Technology 13 January 2020 By Michael Marshall Recycling old batteries could be an environmental boostBEHROUZ MEHRI/Getty Captured carbon dioxide could be used to extract useful metals from recycled technology such as smartphone batteries rather than just being buried underground. The technique could help make it more economical to capture the greenhouse gas before it enters…
Environment 10 January 2020 By Michael Marshall Mountains in the Himalayas are becoming greenerKaren Anderson More plants are living higher on the slopes of Mount Everest and surrounding mountains than 25 years ago, according to a study of satellite data. The extra growth may have wider impacts, particularly on the flow of water into the…
By Michael Marshall Cooler than you thinkTom Merton/Getty Images Everybody knows that the average human body temperature is 37°C, but everybody is wrong. It turns out the bodies of people in the US have been cooling since the 1860s. Physicians who have studied body temperature have known for decades that 37°C was too high, says…
By Donna Lu WoahHenry Segerman A trippy maths program that visualises the inside of strange 3D spaces could help us figure out the shape of the universe. Henry Segerman at Oklahoma State University and his colleagues have working to interactively map the inside of mathematical spaces known as a 3-manifolds using a program called SnapPy.…
Environment | Analysis 10 January 2020 By Michael Le Page Could solar farms provide our food?Blickwinkel/Alamy Stock Photo It is being claimed we could save the planet by turning renewable energy directly into food and rewilding all the farmland that is no longer needed. Could it really work? In a Guardian column and a TV…
Environment 10 January 2020 By Layal Liverpool Amazon deforestation officially hit its highest level in a decade in NovemberGustavo Basso/NurPhoto via Getty Images Amazon wildfires are predicted to worsen, doubling the amount of an important region of forest affected by 2050. The result could be to convert the Amazon from a carbon sink into a…
By Clare Wilson An illusion that makes people see a rubber hand as their own could help people with OCDSergey Ryzhov / Alamy A bizarre illusion where fake faeces is put on a rubber hand has been tested on people with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) – and may one day become a new treatment. Therapies…
By Michael Le Page What a helpful birdAnette Mertens African grey parrots are not only really smart, they are helpful too. They are the first bird species to pass a test that requires them both to understand when another animal needs help and to actually give assistance. Besides humans, only bonobos and orangutans have passed…
By Leah Crane The launch of a batch of SpaceX’s Starlink satellitesSpaceX photos On 6 January, SpaceX launched 60 Starlink communications satellites into orbit. This brings the number of Starlink satellites in orbit now up to 180, part of a planned fleet of as many as 42,000 spacecraft that SpaceX CEO Elon Musk says will…
By Jessica Hamzelou Public health officials in Thailand hand out disease monitoring information to passengers arriving from Wuhan City, ChinaLauren DeCicca/Getty Images) The virus behind a mysterious pneumonia spreading in China has been identified by Chinese authorities, according to a statement by the World Health Organization. Tests run on 15 of those who are unwell…
By Layal Liverpool The Taliabu grasshopper warblerJames Eaton/Birdtour Asia Five species of songbird and five more subspecies have been discovered by scientists for the first time in mountainous areas of Indonesia. The newly described bird species, named after the islands where they were discovered, are the Peleng fantail, the Peleng leaf warbler, the Taliabu grasshopper…
By Donna Lu The first mobile quantum satellite station has successfully transferred secure informationJin Liwang/Xinhua/Alamy Live News The world’s first portable ground station for sending and receiving secure quantum communications is up and running. The station has successfully connected to China’s Quantum Space Satellite, nicknamed Mozi, which was launched in August 2016. Ji-Gang Ren at…
By Michael Marshall Homo erectus reached Java later than we thoughtAgoes Rudianto/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images Ancient humans took hundreds of thousands of years to make the journey from mainland Eurasia to Indonesia, according to a new dating study, perhaps reaching Java half a million years later than we previously thought. Homo erectus was one of the…
By Alice Klein Poor sleep has been linked to Alzheimer’s diseaseViacheslav Peretiatko/Getty Just one sleepless night raises levels of a protein linked to Alzheimer’s disease in the blood of young men. The finding suggests that laying down good sleep habits at an early age may help to ward off the condition. People with Alzheimer’s disease…
The Welsh language could have a successful centuryPhilip Wolmuth/Alamy The Welsh language could be set to thrive over the long-term, according to projections of whether endangered languages will flourish or fail. New Zealand’s native language on the other hand is projected to become extinct. More than half of the world’s estimated 7000 languages are expected…
By Leah Crane An official measures the Rafflesia flower found at Maninjau Forest ConservationXinhua/Alamy Don’t stop to smell the flowers. Indonesian officials may have found the largest flower ever, and it smells awful. The flower belongs to the Rafflesia genus, whose members are known as corpse lilies or corpse flowers due to their odour of…