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What I learned from home DNA testing
They promise to reveal everything from our ancestry to our chances of serious illness. But are DNA tests accurate and do they tell us anything worthwhile?There may come a time in everyone ’s life when they find themselves sitting at the kitchen table on an otherwise unexceptional weekday morning, drooling saliva into a test tube in the spirit of scientific inquiry.The spit is for one of the home genetic-testing kits I ’m sampling. A growing number of these kits (brands such as 23andMe, DNAFit, Thriva, MyHeritage DNA, and Orig3n) promise to unlock the mystery of your genomes, variously explaining everything from...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 23, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Barbara Ellen Tags: Genetics Biology Science Health Genealogy Family Life and style Society Source Type: news

How to stand the test of time as an artist | Ryan Holiday
The most enduring works are made with heartfelt intent, says Ryan Holiday, not to mention a lot of hard workIn 1937, literary critic Cyril Connolly sat down to write a book around an unusual question: how does an author create something that lasts for 10 years? Connolly ’s view was that the mark of literary greatness lay in standing the test of time. With the spectre of world war looming on the horizon, the idea of anything surviving in an uncertain future had a kind of poignancy and meaning to it.The book that Connolly wrote,Enemies of Promise, explored contemporary literature and the timeless challenges of making g...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 23, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Ryan Holiday Tags: Life and style Psychology Science Health & wellbeing Books Culture Art and design Source Type: news

Hear, boy? Pet translators will be on sale soon, Amazon says
Retailer backs futurologist ’s claim that devices conversing in canine will be available in, ruffly speaking, a decadeImagine talking to a tiger, chatting to a cheetah, as Dr Doolittle once sang – what a neat achievement that would be. Well, Amazon has revealed that the animal-loving doctor’s ambition might not be entirely fantasy.Pet translators that can turn woofs into words and make sense of miaows, might really be on the horizon, according to a report backed by the internet retailer.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 22, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Sarah Butler and Hannah Devlin Tags: Pets Amazon Animal behaviour Artificial intelligence (AI) Dogs Language Animals Technology sector Consciousness Business Life and style Science Biology World news E-commerce Internet Computing Source Type: news

Cancer patients' grey hair unexpectedly darkens in drug study
Spanish study suggests side effects of new immunotherapy drugs may include restoring hair pigmentA group of cancer patients ’ grey hair has unexpectedly darkened after they took new types of drugs, researchers have revealed.Chemotherapy is known to make patients ’ hair fall out, but the 14 people involved were all being treated with new immunotherapy drugs that work differently and have different side effects from chemotherapy. A Spanish study suggests those may include restoring hair pigment, at least in patients with lung cancer.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 21, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Associated Press in Chicago Tags: Medical research Cancer Drugs Health Lung cancer Science Society Spain World news Europe Source Type: news

'A misuse of scarce funds': NHS to end prescription of homeopathic remedies
New guidelines mean homeopathic remedies and 17 other items will no longer be prescribed, for reasons ranging from low clinical effectiveness to low cost-effectivenessHomeopathic remedies will no longer be available on prescription on the NHS according to newly-announced plans.The move comes as part of the NHS England ’s drive to save more than £190m a year through a new set of national guidelines, which are now open for public consultation.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 21, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Nicola Davis and Denis Campbell Tags: Homeopathy NHS Alternative medicine Health Society Source Type: news

Lab notes: from space origami to ancient Oz, we've hunted high and low for this week's science
I can ’t even fold t-shirts neatly (yes, yes, I’ve seen the online tutorials, I’m ham-fisted, ok?) but if you’re or origami expert or a whizz at folding, Nasa might have just the challenge for you. The space agency iscrowdsourcing ideas for ways to efficiently pack a radiation shield to protect manned spacecraft on deep space missions. Potentially more achievable for the majority of us, however, are some of the lifestyle changes highlighted in a new report on dementia prevention. The researchers say that potentiallyover a third of dementia cases could be prevented, although they admit that ’s ...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 21, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Tash Reith-Banks Tags: Science Source Type: news

Concorde was the flying Brexit: a different era but the same mistakes
Nationalistic fantasies about future export strengths, an ill-informed public debate and political deceit all masked the economic disaster that was ConcordeThe idea that we now live in an age of ‘post-truth’ implies that once-upon-a-time politics was guided by objective reality. Clearly, this is nonsense. We shouldn’t mistake a period in which the media and political establishment offered more coherent stories for a time when politics was truthful. In the recent past, politics could be astonishing ly dishonest, especially when it came to supporting national machines. Concorde, the fastest lame duck ever b...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 21, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Tom Kelsey Tags: Science EU referendum and Brexit Technology Politics Concorde Source Type: news

Nasa needs you: space agency to crowdsource origami designs for shield
In the search for ways to efficiently pack a radiation shield to protect manned spacecraft on deep space missions, Nasa is looking to the public for helpIf you know your crane from your bishop ’s mitre, Nasa needs you. The space agency is launching a challenge to crowdsource origami-inspired ideas for a foldable radiation shield to protect spacecraft and astronauts on voyages to deep space, such as missions to Mars.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 20, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Nicola Davis Tags: Nasa Space Origami Crowdsourcing Art and design Science Technology Mars Source Type: news

UK-built pollution monitoring satellite ready for launch
The Sentinel-5P spacecraft is designed to monitor the pollution that causes a reported tens of thousands of deaths every year in the UKLast year, the European Space Agency launched the Trace Gas Orbiter to Mars. It is designed to look for methane – a key tracer of life –to determine if Martian microbes are present on the red planet.Now, ESA is preparing to launch another spacecraft to look at methane on another planet: our own.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 20, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Stuart Clark Tags: Science Climate change Space Environment Pollution European Space Agency Source Type: news

Cosmology and particle physics face surprisingly similar challenges
Philosophy of science has built an industry around confirmation theory. But unprecedented methodological challenges are forcing philosophers to go back to the drawing-boardTheDark Energy Survey (DES) concluded its biannual Collaboration meeting at University of Chicago in mid-June. DES is one of the largest surveys in cosmology searching for evidence of dark energy, the elusive entity that according to the so-called “concordance model” in cosmology should constitute 73% of the whole mass-energy of the universe. After years of observations at the Blanco Telescope in Chile, spanning the southern sky and mapping 2...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 20, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Michela Massimi Tags: Science Physics Philosophy Large Hadron Collider Astronomy Source Type: news

The power of framing: It ’s not what you say, it’s how you say it
The 2016 election and a wealth of psychological data show how much our reasoning can be influenced by how information is framedIn March 2016, before Trump was selected as the Republican nominee, cognitive scientist George Lakoff was already concerned about the emerging Trump phenomenon. So he wrote an article called “Understanding Trump” that details the ways in which Trump “uses your brain against you” – andsent it to every member of the Clinton campaign.Lakoff researches how framing influences reasoning, or how the way we say something often matters much more than what we say. And he has use...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 20, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Steve Rathje Tags: Science Psychology Trump administration Politics Source Type: news

Lifestyle changes could prevent a third of dementia cases, report suggests
Researchers admit prevention estimate is a ‘best-case scenario’, but stress that action can be taken to reduce dementia riskMore than a third of dementia cases might be avoided by tackling aspects of lifestyle including education, exercise, blood pressure and hearing, a new report suggests.Approximately 45 million people worldwide were thought to be living with dementia in 2015, at an estimated cost of $818bn.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 20, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Nicola Davis Tags: Dementia Science Mental health Society Neuroscience Alzheimer's Depression Source Type: news

Indigenous archaeological find in Kakadu recasts Australian history – video
A dig at Madjedbebe on the traditional lands of the Mirarr people in northern Australiahas unearthed thousands of artefacts, some as old as 80,000 years.The discovery upends decades-old estimates about the human colonisation of the continent (previously estimated at between 47,000 and 60,000 years) and adds western scientific evidence to Indigenous cultural knowledge about the length of time their ancestors have occupied the land• Australian dig finds evidence of Aboriginal habitation up to 80,000 years agoContinue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 20, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Guardian Staff Tags: Indigenous Australians Archaeology Australia news Science Source Type: news

Australian dig finds evidence of Aboriginal habitation up to 80,000 years ago
Artefacts in Kakadu national park have been dated between 65,000 and 80,000 years old, extending likely occupation of area by thousands of yearsA groundbreaking archaeological discovery in Australia ’s north has extended the known length of time Aboriginal people have inhabited the continent to at least 65,000 years.The findings on about 11,000 artefacts from Kakadu national park, published on Thursday in the Nature journal, prove Indigenous people have been in Australia for far longer than the much-contested estimates of between 47,000 and 60,000 years, the researchers said. Some of the artefacts were potentially as...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 19, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Helen Davidson at Madjedbebe and Calla Wahlquist Tags: Indigenous Australians Archaeology Australia news Science World news Source Type: news

HPV vaccine: anger over decision not to extend NHS scheme to boys
Health bodies condemn panel ’s conclusion that more jabs against cancer-causing infection are unlikely to be cost-effectiveA decision not to vaccinate boys against a cancer-causing sexually transmitted infection has been condemned by health bodies and campaigners.The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which has been reviewing the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination programme, concluded that it was “highly unlikely to be cost-effective” to extend the scheme to include adolescent boys as well as girls.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 19, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Nicola Slawson Tags: HPV vaccine Vaccines and immunisation Sexual health NHS Cancer Society Children UK news Medical research Source Type: news

Hearing voices: the science of auditory verbal hallucinations - Science Weekly podcast
What can advances in neuroscience and psychology reveal about this age-old phenomenon? And how might digital avatars help patients answer back?Subscribe& Review oniTunes,Soundcloud,Audioboom,Mixcloud&Acast, and join the discussion onFacebook andTwitterOnce thought to originate from the realm of the supernatural, auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH) have a well-documented history, with more recent times often seeing them linked to mental health issues. But with recent surveys suggesting that up to 10% of the population report hearing voices that nobody else can hear, could these hallucinations reveal the way our bra...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 19, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Presented by Nicola Davis and produced by Max Sanderson Tags: Science Psychology Neuroscience Mental health Source Type: news

Give robots an 'ethical black box' to track and explain decisions, say scientists
As robots start to enter public spaces and work alongside humans, the need for safety measures has become more pressing, argue academicsRobots should be fitted with an “ethical black box” to keep track of their decisions and enable them to explain their actions when accidents happen, researchers say.The need for such a safety measure has become more pressing as robots have spread beyond the controlled environments of industrial production lines to work alongside humans as driverless cars, security guards, carers and customer assistants, they claim.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 19, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Ian Sample Science editor Tags: Science Robots Technology Ethics Self-driving cars Source Type: news

Maryam Mirzakhani obituary
Iranian mathematician who was the first woman to win the Fields medalIn 2014 the Iranian mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani, who has died aged 40 of cancer, was awarded the Fields medal, the discipline ’s most celebrated prize. The 52 previous recipients had all been men. Maryam won it “for her outstanding contributions to the dynamics and geometry of Riemann surfaces and their moduli spaces”.Surfaces are basic objects in mathematics, appearing in many guises. The surface of our planet is a sphere, but from local observations alone one cannot be sure of this: the Earth could be shaped like a bagel, for examp...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 19, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Martin Bridson Tags: Mathematics Iran Science US news Source Type: news

We can cure Alzheimer ’s – if we stop ignoring it | Joseph Jebelli
The disease is now the leading cause of death among the oldest people. Given focus and funding, however, Alzheimer ’s will yield to science and reason• Joseph Jebelli is a neuroscientist and authorThe terror of Alzheimer ’s is that it acts by degrees, and can therefore bewilder family members as much as its victims. Those who first notice the onset of Alzheimer’s in a loved one tell of forgotten names and unsettling behaviour, of car keys found in the fridge and clothing in the kitchen cabinet, of aimless wander ings.Naturally, they want to understand the boundaries of normal ageing and whether these...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 19, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Joseph Jebelli Tags: Alzheimer's Charities Science Dementia Medical research Ageing Older people Source Type: news

Past extinctions point to a current and future biodiversity crisis
Rapid climate change is a unifying feature of ancient mass extinctions – how bad might it be now?At one level extinction normal and natural. Most of the diversity of life on Earth that has ever existed is now gone, and all species will one day pass from being extant to being extinct. But although it is normal for species to die out, the normal rate is considered to be quite low. On average perhaps just one or two species go extinct in any given year out of all of the bewildering diversity of beetles, mammals, plants, microbes, worms, fungi and fish. In short, a tiny percentage of the literally millions of species.The...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 19, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Dr Dave Hone Tags: Dinosaurs Conservation Environment Fossils Science Biodiversity Source Type: news

Beauty spot or landscape blot? Computer trained to judge scenery
Computer trained to determine what makes places beautiful could help design new towns and decide which areas should be protected, say researchersWordsworth found it in a host of daffodils; Nan Shepherd in the nooks of the Cairngorms. For Monet it popped up all over the place, from the windmills and canals of Amsterdam, to the sailing boats of Argenteuil.What lends a scene beauty has long been left to the poets and painters to define, but that may be about to change. In a new study, researchers trained a computer to tell scenic views from blots on the landscape. One day it could help with decisions over what land to protect...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 19, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Ian Sample Science editor Tags: Science Computing Geography Technology Planning policy Conservation Source Type: news

Paleoart: the strange history of dinosaurs in art – in pictures
Since the early 19th century, artists have depicted colourful – if sometimes fictional – dinosaurs and prehistoric environments, mingling science with unbridled fantasy. This art is the subject of a new book: PaleoartContinue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 19, 2017 Category: Science Authors: All images courtesy of Taschen Tags: Science and nature Dinosaurs Books Culture Art Art and design Illustration Zoology Fossils Evolution Source Type: news

Third-hottest June puts 2017 on track to make hat-trick of hottest years
June 2017 was beaten only by June in 2015 and 2016, leaving experts with little hope for limiting warming to 1.5C or even 2CLast month was the third-hottest June on record globally, temperature data suggest, confirming 2017 will almost certainly make a hat-trick of annual climate records, with 2015, 2016 and 2017 being the three hottest years since records began.The figures also cement estimations that warming is now at levelsnot seen for 115,000 years, and leave some experts with little hope for limiting warming to 1.5C or even 2C.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 19, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Michael Slezak Tags: Climate change Environment Science Fossil fuels Greenhouse gas emissions Source Type: news

First double hand transplant involving a child declared a success
Zion Harvey had procedure in US in 2015 and can now use scissors and play baseball, but report highlights his difficult recoveryAfter almost 11 hours of surgery involving four teams of doctors, Zion Harvey had earned his place in medical history. The eight-year-old had become the first child in the world toreceive two new hands in a procedure that seemed to herald a revolution in transplant medicine.Related:UK's first double hand transplant patient delights in writing letter to thank surgeonContinue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 18, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Denis Campbell Health policy editor Tags: Health US news Society Baltimore World news Medical research Science Children Doctors Source Type: news

Recipe unearthed for mystery clouds
‘Cotton wool’ clouds above sub-tropical shores unmasked as formations caused by humidity variations high in the skyThe weather forecast had predicted a cloudless day, but when Ilan Koren, an atmospheric scientist, looked up he saw small “cotton wool” clouds dotted across the bright blue sky over Israel.Related:Stunning 'new' cloud formations captured in updated atlas – in picturesContinue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 18, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Kate Ravilious Tags: Meteorology Physics Science Greenhouse gas emissions The sun Source Type: news

Senior doctors call for public inquiry into use of vaginal mesh surgery in UK
Experts draw comparisons with the thalidomide scandal as they reveal that traumatic complications are more common than official figures suggestSenior doctors have called for a public inquiry into the use of vaginal mesh surgery amid mounting concerns that a significant proportion of patients have been left with traumatic complications.Speaking at a meeting in parliament, Carl Heneghan, professor of evidence-based medicine at the University of Oxford, drew comparisons with thethalidomide scandal, saying that there was evidence that mesh procedures, used to treat complications from childbirth, carry significantly more risk t...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 18, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Hannah Devlin Science correspondent Tags: Health Science Women Sexual health NHS Health policy Society Source Type: news

From Gypsy to The Sopranos, what do real psychotherapists think of TV shrinks?
The Sopranos put a mobster through analysis. Now Gypsy is making a psychotherapist the star of the show. Does TV get it right – or is gross malpractice just dramatically inevitable?This is the age of the fictional psych, instantly canonised in the person of Tony Soprano ’s analyst, Jennifer Melfi, beautifully developed by Gabriel Byrne withIn Treatment, and given a shonky Netflix-over by Naomi Watts inGypsy.WhenThe Sopranos came out, the richness of the territory was astonishing; I sometimes wondered not why it hadn ’t much been done before, but why all TV series didn’t do it, why PresidentJosiah Ba...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 18, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Zoe Williams Tags: Drama Psychiatry Television Culture & radio The Sopranos Naomi Watts Gabriel Byrne US television Film Sam Taylor-Johnson Mental health Crime drama Psychology Source Type: news

Did human women contribute to Neanderthal genomes over 200,000 years ago?
A new Neanderthal mitochondrial genome supports a remarkable hypothesis – that there was interbreeding with an extremely early migration of African homininsKeeping pace with new developments in the field of human evolution these days is a daunting prospect. It seems as though every few weeks there ’s an announcement ofexciting new findings from hominin fossils, or the recovery of an ancient genome that significantly impacts our understanding of our species ’ history. The best way to keep up is by regularly revisiting and reassessing a few core questions. When and where did our species first appear? How an...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 18, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Jennifer Raff Tags: Neanderthals Evolution Genetics Archaeology Anthropology Science Biology Fossils Source Type: news

How British anxiety about European advances created a scientific prize | Rebekah Higgitt
Behind the Royal Society ’s prestigious Royal Medals, whose 2017 winners were announced today, is a 200-year-old story of Britain’s fear of scientific decline in the face of international competitionThe Royal Societytoday announced a slew of medal and award winners. Iwrote previously about the curious history of the Society ’s oldest prize medal, awarded earlier this year, but today press focus is on their next most prestigious, theRoyal Medals. While the illustrious list of past winners may be recalled, few recognise the medals ’ origin in a period of concern for British science and sustained attac...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 18, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Rebekah Higgitt Tags: History of science Royal Society Source Type: news

UK cancer survival rates lag behind those of other European countries – study
Experts highlight need for earlier diagnosis and improved access to treatments, as figures show UK healthcare spend is lower than the European averageCancer survival rates in the UK continue to lag behind those of other European countries, research suggests, with experts flagging the need for earlier diagnosis and improved access to treatments.The report is the latest to highlight the problem, with previous research suggesting that UK survival rates for breast cancerare a decade behind countries including France and Sweden.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 18, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Nicola Davis Tags: Cancer Health Society NHS Source Type: news

‘We are all mutants now’: the trouble with genetic testing
With so many unknowns in our DNA, using genetics in medical testing doesn ’t always bring the answers – sometimes it brings only doubt. By Carrie ArnoldAnneMarie Ciccarella, a fast-talking 57-year-old brunette with more than a hint of a New York accent, thought she knew a lot about breast cancer. Her mother was diagnosed with the disease in 1987, and several other female relatives also developed it. When doctors found a suspicious lump in one of her breasts that turned out to be cancer, she immediately sought out testing to look for mutations in the two BRCA genes, which between them account for around 20% of f...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 18, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Carrie Arnold Tags: Genetics Health Science Biology Society Source Type: news

Neil deGrasse Tyson: fighting science denial starts with people, not politicians
The astrophysicist talks about alien life, sci-fi and why he believes Australians shouldn ’t get stuck in trafficAlbert Einstein has been called many things: a genius, a pioneer, a Nobel prize winner. Neil deGrasse Tyson just calls him a badass.“I think it fits, right? It’s not a stretch,” he tells Guardian Australia before his appearance in Melbourne on Saturday night. “The dude’s a badass.”Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 18, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Paul Farrell Tags: Books Science Culture Space Climate change Climate change scepticism Science fiction Australia news Source Type: news

US millionaire who learned the value of punctuation the hard way | Brief letters
Punctuation | Solar-powered legs | Dogs and litter | Crossword themes | Puzzle changePunctuation is indeed important (Letters, 17 July). The story goes that an American millionaire ’s wife, travelling through Europe, came across a beautiful diamond ring for sale for $1,000. She sent a telegram: “Can I buy?” “No price too high” came the reply. So she purchased the ring and her husband was furious. He had meant “No; price too high” – and it is said that after tha t incident the telegram companies introduced the convention of inserting the word “stop” at the necessar...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 17, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Letters Tags: Language Dogs Animals Pets Life and style Renewable energy Environment Source Type: news

Did you solve it? Are you smarter than an architect?
The solution to today ’s 3D puzzleIn my puzzle blog earlier todayI set you this puzzle:Draw a 3-dimensional picture of a shape that goes through each of the holes above, exactly touching all sides as it passes through.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 17, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Alex Bellos Tags: Mathematics Science Source Type: news

Dear Lord Adonis, the summer is for working
Why academics feel aggrieved by Lord Adonis raising the old canard that they have too much time off in the summer“Most academics don’t teach enough,”spouted Lord Adonis, former Labour Education Minister on Twitter last week. He cites his time in Oxford as “evidence”, though I think we might more accurately call it an anecdote. Adonis is perpetuating the myth that academics are lucky so-and-sos who have three months off in the summer. Like teachers. Like MPs even. Remind me: just how longis the parliamentary summer recess?The reality is, as I ’m sure he knows from his sojourn in academia,...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 17, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Athene Donald Tags: Higher education Andrew Adonis Politics Science Source Type: news

Could our approach to chemical weapons help reduce the threat of acid attacks?
UK expertise in preventing the misuse of chemical weapons should be applied to tackling the alarming rise in acid violenceOn 13 July, five acid attacks occurred across north London in the space of ninety minutes, causing“life-changing” injuries in at least one case, with others severely injured. Two of the alleged attackers have been arrested, yet little is known about them. This follows several incidents of acid violence in London, including anattacklast month against Resham Khan and Jameel Muhktar.Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Cressida Dick, has sought to calm the brewing hysteria, stating that “I d...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 17, 2017 Category: Science Authors: James Revill, Caitr íona McLeish and Alexander Ghionis Tags: Science Crime Weapons technology Chemical weapons Science policy Politics UK news Source Type: news

Getting to the bottom of the Higgs boson
As the Large Hadron Collider at CERN continues probing the high-energy frontier of physics, a new feature of its greatest discovery so far has come into viewIn high-energy particle collisions we study the smallest known constituents of matter. According to our best knowledge of physics, these constituents have mass only because of the way they interact with a unique quantity which permeates all of space. This quantity, like practically everything else in the strange world of the very small, is aquantum field.So much for the recap. Last week we learned something new about the Higgs bosonContinue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 17, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Jon Butterworth Tags: Physics Science Cern Higgs boson Large Hadron Collider Particle physics Source Type: news

Hearing loss could pose greater risk of potential dementia in later life – study
Auditory issues could be an early sign of future risk of memory and thinking problems but more research is required to unpick the link, researchers sayPeople who experience hearing loss could be at greater risk of memory and thinking problems later in life than those without auditory issues, research suggests.The study focused on people who were at risk of Alzheimer ’s disease, revealing that those who were diagnosed with hearing loss had a higher risk of “mild cognitive impairment” four years later.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 17, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Nicola Davis Tags: Medical research Health Science Society Alzheimer's Dementia Mental health Source Type: news

Can you solve it? Are you smarter than an architect?
A puzzle that tests 3D thinkingHi guzzlers,Today ’s puzzle was sent in by a reader who remembers it from his days as an architecture student.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 17, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Alex Bellos Tags: Mathematics Science Source Type: news

Government offers £2m for scientific research into counter-terrorism
Security minister Ben Wallace set to launch competition seeking ideas on how ‘to keep people safe in crowds’The government is to make up to £2m available to fund research into technology and behavioural science projects that could identify possible terrorists in crowds.Ministers hope the competition will generate techniques to improve the surveillance and detection of potential terrorist threats.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 16, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Ione Wells Tags: UK security and counter-terrorism Counter-terrorism policy UK news Science London Manchester Greater Manchester Politics Source Type: news

Let's twist again: the secrets of kissing angles revealed
Humans hard-wired to favour leaning to the right while locking lips with romantic partners, an international study has foundHumans are hard-wired to favour leaning to the right while kissing romantic partners, an international study by psychologists and neuroscientists has found.The research, by the universities of Dhaka, Bath and Bath Spa, found that kiss recipients have a tendency to match their partners ’ head-leaning direction.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 16, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Press Association Tags: Neuroscience Psychology Research Relationships Life and style UK news Source Type: news

Stressful experiences can age brain 'by years', Alzheimer's experts hear
Child ’s death, divorce or job loss linked to poorer cognition in later life, study finds, with African Americans more susceptibleStressful life experiences can age the brain by several years, new research suggests. Experts led by a team from Wisconsin University ’s school of medicine and public health in the US found that even one major stressful event early in life may have an impact on later brain health.The team examined data for 1,320 people who reported stressful experiences over their lifetime and underwent tests in areas such as thinking and memory. The subjects ’ average age was 58 and included 1...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 16, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Press Association Tags: Alzheimer's Dementia Science Neuroscience Psychology Health Mental health Society Medical research Source Type: news

Governments have to invest in the fourth industrial revolution | Larry Elliott
Despite the unprecedented speed of current breakthroughs investment is weak and money is either stashed away or distributed to shareholdersPrepare for the age of the driverless car and the robot that does the housework. That was the message from the World Economic Forum earlier this year as it hailed the start of a new industrial revolution.According to the WEF, the fourth big structural change in the past 250 years is upon us.The first industrial revolution was about water and steam. The second was about electricity and mass production. The third harnessed electronics and information technology to automate production. Now...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 16, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Larry Elliott Tags: Economics Business Politics UK news Nanotechnology Artificial intelligence (AI) 3D printing Davos EU referendum and Brexit City AM Science Computing Source Type: news

I would eat anything for lunch (but I won ’t eat that) – how can I cure my aversion to eggs?
Killian Fox has eaten termites, he ’s tried crickets, but there’s one food he is afraid of. Can psychology and a brilliant young chef help?Why do fears exist, if not for us to confront them? This is what I ’m telling myself as I enter Tim Spedding’s kitchen in east London on a brisk evening in late spring. On the face of it, it doesn’t seem like such a bad proposition: one of the most exciting young chefs in the city, who honed his skills at the Ledbury and the Clove Club, has offered to cook di nner for me at his home. The downside is that everything on tonight’s menu contains boiled eg...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 16, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Killian Fox Tags: Food & drink Psychology Eggs Life and style Science Source Type: news

Secrets of the mummies at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Vilnius
Anthropologist Dario Piombino-Mascali discovers lessons for modern medicine among remains of 23 preserved peopleThe crypt under the Dominican Church of the Holy Spirit in the heart of Vilnius has a vivid history.The coffins hidden in the gloomy lair under the church ’s altar were stripped by Napoleon’s army for wood. During the second world war, the Nazis used it as a makeshift bomb shelter. And in their time as the local overlords, the Soviets converted the crypt into a museum of atheism.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 16, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Daniel Boffey in Vilnius Tags: Lithuania Anthropology Europe Archaeology World news Evolution Biology Science Source Type: news

Henry Marsh: ‘The mind-matter problem is not a problem for me – mind is matter’
The celebrated neurosurgeon and writer talks about 40 years inside our skulls, what ’s wrong with the NHS – and the Zen of woodworkHenry Marsh made the decision to become a neurosurgeon after he had witnessed his three-month-old son survive the complex removal of a brain tumour. For two decades he was the senior consultant in the Atkinson Morley wing at St George ’s hospital in London, one of the country’s largest specialist brain surgery units. He pioneered techniques in operating on the brain under local anaesthetic and was the subject of the BBC documentary Your Life in Their ...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 16, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Tim Adams Tags: Neuroscience Autobiography and memoir Science and nature NHS Hospitals Society Books Culture Health Source Type: news

Let ’s treat online abuse as a public health hazard | Sonia Sodha
Social media bullying is getting the parliamentary attention it deserves – but politicians must focus on what’s going on behind this toxic behaviourOne of the most important breakthroughs in public health came in1847, when a Hungarian doctor, Ignaz Semmelweis, discovered that surgeons could dramatically cut mortality rates by disinfecting their hands. At the time, he was ridiculed by his medical contemporaries. But today, hand washing remains the cornerstone of lifesaving medical hygiene.I wonder if we ’ve got something important to learn from Semmelweis when it comes to online abuse. Last week, MPs debat...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 16, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Sonia Sodha Tags: Cyberbullying Internet Society NSPCC whistleblowing advice line: in focus Medical research Science Source Type: news

Creativity and risk taking – what exactly is the link? Quiz
Disagreeing with an authority figure in public is associated with creativity but having unprotected sex is not. Answer our questions to test yourselfCreativity has many different aspects, but one way to measure it is through its links with risk taking. Many pieces of art and music took risks by flying in the face of the accepted norms of the day (Michelangelo ’s nudes for example). So, on a scale of 1 (extremely unlikely) to 7 (extremely likely), how likely are you to take risks in the following areas of life:Morals and ethics eg, having an affair.Finance eg, making a large investment in a friend ’s business.He...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 16, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Ben Ambridge Tags: Life and style Psychology Science Source Type: news

Maryam Mirzakhani, first woman to win mathematics' Fields medal, dies at 40
Stanford professor had suffered from breast cancerPrestigious Fields medal is considered maths ’ equivalent of the NobelMaryam Mirzakhani, a Stanford University professor who was the first and only woman towin the prestigious Fields medal in mathematics, has died. She was 40.Related:Maryam Mirzakhani: 'The more I spent time on maths, the more excited I got'Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 16, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Associated Press in Stanford Tags: US news Iran US universities US education Higher education Middle East and North Africa World news Mathematics Science California Source Type: news

Brexit threatens Britain ’s place at the nuclear top table | Ian Chapman
The UK is currently a world leader in fusion research; leaving Euratom would be calamitousIn the south of France, the largest scientific experiment mankind has ever embarked upon is rising out of the ground. This facility,the Iter project, will demonstrate nuclear fusion power on a commercial scale, involving the European Union, US, Japan, South Korea, China, Russia and India. Fusion is the process that powers the sun and the stars, and bringing it to Earth has long been a staple of science fiction fantasies.It is an energy source that, instead of burning fossil fuels, uses water; it produces no long-lived waste and can op...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 15, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Ian Chapman Tags: Nuclear power Energy Science EU referendum and Brexit European Union Environment Article 50 UK news Foreign policy Politics Source Type: news