Science

  • Hands, face, space? Johnson's Covid message has got priorities wrong, scientists warn
    Physical distancing, far more than washing hands, is the most critical factor in preventing spread of the virus Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The latest drive to help halt the spread of Covid-19 has been criticised by senior scientists for placing insufficient emphasis on the issues of ventilation and the need … Read More
  • The tipping points at the heart of the climate crisis
    Many parts of the Earth’s climate system have been destabilised by warming, from ice sheets and ocean currents to the Amazon rainforest – and scientists believe that if one collapses others could followThe warning signs are flashing red. The California wildfires were surely made worse by the impacts of global heating. A study published in … Read More
  • Coronavirus live news: UK could face second lockdown as Melbourne sees more protests
    Number of cases worldwide passes 30 million; Victoria announces 21 new Covid-19 cases and seven more deaths; UK faces possible second national lockdown. Follow all the developments Mutant virus: should we be worried that Sars-CoV-2 is changing ? UK entering second wave of virus, Johnson warns ‘Shocking’: Trump under fire from ex-adviser for Covid failures … Read More
  • If bacteria stick together, they can survive for years in space
    Outer space is not friendly to life. Extreme temperatures, low pressure and radiation can quickly degrade cell membranes and destroy DNA. Any life-forms that somehow find themselves in the void soon die. Unless they band together. As small communities, new research shows, some bacteria can withstand that harsh environment. Balls of Deinococcus bacteria as thin … Read More
  • Australia's stinging trees: if the snakes and spiders don't get you, the plants might | Irina Vetter, Edward Kalani Gilding and Thomas Durek
    Noxious nettles with venom similar to that of scorpions are helping scientists understand pain and how to control itAustralia is home to some of the world’s most dangerous wildlife. Anyone who spends time outdoors in eastern Australia is wise to keep an eye out for snakes, spiders, swooping birds, crocodiles, deadly cone snails and tiny … Read More
  • Coronavirus Australia live update: NSW, WA and Queensland agree to raise caps on international arrivals
    Victoria reports 45 new cases and five more deaths as NSW announces six cases; Queensland will reopen border to ACT residents from 25 September. Follow live Follow our global coronavirus live blog Flight caps fight looms at national cabinet as Morrison pledges pandemic health funding ‘A moment of cheer’: 100-year-old Victorian man leaves hospital after … Read More
  • Soggy coastal soils? Here’s why ecologists love them
    Katrina. Harvey. Laura. Sandy. Maria. For some people, these might be merely names. For others, they’re reminders of utter devastation. Some of the most damaging storms to hit North America bear these names. Each one did billions of dollars of damage to buildings, roads and other property. People died in their floodwaters. Many coastal areas … Read More
  • Coronavirus live news: India reports global record new cases; 1.5m people in England face new restrictions
    India reports world record one-day cases; Trump appointee to take leave after rant likening CDC scientists to ‘resistance’ North-east of England faces new restrictions amid cases spike CDC director says vaccine won’t be widely available until late 2021 Why Covid may have already peaked in many African countries Chinese border city enters ‘wartime’ mode to … Read More
  • The megafires and pandemic expose the lies that frustrate action on climate change | Tim Flannery
    If there was a moment of true emergency in the fight to preserve our climate, it is nowThis is part of a series of essays by Australian writers responding to the challenges of 2020I was in Melbourne in late January, watching as more and more people donned face masks to protect themselves against the bushfire … Read More
  • The climate crisis is a national security threat to the US. We already see the effects | Sherri Goodman and Kate Guy
    National security leaders view climate change as a ‘threat multiplier’ that makes the homeland vulnerable Climate change is not a distant problem for future generations to worry about. Instead, the dangers of climate change are touching the lives of more Americans with each passing day. As the historic wildfires, hurricanes, floods, heatwaves and storms hitting … Read More
  • ‘Vampire’ parasite challenges the definition of a plant
    Doorknobs in skirts. Microphones in tutus. There are lots of ways to describe Langsdorffia flowers. To parasitic-plant specialist Chris Thorogood, “They’re vampire plants.” He adds that they “absolutely look to me like deep-sea creatures.” Thorogood works in England at the University of Oxford Botanic Garden & Arboretum. He’s an author of a May 2020 paper … Read More
  • Build ice towers with bottled water and ice
    This article is one of a series of Experiments meant to teach students about how science is done, from generating a hypothesis and designing an experiment to analyzing the results with statistics. You can repeat the steps here and compare your results — or use this as inspiration to design your own experiment. In the Disney movies … Read More
  • 'Why wait for it?' How to predict a pandemic
    Strides are being made towards an open access atlas that could predict where dangerous animal-borne viruses will next appearHow do you predict where a deadly tropical disease such as Ebola, possibly the most virulent in the world, will appear next? Since it first emerged in a small town on the edge of a Congolese forest, … Read More
  • Coronavirus live news: Trump says Covid-19 will 'go away' because of 'herd mentality'
    ‘It would go away without the vaccine,’ Trump claims; India’s total cases pass 5 million; virus death toll linked to Maine wedding grows to seven World still at beginning of pandemic, WHO expert warns ‘I up-played it’: Trump disputes own admission on pandemic Sweden records fewest daily cases since March England: ‘There are no more … Read More
  • Welsh seagrass meadow sows hope for global restoration
    Project to revive climate-boosting wonder plant in Pembrokeshire could spur similar schemesSeagrass is a wonder plant but unrecognised and sorely neglected. This is a flowering plant with long ribbon-like leaves that often grows in the sea in lush underwater meadows.It is an unsung hero in the fight to clean up carbon dioxide and the climate … Read More
  • Most plastic will never be recycled – and the manufacturers couldn’t care less | Arwa Mahdawi
    Oil and gas companies make far more money churning out new plastic than reusing old. Meanwhile, the public gets the blamePlastic recycling is a scam. You diligently sort your rubbish, you dutifully wash your plastic containers, then everything gets tossed in a landfill or thrown in the ocean anyway. OK, maybe not everything – but … Read More
  • Let’s learn about ancient technology
    We live surrounded by technology. There are skyscrapers and spaceships. You’re probably reading this over the internet, where the information reached you almost instantly. With all that tech surrounding us, it’s easy to wonder how ancient people got anything done. All of our modern things, however, are based on older technologies. And those were based … Read More
  • Stinky success: Scientists identify the chemistry of B.O.
    Sweat keeps us cool. But the stuff that seeps out from our armpits can create a powerful stink. Deodorants can help combat that odor. But to really tackle it, we first need to know what causes it. A new study finds that bacteria found only in our armpits make an enzyme that turns our sweat … Read More
  • Coronavirus live news: global cases near 30m as India's death toll passes 80,000
    Global deaths pass 925,000; WHO warns of more deaths in European autumn; India suffers 1,054 deaths, pushing total past 80,000 Global report: Covid cases near 30m as China expects vaccine as soon as November People in England’s 10 worst-hit Covid hotspots unable to get tests French regions to announce new restrictions American accused of ignoring … Read More
  • Quacks and toots help young honeybee queens avoid deadly duels
    You probably know honey bees buzz. The queens also quack and toot. Beekeepers have long known about these strange sounds, but not why bees made them. Now researchers think the sounds stop queens from fighting to the death. Martin Bencsik is an expert in vibrations. He studies bees, insects that communicate through vibrations. Our ear … Read More
  • Scientists say: Chemical
    Chemical (noun, “KEM-ih-kul”) This is any substance formed by two or more atoms. Atoms are the smallest units of any element. For the substance to be a chemical, and not just a molecule, those atoms must be bound together in a fixed structure and ratio. That fixed structure and ratio gives the chemical a specific … Read More
  • Coronavirus live news: WHO reports record new global cases; Israel first country to reimpose national lockdown
    WHO records more than 307,000 cases in 24 hours to Sunday; Victoria, Australia sees lowest case rise in nearly 3 months. Follow the latest updates Israel becomes first country to reimpose national lockdown Oxford University resumes Covid-19 vaccine trials Trump ally who tried to change Covid reports was ‘fighting deep state’ Australian diplomats sent to … Read More
  • Coronavirus live news: France daily cases top 10,000; Victoria reports 41 new infections
    Cases also rising in England and Scotland as Europe outbreak worsens; seven more deaths in worst-hit Australian state; Oxford University vaccine trials to resume. Follow latest updates Oxford University resumes Covid-19 vaccine trials Trump ally who tried to change Covid reports was ‘fighting deep state’ Australian diplomats sent to Heathrow to help stranded citizens 8.00am … Read More
  • Scientists baffled by orcas ramming sailing boats near Spain and Portugal
    From the Strait of Gibraltar to Galicia, orcas have been harassing yachts, damaging vessels and injuring crewFull story: ‘I’ve never seen or heard of attacks’ – scientists baffled by orcas harassing boatsScientists have been left baffled by incidents of orcas ramming sailing boats along the Spanish and Portuguese coasts.In the last two months, from southern … Read More