The Daily Dose: China’s gets its space station going; Science jumps on the NFT bandwagon.

China continues its impressive run of space program achievements. This time, the country successfully populated its own space station orbiting earth. Per Time, “Three Chinese astronauts have begun making China’s new space station their home for the next three months, after their launch and arrival at the station Thursday marked further advances in the country’s ambitious space program. Their Shenzhou-12 craft connected with the station about six hours after taking off from the Jiuquan launch center on the edge of the Gobi Desert.” It’s really exciting times for China’s space program. They are also partnering with Russia on a lunar exploration program.

Over year into the COVID-19 pandemic and millions of earth’s, so much harmful misinformation continues to circulate around the world, sapping time, energy, and resources from mitigation efforts. Brazil is still debating whether hydroxychloroquine is effective as a therapy. Per the Associated Press, “As Brazil hurtles toward an official COVID-19 death toll of 500,000 — second-highest in the world — science is on trial inside the country and the truth is up for grabs. With the milestone likely to be reached this weekend, Brazil’s Senate is publicly investigating how the toll got so high, focusing on why President Jair Bolsonaro’s far-right government ignored opportunities to buy vaccines for months while it relentlessly pushed hydroxychloroquine, the malaria drug that rigorous studies have shown to be ineffective in treating COVID-19.” No words… Really, no words.

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According to the World Health Organization, the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 is predicted to be the dominant global variant in a short amount of time. Right now, it is wreaking serious damage to the United Kingdom’s attempts to reopen their economy completely. Per the Guardian, “According to the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), the latest R number for England is between 1.2 and 1.4, with the number of new Covid infections growing by 3% to 6% a day – in the north-west the growth is even higher at 5% to 8% a day. The group cautions that lags in data mean the figures represent the spread of Covid about two to three weeks ago.”

A Scientific American article tells the story of how an unheralded team of scientists at Tuskegee University helped prove polio vaccine worked. It’s very worth the read and a reminder that vaccines work and that the benefits we enjoy today came as a result of a lot of hard work.

Apparently, the scientific community wants in on the non-fungible tokens craze. According to Nature, “On 8 June, the University of California, Berkeley, auctioned off an NFT based on documents relating to the work of Nobel-prizewinning cancer researcher James Allison for more than US$50,000. On 17 June, the US Space Force — a branch of the US Armed Forces — started selling a series of NFTs featuring augmented reality images of satellites and space iconography. And, from 23 to 30 June, computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the World Wide Web, is auctioning an NFT featuring the source code of the original web browser, along with a silent video of the code being typed out.” The list of potential science NFTs goes on. Biology pioneer George Church and his company Nebula Genomics want to sell an NFT of Church’s genome. Church is well known for controversial proposals, including resurrecting the woolly mammoth and creating a dating app based on DNA.

Thanks for reading. Let’s be careful out there.

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