In May 2017 hundreds of thousands of computers across the world were hit by a massive ransomware attack called Wannacry. The perpetrators encrypted the contents of users’ computers and demanded payment to unscramble their data. What made the threat worse was that it had the ability to literally spread virally across the Internet by exploiting connections between computers on networks. But where did it come from, what can we do to mitigate the threat, and who is at risk of attacks like this? Chris Smith, Kate Feller and Andrew Holding put these questions to cybersecurity expert Paul Harris, from the Manchester-based online security and ethical hacking company Secarma…
When viruses attack our crops they can wipe them out, and in some parts of the world, this can be a death sentence. So naturally, scientists are keen to find a way to provide protection against these infections. Viruses usually attack by using parts of the victim’s own cell machinery against it, so in theory, if you can change this component or protein, the virus won’t recognise it, and its attack will have been neutralised. But, if you fiddle about with the stuff inside a cell too much, the cell won’t be able to use it and will die anyway. Now, a group from the University of Granada in Spain may have a solution, at least for the bacteria E coli, by going back in time billions of years. Georgia Mills spoke to Jose Sanchez-Ruiz to find out more
Methane is 20 times worse than C02 as a greenhouse gas, so when it’s created as a byproduct in oil rigs it’s burned. This is better than releasing the methane into the atmosphere but it’s not an ideal solution as it creates more C02. Jeroen Van Bokhoven and his team at ETH Zurich have found a new way to convert the methane into something cleaner, and a bit more useful. Tom Crawford found out what it’s being turned it into
Looking at biochemical markers found in blood samples of those with autism and those without, researchers are looking to develop a blood test that could serve as a diagnosis tool for autism spectrum disorders.
How the plaque found on the teeth of Neanderthals sheds light on their diets and lifestyles.