Indian prime minister Narendra Modi at the start of a crucial parliament budget session. Mr Modi is due to present his first federal budget amid growing disenchantment with his government. Photograph: Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty Images

India’s prime minister Narendra Modi faces his first major appraisal this weekend when his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government p(...)

The CIA established the Center on Climate Change and National Security in 2009, a decision that drew fierce criticism from some Republicans who viewed it as a distraction from more pressing terrorist concerns. Photograph: Getty Images

A senior US scientist has expressed concern that the intelligence services are funding climate change research to learn if new technologies could be u(...)

A scorched mesquite tree is seen among the thousands of acres that burned from wildfires during a severe drought outside Jayton, Texas, in 2011. Photograph: Elliott Blackburn/Reuters

The US south-west and the Great Plains will face decade-long droughts far worse than any experienced over the last 1,000 years because of climate chan(...)

Quantum cryptography offers a path to improved internet security, the idea being that you can hide information in the quantum state of sub-atomic particles

Fans of Breaking Bad may inadvertently know more about quantum mechanics than they think. Walter White is a quantum character. As one fans’ website pu(...)

Paul McNulty: ‘I don’t employ someone unless I have enough money in the bank to cover their salary for a year.’

That grumpy but lovable ogre Shrek may have made kids happy and Disney rich, but indirectly he is also responsible for creating 26 jobs in Donegal. Th(...)

The photograph, issued this week, was taken using a special mount allows the use of standard cameras to take sharper pictures of Earth at speed. Photograph: ESA/Nasa

Have you ever wondered what a lightning strike looks like from above? No need to wonder anymore as an astronaut on board the International Space Stati(...)

Microsoft executives Joe Belfiore, Terry Myerson and Alex Kipman  wearing HoloLens eyewear that overlays 3D images on the real world. Photograph: Glenn Chapman/AFP/Getty Images

It is generally wise to take demonstrations of new technologies with a grain of salt. That was especially true for the Microsoft HoloLens – the hologr(...)

A US stealth bomber approaches for mid-air refuelling: stealth aircraft are one of the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s biggest success stories. Photograph: Reuters/Hyungwon Kang

The US government’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) is involved in many different areas because the creation and prevention of strat(...)

Sam Smyth of Urban Plant Life surrounded by the Kentia palm (Howea forsteriana), one of his favourite indoor plants. Photographs: Richard Johnston

It’s not easy being a house plant. Too often, it’s expected to have the endurance skills of a French Foreign legionnaire along with a supernatural (...)

Global temperatures were 0.69 degrees (1.24F) higher than the 20th century average, US government scientists have said. Photograph: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The numbers are in. The year 2014 – after shattering temperature records that had stood for hundreds of years across virtually all of Europe, and roas(...)