Science

Coronavirus essential guide: Everything you need to know on covid-19

By Catherine de Lange Street art by Zabou on Brick Lane, East London, during the covid-19 outbreak. Credit: James Veysey/ShutterstockJames Veysey/Shutterstock On 7 January, New Scientist first reported on a mysterious illness emerging in China. At least 59 people had become ill with the disease, and seven were in a critical condition. SARS, MERS and bird flu had…

Covid-19 news: WHO calls for an end to ‘vaccine nationalism’

The World Health Organization (WHO) today called for an end to “vaccine nationalism”, the hoarding of vaccine doses by some nations. “The fastest way to end this pandemic and to reopen economies is to start by protecting the highest risk populations everywhere,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press briefing today. “We need to…

Hundreds of UK ambulances rely on software vulnerable to cyberattack

Technology 18 August 2020 By Phee Waterfield Yorkshire Ambulance Service ambulances are vulnerable to hackingIan Dagnall / Alamy HUNDREDS of ambulances in the UK are still using devices that run on defunct Windows operating systems, making them more vulnerable to cyberattacks. The WannaCry ransomware that knocked out computers at dozens of hospitals in 2017 took…

An AI built by Facebook could drastically speed up MRI scans

Technology 18 August 2020 AI could help speed up MRI scansfastMRI An AI system can produce magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans with only a quarter of the data normally required, which could speed up the scanning process. MRIs are created by placing a person inside a machine that scans the body and are often used…

Return of covid-19 to New Zealand shows that no one can relax

By Alice Klein Nurses check people at a coronavirus testing centre in Auckland, New ZealandFiona Goodall/Getty Images A fresh outbreak of covid-19 in New Zealand following its elimination there is a sobering reminder of how the virus can evade the toughest defences. The country has responded swiftly, but it remains to be seen if it can beat the virus again.…

Covid-19: How can we travel abroad safely during the pandemic?

By Clare Wilson What are the best ways to handle international travel right now?Daniel Cole/AP/Shutterstock IN THE past few weeks, many holiday plans have been dashed after some parts of Europe, including the UK, reintroduced travel restrictions. Even UK transport secretary Grant Shapps had to cut short his holiday to Spain and follow it with…

Covid-19 news: England scraps exam grading algorithm after protests

By Michael Le Page , Clare Wilson , Jessica Hamzelou , Adam Vaughan , Conrad Quilty-Harper and Layal Liverpool A-level students hold a sit in protest at the Department for Education over the results fiascoGuy Smallman/Getty Images Latest coronavirus news as of 5 pm on 17 August A-level and GCSE grades in England to be…

Simple technique could help find microplastics inside the human body

By Layal Liverpool Plastic waste can degrade into smaller bits known as microplasticsHOTLI SIMANJUNTAK/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock A new method could help detect microplastics in human tissues and organs, allowing researchers to investigate the impact that environmental plastic pollution has on our health. Last year, Rolf Halden at Arizona State University and his colleagues discovered molecules from commonly…

Virtual assistant will screen your phone calls to block spammers

Technology 17 August 2020 By Chris Stokel-Walker You won’t be hearing from them anymore Juj Winn/Getty Images Nuisance phone calls could disappear with the help of a virtual assistant that screens out spammers before the phone even rings. Robocalls, in which an automated recording pretends to be a human, are a common problem – there…

Are pets at risk of getting covid-19 and can they spread it to people?

Health 17 August 2020 By Alice Klein Social distancing in Domino Park in Brooklyn, New York CityWilliam Volcov/Shutterstock Reports of pets being infected with the coronavirus have been growing, but how worried should owners be? And could pets be spreading the virus between people? The first confirmed case of a pet infected with SARS-CoV-2 – the…