Ian Sample
Ian Sample
Guardian science ed | Author of Massive, shortlisted Royal Society Science Book Prize | Heartened by the warmth of humanity on Twitter rzmihznkov@kilglmnzro.xlnSource
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Astronomers map asteroid’s 22m-year journey to Earth

Astronomers map asteroid’s 22m-year journey to Earth

Flight path of Kalahari’s six-tonne asteroid is first tracing of meteorite shedding rock to solar system origin Science editorThu 22 Apr 2021 19.16 EDTLast modified on Thu 22 Apr 2021 23.37 EDTAstronomers have reconstructed the 22m-year-long voyage of an asteroid that hurtled through the solar system and exploded over , showering meteorites across the Kalahari desert.It is the first time scientists have traced showering space rock to its source – in this case Vesta, one of largest bodies in the asteroid belt that circles the sun between Jupiter and Mars.The six-tonne asteroid punched into...

April 22, 2021
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Almost third of UK Covid hospital patients readmitted within four months

Almost third of UK Covid hospital patients readmitted within four months

BMJ analysis of 48,000 records also finds one in eight patients die within four months of dischargeScience editorThu 1 Apr 2021 01.00 EDTLast modified on Thu 1 Apr 2021 01.01 EDTNearly a third of people who have been in hospital suffering from Covid-19 are readmitted for further treatment within four months of being discharged, and one in eight of patients dies in the same period, doctors have found.The striking long-term impact of the disease has prompted doctors to call for ongoing tests and monitoring of former coronavirus patients to detect early signs of organ damage and other...

April 1, 2021
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Cern experiment hints at new force of nature

Cern experiment hints at new force of nature

Experts reveal ‘cautious excitement’ over unstable particles that fail to decay as standard model suggests Science editorTue 23 Mar 2021 04.05 EDTLast modified on Wed 24 Mar 2021 01.15 EDTScientists at the near Geneva have spotted an unusual signal in their data that may be the first hint of a new kind of physics.The LHCb collaboration, one of four main teams at the LHC, analysed 10 years of data on how unstable particles called B mesons, created momentarily in the vast machine, decayed into more familiar matter such as electrons.The mathematical framework that underpins scientists’...

March 23, 2021
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Scientists discover why humans have such big brains

Scientists discover why humans have such big brains

It is one of the defining attributes of being human: when compared with our closest primate relatives, we have incredibly large brains.Now scientists have shed light on the reasons for the difference, by collecting cells from humans, chimps and gorillas and turning them into lumps of brain in the laboratory.Tests on the tiny “brain organoids” reveal a hitherto unknown molecular switch that controls brain growth and makes the human organ three times larger than brains in the great apes.Tinker with the switch and the human brain loses its growth advantage, while the great ape brain can be...

March 24, 2021
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UK to test existing drugs as treatment for MS in world-first trial

UK to test existing drugs as treatment for MS in world-first trial

Doctors in the UK are to launch a world-first clinical trial to assess whether drugs already on the market can prevent multiple sclerosis (MS) from worsening over time and even reverse the disabilities it causes.The groundbreaking Octopus trial, so named because of its various arms, will allow researchers to investigate the potential benefits of several drugs at once, in the hope of identifying effective new treatments three times faster than if the medicines were trialled separately.Hundreds of patients sought for the trial will be randomly assigned to have either standard care for...

March 22, 2021
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Scientists form human cell clumps that act like early-stage embryos

Scientists form human cell clumps that act like early-stage embryos

Cultured stem cells turn into blastoid ‘balls’, like natural blastocysts after egg fertilisation Science editorWed 17 Mar 2021 12.00 EDTLast modified on Thu 18 Mar 2021 01.09 EDTScientists have made clumps of human tissue that behave like early-stage embryos, a feat that promises to transform research into the first tentative steps of human development.The clumps of cells, named blastoids, are less than a millimetre across and resemble structures called blastocysts, which form within a few days of an egg being fertilised. Typically blastocysts contain about 100 cells, which give rise to...

March 17, 2021
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Scientists may have solved ancient mystery of 'first computer'

Scientists may have solved ancient mystery of 'first computer'

Researchers claim breakthrough in study of 2,000-year-old Antikythera mechanism, an astronomical calculator found in sea Science editorFri 12 Mar 2021 05.00 ESTLast modified on Fri 12 Mar 2021 09.51 ESTFrom the moment it was discovered more than a century ago, scholars have puzzled over the Antikythera mechanism, a remarkable and baffling astronomical calculator that survives from the ancient world.The hand-powered, 2,000-year-old device displayed the motion of the universe, predicting the movement of the five known planets, the phases of the moon and the solar and lunar eclipses. But quite...

March 12, 2021
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Rare meteorite chunk traced by scientists to Gloucestershire driveway

Rare meteorite chunk traced by scientists to Gloucestershire driveway

‘Dream come true’ to locate first carbonaceous chondrite seen in UK, part of fireball that caused sonic boom Science editorMon 8 Mar 2021 19.01 ESTLast modified on Mon 8 Mar 2021 23.37 ESTA lump of a rare meteorite that lit up the night sky over the UK and northern Europe last week has been recovered from a driveway in Gloucestershire.The fragment, weighing nearly 300 grams, and other pieces of the space rock were located that unleashed a sonic boom as it tore across the sky shortly before 10pm UK time The black chunk of rock, a carbonaceous chondrite never seen before in the UK, thumped on...

March 9, 2021
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Benefits of microdosing LSD might be placebo effect, study finds

Benefits of microdosing LSD might be placebo effect, study finds

Imperial College London researchers conducted largest placebo-controlled trial of psychedelics Science editorTue 2 Mar 2021 12.01 ESTFirst published on Tue 2 Mar 2021 07.55 ESTIt became the trend in Silicon Valley and spread swiftly around the world: the latest hack to boost the mood, sharpen the mind and get the creative juices flowing.But for all the entrepreneurs and tech gurus that flocked to the practice, scientists have never been sure whether consuming small doses of LSD has the benefits its advocates claim.Much of the problem is down to the law. Without easy access to the schedule 1...

March 2, 2021
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Boys more at risk from Pfizer jab side-effect than Covid, suggests study

Boys more at risk from Pfizer jab side-effect than Covid, suggests study

Healthy boys may be more likely to be admitted to hospital with a rare side-effect of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid vaccine that causes inflammation of the heart than with Covid itself, US researchers claim. Their analysis of medical data suggests that boys aged 12 to 15, with no underlying medical conditions, are four to six times more likely to be diagnosed with vaccine-related myocarditis than ending up in hospital with Covid over a four-month period. Most children who experienced the rare side-effect had symptoms within days of the second shot of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, though a similar...

Sep 10
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