Shocking statistics

More than 25% of Americans are likely to refuse the vaccine, according to an international study Only 11% of US citizens said they trusted their government to be a reliable source of information on vaccines, compared with 30% in the UK.  Three out of four Republicans don’t think Joe Biden won the election  legitimately. About …

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Be careful who you believe!

Oklahoma is trying to return its $2 million purchase of hydroxychloroquine and get a refund from the manufacturer. Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt ordered the purchase of the malaria drug in April, when President Trump was promoting it as a “miracle” treatment for Covid-19. Studies, however, have found the drug inappropriate (actually useless, to be honest, except …

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Why don’t birds freeze at high altitudes?

Birds fly at tens of thousands of metres high. Ice forms on the wings of planes at this altitude, so why don’t the birds freeze? Birds can sometimes reach astonishingly high altitudes. The record is a massive 11,278 metres by a Rüppell’s vulture that collided with an aircraft. The resulting “snarge” – that is to …

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Catulent – a name you are probably unfamiliar with

How will Moderna make the 100 million doses contracted for in the first quarter of 2021 and the 200 million doses it has to provide the federal government (for $3.2 billion) by the end of June? A big part of the answer is outsourcing production to a contract manufacturer that will make the vaccine on …

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Will the ecosystem collapse?

Ecosystem collapse a risk in one fifth of the world’s countries The spread of intensive farming threatens to jeopardize the world’s chances of meeting the term of the Paris agreement on the climate crisis. Nitrous oxide is given off by the overuse of artificial fertilizers, and by organic sources such as animal manure, and has …

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The downside of air conditioning

The scientist Stan Cox, in his 2018 book “Losing Our Cool”, blames air con for “resource waste, climate change, ozone depletion and the disorientation of the human mind and body”. Air conditioning emits some half a billion tonnes of CO2 annually, and the coolants used are even more polluting than CO2. Air conditioners fuel a …

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Climate change is not a scam!

Like many other climate-vulnerable nations across the globe, Bangladesh is trying to save lives, shore up healthcare systems, and cushion the economic shock for millions of people, all while avoiding fiscal collapse. But this is not a cry for help; it is a warning. For while other countries may be less exposed to the climate …

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Lower emissions owing to coronavirus

Global carbon emissions are likely to see their steepest fall this year since the second world war, according to researchers who say coronavirus lockdown measures have already cut them by nearly a fifth. But the team warns that the dramatic drop won’t slow climate change. The first peer-reviewed analysis of the pandemic’s impact on emissions …

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Tropical storms

Hurricane Harvey caused catastrophic flooding in 2017, killing 68 people and costing $125 billion in damages. 100 high-resolution simulations of how tropical cyclones behave in three types of conditions have been conducted – those between 1950 and 2000, those similar to the present and also various future scenarios. Conclusion: as the world warms, there are …

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Polititicization of science

The politicization of science in the name of religion and political partisanship is not new to the United States, but transformation of traditional geographically and economically based political parties into religiously oriented ideological coalitions marks the beginning of a new era for science policy.” (Jon Miller and colleagues, Michigan State University in “Science” magazine) My comment: …

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Couples sleep better together

It is well established that people in stable relationships tend to have better mental and physical health than singletons. Now, scientists have discovered a possible explanation for this: it seems that sharing a bed promotes good sleep. Humans sleep in cycles, shifting between rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep – during which vivid dreams occur – and non-REM …

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Bumble bees

Information collected by a University of Ottawa team using data collected over a 115 year period and covering 66 bumblebee species, show that bumblebees are in drastic decline across Western Europe and North America, owing to higher and more extreme variations in temperature. The likelihood of the bee population surviving has declined by 30% in …

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