Weekly round up-what we saw, and more

Our weekly look at stories which might interest you. Thanks again for readers’ ideas

What is herd immunity? What is endemic? Where will Covid-19 be six months or a year from now. Clues are found in this Telegraph article,via Microsoft, about the findings of Professor Sunetra Gupta of Oxford University. Our thanks to Mr Peter Seymour of Hertfordshire for this suggestion.


Mr Seymour is also interested in the recent news about projected population declines for later this century. We at LSS will be returning to this theme next week, assuming that there is anyone left to read it.


Mr Gary Herbert of Buckinghamshire has two posts which concern our daily lives. The first is about Alzheimers from New Scientist That magazine has been doing some excellent coverage of this terrible problem in the last couple of years, so this comes out of a great stable>

Research in mice hints that proteins linked to Alzheimer’s may arrive in the brain from the gut. s.Alzheimer’s disease may be caused by the abnormal build-up of a protein in the gut that gradually spreads to the brain, according to research in mice. In people with Alzheimer’s disease, a protein called beta-amyloid clumps together in the brain to form plaques that disrupt normal brain processes. Beta-amyloid deposits have also been found in the guts of people who died with the condition, but they have been largely overlooked. Researchers injected small amounts of the protein into the gastrointestinal tracts of mice. After a year, the protein had spread to the brain, and the rats showed memory problems like those seen in people with Alzheimer’s. More evidence is needed to determine whether this process drives the disease in humans. Read more

The Amazon rainforest is like the lungs of the planet. Soaking up carbon dioxide and pumping out oxygen, it’s one of the few things left standing between us and total atmospheric degradation. In his second post, Gary Herbert warns us of its atrocious mismanagement by the Bolsonaro government, and how large blocks like the EU (and who else) are complicit. New Scientist strikes again!


Earlier this week, we alluded to the dangers of global methane levels-it’s twenty five times more potent as a warming gas than carbon dioxide. Well, the news isn’t good. Here’s Nature on how agriculture is a major culprit, with a couple of links and a summary

Global methane emissions have risen nearly 10% over the past 2 decades, resulting in record-high levels of the powerful greenhouse gas. Atmospheric concentrations of the gas — 1,875 parts per billion last year — are now more than 2.5 times above pre-industrial levels. Emissions have been mostly driven by agriculture and the natural-gas industry. Increasing red-meat consumption propelled a 12% increase in emissions from agriculture in 2017 alone. “People may joke, but cows and other ruminants burp as much methane as the oil and gas industry,” says Earth-systems researcher Robert Jackson.Nature | 3 minutes
Reference: Environmental Research Letters paper & Earth System Science Data paper

and finally….

When your luck’s out-it’s really out. When the famous asteroid hit Chixculub,it was travelling at the worst, the very worst angle it could have been to cause maximum damage. Poor old dinosaurs. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, we have seen unpublished research that suggests the impact occurred on a Friday lunchtime, completely ruining the weekend. That bit never made it into Science Daily of course!

Dinosaur-dooming asteroid struck Earth at ‘deadliest possible’ angle

Date: May 26, 2020Source:Imperial College LondonSummary:New simulations have revealed the asteroid that doomed the dinosaurs struck Earth at the ‘deadliest possible’ angle.


The work here came from Imperial College, that noble centre of Learning and for the diffusion of Useful Knowledge

#sciencedaily #nature #newscientist #amazonrainforest #deforestation #globalwarming #climatechange #covid19 #coronavirus #herdimmunity

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