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South Korea launches its first homemade space rocket

President hails ‘excellent’ test, as rocket gets high enough, but fails to put dummy payload into orbitSouth Korea’s first domestically produced space rocket reached its desired altitude but failed to deliver a dummy payload into orbit in its first test launch.The South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, still described the test as an “excellent accomplishment” that takes the country a step further in its pursuit of a space launch programme. Continue reading...
Tags: South Korea, Space, Science, World news, Asia Pacific, Korea, Moon Jae


US ‘very concerned’ despite China denials over hypersonic missile

Disarmament ambassador casts doubt on ability to defend against technology after reports of test The United States is “very concerned” about China’s development of hypersonic technology, US disarmament ambassador Robert Wood has said, after reports that Beijing had recently launched a hypersonic missile with a nuclear capacity.“We are very concerned by what China has been doing on the hypersonic front,” Robert Wood told reporters in Geneva. Continue reading...
Tags: Space, Science, Technology, China, US, World news, US news, Beijing, United States, Asia Pacific, Weapons technology, Financial Times, Robert Wood, Geneva Continue


China denies report claiming it launched hypersonic missile

Beijing says FT report was inaccurate and that exercise was merely a test of reusable technologyChina has denied a report that claimed it had recently launched a hypersonic missile, saying its launch of a new spacecraft was merely a test to see whether the vehicle could be reused.The Financial Times reported on Saturday that Beijing had launched a nuclear-capable missile in August that circled the Earth at low orbit before narrowly missing its target. Citing multiple sources, the FT claimed the ...
Tags: Space, Science, Technology, China, World news, US news, Earth, Beijing, Asia Pacific, Weapons technology, Financial Times


Factory farms of disease: how industrial chicken production is breeding the next pandemic

At least eight types of bird flu, all of which can kill humans, are circulating around the world’s factory farms – and they could be worse than Covid-19One day last December, 101,000 chickens at a gigantic farm near the city of Astrakhan in southern Russia started to collapse and die. Tests by the state research centre showed that a relatively new strain of lethal avian flu known as H5N8 was circulating, and within days 900,000 birds at the Vladimirskaya plant were hurriedly slaughtered to prev...
Tags: Health, Food, Business, Science, Biology, China, Russia, Environment, Society, World news, Medical Research, Britain, Asia Pacific, Infectious Diseases, Wildlife, Farming


Chinese astronauts arrive at space station for longest mission

The Shenzhou-13 vessel docked at its space station to kick off a record-setting six-month stayThree astronauts successfully docked with China’s new space station, state media said, on what is set to be Beijing’s longest crewed mission to date and the latest landmark in its drive to become a major space power.The three blasted off shortly after midnight on Saturday (1600 GMT) from the Jiuquan launch centre in northwestern China’s Gobi desert, state-run news agency Xinhua said, with the team expec...
Tags: Space, Science, China, World news, Beijing, Asia Pacific, Xinhua, Gobi, Shenzhou


Climate study linking early Maori fires to Antarctic changes sparks controversy

Research tying Maori activity 700 years ago to Antarctic changes sparks debate in New Zealand over Indigenous inclusion in scienceDeep in the ice of a remote Antarctic peninsula, a group of researchers found evidence that fires started by early Māori wreaked changes in the atmosphere detectable 7,000km away. In New Zealand, the research sparked a heated controversy of its own – over Indigenous inclusion in scientific enterprise, and what scientists owe the people whose history becomes a subject ...
Tags: Science, Asia Pacific, Antarctica, New Zealand, Tasmania, Antarctic, Maori, Antarctic Peninsula, New Zealand Patagonia


Homegrown Covid vaccines fill gap as UN Covax scheme misses target

India, Egypt and Cuba among first states to develop and make their own vaccines as Covax falls behind Developing countries are increasingly turning to homegrown Covid vaccinations as the UN-backed Covax programme falls behind.While western countries roll out booster jabs to their own populations, Covax, which was set up by UN agencies, governments and donors to ensure fair access to Covid-19 vaccines for low- and middle-income countries, has said it will miss its target to distribute 2bn doses g...
Tags: Health, Europe, Business, Science, Biology, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, China, Singapore, India, Africa, Americas, Senegal, European Union, Society, World news


Local Covid vaccines fill gap as UN Covax scheme misses target

India, Egypt and Cuba among first states to develop and make their own vaccines as Covax falls behind Developing countries are increasingly turning to homegrown Covid vaccinations as the UN-backed Covax programme falls behind.While western countries roll out booster jabs to their own populations, Covax, which was set up by UN agencies, governments and donors to ensure fair access to Covid-19 vaccines for low- and middle-income countries, has said it will miss its target to distribute 2bn doses g...
Tags: Health, Europe, Business, Science, Biology, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, China, Singapore, India, Africa, Americas, Senegal, European Union, Society, World news


Coronavirus treatments: the potential ‘game-changers’ in development

After positive clinical trials for antiviral drug Molnupiravir, it joins other medicines that have shown promiseCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe first clinical trial results showing a positive effect for a pill that can be taken at home has been hailed as a potential gamechanger that could provide a new way to protect the most vulnerable people from the worst effects of Covid-19. Molnupiravir joins a growing list of medicines that have shown promise. Here are some ...
Tags: Europe, Business, Japan, Science, Drugs, Singapore, India, UK News, World news, Australia news, US news, Medical Research, Asia Pacific, South and Central Asia, Infectious Diseases, Switzerland


Latest developments in medical treatment for coronavirus

After positive clinical trials for antiviral drug Molnupiravir, it joins other medicines that have shown promiseCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe first clinical trial results showing a positive effect for a pill that can be taken at home has been hailed as a potential game-changer that could provide a new way to protect the most vulnerable people from the worst effects of Covid-19. Molnupiravir joins a growing list of medicines that have shown promise. Here are some...
Tags: Europe, Business, Japan, Science, Drugs, Singapore, India, UK News, World news, Australia news, US news, Medical Research, Asia Pacific, South and Central Asia, Infectious Diseases, Switzerland


New Zealand kea can use touchscreens but can’t distinguish between real and virtual worlds

Study finds the intelligent endangered alpine parrot can be trained to use electronic devices with their tonguesVote now in the Guardian/BirdLife Australia 2021 bird of the year pollThe kea, an endangered New Zealand parrot, is clever enough to use touchscreens but doesn’t appear to be able to tell the difference between the real and virtual worlds, according to a new study.Researchers taught six kea at the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve in Christchurch to operate touchscreens. The birds were prese...
Tags: Science, Technology, Australia, Animals, Environment, Birds, Asia Pacific, Wildlife, Animal behaviour, New Zealand, Christchurch, Willowbank Wildlife Reserve


‘A great loss’: tributes pour in for pioneering PNG female doctor who died from Covid

Naomi Kori Pomat, the first female doctor in her province, died in country’s first government-confirmed death of a health worker from virusTributes have poured in for a doctor in Papua New Guinea’s Western Province who died last week, in the country’s first death of a healthcare worker from Covid-19 confirmed by the government.Dr Naomi Kori Pomat, 60, the director for curative health services at the Western Provincial Health Authority (WPHA), was medevaced to Port Moresby after contracting the v...
Tags: Science, World news, Asia Pacific, Infectious Diseases, Papua New Guinea, Western Province, Pacific Islands, Port Moresby, Coronavirus, COVID, Naomi Kori Pomat, Western Provincial Health Authority WPHA


​Fossilised long-legged giant penguin identified as new species

Skeleton found by children in New Zealand helps fill in gaps in natural historyIn January 2006 a group of children in summer camp in Waikato, New Zealand, went on a fossil-hunting field trip with a seasoned archaeologist. They kayaked to the upper Kawhia harbour, a hotspot for this sort of activity, and they expected to find fossils of shellfish and the like, as they regularly did on these Hamilton junior naturalist club expeditions.But on this day, just before heading home, close to where they’...
Tags: Science, Animals, Environment, World news, Birds, Asia Pacific, New Zealand, Evolution, Fossils, Hamilton, Kawhia, Palaeontology, Waikato New Zealand


Radioactive snakes help scientists monitor fallout from Fukushima nuclear disaster

Glue and duct tape used to fit rat snakes with dosimeters and GPS movement trackers to help researchers understand long-term effects of radiationResearchers have used snakes fitted with tracking devices and dosimeters to measure radiation levels in the area around the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Plant, which suffered triple meltdowns in March 2011.The meltdowns in Japan caused by a giant tsunami released more radiation into the atmosphere than any nuclear disaster except Chernobyl in 1986. Contin...
Tags: Japan, Science, Animals, Environment, Asia Pacific, Fukushima, Chernobyl, Fukushima Dai ichi Nuclear Plant


Third person dies in Japan after taking contaminated Moderna coronavirus vaccine

A 49-year-old man died the day after taking his second shot of the vaccine, though authorities said a causal link has not been identifiedSee all our coronavirus coverageA third man has died in Japan after being receiving an injection from one of three batches of Moderna vaccines since identified as contaminated, though authorities say no causal link has yet been found.The 49-year-old man had his second shot on 11 August and died the following day. His only known health issue was an allergy to bu...
Tags: Japan, Science, Asia Pacific, Vaccines and immunisation, Coronavirus


Prenatal gene test Nifty under international scrutiny amid links to Chinese military

Five countries are assessing the BGI Group test amid regulatory concerns about genetic data being sent abroadHealth regulators in five countries are examining a prenatal test that collects the DNA of women and foetuses for research after it emerged the test’s manufacturer has links to China’s military.Some doctors and clinics that promoted and sold the test, marketed under the brand name Nifty, said they were unaware that Shenzhen-based BGI Group also conducts research with the Chinese military....
Tags: Science, Biology, China, World news, Genetics, Asia Pacific, Reproduction, Shenzhen, Nifty, BGI Group


Speed, decisiveness, cooperation: how a tiny Taiwan village overcame Delta

Rural community with an under-resourced health system came together to take on the virus, but anger at the authorities remainsSee all our coronavirus coverageThe work day in Fangshan starts before dawn and finishes at midday, when fishers or farmers of mango and onion sit together in the shade, sharing a bucket of cooked prawns and bottles of Taiwan beer.The hometown of Taiwan’s president, Fangshan’s borders encompass a long stretch of coast and four villages home to around 5,500 people, sandwic...
Tags: Science, World news, Taiwan, Asia Pacific, Infectious Diseases, Delta, Fangshan, Kenting, Coronavirus


Vaccines on horseback: Fiji doctors take long and muddy road to protect remote villages from Covid

A team of medics hiked in the mountains for hours to take supplies to the small village of NakidaSee all our coronavirus coverageTo reach Nakida village in the highlands of Fiji, Dr Losalini Tabakei and her colleagues hiked for hours, up and down mountains, through forests, down muddy slopes, across rivers and along treacherous ridges with steep slopes of bamboo forest on either side.Their supplies – clothing, medical equipment and, crucially, the Covid-19 vaccines they were bringing to administ...
Tags: Science, Asia Pacific, Infectious Diseases, Fiji, Pacific Islands, Coronavirus, COVID, NakidaSee, Nakida, Losalini Tabakei


Wild cockatoos observed using tools as ‘cutlery’ to extract seeds from tropical fruit

Goffin’s cockatoos on Indonesia’s Tanimbar Islands crafted three different types of tools from tree branches to obtain seeds from sea mangoes Wild cockatoos have been observed using three types of tools as “cutlery” to extract seeds from tropical fruit.Researchers made the discovery while studying Goffin’s cockatoos on the Tanimbar Islands, a remote archipelago in Indonesia. Continue reading...
Tags: Science, Indonesia, Animals, Environment, World news, Birds, Asia Pacific, Wildlife, Goffin, Tanimbar Islands


I have a 50/50 chance of inheriting Huntington’s disease – should I take a test to find out? | Lillian Hanly

A coin toss could give me two completely different lives. But once I know the result there’s no going backI’ve spent most of my life knowing I may have inherited a faulty gene that would cause Huntington’s disease, a neurodegenerative disease that can be fatal. My grandad had the disease, my mum has it, and I am yet to take the test to find out if I have it too. It’s a 50/50 chance of inheritance. Right now, I am happily ignorant of whether I carry the mutation or not. A coin toss could give me ...
Tags: Science, World news, Asia Pacific, New Zealand, HUNTINGTON, Huntington's Disease, Lillian Hanly


How a hot blob off New Zealand is contributing to drought in South America

Study reveals the vast patch of warm water has produced a dry ridge of high pressure across the south Pacific, blocking storms from reaching ChileA vast patch of warming water off the coast of New Zealand – referred to as a “warming blob” – has contributed to a decade long drought affecting parts of South America, according to scientists.Researchers based in New Zealand and Chile have examined the rapidly warming hot blob which rose to prominence in 2019 after spikes in water temperature of up t...
Tags: Science, Climate Change, Environment, World news, Asia Pacific, Chile, New Zealand, South America, Pacific


New Zealand won’t ‘throw in towel’ on Covid-zero strategy despite rising infections

Covid response minister says it would be a waste to stop aiming for elimination after plan was questioned by foreign mediaSee all our coronavirus coverageNew Zealand’s Covid response minister says the country will not “throw in the towel” with its elimination strategy, as cases continue to rise.New Zealand announced 63 new cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday, bringing the total to 210 cases. It is the largest single-day jump since the outbreak began last week, and 12 people are hospitalised with the ...
Tags: Science, Asia Pacific, Infectious Diseases, New Zealand, Coronavirus, COVID, coverageNew Zealand


The Wuhan lab leak theory is more about politics than science

Whatever this week’s Biden review finds, the cause of the pandemic lies in the destruction of animal habitatsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageIf Joe Biden’s security staff are up to the mark, a new report on the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic will be placed on the president’s desk this week. His team was given 90 days in May to review the virus’s origins after several US scientists indicated they were no longer certain about the source of Sars-CoV-2.It will be intrig...
Tags: Health, Science, Biology, China, Animals, US, Society, World news, Joe Biden, Medical Research, Asia Pacific, Infectious Diseases, Microbiology, World Health Organization, Biden, Wuhan


New Zealand reports first Covid-19 case in community since February

Officials have not yet established a link between the case, detected in Auckland, and the border or managed isolation facilitiesSee all our coronavirus coverageNew Zealand has a new case of Covid-19 transmission in the community, Ministry of Health officials have confirmed. The news will be greeted with dismay in the country, which has not had a case of transmission in the community since February, and has so far avoided incursions into the community from the more-transmissible Delta variant.The...
Tags: Science, Asia Pacific, Delta, New Zealand, Auckland, Ministry of Health, Coronavirus, coverageNew Zealand


Japan shrugs at name-and-shame policy amid Covid fatigue and changing norms

Social pressure and group mores have become less powerful as people become tired of staying homeSee all our coronavirus coverageThe Japanese government named three people this week who broke quarantine rules after returning from overseas in an attempt to shame others into complying with anti-virus measures. The authorities are hoping to tap into traits, such as the sense of collective and the importance of not breaking social norms, that Japan is known for.However, fatigue from prolonged states ...
Tags: Japan, Science, World news, Asia Pacific, Infectious Diseases, Tokyo, Coronavirus


Covid restrictions and screens linked to myopia in children, study shows

Hong Kong research suggests less time outdoors and more doing ‘near work’ accelerates short-sightednessCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageSpending more time indoors and on screens because of Covid restrictions may be linked to an increased rate of short-sightedness in children, researchers say.The study, which looked at two groups of children aged six to eight in Hong Kong, is the latest to suggest that lockdowns and other restrictions may have taken a toll on eyesight: ...
Tags: Hong Kong, Science, China, Society, World news, Medical Research, Asia Pacific, Children's Health, Coronavirus


Inflatable dinghies and Zoom medical training: how a remote Pacific atoll got Pfizer

Tokelau, one of the most inaccessible atolls in the world, can only be reached by small boat, but received boxes of vaccine this weekThe elders of Nukunonu atoll in Tokelau at the wharf on Monday morning, dressed in white and singing songs, held a banner that said: “Welcome”.In the distance, a small inflatable boat made its way to them carrying a New Zealand defence officer dressed in full protective gear and 12 precious boxes. Inside the boxes were just over 700 doses of Pfizer vaccine, enough ...
Tags: Science, World news, Asia Pacific, Infectious Diseases, New Zealand, Vaccines and immunisation, Pfizer, Pacific Islands, Tokelau, Coronavirus, Nukunono


The Guardian view on Covid and the world: the pandemic’s impact is growing | Editorial

Cases are soaring in many countries, and the social and political effects are becoming clearer“At the root of every pandemic is an encounter between a disease-causing microorganism and a human being … It is a social phenomenon as much as it is a biological one,” writes Laura Spinney in her book Pale Rider, arguing that Spanish flu “pushed India closer to independence, South Africa closer to apartheid, and Switzerland to the brink of civil war”.It will be a long time before we, or our descendants...
Tags: Science, India, Africa, World news, Colombia, Asia Pacific, South Africa, Infectious Diseases, Jacob Zuma, Switzerland, Cuba, Laura Spinney, Coronavirus, COVID


Reasons to be fearful of China’s data-gathering | Letters

We should be suspicious of the role of the Chinese Communist party in the harvesting of genetic data from unborn babies, argues William MatthewsIn her column (What does the Chinese military want with your unborn baby’s genetic data?, 10 July), Arwa Mahdawi suggested that the alleged involvement of the People’s Liberation Army (which is directly answerable to the Chinese Communist party) with BGI’s data-gathering (likewise answerable as a China-based company) is essentially equivalent to data-gat...
Tags: Hong Kong, Science, Biology, China, Women, Pregnancy, World news, Taiwan, Genetics, Asia Pacific, Xi Jinping, Parents and parenting, Xinjiang, Ccp, Arwa Mahdawi, Chinese Communist


Making coffins, giving shelter: volunteers step in as Covid overwhelms Indonesia

As the country becomes the epicentre of the pandemic, a growing number of volunteer groups have assembled to fill in gaps in the government responseSee all our coronavirus coverageEvery day, before 7am, volunteers gather in front of a house in Yogyakarta. Wearing masks and maintaining distance, they measure and cut panels of wood, smoothing the edges with sandpaper. For the past 11 days, the front yard has been turned into an emergency casket-making workshop. The coffins are painted white, and l...
Tags: Science, Indonesia, World news, Asia Pacific, Infectious Diseases, Global Health, Yogyakarta, Coronavirus



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