Coronavirus live news: France may impose regional lockdowns; South Korea starts vaccinations
French PM says worrying Covid spread in 20 areas; global death toll passes 2.5m; Brazil death toll passes 250,000. Follow latest updatesBiden hails 50m vaccine doses since he took officeModerna forecasts $18bn in sales of Covid vaccine this yearQueen urges Britons to ‘think about others’ and get vaccinatedRevealed: four in five Oxford Covid jabs delivered to EU not yet usedSee all our coronavirus coverage3.05amGMTDespite a tourism-dependent economy devastated by coronavirus shutdowns, Vanuatu ’s Covid-19 vaccination programme will not inoculate most of its population until the end of 2023.According to the...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 26, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Alison Rourke Tags: Coronavirus Vaccines and immunisation Infectious diseases Science World news Source Type: news

Answer to fossil record puzzle may lie with teenage T rexes, study finds
Absence of smaller dinosaurs may be result of adolescent megatheropods crowding them outTeenage T rexes and othercarnivorous dinosaurs the size of lions or bears may have crowded out smaller species, explaining why there are so few of them preserved in the fossil record, research suggests.Despite dominating the land for more than 150 million years, dinosaurs were not particularly diverse, and most known species were giants weighing 1,000kg or more – including massive, meat-eating megatheropods such asTyrannosaurus rex.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 25, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Linda Geddes Tags: Dinosaurs Evolution Biology Fossils Science Zoology Palaeontology Source Type: news

Atlantic Ocean circulation at weakest in a millennium, say scientists
Decline in system underpinning Gulf Stream could lead to more extreme weather in Europe and higher sea levels on US east coastThe Atlantic Ocean circulation that underpins the Gulf Stream, the weather system that brings warm and mild weather to Europe, is at its weakest in more than a millennium, and climate breakdown is the probable cause, according to new data.Further weakening of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) could result in more storms battering the UK,more intense winters and an increase in damaging heatwaves and droughts across Europe.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 25, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Fiona Harvey Environment correspondent Tags: Climate change Oceans Environment Science World news Source Type: news

Plants linked to lower levels of violence and self-harm in prisons
Researchers say England and Wales study shows demonstrable benefits for prisoners in all categoriesGreen space has been shown toboost learning,improve recovery from hospital operations andlower the risk of mental disorders. Now the power of plants has been linked to lower levels of violence and self-harm in prisons.Researchers mapped the percentage of green space– trees, lawns and shrubbery – within prisons in England and Wales and compared it with incidents of self-harm, prisoner assaults on staff and violence between prisoners.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 25, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Patrick Barkham Tags: Prisons and probation Plants Trees and forests UK news Science Environment Source Type: news

Black-browed babbler found in Borneo 180 years after last sighting
Exclusive: Stuffed specimen was only proof of bird ’s existence until discovery in rainforest last yearIn the 1840s, a mystery bird was caught on an expedition to the East Indies. Charles Lucien Bonaparte, the nephew of Napoleon, described it to science and named it the black-browed babbler (Malacocincla perspicillata).The species was never seen in the wild again, and astuffed specimen featuring a bright yellow glass eye was the only proof of its existence. But now the black-browed babbler has been rediscovered in the rainforests of Borneo.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 25, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Patrick Barkham Tags: Birds Wildlife Environment Indonesia Asia Pacific World news Source Type: news

'Unique' petrified tree up to 20m years old found intact in Lesbos
Discovery of 19.5-metre tree with roots, branches and leaves is unprecedented, say expertsFirst came the tree, all 19.5 metres of it, with roots and branches and leaves. Then, weeks later, the discovery of 150 fossilised logs, one on top of the other, a short distance away.Nikolas Zouros, a professor of geology at the University of the Aegean, couldn ’t believe his luck. In 25 years of excavating the petrified forest of Lesbos, he had unearthed nothing like it.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 25, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Helena Smith in Athens Tags: Greece Geology Trees and forests Europe Science World news Environment Source Type: news

A practical guide to tackling the climate crisis – podcast
The first UN climate change conference was held in 1995 in Berlin. More than two decades later, our planet remains on track for three degrees of warming above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. The answer to avoiding this catastrophe is both simple and staggeringly complicated: drastically reducing and reversing the amount of carbon dioxide entering our atmosphere. How do we do this? Science correspondent Natalie Grover speaks to Prof Mike Berners-Lee, author of There is No Planet B, who has crunched the numbers on everything from carbon offsetting and green investments to e-bikesContinue reading... (Source: ...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 25, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Presented by Natalie Grover and produced by Madeleine Finlay Tags: Science Environment Climate change Carbon offsetting Green economy Greenhouse gas emissions Ethical and green living Source Type: news

Royal Mint to commemorate fossil hunter Mary Anning
Special 50p coins will feature some of the Jurassic creatures discovered by 19th-century palaeontologistOne of the most terrifying Jurassic sea creatures is to appear on commemorative 50p coins to celebrate the work of thepioneering fossil hunter Mary Anning.The temnodontosaurus coins will shine a light on the 19th-century palaeontologist, who made a series of discoveries near her home in Lyme Regis, Dorset.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 25, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Mark Brown Arts correspondent Tags: Palaeontology Science Natural History Museum Culture Museums Heritage UK news Fossils Collecting Ammonite Source Type: news

Statins do not cause muscle aches and pains, study finds
UK researchers seek to dispel concerns over pills prescribed for those at higher risk of heart attack and strokesStatins are generally not the cause of the muscle aches and pains that stop some people taking the pills prescribed to protect them against serious heart problems, according to a novel study that hopes to dispel some of the concerns.Two million people in the UK who are at higher risk of heart attack and strokes are eligible for statins, but many people refuse them or have stopped taking them because of sometimes alarming and widespread reports of muscle pain. But the study funded by the National Institute of Hea...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 24, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Sarah Boseley Health editor Tags: Statins Medical research Health Ageing UK news Heart attack Stroke Heart disease Science Society Source Type: news

Listen to the first sounds recorded on Mars – video
Nasa scientists release the first sounds ever recorded on Mars, a light gust of wind on the planet ’s surface on Monday.‘I invite you now to, if you would like to, close your eyes and just imagine yourself sitting on the surface of Mars and listening to the surroundings,’ says Dave Gruel, camera suite lead for the Perseverance roverContinue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 24, 2021 Category: Science Tags: Planets Science Rover Nasa World news Source Type: news

The Guardian view on vaccine passports: a tool to handle with care | Editorial
Practical and ethical concerns are valid, but a well-designed policy with the right legal safeguards could make a valuable differenceBoris Johnson appears, at last, to have learned the folly of overconfidence in fighting the pandemic. He used to make rash promises with grandiose optimism. Now his plans are laden with caveats. The adjustment is welcome, albeit too late for those whose lives were lost when denial and bluster spoke louder than caution and evidence to dictate government policy. The coming months will test the prime minister ’s newly judicious method. Many in his party are impatient for lockdown to be eas...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 24, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Editorial Tags: Coronavirus Infectious diseases Medical research Microbiology Science Vaccines and immunisation Health Society World news Boris Johnson Source Type: news

UK Covid: Williamson hopes children will get 'time in schools' this summer - as it happened
This live blog is now closed.For the latest coronavirus news from around the world, head to our global Covid blogJohnson pledges more Covid support in budget than Labour calls forMore people with learning disabilities to be invited for Covid jabJohnson& Johnson one-shot vaccine effective, US body saysVaccine trials for variants to start in summer, MPs toldGlobal coronavirus updates – live6.22pmGMTOn the summer holidays, what we have done in terms of a £200m programme is we want schools to be putting on great activities, whether it is education-led or even wellbeing-led, so we’d be hoping that schools ...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 24, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Andrew Sparrow Tags: Coronavirus Politics UK news Boris Johnson Keir Starmer PMQs House of Commons Vaccines and immunisation Learning disability Health Infectious diseases Science Medical research Gavin Williamson Wales Education Schools Soci Source Type: news

Covid cases among asylum seekers at Napier barracks higher than thought
Home affairs committee chair Yvette Cooper ‘astonished’ by Priti Patel’s responses to questionsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageA former military barracks being used to house asylum seekers has had at least 197 positive cases of Covid-19 this year alone, far higher than previously thought, the most senior civil servant at the Home Office has revealed.The total number of cases at Napier barracks near Folkestone, Kent, is equal to more than 50% of its resident population at its peak of 380.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 24, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Jamie Grierson Home affairs correspondent Tags: Immigration and asylum Home Office Priti Patel Politics Refugees UK news Public services policy Coronavirus Kent England Society Science Source Type: news

All people on learning disabilities register in England to be invited for Covid vaccine
Care minister confirms move up priority list after advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and ImmunisationCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coveragePeople who are on a GP register for learning disabilities will now be prioritised for a coronavirus vaccination in England, following updated advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).Helen Whately, the care minister, said those registered would be invited for vaccination to ensure people at higher risk of the disease were protected as soon as possible.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 24, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Ian Sample Science editor Tags: Coronavirus Vaccines and immunisation Infectious diseases Medical research Microbiology Science World news UK news Source Type: news

To stop climate disaster, make ecocide an international crime. It's the only way | Jojo Mehta and Julia Jackson
Outlawing ecocide would hold governments and corporations accountable for environmental negligence. We can ’t waitThe Paris agreement is failing. Yet there is new hope for preserving a livable planet: the growing global campaign to criminalize ecocide can address the root causes of the climate crisis and safeguard our planet – the common home of all humanity and, indeed, all life on Earth.Nearly five years after the negotiation of the landmark Paris agreement tolimit greenhouse gas emissions and associated global warming to “well below 2.0C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the te...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 24, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Jojo Mehta and Julia Jackson Tags: Climate change Environment Science Source Type: news

The forecasts that spooked Boris Johnson into slowing exit from lockdown
PM ’s hands tied by gloomy prediction that rapid easing would lead to even fuller hospitals than in JanuaryCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageOn Monday,Boris Johnson announced his roadmap for lifting all Covid restrictions by 21 June but facedcriticism from some Conservative MPs for not providing for a speedier return to normal life. Here is some of the evidence the government and its scientific advisers have been considering, outlining the risks of lifting restrictions too early.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 24, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Haroon Siddique Tags: Coronavirus Medical research Boris Johnson UK news Infectious diseases Universities Hospitals Source Type: news

'Dare mighty things': hidden message found on Nasa Mars rover parachute
Social media users say message is encoded in red-and-white pattern on parachuteInternet sleuths claim to have decoded a hidden message displayed on the parachute that helped Nasa ’s Perseverance Rover land safely on Mars last week. They claim that the phrase “Dare mighty things” – used as a motto by Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory – was encoded on the parachute using a pattern representing letters as binary computer code.Reddit users and social media posters on Twitter noticed that the red-and-white pattern on the parachute looked deliberate, and arrived at the result by using the red t...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 23, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Martin Belam Tags: Nasa Science Space Mars Source Type: news

A third of claims since universal credit began made during pandemic
Charities say new figures show £20-a-week Covid benefit top-up should be extended beyond MarchCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe scale of the hardship caused by Covid-19 has been laid bare with new figures showing that more than a third of claims since universal credit was introduced have been made during the pandemic.The number of people claiming the payment has doubled since the start of the pandemic, according to data released by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 23, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Ben Quinn Tags: Universal credit Coronavirus Benefits Science UK news Society Source Type: news

Climate crisis hitting 'worst case scenarios', warns Environment Agency
Sir James Bevan says extreme flooding in UK indicates urgent need for change if humanity is to surviveThe climate emergency is already hitting “worst case scenario” levels that if left unchecked will lead to the collapse of ecosystems, with dire consequences for humanity, according to the chief executive of the Environment Agency.Warning that this is not “science fiction”, Sir James Bevan said on Tuesday that in recent years several of the “reasonable worst case scenarios” had happened in the UK, with more extreme weather and flooding. And he urged politicians to take action to reduce em...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 23, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Matthew Taylor Tags: Environment Agency Climate change Science UK news Cop26: Glasgow climate change conference 2021 Source Type: news

EU tells six countries to lift Covid border restrictions
Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary and Sweden put on notice over curbs to free movementCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageBrussels has put six EU member states on notice that their tight Covid border restrictions, including exit and entry bans, should be lifted over fears of a wider breakdown in the bloc ’s free movement of people and goods.Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary and Sweden have been given 10 days to respond to the European commission ’s concerns that they have breached commonly agreed coronavirus guidelines.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 23, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Daniel Boffey in Brussels Tags: European Union Coronavirus Infectious diseases World news Science Germany Belgium Austria Hungary Czech Republic Denmark Finland Sweden Source Type: news

Hancock criticised for claim there was never a national PPE shortage
Doctors and MPs say health secretary ’s comment about supply to NHS staff on Covid frontline is ‘deeply insulting’Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageMatt Hancock has been criticised for a “disgustingly disrespectful” claim that there was never a national shortage of personal protective equipment during the pandemic.Doctors and MPs condemned the UK health secretary as “deeply insulting” on Tuesday after he insisted that his team had delivered protective equipment for frontline NHS staff in the “teeth of a pandemic”.Continue reading... (Sour...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 23, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Sarah Marsh Tags: Coronavirus Matt Hancock NHS Health policy Politics Science Society UK news Source Type: news

Mount Etna: footage captures volcano erupting at night, illuminating sky – video
Spectacular eruptions of red lava from Mount Etna, on the Italian island of Sicily, continued overnight from Monday into Tuesday, illuminating the night sky. The volcano ’s lava fountains soared to 1,500 metres, according to the Etna Observatory at Italy's National Institute of Geophysics and VolcanologyMount Etna illuminates night sky with 1,500-metre lava fountainContinue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 23, 2021 Category: Science Tags: Italy Volcanoes Europe Science Source Type: news

Prototype Covid test delivers results three times faster than lateral flow
Test developed in France is as accurate as PCR test and does not require lab processingCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageFrench researchers have developed a coronavirus test that they say delivers results three times faster than rapid lateral flow antigen tests with – according to initial trial data – almost the same accuracy as more reliable, but slower, PCR tests.The electrochemical test, which uses nanobodies taken from the camelid group of animals, returns a result within 10 minutes and, in an early test of 300 samples, proved 90% as accurate as a PCR test for both positive a...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 23, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Jon Henley in Paris Tags: Coronavirus Science France Europe Health Source Type: news

Vaccine scepticism is as old as vaccines themselves. Here's how to tackle it
Instead of making this a polarised debate, a joined-up approach is needed to make sure the public are given clear informationCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThere has been an explosion of medical misinformation since the pandemic began. It perhaps shouldn ’t come as a surprise. As a health crisis of epic proportions plays out before us, people want fast access to the latest news on vaccines and all other developments. But an abundance of information can make for confusion, misunderstanding and bad faith.Related:Is 12 weeks between Covid jabs too long? | David Spiegelhalter and Anthon...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 23, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Sally Frampton Tags: Vaccines and immunisation Coronavirus Health Infectious diseases Medical research Society UK news Science World news Media Source Type: news

Did an ancient magnetic pole flip change life on Earth? – podcast
What would it be like if the Earth ’s magnetic pole switched? Migrating animals and hikers would certainly need to reset their compasses, but could it play real havoc with life on Earth? Analysing the rings of an ancient tree pulled from a bog in New Zealand, researchers have been investigating what happened the last time north and south flipped – 42,000 years ago.Nicola Davis speaks to Prof Chris Turney about how it changed the chemistry of the atmosphere and, if combined with a period of lower solar activity, what impact this could have had on the environment and evolutionContinue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 23, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Presented by Nicola Davis and produced by Madeleine Finlay Tags: Environment Science Physics Chemistry Geology Source Type: news

'The clouds cleared': what terminal lucidity teaches us about life, death and dementia
Just before Alex Godfrey ’s grandmother died from dementia, she snapped back to lucidity and regaled him with stories of her youth. Could moments like this teach us more about the workings of the brain?It was the red jelly that did it. It was Christmas 1999 in Rapid City, South Dakota, and Ward Porterfield, 83, was in a nursing home. He had been diagnosed with dementia three years earlier; he was confused and disoriented and eventually he no longer recognised his daughter, Kay. “When I went in,” she says of her later visits, “he didn’t know me at all.” That Christmas, he refused to eat. ...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 23, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Alex Godfrey Tags: Dementia Mental health Society Neuroscience Source Type: news

Australia urged to manufacture mRNA Covid vaccines onshore to guard against supply disruption
Without the technology to produce mRNA vaccines such as the Pfizer jab, Australia and region remain ‘vulnerable to supply shocks’, scientists warnLeading Australian scientists have called on the federal government to urgently develop additional onshore Covid vaccine manufacturing capability to protect against supply disruption as the country completes its second day of vaccinations.In a pre-budget submission published on Tuesday, the Australian Academy of Science said without the ability to produce mRNA vaccines, Australia and the region remain vulnerable to supply limitations.Continue reading... (Source: Guard...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 23, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Melissa Davey Tags: Health Medical research Vaccines and immunisation Science Australia news Coronavirus Australian politics Source Type: news

Recent Australian emissions cuts likely to be reversed in recovery from Covid and drought
Scott Morrison says Coalition is ‘getting on with’ reductions, but analysis finds end of lockdowns and drought will reverse trendMost of the reduction in Australia ’s greenhouse gas emissions last year is likely to be wiped out as transport rebounds after Covid-19 lockdowns and farming recovers from the long-term-drought, according to an audit of national climate data.Scott Morrisontold the National Press Club earlier this month the government was “getting on with” reducing emissions, citing official data that found emissions were down 3% in the year to June to their lowest levels since 1998. ...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 23, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Adam Morton Environment editor Tags: Greenhouse gas emissions Australian politics Climate change Environment Australia news Agriculture Science Energy Renewable energy Source Type: news

For Black Americans, Covid-19 is a reminder of the racism of US healthcare | Keon L Gilbert, Ruqaiijah Yearby, Amber Johnson and Kira Banks
A disproportionate number of the 500,000 Americans who have died of coronavirus are people of colorFor Black Americans, Covid-19 is another brutal reminder of the racist legacy of the American healthcare system. A disproportionate number of the 500,000 Americans who have died of coronavirus are Black. Yet African Americans and other people of color have struggled toaccess vaccines.Racism corrupts every facet of the US healthcare system. Discriminatory practices barred the entry of Black candidates into medical, nursing, dental, pharmacy and other professional healthcare programs. Segregated medical facilities and unjust tr...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 22, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Keon L Gilbert, Ruqaiijah Yearby, Amber Johnson and Kira Banks Tags: Coronavirus Race Health policy Infectious diseases Science Source Type: news

Footage of Perseverance rover landing on Mars released by Nasa – video
Nasa has released first-of-its-kind footage of the Perseverance rover landing on Mars. The video shows the final minutes of last week ’s descent, up to the point where the rover touches down on Mars’ surface.The rover is covered with cameras, including seven dedicated to recording the rover ’s landing. More than 30GB of information has already been collected from the rover – along with 23,000 images as the vehicle descendedContinue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 22, 2021 Category: Science Tags: Nasa Mars Space Source Type: news

Nasa releases video of Perseverance rover landing on Mars
Space agency also reveals audio recorded by Perseverance on surface of red planetNasa has unveiled a first-of-its-kind video of its car-sized rover Perseverance making its sensational landing on Mars, and released the first audio recorded on the surface of the red planet.The American space agency shared the footage on Monday, days after the spacecraft made itsdramatic descent to the Martian surface.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 22, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Natalie Grover Science correspondent Tags: Mars Nasa Science Space World news Source Type: news

Did you solve it? The art of the puzzle
The solutions to today ’s artful problemsEarlier todayI set you the following puzzles. The first is a starter problem and the other three were suggested by puzzle guruRob Eastaway.The nine dotsContinue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 22, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Alex Bellos Tags: Mathematics Education Science Source Type: news

Is England's Covid roadmap the right way out of lockdown? The experts' view
Boris Johnson has announced a phased lifting of restrictions. Scientists and health advisers give their verdictCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageContinue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 22, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Devi Sridhar, Jennifer Dowd, Graham Medley and Stephen Reicher Tags: Coronavirus UK news Infectious diseases Science Source Type: news

UK Covid live: Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines reduce hospital admissions by 85% and 94%, study suggests
Data on coronavirus hospital admissions in Scotlandfinds fall among people who have had first jab compared with those who had notJohnson unveils lockdown exit plan: schools and social contact firstScotland vaccination drive linked to big drop in hospital admissionsVaccinating children could be key to stifling Covid, say expertsWhat must Boris Johnson consider before easing Covid lockdown?Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverage2.22pmGMTIn Scotland there has been a small rise in the number of Covid patients in hospital. There were 1,141 coronavirus patients in hospital yesterday,according to the fi...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 22, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Andrew Sparrow Tags: Coronavirus Politics UK news Boris Johnson Health Health policy Vaccines and immunisation Keir Starmer Infectious diseases Medical research Source Type: news

Bone cancer survivor to participate in first SpaceX private flight
Hayley Arceneaux, 29, will become youngest American in space when she joins Jared Isaacman and two contest winners on flightHayley Arceneaux, a 29-year-old physician assistant and former bone cancer patient, will become the youngest American in space later this year, when she participates in the first SpaceX private flight.St Jude Children ’s Research hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, where Arceneaux was once a patient and now works, announced on Monday that she will blast off later this year with the entrepreneur Jared Isaacman and two contest winners.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 22, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Associated Press in Memphis Tags: SpaceX Tennessee US news Science World news Source Type: news

Scotland Covid vaccination drive linked to big drop in hospital admissions
Pfizer jab cuts risk of admission by up to 85% four weeks after first dose, while AstraZeneca jab cuts risk by 94%, study findsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageOne dose of vaccine against Covid-19 in Scotland has cut hospital admissions by more than 85%, according to the first data to be published on the impact of the UK programme.By the fourth week after receiving the initial dose, the Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines had reduced the risk of hospitalisation from Covid-19 by up to 85% and 94% respectively, according to a study by Scottish universities and Public Health Scotland.Contin...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 22, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Sarah Boseley Tags: Vaccines and immunisation Scotland Coronavirus UK news Health Science Society Source Type: news

Can you solve it? The art of the puzzle
Thinking in and out of the boxWhat makes for a great puzzle? Here ’s a golden oldie that certainly qualifies.The nine dotsContinue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 22, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Alex Bellos Tags: Mathematics Education Science Source Type: news

Starwatch: find a dark site to find Cassiopeia, the seated queen
The constellation is a constant feature of the night sky from mid-latitude northern countriesCassiopeia, the queen, can be found in the north-western sky this week. The chart shows the view from London at 1900 GMT each evening.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 22, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Stuart Clark Tags: Environment Science Space Source Type: news

People with extremist views less able to do complex mental tasks, research suggests
Cambridge University team say their findings could be used to spot people at risk from radicalisationOur brains hold clues for the ideologies we choose to live by, according to research, which has suggested that people who espouse extremist attitudes tend to perform poorly on complex mental tasks.Researchers from the University of Cambridge sought to evaluate whether cognitive disposition – differences in how information is perceived and processed – sculpt ideological world-views such as political, nationalistic and dogmatic beliefs, beyond the impact of traditional demographic factors like age, race and gender...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 22, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Natalie Grover Tags: Psychology Neuroscience University of Cambridge Counter-terrorism policy UK news World news US news The far right Source Type: news

Fantastic beasts, but where to find them? | Letters
Neanderthals | Royal family | Unicorn shortage | Grace Dent | CrosswordsThefanciful painting used to illustrate the print version (19 February) ofyour article discussing possible reasons for the demise of the Neanderthals offers yet another explanation. There appears to be just one identifiable female individual shown, breastfeeding a baby. Though the painter has modestly covered all genital areas, it ’s obvious to the viewer that the other 14 or so are intended to be male. No wonder they died out.Maggie JonesBlackheath, London• Try telling the nurses and carers in the NHS, the refuse collectors, teachers, volun...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 21, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Letters Tags: Folklore and mythology Science History Nursing Care workers Prince Harry Monarchy Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex Brexit Bereavement Crosswords Teaching Volunteering Society Rail travel Transport Transport policy Rail indus Source Type: news

UK doctors pioneer use of 'heart in a box' transplant technique in children
Procedure previously deemed suitable only for adults saved the lives of six young patients last yearNHS doctors have pioneered the use of a “dead” heart transplant technique – previously deemed suitable only for adults – in children, saving the lives of six young patients last year.Surgeons typically use for transplants hearts donated by patients who are declared brain stem dead but whose hearts are still beating. Retrieving the hearts of patients who have suffered cardiac death (which are far more common than brain stem deaths) is considered too risky a prospect.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 21, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Natalie Grover Tags: Health NHS Organ donation Medical research Society Science UK news Source Type: news

Scientists say clinical trials for ‘variant-proof’ vaccines could start very soon
From immunity to blocking transmission of the virus, labs across the UK are hunting for second-generation jabsScientists are developing a range of second-generation Covid vaccines aimed at expanding protection against the disease.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 21, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Robin McKie Tags: Vaccines and immunisation Medical research Coronavirus Infectious diseases Microbiology Science UK news Health Source Type: news

After the Nobel, what next for Crispr  gene-editing therapies?
Hailed as the ‘molecular scissors’ that will allow us to rewrite our genes, the DNA tool is being trialled in treatments for everything from sickle-cell anaemia to cancerWhen last year ’s Nobel prize for chemistry was awarded tobiochemist Jennifer Doudna and microbiologist Emmanuelle Charpentier for their work in developing the technique of gene editing known as Crispr-Cas9 (pronounced “crisper”), headlines hailed their discovery as “molecular scissors” that would allow us to “rewrite the book of life” – with all the complicated ethical questions that ability rais...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 21, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Philip Ball Tags: Gene editing Medical research Genetics Biology Science Cancer Huntington's disease Sickle cell disease Source Type: news

Boris Johnson ’s Covid roadmap must not repeat the prime minister’s past mistakes | Andrew Rawnsley
If he ’s honest with the public, the prime minister will stress there is no quick or easy escape back to normalityIt is a sign of our times that the only live theatre currently available is that staged by politicians. Boris Johnson will tomorrow unveil his “roadmap” for easing out of coronavirus restrictions, a moment that is being fanfared as a big, dramatic event. The journey planner will be shown to the cabinet on Monday morning and then presented to the Commons before a prime ministerial news conference in the evening.I can ’t tell you exactly what will be in the document, because it is still be...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 21, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Andrew Rawnsley Tags: Coronavirus Boris Johnson Chris Whitty Politics Science Conservatives Patrick Vallance Source Type: news

Foot and mouth 20 years on: what an animal virus epidemic taught UK science
Britain ’s top vet was newly qualified when the outbreak hit. Here, she talks about the devastating slaughter and tracking virus variantsChristine Middlemiss was a young vet working in Scotland in February 2001 when foot and mouth disease struck Britain. Having grown up on a farm, and having later worked in veterinary care in Cumbria, she volunteered to help battle an affliction that would eventually take a terrible toll on UK livestock.“I volunteered as a temporary veterinary inspector at 4pm and was told to report to a farm in Cumbria by 8am the next day,” Middlemiss told theObserver last week. “I...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 21, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Robin McKie Tags: Science Farming Vaccines and immunisation Foot and mouth Rural affairs UK news Farm animals Environment Agriculture World news Infectious diseases Health Microbiology Medical research Source Type: news

Covid jabs and spending don ’t make Johnson a good prime minister | William Keegan
This bungling, populist government is basking in the reflected glory of the experts who created the Covid vaccinePhilip Stephens, the chief political commentator of theFinancial Times, tells a wonderful story about how he was playing football in the playground at school – in those days playground football was with tennis balls – and a ball hit the Latin master as he was passing.The Latin master immediately clipped Stephens round the ears – which, these days, would no doubt have led to the master’s dismissal. Stephens protested: “It wasn’t me, sir.” To which the reply was: “Le...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 21, 2021 Category: Science Authors: William Keegan Tags: Economics Brexit European Union Foreign policy Business UK news Coronavirus Science Infectious diseases Boris Johnson Conservatives Source Type: news

The Observer view on triumph on Mars and tragedy in Texas | Observer editorial
As with space travel, co-operation is crucial in solving the country ’s infrastructure problemsAs a contrast in extremes, last week ’s extraordinary developments in space and the southern United States take some beating. At the very moment Nasa’s Perseverance rover scored a technological triumph with its flawless landing on the surface of Mars, millions of Americancitizens in Texas were thrust back into a chaotic, pre-industrial dark age of no electricity, no water and, for some, no food by unprecedented freezing temperatures.Many lessons may be drawn from the confluence of these two events, positive and ...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 21, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Observer editorial Tags: Mars Nasa Science Climate change Texas Inequality Space US news Coronavirus Environment Ted Cruz Source Type: news

'I could physically feel the germs on me': how Covid is a double-edged sword for those with OCD
For some the pandemic has worsened their symptoms, but others say social distancing and hygiene measures have made life easierLuka Buchanan has always been consumed by the fear of contamination and germs, washing their hands until they were raw, and terrified the food they ate would poison them.Diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder at age 19, Buchanan, who uses they/them pronouns, spent years in therapy telling themselves over and over that there was nothing to fear – that the chances of a global contagion were minuscule, and that they weren’t infected and dangerous to those around them.Continue reading....
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 20, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Matilda Boseley Tags: Health Coronavirus Obsessive-compulsive disorder Mental health Australia news Society Infectious diseases Science Source Type: news

Coronavirus: UK should donate vaccines to poorer nations now, says new WTO chief; French cities facing tougher lockdowns
Russia registers third Covid vaccineArgentina ’s health minister resigns over vaccine allocationsFrance reports increase in daily Covid death tollIreland reports three cases of Brazilian variantSee all our coronavirus coverage7.45pmGMTFrance’s number of new coronavirus cases compared with a week earlier increased for the third day in a row, with the health ministry reporting 22,371 new cases on Saturday. There were 21,231 last Saturday.France reported 183 coronavirus deaths in hospitals in past 24 hours, Reuters reports, compared with 199 last Saturday.7.32pmGMTTaoiseach Miche ál Martin has ruled out reo...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 20, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Clea Skopeliti (now); Kevin Rawlinson (earlier) Tags: Coronavirus Infectious diseases Medical research Microbiology Science World news Source Type: news

How to reconcile after a family rift
Estrangement is surprisingly common – so how can the injured parties put their differences aside?Harry and Meghan have apparently severed links with the royal family and moved halfway across the globe. Nicole Kidman has been allegedly snubbed by her two eldest Scientologist children. Angelina Jolie has a difficult relationship with her father Jon Voight – it probably doesn’t help that he’s Donald Trump’s favourite actor… We hear about these high-profile estrangements and assume it’s either media hype or that these family fallouts are unique to the rich and famous. But Karl A Pille...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - February 20, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Sharon Walker Tags: Family Life and style Psychology Science Health & wellbeing Source Type: news