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Dinosaurs - New Scientist

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National bans on smacking children linked to less teenage violence

A survey has found that teenagers get into more fights in countries where it is legal to spank children, but there could be several explanations for the link

Will there be beer shortages as the world warms? Well, maybe

Predictions of beer shortages and rocketing prices as extreme weather hits barley production should not be taken too literally but do highlight a very real problem

Earliest ever animal fossil is a 660-million-year-old sponge

Chemical evidence locked in rocks and oil suggests that the first animals were alive 100 million years earlier than we thought from fossils

Rabbit-killing virus may have mutated to kill hares too

Brown hares are turning up dead across the UK, raising fears that myxomatosis – the rabbit infection in ‘Watership Down’ - may have mutated to target hares

Wheat flour to be fortified with folic acid in the UK

Folic acid helps prevent birth defects but is most effective taken around the time of conception. Adding it to wheat could benefit unplanned pregnancies

Mysterious cosmic radio signal spotted unusually close to Earth

The first fast radio burst to be detected in a nearby galaxy may provide clues about what – or who – is able to transmit these strange, powerful signals

Delivered from evil: Humans aren’t always corrupted by power after all

The Stanford prison experiment was the classic demonstration of how power can bring out the worst in us. But now it seems it was more about showbiz than science

Traces of mystery ancient humans found lurking in our genomes

Prehistoric humans were sexual adventurers, mating with Neanderthals and Denisovans, but DNA studies reveal dalliances with populations we never knew existed

War With the Newts review – this is smart sci-fi theatre at its best

A reimagining of a classic 1930s novel by Karel Capek cleverly immerses us in a terrifying future where a new intelligent species is cruelly exploited

On Air preview – Tomás Saraceno is saving the world with balloon art

Forget doomy "Anthropocene" ideas, if we're serious about saving Earth we need hope, says Tomás Saraceno, the artist whose tetrahedral balloons inspire researchers

Ultrablack room makes everything disappear except you and the game

More often associated with artistic experiments and the innards of satellites, light-absorbing Vantablack paint may soon be heading to an arcade near you

Amateurs used a Chinese satellite to photograph Earth and the moon

A tiny Chinese satellite in lunar orbit is designed to accept commands from amateurs, and has captured a new view of the Earth and its moon

Rewilding: Can we really restore ravaged nature to a pristine state?

Vast tracts of land are returning to wilderness as farming retreats worldwide. But rewilding isn't an easy win – and debates rage about how to manage it

We can harness algae with magnets to deliver drugs inside our bodies

If we attach tiny magnets to fast-swimming algae, we can load them up with drugs and steer them deep into the human body to deliver targeted medical therapies

Humongous fungus is older than Christianity and weighs 400 tonnes

A gigantic fungus that lives under the ground in a Michigan forest is even larger than initially estimated and may have been around for at least 2500 years

The US wants a laser weapon that shouts at people before burning them

The US Marines are developing a laser weapon that can shout at people from 100 metres away. It can also be turned up to deafen, dazzle or cause painful burns

Mice eat too much food if their great grandmother did the same

When mice are given a high-fat diet their great grandchildren are more likely to put on weight – and they show a greater than expected taste for alcohol

Police can now use millions more people’s DNA to find criminals

Consumer genetic databases are becoming powerful tools for identifying criminals, and a new technique could link you to forensic data held by US police

Soyuz crash could kill the ISS and set space flight back decades

A Russian Soyuz spacecraft has crash landed after an attempted launch to the International Space Station, which may throw a wrench in space flight plans

Could the world’s mightiest computers be too complicated to use?

China, Japan and the US are racing to build the first exascale computer – but devising programmes clever enough to run on them is a different story

AIs invent weird new limbs to beat virtual obstacle courses

Simulated robots can learn to control their bodies in many creative ways, and now they can also build the best limbs for crossing through an obstacle course

T. rex may have used its long feet for stealthy surprise attacks

Carnivorous dinosaurs generated seismic waves with every footfall – but because of the shape of their feet they may have masked their presence approaching prey

We are a step closer to making babies with same-sex genetic parents

We are getting better at creating mice with same-sex parents but we are still nowhere near the point at which this could be attempted in people

Nikon Small World photo competition reveals nature in minuscule detail

Peer into nature with these amazing images from the Nikon Small World microphotography prize. They include a bug bubble house and the eye of a weevil

Medicinal cannabis will be available in the UK from next month

The UK Home Secretary has announced that doctors will be able to prescribe medicinal cannabis from next month following a specially commissioned review

Building better cities

Thanks to clever chemistry and innovative engineering, the cities of the future are being fashioned from cleaner, greener concrete

We’ve missed many chances to curb global warming. This may be our last

Keeping warming to a manageable (but still dangerous) 1.5°C is possible, strictly speaking, but it will be the largest project humanity has ever undertaken

75-million-year old ocean microbes live forever on almost zero energy

There is so little food in the mud at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean that individual microbes living there use just 0.00000000001 joules of energy each year

Astronauts make emergency landing after Soyuz rocket malfunctions

A rocket carrying two people to the International Space Station has just made an emergency landing in Kazakhstan after a booster malfunctioned  

Old homes around the world must be retrofitted to meet climate targets

Countries need to start a massive programme of retrofitting old homes to make them carbon neutral if the world is to meet the global emission reduction target

Great Ormond Street launches hospital of the future with AI and robots

Step inside the hospital of the future, where face recognition tracks everyone who enters and robots roam the corridors

We need to get better at supporting people who lose a pregnancy

This week is Baby Loss Awareness Week, but more must be done to help those who, like me, have suffered a loss, says Petra Boynton

AI’s dirty secret: Energy-guzzling machines may fuel global warming

Advances in artificial intelligence could lead to massive growth in energy use as smart machines push into every corner of our lives

Bees suddenly stopped buzzing in the US during the 2017 solar eclipse

When the moon hid the sun in the 2017 total solar eclipse, bees across the US suddenly stopped buzzing around - only one bee aross 16 locations buzzed

Moons can have moons and they are called moonmoons

If a moon is big enough and far enough from its planet, it can host its own smaller moon, called a ‘moonmoon’ - and four worlds in our solar system fit the bill

Are Virgin Galactic and Richard Branson really going to space soon?

Richard Branson has said that his space flight company, Virgin Galactic, will go to space “within weeks”. Here’s what you need to know about his claims

Rabbits flee when they smell dead relatives in predators’ droppings

Rabbits avoid nibbling grass in areas scattered with predator droppings – particularly if those predators have been fed on bunnies

You can recognise around 5000 faces, from family to celebrities

For much of human evolution our ancestors may have encountered only a few hundred people in their lives – but we can each recall about 5000 distinct faces

There’s a glitch at the edge of the universe that could remake physics

One mysterious number determines how physics, chemistry and biology work. But controversial experimental hints suggest it's not one number at all

Nobody can agree about antidepressants. Here’s what you need to know

For some they are lifesavers, for others ineffective and even addictive. Our special report looks at why even experts disagree on antidepressants, and what the real truth is

Falling rocks can explode so hard that only nuclear weapons beat them

If big rocks fall far enough they can explode with more energy than any non-nuclear bomb – and the ensuing shockwave can snap large trees half a kilometre away

Ancient ‘living fossil’ fish has scales that act as adaptable armour

The coelacanth fish has scales that can change their internal structure if they are pierced by a predator to stop cracks spreading

Home of the gentle giants: How humans live with Galapagos tortoises

The Galapagos archipelago is a growing tourist attraction, which is adding to the problems faced by the islands’ famous giant residents

Three people had their brains wired together so they could play Tetris

Three people played a game of Tetris using brain-reading caps. This is the first time several people have collaborated through brain-to-brain communication

Google+ to shut down after 500,000 people’s personal details exposed

The social network Google+ is shutting down for regular users, after it discovered a flaw in March that exposed personal information of up to 500,000 people

What is ‘problem internet use’ and is it really a problem?

Researchers are calling for recognition of mental health problems caused by excessive gaming, gambling and social media, but lumping these together may not be right

How to make jet fuel from used cooking oil

Air travel is a growing source of greenhouse gas emissions. But a project to turn used cooking oil into jet fuel could help change that, says Tom Parsons

Jupiter’s moon Europa may have a belt of 15-metre-tall ice spikes

Landing on Jupiter’s moon Europa will be even harder than we thought due to a forbidding belt of huge ice spikes that could trap or incapacitate a spacecraft

Naysayers rise to the top because we naturally treat them as leaders

Openly negative and critical people are often elected leaders, perhaps because we perceive their disregard for social niceties as a sign of power and independence

What you need to know about the big UN climate report out this week

A special report on limiting global warming to 1.5°C has been released. Get caught up on why it matters

Why the quest for ethical AI is doomed to failure

You wouldn't buy a self-driving car that would kill you to save pedestrians – and that's why we must rethink how we make AI behave, says researcher Iyad Rahwan

Swallowing a vibrating capsule could help relieve constipation

Capsules that are programmed to vibrate when they reach the large intestine have been shown to stimulate bowel contractions and relieve chronic constipation

Front-runner in Brazil’s election wants to pull out of climate treaty

The far-right winner of the first round of Brazil's presidential election wants to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement and cut down the Amazon rainforest

Hubble Space Telescope taken out of action by faulty gyroscopes

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has been temporarily shut down as technical faults have hampered its ability to point in the right direction

Economics Nobel prize given for putting a price tag on climate change

The 2018 Sveriges Riksbank prize in economic sciences has gone to Paul Romer and William Nordhaus for integrating climate change and technology into macroeconomics

David Attenborough’s Life on Earth review – a revamped classic

A fresh version of David Attenborough's classic book may be light on climate change, but it should inspire a new generation to cherish life on earth

We’ve spotted the shock wave from an invisible explosion in space

For the first time, astronomers have spotted the shock wave from a powerful space explosion called a gamma ray burst without being able to see the burst itself

Cassini revealed three big surprises before diving into Saturn

Before the Cassini spacecraft melted away in Saturn’s atmosphere, it hurtled between the planet and its rings 22 times - and made some strange discoveries

Hundreds of physicists condemn sexist talk at CERN on women in physics

Following a talk by Alessandro Strumia at particle physics lab CERN that sparked outrage about sexism, hundreds of researchers have rallied together to push back against his claims

How should we control the power to genetically eliminate a species?

The power to re-engineer or eliminate wild species using a “gene drive” needs to be brought under international governance, say Simon Terry and Stephanie Howard

IVF success boosted by drug that helps embryos implant in the womb

Women given a drug that increases blood flow to the womb have a significantly higher chance of giving birth through IVF

Conquer your fear of public speaking by practising in virtual reality

Practising public speaking in virtual reality lets people confront their fears in a safe environment and become more confident in front of real-life audiences

Find out how outrageously weird octopuses are – take our quiz

They have multiple brains, amazing camouflage abilities and are surprisingly intelligent. But there’s plenty more you might not know about these alien creatures  

People in Chile are currently evolving the ability to digest goat milk

Most Europeans have a genetic mutation that allows adults to digest milk, but it is less common elsewhere. Now it is spreading through Chile, and we don't know why

Smartphone with a finger crawls across the table to stroke your wrist

MobiLimb is a fake finger that plugs into a phone's USB port. It can provide extra interaction, including stroking your wrist and dragging itself across a table

Hundreds of tonnes of UK hospital waste piles up including human limbs

A huge backlog of NHS hospital waste has been revealed in a leaked report. It is believed to include pharmaceutical waste and a small number of amputated limbs

Wind farms do affect climate – but they don’t cause global warming

A study has claimed that large-scale wind power in the US would cause significant warming, but this is misleading and could harm take-up of renewables

Faecal swaps could help stop heart transplants from being rejected

Giving mice a faecal transplant made them more tolerant of a subsequent heart transplant, hinting the gut may be key to avoiding organ rejection

Tree rings reveal plague hit medieval Europe’s construction industry

Dating timber used to build European houses between AD 1250 and 1699 reveals that building activity fell during the Black Death and the Thirty Years’ War

The colour blind octopus that mastered the art of disguise

The fact that the animals can copy vivid patterns that they can't even see is perplexing, but it turns out they might not be using their eyes at all

First known exomoon could be a baffling monster the size of Neptune

Last year, New Scientist reported the possible discovery of the first ever exomoon. Now new evidence suggests that if it does exist, it is very strange

Row with Russia and SpaceX delays could leave NASA unable to reach ISS

Talk of sabotage on the International Space Station has exposed cracks in the US-Russia space relationship that could see NASA unable to fly astronauts into orbit

AI has reimagined nature and it’s both amazing and terrifying

A pack of brown dogs look like majesties of nature, but they’ve actually been dreamt up by a DeepMind AI

T. rex evolved into a monster predator by dumbing down its brain

The very first tyrannosaurs were relatively small dinosaurs – and the skull of one of them seems to have contained a brain with a more complex shape than that of the enormous T. rex

Podcast: Meet Rachel Fort

Rachel Fort explains how her love of chemistry led to a career developing more efficient lubrication technologies at Nexcel

Chemistry Nobel Prize awarded for harnessing evolution to help humans

The chemistry Nobel Prize goes to Frances Arnold, George Smith, and Gregory Winter for controlling evolution to create proteins that solve chemical problems.

Third lander arrives on asteroid Ryugu with only 16 hours to live

Japan has just dropped off its third lander on the surface of the asteroid Ryugu. It has less than a day to complete its mission before its batteries run out

Gaia spacecraft prepares to weather an incoming meteoroid storm

A spacecraft currently mapping the Milky Way could be pelted by space dust next week, so the European Space Agency is putting up its shields

Idly tapping your fingers can make you think time has slowed down

Moving a body part in time to a rhythm alters your perception of time, causing it to either stretch or contract – providing new clues about which parts of the brain control our body clocks

Distant dwarf planet called ‘The Goblin’ could point to Planet X

There is a 300-kilometre-wide ice world in the far reaches of the Solar System - and its orbit is consistent with the presence of the hypothetical Planet X

It has been a good/bad week for women in physics

At last, a third Nobel, but it has been a decidedly mixed week for female physicists

Facebook’s AI is writing short stories and they actually make sense

Making machines that write stories is incredibly hard. But a new approach from Facebook’s AI team has produced some surprisingly good tales

Cargo ships through the Arctic may cool the region with pollution

Sending more cargo ships through the Arctic as the sea ice retreats might actually reduce the warming in the region, but it would also threaten human health

Baby giraffes with small and oval markings are most likely to die

Masai giraffes born with large or round spots may find it easier to hide from predators than giraffes with small or elliptical spots

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore wins 2018 Royal Society Book Prize

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore walked away with the honours at the 2018 Royal Society Insight Investment Book Prize - and the calibre of the runners-up made it a hard year to call

Donna Strickland is the third woman ever to win a physics Nobel Prize

The winner of the Nobel Prize in physics includes a woman for the first time in 55 years, going to Arthur Ashkin, Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland

Fluke experiment hints deep brain stimulation really treats depression

People with depression treated with deep brain stimulation suffered unexpected relapses when the batteries went flat, hinting the treatment isn’t just a placebo

Domesticating tomatoes took millennia – we can now redo it in 3 years

With CRISPR gene editing technology we can now rapidly domesticate wild plants to create tasty and healthy food

It is 2018, so why are we still debating whether women can do physics?

A talk by a physicist at CERN suggesting that women aren’t as good as men at physics has sparked outrage. I was there, and people are right to be offended, says Jess Wade

The rare-leopard spotter who accidentally caught gunmen in her traps

Priya Singh spent months in the wilds of north-east India tracking elusive clouded leopards and marbled cats, but caught more than she bargained for in her camera traps

Massive Facebook data breach left 50 million accounts exposed

Facebook has suffered the biggest hack in its history. It left the personal details of 50 million accounts exposed, including Mark Zuckerberg's

Physicist sparks gender row after claiming women are worse at physics

Physicist Alessandro Strumia gave a talk at CERN, home of the Large Hadron Collider, claiming that women are inferior to men when it comes to physics research

Cancer immune therapy recognised with Nobel Prize for medicine

The Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine has been awarded to James Allison and Tasuku Honjo for discovering how cancer can be treated by targeting the immune system

Thought police: Spotting cyber criminals before they break the law

Hackers regularly purchase malware online for carrying out cyber-attacks, but a new system could automatically spot those considering doing so before they do it

Over 800 people have died after a massive tsunami hit Indonesia

A massive earthquake and tsunami has hit the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia. Over 800 people have died and another 50,000 people have been displaced

First Man: Ryan Gosling and Damien Chazelle on faking the moon landing

We talk to the star and director of First Man, the new film about the Apollo 11 mission, and ask what it was like getting into the head of the famously enigmatic Neil Armstrong

The Book of Humans review – a smart update on human exceptionalism

From tool use to sex, so much of what we think divides us from other animals is wrong. Culture is the new front line, says a new book – but expect surprises

US review of fetal research signals the return of the abortion wars

Backed by the “most pro-life president in modern history”, conservatives are gearing up for a new assault on reproductive rights, says Lara Williams

Hacking nature’s coolest inventions to create the perfect metal

From bamboo stalks to mantis shrimp clubs to teeth, nature marries strength and toughness with spectacular effect. Copying its secrets could usher in a new age of metals

China’s Tiangong-2 space station is set to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere

Last year Chinas’ space agency lost control of the Tiangong-1 space station during de-orbiting – they will be hoping history doesn’t repeat with Tiangong-2