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New Scientist International Edition 17-Jul-21

New Scientist covers the latest developments in science and technology that will impact your world. New Scientist employs and commissions the best writers in their fields from all over the world. Our editorial team provide cutting-edge news, award-winning features and reports, written in concise and clear language that puts discoveries and advances in the context of everyday life today and in the future.

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2 min
elsewhere on new scientist

Virtual event The science of can and can’t Most theories explain reality by predicting what will occur. But there is an alternative way of explaining things: saying what can and can’t happen. In this talk, physicist Chiara Marletto discusses how this approach holds extraordinary promise for confronting challenges in fundamental physics. Join us from 6pm BST on 2 September or watch on demand. Tickets available now. newscientist.com/events Podcast Weekly The UK hasn’t decided whether children should be given covid-19 vaccines, while other countries forge ahead. What’s the hold up? It is 25 years since the cloning of Dolly the sheep and the team discuss the legacy of this landmark experiment. Plus, NASA’s plans to power a ship with solar sails and China’s epic progress on quantum computers. newscientist.com/ podcasts Online Covid-19 daily briefing All the latest developments in the pandemic…

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2 min
children are still at risk

IF THERE has been one saving grace of the covid-19 pandemic, it is that children are relatively safe from serious disease and death compared with adults. Over the first year of the pandemic, only 259 under-18s in England were admitted to intensive care with covid-19. Another 312 were treated for a serious but rare condition that developed after infection called delayed inflammatory syndrome. As the UK government prepares to lift nearly all covid-19 restrictions in England on 19 July and allow the virus to spread through the community (see page 7), it might seem as if children aren’t at risk, but this isn’t the case. Under-18s make up a fifth of the UK population and very few have been vaccinated, because unlike countries such as the US, which is offering covid-19 vaccines to…

3 min
cases will spike in august

MORE than 100 people per day are expected to die and more than 1000 a day be admitted to hospital in England at the peak of the UK’s current wave of covid-19 cases, the government’s scientific advisers are anticipating. Modelling released by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) on 12 July gives the first detailed look at the possible impacts from around 100,000 cases per day, the number that UK health secretary Sajid Javid has warned the country could hit when restrictions lift in England on 19 July. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have different plans for relaxing rules. Cases aren’t expected to peak until mid-August at the earliest, as covid-19 spreads to younger people who aren’t yet vaccinated (see page 8). The high level of vaccination and more younger people being…

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7 min
is it time to vaccinate children?

THE UK looks set to drop almost all of its covid-19 restrictions on 19 July, despite infections soaring. The UK government appears to be banking on the fact that more than half the nation has been fully vaccinated against the virus, helping minimise the number of hospitalisations from covid-19. But most under-18s, who make up about a fifth of the UK population, haven’t had jabs yet. The rationale for this is that children get less sick from covid-19 and were mainly excluded from initial vaccine trials, so there is less information on vaccine effectiveness in people of that age. While UK regulatory approval for the Pfizer/BioNTech jab was extended in June to people who are 12 or older, the body that decides whether people in the UK should in practice be offered…

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1 min
earth needs more nature reserves to avert extinctions

NEARLY a third of the world’s oceans and land should be protected by 2030 to stem extinctions and ensure humanity lives in harmony with nature. That is the suggestion in a proposed United Nations plan for 195 countries to tackle the destruction of nature. The measure is one of 21 targets in the first draft of the Global Biodiversity Framework. Others include reforming planning systems to protect species, ending farming subsidies that are driving wildlife losses, and boosting conservation funding by at least $200 billion a year. Overall funding today is about $100 billion a year. “Despite ongoing efforts, biodiversity is deteriorating worldwide and this decline is projected to continue or worsen under business-as-usual scenarios,” says the draft, which negotiators will need to finalise in time for a major UN biodiversity summit…

3 min
europeans may have worn make-up in the stone age

SOME late Stone Age Europeans may have carried make-up inside miniature bottles that they wore around their necks or waists more than 6000 years ago. Researchers have found traces of ingredients known to be used in cosmetic formulations by later civilisations inside small bottles unearthed in Slovenia, dating to between 4350 and 4100 BC. The discovery suggests that lead-based cosmetics were possibly used in Europe more than 2000 years earlier than previously thought, and more than 1000 years before the earliest evidence of their use from ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian cultures. In 2014, Bine Kramberger at the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia found a miniature ceramic bottle at an ancient site once occupied by people of the Lasinja culture in around 4350 BC. More than 100 similar bottles have…

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