Category Archives: Science & Technology

A new human coronavirus has appeared in China

So far, only one person has died. But more than 40 are ill BEFORE 2003 few outside the field of respiratory medicine would have heard the term “coronavirus”. Then came SARS–severe acute respiratory syndrome–and suddenly the word became familiar. SARS

A research team builds robots from living cells

They can do simple tasks, and one day might reproduce themselves ROBOTS COME in all shapes and sizes. Some are humanoid. Others resemble animals. Many are just a jumble of arms slaving away on a production line. But one thing

What really killed the dinosaurs?

Lingering doubts about the cause of a mass extinction are put to rest ONE THING about the prehistoric past which almost everybody thinks they know is that the dinosaurs (those, at least, that did not belong to the group of

Iran’s attack on Iraq shows how precise missiles have become

It scored a series of bullseyes SATELLITE PHOTOGRAPHS of Ain al-Asad, an air base in western Iraq currently used by American forces, showed the aftermath of an Iranian ballistic-missile strike on January 8th. They were pictures of precision. Iran had

Iran’s attack on Iraq shows how precise missiles have become

It scored a series of bullseyes SATELLITE PHOTOGRAPHS of Ain al-Asad, an air base in western Iraq currently used by American forces, showed the aftermath of an Iranian ballistic-missile strike on January 8th. They were pictures of precision. Iran had

Iran’s attack on Iraq shows how precise missiles have become

It scored a series of bullseyes SATELLITE PHOTOGRAPHS of Ain al-Asad, an air base in western Iraq currently used by American forces, showed the aftermath of an Iranian ballistic-missile strike on January 8th. They were pictures of precision. Iran had

The sex of researchers affects the language of research papers

Male-authored articles are more self-promoting “LEAN IN,” advises Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, in a book of that name. Her advice to women–be more assertive to grab influence at work, rather than waiting for it to be offered–was met

Dung beetles prefer human faeces to those of wild animals

A long-established experimental procedure turns out to be biased ECOSYSTEMS ARE complex things, and monitoring their health is hard. To track every species would be impossible, so ecologists commonly focus on those that, like canaries in coal mines, are thought

Might there soon be a supernova near Earth?

A giant star called Betelgeuse is behaving strangely THE GREAT Collapsing Hrung Disaster of the Year 03758 is shrouded in mystery. All that is known about this event, mentioned in a footnote to “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, by

New way to pluck water from desert air

Where desalination is impossible, adsorption may be the answer IF YOU LIVE in a desert, maintaining a supply of fresh water is a challenge. One answer is desalination, but that needs a source of brine from which to remove the