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They erased nature from our dictionaries. The fightback starts here | Patrick Barkham
Conkers, along with wrens and adders, were deemed outdated. What were the editors thinking?It is hazardous to stand in my garden. Thwack. Thud. Every five minutes, the tree above slings a conker to the ground as if by catapult.Some open their spiny cases on impact. Others can be gently crushed to reveal their gleaming treasure: cool to touch, encased in cream memory foam, and decorated with whorls that resemble a chestnut map of the world.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 18, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Patrick Barkham Tags: Wildlife Children Books Culture Environment Society Conservation Language Science Source Type: news

Ambitious 1.5C Paris climate target is still possible, new analysis shows
Goal to limit warming to 1.5C to avoid the worst impacts of climate change was seen as unreachable, but updated research suggests it could be met if strong action is takenThe highly ambitious aim of limiting global warming to less than 1.5C remains in reach, a new scientific analysis shows.The 1.5C target wasset as an aspiration by the global Paris climate change deal in 2015 to limit the damage wreaked by extreme weather and sea level rise.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 18, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Damian Carrington Environment editor Tags: Climate change Paris climate agreement Greenhouse gas emissions Environment Science World news Source Type: news

Octlantis: the underwater city built by octopuses
The discovery of aquatic architecture has led scientists to compare the behaviour of cephalopods with humans – but octopus city life is no utopiaIf animals are our other, there is nothing quite so other as the octopus. It is the alien with whom we share our planet, a coeval evolutionary life form whose slithery slipperiness and more than the requisite number of limbs (each of which contains its own “brain”) symbolise the dark mystery and fear of the deep.Now comes news that octopuses have been building their own cities down there. In a story straight out of James Cameron ’sThe Abyss, scientists have...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 18, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Philip Hoare Tags: Marine life Source Type: news

How death has changed over 100 years in Britain
Childhood was once perilous and adult lives were often cut short – but life expectancy now tops 80 yearsBenjamin Franklin once wrote that “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”, but just how – and at what age – we are likely to exit the world has changed dramatically over the past 100 years, thanks to changing social structures and advances in medicine and technology.While once childhood was a perilous period and adult lives were often cut short, life expectancy at birth now tops 80 years in the UK.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 18, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Nicola Davis, Niko Kommenda and Caelainn Barr Tags: Death and dying Health Infant and child mortality Older people Suicide rates UK news Society Life and style Global development Source Type: news

Dame Margaret Turner-Warwick obituary
Pioneering physician who played a fundamental role in the development of modern respiratory medicineWhen Margaret Turner-Warwick, who has died aged 92, entered the field of respiratory medicine in the 1950s, it was a time of great change. Effective treatment fortuberculosis had recently been introduced, and the adverse effects of cigarette smoking on the lung were beginning to be appreciated.The focus of academic research had been limited to understanding and measuring lung function, but with her colleagues Jack Pepys andDeborah Doniach, Margaret expanded it to include the immunology of the lung, and particularly of the fi...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 18, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Anthony Newman Taylor Tags: Medical research Science Health Society Health policy Public services policy Politics Source Type: news

Women of childbearing age around world suffering toxic levels of mercury
Study finds excessive levels of the metal, which can seriously harm unborn children, in women from Alaska to Indonesia, due to gold mining, industrial pollution and fish-rich dietsWomen of childbearing age from around the world have been found to have high levels of mercury, a potent neurotoxin which can seriously harm unborn children.Thenew study, the largest to date, covered 25 of the countries with the highest risk and found excessive levels of the toxic metal in women from Alaska to Chile and Indonesia to Kenya. Women in the Pacific islands were the most pervasively contaminated. This results from their reliance on eat...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 18, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Damian Carrington Environment editor Tags: Pollution Health Fishing Environment Mining Coal World news Society Source Type: news

How many more warrior women are missing from the history books? | Natalie Haynes
The recent discovery of female bones in a Viking warrior grave is yet another indication that we ’ve only scratched the surface of female historyWarrior women have fascinated us for millennia. In ancient Greece,Amazons were the second most popular characters to feature in vase paintings. Only the exploits of Hercules (one of which involved Hippolyta, an Amazon queen) appeared on more pieces of pottery. In the images that survive, Amazons are always shown racing towards danger, never away from it.Related:Harridans, harlots and heroines: women of the classical worldContinue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 18, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Natalie Haynes Tags: Archaeology Science Women Roman Britain UK news Source Type: news

A battle with prejudice: why we overlook the warrior women of ancient times | Natalie Haynes
The Amazons are not alone: from Viking warriors to racy Roman poets, we are only just beginning to find out how little we know about female historyWarrior women have fascinated us for millennia. In ancient Greece,Amazons were the second most popular characters to feature in vase paintings. Only the exploits of Hercules (one of which involved Hippolyta, an Amazon queen) appeared on more pieces of pottery. In the images that survive, Amazons are always shown racing towards danger, never away from it.Related:Harridans, harlots and heroines: women of the classical worldContinue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 18, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Natalie Haynes Tags: Archaeology Science Women Roman Britain UK news Source Type: news

CSIRO breeds spotted handfish to save species from extinction
Fish, which is endemic to Tasmania, was the first Australian marine animal to be listed as critically endangeredScientists have begun a captive breeding program for the spotted handfish, 11 years after it became the first Australian marine animal to be listed as critically endangered.Endemic to Tasmania, the spotted handfish or Brachionichthys hirsutus looks like a tadpole in the late stages of development, with a fin atop its head to lure unsuspecting prey and the sour expression of a British bulldog.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 18, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Calla Wahlquist Tags: Marine life Australia news Science Environment Wildlife Source Type: news

Letters: Sir Patrick Bateson obituary
Steven Rose writes:I first metPat Bateson in the late 60s, as we shared a mutual interest in the brain mechanisms involved in learning and memory. We became firm friends, and it was the start of a decade-long, and I believe unique, collaboration between Pat, a behavioural biologist,Gabriel Horn, an anatomist, and me as a biochemist. Pat ’s favoured model was the day-old chick, primed to learn to recognise its mother – imprinting. Together, we identified the brain regions required for such learning to take place, and the cellular and molecular mechanisms that encoded the memory.Years later, we made a memorable t...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 17, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Steven Rose, Michael Yudkin and Karl Sabbagh Tags: Animal behaviour Biology University of Cambridge Source Type: news

The Animals Among Us by John Bradshaw review – the joy of pets
The relationship between owners and their animals is explored in this enjoyable studyAnthrozoology is a term coined byJohn Bradshaw and six other academics in the 1980s that describes the study of the “human-animal bond”. This book sees the science applied through history, starting in prehistoric times and ending today. He discusses archaeological evidence that points to the earliest example of an animal being kept as a pet, the status of the pet during the Victorian era and the emergence of pedigree dog breeds.The Animals Among Us is packed with facts that, collectively, form a broad and general history of our...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 17, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Claire & nbsp;Hazelton Tags: Science and nature Animal behaviour Books Anthropology Psychology Culture Biology Source Type: news

Is this really a post-truth world? | Julian Baggini
The truth used to be plain and simple. Just because it ’s now complex doesn’t mean it’s false, argues Julian BagginiThe promise of the truth has always been alluring. The most-quoted Gospel verse on evangelical posters and literature is John 14:6, in which Jesus proclaims: “I am the way, the truth and the life.” It resonates because we all have a sense that truth is somehow essential to living well. If your life turns out to have been built on nothing but lies, it is as though it has not been real.Paris is the capital of France, George Washington was the first president of the United States, w...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 17, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Julian Baggini Tags: Life and style Psychology Philosophy Science Health & wellbeing Source Type: news

Would you Adam and Eve it? Why creation story is at heart of a new spiritual divide
Major survey reveals that it ’s atheists who perpetuate the conflict between religious belief and scienceThe biblical account of creation and the fate of Adam and Eve, progenitors of the human race, continues to inspire artists and writers. But according to a groundbreaking new survey, it is also at the heart of a deep misunderstanding between religious and non-religious Britons.A YouGov poll, commissioned by Newman University in Birmingham, has found that 72% of atheists polled believe that someone who is religious would not accept evolutionary science. In fact, only 19% of religious respondents in the poll rejected...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 16, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Catherine Pepinster Tags: Religion Atheism Evolution UK news Science Creationism World news Source Type: news

Tracing Cassini's fiery death was like seeing a heart monitor flatline
At a Nasa site nestled in a valley not far from Australia ’s capital city, a lucky few get a closer view of the end of the spacecraft’s 20-year odysseyDeep Space Station 43 is an imposing piece of hardware. It ’s a 70-metre diameter radio telescope, the largest in the southern hemisphere, and on this cold Canberra Friday night, red lights were flashing to signify it was sending data to one of the space missions it monitored. It was the Cassini probe – for the final time.DSS43 is located at the Canberra Deep Space Communications Complex (CDSCC). It ’s a Nasa site run by Australia’s scient...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 16, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Andrew P Street Tags: Saturn Canberra Nasa CSIRO Australia news Space Astronomy Science Source Type: news

Nasa's Cassini spacecraft falls silent after dramatic plunge towards Saturn
One of the most successful space missions ever launched by Nasa has ended, becoming the first manmade object to pass between Saturn and its ringsNasa ’s Cassini spacecraft has met its demise as it plunged into Saturn’s atmosphere this morning where it was vaporised within minutes in a meteoric blaze.The dramatic end of one the space agency ’s most successful missions was confirmed at just before 1pm UK time, as the signal from Cassini fell silent for the first time in 13 years.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 15, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Hannah Devlin Science correspondent Tags: Saturn Space Astronomy Science Nasa Source Type: news

Lab notes: from ancient zero to space hero – this week's science goes down in a blaze of glory
And so farewell to Cassini, whose incredibly rewardingmission to Saturn has reached a fiery and dramatic end after 20 years, eight billion miles,a ton of stunning images andmasses of extremely intriguing data. The plucky spacecraft has now become one with the planet it so faithfully observed, which is a nice way of saying it ’s burned away to nothing – orzero, the expression of which has caused excitement this week. The origin symbol we use today has been traced to the Bakhshali manuscript, dating from the 3rd or 4th century - which makes it about 500 years older than scholars previously believed. And although ...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 15, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Tash Reith-Banks Tags: Science Source Type: news

HRT won't kill you - but menopausal women still face a difficult decision
A study this week concluded HRT does not shorten lives – but it still increases the risk of cancer, leaving those suffering symptoms with a tough choice to makeHormone replacement therapy (HRT), possibly the most controversial medicine ever invented,will not kill you. That was theconclusion this week of a big, respectable study in the United States that was one of the first to flag up the risk of breast cancer. Women who took the tablets to alleviate the hot flushes and night sweats that assail them, prevent them sleeping and can make life intolerable were no more likely to be dead 18 years later than women who did n...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 15, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Sarah Boseley Health editor Tags: Menopause Medical research Women Health Science Society & wellbeing Source Type: news

Can lost words like ‘rouzy-bouzy’ and ‘wlonk’ be revived? Spare me the ear-rent
Researchers have unearthed 30 expressions that they suggest could be brought back to modern conversation – but they wouldn’t be the first words to experience a revivalLook, I ’ll be honest. I’m struggling to write this as I got rouzy-bouzy1 last night and the deadline I ’ve been given is tremblable2. I ’m sure the momists3 among you won ’t miss the opportunity to point out my mistakes, but I’d be grateful if you could spare me the ear-rent4 just this once.I ’m going to persevere, though, because ofan exciting batch of “lost words” unearthed by Dominic Watt a...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 15, 2017 Category: Science Authors: David Shariatmadari Tags: Language Science Source Type: news

Cassini's final moments: Nasa spacecraft sends last signals on Saturn death plunge – as it happened
After 20 years and a journey of eight billion kilometres, Cassini has fallen silent following its dive towards SaturnFull story: Cassini spacecraft falls silentWhat did the Cassini mission tell us about Saturn and its moons?1.45pmBSTWe are going to wrap up the liveblog now. You can find our news story on the fiery demise of Cassinihere, and our piece on what we learned from the missionhere. It was an incredible mission. Thanks for joining us for the end.1.44pmBSTCassini gave us Saturn, but also gave us Earth — as only deep space could reveal: Small. Frail. Lonely. Steeped in darkness.pic.twitter.com/zjF6jNUFyUContinu...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 15, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Ian Sample Tags: Saturn Nasa Space Science Source Type: news

What did the Cassini mission tell us about Saturn and its moons?
Cassini revealed Saturn and its moons in stunning detail, but its observations of the moon Enceladus are potential game-changers in the hunt for lifeAnd so Cassini has met its end. One of the most successful space missions ever launched, it revealed Saturn and its moons in glorious detail. Images beamed home from the probe showed raging hurricanes that enveloped the planet, and millions of rings that surround it. The spacecraft dropped a lander on Titan, the largest of Saturn ’s 62 known moons, marking the first touchdown on a heavenly body on the other side of the asteroid belt. But it was observations of the tiny, ...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 15, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Ian Sample Science editor Tags: Saturn Astronomy Science Nasa Space Source Type: news

Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 winners – in pictures
Awe-inspiring views of the universe were celebrated at the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 awards ceremony, held at the Royal Greenwich ObservatoryContinue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 15, 2017 Category: Science Tags: Astronomy Space Photography Science Art and design Culture Source Type: news

In the shadow of Fat Man and Little Boy: how the stigma of nuclear war was unravelled
Atomic bombs ‘Fat Man’ and ‘Little Boy’ exploded over Nagasaki and Hiroshima 72 years ago creating a lasting nuclear taboo – until now. What has changed?Until recently, a significant taboo has existed around the use ofnuclear weapons in war. However, we are now in a position wherethat taboo is being flagrantly disregarded by the leaders of themost powerful nation in the world, and atotalitarian dictatorship.Taboos offer a way for us to create overarching rules ofsocietal acceptability that transcend oursocial andcultural norms. Taboos prohibit behaviours that are not appropriate within and bey...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 15, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Becky Alexis-Martin Stephanie Malin, Kristen Iversen, Kathleen Sullivan, Mwenza Blell Tags: Nuclear weapons Science Kim Jong-un Donald Trump US news World news Source Type: news

How the female Viking warrior was written out of history
What Bj 581, the‘female Viking warrior’ tells us about assumed gender roles in archaeological inquiryIn the 1880s Scandinavian archaeologists unearthed a grave containing all the implements required for battle, including shields, an axe, a spear, a sword, and a bow with a set of heavy arrows, along with two horses, a mare and a stallion. A set of game pieces has long lead researchers to believe that this person was interested in strategy, and may have used the pieces to plan battle tactics. It was the grave of a Viking warrior and naturally was assumed to be a male. It was designated, and continues to be referr...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 15, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Holly Norton Tags: Archaeology Anthropology Science Source Type: news

The idea that climate scientists are in it for the cash has deep ideological roots
Author and academic Nancy MacLean says cynicism about the motives of public servants, including government-backed climate scientists, can be traced to a group of neoliberals and their ‘toxic’ ideasYou ’ll have heard that line of argument about cancer scientists, right?The one where they ’re just in it for the government grant money and that they don’t really want to find a cure, because if they did they’d be out of a job?Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 15, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Graham Readfearn Tags: Climate change scepticism Environment Koch brothers Science Australia news World Health Organization Source Type: news

Why did Ford build a 'fake driverless car' using a man dressed as a seat?
The researchers behind the illusion, which went viral last month, explain how the plan was actually to see how people react to self-driving vehiclesIn early August residents of Arlington, Virginia, spotted an unmarked silver Ford Transit van cruising around town without a human behind the wheel.Local news publicationARLnow caught the ghostly vehicle on camera and speculated that it was part of Virginia Tech ’s autonomous driving research. A couple of days later, NBC reporter Adam Tuss approached the vehicle on foot and peered inside, only to see hands poking out from the driver’s seat holding the steering wheel...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 15, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Olivia Solon in San Francisco Tags: Self-driving cars Technology Ford Automotive industry US news Business Psychology Source Type: news

How a tax haven is leading the race to privatise space
Luxembourg has shown how far a tiny country can go by serving the needs of global capitalism. Now it has set its sights on outer spaceOn a drizzly afternoon in April, Prince Guillaume, the hereditary grand duke of Luxembourg, and his wife, Princess St éphanie, sailed through the front doors of an office building in the outskirts of Seattle and into the headquarters of an asteroid-mining startup called Planetary Resources, which plans to “expand the economy into space”.The company ’s engineers greeted the royals with hors d’oeuvres, craft beer and bottles upon bottles of Columbia Valley riesli...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 15, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Atossa Araxia Abrahamian Tags: Luxembourg Space Mining Tax havens World news Source Type: news

Solid and liquid cats, didgeridoos and cheese disgust scoop Ig Nobel awards
Scientists from around the globe gathered for annual ceremony celebrating research that ‘first makes you laugh, then makes you think’In ancient times, cats were worshipped as gods. Now a scientific paper arguing that the feline species may indeed transcend some of the usual physical boundaries has been recognised with one of science ’s most sought-after accolades: anIg Nobel prize.The theoretical treatise, entitledOn the Rheology of Cats, argues that cats can technically be regarded as simultaneously solid and liquid due to their uncanny ability to adopt the shape of their container.Continue reading... (S...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 14, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Hannah Devlin Science correspondent Tags: Ig Nobel prizes Science Science prizes Source Type: news

New technology could allow multiple vaccines to be delivered in single jab
A new technique allowing drugs or vaccines to be encapsulated within tiny biodegradable particles could see an end booster jabsMultiple injections for vaccinations could become a thing of the past, according to scientists who have developed an approach for delivering many doses of different substances in just one jab.The technology involves encapsulating drugs or vaccines within tiny particles made of biodegradable polymers. Depending on their makeup, these polymers break down at different points in time, releasing their contents into the body.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 14, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Nicola Davis Tags: Vaccines and immunisation Medical research Health Science Society Microbiology Drugs Source Type: news

Multiple time-delayed drugs could be given in single injection, say scientists
A new technology allowing drugs or vaccines to be encapsulated within tiny biodegradable particles could see an end booster jabsMultiple injections for vaccinations could become a thing of the past, according to scientists who have developed an approach for delivering many doses of different substances in just one jab.The technology involves encapsulating drugs or vaccines within tiny particles made of biodegradable polymers. Depending on their makeup, these polymers break down at different points in time, releasing their contents into the body.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 14, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Nicola Davis Tags: Vaccines and immunisation Medical research Health Science Society Microbiology Drugs Source Type: news

Cassini's final mission: death plunge into Saturn's rings – video
During its 20-year mission to Saturn, Nasa ’s Cassini spacecraft has revolutionised our understanding of the ringed planet and its moons, and captured some breathtaking images. Now it undertakes its final mission, to steer to its destruction through the planet’s rings, capturing data until the very last momentContinue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 14, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Ekaterina Ochagavia Josh Strauss Tags: Saturn Science Space Nasa World news US news Source Type: news

From Africa to the US to Haiti, climate change is a race issue | Patrisse Cullors and Nyeusi Nguvu
Racism is endemic to global inequality. This means that those most affected – and killed – by climate change are black and poor peoplePatrisse Cullors and Nyeusi Nguvu are members of the Black Lives Matter movementJust over a year ago, Black Lives Matter UKsuccessfully shut down London City airport. Our aims were tocall attention to three things: Britain ’shistorical responsibility for global temperature changes, while the UK remains among the least vulnerable countries to the direct effects of climate change; second, that black people and poor people globally suffer the most from environmental impacts; a...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 14, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Patrisse Cullors and Nyeusi Nguvu Tags: Black Lives Matter movement Climate change US news Environment Science Poverty Social exclusion Society Inequality Houston Haiti Hurricane Harvey Hurricane Irma Hurricane Jose Source Type: news

From Africa to the US to Haiti, climate change is a Black Lives Matter | Patrisse Cullors and Nyeusi Nguvu
Racism is endemic to global inequality. This means that those most affected – and killed – by climate change are black and poor peopleJust over a year ago, Black Lives Matter UKsuccessfully shut down London City airport. Our aims were tocall attention to three things: Britain ’shistorical responsibility for global temperature changes, while the UK remains among the least vulnerable countries to the direct effects of climate change; second, that black people and poor people globally suffer the most from environmental impacts; and third, that safe freedom of movement is a reality only for the privileged, we...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 14, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Patrisse Cullors and Nyeusi Nguvu Tags: Black Lives Matter movement Climate change US news Environment Science Poverty Social exclusion Society Inequality Houston Haiti Hurricane Harvey Hurricane Irma Hurricane Jose Source Type: news

Have you been affected by the misuse of Pregabalin in the UK?
The misuse of Pregabalin, a drug used to treat anxiety and epilepsy has been linked to a rise in the number of deaths. Share your experiencesA growing number of deaths have been linked to the misuse of Pregabalin, a drug used to treat pain, anxiety and epilepsy. In 2012 there were four deaths linked to it and last year this rose to a 111.It comes after claims that the drug has flooded the black market and is being sold illegally to addicts who mix it with other drugs, such as heroin. This can increase the risk of heart failure.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 14, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Sarah Marsh and Guardian readers Tags: Drugs Source Type: news

Nasa's Cassini spacecraft poised to begin mission-ending dive into Saturn
On Friday, the spacecraft will plunge toward the giant planet and burn up in its atmosphere, ending a remarkable 20-year journey over eight billion kilometresAfter one last look atSaturn and its moons, Nasa ’s Cassini spacecraft will call time on its 20-year mission on Friday when it dives headlong into the giant planet and burns up in the atmosphere.And so a man-made meteor will streak across Saturn ’s sky soon after 11.30 am UK time, though confirmation of the spacecraft’s demise more than a billion kilometres away, and on the wrong side of the asteroid belt, will not reach Earth for another 83 minutes,...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 14, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Ian Sample Science editor Tags: Saturn Space Science Nasa Astronomy Source Type: news

Diving for Dakuwaqa: giving Fiji's shark god a helping hand
Dakuwaqa reputedly protects those at sea. But with almost 70% Fiji ’s shark species threatened with extinction, it’s time for humans to return the favour The Fijian shark culture and mythology is one which deeply appeals to me. The shark is revered by many Fijians, and legend has it thatDakuwaqa, the ancient shark god, provides protection for the people when at sea.But the tables are turned, and Dakuwaqa now urgently needs the help of his people: almost 70% of the 75 recorded elasmobranch species inhabiting Fijian waters are considered to be globally threatened with extinction.Continue reading... (Source: Guard...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 14, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Lauren Smith Tags: Sharks Marine life Animals Environment Science Wildlife Conservation Source Type: news

It's an alpha male thing: what dominant chimpanzees and Donald Trump have in common
When it comes to US presidents, we expect to see a combination of prestige and dominance. Donald Trump ’s Twitter tirades and demands for fealty show he prefers the latter – an ape-like strategy for successFrom early 1974 through most of 1976, a male chimpanzee named Yeroen held the position of alpha leader in the large, open-air chimpanzee colony at Burgers zoo in Arnhem in the Netherlands. His reign was roughly coterminous with the presidential administration of Gerald R Ford in the United States.Yeroen became famous (amongHomo sapiens) when the Dutch primatologist Frans de Waal showcased his leadership style...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 14, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Dan P McAdams Tags: Donald Trump Animals Psychology Science Source Type: news

Statistical vigilantes: the war on scientific fraud – Science Weekly podcast
Hannah Devlin delves into the case of a shamed Japanese scientist to explore how statistical malpractice is damaging science - whether employed knowingly or notSubscribe& Review oniTunes,Soundcloud,Audioboom,Mixcloud&Acast, and join the discussion onFacebook andTwitterOn paper, the Japanese anaesthesiologist Yoshitaka Fujii was a dazzling model of scientific productivity. Over two decades, he held posts at five institutions, associate positions at two more, and published more than 200 papers. In some years, he published a dozen randomised control trials – and it was this superhuman publication record that sta...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 14, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Presented by Hannah Devlin and produced by Max Sanderson Tags: Science Medicine Technology Source Type: news

Much ado about nothing: ancient Indian text contains earliest zero symbol
Exclusive: one of the greatest conceptual breakthroughs in mathematics has been traced to the Bakhshali manuscript, dating from the 3rd or 4th centuryNowt, nada, zilch: there is nothing new about nothingness. But the moment that the absence of stuff became zero, a number in its own right, is regarded as one of the greatest breakthroughs in the history of mathematics.Now scientists have traced the origins of this conceptual leap to an ancient Indian text, known as the Bakhshali manuscript – a text which has been housed in the UK since 1902.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 14, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Hannah Devlin Science Correspondent Tags: Mathematics Science Marcus du Sautoy India Pakistan South and Central Asia World news Source Type: news

Exodus begins as swifts muster for migration
Sandy, Bedfordshire A leave-taking of Britain is playing out in the skies as swifts and martins fuel up for their epic journeyThrough these last weeks of summer, the autumn migration has played out in the skies, though it goes largely unnoticed by most below. A trickle of an exodus began over the bank holiday with three dark specks, way, way up in the blue. Specks, yes, but you could see, from the wings curved like taut bows, that they were unmistakablyswifts.Hatched on northern ledges they had become citizens of heaven. They deviated on insect-chasing sallies in all directions, but were overalltracking south-west.Continue...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 14, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Derek Niemann Tags: Birds Animal behaviour Wildlife Summer Autumn Environment Biology Source Type: news

Artificial sweeteners raise risk of type 2 diabetes, study suggests
Research shows sugar substitutes may affect body ’s ability to control glucose levels, but its conclusions are contestedArtificial sweeteners, which many people with weight issues use as a substitute for sugar, may increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to research.The study was small and the detailed results have not yet been published, but experts said its findings fitted with previous research showing an association between artificial sweeteners and weight gain.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 13, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Sarah Boseley Health editor Tags: Diabetes Health Society Sugar UK news Science Source Type: news

James Dyson says tuition fees hit students with debt at 'worst time'
Inventor was speaking at opening of his technology institute, where his firm will pay students £15,000 a year and their feesSir James Dyson has said tuition fees and student loans are saddling young people with huge debts at the “worst time” in their careers, holding them back from earning valuable qualifications.Speaking ahead of the formal opening of his owninstitute of technology, which does not charge tuition fees,the designer and industrialist said the scale of loans and fees at English universities was increasingly likely to deter young people from studying at university.Continue reading... (Source:...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 13, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Richard Adams Tags: Students Tuition fees James Dyson Young people Society Higher education UK news Engineering general Technology Mathematics Science Source Type: news

How a newly-discovered mastodon jaw became a mammoth mystery
Dr Chris Widga and his team thought the remains they were excavating were ‘just another mastodon’. But when the jaw appeared, it was unlike anything the team had ever seen. What exactly could it be?He ’d been offering tantalising hints throughout his presentation: an ulna here; a large femur there; a calculated weight of 16 tons for this animal. But it wasn’t until he showed an image of the excavated jaw that some of us became really excited.This wasn ’t a typical mastodon.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 13, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Jeanne Timmons Tags: Palaeontology Science Evolution Biology Source Type: news

Stone stackers at ancient sites could face jail, warns Historic England
Pastime of creating ‘fairy castles’ is feared to be putting protected monuments such as Stowe’s Hill in Cornwall at riskThe public body responsible for looking after some of England ’s most historic places has issued a stern warning to people who indulge the art of stone stacking in protected spots.Historic England said that in some circumstances people who balance or stack stones may be breaking the law and could even face jail.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 13, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Steven Morris Tags: Heritage Cornwall Archaeology Culture Science UK news Source Type: news

With its lack of diversity, the Science and Technology Committee scores an own goal
It is a disgrace that the latest iteration of a key Commons group is composed entirely of menAsk a group of people to nominate candidates for an important role and the chances are they ’ll come up with a bunch of men. The evidence shows this time and time again. Think of themuch-mocked Northern Powerhouse event earlier this year, with its dearth of female speakers, or the all-male panel – now colloquially known as amanel– which too many conferences showcase.Many men are sufficiently annoyed by this to sign up topledges, refusing to talk on platforms in which there is insufficient gender diversity. This is...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 13, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Athene Donald Tags: Science policy Women in politics Gender Source Type: news

Overdoses on opioid painkillers more than double in a decade
Number of hospital admissions in England rose to 11,660 last year as doctors say drugs are being prescribed too readilyThe number of patients admitted to hospital for overdosing on powerful and potentially addictive opioid painkillers has more than doubled in a decade, with doctors saying it is the “very worrying” consequence of the drugs being prescribed too readily.Data from NHS Digital shows an increase in people attending hospital with poisoning from prescription opioids such as codeine, morphine, oxycodone andfentanyl rising from 4,891 in 2005-06 to 11,660 last year in England.Continue reading... (Source: ...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 13, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Sarah Marsh Tags: Drugs Health NHS Science Society UK news Source Type: news

Opioid painkiller overdoses more than double in a decade
Number of hospital admissions in England rose to 11,660 last year as doctors say drugs are being prescribed too readilyThe number of patients admitted to hospital for overdosing on powerful and potentially addictive opioid painkillers has more than doubled in a decade, with doctors saying it is the “very worrying” consequence of the drugs being prescribed too readily.Data from NHS Digital shows an increase in people attending hospital with poisoning from prescription opioids such as codeine, morphine, oxycodone,fentanyl and tramadol rising from 4,891 in 2005-06 to 11,660 last year in England.Continue reading......
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 13, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Sarah Marsh Tags: Drugs Health NHS Science Society UK news Source Type: news

E-cigarette science – is scaremongering hampering research opportunities?
We need more trials into the long-term impacts of e-cigarettes, but is disagreement between scientists over their effects putting people off taking part?Whenever I tell anyone I research e-cigarettes, they almost always have an opinion about them. Some will be vapers themselves, and those who are will almost without fail sing the praises of the device that finally helped them quit smoking. But often people who ’ve never tried e-cigarettes will focus on the potential risks from using them, and in particular whether they’re likely to reintroduce smoking to a young generation who have been steadily shunning it in ...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 13, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Suzi Gage Tags: Science E-cigarettes Smoking Society Source Type: news

Life in the old bird yet: study of dodo bones yields new biological insights
It ’s easy to think that dusty old bones have nothing left to offer, but a new study of dodo bones has given us a glimpse into a long-dead world“So rapid and complete was their extinction, that the vague descriptions given of them by early travelers were long regarded as fabulous or exaggerated, and these birds, almost contemporaries of our great-grandfathers, became associated in the minds of many persons with the Griffin and the Phoenix of mythological antiquity. ”Hugh Strickland, 1848, in Strickland& Melville ’sThe dodo and its kindred.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 13, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Hanneke Meijer Tags: Evolution Fossils Animals Biology Science Extinct wildlife Palaeontology Source Type: news

Unhappy at work? How to spread cheer in the office
Over half of employees in the UK are not happy in their jobs. Here ’s a guide for business owners who want to raise a smile from their staffThe average British workplace is not a cheery domain. Over 55% of UK workers are unhappy in their jobs, according to a recent survey by training course site Course Library.Related:Office too hot? Computer playing up? Go on, have a grumble, it ’s good for you | Phil DaoustContinue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 13, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Tom Shopland Tags: Guardian Small Business Network Entrepreneurs Life and style Psychology Health & wellbeing careers Source Type: news

Device that helps obese diabetics lose weight 'should be rolled out across NHS'
Plastic sleeve that helped patients with type 2 diabetes lose more than two stone on average is less risky and invasive than gastric bypass surgery, study showsA device that helps obese people with type 2 diabetes shed more than two stone on average should be rolled out across the NHS, experts say.The Endobarrier is a reversible treatment that provides people with an alternative to drastic gastric bypass surgery.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - September 13, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Press Association Tags: Obesity Diabetes Health Science Diets and dieting Society NHS Source Type: news