A few brief reports about international science and technology from Hungary to Japan, including one about a wine grape in France that DNA testing shows has been cultivated for almost a millennium.
Hi, I’m Scientific American podcast editor Steve Mirsky. And here’s a short piece from the September 2019 issue of the magazine, in the section called Advances: Dispatches from the Frontiers of Science, Technology and Medicine.
The article is titled Quick Hits, and it’s a rundown of some science and technology stories from around the globe, compiled by editorial intern Jennifer Leman.
Despite large-scale protests from scientists about academic freedom, the country’s Parliament passed a law granting the government control of more than 40 institutes within the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
Japan has withdrawn from the International Whaling Commission and resumed commercial whaling operations after a 31-year hiatus. In the first official hunt after the withdrawal, two minke whales were killed for their meat.
Newly declassified cold war–era U.S. satellite images revealed that since the year 2000 Himalayan glaciers have lost ice at twice the rate that they did during the 25 years before 2000.
All four reservoirs in Chennai, India’s sixth-largest city, have gone dry, forcing more than nine million people in the region to conserve water and rely on government rations. The drought was spurred by low rainfall and unregulated water use.
Officials unanimously voted to ban e-cigarette sales in San Francisco, the first major U.S. city to take this step. Like traditional tobacco, e-cigarettes can cause lung damage and disease, and their use is skyrocketing in young people—in 2018 one in five U.S. high school students reported e-cigarette use.
Grape seeds found in an ancient refuse pile in the Jura mountains were an exact genetic match with a type of grape harvested there today, meaning local winegrowers have been cultivating the same vintage for roughly 900 years.
That was Quick Hits, by Jennifer Leman.
[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]