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Friday, December 6, 2019

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Major floods have been taking place in the UK during the begining of 2014. South-west England has been worst hit, with many homes still flooded and part of a key railway line destroyed.The accelerating pace of extreme weather events is an acute challenge to political leaders.  On November 8, 2013, a devastating typhoon struck the south-central islands in the Philippines. There were early warnings of what was to come, but over 6,000 people were killed and hundreds of thousands of homes and livelihoods destroyed.

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Floods in the United Kingdom

The effects of climate change are already evident in Europe and the situation is set to get worse, the European Environment Agency has warned.  In a recently released report, the agency says the past decade in Europe has been the warmest on record. It adds that the cost of damage caused by extreme weather events is rising, and the continent is set to become more vulnerable in the future. The findings have been published ahead of next week's UN climate conference.

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A group of scientists has taken the first important steps towards creating the Human Cell Atlas—a complete inventory of our staggeringly diverse cells.  Steve McCarroll announced earlier in 2016 that his team had discovered the gene that most powerfully drives our risk of schizophrenia. Known as C4, it was previously viewed as an immune-system gene, but clearly, it also does something in the brain.

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A 10th of children have a "monkey-like" immune system that stops them developing AIDS, a study of Oxford University suggests. The study, in Science Translational Medicine, found the children's immune systems were "keeping calm", which prevented them being wiped out.An untreated HIV infection will kill 60% of children within two and a half years, but the equivalent infection in monkeys is not fatal. The findings could lead to new immune-based therapies for HIV infection. The virus eventually wipes out the immune system, leaving the body vulnerable to other infections, what is known as acquired human immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).  The researchers analysed the blood of 170 children from South Africa who had HIV, had never had antiretroviral therapy and yet had not developed AIDS.

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Climate change is one of the biggest threats facing humankind, and as the stakes are raised, many are proposing ambitious solutions – from pumping dust into the atmosphere to escaping to space.

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But what if instead of trying to fix the world, we fixed ourselves? That's the question posed by Matthew Liao, director of the Bioethics Program at New York University, and his colleagues. "We tried to think outside the box," says Liao. "What hasn't been suggested with respect to addressing climate change?"