United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket with the Parker Solar Probe at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Photograph: AFP PHOTO/NASA/BILL INGALLS

A last-minute technical problem has delayed Nasa’s unprecedented flight to the sun. The launch countdown was halted with just one-minute, 55 seconds (...)

‘Loneliness is a problem which faces too many of our people, and in particular older people,’ said Minister of State Sean Kyne. Photograph: Alan Betson

Loneliness was as bad for a person’s health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. It meant sufferers were more likely to suffer dementia, heart disease and (...)

Author Philip Roth in New York in September 15th, 2010. Photograph: Eric Thayer/Reuters

Philip Roth, who died on Tuesday at the age of 85, was a prolific, protean and often blackly comic novelist who was a pre-eminent figure in 20th centu(...)

Rosalind Franklin in 1950. She, like Crick, had realised that DNA had a double helix structure. Photograph: Vittoria Luzzati/NPG

When Barack Obama used a model of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in his 2016 State of the Union Address to introduce the concept of “Precision Medicine a(...)

A Brief History of Time: Stephen Hawking in Cambridge in 2003. Photograph: In Pictures/Corbis via Getty

I first encountered Stephen Hawking on the cover of the New York Times magazine. Inside, its pages told a story we all know today, but at the time it (...)

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

As Donald Trump’s tenure in the White House passes the one-year mark this weekend, many are reflecting on a presidency that most people never thought (...)

An artist’s rendering of the merger of two neutron stars.  Image: Robin Dienel/The Carnegie Institution for Science via The New York Times

A collision of two neutron stars, 130 million light years away, has opened up “a new window on the Universe”. The spectacular event which occurred on (...)

The tower of the former Lucky Strike tobacco factory looms over Durham,  North Carolina, a reminder of the industry that thrived there for almost 200 years. Photograph: George Rinhart/Corbis via Getty Images

August is the time of escape from Washington, when thousands of workers and political types leave the swampy heat of the nation’s capital and escape t(...)

Marina Ratner proved her most influential theorem after she turned 50

Marina Ratner, an influential mathematician and Russian-Jewish émigré who defied the notion that the best and the brightest in her field do their fine(...)

 Iranian Professor of mathematics Maryam Mirzakhani who was the first woman to receive the prestigious Fields Medal for mathematics. Photograph: EPA

Maryam Mirzakhani, an Iranian mathematician who was the only woman ever to win a Fields Medal, the most prestigious honour in mathematics, died on Jul(...)

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