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Good morning, this is Kasmira and today we’re covering the second day of the Human Rights Council, where dozens of diplomats staged a walk out in protest against Russia’s attack on Ukraine as the violence and fighting continued into its sixth day.

We’re also turning our attention to some more positive news coming from Nairobi, where a crucial plastics treaty is poised to get the green light.

photo journaliste

Kasmira Jefford


On our radar

Photo article

A 30-foot art piece entitled “Turn off the plastics tap” by Canadian activist and artist Benjamin von Wong, stands outside the UN Environment Assembly held in Nairobi, Kenya. (Credit: UNEP/Cyril Villemain)

🤝🏽 Tough plastics treaty poised to get green light in Nairobi. Countries are inches away from launching negotiations for what many view as the Paris agreement of plastic pollution. After a tough round of bargaining, a final draft resolution is expected to be adopted on Wednesday evening by more than 100 countries gathered this week in Nairobi, Kenya, for the UN Environment Assembly.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

🚪 Walkouts, rebukes, and Russia condemnation: HRC latest. Diplomats from dozens of countries staged a walk out on Tuesday during Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov’s addresses at the Human Rights Council and the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva in protest against Russia's attacks on Ukraine, as fighting in the country continued into its sixth day, resulting in hundreds of casualties and a growing refugee crisis.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

Here's what else is happening

Science and diplomacy reads by GESDA

Photo article

(Credit: lookandlearn)

Genomics has been a booming field for two decades now, and the sequencing of the human genome project. A failure often spotted was that genomic databases, which are the basis for further research (on new therapies, for example), mainly contains information on genomes of people from northern occidental countries, therefore lacking worldwide diversity, with the consequence of the developed therapies to possibly not being applicable everywhere on the planet. This aspect has now been recognised, as shown by the project to sequence the genome of three million persons across Africa. Still, the ethical rules to correct the situation and expand genomic libraries by including data from people from the developing world, are not always followed, as describes a great article in UNDARK about a study led in Indonesia on indegenous people. Hopefully, lessons will be learned from that case.

Sadly, it seems that history repeats itself. In the field of research on the microbiome, this collection of billions of bacteria that live on and in our bodies, and might be linked to some diseases, neurological ones for instance. “Studies of human microbiome have ignored the developing world, potentially compromising treatments”, says a Science article (see below). “Without more samples from people in diverse locales, the full picture of microbes on and in our bodies will remain incomplete”, scientists warn.

“Human genomic science should not stop at merely satisfying our curiosity. It should also serve the poor and the marginalized. Otherwise, if history is any guide, it will lead only to increasingly extreme disparities between the Global North and the Global South”, writes the author of the UNDARK article.

Olivier Dessibourg, GESDA

Studies of human microbiome have ignored the developing world, potentially compromising treatments.

Science (EN)

We’re going to need a lot more grid storage. New iron batteries could help.

MIT Technology Review (EN)

The road to pleasure is paved with precision medicine. An experimental drug could increase the brain’s capacity to experience pleasure and herald a new era of precision medicine in psychiatry.


What Humans Lose When We Let AI Decide. Why you should start worrying about artificial intelligence now.

MIT Sloan Management Review (EN)

US sanctions on Russia will "degrade" its space programme but will not affect cooperation on the International Space Station.

Space News (EN)

Are microbes the future of recycling? It’s complicated.


Web3: the latest Silicon Valley buzzword.

The Economist (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.

GS news is a new media project covering the world of international cooperation and development. Don’t hesitate to forward our newsletter!

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