Explainer: A new variant of COVID-19

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has called a special meeting to discuss a new variant of COVID-19. The variant, called B1.1.529 (for now), has a range of unusual mutations and is spreading rapidly from its first detections in Botswana and South Africa. The UK has already closed its borders to six African nations as a … Continue reading Explainer: A new variant of COVID-19

What’s at stake at COP26? Your climate primer

This weekend, world leaders will meet in Glasgow to discuss the acute social, scientific and economic challenge we face. With so much information flying past, it’s easy to lose track of the science and technology. What’s our current trajectory? Could we suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere? Why is everyone so interested in hydrogen … Continue reading What’s at stake at COP26? Your climate primer

What is a PCR test?

PCR was an acronym that dominated the news in 2020. What is the technique, how useful is it, and what does it tell us? Polymerase Chain Reaction refers to a technique that makes a large volume of DNA or RNA from a small sample. This is a standard technique in molecular biology that has been … Continue reading What is a PCR test?