Covid-19 news: UK R number below 1.0 for the first time since August

By Michael Le Page , Clare Wilson , Jessica Hamzelou , Sam Wong , Adam Vaughan , Conrad Quilty-Harper and Layal Liverpool Students at the University of St Andrews in Scotland participate… [+27926 chars]

AI can turn spoken language into photorealistic sign language videos

By Chris Stokel-Walker Many Deaf people use sign language to communicate FluxFactory/Getty Images An AI that can produce photorealistic videos of sign language interpreters from speech could impro… [+443 chars]

We seem to find larger animals more charismatic than small ones

By Donna Lu Large animals – such as the black rhino – are judged most charismatic Udo Kieslich/Alamy Humans seem to find larger animals more charismatic than smaller ones – although some exception… [+447 chars]

Do Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine results stand up to scrutiny?

By Graham Lawton AstraZeneca is developing a coronavirus vaccine in partnership with the University of Oxford DAN HIMBRECHTS/AAP/PA Images Earlier this week, pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca and t… [+6607 chars]

Godzilla Sahara dust storm linked to melting Arctic sea ice

By Adam Vaughan The Godzilla dust cloud spreading over the Mexican coast Medios y Media/Getty Images A record-breaking Sahara dust storm that spread hazy skies and harmful levels of air pollution … [+436 chars]

Google Earth reveals suspected nuclear weapons facility in Pakistan

By Adam Vaughan This extension to a nuclear facility in Pakistan was spotted using Google Earth Neil Hyatt et al. Sleuthing with satellites images on Google Earth has revealed a substantial and un… [+468 chars]

Fears about genetically modified foods are cultural not scientific

By James Wong Marco Pompeo Photography/Alamy I HAVE always been fascinated by people’s cultural relationship with plants. You might assume understanding this is all about voyaging up the Amazon riv… [+429 chars]

California's latest erosion of gig worker rights could be going global

Al Seib/Shutterstock PEOPLE in the US have been so busy freaking out about the recent presidential election that it was easy to miss a vote in California for a ballot measure called Proposition 22. … [+407 chars]

Our supposed earliest human relative may have walked on four legs

By Michael Marshall The shape of the femur from Sahelanthropus tchadensis is typical of apes like chimps Franck Guy/Université de Poitie AFTER more than a decade in limbo, a crucial fossil of an e… [+429 chars]

We can't be certain the coronavirus vaccines will stop the pandemic

By Graham Lawton A volunteer in Moscow takes part in the trial for the Sputnik V vaccine Natalia Kolesnikova/Afp Via Getty Images IT IS the ultimate exit strategy from covid-19. A safe and effecti… [+442 chars]