UK researchers aim to infect volunteers to study Covid exposure

  LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — British researchers on Tuesday said they hope to expose healthy volunteers to the virus that causes Covid-19 in a groundbreaking study to discover the amount needed for people to become infected. The Human Challenge Programme — a partnership that includes Imperial College London — hopes the work will ultimately help to “reduce the spread of the coronavirus, mitigate its impact and reduce deaths”. In what researchers called a world […]

Nokia and NASA to install 4G on the Moon

HELSINKI, Finland (AFP) —  With competition among Earth’s telecoms providers as fierce as ever, equipment maker Nokia announced its expansion into a new market on Monday, winning a deal to install the first cellular network on the Moon. The Finnish equipment manufacturer said it was selected by NASA to deploy an “ultra-compact, low-power, space-hardened” wireless 4G network on the lunar surface, as part of the US space agency’s plan to establish a long-term human presence […]

Twitter service restored following global platform outage

  SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — Twitter service appeared to be restored Thursday evening after a technical problem caused a global outage of nearly two hours on the social media platform used by hundreds of millions worldwide. The outage marked a new setback for the network, which is fending off accusations of bias over its decision to block a news report critical of Democratic White House candidate Joe Biden. “Twitter has been down for […]

New crew reaches ISS in record time

by Christopher RICKLETON ALMATY, Kazakhstan (AFP) — A three-person crew successfully reached the International Space Station on Wednesday aboard a Russian rocket after the fastest ever journey from Earth of just over three hours. The mission of the Soyuz space craft carrying two Russian cosmonauts and one NASA astronaut was of immense importance to Russia’s space agency Roscosmos, coming as the SpaceX programme relaunches manned spaceflight from the United States and ignites fresh talk of […]

Biggest North Pole mission back from ‘dying Arctic’

by Yannick PASQUET Agence France-Presse BERLIN, Germany (AFP) — Researchers on the world’s biggest mission to the North Pole returned to Germany on Monday, bringing home devastating proof of a dying Arctic Ocean and warnings of ice-free summers in just decades. The German Alfred Wegener Institute’s Polarstern ship returned to the port of Bremerhaven after 389 days spent drifting through the Arctic trapped in ice, allowing scientists to gather vital information on the effects of […]

Samsung flags near-60% operating profit jump after Huawei boost

  by Sunghee Hwang Agence France Presse SEOUL, South Korea (AFP) — Samsung Electronics flagged a leap of nearly 60 percent in third-quarter operating profits Thursday, as its mobile and chip business were boosted by US sanctions against its Chinese rival Huawei. The South Korean tech giant said in an earnings estimate that it expected operating profit to reach 12.3 trillion won ($10.6 billion) for July to September, up from 7.8 trillion won in the […]

Trio win Nobel Physics Prize for black hole research

by Johannes LEDEL / with Patrick GALEY in Paris STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AFP) — A trio of scientists, Roger Penrose of Britain, Reinhard Genzel of Germany and Andrea Ghez of the US, won the Nobel Physics Prize on Tuesday for their research into what the Nobel committee called “one of the most exotic phenomena in the universe, the black hole.” Penrose, 89, was honoured for showing “that the general theory of relativity leads to the formation […]

Flying doctors: UK air ambulance tests paramedic jet suit

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Emergency responders and engineers in Britain said on Tuesday they have successfully tested “the world’s first jet suit paramedic”, which could transform how life-savers reach isolated casualty sites. The Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS), which provides emergency air response across swathes of northern England, said it had helped flight-test the 1,050 bhp (brake horsepower) jet suit in the Lake District National Park. The trial saw Richard Browning, the founder […]

5G networks: are there health risks?

  by Paul RICARD Agence France Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — Do 5G mobile telephones and networks pose health risks? Worries about the effect the technology has on humans and the environment have persisted as it has been deployed in various countries. What do scientists have to say about it? – What is 5G? – 5G networks are touted as promising an exponential leap in the amount and speed of wireless data, enabling advances in […]

ISS moves to avoid space debris

  WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Astronauts on the International Space Station carried out an “avoidance maneuver” Tuesday to ensure they would not be hit by a piece of debris, said US space agency NASA, urging better management of objects in Earth’s orbit. Russian and US flight controllers worked together during a two-and-a-half-minute operation to adjust the station’s orbit and move further away, avoiding collision. The debris passed within about 1.4 kilometers (nearly one mile) […]

Could PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X be swan song for consoles?

by Jules BONNARD Agence France Presse Paris, France (AFP) — The upcoming release of a ninth generation of games consoles by Sony and Microsoft is set to be a sales slam dunk with consumers seeking entertainment during pandemic confinement, but could it also be their swan song as the habits of gamers change? Both companies have been dripping out information for months about the PlayStation 5 (PS5) and the Xbox Series X to build excitement, […]

Gather Moon rocks for us, NASA urges private companies

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — NASA on Thursday announced it was in the market for Moon rocks, and wants to pay companies to scoop out the dirt, take a photo, and then have it ready for collection by a future mission. The contract doesn’t actually involve getting to the Moon itself — a feat only achieved by the national space agencies of three countries — but instead envisages companies designing a robot that NASA or […]