Tesla on Autopilot crashes into police car

LONDON (BBC): A Tesla has crashed into a police car and another vehicle while on Autopilot in the US.

Both the police car and the other vehicle, which had broken down, were stationary at the time of the incident.

The driver told police that he put his Tesla Model 3 on Autopilot so that he could check on his dog in the back.

The crash occurred on Interstate 95 in Norwalk, Connecticut, in the early hours of Saturday morning local time.

The police car was parked behind the broken down vehicle with its blue lights flashing, as it waited for a tow truck.

The Tesla, which starts from £42,000 in the UK and $36,000 in the US, struck the rear of the police car and continued travelling forward, leading it to hit the car in front.

“The operator of the Tesla stated that he had his vehicle on ‘auto-pilot’ and explained that he was checking on his dog which was in the back seat,” wrote Connecticut State Police on Facebook.

The police force added: “Regardless of your vehicle’s capabilities, when operating a vehicle your full attention is required at all times to ensure safe driving.”

Scientists develop “cocktail therapy” for plant disease

NANJING (Xinhua) : Researchers have developed a “cocktail therapy” to control bacterial wilt disease by blending viruses together to selectively destroy the pathogen.

Bacterial wilt disease is mainly caused by Ralstonia solanacearum, a bacterium that is common in soil. More than 400 plants, such as tomatoes and peanuts, can be infected with the disease, causing economic loss.

Chemicals and fumigation are often used to control plant diseases, but only provide temporary relief from the disease. The pathogen can develop resistance to the chemicals and healthy soil microbes can be disrupted. The following outbreaks may become worse.

Researchers from China’s Nanjing Agricultural University, Utrecht University in the Netherlands and the University of York in Britain developed a new approach to control the plant disease with bacteriophages.

A bacteriophage is a virus that infects bacteria and has been proposed as an alternative to pesticides to kill bacterial pathogens of crops.

They selected four bacteriophages that can infect Ralstonia solanacearum and isolated more than 1,000 strains of Ralstonia solanacearum in four Chinese provincial regions. They then tested different combinations of bacteriophages against the bacteria.