Saturday , May 26 2018
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Science

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Escher’s Journey: there’s more to this artist than his maths

“Indulging in imaginary thoughts”: M C Escher’s Day and Night (1938) By Simon Ings Leeuwarden-Fryslan, one of the less populated parts of the Netherlands, has been designated this year’s European Capital of Culture. It’s a hub of social and technological and cultural innovation and yet hardly anyone has heard of …

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Watch the weird new solutions to the baffling three-body problem

It takes three to tango NASA/JPL-CalTech/T. Pyle By Chelsea Whyte The infamous three-body problem – the mathematical puzzle of how three objects can orbit one another according to Newton’s laws – now has hundreds of new solutions. Last year, Shijun Liao at Shanghai Jiaotong University in China and his colleagues …

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Pluto is not a planet – it’s a billion comets squished together

The left lobe of Sputnik Planitia, Pluto’s heart-shaped ice plain NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute By Leah Crane Pluto might be made of a billion comets squashed together. Its chemical makeup hints that this might be its origin story, and that it may even have once had …

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Europe’s new data laws are a way to push back on Silicon Valley

Stephen Frost/Alamy Stock Photo IF STAYING on top of your inbox has been even harder than usual this week, blame the European Union. Organisations scrambling to comply with its new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) have sent a tide of mind-numbing emails asking for your agreement to “please stay in …

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11 unmissable wonders of the natural world

By Richard Webb FOR 30 years, the United Nations organisation UNESCO has been augmenting its World Heritage List with sites of particular importance for biodiversity, geology and evolution. There are currently 206 of them, with a further eight nominations due to be considered this June. From bizarre geological formations and …

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The curious fate of the eighth wonder of the world

Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand By Claire Asher IN THE early hours of 10 June 1886, the ground beneath Mount Tarawera on New Zealand’s North Island began to shake. After an intensifying swarm of earthquakes, the volcano erupted from three domes, spewing hot gases and rocks into the …

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Asteroid that killed the dinosaurs caused massive global warming

The asteroid created 5 degrees of global warming Sven Hagolani/Getty By Michael Le Page The asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs caused temperatures to rise by 5°C. Earth stayed that hot for 100,000 years. That’s much hotter than expected, which could mean we are underestimating how much the planet will …

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Uber self-driving car ‘saw woman but didn’t brake before crash’

U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators examine the self-driving Uber car in March National Transportation Safety Board/Handout via REUTERS By New Scientist staff and Press Association An autonomous Uber car spotted a pedestrian about six seconds before fatally hitting her but did not stop because the system used to automatically …

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Bulletproof batteries could make body armour for combat

Heavy military packs could soon get lighter WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP/Getty Images By David Hambling Bulletproof batteries could soon be used as armour for soldiers. Lumping military kit around on foot is a tiresome job, with batteries accounting for as much as a quarter of the weight they have to carry. But …

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Brain implant for OCD surprisingly helps alleviate diabetes too

Brain implants can have surprising effects Living Art Enterprises/SPL By Andy Coghlan A surprising finding from a person with severe obsessive compulsive disorder has revealed an unexpected role for the brain’s reward system in diabetes. The finding may lead to a new understanding of the disease and novel treatments. Mireille …

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