Science/Nature

Robotic scientists will ‘speed up discovery’

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionMeet the socially distant robot scientist Scientists at the University of Liverpool have unveiled a robotic colleague that has been working non-stop in their lab throughout lockdown. The £100,000 programmable researcher learns from its results to refine its experiments. “It can work autonomously, so I can run […]

Science/Nature

Coronavirus: Testing sewage an ‘easy win’

Image caption Samples could be collected from specific points in the national network of wastewater-treatment plants A sewage-based coronavirus test could be an “easy win” that would pick up infection spikes up to 10 days earlier than with existing medical-based tests. Scientists led by UK’s Centre for Ecology and Hydrology are working on a standardised […]

Science/Nature

Core of a gas planet seen for the first time

Image copyright Uni Warwick / Mark Garlick Image caption Artwork: The planetary core orbits very close to its parent star Astronomers have found a previously unseen type of object circling a distant star. It could be the core of a gas world like Jupiter, offering an unprecedented glimpse inside one of these giant planets. Giant […]

Science/Nature

Washing machines’ microplastic filters ‘untested’

Image copyright Flickr/Trepelu Image caption Globally, an estimated 50 billion garments are cleaned in washing machines each year Filters can cut the volume of ocean-bound microplastic fibres released by washing machines, a study has shown. However, until now, filters have not been tested under scientific conditions to prove their effectiveness. In the first study of […]

Science/Nature

‘Black neutron star’ discovery baffles astronomers

Image copyright EGO/Virgo Collaboration/Perciballi Image caption The LIGO-Virgo collaboration runs some of the most exquisite scientific instruments ever built Scientists have discovered an astronomical object that has never been observed before. It is more massive than collapsed stars, known as “neutron stars”, but has less mass than black holes. Such “black neutron stars” were not […]

Science/Nature

New evidence of virus risks from wildlife trade

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Rats on sale at a Vietnam market Rats sold in the markets and restaurants of Southeast Asia harbour multiple coronaviruses, a study shows. The proportion of positives increased as live animals were moved from “field to fork”, suggesting they were picking up viruses in the process. The strains detected […]