Nobel shines light on paleogenetics, study of ancient DNA

by Julien DURY Agence France Presse Paris, France (AFP) — While some may have been surprised that the Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to a paleogeneticist Monday, researchers say understanding our distant ancestors helps explain modern human health — even when it comes to Covid. New Nobel laureate Svante Paabo is considered the father of both paleogenetics and paleogenomics, which aims to reconstruct the genetic information of long extinct human relatives. But the prize […]

Tired of power cuts, blockaded Gaza turns to solar

by Rosie SCAMMELL and Mai YAGHI Agence France-Presse GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories (AFP) — Palestinians living in the Israeli-blockaded enclave of Gaza have long endured an unstable and costly electricity supply, so Yasser al-Hajj found a different way: solar power. Looking at the rows of photo-voltaic panels at his beachfront fish farm and seafood restaurant, The Sailor, he said the investment he made six years ago had more than paid off. “Electricity is the backbone […]

Medicine Prize opens Nobel week clouded by war

by Marc Preel and Alma Cohen Agence France-Presse STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AFP) — Breast cancer discoveries and mRNA vaccines are seen as possible winners when the Nobel Medicine Prize kicks off a week of winner announcements on Monday, with this year’s awards held under the shadow of war in Europe. Established more than 120 years ago before Europe was ravaged by two world wars, the Nobel prizes will celebrate those who have “conferred the greatest benefit […]

Google shutting down cloud gaming service Stadia

SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) – Google on Thursday said it is shutting down Stadia, the cloud video game service it launched three years ago to let people access console-quality play as easily as they do email. “It hasn’t gained the traction with users that we expected so we’ve made the difficult decision to begin winding down our Stadia streaming service,” Google vice president Phil Harrison said in a blog post. Google said it will […]

Defying turmoil, Porsche to go ‘full throttle’ with blockbuster IPO

by Sam Reeves Agence France-Presse FRANKFURT, Germany (AFP) — Luxury sports carmaker Porsche will debut on the Frankfurt stock exchange Thursday in one of Europe’s biggest listings in years, hoping its brand power can attract investors despite market turbulence. Even as stocks worldwide suffer from surging inflation and mounting recession fears, the maker of the 911 sports car is pushing ahead with the blockbuster flotation. The initial public offering (IPO) has generated buzz in Porsche’s […]

Apple App Store pulls Russian social network VKontakte

SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — Apple on Wednesday confirmed that it removed popular Russian social network VKontakte from its App Store globally due to sanctions imposed by Britain. The British government on Monday sanctioned 92 Russian individuals and entities after President Vladimir Putin’s regime held referendums in Moscow-controlled areas of Ukraine — denounced by Kyiv and its allies as a “sham” — and stepped up threats against the West. “Sham referendums held at the […]

‘Incredible’: Astronomers hail first images of asteroid impact

Paris, France (AFP) — The asteroid is flying through space in the grainy black and white video, when suddenly a massive cloud of debris sprays out in front of it, meaning only one thing: impact. Astronomers have hailed this early footage of the first time humanity deliberately smashed a spacecraft into an asteroid, saying it looks like it did a “lot of damage”. That would be good news, because NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) […]

Apple to make iPhone 14 in India in shift away from China

Mumbai, India (AFP) Apple will manufacture its new flagship smartphone in India, the US tech giant said Monday, as it seeks to diversify production away from a dependence on China. The iPhone supply chain is based mainly in China but the country’s zero-Covid policies and tensions with the United States have hurt production, analysts say. “We’re excited to be manufacturing iPhone 14 in India,” Apple said in a brief statement. The California-based firm already makes […]

Elon Musk and Twitter dig for evidence as trial looms

SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — Twitter and Elon Musk sparred in court on Tuesday, each digging for evidence to prevail in a high-stakes trial next month over the billionaire’s bid to break his buyout deal. Musk has been keen to find evidence to back his accusation that Twitter misled regulators and investors about what portion of accounts are actually spam or software “bots,” as well as its key measures regarding growth. Twitter, which has […]

Direct impact or nuclear weapons? How to save Earth from an asteroid

by Issam AHMED Agence France Presse Laurel, United States (AFP) — NASA’s DART mission to test deflecting an asteroid using “kinetic impact” with a spaceship is just one way to defend planet Earth from an approaching object — and for now, the only method possible with current technology. The operation is like playing billiards in space, using Newton’s laws of motion to guide us. If an asteroid threat to Earth were real, a mission might […]

NASA gears up to deflect asteroid, in key test of planetary defense

by Issam AHMED Agence France-Presse WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — NASA on Monday will attempt a feat humanity has never before accomplished: deliberately smacking a spacecraft into an asteroid to slightly deflect its orbit, in a key test of our ability to stop cosmic objects from devastating life on Earth. The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spaceship launched from California last November and is fast approaching its target, which it will strike at roughly 14,000 […]

Google, Meta face record fines in South Korea over privacy violations

SEOUL, South Korea (AFP) — South Korea has fined Google and Meta more than $71 million collectively for gathering users’ personal information without consent for tailored ads, regulators said Wednesday, the country’s highest-ever data protection fines. Investigations into the two US tech giants found they had been “collecting and analyzing” data on their users, and monitoring their use of websites and applications, the Personal Information Protection Commission said. The data was used to “infer the […]