The Daily Dose: Anti-Vax mullahs speak out and Dez Bryant is injured again

Searching for Alien Life: The astrobiological community is gradually reaching a consensus regarding the need to engage in concerted, well-planned efforts to search for evidence of life in the solar system. This PNAS article discusses the proposed Icebreaker Life mission.

Anti-Vax Mullahs Speak Out: Vaccination rates in Indonesia are plummeting due to a controversy regarding the Measles-Rubella vaccine. Prior to using the combination MR vaccine, public health officials used a locally produced measles vaccine but coverage had been patchy and ineffective. As a result, Indonesia has one of the highest measles burdens in the world. Because the new vaccine contains porcine components like trypsin and gelatin stabilizer derived from pig skin, the local mullahs issued a fatwa declaring it haram, or forbidden. As a result, parents are forbidding their children to be vaccinated, dealing a serious blow to the program. Left untreated, measles can cause deafness, blindness, brain damage and death. Vaccination coverage needs to be at 95% to reach herd immunity. Paradoxically, low coverage can cause more severe infections to occur.

Big Bucks in Biotech: The biotechnology company Moderna Therapeutics is reportedly planning and initial public offering and are eyeing an eye-watering $500 million round of fundraising. It would be the largest ever biotech sector IPO. Moderna is already considered the industry’s most valuable startup coming in at more than $7 billion.

Can We Save the Bees?: A new tracking system has demonstrated how neonicotinoids, a common and widely used insecticide, harm bee colonies. The neurotoxin harms their memory and their ability to gather food.

Injury Redux for Dez Bryant: Former Dallas Cowboy and current New Orleans Saints wide receiver, Dez Bryant has suffered yet another setback during his career. Team doctors believe his Achilles is torn and testing a mere formality. Bryant suffered his injury during the final play of a practice session. He has battled various foot and knee injuries in recent years.

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