New Scientist International Edition

New Scientist International Edition 11-Jan-20

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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51 Numeri

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2 minuti
time to act

AT FIRST, Australia’s leaders said the fires were normal. Prime Minister Scott Morrison called them “business as usual”. The deputy prime minister, Michael McCormack, described those linking the fires to climate change as “inner city raving lunatics”. More recently, Morrison has made a point of acknowledging the link between reducing emissions and protecting environments against worsening bushfire seasons. But he has continued to insist that his government’s current environmental policies are good ones. In fact, the Liberal Australian government has long prevaricated on meaningful climate action. As treasurer in 2017, Morrison notoriously brought a lump of coal into the Australian House of Representatives to taunt those arguing for a transition away from fossil fuels. Today, the country has no goal for net-zero emissions, and continues to be a leading global exporter of…

1 minuti
new scientist

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2 minuti
unknown illness hits china

AT LEAST 59 people in China have become ill with a mysterious pneumonia – seven of whom are in a serious condition. Chinese authorities still don’t know what has caused the disease outbreak, but have ruled out SARS, MERS and bird flu. “It seems that a new virus or bacteria might be the cause of the disease,” says Shenglan Tang at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. The cases, reported to have occurred in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, are being investigated by Chinese health authorities. They say there is no evidence the infection can be passed between people. But it is too soon to definitively say that it won’t spread this way, says Tang. No deaths have yet been recorded, but that doesn’t mean the infection isn’t dangerous, says Rosalind Eggo at the…

1 minuti
strange signal may be a tiny black hole

AN ODD set of gravitational waves has been sent across space by a mystery object. It could be the smallest black hole ever found or the largest neutron star. Gravitational waves are ripples in space-time that are caused by the motion of massive objects. LIGO, a US-based detector, has spotted gravitational waves from many pairs of black holes colliding over the past few years, as well as one pair of neutron stars. Now it has found a truly puzzling collision, LIGO team member Katerina Chatziioannou told a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Hawaii on 6 January. A LIGO detector in Louisiana spotted signs of two objects colliding, but nobody is sure what one of the objects is. In this smash-up, one of the objects was definitely a neutron star with a…

5 minuti
tragedy in australia

OUTSIDE Batlow in New South Wales, the scorched remains of wildlife and livestock lie pressed against fences, where they tried in vain to escape the flames that ripped through the area on 4 January. Along with the other billion-or-so other animals that have already perished in Australia’s worst wildfires on record, they will be buried in mass graves dug by the army. Australians, myself included, are in a state of shock. At least 24 people have died, more than 2000 homes have been gutted, and 8 million hectares – an area the size of Scotland – have burned. For months now, the brown and red skies and smell of smoke have been a constant reminder of the tragedy unfolding around us. The fires are being driven by record-breaking hot, dry conditions, which…

3 minuti
how close is iran to building a nuclear weapon?

THE risk of Iran getting nuclear weapons has risen this week, as tensions increase after the US assassination of a senior Iranian military official, Qassem Soleimani, on 3 January. His death is the latest example of President Donald Trump’s escalations against Iran, following the US withdrawal from a nuclear deal that Iran continues to unravel. Iran announced on 5 January that it will no longer obey the limitations imposed on its nuclear activities by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). This means the deal, which drastically reduced Iran’s likelihood of building a nuclear weapon, hangs by a thread – but it isn’t dead yet. Iran will continue to allow inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the world’s nuclear watchdog, and EU foreign ministers will hold a meeting on…