Discovered: A deadly new bat-borne coronavirus; big international investors tell governments to get tough on climate change; drought is here to stay in Iowa; underwater light is dimming, driving fish away.
Deadly new coronavirus discovered. When scientists got to the bottom of what killed a man in Saudi Arabia this summer, what they found gave some pretty serious cause for concern. The victim was infected by a previously unknown form of coronavirus, the family of pathogens that gave us SARS. Researchers from the UK's Health Protection Agency sequenced the virus' genome, finding that it's most likely borne by bats and thankfully isn't ready transmissible from person to person. "The virus is most closely related to viruses in bats found in Asia, and there are no human viruses closely related to it therefore, we speculate that it comes from an animal source," says Erasmus Medical Centre's Ron Fouchier. So far two other people have been infected, and one of them is still in the ICU. [BBC News]
Investors want governments to invest in tackling climate change. Yesterday, we noted that some of the loudest voices calling for climate change action in recent weeks have been rather unlikely. Now, in addition to the CIA, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, and the World Bank, major international investors are calling upon governments to get tough on global warming. "Current policies are insufficient to avert serious and dangerous impacts from climate change," write a coalition of big investors from the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Australia who manage $22.5 trillion in assets collectively. [Reuters]