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Drought may have doomed ancient Hittite empire, tree study reveals

Examination of trees alive at the time shows three years of severe drought that may have caused crop failures and famineResearchers have offered new insight into the abrupt collapse of the ancient Hittite civilization, with an examination of trees alive at the time showing three consecutive years of severe drought that may have caused crop failures,...

A solution to the climate crisis: mining the moon, researchers say

Astrophysicists propose geoengineering solution to climate warming, although skeptics still urge ‘massive’ fossil fuel cutbacksProponents of a “moonshot” idea to deal with global heating have been handed a new, very literal, interpretation by researchers who have proposed firing plumes of moon dust from a gun into space in order to deflect the sun’s...

Indoor air quality should be monitored in public places, says Chris Whitty

England’s chief medical officer and colleagues call for push to understand health impacts of indoor pollutantsOffices, schools, supermarkets and hospitals should be monitored for indoor air pollutants, according to England’s chief medical officer, amid concerns that dirty air in buildings may contribute to nearly as many deaths as outdoor air pollution.Prof...

Ring discovered around dwarf planet Quaoar confounds theories

Astronomers find ring much further away from planet than is normal, leaving them wondering how it remains stableAstronomers have spotted a ring around a Pluto-sized dwarf planet called Quaoar in the outer reaches of the solar system.The observations, by a powerful telescope on La Palma, reveal the ring to be much further away from the planet than is...

Spain ends compulsory use of face masks on public transport

Health minister hails ‘important step towards normality’ as country eases anti-Covid measureThe use of face masks has ceased to be compulsory on public transport in Spain, bringing an end to almost three years of the government’s most visible anti-Covid measure.Masks became obligatory on public transport on 4 May 2020 after the socialist-led coalition...

Anti-ageing scientists extend lifespan of oldest living lab rat

Research teases hopes that ‘rejuvenation of the body may become commonplace within our lifetimes’Scientists working on an experimental anti-ageing therapy claim to have broken a record by extending the lifespan of a lab rat called Sima.Named after the Hindi word for “limit” or “boundary”, Sima is the last remaining survivor from a group of rodents that...

Urgent calls for Australia-wide register of sperm donations amid concerns about ‘prolific’ donors

Experts say informal donations a ‘huge problem’ that could lead to trauma for donor-conceived people who find they have dozens of half siblingsFollow our Australia news live blog for the latest updatesGet our morning and afternoon news emails, free app or daily news podcastAdvocates are calling for a national register to track sperm donations across...

Pfizer’s Susan Rienow: from Covid to fighting the ‘silent pandemic’

The pharma giant’s UK chief is adding the company’s voice to scientists’ warnings of the dangers of antibacterial resistanceIt’s just over two years since the first Pfizer Covid jabs reached Britons’ arms, with the goal of quickly preventing deaths and halting further strain on the NHS. Now, the US pharmaceutical giant hopes once again to play a part...

We don’t need ‘miracle’ technologies to fix the climate. We have the tools now | Mark Z Jacobson

Wind, water and solar energy is cheap, effective and green. We don’t need experimental or risky energy sources to save our planetNearly 7 million people die each year from air pollution. Moreover, global warming is already causing catastrophic damage. We have only seven years to eliminate 80% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions – and 12 to 27 years...

How has the Russia-Ukraine war disrupted science? – podcast

As we approach the anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Ian Sample talks to physicist Prof John Ellis, and Arctic governance expert Svein Vigeland Rottem, about how the world of science has had to adaptClip: BBC NewsIn the Arctic, in space, and at international research centres such as CERN, scientists have collaborated with colleagues from...

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