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Ep. 109 Record-Breaking Astronaut Returns, and Fighting a Virus Outbreak | Twig Science Reporter

February 15, 2020

On this week’s news update– Scientists fight
a new virus outbreak– A record-breaking astronaut
returns to Earth– And traffic lights punish
noisy drivers! First up– Scientists are studying an outbreak
of a virus called a coronavirus. A virus is a tiny particle
that can infect living things and make them sick. This new coronavirus,
named Covid-19, was discovered
in the Chinese city of Wuhan, and has now spread
to other countries. The virus can spread
when people cough or sneeze. It affects the lungs, and can cause
breathing problems and fever. Most people who catch it
will make a full recovery– but some people,
such as the elderly, can become very sick. These scientists at
Imperial College London are developing a powerful medicine,
called a vaccine, that will protect people
against this coronavirus. In the meantime, doctors say
that good hygiene– such as regularly
washing your hands– can help stop the disease
from spreading. Next up– Astronaut Christina Koch
has waved goodbye to the International Space Station,
or ISS, and returned to Earth! She made the journey in a spacecraft
with two colleagues from Italy and Russia. Christina spent 328 days in space–
longer than any other female astronaut. During her time on the ISS,
she took part in six spacewalks and helped with hundreds
of scientific studies. One study is exploring
how the human body copes with being in space
for such a long time. This research will help scientists
plan future long-distance space missions–
to the Moon– and Mars! And finally– The city of Mumbai, in India,
is home to over 18 million people. The roads here get very busy,
and when impatient drivers honk their horns at a red light–
it can get very noisy! When loud noises
cause health problems– such as stress or hearing loss–
it’s called noise pollution. Now, the Mumbai police force
is testing a creative solution. They installed decibel meters, which are devices
that measure loudness. The meters are connected
to traffic lights, that count down from 90 to zero. If the drivers get too loud–
then the countdown resets, and the light stays red
for another 90 seconds! The rule is simple–
honk more, wait more. The police hope these traffic lights
will encourage drivers to be patient, and reduce noise pollution– so everyone can continue
their journey in peace! That’s all for this week. We’ll see you next time.

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