In Depth

The Week Unwrapped: Hibernation, Instagram MPs and the house of Assad

Will humans soon be able to hibernate? Has social media given rise to a new type of politics? And has war arrived inside the Assad family?

Olly Mann and The Week delve behind the headlines and debate what really matters from the past seven days. Will humans soon be able to hibernate? Has social media given rise to a new type of politics? And has war arrived inside the Assad family?

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In this week’s episode, we discuss:

Hibernation

Scientists have found the biological mechanism that triggers hibernation in mice, and say the discovery paves the way for better understanding how we could induce hibernation in humans. What could be the applications — and moral consequences — of such a finding? And is human hibernation a good idea?

Instagram politicians

Peter Amthor is a “rising star” of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union in Germany. Young, flamboyant and with flair for social media, Amthor was tipped for big things until a lobbying scandal this week threw a spanner in the works. Amthor is one of a new generation of politicians that cultivated their image online, but what happens when the politician underneath doesn’t match their online persona?

The house of Assad

Protesters have returned to the streets in southern Syria, where the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad started in 2011. They are smaller now than back then, but the slogans are the same. Meanwhile president Bashar al-Assad has also had a very public falling out with his cousin, leading some analysts to suggest war has finally arrived inside the Assad family.

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