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Inga Vesper

Journalist, editor, writer

Islamic State body dumping did not spread leishmaniasis

Syria’s outbreak of cutaneous leishmaniasis — a parasitic infection that causes skin lesions — is not caused by the corpses of infected people being dumped in the open, a paper points out.

An alternative future

Dietmar Lampert, from Austria’s Centre for Social Innovation, hopes that digital science will create a better fit between innovation and society, Inga Vesper reports.

Science Europe lobby group hit by sudden exodus

Influential research organizations are pulling out of Science Europe, the Brussels-based advocacy group that aims to champion researchers’ interests with European Union policymakers. All but one of France’s research-funding organizations are preparing to leave the group at the end of this year, Nature has learned — including Europe’s largest basic-research agency, the CNRS, which controls an annual budget of €3.3 billion (US$3.5 billion).

Against the grain

Europe’s farmers have a difficult relationship with those beyond their community. The consumers of their products, the 500 million Europeans who need a daily splash of milk in their coffee, tend to perceive farmers as swimming in subsidies, while EU politicians prefer to keep a safe distance from the demonstrations staged regularly by agricultural unions in Brussels.

EU climate spending criticised by auditors

The European Union could miss its climate spending targets due to fragmented funding and inflated numbers, warns the European Court of Auditors (ECA). Although in percentage terms the figures look small, the fact that the total budget is €1 trillion means a great deal of money is being spent on purposes other than mitigating or adapting to climate change.

Machine-learning algorithm quantifies gender bias in astronomy

Citation rates in astronomy are stacked against women, a study that uses machine learning to quantify bias has found. Researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland, estimate that, as a result of gender bias, papers whose first authors are women receive around 10% fewer citations than do those that are first-authored by men.

Alien fungus blights Hawaii’s native trees

An ecological disaster is unfolding on Hawaii's largest island. Rapid 'Ōhi'a Death, caused by an imported fungus, is causing Hawaii's iconic native 'ōhi'a tree to perish in droves. Some 20,000 hectares are now affected, according to a recent survey.

Tropics told to ban coral-killing sunscreen

[HONOLULU] Tropical island nations should team up to ban coral-killing sunscreen products, following the example of Hawaii, a conference has heard

African Beekeeping Stops Mites from Wiping out Hives

Traditional African beekeeping methods offer better protection against hive-destroying varroa mites than pesticides which, according to a study, are losing their potency.

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