45 articles from THURSDAY 25.11.2021

Action over variant shows government keen to avoid Christmas calamity of 2020

Analysis: variant provides test of whether relaxation of rules and booster push is effective policySouth Africa to be put on England’s travel red list Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageLast Christmas, as ministers rashly promised five days of festive family gatherings while a new variant gathered pace, Boris Johnson held out until the final hours until he bowed to the...

South Africa to be put on England’s travel red list over new Covid variant

Flights from six countries will be banned as officials review travel measures after scientists voice concern over variant Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageFlights from southern Africa will be banned, with six countries placed under England’s red list travel restrictions, after scientists raised the alarm over what is feared to be the worst Covid-19 variant yet...

What do we know about the new ‘worst ever’ Covid variant?

UK places South Africa on red travel list over B.1.1.529 variant picked up by scientists in countrySouth Africa to be put on England’s travel red listSee all our coronavirus coverageWhat is the new variant and why is it a concern?Scientists have detected a new Covid-19 variant called B.1.1.529 and are working to understand its potential implications. About 50 confirmed cases have been identified...

Study highlights role of disordered protein interactions in gene expression

A team led by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and the Czech Academy of Sciences has uncovered a new piece of the puzzle of how gene expression is orchestrated. Published in the journal Science, the findings reveal a novel mechanism that coordinates the assembly of components inside cells that control gene expression. The mechanism not only is essential for normal cell function, but also...

Loss of ancient grazers triggered a global rise in fires

From 50,000 years to 6,000 years ago, many of the world's largest animals, including such iconic grassland grazers as the woolly mammoth, giant bison, and ancient horses, went extinct. The loss of these grazing species triggered a dramatic increase in fire activity in the world's grasslands, according to a new Yale-led study published Nov. 26 in the journal Science.

Sir Eric Ash obituary

Leading figure in the field of electrical engineering whose work played a huge role in modern electronicsThe electrical engineer Eric Ash, who has died aged 93, made major contributions to controlling and manipulating electrical, optical and acoustic waves for signal processing and imaging applications. Already established as a leading figure in this field when he arrived at University College...

A doubly magic discovery

A team of researchers, including scientists from the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) and the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) at Michigan State University (MSU), have solved the case of zirconium-80's missing mass.

Earliest evidence of humans decorating jewelery in Eurasia

A new multidisciplinary study by an international team reports the discovery of an ivory pendant decorated with a pattern of at least 50 punctures, creating an irregular looping curve. The direct radiocarbon date of the ornament yields an age of 41,500 years. This result indicates that the Stajnia Cave jewelry is the oldest punctate ornament known to date in Eurasia, predating other instances of...

Scientists produce new antibiotics by gene editing

Scientists have discovered a new route to produce complex antibiotics exploiting gene editing to re-program pathways to future medicines urgently required to combat antimicrobial resistance, treat neglected diseases and tackle future pandemics.

Researchers study factors that impact degree of pleasure derived from hugs

A small team of researchers at the University of London has attempted to measure the factors that influence the amount of pleasure a person receives from hugging another person. In their paper published in the journal Acta Psychologica, the group describes two separate experiments they conducted to learn more about the experience of hugging, at least in the U.K.

Find vet before buying pets for Christmas, Britons warned

Increase in dog and cat ownership in lockdown and Brexit standards issues have led to vet shortagePeople who are considering buying dogs and cats for Christmas are being asked to check if they have access to a vet before they buy due to shortages caused by Brexit and Covid.The British Veterinary Association (BVA) is urging caution after a rise in demand for vets due to the increase in pet...