TimeLine Layout

August, 2021

  • 19 August

    A history of sugar – the food nobody needs, but everyone craves

    Sweeter Alternative/Flickr, CC BY-NC Mark Horton, University of Bristol; Philip Langton, University of Bristol, and R. Alexander Bentley, University of Houston It seems as though no other substance occupies so much of the world’s land, for so little benefit to humanity, as sugar. According to the latest data, sugarcane is the world’s third most valuable crop after cereals and rice, …

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  • 19 August

    The impact of COVID-19 has been lower in Africa. We explore the reasons

    International efforts should prioritise equitable access to vaccines. Immanuel A.Afolabi/Majority World/Universal Images Group via Getty Images Alex Ezeh, Drexel University; Michael Silverman, Western University, and Saverio Stranges, Western University There’s been an increase in COVID-19 deaths across Africa since mid-July 2021. But the impact of the pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa remains markedly lower compared to the Americas, Europe and Asia. …

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  • 18 August

    Sugar: here’s why some people experience negative side effects when they quit

    Sugar is added to many different foods. ilona.shorokhova/ Shutterstock James Brown, Aston University It might surprise you to learn that sugar consumption has actually been steadily decreasing since 2008. This could be happening for any number of reasons, including a shift in tastes and lifestyles, with the popularity of low-carbohydrate diets, like keto, increasing in the past decade. A greater …

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  • 17 August

    How Joe Biden failed the people of Afghanistan — and tarnished US credibility around the world

    Sidiqullah Khan/AP William Maley, Australian National University In April 1961, just months after the young John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as the 35th president of the United States, his reputation for expertise in foreign policy took a battering as a result of the Bay of Pigs fiasco, a covert action against the Cuban government that collapsed within a matter of …

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  • 17 August

    Blue hydrogen – what is it, and should it replace natural gas?

    Alexander Limbach/Shutterstock Tom Baxter, University of Aberdeen Blue hydrogen is often touted as a low-carbon fuel for generating electricity and storing energy, powering cars, trucks and trains and heating buildings. But according to a new report by Cornell and Stanford University researchers in the US, it may be no better for the climate – and potentially a fair bit worse …

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  • 16 August

    Type 2 diabetes: more than one type of diet can help people achieve remission

    Low-carbohydrate diets have also been shown to help people achieve remission. Elena Shashkina/ Shutterstock Duane Mellor, Aston University and Dr Adrian Brown, UCL Until recently, type 2 diabetes has mainly been managed by controlling risk factors – such as high blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar (glucose) levels – usually by prescribing drugs. But this approach doesn’t address the underlying …

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  • 15 August

    Afghanistan: what the conflict means for the global heroin trade

    Jonathan Goodhand, SOAS, University of London The long war in Afghanistan reached a potential watershed on August 6 when Taliban fighters took over Zaranj, a dusty frontier town with a population of some 63,000 on the Afghan-Iranian border. Though geographically and politically marginal, Zaranj was the first provincial centre to fall during a month of rapid advances. In the preceding …

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  • 14 August

    Afghanistan: Taliban victory inevitable despite the trillions the US poured in

    Nawid Tanha/EPA-EFE Natasha Lindstaedt, University of Essex In less than a week, the Taliban has captured nearly a dozen key cities in Afghanistan. With the departure of US forces, it is poised to take over the country from the embattled Afghan government. Over the past 20 years, the US has poured trillions of dollars into Afghanistan to oust the Taliban, …

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  • 14 August

    Les vraies vertus de l’huile d’olive

    Les vertus de l’huile d’olive vierge extra ne sont pas usurpées. Shutterstock Christophe Lavelle, Muséum national d’histoire naturelle (MNHN) Vantée depuis l’Antiquité pour ses vertus médicinales, ingrédient star du régime méditerranéen, l’huile d’olive s’invite régulièrement dans la rubrique santé des médias grand public. Cependant, si un certain consensus semble régner quant à ses bienfaits, l’huile d’olive est loin d’avoir révélé …

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  • 13 August

    Iran nuclear capability is more likely bluff than bombs

    Christoph Bluth, University of Bradford The likelihood of Iran imminently developing a nuclear arsenal has been the subject of a great deal of speculation recently after Israeli defence minister, Benny Gantz, told the UN Security Council on August 4 that “Iran … is only around ten weeks away from acquiring weapons-grade materials necessary for a nuclear weapon”. “Now is the …

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