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Dinosaurs - New Scientist

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Interstellar comet Borisov is about to pass close to Earth and the sun

Astronomers are about to get their best opportunity to observe the interstellar comet Borisov as it reaches its closest point to Earth and the sun on 8 December

Altruism 2.0: How to use science to make charitable acts go further

Effective altruists use evidence and reason to maximise the impact of their kindness. Joshua Howgego follows their lead to see if it can help him do good better

Exclusive: Two pigs engineered to have monkey cells born in China

Two pig-monkey chimeras were born in China but died within a week. This is the first time live pigs have been created that contain some primate cells

Number-crunchers set new record for cracking online encryption keys

A new record has been set for the largest encryption key ever broken, but there is little threat to online data for now

Samoan government takes drastic measures to fight measles outbreak

Samoan government employees stopped work to administer measles vaccines in an attempt to halt an outbreak of the deadly disease sweeping the island nation

Recordings reveal that plants make ultrasonic squeals when stressed

For the first time plants have been recorded making sounds when stressed. The sounds differed when they were injured or thirsty, a finding that could help farmers

Black holes formed from dark matter could be making dead stars explode

White dwarfs are burnt out stars that can explode into supernovae, and this process might be kicked off by a black hole made of dark matter in the heart of the star

Measures to reduce air pollution quickly result in big health benefits

A review of evidence from around the world shows that reducing air pollution in homes, cities or countries has a dramatic effect on health almost immediately

Cretaceous fossils are missing link in mammal ear evolution

Newly discovered mammal fossils reveal the crucial evolutionary step when the bones for hearing and chewing finally separated

African swine fever helps drive world food prices to two-year high

The slaughter of half of China’s pigs due to the African swine fever virus raging across Asia and Europe has helped drive world food prices to a two-year high

TikTok may be leaking people's data from the US to China

There is real concern over how Chinese video-sharing app TikTok handles privacy. But many of the issues are the same for Silicon Valley apps too

Why you should worry about your pet’s ecological footprint

From domestic cats’ ecocide of small animals to the greenhouse gases they emit, owning a pet is an environmental vice we must confront, writes Graham Lawton

A vital project for monitoring ocean currents has been saved - for now

An under-threat flagship science project that monitors an ocean current crucial to weather on both sides of the Atlantic has been given a reprieve after funding was secured for its short-term future

We constantly eat microplastics. What does that mean for our health?

Tiny particles of plastic are in our food, water and even the air we breathe. We investigate the impact they have inside our bodies

NASA is quietly helping satellite firms avoid catastrophic collisions

We thought NASA was just monitoring space junk for the US government, but it turns out it has been selling an orbital warning service to select customers

See the northern lights or aurora borealis: Follow this easy guide

Winter is the best time to see the amazing phenomenon of the polar lights, when solar particles stream into Earth's atmosphere

A single gene controls how our faces develop when we are young

A single gene controls how our faces develop when we are young and offers evidence that humans have evolved to be more domesticated in a similar way to dogs

Monthly oral contraceptive capsule shown to work in pigs

A once-a-month oral contraceptive capsule that sits in the stomach for weeks has passed its first test in pigs

We’ve discovered a planet orbiting an exploded star for the first time

A giant planet almost as big as Jupiter has been found orbiting a white dwarf, which is the remnants of an exploded star

NASA's closest ever flight to the sun answers solar wind mystery

The Parker Solar Probe has got closer to the sun than any other craft, revealing where the solar wind comes from and how strange magnetic switchbacks speed it up

Science's fake news problem: How funding pressures drive bad research

A productivity-driven funding culture has allowed sloppy science to flourish – but now some researchers are fighting back, says Clare Wilson

Listen to a bendy audio speaker made from liquid heavy metal

A loudspeaker made from heavy metal that works when bent brings us one step closer to audio devices that can be worn directly on the skin

The universe tends towards disorder. But how come nobody knows why?

Entropy is the physicist’s magic word, invoked to answer to some of the biggest questions in cosmology. Yet a quantum rethink may be needed to tell us what it actually is

Global carbon emissions up 0.6 per cent as oil and gas grow in 2019

Global carbon emissions grew this year, but continued to fall in the US despite Donald Trump’s pro-coal rhetoric and his rollback of Barack Obama’s clean power plan

Dogs have a better ear for language than we thought

Dogs can recognise subtle differences in our language, even for unfamiliar voices, which we thought only humans could do

Cholesterol levels predict if under-45s will ever have heart disease

An analysis of nearly 400,000 people suggests that the cholesterol levels of young adults can predict whether they’ll develop cardiovascular disease in later life

Revealed: Mental health websites are selling your data to advertisers

Websites that provide resources about mental health conditions such as depression track individual users and share their data with advertisers.

Female brown bears hang out near humans to keep cubs safe from males

Bear mothers who keep their cubs for longer tend to live closer to people – perhaps as a way to avoid males who would drive their offspring away

Amazon enters quantum computing race with cloud quantum processors

Amazon has combined three types of quantum computing processors from D-Wave Systems, IonQ, and Rigetti Computing into a cloud service to test quantum algorithms

NASA has found the remnants of India’s Vikram moon lander

In September, India’s attempted moon landing ended in a crash, but the debris was lost. Now NASA has pinpointed where the Vikram lander smashed down

The race to find wild relatives of food plants before it's too late

A 10-year effort to collect wild relatives of major crops before they go extinct could help us grow enough food even as the world warms

Australia’s push for hydrogen power may prop up fossil fuel industry

Australia wants to be a world leader in hydrogen, but its new strategy could favour fossil fuels instead of supporting the shift to green energy

IBM is using quantum computers to generate Minecraft-like game levels

IBM is using quantum computers to help generate video game scenes. The technology is still in its infancy but could result in more interesting or varied game levels

Why the medicine you take could actually be bad for your health

Rushing medicines to market is supposed to help people in need. But relying on lower standards of evidence may ultimately cause more harm than good.

Human Nature film review: Telling the CRISPR story with wit and verve

How much do you really know about the revolutionary gene-editing technology called CRISPR? A sharp independent film will have you up to speed in no time, finds Simon Ings in his latest column

Ancient puppy found in permafrost still has its fur and whiskers

An 18,000-year-old puppy still has its nose, fur, teeth and whiskers – but tests to determine whether it is a dog or a wolf have come up blank

Companies could be fined if they fail to explain decisions made by AI

Businesses could face multimillion-pound fines if they are unable to explain decisions made by artificial intelligence, under plans put forward by the UK’s data watchdog

What is the UN's COP25 climate summit, and why does it matter?

Everything you wanted to know about international climate talks beginning in Madrid, from who's going, what's on the table and expectations for the summit

Two brain networks behave differently in people who are suicidal

People who are suicidal seem to have unusual patterns of activity in two parts of the brain that can be detected in a scanner

Nam June Paik exhibition recreates his prophetic video visions

From video walls to an electronic Sistine chapel, the Tate Modern’s show on Korean cult media artist Nam June Paik reveals his searing prophetic views of the electronic age

The dark side of innovation: From dynamite to climate change

Cultural evolution defines us as humans, but its products kill as people weaponise consumer tech and climate change threatens Earth, argue two new books

We've discovered a strange twist in the story of how crystals form

The defining feature of a crystal is that it is made from regular, repeating blocks, but a chance discovery in an old German book has turned that view on its head

Roman shipwreck full of 2000-year-old jugs found on Greek sea floor

A large ancient Roman shipwreck found with as many as 6000 well-preserved containers could shed light on the rise of the Roman Empire

New rules for gay and bisexual male blood donors found to be safe

Allowing men in the UK who have sex with men to donate blood if they abstain from sex for three months has been successful, with no rise in HIV-infected blood

Naomi Oreskes: Turn your anger at science denial into political action

Rejection of science is rampant, but scientists can do better at countering doubt and there are grounds for optimism every day, says Naomi Oreskes, author of Why Trust Science?

Teens aren't addicted to their phones - but we like to think they are

A review of previous studies finds that one in four teenagers have problematic level of phone use, but other papers that found lower levels may have been ignored

Underwater internet cables can detect offshore earthquakes

Undersea fibre-optic cables for transmitting data can also be used to detect earthquakes and find fault lines offshore

Studying the universe’s origins hint that its beginning has no end

The cosmos is stranger than we ever imagined and new bubbles of space-time may pop up and grow continuously with no beginning or end, writes Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

Exotic super magnets could shake up medicine, cosmology and computing

Their unique blend of electric and magnetic properties was long thought impossible. Now multiferroics are shaking up fields from dark matter hunting to finding cancer

Fossil of a newly-discovered mammal shows it had bizarre ears

A rodent-like creature that lived 120 million years ago in Asia had an unusual ear shape that may have evolved to accommodate its unique way of chewing

Modified BCG vaccine could prevent TB in cattle and help end culls

A modified version of the BCG vaccine against tuberculosis could allow cattle around the world to be vaccinated against the disease

Hospital visits go up after days with higher levels of air pollution

On days when fine particulate matter in the air increases even a little bit, more people seem to end up in hospital for illnesses such as heart and lung conditions

Neanderthals may have died out due to sheer bad luck

Modern humans have long been in the frame for driving our Neanderthal cousins to extinction, but random chance may explain their downfall

Climate change could trigger huge drops in food production by 2100

Unchecked climate change could mean that by 2100, 90 per cent of the world’s population will live in a country where food production is falling

Treating babies for HIV rapidly after birth reduces signs of the virus

Newborns given HIV treatment quickly after birth had fewer infected cells in their blood and had less damaged immune systems that those given the treatment later

Could climate tipping points lead to collapse of human civilisation?

There is mounting evidence that key environmental tipping points are likely to be breached, but the global danger is still unclear

Gut microbes may predict whether exercising will prevent diabetes

Exercising helps some people avoid developing diabetes but not others, and we may now know why: it could be down to features of the human gut microbiome

CO2-guzzling bacteria made in the lab could help tackle climate change

Bacteria have been engineered to live off carbon dioxide. As well as pulling the greenhouse gas from the air they could be used to make food and fuel

What is MRP and can it predict the result of the UK general election?

A statistical technique called multi-level regression and post-stratification (MRP) correctly predicted the last UK election when other polls failed. This is how it works

Russian disinformation campaigns on Twitter may not actually work

One of the first major studies to look at how online disinformation campaigns affect public opinion has found that a Russian troll factory's efforts did little to sway people's views

We still don't know whether vaping is safe or not

Vaping was once thought to be "95 per cent safer than smoking", but a sudden rise in deaths and injury linked to e-cigarettes is causing some people to reconsider

General election 2019: Why you should think climate change not Brexit

Brexit may seem important right now, but whoever wins the election will be in charge halfway to 2030 – a crucial time in efforts to limit dangerous warming, says Jacob Aron

Tinder may not actually be very good for finding a partner

A survey of Tinder users in Norway suggests that half don’t connect with their matches in the real world. Even fewer meet someone keen on a long-term relationship

AI recreates videos people are watching by reading their minds

By analysing people's brainwaves, artificial intelligence could work out what videos people were watching and roughly recreate them on a screen

Turn any object into a robot using this program and a 3D printer

A computer program watches people perform a task – like opening and closing a window – then designs a machine that can be 3D printed to do the job itself

Nightingales practise new songs in winter to impress mates in spring

Thrush nightingales migrate to Africa during winter. While there, they experiment with new songs to impress mates during the spring breeding season in Europe

The adventures of a geologist: From shipwrecks to mapping the Arctic

Before directing the Oxford Museum of Natural History, Paul Smith mapped remote Greenland and was once left stranded when his ship went down

UN report reveals how hard it will be to meet climate change targets

Carbon emissions from human activity have never fallen globally, but to keep global warming to 1.5°C they need to tumble by nearly 8 per cent every year for the next decade

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is healthy despite looking like it’s dying

The Red Spot on Jupiter seems to be breaking apart, but a computer model suggests the vortex is fine and it’s the clouds above the storm that are being shredded

A blue whale's heart beats just twice a minute when it dives for food

We have checked the pulse of a wild-living blue whale for the first time and discovered that the animal's heart beats surprisingly slowly while it is feeding

General election 2019: Who is strongest on climate change action?

The "climate election" has seen an almost daily bidding war on who will plant the most trees, insulate homes the fastest and produce the most green electricity. Here's our guide to navigating the claims

The mystery of the mass of the neutrino could soon be solved

We have a refined estimate for the mass of the neutrino, the most abundant massive particle in the Universe: its mass is 500,000 times less than an electron

How The Expanse is still putting humans at the heart of sci-fi

As sci-fi series The Expanse returns for a fourth season, on Amazon Prime, its authors (writing as James S.A. Corey) reveal how real physics and human frailty make for a rich world

When robots are ultra-lifelike will it be murder to switch one off?

Sentient machines with empathy and morality are coming. We urgently need to make some life-and-death decisions about their rights

Exclusive: Humans placed in suspended animation for the first time

At least one person has been placed in a form of suspended animation during a trial that aims to help people survive traumatic injuries like a gunshot or stab wound

People share fake news online even when they can tell it's not true

People can easily identify fake news, but may unwittingly share it on social media because they aren't thinking about accuracy. A simple prompt could help solve the problem

Robot debates humans about the dangers of artificial intelligence

An artificial intelligence has debated with humans about the the dangers of AI – narrowly convincing audience members that AI will do more good than harm

We may be closer than we thought to Earth's dangerous tipping points

We know that the climate can start changing irreversibly if it warms past certain thresholds, and these tipping points may strike unexpectedly soon

We can now settle debates on when ancient people lived using their DNA

It isn't always possible to carbon date old bones, leading researchers to argue about when ancient people lived – using ancient DNA as a dating tool could help

Testosterone myths: How old ideas of masculinity sell us all short

Research on testosterone is debunking outdated ideas about the hormone's role in shaping masculinity. It's time to get everyone onboard for a total rethink, argue two new books

Controversial DNA screening technique used for at least one pregnancy

A company says at least one woman is pregnant after using a controversial DNA screening technique to analyse thousands of DNA variants in developing embryos

An AI doctor is analysing heart scans in dozens of hospitals

Doctors are using artificial intelligence in dozens of hospitals to help them make sense of MRI images of the heart

Swarms of golf ball-sized robots could detect leaks in the sewers

Swarms of robots could help map out underground networks and detect leaks as they float through pipes

Why almost everyone believes in an afterlife – even atheists

Most people hold curiously similar ideas about life after death, suggesting there is more to it than religion, fear or an inability to imagine not existing

From mushroom shrouds to cyber funerals, a 21st-century guide to death

Death isn't what it used to be, and with so many end-of-life options to choose from it is never too soon to start contemplating your demise

Elon Musk unveils Tesla's 'cybertruck' – an electric pickup truck

Tesla has revealed its latest electric vehicle, which is an electric pickup truck. Whilst showing how tough the windows are, the firm's chief designer accidentally smashed two of them

People only support carbon taxes if they trust their government

Support for carbon taxes is not linked to a nation’s belief in climate change, but rather what they think the government will do with the money

Humans across cultures may share the same universal musical grammar

Music appears to be made from the same simple building blocks of pitches and chords around the world, upending the prevailing view that universals don’t exist

Huge Earth-like worlds could host reservoirs of water deep underground

Minerals containing water can exist at much higher pressures than we knew, so they could be hiding oceans’ worth of water deep within giant planets

Genetic screening of IVF embryos is unlikely to lead to smarter babies

Can DNA analysis help prospective parents choose IVF embryos on the basis of future intelligence? A study suggests this approach would have little, if any, effect

CERN boss: Big physics may be in a funk, but we need it more than ever

The particle physics discoveries have dried up but in politically uncertain times CERN's cooperative model is an example to the world, says its chief Fabiola Gianotti

Suspended animation for emergency medicine: your questions answered

Yesterday, New Scientist broke the news that suspended animation has been tried on humans for the first time. Helen Thomson answers all your questions on this new procedure

Ants trapped for years in old Soviet nuclear bunker became cannibals

A colony of ants survived for years in an old nuclear bunker despite having no obvious food source – probably because the ants began eating one another

Part of a vital Antarctic glacier has unexpectedly stopped thinning

A UK team was surprised to find that, in the past six years, a glacier in the Antarctic has virtually paused thinning at its end, but a neighbouring glacier hasn't

Hyperpalatable foods are a modern bogeyman. But what even are they?

The idea that super-addictive foods are being engineered by corporate giants is a pervasive one. But trying to find science on this isn’t straightforward, says James Wong

Convert your dog's age into human years using this new formula

Conventional wisdom says that one human year is the equivalent of seven dog years, but a new analysis suggests we’ve been getting this all wrong

Some women feel fetal kicks years after they've given birth

Around 40 per cent of women in a survey experienced phantom fetal kicks, which is the feeling of a kicking fetus years after giving birth

Wearable artificial kidney works well in first tests in people

A portable artificial kidney set has been used successfully by 15 people, and could free them from regular haemodialysis sessions

Seize your chance to spot Mercury, the solar system's smallest planet

Mercury is so tiny and close to the sun it can be tricky to see. But now it’s at its greatest “angular separation” – so grab your binoculars and train them on the east

See Venus and Jupiter next to each other in the sky this week

Two of the brightest planets, Venus and Jupiter, are in conjunction this week, meaning they appear to line up with Earth in the sky. Here's how to spot them