What the readers saw

A weekly round up of stories we think you ought to know but didn’t have time to feature

Avid readers of LSS will recall our June 13th article in which we looked at testing sewage for the presence of Sars-CoV-2 virus. Real aficionados will recall that it was at the behest of Mr Peter Seymour of Hertfordshire. Well, Nature Briefings (Sewage based surveillance system) are running with this. If true, it could help local health organisations get significantly ahead of outbreaks, with all the benefits that implies.

Testing wastewater samples for the coronavirus could help local authorities to identify and tackle COVID-19 outbreaks sooner, scientists say. Studies in the United Kingdom suggest that this approach could help to detect infection spikes up to ten days earlier than existing medical-based tests. “By sampling wastewater at different parts of the sewerage network, we can gradually narrow an outbreak down to smaller geographical areas, enabling public-health officials to quickly target interventions,” says pollution scientist Andrew Singer. “It seems obvious that we should be doing this.”
BBC News | 5 min read
Read more: How sewage could reveal the true scale of the coronavirus outbreak (Nature | 4 min read, from April)

We at LSS are firm believers in the principle of innocence until proven guilty in a trial. So our question about Prince Andrew is not his innocence, but how did a man with born with all his advantages land in this mess? Certainly his siblings have had their ups and downs, but no one can doubt their commitment to service and good works, or imagine them in such a fix as this. Nigel Cawthorne thinks he has the answers in his recent biography of the Prince. We post a link from the Mail‘s summary of the book, from which you can find a way to buy it if you want. But is the answer much simpler? Andrew served bravely for his country in a war. There are many examples of men who, having put their life on the line, just glad to enjoy life they get home, and not take things too seriously. Is this one such case?


“It’s time something was done about the climate crisis” is a grumble we hear more and more. To be fair the Democrats in the United States do seem to be centering it in their forthcoming election manifesto. Here’s Nature Briefings again:

A Democrat-led US government committee charged with coming up with a detailed climate plan has released its recommendations for saving the world. One of the report’s overall targets is net-zero carbon-dioxide emissions in the United States before 2050. To get there, the report offers 12 ‘pillars’, including investing in green-technology industries and strengthening support for climate-science research. “I am very heartened to see the detail and ambition that the committee has put forward,” says energy-policy researcher Leah Stokes, who kindly broke down the 500+-page report in a Twitter thread. How much of the plan will be implemented comes down to the outcome of the imminent US elections in November.Vox | 10 min read
Reference: Solving the Climate Crisis report (or just the 2-page summary)

And finally..happy fiftieth birthday to Germaine Greer‘s The Female Eunuch. Still fondly remembered as a landmark text in feminism and to all of us who think that the emancipation of women everywhere will give all of us better lives


#covid19 #coronavirus #climatechange #globalwarming #princeandrew #germainegreer #thefemaleeunuch

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