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The Daily Dose: Vaccine hesitancy can only be overcome through trust.

The folks at STAT have compiled a guide to how to deal with friends and family who might have some reservations about being vaccinated. “Experts say the best way to tackle vaccine hesitancy is for people to have conversations with those they trust, whether a doctor, pastor, family member, or friend. So STAT spoke with a number of experts on the frontlines — global vaccine scholars, physicians tackling low vaccination rates in Black communities, and multilingual doctors who are taking matters in their own hands to get out the word — to create this guide on how best to handle these sometimes difficult conversations. Their suggestions may surprise you.” It’s important not to alienate people who are genuinely concerned, regardless of the roots of their hesitancy. This is a useful resource.

Speaking of useful resources, STAT has also broken down the whole AstraZeneza debacle into easily digestable morsels. You can find that here:

Research challenges “sugar hypothesis” of diabetic cataract development
HAVE YOUR SAY.Join us in The Bullpen, where the members of the …
Scientists discover the evolutionary secret behind different animal life cycles
HAVE YOUR SAY.Join us in The Bullpen, where the members of the …
Artificial photosynthesis uses sunlight to make biodegradable plastic
HAVE YOUR SAY.Join us in The Bullpen, where the members of the …
COVID toll realized: CVD deaths take big jump, especially among certain populations
HAVE YOUR SAY.Join us in The Bullpen, where the members of the …

The move to combine new technologies with the life sciences has received a significant boost. Per Fierce Biotech, “The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard has launched a new, major initiative to support machine-learning-powered research into the life sciences. With a $150 million endowment gift courtesy of the former Google CEO and his wife, the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Center will serve as a home for a global network connecting academic and industry researchers across multiple scientific disciplines—with the aim of potentially creating a new one by merging tech, biology and the objective of improving human health. Based at the Broad Institute’s campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the center hopes to capitalize on the widespread adoption of big data and cloud computing in healthcare R&D alongside parallel advancements in DNA sequencing, single-cell analysis and digital imaging.” Centers like this will undoubtedly be the norm in coming years.

The non-sexual genetic transfer of genes between members of the same species has been known to happen for some time now. It’s a major driver of antibiotic resistance in bacteria. However, it was believed that natural gene transfer did not happen between different species. Turns out, swapping genes can actually happen. Researchers discovered that at some point, the whitefly incorporates plant DNA. Per Nature, “The finding, reported today in Cell, is the first known example of a natural gene transfer from a plant to an insect. It also explains one reason why the whitefly Bemisia tabaci is so adept at munching on crops: the gene that it swiped from plants enables it to neutralize a toxin that some plants produce to defend against insects.” Now that scientists have proof that the exchange can occur, they should have a better idea what to look for and who knows what they’ll find?

Artificial intelligence can do a lot of things. Now, you can add playing Minecraft to its new skills.

Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend. Let’s be careful out there.

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