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Why is the universe just right for life? Blame the multiverse

Mer, 17/11/2021 - 19:00
Physicists have long speculated why our universe seems “just right” for life. The most complex answer might be the simplest – that every other universe also exists

Why do we grieve? The surprising origin of the feeling of loss

Mer, 17/11/2021 - 19:00
The debilitating pain we sometimes feel at the loss of those we love is an evolutionary mystery. It could all come down to what happens in our childhoods

Why is quantum theory so strange? The weirdness could be in our heads

Mer, 17/11/2021 - 19:00
Quantum theory is peerless at explaining reality, but assaults our intuitions of how reality should be. It seems likely the fault lies with our intuitions

COP26 could never be a true success without delivering climate justice

Mer, 17/11/2021 - 19:00
To be effective, global action on climate change must be just. That means compensating Indigenous people, but also learning from them, writes Graham Lawton

Why are we good and evil? A single quality may be at the root of it

Mer, 17/11/2021 - 19:00
The human capacity for both good and evil has long mystified philosophers. Evolutionary biology suggests they are both offshoots of one of our oddest character traits

What intoxicated animals can teach us about our vices

Mer, 17/11/2021 - 19:00
Humans aren’t the only animals to get wasted once in a while. Drunk Flies and Stoned Dolphins by Oné R. Pagán shows how all manner of creatures do something similar, with amusing effects

Why does time only move forwards? Possibly just because we’re ignorant

Mer, 17/11/2021 - 19:00
The one-way flow of time is one of the great mysteries of physics. It might be that we see causes and effects just because our information about reality is incomplete

Why is there something not nothing? The big bang isn’t the only answer

Mer, 17/11/2021 - 19:00
The idea that the universe started in the big bang revolutionised 20th-century cosmology. But it seems increasingly unlikely it was a case of something from nothing

Why are we conscious? The answer lies in other animals’ heads

Mer, 17/11/2021 - 18:00
It’s easy to think human conscious experience is unique, but a better understanding of consciousness’s mysteries comes by tracing it back in the evolutionary tree

Iodine-powered satellite successfully tested in space for first time

Mer, 17/11/2021 - 17:00
Many satellites use xenon as a propellant to help them change orbit or avoid collisions, but the gas is expensive – now we know iodine provides a cheaper alternative

Calls to mental health helplines rose by a third in covid-19 lockdowns

Mer, 17/11/2021 - 17:00
Though calls for mental health services spiked by 35 per cent early in the pandemic, the proportion of people seeking help for suicidal thoughts remained the same as before the covid-19 restrictions were put in place

Donated embryo offers rare glimpse of development after implantation

Mer, 17/11/2021 - 17:00
We know little about human development just after implantation, but an embryo donated by one individual offers a rare look at the process

Why do we exist? The meaning of life isn’t to be found in the stars

Mer, 17/11/2021 - 15:00
We are tiny specks of life in a vast, indifferent cosmos – but to say that decreases the value of our existence is to measure ourselves against the wrong thing

Pale barn owls in UK and Ireland hint at ancient land bridge

Mer, 17/11/2021 - 14:30
The barn owls of northern Europe are typically dark-feathered, making the pale-feathered barn owls of the UK and Ireland an anomaly - now a study suggests they arrived via an ancient land bridge connecting the area to Iberia

Strobe weapons: What are they, who is using them and do they work?

Mer, 17/11/2021 - 13:43
Belarusian soldiers used flashing lights to daze Polish forces amid a border stand-off last week. Strobe weapons have been claimed to have more serious effects, but evidence is lacking

Anti-satellite weapons: Will further tests make space more dangerous?

Mer, 17/11/2021 - 13:01
After the Russian military smashed a defunct satellite, creating a cloud of dangerous debris, other powers may wish to prove they have similar capabilities

Covid-19 news: Hackers targeted labs crucial to UK’s pandemic response

Mer, 17/11/2021 - 12:54
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

AI predicts which mammals are most likely to spread covid-19

Mer, 17/11/2021 - 01:01
Water buffalo, Sunda pangolins and mink are among the 540 mammals predicted to be likely to spread the coronavirus based on their biology and where they live

What difference will the COP26 climate summit make?

Mar, 16/11/2021 - 18:53
Despite last-minute changes, the final agreement made at COP26 still amounts to an important ratcheting up of climate ambition

Some genes in the brain may make 100 different proteins

Mar, 16/11/2021 - 17:00
Researchers have sequenced the full "transcriptome" of part of the human brain, revealing all the ways its cells use genes to make proteins