Portrait for @riegeros
Jack of all Trades 25 Pentribution Club
feminist theologian and independent artist living in Berlin
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Health
Research: Possible cure for malaria transmission discovered

Researchers at the University of Pretoria in South Africa report that they have found substances that could prevent tmalaria ransmission. They write in the journal Nature Communications that two substances that have been studied for their effectiveness against tuberculosis and cancer can kill malaria parasites - even when it is infectious. For the past year, the WHO fears even more victims because many prevention measures could not be implemented due to the Corona pandemic.

Climate & Environment
Research: Chilli makes solar cells more effective
Research: Chilli makes solar cells more effective
Credit: unsplash.com / Possessed Photography

The plant substance capsaicin makes chilies hot and it makes solar cells more effective, as scientists from Sweden and China have now discovered: capsaicin is said to minimize power loss and make solar cells more resistant to water. They have processed capsaicin in a perovskite solar cell.

This type of solar cell is seen as the hope for a new generation of photovoltaic systems. They are easy to manufacture with inexpensive materials. Adding the chili ingredient increased the solar cell's efficiency from 19.1 to nearly 22 percent.

Science • Medicine
BioNTech records first successes in the development of a vaccine against multiple sclerosis

Mainz-based BioNTech is working on an mRNA-based vaccine against multiple sclerosis. The first preclinical studies are promising; the vaccine approach was able to prevent MS disease in mice, and in mice that were already mildly ill, it was able to prevent the disease from progressing and motor functions could even be restored. The study on the mice is so promising that the start of clinical trials on humans is now the next goal, although these cannot begin for at least two years, as the approach must first be tested on human cells in the laboratory.

Lifestyle • Religion
German Pastor Olaf Latzel sentenced for incitement of the people
German Pastor Olaf Latzel sentenced for incitement of the people
Credit: Courtesy of St. Martini Gemeinde zu Bremen

The Bremen District Court has convicted the Lutheran pastor Olaf Latzel of the regional church St Martini parish in the Hanseatic city, of incitement of the people. The fundamentalist pastor had made homophobic and sexist remarks at a marriage seminar in October 2019, and a recording was posted online in March with his consent on his YouTube channel, which has nearly 25,000 subscribers.

According to the court, the statements are incitement and could emotionally justify violence against homosexuals.

Bernd Kuschnerus, the senior theologian of the Bremen Protestant Church, said he was "deeply saddened that a pastor of our church has been convicted of incitement of the people." The statements on which the verdict was based were unacceptable and damaged the reputation of the church, he said. There had been strong opposition to Latzel from the congregations of the Bremen Protestant Church for years. The church leadership has initiated disciplinary proceedings against the pastor, but these are suspended until a legally binding judgment is reached. Latzel's defense filed an appeal.

Education • School Education
British and German public television are expanding their programming with school shows
British and German public television are expanding their programming with school shows
Credit: unsplash.com / Sam McGhee

In Germany and the U.K., public TV stations now broadcast educational shows for schoolchildren.

German education channel ARD-alpha, as well as children's channel KiKa and broadcaster BR, are expanding their learning and school shows.

In the UK, too, the public broadcaster BBC will be broadcasting several hours of lessons every day from the start of next week. Starting this Monday, the children's channel CBBC and the BBC Two channel are to focus on content for schoolgirls. The initiative is intended to support both schools and families during the new lockdown.

Climate & Environment
Study proves the impact of the Veganuary in water and CO2 savings
Study proves the impact of the Veganuary in water and CO2 savings
Credit: Courtesy of Veganuary

With the "Veganuary," more than 500,000 Internet users worldwide give up animal products for a month at the beginning of the year. Data from Harvard University shows that the campaign is very effective: Around 100,000 tons of CO2 and 6 million liters of water can be saved with the initiative.

Diversity & Inclusion
Largest German dictionary "Online-Duden" introduces female form
Largest German dictionary "Online-Duden" introduces female form
Credit: Screenshot site: www.duden.de

Changes are now being made to the approximately 12,000 personal and occupational terms that the Duden previously listed exclusively in the generic masculine form. Every designation will now also be listed in the female form. Ms. Kunkel-Razum, the head of the online Duden editorial department, says, "When we talk about specific people, the generic masculine is increasingly being questioned." In the meantime, she says, gender-sensitive language is a phenomenon that has taken hold of the broad masses.

Climate & Environment
Germany: Hamburg introduces solar obligation for new buildings
Representative image of solar panels
Representative image of solar panels Credit: unsplash.com / MICHAEL WILSON

New electricity from Hamburg's roofs: Hamburg will be the first German state to introduce mandatory photovoltaics from 2023. Starting in two years, corresponding systems must be installed on new buildings or roofs that are being fundamentally renovated. The generated solar power is expected to save over 60,000 tons of CO2 by 2030.

Diversity & Inclusion
Lithuania appoints first female prime minister
Lithuania appoints first female prime minister
Credit: Rokasdarulis / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Lithuania has appointed Ingrida Šimonytė as its first female prime minister. She had been proposed by the liberal and conservative coalition with a majority of 62 to 41 votes. The 46-year-old is said to be impartial and has already served as finance minister.

Climate & Environment
Road bridge in Indian jungle saves animal life
Road bridge in Indian jungle saves animal life
Credit: BBC

Employees of a forestry authority in India have built a bridge made of jute ropes and bamboo planks over a road in the jungle. This should make the way to the other side safe for small animals.

Further large green bridges are being planned - the first is to be built over the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway. A total of five such green bridges are to be built by 2024.