New Scientist - News
Self-healing jelly bot regenerates when stabbed – just add heat
August 16th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Soft robots are perfect for delicate tasks, but their softness makes them too fragile to use. Now a regenerating robotic material could solve the problem
Weird creatures are spreading polluting plastic through the sea
August 16th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Plastic particles sink to the seabed after being eaten and excreted by animals called larvaceans, which could be why we see less floating plastic than expected
Speedy test for Lyme disease could help us treat it in time
August 16th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Lyme disease needs to be treated quickly, but it can be hard to tell it apart from other conditions. Now a test could help diagnose the infection
Banking a baby’s cord blood may save their life. Is it worth it?
August 16th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Parents are paying huge sums to save umbilical cord blood for future medical treatments, but they may have to wait decades for the investment to pay off
I paid £2000 to bank my son’s cord blood, but couldn’t use it
August 16th, 2017, 05:42 PM
An anonymous father says after storing the expensive cells, his son developed a condition that the blood could not treat
We can program robots not to get all up in our personal space
August 16th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Predictive programming lets robots navigate tight hallways or wait at doorways without jostling passers-by or bumping into obstacles in their way
Jellyfish galaxies may feed black holes with their long tendrils
August 16th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Cosmic winds that form the long tentacles of jellyfish galaxies may also create the perfect conditions to sustain highly active supermassive black holes
Can smart tech really solve Brexit’s UK-Ireland border problem?
August 16th, 2017, 05:42 PM
The UK government has called for "technology-based solutions" to manage the Irish border, but the means to track the flow of goods and people may not exist
Google-sponsored private moon race delayed for the fourth time
August 16th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Competitors in the Google Lunar X Prize now have until 31 March 2018 to land a spacecraft on the moon
Netflix vegan hit What the Health serves up lots of bad science
August 16th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Campaigning vegans will change nothing if they embrace bad science and conspiracy theories when making the health case for their diet, says Anthony Warner
Activated charcoal drug can protect microbiome from antibiotics
August 16th, 2017, 05:42 PM
A special formulation of activated charcoal can soak up excess antibiotics, protecting beneficial gut bacteria and potentially preventing diarrhoea
AI artist conjures up convincing fake worlds from memories
August 16th, 2017, 05:42 PM
An algorithm trained on real streets can create realistic-looking imaginary ones, and could one day be used to generate highly realistic video game worlds
Tiny robots crawl through mouse’s stomach to heal ulcers
August 16th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Bacterial infections in mice have been cleared up by bubble-propelled micromotors that swim through the stomach and release antibiotic payloads - and then dissolve in stomach acid
Fish eat bits of plastic because they think they smell good
August 15th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Hungry fish are gulping down mouthfuls of plastic, perhaps because it smells like their favourite foods
England will need over 71,000 extra care home places by 2025
August 15th, 2017, 05:42 PM
The number of older people who will need substantial care is set to rise by 85.7 per cent, as increases in “healthspan” continue to lag behind longer lifespans
Twitch gamers live-stream their vital signs to keep fans hooked
August 15th, 2017, 05:42 PM
In the fight for audiences in online gaming, displaying a player’s heart rate and mood alongside the game could well be a winning strategy
Choosing alternative cancer treatment doubles your risk of death
August 15th, 2017, 05:42 PM
People who choose alternative cancer medicines tend to be wealthier and have higher levels of education, but are more than twice as likely to die in five years
Ice at Mars’s equator hints the planet was once much more tilted
August 15th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Most of the water on Mars is at its poles, but ice near the equator may mean that the way the red planet is tilted has changed over the last few million years
How US diplomats may have been attacked by sonic weapons in Cuba
August 15th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Acoustic weapons are shrouded in mystery - now, US and Canadian diplomats seem to be suffering from the symptoms of an attack. Here's what could have happened
There are almost 100 new volcanoes hiding under Antarctic ice
August 15th, 2017, 05:42 PM
The 91 newly found volcanoes lurk beneath the vulnerable West Antarctic ice sheet and could accelerate its demise
This year may be one of the worst ever for Atlantic hurricanes
August 15th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Between 14 and 19 storms are predicted to sweep across the Atlantic from June to November this year, threatening the US and other countries
Ancient warriors killed and ate their dogs as rite of passage
August 15th, 2017, 05:42 PM
4000 years ago in Eurasia, young warriors killed large numbers of dogs, ate their flesh, and chopped their skulls into small pieces as part of a bizarre initiation into war bands
Why UK midwives are back-pedalling on natural childbirth
August 15th, 2017, 05:42 PM
For decades, women have been encouraged to give birth naturally – that means avoiding all medicines and interventions. Now the Royal College of Midwives is changing its position
Even ‘healthy’ overweight people have a higher cardiac risk
August 14th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Being overweight or obese is linked to coronary heart disease and heart attacks even when a person has healthy blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol
Childhood exercise may protect against memory loss in old age
August 14th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Rats that run during their youth are better able to remember new things when they are older - a finding that suggests exercise may help prevent dementia
Goldfish go months without oxygen by making alcohol inside cells
August 14th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Goldfish and crucian carp have evolved enzymes that turn carbohydrates into alcohol when no oxygen is available – helping the fish survive in ice-locked pools
Fighting to breathe in the face of Canada’s wildfire emergency
August 14th, 2017, 05:42 PM
British Columbia is facing its worst documented wildfire season in almost 60 years – Mika McKinnon went to the city of Kamloops to find out why
Ships fooled in GPS spoofing attack suggest Russian cyberweapon
August 14th, 2017, 05:42 PM
A hack that manipulated the location of 20 ships in the Black Sea may be the first use of GPS spoofing, a form of cyberwarfare capable of widespread disruption
Smart cameras spot when hospital staff don’t wash their hands
August 14th, 2017, 05:42 PM
One in 20 people admitted to hospital pick up an infection while they’re there, but cameras tracking people’s movements could spot who’s spreading diseases
Farmland is in retreat. We should make the most of that
August 14th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Now that more land globally is being revegetated than cleared, we need to figure out how to use this force for ecological good. But it won't be an easy sell
The BBC should stop giving unwarranted airtime to Nigel Lawson
August 11th, 2017, 05:42 PM
The broadcaster had tough questions for Al Gore and then gave space to false claims of a prominent climate sceptic. This is a recipe for spreading misinformation
Mystery of missing tsunamis explained by geological model
August 11th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Massive debris flows below the waves can trigger devastating tsunamis, but sometimes they generate the merest ripple – now we know why
Tottering piglets can’t walk at first but learn super-fast
August 11th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Video analysis shows that it only takes piglets 8 hours to learn to gain full control over their limbs, allowing them to walk as confidently as adult pigs
Trump says he’ll declare US opioid epidemic a national emergency
August 11th, 2017, 05:42 PM
President Trump plans to declare the opioid crisis an emergency after all, a move that should free up funds. But how much, and how they’ll be used, is unclear
Early humans may have seen a supervolcano explosion up close
August 11th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Two ancient teeth found on Sumatra suggest early humans were there when the island’s supervolcano erupted 71,000 years ago
Memo to all tech bros: Sexism, not biology, holds women back
August 11th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Women are not biologically predestined to be bit players in tech firms no matter what one (ex) Google engineer thinks of diversity programmes, says Lara Williams
There is a good case to unleash job-killing AI on the high seas
August 11th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Life on a container ship can be hellish, so maybe we shouldn't mourn the loss of these roles too much as the first crewless vessels take shape, says Paul Marks
Primate brains react differently to faces of friends and VIPs
August 10th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Two newly identified brain areas reveal how rhesus macaques recognise the difference between intimately familiar faces and faces that the monkeys know less well
CRISPR makes piglets that may be better organ donors for humans
August 10th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Organ transplants from pigs are a step closer, after the birth of piglets that have had the harmful viruses in their DNA inactivated using gene editing
Sea snakes are turning black in response to industrial pollution
August 10th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Indo-Pacific sea snakes living in polluted waters near industrial areas have darker bodies – perhaps because pollutants bind better to their dark skin pigment
DeepMind AI teaches itself about the world by watching videos
August 10th, 2017, 05:42 PM
AI usually relies on humans to label the world for them, but a new system from DeepMind learns to recognise images and sounds by matching up what it hears with what it sees
Side effects kill thousands but our data on them is flawed
August 10th, 2017, 05:42 PM
As many as 40,000 people in the US die from drug side effects a year. The FDA’s database helps researchers understand why – but it has many problems
We can stop hacking and trolls, but it would ruin the internet
August 10th, 2017, 05:42 PM
A new way to run the internet would scupper ransomware and hacking, but its authoritarian backers could control everything we do online
Viking hordes dined on frozen Norwegian cod shipped to Germany
August 10th, 2017, 05:42 PM
DNA from ancient cod bones shows Vikings freeze-dried Arctic cod for serving up on European menus 300 years earlier than we thought
First implants derived from stem cells to ‘cure’ type 1 diabetes
August 10th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Two people have been given implants of cells derived from embryonic stem cells that may be able to release insulin when needed to manage blood sugar levels
No, North Korea (probably) won’t nuke the US territory of Guam
August 10th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Despite the bluster, Kim-Jong-un’s North Korea is unlikely to want war. It’s time to treat the country like a nuclear power and resume diplomatic talks
This is why the first CRISPR baby won’t be born in the US
August 10th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Hopes are high that gene editing embryos can ease inherited disease. The first such babies are likely within five years, but not in the US, says Jim Kozubek
Tethered satellites could see the moon’s weird swirls up close
August 9th, 2017, 05:42 PM
The moon has bright coils of dust we can’t study without getting up close. A NASA proposal would send two satellites tied together to dangle over the surface
Moon’s magnetic field lasted twice as long as we thought it did
August 9th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Lunar rock shows the moon’s magnetic field lasted a billion years longer than we thought, which may help us understand how planets keep their protective fields
Type 1 diabetes may be halted by experimental immunotherapy
August 9th, 2017, 05:42 PM
For the first time, an immunotherapy approach for treating type 1 diabetes has been found to be safe, and it seems to stop the condition from getting worse
DeepMind dojo will train AI to beat human StarCraft players
August 9th, 2017, 05:42 PM
The next big game in AI’s sights is so close to real life that cracking it could lead to major advances in artificial intelligence. One player is ready
‘Three parent’ technique must not be marketed in US, says FDA
August 9th, 2017, 05:42 PM
The US Food and Drug Administration has asked John Zhang, who pioneered a technique to prevent mitochondrial disease, to stop performing the procedure
Ancient skull belonged to a cousin of the ape common ancestor
August 9th, 2017, 05:42 PM
A 13-million-year-old skull found in Kenya provides the best evidence yet for the African origins of the ancient species that gave rise to all living apes
Are atheists really morally depraved? The idea defies logic
August 9th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Even in secular countries people are instinctively biased against atheists, a study has found. But the prejudice will hopefully die out soon, says Bob Holmes
Hot yoga classes reduce emotional eating and negative thoughts
August 9th, 2017, 05:42 PM
There’s growing evidence that yoga can help with symptoms of depression, suggesting the practice might complement talking therapies and antidepressants
England’s dire north-south health gap is a scandal that must end
August 9th, 2017, 05:42 PM
The north-south divide in England needs fixing or the country risks more despair, premature death and political earthquakes, says James Bloodworth
Over-mothered puppies more likely to fail guide dog training
August 9th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Puppies receiving the most care from their mothers grow into adult dogs that lack the impulse control and problem solving ability of a successful guide dog
Bees are first insects shown to understand the concept of zero
August 9th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Zero is not an easy idea to grasp, even for young humans – but experiments suggest bees might be up to the challenge
Church floodlights are driving away the bats that roost there
August 8th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Churches are often floodlit at night to show off their architecture – but the lights are preventing bats from roosting in the ancient buildings
Penguin tail feathers reveal secrets of where they swim for food
August 8th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Conservationists need to track penguin populations, but tagging hundreds of birds is impractical. A technique borrowed from forensics offers a solution
Largest ever dinosaur may have been as long as 7 elephants
August 8th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Analysis of fossils from six Patagotitan mayorum dinosaurs suggests the animals may have weighed 62 tonnes and measured more than 35 metres from nose to tail
Americans already feeling effects of climate change, says report
August 8th, 2017, 05:42 PM
A leaked report says evidence that humans are responsible for climate change is strong – but it remains to be seen how the Trump White House will react
Nuclear reactors on rockets may fuel future crewed trips to Mars
August 8th, 2017, 05:42 PM
NASA’s push to develop a rocket engine powered by a nuclear reactor could create a faster, lighter spaceship and cut the trip to Mars down to four months
Mars’s surface hosts millions of towering dust devils every day
August 8th, 2017, 05:42 PM
The Red Planet has 10 times as many dust devils as we thought, which stir up dust that warms the planet and could be dangerous for future Mars explorers
North Korea isn’t bluffing, the nuclear threat to the US is real
August 8th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Kim Jong-un’s unusual celebrations following a missile test this year herald the nation’s confidence in its ability to threaten US cities, says Jeffrey Lewis
Largest ever wildfire in Greenland seen burning from space
August 8th, 2017, 05:42 PM
The blaze is the biggest ever detected by satellites – and a recent increase in fires in the region could well be a result of the rapid warming in the Arctic
Genetically engineered salmon goes on sale for the first time
August 8th, 2017, 05:42 PM
After 25 years of development, the first genetically modified animal intended for human consumption has been sold on the open market in Canada
People in north England are 20 per cent more likely to die young
August 7th, 2017, 05:42 PM
An analysis of five decades of death data has revealed that people in northern England are less likely to live to the age of 75 than people in the south
Tackling resistant malaria may fuel antimicrobial resistance
August 7th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Diagnostic testing is helping to fight the rise of drug-resistant malaria with an unfortunate side effect – it’s making more people take unnecessary antibiotics
Self-propelling droplets creep towards heat to cool microchips
August 7th, 2017, 05:42 PM
For the first time, scientists have simulated the reverse of the common effect where cold water runs away from heat, and the result could keep electronics cool
New sky survey shows that dark energy may one day tear us apart
August 7th, 2017, 05:42 PM
The best cosmic map yet of the universe’s make-up finds 24 per cent less dark matter than we thought and could call for a rewrite of physics
You could finally control your Facebook data if UK law is passed
August 7th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Data protection overhaul means you can soon ask companies to delete your entire social media history or personal information – and breaches of the new law will carry heftier fines
Nano aluminium offers fuel cells on demand – just add water
August 7th, 2017, 05:42 PM
The accidental discovery of a new aluminium alloy could lead to portable hydrogen and could kick-start the struggling hydrogen economy
Watching others wash their hands may relieve OCD symptoms
August 7th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Simply watching other people do compulsive actions can provide some relief to people who have obsessive compulsive disorder, which could lead to new treatments
Internet giants need to be reined in for the public good
August 7th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Self-regulation doesn't work for information monopolies like Facebook. Should we treat them as if they were utility companies to protect ourselves?
Parasitic worm eggs may soon be legally sold as food in Germany
August 7th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Thousands have been infecting themselves with parasites to treat conditions like depression and multiple sclerosis, but we don’t yet know if it works
I tried ingesting rat tapeworm parasites and my poo turned green
August 7th, 2017, 05:42 PM
With the news that a worm product is being considered for approval as a food ingredient in Germany, Andy Coghlan decided to try out a parasite product
One day without notifications changes behaviour for two years
August 4th, 2017, 05:42 PM
Turning off phone notifications for 24 hours amped anxiety, but raised productivity. Two years on, the experience is still helping people call the shots
Siri rival can understand the messy nature of our conversations
August 4th, 2017, 05:42 PM
"Iris" has figured out how humans structure complex conversations – which may pave the way for more natural interactions with our digital personal assistants
Lazy ants lay eggs for their industrious sisters to eat
August 4th, 2017, 05:42 PM
In 2015, biologists noticed that some ants laze about while their peers are busy – a fresh look suggests the lazy ants might produce eggs for the others to eat
Augmented reality graffiti will lead to advertising ambush wars
August 4th, 2017, 05:42 PM
As augmented reality apps begin to let you write whatever you want in the sky, advertisers are getting nervous about what’s in the messages
How to strip 99 per cent of harmful BPA from water in 30 minutes
August 4th, 2017, 05:42 PM
BPA has been linked to a range of health problems, but after decades of research, there’s now a cheap way to remove almost all of it from contaminated water
We may finally be able to slow Parkinson’s, with a diabetes drug
August 3rd, 2017, 05:42 PM
A drug for type 2 diabetes seems to also work on the causes of Parkinson’s, not just the symptoms, suggesting the two conditions work in a similar way
Giant loner asteroids suggest baby planets formed quickly
August 3rd, 2017, 05:42 PM
The oldest intact asteroids hint that planets didn’t grow by slowly gathering small space rocks, but came from rapidly collapsing dust
It took 2000 years to make seed for America’s famous ‘corn belt’
August 3rd, 2017, 05:42 PM
Maize reached the southern US 4000 years ago, but wasn’t farmed in cooler areas until 2000 years later – because it took that long to develop cool-hardy strains
Teacup tornado’s inner twists and writhes seen for first time
August 3rd, 2017, 05:42 PM
The first ever detailed look inside a liquid tornado could help explain everything from how storms form to the inner workings of the sun’s plasma
Space cucumbers may help plants grow better water-seeking roots
August 3rd, 2017, 05:42 PM
Away from Earth’s gravity, cucumber roots head towards water. Mimicking that moisture-seeking behaviour on our planet could help plants adapt to drought
CRISPR skin grafts could replace insulin injections for diabetes
August 3rd, 2017, 05:42 PM
Skin grafts of gene-edited cells have boosted insulin levels in mice, and protected them from gaining weight and developing diabetes under a high-fat diet
Big, armoured dinosaur still had camouflage to evade predators
August 3rd, 2017, 05:42 PM
The world’s most impressively preserved dinosaur fossil reveals that the 5.5-metre-long Borealopelta had camouflage despite its heavy armour
Hidden cancers detected by combining genetic tests with MRI
August 3rd, 2017, 05:42 PM
If genetic screening says you’re predisposed to cancer, what can you do about it? Whole-body scans could be a way to find tumours before they turn deadly
Cancer runs in my family, but now we can pick it up in time
August 3rd, 2017, 05:42 PM
When Natalie Coutts found out she was genetically predisposed to cancer, she was devastated. But regular screens for early tumours now let her feel in control
NASA’s planetary protection officer will defend Mars, not Earth
August 3rd, 2017, 05:42 PM
A NASA job advert has made for excited headlines, but the agency isn’t hiring someone to protect us from aliens – it wants someone to protect alien microbes from us
Al Gore’s Inconvenient Sequel could just make climate rift worse
August 3rd, 2017, 05:42 PM
Perhaps the veteran Democrat should have stayed in the wings for the follow-up to hit documentary An Inconvenient Truth, suggests Adam Corner
Enormous exoplanet has an atmosphere hot enough to boil iron
August 2nd, 2017, 05:42 PM
A planet nearly double the size of Jupiter and 900 light years away has a glowing stratosphere and an atmosphere hot enough that iron there exists as a vapour
The renewables reality: clean energy hasn’t risen for 25 years
August 2nd, 2017, 05:42 PM
Big countries are already cutting back on support for solar and wind. They should be doing the opposite, or else the renewable revolution will falter
First results from US CRISPR gene editing on human embryos
August 2nd, 2017, 05:42 PM
The revolutionary CRISPR genome editing technique could be used safely to prevent some genetic diseases, according to the first embryo study conducted in the US
Deforestation may soar now Colombian civil war is over
August 2nd, 2017, 05:42 PM
Now that the 52-year Colombian conflict that killed tens of thousands of people is over, the country's forests are once more under threat
Signs of Alzheimer’s found in chimpanzees for the first time
August 2nd, 2017, 05:42 PM
Our closest evolutionary relatives develop Alzheimer’s plaques and tangles too but don’t necessarily get dementia - a finding that may need to new treatments
On the trail of dragons with blood that can save people’s lives
August 2nd, 2017, 05:42 PM
The gigantic Komodo dragons of Indonesia have been known to kill people – but their blood is rich with peptides that may destroy antibiotic-resistant bacteria
Blood biomarkers may help diagnose chronic fatigue syndrome
August 2nd, 2017, 05:42 PM
The severity of chronic fatigue syndrome, also called myalgic encephomyelitis, has been linked to higher levels of 17 inflammation biomarkers in the blood