DAILY DOSE: Beijing freaks out over continued calls for more COVID-19 data; U.S. continues Delta variant downward spiral.

If Beijing thought the so-called lab leak theory of the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic would go away, they must be sorely disappointed. Instead, it only seems to get worse. Per Channel News Asia, “China on Friday (Aug 13) rejected the World Health Organization’s (WHO) calls for a renewed probe into the origins of COVID-19, saying it supported “scientific” over “political” efforts to find out how the virus started. Pressure is once more mounting on Beijing to consider a fresh probe into the origins of a pandemic that has killed more than 4 million people and paralysed economies worldwide since it first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.” On Thursday, the WHO reiterated its call for access to early raw data from the Wuhan outbreak, provoking Beijing’s latest freak out. https://bit.ly/37Eni7I

CNN is just the latest news outlet to report that the Delta variant has resulted in younger patients being hospitalized and experiencing more severe outcomes. One doctor was adamant that this current wave is not like previous ones. “Things are very different from last time, he says. ‘As far as the very distinct differences — the age of patients for us,’ Drinkwitz told CNN. The hospital recently had three patients between 30 and 40, multiple patients in their 40s and some in their 50s and 60s on ventilators, he said.” Unfortunately, the people who need to take heed, will not. Same pattern, different wave. https://cnn.it/3jRD5Gf

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Drama in the anti-aging industry. STAT News is reporting that the controversy surrounding the SENS Research foundation has now claimed the CEO. According to the article, “The CEO of the SENS Research Foundation left his job and seat on the organization’s board in July amid an investigation into sexual harassment allegations against the anti-aging nonprofit’s high-profile co-founder, Aubrey de Grey, STAT has learned. The departure of chief executive Jim O’Neill is, in part, what prompted two female entrepreneurs to go public this week with their charges, out of fear the foundation’s investigation would be compromised, they told STAT in interviews.” Like we said – drama. What is it about men in powerful positions? https://bit.ly/3iITQDZ

NASA has experienced a rare failure during its exploration of Mars. Per Nature, “After drilling into its first rock on Mars but failing to capture it in a storage tube on 6 August, NASA’s Perseverance rover is rolling onwards. Rather than make a second attempt now at drilling a geologically interesting area in Mars’s Jezero Crater, it will instead drill into different terrain next month, in hopes those rocks will be more amenable to coring.” It’s nice of the space agency to keep things interesting, I suppose. Lately, it’s been all too easy to take interplanetary success for granted. https://go.nature.com/3AK1kNp

Peter Beck is often compared with Elon Musk, only he’s from New Zealand. Superficially, that’s one of the few differences since both men share wildly ambitious plans for private industry space exploration. Al-Jazeera interviewed him regarding his plans. Apparently, he’s got a lot going on in the near future. According to the article, “In the final quarter of this year, one of Rocket Lab’s photon satellites is scheduled to embark on a journey to the moon. The mission, dubbed CAPSTONE (the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment) will launch from Rocket Lab’s original New Zealand complex. The goal of CAPSTONE is to test out technology that will help NASA send astronauts back to the lunar surface as part of its Artemis programme, which includes landing the first woman and the first person of colour on the Moon.” https://bit.ly/3g0OfXM

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


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