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Good morning, this is Kasmira and today we’re looking at what the Ukraine war means for global trade, after the WTO lowered its outlook. Plus, climate shocks and conflict are combining to drive ‘alarming’ levels of global hunger in east Africa.

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Kasmira Jefford


On our radar

Photo article

A wheat field in Sumy Oblast, Ukraine. Ukraine’s vast grain-growing region accounts for a huge part of the world’s exports. (Credit: Kyryl Levenets/Unsplash)

🌾 Russia’s invasion of Ukraine stalls global trade recovery: WTO. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has knocked hopes of a strong global economic and trade recovery following the Covid pandemic, at least in the short term. The World Trade Organization (WTO) on Tuesday lowered its forecast for global trade growth to three per cent from 4.7 per cent due to the impact of the war, warning that the most immediate fallout has been a sharp rise in commodity prices.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

Here's what else is happening

Science and diplomacy reads by GESDA

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Marcos Gasparutti/Flickr

Big data. Two words spoken by many experts, in many many fields, from science to social networks, to economy and finance, to earth observation. But while producing big data is one thing, securing it so it may remain useful, if not accessible, over time is another one.

“Big science” efforts led by international consortia typically have data-management and sharing plans built in. But many labs doing small- to medium-scale studies in more specialised areas – such as analysing the biological contents of a single lake, or tracking the physiology of specific animal models – have no such systems. Their data often remain siloed in the labs that generated them, fading from memory as project members leave. For the scientific community, that’s a tragedy of wasted effort, lost collaborative opportunities and irreproducibility”, says an interesting article in Nature (see below). But solutions are emerging. They are nicely described in this paper, which concludes: “Remedying this will require structural changes in the infrastructure for scientific funding and support. But the rising generation of scientists – born into an era of open-access, open-source and automated science – might be more amenable to the effort than their predecessors.”

But what if those big data should not be disclosed without being encrypted, for any privacy reason. That is the case, among others, in the medical world. Here comes a solution too: “fully homomorphic encryption”, which allows analysis to be run on data without ever seeing the contents. “It could help us reap the full benefits of big data, from fighting financial fraud to catching diseases early”, writes a New Scientist article. Even better: this method has just been tested on data coming from Swiss hospitals!

- Olivier Dessibourg, GESDA


In pursuit of data immortality. Data sharing can save important scientific work from extinction, but only if researchers take care to ensure that resources are easy to find and reuse.

Nature (EN)

Rat pups born from sperm artificially produced from stem cells.

New Scientist (EN)

New generation of cancer-preventing vaccines could wipe out tumours before they form. Shots enter early clinical trials for healthy people at high risk for disease.

Science (EN)

Europe is building a huge international facial recognition system. Lawmakers advance proposals to let police forces link their photo databases – which include millions of pictures of people’s faces.


For smart cities, start with the right definitions.

Axios (EN)

Quantum computing meets machine learning, how motorsport could save the planet.

Physics World (EN)

Science goes to war: western allies step up collaboration in military research.

Science|Business (EN)

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This selection is proposed by the Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator GESDA, working on anticipating cutting-edge science and technological advances to develop innovative and inclusive solutions for the benefit of the planet and its inhabitants.

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