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Termite gut microbes can help turn toxic wood into biofuels

Microbes isolated from the stomachs of termites can decontaminate timber that's been treated with toxic preservatives, enabling it to be converted into biofuels more easily

We thought our eyes turned off when moving quickly, but that's wrong

It’s sometimes been assumed that we experience brief periods without vision every time we shift our focus from one point to another – but now it turns out the assumption is wrong

Covid-19 news: Longer gap between Pfizer shots may boost antibodies

The latest coronavirus news updated every day including coronavirus cases, the latest news, features and interviews from New Scientist and essential information about the covid-19 pandemic

Vacuuming DNA from air can reveal which animals are present in an area

Detecting  DNA in air samples could make it much easier to monitor biodiversity around the world and also help in other fields such as atmospheric science

Stopwatch errors could make race times wrong by a tenth of a second

Digital stopwatches can make rounding errors of up to 0.11 seconds, which could be enough to change the winner of close races. Although the devices record time extremely accurately internally, they often make errors when converting that raw data to human-readable values

Essential oils help to stop invasive beetles from eating palm trees

Red palm weevils are invasive insects known for damaging palm trees – affecting the date, coconut and palm oil industries – but a bit of clove or thyme oil reduced the amount of palm stems they ate by 35 per cent

Who counts as an astronaut? Not Jeff Bezos, say new US rules

The US Federal Aviation Administration has updated its rules on who counts as a commercial astronaut, making it tougher for space tourists to earn official astronaut wings

Cockatoos are figuring out how to open bins by copying each other

A few curious cockatoos learned how to open residential waste bins in Australia, and now other birds have started copying them, with incidences of bin-looting spreading across eastern Australia

Covid-19 news: Weekly cases in England hit highest level since January

The latest coronavirus news updated every day including coronavirus cases, the latest news, features and interviews from New Scientist and essential information about the covid-19 pandemic

Kelp surveys on England's south coast monitor a key climate defence

Take a trip aboard a research vessel surveying kelp along England's south coast to see if these plants, crucial for locking up carbon and increasing biodiversity, can recover after a trawler fishing ban went into effect in the area

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