Weekly Round up: What’s next for Covid, distant cousins, hangovers and fish

Stories of more than passing significance

Not the end yet: Seasoned readers may recall our piece Is Omicron the last Hurrah for Covid? (LSS 20 12 21) in which we noted speculations that omicron might spell the end for Covid-19. Not so fast!- as Nature makes all too clear: Will Omicron end the pandemic?

The World Health Organization and others have suggested the rapid spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant could signal the end of the pandemic, because of the short-term surge in immunity that will follow. Researchers warn that the situation remains volatile and difficult to model. Different vaccine strategies, types and take-up rates from country to country, as well as fluctuating rates of infection and recovery, have left a diverse immunological landscape. So, how will it end? Not with Omicron, researchers predict. “This will not be the last variant, and so the next variant will have its own characteristics,” says infectious-diseases modeller Graham Medley.Nature | 7 min read

Denisovans are not just DNA The initial discovery of a new lineage of humans, the Denisovans, entirely by their DNA was exciting. But where are the remains of this third member of the modern human family? There are a couple of fingers, a tooth and a jaw. Now Michael Marshall of New Scientist speculates that a partial skull from Xujiayao in China might be linked to our exiguous cousins. Could there be more fragments, some in the ground, some in museums, which could shed more light?

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2305830-160000-year-old-fossil-may-be-the-first-denisovan-skull-weve-found/

MIcheal’s piece may be paywalled, so here is the original paper

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0047248421001718

Hangxiety Do some people get panic attacks after a night on the booze, in addition to all the other unpleasant symptoms? Craig Gunn looks at the whos, whens, whys and whats for The Conversation

https://theconversation.com/hangxiety-why-some-people-experience-anxiety-during-a-hangover-176285?u

End of the ice won’t take ages Greenland alone is now melting at a terrifying rate. The reason we respect this is that it comes from the impeccably right wing Daily Mail, not a bastion of woke correctness. Moral: if they’re worried, so should you be

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-10476139/Climate-change-Greenland-lost-ice-2002-submerge-1-5-FEET-water.html

Fish Spill clue to human mystery species The mystery being : How can any creature dare to call itself Homo SAPIENS, goddammitt, when it can do things like this to the planet? Guardian and agencies

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/feb/05/shock-in-france-after-giant-trawler-sheds-100000-dead-fish-off-coast

On that sardonic note, we’ll leave you. Let’s hope there will be enough fish in the ocean to go with your Friday night cocktail

#denisovans #human evolution #Sars-Cov-2 #covid-19 #ecology #sustainibility #global warming #climate change

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