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Fish
Fish 'whoops and growls' recorded on restored reef

Recordings of fish 'whooping, croaking and growling' reveal reef coming back to life, scientists say.

Omicron may challenge vaccine protection more than other variants, early lab data suggests, but the shots could still protect against severe disease
Omicron may challenge vaccine protection more than other variants, early lab data suggests, but the shots could still protect against severe disease

Two small studies that have yet to be published give the first look at how Omicron may impact immunity.

Omicron may be spreading fast, but there are signs it
Omicron may be spreading fast, but there are signs it's not actually worse than Delta

Budding evidence suggests Omicron spreads easily, but that doesn't mean it's a greater threat to us than Delta.

China
China's lunar rover spots mysterious "hut" on far side of moon

The rover will spend the next few months trying to find out what the cube-shaped object really is.

COVID cases in South Africa spiked 400% in a week in the wake of Omicron being found there
COVID cases in South Africa spiked 400% in a week in the wake of Omicron being found there

Cases are rising at a record rate, and Omicron appears to be dominant in most provinces, President Cyril Ramaphosa said Monday.

Women earned $2 million less than men during 40-year careers as a doctor, a study finds
Women earned $2 million less than men during 40-year careers as a doctor, a study finds

The study of 80,000 physicians found that male doctors earned on average $8.3 million, while female doctors earned $6.3 million over 40 years.

Atlas 5 rocket launches two Space Force satellites
Atlas 5 rocket launches two Space Force satellites

Two NASA payloads hitched a ride to orbit in a $1.14 billion Space Force mission.

68 ICU nurses tested positive for COVID-19 after going to their hospital Christmas party
68 ICU nurses tested positive for COVID-19 after going to their hospital Christmas party

A total of 173 people attended the party in Malaga on December 1. Everyone had presented a negative test or had a booster shot, per Reuters.

Ariel: Contract signed to build European planet telescope
Ariel: Contract signed to build European planet telescope

Airbus will lead the construction of the Ariel observatory which will study 1,000 distant worlds.

A new report offers more evidence that the Omicron variant may cause mild illness but authors say it
A new report offers more evidence that the Omicron variant may cause mild illness but authors say it's still too early to be sure

The study found that 70% of the 42 COVID-19 patients in a South African hospital on December 2 did not need supplemental oxygen.

Mesmerizing photos of this year
Mesmerizing photos of this year's only total solar eclipse show a rare crescent sunrise over Antarctica

Photographers shot photos of a crescent sun rising and a dark moon blocking its light, during the only total solar eclipse of 2021, in Antarctica.

Homicide is a leading cause of death in pregnant people, a new study finds. Black women are at greatest risk.
Homicide is a leading cause of death in pregnant people, a new study finds. Black women are at greatest risk.

At the Safe Sisters Circle, a nonprofit in Washington, D.C., founder and executive director Alana Brown said she has worked with "countless" survivors of...

Nasa unveils new class of astronaut candidates
Nasa unveils new class of astronaut candidates

The six men and four women could fly to the space station and on future missions to the Moon.

Jeff Bezos donates over $400 million to help save the planet he blasted off from just months ago
Jeff Bezos donates over $400 million to help save the planet he blasted off from just months ago

Jeff Bezos turned his attention to matters on Earth by announcing 44 grants to a range of groups fighting climate crisis totaling $443 million.

64 of 150 guests tested positive for Omicron after a high school lunch in Denmark, the latest in a string of spreading events
64 of 150 guests tested positive for Omicron after a high school lunch in Denmark, the latest in a string of spreading events

The event was in the Viborg region of Denmark and involved several different high schools, local reports said.

The Omicron variant appeared to spread between two fully vaccinated people in separate hotel rooms in Hong Kong, early research suggests
The Omicron variant appeared to spread between two fully vaccinated people in separate hotel rooms in Hong Kong, early research suggests

Researchers at the University of Hong Kong said the variant most likely spread across a corridor in a Hong Kong quarantine hotel.

COVID-19 cases are back on the rise in the US, with more than 100,000 new cases per day
COVID-19 cases are back on the rise in the US, with more than 100,000 new cases per day

The rise in cases comes as the Omicron variant reached US soil. The first detected case of the new variant in the country was reported on December 1.

Elon Musk says SpaceX is building a launch pad for Starship orbital flights on Florida
Elon Musk says SpaceX is building a launch pad for Starship orbital flights on Florida's eastern coastline

Elon Musk said SpaceX's launch pad in Florida will have a better launch tower and ground systems than its facilities at Starbase in South Texas.

Medics slam Rep. Matt Gaetz for saying COVID-19 is the best way to protect against getting COVID-19
Medics slam Rep. Matt Gaetz for saying COVID-19 is the best way to protect against getting COVID-19

Rep. Matt Gaetz has refused to say whether he is vaccinated but has claimed that getting COVID-19 was "mother nature's vaccine."

Fauci says early data on the Omicron variant is
Fauci says early data on the Omicron variant is 'encouraging' but we don't yet truly know how deadly it is

The top US medical doctor said "thus far" there didn't seem a "great degree of severity" to Omicron, which is more mutated than the Delta variant.

3D-printed suicide capsules are now legal in Switzerland
3D-printed suicide capsules are now legal in Switzerland

"More and more generations see euthanasia as a solution for unbearable suffering," said Regional Euthanasia Review Committees chairman Jeroen Recourt.

New dinosaur discovered with a bizarre
New dinosaur discovered with a bizarre 'club like' tail featuring seven pairs of bladed spikes to fight off predators

The stegouros elengassen was discovered in Chile. Its tail resembles an Aztec war club, said a paleontologist.

Prior Infection Is Little Defense Against Virus Variant, Scientists Say
Prior Infection Is Little Defense Against Virus Variant, Scientists Say

A past coronavirus infection appears to give little immunity to the new omicron variant rippling across the globe, South African scientists warned Thursday, ...

At least 14 people have died and 56 are injured after a volcano erupted suddenly in Java, Indonesia, authorities said
At least 14 people have died and 56 are injured after a volcano erupted suddenly in Java, Indonesia, authorities said

Mount Semeru is the largest volcano on the island of Java. It is one of Indonesia's nearly 130 active volcanoes.

Corporations turn to forest credits in race to go
Corporations turn to forest credits in race to go 'carbon-neutral.' But is it 'greenwashing'?

Demand for "forest credits" is soaring. Advocates worry the system gives corporations an easy way to duck the harder work of really cutting carbon emissions.

NASA
NASA's chile pepper experiment broke 2 world records, including one for feeding the most astronauts from a crop grown on the ISS

The chile pepper experiment was the longest in the history of the International Space Station, which took NASA officials by surprise.

Pacific Ocean garbage patch is immense plastic habitat
Pacific Ocean garbage patch is immense plastic habitat

Researchers discover coastal species living on debris miles from their natural surroundings.

Inside the race to test omicron
Inside the race to test omicron's true threat

Microbiologist Pei-Yong Shi has studied all the variants: alpha, beta, gamma, delta, "delta-plus," lambda and mu. So he was ready for omicron, the variant...

English Teenager Finds Bronze Age Ax Using a Metal Detector
English Teenager Finds Bronze Age Ax Using a Metal Detector

LONDON - In the United States, when metal detectors hit it big, it is usually by finding familiar riches: lost engagement rings, expensive jewelry or coins...

Russia pushes the International Space Station away from
Russia pushes the International Space Station away from '90s US rocket debris - the 2nd space-junk scare this week

NASA and Roscosmos have to move the International Space Station away from debris that orbits Earth at 10 times the speed of a bullet.

IVF used by some to avoid passing on genetic diseases to offspring
IVF used by some to avoid passing on genetic diseases to offspring

In vitro fertilization (IVF), widely known as a way to help infertile couples have babies, has taken on another remarkable use: It has become part of a...

Green energy is rapidly nearing a turning point. To combat climate change, our leaders need to point to a cleaner, cheaper tomorrow.
Green energy is rapidly nearing a turning point. To combat climate change, our leaders need to point to a cleaner, cheaper tomorrow.

We've been told that saving the planet will cost us all a great deal in profits, convenience, and quality of life. New research says that's wrong.

A corporate Christmas party turned into the biggest Omicron
A corporate Christmas party turned into the biggest Omicron 'super spreader event' outside South Africa, with up to 60 people infected

The outbreak at a Christmas party in Oslo, Norway, is the biggest outside of South Africa, where researchers first detected the new Omicron variant.

Omicron
Omicron's 'wacko' combination of mutations has scientists split over whether it developed in humans or animals

The Omicron variant may have in an immunocompromised host, but scientists haven't ruled out the idea that it originated in animals.

Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley's metaverse will suck reality into the virtual world - and ostracize those who aren't plugged in

Experts say when AR glasses replace cell phones in 10 years, there'll be a turning point in the metaverse - "and it will not be good for humanity."

In Greece, Pope to seek deeper ties with eastern churches
In Greece, Pope to seek deeper ties with eastern churches

Pope Francis is starting the second leg of a five-day visit to Cyprus and Greece aimed at bolstering recently mended ties between the Vatican and Greek...

The AP Interview: Scientist says omicron was a group find
The AP Interview: Scientist says omicron was a group find

The Botswana scientist who may well have discovered the omicron variant of the coronavirus says he has been on a "rollercoaster of emotions," with the pride ...

Most Omicron cases so far have been mild, but experts say it will take weeks to understand how severe the variant can be
Most Omicron cases so far have been mild, but experts say it will take weeks to understand how severe the variant can be

Initial Omicron reports have detailed mild illness and asymptomatic cases, but hospitalization rates usually lag. Experts are waiting for more data.

Omicron variant may increase risk of COVID reinfection, study finds
Omicron variant may increase risk of COVID reinfection, study finds

New research fuels calls in rich nations for people to get booster shots, while African scientists warn that without vaccine equity, this will just keep...

Having severe COVID-19 doubled the chance of dying within a year in a new study - the risk was even higher for young people
Having severe COVID-19 doubled the chance of dying within a year in a new study - the risk was even higher for young people

Long-term complications from COVID-19 continued to jeopardize patients' health up to a year after they were hospitalized.

California has 50 times more monarch butterflies than last year - a puzzling blip in their path to extinction
California has 50 times more monarch butterflies than last year - a puzzling blip in their path to extinction

California's monarch butterflies were teetering on the brink of extinction, but a promising rebound may buy more time to save them.

Omicron covid variant three times more likely to cause reinfection than delta, South Africa study says
Omicron covid variant three times more likely to cause reinfection than delta, South Africa study says

Scientists in South Africa say omicron is at least three times more likely to cause reinfection than previous variants such as beta and delta, according to a...

Gene edited sex selection may spare animal suffering
Gene edited sex selection may spare animal suffering

A gene editing technique may prevent the slaughter of animals not needed by the livestock industry.

New York has found 5 cases of the Omicron variant, governor says
New York has found 5 cases of the Omicron variant, governor says

Officials urged New Yorkers to get vaccinated and wear masks, but said not to panic. All of those five cases were found in the NYC metropolitan area.

SpaceX launches 48 Starlinks and two Earth-imaging satellites
SpaceX launches 48 Starlinks and two Earth-imaging satellites

It was the 27th Falcon 9 launch so far this year for SpaceX, a new record.

Space station maneuver planned to avoid debris from old U.S. rocket
Space station maneuver planned to avoid debris from old U.S. rocket

The debris avoidance maneuver comes amid heightened concern about space debris.

An
An 'island has emerged': Coastal species discovered thriving on Great Pacific Garbage Patch, scientists say

Coastal marine species carried out to sea on debris are not only surviving, they're colonizing the high seas and making new communities on the floating...

The supply chain crisis is wreaking havoc on the environment as carbon emissions from ships and seaports reach the highest rate since 2008
The supply chain crisis is wreaking havoc on the environment as carbon emissions from ships and seaports reach the highest rate since 2008

Emissions at the heavily backlogged ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are up by double and two-thirds, respectively, according to a recent report.

Lead, mercury, other pollutants could affect birth ratios of boys to girls
Lead, mercury, other pollutants could affect birth ratios of boys to girls

Lead, mercury and other pollutants could be affecting the ratio of boys to girls born each year, according to a new study published Thursday.

Astronomers find 2 supermassive black holes - the nearest to Earth ever discovered - are merging into a
Astronomers find 2 supermassive black holes - the nearest to Earth ever discovered - are merging into a 'monster'

Scientists said the pair of black holes is 89 million light-years away from Earth in the NGC 7727 galaxy.


The way that leaves flutter can reveal when plants need more water

Leaves vibrate at a different frequency depending on whether soy plants are under water stress

Covid-19 news: Australia plans to vaccinate five to 11-year-olds

The latest coronavirus news updated every day including coronavirus cases, the latest news, features and interviews from New Scientist and essential information about the covid-19 pandemic

Grape seed chemical allows mice to live longer by killing aged cells

A chemical derived from grape seeds selectively destroys worn-out cells in mice, allowing them to live 9 per cent longer than their untreated counterparts

Older people who get cataracts removed have lower dementia risk

People who have cataracts can reduce their risk of developing dementia by about 30 per cent by undergoing surgery to restore their sight, although it’s not clear why

Migrating birds may be paler colours to help them keep cool

Overheating is a serious issue for birds flying long distances, and paler plumage that reflects more of the sun's heat may be one of the ways they cope

Omicron looks set to cause a huge wave of covid-19 around the world

It remains unclear whether the omicron variant causes less severe disease, but even if it does hospitals could be overwhelmed by the sheer number of cases

Extreme lack of sea ice in Hudson Bay puts polar bears under pressure

Sea ice in Canada's Hudson Bay has been unusually late to refreeze, raising fears over the impact on polar bears waiting for sea ice so they can break their fasts and hunt seals

Ancient Egyptian elites used a thick beer porridge in their ceremonies

Centuries before the pharaohs emerged in Egypt, the local elites used a thick porridge-like beer in their ceremonies

Covid-19 news: Range of vaccines show promise as booster shots

The latest coronavirus news updated every day including coronavirus cases, the latest news, features and interviews from New Scientist and essential information about the covid-19 pandemic

Fake covid-19 vaccine certificates are being sold on the dark web

Researchers found 17 illicit marketplaces claiming to sell vaccine passports, and some appear to be valid entries in national databases

Multigenerational households a factor in covid-19 ethnic disparities

People in the UK of Bangladeshi or Pakistani heritage are more likely to live in households that include schoolchildren and people aged 70 or older - a factor that may explain why people from these backgrounds were more likely to die from covid-19 during the country's second wave

World's most common bee originated 7 million years ago in Asia

A genetic analysis suggests the world’s most common species of honeybee, the western honeybee, first appeared in western Asia about 7 million years ago and then spread into Africa and Europe

Night-shift workers who eat only in the day may cut diabetes risk

People who work overnight are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, but the risk may be reduced by eating only between 7am and 7pm

Covid-19 news: Omicron linked to sharp rise in cases in South Africa

The latest coronavirus news updated every day including coronavirus cases, the latest news, features and interviews from New Scientist and essential information about the covid-19 pandemic

Impossible Foods in talks with UK farmers to swap livestock for trees

Exclusive: Pat Brown, chief executive of the plant-based meat firm, wants pilot to show economic and climate change benefits of taking farmland out of cattle and sheep production to lock up carbon

Sun-like stars may go through brighter phases as they grow up

Computer modelling supports the idea that nascent stars brighten dramatically during growth spurts, which could explain an astrophysical mystery

Humans have been relatively short for thousands of years

Until around 150 years ago, humans were relatively short – but our recent growth spurt may have more to do with social factors than dietary ones

Plastic food packaging gets a bad rap, but does it always deserve it?

When you look at the research evidence, it soon becomes clear that calls to ban all plastic wrap on fresh fruit and veg could do more harm than good

Methane is much worse than CO2 – here’s what we should do about it

Methane is an underappreciated but potent greenhouse gas. How we deal with it will have a massive impact on averting the worst consequences of climate change

New species of armoured dinosaur had a tail shaped like a fern frond

Stegouros elengassen, unearthed in Chile, had a strange flattened tail that looked like a fern frond – a feature never seen before in an ankylosaur dinosaur

Fossil footprints hint at mystery hominin with unusual walking style

A set of 3.7-million-year-old footprints were initially thought to have been left by a bear walking upright, but have now been reinterpreted as the prints of an unidentified hominin that walked a little bit like a modern catwalk fashion model

DeepMind AI collaborates with humans on two mathematical breakthroughs

Humans and AI working together can reveal new areas of mathematics where data sets are too large to be comprehended by mathematicians

Stones smashed by horses can be mistaken for ancient human tools

Horses kick and stamp on rocks to keep their hooves in good shape, and archaeologists have now realised this can result in a collection of sharp stones that looks like the work of an ancient human toolmaker

Lakes freezing later in winter leads to less algae in the spring

A unique experiment in a Canadian lake has found that the timing of when ice forms can have a big impact on the organisms that live in it the following year

UK refuses to release document showing Net Zero Strategy CO2 savings

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has refused a freedom of information request that would allow independent scrutiny of the measures in its flagship green plan.

UK gene-edited food plans must not harm animal welfare, say ethicists

Gene-edited foods may one day be sold in UK shops, but ethicists warn that using the technology in livestock may exacerbate animal welfare issues if, for example, it leads to the creation of disease-resistant animals that can be housed together more densely

Extinct New Zealand bird hunted like an eagle and ate like a vulture

The Haast’s eagle had a beak and talons suited for capturing live prey, but its skull was adapted for ripping out organs

Risso’s dolphins have invented rapid spin-dive technique for hunting

A species of dolphin that hunts prey living 600 metres below the surface spins its body as it dives so it can drill down through the water rapidly

Arctic may switch from snow to rain-dominated as early as 2060

A rain-dominated Arctic is expected to arrive up to two decades earlier than expected, and in many parts of the region it will happen even at 1.5°C of global warming rather than 2°C as previously thought

Covid booster shots are pushing protection to unexpected heights

Evidence suggests that vaccine booster programmes can take people’s covid-19 protection to unexpectedly high levels, but we don’t yet know how effective existing vaccines will be against the omicron variant

Can omicron-specific vaccines arrive fast enough to make a difference?

Vaccine makers are already adapting vaccines to fight the omicron coronavirus variant, but it will probably already have swept the world by the time these arrive

Canine teeth shrank in human ancestors at least 4.5 million years ago

The extra-large, dagger-like canine teeth seen in male great apes have been missing from human ancestors for at least 4.5 million years – possibly because females opted for less aggressive partners

Living robots made from frog cells can replicate themselves in a dish

Swarms of tiny "xenobots" can self-replicate in the lab by pushing loose cells together – the first time this form of reproduction has been seen in multicellular organisms

Covid-19 news: More cases of omicron found in the UK

The latest coronavirus news updated every day including coronavirus cases, the latest news, features and interviews from New Scientist and essential information about the covid-19 pandemic

Heirloom tomatoes are less genetically diverse than standard varieties

A study of traditional ‘heirloom’ tomato varieties from Europe has revealed little genetic diversity despite their enormous variety in size, shape and colour

A single vaccine could protect against many mosquito-borne diseases

A vaccine that changes the way our body responds to mosquito bites could protect us from diseases the insects carry, and also seems to make mosquitoes lay fewer eggs

Material inspired by blood vessels can extract uranium from seawater

The oceans are a huge untapped store of uranium, which is vital for nuclear energy, and new technology could ensure a long-lasting supply

Mysterious origin of Earth's water may be explained by solar wind

Evidence from asteroids shows that charged particles from the sun can turn dust grains into water – a process that could be useful for space exploration too

NHS England to test Netflix-style subscriptions for antibiotics

Two drug firms will be paid up to £10 million a year for an antibiotic by NHS England, no matter how much or little of the medicines are used

Omicron: How dangerous is the new variant first found in South Africa?

There are many open questions about the new variant of SARS-CoV-2 that was first detected in South Africa. Here's what we know so far

Merging black holes may create bubbles that could swallow the universe

The area between a pair of large black holes on the verge of colliding could provide the conditions to create dangerous bubbles of "true vacuum"

B.1.1.529: How dangerous is the new variant found in South Africa?

There are many open questions about the new variant of SARS-CoV-2 detected in South Africa. Here's what we know so far

Our global agreement on AI could reduce bias and surveillance

Nearly 200 countries have signed up to UNESCO's agreement on the ethics of artificial intelligence. This could help make the technology fairer for all, says Gabriela Ramos

Feeding pet dogs just once a day might keep them healthier as they age

Survey responses from more than 24,000 dog owners in the US suggest that dogs fed once a day are less likely to get age-related diseases, but you shouldn't change how you feed your dog just yet  

Mammoth ivory pendant is oldest decorated jewellery found in Eurasia

A pendant carved with mysterious dots unearthed in a Polish cave is thought to be over 40,000 years old

Fix the Planet newsletter: Can small nuclear power go big?

Small modular reactors are being pitched as an affordable and fast way to decarbonise power grids but questions about the technology abound

Megafauna extinctions led to more grassland fires worldwide

Continents that lost the most large grazing herbivores over the past 50,000 years have seen the biggest increases in grassland and savannah fires

Wild Wild Life newsletter: How you can 'do your bit' for wildlife

Greenwashing is rife and full of ineffectual suggestions for saving the planet. Here are four lifestyle changes that actually do make a difference for biodiversity

What can we can learn from being the last type of human left standing?

Compassion and sociability helped Homo sapiens survive climatic changes that wiped out other types of humans. Will those skills be enough to survive another bout of climate change?

Tech companies don’t get science fiction – and that's deeply troubling

Facebook's parent company wants to build a 'metaverse'. The fact that it doesn't grasp the name's connotations is symptomatic of a wider problem, writes Annalee Newitz

Top News: Science