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The Guardian (U.K.) 

Remains of oldest known relative of modern birds discovered in China

_Archaeornithura meemannae _is at least 130 million years old and was found with its feathers preserved, allowing comparison with modern-day birdsResearchers have stumbled upon the oldest known ancestor of all modern birds after breaking open a lump of ancient rock near a town in north-eastern China.They discovered the fossilised remains of the prehistoric bird, complete with exquisitely p

Large Hadron Collider makes first proton collisions in two years

Low-speed test event was preparation for much higher-energy activity next month, which will mark the start of the accelerator’s search for new physicsThe Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has smashed its first particles together since the machine restarted after a two years hiatus for crucial maintenance and repair work.The giant subterranean accelerator at Cern near Geneva collided bunches of p

Microwave oven to blame for mystery signal that left astronomers stumped

Australian scientists first detected interference in 1998, which they assumed was from lightning strikes, but earlier this year they finally found the real culprit The mystery behind radio signals that have baffled scientists at Australia’s most famous radio telescope for 17 years has finally been solved. The signals’ source? A microwave oven in the kitchen at the Parkes observatory used b

The ultimate coalition: what the average face of a party leader looks like in 2015

The use of facial averages can reveal more than you might think, including the worrying possibility that we vote for faces, not policies Continue reading...

New ovarian cancer test twice as effective as existing methods

Fourteen-year global trial finds 86% of women can be diagnosed correctly by tracking level of protein in bloodA new screening test that tracks changing levels of a protein in the blood can detect twice as many ovarian cancers as conventional methods, research has shown.The technique relies on a statistical calculation to interpret variations in the level of a protein called CA125 which is

Brain scans of premature babies reveal changes that may raise risk of autism

Brain scans of both pre-and full term infants showed striking differences in the salience network, which is disrupted in adults with ADHD and autismBrain scans of children who were born prematurely have revealed differences in the connectivity of key regions that may play a role in developmental disorders.Previous studies have already highlighted that children who are born preterm are more

Most liver transplants by 2020 will be 'linked to over-eating, not alcohol'

Expert warns that UK faces major and growing challenge in coming years as more Britons are diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver diseaseMost liver transplants are expected to be linked to over-eating rather than alcohol abuse by 2020, an expert has said.Dr Quentin Anstee, a consultant hepatologist at Newcastle University and the Freeman hospital, warned that the UK faced a “major and gr

The Royal Baby: a winner in Britain's infant mortality lottery

The number of baby deaths in the UK is still shocking, especially for poorer families. In a few days’ time you can do something about itPrince William and I were born 9 months apart, about half way back to the founding of the NHS. I could do a trite little line here. “The world was a different place back then,” I could quip, “when the Russians were threatening Europe and the media followed ev

Beat it, Buster: SpaceX to fire dummy a mile high to test life-saving capsule

The crew capsule constitutes a launch abort system for crews of future space launches, something Nasa’s now-retired space shuttles lackedSpaceX is just days away from shooting up a crew capsule to test a launch escape system designed to save astronauts’ lives. Buster, the dummy, is already strapped in for Wednesday’s nearly mile-high ride from Cape Canaveral, Florida. He will be alone as t

Two Arctic ice researchers presumed drowned after unseasonably high temperatures

Police have called off the search for two Dutch scientists. Unusually thin ice likely played a role in their presumed death in the Canadian Arctic this weekIn a voicemail on Tuesday, Dutch researcher Marc Cornelissen, founder of Cold Facts, an organization supporting scientific research in polar regions, laughed at his predicament. He explained that unexpectedly warm weather had forced him an

The case for genetically engineered babies

Whoever first crosses the line to edited embryos will find a powerful new resource in the fight against disease. What we ought to do is use it responsiblyThe first study to modify the genes of a human embryo, conducted at Sun Yat-sen University in China, has caused a furious backlash. _ Nature_ and _Science,_ the world’s most prestigious scientific journals refused to publish the study, at le

Colorado man first in US to contract plague from a dog, study says

CDC also says July 2014 outbreak in which three other patients were sickened after man contracted disease from his put bull terrier was largest in 88 yearsWhen a man in Colorado contracted the plague from his two-year-old pit bull terrier and spread it to four other people last summer, the resulting outbreak was the largest in 88 years – and the first known dog-to-human transmission of the di

World's largest radio telescope to have UK's Jodrell Bank as HQ

Site to host headquarters for the Square Kilometre Array, which will draw on over a hundred thousand dishes and antennae across Australia and South AfricaBritain has been chosen to host the permanent headquarters for the world’s largest radio telescope, an observatory that aims to delve deep into the early history of the universe.Members of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project decided

Life after death: the science of human decomposition

Far from being dead, a rotting human corpse is the cornerstone of a complex ecosystem. A better understanding of this ecosystem could have direct applications in forensic science Continue reading...

Zoology Notes 006: The whales with the stretchy nerves

Baleen whales feed by rapidly sucking in vast quantities of prey-laden water. For this, they need elastic nerves Continue reading...

Birdfeeding favours non-native bird species

Feeding wild birds on bread and seed encourages high densities of introduced bird species at the expense of native species, thereby altering urban bird communities, according to a new study Continue reading...

How to solve Einstein’s Election Riddle: are you in that two per cent?

Discover whether Dave, Ed, Nick, Nicola or Nigel has a pet with gills Continue reading...

Einstein's election riddle: are you in the two per cent that can solve it?

Nicola lives in the tartan house, but who owns the fish?Stumped? Here’s how to solve Einstein’s election riddle Continue reading...

Halley's Eclipse: a coup for Newtonian prediction and the selling of science

300 years ago, on the 3rd of May 1715, a rare solar eclipse occurred over England. It was an opportunity too good to miss for those promoting new astronomical theories – and their own careers. Continue reading...

Zoology Notes 005: The jellyfish that sleeps

The box jellyfish has a deadly venom. It also has 24 eyes and sleeps Continue reading...

New bird species discovered in China

The Sichuan bush warbler was discovered after its insect-like song attracted the notice of researchers. 19 years on, it has finally been relocated and confirmed as a new species Continue reading...

Action waves in the brain

A new theoretical model describes the nervous impulse as an electromechanical wave Continue reading...

Science, harassment and the limits to transparency

Activists and corporations are increasingly using public information laws to intimidate scientists. Funding disclosures are fair game, argues Michael Halpern. But documents related to the research process should stay off limits. Continue reading...

Porn data: visualising fetish space

What are the most expensive kinks? Is porn keeping track with inflation, and is it possible to map ‘fetish-space’? Porn metadata could help find the answers to these and many other questions about human sexuality. Continue reading...

Is it a bird? Is it a bat? Meet Yi qi, the dinosaur that is sort of both

Incredible new find from China has both feathers and bat-like wings Continue reading...

The Katie Hopkins effect: why widespread anger is so common

If being outraged and offended is such an unpleasant experience, why is it so common? And why do so many people jump at the chance to experience it? Continue reading...

Time on your side: how your brain 'encodes' your personal sense of time

We, and the world around us, may have a more important role in determining our inner sense of time than we thought Continue reading...

When politics meets poetry: what the humanities bring to policymaking

Insights from the humanities deserve greater attention in debates about the role of evidence and expertise in policy. Continue reading...

We should do more to secure our digital memories

On bit rot, Donkey Kong and and old photographs Continue reading...

Where next for scientific advice in Europe?

After the controversy over its chief scientific adviser, the European Commission now has an opportunity to put in place a world-class, open and accountable science advisory system. Continue reading...


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