New Scientist

Why are we conscious? The answer lies in other animals’ heads

It’s easy to think human conscious experience is unique, but a better understanding of consciousness’s mysteries comes by tracing it back in the evolutionary tree Humans 17 November 2021 By Alison George Shutterstock/Jolygon THE smell of coffee, the blue of the sky, the anticipation of seeing a loved one: it is impossible to imagine our…

Covid-19 news: England and Wales record highest deaths since March

By Michael Le Page, Clare Wilson, Jessica Hamzelou, Sam Wong, Graham Lawton, Adam Vaughan, Conrad Quilty-Harper, Jason Arunn Murugesu and Layal Liverpool A nurse prepares to administer the Pfizer/BioNTech covid-19 vaccine, London, UKVICTORIA JONES/POOL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock Latest coronavirus news as of 12pm on 17 November A fifth of cyberattacks in UK targeted vaccine firms or health organisations …

The biggest moons of Uranus may have oceans beneath their icy shells

Uranus’s two biggest moons, Titania and Oberon, may have enough radioactive heat to maintain deep liquid oceans that could be detected by future spacecraft Space 16 November 2021 By Leah Crane Oberon might have a liquid ocean below its frozen surfaceShutterstock / AleksandrMorrisovich Uranus’s largest moons, Titania and Oberon, may be hiding buried oceans. Surface…

What difference will the COP26 climate summit make?

Despite last-minute changes, the final agreement made at COP26 still amounts to an important ratcheting up of climate ambition Environment 16 November 2021 By Adam Vaughan An attendee at the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, UKJonne Roriz/Bloomberg via Getty Images Is the 1.5°C goal still alive? The answer is a good way to boil down…

Some genes in the brain may make 100 different proteins

Researchers have sequenced the full “transcriptome” of part of the human brain, revealing all the ways its cells use genes to make proteins Health 16 November 2021 By Clare Wilson Genes in human brain cells can be read in different ways to make many proteinsShutterstock / Explode The genetic code for the human brain is…

IBM creates largest ever superconducting quantum computer

IBM claims it has produced a 127-qubit quantum computer. This is over double the size of comparable machines made by Google and the University of Science and Technology of China Technology 15 November 2021 By Matthew Sparkes IBM has created the world’s largest superconducting quantum computer, surpassing the size of state-of-the-art machines from Google and…

Trees are dying at increasing rates in forests across Europe

Annual mortality rates are rising for all major tree species in Europe, which means forests will soak up less carbon and wildfire risks will increase Environment 15 November 2021 By Michael Le Page An aerial view of dead spruce trees suffering from drought stress next to green beeches in a forest near Iserlohn, GermanyINA FASSBENDER/AFP…