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Chimpanzees hunt for fruit in video game to test navigation skills

Testing how chimpanzees navigate in virtual environments could help researchers understand why they prefer certain routes in the wild over others

Was warfare responsible for the origin of complex civilisation?

An effort to track global changes in human society over the past 10,000 years concludes that warfare drove an increase in social complexity – but others are unconvinced by the work

You're more likely to become friends with someone who smells like you

We subconsciously sniff people when we first meet them and are more likely to become friends with those who have similar body odours to our own

AI-powered robot learned to make letters out of Play-Doh on its own

A robot that learned to manipulate clay to make letters of the alphabet without any training could one day make dumplings for you

Antibubbles have been made to last a record-breaking 13 hours

Shaking antibubbles – droplets of liquid encased in a thin layer of air – prevents them from popping for several hours. These could be used in chemical engineering in the future

Hummingbirds may be the world’s most colourful birds

A study of 116 species of hummingbird suggests the group is collectively more colourful than any other type of bird

How can the global monkeypox outbreak be controlled?

With the number of confirmed cases exceeding 3500, the World Health Organization's emergency committee may declare it a public health emergency of international concern – its highest alert level – in the coming days

UK minister says EU is ‘weaponising science’ in Brexit deal row

The UK is making plans to launch its own science funding programme in September, science minister George Freeman tells New Scientist, if the EU refuses access to the Horizon scheme

Amazon reviews saying candles are scentless may signal covid-19 cases

A loss of smell is a key covid-19 symptom, with researchers finding a link between increasing coronavirus cases in the US and Amazon reviews complaining a scented candle is odourless

Reddit moderators do $3.4 million worth of unpaid work each year

Volunteers who maintain the standard of content on Reddit’s forums do 466 hours of work every day – labour that would cost 2.8 per cent of the firm’s revenue

UK's largest carbon capture project will turn CO2 into baking soda

Tata Chemicals Europe plant at Northwich will eventually capture 40,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year for use in making sodium biocarbonate

75 per cent of the world's top websites allow bad passwords

An analysis of 120 of the world's top-ranked English-language websites has found that many of them allow weak passwords, including those that can be easily guessed, such as “abc123456” and “P@$$w0rd”

Largest known bacteria in the world are visible to the naked eye

Most bacteria are just 2 micrometres long, but Thiomargarita magnifica is thousands of times bigger, and is unusually complex

Some turtles that live longer have a lower chance of dying each year

In zoos and aquariums, some species of turtles and tortoises have a lower rate of ageing as they grow older

We must accept we won’t meet 1.5°C climate target, says report

Social, political and technology inertia mean the Paris Agreement’s temperature target is likely to be missed

Polio: Should we be worried about virus found in London sewage?

Poliovirus has been detected in London sewage samples, but no human cases have been reported so far

UK wants to send a spacecraft to grab two dead satellites from space

The UK is putting £5 million towards a mission to remove two dead satellites from space by burning them up in Earth’s atmosphere

Small robots can't move by themselves but slide when they team up

Little robots shaped like staples called "smarticles" can't move around on their own, but researchers have now found that they can randomly form structures with other robots to move about

Parasitic wasps released in orchards to control crop-eating stink bug

A trial in Italy deployed a native wasp that lays eggs inside the eggs of the brown marmorated stink bug, an invasive pest that feeds on apples and other crops

Light delayed by seven years as it is bent around a galaxy cluster

The light from a quasar was delayed by about 2458 days as the path it is travelling to us has been bent by the gravity from a cluster of galaxies

Alan Turing

Alan Turing was one of the most influential British figures of the 20th century and often considered the father of modern computer science.

Megalodon may have been higher up the food chain than any modern shark

Megatooth sharks, including megalodon, seem to have had the highest position in food webs ever occupied by marine predators

Sleep apnoea symptoms in post-menopausal women linked to low oestrogen

Reduced levels of oestrogen and progesterone seem to be what makes post-menopausal women more likely to have symptoms of sleep apnoea, including snoring, irregular breathing or gasping at night

Why elite universities like Cambridge must ditch big oil funding

While institutions like Cambridge talk up climate action, they also maintain partnerships with the fossil fuel giants driving climate catastrophe. This must stop, says Zak Coleman

China finds - then loses - traces of extraterrestial civilisations

Feedback ponders the disappearance of a report about China’s discovery of possible alien intelligence, and gets ready to text the Squid Facts hotline

Digging into the return of an 80-year-old meme, the turbo-encabulator

A retro meme that fondly satirises absurd technical language is still bringing engineers joy, finds Annalee Newitz, who is ready for the crypto version

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The Facemaker review: A powerful portrait of plastic surgery's pioneer

Lindsey Fitzharris's biography of Harold Gillies, who became the world's pre-eminent specialist in plastic surgery during the first world war, depicts a forward-thinking, gifted man

Earth's musical heritage finds an icy home next to global seed vault

From work by Indigenous musicians to songs from a sci-art pioneer, the Global Music Vault is open for business as a cultural equivalent to the Svalbard Global Seed Bank

Striking photos of jellyfish shed light on the enigmatic invertebrates

Photographer Jan Schlegel’s new project, Of Aliens, Mermaids and Medusas, is a celebration of these prehistoric sea creatures, shot at the jellyfish lab in the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town, South Africa

On the Scent review: A timely exploration of the least studied sense

When journalist Paola Totaro lost her sense of smell, she set out to investigate olfactory impairment. The result, written with her husband Robert Wainwright, is engaging and hopeful

Does your ability to stand on one leg predict your risk of dying soon?

Some doctors say health checks for older people should include the “flamingo balance test”, asking people to stand on one leg for 10 seconds – but the connection between balance and health is unclear

Breast cancer is more likely to spread during sleep

Tumour cells appear to circulate in the blood more during the night, hinting that therapies should be targeted to maximise their impact at night

Elusive exotic matter called a tetraneutron possibly seen in the lab

Twenty years ago, researchers saw hints of the existence of a type of exotic matter made of four neutrons. Now, researchers have found the clearest evidence it exists yet

Protein from plant-based 'meat' may be less well absorbed by the body

The protein found in meat alternatives made from wheat and soy may be less well absorbed by the small intestine into the bloodstream than protein from chicken breasts

AI generates photorealistic 3D scenes and lets you edit them as well

Artificial intelligence that creates realistic three-dimensional images could be run on a laptop and make it faster and easier to create animated films

Personalised cancer vaccines are finally beating hard to treat tumours

Some cancers are being treated with vaccines tailored to the genetic make-up of an individual’s tumours, a strategy that is looking increasingly hopeful

More than 950 killed in magnitude 5.9 earthquake in Afghanistan

An earthquake near the city of Khōst in south-east Afghanistan has killed nearly a thousand people and injured hundreds

UK’s earliest hand axes were made by ancient humans 560,000 years ago

Stone tools found in Fordwich in Canterbury may have been made by an early human called Homo heidelbergensis

How climate change is knocking natural events wildly out of sync

Climate change is throwing off the timing of key events in the natural world, from the flowering of plants to the migrations of birds and mammals. Now, ecologists are warning that this could spiral out of control and cause whole ecosystems to break down

Vitamins and dietary supplements are a waste of money for most people

The US Preventive Services Task Force says there isn't good evidence that supplements protect against cancer or heart disease in most people

Campaigners propose food alliance to reduce climate impact of farming

Food campaigners hope to persuade countries to join a sustainable farming alliance that could launch at the COP27 climate summit in Egypt

Feryal Özel on what the first two pictures of black holes tell us

Astronomer Feryal Özel is one of the pioneers of black hole photography. With two pictures in the album, she explains what we have learned about these gravitational monsters - and what comes next

Europe swelters as extreme heatwaves arrive unusually early this year

Naming heatwaves, taking climate change adaptation seriously and cutting carbon emissions would help people cope with rising temperatures, says climate scientist Hannah Cloke

Teenagers with unhealthy lifestyles age faster than healthier peers

Smoking, regularly drinking alcohol, doing little exercise and having a high BMI make teenagers age two to five weeks a year faster biologically, according to a large DNA study

Melting ice could open up an Arctic Sea route not controlled by Russia

The Russia-controlled Northern Sea Route is one of the only ways ships can sail through the Arctic. Melting sea ice could open passages around it by 2035

Temporary graphene tattoos could continuously monitor blood pressure

A temporary graphene tattoo that monitors blood pressure has been awarded the highest possible accuracy grading for such a monitoring device

How much do food miles matter and should you buy local produce?

Despite a study claiming that food-mile emissions are higher than previously thought, eating less animal produce remains much more important than how far your food travels

COP15: Canada to replace China as venue for UN biodiversity summit

The COP15 meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity will be relocated to Montreal due to fears the Chinese government would postpone the event again

Future of UK farming up for grabs ahead of government land use plan

A fierce debate is taking place over the future of the UK farming, and how to feed people while fixing the biodiversity and climate crises

UK bird flu research project launched to protect poultry and seabirds

A UK government-backed project – FluMap – aims to help understand how bird flu is evolving and finding its way into poultry farms

Physicists work out exactly when a fruit display will fall down

Computer simulations reveal the precise conditions when removing an orange from a display would cause a fruit avalanche

There are 6 types of people online who worry about the environment

A massive analysis of Twitter has found that, when it comes to environmental concern, there are broadly six distinct personas, including smart alecs and technocrats. Which one are you?

The universe is surprisingly lopsided and we don't know why

Two analyses of a million galaxies show that their distribution may not be symmetrical, which may mean that our understandings of gravity and the early universe are incorrect

3D rabbit 'hologram' created by levitating screen using sound waves

Sound waves can be used to keep an object hovering in the air, and a new technique works even in crowded spaces

Quantum microphone works even better than a regular one

By detecting tiny movements of particles of light, a quantum microphone has recorded human speech that is easier to understand than if it is captured by an equivalent classical version

Backpack-wearing rats could start search-and-rescue missions next year

African pouched rats equipped with backpacks are being trained to locate survivors trapped under debris. Their size, natural curiosity and powerful sense of smell make them well-suited for the job

Feedback loop in Greenland amplified ice melt from warm weather

Last August, rain fell for the first time at the peak of Greenland’s ice sheet, but this had little impact on ice melt compared with other effects

Long covid risk with omicron variant may be half what it is with delta

After analysing a symptom-tracking app, researchers found 4.5 per cent of users who were infected when the omicron variant was dominant had symptoms at least four weeks later, compared with 10.8 per cent of the users who probably caught delta

Solar storms may cause up to 5500 heart-related deaths in a given year

In an approximate 11-year cycle, the sun blasts out charged particles and magnetised plasma that can distort Earth’s magnetic field, which may disrupt our body clock and ultimately affect the heart

Watch this strange fluid act like a solid and liquid at the same time

Physicists have used high-speed cameras to see a drop of an odd fluid both solidify and keep flowing when it falls and hits the ground

How can we prevent AI from being racist, sexist and offensive?

Artificial intelligences continue to exhibit the same biases and prejudices as humans because they are trained on what we create, but there are ways we can improve the situation

Polar bears adapting to climate change by hunting on freshwater ice

A group of several hundred polar bears in south-eastern Greenland often catch seals by waiting outside their prey's breathing holes on blocks of floating freshwater ice from glaciers, in an example of the animals adapting to a loss of sea ice driven by climate change

Ancient meteorite upends our ideas of how Mars formed

Meteorite analysis hints that early Mars got important volatile elements like hydrogen and oxygen from meteorite collisions rather than a cloud of gases

Online tool predicts impact on your life expectancy from 1800 diseases

A new online atlas can predict how life expectancy is affected by contracting one of 1800 diseases – although the tool may work well only for people in Denmark

Vaping v smoking: Why the FDA may limit access to flavoured vapes

The US may restrict the sale of flavoured e-cigarettes because of potential harm to teenagers. But evidence suggests vaping is much less dangerous than smoking and can help people quit – including adults who like an array of flavours

What is the Hertzbleed computer chip hack and should you be worried?

A new hack called Hertzbleed can read snippets of data from computer chips remotely and could leave cryptography algorithms vulnerable to attack

Enormous impact flash seen lighting up Jupiter’s atmosphere

Astronomers spotted a huge space rock slamming into Jupiter, creating a blast of light and energy equivalent to 2 million tonnes of TNT – the brightest such event since 1994

Incredible photos reveal underwater volcanic activity near Sicily

Panarea, a volcanic island near Sicily, Italy, is the site of plenty of underwater volcanic activity – which has now been documented as part of a decade-long photographic exploration of the oceans

What will the crypto crash mean for 'bitcoin nation' El Salvador?

El Salvador has invested heavily in bitcoin and related infrastructure in a bold plan to build its economy around the cryptocurrency, but now its value has plummeted

Children to get CRISPR treatment for sickle cell disease in trial

CRISPR gene-editing trials for treating beta thalassaemia and sickle cell disease are being extended to include people under the age of 12 after positive results in older people

Global satellite map will help hunt down illegal fishing vessels

Using computer-vision algorithms to crunch through satellite image and shipping location data has revealed areas where ships may be catching seafood illegally

Working in virtual reality for a week made people less productive

Volunteers who spent a working week in a virtual-reality environment have reported more anxiety, lower productivity and migraines – which could have big implications for the future of work

Watch a robot cat chase a robot mouse

A robotic game of cat and mouse shows how neuromorphic chips inspired by the brain could allow small robots to make decisions without using too much power

Tiny pumpkin toadlet frogs are very clumsy jumpers and now we know why

Pumpkin toadlets are only 1 centimetre long – and the minuscule size of their balance organs might explain why they jump so haphazardly

Deepwater Horizon oil spill did no harm to BP's long-term share value

But BP suffered reputational damage from the 2010 oil spill in the long run, compared to a simulated version of the firm where the disaster never happened

Exercising before or after a flu vaccine may make it work better

People who are usually physically active had increased antibody levels if they exercised around the time they received their flu shot

Crimes of the Future review: Is Cronenberg sci-fi compelling or chaos?

David Cronenberg’s latest outing is a fascinating sci-fi tale that sets out to be a transgressive exploration of human evolution, but ends up sunk by flaws in its internal logic

The Biggest Number in the World review: A brilliant guide to googology

The largest numbers are so huge you need special notation to write them down. David Darling and Agnijo Banerjee's new book on big numbers will take you to the edge of mathematics

Jellyfish Age Backwards review: Exploring nature's secrets to ageing

Why do some jellyfish age backwards? Does intermittent fasting really make us live longer? Find out how much science knows about ageing in this whistle-stop tour

Fascinating shots of extinct and endangered animals and plants

Taken from Marc Schlossman's new photography book, Extinction, these images document specimens from the Field Museum's private collections, from the critically endangered kakapo bird to the hawksbill sea turtle

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Time to drop the outdated and unfair anonymity rule in organ donation

The rise of social media means decades-old rules requiring that the identities of deceased organ donors and organ recipients remain secret are fast becoming obsolete

How to catch a glimpse of a five-planet alignment this June

If you are up early this month, you might see Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn line up in the morning sky, says Abigail Beall

Beyond Measure review: How measuring the world betrays its human side

Our neat ways of measuring tend to seem like they have always existed. A romp through history shows it is much messier and more human than that

Eating green means considering biodiversity as well as climate change

I thought my Mediterranean-style diet was helping the planet, but while it has reduced my carbon footprint, it is harming Earth's biodiversity, finds Graham Lawton

Is Uttoxeter’s World Parts Centre the answer to the world’s problems?

Feedback hits the road to investigate a promising-sounding recent arrival, also considering the unearthing of a silver Roman penis pendant and the quixotic efforts of the Academie Française

Contemplating the mysteries of the fourth dimension is time well spent

From what it is and why it only goes one way to how we perceive its passage and whether we could live without it, a journey exploring the many outstanding questions about time is always worth taking

Why does time fly or drag? How emotions warp our temporal perceptions

Felt time can speed up and slow down, depending on circumstances, because our perception of duration is intrinsically linked to the mental states induced by our physiological responses to the world

How do we make the most of our time? The power of confronting death

Our species' unique awareness of our own mortality can create a nagging sense that we are wasting our time – but leaning into the fact that our time is finite can transform the way we approach life

How long does evolution take? It happens on two different timescales

To make sense of the fact that adaptation can happen quickly and yet true evolutionary change seems to take forever, biologists suggest that evolution runs on two very different clocks

Jun Ye interview: What use is the world's most accurate clock?

The most advanced atomic clocks don’t just tell time – they could soon get so ludicrously accurate that they could be used for detecting gravitational waves and testing the limits of relativity

Can we live without time? Not if we value a solid sense of self

Ditching artificial light and living by the natural cycle of the sun can offer plenty of benefits for your health. But when you lose any sense of time whatsoever, you risk losing yourself too

Will we ever unite physics? Clocks in superposition could offer clues

Physicists have long sought to marry general relativity and quantum mechanics – now some reckon experiments that probe the way each theory treats time could finally make it happen

Will time ever end? The answer lies in the death throes of the cosmos

The universe might meet its end in a big freeze, a big crunch, or a big rip. But whether time ends with the demise of the cosmos depends on whether it is even real after all

What is time? The mysterious essence of the fourth dimension

The true nature of time continues to elude us. But whether it is a fundamental part of the cosmos or an illusion made in our minds has profound implications for our understanding of the universe

How serious is monkeypox and what are the symptoms?

More than 3000 confirmed or suspected monkeypox cases have been identified worldwide

Roe v Wade overturned: What that means for safe abortion in the US

State laws will restrict abortion in large parts of the US, and other reproductive healthcare offerings are now at stake

Are period-tracking apps still safe to use in the US post Roe v Wade?

Some period-tracking apps share data with third parties. With the rolling back of Roe v Wade abortion protections in the US, there is concern that data collected by these apps could become incriminating


How your brain creates the feeling of being