The Week Unwrapped: Clinical injustice, wireless power and pandas

Why do so many clinical trials exclude women? Will we soon be free of power cables? And is panda fertility finally on the rise?

Olly Mann and The Week delve behind the headlines and debate what really matters.

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Women and clinical trials

Experts are calling for research into tens of thousands of reported cases of menstrual changes in women who have had Covid vaccines. While there is no evidence of long-term effects to fertility, campaigners argue that ignoring the post-jab period problems risks fuelling vaccine hesitancy - and continues a long and damaging trend of excluding women from clinical studies.

Wireless power

More than a century ago Nikola Tesla spoke of creating a universal system of cable-free power, in which electricity would be as ubiquitous as radio waves now are. The vision to a step towards reality this week, when researchers at the University of Tokyo demonstrated a working prototype of a room that powers a lamp, a fan and a smartphone without using batteries or cables.

Panda breeding

There were two pieces of good news for pandas this week: they are no longer considered endangered (although they are still vulnerable) and new research suggests that far from needing pristine wilderness in order to reproduce, they actually benefit from living in some proximity to humans. The theory is that a small amount of intrusion into their habitat spurs pandas to travel more widely, making it more likely that they will happen across a genetically diverse mate.

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