31 articles from SATURDAY 20.2.2021

'I could physically feel the germs on me': how Covid is a double-edged sword for those with OCD

For some the pandemic has worsened their symptoms, but others say social distancing and hygiene measures have made life easierLuka Buchanan has always been consumed by the fear of contamination and germs, washing their hands until they were raw, and terrified the food they ate would poison them.Diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder at age 19, Buchanan, who uses they/them pronouns, spent...

How to reconcile after a family rift

Estrangement is surprisingly common – so how can the injured parties put their differences aside?Harry and Meghan have apparently severed links with the royal family and moved halfway across the globe. Nicole Kidman has been allegedly snubbed by her two eldest Scientologist children. Angelina Jolie has a difficult relationship with her father Jon Voight – it probably doesn’t help that he’s...

Floods cripple Indonesia's capital

Whole neighbourhoods of Indonesia's capital Jakarta and dozens of major roads were flooded on Saturday after torrential rains pounded the Southeast Asian city overnight.

Southern cities hit hard by storms face new crisis: No water

Southern cities slammed by winter storms that left millions without power for days have traded one crisis for another: Busted water pipes ruptured by record-low temperatures created shortages of clean drinking water, shut down the Memphis airport on Friday and left hospitals struggling to maintain sanitary conditions.

Drug companies look to AI to end 'hit and miss' research

Technology that speeded the development of Covid vaccines has potential to transform the pharmaceutical industryThe hunt for new medicines has often been more like a game of roulette than high-end science. But now the pharmaceutical sector is on the cusp of a transformation, as it delves into cutting-edge technology to come up with new treatments for diseases such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis...

What we can learn from the Facebook-Australia news debacle

Democracies around the world are all mired in one crisis or another, which is why measures of their health are trending in the wrong direction. Many look at the decline of the news industry as one contributing factor. No wonder, then, that figuring out how to pay for journalism is an urgent issue, and some governments are pushing ahead with ambitious plans. Big ideas for ways to funnel billions of...

'An exciting time': European Space Agency takes diversity to space

Helen Sharman, the UK’s first astronaut, praises the agency as it begins a search for 26 recruitsHelen Sharman, the UK’s first astronaut, has welcomed the European Space Agency’s decision to improve diversity among crew as an “exciting time for human space flight expansion”.Esa announced earlier this week that as part of its bid to recruit up to 26 new astronauts it was casting its net...

Coronavirus: UK should donate vaccines to poorer nations now, says new WTO chief; Argentina's health minister resigns over vaccine allocations

Thousands of China’s Sinovac vaccine on way to MexicoFrance reports increase in daily Covid death tollIreland reports three cases of Brazilian variantSee all our coronavirus coverage 11.17am GMT Several French cities are facing tougher lockdown measures because of the spread of the virus, health minister Olivier Véran has said.According to Reuters, Véran warned that, in particular, the...

CUHK physicists discover new route to active matter self-organisation

An international team led by Professor Yilin Wu, Associate Professor of the Department of Physics at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) has made a novel conceptual advance in the field of active matter science. The team discovered a new route in which the self-organisation of active fluids in space and time can be controlled by a single material property called viscoelasticity.