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Dinosaurs - New Scientist

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Grand unified game theory can represent all two-player games

Game theory helps calculate the probabilities of an outcome in adversarial situations, and we use several games as models – but now there’s one that can cover many situations

If you don’t notice something within 1.5 seconds, you may never see it

Inattentional blindness, a kind of selective focus, is so strong that if you don’t notice new objects in your sight line quickly, you may never see them at all

We’ve found the missing neutron star at the centre of a supernova

In 1987, a huge nearby supernova stunned astronomers. The explosion should have left behind a neutron star, but nobody has ever been able to find it until now

SpaceX’s Starlink satellites are interfering with astronomy again

The second batch of Starlink satellites, launched last week by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, are interfering with astronomical observations of the southern sky

70 is the new 65 when it comes to health and life expectancy in the UK

The UK Office for National Statistics says men aged 70 feel as healthy as 65-year-old men did in 1997. Women aged 70 feel as healthy as 65-year-olds did in 1981

Stalkerware: The secret apps people use to spy on their partners

Apps that secretly give people access to their partners' smartphones are growing in prominence, but is the threat being taken seriously?

Google scientist has a surprising tip to improve any search

Dan Russell studies our Google search patterns and tries to understand how we think about knowledge. He reveals a search tip 90 per cent of users don't know

Blasting lead with 160 lasers makes it incredibly strong, then explode

When lead is quickly brought to extremely high pressures using 160 laser beams, it suddenly becomes 250 times stronger – and then it explodes

Massive simulation of the universe shows how galaxies form and die

A sophisticated computer simulation of the universe, approximately 1 billion light years across, is modelling tens of thousands of galaxies

Physicists see new hints of a fifth force of nature hidden in helium

A 2016 experiment pointed towards the existence of an undiscovered force of nature. Now researchers say they've seen a second sign

Trash-talking robot troll makes people worse at playing video games

Researchers who asked people to play a video game against a robot opponent found that humans made worse decisions when the bot trolled them

AI is digitally pasting products into your favourite films and TV

Major entertainment companies including NBC Universal and 20th Century Fox are digitally inserting ads into movies and TV shows after they are filmed, including in Modern Family

It’s getting windier and that could be good news for renewable energy

Wind speed had been slowing down since the 1970s, but since 2010 it's been getting windier. Though this may just be a blip, it's good news for wind farms in the meantime

We have the first full map of the weird surface features of Titan

Astronomers have used data from the Cassini spacecraft to build a full map of Titan’s geological features for the first time, revealing strange belts of different terrains

Plans to save species from extinction are ignoring climate change

Climate change is a threat to almost all the animals officially regarded as endangered in the US, but conservation plans don’t take this into account

Why dark matter's no-show could mean a big bang rethink

We can't find any trace of cosmic dark matter – perhaps because our models of the early universe are missing a crucial piece, says astrophysicist Dan Hooper

Drill music with positive lyrics is more popular than negative songs

An analysis of drill music, a form of hip hop controversially linked to gang violence by UK police, on YouTube has found that positive songs are more popular

Amazon deforestation officially hits highest level in a decade

The loss of nearly 10,000 square kilometres of forest in the Amazon between August 2018 to July 2019 is the first official confirmation that deforestation has soared since Jair Bolsnaro came to power

The Outer Worlds makes me want an AI-driven role-playing game

Video games like The Outer Worlds are beginning to match the imagination and flexibility of tabletop RPGs. Just add bigger data sets and computing power, says Jacob Aron in his latest column

Batteries as transparent as glass could power devices in your home

A transparent battery could be used instead of glass for windows. It still has a low output, but could eventually boost energy storage in smart glasses or cars

Non-stop nightmare: Disturbing show weighs the impact of a 24/7 world

24/7 at Somerset House in London challenges the profound effects of an always-on culture, while a book about the importance of rest shows how relaxing stacks up with well-being

We finally know the odds of winning a game of solitaire

What are the chances of winning a game of solitaire? It was once called an “embarrassment” of mathematics that we didn't know, but a computer has now found the answer

Low gravity in space made some astronauts’ blood flow backwards

Spending time in microgravity can reverse the flow of a person’s blood and lead to clots, as seen in astronauts who spent months on the International Space Station

Eating a keto diet may give some protection against the flu

Giving mice a diet with lots of fat and few carbohydrates seemed to boost certain immune cells, which protected them from the flu

Long-term smokers who start vaping see health benefits within a month

Regular smokers who switch to e-cigarettes saw improved vascular health, potentially reducing the risk of heart attacks

Smoke from Australia's bushfires has spread to South America

Satellites show atmospheric pollution created by the fires across New South Wales and Queensland has travelled more than 10,000 kilometres to Chile and Argentina

Stone Age artists were obsessed with horses and we don’t know why

Stone Age artists loved drawing horses. One possible explanation is that this was because they believed horses were the most important of all the animals

A laser-sighted toxic goo gun is killing feral cats in Australia

A device that kills feral cats by squirting their fur with toxic gel they lick off while self-grooming is being used to protect endangered Australian animals

An insulin nasal spray could help with polycystic ovary syndrome

Women with PCOS often have to eat less and exercise more in order to maintain a healthy weight – a study in sheep suggests that a nasal insulin spray could help

Steel and concrete are climate change's hard problem. Can we solve it?

Heavy industry produces more carbon dioxide than the entire US. Perfect the new technologies that could clean it up and we can score a crucial climate victory

Improved rabies vaccine could be better and cheaper

An estimated 60,000 people die of rabies each year, in part because of the lack of access to a cheap and simple vaccine – a new version could change that

Genetic study reveals the family secrets of people in the 1800s

A genetic study has revealed how poorer families living in cities in Europe had a higher rate of children who weren't biologically related to their legal fathers

China has 50 per cent fewer pigs – but how many of them actually died?

The fight against African swine fever is intensifying, and millions of pigs have died. But we don’t know how much of the drop in numbers is due to reduced production

Deepfakes are terrible for democracy, but Facebook is a bigger threat

Doctored videos are a menace, but we have more to fear from unscrupulous politicians taking advantage of Facebook's targeted ads, writes Annalee Newitz

Why the hunt for alien life is under way far beneath Earth's surface

Microbes that breathe sulphur could redefine what it means to be alive and provide clues about what organisms may lurk in the cosmos

Two types of plastic pollution found in Mediterranean for first time

Two types of plastic called plasticrust and pyroplastics were spotted on an Italian island the first time, suggesting the issue may be more widespread than we thought

Pigeons are having their toes amputated by waste human hair in Paris

Pigeons with mutilated feet are a common sight in cities, and it turns out that their toes are being cut off by human hair that has been poorly disposed of

Fish can judge distances accurately just like land animals can

Trigger fish are remarkably good at estimating how far they have swum, perhaps because they have distance-tracking ‘grid cells’ in their brains just like we do

The Leonid meteor shower peaks this week: Here's how to see it

Earth passes through a comet's trail this week, producing a beautiful display of meteors in the night sky. Find out where to look and how to get the best view

Lost US parrot species went extinct not once but twice

The US was once home to two subspecies of the extinct Carolina parakeet: one vanished in the 1910s but a study hints that the other survived into the 1940s

Health impacts of climate change on children don't need exaggerating

A major report warns that children are particularly vulnerable as a warming world exposes them to more infectious diseases, malnutrition and dirty air

Eating tiny nutrient particles could be better than health supplements

Nutrient deficiency affects billions – a solution may be to pack the nutrients into particles that can be cooked before releasing their contents in the stomach

We can now make animated 'sound holograms' that you can touch

Using a polystyrene bead, some speakers and a handful of LEDs, it is possible to make colourful animated 3D holograms that a user can touch and interact with

Why US police could be using your genes to profile you right now

A worrying warrant for police access to a genealogy DNA databank in the US means no one’s genetic profile is safe – even if you don’t use the services

Huge mysterious ape Gigantopithecus was a distant cousin of orangutans

A pioneering technique has given us a glimpse at the family tree of Gigantopithecus, an extinct ape that was 2.5 metres tall and lived 300,000 years ago

Spectacular ice eggs have washed onto a beach in Finland

A combination of cold weather and just the right amount of wave motion has caused strange frozen spheres to cover a Finnish beach

A severe form of epilepsy could be treated with cholesterol medication

A build-up of cholesterol in the brains of people with a severe form of epilepsy can cause prolonged seizures, but it may be possible to treat this with statins

Hayabusa 2 begins long journey home carrying Ryugu asteroid samples

With two samples from the interior of the asteroid Ryugu on board, Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft is due to return to Earth at the end of 2020

Gaming in the US emits as much carbon dioxide as all of Sri Lanka

Energy use from gaming in the US produces carbon emissions on a par with Sri Lanka’s total annual carbon footprint

Distant space rock known as Ultima Thule renamed to avoid Nazi links

The space rock that the New Horizons probe visited earlier this year had been nicknamed Ultima Thule, but it was pointed out this name has links to the Nazis

Star systems full of planetary smash-ups are bad news for alien life

We've seen the remains of a collision between two planets in a distant star system - and these planetary smash-ups are thought to be surprisingly common

Row over whether fracking could resume in England despite 'ban'

A document released just days after the government announced a halt to fracking suggests that future applications will be considered

Why embracing failure, mistakes and forgetfulness is key to success

Making mistakes helps us learn and get better at stuff, says neuroscientist Henning Beck, but be wary of thinking what works for humans will work for AI

How binge-watching your favourite TV show is fuelling climate change

Streaming video services like Netflix, Apple TV+ and Disney+ are on the rise - but so are their carbon emissions

Worsening bushfires cause Australia to declare state of emergency

Australia is preparing for catastrophic bushfires as one state minister warns that this could be the worst week of wildfires in the country’s history

UK teen almost died from severe lung failure linked to vaping

Doctors treating a teenager in the UK for severe lung failure say it was likely caused by an allergic reaction to e-cigarettes

We thought this tiny deer-like animal was extinct for almost 30 years

The silver-backed chevrotain – or Vietnam mouse-deer - hasn't been seen for 30 years, but conservationists have tracked some down

Ethnic minority academics get less UK research funding

White researchers are nearly 59 per cent more likely to receive funding for their studies than ethnic minority researchers, according to data from seven UK research councils

AI can predict if you'll die soon – but we've no idea how it works

Artificial intelligence can predict a person’s chances of dying within a year by looking at heart test results, but doctors can't work out what patterns it’s picking up

Tactical voting helps yellow-eyed penguin seize bird of the year crown

Social media campaigning and a strategic voting alliance have helped the yellow-eyed penguin beat fierce competition to become New Zealand’s bird of the year

Netflix’s Living With Yourself shows the dangers of perfectionism

Paul Rudd's character's quest to find a perfect version of himself in Netflix's Living With Yourself - with the help of a dodgy DNA hacking service - explores the dark side of our drive for perfection

The bizarre plant-like animals that say life’s big bang never happened

The Cambrian explosion is feted as the moment where complex animals burst onto the scene, but the enigmatic Ediacaran creatures that came first are rewriting the history of life on Earth

People are using mosquito nets for fishing – and it works too well

People are increasingly repurposing mosquito nets for fishing around the world, but the nets often catch very young fish which could lead to fewer fish in the future

Flop, an exhibition about failure, shows the joy and pain of mistakes

From the accidental creation of Silly Putty to an abandoned attempt to build a universal language, University College London's latest exhibition, Flop, offers new ways to look at failure

People with more empathy may actually increase political divisions

People who score higher on a test of empathy seem to have stronger positive feelings about their own political party and stronger negative ones about the opposition

Naomi Oreskes asks "why trust science" in an age of denialism

In Why Trust Science?, Naomi Oreskes's asks bold questions but knows there are no clear answers – and critiques herself as the book unfolds

Birds are stealing boozy palm wine when people aren't looking

Three species of African birds have taken to stealing palm wine, the fermented sap of an oil palm, from trees that local people have tapped

What hypnosis does to your brain, and how it can improve your health

The history of hypnotherapy is riddled with hucksters, but it can provide real benefits – from weight loss to managing pain. Why modern medicine is starting to take it seriously

Babies are less afraid when they can smell their mothers

When babies can smell their mothers’ odour, their brains respond less to fearful situations

Seeing around corners: How to decipher shadows to see the invisible

Reflected light gets everywhere and even shady spots are full of images we can’t see – not least what’s happening around corners. But new technology is beginning to expose these hidden scenes

Neanderthals' cave art skills questioned in dispute over age of images

A dispute over the dating of prehistoric Spanish cave paintings is fuelling a fractious debate over Neanderthals’ artistic capabilities

The grand plan to sequence the genomes of 66,000 UK and Irish species

The Darwin Tree of Life project aims to sequence the genomes of 60,000 species of animals, plants, fungi and complex cells such as amoeba found in the British Isles

Emperor penguins could go extinct by 2100 if we fail on climate change

Emperor penguins could become extinct if we don't tackle climate change, but if we limit temperature rises to 1.5°C, then the decline could be less than a third

The Tenth Muse review: A story in which the women count

In her new historical novel, Catherine Chung celebrates the women who shaped modern mathematics - and wonders why they weren't paid

Sequencing the genome of every UK baby would be an ethical minefield

UK health minister Matt Hancock has announced plans for the NHS to analyse everyone's DNA at birth, but the idea may breach ethical guidelines on genetic testing

Spaceflight alters heart cells but they quickly recover back on Earth

Spaceflight causes thousands of changes in the ways heart cell genes are expressed, but these revert mostly to normal within weeks of being back on Earth

A deadly seal virus may be spreading faster due to melting Arctic ice

A reduction in Arctic sea ice due to climate change may be helping a virus that can kill seals spread more easily between oceans

DNA sites propose security plans to address genetic privacy fears

Recent weeks have seen a range of theoretical attacks against genetic genealogy services that could give access to people's DNA, but there is a plan to prevent them

11 years remain to fight climate change – what progress have we made?

In 2018, we were told we had 12 years to save the planet. One year on, Graham Lawton finds reasons to be hopeful, despite ever-rising carbon emissions

How to watch Mercury's transit of the sun with just binoculars

On 11 November, the innermost planet of the solar system will make a rare crossing of the face of the sun. Here's how to see it without expensive kit

Experimental dengue vaccine cuts infection rates in real-world trials

A vaccine based on a weakened version of the dengue virus was 80 per cent effective at preventing infections after one year in a trial of 20,000 children

Did apes first walk upright on two legs in Europe, not Africa?

An extinct ape that lived in Germany 11.6 million years ago may have been bipedal – even though bipedality is the hallmark of more human-like species

Here's how we can stop a mountain of electric car batteries piling up

The rise of the electric car means we may soon have a mountain of difficult-to-recycle used batteries unless car manufacturers work to make them more sustainable

Who owns life? The world is about to decide, with huge ramifications

A debate between countries over who can access and exploit the planet’s genetic resources will have ramifications for all of us, says Laura Spinney

This piece of music could stop your Amazon Alexa from working

A piece of guitar music designed to prevent Alexa from hearing commands could confuse or distract people

Some women lack odour-detecting part of brain but still sense smells

A handful of women who seem to lack the olfactory bulbs we use to detect odours still have a good sense of smell, and we don’t know why

Robot arm lets you remotely lend friends a helping hand with repairs

A handheld robot that lets you reach out and lend assistance to a friend could help people inspect and carry out repairs remotely

Huge amounts of abandoned fishing gear litter the world's oceans

Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of abandoned fishing gear litter the world’s oceans. In some areas, the lost gear accounts for 30 per cent of the catch

We remember the act of eating better than other things we do

Eating serves an important evolutionary purpose – that is, keeping us alive – which might be why we remember it better

Most people give up on using mental health apps within a few weeks

An analysis of 93 popular mental health apps suggests that almost everyone stops opening them within a few weeks of download

Would you use a patch of 100 tiny needles over the contraceptive pill?

A patch filled with tiny needles that women could use at home can inject up to 60 days’ worth of hormonal contraceptives

A quarter of all pigs have died this year due to African swine fever

The hunt is on for a vaccine for African swine fever, after a quarter of the world's domestic pigs have died this year, including half of all the pigs in China

Global climate pledges need to be ramped up to keep warming below 1.5C

Countries deemed to have insufficient plans include the world’s biggest emitters, China, India and the US, which on Monday started the formal process of withdrawing from the Paris deal

I tested out DNA-based food shopping and it was strange

UK firm DNA Nudge has just opened a shop that recommends personalised diets based on your genes, but there is little evidence that they work

Apollo collection curator on what Neil Armstrong took to the moon

Teasel Muir-Harmony, curator of the Apollo spacecraft collection, on awesome astronauts, her passion for space history – and getting struck by lightning

Could your home be net zero carbon? The radical plan to make it happen

The UK government is planning radical changes to the way the country builds homes in order to slash their carbon emissions, but will people accept them?

Fireworks and fires on bonfire night quadruple air pollution in the UK

Air pollution readings from 5 November 2018 shows that levels of harmful particles tripled during bonfire night celebrations

Cosmological crisis: We don't know if the universe is round or flat

An analysis of data from the Planck space observatory suggests the universe is spherical, which would be a major headache for cosmologists

Earth's most important rivers are in the sky – and they're drying up

The vast airborne waterways that keep our planet hydrated are fed by rainforests like the Amazon. If they disappear, the consequences may be worse than climate change

Voyager 2 sent back its first detailed data from interstellar space

Voyager 2 left our solar system in 2018 and has now sent back measurements from interstellar space, showing how our solar system interacts with its surroundings