New Scientist 2-Oct-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.

United Kingdom
New Scientist Ltd
51 期号


elsewhere on new scientist

Virtual event Five patterns that explain reality Our understanding of the world – from the history of the universe to chemical reactions – is based on patterns. In this talk, science writer Brian Clegg will explore five of the most crucial: the periodic table, the cosmic microwave background, Feynman diagrams, number lines and the DNA double helix. Join us at 6pm BST (1pm EDT) on 7 October. Tickets available online. Academy Consciousness and general relativity New Scientist Academy is an online platform that can give you a deeper understanding of the biggest ideas in science. We are now offering two brand new courses: one looking at general relativity, the other at the mystery of consciousness. Podcast Weekly Imagine going your whole life without being able to smell – then suddenly you can. The team tells the story of…

our tricksy solar system

ABOUT 4.5 billion years ago, a gigantic cloud of dust and gas floating through space collapsed in on itself, going on to form the sun, the planets and everything else in our solar system. That we are reasonably certain of this fact is a triumph for science, but our cosmic neighbourhood has so many more secrets for us to reveal. Take what seems like, on face value, a pretty easy question: how did the planets get to where they are today? We know that the most obvious answer, that they formed where they currently sit, is wrong, because the two outermost planets, Uranus and Neptune, are too large to have developed at the thin edge of the solar system’s protoplanetary disc. That is why many astronomers favour a scenario in which Jupiter,…

a greener germany?

A NEW government is set to take shape in Germany and is expected to be far more ambitious on climate change, with extra support for renewables and action against fossil fuels. But the three parties hoping to form a ruling coalition must first compromise on their different visions of how to do that, which could mean months of talks. Amid climate protests, the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) won 25.7 per cent of the vote on 26 September, narrowly beating the incumbent conservative Christian Democratic Union-Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) group. Olaf Scholz, the SPD’s candidate to lead Germany, who pitched himself as the “climate chancellor” during campaigning, has claimed victory and wants to form a coalition with the Green party, which won a record share of the vote, and the liberal Free…

should you get a booster?

OVER the next few months, about 30 million fully vaccinated people in the UK will be invited to have a third dose of a covid-19 vaccine. The surprise decision to run such a large booster campaign – everyone over 50 is included – was made off the back of multiple lines of evidence, none of them definitive. So what is the rationale behind it? And if you are offered a booster, should you take it? The UK isn’t the only country looking to roll out third doses for a large portion of the population. Last week, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorsed the use of booster shots for people aged 65 and over, and for those with underlying health conditions or in jobs with a high risk of…

tomatoes made with crispr gene editing go on sale

FOR the first time ever, you can buy a food altered by CRISPR gene editing – at least, if you live in Japan, where the Sicilian Rouge High GABA tomato is now on sale. “We started shipping the tomatoes on September 17,” says Minako Sumiyoshi at Japanese start-up Sanatech Seed, which is selling the tomatoes directly to consumers. She says demand for the tomatoes is “not too bad”. “It is a very significant milestone for CRISPR foods,” says Nigel Halford at Rothamsted Research in the UK. Earlier this year, Sanatech Seed also gave away seedlings to anyone who wanted to grow the gene-edited tomatoes in Japan. Around 4200 gardeners took up the offer, says Sumiyoshi. As far as New Scientist has been able to establish, the tomato is the first food altered with CRISPR…

cop26 is for ordinary people

THE man charged with leading a successful climate change summit in five weeks’ time insists he is no environmentalist – but is now convinced of the urgency of tackling global warming. “I’m a normal person, right, I’m not someone who’s some great climate warrior coming into this,” says Alok Sharma, the president of the COP26 meeting, who took up the job in February 2020. “But it has given me a real appreciation and understanding of why it is so vital that we get this right.” Sharma says this understanding is also spreading, citing a recent chat with a nurse performing a routine covid-19 test. “She said: ‘Thank you for what you said about taking care of the climate yesterday on the news’. This is resonating with ordinary people like me, who weren’t…