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Greta: We must fight the climate crisis and pandemic simultaneously

In an exclusive interview, climate activist Greta Thunberg has told New Scientist that the coronavirus pandemic shows we can act quickly in an emergency

Coronavirus latest news: US overtakes China with most confirmed cases

The latest coronavirus news updated every day including coronavirus cases, the latest news, features and interviews from New Scientist and essential information about the covid-19 pandemic

UK science advisers expect coronavirus epidemic to peak within a month

The peak of the UK coronavirus epidemic now looks likely to arrive within the next month, according to analysis by the government’s science advisers

The coronavirus pandemic could make weather forecasts less accurate

Meteorologists rely on a steady stream of weather data collected by planes to produce accurate forecasts, but most commercial flights have been grounded to slow the spread of the coronavirus

Will a home antibody test for covid-19 really be a game changer?

UK prime minister Boris Johnson has said a mass-produced antibody test for covid-19 that can be done at home will be a game changer - but this type of test has limitations

Does a high viral load or infectious dose make covid-19 worse?

Does being exposed to more virus particles mean you’ll develop more severe illness? Data suggests the relationship between infection and severity may be complex

Tales From The Loop review: Beautiful and sedate sci-fi escapism

Inspired by a series of artworks, Tales From The Loop is an Amazon series about the strange goings-on in a town set atop an experimental physics research facility

Neanderthals feasted on seafood and nuts according to fossil remains

The fossilised remains of the food found in one of the few remaining coastal Neanderthal sites in Europe show they ate plenty of seafood, fish and nuts

Which covid-19 patients will get a ventilator if there's a shortage?

If there's a ventilator shortage, doctors and ethicists say priority should be given to people with the best chance of recovery and most years likely left to live

Velociraptor relative had a much stronger grip than its cousins

A new dinosaur species related to velociraptors has been found in New Mexico, and its claws were larger and stronger than average

Warming oceans are causing marine life to shift towards the poles

Climate change is leading to lower numbers of marine life towards the equator – including mammals, birds, fish and plankton – while populations nearer the poles increase

Hepatitis C infection rates are being cut by testing and treatment

The infection is being eliminated as a public health threat by countries that introduce widespread testing and treatment for those at risk

Dino-killing asteroid choked whole world in dust within a few hours

When a large asteroid hit the Earth 66 million years ago, it sent huge curtains of dust flying tens of kilometres up into the air that quickly covered the planet

How long does coronavirus stay on surfaces and can they infect you?

The coronavirus has been found to stick to surfaces for days – but you’re more likely to catch it when close to infected people, or possibly through droplets spread via plumbing and ventilation systems

Eating too much salt seems to impair body's ability to fight bacteria

High salt intake seems to impair the immune cells in humans that fight bacteria because of a side effect of the hormones that help get rid of salt

Farming and art arose in New Guinea at same time as Europe and Asia

New archaeological finds show that New Guinea developed sophisticated cultural practices around the same time as they were emerging in Europe and Asia

How a new twist on quantum theory could solve its biggest mystery

The "wave function collapse" transforms vague clouds of quantum possibilities into the physical reality we know – but no one knows how. New experiments are finally revealing reality in the making

We still don't understand a basic fact about the universe

Our measurements of the Hubble constant can't seem to come up with a consistent answer. What we learn next may alter our view of the cosmos, writes Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

The evolutionary mystery of flying may finally be cracked by genetics

Finding out how flight evolved or animals moved onto land is all about a collision of palaeontology and genetics, argue two new books

A new wave of apps say they can improve your friendships – can they?

Always forgetting birthdays? Terrible at staying in touch? New tech promises to turn you into the best buddy ever. We put it to the test

Spring-powered shoes could help us run more than 50 per cent faster

A spring-powered exoskeleton that minimises the amount of energy our legs lose when running could help boost human running speeds by more than 50 per cent

Jim Al-Khalili's The World According to Physics is a thrilling ride

A new book from Jim Al-Khalili makes cutting-edge physics easily understandable and makes it clear why he fell in love with the subject as a teenager

How does coronavirus testing work and will we have a home test soon?

Efforts to scale up testing for the covid-19 coronavirus have been slow in some countries, and some tests are more accurate than others, which could make it harder to slow the spread

The ozone layer is healing and redirecting wind flows around the globe

The hole in the ozone layer is starting to recover thanks to regulations banning ozone-depleting substances, and this is now leading to changes in Earth’s atmosphere

UK has enough intensive care units for coronavirus, expert predicts

Neil Ferguson, whose modelling has informed the UK's coronavirus strategy, says that the need for intensive care beds will come close to, but not exceed, national capacity

Can you catch the coronavirus twice? We don’t know yet

We don’t have enough evidence yet to know if recovering from covid-19 induces immunity, or whether any immunity would give long-lasting protection against the coronavirus

How to fight infection by turning back your immune system's clock

Your immune system ages too, weakening as you get older and making you more susceptible to infections. Fortunately, we are discovering plenty of things you can do to turn back the clock and stay healthy

We haven’t identified any new drugs for severe covid-19 cases yet

A number of potential drugs for treating the coronavirus are in trials. There are some promising candidates but it’s unclear if they’ll help those who need them most

Why US society is so vulnerable to the coronavirus pandemic

The economic and healthcare policies pursued by the US in recent years have failed to prioritise public health and made it vulnerable to a pandemic. Could things be different?

You could be spreading the coronavirus without realising you’ve got it

People with covid-19 appear to be most contagious 15 hours before their symptoms start, and many people may not even go on to develop noticeable symptoms

The bacteria in a mother’s gut may protect babies from food allergies

The presence of bacteria that break down fibre in a mother’s gut is linked to a reduced risk of food allergies in her child’s first year of life

Greta Thunberg says she may have had covid-19 and has self-isolated

Greta Thunberg says she and her father, Swedish actor Svante Thunberg, appear to have been infected by the coronavirus, though they have not been tested as their native Sweden is only doing so for severe cases

Higher step count linked to lower yearly risk of death, up to a point

An analysis of the daily steps taken by about 5000 people in the US has found that a higher step count is linked to a lower yearly risk of death, although the effect tails off above 12,000 steps

Tiny meteorite found in Antarctica came from an unknown asteroid

A tiny meteorite found in Antarctica doesn’t match any asteroid or comet we know of. Instead, it must have come from a mystery parent body that’s full of water

Mysterious Iron Age site may have been a retreat for religious hermits

Shards of pottery probably used for transporting food suggest a mountain site in the Czech Republic may have been a nature retreat for Iron Age religious hermits

Electric cars really are a greener option than fossil fuel vehicles

Electric cars already have a bigger climate change impact than fossil-fuel burning cars in almost every part of the world, according to researchers

UK's scientific advice on coronavirus is a cause for concern

The UK government has published details of the scientific advice behind its strategies to tackle the covid-19 outbreak, but outside experts say it is missing key points and hasn't been implemented properly

David Attenborough’s A Life on Our Planet is a powerful call to action

David Attenborough’s highly personal new documentary A Life On Our Planet allows the nature filmmaker to say what he really thinks about our destructive ways

Google may help UK officials track coronavirus social distancing

Google is in talks with the UK government to see how it can share aggregated and anonymised location data from its apps to show whether coronavirus social distancing measures are working

We've figured out why bubbles make a 'pop' sound when they burst

A number of difference forces are involved in producing sound when a bubble pops, and the exact noise depends on the chemical properties of the soap film

Interstellar comet Borisov may be breaking up as it exits solar system

The first-ever interstellar comet is showing signs of brightening, suggesting it may have been heated up as it passed near to the sun

Bombing asteroid Ryugu reveals it is a spritely 9 million years old

The Hayabusa-2 spacecraft bombed the asteroid Ryugu in April. Analysing the crater it left behind suggests Ryugu is a relative youngster at 9 million years old

Genetically modified neurons could help us connect to implants

Neurons engineered to produce electrically conducting polymers on their surface could one day be used to treat epilepsy or to better control prosthetics

DNA analysis reveals just how intertwined ancient human lineages are

Ancient humans in Africa mixed far more than we thought, according to new findings revealed by sequencing the genomes of a diverse group of people from across the world

Even the 'best science' doesn’t have the final word on covid-19

Models of what impact interventions will have on the new coronavirus's spread are imperfect, so factors other than the science play an important role too, says David Adam

Is your salad going to kill you?

Plants need nitrates for good growth, but they can also accumulate in leaves of crops like rocket. So are foods like this safe to eat, wonders James Wong

Just opening a plastic bottle can release thousands of microplastics

We already know that microplastics are everywhere, and now it seems simply opening plastic packaging can create thousands of tiny fragments

Penguins call out as they hunt under water but we’re not sure why

Penguins are the first seabirds we have recorded making sounds under water – they may be calling out for help when they hunt or making noise to disorient their prey

Artificial leaves made from aluminium could keep windows frost-free

In winter, the veins of leaves don’t get completely covered in frost. Mimicking this effect could be the best way to create ice-resistant surfaces

Our guts may sense sugar and low-calorie sweeteners differently

The gut distinguishes sugar from low-calorie sweeteners, and tells the brain what has been eaten within milliseconds, studies in mice and human cells suggest

World’s highest mammal discovered at the top of a Mars-like volcano

The highest dwelling mammal – a mouse – has been discovered at 6700 metres above sea level, where conditions are so harsh they have been compared to Mars

Strange lines on Venus may be folded stacks of lava eroded by wind

Venus’s surface is covered in strange wiggling lines that may form when colossal stacks of lava are carved by gentle winds over hundreds of millions of years

Brain ultrasound scanner could speed diagnosis of head injuries

The ultrasound technology used to image fetuses is being adapted to visualise the brain, perhaps allowing for rapid diagnosis of stroke or sports head injuries

Fish used for sushi now carry 283 times more parasites than in 1980s

Between 1978 and 2015, the number of parasitic Anisakis worms found in fish increased 283 times – which means sushi could be more likely to be infected, as are marine mammals such as dolphins and whales

We may have started keeping lapdogs as pets 2000 years ago

A 2000-year-old skeleton found in Spain belonged to a lapdog that may have been born thousands of kilometres to the east and traded during Roman times

We're beginning to understand the biology of the covid-19 virus

Scientists are working around the clock to understand the biology of the covid-19 virus and how it infects human cells, which will help us design treatments to stop it

Brain implant detects and turns down symptoms of Parkinson’s disease

A new kind of brain implant can detect and turn down the harmful nerve cell activity that are signals of certain symptoms of Parkinson's disease

Westworld season 3 review: Five-star TV where nothing is what it seems

Westworld is soon to return with season three. Four episodes in to the impossibly glamorous, highly urbanised future, I can't wait to find out what's going on, writes Emily Wilson

Radioactive review: A reimagining of Marie Curie's luminous legacy

A new film squares up to the tough task of reinventing Marie Curie, one of science's biggest stars, by building a big picture of her work – and its future fallout

The stunning east Asian city that dates to the dawn of civilisation

The mysterious Liangzhu civilisation was a neolithic "Venice of the East", rivalling ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia with its engineering marvels

Mysterious crater on Mars could be a good place to look for life

Could life on Mars have hidden from extreme weather in a cavern on the Pavonis Mons volcano? This 2011 orbiter image of an otherworldly crater has NASA asking just that

The Truth About Equality In STEM

What form does discrimination take in science careers, and how prevalent is it? The STEM Survey 2020 lifts the lid on prejudice in the workplace

Why people become strangely attached to their robot vacuum cleaners

Kate Darling researches human-robot interaction. She explains why we are prone to forming emotional connections with robots and what we can learn from our relationships with pets and other animals

To fight the coronavirus pandemic effectively we need lots more data

Evidence from China suggests the way to get on top of the covid-19 outbreak is through rapid testing, isolation and quarantine rather than lockdowns and big travel restrictions

Wasps may benefit us as much as bees. Could we learn to love them?

We love to hate wasps, but they pollinate flowers, kill off pests and their venom might even help us treat cancer

Many plants may soon be illegal in France and no one knows what to do

France's highest court has ruled that many common crops are illegal because they contain genetic mutations, but enforcing the law will be near impossible

Mathematicians who revealed the power of random walks win Abel prize

The 2020 Abel prize was awarded to mathematicians Hillel Furstenberg and Gregory Margulis for their use of probability and dynamics in group theory, number theory and combinatorics

Fish scales turned into flexible and biodegradable electronic displays

Flexible displays for wearable devices can now be made using fish scales instead of plastic – and the new displays biodegrade within a month of being discarded

Do other species experience a period of adolescence like us?

Book Wildhood explores the idea that penguins, hyenas, whales and wolves all experience a similar period of adolescence and what this could mean for all animals

Australia axes overseas travel and large gatherings to slow covid-19

Australians are not to travel overseas or gather in large groups in a bid to slow the spread of covid-19, which appears to be at relatively low levels in the country

How soon will we have a coronavirus vaccine? The race against covid-19

The hope is that we will have a coronavirus vaccine in 12-18 months, but for that to happen we may have to rely on untested techniques - and that comes with its own risks.

Analysis suggests UK still not doing enough to prevent covid-19 deaths

To really reduce the potential coronavirus death toll, modelling suggests that the UK needs to bring in stricter social distancing and perhaps close schools

Doom Eternal review: A welcome adrenaline-inducing distraction

Doom Eternal does contain gratuitous violence, but the evidence suggests violence in video games doesn't affect people's behaviour in the real world, says Jacob Aron

Coronavirus: What is social distancing and how do you do it?

In response to the covid-19 pandemic, many governments are now recommending social distancing. Here's a guide to what it means for you

‘Bonehenge’: Stone Age structure of mammoth bones discovered in Russia

People living in Russia about 20,000 years ago built a "bonehenge" – a circular structure made of mammoth bones that could have been used to store food

Coronavirus: People in the UK must avoid unnecessary social contact

The UK dramatically ramped up its response to slow the spread of the coronavirus outbreak today, with prime minister Boris Johnson calling on the country to stop all non-essential contact with other people

AI pollution monitor could forecast harmful particles in the air

Most air pollution forecasts are based on maps of annual emissions and models of chemical reactions, but an AI could help predict more specific forecasts.

AI can pick out specific odours from a combination of smells

An AI can detect the presence of smells and even distinguish between scents like ammonia or carbon monoxide, which could be useful for detecting hazardous odours

We have to respect the coronavirus – and learn as the disease evolves

China, South Korea, Singapore and Canada show just how important testing and quarantine are for tackling the coronavirus, says the WHO's Bruce Aylward

WHO expert: We need more testing to beat coronavirus

The WHO’s assistant director general Bruce Aylward says effective quarantine is essential for tackling the coronavirus, but this cannot happen without extensive testing for covid-19

All the reasons why organic food doesn’t deserve such bad press

Negative headlines about organic farming’s carbon footprint are missing the bigger picture about its environmental benefits, say Christel Cederberg and Hayo van der Werf

Coronavirus: What we know so far about risks to pregnancy and babies

Pregnant people don’t seem to be at greater risk of experiencing severe covid-19, and the virus doesn’t seem to pass to fetuses, but there’s still a lot we don’t know

Type 1 diabetes may be two conditions that need different treatments

There may be two different categories of type 1 diabetes that are more common at different ages. Understanding the differences could lead to new treatments

Why is the UK approach to coronavirus so different to other countries?

The UK’s stance, to try to manage the spread of immunity among people while protecting those most at risk, appears at odds with the World Health Organization's call for urgent action

Mars may once have had right conditions for RNA to develop into life

When Mars was young, parts of the planet may have been able to sustain RNA, a molecule that probably played a key role in the beginnings of life on Earth

Amazon deforestation looks set to hit a record high in 2020

Deforestation of the Amazon has continued at record levels this year, leading observers to warn the rainforest is disappearing faster than ever before

Our ancestors may have run a million years earlier than we thought

We thought hominins evolved to run around 2 million years ago – but a study of the famous Lucy's species, Australopithecus afarensis, suggests she could run too

Pi Day: How to calculate pi using a cardboard tube and a load of balls

This Pi Day, try calculating everyone’s favourite mathematical constant using balls and a cardboard tube, thanks to a mathematical trick involving the balls’ masses

Every Arabica coffee plant may come from a single common ancestor

Genetic analysis suggests all Arabica coffee plants are descended from a single common ancestor, and this lack of genetic diversity makes them vulnerable to extinction

Rates of death after stroke have fallen by a quarter in south London

Rates of death and disability after a stroke have fallen by a quarter in south London in the past 16 years, perhaps due to specialist stroke centres

Why don't children seem to get very ill from the coronavirus?

Children don't seem to get ill from the new coronavirus and understanding why could help us decide how to tackle the pandemic

Optimism can avert climate disaster, say duo who brokered Paris deal

Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac led the 2015 Paris climate negotiations. They tell us why they’re hopeful for the future, and explain how fighting climate change is “the most exciting experiment in history”

Why the coronavirus is different from flu and warrants major action

People who argue that covid-19 is no bigger a problem than flu ignore the fact that we lack natural immunity and have no vaccines in our armoury

Peer into a giant, half-formed ship that can hold 18,000 containers

This image of an enormous ship under construction features in a new book and show that challenge common ideas about beauty - while the real ship may help cut carbon emissions

Covid-19: The science of uncertainty can help us make better choices

As the coronavirus outbreak continues, why do some people stockpile and others shrug? The psychology of uncertainty explains what's going on, says Rachel McCloy

Little Joe review: We should worry about these mind-bending plants

The plot of sci-fi movie Little Joe may sound like it plays to powerful 1990s anti-GM fears but bigger issues like human freedom may really be at stake

How quantum computing got a boost from an experiment in a cornfield

In a cornfield in India, Urbasi Sinha ran an experiment that may challenge the rules of quantum mechanics and paves the way for higher dimensional quantum computing

TikTok: How did the video-sharing app get so big so quickly?

TikTok's rise has been meteoric. With more than 3 million people a day now downloading the app, its success is down to more than just luck

The race to test coronavirus antiviral drugs and vaccines is under way

As the number of covid-19 cases escalates, six potential vaccines are in development, and a range of drugs that could block the virus are being tested in China

Coronavirus: What are the worst symptoms and how deadly is covid-19?

We are starting to understand how the covid-19 virus affects people in different ways, depending on their age and underlying health conditions