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New Scientist Australian Edition 20-Mar-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.

New Scientist Ltd
51 Issues

in this issue

1 min
elsewhere on new scientist

Virtual event The quest for the theory of everything The greatest prize in all of science is arguably the “God equation”. Perhaps no more than an inch long, it would unify all the laws of nature. Michio Kaku, one of the founders of string field theory, has long been searching for it. In this talk, he charts the 2000-year hunt for this equation. Join us at 6pm BST on 29 April or watch on demand later. Tickets available now. newscientist.com/events Podcasts Weekly The team find out how little we know about reality; why cold-water swimming is good for us; and discover a sea slug with a penchant for chopping off its own head. Escape Pod A dose of escapism via your ears. This week, it is the battle of the moons of the solar system, from Europa to…

1 min
new scientist subscriptions

“2021 must be the year to reconcile humanity with nature”António Guterres, UN Secretary General Subscribe to New Scientist to find out how we can do it together Join us for a wealth of in-depth environmental reporting in a crucial year as the world seeks to stem the tide of climate change and biodiversity loss – including our ongoing “Rescue Plan for Nature” feature series, presented in association with the United Nations Environment Programme. Subscriber benefits: 51 print editions through your letter box 365 days of unlimited access to newscientist.com 400+ issues in the app (including the current issue) 200+ video science talks to immerse yourself in 200+ interactive puzzles and crosswords (added weekly) 4 exclusive subscriber-only online events Subscribe today for just £65* Visit newscientist.com/16215 Call: 1300 130 226 or +61 (0)2 8355 8923, quoting 16215 New Scientist. The world, better understood *…

2 min
because we’re worth it

ESTABLISHING a good degree of pandemic resilience would have cost less than the economic output lost in just a single day of the covid-19 crisis. That missed opportunity is one indictment of market failings among many that former Bank of Canada and Bank of England governor Mark Carney advances in our interview with him this week (see page 44). Another, perhaps the most troubling, is the inability of markets to value the natural world. How is it that we can put a value on Amazon, the company, yet only ascribe value to the Amazon rainforest by logging it and stripping it bare? Carney’s critiques are worth listening to. He has sat at the top table of global capitalism for the past decade and a half. We have become in thrall, he says,…

3 min
blood clot controversy

A NUMBER of European nations, including Germany, France, Italy and Sweden, have suspended use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine over blood clot concerns. The World Health Organization and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) have both emphasised that there is currently no evidence linking the vaccine to blood clots and recommend that countries continue using it. As New Scientist went to press, both organisations were meeting to review the vaccine, with a statement expected imminently. Among 17 million people who have received the vaccine in the EU and the UK, 15 cases of deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) and 22 cases of pulmonary embolism have been reported as of 8 March, AstraZeneca said in a statement on 14 March. DVT is a blood clot in a vein, which has the potential to travel to the…

6 min
us won’t delay second dose

THE UK’s controversial decision to increase the time between covid-19 vaccine doses has been thrust back under the spotlight after the US hasn’t followed suit, amid warnings that the strategy may backfire. However, the UK is no longer alone in its decision, with Canada and Germany both choosing to follow a similar plan. In December, the UK made the surprise decision to lengthen the interval between doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines from the recommended three or four weeks to 12 weeks. The rationale was that this would maximise the impact of limited supplies of the vaccine. By allowing twice as many people to be given a first dose, it would theoretically produce broader levels of protection across the population. The decision was based on recommendations from a government advisory body, the…

1 min
one dose of vaccine may be enough for some

A SINGLE dose of a coronavirus vaccine may be all that is needed for people who have already been infected with covid-19. A small study suggests that in people receiving the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, the body’s response to natural infection with SARS-CoV-2 seems to act like a first dose of the vaccine. Mark Mulligan at New York University and his colleagues tracked antibody levels in 32 people who were given both doses of the vaccine, and one person who had both doses of the Moderna jab. About half had previously contracted covid-19. About two weeks after a first dose, people who had recovered from covid-19 had antibody levels similar to or higher than those of people who had never been infected but had received both doses. The results were announced on 9 March online…