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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. ...
Bottom trawling ban for key UK fishing sites

Bottom trawling ban for key UK fishing sites

Science
Two of the UK’s most sensitive fishing sites are set to receive better protection.The Marine Management Organisation says it plans to safeguard fishing areas in Dogger Bank and South Dorset by completely banning bottom trawling.The sites are already designated as protected areas, but in reality they are not patrolled - and they’re both over-fished.Greenpeace recently dropped concrete blocks on to Dogger Bank.The intention was to deter bottom trawling. Another group, Blue Marine, took legal action to try to safeguard the sea bed.Bottom trawling is a destructive type of fishing which involves dragging weighted nets across the sea floor.The MMO is consulting on proposed by-laws prohibiting bottom-towed gear on the sites. The consultation runs to 28 March 2021.Europe's largest marine protected...
Covid-19: Oxford vaccine rolled out to hundreds of GP sites in England

Covid-19: Oxford vaccine rolled out to hundreds of GP sites in England

Health
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Study: Small predators get ambushed at kill sites of larger predators

Study: Small predators get ambushed at kill sites of larger predators

Science
March 18 (UPI) -- Small animals scavenging at kill sites of larger predators are often killed when top predators return, according to a "fatal attraction" theory published this week. It notes that smaller predators, like coyotes and foxes, are drawn to the kill sites of large predators like bears and wolves in search of leftover scraps, but the scavengers may be killed themselves if the larger animals return to the scene, according to the new study, published Tuesday in the journal Ecology Letters. The study focused on scavenging carnivores and their possible demise from larger animals, and comes as populations of grizzly bears, wolves and cougars have been declining in North America, while deer and other prey is rising, causing an imbalance in many areas. "We initially thought maybe sma...
YouTube, Venmo: AI firm must stop scraping faces from sites

YouTube, Venmo: AI firm must stop scraping faces from sites

Technology
Payment service Venmo has joined YouTube and Twitter in demanding that a facial recognition company stop harvesting user images to identify the people in themBy MATT O'BRIEN AP Technology WriterFebruary 5, 2020, 9:05 PM2 min readNEW YORK -- Payment service Venmo joined YouTube and Twitter on Wednesday in demanding that a facial recognition company stop harvesting user images to identify the people in them, which the startup does as part of its work with police. Venmo said Wednesday it is sending a cease-and-desist letter to New York-based Clearview AI. The small firm has drawn scrutiny following investigative reports in January by the New York Times and Buzzfeed detailing its work with law enforcement agencies and its practice of scraping social media and other internet platforms ...