New Scientist - News
ALS linked to occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields
March 29th, 2017, 10:57 PM
People who work as welders, sewing-machine operators, and aircraft pilots may be more likely to develop amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a motor neurone disease
Neanderthal artist revealed in a finely carved raven bone
March 29th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Regularly spaced notches on a raven's wing bone appear to have been carved for aesthetic reasons, with implications for Neanderthal intelligence
Giant octopus wears jellyfish cape after it devours its owner
March 29th, 2017, 10:57 PM
A rarely-seen deep-sea octopus eats zooplankton and a gelatinous, low-calorie food – jellyfish – and may use them as tools to catch food and feed through
MRI brain scans train machines to see the world more like us
March 29th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Teaching machine learning algorithms to recognise objects in a more human-like way could make it easier for us to trust them in systems like driverless cars
Western demand for goods from China is killing 100,000 a year
March 29th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Nearly a quarter of premature deaths from air pollution worldwide happen in countries that manufacture goods for export
Fight against patent for hepatitis C drug that can cost €55,000
March 29th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Sofosbuvir can cost up to €55,000 for a course of treatment. Charities hope revoking the patent would allow far cheaper generics to cure hepatitis C in Europe
The coldest place in the universe marks a double stellar grave
March 29th, 2017, 10:57 PM
New observations finally reveal why an odd planetary nebula is so chilly: two stars met their end in close quarters
Bias test to prevent algorithms discriminating unfairly
March 29th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Algorithms that make judicial and financial decisions about people perpetuate racial or gender bias in the data they learn from. There's a way to clean it up
Lyme disease is set to explode, and you can’t protect yourself
March 29th, 2017, 10:57 PM
A new prediction says 2017 and 2018 will see major Lyme disease outbreaks in new areas. This could lead to lifelong health consequences, so where's the vaccine?
Backwards asteroid shares an orbit with Jupiter without crashing
March 29th, 2017, 10:57 PM
A rare retrograde asteroid has been spotted in Jupiter's orbital zone - and nudges from the giant planet may have kept it stable there for a million years
Sawfish’s fearsome snout evolved to be undetectable to prey
March 29th, 2017, 10:57 PM
The snout of the elusive sawfish doesn’t make vibrations that prey fish can detect as it swims – just like a wind turbine blade through air
Robot has eyes designed to follow you around like the Mona Lisa
March 29th, 2017, 10:57 PM
The Transgazer robot appears to be looking at several people at once because of its concave eye design, which could help it better communicate with groups
Implants let quadriplegic man drink from mug and feed himself
March 28th, 2017, 10:57 PM
A man who has been paralysed from the shoulders down for eight years has regained the use of his right arm and hand thanks to a “neuroprosthesis”
Parrots find ‘laughter’ contagious and high-five in mid air
March 28th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Chortling parrots join humans, apes and rats in elite club of species that find fun infectious and enjoy a laugh or two together
Trump signs executive order to reverse Obama’s climate policies
March 28th, 2017, 10:57 PM
The order targets the 2015 Clean Power Plan, which was meant to limit emissions from coal-fired power plants, and aims to relax fracking regulations
Edited live vaccine could stop harmful polio outbreaks
March 28th, 2017, 10:57 PM
We’re on the brink of eradicating polio, but the virus used as a vaccine can evolve to become dangerous. Now a team has figured out how, and plan to stop it
Virtual lemonade sends colour and taste to a glass of water
March 28th, 2017, 10:57 PM
A tumbler that makes water look and taste like lemonade using LED lights and electrodes could allow people to share drinks on social media
Mini reproductive organs in a dish mimic 28-day menstrual cycle
March 28th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Connecting clumps of tissue from ovaries, the womb, and other organs in the lab has led to ovulation happening in a dish, but the system cannot menstruate yet
US energy systems at the mercy of cyberattack, warns report
March 28th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Hackers could sabotage electricity grid or oil pipelines unless weaknesses that have built up over decades are addressed, writes former NSA inspector general
Baby has surgery to remove parasitic fetus growing inside him
March 28th, 2017, 10:57 PM
A 10-month-old boy in Indonesia was found to have a 400 gram fetus living inside him, one of only a few hundred cases of “fetus in fetu” ever described
Geoengineering the sky is scary but we need to test it now
March 28th, 2017, 10:57 PM
The world's biggest trial of cooling the planet by altering the atmosphere is being launched. It is crucial that it goes ahead, says Jamais Cascio
“They said I was peri-menopausal. It’s a miracle I got pregnant”
March 28th, 2017, 10:57 PM
After several miscarriages and six unsuccessful IVF attempts, a woman in Germany is six months pregnant following an experimental ovarian rejuvenation treatment
Mice lived with us 15,000 years ago even before farming took off
March 27th, 2017, 10:57 PM
House mice began to associate with humans when the Natufian people started settling in the eastern Mediterranean, before the advent of farming
Exclusive: menopausal women become pregnant with their own eggs
March 27th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Two women thought to be infertile seem to have had their fertility restored using a technique to rejuvenate their ovaries, and one is now six months pregnant
Putting bigger brains down to our social nature is half-baked
March 27th, 2017, 10:57 PM
New work on primates bolsters the idea that diet – rather than social complexity – was key to evolution of our big brains, says chimp expert Richard Wrangham
Electrified sand could explain Titan’s odd backward-facing dunes
March 27th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Saturn’s largest moon is similar to Earth in many ways – but its dunes face the wrong direction. It could be because static electricity has greater clout there
Diabetes drug could be the first to reverse the disease
March 27th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Rising obesity is leading to a boom in type 2 diabetes. A drug that reverses the condition in obese mice could make it much easier to control the disease
Why breaking encryption is a bad idea that could never work
March 27th, 2017, 10:57 PM
UK home secretary Amber Rudd says WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption is "completely unacceptable" – but breaking encryption would be unhelpful and unworkable
Changing clocks twice a year is bad for health and energy use
March 27th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Are you feeling tired today? Much of the UK got up an hour earlier this morning, a change that has been linked to heart attacks and strokes in some countries
A nuclear ghost town in Japan welcomes back residents this week
March 27th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Namie was evacuated in the aftermath of the meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station – six years later, people are being encouraged to return
It’s time new media companies admitted that that’s what they are
March 27th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Social media titans like Facebook claim to exercise no control over their content. It’s time they dropped the pretence and picked up their responsibilities
Atomic clocks make best measurement yet of relativity of time
March 24th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Einstein's relativity has survived another test, carried out using a network of synchronised atomic clocks in three European cities
Special glasses give people superhuman colour vision
March 24th, 2017, 10:57 PM
A pair of spectacles filter light to trick the eyes into seeing colour differently, letting people distinguish between hues that look the same but aren't
Stray supermassive black hole flung away by gravitational waves
March 24th, 2017, 10:57 PM
The Hubble Space Telescope has spotted a one-billion solar mass black hole fleeing its galaxy, showing supermassive black holes can probably merge
Maths explains how pedestrians avoid bumping into one another
March 24th, 2017, 10:57 PM
A model that takes into account sudden U-turns and other random behaviour by individuals in a crowd could be used to help prevent stampedes  
Enigmatic plumes from Saturn’s moon caused by cosmic collision
March 24th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Saturn’s icy moon spews water and heat into space, but only from its south pole. A new model suggests that’s because it suffered a hit-and-run long ago
Old blood can be made young again and it might fight ageing
March 24th, 2017, 10:57 PM
A protein can boost blood stem cells, making them behave like those of younger people. Is it the key to harnessing young blood’s rejuvenating power?
Cleaner fish that keep farmed salmon healthy at risk of wipe-out
March 24th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Wrasse help remove lice from salmon, enabling farmers to use fewer pesticides. But escalating demand for these fish could be disrupting important wild ecosystems
Is most cancer just random bad luck? No, lifestyle matters a lot
March 24th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Many cancers are still preventable despite more research highlighting the role of unavoidable random DNA damage, says biologist Darren Saunders
Pay crash expected in online gig economy as millions seek work
March 24th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Millions of people in South-East Asia and sub-Saharan Africa get income from online jobs. But as more get online, competition will spark a race to the bottom
Deadly, drug-resistant Candida yeast infection spreads in the US
March 23rd, 2017, 10:57 PM
So far, 53 Americans have been infected with Candida auris, which can cause organ failure. It is resistant to all three major classes of antifungal drug
Exposed: Soviet cover-up of nuclear fallout worse than Chernobyl
March 23rd, 2017, 10:57 PM
A first look at a top secret report shows that Moscow scientists studied the impacts of nuclear bomb tests on civilians, but the results were never made public
How free speech can become censorship – and how to solve it
March 23rd, 2017, 10:57 PM
The more free speech, the better – or so we thought. But in a world of bots and misinformation, the online free-for-all is ruining debate
Chronic pain and depression are linked by brain gene changes
March 23rd, 2017, 10:57 PM
At least 40 per cent of people with severe chronic pain develop depression. A mouse study has found changes in brain gene activity that may explain the link
Phone learns to send app notifications only when you want them
March 23rd, 2017, 10:57 PM
Knowing when you don’t want to be interrupted will help systems manage the deluge of smartphone notifications and wait for a good time
Shock mass coral die-off in Asia sounds alarm for world’s reefs
March 23rd, 2017, 10:57 PM
An unexpected coral bleaching event in the South China Sea shows that reefs can heat up substantially more than the surrounding ocean
Robots are stronger, faster, more durable… and hackable
March 23rd, 2017, 10:57 PM
Some of today's best known robots turn out to be easily hijacked, a sign that this burgeoning tech industry must make security a top priority, says Paul Marks
Best evidence yet that hypnotised people aren’t faking it
March 23rd, 2017, 10:57 PM
It’s hard to tell whether hypnotism is real. Now researchers have used a trick of the mind to show that hypnotised people’s actions really do feel involuntary
Oddball star could be home to long-sought superheavy elements
March 23rd, 2017, 10:57 PM
One of the most chemically strange stars we know could chart a path to the so-called "island of stability", where massive yet relatively stable atoms exist
Moderate drinking may be ‘heart healthy’ but exercise is safer
March 22nd, 2017, 10:57 PM
Another study has found that drinking 14 units or less a week is linked to better cardiovascular health. But drinking alcohol for health is a risky strategy
Can data save rhinos? How to attack wildlife crime at source
March 22nd, 2017, 10:57 PM
By the time surveillance technology catches a poacher, it's already too late. Now researchers are training a new generation of technology on the demand for endangered animals, not the supply
A little less ET, a little more astrophysics, if you please
March 22nd, 2017, 10:57 PM
The role of science is to rule out the boring and tedious before we embrace the extraordinary, like alien signals or "megastructures", says Geraint Lewis
Robots could help children give evidence in child abuse cases
March 22nd, 2017, 10:57 PM
Even trained police interviewers find it hard to stay neutral when talking to children who have been abused. Could robots help collect better evidence?
First dinosaurs may have been omnivores in the north hemisphere
March 22nd, 2017, 10:57 PM
Largest shake-up of dinosaur family tree in 130 years puts T. rex in a group with herbivores and uproots what we thought we knew about the reptiles
Female fish with bigger brains choose better mates
March 22nd, 2017, 10:57 PM
Colourful male guppies are healthier and better foragers. But using this information to pick a good mate requires female guppies to use more brainpower
Quarter of California’s snowpack loss is from human-made warming
March 22nd, 2017, 10:57 PM
California’s reservoirs depend on the gradual melting of winter snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains, but the snowpack is dwindling and may not return
Trump’s tragic budget kills vital science to boost defence
March 21st, 2017, 10:57 PM
The US president's spending plan ramps up defence at huge cost to climate and energy research. The contradictions are beyond belief, says physicist Raymond Pierrehumbert
Artificial lungs in a backpack may free people with lung failure
March 21st, 2017, 10:57 PM
People with lung failure usually have to stay connected to unwieldy machines. Now a set of portable mechanical lungs could restore mobility and keep them healthier
Electronic devices banned on US-bound flights from 8 countries
March 21st, 2017, 10:57 PM
The US bans passengers flying from countries including Jordan and Saudi Arabia from bringing laptops and other electronics in their carry-on luggage
Ongoing academic purge shows Turkey is heading to a dark place
March 21st, 2017, 10:57 PM
Scientists are among hundreds of academics sacked ahead of Turkey's referendum on handing more power to its authoritarian president, says Caghan Kizil
Keep an open mind on dark matter and rivals that do away with it
March 21st, 2017, 10:57 PM
The hunt for dark matter particles has been fruitless and expensive, so it’s encouraging that fresh competing theories are being taken more seriously
Weather and climate extremes continue to set new records
March 20th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Last year was bad, but 2017 is shaping to follow suit as carbon levels, temperatures and sea levels continue to rise, says the World Meteorological Organisation
E-tattoos turn knuckles and freckles into smartphone controls
March 20th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Tattoos that turn skin into a touchscreen could display notifications on your body and let you answer a call or pump up the volume with a tap of your fingers
The many-tentacled galaxy that could drive a physics revolution
March 20th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Weirdo galaxy NGC 4258 has extra tentacles protruding from its middle, which make it surprisingly useful for testing theories of the universe evolved
Mysterious water-like streaks on Mars might be sand flows instead
March 20th, 2017, 10:57 PM
We thought the dark lines that appear on Martian slopes each summer were flowing salt water, but tumbling dust might be to blame
On front line of climate change as Maldives fights rising seas
March 20th, 2017, 10:57 PM
The Maldives government has decided not to abandon the sinking country and instead vowed to build new islands to keep the country – and economy – afloat
3D-printed bacteria could make bespoke graphene-like materials
March 20th, 2017, 10:57 PM
3D-printing bacterial ink onto sheets of graphene oxide could make precise patterns of highly-conductive material in a cheaper and easier way
Backyard gene editing risks creating a monster
March 20th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Biohackers have already signalled their intention to use CRISPR, which poses a big problem for the authorities
Chimp filmed cleaning a corpse’s teeth in a mortuary-like ritual
March 18th, 2017, 10:57 PM
The never-before-seen behaviour suggests that chimpanzees can be curious about death and may shed light on the origins of human mortuary practices
Making US workers pass genetic test data to employers is wrong
March 17th, 2017, 10:57 PM
A proposed law effectively allowing US employers to require workers to take DNA tests and hand over the results is misguided, says geneticist Martina Cornel
South American group has the healthiest arteries ever seen
March 17th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Some elderly adults of Tsimane people in Bolivia have arteries so free from disease that they resemble those people in the US who are more than 20 years younger
Gentle breeze may help Venus’s atmosphere spin like crazy
March 17th, 2017, 10:57 PM
The atmosphere of Venus rotates much faster than the planet itself. A newly detected wind could be spreading the energy needed to power it
CO2 emissions from energy remain flat for third year running
March 17th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Carbon dioxide emissions from the energy sector have not increased for three years in a row even as the global economy grew
Stop killing lions for their bones to make bogus aphrodisiacs
March 17th, 2017, 10:57 PM
The export of lion skeletons to China for use in 'aphrodisiac' wines threatens the survival of the king of the beasts, says Richard Schiffman
Cosmological ruler could help us get the measure of dark energy
March 17th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Measuring how the distance between galaxies changes is key to working out how dark energy drives the universe’s accelerating expansion – now a new ruler may help
UK government pulls ads from YouTube in extremist content row
March 17th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Google has been summoned for discussions at the Cabinet Office to explain why government ads appear alongside extremist material, as brands also pull ads
Asteroid clay is a better space radiation shield than aluminium
March 16th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Cosmic radiation poses one of the biggest health risks for astronauts on long space missions, but clay extracted from space rocks could protect them
Australia wants to ban unvaccinated children from preschool
March 16th, 2017, 10:57 PM
The government wants 95 per cent of Australian children vaccinated – a level that would stop infectious diseases spreading and protect those who can’t be vaccinated
Robot eavesdrops on men and women to see how much they talk
March 16th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Women speak more when they’re talking to a woman rather than a man, finds a robot with a fur hat that studied conversations between men, women and children
New autism blood test likely to join ranks of also-rans
March 16th, 2017, 10:57 PM
A new blood test for autism promises to catch the condition much earlier than standard interventions. Here’s why it probably won’t change anything
Swedish men on target to be first to completely stub out smoking
March 16th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Just 5 per cent of Swedish men between the ages of 30 and 44 are lighting up. They use snus instead, which is banned elsewhere in Europe. But is it safe?
Recoded organism paves way to new genetic language of life
March 16th, 2017, 10:57 PM
A new technique has allowed a quicker way of recoding genetic information, which could allow us to design fresh life forms with useful properties from scratch
Tardigrades turn into glass to survive complete dehydration
March 16th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Water bears make unique jelly proteins that form a glass-like cocoon to protect them from drought. The find could one day help make drought resistant crops
Premature babies’ brains respond differently to gentle touching
March 16th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Babies born very early miss out on weeks of development in the womb and experience painful procedures. This seems to alter their response to touch
These fish are evolving right now to become land-dwellers
March 16th, 2017, 10:57 PM
The threat of predation makes the blenny fish seek refuge outside of water, where they are safer, perhaps retracing steps of first land-dwelling animals
Vision saved by first induced pluripotent stem cell treatment
March 15th, 2017, 10:57 PM
A woman with age-related macular degeneration seems to have had her vision stabilised thanks to a transplant of retinal cells generated from her skin
Should a child’s health concerns trump sperm donor privacy?
March 15th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Some donors in Australia have just been stripped of anonymity. What's the right balance between privacy and a person's need to know their genetic heritage?
A sixth of Americans to lack health insurance by 2026
March 15th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Plans to replace and repeal the existing Affordable Care Act will leave an extra 24 million Americans without medical cover by 2026, a Congressional Budget Office report claims
Indian Ocean version of El Niño behind drought in East Africa
March 15th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Like El Niño, the Indian Ocean dipole involves cyclical temperature changes in the ocean, and now millions face crop failures and famine partly as a result
Mosaic problem stands in the way of gene editing embryos
March 15th, 2017, 10:57 PM
The first results of gene editing in viable human embryos reveals it works better than we thought, but that there’s another big problem blocking the way
Rear-view helmet vision may help avert motorbike accidents
March 15th, 2017, 10:57 PM
A mini display that fits inside a motorcyclist's helmet shows a live video feed of the road behind, meaning less reliance on inconvenient mirrors
Dark matter took its time to wrap around early galaxies
March 15th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Large spiral galaxies today rotate more quickly than they should, but was it always that way? New maps of ancient galaxies suggest a dark secret
O my! Paper strip test determines blood type in just 30 seconds
March 15th, 2017, 10:57 PM
When people can’t communicate their blood type, it can waste time in emergencies and put pressure on supplies of donor blood. A new test could change that
US charges Russian security officials over massive Yahoo hack
March 15th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Two Russian security services officers and two alleged hackers have been charged over a Yahoo data breach that affected at least 500 million accounts
TRAPPIST-1 worlds are close enough for life to hop between them
March 15th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Some think life came to Earth from Mars on a meteorite. If this sort of thing can happen, it’s 1000 times more likely on TRAPPIST-1’s three habitable worlds
Cooling to absolute zero mathematically outlawed after a century
March 15th, 2017, 10:57 PM
The third law of thermodynamics has been a source of controversy since 1906, but now we have a concrete proof
The most believable video game sidekick is a giant flying cat
March 15th, 2017, 10:57 PM
It takes a lot of effort to build a rapport with Trico, The Last Guardian’s in-game companion. But that’s exactly why players keep coming back to him
Fiddler crab’s drumming shows off the size of its home
March 14th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Male fiddler crabs famously wave and drum their claws – but why? It seems the drumming is a sign to females of how big their bodies and burrow are
Plants have evolved a taste for sand that deters hungry insects
March 14th, 2017, 10:57 PM
A mouthful of sand is no fun – and plants seem to know it. Some have evolved to take up silicon and make themselves less tasty for insects
Video game beta test reveals how we might act if the world ends
March 14th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Players who tried out role-playing game ArcheAge knew their characters would be deleted at the end of the test, and acted differently when the end was nigh