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A full moon could give you a bad night's sleep

If you can't sleep, it could be because of a full moon. Scientists say there is a link between the Moon and our sleeping patterns. They say that on nights before a full moon, people have more problems sleeping. This could be because of the Moon's brightness. This makes sleeping more difficult. The scientists said moonlight is "so bright" that even if there is no other light, the moonlight could change our sleep patterns at night.

The scientists studied the sleep patterns of over 500 people. There were 98 people from a village that had no electricity or other lights. Scientists compared their sleep patterns to 464 people living in a U.S. city. The scientists said people in the village and in the big city got less sleep on nights before the full moon. The light in cities does not seem to affect sleeping patterns. The scientists said human sleep is linked to the changing of the Moon.

https://breakingnewsenglish.com/2102/210201-full-moon-1.html

 

UAE to offer citizenship to 'talented' foreigners

UAE to offer citizenship to 'talented' foreigners

The UAE will give citizenship to foreign residents who "add value" to the nation. It is a bold change of the UAE's immigration policy. The UAE Vice-President Sheikh Mohammed wants people with "specialised talents" to "contribute to our development journey". Artists, engineers, entrepreneurs, intellectuals, inventors and scientists could be eligible for a UAE passport. Successful people and their families would be allowed to hold dual nationality.

The citizenship procedure depends on recommendations from members of the UAE royal family or government officials. The UAE cabinet will then approve or reject these. There are "clear criteria" in the selection process. Doctors must be specialised in high-priority fields and have done a significant research. Scientists must be active researchers and have an international award or research grant. Inventors need patented inventions.

https://breakingnewsenglish.com/2102/210203-uae-citizenship-4.html

 

Jeff Bezos stepping down as Amazon CEO

Jeff Bezos stepping down as Amazon CEO

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos will stop being CEO. Mr Bezos, 57, will finish later this year. He will be Amazon's executive chair. The new CEO is currently head of Amazon Web Services - a cloud computing business. Mr Bezos started Amazon in his garage in 1995. It started as an online bookseller but turned into a global marketplace. It now does streaming of video, music, and audiobooks. It also makes electronics and devices, like Kindle e-readers.

Amazon is one of the world's most valuable companies. It is worth around $1.7 trillion. Mr Bezos is one of the world's richest people. He spoke about his success. He said: "This journey began some 27 years ago. Amazon was only an idea, and it had no name....Today, we employ 1.3 million talented, dedicated people, serve hundreds of millions of customers...and are widely recognized as one of the most successful companies in the world."

https://breakingnewsenglish.com/2102/210205-jeff-bezos-1.html

 

Scientists in Greece Find 20-Million-Year-Old Tree

Scientists in Greece Find 20-Million-Year-Old Tree

Greek scientists on the volcanic island of Lesbos say they have found a 20-million-year-old fossilized tree. The rare find was discovered during roadwork near an ancient forest on the eastern Mediterranean island. The area was petrified millions of years ago. Digging, or excavating, at the site began in 1995. It is the first tree in the area to be found in such good condition complete with branches and roots, said Professor Nikos Zouros.

The roots and branches of the tree were still unbroken after 20 million years. Zouros said it was a special find -- one that he had never seen before. And from studying the fossilized wood we will be able to identify the type of plant it comes from.” The fossilized tree is about 19 meters long. It was preserved by heavy amounts of volcanic ash after it fell. A large number of fruit tree leaves also were found nearby. The trees and animal bones found in the same general area add to the history and understanding of life that once existed there.

https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/scientists-in-greece-find-20-million-year-old-tree/5754762.html

 

Biden to Keep Troops in Germany, End Support for Saudi War in Yemen

Biden to Keep Troops in Germany, End Support for Saudi War in Yemen

U.S. President Joe Biden said Thursday that he would halt the withdrawal of American troops stationed in Germany and end support for Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen as top foreign policy goals. In his first visit to the State Department as president, Biden called for a return to the "grounding wire of our global power.” He sought to cheer the diplomatic workers with his speech. Many of them had expressed unhappiness over the last several years about the policies and actions of former President Donald Trump.

“America is back. Diplomacy is back,” Biden said in brief comments to State Department workers. "You are the centre of all that I intend to do. You are the heart of it. We’re going to rebuild our alliances.” Biden also announced that the U.S. would end support for a five-year, Saudi-led military offensive in Yemen. The conflict has deepened suffering in the poor country. Biden called the decision part of restoring a U.S. emphasis on diplomacy, democracy and human rights. Biden called for a cease-fire, an effort to increase humanitarian aid to Yemen and a return to peace talks.

https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/biden-to-keep-troops-in-germany-end-support-for-saudi-war-in-yemen/5765813.html

 

Russia’s Sputnik V Vaccine Appears Safe, Effective

Russia’s Sputnik V Vaccine Appears Safe, Effective

Russian scientists say the country’s Sputnik V vaccine appears safe and effective against COVID-19.  Researchers say the vaccine is about 91 per cent effective based on a trial involving about 20,000 people in Russia. It appears to prevent people who have received the shot from becoming ill with COVID-19. It remains unclear, however, if Sputnik V can stop the virus from spreading. The study was first announced last December. It was published Tuesday in the British medical paper The Lancet.

The latest study is based on research involving about 20,000 people over 18 at hospitals in Moscow between September and November. About 75 per cent of the people received two shots of the vaccine 21 days apart and the rest got a placebo – a shot with an inactive substance. Serious side effects were rare in both groups. Only four deaths were reported, although none were considered to come from the vaccine. The study included more than 2,100 people over age 60 and the vaccine appeared to be about 92 per cent effective in them. The research is continuing.

https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/study-russia-s-sputnik-v-vaccine-appears-safe-effective/5762459.html

 

Shark Populations Dropped 71 Percent Since 1970

Shark Populations Dropped 71 Percent Since 1970

Scientists have known for decades that the numbers of some shark species are decreasing. But a new study shows just how severely worldwide populations have dropped in the past 50 years. The numbers of oceanic sharks and rays fell more than 70 per cent worldwide between 1970 and 2018. The information comes from a study published in Nature. Twenty-four of the 31 species of sharks and rays are threatened with extinction. Three species — oceanic whitetip sharks, scalloped hammerhead sharks and great hammerhead sharks — are considered critically endangered.

Nathan Pacoureau, a biologist of Simon Fraser University said, “The last 50 years have been pretty devastating for global shark populations.” He also added sharks reproduce more like mammals than fish, so “their populations cannot replenish as quickly as many other kinds of fish.” Sometimes sharks are caught on purpose by fishing boats. The number of fishing boats in the open ocean has risen sharply since the 1950s. Climate change and pollution also place shark survival at risk. Stuart Pimm, an ecologist of Duke University said the removal of top hunters like sharks from the ocean affects all sea life.

https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/shark-populations-dropped-71-percent-since-1970/5755803.html

 

Chinese Scientists Develop Gene Therapy Which Could Delay Aging

Chinese Scientists Develop Gene Therapy Which Could Delay Aging

Scientists in Beijing, China have developed a new gene therapy that can turn back some of the effects of ageing in mice. The gene therapy involved disabling a gene called kat7. Scientists have found this gene to be the main cause of ageing in cells. Qu Jing of the Institute of Zoology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences is one of the supervisors of the project. After six to eight months, Qu said, the mice showed an overall improvement in their appearance and grip strength. More importantly, she added, “they have (an) extended lifespan (of) about 25 per cent.”

A different team of scientists at the academy used a method called CRISPR/Cas9 to look for genes that cause the most cellular ageing. They identified 100 genes out of around 10,000. The kat7 gene, Qu said, was most involved in the ageing of cells. Researchers used a method called lentiviral vector to modify the gene by inserting genetic material into the cell. Qu told the method to disable the kat7 gene is still a long way from being ready for human tests. She said they need more tests in other human cells before experimenting the method on human ageing.

https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/chinese-scientists-develop-gene-therapy-which-could-delay-aging-/5746900.html

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