Tech

Apple and the reason for sex

The Economist explains: Why Apple is tussling with American law… The Economist explains February 25th, 6:53 Trade within Africa: Tear down Africa’s trade walls Middle East and Africa February 24th, 22:30 The religious left: Not all American evangelical Christians are right-wing United States February 24th, 21:25 Babbage: Apple and the reason for sex Science and technology February 24th, 18:15 Plucking ...

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A run a day keeps the tumour at bay

AMPLE evidence shows that regular exercise reduces the risk of cancer. Similarly, those who have survived the disease are less likely to see it return if they engage in lots of physical activity after treatment. All this suggests that such activity triggers a reaction in the body which somehow thwarts cancer cells, but the details of the process have remained ...

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Cassava-nova

Staple foods of the rich world—wheat, barley, rice, maize and so on—have undergone long and sophisticated breeding programmes to increase their resistance to pests and pathogens, and to improve their yields and the convenience of harvesting them. The fruits of such research are found on the tables of the poor world as well, since these crops are ubiquitous. But poor ...

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Mr T-cell

A plan comes together TO DEFEAT the enemy, you must first know the enemy. In the immune system, that job is done by T-cells, which recognise the molecular signatures of threats to their owner’s well-being. This week, at the AAAS conference, researchers explained how turbocharging these cells can boost the immune system’s ability to fight cancer, and possibly other illnesses, ...

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Light, relief

IN THE West naturalistic portraiture began in classical times. Well-stocked museums in Europe and America are full of busts depicting recognisable individuals. Painting, though, is a more precarious art form. Paint peels. Wood and canvas backings rot. Frescoes crumble and fall. Few painted portraits survive from the classical period, but arid desert conditions have preserved one set: the funerary mummy ...

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CRISPR crunch

“IT HAS not escaped our notice”, wrote James Watson and Francis Crick in 1953, “that the specific pairing we have postulated immediately suggests a possible copying mechanism.” What they had discovered was the structure of DNA and the way its halves matched up. It was a classic of understatement, for what they had noticed would revolutionise biology. With similar self-restraint, ...

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An ocean of troubles

Courting black voters: Clinton pursues the black vote in Chicago and New… Democracy in America February 17th, 21:56 Encryption battle: Tim Cook, privacy martyr? Business and finance February 17th, 20:45 Plane truths: Bombardier on course for another bail-out Business February 17th, 20:23 Babbage: 5G to unite them all Science and technology February 17th, 18:23 The Bushes in South Carolina: George ...

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Let’s just try that again

THE Journal of Irreproducible Results is a long-running satirical magazine, designed for the amusement of scientists. If the title were not already taken, though, it would be a good one for another, more serious publication that is being launched on February 4th. The Preclinical Reproducibility and Robustness Channel, an electronic rather than a paper journal, is dedicated to the task, ...

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