Latest News

DNA Linked to COVID-19 Was Inherited From Neanderthals, Study Finds
DNA Linked to COVID-19 Was Inherited From Neanderthals, Study Finds

A stretch of DNA linked to COVID-19 was passed down from Neanderthals 60,000 years ago, according to a new study.Scientists don't yet know why this particular segment increases the risk of severe illness from the coronavirus. But the new findings, which were posted online Friday and have not yet been published in a scientific journal, show how some clues to modern health stem from ancient history."This interbreeding effect that happened 60,000 years ago is still having an impact today," said Joshua Akey, a geneticist at Princeton University who was not involved in the new study.This piece of the genome, which spans six genes on chromosome 3, has had a puzzling journey through...

Rocket Lab: Latest mission from New Zealand lost in flight
Rocket Lab: Latest mission from New Zealand lost in flight

An Electron rocket launched from New Zealand's North Island fails in flight, destroying its satellites.

It
It's Not a Snake, but Beware of Its Venomous Bite

If a worm and a snake had a slimy, scandalous love child, it might look something like a caecilian: a legless creature that's actually neither worm nor snake but a soil-dwelling amphibian found in tropics across the globe.Content to spend most of their time beneath the forest floor, caecilians are elusive and poorly understood. Which is why Carlos Jared, a biologist at the Butantan Institute in Sao Paulo, Brazil, has spent a good part of the last three decades hot on their trail.Bagging a caecilian specimen, he said, often takes hours of laborious digging, carefully executed so a poorly aimed shovel doesn't cleave the creature in two. Once a specimen is spotted, "you have to jump on...

Divers uncover mysteries of earliest inhabitants of Americas deep inside Yucatan caves
Divers uncover mysteries of earliest inhabitants of Americas deep inside Yucatan caves

Thousands of years ago, the first inhabitants of the Americas journeyed deep into caves to mine red ochre, a highly valued clay earth pigment.

Nasa Mars rover: Perseverance launch pushed back again
Nasa Mars rover: Perseverance launch pushed back again

The launch of Nasa's Mars rover Perseverance is delayed again to 30 July at the earliest.

US rivers and lakes are shrinking for a surprising reason: cows
US rivers and lakes are shrinking for a surprising reason: cows

Cattle-feed crops, which end up as beef and dairy products, account for 23% of water consumption in the USAs a fifth-generation rancher in Colorado, Paul Bruchez knows the value of water. Not only does he raise cattle irrigated by the Colorado River and its nearby tributaries, Bruchez runs a fly-fishing business on those same streams."My income, my life, requires a reliable water resource," he said. But since moving to northern Colorado two decades ago, the Colorado River has shrunk by an average of 20% compared to last century. Climatic conditions are one culprit - the area is suffering the worst regional dry spell on record. But there's another big problem.Cows.A recent analysis...

Phil Evans: Briton to take top weather satellite agency job
Phil Evans: Briton to take top weather satellite agency job

Phil Evans, formerly at the UK Met Office, will be the new director general of Eumetsat.

Professor tackles one more mystery about quantum mechanics and time
Professor tackles one more mystery about quantum mechanics and time's flow

The University of Washington physicist who once ran a crowdfunded experiment on backward causation is now weighing in with a potential solution to one of the longest-running puzzles in quantum mechanics. John Cramer, a UW physics professor emeritus, teamed up with Caltech electrical engineer and physicist Carver Mead to put forward an explanation for how the indefinite one-and-zero, alive-and-dead state of a quantum system gets translated into a definite observation - a phenomenon known as wave function collapse. "Up to now, the mechanism behind wave function collapse has been considered a mystery that is disconnected from established wave mechanics. The result has… Read More

Recent global warming has wiped out 6,500 years of cooling, study says
Recent global warming has wiped out 6,500 years of cooling, study says

Over the past 150 years, human-caused global warming has erased the natural global cooling that occurred over the previous 6,500 years.

Copernicus Sentinels: UK industry loses out in European satellite bids
Copernicus Sentinels: UK industry loses out in European satellite bids

British firms fail to win leading roles in the expansion of the Copernicus Earth observation project.

NASA will fund six more Artemis missions as it plans return to the moon
NASA will fund six more Artemis missions as it plans return to the moon

NASA has started preparing for the possibility of launching six more Artemis missions on top of the three it has already confirmed. The space agency has revealed that it has agreed to "provide initial funding and authorization to Northrop Grumman to order long-lead items" for the construction of twin boosters for the next six Space Launch System (SLS) flights. The SLS is slated to become become NASA's most powerful rocket yet, designed to enable human exploration beyond the Lower Earth Orbit.

Want jobs and clean energy? This overlooked technology could deliver both
Want jobs and clean energy? This overlooked technology could deliver both

"You could have all the renewable energy in the world. But if you don't have the transmission lines, you have nothing," then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said in 2010.

The Sun As You
The Sun As You've Never Seen It Before: New NASA Video Took 10 Years To Make

The video combines a decade of images from the Solar Dynamics Observatory into a single hour-long video.

Is the hydrogen tech
Is the hydrogen tech 'revolution' hope or hype?

Can hydrogen - a relatively clean source of fuel - help power the economy of the future?

NASA funds small-business ideas ranging from AI medicine to plumbing for the moon
NASA funds small-business ideas ranging from AI medicine to plumbing for the moon

NASA says it'll fund more than 400 ideas from small businesses, aimed at creating technologies ranging from plumbing fixtures suitable for the moon to AI-based medical assistants that can provide "an extra pair of trained eyes" for crews on Mars. The contracts will provide about $51 million to 312 small businesses in 44 states and Washington, D.C., to support the development of technologies that could come in handy for space exploration or Earth-based applications. "NASA depends on America's small businesses for innovative technology development that helps us achieve our wide variety of missions," Jim Reuter, associate administrator for NASA's Space… Read More

Mars rover launch delayed to July 30
Mars rover launch delayed to July 30

NASA remains confident the $2.4 billion rover will be on its way before the planetary launch window closes around August 15.

Happy Asteroid Day! Why we
Happy Asteroid Day! Why we're going to space rocks before they come for us

Today's 112th anniversary of a close brush with a cosmic catastrophe serves as a teachable moment focusing on the perils and prospects posed by near-Earth asteroids. Asteroid Day is timed to commemorate a blast from space that occurred over a Siberian forest back on June 30, 1908. The explosion, thought to have been caused by the breakup of an asteroid or comet, wiped out millions of acres of trees - but because the area was so remote, the death toll was minimal. Because of the Tunguska blast and more recent close calls, such as the 2013 Chelyabinsk meteor, the threat… Read More

Fact check: The U.S. government did not engineer COVID-19
Fact check: The U.S. government did not engineer COVID-19

An online article claims the U.S. government intentionally engineered COVID-19 in research led by Dr. Anthony Fauci. This claim is false.

Egg freezing rises five-fold in part thanks to
Egg freezing rises five-fold in part thanks to 'revolutionary' technology, experts say

The number of women freezing their eggs has risen five-fold since 2013, official figures show, in part thanks to "revolutionary" technology which has boosted success rates. Health officials have documented a surge in the number of IVF "storage cycles" where people undergo fertility treatment and store their eggs or embryos until a later date. Data from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) show that the number of embryo and egg storage cycles increased by 523 per cent between 2013 and 2018 - from 1,500 cycles in 2013 to just under 9,000 in 2018. There was a 93 per cent rise in frozen embryo transfer cycles between 2013 and 2018 - up from 13,421 to...

Covid-19 Shows That Scientific Journals Need to Open Up
Covid-19 Shows That Scientific Journals Need to Open Up

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- One big change brought on by Covid-19 is that virtually all the scientific research being produced about it is free to read. Anyone can access the many preliminary findings that scholars are posting on "preprint servers." Data are shared openly via a multitude of different channels. Scientific journals that normally keep their articles behind formidable paywalls have been making an exception for new research about the virus, as well as much (if not all) older work relevant to it.This response to a global pandemic is heartening and may well speed that pandemic to its end. But after that, what happens with scientific communication? Will everything go back behind the...

Mystery over monster star
Mystery over monster star's vanishing act

A huge star has disappeared - did it become a black hole?

How To Properly Dry Your Hands To Stop The Spread Of The Coronavirus
How To Properly Dry Your Hands To Stop The Spread Of The Coronavirus

During the COVID-19 pandemic, is it better to use paper towels in a public restroom ― or air-dryers? Here's what infectious disease specialists say.

New swine flu found in China has pandemic potential
New swine flu found in China has pandemic potential

Researchers in China have discovered a new type of swine flu that is capable of triggering a pandemic, according to a study published Monday in the US science journal PNAS. It possesses "all the essential hallmarks of being highly adapted to infect humans," say the authors, scientists at Chinese universities and China's Center for Disease Control and Prevention. From 2011 to 2018, researchers took 30,000 nasal swabs from pigs in slaughterhouses in 10 Chinese provinces and in a veterinary hospital, allowing them to isolate 179 swine flu viruses.

With Flights Banned, Son Sails Solo Across Atlantic to Reach Father, 90
With Flights Banned, Son Sails Solo Across Atlantic to Reach Father, 90

BUENOS AIRES -- Days after Argentina canceled all international passenger flights to shield the country from the new coronavirus, Juan Manuel Ballestero began his journey home the only way possible: He stepped aboard his small sailboat for what turned out to be an 85-day odyssey across the Atlantic.The 47-year-old sailor could have stayed put on the tiny Portuguese island of Porto Santo, to ride out the era of lockdowns and social distancing in a scenic place largely spared by the virus. But the idea of spending what he thought could be "the end of the world" away from his family, especially his father who was soon to turn 90, was unbearable.So he said he loaded his 29-foot sailboat with...

Betelgeuse: Nearby supergiant star
Betelgeuse: Nearby supergiant star's dimming explained

Astronomers say big cool patches on the Betelgeuse star likely drove its surprise dimming last year.

How one teaspoon of Amazon soil teems with fungal life
How one teaspoon of Amazon soil teems with fungal life

Scientists discover hundreds of different fungi in Amazonian soil, thought to play a vital role in nature.

NASA looks to the public to help design next space toilet
NASA looks to the public to help design next space toilet

To prepare for the next human moonwalk slated to take place in 2024, NASA announced on Thursday the "Lunar Loo Challenge" asking the public to submit designs for a zero gravity-friendly space toilet. Of course, some space toilets already exist like that of the one in the International Space Station, but NASA wants this next one to be "smaller, more efficient and capable of working in both microgravity and lunar gravity" while having all the same capabilities of our toilets here on planet Earth. In addition to their own aerospace engineers designing such hardware, the organization is also inviting the global community to submit their innovative ideas for the next generation of space...

Siberia heatwave: Fears of
Siberia heatwave: Fears of 'irreversible' permafrost melt as Russian village sees record temperatures

The northernmost town in the Arctic, Verkhoyansk is one of the coldest inhabited places on Earth and regularly records some of the world's lowest temperatures. However, this week it made headlines when it reached a sweltering 38C, the highest temperature since records began 150 years ago. Locals are used to swinging between extreme temperatures, with summers regularly reaching 30C, but this was something different, said Ayta Baisheva, who works on one of the region's many reindeer farms, about 250 kilometers south of Verkhoyansk. "We have seen a freaky heatwave. It's really hard for us to bear this heat," said Ms Baisheva who recently returned from the north of Yakutia, close to...

Russian space officials say Space Adventures has struck a deal to let a customer do a spacewalk
Russian space officials say Space Adventures has struck a deal to let a customer do a spacewalk

Russian space officials say that they've signed off on a commercial deal with Virginia-based Space Adventures to fly two customers to the International Space Station in 2023 - and that one of the customers will get to do a spacewalk. In a news release, Roscosmos said the contract between Space Adventures and Russia's main space company, Energia, calls for one of the spaceflight participants to go on an outing in the company of a professional astronaut from the space station's Russian segment. Such an operation would typically require additional training at Russia's Star City cosmonaut complex. Space Adventures has talked… Read More

Allen Institute will host $40.5M brain research center to map the effects of Alzheimer
Allen Institute will host $40.5M brain research center to map the effects of Alzheimer's disease

A $40.5 million collaborative research center headquartered at Seattle's Allen Institute aims to create high-resolution maps of brains ravaged by Alzheimer's disease, to trace new paths to early diagnosis and treatment. The center will draw upon expertise not only at the institute, but also at UW Medicine and Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute. Funding for the next five years comes from the National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health. Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia affect 5.8 million Americans, and by 2050, that number is expected to rise to nearly 14 million. It's the sixth-leading… Read More

Britain
Britain's 'blindingly cool' engineering innovation

Conceptual still-life photographer Ted Humble-Smith celebrates 50 years of world-beating technology.

Relativity makes deals with Vandenberg AFB and Iridium for California launches
Relativity makes deals with Vandenberg AFB and Iridium for California launches

Relativity Space, a startup that was born in Seattle but grew up in Los Angeles, says it has signed an agreement to develop launch facilities at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, and a contract with Iridium to launch satellites from those facilities. The flurry of announcements marks a significant expansion for a company that barely existed five years ago but has raised $185 million since then. Relativity is gearing up to build rocket parts using giant 3-D printers in Southern California, testing rocket engines at NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi and creating a launch complex at Cape Canaveral… Read More

Black women scientists missing from textbooks, study shows
Black women scientists missing from textbooks, study shows

Scientists portrayed in biology textbooks are predominantly white men, according to a US study.

Black hole or neutron star? Gravitational waves bring a cosmic conundrum to light
Black hole or neutron star? Gravitational waves bring a cosmic conundrum to light

Telltale ripples in the fabric of spacetime have revealed the existence of a cosmic object that scientists can't definitively classify. Whatever it is, the object was engulfed suddenly by a black hole weighing 23.2 times the mass of our sun, 800 million light-years away. The gravitational waves thrown off by that violent merger were picked up last August by the twin detectors of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO, and by the Virgo gravitational-wave detector in Italy. The gravitational-wave patterns revealed that the smaller object was 2.6 times as massive as our sun. And that's where the classification problem… Read More

NASA lays out a plan to qualify suborbital spacecraft for its astronauts and scientists
NASA lays out a plan to qualify suborbital spacecraft for its astronauts and scientists

NASA says it'll formulate a plan to assess the safety of suborbital spacecraft - such as Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket ship or Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo rocket plane - so that astronauts, researchers and other space agency personnel can be cleared for takeoff. Today's announcement, and the release of an official request for information, follows through on hints about the plan that NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine dropped last week. The effort will be spearheaded by a suborbital crew office within NASA's Commercial Crew Program, which has been overseeing the development of SpaceX and Boeing spacecraft for orbital trips to and from… Read More

'Black neutron star' discovery baffles astronomers

Laser labs that detect ripples in space-time may have witnessed a new class of cosmic object.

What volcanoes did for us: huge eruption in Alaska
What volcanoes did for us: huge eruption in Alaska 'led to rise of the Roman Empire'

The rise of the Roman Empire was due in part to a gigantic volcanic eruption 6,000 miles away in Alaska, an international team of scientists claims. The eruption of the Okmok volcano in the Aleutian islands of Alaska more than 2,000 years ago caused a severe cold spell in Europe that led to crop failures, food shortages and political and social unrest, they argue. That hastened the demise of the Roman Republic and the emergence of the Roman Empire, according to the team of researchers from the US and Britain. By analysing traces of volcanic ash in ice core samples from the Arctic, they found that Okmok volcano erupted in 43BC - a year after the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44BC. The...

Nasa Mars rover: Key questions about Perseverance
Nasa Mars rover: Key questions about Perseverance

We answer some common questions about the America's Perseverance rover mission to Mars.

Wildlife scientists examine the great
Wildlife scientists examine the great 'human pause'

Tracking wildlife before, during and after lockdown will aim to analyse the slowdown in human activity.

LeoStella confirms delivery of BlackSky
LeoStella confirms delivery of BlackSky's Earth observation satellites for SpaceX launch

Tukwila, Wash.-based LeoStella cast a spotlight today on the delivery of its first two built-from-scratch satellites for the BlackSky Earth-watching constellation ⁠- with their launch on a SpaceX rocket set for Thursday. In a news release, LeoStella said the two 110-pound satellites were delivered to Florida on June 1 in preparation for liftoff from NASA's Kennedy Space Center. They'll join four other Global satellites that were built in-house by BlackSky, a subsidiary of Seattle-based Spaceflight Industries, and sent into orbit over the past two years. BlackSky's Global satellites are riding to low Earth orbit as secondary payloads through the auspices… Read More

'Off-the-charts warm': Siberian town hits 100 degrees

The milestone comes as Siberia - and the Asian continent as a whole - have experienced unusually warm conditions since the start of 2020.

Climate change: Planting new forests
Climate change: Planting new forests 'can do more harm than good'

Large-scale tree planting to fight climate change may backfire, two new studies have found.

Virgin Galactic and NASA make a deal on services for private orbital astronauts
Virgin Galactic and NASA make a deal on services for private orbital astronauts

Virgin Galactic says it has signed an agreement with NASA's Johnson Space Center in Texas to develop a new readiness program for private-sector astronauts heading to the International Space Station. Theoretically, such astronauts could include the likes of Tom Cruise, who is looking into making a movie at the space station, according to NASA. "I'm all for that," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said last month. "We're going to do what we can to make that happen." Virgin Galactic declined to comment on which customers or companies it might be partnering with, but the company said the newly established program would… Read More

Giant circle of shafts discovered close to Stonehenge
Giant circle of shafts discovered close to Stonehenge

"This is an unprecedented find of major significance within the UK," said archaeologist Vincent Gaffney.

One-fifth of Earth
One-fifth of Earth's ocean floor is now mapped

This leaves four-fifths - twice the area of Mars - still to be surveyed to a modern standard.

Why lockdown silence was golden for science
Why lockdown silence was golden for science

Why lockdown silence was golden for science. From acoustic engineers in Britain to marine biologists in Canada, researchers made the most of the drastic drop in noise from human activity

Mariana Trench: Don Walsh
Mariana Trench: Don Walsh's son repeats historic ocean dive

Sixty years after his father did it first, Kelly Walsh dives to the deepest point in Earth's oceans.

NASA wants to send a spacecraft to Neptune
NASA wants to send a spacecraft to Neptune's strange moon Triton

It has only been visited once before, 30 years ago

My Coronavirus Lab Is Safer Than Your Supermarket
My Coronavirus Lab Is Safer Than Your Supermarket

By Troy Sutton, The ConversationIt's quiet in the laboratory, almost peaceful. But I'm holding live SARS-CoV-2 in my hands and this virus is not to be taken lightly.As I dilute the coronavirus to infect cultured cells, I hear the reassuring sound of purified air being blown by my respirator into my breathing space. There are three layers of nitrile and protective materials between me and the virus, and every part of my body is wrapped in protective equipment.Thanks to these precautions and other features of our high containment lab, I'm not nervous about being up close and personal with this dangerous pathogen.As an expert on respiratory virus transmission and vaccine development, I've...

Boeing shifts its team leaders for space station and Starliner space programs
Boeing shifts its team leaders for space station and Starliner space programs

As a new commercial-centric era dawns for the International Space Station, Boeing is realigning its top managers for the space station program - and for the program that's working to send Starliner capsules there and back. Mark Mulqueen, who has served as Boeing's space station program manager since 2015, will be retiring July 2. During his 35 years at Boeing, Mulqueen has served in a variety of management positions - for example, as deputy program manager for the space station and deputy program manager for the commercial crew program. Boeing has served as the prime contractor for the U.S. segment… Read More


Blackbeard crashed his pirate ship on purpose because it leaked

Queen Anne’s Revenge, the flagship of the notorious pirate Blackbeard, ran aground in 1718 and was abandoned by its crew. A new analysis says this may have been done on purpose

A sugary diet changes gut bacteria and worsens brain function in rats

Rats fed a sugar syrup early in life develop an unusual gut microbiome that seems to worsen the rodents’ memories by changing the way their brains work

How Cuba and Uruguay are quashing coronavirus as neighbours struggle

The Americas have become the biggest covid-19 hotspot with almost half of all cases, but some countries in the region have found strategies to buck the trend

Circles in space made of radio waves are like nothing we've ever seen

Astronomers have discovered four circles of radio waves in space, but have no explanation for their origin. We don't even know how big or far away they are

Medics who changed history wouldn't get into modern medical schools

Many of the people behind world-changing medical discoveries wouldn't have got into medical school by today’s standards, thanks to poor grades or misbehaving

Eating seaweed can genetically modify the bacteria in our guts

The gut bacteria in some people have acquired genes for digesting seaweed fibres in a transfer from marine bacteria. We don't know what effect this has on health, but it could be harmful

Climate change will make world too hot for 60 per cent of fish species

Fish are at a far greater risk from climate change than previously thought, after researchers showed embryos and spawning adults are more susceptible to warming oceans

Canadian sparrows are ditching traditional songs for a new tune

White-throated sparrows normally end their song with repeated triplets, but a new song ending in repeated double notes has been sweeping a population in Canada

Newly discovered form of carbon is more resilient than diamond

A computer simulation found a pentagon-shaped carbon molecule that would be as hard as diamond and could tolerate temperatures of almost 4000°C without breaking down

Water-filled windows could keep your home cool and save energy

Windows filled with water rather than argon gas could save energy in most of the world, partly because they can provide a cheap source of hot water

Horror movie fans are better at coping with the coronavirus pandemic

Good news for fans of zombie movies and people with an interest in the dark side of life: they may be more psychologically resilient to the covid-19 pandemic

Covid-19 news: Almost 20,000 care home deaths in England and Wales

The latest coronavirus news updated every day including coronavirus cases, the latest news, features and interviews from New Scientist and essential information about the covid-19 pandemic

How Korean pop fans took on white supremacists – and won

Unusual methods of online protest have sprung up recently, and it’s become harder to tell what’s real and what’s not, says Annalee Newitz

Covid-19 news: App identified Leicester as a virus hotspot weeks ago

The latest coronavirus news updated every day including coronavirus cases, the latest news, features and interviews from New Scientist and essential information about the covid-19 pandemic

Soap bubbles can split light into otherworldly branching streams

When a laser beam shines through a membrane made of simple household soap, it branches in a strange and unexpected way that could help us understand the cosmos

Satellites reveal a 49 per cent increase in tree felling in Europe

Between 2016 and 2018, there was a sharp rise in the area of forest felled in countries across Europe, perhaps to feed demand for wood-based products

Covid-19 news: UK’s local coronavirus hotspots revealed

The latest coronavirus news updated every day including coronavirus cases, the latest news, features and interviews from New Scientist and essential information about the covid-19 pandemic

UN approves plan to delay carbon offsetting of flights

A landmark deal curbing the impact of aviation on climate change was watered down today, after airlines complained that the coronavirus pandemic had made it too difficult to hit targets

Money-laundering drug cartels are driving deforestation in Guatemala

The practice of "narco-ranching", in which drug traffickers launder money through cattle ranches, seems to be responsible for swathes of deforestation in Guatemala, according to an analysis of aerial images

Can we become immune to the coronavirus? What the evidence says so far

The evidence is growing that we can form an immune memory of the coronavirus - but we don't know how strong it is and how long it lasts yet

UK could see 40°C days every few years by 2100 as climate warms

An analysis by the UK's Met Office of future temperatures under global warming has found that 40°C days could become frequent in the future. The current UK record is 38.7°C, set in 2019

Lenses made with spider silk could help take pictures inside the body

Tiny lenses made out of spider silk and clear resin can produce a special kind of light beam that makes them perfect for taking images of tiny objects like viruses

Lockdown measures return as covid-19 cases spike in several countries

Coronavirus cases have surged in several areas thought to have the virus under control, including parts of South Korea, Australia and the US.

Scotland could eliminate the coronavirus - if it weren't for England

Scotland may be only weeks away from no new daily cases of coronavirus. As the nation gets close, cases from over the border will become a big problem.

Covid-19 news: UK deaths fall below five-year average

The latest coronavirus news updated every day including coronavirus cases, the latest news, features and interviews from New Scientist and essential information about the covid-19 pandemic

Pluto's tiny moons may have been chipped off its biggest moon

Pluto has one very large moon, Charon, and four tiny ones, leaving astronomers confused as to how they formed. The answer may be that the quartet used to be part of Charon, not Pluto

Parenthood alters your personality but you don’t become more mature

It is thought that having a baby makes people mature as they take on new responsibilities, but a study of new parents’ personalities reveals more complex changes

Flying snakes wiggle their bodies to glide down smoothly from trees

While most snakes undulate their bodies to propel themselves on land or water, the paradise tree snake, a species of flying snake, wiggles its body to stabilise itself as it glides through the air

Covid-19 news: Leicester faces prolonged lockdown after local outbreak

The latest coronavirus news updated every day including coronavirus cases, the latest news, features and interviews from New Scientist and essential information about the covid-19 pandemic

Delaying IVF by three months doesn't seem to affect success rates

The coronavirus outbreak has put fertility treatments on hold for many, but an analysis of pre-pandemic data suggests a short delay won't affect eventual success rates

Managers who think gender bias isn’t a problem make it worse

A study of managers in veterinary medicine – where over half the workforce is female – finds that women are seen as less competent and worthy of lower salary compared with men with identical performance reviews

Major fires hit the Amazon and the Arctic for the second year in a row

This year is shaping up to be an average one for global forest fires, but the vital ecosystems of the Amazon and the Arctic are experiencing a second year of severe blazes

Astronomers have spotted six possible exomoons in distant star systems

Moons are ubiquitous in our solar system, but we have not definitively found any farther afield – that may be changing with 6 new exomoon candidates

US military electroshock weapon can hit a person 100 metres away

The US Marine Corps is testing a long-range alternative to stun guns - it is a projectile that can be fired from a shotgun and that uses a parachute to slow down before delivering an electric shock

Complex cells may have evolved due to a shortage of trace metals

Trace metals like iron and copper became rare in the oceans around 2 billion years ago, around when complex “eukaryotic” cells first appeared

UK nitrogen dioxide pollution levels hit 10-year low during lockdown

The UK-wide coronavirus lockdown led to a drop in nitrogen dioxide levels to concentrations not seen in the last decade, according to a network of air pollution sensors

We have recorded the biggest lightning flashes ever

Satellites have detected two record-shattering lightning flashes: one that covered a distance of 709 kilometres, and one that lasted 16.7 seconds

Three exoplanets are close enough for us to see their atmospheres

A star just 11 light years away is calm enough that we may be able to study the atmospheres of three planets that seem to orbit it – one of which could be in the star's habitable zone

Dolphins learn from peers to chase fish into shells and then eat them

Bottlenose dolphins chase fish into shells, lift the shells to the surface and shake them so the fish fall into their mouths – and they pass this trick along to their friends

Sled dogs are an ancient breed going back at least 10,000 years

A 9500-year-old dog discovered on a remote island off Siberia is remarkably similar to living sled dogs in Greenland, suggesting that people have been breeding these working animals for millennia

BAME scientists half as likely to get funding from UK research council

Black, Asian and ethnic minority scientists in the UK are almost half as likely to be awarded funding to research environmental science than their white peers

The coronavirus is leaving some people with permanent lung damage

Lung inflammation and blood clots caused by covid-19 can lead to scarring and long-term breathlessness and coughing in some people, for which there is no treatment

Acknowledging odd coronavirus symptoms is vital to stopping its spread

Covid-19 can have long-lived symptoms including exhaustion, weight loss and rashes. Unless we officially recognise them, we can’t identify people who may have caught it or trace their contacts

Covid-19 news: We still lack evidence on relaxing 2-metre rule

The latest coronavirus news updated every day including coronavirus cases, the latest news, features and interviews from New Scientist and essential information about the covid-19 pandemic

Covid-19 news: Cases rising in Europe following eased lockdowns

The latest coronavirus news updated every day including coronavirus cases, the latest news, features and interviews from New Scientist and essential information about the covid-19 pandemic

Black Lives Matter could also help fight environmental injustices

The Black Lives Matter movement is primarily about social justice, but it will tackle environmental injustices too, says Graham Lawton

Honeywell claims it has built the most powerful quantum computer ever

Honeywell, a US-based tech firm, has built the most powerful quantum computer ever by some measures, but some experts say it isn’t actually better than other quantum computers on the market

Covid-19 news: UK health leaders warn of 'real risk' of a second wave

The latest coronavirus news updated every day including coronavirus cases, the latest news, features and interviews from New Scientist and essential information about the covid-19 pandemic

How the coronavirus kills people – and how to stop it

We now know that the coronavirus kills by disrupting both our immune systems and blood clotting. But doctors are finding ways to beat this and boost survival rates

Clouds may explain why climate models are predicting a warmer future

More realistic representation of clouds and aerosols seems to explain why a new generation of climate models are projecting the world is more sensitive to rising CO2 levels

Top News: Science