Is the 100-year old TB vaccine a new weapon against Alzheimer ’s?
Studies suggest the BCG jab discovered a century ago could provide a cheap and effective way of boosting the immune system to protect people from developing the conditionScientific discoveries can emerge from the strangest places. In early 1900s France, the doctor Albert Calmette and the veterinarian Camille Gu érin aimed to discover how bovine tuberculosis was transmitted. To do so, they first had to find a way of cultivating the bacteria. Sliced potatoes – cooked with ox bile and glycerine – proved to be the perfect medium.As the bacteria grew, however, Calmette and Gu érin were surprised to find thateach generatio...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 25, 2024 Category: Science Authors: David Robson Tags: Alzheimer's Immunology Science Society Health Medical research Biochemistry and molecular biology Tuberculosis Vaccines and immunisation Dementia Source Type: news

Is it possible to think about nothing?
The long-running series in which readers answer other readers ’ questions on subjects ranging from trivial flights of fancy to profound scientific and philosophical conceptsIs it possible to think about nothing? Surely our consciousness is always whirring away.Paul Lambert, SouthamptonPost your answers (and new questions) below or send them tonq@theguardian.com. A selection will be published next Sunday.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 25, 2024 Category: Science Tags: Consciousness Life and style Philosophy Neuroscience Psychology Human biology Source Type: news

From lab to plate: a six-course banquet featuring no-kill dim sum and steak frites
Lab-grown meat could become a mainstay in restaurants if products win regulatory approval. Biologists and chefs share menu ideasWhether roasted, grilled, fried or stewed, the combination of fat, umami and texture in a premium cut of meat is difficult to recreate. With sales of plant-based meatstagnating, the hunt for cruelty-free, sustainable and meaty-tasting alternatives continues. Enter lab-grown meat. Fermented in tanks, using cells from long-dead donors, it promises a more climate- and animal-friendly form of meat for the carnivore with a conscience.Last week, researchers announced that they had created“beef-culture...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 25, 2024 Category: Science Authors: Linda Geddes Tags: Food Science Meat Biology Meat industry Source Type: news

Bat bridges and signs on nests: nature conservation ’s epic fails – and how to avoid them
Some projects to save species just don ’t work. Now, a Cambridge University team is amassing hard scientific evidence of best practiceIt seemed like a good idea at the time: build metal bridges over busy roads and bats would confuse them with trees, it was argued. They would then try to soar over the pylons and, having been tricked into flying higher than normal, would avoid being struck by lorries and buses travelling on the road below. A widespread wildlife problem for the UK would be solved at a stroke.It was a persuasive vision, and to realise it, a total of £2m was spent on building 15 bat bridges across Britain, f...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 25, 2024 Category: Science Authors: Robin McKie Science editor Tags: Conservation University of Cambridge Butterflies Environment Wildlife Science Insects Animals Source Type: news

OpenAI ’s new video generation tool could learn a lot from babies | John Naughton
The footage put together by Sora looks swish, but closer examination reveals its doesn ’t understand physical reality“First text, then images, nowOpenAI has a model for generating videos, ” screamedMashable the other day. The makers of ChatGPT and Dall-E hadjust announced Sora, a text-to-video diffusion model. Cue excited commentary all over the web about what will doubtless become known as T2V, covering the usual spectrum – from “Does this mark the end of [insert threatened activity here]?” to “meh” and everything in between.Sora (the name is Japanese for “sky”) is not the first T2V tool, but it looks ...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 24, 2024 Category: Science Authors: John Naughton Tags: Artificial intelligence (AI) OpenAI Computing Consciousness Technology Science Source Type: news

‘Poisoned by chemicals’: citizen scientists prove River Avon is polluted
Charity says the decline of invertebrates linked to chemicals in water while Environment Agency said Wiltshire river had not deterioratedA citizen science programme has revealed the decline of one of thecountry ’s most significant chalk streamsafter claims by Environment Agency officials that it had not deteriorated. The SmartRivers programme run by the charity WildFish, which surveys freshwater invertebrates, reported “strong declines in relation to chemical pressure” on the River Avon in Wiltshire. It said its data indicated a decline in the condition of the river over the last five years.The charity compiled a rep...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 24, 2024 Category: Science Authors: Jon Ungoed-Thomas Tags: Pollution Rivers Environment Agency Science Fish UK news Conservation Source Type: news

Abandoned pipelines could release poisons into North Sea, scientists warn
Researchers say toxic chemicals pose a pollution risk as oil and gas companies are allowed to leave pipelines to rotDecaying oil and gas pipelines left to fall apart in the North Sea could release large volumes of poisons such as mercury, radioactive lead and polonium-210, notorious for its part in thepoisoning of Russian defector Alexander Litvinenko, scientists are warning.Mercury, an extremely toxic element, occurs naturally in oil and gas. It sticks to the inside of pipelines and builds up over time, being released into the sea when the pipeline corrodes.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 24, 2024 Category: Science Authors: Rachel Salvidge and Leana Hosea Tags: Pollution Oil Gas Fossil fuels Energy Environment Oil and gas companies UK news Source Type: news

Weekend podcast: the Libertines ’ tortured reunion, Marina Hyde on celebrity-dictator bromances, and the simple trick to enjoying life more
From Tucker Carlson to Johnny Depp, a celebrity bromance is the must-have accessory for modern dictators, saysMarina Hyde (1m50); The Libertines on feuds, friendship and their tortured reunion by Simon Hattenstone (9m03); and how habituation, a simple behavioural trick, can help you experience less pain and more pleasure byCass Sunstein and Tali Sharot(35m49).Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 24, 2024 Category: Science Authors: Hosted by Savannah Ayoade-Greaves; written by Marina Hyde, Simon Hattenstone, Cass Sunstein and Tali Sharot; narrated by Carlyss Peer and Sam Swainsbury; produced by Rachel Porter; executive producer: Ellie Bury Tags: Life and style The Libertines Pete Doherty Carl Bar ât Babyshambles Pop and rock Johnny Depp Tucker Carlson Vladimir Putin Mohammed bin Salman Psychology Health & wellbeing Source Type: news

US spacecraft on the moon ‘caught a foot’ and tipped on to side, says Nasa
Intuitive Machines CEO says Odysseus tipped over and ended up on its side as it landed on to south polar regionOdysseus, the first US-built spacecraft to touchdown on the moon in more than half a century, is tipped over on its side, according to an update from Nasa and Intuitive Machines, the company that built and operated the lander.The robotic lander descended on to the south polar region of the moon on Thursday at 6.23pm ET. But several minutes passed before flight controllers were able to pick up a signal from the lander ’s communication systems.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 24, 2024 Category: Science Authors: Maanvi Singh and agencies Tags: Space The moon Nasa US news Source Type: news

Quantum physics makes small leap with microscopic gravity measurement
Experiment records minuscule gravitational pull as a step to understanding how force operates at subatomic levelScientists have detected the pull of gravity on the microscopic scale in a feat that lays the groundwork for probing its nature in the mysterious quantum realm.In an experiment involving sophisticated superconducting apparatus cooled to within a whisker of absolute zero, and brass weights stuck to an electrical bicycle wheel, physicists recorded a minuscule gravitational tug of 30 quintillionths of a newton on a particle less than a millimetre wide.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 23, 2024 Category: Science Authors: Ian Sample Science editor Tags: Physics Science Gravity UK news Source Type: news

Felicity Grainger obituary
My father ’s partner, Felicity Grainger, who has died aged 80, began her working life as a research scientist before moving into the world of academic libraries, eventually becoming head of the library services serving three major medical schools.Born in Bournemouth to Stuart Grainger, a bank manager, and Phyllis (nee Brett), after gaining a first-class honours degree in zoology in 1964 from Queen Mary College, London, Felicity received a doctorate in anatomy from University College London, after which she spent 10 years as a researcher in neuroscience in London and Cambridge.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 23, 2024 Category: Science Authors: Clare Singleton Tags: Libraries Hospitals Information University of Glasgow Medical research Source Type: news

‘Very rare’ clay figurine of Mercury discovered at Roman site in Kent
Previously unknown settlement in Small Hythe was once an important infrastructure linkA “very rare” clay figurine of the god Mercury, one of fewer than 10 ever found in Britain, has been discovered at a previously unknown Roman settlement that once sat next to a busy port – but is now 10 miles from the sea.The site of the settlement, in the modern hamlet of Small Hythe (or Smallhythe), near Tenterden in Kent, now sits among fields, but was once an important link in the Roman empire ’s import and infrastructure network in southern England and the Channel.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 23, 2024 Category: Science Authors: Esther Addley Tags: Archaeology UK news Kent Roman Britain Source Type: news

Botanical gardens ‘most effective’ green space at cooling streets in heatwaves
Researchers hope the findings will inform policymakers planning cities for a warming worldFew things are as soothing on a hot summer ’s day as a walk through a beautiful botanical garden, but they are not just oases of calm. As climate breakdown fuels soaring temperatures, they could prove crucial in moderating the heat in the streets around them.A comprehensive review of research into the heat-mitigating effects of green spaces during heatwaves has found that botanical gardens are the most effective. It is a finding the team at the Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCCAR) hope will inform policymakers planning citie...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 23, 2024 Category: Science Authors: Damien Gayle Tags: Environment Kew Gardens Science Trees and forests Cities Source Type: news

US returns to lunar surface for first time in over 50 years: ‘Welcome to the moon’
Intuitive Machines ’ spacecraft Odysseus lands after a 73-minute descent, touching down near moon’s south poleThe United States has returned to the lunar surface for the first time in more than 50 years after a privately-built spacecraft named Odysseus capped a nail-biting 73-minute descent from orbit with a touchdown near the moon ’s south pole.Amid celebrations of what Nasa hailed “a giant leap forward”, there was no immediate confirmation of the status or condition of the lander, other than it had reached its planned landing site at crater Malapert A.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 23, 2024 Category: Science Authors: Richard Luscombe Tags: Space The moon Nasa US news World news Science Source Type: news

Odysseus spacecraft lands on the moon as Nasa hails ‘giant leap forward’ – as it happened
This blog has now closed, but you can read ourlatest story hereOdysseus has started its “powered descent initiative”, as it readies for a landing. The engine on the lander has started up, and it is slowing itself down. As it lowers, sensors on the it will look for a safe spot for a landing,As an example of the mixed payloads that private space missions are taking, Nasa administrator, Bill Nelson said of today ’s mission “Nasa scientific instruments are on their way to the moon, a giant leap for humanity as we prepare to return to the lunar surface for the first time in more than half a century.”Continue reading.....
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 23, 2024 Category: Science Authors: Maanvi Singh (now) and Martin Belam (earlier) Tags: Space Science The moon Nasa US news World news Source Type: news