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Dinosaurs - New Scientist

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AIs could debate whether a smart assistant should snitch on you

If a smart home spots cannabis in a teenager’s bedroom, should it tell their parents? Or even the police? One proposal is to let debating AIs decide

Dinosaur extinction lines up closely with timing of volcanic eruptions

Many people assume an asteroid triggered the mass extinction that killed the dinosaurs, but geologists say massive volcanic eruptions occurred at the same time

Why Samsung’s folding smartphone might prove more than just a fad

With the Galaxy Fold, Samsung has become the first major manufacturer to launch a phone with a folding screen – it might just be useful enough to tempt consumers

The race to see the start of time in the first light of the universe

A lone observatory at the South Pole has a rare chance to glimpse a secret written in the sky. Spot it, and we will know how time and space were born

World’s biggest bee rediscovered after decades on ‘most wanted’ list

The giant black bee is the size of a human thumb, with a wingspan of 6 centimetres and fierce-looking mandibles

Google says it can't fix a security flaw affecting all computer chips

A critical security flaw called Spectre affecting nearly every computer is here to stay. According to Google there isn’t any software that can fix it

The Wandering Earth review: Epic Chinese sci-fi film heralds a new era

The Wandering Earth, an adaptation of Cixin Liu's story of humans struggling to move Earth to a new home, is coming to Netflix. Our review? Despite a few science bloopers, it's cinematic gold

First private mission to the moon is about to launch on SpaceX rocket

The moon has only ever been visited by government superpowers, but a small Israeli non-profit called SpaceIL is about to change that with its lunar lander

Ban gas boilers for new UK homes by 2025, says climate report

A report by the Committee on Climate Change, which advises the UK government, has said that the UK must tackle energy inefficient homes to meet climate targets

Squid teeth could help make bioplastics and self-repairing clothes

A protein found in the suckered arms of squid could help make biodegradable plastics and clothes that repair themselves

Neptune’s smallest moon keeps getting smashed up and resurrected again

A tiny moon of Neptune called Hippocamp, first spotted in 2013, has probably been smashed up and reassembled around nine times in the last 4 billion years

Footballers really are working harder and getting injured more often

Football players cover 30 per cent more ground during a match than they used to and they get injured more often too

We don't know what a fifth of our genes do – and won’t find out soon

We still don't know what 3000 of our protein-coding genes do, and people are reluctant to stump up the cash to find out

Japan's Hayabusa 2 may finally kick-start the asteroid mining era

The turn of the decade saw a huge surge of interest in asteroid mining, but now this would-be industry has flopped. Can a tiny Japanese probe revive it?

How to upgrade your thinking and avoid traps that make you look stupid

Even the most intelligent people can make ridiculous mistakes – but there are simple things all of us can do to act more wisely and avoid blinkered thinking

A 30-minute walk may reduce blood pressure by as much as medication

Walking for 30 minutes on a treadmill in the morning reduced blood pressure for people for the rest of the day by as much as taking medication

Smart and fluffy storytelling robot to be trialled in US classrooms

Tega is a cute, fluffy robot that appears to boost language skills in young children. Soon it will be trialled in a dozen classrooms in the US

Bees prefer to turn right and it helps them decide where to live

When honeybees enter an open space, they are much more likely to turn right, which might help them reach collective decisions about nest sites

UK is failing to meet almost all of its climate action targets

The Committee on Climate Change has warned that the UK failed to meet 15 out of 18 of its targets for tackling emissions between 2013 and 2017

Nazi sub is being destroyed by bacteria due to Deepwater Horizon spill

A historic second world war German submarine off the US coast is being destroyed — thanks to oil released from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill

Ancient humans thrived in rainforests by hunting monkeys and squirrels

Rainforest species are usually too difficult for people to catch – but for 45,000 years, humans in Sri Lanka survived by hunting squirrels and monkeys

Evidence of new physics could have been under our noses all along

For almost a decade, the world's most expensive experiment failed to break new ground. But its biggest discoveries may have gone unnoticed

Signal of first known exomoon may actually be from Jupiter-like planet

There have been several hints of a moon orbiting the exoplanet Kepler-1625b, but now researchers say these signals might actually point to a Jupiter-like planet

Grapes in a microwave generate a fiery plasma and now we know why

For years people have been uploading videos of the blazing eruption caused by microwaving sliced grapes – but the explanations were all wrong

This optical illusion breaks your brain for 15 milliseconds

Showing this optical illusion to monkeys reveals it works by tricking the neurons that perceive global motion into overriding those that track local motions

PTSD may one day be treated with a common blood pressure drug

Preliminary experiments suggest that a type of blood pressure drug can make it easier to un-learn fear memories, hinting at a possible treatment for PTSD

NASA's photo archives reveal 60 years of space travel

NASA latest book includes big launches, moon landings, Martian panoramas and behind the scenes images that give a human scale to its vast endeavours

Stone Age Europe may have been home to no more than 1500 people

Our species arrived in Europe about 43,000 years ago – and for the following 10,000 years the population remained astonishingly low

The truth about cheese: The terrible costs of our favourite food

It might be hard to swallow, but if you think cheese is better than meat for both animal welfare and the environment, you need to think again

A Place That Exists Only in Moonlight review: Sublime raid on infinity

Katie Paterson's biggest art show yet gives gallery-goers a tantalising taste of space and time at a cosmic scale

The Wall review – A dystopian adventure for the climate change era

Though it has its satirical elements, John Lanchester's discomforting new novel does more than point the finger at present ills

Your phone and shoes are home to completely unknown life forms

Samples taken from people’s shoes and phones have been found to contain DNA from nine mysterious and unstudied branches of the bacteria family tree

The children striking over climate change speak to New Scientist

New Scientist went to meet the UK schoolchildren who have left their classrooms to join a global protest that calls for the government to declare a climate emergency

There is No Planet B review: How to save Earth by changing humans

Can Mike Berners-Lee's guide to changing how we think and live help us dump our dangerous habits and learn to use resources respectfully rather than rapaciously?

AI autotune makes your terrible karaoke singing more tolerable

Autotune can often sound robotic because it shifts off notes into perfect pitch, a new version listens to the notes you've already sung and uses them to help fill in the gaps

Fears of OpenAI’s super-trolling artificial intelligence are overblown

Elon Musk-backed firm OpenAI has built a text-generating AI that it says is too dangerous to release because of potential misuse

A dialect quiz shows we still cling to our regional identities

The New York Times' online quiz can pinpoint where in the UK or Ireland you grew up by the words you use and how you say them. We asked a linguist to explain why dialects persist

Russia’s plan to unplug from the internet shows cyberwar is escalating

Media reports suggest Russia is contemplating disconnecting from the global internet. The move is not about isolationism but security, says James Ball

How humans evolved to be both shockingly violent and super-cooperative

The origins of our paradoxical nature lie in murder and self-domestication. It's a weird story that may even explain why our species came into existence

Meet the man who made CRISPR monkey clones to study depression

Hung-Chun Chang told New Scientist about his team’s controversial project to find drugs for depression and schizophrenia using clones of gene-edited monkeys

Interstellar ‘Oumuamua might be a fractal snowflake not an alien probe

The interstellar asteroid ‘Oumuamua might be an alien spaceship, at least according to one prominent researcher, but now there is a much more reasonable explanation

Smugglers are profiting from our failure to define endangered species

There are calls to improve a treaty on the international trade in endangered species – but there is no standard way to define species, says Stephen Garnett

A gut bacteria toxin that damages DNA may be involved in bowel cancer

People with bowel cancer often have higher levels of certain toxic-producing bacteria. The toxin has now been shown to damage DNA in gut cells in mice

CRISPR could help us protect ourselves from viruses like flu and HIV

Gene-edited white blood cells could let us hack our immune systems to prevent infections with pathogens like HIV, flu, and the virus that causes glandular fever

The last black leopard photographed in Kenya was born in New York

New images of a black leopard taken by a camera trap in Kenya were claimed to be the first in 100 years, but that wasn't strictly true

Find tonic water bitter? Part of your brain may be on the small side

A region of the brain called the left entorhinal cortex varies in size from person to person, and it’s smaller than average in those who find tonic water bitter

Can teenagers get vaccinated without their parents’ permission?

As measles outbreaks take hold, some teenagers in the US are beginning to look for ways to get vaccinated – against their parents' wishes

Offspring from older sperm are fitter and age more slowly

Experiments in fish suggest offspring from older sperm may be healthier – a finding that could change the ways IVF clinics select sperm

Robot mimics desert ants to find its way home without GPS

AntBot is a six-legged robot that can get home without the help of GPS, thanks to tactics borrowed from desert ants

No plugs needed: How wireless charging could set electric cars free

The rise of wireless charging for electric cars means you may never have to worry about plugging in again

Breast pumps may introduce harmful bacteria to babies’ gut microbiome

Milk from breast pumps contains more pathogens than milk that is directly breastfed, which may explain why asthma is more common in bottle-fed infants

Smart skin sticker could detect asthma attacks before they happen

A smart skin sticker can monitor breathing and send the data to a smartphone. It could one day spot signs of asthma attacks before they happen

Unhappy Valentine’s: Why bad memories of your ex are so hard to shake

As time passes, our memories of negative emotions normally fade faster than positive ones, helping us to move on. But this isn’t the case when it comes to exes

Slime-fighting slug can superglue enemy frogs to trees for days

After finding a tree frog stuck fast to a branch, biologists in Australia have discovered that a species of slug defends itself with extremely sticky mucus

Wild black leopard photographed in Africa for first time in 100 years

Black leopards are very hard to spot in the wild. A photograph by Will Burrard-Lucas may be the first of the cat in Africa for 100 years

Opportunity Mars rover is officially dead after 15-year mission

A huge dust storm in June 2018 left NASA unable to contact the Opportunity rover. Now the space agency has said goodbye to their epic Mars explorer

Cassowaries’ strange headgear helps them stay cool in the heat

The unusual fin-shaped lumps on cassowaries’ heads help them shed heat in hot weather, suggesting a similar purpose for crests on dinosaurs

Chimp sign language and human communication follow the same rules

Gestures used by chimpanzees to communicate with each other follow some of the same rules intrinsic to human language, according to a study of chimps in Uganda

The US plans to launch swarms of attack drones from robo-submarines

The US Navy has a project that plans to use an autonomous submarine to launch a swarm of attack drones from underwater

AI has helped rescue children trafficked for sexual exploitation

Investigators are using artificial intelligence to locate children who have been trafficked for sexual exploitation

DNA test could boost IVF success rates without putting embryo at risk

Analysing genetic material discarded by an embryo in a dish can reveal chromosomal abnormalities just as well as a more invasive biopsy

Green New Deal proposal includes free higher education and fair pay

The Green New Deal is an ambitious plan to remake the US energy sector and fight climate change, but it’s bundled with progressive social goals that may stop it passing

Sailors spread the ancient fashion for monuments like Stonehenge

Building ancient stone monuments, like Stonehenge, is a tradition that appears to have started in France and was then spread by Stone Age sailors

Controversial fossils suggest life began to move 2.1 billion years ago

Most biologists think lifeforms evolved the ability to move around about 600 million years ago – tiny burrows in 2.1-billion-year-old rocks challenge the idea

AI can diagnose childhood illnesses better than some doctors

Artificial intelligence has now been used to sort through medical history, lab tests, and symptoms and find a diagnosis for common and life-threatening paediatric diseases

Distant Ultima Thule is a weirdly flat snowman that defies explanation

Images from the New Horizons spacecraft show that the distant space rock Ultima Thule is flatter than we thought, and we don’t know why it’s so strange

Huge global extinction risk for insects could be worse than we thought

40 per cent of insects worldwide are in danger of going extinct, but almost all long-term data on insects is from Europe and North America. The global picture could be even worse

Women in physics: Why there's a problem and how we can solve it

Women are still wildly under-represented in physics – but it doesn't have to be like that. Our special report looks at the steps we can take to improve things

Don't believe women in science face huge inequality? Here's the proof

Scientists read and react to peer reviewed research, making the pages of leading scientific journals like The Lancet a good venue to fight for gender equity, says Jessica Wade

Orchids at Kew Gardens review – celebrating the colour of Colombia

As home to an amazing 4200 orchid species, Colombia is the perfect choice to fuel an orchid festival at Kew Gardens in London – and turn it into a carnival

We may finally know what causes Alzheimer’s – and how to stop it

Evidence is growing that a bacteria involved in gum disease causes Alzheimer's, raising hopes over new kinds of treatments that are currently undergoing testing

Tyrannosaurus rex might have accidentally helped fruit grow

The king of the dinosaurs was a famed carnivore, but its diet of plant-eaters may have helped T. rex disperse fruit seeds over a wide area

Game theory says Brexit negotiations are now all about avoiding blame

The UK and the EU are continuing Brexit talks because, as game theory suggests, both sides want to avoid being blamed for the fallout, says Petros Sekeris

Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge, the godfather of caffeine

Today's Google doodle celebrates Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge, who was the first to isolate caffeine and quinine but his contributions to chemistry are often overlooked

Universal income study finds money for nothing won't make us work less

The most robust trial of universal basic income yet shows that it boosts well-being and doesn't decrease employment, as some had feared

Beer before wine or wine before beer: the hangover is the same

Forget folk wisdom — mixing drinks doesn't affect your hangover. Only the amount you consume appears to impact how you feel the following day

Heat-sensitive fabric cools you on hot days and warms you in the cold

A temperature sensitive fabric adjusts to how hot, cold or sweaty the wearer is to help them reach the perfect temperature

A painless pill containing tiny needles may one day replace injections

Injections with insulin or other drugs could one day be replaced by pills that contain tiny needles that painlessly inject drugs into the lining of the stomach

Crows can solve a tricky puzzle box by planning ahead and using tools

New Caledonian crows are some of the cleverest birds — they can plan several steps ahead while using tools to get food out of a series of puzzle boxes

5 of the world’s toughest unsolved maths problems

The Open Problems in Mathematical Physics is a list of the most monstrous maths riddles in physics. Here are five of the top problems that remain unsolved

European Mars rover named after DNA discoverer Rosalind Franklin

The European Space Agency is sending a rover to look for signs of life on Mars, and it has been named after one of the discoverers of DNA

Voting systems that let losing side win may increase overall happiness

A test of two alternative voting systems that measure the strength of people’s opinions has found that it is sometimes better to let the losing side win

The baffling quantum maths solution it took 10 years to understand

A decade ago, two mathematicians produced a solution to one of the most difficult maths problems ever. The only problem was, no one understood it - until now

WhatsApp’s message limit isn’t enough to halt the spread of fake news

A limit on forwarding messages has been extended from India to the rest of the world, but more needs to be done by all parties, says Sarvjeet Singh

There’s a weird new type of magnet that shouldn't be able to exist

Take a form of uranium that shouldn’t be magnetic, mix it with antimony and cool it down, and you get a new kind of magnet that could speed up computers

Recommended gap between smear tests could increase thanks to HPV test

A more sensitive way of screening for cervical cancer will be introduced in the UK this year, and could allow women to safely wait longer between tests

Bees can pass a simple maths test but they might just be cheating

A test appears to show that honeybees can do arithmetic, but there may be a simpler explanation for their success

Coastal catastrophe looms larger as sea level forecasts creep upwards

Sea level rise estimates are moving upwards. There could be at least a 1.3 metre rise by 2100, which would spell disaster for coastal communities

It now costs more to make bitcoin than the cryptocurrency is worth

Producing a single bitcoin now costs $4060 on average, but it is currently valued at less than $3500

How Earth's changing ecosystems may have driven human evolution

The most detailed ever look at Earth's prehistoric climate suggests many habitats changed in the past 800,000 years – and this may be why we evolved big brains

Cosy up with the Neanderthals, the first humans to make a house a home

Meet the Stone Age people who liked nothing better than spending time indoors around the fire, doing a spot of DIY and having friends over for dinner

Trump wants to end HIV infections by 2030 - here's how to do it

US president Donald Trump laid out a plan in his State of the Union address to end new HIV infections in the US by 2030 – and we may already have the tools to do it

The truth about generations: Why millennials aren't special snowflakes

We increasingly form opinions about people based on the generation they belong to, but these labels are often lacking in science

DNA-eating bacteria lurk beneath the Atlantic Ocean floor

The mud beneath the seafloor contains few nutrients but relatively large quantities of old DNA – and some microbes eat it

Women seem to have younger brains than men the same age

Women have a brain age 3.8 years younger than men on average, which may help explain why they are more likely to stay mentally sharp in later years

Australia has been home to hopping kangaroos for 20 million years

It was thought that kangaroos evolved to hop when Australia’s climate dried out, but it now seems their relatives were hopping much earlier

Material made from citrus fruit peel could help clean up oil spills

Pomelo peels have been ground down and turned into an aerogel – one of the lightest materials in the world – that could be used to clean up oil spills

The ancestor of all creatures on Earth lived a lukewarm lifestyle

We thought that the Last Universal Common Ancestor of all living things was adapted to live in scorching heat, but a new study suggests it was missing a key gene

Scientists studied a ‘haunted house’ to understand why we love horror

To understand why many of us enjoy being scared, a team of scientists studied the people visiting a haunted house set in a dilapidated factory

Mouse toes partially regrown after amputation thanks to two proteins

Two proteins could help regenerate limbs. When applied to amputated toes, the proteins encouraged both bone and joint growth in mice