Science in Action

BBC World Service

News & Politics

The BBC brings you all the week's science news.


Zika entry into Brazil

March 24th, 2016

Episode 85 of 158 episodes

The Zika virus most probably entered Brazil between May and December 2013 according to new research published in the journal Science. This is almost a year earlier than first detected. The team sequenced seven genomes of Zika virus and by comparing changes to the genome they could calculate when the virus was likely to have entered the country, and also that is was a single introduction. Using airline data they could see that the virus entering Brazil was linked to an increase in passengers travelling from Zika infected countries in South East Asia. Early embryo development Just two days after conception the cells in an early embryo appear different to each other. It had been thought that these cells are pluripotent – that they are able to divide and grow into any cell in the body. But new research shows that some of the cells show pluripotency, while one cell at this stage was not as genetically active and went on to become the placenta in the mouse embryo. More carbon than dinosaurs Humans are putting carbon into the atmosphere at a rate unprecedented since at least the age of the dinosaurs according to research published in the journal Nature Geoscience. We examine what that might mean for Earth. It’s just not cricket Scientists have found that cricketers have a significant advantage if they bat with the “wrong” hand. The research is published in the journal Sports Medicine. No splashing Scientists are trying to understand why liquids at high altitudes fail to splash. Water lab A new Interactive Data lab has opened this week at the Dutch Water Institute. It’s a globally connected hub where information from sources from around the world, from cell phones to satellites, can be fused, and shared during a disaster, for use by researchers, government agencies, consultants and policymakers. (Main Image: Brazilian Navy pass out pamphlets warning of the Zika virus in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 13 February 2016. Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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