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Dinosaurs - New Scientist

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Blue tits divorce their partners if they turn up late to mate

Blue tits were 5 times less likely to stay faithful if one partner had to wait more than 3 days for the other to arrive

Why setting ‘safe’ limits for environmental damage won’t work

The boundaries set for human impacts on the planet are deeply flawed and only encourage us to keep pushing towards them, warns Stuart Pimm

Common condition endometriosis reprograms brain for depression

Endometriosis causes symptoms of mental health problems in mice, and the one in ten women who have the condition are more likely to have depression or anxiety

Wrong division: How maths can save democracy from gerrymandering

It is illegal for those in power to redraw voting districts for their own gain – but hard to spot. Fortunately, maths could come to the rescue

Watch humanoid Boston Dynamics robot do box jumps and back flips

The ability to jump and flip is a step change for humanoid robots, but if you're worried about the robot uprising, have a look at what happens when a robot tries to open a door

Brain implant boosts human memory by mimicking how we learn

A device that zaps the brain with electricity has improved people’s scores on memory tests. It may have the power to help dementia, or boost other brain skills

Tesla’s electric trucks are great but they won’t save the planet

The electric trucks being unveiled by Tesla and co will speed the transition from fossil fuels. But to cut transport emissions, we must curb road freight too

Feedback: Kenya’s chief censor has claws out for gay pride

Amorous male lions have rankled the anti-homosexuality campaigner. Plus: missing ships, Harrison Ford swears by science, surgical Bluetooth attacks and more

We may know why Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is red instead of white

The gases in Jupiter's atmosphere should form white clouds, so why do they look red? Two teams have found different recipes for the red in the Great Red Spot

Weak links in US power grid vulnerable in event of catastrophe

Largest study of 'cascading failures' finds that only a small subset of North America's power grid is at risk from domino-like electrical failure

Gene drives can beat pests, but we can’t afford any mistakes

Invasive pests could be eliminated by so-called gene drives, but we must make sure they can’t spread beyond our control

Dark matter may be the source of antimatter streaming past Earth

Two nearby powerful pulsars aren’t responsible for the stream of antimatter positrons snaking past Earth, so dark matter might be behind it after all

Trump to let Americans import ivory and hunting trophies again

Donald Trump's administration is reversing a ban on the imports of elephant trophies—including ivory—from Zimbabwe and Zambia

Why we should celebrate Scotland’s minimum alcohol price plan

Death and ill health will be averted now Scotland's pioneering minimum alcohol policy has finally cleared legal hurdles, say John Holmes and Petra Meier

What’s the best way to scare an elephant? Use an AI scarecrow

Elephants cause a lot of damage, but like other smart animals, they're too smart to scare away. An AI scarecrow that adapts its tactics for continuous scaring could be the answer

Consciously quantum: How you make everything real

The idea that we create reality seems absurd. But an audacious new take on quantum theory suggests the fundamental laws of nature emerge from our own experiences

Why a female fly will ruin your drink, but a male is fine

We’re able to sense even tiny quantities of a female fruit fly pheromone, meaning one can ruin your wine no matter how quickly you remove it from your glass

Ancient skull from China may rewrite the origins of our species

The 260,000-year-old Dali skull was found in China, but it looks a lot like the earliest known members of our species – which were found in Africa

Brain training game linked to lower dementia risk a decade later

Could just ten sessions of brain training be enough to lower your risk of dementia by 29 per cent a decade later? A study suggests so, but some are sceptical

Grand delusions: Why we all believe the weirdest things

The human mind is the perfect breeding ground for bizarre beliefs, so we shouldn’t be surprised that fake news has such a powerful influence

We just sent a message to try to talk to aliens on another world

We've just sent a message to a nearby star to see if there's any life there - and we'll only have to wait 25 years for a reply

Biohackers are using CRISPR on their DNA and we can’t stop it

People are starting to alter their own DNA with cheap, easy gene-editing technology. Is it time to regulate CRISPR?

Amish gene can make them live 10 years longer and avoid diabetes

A gene variant that arose six generations ago in an Amish group seems to make people carrying the gene live ten years longer, and protect them from diabetes

A layer of haze keeps Pluto’s atmosphere extremely cold

Pluto is far from the sun, so astronomers expect its atmosphere to be cold, but it's colder than predicted. Now we know that soot sends the sun’s heat back into space

Free-fall experiment could test if gravity is a quantum force

The effort to reconcile general relativity with quantum mechanics always hits one snag: gravity. An experiment could finally tell us if it is a quantum force

This mortician wants to fix our broken relationship with death

We treat death as an emergency and hand it over to professionals. We shouldn't be afraid to spend time with the body and get involved in the process, says Caitlin Doughty

Spiders reset body clocks to avoid 5-hour jet-lag every day

Some species of spider have short biological clocks that have to be reset each morning. Being out of sync with the 24-hour cycle in this way might help them avoid prey

We’ve just found a nearby exoplanet that could be right for life

A newly discovered nearby world is probably close in size and temperature to Earth. This exoplanet might be able to host life because of its unusually calm star

The ‘space nation’ Asgardia just launched its first satellite

Asgardia is a 'virtual nation' that says it aims to build sovereign colonies in space. On 12 November it launched a satellite carrying its citizens’ data

We’re heading for a male fertility crisis and we’re not prepared

Fertility has been considered a woman's problem for so long, but sperm counts are dropping and men have a ticking clock too. It's time to redress the balance

Porpoises twist laws of physics to aim their focused sonar beams

Porpoises scrunch up their heads to direct their sonar beams and keep prey within "sight". Understanding how they point sound could help us design better sonar

Why we should build AI that sometimes disobeys our commands

In our desire to make ethical artificial intelligence, we better be ready for machines that can choose to say no, says Jamais Cascio

We found our galactic twin 180 million light years away

Astronomers have spotted a trio of galaxies that look remarkably like the giant spiral of the Milky Way and its two brightest companions, the Magellanic Clouds

How long should you let a pregnancy run before being induced?

If your pregnancy runs past its due date, how long should you wait for a natural birth? It may be safer to induce at 40 weeks, for older mums at least

NHS reforms have failed to boost community-based care in England

Re-organising the National Health Service in England has failed to reduce the proportion of people being referred for expensive hospital treatments

If we only ate organic it would be an environmental disaster

Organic food production requires more land, but a study claims cutting meat eating and food waste will solve this problem. It won’t

Prairie vole partners split up if one drinks more than the other

Prairie voles mate for life, but the bond is likely to break down if one partner drinks more alcohol than the other

Camera spots hidden oil spills and may find missing planes

For the first time, a polarising infrared camera – never before used on Earth – has been made small and light enough to detect concealed oil spills

Why people ruin others’ lives by exposing all their data online

Doxers causes devastation by revealing targets' sensitive information to the worst elements of the internet. Now the first study to examine doxing shows who is most affected – and a potential fix

Five death rituals to give you a new view on funerals

Every culture has a different death ritual – some involving levels of intimacy that would be unthinkable to people in the West. Here are just five of them

Gang of ants surgically dismembers large, dead spider on Borneo

Sequence of photos shows a squad of ants over 4 hours as they move in and take apart a palm-sized spider left as a sacrifice by a curious photographer

Coffee and plant-based diets linked to lower heart failure risk

Drinking coffee, and diets consisting mostly of vegetables, fruit, beans and whole grains, have both been linked to a lower risk of developing heart failure

Big aftershocks could well hit Iran and Iraq in next 48 hours

The magnitude 7.3 quake that struck Iran and Iraq on Monday has already killed 400 and injured thousands, and more tremors could be on the way

Get closer to death to make the most of life

We distance ourselves from dying, but in doing so we could be missing out on the surprising upsides of mortality

In a Spotify world, why does anyone want to listen to cassettes?

A US cassette firm is spooling up production again to meet demand. Do people really want to go back to the flimsy magnetic tape of the 1980s, asks Paul Marks

Should we seed life through the cosmos using laser-driven ships?

Our galaxy may have billions of habitable worlds. A proposal to spread life says we should use giant lasers and light sails to send microbes out to them

Climate change blamed for Arabian Sea’s unexpected hurricanes

A flurry of hurricane-strength storms struck the Arabian Sea in 2014 and 2015, and climate change seems to have played a role

Monkeys learn to play ‘chicken’ in a virtual driving game

Macaque monkeys have been trained to play a computer version of “chicken”, driving virtual cards towards each other to see who flinches first

How social stress makes your brain vulnerable to depression

Bullying and other social stresses may make it easier for inflammatory substances to enter your brain, altering your mood and leaving you susceptible to depression

Tinfoil hat for your router stops bad guys snooping your Wi-Fi

Wireless signal shaper can put your Wi-Fi into the nooks and crannies of your home - and keep it from spilling out into the rest of the world

State of unrest: Can fidgeting really help you concentrate?

Once seen as a sign of boredom, fidgeting is now touted as a way to boost focus, help kids with ADHD or even lose weight. Should we believe the hype?

Gluten-sensitive? It may actually be a carb making you ill

Rather than gluten, fructan molecules seem to be to blame for sensitive guts. If true, gluten-free people could eat soy sauce and sourdough bread again

Your data is too valuable and sensitive to dish out for free

What you buy, watch and read online is scooped up ostensibly to tailor services to you, but it is often sold on. New EU rules will help people take back control

Bad news: Carbon emissions have suddenly started rising again

Emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel are on the rise again. We desperately need more action to stop climate change, and that means putting a price on carbon

Facebook can make your profile pic wink and scowl

Like portraits and pictures in Harry Potter, your Facebook image will soon react to visitors’ actions with happiness, sadness, or anger

The Seduction of Curves revives old ideas about maths and beauty

René Thom's mathematical theorems passed their sell-by date in the 1970s, but applied to the human form, will they captivate a new generation?

Daytime injuries heal twice as fast as wounds sustained at night

Burn injuries sustained during the day take an average of 11 days less to heal than night-time burns

Language: Unlocking the past’s most powerful secret

The to and fro that happens when we talk is key to understanding language, and challenges the way we view human nature, argue two books

A ‘magic number’ of people walking across a bridge makes it sway

We thought walking in lock step made bridges sway, like London’s Millennium Bridge when it opened. But it turns out crowd size matters more than rhythm

Human arrivals wiped out the Caribbean’s giant ground sloths

Many giant mammals in the Americas have died out but it has been hard to say whether humans or natural events were responsible. Now, in the Caribbean at least, we know

Watch a monkey floss its teeth with a bird feather

Nicobar long-tailed macaques have learned to use an array of tools, from wrapping prickly food in leaves to avoid getting hurt, to using bird feathers to floss their teeth

Neptune’s other moons were normal until Triton crashed the party

Neptune’s moons are unlike anything in the solar system, thanks to Triton barrelling in and laying waste to the moons that were there before it

Giant coconut crab sneaks up on a sleeping bird and kills it

Coconut crabs were thought to be purely opportunistic scavengers, but these huge arthropods are actually active predators that may dominate their island homes

Medical cannabis vendors must stop making bogus health claims

There are enough real benefits of medical marijuana, so why are people making them up? It’s time to stop overhyping what weed can do

Charge your phone using ambient light and printed solar cells

Printed plastic solar cells should be able to harvest enough energy from indoor light to power your phone within the next few months

Grow fake versions of rare delicacies like sea urchin at home

Japanese meat culturing project goes beyond hamburger to copy problematic delicacies like sea urchin, foie gras - and someday maybe dinosaur

The unseen puppet masters that control life in the oceans

Trace elements have the power to give life and snuff it out. For the first time, we are getting to grips with where they come from and how they act

A bizarre supernova keeps exploding over and over again

The weirdest supernova ever seen is a zombie star that keeps collapsing and coming back to life. It’s so strange, it may be a whole new kind of celestial object

Feedback: Want to improve your Dutch? Head to the pub

How alcohol can improve your language skills, plus: more climate skepticism in the US, Rhode Island's missing donkeys, a class on despair, and more

Tracking the first interstellar asteroid back to its home star

Last month, astronomers saw the first asteroid from outside our solar system speed by. Now, they're tracing its orbit back to find out where it came from

The very first living thing is still alive inside each one of us

A cellular machine so powerful that it gave rise to all of life and created our marble planet can tell us how it all began

Peek inside a gilded cage of liquid argon made to spot neutrinos

This huge shiny cube is just a 1/20th scale model of the planned DUNE neutrino detector. It will be filled with liquid argon to catch these elusive particles

Power really can corrupt people. Here’s what to do about it

Sleazy scandals show the link between power and bad behaviour. To stop people at the top getting away with it, we need much more scrutiny, says James Bloodworth

Giant star smash-up may have made the biggest neutron star ever

The collision that produced recent gravitational waves may have left behind the biggest neutron star ever seen. But it might have collapsed into a black hole

Five firms aim to power moon-orbiting way station to deep space

Deep Space Gateway is NASA’s planned outpost at the moon for launches to other worlds. The agency has awarded 5 contracts to start working out how to power it

Meet the winners of the biggest ever face-recognition challenge

Everyone from Apple to the security services is scrambling to improve their face-recognition software – just how good is it?

Letting robots kill without human supervision could save lives

Calls to ban killer robots ignore the fact that human soldiers can make lethal mistakes. If driverless cars will save lives, perhaps armed machines can as well

Boy with a genetic disease has had almost all his skin replaced

Gene therapy has saved the life of a boy with a rare skin-peeling disease. The boy received grafts of sheets of genetically-altered skin grown in the lab

When it comes to climate, Donald Trump is in a club by himself

With pariah state Syria now backing the UN pact to curb global warming, the US stands against the other 195 nations of the world. What a disgrace, says Owen Gaffney

Why burying loved ones in unmarked graves could save wildlife

If we all abandoned traditional burials and instead were buried in nature reserves, the money raised could help preserve every endangered species on land

AI binges on CSI crime shows and learns to guess whodunnit

Predicting the twists and turns of a crime drama are hard enough for us - teaching computers to do it will make them better at understanding complex scenarios

Maths can make sense of Trump’s ‘madman’ North Korea strategy

Outlandish threats in the standoff between North Korea and Donald Trump are bluffs whose main aim is to bolster support at home, says game theorist Petros Sekeris

How YouTube Kids can solve its Peppa Pig cannibalism problem

When a flesh-eating Peppa Pig ends up on a channel for young viewers, it means YouTube must put its house in order, say Charlie Beckett and Sonia Livingstone

Sheep learn to recognise celebrity faces from different angles

The animals were as good as humans at recognising mugshots of the same celebs from different angles, showing sophisticated brain processing of imagery

Inside the strange world of the Museum of Ordinary Animals

A London exhibition about everyday creatures prompts oddly unsettling thoughts about the dangerous nature of humanity

The tortoise-riding banker who collected the natural world

Lionel Rothschild sent intrepid collectors far and wide on deadly missions to bring back wildlife specimens, and amassed a world-beating collection – but then he blew the lot

What we’re doing now will make the ocean completely unliveable

Climate change could reduce oxygen levels in the oceans by 40 per cent over the next 8000 years, leading to dramatic changes in marine life

UK is right to worry that tech takeovers may let hackers in

Electronic chips made abroad can be altered to allow foreign powers to disrupt critical infrastructure. Nations are right to fret about it, says Paul Marks

Quantum code: why building the ultimate computer is the easy bit

After decades of hype, quantum computers are poised to prove their superiority over classical machines. Now the race is on to figure out what to do with them

Virtual cocktails hijack your senses to turn water into wine

Using a combination of LEDs, electrodes and smelly gas, the Vocktail can simulate a variety of flavours to create digital drinks

Your brain signals weaken and slow down when you’re really tired

We’ve seen how sleep deprivation disrupts the way neurons communicate with each other, and it may explain why a bad night’s sleep makes it hard to concentrate

Planting trees could mop up ten years’ worth of greenhouse gases

The planet is still warming inexorably, with 2017 set to be one of the three hottest years on record, but a major programme of tree-planting could help cool the world

Five things physicists hate about physics

Physics isn't just hard – it can be uncomfortable, too. From quantum many worlds to the universe's heat death, here are five concepts that spell embarrassment

Bitcoin: what a waste of resources

The cryptocurrency’s insistence on meaningless computer tasks is outdated, profligate and holds the technology back

I went on a data diet and all I got was ads and paranoia 

Tired of your dirty data habits? Here's how to regain control over your privacy and stop leaking more than you need to the big tech companies

We’ve figured out how to ensure quantum computers can be trusted

Quantum computers will be useless if we can't trust their calculations. Now, two teams have programmed quantum systems to detect their own errors

China’s dreadful air pollution seems to have got a bit better

While China’s capital Beijing is once again suffering a severe smog, a new study suggests that nationally pollution has fallen 21 per cent over two years

Blood cells in chronic fatigue syndrome are drained of energy

Cells from people with chronic fatigue syndrome fail to meet even modest energy demands, adding to evidence that the disease is physiological, not psychological

Enceladus’s hot, gritty core may cook up ingredients for life

Saturn’s moon Enceladus seems to have a sandy core that warms water passing between the grains. This heating could help create conditions that are right for life

Dinosaur mass-extinction let mammals come out in the day

The extinction of the dinosaurs allowed our distant mammalian ancestors to start foraging during the day for the first time – and shaped our early evolution