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Pneumatic computer uses pressure instead of electricity

A computer chip made of glass and silicone holds liquids that move from one side of the chip to the other in reaction to pressure changes. This has been used to control and automate miniaturised biochemistry experiments

Watch Mars ‘livestream’ by the European Space Agency – latest updates

The European Space Agency is about to attempt the first ever livestream from another planet - although the distance from Earth to Mars means there will be a short delay in broadcasting

Hundreds of weird filaments of gas are hiding in our galaxy’s centre

Astronomers have found strange strings of hot gas near the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way, and they may be hurtling towards Earth

Reports of an AI drone that 'killed' its operator are pure fiction

It has been widely reported that a US Air Force drone went rogue and "killed" its operator in a simulation, sparking fears of an AI revolution - but this simulation never took place. Why are we so quick to believe AI horror stories?

Wildfires across Canada have emitted record-breaking amounts of carbon

Carbon emissions from wildfires in Canada were the highest ever recorded in May, highlighting the growing risk of blazes earlier in the year

Inside the huge London super sewer designed to fight river pollution

A monstrous concrete pipe with a capacity of 1.6 million cubic metres is being built under London to reduce the frequency of sewage discharges into the Thames

Ancient humans may have risked their lives making stone tools

Modern flintknappers experience a wide variety of injuries that could have led to life-changing consequences or death for ancient humans making stone tools

Tiny backpack for bees can track their position and temperature

A sensor around a millimetre in size has been tested to monitor a honeybee flying around some flowers. It could also work for medical monitoring inside a person's body

We’ve been drastically underestimating Earth’s microbial diversity

A survey of bacteria and archaea living in 99 coral reefs across the Pacific Ocean found these ecosystems may contain more microbes than current estimates for the whole planet – suggesting everywhere else on Earth does too

Planned moon landings could pelt orbiting spacecraft with dusty debris

The large landing vehicles planned for NASA’s upcoming moon missions could throw up large amounts of dust from the lunar surface, posing a possible danger to orbiters

Whale shark seen bottom feeding for the first time

An ecotourism guide in Mexico filmed a whale shark gulping down material from the seabed, a behaviour that has never been observed in this species before

Junk food diet may disrupt sleep by altering brain activity

Men who tried a high-fat, high-sugar diet developed disrupted electrical brain activity during the deepest stage of their sleep, suggesting that the food reduced their sleep quality

Stem cells from umbilical cord 'goo' delay type 1 diabetes progression

Stem cells found within babies’ umbilical cords, normally discarded as medical waste, could help people newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes reduce their need for insulin injections

Blue Machine review: Earth's ocean as a giant engine

Helen Czerski's fascinating new book casts the ocean as an extraordinary giant engine, and helps us grasp its complex physics and its key role in climate change

See the magnificent but melting glaciers of the Rwenzori mountains

Spanning Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the glaciers of this little-studied mountain range may vanish this decade. These stunning photographs capture them before they disappear

Why we should do more to protect frogs and toads

Amphibians could help cure our ills, from diabetes to fungal infections – if they don't go extinct first, says Matthew Gould

Peter Singer on animal rights, octopus farms and why AI is speciesist

Controversial author Peter Singer, who inspired the animal rights movement, explains why killing humanely reared animals may be a defensible ethical position and why he has rewritten Animal Liberation for the 21st century

The Limits of Genius review: What made Newton and Einstein stupid?

Being a genius doesn't stop you looking directly at an eclipse or letting a trivial row prevent you finding a planet, says Katie Spalding in her new book

Why I can once again eat cheese with a clear conscience

I thought there was no way around cheese being an environmental and ethical disaster, but a new approach to dairy farming has proved me wrong, says Graham Lawton

JWST has spotted an enormous plume of water coming out of Enceladus

Saturn’s moon Enceladus has a water ocean that makes it one of the most promising places to search for life, and water is spewing out of it in a jet bigger than any we have seen before

Desert ants build landmarks to help them find their way home

Desert ants construct mounds to help them navigate the featureless landscape of their Saharan home

Bacterium from oak trees could help process rare earth elements

A bacterium found in English oak buds can help separate out the rare earth elements used in technologies such as electric cars and wind turbines

NASA’s UFO team discusses its findings publicly for the first time

A NASA group that formed around a year ago to study unidentified aerial phenomena held its first public meeting ahead of a report expected in the next few weeks

Reusable granules suck harmful PFAS ‘forever chemicals’ out of water

UK start-up Puraffinity has created a method of removing pollution from water using a material that selectively binds to PFAS chemicals

How you can use the power of exercise to feel better and think clearer

We know that exercising is good for the brain. But now that we understand why, we can say what kinds of workouts maximise the brain-boosting powers of physical exertion

Situation at Ukrainian nuclear plant is dangerous, IAEA boss warns

Ukraine and Russia must agree to maintain safety at Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant to prevent a dangerous radiation leak, says the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency

Monkeys in Japan lost tooth enamel when their forest was destroyed

Macaques living on Yakushima Island in the 1980s experienced severe enamel hypoplasia, probably caused by extreme stress resulting from human activities

Mathematicians make even better never-repeating tile discovery

An unsatisfying caveat in a mathematical breakthrough discovery of a single tile shape that can cover a surface without ever creating a repeating pattern has been eradicated. The newly discovered "spectre" shape can cover a surface without repeating and without mirror images

Quantum sensors could detect space debris from its gravitational pull

Devices based on quantum properties of very cold and very small crystals could be mounted on satellites and sense space debris that could collide with them

Plague first came to Britain from Europe at least 4000 years ago

DNA from Yersinia pestis, the bacterium that caused the Black Death, has been found in the teeth of three people who lived in Britain during the Bronze Age

Virus that carries huge amounts of DNA could advance gene therapies

A modified virus that can carry around 20 times more DNA than existing viruses used for gene therapies could allow us to make complex changes to cells

We are finally closing in on the cosmic origins of the “OMG particle”

Three decades ago, we spotted the single most energetic particle ever seen, nicknamed the 'Oh-My-God particle'. Since then, we have seen many more ultra-high-energy cosmic rays – and now we are unravelling the mystery of what produces them

Does covid-19 affect pregnancies and do the vaccines reduce any risks?

The coronavirus has been linked to adverse pregnancy outcomes, but vaccines help to keep mothers and babies safe

Migrating bats use Earth’s magnetic field to navigate in the dark

Soprano pipistrelles can sense the polarity and inclination of magnetic field lines, and use the position of the setting sun to calibrate their internal compass

Blood test can identify MS in some people years before symptoms start

A unique group of antibodies can be used to predict whether someone will develop multiple sclerosis – they were present in about 10 per cent of people with MS years before they developed symptoms

Babies can identify people's faces from just 4 months old

Infants may pick up on people's faces before anything else, which could explain why they can be scared of strangers at a young age

3D-printed material glows green under pressure or friction

A 3D-printed material emits a green glow when friction or pressure is applied to it. One application could be reducing the chances of a fracture when drilling into bone during surgery

Nanoscale robotic ‘hand’ made of DNA could be used to detect viruses

A tiny hand crafted out of DNA has jointed fingers that can be used to grab small objects like gold nanoparticles or viruses

A wolf-dog hybrid has been confirmed in India for the first time

A strange canine was spotted in a pack of wolves near Pune in western India, but it stood out for its lighter coat and dog-like facial features. It was confirmed to be a wolf-dog hybrid through genetic sequencing

How to avoid deer fly bites, according to science

An experiment with a sticky fly trap in a Canadian forest suggests you will get more deer fly bites if you walk around than if you sit still

How a UK river serves as a natural lab for flood defence research

A river near Edinburgh, UK, has served for more than a decade as a natural laboratory for studying flood defences, providing benefits such as improved water quality worth millions of pounds

US police are selling seized phones with personal data still on them

Nude photos, bank details and stolen credit card numbers have been found on devices sold by US police forces via auction sites

We may finally know why psychological stress worsens gut inflammation

A pathway between the brain and the immune system discovered in mice could explain why prolonged stress can exacerbate inflammatory bowel disease

Elon Musk's brain implant firm Neuralink gets approval for human trial

The brain implant company Neuralink, founded by Elon Musk among others, previously tested implants in pigs and monkeys. Now it has approval for human trials

AI is a key issue in negotiations between actors and Hollywood studios

The US actors’ union will negotiate with Hollywood studios over the rights to use AI to create "digital twins" of actors, and the results could determine the viability of acting as a career

mRNA trial shows promise for these therapies to revolutionise medicine

People with a rare condition experienced fewer or no complications after receiving an experimental mRNA therapy, with the technology having the potential to treat a range of disorders

Capital letter test is a foolproof way of sorting AIs from humans

A trick for asking questions using capital letters seems to baffle artificial intelligences like ChatGPT, while humans can easily give the right answer

Sunlight could cool an atom to its coldest possible temperature

Sunlight transmitted through an optical fibre could be used to help cool a single charged atom to a temperature only a few millionths of a degree above absolute zero

Ocean-fertilising bacteria work together to adapt to light levels

Trichodesmium, a kind of cyanobacterium that is vital to ocean ecosystems, forms colonies that work together and change shape to get the light and nutrients the microbe needs to grow

Fake alien message sent to Earth to prepare us for first contact

A coded message has been sent from a spacecraft orbiting Mars to simulate potential communication from an advanced alien civilisation

US Supreme Court slashes protections for wetlands

Around half of all wetlands in the contiguous US will now lose their protections under the Clean Water Act, exposing them to pollution and development

5000 species not known elsewhere live in area set for deep-sea mining

Thousands more species are probably waiting to be discovered in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone, a region of the Pacific Ocean where companies are planning to extract valuable metals

We now know how Botox enters neurons and paralyses muscles

Molecular imaging shows that botulinum neurotoxin uses three receptors to enter neurons. The finding could help develop drugs to stop the toxin from infecting cells

Chemicals used to make decaf coffee are contributing to ozone damage

A group of unregulated polluting gases known as very short-lived substances are partly responsible for depleting the ozone layer in the tropics

Ultrasound can trigger a hibernation-like state in mice and rats

Focused ultrasound waves targeting a certain area of the brain can lower body temperature in rodents, showing a possible way to put people in suspended animation

The Ferryman review: A profound new take on a sci-fi staple

Justin Cronin's new science fiction novel transmutes the familiar trope of a utopia with a dark secret into a deep story with humanity at its centre. Read along with us at New Scientist's book club

Justin Cronin on the books, films and TV that inspired The Ferryman

From Lost to The Tempest, the author of The Ferryman reveals the cultural influences behind his new science fiction novel - the first pick for New Scientist's book club

'Fluxonium’ is the longest lasting superconducting qubit ever

A fluxonium qubit can keep its most useful quantum properties for about 1.48 milliseconds, drastically longer than similar qubits currently favoured by the quantum computing industry

Sudden infant death syndrome may have a biological cause

The condition may at least partly be caused by insufficient binding of a neurotransmitter to receptors in the brainstem

Common compostable plastic fails to break down after a year at sea

A leading "bioplastic" used in single-use cups and containers degrades in the ocean just as slowly as the oil-based stuff, and must be broken down in commercial facilities to be composted

Tumble dryers shed hundreds of tonnes of microfibres into waterways

Condenser tumble dryers are sold as a "sustainable" option because of their low energy demand, but they still shed large quantities of microfibres into the environment

Questions I dread: How did the universe begin, and what is space-time?

As a theoretical cosmologist, you would think I'd welcome the chance to answer these questions - but it isn't clear this is an inquiry that physics can answer, says Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

Lab imitations of the unobservable cosmos can be genuinely insightful

Despite the obvious caveats, physicists are right to use fluids and other physical analogues to search for fresh insights about extreme cosmic phenomena, from black holes to the big bang

How listening to audiobooks may be making us more gullible

More and more of us are turning to audiobooks for our reading, but a new study suggests that when we listen to a text rather than read it, we may engage in less deliberative thinking, says David Robson

See the Hunterian Museum's weird and wonderful anatomical curiosities

Open again after a five-year hiatus, the London museum, named after the 18th-century surgeon John Hunter, contains everything from a baby crocodile emerging from its egg, to a human femur

Allergic review: A great guide explores a complex medical mystery

Our immune systems create responses that end up in full-blown allergies. An engaging memoir-style guide from Theresa MacPhail explains the complex and often elusive medical story

Titanium Noir review: Gripping, philosophical science fiction

Suppose the megarich can rejuvenate – but it makes them grow to titanic proportions? Nick Harkaway's novel draws on Greek myth and noir in a fabulous thought experiment that reflects our own fixation with "making it big", says Sally Adee

Why sending messages to extraterrestrials is controversial

If there are intelligent aliens out there, should we try to get in touch with them? And who should speak for Earth, asks professor of astronomy Chris Impey

Bendy solar panels are just as good as regular ones

Existing solar cells are normally only used on flat, static surfaces to avoid them cracking, but now there is a flexible alternative with the same energy-generating efficiency

Man with paralysis can walk by activating spine implants with his mind

Implants in brain and spine allow Dutch man to walk and climb stairs by power of thought, in world first use of the technology

Nuclear clocks could be the best timepiece in the universe

Atomic clocks work by using a laser to bounce the electrons in an atom at a given frequency, while nuclear clocks would theoretically do the same for atomic nuclei, and we are a step closer to building one

Can recreating black holes in the lab solve the puzzles of space-time?

Researchers are building models of everything from black holes to the big bang in tanks of liquid. Now some claim these surprisingly simple models are showing us where our theories of space-time are wrong

Why has Virgin Orbit shut down and what will happen to UK spaceports?

Virgin Orbit's failed launch in January was the start of the end for the company, which has now sold off its assets and shut down for good. But what does this mean for Richard Branson's other space firm, Virgin Galactic?

Astronomers race to observe rare supernova in a nearby galaxy

An exploding star spotted in the Pinwheel galaxy, 21 million light years from Earth, offers a rare chance to watch a supernova unfolding in real time

Do new Alzheimer's drugs signal the end of the condition?

Antibody treatments that target amyloid plaques in the brains of people with Alzheimer's have shown promise in trials, but questions about their side effects and practicality remain

Wild African primates have flame retardants in their faeces

Four primate species in Uganda have been found to have 97 chemical pollutants in their faeces, which are associated with hormonal changes that can disrupt development and reproduction

Seagulls choose their meals based on what people nearby are eating

Given a choice between two crisp packets, herring gulls pick the same colour as one a nearby human is eating from 95 per cent of the time

AI passed an advertising Turing test for the first time

AI-generated ads fooled marketing experts and outperformed typical US print ads on a test that measured creativity and potential to spur emotional responses

Inside the fight for Europe's first wild river national park

Albania's Vjosa river was due to be the site of a massive hydroelectric dam, with disastrous consequences for biodiversity. New Scientist reports on its rescue, the benefits for local nature and why it is an inspiration for other river conservation projects

Ethereum closed a big security hole with its energy-saving update

At least one cryptocurrency based on the old version of Ethereum is still vulnerable to a software flaw that enables attackers to steal funds

Fundamental law of physics demonstrated using quantum objects

The principle of least action has been a key law of physics since the 18th century, but has only now been directly observed in the quantum realm thanks to an experiment with single particles of light

Bat guano has been sculpting caves in Brazil for thousands of years

Due to the corrosive effect of their faeces, bats have engineered larger caves in the iron-rich earth of Carajás National Forest in Brazil, creating more stalagmites and stalactites

Naked mole rats' hyaluronic acid genes can give mice a longer life

Naked mole rats’ secret to a long life is an abundance of hyaluronic acid, and new research shows this substance can also help mice live longer, age slower and avert cancer

Rare plant turns carnivorous when it is low on a key nutrient

The West African liana Triphyophyllum peltatum can grow special leaves that trap insects, but we now know it only does this when the soil is lacking in phosphorus

US states agree to use less from Colorado river to avoid water crisis

After months of negotiations, California, Nevada and Arizona have agreed to reduce the water they take from the Colorado river, but these drastic cuts are only a temporary solution to the water crisis facing the western US

Ozone layer treaty pushed back ice-free Arctic summers up to 15 years

A 1987 treaty to ban ozone-destroying gases helped delay the first Arctic summer with no ice, which is now projected to happen by 2037 at the earliest

How talking to your future self can improve your health and happiness

From meeting an older version of yourself in virtual reality to writing letters from the future, these evidence-based tricks can help you make better decisions today

Hundreds of species new to science discovered in South-East Asia

A WWF report catalogues a cornucopia of plants and animals newly identified in the Greater Mekong region in 2021 and 2022, but many of them are endangered

Chronic pain linked to distinctive patterns of brain activity

Better understanding the brain patterns linked to persistent pain could open the door to new treatments

Covid-19 booster vaccines should leave out original spike protein

The first covid-19 vaccines were based on the spike protein from the original virus, but including this in boosters may be hindering immunity to newer variants

Tonga volcano eruption disrupted satellites halfway around the world

A link between volcanic activity and rising bubbles of low pressure in the ionosphere has now been proven, which may be why the colossal Tonga volcano eruption in 2022 disrupted satellite communications

Software update for world’s wind farms could power millions more homes

An AI that predicts wind changes could boost wind turbine efficiency by 0.3 per cent, which globally would amount to enough extra electricity to keep a country running

We can treat age-related illness without calling ageing a disease

Declaring ageing a disease could hold back efforts to find genuine treatments that tackle age-related illnesses like osteoporosis and dementia

‘Shin splints’ may not be caused by running up and down hills

Shin pain is common for runners, but it's unclear what parts of training most contribute. It turns out that pressure on shin bones is more severe when runners up their pace compared to when they train on hills

The quantum world: A concise guide to the particles that make reality

Get to grips with the deepest layer of reality we know of with our inventory of the subatomic realm, from known particles like quarks and the Higgs boson to hypotheticals including the fifth force and strings in 11 dimensions

Restoring the brain’s mitochondria could slow ageing and end dementia

The discovery that faulty metabolism is at the root of many brain diseases suggests a surprising transplant could be the way to protect our brains from the ravages of ageing

How to tell if your immune system is weak or strong

New blood tests can reveal whether your immune system is fighting fit by looking at the balance of different immune cells, but there may be a simpler way of gauging your immune health

A better understanding of PCOS offers fresh hope for new treatments

New insights into polycystic ovary syndrome are revealing more about the causes of this common but misunderstood whole-body condition, and these could lead to new treatments

Roger Penrose: "Consciousness must be beyond computable physics"

The mathematician shares his latest theories on quantum consciousness, the structure of the universe and how to communicate with civilisations from other cosmological aeons

The cosmologist who claims to have evidence for the multiverse

Cosmologist Laura Mersini-Houghton says our universe is one of many – and she argues that we have already seen signs of those other universes in the cosmic microwave background, the light left over from the big bang