Senior Wuhan doctor dies from coronavirus as authorities start to ’round up’ patients

Global development Officials go door to door in city of 11 million, with threat of punishment for delays in reporting symptoms Coronavirus outbreak – live updates The citywide coronavirus inspection campaign indicates an escalation of the situation in Wuhan. It came as a senior doctor…

No 10 furore is latest chapter in long, dark history of racist science

Science Idea that members of one race are intellectually superior has had to be confronted regularly James Watson, who co-discovered the structure of DNA, apologised for remarks made about Africans in 2007 but later appeared to reassert them. Photograph: Tiago Petinga/EPA The notion that members…

Long-term offenders have different brain structure, study says

Medical research Study found differences compared with those who did not offend or who only transgressed as adolescents The researchers say the findings underscore prior studies suggesting there are different types of young offenders. Photograph: Alamy Parents should not worry about their teenagers’ delinquent behaviour…

Fail productively… how to turn yourself into a super-learner

The Observer Neuroscience Whether you’re taking up the oboe or finessing your Finnish, scientific research offers tips to aid learning Perhaps surprisingly, one of the best ways to learn a subject is to teach it. Photograph: Maskot/Getty Images If your aim for 2020 was to…

Astronomers to sweep entire sky for signs of extraterrestrial life

Astronomy Project is collaboration between privately-funded firm and New Mexico observatory The Very Large Array observatory in New Mexico will gather data to be analysed by the Seti Institute. Photograph: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Astronomers will sweep the entire sky for signs of extraterrestrial life for the…

In the beginning: Dan Hooper on the early universe – Science Weekly podcast

What happened at the dawn of the universe, just trillionths of a second after the start of the big bang, remains a mystery. Revisiting these moments in his new book, At the Edge of Time, Dan Hooper explores many of the unknowns in cosmology. Hooper…

Scientists find evidence of ‘ghost population’ of ancient humans

Science Traces of unknown ancestor emerged when researchers analysed genomes from west African populations A Homo neanderthalensis skull: The ghost population split from the ancestors of Neanderthals and modern humans between 360,000 and 1 million years ago. Photograph: The Natural History Museum/Alamy Stock Photo Scientists…

Fossils shed new light on car-sized turtle that once roamed South America

Fossils Stupendemys geographicus, armed with sturdy horns, lived from about 13m to 7m years ago alongside giant crocodilians The huge extinct freshwater turtle Stupendemys geographicus, that lived in lakes and rivers in northern South America during the Miocene Epoch, is seen in an illustration. Photograph:…

Could the coronavirus mutate if a vaccine can’t be found in time?

Coronavirus outbreak As scientists race to trace out paths the virus might take we ask the crucial questions An illustration of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Photograph: AP In just a month, the coronavirus outbreak has…