hexagonal a. having a shape with six straight sidesboron n. the chemical element of atomic number 5, a nonmetallic solid
Pairs of two-dimensional materials such as hexagonal boron nitride can exhibit amazing variations when the two sheets are just slightly twisted relative to each other.
olfactory a. relating to the sense of smellcanine a. relating to or resembling a dog or dogs
Scientists have been hunting for ways of automating the amazing olfactory capabilities of the canine nose and brain, in a compact device.
come up with v. produce something, especially when pressured or challengemicrobial a. relating to a microorganism, especially a bacterium causing disease
A team has come up with a system that can detect the chemical and microbial content of an air sample with even greater sensitivity than a dog's nose.
exacerbate v. make (a problem, bad situation, or negative feeling) worsedisseminate v. spread (something, especially information) widely
Media misinformation is a longstanding phenomenon, but, exacerbated by the ease of disseminating content online, it’s become a crucial issue of our time.
provocative v. causing annoyance, anger, or another strong reaction, especially deliberatelycontingency n. a future event or circumstance which is possible but cannot be predicted with certainty
This provocative website showcases a complete deepfake of U.S. President Nixon delivering the contingency speech written in 1969.
cull v. kill the weaker or selective animals in a group in order to reduce their numbersmutate v. change or cause to change in form or nature
In November 2020, millions of mink in Denmark were culled after they became infected with Covid-19 and passed a mutated form back to humans.
hypothesis n. a supposition made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigationherd immunity n. a form of indirect protection from infectious disease that can occur when a high percentage of people has become immune to it
The data support the hypothesis that the virus originated in mainland Southeast Asia; this suggests that the populations there may be benefiting from a level of herd immunity.
moratorium n. a temporary prohibition of an activityeviction n. the action of expelling someone, especially a tenant, from a property
The CDC on Friday extended a moratorium on tenant evictions related to a failure to make rent or housing payments.
dovish a. not aggressive, peacefulheadwind n. a force or influence opposing forward motion; a wind blowing from directly in front
He said that while it is possible the Federal Reserve may turn more dovish at its March, April, and June meetings, there are headwinds.
laud v. praise highly, especially in a public contextmisstep v. a clumsy or badly judged step
Through TV shows and social media campaigns, the government is lauding nurses and doctors, but any criticism of early missteps is silenced.
deflect v. cause (something) to change direction by interposing something; turn aside from a straight courseweave a story v. invent a complicated story
The government has sought to control the narrative and deflect blame for the pandemic’s origins, which has weaved a story of triumph against the virus.
wind up v. come to be in a particular situation or condition, especially a bad onehope against hope v. hope very strongly that something will happen, although you know it is not likely
Leon winds up hiding in one of the secret rooms, surviving along with other children, waiting, hoping against hope that his mother will be released from prison.
strain n. a severe or excessive demand on the strength, resources, or abilities of someone or somethingvaccinate v. treat with a vaccine to produce immunity against a disease
The NHS is under severe strain and we must take action to protect it, both so doctors can continue to save lives and so they can vaccinate as many people as possible.
in a bid ad. in an attempt