FAO - News Article: World Soil Day highlights the role of soil biodiversity in boosting food production and nutrition

FAO - News Article: World Soil Day highlights the role of soil biodiversity in boosting food production and nutrition

4 December 2020, Rome - Soil organisms play a crucial role in boosting food production, enhancing nutritious diets, preserving human health, remediating polluted sites and combating climate change, but their contribution remains largely underestimated, FAO said today in its first ever report on "The State of Knowledge of Soil Biodiversity ".

Two Global Efforts Try to Trace the Origin of the Covid Virus

Two Global Efforts Try to Trace the Origin of the Covid Virus

“This is not a simple case of going to a market and picking up samples and testing,” says Peter Daszak, the president of the nonprofit research organization EcoHealth Alliance, who leads the Lancet commission task force.

Overcoming Vaccine Skepticism Starts in the Community

Overcoming Vaccine Skepticism Starts in the Community

Ethnic minorities were ten times less likely than the general population to participate in the vaccine trial: They comprise 36 percent of the population, but only 3 percent of trial participants.

How to Reduce (but Not Eliminate) Covid Risk at Holiday Gatherings

How to Reduce (but Not Eliminate) Covid Risk at Holiday Gatherings

He said his own Thanksgiving may look very different this year and warned people to be careful about social gatherings, calling gathering for holidays a risk.Public health experts tell WIRED there is no completely safe way to hold a Thanksgiving gathering this year, but there are ways to reduce risk.

The CMAs Were a Good Reminder to Stick to Zoom Award Shows

The CMAs Were a Good Reminder to Stick to Zoom Award Shows

Watching Reba McEntire's and Darius Rucker’s opening remarks at the Country Music Association Awards on Wednesday night, it was hard not to be reminded of a different performance entirely: Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga at the MTV VMAs this summer.

A Possible Covid Vaccine Means It's Time to Fix Cold Chains

A Possible Covid Vaccine Means It's Time to Fix Cold Chains

But turn the challenges on their head and, given that most of the technologies deployed today will still be in operation for years to come, the Covid-19 global immunization effort could offer us a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to create sustainable and resilient health cold-chain systems, including for ultra-low temperatures.

Voters Rejecting the War on Drugs Is a Win for Public Health

Voters Rejecting the War on Drugs Is a Win for Public Health

Not putting drug users in jail for possession, Seaman says, will reduce their likelihood of going through withdrawal and then overdosing when they get out.

The Perils of Moderating Depression on Social Media

The Perils of Moderating Depression on Social Media

Our most significant, and surprising, finding was that only 15 percent of users who post with the #depressed hashtag do so with what we call “real name” accounts (through which users share their name, pictures of themselves, and other identifying details).Most people using #depressed—76 percent of the accounts in our data set—do so pseudonymously to share humorous memes and inspirational content about mental health.

Ransomware Hits Dozens of Hospitals in an Unprecedented Wave

Ransomware Hits Dozens of Hospitals in an Unprecedented Wave

The US government alert lays out recommendations and best practices for how hospitals can protect themselves, and private firms like Mandiant have been sharing "indicators of comprise" as well, so health care facilities can monitor their systems extra closely and try to head off potential attacks.

Biophilic Cities For An Urban Century

Biophilic Cities For An Urban Century

My colleague Tim Beatley and I argue in a new book, Biophilic Cities for an Urban Century, that at their moment of triumph and fastest growth, cities need nature more than ever.

A Hacker Is Threatening to Leak Patients' Therapy Notes

A Hacker Is Threatening to Leak Patients' Therapy Notes

The health care and mental health services provider Vastaamo says it first began investigating a possible breach at the end of September, when a hacker contacted three of the organization's employees with extortion demands.

Trump's Strangest Lie: A Plague of Suicides Under His Watch

Trump's Strangest Lie: A Plague of Suicides Under His Watch

A preprint study released earlier this week found that the suicide rate in Massachusetts didn’t budge even as that state imposed a strong stay-at-home order in March, April, and May. Subscribe to WIRED and stay smart with more of your favorite Ideas writers.“Just because you’re in a stay-at-home situation doesn’t mean people start immediately decompensating,” said Jeremy Faust, an emergency physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the lead author of the Massachusetts study.

Babies May Be Drinking Millions of Microplastic Particles a Day

Babies May Be Drinking Millions of Microplastic Particles a Day

To count the release of microplastic particles from polypropylene bottles, Boland and his colleagues followed the World Health Organization’s protocol for the safe preparation of baby formula.

Treatment and Vaccine Trials Are Halted, US Cases Rise, and More Coronavirus News

Treatment and Vaccine Trials Are Halted, US Cases Rise, and More Coronavirus News

Treatment and vaccine trials are halted, the US forges ahead with its decentralized response, and new revelations about American society and institutions underscore the deadly toll of the virus.

The iPhone 12 Is a Smartphone Made for Our Terrible Times

The iPhone 12 Is a Smartphone Made for Our Terrible Times

At the very least, you have to use a VPN service anytime you connect to the internet through a network that you don't personally control.

Internet Freedom Has Taken a Hit During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Internet Freedom Has Taken a Hit During the Covid-19 Pandemic

And as all of this unfolds, new research indicates that the governments around the world have exploited the pandemic to expand their domestic surveillance capabilities and curtail internet freedom and speech.

The Tech That's Championing the Public Good

The Tech That's Championing the Public Good

But public health requires the public’s consent: The technologies that will help us get past Covid-19 are only as valuable as the number of people who use them.

Put Trump's Tweets on a Time Delay

Put Trump's Tweets on a Time Delay

We applaud these changes, and believe that if Twitter is serious about its stated goal of “protecting the integrity of the election conversation,” there's another thing the platform should consider: putting a time delay on the tweets of Donald Trump and other political elites.

A Dangerous Year in America Enters Its Most Dangerous Month

A Dangerous Year in America Enters Its Most Dangerous Month

That was true even before Thursday night, when a virus that should have been easy to keep away from a responsible White House sidelined entire ranks of West Wing staff, senior Republican leaders, and hospitalized the president himself .Now, instead of a country focused on successfully defending and executing a rapidly approaching and logistically complex election, the United States is as splintered and distracted as it has been in modern history.

Who Did Trump Infect? Tracing His Contacts Is a Big Task

Who Did Trump Infect? Tracing His Contacts Is a Big Task

President Trump is isolating himself in the White House, having tested positive for the coronavirus last night.Emily Gurley, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, says the first step is to work out when Trump likely became infectious.

Taiwan’s Digital Minister Knows How to Crush Covid-19: Trust

Taiwan’s Digital Minister Knows How to Crush Covid-19: Trust

It helped that back in December, while the coronavirus was just starting to spread inside the Chinese city of Wuhan and the World Health Organization was still months away from declaring a global pandemic, the Taiwanese government deployed its equivalent of the US Defense Production Act to produce masks for its citizens.

In an Odd Twist, Cleaner Air in China May Mean a Warmer Earth

In an Odd Twist, Cleaner Air in China May Mean a Warmer Earth

In fact, China’s push to continue cleaning up its air in the future could warm the entire northern hemisphere by 0.1 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, making it even tougher to keep the Earth’s temperature below the 1.5 Celsius degree (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) warming limit that scientists say is necessary to avoid severe weather disruptions, increased rainfall, sea level rise, droughts, and other disastrous climate change effects by the year 2100.

Could the National HIV Strategy Help Guide the Covid Fight?

Could the National HIV Strategy Help Guide the Covid Fight?

Now a group of HIV researchers, impatient with the delay, has proposed taking one of those plans, the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, as the basis of a comprehensive Covid-19 response, one that would define what it means to beat back this disease, and set out the steps to get there.

In 'Hades,' the Underworld Is Your Playground

In 'Hades,' the Underworld Is Your Playground

I play games for the story, and while I enjoy some aspects of fighting, I’m more interested in whatever’s inside my foe’s inventory.Each time you perish, you emerge from the Pool of Styx, and you can start your escape attempt all over again.

Arlan Hamilton and Katie Rae Say Tech Can Do Well—and Do Good

Arlan Hamilton and Katie Rae Say Tech Can Do Well—and Do Good

Two vanguard venture capitalists are sending shockwaves through Big Tech by arguing it doesn’t have to choose.“If you talk to the young people of today, what you hear so often is ‘we want to do good,’” Katie Rae, CEO and managing partner of The Engine, said at the WIRED25 event.

Covid-19 Support Groups Are a Potential Research Gold Mine

Covid-19 Support Groups Are a Potential Research Gold Mine

However, according to John Naslund, who studies digital mental health at Harvard Medical School, the Covid-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented surge in online activity.It’s interesting that they’re not considered essential.” In his research into online groups dedicated to mental health issues, he’s found such communities to be incredibly helpful for some people’s wellbeing.

Could Breathalyzers Make Covid Testing Quicker and Easier?

Could Breathalyzers Make Covid Testing Quicker and Easier?

Earlier this summer, Gouma began running a clinical study to test the device at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, which included people who had Covid-19 and those who did not.

Skin Care and Makeup Get the High-Tech Treatment

Skin Care and Makeup Get the High-Tech Treatment

Brushing your teeth is possibly the least sexy part of your daily routine, which is probably why the average person only spends about 45 seconds doing it.And oral hygiene may get even better: "You’re putting this brush in your mouth every day," says Sherrie Kinderdine, senior scientist with Oral-B Research and Development.

How Does a Sturgis-Sized Crowd Affect Covid? It's Complicated

How Does a Sturgis-Sized Crowd Affect Covid? It's Complicated

“Both policymakers and voters need to know that we still cannot answer most basic questions about this pandemic with the tools we have on hand,” says Douglass, who has been a vocal Twitter critic of the type of studies like the one published this week about Sturgis, and has coauthored a forthcoming paper on similar shortcomings in the rapidly ballooning Covid literature .

Mental Health in the US is Suffering—Will It Go Back to Normal?

Mental Health in the US is Suffering—Will It Go Back to Normal?

Some callers have preexisting mental health conditions and reached out because of concerns about accessing medication or treatment during a pandemic, she writes; others did not have anxiety or depression diagnoses but were beginning to experience symptoms.