A good night ’s sleep helps repair inflammation | Letter
This should become the number one priority in public health, writesDr Guru SinghExcellent article by Edward Bullmore in Journal (Inflammation is the new frontier in public health, 20 January). Unfortunately it does not fully explore the role of prevention. It is nowbeing proven that sleep plays a major role in repairing the body, and in particular the brain, especially from the ravages of inflammation. After all, why do we sleep?Inflammation is an essential part of our existence – it’s the way the body responds to an attack from without or within. Unfortunately this also causes damage in other areas, including ...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 20, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Letters Tags: Sleep Health Society & wellbeing Life and style Mindfulness Mental health Medical research Science Source Type: news

Big oil is the new big tobacco - and Congress must use its power to investigate | Naomi Oreskes and Geoffrey Supran
Americans had the right to know the harms of smoking. They have the right to know the harms of the energy industry, tooGreta Thunbergsummed up 2019 in five words: “Our house is on fire.” In Australia, this is now literally the case.Wildfires there have been raging for more than a month and now span an area larger than Switzerland. The situation bears all thehallmarks of a hot new world: lives lost, livelihoods ruined and species pushed towards extinction, accompanied by government inaction, industry PR spin, abetting rightwing echo chambers, and taxpayersfooting the multibillion-dollar bill.Continue reading... ...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 20, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Naomi Oreskes and Geoffrey Supran Tags: Oil Energy US politics Environment Oil and gas companies Oil spills Energy industry Fossil fuels Climate change Science US Congress US news Commodities Business Source Type: news

How to be a good listener: my mission to learn the most important skill of all
The author Kate Murphy thinks our inability to listen properly to other people is leaving us all feeling isolated. In a world of smartphones and busy schedules, can we re-engage?I was very suspicious about this assignment. Kate Murphy ’s new book,You ’re Not Listening, suggests that many of us – absorbed in our own thoughts and dreams, occupying our little digital bubbles – have lost the ability to listen, creating an epidemic of loneliness and isolation. The thesis seems inherently plausible – but why me? Are you trying to tell me something about my inability, or perhaps unwillingn ess, to li...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 20, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Stephen Moss Tags: Health & wellbeing Loneliness Society Books Psychology Source Type: news

Belgian neurologist wins €1m prize for work on serious brain trauma
Generet prize will fund more trials by Steven Laureys to help written-off ‘vegetative’ patientsA pioneering Belgian neurologist has been awarded €1m to fund further work in helping diagnose the most severe brain injuries, as he seeks to battle “the silent epidemic” and help people written off as “vegetative” who, it is believed, will never recover.Steven Laureys, head of the coma science group at Li ège University hospital, plans to use the £850,000 award –larger than the Nobel prize– to improve the diagnosis of coma survivors labelled as being in a “p...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 20, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Jennifer Rankin in Brussels Tags: Neuroscience Belgium Europe Medical research Source Type: news

SpaceX crew capsule escape test a success as crowds watch rocket explode
Elon Musk set to launch astronauts from US soilNasa says manned mission could come as soon as AprilSpaceX has completed its last big test of its crew capsule before it launches astronauts for Nasa in the next few months.The test launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida took place on Sunday, having been delayed a day by bad weather. No one was aboard the Dragon crew capsule, just two mannequins. The nine-minute flight ended with the capsule parachuting safely into the Atlantic after separating and speeding away from its exploding rocket.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 19, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Associated Press in Cape Canaveral, Florida Tags: SpaceX Nasa International Space Station Science Elon Musk Technology Florida US news World news Source Type: news

Starwatch: how to see star cluster M41 with the naked eye
This week ’s challenge is to look for the faint star cluster close to Sirius, the Dog Star, the brightest star in the skyWhile you are keeping a watch on Betelgeuse to see if it isreturning to its usual brightness, there is another challenge waiting in the skies around the constellation of Orion, the hunter. It is to see the faintstar cluster M41 with theT naked eye. Catalogued by Charles Messier in the late 18th century, M41 is a collection of about one hundred stars in a volume about 25 light years across. It lies at a distance of around 2,300 light years from Earth.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 19, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Stuart Clark Tags: Science Astronomy Space Source Type: news

From depression to dementia, inflammation is medicine ’s new frontier | Edward Bullmore
The barrier between mind and body appears to be crumbling. Clinical practice and public perception need to catch upUnlikely as it may seem, #inflammation has become a hashtag. It seems to be everywhere suddenly, up to all sorts of tricks. Rather than simply being on our side, fighting infections and healing wounds, it turns out to have a dark side as well: the role it plays in causing us harm.It ’s now clear that inflammation is part of the problem in many, if not all, diseases of the body. And targeting immune or inflammatory causes of disease has led to a series of breakthroughs, from new treatments for rheumatoid ...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 19, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Edward Bullmore Tags: Mental health Psychiatry Multiple sclerosis Depression Dementia Society Medical research Science UK news Alzheimer's Parkinson's disease Schizophrenia Source Type: news

Cannabis compound could be weapon in fight against superbugs
Mice cured of MRSA, raising hopes of treating antibiotic-resistant bacteriaA compound made by cannabis plants has been found to wipe out drug-resistant bacteria, raising hopes of a new weapon in the fight against superbugs.Scientists screened five cannabis compounds for their antibiotic properties and found that one, cannabigerol (CBG), was particularly potent at killing methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), one of the most common hospital superbugs.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 19, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Ian Sample Science editor Tags: Drug resistance Antibiotics Medical research Cannabis Science UK news Source Type: news

If you are confronting a midlife crisis, put up a fight – and take up boxing
At 50, I knew I was trapped in a gentle, terminal decline. But when I stumbled on boxing, I found the challenge I neededModern life has made us all so ill that we have been compelled to invent its polar opposite, “wellness”. It is not enough just to be well, there is an additional demand to be seen to be well. Wellness is complicated and needs time, money and access to special food, travel and social media. By chance in middle age, I discovered a cheaper, simpler and more enjoyable alternative: I took up boxing.Boxing is cheap, unpretentious, sociable and has transformative powers. On the outside I am an ordina...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 19, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Marion Dunn Tags: Boxing Life and style Fitness Middle age Psychology Science Health & wellbeing Source Type: news

I thought I had hit the age of peak happiness. How wrong I was
As a study shows 47.2 is the height of misery,what is the economic theory and psychology of wellbeing – and does it offer a brighter tomorrowSo, ” I say to my wife, “I’ve been asked to write about happiness peaking when we hit 47.2 years of age.” She stares at me like she’s waiting for a punchline, then shakes her head. “Because I’m about to hit 47.2,” I say, in case she had forgotten that we recently celebrated my 47th birth day. “A team of economists have worked it out.”There is an uncomfortable pause. My wife shakes her head again and says gently: “...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 19, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Jamie Doward Tags: Health & wellbeing Happiness indices Psychology Life and style Source Type: news

The five: changes in animal behaviour due to global heating
Species around the world are being forced to alter their diet, migratory patterns, feeding grounds and moreLast week it was reported that rising ocean temperatures and changing sea currents arecausing leatherback turtles ’ journeys from nesting to feeding grounds to double in length. After laying their eggs on some beaches, the turtles must move to cooler waters to feed, but higher temperatures mean some are having to swim further to reach suitable areas, according to France ’s Hubert Curien Institute.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 19, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Jonathan Chan Tags: Animal behaviour Climate change Biology Science Environment Technology Source Type: news

Coronavirus: China reports 17 new cases of Sars-like mystery virus
Three of the new cases are severe, with experts worried about the disease ’s spread ahead of lunar new yearChina reported 17 new cases of the mysterious Sars-like virus on Sunday, including three in a severe condition, heightening fears ahead of China ’s lunar new year holiday, when hundreds of millions of people move around the country.The new coronavirus strain has caused alarm because of its connection to severe acute respiratory syndrome, which killed nearly 650 people across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-03.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 19, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Agence France-Presse Tags: China Infectious diseases Sars Health Asia Pacific Epidemics Science Source Type: news

Maine's giant spinning ice disc looks like it's reforming
A year after a 90 metre-wide spinning sheet of ice drew global attention, another disc appears to be forming in the same riverWhat goes around comes around.An ice disc appears to be forming in the same Maine river where an unusually large one formed last winter andquickly gained international fame.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 19, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Associated Press Tags: Maine US news Rivers Environment Science World news Source Type: news

LEDs used in tests to replace invasive medical procedures
Researchers produce gadgets such as gastric balloons that break down when lit by swallowable lightsThe days of needing to have medical devices removed through an invasive procedure could be numbered. Researchers have produced gadgets such as gastric balloons that break down when light from a swallowable LED shines upon them.The team say the approach could be extended to a broader range of medical equipment, as well as offering a new approach to delivering drugs to the right location at the right time.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 17, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Nicola Davis Tags: Science Doctors Technology UK news US news Health Society World news Source Type: news

The Guardian view on ‘flight shaming’: face it – life must change | Editorial
Individual choices will not solve the climate crisis but ministers should not be encouraging flyingIt started in Sweden, where the termflygskam (flight shame) was coined in 2018 to describe the unease about flying experienced by environmentally conscious travellers. The hashtag#jagstannarp åmarken (which translates as #stayontheground) came into use around the same time, as groups sprang up to share tips.Other wealthy countries are not immune from such trends:a recent survey of 6,000 people in Germany, France, the UK and the US found 21% had cut back. Such a shift in attitudes makes it all the more disturbing that me...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 17, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Editorial Tags: Climate change Air transport Flybe Matt Hancock Greenhouse gas emissions Business Politics Environment Science UK news World news Conservatives Source Type: news

Nailbiter to keen runner: the three secrets to turning a bad habit into a good one
From looking at my phone too much to sucking air through my teeth and biting my nails, I have habits I ’d like to change. Can a treadmill desk and cookery lessons with my girlfriend help?I am going to talk to Wendy Wood about my bad habits. Professor of psychology at the University of Southern California, Wood researches how habits guide behaviour and has written a new book about it: Good Habits, Bad Habits: The Science of Making Positive Changes That Stick. Not market-driven self-help, it is based on research, data, actual science. I hope she will help me to understand my bad habits, change them, and maybe even pick...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 17, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Sam Wollaston Tags: Health & wellbeing Psychology Life and style Science Source Type: news

Psychology in an emergency: Science Weekly podcast
As the bushfires continue to rage across Australia, thousands of people have ended up face to face with the emergency. It ’s hard to imagine how you would behave in a disaster like this. Would you panic? Or act quickly and be organised? More than 50 years of psychological and sociological evidence covering mass emergencies shows that people typically behave with cooperation and coordination.Nicola Davis speaks to John Drury, professor of social psychology at the University of Sussex, about why this is, and hears from Guardian Australia ’s deputy culture editor,Stephanie Convery, about the firesContinue reading....
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 17, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Presented by Nicola Davis and produced by Madeleine Finlay Tags: Science Psychology Environment Emergency planning Australia news Source Type: news

Ancient fossil 'may prove scorpion was first land-dwelling animal'
Fossil is earliest evidence of breathing structure compatible with life on land, scientists sayFossil experts in the US have revealed the remains of what they say is the first animal that may have set foot on land – an ancient scorpion.The earliest animals were aquatic, but eventually transitioned on to land. While scorpions are known to be one of the first animals to have become fully land-dwelling, experts say the two new fossils add to a growing debate about when animals made the shift.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 17, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Nicola Davis Tags: Fossils Science Palaeontology Evolution Biology World news Animals Source Type: news

Sepsis deaths around world 'twice as high as previously thought'
There were 11 million deaths in 2017 – more than from cancer – with children in poorer countries most at risk, study findsDeaths from sepsis around the world are twice as high as previously thought, with babies and small children in poorer countries at greatest risk, a major study has revealed.There were almost 50m sepsis cases worldwide and 11m deaths in 2017, according to US researcherswriting in the Lancet medical journal. Sepsis, an overcharged response by the body to infection, is associated with one in five deaths worldwide, they say. By comparison, the World Health Organisationestimated that there were 9...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 16, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Sarah Boseley Health editor Tags: Health Medical research Poverty Science World news Source Type: news

Can heading a football lead to dementia? The evidence is growing
Concussion can have lifelong consequences and children are particularly at riskThe death in 2002 of the former England and West Bromwich Albion striker Jeff Astle from degenerative brain disease placed the spotlight firmly on the possibility of a link between heading footballs and the risk of dementia. The coroner at the inquest ruled that Astle, 59, died from an “industrial disease” brought on by the repeated trauma of headers, and a later examination of Astle’s brain appeared to bear out this conclusion.At that time there was sparse scientific data on the issue, but since then the balance of evidence ha...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 16, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Hannah Devlin Science correspondent Tags: Concussion in sport Health Scotland Medical research Football Science Society UK news Source Type: news

Share a pint or glass of wine between three to drink safely, says expert
Former government advisor David Nutt says alcohol is more damaging than harder drugsAlcohol is the leading cause of drug harm, outstripping even heroin and crack cocaine, according to former government adviser David Nutt.Prof Nutt, who wassacked as chair of the advisory committee on the misuse of drugs in October 2009 for his views, says studies he and colleagues have done in their independent group, Drug Science, consistently show that alcohol harm outstrips that of heroin and crack cocaine, tobacco, cannabis and ecstasy in the UK, Europe and Australia.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 16, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Sarah Boseley Health editor Tags: UK news Health Science Alcohol Alcoholism Society Drugs David Nutt Science policy Politics Source Type: news

Breakthrough gives insight into early complex life on Earth
Japanese team spent 12 years on the project after digging up deep-sea mudFor the first 2 billion years, life on Earth comprised two microbial kingdoms – bacteria and archaea. They featured an innumerable and diverse variety of species, but, ultimately, life on Earth was not that exciting judged by today’s standards.Then, the theory goes, a rogue archaeon gobbled up a bacterium to create an entirely new type of cell that would go on to form the basis of all complex life on Earth, from plants to humans.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 15, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Hannah Devlin Science correspondent Tags: Evolution Biology Science Source Type: news

Neanderthals dived for shells to make tools, research suggests
Study adds weight to claims that stereotype of knuckle-headed Neanderthals is wrongNeanderthals went diving for shells to turn into tools, according to new research, suggesting our big-browed cousins made more use of the sea than previously thought.The study focuses on 171 shell tools that were found in a now inaccessible coastal cave in central Italy, known as the Grotta dei Moscerini, which was excavated in 1949. Dating of animal teeth found within layers alongside the shell tools suggest they are from about 90,000 to 100,000 years ago – a time when only Neanderthals are thought to have been present in western Euro...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 15, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Nicola Davis Tags: Neanderthals Archaeology Science Italy Anthropology World news Europe Shellfish Source Type: news

What the five hottest years on Earth look like - in pictures
The past five years – and the past decade – are the hottest in 150 years, the latest research has shown. It is bringing increasingly severe storms, floods, drought and wildfires, with one scientist saying the records being broken year after year is “the drumbeat of the Anthropocene”. We look at what the five ho ttest years look like in picturesContinue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 15, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Eric Hilaire Tags: Environment Wildfires Climate change Natural disasters and extreme weather Science World news Source Type: news

'Giant, shape-shifting stars' spotted near Milky Way's black hole
Objects raise hopes of scientists managing to track ‘blobs’ being swallowed by black holeA number of bizarre shape-shifting objects have been discovered close to the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way.The blobs are thought to be giant stars that spend part of their orbits so close to the black hole that they get stretched out like bubble gum before returning to a compact, roughly spherical form.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 15, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Hannah Devlin Science correspondent Tags: Black holes Physics Astronomy Science Space World news Source Type: news

Universities must overhaul the toxic working culture for academic researchers | Anton Muscatelli
A survey has warned that researchers are too stressed. It ’s up to universities to improve their working environmentAcademic research is an exciting, creative and varied endeavour, yet there is growing evidence that our culture has developed unhealthy levels of anxiety and stress. As the UK increases research and development spending – all the more important after Brexit – we will see much-needed growth in the number and significance of researchers. Yet it’s clear that we also need to make changes to their working conditions.This is underscored by anew survey from research funder Wellcome, which say...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 15, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Anton Muscatelli Tags: Universities Education Higher education Research Science Research and development Research funding Technology Source Type: news

Alcoholics Anonymous isn ’t sexist – it’s supportive and free | Letters
Readers who have attended AA praise the service it providesHolly Whitaker ’s views about Alcoholics Anonymous need to be challenged (‘AA’s rules are written for men’, G2, 14 January). At meetings I attend there are individuals who have lost jobs, families and have been rough sleepers. AA being for “the people who sit at the top of our society,” not for the marginalised is the opposite of my experience. Membership of AA is free, unlike the $197 (reduced rate) for Ms Whitaker’s Tempest, which would make her organisation only for the socially advantaged. AA meetings are full of people...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 15, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Letters Tags: Alcoholism Health Society Feminism Women World news Gender Psychology Science Psychiatry Source Type: news

Climate emergency: 2019 was second hottest year on record
Last decade was also hottest yet in 150 years of measurements, say scientistsThe year 2019 was the second hottest on record for the planet ’s surface, according to latest research. The analyses reveal the scale of the climate crisis: both the past five years and the past decade are the hottest in 150 years.The succession of records being broken year after year is “the drumbeat of the Anthropocene”, said one scientist, and is bringing increasingly severe storms, floods, droughts and wildfires.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 15, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Damian Carrington Environment editor Tags: Climate change Extreme weather Natural disasters and extreme weather Environment Science World news UK news Source Type: news

Researchers facing ‘shocking’ levels of stress, survey reveals
Nearly two thirds of those who took part had witnessed bullying or harassmentOverwhelming work pressure, discrimination, and widespread bullying and harassment are contributing to “shocking” levels of stress and mental health problems among scientists, according to amajor survey into research culture.Nearly two thirds of scientists who took part had witnessedbullying or harassment, with many believing it had become “culturally systemic” in science. Among those who identified as disabled, the problem was even worse, with nearly three quarters having witnessed such behaviour.Continue reading... (Sourc...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 15, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Ian Sample Science editor Tags: Bullying Research Medical research Mental health Science Society UK news Source Type: news

Women repulsed by lice and fleas less likely to find beards attractive - study
Whether facial hair boosts men ’s pulling power or is a turnoff has long been a matter of contentionPrince Harry sports one, Justin Trudeauhas recently grown one, and Brian Blessed ’s is almost its own being. But are beards attractive? As the old adage goes: “Depends on the man, depends on the beard.”Now researchers have found there might be another factor: whether a potential partner fears there might be something living in it.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 15, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Nicola Davis Tags: Men's facial hair Science UK news Fashion Source Type: news

Having more sex makes early menopause less likely, research finds
Study of nearly 3,000 women suggests body may ‘choose’ not to invest in ovulationWomen who have sex more often are less likely to have an early menopause, according to research that raises the intriguing possibility that lifestyle factors could play a more significant role than previously thought in determining when the menopause occurs.The study, based on data collected from nearly 3,000 women who were followed for 10 years, found that those who reported engaging in sexual activity weekly were 28% less likely to have experienced menopause at any given age than women who engaged in sexual activity less than mon...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 15, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Hannah Devlin Science correspondent Tags: Medical research Menopause Reproduction Biology Science Sex UK news Source Type: news

Scientists cite parasite factor in beard attractiveness debate
Scientists say women who are more repulsed by lice are less likely to find beards attractivePrince Harry sports one, Justin Trudeauhas recently grown one, and Brian Blessed ’s is almost its own being. But are beards attractive? As the old adage goes: “Depends on the man, depends on the beard.”Now researchers have found there might be another factor: whether a potential partner fears there might be something living in it.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 15, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Nicola Davis Tags: Men's facial hair Science UK news Fashion Source Type: news

Massive and malodorous – world's biggest flower found
A 111cm-wide Rafflesia was recently discovered but these giants are in dangerThe largest single flower ever recorded was found recently in Sumatra, Indonesia, measuring a reported 111cm (3.64ft) across. This was a specimen ofRafflesia tuan-mudae and beat the previous largest flower record of 107cm forRafflesia arnoldii, also in Sumatra.Rafflesia is not only a giant flower, but it has no leaves, stems or proper roots. It cannot photosynthesise and instead sucks the food and water out of a particular vine using long thin filaments that look like fungal cells. It gorges itself on the vine for a few years before bursting out i...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 14, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Paul Simons Tags: Science Indonesia Asia Pacific World news Plants Source Type: news

Schizophrenia study finds evidence of reduced links between brain cells
Pioneering research on living patients could pave way for new and better treatmentA groundbreaking brain-scanning technique has uncovered evidence that suggests schizophrenia is linked to a loss of connections between brain cells.Scientists had previously suspected a breakdown in the connections between neurons played a role in the condition, based on postmortem studies. The latest research, the first to find evidence for this in the brains of living people, could pave the way for new and better treatment.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 14, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Hannah Devlin Science correspondent Tags: Neuroscience Society Schizophrenia Mental health Medical research Source Type: news

Australia fires are harbinger of planet ’s future, say scientists
Apocalyptic scenes give glimpse of what would be normal conditions in 3C worldThebushfires ravaging Australia are a clear sign of what is to come around the world if temperatures are allowed to rise to dangerous levels, according to scientists.“This iswhat you can expect to happen… at an average of 3C [above pre-industrial levels],” said Richard Betts, professor of geography at Exeter University. “We are seeing a sign of what would be normal conditions in a 3C world. It tells us what the future world might look like. This really brings home what climate change means.”Continue reading... (Sour...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 14, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Fiona Harvey Environment correspondent Tags: Australia news Bushfires Natural disasters and extreme weather World news Climate change Environment Science Source Type: news

Melatonin should not be offered by NHS to treat jet lag – review
Independent review says evidence for using hormone for jet lag remains poorThe hormone melatonin should not be available on the NHS to help treat jet lag, a review of the evidence has concluded.Melatonin is a hormone produced in the body during darkness that plays a role in the body clock and helps to regulate sleep cycles.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 14, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Nicola Davis Tags: NHS Health Society Science The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) Drugs UK news Medical research Source Type: news

Australia bushfires are harbinger of planet ’s future, say scientists
Apocalyptic scenes give glimpse of what would be normal conditions in 3C worldThebushfires ravaging Australia are a clear sign of what is to come around the world if temperatures are allowed to rise to dangerous levels, according to scientists.“This iswhat you can expect to happen… at an average of 3C [above pre-industrial levels],” said Richard Betts, professor of geography at Exeter University. “We are seeing a sign of what would be normal conditions in a 3C world. It tells us what the future world might look like. This really brings home what climate change means.”Continue reading... (Sour...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 14, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Fiona Harvey Environment correspondent Tags: Australia news Bushfires Natural disasters and extreme weather World news Climate change Environment Science Source Type: news

Scientists use stem cells from frogs to build first living robots
Researchers foresee myriad benefits for humanity, but also acknowledge ethical issuesBe warned. If the rise of the robots comes to pass, the apocalypse may be a more squelchy affair than science fiction writers have prepared us for.Researchers in the US have created the first living machines by assembling cells from African clawed frogs into tiny robots that move around under their own steam.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 13, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Ian Sample Science editor Tags: Science Robots Research Biochemistry and molecular biology Education Technology World news Source Type: news

First 'living robots' designed on supercomputer – video
Tiny 'xenobots' made up of living cells have been created by teams of scientists at the University of Vermont and Tufts University using a supercomputer to design them.The millimetre-wide bots could move toward a target and automatically repair themselves and researchers hope they will  help clear human arteries, clean microplastics from the oceans and find radioactive wasteContinue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 13, 2020 Category: Science Tags: Science Biology Robots Technology World news Source Type: news

Stardust older than the Earth and sun found in Australian meteorite
Granules, shed by dying stars over 5bn years ago, are oldest known solid material on EarthStardust that formed more than 5bn years ago, long before the birth of the Earth and the sun, has been discovered in a meteorite that crashed down in Australia, making it the oldest known solid material on the planet.The tiny granules of stardust, shed by ancient stars as they expired, reveal clues about how stars formed in the Milky Way. The meteorite accumulated the stardust during the billions of years it spent soaring through space before it crashed down to Earth near the town of Murchison, Australia, in 1969.Continue reading... (...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 13, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Hannah Devlin Science correspondent Tags: Astronomy Space Science Meteors Australia news World news Source Type: news

NHS to trial twice-yearly injection alternative to statins
Mass trial of drug inclisiran comes after health service strikes deal with NovartisThe NHS is to launch a mass trial of an as-yet unapproved twice-yearly cholesterol-lowering injection, which it hopes will save lives and cut medical bills for thousands of people who do not take statins.About 40,000 people with high “bad” or low-density lipoprotein cholesterol will be invited to join the trial of inclisiran by NHS England via their GPs. The NHS has struck a novel deal with drugmaker Novartis, which will provide the injections free in exchange for the results of the five-year trial, which will be run by the NHS s...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 13, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Sarah Boseley Health editor Tags: Heart disease NHS Society Health Statins Drugs Science Novartis UK news Pharmaceuticals industry Source Type: news

Did you solve it? The poco poco puzzle
The solution to today ’s problemEarlier today I set you the following puzzle:Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 13, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Alex Bellos Tags: Mathematics Education Science Source Type: news

Organ donation: new technique can preserve human livers for a week
Week-long storage boosts time organs are usable and distances over which they can be movedHuman livers from organ donors can now be preserved for a week, researchers have revealed, a dramatic improvement on previous techniques, which could only keep the organs usable for a matter of hours.The technology could boost the number of livers available for transplantation and offer new approaches to treating diseases such asliver cancer.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 13, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Nicola Davis Tags: Organ donation Medical research Health Society Science World news Source Type: news

Can you solve it? The poco poco puzzle
How to count a little in SpanishHow many “fews” do you need until you have “a lot”? In Spanish, the answer to this philosophical conundrum would seem to be 15.At least, that ’s according to the puzzle below, in which the addition of 15 POCOs makes a MUCHO.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 13, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Alex Bellos Tags: Mathematics Education Science Arithmetic puzzles Source Type: news

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa seeks 'special woman' for trip around moon
The 44-year-old is taking applications from women who want to join him on Elon Musk ’s voyageJapanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa is looking for a “special woman” to join him onElon Musk’s mission around the moon.The founder of Zozo, Japan ’s largest online fashion retailer,invited women interested in accompanying him on Musk ’sBig Falcon Rocket in 2023 to apply online for a “planned match-making event”.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 13, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Justin McCurry in Tokyo Tags: SpaceX Japan Elon Musk Science Asia Pacific Technology Source Type: news

Starwatch: Betelgeuse – a fading star heading for an explosive end?
The variable red giant in Orion is one of the brightest stars in the sky. But it is at its dimmest for over a century. This may – or may not – indicate that it is about to blowThe magnificent constellation of Orion, the hunter, is now visible in the evening sky from both hemispheres, and there ’s added interest in looking out for it over the next few weeks. The red giant star Betelgeuse marks one of the hunter’s shoulders and is one of the brightest stars in the sky – or at least it was. In December, it grew conspicuously dimmer. Although known to be a variable star, Betelgeuse is n ow at its ...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 12, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Stuart Clark Tags: Science Supernovae Astronomy Space Source Type: news

How scientists are coping with ‘ecological grief’
Scientists reveal how they are dealing with a profound sense of loss as the climate emergency worsensMelting glaciers, coral reef death, wildlife disappearance, landscape alteration, climate change: our environment istransforming rapidly, and many of us are experiencing a sense of profound loss. Now, the scientists whose work it is to monitor and document this extraordinary change are beginning to articulate the emotional tsunami sweeping over the field, which they ’re naming“ecological grief”. Researchers are starting to formsupport groups online and at institutions, looking for spaces to share their fee...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 12, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Gaia Vince Tags: Science Climate change Great Barrier Reef Indigenous peoples Source Type: news

Experiments on cuttlefish are cruel | Letter
Peta ’sJulia Bainesdeplores the supergluing of 3D glasses on to the sensitive marine animalsThe recent experiments on cuttlefish (Cuttlefish given 3D glasses for test of how they judge distance, 9 January) are indefensible, curiosity-driven nonsense that benefit only the experimenters who make a living from them and from ignoring what we already know about awe-inspiring cuttlefish.Supergluing Velcro to the delicate dorsal surface of the animals ’ heads, withholding food for several days, forcing them to wear 3D glasses and subjecting them to video images to prove something we already knew about the species is n...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 12, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Letters Tags: Animal behaviour Biology Science Neuroscience Marine life Wildlife Environment 3D Source Type: news

Whitehall needs more scientists to compete with China: chief adviser
Sir Patrick Vallance says: ’Science impacts every part of our lives, so scientists should be there at the table, all the time’Britain ’s civil service is suffering from a serious lack of scientific talent that threatens its ability to compete with nations such as China. That is the stark view of the government’s own chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance.In a rare interview, Vallance said a dearth of scientists and engineers in government posed major problems for the nation as it attempts to deal with the threats of climate change, an ageing population and tightened national security.Continu...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 12, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Robin McKie Observer Science Editor Tags: Civil service Engineering Dominic Cummings Science Politics Technology UK news Source Type: news

How astrology paved the way for predictive analytics
Astrology has influenced science for millennia, argues a new book – and it endures in algorithmic data modellingIf you type “Why are millennials” into Google, the top result completes the question with“obsessed with astrology”. Never mind the answer; the question alone is likely to incite exasperation among scientists, most of whom would condemn astrology as pseudoscience at its most fatuous and infuriating. Astrology may have long been debunked – there is no reason to suppose that our fate is written in the stars – but it still endures, endorsed by countless trashy magazines and n...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 12, 2020 Category: Science Authors: Philip Ball Tags: History of science Space Astronomy Science and nature books Source Type: news