Microplastic pollution is everywhere, but scientists are still learning how it harms wildlife

Plastic
Plastic pollution is a growing global concern. Large pieces of plastic have been found almost everywhere on Earth, from the most visited beaches to remote, uninhabited islands. Because wildlife are regularly exposed to plastic pollution, we often ask what effects plastics have on the animals. Over time, macroplastics (plastic debris larger than five millimetres in size) break up into tiny particles called microplastics (smaller than five millimet...
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This is how we prevent future pandemics, say 22 leading scientists

This is how we prevent future pandemics, say 22 leading scientists
Human activity is to blame for COVID-19, say 22 international experts.But we can prevent future pandemics by better protecting Earth's natural resources.There are 1.7 million 'undiscovered' viruses in mammals and birds, 827,000 of which could infect humans.But it's not too late to change course and rebuild our defences.Experts say switching our efforts to prevention would reduce the threat. Here's the good news: we can prevent future pandemics. B...
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PFAS ‘forever chemicals’ are widespread and threaten human health – here’s a strategy for protecting the public

PFAS ‘forever chemicals’ are widespread and threaten human health – here’s a strategy for protecting the public
Like many inventions, the discovery of Teflon happened by accident. In 1938, chemists from Dupont (now Chemours) were studying refrigerant gases when, much to their surprise, one concoction solidified. Upon investigation, they found it was not only the slipperiest substance they'd ever seen – it was also noncorrosive and extremely stable and had a high melting point. In 1954 the revolutionary "nonstick" Teflon pan was introduced. Since then, an e...
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Can we actually learn to live with coronavirus? Not until we have a vaccine

covid-19
As we move into the last quarter of 2020, the virus that has defined this troubled year is showing no signs of going away. In the absence of a vaccine or a broadly effective treatment, some are now saying that we must learn to live with COVID-19. But what does that actually look like? It's a complicated question that boils down to this: Should we allow SARS-CoV-2 to spread through most of the population while shielding all the elderly and those a...
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Why universal testing could help bring the pandemic to an end

Why universal testing could help bring the pandemic to an end
Across the world companies and government are consolidating their efforts on developing and distributing an effective vaccine against COVID-19.But is it the only way we can end the pandemic?Three leading economists present the idea that a government-led, universal testing strategy could put an end to the crisis in a matter of months. Research to develop a safe, effective, and widely available COVID-19 vaccine is advancing rapidly. But when it wil...
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An overwhelming majority of people want real change after COVID-19

An overwhelming majority of people want real change after COVID-19
86% of people want significant change to make the world fairer and more sustainable after COVID-19, a new study finds.Almost three-quarters want their own lives to change too.More than 21,000 people in 28 countries took part in the survey.The findings align with the World Economic Forum's call for a Great Reset after the crisis. A majority of people worldwide support calls for global leaders to ensure we make the world fairer and more sustainable...
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COVID-19 survivors can suffer long-term heart conditions, new study finds

COVID-19 survivors can suffer long-term heart conditions, new study finds
Survivors of COVID-19 can suffer from heart-related complications, including heart inflammation.Issues related to an inflamed heart include detrimental effects on its ability to pump blood around the rest of your body, raising the likelihood of strokes and other conditions.The interplay between non-communicable diseases and COVID-19 requires urgent attention. Growing evidence shows that COVID-19 survivors can suffer from long-term health effects,...
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Global hunger fell for decades, but it's rising again

Global hunger fell for decades, but it's rising again
Almost 690 million people in the world were undernourished in 2019 – that's 8.9% of the world population, a new UN report says.This figure could exceed 840 million by 2030, if current trends continue.Factors increasing global hunger include economic slowdowns and extreme weather events.The UN warns that without efforts to reform global food systems, its target of zero hunger by 2030 will be missed. There are almost 60 million more undernourished ...
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It’s time to get serious about the causes of pandemics: UN report

It’s time to get serious about the causes of pandemics: UN report
75% of emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic.60% of known infectious diseases are, too.$100 billion has been lost to zoonotic diseases over the past two decades – not accounting for COVID-19. More than half a million deaths. Almost 12 million infections. And those are just the confirmed numbers. Plus an estimated $9 trillion in economic stimulus from the world's governments. All that in a little over six months since the emergence of the COVI...
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How deforestation helps deadly viruses jump from animals to humans

How deforestation helps deadly viruses jump from animals to humans
The coronavirus pandemic, suspected of originating in bats and pangolins, has brought the risk of viruses that jump from wildlife to humans into stark focus. These leaps often happen at the edges of the world's tropical forests, where deforestation is increasingly bringing people into contact with animals' natural habitats. Yellow fever, malaria, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, Ebola – all of these pathogens have spilled over from one species to ...
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