What the readers saw

Our weekly round up of what we and our readers saw as they roamed the vast trackless wastes of the media, the internet, the world wide web-or just chatted about on the good old fashioned telephone.

We have to start with an honest to goodness plug for Nature Briefings. We often state here ,and on Facebook, that Nature is one of the finest publications on the planet. Their raison d’etre has always been to publish the very finest scientific papers by the best authors. The problem for us humble joes is that they are difficult technical language. Nowadays the internet is full of specious conspiracies, fake news and ranting self righteousness. Nature Briefings tries to put the case for reason, science and evidence in a way that lets us easily access the best learning in the world. Here are just two examples as a taster-but we urge you to sign up for your self.

For better or worse, Climate Change is going to produce massive migrations. Here they post a new book which tries to address an issue which is going to make a lot of people hot under the collar in years to come!

The shifting climate means that we must allow — and assist — people, plants and animals who are forced to relocate to survive, argues a book by journalist Sonia Shah. Shah draws on affecting anecdotes and reflects on animal movements — both natural and human-caused — to explore our attitudes in advance of the vast human migration that will be caused by climate change. “The altered communities that result won’t just be different, they’ll often be better adapted to thrive in our warming world,” writes reviewer Emma Marris. Nature | 5 min read

And where on earth did this wretched virus come from? The mystery at the heart of the pandemic looks at bats and possible vectors. Nice stuff to balance the rantings of the unlettered.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus almost certainly originated in bats, then probably passed to an intermediate animal, which spread it to people. But it’s been very difficult to identify that animal — or to completely rule out the unsubstantiated idea that the virus escaped from a laboratory. Pinpointing the source of SARS-CoV-2 would require extensive sampling of coronaviruses in wildlife and livestock, and could take years. Nature | 9 min read

Earlier in the week (LSS 4 6 2020) we briefly covered the new flexible solar panels from Singapore. If you want to know more, Mr Peter Seymour of Hertfordshire recommends that you read this article from popular mechanics, which boasts some excellent pictures alongside a nice clear text.


As the lockdown eases, Governments and citizens everywhere are agonising about the chances of a second wave. David Heyman, Professor of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology at the London School of Hygieine and Tropical Medicine, no less, discusses the chances in the Telegraph article, again tipped for us by Mr Seymour


Is a new crayfish about to devastate our inland waterways? Keen waterman Mr Gary Herbert of Buckinghamshire draws our attention to the Signal Crayfish which appears to be chewing its way through our native fauna, and the walls of the riverbanks themselves. Apparently they were introduced in about 1970 to fish farms, but then escaped. Another Fine Mess, as they say.


Well we think that’s it for the week. Thanks to all who pointed out the defects in our Tequila Sunrise recipe, from Fulham to Florida. Have a good weekend and stay safe out there

#naturebriefings #originscoronavirus #climatechange #migration #signalcrayfish

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