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Five things we learned from Oxford Martin School research in 2018

Dec 2018

  1. For power generation to meet the commitments of the Paris Agreement 20% of existing capacity and the entire pipeline of new fossil-fuel power will need to be scrapped. The world is committed to Paris targets so companies and investors need to rethink fast. Source: A fifth of global power generation assets at risk of being stranded if the world is to meet its climate goals
  2. The first Zika outbreak was in Mexico in 2015, not in 2016 as previously thought. Researchers used genome sequences to trace Zika outbreaks tracking the spread of the disease. As well as finding a previously unreported outbreak, they also found two ‘peaks’ of transmission a year. This indicates two mosquito breeding periods annually. Source: New genome study highlights how Zika spread
  3. Women lead the boom in UK employment from 2007 to 2017. Three-quarters of all additional hours of work over that period were by women. In 2007 67% of women were in work compared to 79% of men, but the gender gap is narrowing. 71% of women are now in work while male employment is back at 79%. Source: New research shows extent of women's lead in UK employment boom
  4. Living organisms can exhibit quantum ‘entanglement’ – where particles remain connected even over great distances and actions performed on one affect the other. An experiment shows entangled behaviour between living bacteria and light particles. Once thought impossible, this could pave the way for organic quantum computing. Source: Quantum researchers find hallmarks of entanglement in bacteria experiment
  5. To feed the 10 billion people living on earth by 2050 we will all have to change how we eat. More plant-based diets, reducing food waste and advanced farming techniques are all needed. If consumption patterns and the food system does not change we will hit ‘planetary boundaries’. Source: Feeding 10 billion people by 2050 within planetary limits may be achievable, say researchers

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