The purpose of sleep appears to change when we are toddlers

By Jessica Hamzelou Sleep is important whatever your age Cavan Images/Getty Images Why do we sleep? The answer may depend on the persons age, according to research that suggests the main role of s… [+410 chars]

Covid-19 news: UK government won’t rule out second national lockdown

By Michael Le Page , Clare Wilson , Jessica Hamzelou , Adam Vaughan , Conrad Quilty-Harper and Layal Liverpool Shoppers walk past an electronic billboard displaying a UK Government advert … [+109003 chars]

Most fertility-tracking apps are unreliable but free apps work best

By Jessica Hamzelou Apps to track periods are more accurate when they include information on body temperature and other biomarkers Richard Drury/Getty Images Fertility-tracking apps can provide mi… [+439 chars]

Most space travellers are men despite slow rise in female astronauts

By Joshua Rapp Learn Eugene Cernan and Ronald Evans flew on the Apollo 17 mission in 1972 JSC/NASA The average age of space travellers has been on the rise since cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin first blast… [+424 chars]

Life in the toxic clouds of Venus

By Leah Crane All eyes on Venus JAXA / ISAS / Akatsuki Project Team This is a preview of Launchpad, our free weekly newsletter in which resident space expert Leah Crane fills you in on on all the … [+2825 chars]

It’s time to for us to revisit Venus to uncover its many mysteries

By Peter Gao Michelle D'Urbano If Mars were the popular kid in school, Venus would be the weird nerd sitting in the corner, largely ignored. Despite its image, Venus is the brightest object in the… [+359 chars]

NASA to film an Estée Lauder ad in space as the ISS opens for business

NASA is trying to turn the ageing International Space Station into a hub for commerce and has partnered with the likes of Estée Lauder and Adidas

How wholesome memes could save us all

By Annalee Newitz William West/AFP via Getty Images IT STARTED with Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the anodyne casual game where you are on an island populated by cute, talking animals. You can go … [+434 chars]

The internet's crumbling infrastructure is leaving us all insecure

By James Ball Michelle DUrbano IN JANUARY 1989, two engineers Cisco’s Kirk Lougheed and IBM’s Yakov Rekhter sat down in the cafeteria at a technology conference in Austin, Texas. The two men were … [+399 chars]

We now have the technology to develop vaccines that spread themselves

Prevention is better than cure, so we should start using genetic techniques to stop dangerous animal diseases jumping to humans, say Scott Nuismer and James Bull