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Nearly one-third of tree species are threatened with extinction. This is more than twice the number of threatened mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles combined.
The loss of tree species is often overlooked, as our News Feature reports. In 2021, after a huge tree-hunting exercise called the Global Tree Assessment, plant conservationists announced that they had found 58,497 tree species, of which 17,510 were threatened. Since then, almost 2,800 of those have been labelled critically endangered. Some 142 species are thought to be extinct in the wild.
Source: Botanic Gardens Conservation International. State of the World’s Trees (BGCI, 2021).
This chart shows some of the results from the largest study yet of the link between cancer burden and risk factors. Researchers used extensive data on death and disability from more than 200 countries to estimate that potentially avoidable risk factors were responsible for more than 44% of global cancer deaths in 2019. Of these, tumours of the lung, trachea and bronchus were the leading cause of death.
Smoking, alcohol use and a high body-mass index were the risk factors with the biggest contribution to cancer. The findings emphasize familiar health advice not to smoke, drink too much or become overweight.
Source: GBD 2019 Cancer Risk Factors Collaborators. Lancet 400, 563–591 (2022).
It was hoped that a new breed of COVID-19 vaccine — based on Omicron variants of the virus SARS-CoV-2 — would offer substantially greater protection than older vaccines that are based on the strain of the virus that emerged in 2019. But an analysis of data from several studies suggests that updated boosters offer much the same level of protection as does an extra dose of the older vaccines. The study is a preprint that has not yet been peer reviewed.
The team’s modelling showed that, in a population where half of people are already protected against a symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection through previous vaccination or infection, an updated vaccine booster bumped protection up to 90%, compared with 86% protection provided by an extra dose of the original vaccine. For protection against severe disease, however, the difference was less than 1%. But the relative benefits of variant-based boosters could grow stronger if a new variant appears, as our News story explains.
Source: D. S. Khoury et al. Preprint at medRxiv https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.08.25.22279237 (2022).
doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-022-02844-z
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RIKEN
Saitama, Wako, Japan
Monash University
Melbourne, Australia
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Hong Kong, China
Technische Universität Dresden (TU Dresden)
01069 Dresden, Germany
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