Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon in November surged by 104 percent compared to the same month in 2018, according to official data. The 563 square kilometers (217 square miles) deforested that month is also the highest number for any November since 2015, according to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE), which provides official data on deforestation.


That is considered a significant increase, particularly during the rainy season, when deforestation generally slows.

For the first 11 months of the year—also the first months in office of Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right leader who has eased restrictions on exploiting the Amazon’s vast riches—deforestation totaled 8,974.3 square kilometers. That is nearly twice the 4,878.7 square kilometers reported for the first 11 months of 2018.


The data was collected by the satellite-based DETER system, which monitors deforestation in real time. Another satellite-based system used by the INPE known as PRODES, considered more reliable but slower to compile data, reported in late November that in the 12 months beginning August 2018, deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon had passed the 10,000 square kilometer threshold for the first time since 2008. That represented a 43 percent increase from the preceding 12-month period.


Deforestation in indigenous areas rose even faster, by 74.5 percent from the preceding period, INPE reported.

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Google has developed an artificial intelligence system that is better at spotting breast cancer in mammograms than doctors, a study in the journal Nature suggests. Analysing more than 90,000 women in the UK and US, the AI model reduced the number of false positives by 5.7% in the US and 1.2% in the UK. There was also a reduction of false negatives, where an existing cancer is missed, by 9.4% and 2.7% respectively. The NHS system uses two radiologists to analyse each woman’s X-rays amid an estimated shortfall of more than 1,000 radiologists across the UK. 

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Israeli scientists say a new study has shown that a small molecule called PJ34 has triggered the self-destruction of human pancreatic cancer cells in mice. According to the research, published in the peer-reviewed open-access biomedical journal Oncotarget, the administration of the molecule reduced the number of cancer cells in developed tumors by up to 90 percent in 30 days.

The study was led by Professor Malka Cohen-Armon and her team at Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine, in collaboration with Dr. Talia Golan and her team at the Cancer Research Center at Sheba Medical Center, and conducted with transplantations of human pancreatic cancer cells into immunocompromised mice, or xenografts.


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Garra surinbinnani looks like a stout, brown minnow with the face of a boxer who’s gone one too many rounds. The species makes its home in the fast-flowing, rocky streams of Western Thailand, a region that its namesake, the late conservationist Surin Binnan, devoted himself to protecting.


At first glance, Garra surinbinnani looks like a stout, brown minnow with the face of a boxer who’s gone one too many rounds. But the deep gash in its forehead studded with blue spikes is a natural feature whose function remains a mystery.


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