TimeLine Layout

August, 2020

  • 27 August

    Coronavirus: what will happen if we can’t produce a vaccine?

    EPA-EFE/SEBASTIAO MOREIRA

    Sarah Pitt, University of Brighton There are over 175 COVID-19 vaccines in development. Almost all government strategies for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic are based on the idea that one of these vaccine candidates will eventually provide widespread protection against the virus and enable us all to return to our normal lives. But there’s no guarantee that this will happen. …

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  • 27 August

    In COVID’s shadow, global terrorism goes quiet. But we have seen this before, and should be wary

    Alaa Al-Marjani/AAP

    Alaa Al-Marjani/AAP Greg Barton, Deakin University Have we flattened the curve of global terrorism? In our COVID-19-obsessed news cycle stories about terrorism and terrorist attacks have largely disappeared. We now, though, understand a little more about how pandemics work. And ironically, long before the current pandemic, the language of epidemiology proved helpful in understanding by analogy the way in which …

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  • 27 August

    Afghanistan’s peace process is stalled. Can the Taliban be trusted to hold up their end of the deal?

    Afghan security personnel inspect the rubble of Afghanistan’s intelligence services building after a car bomb blast claimed by the Taliban killed at least 11 people, July 13, 2020. AFP via Getty Images

    Afghan security personnel inspect the rubble of Afghanistan’s intelligence services building after a car bomb blast claimed by the Taliban killed at least 11 people, July 13, 2020. AFP via Getty Images Sher Jan Ahmadzai, University of Nebraska Omaha Five months after the United States signed an historic accord with the Taliban – the Islamic militant group that sheltered al-Qaida …

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  • 26 August

    Why more needs to be done for democracy to work in Sudan

    Sudan’s new prime minister, Abdalla Hamdok. He recently survived an assassination attempt. Wikimedia Commons

    Sudan’s new prime minister, Abdalla Hamdok. He recently survived an assassination attempt. Wikimedia Commons Andrew Edward Yaw Tchie, King’s College London and Jihad Salih Mashamoun, University of Exeter Sudan is at a defining moment. The country’s history and legacy of military rule and conflict leaves it at risk of continued violence. As part of the transition deal after the ouster …

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  • 26 August

    Brewing Mesopotamian beer brings a sip of this vibrant ancient drinking culture back to life

    Cylinder seal (left) and modern impression (right) showing two people drinking beer through long straws. Khafajeh, Iraq (Early Dynastic period, c. 2600–2350 B.C.). Courtesy of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago

    Cylinder seal (left) and modern impression (right) showing two people drinking beer through long straws. Khafajeh, Iraq (Early Dynastic period, c. 2600–2350 B.C.). Courtesy of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago Tate Paulette, North Carolina State University It’s been about five months since I set foot in a bar. Like many of you navigating life in a pandemic, …

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  • 26 August

    Coronavirus: how countries aim to get the vaccine first by cutting opaque supply deals

    The rush to be first. Ivan Krivenko

    The rush to be first. Ivan Krivenko Duncan Matthews, Queen Mary University of London The University of Oxford recently published promising news about the results from the phase one/two trials of the vaccine it is developing for COVID-19. The clinical trials, involving 1,077 volunteers in the UK aged 18-55, showed that the AZD1222 vaccine appeared to be safe and generated …

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  • 26 August

    Video: Slowing deforestation is the key to preventing the next pandemic – but what does that cost?

    Reducing deforestation of tropical forests and supporting the communities that live there can reduce the risk of future pandemics. AFP via Getty Images

    Reducing deforestation of tropical forests and supporting the communities that live there can reduce the risk of future pandemics. AFP via Getty Images Les Kaufman, Boston University In a recent journal article, a team of biologists, medical scientists, environmental scientists and conservationists proposed a number of measures to reduce the likelihood of future pandemics, many of which originate with wild …

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  • 26 August

    Here’s why soil smells so good after it rains

    New Africa/Shutterstock

    New Africa/Shutterstock Klas Flärdh, Lund University and Paul Becher, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Did you ever wonder what causes that earthy smell that rises after a light summer rain? That mysterious scent has been called “petrichor”, and a main component of it is an organic compound called geosmin, which lingers around moist soil. Geosmin comes from the ancient Greek …

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  • 26 August

    Oleandrin is a deadly plant poison, not a COVID-19 cure

    The oleander plant is beautiful but deadly because of a toxic chemical called oleadrin. Alvesgaspar/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA

    The oleander plant is beautiful but deadly because of a toxic chemical called oleadrin. Alvesgaspar/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA Cassandra Quave, Emory University With COVID-19 cases and deaths rising in the U.S. and globally, identifying new therapies to prevent and combat the virus is a top priority. Natural products from plants are an attractive option in the search for a cure. …

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  • 26 August

    A place for people to pray and birds to sing

    “At the very core, the mosque is the sacred place of Islam. It is where men and women and children go to pray,” says University of Michigan art history professor Christiane Gruber. But, according to her research, some make room for other, non-human creatures too. Images: Flickr/Arian Zwegers: https://www.flickr.com/photos/azweger… Wikimedia/Patrickringgenberg: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fi… Pixabay/Public Domain: https://www.maxpixel.net/Religious-Ma… Pixabay/Konevi: https://pixabay.com/photos/kaaba-the-… Flickr/Jan Smith: https://www.flickr.com/photos/2608579… Wikimedia/Mstyslav …

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