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A wobbling star may explain pattern of weird radio signals from space

We’ve spotted strange blasts of radio waves from space in a pattern that may be produced by a magnetised neutron star wobbling as it spins

CRISPR safety switch can make cells self-destruct if they go rogue

A genetic tweak can make cells self-destruct in the presence of CRISPR and could be used to make cells tamper-proof or shut them down if they go wrong

Robots are taking manufacturing jobs but making firms more productive

Robots are replacing manufacturing workers in France, making companies more productive and reducing employment across the industry

Earliest known cave-dwelling animal is a 99-million-year-old cockroach

The earliest cave-dwelling animal identified from the dinosaur era is a ghostly white cockroach with tiny eyes and wings that was preserved in amber

We don't know how covid-19 spread on the Diamond Princess cruise ship

There are a number of open questions as to how the covid-19 coronavirus spread on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship, where passengers were quarantined since 3 February

Journey to the Savage Planet is wacky – but not in a good way

There’s nothing like crash-landing on an alien planet. Journey to the Savage Planet doesn't always get it right, but it has echoes of classic Metroid Prime, says Jacob Aron

Some ants disinfect food by drinking the acid they spray at enemies

A number of ant species produce acid in a poison gland in their abdomen to spray at enemies, and now it seems they also drink it to kill pathogens in their food

Opening your windows doesn't help reduce indoor air pollution

Cleaning and cooking can produce potentially harmful chemicals that stay in the air, and now researchers have found that briefly opening a window doesn't help as these substances also stick to surfaces

Close-up image of brain cancer cells wins photography prize

A brain cell image has won the Institute of Cancer Research Science and Medical Imaging Competition, with images of melanoma cells and cancer-halting microparticles among other notable entries

Blue tits learn to avoid gross food by watching videos of other birds

Blue tits and great tits don’t need to taste unpleasant foods to avoid them – they can learn not to try them by seeing another bird’s disgusted response, even if it’s only on video

Cretaceous insect discovered with extremely weird antennae

Amber from the Cretaceous period trapped a leaf-footed bug with extremely long and wide antennae, which may have helped disguise the insect or confuse predators

Ancient humans in the Sahara ate fish before the lakes dried up

As a changing climate dried out the Sahara desert, ancient humans transitioned from eating lots of tilapia and catfish to more mammal-heavy meals

Hunt through satellite images of Earth with an AI search engine

An AI search engine takes one-tenth of a second to search more than 2 billion satellite images, identifying natural or built features that look alike, such as forests or military bases

Pancake day 2020: Here's a scientific recipe for better batter

This pancake batter recipe uses scientific principles to help you make amazingly fluffy, golden and tasty pancakes

Lab-grown meat will be on your plate soon. It won't be what you expect

Forget fake steaks, the first cultured meat we're likely to eat will be shrimp. How will it compare to the real thing? Will it be better for the environment? And will people eat it?

Why climate change is creating more female sea turtles and crocodiles

As the world gets warmer, animals whose sex is determined by temperature are finding cool ways to control their own fate. But can they adapt in time?

Dark Waters: Mark Ruffalo stars in epic fight with chemicals giant

After cows start dying and people get sick, a corporate lawyer in the film Dark Waters decides to switch sides and take on chemicals Goliath DuPont

The 'ancestral diet' doesn't make sense and relies on lazy stereotypes

Eating like your ancestors did 5000 years ago is a fad on the rise. James Wong wonders if following the "ancestral diet" means he should eat pangolins or live a life of abject poverty

AI could help make fast-charging, long-lasting electric car batteries

Artificial intelligence is helping optimise the recharging batteries in electric vehicles, balancing speed while maximising lifespan

Antimatter looks just like matter – which is a big problem for physics

A difference in the properties of matter and antimatter could help explain our universe – but a property called the Lamb shift is similar in particles of both

Can we quit cobalt batteries fast enough to make electric cars viable?

Electric cars depend on cobalt as a key ingredient in their batteries, but a new analysis reveals we may run out by 2030, while car firm Tesla is moving to other types of battery in China

China is using mass surveillance tech to fight new coronavirus spread

QR codes, tracking apps and drones at toll booths are just some of the tech tools China is deploying to monitor the spread of the new coronavirus

Don't stress: The scientific secrets of people who keep cool heads

Studies of the world's most unflappable people point to ways we can all better manage stress – and are even inspiring the first stress vaccine

Watch tadpoles breathe by sucking in air bubbles at water's surface

Most tadpoles breathe air but they are too weak to break the elastic "skin" on top of ponds created by water tension – so they suck air bubbles from the surface

Until the End of Time tries to use physics to find the meaning of life

Brian Greene's new book argues that life is rare and extraordinary, probably transient, and that in the search for purpose, the only significant answers are ones we create  

Why coronavirus superspreaders may mean we avoid a deadly pandemic

The covid-19 virus may mostly be transmitted by superspreaders, which means it might be easier to contain the outbreak and prevent it going pandemic

SpaceX has plans to fly space tourists twice as high as the ISS

SpaceX and the space tourism firm Space Adventures have announced a plan to fly paying customers into Earth orbit, higher than the International Space Station

Should animals with human genes or organs be given human rights?

Gene-edited pigs and brain implants are blurring the lines of what it means to be human, so our morals and laws may need to change to include beings that are “substantially human”

70,000-year-old remains suggest Neanderthals buried their dead

A Neanderthal skeleton unearthed in a cave in Iraq shows signs of having been deliberately buried – more evidence our cousin species behaved a little like we do

UK government refuses request to explain cost of hitting net zero

The UK government has denied a freedom of information request to explain why it estimates the cost of hitting net-zero emissions by 2050 is £70 billion a year – much higher than an independent assessment found

An exoplanet is generating radio waves from its red dwarf sun

For the first time, astronomers have spotted an exoplanet by detecting radio waves generated by interactions with its parent star

Cork-coated spacecraft to be chucked out of the ISS for re-entry test

A spacecraft designed to study re-entry into Earth's atmosphere has a nose coated in cork, a cheap and lightweight alternative to other materials

Cyborg grasshoppers have been engineered to sniff out explosives

The super-sensitive smelling ability of American grasshoppers has been used to create biological bomb sniffers, which could prove useful for security purposes

US military face recognition system could work from 1 kilometre away

The US Special Operations Command is developing a portable face-recognition system designed to identify people 1 kilometre away. It could also be used by law enforcement

Tiny 2-billion-year-old fossil blobs may be the oldest complex cells

Fossils of single cells found in China are 2 billion years old, making them the oldest eukaryotic cells in the fossil record and possibly our distant relatives

Controversial psychology tests are often still used in US courts

A third of psychological tests used in US court proceedings aren’t generally accepted by experts in the field, a study has found

75-million-year old eggshells suggest most dinosaurs were warm-blooded

An analysis of eggshells from three kinds of dinosaurs shows they were all warm-blooded, suggesting that dinosaurs’ ancestors were also warm-blooded

Great ape brains have a feature that we thought was unique to humans

Our ape cousins have asymmetrical brains just like we do, which might require us to rethink ideas on the evolution of brain specialism in our hominin ancestors

Babies are more likely to be conceived in autumn but we don’t know why

In the northern hemisphere, babies are most likely to be conceived in winter and least likely to be conceived in spring, according to an analysis of 14,000 women

Astronomy group finds Starlink satellites will have 'negative impact'

The International Astronomical Union has concluded a review of satellite mega constellations such as SpaceX's Starlink satellites and found they will have a major impact on large telescopes, but not naked eye astronomy

Weather by Jenny Offill: How to cope with climate anxiety in a crisis

Jenny Offill’s sharp new novel Weather examines individual anxieties about the climate emergency and one person's journey to becoming a doomsday prepper

Psychologists rank reasons why newly-wed heterosexual couples argue

An analysis of the topics that cause arguments between newly-wed heterosexual couples puts a lack of affection at the top of the list, with little concern about who sleeps on which side of the bed

Antarctic ice melt could push sea levels to rise 1.5 metres by 2100

If carbon emissions go largely unchecked until 2100, Antarctic ice melt could result in three times as much sea level rise as we saw from all sources in the 20th century

NASA missions may go to Venus or our solar system’s strangest moons

NASA has selected four potential future missions – to Jupiter’s fiery moon Io, Neptune’s icy moon Triton, and two that would explore the atmosphere and map the surface of Venus

Ancient people tried to stop rising seas with spears or fiery boulders

When natural global warming raised seas by 120 metres starting around 18,000 years ago, people tried to protect themselves by building walls or rolling fiery boulders into the sea

This is how jellyfish can sting you without even touching you

Upside-down jellyfish release tiny balls of stinging cells that can move through water on their own and survive for days – leaving a network of mucus that can sting you

Millions of hairy tarantula skins could be used to mop up oil spills

The dense, bristly hairs on the skins shed by tarantulas when they moult are naturally efficient sponges and could be used to soak up ocean oil spills

Coronavirus infections spike to 15,000 new Chinese cases in a day

China has reported a massive increase in the number of its citizens infected by the new coronavirus, after Chinese officials changed how cases were defined to include people who are less seriously ill

Coronavirus: How maths is helping to answer crucial covid-19 questions

Getting a full picture of the coronavirus outbreak is extremely difficult. Maths can help fill in some of the gaps, says Adam Kucharski

We'll soon know if covid-19 can be treated with HIV and Ebola drugs

The results of clinical trials testing HIV and Ebola drugs in Chinese patients with covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, should be known in the next few weeks

Deepwater Horizon spill may have been a third bigger than estimated

An analysis suggests that the extent of the US's worst ever oil spill may have been 30 per cent greater than satellite images previously suggested

The huge problem of food waste could be twice as big as we thought

A widely cited estimate of food waste appears to be wrong because it fails to account for how much more food rich people waste than poorer people

DNA analysis of people in West Africa reveals 'ghost' human ancestor

Four West African populations may carry genes from an undiscovered archaic hominin that diverged from a shared ancestor of Neanderthals, Denisovans and modern humans

Mars may have formed 15 million years later than we thought

Young Mars may have endured a series of huge collisions that smashed its mantle, throwing off our measurements of when it formed by up to 15 million years

Record-breaking quantum memory brings quantum internet one step closer

A communications network secured by the laws of quantum physics would be unhackable, but building one requires a component called a quantum memory, which is still being developed

Twisteddoodles has made a fantastic new discovery

This week's cartoon from Twisteddoodles

Sci-fi podcast Down asks what's really in the deepest holes on Earth

Down is a sci-fi podcast about a crewed mission into a mysterious Antarctic hole that has opened up as a result of climate change, what will the crew find?

Umami: How to maximise the savoury taste that makes food so satisfying

Food tastes satisfying thanks to the amino acid glutamate, which stimulates the umami taste. Sam Wong explains how to boost it in your recipes

Color Out of Space: Another Nicolas Cage film that's so bad it's good

Nicolas Cage grapples with a weird luminous alien presence in the movie Color Out of Space. It's a story that has roots in a late-19th-century obsession with new forms of radiation, says Simon Ings

Fungi's fabulous future in mental health and sustainable materials

These images showcase the incredible ways mushrooms can be used for everything from boosting well-being to fashioning baroque high heels

Why our understanding of concussion has been completely wrong

Concussion is often portrayed as "seeing stars", which people quickly recover from. But we are now beginning to understand that the condition is far more serious, says Elizabeth Sandel

Election cyberattacks? It’s incompetence we need to worry about

Concerns about adversaries hacking democracy abound, but it’s sheer incompetence we should really be worried about, writes Annalee Newitz

The smuggled Mongolian dinosaur fossil that seemed too good to be true

When a bizarre fossil appeared for sale in Europe, it looked so odd it had to be fake. But a high-tech investigation introduced us to Halzkaraptor escullei – part velociraptor, part penguin

Drugs may be able to fix our romantic lives when things go wrong

Are we ready for real-life love potions? Book Love is the Drug explains how pills may affect everything from falling deeper in love to breaking up

When a smile is not a smile – what our facial expressions really mean

Smiling and other facial expressions aren't displays of feelings that transcend cultures but turn out to be full of hidden meaning

Will the covid-19 coronavirus outbreak die out in the summer’s heat?

It has been suggested the covid-19 outbreak could fade as the northern hemisphere warms, but we don’t know if this is the case

We discovered a coronavirus similar to the covid-19 virus 7 years ago

The covid-19 virus is similar to a coronavirus detected in bats in China back in 2013, but we failed to act on the warnings of those who studied it

UK plans to regulate the internet won't make much difference at all

The UK government has announced plans to police content on platforms like YouTube and Facebook, but it won't be able to do more than the social networks are already doing

Oil giant BP says it will cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2050

BP says it will transform its business to meet a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, but green campaigners have criticised the firm for a lack of detailed plans

Teen born without half her brain has above average reading skills

An 18-year-old who was born without the left half of her brain scores well on IQ tests and plans to attend university, revealing our brain's incredible adaptability

Coronavirus: How well prepared are countries for a covid-19 pandemic?

No country is fully prepared for a coronavirus pandemic, according to a public health expert. But some countries will be better placed to handle an outbreak than others

GPS face-off: Why countries are vying to rule the skies with satnav

A geopolitical battle is being played out in orbit as countries vie for the best satellite navigation system

Your decision-making ability is a superpower physics can't explain

In a universe that unthinkingly follows the rules, human agency is an anomaly. Can physics ever make sense of our power to change the physical world at will?

Image of mice tussling wins a Wildlife Photographer of the Year prize

Sam Rowley has won the Wildlife Photographer of the Year LUMIX People's Choice Award with his image named "Station Squabble", which features two mice fighting over a morsel of food

How bad is the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak likely to get?

The death rate of Covid-19, caused by the new coronavirus, may be lower than some estimates suggest, but the number of cases may be much higher

Covid-19: The new coronavirus disease now officially has a name

The new coronavirus began spreading in China during December 2019, but the disease it causes has only now been officially named as Covid-19 by the World Health Organization

Extreme hot days and nights to soar by 2100 even in best-case scenario

Even if we limit warming due to climate change, the number of extremely hot days followed by intensely hot nights could jump four times to 32 days in northern hemisphere summers by 2100

Photon trick lets you bend the rules of quantum physics

A basic rule of quantum physics is that knowing too much about an experiment will break quantum interference, but now physicists have discovered a way to bend that rule

Could the new coronavirus really kill 50 million people worldwide?

No one can say for sure how widely the new coronavirus will spread and how many it will kill because there are still many key things we don't know - not least the wider impact on healthcare services

World’s largest ever firework successfully explodes over Colorado

Weighing around 1270 kilograms, the largest ever firework travelled at more than 480 kilometres and exploded over Steamboat Springs in Colorado

Record-breaking hot years look set to continue through the next decade

There is a 75 per cent chance that every year from 2019 to 2028 will be one of the all-time top 10 hottest years, and a 99 per cent chance that the majority will be

African nations step up efforts to prevent spread of coronavirus

If the new coronavirus reaches Africa, it could have a huge impact. But the continent is getting ready, and 29 countries will soon be able to test for the infection

Brain activity can help predict who'll benefit from an antidepressant

A machine-learning algorithm can predict who is most likely to respond best to an antidepressant by analysing the brain activity of people with depression

Jupiter is wetter than we thought, which helps explain how it formed

NASA's Juno spacecraft has found that Jupiter contains more water than measured by its predecessor, Galileo, solving a long-running planetary mystery

How a flawed mentality led to Silicon Valley’s meteoric rise

In the memoir Uncanny Valley, Anna Wiener examines the collective hyperconfidence that has enabled the tech sector’s meteoric growth

Lyme disease cases may rise 92 per cent in US due to climate change

Climate change could nearly double new cases of Lyme disease by the end of the century in the US, even if the world manages to limit warming to levels agreed under the Paris climate deal

People will sell access to their fingerprints for just $7.56 a month

We are increasingly aware that our personal data is a valuable commodity – but just how valuable? A survey has revealed how much people are willing to sell their data for

DNA firms are set to profit from your data as testing demand falls

23andMe and Ancestry are laying off staff as sales slump – but there’s plenty of profit to be made from their huge DNA databases

We’ve found more than 2500 new viruses and some are unlike any we know

The genomes of 2514 new viruses have been identified in DNA recovered from human and animal cells, many of them belonging to wholly new families

CRISPR cancer trial finds that gene-edited immune cells are safe

Three people with advanced tumours received a dose of CRISPR gene-edited immune cells and had no serious side effects, paving the way for more trials using this technique

Climate change is killing off bumblebees in Europe and North America

Climate change has significantly increased the likelihood of bumblebees being driven to extinction in certain regions across North America and Europe

People who grow up outside of cities have a better sense of direction

A mobile video game called Sea Hero Quest has been used to test navigation abilities, showing that people who grew up in cities are worse navigators than others

Coronavirus: Why I chose to stay in Wuhan rather than return to the UK

As governments evacuate foreign nationals from China, New Scientist speaks to a British man about life in Wuhan and why some people are choosing to stay

Jess Wade's one-woman mission to diversify Wikipedia's science stories

Our largest encyclopedia overwhelmingly recognises the achievements of white men. For physicist Jess Wade, fighting this bias has been an uphill battle

Spiders think with their webs, challenging our ideas of intelligence

With the help of their webs, spiders are capable of foresight, planning, learning and other smarts that indicate they may possess consciousness

What would our lives be like if Amazon or Tinder ran an entire city?

A sci-fi collection explores extreme corporate futures, such as a Tinder-run city where you can swipe left or right for everything from sex to teachers

From alcohol to ketamine, what's the truth about recreational drugs?

Psychologist Suzi Gage is on a mission to uncover the truth and bust misconceptions about the drugs people take, and in the process find out the science behind them

The flawed experiment that destroyed the world's faith in psychiatry

Fifty years ago, psychiatrist David Rosenhan went undercover in a psychiatric hospital to expose its dark side. But his shocking findings aren't what they seem, reveals Susannah Cahalan

Hundreds of millions of locusts are forming swarms bigger than cities

The worst invasion by desert locusts in decades has hit Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia. The swarms are destroying crops and could cost millions of dollars to contain