bacteria on its surface.Disturbing as these figures may seem, many scientists believe that exposure to t...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 16, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Amelia Tait Tags: Coronavirus Infectious diseases Children Health Science Society World news Medical research Microbiology Source Type: news

The secret of how Amundsen beat Scott in race to south pole? A diet of raw penguin
Starving and trapped by ice, the Norwegian ’s crew had discovered how to beat scurvy on an earlier voyage. The benefits proved crucialThirteen years before he became the first person ever to reach the south pole in 1911, the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen experienced his first merciless taste of winter in theAntarctic. Stuck onboard the Belgian expedition ship Belgica, which was grounded in pack ice, he and the rest of the crew contracted scurvy and faced certain death.That is when, according to a new book published later this month, Amundsen started eating raw penguin meat – and discovered a secret that wou...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 16, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Donna Ferguson Tags: Polar regions Antarctica Exploration Science Wildlife Books Culture Norway World news Source Type: news

Do people believe Covid myths?
Misinformation could be causing real harm in the communityLike viruses, false information spreads through networks. In March 2020, more than a quarter of the top Covid-19 related videos on YouTube contained misleading claims and those had more than 60m views worldwide. The World Health Organization ’s Covid“myth-busters” pagecounters ideas such as the notion that eating garlic protects you against infection. But how many people believe such claims?University of Cambridge researchers found in an online survey that about 15% of UK respondents thought it was more reliable than not that “the coronavirus...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 16, 2021 Category: Science Authors: David Spiegelhalter and Anthony Masters Tags: Coronavirus Science UK news Source Type: news

Coronavirus: Trinidad and Tobago declares state of emergency; England to continue lockdown easing despite India variant fears
All todays events as they happened: China cancels spring Everest climbing season from Tibetan side while Portugal to reopen to UK tourists from MondayTaiwan records 180 new cases in island ’s worst Covid outbreakWho: vaccinate vulnerable global poor before children in rich countriesIndia variant could disrupt lifting of England lockdown, says Boris JohnsonHow a proudly multicultural country became ‘fortress Australia’11.43pmBST10.31pmBSTTrinidad and Tobago has declared a state of emergency in response to a surge in Covid-19 cases and deaths, Keith Rowley, the prime minister, said on Saturday.It registered...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 15, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Kaamil Ahmed (now) Tobi Thomas and Jedidajah Otte (earlier) Tags: Coronavirus Infectious diseases Medical research Science World news Source Type: news

Johnson ‘must think again on plans to relax Covid rules’
Top adviser warns of India variant impact as scientists urge delay in lockdown changesCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageBoris Johnson was under mounting pressure on Saturday to reconsider Monday ’s relaxation of Covid rules in England because of thethreat posed by the India variant. His own advisers and independent health experts raised fears that it could lead to a surge in hospital admissions, especially among young adults.From Monday people will be able to meet in groups of up to 30 outdoors, while six people or two households will be permitted to meet indoors. Pubs, bars, cafes and...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 15, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Denis Campbell, Toby Helm and David Connett Tags: Coronavirus Boris Johnson Jonathan Ashworth Infectious diseases Politics Science UK news India Source Type: news

How to cure type 2 diabetes – without medication
It can be debilitating and last a lifetime, but type 2 diabetes, if caught early, can be reversed with weight lossIt ’s 10 years since ProfessorRoy Taylor revolutionised treatment for type 2 diabetes with a groundbreaking study that showed the disease could be reversed through rapid weight loss. Until his research was published, type 2 diabetes was thought to be an incurable, lifelong condition. Now, for many people, we know it is not.But his achievements – and the thousands of people he has cured – are not something he dwells upon. “I’m in a very lucky position of being able to do this resear...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 15, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Donna Ferguson Tags: Diabetes Health Life and style Psychology Science & wellbeing Society Source Type: news

Mixed messages: is research into human-monkey embryos ethical?
Biologists recently created a chimera with both human and monkey cells. But not all scientists are happy to blur species boundariesWhen King Minos of Crete was given a magnificent bull by the sea god Poseidon for a sacrifice, he could not bring himself to kill it. In anger, Poseidon enchanted Minos ’s wife Pasiphaë to be filled with lust for the creature. The result of their trans-species mating was the bull-headed monster the Minotaur.Hybrids of humans and animals throng within myth and legend: centaurs, mermaids, goat-footed Pan. We ’re both fascinated and uneasy about the boundary that separates us from...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 15, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Philip Ball Tags: Stem cells Biology Gene editing Genetics Medical research Science Animals Source Type: news

Coronavirus: England to continue lockdown easing despite India variant fears; Taiwan raises Covid alert; Australia runs first repatriation flight from India
China cancels spring Everest climbing season from Tibetan side while Portugal to reopen to UK tourists from MondayTaiwan records 180 new cases in island ’s worst Covid outbreakWho: vaccinate vulnerable global poor before children in rich countriesIndia variant could disrupt lifting of England lockdown, says Boris JohnsonHow a proudly multicultural country became ‘fortress Australia’3.31pmBSTPA Media reports that more than 600,000 vaccine appointments in the UK were booked in the 48 hours after the programme opened to people aged in their late 30s.Some 611,863 appointments for first and second doses were m...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 15, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Jedidajah Otte (now), Tobi Thomas (earlier) Tags: Coronavirus Infectious diseases Medical research Science World news Source Type: news

A starfish is born: hope for key species hit by gruesome disease
US team succeeds in captive breeding of sunflower sea stars and aims to reintroduce them to the wildScientists in a San Juan Island laboratory in Washington state have successfully raised sunflower sea stars, or starfish, in captivity for the first time, in an effort to help save these charismatic ocean creatures from extinction.Sunflower sea stars, whose colours vary widely, can grow as big as a bicycle wheel and have about 20 legs. They were once abundant in coastal waters from Alaska to Mexico, but since 2013, nearly 6 billion of these nowcritically endangered animals have died from agruesome wasting diseaselinked to wa...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 15, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Laura Paddison Tags: Marine life Oceans Environment Conservation Wildlife US news World news Climate change Animals Science Biology Source Type: news

China lands unmanned spacecraft on Mars for first time
State-run media says landing ‘spectacularly conquered’ a new milestone; it joins US Perseverance rover which landed in FebruaryAn unmanned Chinese spacecraft has successfully landed on the surface of Mars, Chinese state news agency Xinhua has reported, making China the second space-faring nation after the US to land on the red planet.The officialXinhua news agency said the lander had touched down on Saturday, citing the China National Space Administration.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 15, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Guardian staff and agencies Tags: Space China Mars World news Source Type: news

UK Covid: second vaccine doses accelerated as Indian variant threatens easing – as it happened
Latest updates: prime minister announcesacceleration of vaccination programme as Indian variantthreatens June lockdown easingIndia variant could seriously disrupt lifting of lockdown, says PMUK to allow ‘surge vaccination’ in Covid hotspots hit by Indian variantAnalysis: India variant could lead to serious third wave of Covid in UKWhat can England do to combat the Indian Covid variant?7.09pmBSTThat ’s it from the UK blog team, thanks for following our coverage.You can follow our global coronavirus blog here -Related:Coronavirus live: second pandemic year to be deadlier than first, warns WHO; Germany to ma...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 14, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Nadeem Badshah (now); Mattha Busby and Rachel Hall (earlier) Tags: Coronavirus UK news Politics Vaccines and immunisation Boris Johnson House of Commons NHS Infectious diseases Medical research Source Type: news

Weird dreams train us for the unexpected, says new theory
AI inspires hypothesis that sleeping human brain might try to break its overfamiliarity with daily dataIt ’s a common enough scenario: you walk into your local supermarket to buy some milk, but by the time you get to the till, the milk bottle has turned into a talking fish. Then you remember you’ve got your GCSE maths exam in the morning, but you haven’t attended a maths lesson for nearly three de cades.Dreams can be bafflingly bizarre, but according to a new theory of why we dream, that ’s the whole point. By injecting some random weirdness into our humdrum existence, dreams leave us better equippe...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 14, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Linda Geddes Tags: Neuroscience World news Source Type: news

What can England do to combat the Indian Covid variant?
A list of possible measures that could be taken by the government to limit the spread of the variantCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe possible spread of the highly transmissible B.1.617.2 variant of Covid, first identified in India, threatens to hamper the timetable for removing lockdown restrictions, since a series oflocalised outbreaks have been detected.Here are some possible actions that could be used to limit the spread of the variant:Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 14, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Peter Walker Tags: Coronavirus Infectious diseases Science Vaccines and immunisation Health Society World news UK news North of England Source Type: news

Bill Heal obituary
Soil scientist with a key role in creating the Environmental Change Network and the University of the ArcticWhen Bill Heal, who has died aged 86, began studying soil decomposers in the 1950s, researchers aimed to understand the ecosystem in which they functioned. Growing awareness of global heating in the decades since has given this work increased urgency: the very slow rates of decomposition of plant material in peat enable the removal of great quantities of heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, as well as storage of carbon in its acidic and waterlogged conditions.Soil decomposers constitute the “factor...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 14, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Des Thompson and Tim Burt Tags: Environment Soil Climate change Microbiology Science Research Education Arctic Source Type: news

What we know about the Indian Covid variant so far | Julian Tang
The good news is, we think existing vaccines will protect us against this rapidly spreading strain. But we need more dataCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe new variant of the Covid-19 virus first detected in India comes inthree forms: B.1.617.1 (abbreviated as variant 1), B.1.617.2 (variant 2) and B.1.617.3 (variant 3). Each of these has a slightly different genetic makeup. The one that issurging in England is variant 2.There is some good news and bad news about this variant, based on the limited data we have available. The good news is that we think itdoes not contain the 484K/Q mutation...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 14, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Julian Tang Tags: Coronavirus Infectious diseases Science Medical research UK news Source Type: news

Europe ’s Jupiter spacecraft enters crucial testing phase
Critical sequence of tests begins in space simulator to prepare Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer for its journey to the great gas giantThe European Space Agency ’s Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (Juice) has begun a critical sequence of tests to make sure it can function correctly in the hostile conditions of outer space.Having been assembled by Airbus Friedrichshafen, Germany, the 6.2 tonne spacecrafthas now arrived at Esa ’s European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) inthe Netherlands, where it is being prepared to enter the Large Space Simulator. Once inside, the air will be pumped from the chamber to replic...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 14, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Stuart Clark Tags: Space Jupiter European Space Agency Science Source Type: news

UK Covid live: officials consider ‘surge vaccinations’ to combat spread of Indian variant
Latest updates: concern that spread of variant found in India, B1.617.2, may derail planned easing of lockdown restrictions in EnglandEngland will ‘flex’ vaccinations to tackle India variant, minister saysIndia Covid variant: is it a threat to the UK ’s reopening plans?Call for ‘surge vaccinations’ as UK cases of India variant doublePubs, restaurants and cafes in Wales to open indoors from MondayGlobal coronavirus updates – live11.55amBSTTheIndian coronavirus variant has been detected in a number of areas inEngland which are reporting the highest rates of infection, data suggests.PA has ...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 14, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Mattha Busby Tags: Coronavirus UK news Politics Vaccines and immunisation Boris Johnson House of Commons NHS Infectious diseases Medical research Source Type: news

England will ‘flex’ Covid vaccinations to tackle India variant, minister says
Deployment of jabs could be speeded up for multi-generational households in areas virus is spreading quicklyCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageMinisters will “flex” England’s vaccination programme in response to concerns over the spread of the India variant, a government minister has confirmed.Areas where the B.1.617.2 variant, first identified in India, is spreading quickly could receive accelerated vaccinations for multi-generational households, with anyone over 18 offered the jab.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 14, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Alexandra Topping Tags: Coronavirus Vaccines and immunisation Health England Health policy Nadhim Zahawi Politics Society UK news Source Type: news

Everybody by Olivia Laing review – a book about freedom
A moving and clear-eyed history of bodily freedoms that takes as its central character Wilhelm Reich, inventor of the orgone accumulatorRight at the end of this exhilarating journey through a century ’s struggles over the human body, Olivia Laing invites her reader to “imagine, for a minute, what it would be like to inhabit a body without fear”. This simple hope comes to sound like a radical demand for the impossible; after such a vivid catalogue of the many humiliations and cruelties a bo dy can be made to bear, it isn’t easy to imagine.Laing ’s impassioned commitment to the promise of bodily...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 14, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Josh Cohen Tags: Health, mind and body books Psychology Sexuality Culture Source Type: news

Delay in giving second jabs of Pfizer vaccine improves immunity
Study finds antibodies against Sars-CoV-2 three-and-a-half times higher in people vaccinated again after 12 weeks rather than threeCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe UK ’s decision to delay second doses of coronavirus vaccines has received fresh support from research on the over-80s which found that giving the Pfizer/BioNTech booster after 12 weeks rather than three produced a much stronger antibody response.A study led by the University of Birmingham in collaboration with Public Health England found that antibodies against the virus were three-and-a-half times higher in those who h...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 13, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Ian Sample Science editor Tags: Immunology Pfizer Coronavirus Health Vaccines and immunisation Infectious diseases Microbiology Medical research Pharmaceuticals industry UK news US news Germany Source Type: news

Space race 2: Russian actor bound for ISS in same month as Tom Cruise
Hollywood star is aiming to be first to shoot a feature film in space, but Russia has launched rival bidThe space race appears set for a relaunch following the news that Russia is to send an actor and director to the International Space Station in October, with the ambition of making the first feature film in space.The crew are scheduled to begin their expedition on 5 October 2021. While on the space station they could encounter some fellow film-makers: Tom Cruise and the director Doug Liman, who are also due to travel there in October to make a movie.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 13, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Catherine Shoard Tags: International Space Station Film Russia Culture World news Tom Cruise Elon Musk Technology Science Europe Source Type: news

The Guardian view on the Covid public inquiry: an undemocratic delay | Editorial
Boris Johnson should get the preliminaries under way and advance the start dateThe good news is that Boris Johnson hasfinally announced a public inquiry into the United Kingdom ’s Covid-19 pandemic.Public inquiries remain pivotal in our public life, even today, and it was inconceivable that there would not be one on what the prime minister this week called “a trauma like no other”. For many months though, Mr Johnson has prevaricated on the timing and the details. It always seemed to be never quitethe right moment. Now, amid expectations that the worst of the pandemic may possibly be ending at least in thi...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 13, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Editorial Tags: Coronavirus Infectious diseases Science Boris Johnson Conservatives Source Type: news

Michael Atkinson obituary
My mentor and friend Michael Atkinson, who has died aged 95, was for many years professor of gastroenterology at the University of Nottingham, where one of his most important contributions was the development of the Atkinson tube, which helps people with oesophageal cancer to swallow.Born in Rawdon, just outside Leeds, to Herbert, a plumbers ’ merchant, and his wife, Janet (nee Palliser), a postmistress, Michael went to Aireborough grammar school in West Yorkshire, then University College London for his medical education during the second world war.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 13, 2021 Category: Science Authors: John Bennett Tags: Medical research Medicine Cancer research Hospitals Health NHS Leeds University of Nottingham Source Type: news

Covid-19: what do we know about the variants first detected in India? – podcast
With restrictions in England due to be further relaxed on 17 May,new coronavirus variants first detected in India are spreading across the UK. Public Health England designated one, known as B.1.617.2, as a ‘variant of concern’ last week. It is now the second most common variant in the country. Anand Jagatia speaks to the Guardian science correspondent Nicola Davis and Prof Ravi Gupta about what we know and how concerned we should beContinue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 13, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Presented and produced by Anand Jagatia with Nicola Davis Tags: Science Coronavirus Infectious diseases Microbiology World news Medical research India Source Type: news

Don ’t wait for government – UK scientists should conduct a Covid inquiry, now | Philip Ball
Boris Johnson promises a public inquiry into the pandemic, but our scientific community could provide more honest answersBoris Johnson ’spromise of a public inquiry into the handling of the pandemic is welcome, but tardy and vague. It is scarcely surprising that the government has been dragging its feet, for no independent, objective and credible inquiry could be anything but devastating about the political handling of the crisis. The long and lethal litany of blunders and cover-ups presented in Jonathan Calvert and George Arbuthnott ’s bookFailures of State beggars belief, even while it is so recent in memory....
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 13, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Philip Ball Tags: Coronavirus Infectious diseases Science Politics UK news Source Type: news

If the government is serious about ‘global Britain’, why is it cutting research funding? | Fiona Tomley
Vital international scientific work, including studies into how viruses spread, is being jeopardised by short-sighted cutsGiven the ambitions outlined in the government ’s integrated review of “Global Britain in a Competitive Age”, you could be forgiven for thinking that research into the causes, detection and control of emerging infectious diseases with pandemic potential was being taken pretty seriously at the highest level. The government will “build on the lessons of the Covid-19 pandemic to improve our use of data to anticipate and respond to future crises”, and intends to “drive to...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 13, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Fiona Tomley Tags: Coronavirus Infectious diseases UK news World news Medical research Microbiology Science Health Source Type: news

No visitors but teeming with life: what ’s going on inside the Natural History Museum?
While its doors have been closed to the public, scientists have been busy digitising its vast archive – from 100-year-old insects to rare mineralsThe main exhibition room at the Natural History Museum in London is cathedral-like, with Hope the blue whale suspended mid-air like a demigod. Filled with specimens collected by explorers, this remarkable place teaches us about the evolution of life on our planet.There is a “great unlocking” happening in this building, home to one of the world’s largest natural history collections. Insects on pins and old minerals that have been sitting in mahogany display...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 13, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Phoebe Weston, pictures by David Levene Tags: Natural History Museum Genetics Environment Insects Animals Biology Science Museums Wildlife Plants Fungi Biodiversity Conservation Green economy Cop26: Glasgow climate change conference 2021 UK news Culture London Source Type: news

J & J jab linked to more blood clots; double vaccine production, says UN – as it happened
MRNA vaccines appear to neutralise Indian variant; CDC says there is‘plausible causal association’ between vaccine and dangerous clottingNorway ends use of AstraZeneca vaccine and delays decision on J&JCovid pandemic was preventable, says WHO-commissioned reportSpain aims to receive British tourists without Covid tests from 20 MayScores more bodies of suspected Covid victims found in Indian riversChina has used pandemic to boost global image, report says12.48amBSTThis blog is closing down now. Thanks for reading and here are some of the main developments in the pandemic in the past 24 hours. You can also ke...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 12, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Nadeem Badshah (now); Mattha Busby ,Tobi Thomas, Martin Belam ,Martin Farrer (earlier) Tags: Coronavirus India UK news US news Brazil Science Americas World news Source Type: news

UK Covid scientists: variant found in India variant may be spreading faster than Kent strain
Reports that Sage will meet on Thursday to discuss threat with PHE figures expected to show big jump in cases linked to variantCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageEvidence is growing that a troubling variant of the coronavirus discovered in India is more transmissible than the variant first detected in Kent and which fuelled the UK ’s second wave of infections and spread around the world.It comes amid reports that Public Health England figures to be released on Thursday could show that the number of cases linked to the variant have tripled in a week. The i newspaper reported that scienti...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 12, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Ian Sample Science editor Tags: Coronavirus Imperial College London Science Infectious diseases Medical research Microbiology Health UK news Source Type: news

Emphasis on personal may be best way to fight vaccine scepticism, research suggests
GB study points to highlighting personal benefits being key to counter vaccine hesitancyCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageEmphasising the personal benefits of vaccination against Covid may be an effective way to reduce scepticism in those most hesitant towards having a jab, research suggests.In the UKmore than two-thirds of adults have received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine, with about a third having had two doses.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 12, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Nicola Davis Science correspondent Tags: Vaccines and immunisation Health Society Coronavirus Science Source Type: news

More frequent side-effects reported mixing Pfizer and Oxford Covid jabs, study suggests
However, UK trial found two doses of the same vaccine triggered less adverse reactionsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageAdministering one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine followed by one of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine (or vice versa) induces a higher frequency of mild to moderate side-effects compared with standard two doses of either vaccine, initial data from a key UK trial suggests.The Oxford-ledCom-Cov study is exploring the safety and efficacy ofmixed-dose schedules given that they are being considered in several countries – including the UK – to fortify vaccine rollou...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 12, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Natalie Grover Tags: Vaccines and immunisation Medical research Coronavirus UK news Science Infectious diseases Health Source Type: news

Cerne Giant in Dorset dates from Anglo-Saxon times, analysis suggests
Sand samples examined by National Trust experts indicate hillside chalk figure was created in the 10th centuryOver the centuries thehuge, naked, club-wielding giant carved into a steep hillside in Dorset has been thought prehistoric, Celtic, Roman or even a 17th century lampoon of Oliver Cromwell.After 12 months of new, hi-tech sediment analysis, the National Trust has now revealed the probable truth and experts admit they are taken aback. The bizarre, enigmatic Cerne Giant is none of the above, but late Saxon, possibly 10th century.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 12, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Mark Brown Arts correspondent Tags: Archaeology The National Trust UK news Science Source Type: news

Coronavirus live news: jabs like Pfizer and Moderna appear able to ‘neutralise’ Indian variant, says EMA
European medicines watchdog says there is‘promising evidence’ the vaccines work against variant first encountered in IndiaCovid pandemic was preventable, says WHO-commissioned reportChina has used pandemic to boost global image, report saysUK prime minister announces independent inquiry into Covid handlingSpike in India variant poses threat to UK reopening, scientists sayAustralia: fresh outbreak blamed on hotel quarantine leak4.49pmBSTCovid-related deaths in theUS have fallen to an average of around 600 per day — the lowest level in 10 months — with the number of lives lost dropping to single digit...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 12, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Mattha Busby (now); Tobi Thomas, Martin Belam and Martin Farrer (earlier) Tags: Coronavirus India UK news US news Brazil Science Americas World news Source Type: news

How Covid affects the dying and their loved ones | Letter
I felt that we were deprived of quality time together, writesLesley West, whose husband died this yearRachel Clarke ’sarticle (10 May) resonated with me as it captured completely the effect of the pandemic on the dying. My late husband was diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer earlier this year and spent his final two weeks in hospital.I was “allowed” to visit if the permission of a doctor was given, and then had to give a code to enter the hospital. Our time together was increased towards the end, but by then he was often not lucid and did not recognise me.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 12, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Letters Tags: Coronavirus Death and dying Cancer Family Infectious diseases Medical research Microbiology Science Source Type: news

Paralysed man uses ‘mindwriting’ brain computer to compose sentences
Man, known as T5, was able to write 18 words a minute with more than 94% accuracy on individual lettersA man who was paralysed from the neck down in an accident more than a decade ago has written sentences using a computer system that turns imagined handwriting into words.It is the first time scientists have created sentences from brain activity linked to handwriting and paves the way for more sophisticated devices to help paralysed people communicate faster and more clearly.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 12, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Ian Sample Science editor Tags: Neuroscience Medical research Health Society World news US news Source Type: news

Boris Johnson ’s advisers may push for a virtual Cop26. He should ignore them | Fiona Harvey
The UK must risk an in-person meeting in Glasgow if this crucial climate conference is to be a successWalkouts, standoffs, shouting,tears,bloodletting– theUN climate Cops have seen it all. The annual meetings, in which all countries bar a few failed states take part, under the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), are the only global forum for discussing the future of the planet. They have veered between triumph and disaster, marked by dramatic and sometimes traumatic moments. At their best they can be momentous events, shifting the world ’s response to the climate crisis into a higher gear, ...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 12, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Fiona Harvey Tags: Cop26: Glasgow climate change conference 2021 Greenhouse gas emissions Environment Boris Johnson Science Politics UK news World news Source Type: news

Climate emissions shrinking the stratosphere, scientists reveal
Exclusive: Thinning indicates profound impact of humans and could affect satellites and GPSHumanity ’s enormous emissions of greenhouse gases are shrinking the stratosphere, a new study has revealed.The thickness of the atmospheric layer has contracted by 400 metres since the 1980s, the researchers found, and will thin by about another kilometre by 2080 without major cuts in emissions. The changes have the potential to affect satellite operations, the GPS navigation system and radio communications.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 12, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Damian Carrington Environment editor Tags: Greenhouse gas emissions Climate change Environment World news Source Type: news

Unicef calls on UK to give 20% of vaccines to other countries
Children ’s charity urges UK to set example and start sharing jabs with lower-income countries from JuneCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe UK should commit to giving 20% of its vaccines to other countries that are in urgent need of them as early as June, according to Unicef, which says the UK will still have enough to vaccinate every adult by the end of July.The children ’s charity estimates the UK will have enough spare doses this year to fully vaccinate a further 50 million people around the world, and urges the government to set an example to the G7 by starting to share the...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 12, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Sarah Boseley and Peter Beaumont Tags: Vaccines and immunisation Coronavirus Infectious diseases Science Medical research World news Health United Nations Children's health UK news Source Type: news

Doctors in London report fivefold increase in children swallowing magnets
Button batteries and magnets found in certain types of children ’s toys associated with complicationsThere has been a fivefold increase in magnet ingestion over the past five years in young children amid a steady rise in hospital admissions in London caused by the swallowing of foreign objects, doctors have said.While most of the time objects pass out of the body naturally without incident, button batteries and small permanent magnets found in cordless tools, hard disk drives, magnetic fasteners and certain types of children ’s toys have been associated with complications.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 11, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Natalie Grover Tags: Science UK news Children Toys Life and style Society NHS Health Source Type: news

Melting away: understanding the impact of disappearing glaciers – podcast
Prompted by an illness that took her to the brink of death and back, Jemma Wadham recalls 25 years of expeditions around the globe. Speaking to the professor about her new book,Ice Rivers, Shivani Dave uncovers the importance of glaciers – and what they should mean to usContinue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 11, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Presented and produced by Shivani Dave Tags: Science Glaciers Environment Polar regions Climate change Source Type: news

Nasa spacecraft leaves asteroid Bennu with a belly full of space rock samples
Osiris-Rex has been flying around the ancient asteroid since 2018 and collected nearly a pound of rubble last fallWith rubble from an asteroid tucked inside, a Nasa spacecraft fired its engines and began the long journey back to Earth on Monday, leaving the ancient space rock in its rearview mirror.The trip home for the robotic prospector, Osiris-Rex, will take two years.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 11, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Associated Press Tags: Nasa Space Science US news Source Type: news

UK travellers complain of ‘prison-like’ conditions in quarantine hotels
Concerns raised over food, lack of fresh air and social distancing after coming back from red list countriesCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageTravellers staying in quarantine hotels in the UK after returning from “red list” countries have complained of “prison-like” conditions, including windows that do not open, a lack of fresh air, exercise and decent food.The Guardian spoke to nine travellers who are or have recently been in quarantine hotels after returning from countries including Brazil, India, Pakistan and South Africa. They complained of a deterioration in the...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - May 11, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Diane Taylor Tags: Coronavirus Infectious diseases Science World news UK news Source Type: news