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chinadaily.com.cn 2022-06-20 17:02


>Climate crisis could make humans shrink


The climate crisis may lead the human race to shrink in size, as mammals with smaller frames appear better able to deal with rising global temperatures, a leading fossil expert has said.

Prof Steve Brusatte, a paleontologist at the University of Edinburgh, suggested the way in which other mammals have previously responded to periods of climate change could offer an insight into humans' future.

Brusatte said becoming smaller was "a common way that mammals deal with climate change".

He added: “That's not to say every species of mammal would get smaller, but it seems to be a common survival trick of mammals when temperatures spike pretty quickly.”


>Pregnancy COVID linked to development issues


Babies born to mothers who had COVID-19 while pregnant may be at higher than average risk for problems with brain development involved in learning, focusing, memory and developing social skills, researchers have found.

They studied 7,772 infants delivered in Massachusetts between March and September 2020, tracking the babies until they were 12 months old.

During that time, 14.4 percent of the babies born to the 222 women with a positive coronavirus test during pregnancy were diagnosed with a neurodevelopmental disorder, compared to 8.7 percent of babies whose mothers avoided the virus while pregnant.

After accounting for other neurodevelopmental risk factors, including preterm delivery, SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy was linked with an 86 percent higher risk of a neurodevelopmental disorder diagnosis in offspring, researchers reported on Thursday in JAMA Network Open.

The risk more than doubled when the infection occurred in the third trimester.


>US household wealth drops


US household wealth declined for the first time in two years in the first quarter of 2022 as a drop in the stock market overwhelmed continued gains in home values, a Federal Reserve report showed.

Household net worth edged down to $149.3 trillion from a record $149.8 trillion at the end of last year per the Fed's quarterly snapshot of the national balance sheet.

The drop was driven by a $3 trillion fall in the value of corporate equities - a plunge that has worsened in the current quarter - while real estate values climbed another $1.7 trillion.

It was the first decline in household wealth since the first quarter of 2020.


>Swedish city takes risqué approach to garbage


The Swedish city of Malmö is taking dirty talk to a whole new level in its latest effort to clean up the streets. By installing talking garbage cans that dish out racy audio messages after being fed trash, authorities are hoping for an increase in rubbish being deposited.

Pedestrians that drop trash into one of two bins on the city's Davidshallsbron bridge are rewarded with extremely positive feedback from a sultry female voice, who offers a range of responses.


Find more audio news on the China Daily app.

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