New Scientist International Edition

New Scientist International Edition 22-Feb-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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2 minuti
a lab-grown future

AS PEOPLE get richer, they tend to eat more meat. Global meat consumption has roughly doubled over the past 30 years and is forecast to double again over the next 30. Satisfying demand without trashing the environment and crashing the climate will be a challenge. According to the World Economic Forum, doing so through conventional agriculture will be impossible. Another type of agriculture is on the way that could fill stomachs without killing the planet – or anything, for that matter. Cellular agriculture, or cultured meat, is almost oven-ready. The first commercial products could be plated up next year. The starter will be seafood: shrimp, crab, lobster, salmon and tuna. But the technology is basically the same and cultured shrimp should pave the way for burgers and nuggets. Consumer squeamishness may still…

1 minuti
new scientist

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3 minuti
is it super-spreading?

FOR yet another week, covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, has remained poised just short of becoming a pandemic. As case counts stabilise in China, and don’t take off elsewhere, the big question is: will it happen? “Every scenario is still on the table,” said Tedros Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization (WHO), in Geneva, Switzerland, this week. To be pandemic, covid-19 has to spread generally in a population outside China, not just in limited clusters triggered by a known case, as has happened so far. “We are not seeing that,” Mike Ryan, head of the WHO emergencies programme, said on Monday. In China, cases outside Hubei province, whose capital Wuhan is the epidemic epicentre, have stopped rising. Apart from a jump last week as China redefined some 15,000…

3 minuti
drug trials under way

THE results of two clinical trials testing whether HIV and Ebola drugs are effective at treating the symptoms of covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, will be known soon, says the World Health Organization (WHO). And on 16 February, an antiviral called favilavir was approved by China’s National Medical Products Administration for use in treating the disease, according to a report in China Daily. Marie-Paule Kieny of the WHO told a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland, on 12 February that doctors in China have given a combination of two HIV drugs – lopinavir and ritonavir – to “quite a number” of people with covid-19. The results of the trial will be known within “a few days or a few weeks”, she said. Doctors in China will also start testing remdesivir,…

3 minuti
will heat kill the coronavirus?

WILL the covid-19 outbreak caused by the new coronavirus fade as winter in the northern hemisphere comes to an end? This has been suggested by some researchers and repeated by some political leaders, including US president Donald Trump. “We absolutely don’t know that,” says Trudie Lang at the University of Oxford. “I keep asking virologist colleagues this and nobody knows. So when you hear people say the weather will warm up and it will just disappear, it’s a very unhelpful generalisation.” This is essentially what Trump said on 10 February. “The heat, generally speaking, kills this kind of virus,” he told a meeting. “A lot of people think that goes away in April as the heat comes in.” Trump isn’t the only politician to make this sort of claim. The UK’s health secretary,…

3 minuti
china uses mass surveillance tech to fight spread of coronavirus

IN A bid to contain the country’s coronavirus outbreak, the Chinese government has teamed up with tech firms to monitor citizens and track confirmed cases of infection with the covid-19 virus. On 16 February, Alipay – the world’s largest mobile payments platform – announced that a colour-coded QR phone app to monitor individuals in China would be available within a week. 70,000 Number of close contacts detected by one state-owned tracking app The app assigns individuals a QR code with a red, yellow or green status based on their travel history and self-reported health. Anyone flagged as red is instructed to remain quarantined for 14 days, and people flagged as yellow for seven days. Authorities can scan an individual’s QR code to log their movements. QR codes are also being deployed at travel checkpoints,…