Glasgow could host 2020 UN climate change summit

Glasgow will host a major United Nations climate change summit next year, if a UK bid is successful.

The UK and Italy have lodged a joint bid to host the 26th Conference of the Parties, known as COP26. It has been proposed that the UK would host the main conference, with a preliminary meeting held in Italy.

While Turkey is still in the running for the event, the UK is now seen as the clear favourite.

Lyme disease app launched

A demonstration version of the new LymeApp has been launched at an event in Inverness. It has been created to map where ticks bites and Lyme disease have been detected.

The £1.1 million project will allow members of the public to report tick sightings and bites and help scientists monitor cases of Lyme disease.

Developed by International Disease Mapping Apps, a new company formed by Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), LymeApp uses satellite data to highlight where the disease has been detected across the northern hemisphere.

Scottish charity calls on minister to restrict HFSS multi-buy price promotions

Members of the Scottish Obesity Alliance have written to the First Minister to urge the Scottish Government to restrict price promotions on food and drink products high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS).

The letter, calls on the First Minister to take action and commit to legislation to regulate multi-buy price promotions of food and drink high in fat, sugar and salt in Scotland in this autumn’s Programme for Government.

United Kingdom loses measles-free-status

Three years after the measles virus was eliminated from the UK, the country has lost its “measles-free” status with the World Health Organization.

The UK initially achieved WHO measles elimination status in 2017, based on data from 2014-2016.

However, in 2018, there was a marked increase in the number of confirmed measles cases, with 991 confirmed cases in England and Wales, compared with 284 cases in 2017.  

Scotland’s tap water quality remains high says Water Quality Regulator

The latest annual report issued by the Drinking Water Quality Regulator (DWQR) for Scotland’s shows that Scottish Water’s compliance with the stringent standards for drinking water is high at 99.90%.

In 2018, a total of 319,124 regulatory tests were carried out in on Scotland’s drinking water. Of those taken from samples at consumers’ taps, 99.90% met the required standards, slightly reduced on previous years. Scottish Water take and analyse samples of drinking water from across Scotland 365 days a year.

Gym ban on sale of high-energy drinks to under 16s

Publicly funded leisure centres in all local authorities in Scotland have now banned the sale of high-energy soft drinks to young people under the age of 16.

The restriction will apply to soft drinks with an added caffeine content of more than 150mg per litre.

Community Leisure UK, the umbrella body for over 85% of Scotland’s publicly funded leisure and cultural facilities, has worked with the Scottish Government to introduce the restriction in the 1,300 facilities they represent.

Independent review finds no link between Coatbridge school and ill health

The independent review into the Buchanan and St Ambrose High School campus at Coatbridge has concluded that the schools are safe and that there is no link between the school campus and illness.

As part of the review, water, soil and air samples from the former landfill site were assessed, along with the integrity of the methane membrane, which was installed as a safety measure during construction of the campus.

The report finds:

Glasgow scientists develop artificial tongue to tackle counterfeit whisky

An artificial "tongue" which can taste subtle differences between whiskies could help tackle the trade in counterfeit alcohol trade, scientists say. 

In a paper published in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s journal Nanoscale, Scottish engineers describe how they built the tiny taster, which exploits the optical properties of gold and aluminium to test the differences between the spirits.

The Asian Hornet Handbook

A practical guide to Asian hornets is now available.

Around 2004, the Asian or yellow-legged hornet (Vespa velutina nigrithorax) was accidentally imported into southern France from China, and it has spread through western European countries with astonishing speed. 

Since 2016 there have been incursions into the UK, including Scotland and these are becoming more frequent as the population on the continent increases in numbers.

BBC documentary explores Mad Cow Disease

A BBC documentary examines the events surrounding the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) meat scandal and asks if we are still living with the aftermath in the form of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), which has killed almost 200 people since 1996. 

Mad Cow Disease: The Great British Beef Scandal looks at how this still incurable and entirely manmade disease came to be a problem. The documentary also looks at how a series of poor decisions failed to stop the infected cattle getting into the food chain.

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