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We owe our planet this climate march. But we also owe it – very faint – hope | Bill McKibben
Trump is the worst thing that could have happened to the planet. That ’s all the more reason to fight on - and celebrate even the smallest successesThere is no upside to the Trump presidency. To be in DC – I’ve come for Saturday’s giant climate march – is to be reminded up close what all Americans have known for months: we’ve put the country in the hands of a man completely unequal to the task. A man so cluelessly over his head that he keeps telling reporters he’s in over his head. But if you want a few grayish linings to the dark-orange cloud, you can find them. In fact, the last few days have given those of...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 28, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Bill McKibben Tags: US news Climate change World news Science Environment Source Type: news

Do bigots just lack imagination? | Oliver Burkeman
Empathy requires mental gymnastics at the best of times. Empathy for whole categories of people requires Olympic-level skillsIt is usually seen as a depressing paradox about human beings that we find it easier to sympathise with one person ’s suffering than with that of thousands:Stalin probably never really said “one death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic” – but he was right all the same. It’s not much of a paradox, though. It makes sense: each of us has access to only one set of thoughts and emotions – our own – so we’re obliged to relate to others by analogy, working on the assumption t...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 28, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Oliver Burkeman Tags: Psychology Health & wellbeing Life and style Refugees Language Source Type: news

Lab notes: a womb with a view of the future for premature babies
It ’s a sensational claim, but a group of researchers believe that they may havefound evidence that will rewrite the history of human arrival in North America. The scientists believe that smashed mastodon bones found under a freeway construction site in California indicate that humans arrived over 100,000 years earlier than previously thought. To say that other experts are sceptical, however, would be to understate the situation somewhat. “They are going to face a shitstorm,” said one scientist who preferred not to be named. For my (admittedly limited) money, however, the two biggest stories this week were advances i...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 28, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Tash Reith-Banks Tags: Science Source Type: news

Temperature-boosting El Ni ño set for early return this year
The climate event that helped supercharge global warming to record levels in 2015 and 2016 is 50-60% likely in 2017, says World Meteorological OrganizationThe El Ni ño climate event that helped supercharge global warming to record levels in 2015 and 2016 is set for an early return, according to aforecast from the World Meteorological Organization.Related:What is El Ni ño?Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 28, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Damian Carrington, environment editor Tags: El Ni ño southern oscillation Climate change Environment World news Meteorology Science Source Type: news

Spice ruins lives and costs taxpayers a fortune. It doesn ’t have to be this way | David Nutt
Antidotes to these dangerous, destructive synthetic drugs are desperately needed. But the government is standing in the way of their developmentLast year I wrote to the health and home secretaries with suggestions on how antidotes forspice could be developed. Their replies revealed a complete lack of appreciation of the magnitude of the synthetic cannabinoid problem and lack of interest in the idea of an antidote.Spice-induced “zombie” outbreaks inNew York andin Manchester have hit the headlines in the past year. Use of these new damaging and powerful forms of synthetic cannabinoids is rife in our prisons and by homele...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 28, 2017 Category: Science Authors: David Nutt Tags: Drugs Society Science Drugs policy Politics UK news Crime Prisons and probation Law UK criminal justice NHS Health Police Legal highs Source Type: news

Manchester cancer hospital fire 'may have destroyed vital research'
Cancer Research UK institute likely to have lost millions of pounds of life-saving equipment in blaze, says its directorYears of research and millions of pounds of life-saving equipment are feared to have been destroyed in a devastating fire at a cancer hospital in Manchester, its director has said.Prof Richard Marais, the head of the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, said researchers had been able to save 25 years of clinical samples, but that other vital work was lost in the “heartrending”blaze at Christie hospital.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 28, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Josh Halliday North of England correspondent Tags: Manchester Greater Manchester UK news Cancer Health Society Medical research Science Source Type: news

UTI test used by GPs gives wrong results in at least a fifth of cases, study claims
A large proportion of patients seeking help for urinary tract infections are being misdiagnosed – and even told their problem is psychological, say researchersA test that is routinely used by doctors to diagnose urinary tract infections wrongly gives a negative result in a fifth of cases, scientists have found.The findings imply that a large proportion of women who seek medical help for UTIs such as cystitis are being misdiagnosed, with some being told their problem is psychological. Many women with severe symptoms are also likely to have been refused antibiotics.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 28, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Hannah Devlin Science correspondent Tags: Medical research Science Health Biology Women & wellbeing Life and style Society Microbiology Source Type: news

Cancer Drugs Fund condemned as expensive and ineffective
Treatments approved by David Cameron ’s scheme were not worth money, extended life very little and often had adverse side-effects, study findsThe Cancer Drugs Fund, set up by the government to pay for expensive medicines that the NHS would not normally finance, failed to benefit patients and may have resulted in some of them suffering unnecessarily from toxic side-effects, experts say.An analysis in a leading cancer journal has found that the fund paid out £1.27bn from 2010 to 2016 – an amount that would have paid for an entire year of mainstream cancer drugs for the NHS.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 28, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Sarah Boseley Health editor Tags: Cancer research The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) Drugs Medical research Science Society UK news Politics Health policy Source Type: news

Cassini dives between Saturn and its rings
First in a sequence of dramatic manoeuvres that will end with the spacecraft burning up in the planet ’s atmosphereNasa ’sCassini spacecraft has plunged between Saturn and its rings. This is the first pass in a sequence of 22 weekly dives that will result in the destruction of the spacecraft on 15 September.The mission has been orbiting Saturn since 2004, studying the planet, its rings and moons in unprecedented detail. Recently, it discovered that the ocean inside the moon Enceladus has theconditions necessary for life.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 27, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Stuart Clark Tags: Saturn Nasa Astronomy Space Science World news Source Type: news

How Artificial Intelligence will change the world: a live event - Science Weekly podcast
Recorded in front of a live audience as part of ourBrainwaves series,Ian Sample asks a group of experts how AI will change our social landscape - for better or worseSubscribe& Review oniTunes,Soundcloud,Audioboom,Mixcloud&Acast, and join the discussion onFacebook andTwitterOn Monday 20 April, a crowd gathered in Kings Place to hear adiscussion on the future of Artificial Intelligence - or AI - as part of ourBrainwaves Series, supported by SEAT. How do we define human intelligence? How close are we to reaching it with machines? And what happens when these machines start taking our jobs?Continue reading... (Source: G...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 27, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Presented by Ian Sample and produced by Max Sanderson Tags: Science Artificial intelligence (AI) Consciousness Computing Neuroscience Technology Source Type: news

Cassini: the 17th-century astronomer who shrank France and inspired a spacecraft | Rebekah Higgitt
The Cassini spacecraft and its dramatic dive towards Saturn have been in the news this week, but the human Cassini is no less memorableAs a historian of science, when I scroll through my Twitter timeline and see mentions of Cassini, my thoughts tend to go not tothe spacecraft that is, at the time of writing, somewhere between Saturn ’s rings and the planet itself. Rather, they turn toCassini I, II, III and IV, the 17th and 18th-century dynasty of Paris Observatory directors. With the word Saturn appearing alongside, I fix on Cassini I, Giovanni Domenico (or, after he moved to France, Jean-Dominique) Cassini.Giovanni Dome...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 27, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Rebekah Higgitt Tags: Astronomy Saturn Space History of science Source Type: news

The perfect memory: does it even exist? | Dean Burnett
Despite sensational news reports and pop-culture portrayals, the notion that any human has, or even could have, a 100% reliable memory is far from certainEvery now and then, yousee news reports of people with incredible memories, able to recall every single thing from their life at a moment ’s notice. Initially, it may sound like an incredibly useful ability. No more searching for your car keys that you had in your hand minutes ago, no more desperately stalling for time as you flounder to remember the name of the casual acquaintance who’s just said hello to you, no more taking note s at all. Why would you need to? It...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 27, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Dean Burnett Tags: Memory Science Neuroscience Psychology Science and scepticism Source Type: news

Lib Dems shouldn't count on Remain votes - the data looks bleak
Conventional wisdom suggests the Tories could bleed Remain votes to the Lib Dems. Our detailed data analysis suggests this idea could be very wrong indeedThis post was written in collaboration with Martin Baxter ofElectoral Calculus.The Thames Valley constituency I live invoted for Remain in the EU Referendum, which is a little bit awkward because our MP is Theresa May. Surrounded by miles of natural beauty, Maidenhead is a concrete wart on the landscape – fashionable in its day, but now something of an embarrassment.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 27, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Martin Robbins and Martin Baxter Tags: General election 2017 Science Politics Liberal Democrats Conservatives Source Type: news

Rise of the sex robots – video
Advances in computer science and engineering have lifted animatronic lovers from the realms of science fiction to reality; the first models are due to go on sale by the end of the year.Jenny Kleeman meets the men who are making the sex robots, the customers who want to buy them – and the critics who say they are dangerousContinue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 27, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Tom Silverstone, Jenny Kleeman and Michael Tait Tags: Robots Sex Artificial intelligence (AI) Relationships Computing Consciousness Technology Human biology Science Life and style Neuroscience Psychology Source Type: news

Standardised cigarette packaging is on its way, will it reduce smoking?
A new systematic review of existing studies suggests it will reduce smoking, but long-term impacts of standardised cigarette packaging are still unknownStandardised packaging for cigarettes was first introduced in the UK in May last year. Tobacco companies were forced to stop producing branded packs, but were still allowed to sell off existing stock. From 21 May 2017, that must stop too. Fancy, colourful, unique branding on cigarette packets will be completely replaced by uniform olive green boxes, larger health warnings, and brand names written in the same size and font, regardless of make.These changes are the latest in ...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 27, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Suzi Gage Tags: Tobacco industry Smoking Science Health Society Source Type: news

Could history of humans in North America be rewritten by broken bones?
Smashed mastodon bones show humans arrived over 100,000 years earlier than previously thought say researchers, although other experts are scepticalThe history of the people of America, a story that dates back to the last ice age, has been upended by the battered bones of a mastodon found under a freeway construction site in California.Archaeological sites in North America have led most researchers to believe that the continent was first reached by humans like us,Homo sapiens, about 15,000 years ago. But inspection of the broken mastodon bones, and large stones lying with them, point to a radical new date for the arrival of...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 27, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Ian Sample Science editor Tags: Anthropology Science Evolution Americas World news Archaeology Source Type: news

Food security: the gene banks future-proofing Australian agriculture | The future of farming
At the start of ourFuture of farming series on sustainable agribusiness we show how two gene banks, living libraries of all the seeds and grains in Australia, are designed to safeguard the species•The invisible farmers: the young women injecting new ideas into agriculture•Water-smart farming: how hydroponics and drip irrigation are feeding AustraliaIn February 2018 the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in the remote Norwegian Arctic will celebrate its 10th anniversary. Among the gifts it will receive are two collections of precious seeds and grains from theAustralian Pastures Genebank and theAustralian Grains Genebank, to be ...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 27, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Bianca Nogrady Tags: Guardian sustainable business Farming Business (Australia) Environment Technology Australia news Genetics Science Biology Source Type: news

Plain cigarette packaging could drive 300,000 Britons to quit smoking
Review by research organisation Cochrane suggests impact of UK ’s ban on branded packs could echo results seen in AustraliaPlain cigarette cartons featuring large, graphic health warnings could persuade 300,000 people in the UK to quit smoking if the measure has the effect it had in Australia, scientists say.Standardised cigarette packaging will be compulsory in the UK from 20 May. A new review from the independent health research organisation Cochrane on the impact of plain packaging around the world has found that it does affect the behaviour of smokers.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 26, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Sarah Boseley Health editor Tags: Tobacco industry Business Smoking Society Health Health policy Politics Public services policy UK news Science Source Type: news

Cheap, widely available drug could stop thousands of mothers bleeding to death
Tranexamic acid could save the lives of a third of women who die in childbirth from excessive bleeding, which kills 100,000 a yearA cheap and widely available drug could save the lives of thousands of women who die in childbirth from excessive bleeding, one of the main killers of women worldwide.The drug, tranexamic acid, is available over the counter in the UK to women suffering from heavy periods. In Japan and the far east, it is used as a skin whitener. But now a very large study of 20,000 women in 21 countries has shown it can stop a third of cases of bleeding to death after giving birth.Continue reading... (Source: Gu...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 26, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Sarah Boseley Health editor Tags: Medical research Childbirth Health & wellbeing Women Science Life and style Society Source Type: news

Cassini spacecraft finds possibility of alien life, then runs out of fuel
Scientists say discovery of ingredients for life on Saturn ’s moon Enceladus is bittersweet as spacecraft prepares to end 20-year missionCould there be life in our own solar system?This is the question posed by the discovery of hydrogen gas erupting in plumes from Saturn ’s moon Enceladus, indicating the likely existence of an energy supply for microbial life.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 26, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Hannah Devlin Science correspondent Tags: Alien life Space Science Saturn Source Type: news

DNA-based test can spot cancer recurrence a year before conventional scans
‘Liquid biopsy’ diagnosed cancer recurrence up to a year before CT scans are able to in major lung cancer trial, and could buy crucial time for doctorsA revolutionary blood test has been shown to diagnose the recurrence of cancer up to a year in advance of conventional scans in a major lung cancer trial.The test, known as a liquid biopsy, could buy crucial time for doctors by indicating that cancer is growing in the body when tumours are not yet detectable on CT scans and long before the patient becomes aware of physical symptoms.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 26, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Hannah Devlin Science correspondent Tags: Cancer Cancer research Health Lung cancer Medical research Science Society Source Type: news

Pincer-wielding 507m-year-old fossil sheds light on evolution of crabs
Mandibulates, a group that includes crustaceans and insects, show huge diversity –Tokummia katalepsis could be the missing link that explains whyA fossilised ancient creature boasting huge pincers resembling can-openers, a hinged two-piece shell and more than 50 pairs of legs has been discovered, shedding light on the evolutionary past of a huge and diverse group of animals.Researchers say the creature, thought to have lived about 507 million years ago during the Cambrian period, offers insights into the early body plan of mandibulates – a group that encompasses creatures including millipedes, crabs and ants. The group...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 26, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Nicola Davis Tags: Fossils Science Evolution Biology Source Type: news

New human rights to protect against 'mind hacking' and brain data theft proposed
A response to advances in neurotechnology that can read or alter brain activity, new human rights would protect people from theft, abuse and hackingNew human rights that would protect people from having their thoughts and other brain information stolen, abused or hacked have been proposed by researchers.The move is a response to the rapid advances being made with technologies that read or alter brain activity and which many expect to bring enormous benefits to people ’s lives in the coming years.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 26, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Ian Sample Science editor Tags: Neuroscience Human rights Law Technology Source Type: news

Satellite Eye on Earth: March 2017 – in pictures
Mount Etna, India ’s ship graveyard and trees in Africa are among the images captured by European Space Agency and Nasa satellites last monthThe Mackenzie river system is Canada ’s largest watershed, and the 10th largest water basin in the world. The river runs 4,200km (2,600 miles) from the Columbia icefield in the Canadian Rockies to the Arctic Ocean. If your vehicle weighs less than 22,000lb, you can drive the frozen river out to Reindeer Station. The bitterly cold ice road runs for 194km between the remote outposts of Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk. White, snow- and ice-covered waterways of the east channel of the Mackenzi...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 26, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Compiled by Eric Hilaire Tags: Environment World news Space Science Source Type: news

The ultimate slow TV: a 168-hour show on reindeer migration
Using drones, snowmobiles and antler-cams, Norwegian broadcaster NRK is charting the passage of more than 1,000 reindeer as they travel to pastures new. Just as soon as they get a move onHigh up on a mountain plateau in Lapland there has been a tense silence for some days. A crew from the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) has been stuck with a herd of reindeer who are not intending to move. But move they must. Food is getting scarce and besides, their annual spring migration, towards new grazing land down at the coast 200km away, is going live on TV. Minute by minute.The transmission started on Monday night, but as ...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 26, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Elisabeth Ulven Tags: Television & radio Culture Norway Environment Animals Animal behaviour Biology Science Media Source Type: news

Get moving, grandad! Exercise improves brain health in the over 50s | Dean Burnett
A recent meta-study suggests that regular exercise improves the functioning of the brain in people aged 50 and over. How does that work, and is it even surprising?A recently-published study has provided strong evidence that regular exercise is very beneficial for the health and functioning of the brain in the over 50s. To many scientists, this is just confirming what we already knew. But for others, this may come as a surprise to hear.Who can blame them? Crude portrayals and stereotypes from mainstream entertainment, most obviouslybawdy American comedies of the 80s, give the impression there is some sort clear divide betwe...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 26, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Dean Burnett Tags: Science Neuroscience Fitness Life and style Health & wellbeing Ageing Source Type: news

The discovery of alien life may be close. How will religion survive it? | Santhosh Mathew
Encounters with new worlds and new life will present religions with the ultimate theological conundrum. But they will adapt, as they have done beforeAbout two decades ago, it was quite uncertain whether stars other than our own sun even hosted their own planets. However, according to Nasa,the latest count of confirmed exoplanets stands at around 3,500– and at least six of them are potential Earths. This count will definitely go up and many researchers believe that the advancement of technology will enable humans to discover some form of life on another planet in the coming years.Related:Exoplanet discovery: seven Earth-s...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 26, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Santhosh Mathew Tags: Religion World news Space Science Alien life Astronomy Source Type: news

Cassini spacecraft discovers possibility of alien life, then runs out of fuel
Scientists say discovery of ingredients for life on Saturn ’s moon Enceladus is bittersweet as spacecraft prepares to end 20-year missionCould there be life in our own solar system?This is the question posed by the discovery of hydrogen gas erupting in plumes from Saturn ’s moon Enceladus, indicating the likely existence of an energy supply for microbial life.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 26, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Hannah Devlin Science correspondent Tags: Alien life Space Science Saturn Source Type: news

Dinosaur click-bait: is getting your attention more important than getting it right? | Elsa Panciroli
Scientists can ’t turn their backs on the engagement of mass-media, but when it comes to inaccurate and sensational headlines, do the ends justify the means?“The public is mostly made of people who just don’t care. The media know they don’t understand the science and they don’t want to learn about it either.” An established scientist bitterly confesses to me his experiences with public outreach, via news media. He is red-faced and his voice is getting louder. “I know you have good intentions, but when you’ve been in the field for as long as me you’ll realise that we can’t win – the media will always t...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 26, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Elsa Panciroli Tags: Science Dinosaurs Fossils Media Research Source Type: news

The first Brexit: Submerged landscapes of the North Sea and Channel
The British Isles split from Europe several thousand years ago. Now, maritime archaeology is revealing a lost landscape on the seafloorThe British Isles separated from the European continent approximately 8,000 years ago. For this Brexit there was no referendum or bus, no Leavers or Remainers, nor was it hard or soft. This was a watery Brexit as rising sea levels filled the Channel and created the North Sea. Maritime archaeology is revealing this submerged landscape that once connected the continent to Britain.Earth is a dynamic planet that is constantly changing. Going back far enough in time,Britain has been separated fr...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 26, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Peter B Campbell Tags: Science Archaeology Source Type: news

Baby whales 'whisper' to mothers to avoid predators, study finds
Scientists reveal unique, intimate form of communication between humpback mothers and calves as well as silent method to initiate sucklingNewborn humpback whales and their mothers whisper to each other to escape potential predators, scientists reported Wednesday, revealing the existence of a previously unknown survival technique.“They don’t want any unwanted listeners,” researcher Simone Videsen, lead author of a study published in Functional Ecology, said.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 26, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Agence France-Presse Tags: Whales Cetaceans Environment Marine life Science Wildlife Western Australia Oceans Source Type: news

LGBTIQ rights: 'Being gay in Stem workplaces can be difficult'
Nearly half of LGBTIQ Australians hide their sexual identity at work, with many experiencing homophobic abuse. It ’s time to do betterIn 2015a US survey found that LGBTIQ scientists felt more accepted in their workplaces than their peers in other professions did. The Queer in Stem survey, published in the Journal of Homosexuality, surveyed 1,400 LGBTIQ workers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. They found respondents in scientific fields that had a high proportion of women were more likely to be out to their colleagues than those who worked in male-intensive disciplines.This is heartening news as it ’...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 26, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Lisa Harvey-Smith Tags: Guardian sustainable business LGBT rights Women Science Business (Australia) Australia news Gender Life and style Astronomy CSIRO Source Type: news

People whose 'brain age' is older than their real age more likely to die early
Scientists at Imperial College London used MRI scans and algorithms to produce computer-generated brain age and spot risk of dying youngDoctors may be able to warn patients if they are at risk of early death by analysing their brains, British scientists have discovered.Those whose brains appeared older than their true age were more likely to die early and to be in worse physical and mental health, a study by Imperial College London found.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 25, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Nicola Slawson Tags: UK news Science Ageing Source Type: news

'Granny style' is best way to take a basketball free throw, study shows
Mathematical analysis reveals that for players with good control, using an unorthodox underarm technique gives better odds of scoringIt might invite ridicule, but it gets results. A scientific analysis has concluded that using a “granny style” underarm technique is the optimal way to take a free throw in basketball.Adopting the unorthodox strategy could result in marginal gains for professional players, the research suggests. And, as sporting doctrine goes, marginal gains can lead to remarkable results.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 25, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Hannah Devlin Science correspondent Tags: Mathematics Science Basketball Sport Source Type: news

Q & A: saturated fat, your health and what the experts say
The key points in a debate between cardiology experts over the link between fat, cholesterol and coronary diseaseWhat ’s the fuss about?A furore has blown up over whether eating saturated fat increases the risk of coronary heart disease after three cardiologists said that “the conceptual model of dietary saturated fat clogging a pipe is just plain wrong”. They also dismissed the drive for foods with lower cholesterol and the use of medications as “misguided”.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 25, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Nicola Davis Tags: Nutrition Medical research Health & wellbeing Obesity Diets and dieting Heart attack Diabetes Stroke Smoking Doctors Science Source Type: news

How the modern weather map was born
Francis Galton ’s synoptic chart described conditions of the previous day and sidestepped the pitfalls of predictionThe first newspaper weather map was published in the Times on 1 April 1875, the work of polymath Francis Galton, an explorer and anthropologist who was also a statistician and meteorologist.The map was not a forecast, but a representation of the conditions of the previous day. This is known as a synoptic chart, meaning that it shows a summary of the weather situation. Readers could make their own predictions based on the information it provided.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 25, 2017 Category: Science Authors: David Hambling Tags: Meteorology Science Source Type: news

Artificial womb for premature babies successful in animal trials
Lambs born at equivalent of 23 weeks human gestation kept alive and developing in advance could transform outlook for very premature babiesAn artificial womb designed to support critically premature babies has been demonstrated successfully in animals for the first time, in an advance that could transform the lives of the most fragile newborns.Lambs born at the equivalent of 23 weeks in a human pregnancy were kept alive and appeared to develop normally while floating inside the transparent, womb-like vessel for four weeks after birth. Doctors said that the pioneering approach could radically improve outcomes for babies bor...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 25, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Hannah Devlin Science correspondent Tags: Biology Premature birth Reproduction Science Medical research Source Type: news

Plastic-eating bugs? It ’s a great story – but there’s a sting in the tail | Philip Ball
Breeding wax moth caterpillars to devour our waste sounds good. But they would attack bee colonies too, and ultimately put crops at riskCaterpillars that can munch up plastic bagshave just been identified, fuelling excited speculation that this could one day eliminate global pollution from plastic waste. The chance discovery, initially made by a scientist and amateur beekeeper whose plastic bag had been eaten through by the moth caterpillars, was reported this week by researchers at Cambridge University and the Spanish National Research Council.Related:Plastic-eating worms could help wage war on wasteContinue reading... (S...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 25, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Philip Ball Tags: Plastics Science Environment Bees Wildlife Insects Pollution UK news Research Higher education Source Type: news

Bow wow: scientists create definitive canine family tree
Study sheds light on breed evolution and why certain types of dog are prone to the same diseases despite appearing to be very differentIt sounds like the ultimate shaggy dog story, but scientists say they have created the definitive canine family tree.The study not only sheds light on the evolution of different breeds, but also reveals why certain breeds are prone to the same diseases even though they appear to be very different.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 25, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Nicola Davis Tags: Biology Dogs Evolution Animals Zoology Genetics Science Source Type: news

US should get to Mars during my presidency, Trump tells astronaut – video
Astronaut Peggy Whitson, who broke the US record for the most time in space, has received a congratulatory call from Donald Trump. The US president has urged Nasa to ‘speed up’ its Mars mission despite announcing plans to cut the space agency’s spending by about $200mTrump tells Nasa to ‘speed up’ Mars landing in call to congratulate astronautContinue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 25, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Guardian Staff Tags: Space Donald Trump Nasa Science US news Source Type: news

Plastic-eating worms could help wage war on waste
Wax moth larvae are usually bred as fish bait, but a chance discovery has revealed their taste for plastic – which could be used to beat polluting plasticFor caterpillars that are bred as premium fish bait, it must rank as a better life. Rather than dangling on the end of a hook and wondering what comes next, the grubs are set to join the war on plastic waste.The larvae of wax moths are sold as delicious snacks for chub, carp and catfish, but in the wild the worms live on beeswax, making them the scourge of beekeepers across Europe.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 25, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Ian Sample Science editor Tags: Biology Plastic bags Plastics Science Environment Zoology Animal behaviour Source Type: news

Artificial intelligence survey finds UK public broadly optimistic
Support for ‘machine learning’ depended on what it would be used for, with mass unemployment among main fearsApart from fears of mass unemployment, accidents with machinery, restrictions on freedom, increased economic inequality and a devalued human experience, the public are broadly optimistic about the arrival of artificial intelligence, according to one of the first surveys of British opinions about the technology.Research by the polling firm Ipsos Mori found nearly a third of people believe the risks of “machine learning” outweigh the benefits, while 36% believe the risks and benefits are balanced.Continue read...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 24, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Ian Sample Science editor Tags: Artificial intelligence (AI) UK news Computing Consciousness Technology Royal Society Science Source Type: news

Trump tells Nasa to 'speed up' Mars landing in call to congratulate astronaut
Peggy Whitson, who broke the US record for most time spent in space, received praise from president, who plans to cut Nasa ’s budget and certain programsAstronaut Peggy Whitson broke the US record for most time spent in space on Monday, and received a phone call from Donald Trump in which the president congratulated her and urged Nasa to reach Mars ahead of his own proposed schedule.Whitson, 57, reached her 534th day in space early on Monday morning. The president called her from the Oval Office, where he sat flanked by his daughter and senior adviser, Ivanka Trump, and Dr Kate Rubins, another Nasa astronaut.Continue rea...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 24, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Alan Yuhas Tags: Space Nasa Science US politics Donald Trump Trump administration US news Mars Source Type: news

Why are we reluctant to trust robots?
Psychology research shows people mistrust those who make moral decisions by calculating costs and benefits – like computers doTechnologies built on artificial intelligence are revolutionising human life. As these machines become increasingly integrated in our daily lives, the decisions they face will go beyond the merely pragmatic, and extend into the ethical. When faced with an unavoidable accident, should a self-drivingcar protect its passengers or seek to minimise overall lives lost? Should a drone strike a group of terrorists planning an attack, even if civilian casualties will occur? As artificially intelligent mach...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 24, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Jim Everett, David Pizarro and Molly Crockett Tags: Psychology Science Artificial intelligence (AI) Robots Technology Computing Source Type: news

Did you solve it? The wrestler, the wind-up clock and the pickle jar
The solutions to today ’s puzzlesEarlier today I set youthe following riddles:1.A retired professional wrestler boards a crowded train in Chicago when a young man stands up to offer his seat. The wrestler is not injured and is only 36 years old. All week, riders on the train offer to give up their seat so that the famous wrestler can sit down instead. Why do people keep offering their seat to this muscular former athlete?Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 24, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Alex Bellos Tags: Mathematics Science Source Type: news

First world war training tunnels and trenches discovered in Wiltshire
Live grenades, graffiti, Australian toffees and a 1930s red sports car among finds at site being cleared for housingA vast battlefield landscape of tunnels and trenches dug to train troops for the first world war has been discovered on army land being cleared for housing.Archaeologists who worked on the site at Larkhill, in Wiltshire, said the century-old complex was a valuable discovery – although it posed hazards.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 24, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Maev Kennedy Tags: Archaeology First world war Military UK news Science Source Type: news

Why we joined the March for Science
After events across the world on Saturdaywe asked readers working in or involved in science to tell us why they were taking actionScientists from around the worldtook to the streets and organised online in events advocating evidence-based policy on 22 April.Related:'Evidence not arrogance': UK supporters join global March for ScienceContinue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 24, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Guardian readers and Matthew Holmes Tags: Science Environment Climate change Protest Higher Education Network Source Type: news

Mexico's ancient city guards its secrets but excavation reveals new mysteries
An eight-year project at Teotihuac án, once the western hemisphere’s largest city, failed to locate its rulers’ tomb but findings offered tantalising clues to its originsFor decades, the hunt for a royal tomb at the ancient Mexican city of Teotihuac án has gripped archaeologists trying to unravel the secrets of the kingdom’s extraordinary political power.It is a mystery investigators thought they were on the verge of solving in 2015, whenlarge quantities of liquid mercury were found amid a treasure trove of precious artefacts in a secret tunnel.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 24, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Nina Lakhani in Teotihuac án Tags: Archaeology Mexico World news Science Americas Source Type: news

Lyrid meteor shower illuminates sky over China – timelapse video
Stargazers were treated to a spectacle when the Lyrid meteor shower lit up the night sky over the north-eastern province of Jilin at the weekend. The annual event usually occurs between 19 and 23 April when the Earth passes through the dusty tail of comet Thatcher Meteor brightens night sky in Siberia – videoContinue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 24, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Guardian Staff Tags: Meteors Space China Asia Pacific Comets Astronomy Science World news Source Type: news

​How ​my potentially fatal allergy was cured – with 70 wasp stings
Four years ago, Gavan Naden nearly died from anaphylactic shock after being stung by wasps. He became fearful of going outside, but a drastic immunotherapy regime has saved himOver the past three and half years, I ’ve had 70 wasp stings injected into my left arm. Voluntarily. This hasn ’t been an exercise in masochism, but rather to ensure I can go outside without screaming from fear.Every year in the UK, there are between two and nine deaths from anaphylaxis caused by bee and wasp venom. In 2015-16, there were4,451 hospital admissions for anaphylactic shock. In an effort to avoid adding to these statist...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - April 24, 2017 Category: Science Authors: Gavan Naden Tags: Health & wellbeing Life and style Science Immunology Medical research Biochemistry and molecular biology Source Type: news