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Government to urge us all to walk and cycle more

Government to urge us all to walk and cycle more

Science
We need to protect the public transport network as lockdown is lifted, the UK's transport secretary is expected to say at a press conference on Saturday.The BBC understands Grant Shapps will encourage the public to continue to work from home if they can.Those who need to travel to work will be urged to consider more active ways to travel like walking and cycling.Extra funding is likely to be announced for English local authorities to help alter road networks to facilitate this.The intention is to take pressure off roads and public transport networks.Matters concerning cycling and walking are devolved. For example, Wales has had legislation in place to boost both activities since 2013. It is believed that Mr Shapps will talk about...
Disabled flies sleep more as they learn to adapt

Disabled flies sleep more as they learn to adapt

Science
May 8 (UPI) -- Some people need to psyche themselves up to meet challenges head on. For flies, tough times call for a little shuteye. New research suggests flies that are unable to fly sleep more as they learn to adapt to their disability. The research -- published Friday in the journal Science Advances -- could offer insights into the evolutionary origins of sleep, as well as the role sleep plays in human health and development. The sleep patterns of fruit flies are quite similar to those of humans. Young flies sleep more than older flies, with the need for sleep diminishing as a fly ages. Flies that are kept up all night catch up on sleep the next day. Caffeine keeps flies up, while antihistamines make them drowsy. In humans, sleep is important for learning and neural development, and...
Scientists say a more contagious mutant coronavirus strain has been sweeping globe

Scientists say a more contagious mutant coronavirus strain has been sweeping globe

Technology
Scientists say they have identified a mutation in coronavirus which they believe means a more contagious strain has been sweeping Europe and the US - and could even reinfect those who already have antibodies.Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the US detected 14 mutations in the COVID-19 virus spike proteins, one of which - known as Spike D614G - they said was of "urgent concern". Their research paper suggests the mutated strain of coronavirus that has become dominant across the world was first indentified in Europe and is different to those which spread early on in the pandemic. Image: A graphic shows the mutation, in blue, becoming the most dominant strain So urgent is the issue that the research paper describing their ...
Coronavirus: ‘More normal’ shopping habits are back, says Ocado

Coronavirus: ‘More normal’ shopping habits are back, says Ocado

Business
Ocado says "more normal" shopping habits are back after a huge jump in demand amid the coronavirus lockdown.Its customers are now purchasing fewer items than at the peak of demand, with the balance between fresh and long-life food returning to normal.The online grocer has made changes to increase the delivery slots available, including suspending the delivery of mineral water.Its revenues in April were up more than 40% from a year earlier."At the beginning of the outbreak demand increased significantly, almost overnight," the retailer said.It limited the number of items on sale initially in order to stop customers from panic buying.Ocado said these limits have since been rolled back as the number of items shoppers are putting in their baskets "appears to ...
Analysis: More black Africans die of COVID-19 than white Britons

Analysis: More black Africans die of COVID-19 than white Britons

World
May 1 (UPI) -- Black Africans are nearly four times as likely to die from the novel coronavirus in Britain than white Britons, an analysis released Friday indicates. The Institute for Fiscal Studies said the ethnic black African death rate from the virus is 3.7 times as high as that of white Britons. Overall, all racial minority groups are dying at a higher rate than white Britons. "After stripping out the role of age and geography, Bangladeshi hospital fatalities are twice those of the white British group, Pakistani deaths are 2.9 times as high and black African deaths 3.7 times as high," the IFS said. "The Indian, black Caribbean and 'other white' ethnic groups also have excess fatalities, with the white Irish group the only one to have fewer fatalities than white British." The IFS sa...