Sciene&Tech

Routine sense of smell tests could be used to spot signs of dementia

Olfactory tests could help doctors spot older adults who are at greater risk of developing dementia, researchers say. The sense of smell is known to deteriorate with age. However, researchers have previously found it might also hint at health problems: older adults who struggle to identify odours have a greater chance of dying in the […]

Antibiotic resistance as big a threat as climate change – chief medic

Protests against climate change should be extended to the other greatest threat facing humanity, according to England’s chief medical officer, who says an Extinction Rebellion-style campaign is needed to save people from antibiotics becoming ineffective in the face of overuse and a lack of regulation. The threat of antibiotic resistance is as great as that from climate change, […]

Technology cuts children off from adults, warns expert

One of the world’s foremost authorities on child mental health today warns that technology is threatening child development by disrupting the crucial learning relationship between adults and children. Peter Fonagy, professor of Contemporary Psychoanalysis and Developmental Science at UCL, who has published more than 500 scientific papers and 19 books, warns that the digital world is reducing […]

T rex traders: should the sale of dinosaur bones be stopped?

With rare fossils being sold on eBay, and Hollywood stars bidding for skulls, there’s a case for curbing what is becoming a collectors’ market for the mega-rich. The news that an ultra-rare fossil of an infant Tyrannosaurus rex has been placed on eBay for $2.95m (£2.26m) has caused an uproar among palaeontologists, who have protested that […]

‘Sentencing their dog to death’: how the anti-vax movement spread to pets

Sam Kovac can’t say for sure what prompted it, but in the past few weeks the Sydney veterinarian has been faced with the same alarming, beguiling question over and over: “Will this vaccination give my dog autism?” “It’s actually ridiculous. I mean you hear chatter over the years, but just in these last few weeks […]

Students accused of cheating Apple out of nearly $1m in fake iPhone scheme

Many of us have waited trepidatiously in the Apple Store, clasping our broken iPhone we’ve long since lost the receipt for, while the Genius Bar overlords decide whether to take pity on us and give us a new one or show us the gladiatorial thumbs down. But two Oregon students had rather a lot more riding on […]

More than 1m childless people over 65 are ‘dangerously unsupported’

More than 1 million people aged over 65 without children are “dangerously unsupported”, and at acute risk of isolation, loneliness, poor health, poverty and being unable to access formal care, according to a report. The number of childless older people in the UK is expected to double by 2030, putting huge pressure on a health and […]

Hopes rise for male contraceptive pill breakthrough

Hopes for a male contraceptive pill have increased after a trial showed a once-daily capsule appeared to work with no significant side-effects. The drug aims to suppress levels of hormones that drive the production of sperm and testosterone in the testes. In the month-long study, doctors found that levels of the hormones required for sperm […]

Apple launches new iPad Mini and iPad Air

Apple has updated its long-in-the-tooth but popular smallest tablet, the iPad Mini, and the larger iPad Air. Both models have been brought up to parity with the iPhone XS and the iPad Pro with Apple’s A12 Bionic processor, which is up to three times faster than that in previous versions, which have chips dating back to 2014. The iPad Mini […]

Mary Rose crew might have included sailors of African heritage

Analyses of skeletons from the Mary Rose are fleshing out the crew’s past, offering further evidence that Tudor England was a bustling scene of ethnic diversity. Researchers say studies on the human remains recovered from the warship, which sank in the Solent during a battle with the French in 1545, have revealed at least two of the […]

The five: back-from-the-brink species once thought extinct

From wild dogs to horned frogs, all manner of animals are still capable of keeping out of our sight, some for over 100 years. Horned marsupial frog This week, scientists in South America spotted a rare frog previously thought to be extinct. The Tropical Herving research group found a colony of horned marsupial frogs in a […]

Adios, Alexa: why must our robot assistants be female?

Microsoft has Cortana, Amazon has Alexa, and Google has … well, Google Assistant. That last name doesn’t give it away, but get it talking and the common link between all three AI assistants is revealed: they are all supposed to be women. Providing assistance has long been considered a woman’s role, whether virtual or physical, […]

Sugar high: the yeast that can be used to brew cannabis, not beer

Scientists in California have developed a strain of yeast that can be used to brew cannabis extract rather than beer. With just the addition of sugar, the genetically modified yeast fermented to produce pure cannabinoid compounds including mind-altering THC and the non-psychoactive CBD, which is used medically to treat conditions including chronic pain and childhood epilepsy. The […]

Facebook attacked over app that reveals period dates of its users

Facebook is battling fresh controversy on both sides of the Atlantic amid claims that it has been receiving highly personal data from third-party apps. The swirl of bad news around the company comes after its chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, was criticised for meeting the culture secretary, Jeremy Wright, having refused to appear before an influential parliamentary committee […]

How to catch a catfisher

Last year, I found out someone was using my photos to catfish women. He stole dozens of my online photos – including selfies, family photos, baby photos, photos with my ex – and, pretending to be me, he would then approach women and spew a torrent of abuse at them. It took me months to […]

Lullabies for air conditioners: the corporate bliss of Japanese ambient

Inspired by the technological boom of 1980s Japan, a group of composers created beautiful futurist fantasies – funded by housing developers and lingerie companies In the late 1970s, while Brian Eno was imagining background melodies for baggage claim on his album Music for Airports, music for inanimate objects was also becoming big business in Japan […]

Jokers please: first human Mars mission may need onboard comedians

Wanted: smart, fit and unflappable applicants for humanity’s first mission to Mars. Must have: crazy wig, oversized boots and a big red nose. It is enough to make Neil Armstrong spin in his grave, but researchers have found that the success of a future mission to the red planet may depend on the ship having a […]

Pill inspired by leopard tortoise could replace diabetic injections

Scientists have developed a “needle pill” that could allow diabetics to take insulin without the need for daily injections. The pea-sized capsule contains a small needle made of solid, compressed insulin, which is injected into the stomach wall after the capsule has been swallowed. When tested in pigs, the device worked consistently and was able […]

Zuckerberg Plans to Integrate WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger

SAN FRANCISCO — Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, plans to integrate the social network’s messaging services — WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger — asserting his control over the company’s sprawling divisions at a time when its business has been battered by scandal. The services will continue to operate as stand-alone apps, but their underlying technical […]

Program allows ordinary digital camera to see round corners

Science may never tell us what lies round the next corner, but researchers have come up with the nearest thing: a computer program that turns a normal digital camera into a periscope. In a demonstration of “computational periscopy” a US team at Boston University showed they could see details of objects hidden from view by […]

Scientists Are Teaching the Body to Accept New Organs

It was not the most ominous sign of health trouble, just a nosebleed that would not stop. So in February 2017, Michael Schaffer, who is 60 and lives near Pittsburgh, went first to a local emergency room, then to a hospital where a doctor finally succeeded in cauterizing a tiny cut in his nostril. Then […]

Asteroid strikes ‘increase threefold over last 300m years’

The rate at which asteroids are slamming into Earth has nearly tripled since the dinosaurs first roamed, according to a survey of the scars left behind. Researchers worked out the rate of asteroid strikes on the moon and the Earth and found that in the past 290m years the number of collisions had increased dramatically. […]

Mars Express beams back images of ice-filled Korolev crater

The stunning Korolev crater in the northern lowlands of Mars is filled with ice all year round owing to a trapped layer of cold Martian air that keeps the water frozen. The 50-mile-wide crater contains 530 cubic miles of water ice, as much as Great Bear Lake in northern Canada, and in the centre of the crater […]

Elon Musk’s SpaceX cancels rocket launch again because of technical glitch

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has cancelled the long-delayed launch of a navigation satellite for the US military, failing to complete its first designated national security mission for the United States because of technical issue with its rocket. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, carrying a roughly $500m global positioning system (GPS) satellite built by Lockheed Martin Corp, was slated to […]

Do you know how many hours before bedtime we have to drink the last coffee?

Coffee is a drink that each of us always consumes during the day can happen, that within a day each of us consumes a large amount of coffee. All cafes should bear in mind that its consumption has a limit in each case. But what if the morning looks like it lasts all day long? […]

Peter Hotez: ‘What happens when the anti-vaccine movement moves into India?’

Peter Hotez is dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. He has worked on developing vaccines for hookworm and schistosomiasis, and is a vocal opponent of the anti-vaccine movement. His daughter Rachel is autistic and he has written a book, Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel’s Autism, in which he […]

FIRST BABY BORN VIA UTERUS TRANSPLANTED FROM DEAD DONOR

Eleven babies have been born through uterine transplants of live donors, but no births had ocurred from a uterus of a deceased donor. The mother became pregnant seven months after the transplant surgery. A 32-year-old woman in Brazil who received a uterus transplant from a deceased donor successfully carried out a pregnancy and gave birth […]

Astronomers measure total starlight emitted over 13.7bn years

All the light from all the stars that have ever existed. It is a quantity of unimaginable magnitude, but now astronomers have put a number on it. From the earliest, faintest stars, to the largest galaxies, an international team has managed to measure the total amount of starlight emitted over the entire 13.7bn-year history of the universe. […]

Space: how far have we gone – and where are we going?

Who has travelled to space? Space flight is now a venerable industry. Humanity’s first space explorer, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, orbited around the globe on 12 April 1961, more than half a century ago, when Britain remained a colonial power and people were still using halfpennies to buy their fish and chips. Since then, more than […]

Why is wombat poop cube-shaped?

Wombats are the only animals in the world that produce cube-shaped scat. But why—and how—do they do it? Scientists now have an idea why. Wombats are a burrowing animal native to Australia perhaps best-known for being, well, pudgy—and quite cute. But there’s something you might not know about these adorable marsupials: Wombats are the only animals […]

‘Philosophically speaking, we can never fully trust our memory’

Of all the mysteries of the mind, perhaps none is greater than memory. Why do we remember some things and forget others? What is memory’s relationship to consciousness and our identities? Where and how is memory stored? How reliable are our memories? And why did our memory evolve to be so rich and detailed? In […]

Coffee or tea? The answer might be in your genes

Do you prefer coffee or tea? The answer to that question might in part be down to your genes, research suggests. Scientists say a genetic predisposition to perceiving the bitterness of particular substances appears to nudge us towards one beverage or the other. Dr Marilyn Cornelis, co-author of the research from Northwestern University in Illinois, […]

This Robot Truck Startup May Have An Edge Over Waymo In Bad-Weather Driving

Mention self-driving vehicles and people probably envision Waymo’s minivans or test models from General Motors’ Cruise or Uber, which have drawn the lion’s share of funding and media attention. But the impact of autonomous technology may be felt earlier in the vast and lucrative commercial trucking industry, where competition is ramping up fast. Waymo plans […]

Origin of chocolate shifts 1,400 miles and 1,500 years

Cacao was in use in South America centuries before its exploitation by civilisations in Mexico and Central America, experts say The key ingredient of chocolate was being used in South America centuries before it was exploited by civilisations in Mexico and Central America, according to new research. The cacao tree, and in particular the drinks […]

‘Quietly, people were forging ahead’: the evolution of 3D printing

Since additive manufacturing was invented, in 1981, there have been significant advances. Is this technology ready to transform the way we design, engineer and buy products? Throughout the late noughties and early years of this decade, many futurists and tech journalists claimed that a new era of consumer manufacturing was just around the corner. No […]

Apple unveils new iPad Pro, MacBook Air and Mac Mini

Apple has brought its fanfare to Brooklyn. CEO Tim Cook kicked off his company’s second keynote in two months on Tuesday. This one, held at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, follows its splashier September press event where it unveiled the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR. Apple unveiled what it’s calling the biggest change to the iPad since […]

This Week In XR: AR Glasses From North, Changes At Facebook, VCs Back Resolution And Spatial

Good Morning XR! This week in XR has seen a range of exciting announcements, starting with the introduction of XR Glasses from North, which wants to be the Warby-Parker of XR. Under $1,000 and your prescription, too! ICYI, earlier this week we recapped AWE Munich, visited a new free roam VR venue inside a Go-Kart Attraction, and covered the launch […]

Apple iPhone XS review: two steps forward, one step back

The iPhone XS isn’t the only all-screen iPhone on the block this year, but with its balance of large screen and small body, is it still the iPhone to buy? To say that the iPhone XS looks exactly the same as the iPhone X is somewhat of an understatement. Apart from a pair of new antenna lines and asymmetric […]

Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Tablet review: as good as Surface Pro but with USB-C

Lenovo’s third-generation ThinkPad X1 Tablet aims to be a no-compromise Windows 10 detachable that gives users what Microsoft’s Surface won’t: USB-C and Thunderbolt 3. The form factor is familiar. The actual computer is squeezed into an 8.9mm thick tablet with a kickstand out the back and a magnetically attached keyboard that sits up on an angle for […]

Apple and Samsung fined for deliberately slowing down phones

Apple and Samsung are being fined €10m and €5m respectively in Italy for the “planned obsolescence” of their smartphones. An investigation launched in January by the nation’s competition authority found that certain smartphone software updates had a negative effect on the performance of the devices. Believed to be the first ruling of its kind against smartphone manufacturers, […]

Google gave top executive $90m payoff but kept sexual misconduct claim quiet – report

Google gave a $90m severance package to Andy Rubin, the creator of the Android mobile software, but concealed details of a sexual misconduct allegation that triggered his departure, the New York Times has reported. According to unnamed sources who spoke to the Times, Google investigated and found credible claims from a female employee, who said Rubin forced her […]

Xbox One Dolby Vision Problems: TCL Responds

The Fall system update for the Xbox One S and Xbox One X introduced support for the premium Dolby Vision high dynamic range system from compatible streaming apps. While this was mostly great news, however, given the benefits Dolby Vision can bring to picture quality, it came with a pretty big string attached. Namely that […]

Lawrence Krauss to Retire From Arizona State After Sexual Misconduct Accusations

Lawrence M. Krauss, a prominent theoretical physicist at Arizona State University, announced on Sunday that he would retire from the university at the end of the academic year after several women accused him of sexual misconduct. In announcing his departure, Dr. Krauss denounced the university’s investigation, which found that he grabbed a woman’s chest at an event in […]

How Many Space Stations Does This Planet Need?

NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. — At one end of Bigelow Aerospace’s factory is a mock-up of a gargantuan home for future astronauts. With a unique design — it could be packed into a rocket, then unfurled in space — it would comfortably house a dozen people as a voluminous space station or serve as a […]

BepiColombo spacecraft launches on mission to Mercury

A British-built spacecraft fitted with Star Trek-style “impulse engines” is on its way to Mercury, the planet closest to the sun. BepiColombo blasted into space from the European space port at Kourou, French Guiana, at about 2.45am UK time on Saturday. It was carried on top of an Ariane 5, the European Space Agency’s (ESA’s) most powerful rocket. […]

Why Southeast Asia and Australia’s Coral Reefs Became So Rich in Species

Dive into the coral reefs of Southeast Asia or Australia and you’ll likely spot a wrasse. But which of the hundreds of kinds of wrasses will you see? These fish can be an inch to more than eight feet in length. They can be skinny like cigars or hefty like footballs. Some are somber-colored; others […]

Exclusive: dramatic slowdown in global growth of internet access

The growth of internet access around the world has slowed dramatically, according to new data, suggesting the digital revolution will remain a distant dream for billions of the poorest and most isolated people on the planet. The striking trend, described in an unpublished report shared with the Guardian, shows the rate at which the world […]

Healthy mice with same-sex parents born for first time

Healthy mice with two mothers have been born for the first time in a study that pushes the boundaries of reproductive science. Mice with two fathers were also born, but only survived a couple of days, the Chinese team behind the work reported. There is no imminent prospect of the techniques being used clinically in […]

Viking ship burial discovered in Norway just 50cm underground

Archaeologists have discovered a Viking ship burial in Norway using ground-penetrating radar that suggests the 20-metre keel and many of its timbers remain well preserved just half a metre below the topsoil. The ship lies in farmland in Østfold county in south-east Norway. Just three other intact ship burials have been recorded in the country; the survival […]

Essays reveal Stephen Hawking predicted race of ‘superhumans’

The late physicist and author Prof Stephen Hawking has caused controversy by suggesting a new race of superhumans could develop from wealthy people choosing to edit their and their children’s DNA. Hawking, the author of A Brief History of Time, who died in March, made the predictions in a collection of articles and essays. The scientist presented the possibility […]

What next for photography in the age of Instagram?

In 2012, I wrote an essay about the shifting nature of photography in an era of unprecedented image overload. Back then, Facebook users alone were uploading 300m photographs a day, while the number of images posted on Flickr and Instagram had exceeded the 11bn mark. I quoted the American artist and writer Chris Wiley, whose 2011 article, […]

Twitter and Salesforce CEOs bicker over who is helping the homeless more

The CEOs of two of the world’s most prominent tech companies got into an online spat on Friday over who was doing the most to address homelessness. The Salesforce CEO, Marc Benioff, and Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, were tweeting at each other about a proposed tax on high-earning San Franciscobusinesses. It would redirect millions of dollars […]

Reporting on Trump and Putin amid the war on truth

Aretired spy and his daughter are found slumped on a park bench in Salisbury. Someone tried to kill them. The poison is novichok, a Soviet-era nerve agent. Six months later Theresa May says the would-be assassins are officers with Russian military intelligence. They travelled to the UK as “Alexander Petrov” and “Ruslan Boshirov”. Not true, says Moscow. Last […]

The Universe Has A Speed Limit, And It Isn’t The Speed Of Light

When it comes to speed limits, the ultimate one set by the laws of physics themselves is the speed of light. As Albert Einstein first realized, everyone looking at a light ray sees that it appears to move at the same speed, regardless of whether it’s moving towards you or away from you. No matter […]

Why Phones Are All The Same

It’s the fault of the networks. I was amused by a story in Mobile News in which Lenovo, custodian of the Motorola brand, denied that networks choose the design of phones. If that is true, then one of two things has happened. Either the networks don’t think Motorola is significant enough to be lent on anymore, or […]

Cannabis In Space Is Just Around The Corner

As legal marijuana profits continue to reach stratospheric heights, it appears so too may the cannabis plant itself expand into space — soaring 250 miles above Earth within NASA’s International Space Station (ISS). With plans to test how hemp plants react in the low-gravity setting of space orbit, scientists at bioengineering company Space Tango — specializing in research […]

Gene editing in human embryos takes step closer to reality

Gene editing to correct faulty DNA in human embryos has taken a step closer to becoming a reality, with scientists showing it is possible to correct genetic problems in mice before they are born. Researchers used a form of the gene-editing tool Crispr-Cas9 to introduce a mutation into a gene that would otherwise cause lethal liver […]

Facebook’s UK tax bill rises to £15.8m – but it is still under 1% of sales

Facebook paid £15.8m in tax in the UK last year after making a profit of £62.7m on record British sales of £1.27bn. The social media giant’s accounts show that while Facebook increased its UK income by more than 50% in 2017, its pretax profits remained similar to 2016. Accounts filed at Companies House show that Facebook UK […]

Astronomers discover first suspected ‘exomoon’ 8,000 light years away

Astronomers believe they have discovered the first known moon beyond our solar system, in orbit around a gigantic planet 8,000 light years away. The so-called exomoon, which is estimated to be the size of Neptune, would also be the biggest known moon, far exceeding anything known to exist in our own solar system. The team […]

China planted chips in Apple and Amazon servers, report claims

Both firms deny report they found chips giving backdoor access to computers and data A Chinese military unit has been inserting tiny microchips into computer servers used by companies including Apple and Amazon that give China unprecedented backdoor access to computers and data, according to a new Bloomberg report. The tiny chips, as small as the […]

PAY UP, ZUCK Facebook could be forced to pay YOU £6,000 after ‘disaster’ hack attack that left 50million users exposed

The social network’s cybersecurity gaffe could prove very costly for billionaire Zuck and his pals HACKED Facebook users could be owed as much as £6,000 ($7,800) in compensation as a result of the security breach revealed last week. Legal experts have told The Sun that damages could run into the “thousands” for anyone affected by […]

Frances H Arnold, George P Smith and Gregory P Winter win Nobel prize in chemistry

Three scientists have won the Nobel prize in chemistry for their work in harnessing evolution to produce new enzymes and antibodies. British scientist Sir Gregory P Winter and Americans Frances H Arnold and George P Smith will share the 9m Swedish kronor (£770,000) prize, awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. The winners’ work […]

Style Meets Tech: How To Give Your iPhone A High-Fashion Makeover

I don’t know about you, but I perpetually face a dilemma when it comes to my iPhone: I love its sleek design but, unfortunately, I know all too well just how delicate it is too. Read: A case is absolutely essential—and if you’ve recently splurged on the new iPhone XS or XS Max, you certainly should protect your investment. Admittedly, I’ve foolishly forgone cases in the […]

Amazon raises minimum wage for US and UK employees

Amazon has raised its minimum wage for British and American workers, in a major milestone for campaigners pushing for pay increases to tackle rising levels of poverty and inequality in both countries. More than 350,000 US workers will see the minimum wage increase to $15 (£11.57) an hour, while almost 40,000 UK workers will see their […]

ZUCKED UP Facebook HACKED – attackers logged into 50MILLION profiles with access to posts, photos and messages in security breach ‘disaster’

All of your personal information, private messages, photos and videos were open for hackers to trawl through due to the security breach. FACEBOOK has admitted that 50million accounts were accessed by hackers in a monumental security breach – leaving them able to see all of your personal info, photos, and even private messages. The blunder […]

Apple’s iPhone XS Has A Serious Problem

  I’ve said it before: what Apple AAPL +0.3%’s iPhone XS (details) and iPhone XS Max (details) get right, they get very right indeed. But it’s now clear their biggest weakness is not just about saving money (and making the iPhone XR look good), it’s connected a fundamental flaw that may require a recall… In short: many of Apple’s new iPhones refuse to […]