Saturday, October 16News That Matters
Shadow

Tag: future

Seismic forensics could inform a warning system for future floods

Seismic forensics could inform a warning system for future floods

Science
Sept. 30 (UPI) -- Seismic forensics could help scientists develop an early warning system for rockslides and floods in the future. On Feb. 7, 2021, a large rockslide trigged a deadly flood in India's Dhauli Ganga Valley. The rush of water killed more than 200 people and destroyed a pair of hydroelectric power plants. In a new study, published Thursday in the journal Science, researchers used data from a network of seismometers to piece together the minute-by-minute seismic signatures of the rockslide and subsequent flood. Although scientists have yet to determine what exactly triggered the catastrophe, they know that just after 10:20 in the morning, local time, 20 million cubic meters of ice and rock plunged down the slopes Ronti Peak, a mountain glacier, and into the Ronti Ga...
New vulnerable sites identified on surface of COVID spike protein that ‘could help future vaccine development’

New vulnerable sites identified on surface of COVID spike protein that ‘could help future vaccine development’

Technology
Scientists have discovered new vulnerable sites on the surface of the COVID-19 spike protein for antibodies which could help in the development of vaccines.Coronavirus is surrounded by spike proteins that it uses to enter and infect human cells. COVID vaccines work by teaching the immune system to make antibodies to the spike protein. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics in Frankfurt, Germany, have developed a detailed model of the spike protein to identify potential target sites on its surface for the antibodies.They said previous models have not shown the flexibility of the spike protein or the movements of the protective glycans - which they describe as chains of sugar molecules - that coat it. ...
Palantir: NHS says future deals ‘will be transparent’

Palantir: NHS says future deals ‘will be transparent’

Technology
Getty ImagesThe NHS has promised transparency in any future deals with US data firm Palantir after the coronavirus pandemic.It follows a lawsuit by Open Democracy which accused the NHS of “sneaking through” a £23m contract with the firm.The group said it had won the lawsuit, because "the government finally caved".But the NHS maintains it always acted legally, and that campaigners dropped the case “when they realised they didn’t have a leg to stand on”.The lawsuit was withdrawn by Open Democracy and the NHS clarified it would follow the proper process in future.Palantir: The controversial firm now worth £17bnNHS faces legal action over data contractPalantir helps analyse huge volumes of data generated by governments and businesses, and sorts through the information for useful insights, patt...
‘Bleak future’ for UK pubs as they mark a year since first lockdown closures

‘Bleak future’ for UK pubs as they mark a year since first lockdown closures

Business
UK pubs face a "bleak future" as they mark a year since being forced to close due to the first coronavirus lockdown.Dave Mountford, a publican and campaigner at the Forum for British Pubs, told Sky News that at least 2,000 pubs have already closed permanently. He said the remainder will need significant financial help. "Pubs will need additional financial support for years if they are to recover from this," Mr Mountford said."Many pubs will be reopening with a huge amount of debt. They took bounce-back loans but this industry hasn't bounced back and we don't know if drinkers will even return to wet-pubs. ...
Climate change: ‘Forever plant’ seagrass faces uncertain future

Climate change: ‘Forever plant’ seagrass faces uncertain future

Science
Ayuntamiente de IbizaThe green, underwater meadows of Posidonia seagrass that surround the Balearic Islands are one of the world's most powerful, natural defences against climate change. A hectare of this ancient, delicate plant can soak up 15 times more carbon dioxide every year than a similar sized piece of the Amazon rainforest.But this global treasure is now under extreme pressure from tourists, from development and ironically from climate change. Posidonia oceanica is found all over the Mediterranean but the area between Mallorca and Formentera is of special interest, having been designated a world heritage site by Unesco over 20 years ago.Here you'll find around 55,000 hectares of the plant, which helps prevent coastal erosion, acts as a nursery for fish, but also plays a globally si...