The Response 15th-22nd May

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The Response: This week’s selection of solutions, progress and development

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Corona Coverage

A Vaccine Against COVID-19 Would Be the Latest Success in a Long Scientific History Whatever vaccine is eventually developed to fight Covid-19 will owe its existence to centuries of incremental work that have turned vaccination from a crude and often risky practice to a highly refined science. (TIME)

UK researchers hope dogs can be trained to detect coronavirus Dogs have already been successfully trained to detect the odour of certain cancers, malaria and Parkinson’s disease, and a new study will look at whether labradors and cocker spaniels can be trained to detect Covid-19 in people. (Guardian)

 Cambodia: All Covid-19 patients recovered, country free of virus ambodia’s last patient with the new coronavirus has recovered and left hospital, leaving the South-East Asian country with zero cases, the Health Ministry said on Saturday (May 16), while urging continued vigilance. (The Star)

The rise of mutual aid under coronavirus Amid this unfolding disaster, we have seen countless acts of kindness and solidarity. It’s this spirit of generosity that will help guide us out of this crisis and into a better future.(The Guardian)

Sorrento finds a coronavirus antibody that blocks viral infection 100% in preclinical lab experiments Therapeutics company Sorrento has made what it believes could be a breakthrough in potential treatment of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that leads to COVID-19. it prevents the virus from attaching to the host’s healthy cell, which is what leads to incubation and infection. (Tech Crunch)

Going Green…

Germany Is Leading the World Toward a Green Recovery In this respite from the daily din, we hear the promise of what might be. Due to disease, emerging technology and dumb luck, a greener future may come sooner than expected. (Reasons to be Cheerful)

Kelp is coming: How seaweed could prevent catastrophic climate change For many people, seaweed is something we trip over on the beach, not take there in our lunch boxes. But for thousands of years, humans have harnessed seaweed in extraordinary ways. (New Scientist)

Mega solar plant uses 170,000 mirrors to generate heat for electricity Spread out over 14 square kilometres, the facility can generate enough energy to power 140,000 homes every year. Due to the scale of plants like Ivanpah, solar energy is becoming cheaper and could play a role in helping renewables overtake fossil fuels as the world’s preferred sources of electricity. (New Scientist)

Making sunlight more powerful Indoor farms can grow more food than fields by using special recipes of LED lights to induce more plant growth. This new technology lets a regular greenhouse achieve the same effect. (Fast Company)

The end of plastic? New plant-based bottles will degrade in a year A biochemicals company in the Netherlands hopes to kickstart investment in a pioneering project that hopes to make plastics from plant sugars rather than fossil fuels. (Guardian)

In other news…

‘Anti-ageing’ protein shown to slow cell growth is key in longevity

Knowing the genes and proteins involved in these processes, will help us increase our “healthspan” – the period that people can live in a healthy and productive state, without age-related diseases.(The Conversation)

Canada Bans Assault Weapons in Wake of Deadly Mass Shooting

Knowing the genes and proteins involved in these processes, will help us increase our “healthspan” – the period that people can live in a healthy and productive state, without age-related diseases.(Guardian)

In a Victory for Women in Sudan, Female Genital Mutilation Is Outlawed

“The law will help protect girls from this barbaric practice and enable them to live in dignity,” said Salma Ismail, a spokeswoman in Khartoum for the United Nations Children’s Fund. (New York Times)

Connection Between Housing and Health

Escalated efforts to get homeless and unsheltered people off the streets during coronavirus can serve us long after the crisis is over. (City Lab)

Humpback Whales Have Made a Remarkable Recovery, Giving Us Hope for the Planet

In the depths of the ocean, and out of sight for most of us, there’s a quiet miracle happening. Many humpback whale populations, previously devastated by commercial whaling, are making a comeback. And no, before you ask, this has nothing to do with the coronavirus.(TIME)

 

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