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Déjà vu all over again for stem cell research

LEADER:  08:00 28 March 2014

Stem cell research is caught up in controversy once more, but it is too early for gloom about this promising field

Public smoking bans lead to healthier kids and births

TODAY:  22:30 27 March 2014

Smoking bans mean fewer premature births and fewer children taken to hospital for asthma, dispelling fears that bans make people smoke more at home

Dead exoplanets can have oxygen-rich atmospheres too

TODAY:  21:00 27 March 2014

If Earth's ostensible twin is out there, it might be a lifeless rock – dead worlds can build up oxygen in their atmospheres as well as living ones

Quantum death: How the cosmic speed limit got frozen

FEATURE:  20:00 27 March 2014

Light speed is no limit in the quantum world – so why can't we exploit that freedom? Perhaps because we're living in the dead husk of a richer cosmos

Designer chromosomes could turn cells into factories

TODAY:  18:24 27 March 2014

Building an entirely synthetic yeast chromosome could allow the microbes to make useful molecules like drugs that are not found in nature

Rising tide of migration is a myth, say global stats

INTERVIEW:  18:11 27 March 2014

Newly standardised figures let us measure global migration rates at last - and they have been flat for 20 years, says population researcher Nikola Sander

Vanishing mirror turns into a window as you spin it Movie Camera

TODAY:  18:00 27 March 2014

A material that filters visible light according to its direction of travel could make it easier to photograph faint objects

Whale's bacterial stowaways reveal how stressed it is

PICTURE OF THE DAY:  17:50 27 March 2014

This unfortunate humpback whale swam all the way from Alaska to Hawaii tangled in fishing gear – but its stress has taught us a lot about whale health

Today on Scientific World News

DAILY ROUND-UP:  17:30 27 March 2014

All the latest on newscientist.com: metal-eating plants, Facebook and Oculus, face-shifting empathetic robot, stem cell "unethical" culture and more

Tree of bird life could solve Noah's Ark problem

THIS WEEK:  16:41 27 March 2014

Genetic analysis has revealed which birds are the most unique and ancient in evolutionary terms – giving conservationists a new way to decide which to save

Stem cell scientists reveal 'unethical' work culture

TODAY:  15:30 27 March 2014

In the wake of ongoing controversy over stem cell research findings, a Scientific World News survey reveals "numerous instances" of falsified data and an "unhealthy competitive attitude"

Robot can wear your friend's face and guess your mood Movie Camera

TODAY:  15:00 27 March 2014

Just a bit creepy: SociBot-Mini can display any face on its sculpted head, and estimates your age and assesses your mood by scanning your own face

Medical experiments need consent – even in emergency

LEADER:  08:00 27 March 2014

In clinical trials of emergency procedures, there's a tricky balance between urgency and informed consent – get it wrong and we risk losing breakthroughs

Robotic planet-hunter bags its first exoplanets

TODAY:  21:20 26 March 2014

The Automated Planet Finder telescope has been working tirelessly day and night, seeking out alien worlds – and its haul of planets is just beginning

Physics-minded crows bring Aesop's fable to life Movie Camera

PICTURE OF THE DAY:  21:00 26 March 2014

Using stones to raise water in a pitcher isn't just the stuff of fiction: experiments show that crows have an understanding of water displacement

Metal-eating plants could mine riches through roots

FEATURE:  19:30 26 March 2014

Plants that absorb metals from the soil could clean up old mines and allow farmers to harvest valuable resources without ruining the environment still more

Facebook and Oculus: Social media's extra dimension

TODAY:  18:16 26 March 2014

It is not just for video games. With Oculus Rift, Facebook wants to plug you in to the real world with a totally immersive experience

New dwarf planet hints at giant world far beyond Pluto

TODAY:  18:00 26 March 2014

The orbit of a newly discovered dwarf planet could signal the existence of a rocky world, 10 times bigger than Earth, lurking in the solar system's fringes

HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Virtual clone: A guinea-pig twin will keep you healthy

A medically accurate digital double will allow doctors to diagnose complex conditions, test treatments before cutting you open – and show you your future self
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INTERVIEW

We'll live to see a low-carbon world: UN climate chief

"Would you have said 'utopian speech' to Martin Luther King?" <i>(Image: Anders Birch/Laif/Camerapress)</i>

Christiana Figueres has to persuade 194 countries to sign a deal in 2015 that will stop global warming. She tells us how she's going to change the world
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LIFE

Evolution's traps: When our world leads animals astray

From frogs swallowing light bulbs to beetles mating with bottles, the modern world is hijacking creatures' evolved instincts. Can we turn the trap into a tool?
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PICTURE OF THE DAY

Whale's bacterial stowaways reveal how stressed it is

This unfortunate humpback whale swam all the way from Alaska to Hawaii tangled in fishing gear – but its stress has taught us a lot about whale health
Read more

ALIEN WORLDS

Eccentric Earths: Weird planets where life might lurk

We thought that the search for life on other planets meant finding Earth's twin. But now it looks like some bizarre worlds could still be fit for life
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MENTAL HEALTH

The therapy pill: Forget your phobia in fast forward

Talking cures for phobias or addictions take ages to detrain your brain. What if a memory-boosting drug let you do it in a day? Jessica Hamzelou pops the pill
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