World-first transplanted pig heart was infected with a porcine virus

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Cows stand in a pen near Fort Stockton, Texas.

Beef farming drives deforestation and is a significant supply of methane emissions.Credit score: Invoice Clark/CQ-Roll Name, Inc by way of Getty

Changing simply one-fifth of world beef consumption with a meat substitute throughout the subsequent 30 years might halve deforestation and the carbon emissions related to it. Researchers modelled the consequences of swapping beef with a fungus-based meat substitute known as mycoprotein — acquainted to many as Quorn. Changing 80% of beef with mycoprotein would eradicate about 90% of forest loss. “It shouldn’t be seen as a silver bullet,” says sustainability scientist and co-author Florian Humpenöder — nevertheless it could possibly be part of the answer.

Nature | 4 min learn

Reference: Nature paper

Meat substitution: Line chart showing future environmental effects of replacing beef consumption with microbial protein.

Supply: Ref. 1

In January, an individual in america grew to become the primary recipient of a pig-heart transplant. He died two months later, and transplant specialists now say the genetically edited pig coronary heart he acquired carried a porcine virus that would have contributed to his demise. Xenotransplantation critics have expressed considerations that the procedures might switch animal viruses to people, however the virus on this case — porcine cytomegalovirus — isn’t identified to have the ability to infect human cells. The primary concern is that the virus can harm the guts.

MIT Expertise Evaluation | 9 min learn

Learn extra: What we will study from the primary pig-to-human coronary heart transplant (Nature | 7 min learn, from January)

The World Well being Group (WHO) estimates that the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deaths of practically 15 million individuals (different key estimates point out that quantity could possibly be nearer to 18 million). “It is a staggering quantity and it is vital for us to honour the lives which can be misplaced, and we now have to carry policymakers accountable,” says WHO assistant director-general Samira Asma. The BBC illuminates the inconceivable with graphics that present which international locations appear to be vastly underreporting deaths and the way totally different areas evaluate — some international locations with zero-COVID methods, equivalent to Australia and Japan, really noticed fewer deaths than would usually be anticipated.

BBC | 4 min learn

Learn extra: COVID’s true demise toll: a lot increased than official information (Nature | 5 min learn, from March)

Options & opinion

The sixth and newest Intergovernmental Panel on Local weather Change evaluation weights local weather fashions in keeping with how effectively they reproduce different proof. Now the remainder of the group ought to do the identical, argue 5 local weather modellers and analysts. No laptop mannequin can simulate each facet of our planet’s system of interconnected oceans, land, ice and environment precisely. The authors name for a ‘mannequin meritocracy’ that prioritizes, the place acceptable, outcomes from fashions identified to have extra reasonable warming charges. Understanding that some predictions are ‘too scorching’ doesn’t invalidate the usefulness of modelling, local weather scientist and co-author Kate Marvel informed Science — simply that limitations have to be taken under consideration. “They’re not crystal balls.”

Nature | 10 min learn & Science | 6 min learn

Climate models:Choice matters. Line graph showing four climate scenarios and the difference between models.

Supply: Z. Hausfather et al.

Australia should abolish a regulation that enables politicians to veto analysis grants, argues a Nature editorial. It calls on leaders to heed the Australian Nationwide College’s vice-chancellor, the astrophysicist and Nobel laureate Brian Schmidt, who known as the ability of veto and political interference “an existential risk to Australian universities”, which “can corrupt information and decelerate its creation”.

Nature | 5 min learn


Writer and pitch-drop fan Nick Earls ponders the attraction of the longest operating laboratory experiment on the earth: a funnel of goo dripping right into a beaker that has been going since 1927. (The Guardian | 7 min learn)

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