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Dinosaurs - New Scientist

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The brain starts to eat itself after chronic sleep deprivation

Sleep loss in mice sends the brain’s immune cells into overdrive. This might be helpful in the short term, but could increase the risk of dementia in the long run

Hot, sleepless nights will get more common with climate change

People in the US stand to lose sleep as the climate warms – and those in hotter countries will be harder hit

Game theory says you should charge your friends to borrow things

When it comes to buying or borrowing goods, overall cost for society is smallest when people charge for lending

Governments sued over climate change, with banks and firms next

Almost 900 climate change cases have now been filed in 24 countries, and the Paris climate agreement could provide a further boost to litigation efforts

Curious AI learns by exploring game worlds and making mistakes

Algorithms with a taste for exploration can learn how to play video games and might be able to pick up other skills much faster than conventionally taught AIs

Saturn’s moons could reassemble after a cosmic smash-up

Any surviving debris from a collision would forge a new patchwork moon – so that’s not how Saturn got its rings

Newly-evolved microbes may be breaking down ocean plastics

There is less plastic in our oceans than expected because life is evolving the ability to biodegrade it, one team is claiming  

Giant octopus suffocates foolhardy dolphin that tried to eat it

Dolphins have a special way of preparing the octopuses they eat – but when that goes awry the consequences can be deadly

Traumatic beetle sex causes rapid evolutionary arms race

Male seed beetles use sharp spikes on their penises to damage females during sex, but females are evolving thicker tissue to resist them

Monkey mafia steal your stuff, then sell it back for a cracker

Long-tailed macaques living near an Indonesian temple have learned how to steal human possessions, including cash, and then trade them for food

Wake-up call: How turbulence could reveal secret nuclear subs

If there's truth in cold war claims about tracking subs, it would rewrite our theories of turbulence and foil our nuclear deterrent

Nowcasting may help forecast big earthquakes in 53 major cities

Records of small quakes can help us gauge how close we are to really big ones, using a technique borrowed from economics and finance

Amazing pictures show cyclones swirling above Jupiter’s poles

The best close-up images ever of Jupiter reveal surprising cyclones and ammonia patches that are forcing a rethink of our understanding of the planet

Huge impact could have smashed early Earth into a doughnut shape

Many rocky worlds may have spent time as a newly named planetary form called a synestia – a loosely connected blob of molten rock and dust with a dented middle

Tree-climbing goats spit out and disperse valuable argan seeds

Popular lore has it that goats defecate the seeds of fruits from the argan tree, but instead they must spit them out, helping to effectively disperse them

Strange cosmic radio burst pinned down to giant stellar nursery

A young neutron star is probably the source of a strange repeating signal previously tracked to a dwarf galaxy 2.4 billion light years away

Waltzing robot teaches beginners how to dance like a pro

A robotic dance teacher can gently guide human novices through routines while adapting to their skill level

Quit nature to save wolves and bears? There are better ways

Wild predators bounce back as nations modernise, people shift to cities and attitudes change. But we don't have to seal ourselves off to save them, says Niki Rust

Trump’s budget jettisons ‘irreplaceable’ marine mammals agency

The US Marine Mammal Commission, charged with restoring oceans’ mammal populations, is set for the chop in president Donald Trump’s budget proposal

The quantum leak that could give rise to dark energy

The loss of countless tiny drops of energy since the start of the universe might be behind the flood of dark energy accelerating the cosmos’s expansion

Brecht’s Life of Galileo pumped up for the 21st century

A production by London’s Young Vic of Bertolt Brecht’s play about Galileo turns a sombre affair into a raucous rave – for better and for worse

Skin care gets smart with AI

Choosing the cream that best matches your skin is a tricky business. Now Olay has trained a deep learning algorithm to study your face and help you make the best decision

Three major UK parties respond to our technology manifesto

Proposals suggest liberals will again be drowned out by the drafters of the most extreme digital policy yet made by any democratic government

Think the UK has a social care crisis now? Just wait until 2025

The demographic crystal ball shows elderly care is a crisis set to deepen, fast. No wonder UK politicians are grasping for solutions, says James Bloodworth

East Africa’s drought threatens iconic wildebeest migration

Fewer rains and dried-out riverbeds could mean more conflict with humans and livestock, and have a devastating impact on Africa’s wildlife, reports Adam Popescu

Diabetes drug may work by changing gut bacteria makeup

Metformin dramatically shifts the gut microbiome – and bacteria seem to play a key role in controlling blood sugar levels

Proof in the pudding: Myth-busting 15 common cooking tips

From searing meat to cutting onions, many top cooking tips make no difference, while others dent the flavour or even increase the risk of food poisoning

Win a stack of science books for foodies

This is your chance to win a set of books about better cooking and cocktail making through science, as well as the language of food

App lets stadium crowds display giant messages with their phones

The new app from IBM will let crowds automatically coordinates mass displays at big sporting events or protests using their smartphone cameras

Weird energy beam seems to travel five times the speed of light

The galaxy M87 emits a jet of plasma that looks like it’s breaking the cosmic speed limit – here’s how it manages the trick

Google’s AlphaGo beats world’s best player in latest Go match

The Go-playing artificial intelligence from DeepMind defeated Ke Jie in the first of three matches taking place this week in Wuzhen, China

Three amazing nature areas shortlisted for World Heritage status

Newly proposed world heritage sites in Argentina, China and West Africa could safeguard threatened and endemic species such as elephants and snow leopards

Trump’s 2018 budget slashes funding from healthcare and science

Medicaid is slated to lose billions of dollars in funding, as are many medical, humanitarian and scientific organisations

Bioelectric tweak makes flatworms grow a head instead of a tail

Flatworms regenerate lost body parts, but change the current in their cells and they can regrow the wrong thing, hinting at electricity’s role in body plans

Artificial Venus flytrap grabs things over 100 times its weight

Less than a centimetre in size, the soft robotic device can detect items based on how they reflect light and grasp them with impressive force

Unimpeachable logic says Trump shouldn’t quit Paris climate pact

President Donald Trump should keep the US in the Paris Agreement on climate and embrace it as a great deal for his nation's economy, says Owen Gaffney

A classic quantum test could reveal the limits of the human mind

Using human consciousness as the trigger in a test of ‘spooky action at a distance’ could tell us whether mind is made of different stuff than matter

DeepMind’s AI beats world’s best Go player in latest face-off

The Go-playing artificial intelligence from DeepMind defeated Ke Jie in the first of three matches taking place this week in Wuzhen, China

Unprecedented cholera outbreak tears through war-torn Yemen

Cholera has killed 332 people and left more than 32,000 ill over the past four weeks, spreading faster than any previous known outbreak in the country

Astronomers scramble as ‘alien megastructure’ star dims again

Tabby’s star’s weird behaviour has been blamed on everything from asteroids to aliens. Now astronomers are racing to watch its dimming in action

The innovation nation

A growing number of life sciences and medical technology companies are moving to Wales, attracted by the high-tech infrastructure, an agile approach to business and healthcare collaborations

Solar time lapse burns through film to create a unique look

Photographer Chris McCaw has whisky to thank for discovering this way of capturing his extreme overexposed shots of the sun

EU nations set to wipe out forests and not account for emissions

The drive for biofuels that international treaties wrongly consider to be emissions-free is driving plans to boost tree harvests in Europe, forgetting about associated emissions

Mouse sperm sent into space produces healthy IVF babies

The first experiment to test how space travel could affect mammals’ reproduction shows that pregnancy can smooth over DNA damage from cosmic radiation

Our common ancestor with chimps may be from Europe, not Africa

The last common ancestor of chimps and humans was an eastern European, claims team that analysed fossils of a 7-million-year-old ape from Bulgaria and Greece

Flushing fallopian tubes with poppy seed oil boosts fertility

A 100-year-old treatment in which women have their fallopian tubes flushed with oil makes them more likely to get pregnant without IVF treatments

A mind trick that can break down your brain’s barrier to success

Stuck in the same old rut? Failing to reach your potential? Throw the right switch in your head to change things for the better

Bacteria engineered to produce living, full-colour photographs

Gut bugs have been modified to turn red, green or blue when bathed in light of the corresponding colour so they create bacterial photocopies

7 ways to tame your wandering mind and achieve better focus

Trying to focus but keep getting distracted? From mind-wandering to doodling, the simplest ways to stay on track are not what you expect

Citizens give up data in blockchain project to improve cities

The DECODE project will give residents of Barcelona and Amsterdam more control over how their personal data is harnessed by local government and businesses

AI can doctor videos to put words in the mouths of speakers

Realistically faked video will soon be a single click away thanks to new technology that might render video evidence meaningless in court

How to daydream your way to better learning and concentration

Daydreaming need not be the enemy of focus. Learn to do it right and you could reap the benefits from more successful revision to more motivation

Weak defences leave us wide open to ransom attacks

Last week’s cyberattacks were small beer. The UK government must invest in NHS upgrades before a bigger threat brings it to its knees

Fighting for our forgotten sense

The loss of the sense of smell can be devastating. Fifth Sense is a charity dedicated to improving the lives of those afflicted

Will technology help or hinder access to famous art?

From van Gogh's Sunflowers to murals by Mark Rothko, everyone wants to see the originals of famous artworks. What role does technology have to play?

Synthetic biology’s ties to our humanity let it elude definition

Sophia Roosth's Synthetic: How life got made delves into the history, anthropology and society of synthetic biology to get a handle on the field

Our brains prefer invented visual information to the real thing

When making sense of a visual blind spot, our brains fill in the gaps. We’re more likely to believe its version of what’s in front of us than a real image

Hopping miniature parrots suggest how birds first got airborne

Parrotlets save energy when foraging by jumping from perch to perch with a few wingbeats, a technique that might have predated true flight

Call obesity a disease and food a pathological agent? No thanks

There is a rising trend to label obesity as a disease and even to liken tempting food to a pathogen. That's very unhelpful, says Lara Williams

LIGO could detect gravitational waves’ permanent space-time warp

When gravitational waves permanently distort space-time, it causes a “memory” signal – which may help LIGO find some of the universe’s most exotic objects

Brain stent to let five paralysed people control exoskeleton

The implant travels to the brain via the blood and could provide a permanent way of recording signals used to direct an exoskeleton that helps paralysed people walk

Plasma jet engines that could take you from the ground to space

Jet engines that compress gas into a plasma have been successfully tested at ground level for the first time

Resurrected organisms reveal life’s bare essentials

Reanimating cells and animals that are centuries or millennia old can offer surprising insights into what it takes to be alive

Human blood stem cells grown in the lab for the first time

Two labs have found a way to create cells that can form new blood – paving the way for donor-free blood transfusions and bone marrow transplants

Mussel gloop can be used to make wounds knit without any scars

Secretions from mussels together with a synthesised skin protein create the ultimate glue – one that seamlessly meshes together skin wounds in rats

Feedback: Get steamy with a machine that makes “sexy water”

What else have you got to spend A$6545 on? Plus: a pill with the power of 10,000 Capri-Suns, bed bug leads to quadrillion mattresses, and more

Titan’s riverbeds show a terrain built more like Mars than Earth

Saturn’s largest moon resembles Earth with its rivers and mountains, but it came by its topography very differently - and could still be active today

UK government watchdog examining political use of data analytics

The Information Commissioner has started a formal investigation into the use of data by political parties, including the use of Facebook and Twitter

Rising seas could double the number of severe coastal floods

An increase in sea level of between just 5 and 10 centimetres could make devastating weather events come every 25 years rather than every 50 years

Narwhals could help us measure melting glaciers underwater

A project off Greenland will tag whales with sensors to measure sea temperatures and ice melt in hard-to-reach places, improving predictions of sea-level rise

Mass landfills are saving endangered vultures from extinction

Endangered Egyptian vultures thrive near open garbage sites, which have helped some bounce back – but EU regulations threaten to shut the sites down

Odds on: 10 science breakthroughs you can bet on

Human clones, a colony on Mars, alien contact... what world-changing breakthroughs will come in the next decade? We asked the experts – with some surprising results

Remote Pacific island found buried under tonnes of plastic waste

A tiny, otherwise pristine island is smothered by our blast from the past: vast amounts of decades-old plastic from around the world

Unshackled, big auto will keep choking the world on diesel fumes

We now know diesel vehicles pollute more than they should to deadly effect everywhere, but the real scandal is government foot-dragging, says Olive Heffernan

The day Mount St Helens erupted and I should have died

But for a chance decision, Don Swanson would have been killed in the Mount St Helens eruption of 1980. That day changed his life, and volcanology, forever

Driest ten months in 100 years recorded in southern England

The last 10 months were the driest July to April for southern England in records stretching back more than 100 years, figures reveal  

Where the wind blows: Mapping our wildest gusts

A new wind atlas will help turbines avoid the doldrums – and solve some of wind's enduring mysteries

Vultures smear their faces in red mud which they use as makeup

The endangered Egyptian vultures have taken to mud baths and painting their faces at their stronghold in the Canaries. But why do they care about cosmetics?

Hundreds of newly-discovered plants may yield new crops or drugs

Even as we discover promising new wild relatives of key crops and medicinal plants, some of them are already endangered by pests and climate change  

Frog skeleton allows them to jump horizontally or vertically

Astonishingly complex bone movements visualised in lab experiments allow some frogs to take off upwards or forwards, propelled by knees or hips  

Fish boost photosynthesis by wafting water around corals

Call it a fin fan. The action of damselfish swimming between coral branches helps the algae inside corals to increase their photosynthesis

Beaver dams keeps streams cool and protect sensitive fish

We used to think that beaver dams warmed up stream waters as felling trees to build them reduces shade. Now it seems the opposite might be true

What the end of the atomic renaissance means for nuclear power

The next generation of nuclear reactors was meant to bring cheaper, safer power. Where are they, and can they save the industry from bankruptcy and closure?

Automation will have a bigger impact on jobs in smaller cities

More migration to megacities is expected in the next few decades, because they have more jobs that are resilient to automation than smaller urban areas

Final demands: We explore sci-fi’s unworldly money troubles

Humanity may struggle to meet the costs of the futures featured in our round-up of recent science fiction books by Abigail Nussbaum

The human universe: Does consciousness create reality?

While not a complete figment of our imagination, the universe may only become real because we're looking at it

Stars can start shining at a smaller mass than we thought

Objects with only 6.7 per cent of the sun’s mass can be stars, according to a fresh measurement of how massive an object must be to achieve nuclear fusion

Ebola once again on the prowl as emergency teams stand ready

Three deaths and 19 suspected cases of Ebola in the DR Congo have health officials worried – but the chances of another deadly rampage are thankfully slim

Odds on: Five scientific theories decided by wager

From the existence of black holes to the reality of climate change, over the years some big questions have been the subject of bets,  finds Michael Brooks

Hear the roar of the lionfish recorded for the first time

The vocalisations of the voracious lionfish could help us keep tabs on this invasive species as it works its way up the US east coast

Corals that grow faster in warm water could beat climate change

The unique history of the Red Sea means that reefs in its northern part may be able to adapt to higher water temperatures, at least for a while

Pregnant rays tangled in trawler nets have small, sickly babies

Rays, and possibly sharks, could suffer reproductive loss from being dragged around by fishing nets before being released

Google DeepMind NHS data deal was ‘legally inappropriate’

DeepMind’s 2015 data-sharing agreement with the Royal Free NHS trust has an “inappropriate legal basis”, according to a letter from the UK’s National Data Guardian

UK may force charities to prove complementary therapies work

UK charity commission is considering putting in place measures that will force providers of complementary medicine to offer stronger evidence of benefits

Brain zaps let minimally conscious people communicate for a week

Daily brain stimulation has “awakened” people with brain damage, allowing them to communicate for a week. The tech could eventually be used at home

Memo to whoever lands the world’s top health job – do this first

The World Health Organization is picking its next leader to ease sickness and suffering. Here's what the new chief should prioritise, says Bjorn Lomborg

Neptune-like exoplanet spotted that has a watery atmosphere

Signs of water in a gas giant exoplanet’s atmosphere suggest the world formed much closer to its star than gas giants in our solar system did

Microbes might thrive after crash-landing on board a meteorite

Some extremophile bacteria could survive the a crash-landing of a meteorite or spacecraft, helping them travel between worlds

AI detective analyses police data to learn how to crack cases

A system called VALCRI should do the laborious parts of a crime analyst's job in seconds, while also suggesting new lines of enquiry and possible motives

When it comes to work, we should value quality over quantity

As we discover that working shorter hours doesn't have to mean less productivity, a future of lifelong learning could be on its way