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L’Iran sur le qui-vive face à la menace djihadiste

Didier Chaudet, Institut français d’études sur l’Asie centrale Le 7 juin 2017, des terroristes affiliés à Daech ont attaqué le Parlement iranien et le mausolée de Khomeini. Rappel marquant, pour celles et ceux qui ne le savaient pas encore, que le djihadisme a fait des chiites et de l’Iran des cibles de choix. Pour Téhéran, cette menace est au cœur des …

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How Russian is Ukraine? (Clue: not as much as Vladimir Putin insists)

Olivia Durand, University of Oxford A political pamphlet published in 1762 described a conversation between “Great Russia” and “Little Russia”. In the exchange, the latter refused to be simply reduced to part of Great Russia and put forward its own unique history and identity. At the time, the name “Ukraine” did not yet designate a state. But the noun ukraina …

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Omicron may reach millions before vaccines do – but that doesn’t mean race to vaccinate the world is over

Michael Head, University of Southampton The pandemic is accelerating. It’s estimated that there could be 3 billion new infections globally over the next three months thanks to the highly infectious omicron variant. Large outbreaks are ongoing across Europe and North America and cases are also rising in many other countries. Omicron has now reached most corners of the world – …

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The science that is helping researchers find the ‘disappeared’ in Latin America

Jamie Pringle, Keele University; Alejandra Baena, Universidad Antonio Nariño; Carlos Martín Molina, Universidad Antonio Nariño; Kristopher Wisniewski, Keele University, and Vivienne Heaton, Keele University In most Latin American countries where there has been a high level of civil conflict over the past few decades, there are still huge numbers of missing people due to forced disappearances. In Colombia alone this …

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The journey to a pig-heart transplant began 60 years ago

Surgeon at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, holding up the genetically modified heart that would be transplanted into David Bennett. University of Maryland School of Medicine Daniel M Davis, University of Manchester On Friday, January 7 2022, David Bennett became the world’s first person to successfully receive a transplant of a pig’s heart. The eight-hour-long operation by …

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We studied the sounds of mosquitoes’ mating rituals – our findings could help fight malaria

mycteria/Shutterstock Joerg T Albert, UCL; Alex Alampounti, UCL, and Marcos Georgiades, UCL In 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that almost half the world’s population was at risk of malaria, while some 627,000 people died from the disease. Although a malaria vaccine may soon be available (the WHO recommended one for children last year), malaria is just one of …

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COVID: why T cell vaccines could be the key to long-term immunity

Kateryna Kon/Shutterstock Sheena Cruickshank, University of Manchester With omicron having rapidly driven up COVID infections, attention is once again focusing on antibodies, and reasonably so. They play a critical role in fighting off viruses and are important for preventing the coronavirus infecting our cells. This is why some countries have mounted booster campaigns in response to recent COVID surges – …

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« Baasiste » ou « religieux », quelle est la vraie nature de l’État islamique en Irak ?

Myriam Benraad, Leiden University La problématique des rapports entre le baasisme et l’État islamique en Irak n’en finit pas de tarauder les esprits. Depuis 2014, deux principaux narratifs se font ainsi face : l’un dépeignant le groupe djihadiste comme une sorte d’incarnation néo-baasiste, l’autre réfutant au contraire toute influence du régime défunt de Saddam Hussein. Dans l’ensemble, ces approches ne sont …

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How to remain youthful and resilient despite stress

Obak/Shutterstock Jolanta Burke, RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences and Padraic J. Dunne, RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences A bit of stress can be good for your mental and physical wellbeing, but too much can lead to anxiety, depression and other health problems. It can also make you age faster. So learning to become more stress-resilient is …

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Afghanistan: Taliban plans for suicide brigade reveal changing nature of warfare in 21st century

Lily Hamourtziadou, Birmingham City University The Taliban recently announced it will establish a battalion of suicide attackers as part of the national army of Afghanistan. These “martyrdom brigades” will be “under the control of the ministry of defence and will be used for special operations,” according to Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid. This was condemned as “horrific and appalling” by Shaharzad …

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