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The Guardian (U.K.) 

Nasa spacecraft that found water on Mercury prepares to crash into planet

*Messenger’s 11-year voyage of discovery to end on 30 April*Mission has forced rethink about origin of planet closest to sun Related: Mercury's 'dynamic and complex world' revealed by Nasa's Messenger Preparing for the Messenger probe’s final days before it smashes into Mercury, Nasa presented its accomplishments on Thursday, including the discovery of water on the planet closest to the

Dogs are man's best friend thanks to bonding hormone, research shows

Scientists have found that dogs and owners experience surges in oxytocin, a hormone responsible for maternal caring, when they look into each other’s eyesA rush of hormone that helps people bond could explain why humans and dogs have been best friends for thousands of years, say researchers in Japan.The scientists found that dog owners experienced a surge of oxytocin when their pets gazed

SpaceXpresso: long-suffering astronaut finally gets her coffee machine

*Italian Samantha Cristoforetti welcomes arrival of Dragon supply capsule*Much-needed groceries and experiments delayed by launch explosion last yearGoing into space is one thing. But, for an Italian, going months without a proper coffee is quite another.On Friday morning the SpaceX supply ship arrived at the International Space Station, delivering the world’s first espresso machine desi

How JFK and the Cold War space race inspired an album

Interview: Public Service Broadcasting’s frontman J. Willgoose Esq explores the history behind the band’s Cold War era-inspired album The Race For SpacePublic Service Broadcasting are as much a science project as they are a band. The duo create musical pieces exploring science, history and discovery using samples from vintage documentaries alongside more traditional instruments. Their latest

Let's talk about sex – podcast

The team discuss the ins and outs of sex surveys, plus the secrets of knuckle-cracking are revealed at last Continue reading...

Fundraising? Find a generous male friend and smile, says study

Analysis of fundraising pages shows men are competitively generous: a big donation early on, helped by an attractive picture, can be key to successWhen fundraising for charity, picking a cause close to people’s hearts and subjecting yourself to a sufficiently gruelling physical ordeal might help, but scientists suggest there could be an even easier way to swell the coffers. Picking a flatteri

Alzheimer's study finds possible cause of disease

Findings of US research contradict current thinking on Alzheimer’s and offer hope of finding new treatmentsA study using mice has uncovered a possible cause of Alzheimer’s disease, and suggests that a drug currently being investigated in human clinical trials to treat cancer could prevent the illness.The research has been heralded as offering hope of finding new treatments for dementia.

The first colour photo of Pluto – video report

Nasa's New Horizons spacecraft has sent back the first ever colour photo of Pluto and its moon Charon. The image shows a reddish dwarf planet and similarly coloured moon. No spacecraft has ever visited Pluto but scientists are hoping that will change on 14 July, when Nasa's New Horizons probe is expected to fly within 9,978km of the dwarf planet after a nine-year journey Continue reading...

Mothers more sensitive to crying babies thanks to hormone, study says

Oxcytocin, the “cuddle hormone”, found to amplify the cries of baby mice in the brains of mothers and could explain increased sensitivity in human parentsAs any bleary-eyed new mother will confirm, the sound of a baby’s cry is almost impossible to ignore, no matter how tired you are feeling. Now scientists have uncovered clues that could help explain why parents are so sensitive to the sound

Cracked it! Scientists solve puzzle of why knuckles pop when pulled

An MRI scanner, a bespoke finger-pulling device and a willing knuckle-cracker helped researchers put their finger on the answerFor centuries, scientists have wrestled with the deepest mysteries of space, time and the nature of consciousness. But not all of them. Some turn their minds to what can fairly be described as lower-hanging fruit. Like why our knuckles crack when we pull them.The q

Rise and shine: Rosetta's Philae probe could be awake within weeks

Increased sunlight may allow lander to re-boot and send further samples; data received so far has already challenged leading theory on planet formationThe Rosetta mission’s hibernating lander could awake within weeks, according to new predictions that it will soon be receiving enough sunlight to recharge its batteries.The Philae probe shut down just three days after making a spectacular, b

Milk teeth of Irish famine's youngest victims reveal secrets of malnutrition

Analysis of baby skeletons could help predict medical problems among contemporary children, says archaeologistTiny teeth of babies who died in the Irish famine in the 1840s, or soon afterwards when their parents moved to London in search of work, reveal they were the starving children of malnourished mothers – but the analysis may also help predict medical problems among contemporary children

Julius Caesar may have suffered mini-strokes, say doctors

Centuries-old diagnosis of epilepsy may be overturned by new research which suggests that Caesar suffered a number of strokesHealth problems that blighted the Roman general Julius Caesar may have resulted from a spate of mini-strokes, according to a fresh review of his symptoms.The great military leader, who was instrumental in the rise of the Roman empire, suffered a host of medical ailme

Here's mud in your eye: Rosetta's 'star trackers' muddled by comet dust

Spacecraft forced to keep its distance from host comet thanks to streams of dust interfering with the navigation systemThe Rosetta spacecraft is being forced to keep its distance from its host comet because dust streaming from its surface is muddling its onboard navigation systems, mission scientists have reported.Matt Taylor, Rosetta project scientist, said that future close flybys may no

Nasa astronaut films spacewalk with GoPro - video

GoPro footage shot in space by US astronaut Terry Virts shows two spacewalks at the International Space Station on 25th February and 1st March. Nasa says the spacewalk missions were to rig power and data cables for a pair of docking port adaptors that are due to arrive later this year as well as installing antennas, cables and navigation aides to rig parking spots for new US space taxis Continue r

Paracetamol may dull emotions as well as physical pain, new study shows

Latest findings suggest that paracetamol, or acetaminophen, may reduce pleasure as well as pain Researchers in the US may have uncovered an new side-effect of paracetamol with a study that suggests the drug dampens down people’s emotional reactions.The over-the-counter pills are among the most popular painkillers on the market, but if the findings are confirmed, it would mean the drug also

Search the skies with the Bradford Robotic Telescope

For the next month the telescope will be free for Guardian readers to remotely observe the moon, nebulae, constellations and other objects in the night sky The Bradford Robotic Telescope sits more than a mile above sea level on the rim of an old volcano on Tenerife in the Canary Islands. The telescope, part of the Teide Observatory, captures stunning images of the night sky from one of the be

Chemistry set pencils can turn life-saving tests into child’s play

Chemicals compressed into pencils can be made to react with one another by drawing on paper, potentially making diagnostic tests quicker and easier Continue reading...

New Books Party: books that arrived recently

Before heading out to a tropical island for your summer holidays, you might be interested to learn more about the critical role that islands play in the evolution of new species. Today, I share two important books with you, both of which explore the importance of islands as “natural laboratories” of evolution and ecology Continue reading...

Sex and the successful fundraiser

A real-world study shows that in the art – and science – of fundraising, some of us have a natural advantage... Continue reading...

Is your voice trustworthy, engaging or soothing to strangers?

Analysis of millions of audio files has led one US company to claim that their software can predict how a person’s voice will make a listener feel Continue reading...

Conversations on conservation: how can science better inform policy?

New threats to Europe’s birds and habitats directives highlight broader tensions – and opportunities – at the interface between conservation science and policy. Continue reading...

Island Biogeography Revisited online book club: chapter one

Some of the comments from my bookclub provoked by the opening chapter of _Island Biogeography Revisted_, an assessment of the continuing impact of MacArthur and Wilson’s seminal work, _The Theory of Island Biogeography_ Continue reading...

Do our genes tell us how to vote? Study of twins says they might

Findings indicate that voting Conservative (or not) is strongly influenced by genetics, whereas voting Lib Dem is affected by environment alone Continue reading...

Why the Cheryl birthday problem turned into the maths version of #TheDress

Confused by Albert, Bernard and Cheryl? This is why mathematicians were tooCan you solve the maths question for Singapore schoolkids that went viral?How to solve Albert, Bernard and Cheryl’s birthday maths problem Continue reading...

How to be an NHS health tourist – a travel guide

Recent reports say NHS users will have to show a passport to cut down on health tourism. But why would so many health tourists come here? See this guide Continue reading...

Stories that shape: What are the best novels about the politics of technology?

Georgina Voss: Which fiction books offer us useful and powerful ways to engage with the politics of science and technology? Continue reading...

Can you solve the maths question for Singapore schoolkids that went viral?

Albert, Bernard and Cheryl’s threesome sets the web aflutterHow to solve Albert, Bernard and Cheryl’s birthday maths problemWhy this problem turned into the maths version of #thatdress Continue reading...

How to solve Albert, Bernard and Cheryl's birthday maths problem

For all of you who have been trying to figure this out today, here’s my solution (with workings!)And for those of who who’ve yet to read the problem, here it isWhy this problem turned into the maths version of #thatdress Continue reading...

Birth of the blue morphos

Today’s “Museum Monday” features a visit to the Natural History Museum’s new Sensational Butterflies exhibition, where we watch a time-lapse video of their blue morpho butterflies emerging from chrysalises Continue reading...


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