The Daily Dose: Children in developing countries may be more risk now than ever

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The COVID-19 pandemic has influenced healthcare well beyond the purview of the virus itself. The disruption to infrastructure is still being quantified. With this in mind, a team of researchers modelled three scenarios in which the coverage of essential maternal and child health interventions is reduced by 9·8–51·9% and the prevalence of wasting is increased by 10–50%. The team’s findings were grim. “Our least severe scenario (coverage reductions of 9·8–18·5% and wasting increase of 10%) over 6 months would result in 253 500 additional child deaths and 12 200 additional maternal deaths. Our most severe scenario (coverage reductions of 39·3–51·9% and wasting increase of 50%) over 6 months would result in 1 157 000 additional child deaths and 56 700 additional maternal deaths.” As the general public has learned in 2020, sometimes scientific modeling can be off. We hope that’s the case in this instance.

The cancer biotechnology space has been making some encouraging moves. Two SMEs have shown promising results from their platforms. As per FierceBiotech, “Century Therapeutics has bought Empirica to drive development of allogeneic cell therapies against the brain cancer glioblastoma. The induced pluripotent stem cell (IPSC) player, which landed a $215 million investment from Bayer last year, acquired Empirica on the strength of work to create a CAR-T treatment for glioblastoma.” ( Meanwhile, Gilead has also been experiencing some success among the brain cancer drug development SMEs it is linked to. “Gilead Sciences has put down $275 million for a 49.9% share in immuno-oncology biotech Pionyr Immunotherapeutics with the option to buy it out completely should it pass muster in early clinical tests.” ( Sometimes things work out for small biotech companies who are in a constant race against their negative revenues.

If the official release of U.S. Navy Department video footage of mysterious aircraft wasn’t enough to drive home the fact that we’re most likely not alone in the vast universe, NASA’s major investment in the search for technologically advanced alien civilizations should push you a little further in its favor. As per Futurism, “A team of astronomers from Harvard and other institutions are collaborating on a new project to scan the skies for technological signatures from alien civilizations. It’s a noteworthy new project, as it’s the first to receive a NASA grant for SETI-specific research in more than 30 years, according to a statement.” There’s still a serious question that refuses to go away: Even if advanced alien life does exist, do we really want to find them and make contact? (

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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