Prof Terry Tao’s Hamilton lecture will draw on his childhood fascination with astronomy and distances between planets.

Terry Tao is probably the world’s best problem solver in mathematics – the skill that is the essence of this essential creative science. So it’s more(...)

A woman wearing a Niqab Islamic dress, in Rotterdam. The Dutch ban applies  in public places such as schools, hospitals, government offices, and on public transport, though not on the street. Photograph: Robin Utrecht/AFP/Getty    Images

No matter how you look at it politically, there’s more than a little irony in growing demands for the year-old Dutch burka ban to be rescinded because(...)

Although researchers cannot forecast how long these immune responses will last, many experts consider the data an indication that the body’s most studious cells are doing their job. Photograph: iStock

To the immune system, not all germs are equally memorable. But our body’s cells seem to be seriously studying up on the coronavirus. Scientists who h(...)

 People walk in front of the US consulate in Chengdu, Sichuan province, on Thursday. Photograph: STR China Out/EPA

China ordered the United States to close its consulate in the city of Chengdu on Friday, in a tit-for-tat response to being told to shut its consulate(...)

Coronavirus precautions are taken in an office in Tottori, western Japan. Photograph:STR/Getty/AFP

Four months into the biggest working from home experiment ever, the cracks are beginning to show. People are struggling with isolation, motivation and(...)

Shut the economy down for long enough and the resources necessary for a functioning broad-based health service begin to be impaired

One of the criticisms of the UK – and other – government’s response to Covid-19 has been the apparent lack of breadth of the science that is repeatedl(...)

Prof Denis O’Sullivan. Analysed moon rocks brought back by Neil Armstrong on board the Apollo 11 spacecraft. Photograph: Eric Luke

If you are resorting to virtual table quizzes to break the Covid-19 lockdown boredom, try this question: who links these three things – moon rocks, hi(...)

‘Normal talking to a person while keeping the recommended social distance will be fine. Putting on a mask will be even better.’ Photograph: iStock

Coughs or sneezes may not be the only way people transmit infectious pathogens like the novel coronavirus to one another. Talking can also launch thou(...)

In the US, diagnostic testing for the novel coronavirus has become a massive logistical failure, making it impossible to track how much the virus has truly spread and how many people it has sickened

Amazon has started building a lab that will enable it to test employees for the Covid-19 virus, the latest step the online retailer is taking to try t(...)

Robo-analysts issue recommendations that are “substantially more negative” than traditional analysts’; almost a quarter of ratings (24 per cent) are sell recommendations, compared to just 6 per cent among traditional analysts. Photograph: Istock

There’s an old joke about analysts – you don’t need them in a bull market and you don’t want them in a bear market. Traditional analysts have their fl(...)

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