Science & technology

Pain, pain, go away

Better medicines are needed to relieve pain

Most analgesics are either opioids or anti-inflammatories. Neither is good enough

Flying construction robots

Teams of drones can print in 3D

They could build and repair where humans cannot reach

Environment

Crickets are an indicator of ecosystem health

The chirps of insects tell an important story

Taxonomy

On the troubles of naming species

What do you do when a name becomes problematic?

Asteroseismology

Want to know what’s inside a star? Listen closely

Sounds from stars are proving useful to astronomers

Music and the mind

Playing an instrument is linked to better cognition

Another of the many benefits of a musical education

Camouflage

The complex arms race between predator and prey

A new study attempts to quantify how well disguise works in nature

Peer review

An influential academic safeguard is distorted by status bias

To those that have, more shall be given

Parasites prevented

A new malaria vaccine shows promising results

If further tests remain successful, it could be deployed in the field as soon as 2023

One foot in the grave

Humans were performing amputations earlier than thought

A new find in Borneo puts the advent of surgery back by almost 24,000 years

Zooming in

Making the invisible visible

A new imaging technique can reveal tiny protein structures like never before

Weather

Heatwaves and floods around the world may be a taste of years to come

La Niña and climate change combine to create a spate of extreme weather in 2022