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New Scientist International Edition

New Scientist International Edition 9-nov-19

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
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51 Numeri


2 minuti
return of hypnosis

DO YOU know what they call alternative medicine that’s been proved to work? Medicine. So says Tim Minchin in his poem “Storm”, in which he makes the case for evidence-led treatment. We have a long history of therapies that first seemed bananas, only to be proved marvellous medicine. In the 1980s, two Australian scientists showed that stomach ulcers were caused by bacteria, not stress. As a result, simple antibiotics could treat a problem once considered incurable. But the medical establishment took some persuading. The pair won a Nobel prize, for having the “tenacity to challenge the prevailing dogma”. Tenacity is just what is needed now, in identifying the place of hypnosis in mainstream medicine (see page 34). People are right to be sceptical, given its fantastical origins, but evidence is accumulating that hypnosis…

1 minuti
new scientist

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2 minuti
india chokes on dirty air

A SEVERE episode of smog in large parts of northern India has forced authorities to impose traffic restrictions, cancel dozens of flights and close primary schools. Levels of tiny particulate pollution, known as PM2.5, spiked over the weekend in the capital, Delhi, to more than 10 times safe limits. Such extreme pollution occurs every year in the region, usually between October and November, as a result of weakening winds, falling temperatures and farmers burning the stubble of crops. “You can almost count on something of this magnitude happening,” says Joshua Apte at the University of Texas at Austin. The current crisis isn’t even the worst India has suffered: in 2016, Delhi was hit by a week of smog. Agricultural fires were the single biggest cause of pollution in Delhi on Monday, contributing 38…

1 minuti
chemical lawsuit set to hit australia

UP TO 40,000 residents of towns contaminated with chemicals from firefighting foams are set to sue the Australian government, making it the biggest class action lawsuit in the country’s history. The chemicals, called PFAS (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances), were used in firefighting foams on military bases in the 1970s. They were phased out in Australia in 2004 after studies showed they tended to accumulate in people’s blood, but they are still found in some waterways used for drinking and agriculture. The lawsuit will argue that properties near the bases have lost value as a result. PFAS don’t easily break down. Studies in lab animals suggest that extended exposure to high levels of some may cause cancers, but it is still unclear how this translates to humans. The Australian government has warned people in some…

2 minuti
ancient european ape may have been first to walk on two legs

THE discovery of 11.6-million-yearold fossils in Europe suggests that the first apes to walk upright may have evolved there, not Africa. “These findings may revolutionise our view on human evolution,” says Madelaine Böhme at the University of Tübingen, Germany. Böhme and her colleagues discovered the fossils in a clay pit in Bavaria in southern Germany. They found 37 bones belonging to four individuals: an adult male, two adult females and a juvenile. They named the new species Danuvius guggenmosi. It was a small ape, weighing between 17 and 31 kilograms, and probably ate hard foods like nuts (Nature, DOI: 10.1038/s41586-019-1731-0). Surprisingly, its legs resemble those of humans. We can fully extend our knees, so our legs act like pillars directly under our bodies. Chimps can’t do this: when they stand on two…

2 minuti
many millions of pigs wiped out as african swine fever spreads

A QUARTER of the world’s domestic pigs have died this year as a virus rampages across Eurasia, and that may be just the start. Half the pigs in China – which last year numbered 440 million, some 50 per cent of the world’s pigs – have either died of African swine fever (ASF) or been killed to stamp out the virus. ASF comes from East Africa. In 2007, it reached Georgia in the Caucasus in contaminated meat, and in infected wild boar. Now, it is all over Russia and eastern Europe and infected wild boar have turned up as far west as Belgium. It is also spreading in east Asia, killing many pigs in Vietnam and elsewhere. ASF was spotted in China in August 2018. It is now in every province. The…