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Your boobs start to eat themselves after breastfeeding is over

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 15:48:30 +0000

A molecular switch has been identified that prompts cells inside the breasts to transform from milk secretors to cellular eaters that gobble up dying neighbours

Bouncy bone can be 3D-printed to become a universal repair kit

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 18:00:19 +0000

Cheap and easy to make into any shape, "hyperelastic bone" could repair any kind of bone, from fractures to facial reconstruction

Ancient bee fossil reveals secrets of human ancestor’s habitat

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 18:00:42 +0000

A fossilised bee’s nest found near a revolutionary early human fossil can tell us more about the habitat the hominin lived in and how it got preserved

First ‘baby dragons’ hatched in captivity reach adolescence

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 16:17:21 +0000

These pink cave amphibians can live to be 100 years old but only lay eggs once or twice a decade. Now we have a unique view of their development

Rosetta’s biggest hits: The comet chaser’s top seven discoveries

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 15:48:42 +0000

Earlier today, the Rosetta spacecraft plunged into oblivion as its 12-year mission came to an end. We take a look back at its achievements

Exclusive: World’s first baby born with new “3 parent” technique

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 14:04:37 +0000

A five-month-old boy is the first baby to be born using a new version of a controversial technique that uses DNA from three people

Rosetta lands on 67P in grand finale to two year comet mission

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 11:29:12 +0000

The European Space Agency's Rosetta probe has reached its final resting place after two years in orbit around comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

High-living geckos survive snowy peaks by cuddling up

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 11:00:00 +0000

Living at an altitude of up to 4000 metres above sea level, the Atlas Day gecko has a suite of adaptations to help it cope with the cold

Endangered giraffes threatened by Uganda’s oil drilling bid

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 09:49:18 +0000

Plans to drill for oil in one of the last remaining habitats of the highly endangered Rothschild’s giraffe could further threaten this neglected animal

Rosetta’s final landing spot on comet revealed in new image

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 09:07:26 +0000

The latest image - taken from 8.9km above its surface - shows the spacecraft is on track to impact its target in the Ma'at region of the comet, which is littered with boulders

No, NASA hasn’t changed the zodiac signs or added a new one

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 14:34:00 +0000

Astrology fans should realise that the star signs they love have long been out of date, as NASA and astronomers occasionally point out, says Phil Plait

Insects may have feelings, so do we need more humane fly spray?

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 18:00:39 +0000

Increasing research suggests insects may possess basic consciousness, in which case we would need to minimise their suffering, says Peter Singer

Don’t worry, bee happy: Bees found to have emotions and moods

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 18:00:55 +0000

Treats seem to trigger bumblebees’ dopamine pathways, appearing to make them feel happy and take a more upbeat outlook on life

Mini dog robot can bounce, open doors and even climb fences

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 17:08:06 +0000

Minitaur is designed to be an affordable, practical quadruped robot – and it could make an ideal robo-pet

Milky Way’s baby brother caught copying its star shredding habit

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 15:28:46 +0000

The Large Magellanic Cloud is taking tips from us – it’s been caught shredding a globular cluster it stole from elsewhere, just like our galaxy is known to do

Farewell to Rosetta, the comet mission that captivated the world

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 18:00:00 +0000

Rosetta caught the public imagination by reaching a distant comet and gathering incredible data. Now its work is over, says mission veteran Gerhard Schwehm

Living with adult children protects parents against depression

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 14:52:50 +0000

Have your kids boomeranged back home? Don’t worry, their presence could help reduce the risk of depression

Longest-lasting deserts are more than 30 million years old

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 11:37:30 +0000

Central Asia may have hosted deserts for longer than anywhere on the planet – and degreening continues in the region

Electronic tongue taste-tests wines so you don’t have to

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 11:17:22 +0000

Tasting device is designed to test wines on a large scale, to ensure they are up to snuff

Mars-like ice rediscovered in Hawaii volcano, but might not last

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 11:07:45 +0000

Ice was mysteriously found below the crater of Hawaii’s Mauna Kea 50 years ago, but was soon forgotten. Alice Klein joins a search for clues to ice on Mars

Our home spiral arm in the Milky Way is less wimpy than thought

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 18:00:56 +0000

A new map of the spirals that make up our home galaxy shows that rather than being a dim backwater, the arm that hosts the solar system is just as spectacular as the others

Uber and Google race against car firms to map the world's cities

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 18:00:00 +0000

Big tech firms are competing with traditional car companies like Ford to map our world in the detail required to get driverless cars on the road

Camera spots your hidden prejudices from your body language

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 18:00:00 +0000

A computer scrutinised people's behaviour for signs of hidden biases and may help psychologists study interactions between people

Cave fires and rhino skull used in Neanderthal burial rituals

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 18:00:00 +0000

The remains of fires encircling the grave of a Neanderthal toddler contain animal horns and a rhino skull that seem to have been placed there in a funerary ritual

Soil isn’t sexy but we need to dig in and help conserve it

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 17:02:59 +0000

The dirt beneath our feet, vital to food production and biodiversity, is under threat like never before. We need new laws to save it, says Molly Scott Cato

Everything you wanted to know about ‘3-parent’ babies

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 16:30:16 +0000

Why is it such a big deal? How controversial is the technique? Is it safe? We have all your questions answered

Sound blasts could keep whales away from wind farm construction

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 15:29:02 +0000

Underwater electronic pulses are being tested to keep minke whales in the North Sea from swimming towards the dangers posed by offshore wind farm building sites

Elon Musk’s spectacular plan to colonise Mars lacks substance

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 10:20:19 +0000

The SpaceX founder wants the first humans on Mars by 2024, but his showboating scheme is lacking in both details and funds, says Lisa Grossman

Climate change could destroy wild relatives of cereals by 2070

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 23:01:20 +0000

With their ability to adapt to climate change outstripped by the rate of global warming, the wild relatives of many grasses may be doomed

World’s largest telescope array takes its deepest view yet

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 18:16:04 +0000

The ALMA array has checked out the iconic Hubble Ultra Deep Field, which contains 10,000 galaxies in a single image, to make the deepest millimetre-wavelength image of the sky

The most detailed look yet at how early humans left Africa

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 17:00:09 +0000

Whole-genome studies of nearly 800 people from around the world show that all modern humans from outside Africa are descended from one group of migrants

Fish recorded singing dawn chorus on reefs just like birds

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 09:00:35 +0000

Underwater recordings of vocal fish off the Australian coast reveal an ocean choir composed of at least seven distinct choruses

Plastic flower blooms thanks to its own internal molecular clock

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 15:00:14 +0000

Shape-shifting putty that can morph at a given time without an external trigger may be useful for creating medical implants that transform inside the body

Five wild lionesses grow a mane and start acting like males

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 06:00:00 +0000

The unusual characteristics of a few lionesses in Botswana may be down to excess testosterone, making them male-like as well as apparently infertile

Swarm of voracious comb jellies threatens fish off Italian coast

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 09:57:18 +0000

The notorious sea creature shipped around by ballast waters devastated Black Sea fisheries in the 1990s. Now it's found a new home off the coast of Italy

Plumes spotted on Europa raise hopes that we can taste its ocean

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 18:17:03 +0000

We've caught Jupiter's icy moon spitting into space a second time - which means it could be easy for a future spacecraft to scoop up a sample and find life

Why tonight’s debate is ‘narcissist’ Trump v ‘liar’ Clinton

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 17:24:49 +0000

How come public perception of the leading US presidential candidates is so strongly shaped by just two words, wonders Christian Miller

Refugee fence and solar plant may wipe out one of rarest mammals

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 17:22:18 +0000

Hungarian conservationists are laboriously relocating Vojvodina blind mole rats as increased border controls and a new power plant threaten its habitat

Puffed-up exoplanets inflate with heat from their stars alone

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 16:37:08 +0000

A recently discovered exoplanet suggests that hot Jupiters are bigger than expected because they absorb their host star’s powerful radiation

US set to miss its emissions target under the Paris climate deal

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 15:00:03 +0000

The UN's Paris climate agreement looks likely to come into effect earlier than thought, but the US for one needs to do much more to honour its commitments

Mystery radio bursts may be pulsars bumping into asteroids

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 14:58:25 +0000

Fast radio bursts have had astronomers puzzled for years, now we think they could be made by pulsars playing bumper cars in faraway star systems

World must resist pressure to lift ban on trade in rhino horn

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 11:20:40 +0000

Allowing seized and farmed rhino horn to be traded to fund conservation measures will simply encourage more poaching, says Richard Schiffman

Head transplant team’s new animal tests fail to convince critics

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 01:00:51 +0000

Exclusive video shows a dog reportedly recovering the ability to walk after an injection into its damaged spinal cord, but the study has been criticised

The warps in space that make Einstein’s perfect cosmic accident

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 10:00:29 +0000

Warped gravitational lenses predicted by Einstein are some of the most beautiful – and useful – objects in the sky. We've seen a few dozen, but which is the most perfect?

Our water is full of drugs and we don’t know their effects

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 17:00:00 +0000

Water reuse means we are all consuming a cocktail of other people's leftover medicines, but measuring their impact is almost impossible. It's time we clean up our act

China’s fancy for ‘aquatic cocaine’ could wipe out rare porpoise

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 23:01:16 +0000

Illegal trade in the swim bladder of the totoaba fish fuels fishing practices that may drive the critically endangered vaquita to extinction

New NASA budget could put asteroid-grabbing mission in jeopardy

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 20:49:04 +0000

The proposed mission to lasso an asteroid and haul it closer to Earth is not "commensurate with the cost", says Congress

Arctic ice melt is killing birds and will leave caribou stranded

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 23:01:46 +0000

The trend for more sea ice to melt sooner spells trouble for Arctic ecosystems on an unprecedented scale – and it’s not just polar bears that are in peril

Monsanto cuts deal to use CRISPR to engineer food

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 15:37:55 +0000

A licensing agreement between Monsanto and the Broad Institute will allow the biotech giant to use genome editing to modify plants like corn and tomatoes

Supernova extraordinaire might actually be a black hole’s lunch

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 16:16:08 +0000

What looked like the brightest supernova ever spotted might in fact be the death gasp of a star being swallowed by a black hole

Blind people use brain’s visual cortex to help do maths

Fri, 16 Sep 2016 16:28:56 +0000

People who have been blind since birth use the same parts of the brain as everyone else to do arithmetic, but may get an extra boost from their visual cortex

The Wikipedia bots that are engaged in spats that never end

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 15:13:39 +0000

Bots are often used to help human editors manage changes made to Wikipedia – but they can get stuck in loops undoing each other’s edits for years

Could sex hormones help addicted women stop taking opioids?

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 10:00:15 +0000

Women get addicted to some drugs more quickly than men, and may get stronger cravings. The sex hormone cycle seems to be involved, which could lead to treatments

Scientists demand halt to damming of Europe’s last wild river

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 08:00:13 +0000

More than 200 researchers from 33 countries are urging the Albanian government to save the Vjosë, the continent’s last surviving unexplored waterway

Body clock gene may help lethal spread of breast cancer

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 18:00:17 +0000

Shift work raises the risk of breast cancer, and now a gene associated with the body clock seems to makes its spread more likely in mice

You can see fracking’s impact on Earth’s surface from space

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 18:00:02 +0000

Fracking can cause the ground to rise – a change visible from space, which can now be used to predict where frack-induced quakes might strike

World war on superbugs can only be won by a UN-led global effort

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 17:49:39 +0000

Antibiotic resistance is now such a big threat that only a global campaign akin to that on HIV can tackle it, say Dilip Nathwani and Ramanan Laxminarayan

Mystery text’s language-like patterns may be an elaborate hoax

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 17:17:18 +0000

The Voynich manuscript from the Middle Ages has natural-looking word patterns, leading some to argue it's a secret code – but some still say it may have been faked

Repairing your old fridge sounds green but buying new is better

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 15:23:16 +0000

A proposed tax cut for repairs in Sweden is designed to reduce carbon emissions, but for some possessions it's better to just replace it, says Michael Le Page

Should UK’s Royal Society host those who deny climate science?

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 14:14:02 +0000

The scientific society risks undermining some of its good work by hiring out its prestigious platform to people who should be ignored, says Michael Le Page

Kuwait lawyers fight world’s first mandatory DNA sampling law

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 13:28:07 +0000

All visitors to Kuwait and all Kuwaitis renewing their passports will soon be required to give DNA samples, prompting lawyers to fight for genetic privacy

World’s hardiest animal has evolved radiation shield for its DNA

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 15:00:38 +0000

Tough ‘water bears’ defy intense radiation by apparently wrapping their genetic material in a bizarre protein that can also protect human cells

Quantum teleportation over 7 kilometres of cables smashes record

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 15:00:46 +0000

Two groups have set a new record for quantum teleportation, setting the stage for encoded communications networks that stretch between cities

The oil and gas we have already tapped will take us past 1.5 °C

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 06:00:38 +0000

Fossil fuels already being exploited will take us past the dangerous 2 °C warming level, exceeding the cap agreed at the Paris climate summit

How baby beluga whales dive deeper and longer than any others

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 22:00:35 +0000

Arctic sea ice forces baby belugas to hold their breath longer than other young whales. Special muscle adaptations help the babies survive

Revealed: The renewable energy scam making global warming worse

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 18:00:00 +0000

The largest source of "clean" energy is not reducing carbon emissions by as much as official figures claim – and it is causing immense harm to the poor and to wildlife

Gene-reading software to cut TB diagnosis from months to minutes

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 18:00:00 +0000

Drug-resistant tuberculosis is on the rise. Software that predicts the specific cocktail of drugs to use in each case will help

Send secret messages hidden in the DNA of bacterial spores

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 18:00:00 +0000

Bacterial DNA could provide a good long-term solution for storing digital information thanks to new encryption techniques that protect it from hackers

Germany to create world’s first highway code for driverless cars

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 18:00:00 +0000

The three laws of robotic cars will place liability for collisions on the makers of autonomous vehicles, putting them on same legal footing as human drivers

Brain has carrot and stick to teach us how to behave

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 17:00:47 +0000

A hub in our brain might reward us when we do well and punish us when something goes wrong, teaching us strategies for life that help us survive

Paris climate deal may come into force by the end of 2016

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 14:43:20 +0000

More than 55 countries have ratified the UN’s climate agreement, meeting the first of two thresholds needed for it to come into force

Surfing on a turtle’s tail makes swinging crabs monogamous

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 23:01:57 +0000

A tiny ocean surfing crab adapts its mating systems to its home, opting for a promiscuous lifestyle on floating debris and a single mate when riding a turtle

It’s time for a serious debate about head transplants

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 16:15:33 +0000

Many are reluctant to engage with the claims of head transplant pioneers, fearing that any comment will be seen as an endorsement. The time for silence is over

Should babies be given solids earlier to prevent food allergies?

Mon, 19 Oct 2015 16:00:00 +0000

Many countries advise keeping babies off solid food until 6 months, but the latest evidence suggest that this could be making allergies more likely

Oil pipeline leak threatens Alabama river rich in unique species

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 14:33:01 +0000

South-eastern US faces price hikes as hundreds of thousands of gallons of fuel spill into a pond in Alabama, upstream of an ecologically important river

Travellers warned of fatal tick-borne disease in Western Europe

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 16:27:16 +0000

Two people have caught Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever in Spain, a virus that can kill up to 30 per cent of those who catch it

Building blocks of memories seen in brains for the first time

Thu, 15 Sep 2016 18:00:37 +0000

Observations of hundreds of neurons in mice suggest that we may divide our memories of where we’ve been into small chunks of experience

‘Alien megastructure’ star may be explained by interstellar junk

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 15:56:10 +0000

It seems the famous star isn’t the only one that’s dimming strangely – a result that suggests interstellar rocks might be the culprit for this behaviour

What you eat when you’re sick may determine if you’ll get better

Thu, 15 Sep 2016 11:31:51 +0000

Glucose and ketogenic diets affect immune responses in mice in different ways, preventing nerve damage or seizures – a finding that may save lives

Revealed: Google’s plan for quantum computer supremacy

Wed, 31 Aug 2016 16:00:00 +0000

The field of quantum computing is undergoing a rapid shake-up, and engineers at Google have quietly set out a plan to dominate

Grand project to unify global efforts to understand the brain

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 11:17:46 +0000

A New York neuroscience summit aims to coordinate big money brain projects around the world, but will delegates agree on the field's top priorities?

Tap-dancing songbirds drum with their feet to attract mates

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 09:00:35 +0000

The superfast tap dance of the blue-capped cordon-bleu is thought to play a role in courtship. Now it seems it’s not just for looks – noise is also important

First glimpse of a black hole being born from a star’s remains

Mon, 12 Sep 2016 17:34:55 +0000

Hubble has caught a red supergiant star flaring up and disappearing – probably because it was transformed into a black hole

Kuwait’s mass DNA database is a huge attack on genetic privacy

Mon, 12 Sep 2016 12:56:37 +0000

The Gulf state will soon be the first nation to force all residents and visitors to hand over DNA, risking its reputation and more, warns geneticist Olaf Rieß

Rattlesnakes silently shook their tails before evolving rattles

Fri, 16 Sep 2016 12:46:34 +0000

Which came first, the rattle or the shake? A study of some 50 species of venomous and non-venomous snakes suggests the behaviour existed long before the tool

Snub-nosed monkeys are so inbred they may struggle to survive

Fri, 16 Sep 2016 12:00:16 +0000

South-East Asia's Tonkin snub-nosed monkeys are in bigger trouble than we thought, with low genetic diversity among the largest wild population

Arctic summer sea ice melts to second lowest level ever recorded

Fri, 16 Sep 2016 10:28:12 +0000

The melt follows last year’s record low of winter ice that set stage for the summer low. Long term consequences for ecosystems could be dire

Saturn’s rings may be from the whirl of a passing icy rock

Fri, 16 Sep 2016 10:50:11 +0000

The direction an unlucky planetoid is spinning may dictate how much of it gets pulverised and pulled into orbit to create the bands around the giant planets

Cold fusion is better left out in the cold

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 18:00:00 +0000

An influx of money coming from investors has got the US Congress interested in funding cold fusion. Such a move would probably be a waste of taxpayer money

Drones get first anti-laser lasers to stop being shot down

Fri, 09 Sep 2016 11:56:47 +0000

With warships equipped with lasers to destroy drones and soldiers using lasers to dazzle the enemy, the first anti-laser defence system is now being tested

The US isn’t giving away the internet – it never had control

Thu, 15 Sep 2016 16:04:59 +0000

Senator Ted Cruz claims imminent changes will mean the US government losing control over the internet. That just doesn't grasp the real problems, says Hal Hodson

Gaia’s new star map will also reveal asteroids and dark matter

Thu, 15 Sep 2016 15:31:19 +0000

The Gaia satellite's main mission may be to map the stars in our home galaxy, but its extracurricular plans are just as thrilling

Kamikaze galaxy explodes after diving into the Milky Way 

Thu, 15 Sep 2016 15:14:43 +0000

Distant dwarf galaxy Hercules’s eccentric orbit of the Milky Way ripped it apart, scattering its stars across space

This is why Apple got rid of the headphone jack on the iPhone 7

Thu, 08 Sep 2016 12:06:14 +0000

The new iPhone has wireless earbuds called AirPods instead of its iconic white headphones. This is the beginning of your hearable future

China launches a space station and wants an even bigger one

Thu, 15 Sep 2016 10:47:59 +0000

Tiangong-2 is another step in the long march towards China's goal of a permanent space station – and to signal that it won't play second fiddle to the US

UK approves controversial Hinkley C nuclear power plant

Thu, 15 Sep 2016 10:24:32 +0000

A controversial £18 billion nuclear power plant has been given the government go-ahead after much delay and criticism of its high costs and delays

Utopia is unobtainable, but worth pursuing for all our sakes

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 11:00:00 +0000

A Bronze Age civilisation that came closer to utopia than we have yet, shows us that we should make sure the world has abundance, freedom and peace

Doctors ‘nudged’ into prescribing far fewer antibiotics

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 23:01:56 +0000

Sending a subtle letter to 800 GP practices has reduced antibiotic prescriptions by more than 73,000, the UK “nudge unit” has claimed

Living a perfect Facebook life isn’t worth the real-world stress

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 17:00:00 +0000

Social networks let us put our best face forward, letting us be someone we're not when offline – but faking it comes with a cost

One Per Cent

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 17:00:00 +0000

AI helps fight future fires, reading a book through its cover, and delivery bots get a mother ship