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How climate change is shaking up the hops that give beer its flavour

Mié, 15/12/2021 - 12:00
Hop plants are largely what distinguish your dark ales from your refreshing pales, and each has its own “terroir”. With changing weather affecting how and where they grow, what does the future hold for brewing and beer?

2021 in review: When a brain blob in a dish grew a pair of ‘eyes’

Mié, 15/12/2021 - 12:00
Incredible advances in growing living tissue in the lab took another amazing turn in August when a blob of brain cells grew eye-like structures

What doing magic tricks for birds is revealing about animal minds

Mié, 15/12/2021 - 12:00
Scientists have teamed up with magicians to perform illusions on Eurasian jays, revealing flaws in their perception – and modes of thinking we didn’t know they had

In 2021, we made real progress in fighting covid-19 and climate change

Mié, 15/12/2021 - 12:00
This year, we have taken on two massive existential threats: the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the climate emergency. Though we are a long way off solving these crises, there are reasons for rational optimism in 2022

2021 in review: Jian-Wei Pan leads China’s quantum computing successes

Mié, 15/12/2021 - 12:00
In July, the University of Science and Technology of China announced it had surpassed Google’s claimed quantum supremacy achievement. China’s ambitious quantum computing efforts are all under the oversight of one man, Jian-Wei Pan

2021 was the year cryptocurrencies went completely off the rails

Mié, 15/12/2021 - 12:00
Few of us have ever used cryptocurrencies, yet some of the schemes being dreamed up to tempt consumers are surreal and even alarming, writes Annalee Newitz

2021 in review: Space tourism begins – for billionaires, anyway

Mié, 15/12/2021 - 12:00
A flurry of short flights aboard privately funded craft saw space tourism begin with a bang for billionaires in 2021. Perhaps by the end of the decade, mere millionaires will be able to join them

The secret life of cheese: How marvellous microbes create its flavour

Mié, 15/12/2021 - 12:00
We have been making cheese for millennia, but researchers are only now getting to grips with how bacteria, fungi and viruses combine to create its characteristic flavours and textures

2021 in review: CRISPR-edited food goes on sale to public

Mié, 15/12/2021 - 12:00
In September, GABA-enriched tomatoes in Japan became the first foods modified by CRISPR gene editing to go on sale to the public

The major science-fiction films that get botany spectacularly wrong

Mié, 15/12/2021 - 12:00
Plants play a starring role in sci-fi films surprisingly often, but the botany in movies like The Martian, Sunshine and Prometheus doesn't always stack up, writes James Wong

Kenneth Libbrecht interview: A grand unified theory of snowflakes

Mié, 15/12/2021 - 12:00
Snowflakes can form in either a plate or column shape, but no one understood why – until physicist Kenneth Libbrecht investigated. His theory is the result of two decades making snow in the lab

2021 in review: AI firm DeepMind solves human protein structures

Mié, 15/12/2021 - 12:00
In July, DeepMind announced that its AlphaFold model had worked out how most of the proteins in our bodies fold. Pushmeet Kohli tells New Scientist that there is more to come

Zero-gravity beds and flame-grilled “truth”: The 2021 Feedback awards

Mié, 15/12/2021 - 12:00
Furniture in space, hydrogenated water, 630-billion hairdryers’ worth of heat, nominative determinism déjà vu and epistemological takedowns, all in Feedback’s review of the year that was

Quiz of the year: Can you recall the quirkier stories of 2021?

Mié, 15/12/2021 - 12:00
In a year dominated by covid and climate change, we also brought you plenty of weird and wonderful science coverage. Test your knowledge of some of the most intriguing nuggets, if you dare

Ambergris: What fragrant whale excretions tell us about ancient oceans

Mié, 15/12/2021 - 12:00
Ancient whale poo, known as ambergris, has long been prized by perfumiers – but it also contains precious information about ancient oceans that could help save today’s whales

Volcanic disaster settles a blanket of ash across La Palma

Mié, 15/12/2021 - 12:00
The months-long volcanic eruption on the Spanish island has rained fire and fury across the land, forced the evacuation of thousands, and dropped an astonishing amount of debris

Milky Way shakes: The cosmic collisions that made our galaxy

Mié, 15/12/2021 - 12:00
Intricate patterns in the movements of millions of stars are revealing the history of our home galaxy in rich detail – and could even pinpoint the events that gave birth to our sun

Mary Robinette Kowal: An exclusive short story for New Scientist

Mié, 15/12/2021 - 12:00
A pianist faces a difficult choice when it comes to playing a new piece, in By the Pricking of My Robotic Thumbs, a short story by Hugo and Nebula-award winning author Mary Robinette Kowal

Did monkeys really sail the oceans on floating rafts of vegetation?

Mié, 15/12/2021 - 12:00
The mystery of how some species colonised new continents is as old as the theory of evolution itself. Now, with fresh clues surfacing, the rafting hypothesis might finally sink or swim

Scientists keep inventing ways for pigs to breathe via their rectum

Mié, 15/12/2021 - 10:17
Flushing trillions of tiny oxygen bubbles through the rectum increases blood oxygen in pigs and could be an alternative to ventilation for people with damaged lungs