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NuSTAR captures dead star and distant black holes

Free Radicals: The Secret Anarchy of Science, By Michael Brooks<br/>Litmus: Short Stories from Modern Science, Edited by Ra Page

These days science is either nothing or it's the new religion. But, as both these books show in their different ways, the practice of science inhabits the broad territory between these extremes and exhibits the full Monty of human behaviour. Science is the most reliable form of knowledge we have but it is arrived at by unreliable means. Cutting-edge research deals with the unknown unknowns, as the unwitting philosopher of science Donald Rumsfeld put it, and there is no formula or methodology for achieving that.

Cern scientists shatter antimatter record

How do you store a substance which vanishes into thin air the moment it comes into contact with any material known to man, even thin air itself?

Storm leaves 116 dead in a single American town

Doctors and nurses at the main hospital in the US town of Joplin, Missouri, had just minutes to rush patients away from windows and outside walls before it was ravaged by a massive tornado that ripped a wide path through, leaving at least 116 people dead and countless more injured. Officials said the death toll was expected to rise.

Adjust your compass now: the north pole is migrating to Russia

Movement of the magnetic north is causing problems for aviation, navigation and wildlife

Vatican Radio is told to pay out over cancer risk scare

Italy's supreme Court has ordered Vatican Radio to compensate a small town near Rome following claims that children there were at a higher risk of cancer because of the broadcaster's high-powered transmitters.

Solar storm 'could cause more damage than Hurricane Katrina'

A powerful solar flare hit the Earth last week &ndash; and experts are now warning that the next one could be catastrophic

The Planet in a Pebble, By Jan Zalasiewicz

The very stone one kicks with one's boot will outlast Shakespeare." So laments Mr Ramsay in To the Lighthouse, whose author, Virginia Woolf, had originally plumped for Plato in the novel's manuscript. With his fascinating brief study of the aeons encapsulated in a slate pebble washed by the waves on a Welsh beach, the geologist Jan Zalasiewicz finds so much more than books in babbling brooks or sermons in stones. It is soon evident that the years between the acts of a Greek philosopher and Jacobean playwright are a mere instant.

Simon Carr: Barking and cringeing on Ed's quest for the leadership secret

Sketch: The words "brotherly love" are to Ed like a dentist's drill on an open tooth.

Liam Fox highlights solar flare threat to power grids

Defence Secretary Liam Fox will today highlight the threat to Britain's essential infrastructure, amid warnings by scientists that it could be paralysed by a once-in-a-century solar flare.

Theories of everything: Has cosmic science written its last word?

Stephen Hawking's new book dumps divine design in favour of spontaneous creation

The Stars: September

Devourer of asteroids, swallower of comets: Jupiter is a world to be reckoned with. It's the giant of our Solar System: a planet that could contain 1,300 Earths.

Forget the Large Hadron Collider. All hail Cern's new, straight-line atom smasher

Physicists are demanding a &pound;4.4bn, 31-kilometre tunnel if they are to explain the mysteries of the universe

Album: The Divine Comedy, Bang Goes The Knighthood (DCR)

Unstrapping his shin pads after last year's success with The Duckworth Lewis Method, Neil Hannon returns to his main day-job with Bang Goes The Knighthood, an album on which the cast of familiar Divine Comedy characters are targeted with his usual precision and urbanity.

Sun's magnetic field may have caused freezing winter

It was the coldest winter in England since 1963 – the coldest in Scotland since 1914 – and weeks of ice, snow and sub-zero temperatures from last December to March defied predictions by climate-change scientists of milder, wetter winters. So what happened?

Do try this at home? Science experiments as homework

Teachers say science experiments are disappearing from schools. But that doesn't have to mean the end of the Van der Graaf generator
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Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent