20 articles from SATURDAY 22.8.2020

Coronavirus pandemic halts life-saving UK cancer and heart disease research

Thousands of clinical trials have closed permanently or been suspended – and may never have the cash to restartCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageMore than 1,500 clinical trials of new drugs and treatments for cancers, heart disease and other serious illnesses have been permanently closed down in Britain in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, a further...

Covid-19 will be around for ever, says former UK chief scientific adviser

Prof Mark Walport says regular vaccinations are likely to be required to control coronavirus Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageCoronavirus will be around “for ever” and people are likely to need regular vaccinations against it, a former chief scientific adviser to the UK government has said.Prof Mark Walport, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies...

California wildfires some of largest in state history

Lightning-sparked wildfires in Northern California exploded in size Friday to become some of the largest in state history, forcing thousands to flee and destroying hundreds of homes and other structures as reinforcements began arriving to help weary firefighters.

GPT-3, Bloviator: OpenAI’s language generator has no idea what it’s talking about

Since OpenAI first described its new AI language-generating system called GPT-3 in May, hundreds of media outlets (including MIT Technology Review) have written about the system and its capabilities. Twitter has been abuzz about its power and potential. The New York Times published an op-ed about it. Later this year, OpenAI will begin charging companies…

'I'm up for the fight': Chris Jackson to be first black scientist to give Christmas lecture

Professor urges organisations to help tackle racism, misogyny and transphobiaCovid v climate change: Royal Institution Christmas lectures on chance to reset EarthProf Chris Jackson, who this year will be the first black person to present the Royal Institution Christmas lectures, has said such organisations have a key role to play in addressing issues including racism and transphobia.Jackson is one...

Covid is 'restart button' for climate action, Royal Institution Christmas lecturers say

Experts to explain how pandemic offers chance to pull planet back from the brinkCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageCovid-19 has provided a crucial opportunity to make drastic changes to tackle climate change, experts behind this year’s Royal Institution Christmas lectures have said.The talks, Planet Earth: A User’s Guide, will take audiences on a deep dive into our...

Birth of panda cub provides 'much-needed moment of pure joy'

Delivering a “much-needed moment of pure joy,” the National Zoo's giant panda Mei Xiang gave birth to a wiggling cub Friday at a time of global pandemic and social unrest. An experienced mom, “Mei Xiang picked the cub up immediately and began cradling and caring for it,” the zoo said in a statement. Panda lovers around the world were able to see the birth on the zoo's Panda...

Coronavirus live news: global deaths near 800,000; Australian state of Queensland brings in new restrictions

Australian state of Victoria records 13 more deaths and 182 new cases; WHO hopes pandemic will finish in less than two years; Spain records 8,000 new cases. Follow latest updatesDozens of schools report infections in BerlinNurses horrified by neglect of woman from Melbourne nursing homePapua New Guinea bans Chinese mine staff ‘given experimental vaccine’Tour de France: teams will be expelled...