UK Covid cases are rising – should we wear masks again?
Three experts weigh in on the benefits of reintroducing face coverings in certain settingsWith Covid infectionlevels increasing and hospitalisations following suitwith the rise of the Omicron sub-variants BA.4 and BA.5, some experts have called for a reintroduction of mask-wearing in certain settings, with the chair of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, Sir Andrew Pollard,saying it would be “sensible” for hospitals to reintroduce the practice.Here ’s what other scientists have to say.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 5, 2022 Category: Science Authors: Nicola Davis Science correspondent Tags: NHS Coronavirus Health Infectious diseases Science Society Source Type: news

Scientists warn MEPs against watering down EU deforestation law
More than 50 experts say proposal redefining forest degradation could undermine net zero emissions plansMore than 50 scientists have warned MEPs that a high-level move to water down EU legislation on deforestation could undermine Europe ’s net zero emissions plans.European environment ministers rewrote a draft regulation last week to define “forest degradation” as the replacement of primary forest by plantations or other wooded land. In the EU, which has about3.1m hectares of primary forest amid159m hectares of overall forest, it would limit the law ’s reach to only 2% of the total area.Continue reading... (Source:...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 5, 2022 Category: Science Authors: Arthur Neslen Tags: Trees and forests Climate crisis European Union United Nations Science Environment World news Source Type: news

Fields medal: Kyiv-born professor and Oxford expert among winners
Maryna Viazovska ’s work on packing spheres and James Maynard’s solving of prime number conundrum honoured in HelsinkiA Ukrainian mathematician who proved the best way to pack spheres in eight dimensions to take up the least space, and an Oxford expert who has solved conundrums in the spacing of prime numbers, are among the winners of the Fields medal, considered the equivalent of a Nobel prize for mathematics.The winners of the prize, presented at the International Mathematical Union awards ceremony in Helsinki, have been announced as Prof James Maynard 35, from Oxford University, Prof Maryna Viazovska, 37, of the Éc...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 5, 2022 Category: Science Authors: Nicola Davis and Ian Sample Tags: Mathematics Science World news UK news Ukraine France Europe Source Type: news

Handle with care: mistakes and near-misses at UK Covid labs
A coronavirus-infected ferret bite is among many mishaps investigated during the pandemicA week before the UK ’s first coronavirus lockdown, a lab worker at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board in Newport was screening nose and throat swabs from an intensive care patient. The paperwork carried no clinical details and the swabs were not double-bagged to indicate high risk. As such, the work was done on an open bench. But the swabs were more dangerous than thought. It later emerged that they came from a patient who was fighting for their life with Covid.The incident in March 2020 was among the first of dozens of mishaps, ...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 5, 2022 Category: Science Authors: Ian Sample Science editor Tags: Coronavirus Science Health Hospitals Infectious diseases Medical research Source Type: news

Dangerous incidents at UK laboratories ‘potentially exposed staff to Covid’
Official reports describe leaks of virus-laden fluids, a flood and a researcher bitten by an infected ferretDangerous incidents at UK laboratories, hospitals and Covid test centres potentially exposed staff to coronavirus and other hazards over the course of the pandemic, according to official reports obtained by the Guardian.Many involved leaks and spillages of virus-laden fluids, but investigations also took place into a flood at an animal facility housing Covid-infected monkeys, mix ups that led scientists to work on live virus by mistake and a researcher being bitten by an infected ferret.Continue reading... (Source: G...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 5, 2022 Category: Science Authors: Ian Sample Science editor Tags: Science Coronavirus Health UK news Infectious diseases Medical research Source Type: news

New Covid wave: Is this what ‘living with covid’ looks like?
The UK is yet again facing a wave of Covid infections, with cases soaring by more than half a million in a week at the end of June. This time, the wave is driven by even more transmissible variants of Omicron known as BA.4 and BA.5. But with all Covid precautions gone, and many of us heading to bars, pubs, festivals and sporting events as the summer rolls on, is it much of a surprise? Ian Sample asks Prof Graham Medley if infections will translate into hospitalisations and deaths, and whether we can expect ongoing cycles of Covid waves in the months and years to comeArchive: 5 News, Sky NewsContinue reading... (Source: Gua...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 5, 2022 Category: Science Authors: Presented by Ian Sample, produced by Anand Jagatia and Madeleine Finlay, sound design byRudi Zygadlo, and the executive producer was Lorna Stewart Tags: Science Coronavirus Infectious diseases Microbiology Source Type: news

Russia releases photo of cosmonauts holding Luhansk flag on ISS
Trio were praised in February for wearing yellow uniforms in apparent show of support for UkraineRussia-Ukraine war: live updatesRussia ’s space agency has published photos appearing to show cosmonauts on the International Space Station (ISS) holding the flags of the self-proclaimed republics in Luhansk and Donetsk.In amessage posted to the official Roscosmos Telegram channel, Oleg Artemyev, Denis Matveyev and Sergey Korsakov appear to be holding the flags of the two occupied territories, whose occupiers are recognised as legitimate authorities only by Russia and Syria among UN member states.Continue reading... (Source: ...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 4, 2022 Category: Science Authors: Martin Belam Tags: Russia International Space Station Ukraine World news Europe Source Type: news

Time-lapse of the world's largest waterlily species discovered at London's Kew Gardens – video
A giant waterlily grown at Kew Gardens has been named as a new species in the first discovery of its type in more than a century. Scientists at Kew suspected for decades there could be a third species of giant waterlilyNewly identified waterlily species is world ’s largestContinue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 4, 2022 Category: Science Tags: Kew Gardens Plants Source Type: news

The big idea: should we worry about sentient AI?
A Google employee raised the alarm about a chatbot he believes is conscious. A philosopher asks if he was right to do soThere ’s a children’s toy, called the See ’n Say, which haunts the memories of many people born since 1965. It’s a bulky plastic disc with a central arrow that rotates around pictures of barnyard creatures, like a clock, if time were measured in roosters and pigs. There’s a cord you can pull to make the toy play recorded messages. “The cow says: ‘Moooo.’”The See ’n Say is an input/output device, a very simple one. Put in your choice of a picture, and it will put out a matching sound. A...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 4, 2022 Category: Science Authors: Regina Rini Tags: Science and nature books Philosophy books Society books Culture Artificial intelligence (AI) Computing Consciousness Technology Source Type: news

Ode to the Spring review – Chinese exploration of pandemic ground zero in Wuhan
Telling five Covid-related stories, this platitudinous urban-interconnection drama offers lectures on virtue and self-sacrifice and feels like state propagandaThis interminable anthology film about the pandemic feels like being force-fed lectures on altruism, family responsibility, self-sacrifice and neighbourly forbearance by the Chinese government (which produced it). Set almost entirely in Wuhan – Covid ground zero – it’s handsomely photographed, making the emptied-out city look drowned and dystopian. But its five mawkish segments contain hardly any worthwhile drama and the whole comes over as more of a public inf...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 4, 2022 Category: Science Authors: Phil Hoad Tags: Film Drama films World cinema China Coronavirus Asia Pacific Culture Infectious diseases Medical research Microbiology Science World news Source Type: news

Goodbye silicone? A new era of breast reconstruction is on the horizon
Tissue-regrowing implants, which will enter human trials next week, could provide comfortable and accessible alternatives to siliconeHaving an ice pack strapped to your chest – that’s howsome describe the experience of taking a walk in cold weather when you have breast implants. Silicone only slowly reaches body temperature once out of the cold, so that icy feeling can persist for hours. As well as being uncomfortable, for breast cancer survivors it can be an unwelcome reminder of a disease they would rather put behind them.Every year,2 million people worldwide are diagnosed with breast cancer and the treatment often i...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 4, 2022 Category: Science Authors: Ida Emilie Steinmark Tags: Breast cancer Women's health Society Science Technology Healthcare industry Source Type: news

Russian cosmonauts display flag of occupied Luhansk region on ISS
Cosmonauts praised in February for wearing yellow uniforms in apparent show of support for UkraineRussia-Ukraine war: live updatesThe Russian cosmonauts who werelauded at the outset of the war on Ukraine in February for appearing to show their support for their invaded neighbours with yellow and blue spacesuits have been pictured on the International Space Station (ISS) holding the flags of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People ’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic, alongside a message celebrating what the Russian space agency Roscosmos termed the “liberation” of Luhansk.In amessage posted to the official Roscosmo...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 4, 2022 Category: Science Authors: Martin Belam Tags: Russia International Space Station Ukraine World news Europe Source Type: news

Covid covid covid, everyone is getting covid covid covid | First Dog on the Moon
Apparently EVERYONE who is ANYONE is getting the new variant it is all the rageSign up here to get an email whenever First Dog cartoons are publishedGet all your needs met at the First Dog shop if what you need is First Dog merchandise and printsContinue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 4, 2022 Category: Science Authors: First Dog on the Moon Tags: Australia news Coronavirus Infectious diseases Science Source Type: news

Starwatch: Matariki appearance marks start of M āori new year
Pleiades star cluster in Taurus marks month-long time of remembrance and celebrationMidsummer is definitely not a time of the year that northern hemisphere observers think about looking for the Pleiades star cluster in Taurus; January and February are far more favourable.However, if you move to the southern hemisphere – New Zealand to be precise – the cluster, which is also known as Matariki, takes on a whole new meaning at this time of year. It returns to visibility in the early morning sky during the mid-winter (late-May to late July), and marks the Māori new year.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 4, 2022 Category: Science Authors: Stuart Clark Tags: M āori New Zealand Asia Pacific World news Science Source Type: news

Newly identified waterlily species is world ’s largest
Leaves of species grown at Kew Gardens can reach up to three metres in the wildA giant waterlily grown at Kew Gardens has been named as new to science, in the first discovery of its type in more than a century.Scientists at the south-west London garden suspected for decades there could be a third species of giant waterlily and worked with researchers in its native home in Bolivia to see if their thesis was correct.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - July 4, 2022 Category: Science Authors: Helena Horton Environment reporter Tags: Plants Environment Science Biology Source Type: news