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Dinosaurs - New Scientist

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How lab-on-a-chip technology is turning smartphones into food sensors

A lab-on-a-chip that fits inside a smartphone is set to change our relationship with food and the chemicals we use to make it

When humans are wiped from Earth, the chicken bones will remain

When humans have vanished from Earth, one of the most enduring marks of our impact will be the sudden appearance of copious chicken bones in the fossil record

Coral likes to make its ocean home in places with noisy neighbours

As larvae, corals drift around the ocean searching for somewhere to live – and they seem to appreciate a spot in an area full of loud fish

Monkeys chill out just from seeing their friends being groomed

Barbary macaques became more relaxed and friendlier after seeing another macaque being groomed – a finding that may help explain ‘head orgasm’ videos

Major companies are using AI to decide who you speak to on the phone

When you ring a call centre, an AI could be deciding which person will speak to you, based on their ability to influence your decisions

Vibrating crystal made of 10 billion atoms smashes quantum record

Testing increasingly large objects proves that quantum mechanics works at larger scales - a finding that could help build quantum computers

Drone owners in India must get government approval before every flight

A law designed to open up civilian access to the skies in India overturns a ban on drones, but only by giving the government automated control over when they can take off

We’ve added letters to the genetic code – and the results are amazing

The first life forms with a six-letter genetic code are already pumping out drugs and other materials that nature has never seen before

First close-up look shows asteroid Bennu is a holey watery world

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission arrived at Bennu on 3 December, and its first results show that the asteroid is chock-full of water and covered in huge boulders

The Great Barrier Reef is fighting back by losing weak species

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef appears to be getting better at coping with heatwaves overall, as stronger species take over where vulnerable ones get wiped out

City living makes urban male frogs far more attractive to females

Urban male túngara frogs have evolved more elaborate mating calls than their rural brothers, which make them much better at attracting a mate

Spray-on gel slows down the regrowth of tumours after cancer surgery

A spray applied to the wound left by cancer surgery encourages the immune system to attack any cancer cells the surgeons left behind, a study in mice has found

The most comfortable running shoes may actually increase injury risk

Shoes with extra padding are meant to prevent impact-related injuries, but they may do the opposite by making our legs stiffer when we run

How to transform Earth’s cities

When innovators, entrepreneurs, scientists and policy makers meet next week to discuss the UN's goal of making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable by 2030, the quality of life for billions of people will be at stake.

Alan Moore interview: Magic and science feed Middle England Watchman

The creator of cult comics Watchmen and Halo Jones is an occultist, but his love of science shows in the way he plays with quantum characters and consciousness

Brain scans reveal why your brain forgets details

The way we store and retrieve memories prioritises abstract context over specific details, which might help us learn general lessons from our experiences

Interstellar asteroid ‘Oumuamua slipped by NASA space telescope unseen

The Spitzer Space Telescope failed to spot ‘Oumuamua, the first interstellar object we’ve ever seen, but we were still able to learn something about this strange space rock

Why Australia’s new encryption laws may actually help criminals

Australia has just introduced new laws forcing companies to give them access to people’s encrypted messages. Cybersecurity researchers say this will likely backfire

Genetic disorders should be the focus of CRISPR gene editing trials

He Jiankui used gene editing in an attempt to make HIV-resistant babies, but most geneticists think the best use of embryo editing would be to prevent genetic disorders

A sea change for shipping efficiency

BP is reducing the carbon footprint of its shipping fleet by making engines more efficient, streamlining hulls and even using LED lighting, says Gopal Hariharan

DeepMind’s Go playing software can now beat you at two more games

A machine learning system called AlphaZero is the first AI that can learn to master more than one game using the same algorithm - it can play Go, chess and shogi

Exclusive: Controversial skeleton may be a new species of early human

A skeleton found decades ago in South Africa may be a new species of Australopithecus, and could help reveal when our ancestors evolved to walk on two feet

Sorry France, but fuel taxes are a bitter pill we must all swallow

The reversal of France’s fuel tax sends a worrying message to world leaders meeting this week in Poland to firm up climate commitments, says Olive Heffernan

Geckos sprint across water on air bubbles they make with their legs

House geckos are too big to float using surface tension, and too small to create enough force to walk across water, so they use a combination of these tricks

Parrots are clever because their brains evolved the same way as ours

Like humans, parrots have big brains and good communication skills – now we know the DNA regulating parrot and human brain development evolved in a similar way

Phone app can diagnose anaemia from photos of fingernails

Two billion people have anaemia – now a smartphone app that analyses photos of their fingernails can help them monitor the condition

Facebook grew so big that it destabilised the world. What now?

Facebook used to “move fast and break things”, but now everything is broken. Here’s what governments can do to rein in the tech giants

There won’t be many more gene-edited babies just yet – here’s why

The news of gene-edited twins is more likely to have a chilling effect on research into the technique used than to open the floodgates to millions more edited babies

Seven steps to save the planet: How to take on climate change and win

It's the biggest challenge humanity has ever faced, but we can keep global warming to within the "safe" boundary of 1.5°C. Here's how we do it

We don’t need stars to navigate space – black holes work way better

If you want to find your way across the universe, forget using stars or GPS. The light from quasars billions of light years away can guide us and even help here on Earth

Why was HIV chosen as the first target for embryo gene editing?

He Jiankui has tried to create babies that are resistant to HIV infection. But there are safer ways to protect against the virus than untested gene editing

Earth may be made up of rocks blasted by gusts of solar wind

The area in our solar system within Mercury’s orbit is empty, which may be because solar winds threw all the rocks farther out, where they helped form planets

Climate change made the sweltering 2018 heatwave 30 times more likely

A study by the UK's Met Office has found that climate change made this year's northern hemisphere summer heatwave around 30 times more likely

Tiny sun sensor warns you when your skin is about to burn

A miniature sensor that can be stuck to your skin, clothing or jewellery monitors your UV exposure and lets you know when it’s time to get out of the sun

Bacteria could protect old paintings from pigment-eating microbes

The microbiome of a 400-year-old painting includes bacteria and fungi that eat pigments but a treatment with other microbes can protect the painting from damage

Baboons live for months after getting genetically modified pig hearts

Genetically modified pig hearts have kept baboons alive for more than 90 days, a threshold that may now allow trials of this type of transplantation in people

Let’s cheer workers at Google who are holding their bosses to account

Staff at Google, Amazon and Microsoft are using walkouts, work slowdowns and refusals to build to hold the tech giants to their proclaimed ethics

Fossil blubber shows ichthyosaurs were warm blooded reptiles

A fossil so well preserved that its skin is still flexible is revealing much more about the marine reptiles called ichthyosaurs that swam in the sea during the age of dinosaurs

Gene-editing experiment widely criticised for safety and ethics issues

The scientist who led an experiment to create gene-edited babies has been criticised for acting unethically towards the couples and infants involved

Three Identical Strangers review: a good film about bad science

What begins as a feel-good human-interest documentary about the dance of nature and nurture will leave you feeling very angry indeed - and much better informed

Global carbon emissions rose 3 per cent this year (which is bad)

Just weeks after a major UN report on 1.5°C warned that CO2 emissions need to fall fast, the latest figures show they are in fact rising fast

UK DNA project hits major milestone with 100,000 genomes sequenced

The UK's 100,000 Genomes Project has hit its target for sequencing the genetic data of people with cancer and rare diseases

Tonnes of food are thrown away daily – could meal kits be the answer?

The scale of food waste is shocking, with almost 30 per cent of US food ending up in the bin. Firms like Blue Apron and HelloFresh could offer a surprising solution

First baby born thanks to womb transplant from deceased donor

A woman has successfully given birth after receiving a uterus taken from a dead person. The success could make womb transplants much more widely available

New medical implants need a higher approval bar than toothbrushes

To protect patients we must make it as difficult to gain approval for medical devices as it is for medicines, says Peter Wilmshurst

Your whole office could be a computer thanks to sculpted Wi-Fi waves

Bouncing around specially tailored waves can turn an entire room into an analogue computer, which could help build an energy-efficient artificial intelligence

Giant baby birds sitting on their potty-like nests make a fine sight

Rare Chatham albatross chicks get a room with a view – the adults build towering ground nests up to a metre tall to try to keep their young high and dry

We have all we need to beat the HIV epidemic – except political will

The latest figures show that preventative efforts are working, if only governments are willing to put them into action, says Deborah Gold

Revealed: the first ever picture of the sun’s north pole

The sun has a north pole but no spacecraft has ever photographed it. Now the European Space Agency has cleverly pieced a together picture of it using other images

LIGO found four more pairs of black holes, including the biggest yet

In a reanalysis of all of its data, LIGO spotted gravitational waves from four new pairs of black holes colliding, bringing the total detection count up to 11

The truth about supplements: do they work and should you take them?

Fish oils, multivitamins and other supplements are a huge industry, but the latest research indicates they are often of little use. Here's what you need to know

Astronauts launch in Soyuz rocket for first time since botched takeoff

A Soyuz rocket carrying three astronauts to the International Space Station launched successfully, ending a period of uncertainty for human spaceflight

Is visiting a robot brothel ok? Most people say yes, if you are single

When people in Finland were asked about the morality of visiting a robot brothel most thought it was OK for singles to do it, but not people who were married

The Honey Factory review – the buzz of exploring honeybees’ secrets

A real insider book explains why the saying busy as a bee has honeybees all wrong – and how studying them in the wild could be good news for them and us

The best fiction and sci-fi of 2018 to wrap or read this Xmas

The best fantastic novels and comic series of the year mourn a wild past and look with trepidation towards a weird future

NASA spacecraft OSIRIS-REx set to start mission at asteroid Bennu

The OSIRIS-REx mission is set to arrive at its destination, the asteroid Bennu, which gets dangerously close to Earth and may tell us about the early solar system

14 great science and tech books to give as presents this Christmas

From the true nature of time to the world's most extraordinary brains to why you should ditch social media, Culture picks the best books to give this year

Almost everything we know about social media and health could be wrong

Many studies about social media use and health have a fundamental flaw - they use unreliable self-reports about how much people use technology

Space art could be so much more than a shiny satellite in the sky

Orbital Reflector, a giant balloon that will inflate in Earth’s orbit and reflect the sun’s light, is the latest attempt at large-scale art in space. But space art should do more than mimic the stars

Millions of passport and credit card details exposed in Marriott hack

Half a billion people who've stayed at Marriott hotels may have had their data exposed, including passport numbers and credit card details

Stone Age people may have ritually cut off their own fingers

Two French caves contain dozens of prehistoric images of hands that are missing fingers, suggesting people voluntarily had their fingers amputated

Unearthed! The missing Native American city on the Great Plains

Following an enigmatic map and the footsteps of an ill-fated conquistador, archaeologists may have unearthed one of the biggest pre-Columbian settlements in the US

Green car tyres can generate energy while monitoring road conditions

Car tyres embedded with silica and nanogenerators can harvest energy from the tyre rolling while also keeping track of whether the road is in good repair

Epic history of light reveals the universe peaked 10 billion years ago

A gamma ray telescope has revealed that the rate of star formation across the Universe peaked 10 billion years ago and has been going downhill ever since

Some spiders produce milk – and it’s more nutritious than cow’s milk

One species of spider seems to have worked out how to recycle unused eggs into a milk that contains four times the protein of cow’s milk

Stone tools hint that our first human ancestors lived all over Africa

We thought the first Homo species evolved in East Africa 2.8 million years ago, but stone tools from Algeria suggest our origins may have spanned the continent

Extinct ‘Denisovan’ people may have lived on Earth’s highest plateau

The Tibetan Plateau is a tough environment so we thought humans arrived only about 12,000 years ago, but it seems someone was there 40,000 to 30,000 years ago

Prehistoric whales used to simply suck their food out of the ocean

A 33-million-year-old-fossil suggests some whales evolved baleens for filter feeding only after losing their teeth, so they must have sucked food from the water

‘Scientists are now very sure that the babies really were gene-edited’

He Jiankui has now presented his controversial work at a gene editing summit in Hong Kong. CRISPR expert Helen O’Neill of University College London was there

Particles crossing to our world could open portal to dark-matter realm

We've identified particles that could secretly cross from the regular world to the shadowy realm of dark matter. Now we just need to catch them in the act

Gene therapy eases Parkinson’s symptoms by rewiring parts of the brain

A gene therapy treatment for Parkinson's blocks faulty brain circuits. This seems to help create alternate neural pathways for movement and eases symptoms

Green Christmas: How to have an ethical and guilt-free festive season

If you celebrate Christmas, it doesn't have to be a feast of rampant consumerism and devastating gluttony. Read our guide to cleaning up your Yule

Making AI research classified will harm US science

The US is mulling controls on the sharing of AI, but science can't grow in isolation, says Mark Riedl

Putting a price on CO2 is a smokescreen that hides its human cost

Slashing the social cost of carbon emissions reveals the economic charade delaying real action on climate change, says Kevin Anderson

CRISPR babies: more details on the experiment that shocked the world

He Jiankui has now revealed far more about his CRISPR project, in which he edited multiple embryos to make future children resistant to some strains of HIV

Miniature placentas grown in lab give positive pregnancy test result

Researchers hope that tiny placentas grown from human cells can help research into why pregnancies sometimes lead to stillbirths or small babies

CRISPR scientist says another woman is pregnant with an edited embryo

He Jiankui, the Chinese scientist who claims to have created the world’s first genetically-edited babies, says another may be on the way

Roadkill deaths halved on Australian road thanks to a fence of sound

A network of alarms activated by approaching car headlights has stopped hundreds of animals from being run over and killed on an Australian highway

Darkfield’s Flight: an immersive experience that leaves you half dead

In the sylvan surroundings of Dartington Hall, the pioneers of immersive theatre are exploring the many-world interpretation of quantum mechanics, one air crash at a time

EU set to resist air industry attempts to limit climate change action

The global air industry wants to stop countries from cutting aviation emissions, but it is likely that the European Union won't agree to such a flawed plan

Some honeybees have four parents or no mother – and we don’t know why

The first genetic study of part-male, part-female honeybees shows these bees can have multiple fathers, but it's unclear how this happens

Seagrass loss off the coast of Kenya is fuelling climate change

Seagrass meadows grow along shallow ocean shores and lock-up carbon, but satellite imagery reveals that human activity is killing off this vital habitat

The first human farmers continued to forage a wide diet from nature

We used to think that our pre-historic switch to farming restricted our diets and deprived us of nutrition, but new evidence suggests this wasn’t the case

The best pollution masks for cyclists block half of bad particles

A rigorous experiment that tested anti-pollution cycling masks in busy traffic found that some work better than others, and it all comes down to the design

Rats can make friends with robot rats and will rescue them when stuck

Rats that spend time exploring and playing with a robotic rat can become socially attached to it and even help it to escape when trapped

Some rare fathers pass on an extra kind of DNA to their children

Most of us get the structures in our cells that make energy only from our mothers, but three families have been found that break this rule of inheritance

Spacecraft to study marsquakes lands on Mars after 7 minutes of terror

NASA’s Mars Insight lander made the harrowing descent onto the Red Planet, landing safely in a sandy plain where it will listen for marsquakes

Misuse of pregabalin painkiller has risen 900 per cent in Australia

Painkillers like pregabalin are increasingly being prescribed instead of opioids, but they are being misused for their mood-boosting and sedative effects

Exclusive: UK police wants AI to stop violent crime before it happens

Cash-strapped UK police forces are turning to AI to predict whether individuals will commit a serious violent crime or become a victim of modern slavery

World’s first gene-edited babies announced by a scientist in China

He Jiankui has announced that a pair of twins that were CRISPR gene-edited as embryos have now been born, but the work hasn't yet been independently verified

Smarty plants: They can learn, adapt and remember without brains

We’re barking up the wrong tree if we think plants have no higher sentience, says researcher Monica Gagliano – they just don’t show it like we do

Breakdown of brain’s autopilot mode may explain Parkinson’s disease

Surprisingly, those with Parkinson’s disease are less likely to make the kinds of mistakes we all make when we aren’t concentrating on a task

How a ghostly, forgotten particle could be the saviour of physics

It was theorised decades ago but never seen. Now it seems the sterile neutrino could fix flaws in fundamental physics – if only we could find it

Graphene generators could let you recharge a phone with your breath

Water droplets in the air hold tiny amounts of electric charge that can be harvested by graphene – meaning your breath could power your gadgets

Time to break academic publishing’s stranglehold on research

Science journals are laughing all the way to the bank, locking the results of publicly funded research behind exorbitant paywalls. A campaign to make content free must succeed

Smart mini-backpacks for chickens can monitor their welfare on farms

Small backpacks for chickens can monitor their wellbeing by detecting different behaviours. The team behind the idea calls them “Fitbits for chickens”

An audacious new plan will make all science free. Can it work?

We fund scientific research through our taxes but often have to pay a hefty fee to read its findings. An uprising aims to bring the knowledge paywall crashing down

MS symptoms improved by treatment that attacks glandular fever virus

The suspected link between glandular fever – mono – and multiple sclerosis has grown stronger after a trial found that treating the virus improves MS symptoms

Morphing brain DNA hints at a whole new way to treat Alzheimer’s

We've seen brain cells changing their DNA for the first time. The finding could help explain why many drugs for Alzheimer’s disease are ineffective

Sick ants stay clear of their co-workers to stop disease spreading

Ants exposed to a potentially lethal fungal pathogen spend less time in the nest - a strategy that helps protect co-workers and the queen from becoming infected