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New Scientist International Edition

New Scientist International Edition

31-Oct-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.

País:
United Kingdom
Língua:
English
Editora:
New Scientist Ltd
Periodicidade:
Weekly
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51 Edições

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2 minutos
the facts of life

LAST month, the world of planetary science blew up after the news that phosphine gas had been observed in Venus’s atmosphere, which could potentially be a sign of life. The team that spotted the phosphine, led by Jane Greaves at Cardiff University in the UK, couldn’t find any mechanism for forming enough phosphine on Venus to account for these observations. On Earth, the gas is made by living organisms and industrial processes. Now, though, that detection has been called into question. First, a look at old data by a group that included researchers who worked on the latest phosphine study found no hints of the gas. Then a re-analysis of Greaves and her team’s observations by an independent group concluded that the measurements showed no signs of phosphine (see page 18). According…

3 minutos
melbourne lockdown lifts

CAR horns honked in the streets and declarations echoed that people could “get back on the beers”, as residents of Melbourne in the Australian state of Victoria celebrated a double milestone on 26 October. After 111 days of lockdown – one of the longest and most stringent in the world – Daniel Andrews, the premier of Victoria, announced an easing of restrictions in the city as well as what some called a “double-doughnut day”: one with 0 new coronavirus cases and 0 deaths in the state. “Now is the time to open up,” said Andrews at a press conference. From 11.59 pm on 27 October, bars, restaurants and retail shops in Melbourne reopened for the first time in more than three months. The last time Victoria recorded no new daily cases was on…

1 minutos
vital roles

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are both arms of the US government. The CDC plays many roles, including helping to detect, trace and monitor disease outbreaks. Scientists within the CDC, or funded by its grants, research infectious diseases, such as influenza, and non-infectious diseases, such as cancer and obesity. Public health experts at the CDC gather and share data, including accurate disease burden statistics, and give suggestions for public health policy to stop the spread of disease. The FDA plays a pivotal role in public health preparedness, by acting as a regulator for drugs, therapies, diagnostic tests and vaccines, as well as regulating food, cosmetics and tobacco products. These two agencies are designed to work in concert to protect the health and well-being…

3 minutos
record payout won’t fix the us opioid crisis

A LONG-RUNNING lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company accused of fuelling the US opioid addiction crisis was settled last week when Purdue Pharma agreed to pay out $8.3 billion, the largest ever such settlement. The firm admitted to violating anti-kickback laws, conspiring to defraud the US and facilitating the dispensing of medication without a legitimate medical purpose. While the size of the payout may sound like a big win, it won’t reverse the US’s opioid dependency problems, nor is it likely to be a sufficient deterrent to similar behaviour by drug firms in future, say critics. No individuals from the company and none of the Sackler family owners have been convicted as part of the settlement, but a criminal investigation into individuals is ongoing. “Criminal charges against corporations don’t work. They’re seen by…

3 minutos
a mind for all times

Book There Are Places in the World Where Rules Are Less Important Than Kindness Carlo Rovelli Allen Lane I APPROACHED Carlo Rovelli’s latest book with trepidation, bordering on dread. The Italian quantum gravity researcher’s previous bestsellers – Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, Reality Is Not What It Seems, The Order of Time – have seen him playing on home territory, where his lucid, lyrical touch won him a reputation as “the poet of physics”. But his new book’s title, There Are Places in the World Where Rules Are Less Important Than Kindness, suggested it might have gone to his head a bit. It is a collection of Rovelli’s journalism, mainly for Italian outlets such as the daily newspaper Corriere della Sera, with musings not just on physics, but politics, philosophy, anthropology and the history of…

4 minutos
the force is still with you

WHILE the early 2000s were a dark time for Star Wars superfans, wounded by the disaster that was the prequel trilogy, they were actually a high point for me thanks to video games. I was never that into Star Wars when I was younger, having missed the theatrical release of the original films by a good decade or so. Yet it is hard to resist the lure of the Force, and somehow I absorbed Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader and the rest through cultural osmosis. As such, my friends and I spent many hours duelling with lightsabers in Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast (don’t get me started on how stupid these names are), while the role-playing game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic showed the franchise’s creator George Lucas how…