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Starwatch: the lion in spring
The constellation Leo dominates the southern sky, with Regulus its brightest starOne of the most prominent constellations in the spring sky is Leo. During the winter, it has climbed out of the eastern sky and now dominates the south. The constellation is one of the oldest to be recognised in its current form. The Mesopotamians recognised this grouping of stars about 4,000 years ago.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 22, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Stuart Clark Tags: Science Astronomy Space Source Type: news

The Guardian view on friendly bacteria: an ally against plastic | Editorial
Thanks to a genetically engineered enzyme, a bug that eats plastic bottles developed a much bigger appetite for our rubbish. It is a hopeful signEvolution never sleeps. Before 1970 there can have been no significantbacteria that ate plastic, because there was not enough of that plastic in the world to sustain a population. But in 2016 a group of Japanese scientists discovereda new species,Ideonella sakaiensis, in the samples they were sifting from a bottle-recycling plant, that was able to attack and eat PET, the plastic used in most bottles, almost all of which ends up in landfill or dumped at sea, where it may last for c...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 22, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Editorial Tags: Plastics Microbiology Genetics Pollution Environment Science World news Source Type: news

David Bailin obituary
My father, David Bailin, who has died aged 79, was a physicist who was ahead of his time. His best known work was on superconductivity and superfluidity in relativistic fermion systems, inspired by his former Sussex colleague Tony Leggett ’s Nobel prizewinning work on superfluid Helium-3. It gained no citations for the first few years, until its importance for neutron stars was understood.His early research was on the weak interaction – the fundamental force behind certain kinds of radioactivity. He showed that the experimental data at the time required the existence of a heavy W boson particle, which was disco...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 22, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Alex Bailin Tags: Physics Second world war University of Sussex Source Type: news

Killer whales seen in river Clyde
Pod of orcas spotted between Dunoon and Gourock, thought to be hunting seals or porpoisesA pod of killer whales has been spotted in the river Clyde apparently hunting seals or porpoises.Images and videos have been posted on social media over the weekend of about half a dozen killer whales, or orcas, between Dunoon and Gourock.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 22, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Matthew Taylor Tags: Whales Scotland Cetaceans Environment Rivers Marine life Animal behaviour UK news Wildlife Biology Science Source Type: news

Prostate cancer breakthrough as UK team develops more accurate test
Ultrasound technique overcomes problems with current methods to diagnose the most common cancer in menScientists have announced the development of a highly accurate and reliable technique for diagnosing prostate cancer. The Dundee University-based team say they have used an ultrasound process called shear wave elastography (SWE) to detect prostate tumours. The method is non-invasive and cheaper than current detection techniques.Prostate cancer has become the most common cancer in men in the UK. One in eight men will develop the condition at some point in their lives with more than 47,000 new cases being diagnosed every yea...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 22, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Robin McKie Science editor Tags: Prostate cancer Health Society UK news Medical research Science Men's health & wellbeing Life and style Source Type: news

Medical research needs big data – Tessa Jowell gets the ball rolling | Sonia Sodha
We think nothing of sharing personal information with tech giants so why are we so suspicious about our health records?Half of us born after 1960 will be told we havecancer at some point in our lives. Virtually no one will go through life untouched by the disease, whether as a sufferer, a survivor or supporter. So every year, millions of us lace up running shoes, bake cakes and cultivate moustaches in memory of loved ones to raise the cash needed for cancer research.But money is not the only critical ingredient in developing new cures. An important constraint on the pace of progress is the lack of large datasets that conta...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 22, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Sonia Sodha Tags: Medical research Tessa Jowell Cancer Cancer research Data protection Science Health Politics UK news Source Type: news

After a miscarriage and divorce, my friends showed me true love
When author Elizabeth Day lost a baby and her marriage ended it was her friends who gave her the unconditional love she ’d been seekingAs a child, I remember being pretty certain about a few things. I was sure I ’d get married. I was convinced I’d write a book. Then I’d have children – two, of course, just like my parents. Preferably girls because they were better.When you ’re younger, you assume life will turn out a particular way because you haven’t lived it yet. It sometimes strikes me that getting older is a gradual erasure of the nonchalant confidence that comes with that naiv...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 22, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Elizabeth Day Tags: Life and style Marriage Family Psychology Science Health & wellbeing Women Source Type: news

Neurosurgeon Eric Leuthardt: ‘An interface between mind and machine will happen’
The US researcher – and sci-fi author – on how brain implants will drive the next turning point in human evolutionDr Eric C Leuthardt, 45, is a neurosurgeon at Washington University in St Louis. He is also the co-founder of NeuroLutions, a research laboratory developing directinterfaces between mind and computer. Leuthardt is pioneering the use of electrical brain implants to help restore motor function to the paralysed limbs of stroke victims. He is also helping to develop electrode systems that can directly decode the unspoken “inner voice” of the mind, and use it to direct external action; for ex...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 21, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Tim Adams Tags: Neuroscience Medical research Ethics Health Technology Biology Source Type: news

'It's about expanding Earth': could we build cities in space?
Meet the startup hoping to colonise the final frontier, one zero-gravity 3D printer at a timeDuring the early weeks of his 167-day stint aboard theInternational Space Station in 2014, astronautBarry “Butch” Wilmore noticed that a torque wrench was missing. “It’s not uncommon for things to disappear in space,” he tells me over the phone from theJohnson Space Centerin Houston. “You just don’t have gravity keeping stuff in place.” Wilmore mentioned the missing tool to Nasa’s mission control as he was tending to a 3D printer, a microwave-sized box that extrudes heated plast...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 21, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Olivia Solon Tags: Space 3D printing Science Manufacturing sector Business Technology Source Type: news

The science behind why we fight – Science Weekly podcast
This week,Ian Sample asks: why do humans fight? Can science tell us anything about what drives us to violence?Subscribe and review onAcast,Apple Podcasts,Soundcloud,Audioboom andMixcloud. Join the discussion onFacebook andTwitterExperts have been fighting about fighting throughout the ages. While theories have emerged to explain why we fight, there isn ’t a consensus in the research. In general, theories of war miss the mark for some. So why do we fight? And what can science tell us?Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 20, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Presented by Ian Sample and produced by Sandra Ferrari Tags: Evolution Biology Culture Source Type: news

What Lord of the Flies is really about | Letter from Judy Golding Carver
My father distrusted simple judgments, but he did say his novel was about the importance of the rule of law, and the complexity of human beings, says William Golding ’s daughterJudy Golding CarverDavid Shariatmadari ’s account of my father’s novel Lord of the Flies was a little sweeping when he declared: “William Golding sought to show that boys were, by their nature, little devils” (A real-life Lord of the Flies: the troubling legacy of the Robbers Cave experiment, 17 April) .The boys in Lord of the Flies make quite a good fist of creating a democratic society, at least to begin with. Ralph, ...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 20, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Letter Tags: William Golding Fiction Books Culture Psychology Science Source Type: news

Murder most fowl: Oxford dodo 'shot in the back of the head'
Revelation astonishes experts, who thought the renowned bird lived out its life in London as a money-spinning curiosityWith its plump head and bulbous beak, the renownedremains of a dodo at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History have long captivated visitors, Lewis Carroll among them. Now researchers say they have uncovered how the dodo died – a discovery that makes the old bird’s past curiouser and curiouser.Researchers used a form of CT scanning and sophisticated software to probe the anatomy and habits of the Oxford dodo - the world ’s best preserved specimen of the bird – anddiscovered ...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 20, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Nicola Davis Tags: Zoology Birds Endangered species Wildlife University of Oxford Science Biology Animals Source Type: news

Space Rocks celebrates astronomy and music at London's O2
Space Rocks, an event celebrating astronomy and music, kicks off this Sunday. The twinned nature of the disciplines it celebrates stretch back millenniaSomehow music and astronomy seem to go together. The association was made in the 6th century BC by the philosopher Pythagoras, who suggested each planet made a different sound and that together these notes made up themusica universalis, the harmony of the spheres.Although we no longer think of the planets as singing, the fact that there is mathematical “harmony” in both music and the laws of physics means they remain partners.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 20, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Stuart Clark Tags: Science Space Astronomy European Space Agency Tim Peake Source Type: news

Halt population slump by easing access to donor sperm, EU urged
World ’s biggest sperm bank calls for fewer regulations to revive Europe’s childbirth ratesThe world ’s biggest sperm bank has warned the EU that access to donor sperm must be improved to reinvigoratechildbirth rates amid the continent ’s slump in population growth.Sperm banks across Europe have closed after the enforcement of new EU regulations on staffing levels, executives at the Danish firm Cryos International told European commission officials in a private meeting.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 20, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Daniel Boffey Tags: Sperm donation Population Europe European Union Science World news Source Type: news

The week in wildlife – in pictures
A newly hatched turtle, a roaming peacock and egrets in China are among this week ’s pick of images from the natural worldContinue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 20, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Compiled by Guy Lane Tags: Wildlife Environment Animals World news Zoology Biology Science Source Type: news

Is it time to worry about human cloning again?
People are copying pets to preserve a physical – and spiritual – connection to dead children.MIT Technology Review reports.When Barbra Streisand revealed to Variety magazine that she ’d had her dogcloned for $50,000, many people learned for the first time that copying pets and other animals is a real business.That ’s right: you can pay to clone a dog, a horse or a top beef bull and get a living copy back in a matter of months.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 20, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Antonio Regalado, for MIT Technology Review Tags: Pets Cloning Children Science Biology Genetics Life and style Source Type: news

Pet cloning is already here – is human cloning next?
People are copying pets to preserve a physical – and spiritual – connection to dead childrenWhen Barbra Streisand revealed to Variety magazine that she ’d had her dogcloned for $50,000, many people learned for the first time that copying pets and other animals is a real business.That ’s right: you can pay to clone a dog, a horse or a top beef bull and get a living copy back in a matter of months.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 20, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Antonio Regalado, for MIT Technology Review Tags: Pets Cloning Children Science Biology Genetics Life and style Source Type: news

‘Magical' mushroom mix to boost regrowth of lost Scottish forests
Return of Great Caledonian forest speeded up with fungi spores to help saplings flourishThe return of the Great Caledonian forest that once covered much of Scotland ’s highlands is being boosted with a special mix of mushroom spores that should help saplings survive better on the hills.Fungi living on the roots of trees play a vital role in the ecology, helping to break down nutrients in the soil. But trees were lost in much of the Highlands many years ago so the fungi vanished too.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 20, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Damian Carrington Environment editor Tags: Trees and forests Fungi Conservation Biology Wildlife Scotland Environment Charities UK news Science Source Type: news

Mystery of sea nomads' amazing ability to freedive is solved
Scientists have uncovered the secrets of the Bajau people, long-famed for their ability to hold their breath for extraordinary lengths of timeThe secret behind the ability of a group of “sea nomads” in Southeast Asia to hold their breath for extraordinary periods of time while freediving to hunt fish has finally been revealed – and it’s down to evolution.The Bajau people are able to dive tens of metres underwater with no conventional diving aids. Instead they rely on weights, handmade wooden goggles – and a single breath of air.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 20, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Nicola Davis Tags: Science Source Type: news

Cow could soon be largest land mammal left due to human activity – study
Researchers examining extinction of large mammals as humans spread across the world see worrying trendThe cow could be left as the biggest land mammal on Earth in a few centuries, according to a new study that examines the extinction of large mammals as humans spread around the world. The spread of hominims – early humans and related species such as Neanderthals – from Africa thousands of years ago coincided with the extinction of megafauna such as the mammoth, the sabre-toothed tiger and the glyptodon, an armadillo-like creature the size of a car.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 20, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Reuters Tags: Extinct wildlife Science Biology Source Type: news

Spacewatch: Tess embarks on planet-hunting mission for Nasa
The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite will take an elliptical path around Earth to observe stars for evidence of exoplanetsNasa ’s next planet-hunting mission has launched from Cape Canaveral air force station in Florida.The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (Tess) took to the skies at 23.51 BST (18.51 EDT). It was deployed into Earth orbit 49 minutes later, to start a series of manoeuvres that will get it into its operational orbit by mid-June.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 19, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Stuart Clark Tags: Exoplanets Nasa Science Space SpaceX Astronomy Source Type: news

Vaginal mesh surgery exposed women to 'unacceptable risks'
Government finally acknowledges the ‘tragedy’ inflicted on thousands of women, and agrees mesh should only have been used as an extreme measureWomen have been exposed to unacceptable risks through the use of vaginal mesh surgery, the government has acknowledged for the first time, as fresh evidence has revealed thatthousands of women have suffered traumatic complications.In a parliamentary debate on the use of the implants, Jackie Doyle-Price, junior minister at the Department of Health, said it was a “tragedy” that women who had put their trust in the medical establishment had “come out with ...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 19, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Hannah Devlin Tags: Science Vaginal mesh implants Society Health UK news NHS Source Type: news

Victory over Pret a Manger means the fight against misleading labels is on | Joanna Blythman
Challenging terms such as ‘natural’ is difficult, but the Real Bread Campaign’s win against the chain proves it can be doneWhen it comes to labelling, food retailers run rings around their customers, and mainly get away with it. They weave a lexicon of feelgood terms – “fresh”, “handmade”, “artisan”, “local”, “farmhouse”, “healthy”, “natural” – into their marketing messages, which just happens to encourage us to assume that two and two makes five, or even six or seven. It’s known as the halo effect: by hi...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 19, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Joanna Blythman Tags: Food & drink industry Business Farming Environment Agriculture Science Source Type: news

Did neolithic man practise surgery on cows?
Archaeologists in Champ-Durand, France, have found a cow skull with a small round hole cut into itA stone age cow skull boasting a hole the size of a biscuit has been hailed as a first by archeologists, who say the gouge is the earliest evidence of either a veterinary attempt or animal experimentation.Human skulls from around the world, some dating as far back asalmost 10,000 years ago, have been found with very similar holes – evidence, say experts, of acranial surgery called trepanation in which humans scraped away at the skull, or drilled it, to form an aperture.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 19, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Nicola Davis Tags: Archaeology Science France Source Type: news

Destruction at the ancient site of Mari in Syria
The ancient city was one of the first archaeological sites to be occupied by Islamic State. Now new photos are revealing the fate of this important site as archaeologists continue to count the cultural cost of IsisThree weeks ago, the Syrian antiquities directorate released new photos showing another devastated archaeological site. Outside Syria the news has received fairly limited press attention, except in France, where Mari, the site in question, is much better known. French archaeologists have been excavating at Mari since 1933, the most recent expedition running until 2010 when the Arab Spring and growing unrest made ...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 19, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Mary Shepperson Tags: Science Archaeology Source Type: news

Forensic science: the tip of the iceberg?
Forensic science is nowhere near as robust and reliable as many people thinkWe all want to live in a world where there is justice; where wrongs are righted, where the system is trustworthy and just works. But we have seen a growing body of reports that raise questions about that system. I was particularly challenged when I started doing research that was based on a murder case tried in 2002, which centred on the presence of trace particles on the victim and in the suspect ’s vehicle. In court, the jury heard that these particles were very rare and wouldn’t last on clothing for a very long time – just for ...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 19, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Ruth Morgan Tags: Forensic science Science and scepticism Crime Source Type: news

Albert Einstein: brain for medical research - archive, 19 April 1955
19 April 1955 One of the greatest and probably most original of the minds which have created modern science, dies at the age of 76We much regret to announce the death at Princeton, New Jersey, yesterday of Dr Albert Einstein. He was 76. Dr Einstein had entered hospital in Friday for treatment of arterio-sclerosis.Related:From the archive, 19 April 1955: Einstein as a manContinue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 19, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Guardian Staff Tags: Albert Einstein Science Source Type: news

Not one, but three Jurassic worlds, in new UK museum exhibition
Yorkshire ’s Jurassic World, at the Yorkshire Museum, includes a pregnant ichthyosaur, a Mesozoic virtual reality experience, and a dinosaur called AlanIf you say the word Jurassic to people in the UK, the chances are that their first thoughts will be of a certain hugely successful film franchise. Most palaeontologists are fine with this, because it gives us an excuse to wheel out our well-honed “all the things that were wrong about the Jurassic Park film” material. If they mention anything else at all, it is likely to be the Jurassic coast, a fantastic piece of tourism branding which ensures that Dorset ...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 19, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Susannah Lydon Tags: Science Fossils Geology Dinosaurs Source Type: news

Researchers create super sponge that mops up oil spills
Australian scientists say new polymer can remove crude oil and diesel from seawater•Sign up to receive the top stories in Australia every day at noonOil spills could be soaked up by a new floating substance that combines waste from the petroleum industry and cooking oil,according to new research led by South Australia ’s Flinders University. The new polymer, made from sulphur and canola cooking oil, acted like a sponge to remove crude oil and diesel from seawater, according to a new study published in the Advanced Sustainable Systems journal. The polymer can be squeezed to remove the oil and then reused.Continue...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 19, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Adam Morton Tags: Oil Environment Oil spills Australia news South Australia Science Source Type: news

Hans Asperger aided and supported Nazi programme, study says
Eight-year study finds pioneer of paediatrics assisted in Third Reich ’s euthanasia programmeThe Austrian doctor after whom Asperger syndrome is named was an active participant in the Nazi regime, assisting in the Third Reich ’s euthanasia programme and supporting the concept of racial hygiene by deeming certain children unworthy to live,according to a study by a medical historian.Herwig Czech, from Vienna ’s Medical University, has made the claim in an academic paper published in the open access journal Molecular Autism, following eight years of research into the paediatrician Hans Asperger.Continue read...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 19, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Kate Connolly in Berlin Tags: Nazism World news Science Czech Republic Source Type: news

Can these robots build an Ikea chair? – video
Scientists have demonstrated two robots using human-like dexterity to construct an Ikea chair. Components of the chair were randomly scattered in front of the robots, who were able to identify the correct parts and detect force to understand when, for example, pins were fully inserted into their holes, all while managing to move without obstructing one anotherDefeated by Ikea's flatpack? Call in the robotsContinue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 18, 2018 Category: Science Tags: Robots Artificial intelligence (AI) Science Source Type: news

Flat-pack heaven? Robots master task of assembling Ikea chair
Machines programmed by engineers in Singapore complete job in just over 20 minutesThose who fear the rise of the machines, look away now. In a laboratory in Singapore two robots have mastered a task that roundly defeats humans every weekend: they have successfully assembled an Ikea chair.Engineers at Nanyang Technological University used a 3D camera and two industrial robot arms fitted with grippers and force sensors to take on the challenge of building an £18 “Stefan” chair from the furniture company.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 18, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Ian Sample Science editor Tags: Science Technology Robots Ikea Source Type: news

Constance Blackwell obituary
My mother, Constance Blackwell, an intellectual historian who has died aged 83, played a key role in fostering deeper understanding of the development of 16th- and 17th-century science and philosophy in Europe.As the founder, in 1994, of the International Society for Intellectual History (ISIH), she supported several national and international conferences and saw their proceedings through to publication. According to Constance, innovation in early modern central European philosophy arose from multidisciplinary commentaries on Aristotelian works covering physics, metaphysics, logic, rhetoric and ethics.Continue reading... (...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 18, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Theo Blackwell Tags: History of science Politics Philosophy UK news Gender World news Source Type: news

Mercury 13: the untold story of women testing for spaceflight in the 1960s
In a new Netflix documentary, the tales of 13 female pilots who dreamed of becoming astronauts yet were denied the opportunity by Nasa are finally brought to lightWhen Neil Armstrong clambered down on to the surface of the moon, he famously declared that he had taken “one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind”.But what if that one small step had been taken by a woman? What kind of leap would that have represented, at a time when the American public was waking up to women ’s rights?Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 18, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Adam Gabbatt Tags: Documentary Nasa Netflix Film Culture Science Space US news Source Type: news

Smart cities need thick data, not big data
In Barcelona, high-tech data platforms generate demand for old-fashioned community development.Residents living aroundPla ça del Sol joke that theirs is the only square where, despite the name, rain is preferable. Rain means fewer people gather to socialise and drink, reducing noise for the flats overlooking the square. Residents know this with considerable precision because they ’ve developed a digital platform for measuring noise levels and mobilising action. I was told the joke by Remei, one of the residents who, with her ‘citizen scientist’ neighbours, are challenging assumptions about Big Data...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 18, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Adrian Smith Tags: Science Smart cities Source Type: news

The first human on Mars should be a woman – we deserve stardust too | Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett
For decades, men have had all the glory in space exploration. Imagine how young girls would feel seeing a woman step on to the red planetWhat do the names Kalpana Chawla, Mae Jemison,Valentina Tereshkova and Sally Ride mean to you? Until fairly recently, the names of these female space pioneers didn ’t mean much to me. Despite being obsessed with all things space as a six-year-old girl, who thought a day out at theJodrell Bank Observatory was as exciting as a trip to Disney World, I was never taught about them. I didn ’t know that Dr (!) Tereshkova was the first woman to fly into space, that she was 26 when she...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 18, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett Tags: Space Inequality Science Mars Source Type: news

Donald Trump ’s ‘kakistocracy’ is not the first, but it’s revived an old word | André Spicer
When John Brennan used a 17th-century word to describe the US presidency, Twitter went wild – but what does it mean?Rarely does an ancient Greek portmanteau word spark a Twitterstorm. But that ’s what happened when the former director of the CIA John Brennan took to Twitter and accused Donald Trump of running a “kakistocracy”. This tweet sparked a13,700% increase in people looking up the word using the online version of the Merriam Webster dictionary. These curious souls would have found a terse definition: “Government by the worst people.”Related:'Slime ball': Trump attacks Comey after ...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 18, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Andr é Spicer Tags: Donald Trump Trump administration US news US politics Language Science Politics past Source Type: news

Why I dread yet another cancer confessional | Mike Addelman
My wife has terminal cancer. While there ’s a place for broadcasters airing their personal stories, their impact can be devastatingWe live in the age of the confessional. In the not too distant past, private and intimate thoughts remained just that – and if we felt we needed to talk, a frank discussion with friends and loved ones often did the trick. But especially when it comes to cancer, this reticence now seems to be dissipating. Social media has turned the private into public and for many, that’s a very good thing. But for my family – and I suspect for others too – it can be difficult, ups...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 18, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Mike Addelman Tags: Cancer Health Society Lung cancer Media Radio Culture Television & Cancer research Science UK news Source Type: news

Scientists explain how plastic-eating enzyme can help fight pollution – video
Scientists in Britain and the US say they have engineered an enzyme that eats plastic, a breakthrough that could help in the fight against pollution. The enzyme is able to digest polyethylene terephthalate, or PET. The team from the University of Portsmouth and the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory hope to one day produce the enzyme on an industrial scaleContinue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 18, 2018 Category: Science Tags: Plastics Environment Pollution Science Source Type: news

Scientists unveil new tool in fight against US coastline erosion – video report
Scientists working on solutions to fight the decades of erosion suffered by Louisiana ’s coastline have unveiled a new tool: an enormous replica of the Mississippi river. The model will help scientists devise a state plan that will involve diverting nutrient-rich river water into marshes and wetlands that have been overwhelmed by salty water from the Gulf of MexicoContinue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 17, 2018 Category: Science Tags: Louisiana US news Science Source Type: news

Plantwatch: Planning loophole threatens ancient woodlands
Ancient woods are being destroyed for development. A consultation is their only hopeMany of Britain ’s ancient woodlands are being threatened by a loophole in national planning policy.Ancient woodlands cover less than 3% of the UK, and have existed since 1600 in England and Wales, and 1750 in Scotland. These are our richest places for wildlife on land, home to more threatened species than any other land habitat, and once destroyed can never be replaced. As the Woodland Trust points out, listed buildings have far more protection from development than ancient woodlands.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 17, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Paul Simons Tags: Plants Trees and forests Housing Fracking Environment Science Source Type: news

Diamonds in Sudan meteorite 'are remnants of lost planet'
Scientists say rock fragments that hit the Earth in 2008 contain evidence of a lost planet that was part of the early solar systemDiamonds found in a meteorite that exploded over the Nubian desert in Sudan a decade ago were formed deep inside a “lost planet” that once circled the sun in the early solar system, scientists say.Microscopic analyses of the meteorite ’s tiny diamonds revealed they contain compounds that are produced under intense pressure, suggesting the diamonds formed far beneath the surface of a planet.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 17, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Ian Sample Science editor Tags: Science Space Planets Source Type: news

Thatcher forecast to return in 2276 | Brief letters
Plastic-eating enzymes | Class in the north | Brown cars | Spring politics | Female newsreaders | Comet ThatcherI hope the artificially created enzymes will begin to help clean up the exponential increase in plastic waste (Researchers make plastic-eating mutant enzyme better, 17 April). Maybe better not to let the cultivated variants out into the wild though – and on no account call themMutant 59...Dr Hilary GeeGrange over Sands, Cumbria• Maxine Peake claims “there is only one class in the north, and that’s working class” (Arts are still preserve of middle-class people, study conclude...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 17, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Letters Tags: Space Plastics Environment North-south divide UK news Arts policy Politics Culture Road transport Spring Astronomy Science Source Type: news

Lawrence Brown obituary
As an x-ray crystallographer from the late 1940s onwards, my father, Lawrence Brown, who has died aged 95, was one of a select band of British scientists who helped to determine the atomic and molecular structure of crystals.He put the knowledge he gained to good use in the then growing field of synthetic fibres, particularly with the textile company Courtaulds, where he rose to become head of its acetate and synthetic fibres laboratory. There he oversaw work on the development of several new synthetic fibres, including carbon fibre.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 17, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Andrew Brown Tags: Science Mathematics Manufacturing sector Business Source Type: news

High-speed pig slaughter will be disastrous for everyone involved | Deborah Berkowitz and Suzanne McMillan
A new rule in the US would eliminate food inspectors and lift limits on how quickly pigs can be killed. The impact on workers, animals and consumers would be disastrousThe Trump administration has proposed a radical change in food safety protection. They ’re misleadingly calling it the “Modernization of swine slaughter inspection rule”, but what it really does is roll back progress on protecting the public from serious and sometimes fatal diseases such as salmonella.The proposal drastically reduces the number of trained government food inspectors in pork plants, turns over food safety functions to untrain...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 17, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Deborah Berkowitz and Suzanne McMillan Tags: Pork The meat industry Food safety Trump administration Agriculture Animals US news & drink Science Farming Source Type: news

Britain ’s use of contaminated blood was no ‘tragedy’ – it was a scandal | Simon Hattenstone
The latest inquiry must discover how thousands of haemophiliacs contracted HIV or hepatitis C from blood products, and why it was covered up for so longIn two weeks ’ time Sir Brian Langstaff will take up his post as chair of thepublic inquiry into contaminated blood and contaminated blood products. Today, World Haemophilia Day, is the perfect occasion to remind Langstaff what the thousands of haemophiliac victims need from this inquiry if they are to get justice.In the 1970s and 1980s more than 4,600 haemophiliacs contracted HIV or hepatitis C after being infected by contaminated blood-clotting products. Much of the...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 17, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Simon Hattenstone Tags: Health Society Hepatitis B Hepatitis C Aids and HIV NHS Health policy Politics UK news Science Medical research Source Type: news

Obese couples could be risking health of future children, studies say
Diet and lifestyle during the ‘pre-conception’ period can profoundly affect the child’s development, researchers findCouples who are obese, as well as those who smoke and drink alcohol, could be risking the health of their future children, say experts who are calling for far more awareness of the effects of modern lifestyles on babies in the womb.A series of three scientific papers in a leading medical journal spell out the consequences of poor diet and lifestyles for the next generation. They urge schools, GPs and nurses to talk to young people and those who may be planning a family about how to be fitte...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 16, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Sarah Boseley Tags: Obesity Pregnancy Science Family Health & wellbeing Parents and parenting Society Life and style Source Type: news

Brexiters tend to dislike uncertainty and love routine, study says
Those in favour of leaving the EU are more categorical and ‘think outside the box’ less than remainers, researchers sayBoris Johnson ’s call to “take back control” in the 2016 EU referendum was a rallying cry thatcut across political parties and split families, but quite why it had such a wide appeal has had academics puzzled. Now researchers say a fervour for Brexit could at least in part be linked to the way individuals process information.Research has revealed that those in favour of cutting loose from the EU are more categorical and “think outside the box” less than those who f...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 16, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Nicola Davis Tags: Brexit European Union Politics Science Source Type: news

Scientists accidentally create mutant enzyme that eats plastic bottles
The breakthrough, spurred by the discovery of plastic-eating bugs at a Japanese dump, could help solve the global plastic pollution crisisScientists have created a mutant enzyme that breaks down plastic drinks bottles – by accident. The breakthrough could help solve the global plastic pollution crisis by enabling for the first time the full recycling of bottles.The new research was spurred by the discovery in 2016 of the firstbacterium that had naturally evolved to eat plastic, at a waste dump in Japan. Scientists have now revealed the detailed structure of the crucial enzyme produced by the bug.Continue reading... (...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 16, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Damian Carrington Environment editor Tags: Plastics Oceans Pollution UK news World news Environment Microbiology Science Source Type: news

Scientists discover dozens of new genes for hair colour
Forensic scientists a step closer to predicting a suspect ’s hair colour from crime scene DNA aloneForensic scientists are a step closer to predicting the colour of a suspect ’s hair from their DNA alone after the discovery of more than 100 new genes that influence the shade of a person’s locks.A test based on the new genetic markers was 10-20% more accurate than existing forensic tests and was most reliable for red or black hair, with brown or blond hair proving harder to predict, researchers said.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 16, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Ian Sample Science editor Tags: Genetics Science Biology Forensic science Source Type: news