How did coronavirus start and where did it come from? Was it really Wuhan's animal market?It’s likely Covid-19 originated in bats, scientists say. But did it then spread to pangolins and humans? * Coronavirus – latest updates * See all our coronavirus coverage
The secret call of the wild: how animals teach each other to surviveCultural knowledge, passed from animal to animal, is key to how species adapt to change in the world around them
Apollo 13′s astronauts never gave a thought to their mission number as they blasted off for the moon 50 years ago. Jim Lovell and Fred Haise insist they’re not superstitious. As mission commander Lovell sees it, he's incredibly lucky.
The social network is giving more than 2,000 of the devices in a bid to enable those most at-risk to connect with family.
The regulator has warned that many people are still struggling to tell fact from fiction when looking for information about the Covid-19 pandemic.
The consumer group said there is a lack of meaningful regulation for on-board technology in the motor industry.
An unexpected symptom of coronavirus has been the entrance of alien words and phrases to our vocabulary. Just weeks ago, saying “I’m zooming my friends”, “zoom-bombing” or “Houseparty hacking” out loud would have raised an eyebrow or two. But now that more of us are connecting both for business and pleasure on video conferencing services, Zoom has become an integral part of our lives. There are, however, several risks with using the streaming service. Zoom has apologised after numerous security bugs, some that allowed hackers to intercept calls, others that share bad links that could steal login credentials. It has paused all new features and tasked its engineers with making sure it is as secure as possible as demand grows.
U.S. researchers have opened another safety test of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine, this one using a skin-deep shot instead of the usual deeper jab. The pinch should feel like a simple skin test, a researcher told the volunteer lying on an exam table in Kansas City, Missouri, on Wednesday. “It’s the most important trial that we’ve ever done,” Dr. John Ervin of the Center for Pharmaceutical Research told The Associated Press afterward.
Human encroachment into animal habitats is increasing the risk of new infectious diseases such as Covid-19, a major new study has said. Researchers from the US and Australia found that domesticated species, primates, bats and rats accounted for the vast majority of zoonotic diseases - those which transfer from animals to humans and account for 70 per cent of all human pathogens. But it also found that hunting, the wildlife trade and the conversion of land for agriculture was increasing the interaction of humans with wild animals and with it the risk of disease transmission. The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B looked at 142 zoonotic viruses and cross-referenced them with the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Among threatened species, the researchers found that those who were at risk of population decline because of the wildlife trade and hunting had twice as many zoonotic viruses as those that are under threat from other sources. The researchers hypothesise that this could be the result of the increased interaction between humans and animals. The study also found that animals whose habitat was under threat, likely from deforestation and the conversion of land from agriculture, were twice as likely as other threatened species to be found carrying zoonotic diseases. It concludes that “the causes of wildlife population declines have facilitated the transmission of animal viruses to humans”. "Our data highlight how exploitation of wildlife and destruction of natural habitat in particular, underlie disease spillover events, putting us at risk for emerging infectious diseases," Christine Johnson, from the University of California's School of Veterinary Medicine and lead author of the research, told AFP. Rodents, bats and primates were found to be the source of 75 per cent of zoonotic species. Domestic species, particularly pigs, cows, horses and sheep, were found to have eight times more zoonotic viruses than wild mammalian species. The novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19 is believed to have originated in bats, which have been carriers for other coronaviruses, as well as Ebola and the Nipah virus. Its path to humans is unclear but may have been via an intermediary animal such as a pangolin at an animal market in China. Beijing has since temporarily banned its wildlife markets, and the World Health Organisation is under pressure to call for an end to the practice worldwide. Last year the UN warned that up to one million species are at risk of extinction thanks to human activity. "Once we move past this public health emergency, we hope policy makers can focus on pandemic preparedness and prevention of zoonotic disease risk, especially when developing environmental, land management, and animal resource policies," Ms Johnson told AFP.
Just as the coronavirus outbreak has boxed in society, it’s also squeezed high-flying tech companies reliant on people’s freedom to move around and get together. The picture is even less clear for other, still-private “unicorn” companies once valued at more than $1 billion, such as Airbnb and WeWork. “What market pressure will mean for all companies is survival of the fittest,” said Allen Adamson, co-founder of the marketing firm Metaforce and a business professor at New York University.
Researchers say their findings point to the animals as a candidate model for evaluating the effectiveness of the drugs.
Google on Wednesday made its Stadia online video game service free to provide an escape for those hunkered down at home because of the coronavirus pandemic.
If you’re single at the moment, the chances are you’ve resigned yourself to not having an active dating life until things go back to normal, whenever that is.But even though we can't go out to meet potential new love interests, that doesn't mean things have to be put on hold.