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The Guardian (U.K.) 

Birds detect approaching storm from 900km away

Infrasound may have alerted warblers to the massive storm, prompting them to fly more than a thousand kilometres to avoid itA group of songbirds may have avoided a devastating storm by fleeing their US breeding grounds after detecting telltale infrasound waves.Researchers noticed the behaviour after analysing trackers attached to the birds to study their migration patterns. They believe it i

Methane on Mars: does it mean the Curiosity rover has found life?

Nasa’s announcement of the discovery of methane – which on Earth comes largely from life – has sparked speculationThe results are certainly tantalising. From time to time, Mars belches out clouds of methane, a gas that on Earth comes largely from life. When animals and other organisms eat food they produce methane as a waste gas. From one end or the other, that gas ultimately finds its way out

Isro blasts India’s biggest rocket into space

Unmanned capsule on board GSLV Mk-III, designed to carry three astronauts, is also successfully testedIndia successfully launched its biggest ever rocket on Thursday carrying an unmanned capsule that could one day send astronauts into space, as the country ramps up its ambitious space programme.The rocket, designed to carry heavier communication and other satellites into higher orbit, blaste

Kew Gardens’ world-class status at risk from ‘slash-and-burn’ job losses

A £5m hole in Kew’s budget caused by reduced government funding means that 125 jobs will be lost, mostly among scientistsMPs have been warned that budget cuts planned at Kew Gardens to overcome a financial crisis represent a “slash-and-burn” policy that puts the institution’s world-class reputation at risk.Fears for the future of the Royal Botanic Gardens in west London were expressed in a l

World’s first ‘three-parent’ babies could be born in the UK

MPs will be asked to vote on whether to allow mitochondrial transfer technique to prevent inherited genetic diseasesA further step towards creating babies using DNA from three people has been taken by the UK government with the announcement of new regulations to be put before parliament. The move was hailed as a “milestone” by the head of one charity representing those affected by mitochondrial

Story of man and dagger found in UK field is finally told – 4,200 years on

Twenty-three years after Racton Man was found, archaeologists realised his dagger was oldest bronze object ever found in UKFor more than 4,000 years a man lay buried in a corner of a Sussex field, far from the land of his childhood, holding a rare and precious object. Then for another 23 years he lay in a museum store until a chance conversation between two archaeologists led to the piecing tog

Dengue fever vaccine on the cards after novel antibody discovery

The antibodies could be used to treat dengue fever or develop a vaccine that works against all four strains of virusA new class of antibody found in the blood of patients with dengue fever has boosted hopes for a vaccine against the virus, which debilitates millions and kills tens of thousands each year.Cases of dengue fever have soared in the past 50 years to nearly 100 million a year as im

Plans for a secure quantum internet take a leap forward

The ability to ‘sculpt’ individual photons is a crucial step towards a secure network of powerful quantum computersScientists have created a device that can release a single, precisely shaped photon of light, opening the way to a secure “quantum internet” that is incredibly powerful and impenetrable to hackers.The vision is of a future network of quantum computers that can work together to s

Charles Darwin’s famous Galápagos Islands foundation faces extinction

Forced closure of gift shop a cruel blow for world-renowned research organisation which has failed to adapt and surviveFor years, the Charles Darwin Foundation’s Research Station on the Galápagos Islands, some 900km west of Ecuador, operated a small store to help it get by in lean times – selling mostly clothing with the foundation’s logo. But then it added swimsuits, sunglasses, Ecuadorian cho

Chris Hadfield on the future of manned space exploration - podcast

Former astronaut Chris Hadfield describes the thrill of rocket launches and spacewalks, and explains why he thinks it's too soon to send people to Mars Continue reading...

Life on the Edge review – the weird world of quantum biology explained

Jim Al-Khalili and Johnjoe McFadden’s insights into fundamental tenets of science are fascinating – but not always easy to fathom for the beginnerThe scent of an orange, a robin on the wing – nothing could be more festive. But if you think such simple delights are born of simple processes, think again. For as Jim Al-Khalili and Johnjoe McFadden reveal in _Life on the Edge_, they are rooted in m

EU under pressure to ban diclofenac to protect Europe's vultures

Veterinary drug for cattle that led to collapse of vulture populations of Asia is a risk to 55,000 birds, says European Medicines Agency Pressure is mounting on Europe to immediately ban a drug used by vets which has been linked to the poisoning of vultures and other birds which feed on the corpses of cows treated with it.The use of veterinary diclofenac, a pain-killing anti-inflammatory m

2014 science breakthroughs: no more ageing, cave art and landing on a comet

Accolade for Philae probe and its mothership, Rosetta, but top spot in journal Science’s list goes to genetic researchers Continue reading...

US, Russian space travellers: 'There is no borders in space between us'

*The two men will make longest-ever flight on International Space Station*Year-long stay will serve as test-bed for future trip to Mars Continue reading...

Amateur cloud enthusiast dreams up name for newly identified formation

Gavin Pretor-Pinney’s ‘undulatus asperatus’ could become first official new classification in 63 years Continue reading...

Curiosity rover's discovery of methane ‘spikes’ fuels speculation of life on Mars

Nasa’s rover measures fluctuations of gas not easily explained by geology or organic material dropped by meteorites Continue reading...

Should privacy regulation be more than just data protection?

To protect citizens, policymakers need to move beyond a narrow understanding of what privacy is Continue reading...

Geminid meteor shower: your pictures

Guardian readers braved the cold and stayed up late to catch the annual Geminid meteor shower. There’s still time to share your own images via GuardianWitness Continue reading...

Handwriting vs typing: is the pen still mightier than the keyboard?

Computers may dominate our lives, but mastery of penmanship brings us important cognitive benefits, research suggests Continue reading...

Psychic Paula: let us test your pregnancy prediction powers

Paula O’Brien claims she can predict the sex of unborn children. If true, this would force scientists to rethink the laws of biology and physics Continue reading...

Donald Metcalf, leading cancer research scientist, dies at 85

‘Father of modern haematology’ performed his last experiment in Melbourne in October, soon after he was diagnosed with metastatic pancreatic cancer Continue reading...

Searching for life on Mars: ESA narrows choice of ExoMars landing sites

The European Space Agency’s ExoMars rover is due to land on Mars sometime towards the end of this decade. Dr Peter Grindrod at Birkbeck, University of London, brings us up to date on the search for a safe, scientifically interesting landing site Continue reading...

Starwatch: The Christmas coming of Comet Lovejoy

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Drug companies shake their rattlebag at the poor

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The best popular science books of 2014: Physical sciences

Today, I share a list of what I consider to be the best popular physical sciences books of the year, hoping that you’ll find lots of interesting and unusual ideas for all the maths-astro-physics-chemistry buffs on your holiday gift-giving list! Continue reading...

The best popular science books of 2014: Biological sciences

Today, I share a list of what I consider to be the best popular biological sciences books of the year, hoping that you’ll find lots of interesting and unusual ideas for all the biology buffs on your holiday gift-giving list! Continue reading...

The best nature books of 2014

Today, I share a list of what I consider to be the best nature books of the year, hoping that you’ll find lots of interesting and unusual ideas for all the naturalists on your holiday gift-giving list! Continue reading...

How painkillers really can relieve a headache brought on by foreigners

A Ukip candidate recently resigned after making racist and homophobic comments. The excuse offered was that this was due to his being under the influence of prescription medication. Many have scoffed at this explanation, but is there any scientific basis to the claim that painkillers can cause racism or other bigotry? Continue reading...

Prescribing ever more pills is bad for the public's health

Doctors should not be judged on the volume of their prescribing but on its quality – ensuring that patients make informed choices about the potential risks and benefits Continue reading...

The best bird books of 2014

This is the first time I’ve ever shared a list of what I consider to be the best birds books of the year, but I think you’ll find lots of ideas for all the bird-nerds on your holiday gift-giving list! Continue reading...


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