DAILY DOSE: U.S. Illegal wildlife trade is bad news; The real food revolution is well underway.

Colin Powell Succumbs to Covid-19:

COVID-19 has taken the life of another high profile figure in the United States. Per the Associated Press, “Colin Powell, who served Democratic and Republican presidents in war and peace but whose sterling reputation was forever stained when he went before the U.N. and made faulty claims to justify the U.S. war in Iraq, has died of COVID-19 complications. He was 84.” The science angle on this is the fact that Powell was fully vaccinated and succumbed to a breakthrough infection. This will undoubtedly provide ammunition for the legion of Covid-19 anti-vaxx minions. https://bit.ly/3n4JhMv

U.S. Illegal Wildlife Trade Is Bad News:

The underground trade in exotic wildlife represents a significant threat to glonbal biodiversity. Properly quantifying the economics of the transactions has been elusive. A new study published in PLOS tackles the trade in the United States. According to the study, “Using 2013 as a reference year, the results reveal that the economic value of illegal wildlife trade entering the USA was, using a conservative scenario where potential outliers were excluded, US$3.2 billion/year (uncertainty range (UR) 5th and 95th percentile of US$0.6–8.2 billion/year) and, without excluding potential outliers, US$4.3 billion/year (UR of US$1.3–9.6 billion/year). Our results for the USA alone are of a comparable magnitude to the lower bound of commonly used global estimates of the economic value of IWT of uncertain origin, suggesting that the global economic value of IWT is currently underestimated and requires an urgent revision.” https://bit.ly/3BV90x1

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Is a Spacecraft Just a Spacecraft?:

China continues to show its rapidly improving aerospace capabilities. The question for observers, however, is whether the dual purpose technology actually represents an ominous escalation in military technology. Per the Associated Press, “China said Monday its launch of a new spacecraft was merely a test to see whether the vehicle could be re-used. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said the launch involved a spacecraft rather than a missile and was of ‘great significance for reducing the use-cost of spacecraft and could provide a convenient and affordable way to make a round trip for mankind’s peaceful use of space.’ China’s space program is run by its military and is closely tied to its agenda of building hypersonic missiles and other technologies that could alter the balance of power with the United States.” https://bit.ly/3lPkX1I

Next-Level Behavior Modification Efforts:

Sometimes, you just can’t control everything another person does, no matter how much you try. An even worse take is trying to control someone in order to control yet another person through person #1. But don’t tell that to Beijing. Per Channel News Asia, “China’s parliament will consider legislation to punish parents if their young children exhibit “very bad behaviour” or commit crimes. In the draft of the family education promotion law, guardians will be reprimanded and ordered to go through family education guidance programmes if prosecutors find very bad or criminal behaviour in children under their care.” If it wasn’t so potentially damaging, the news would be laughable. https://bit.ly/3aO8Iwk

The Revolution Will Be Digested:

Depending how you look at things, it’s exciting times in the food science and culinary fields. With the growing popularity of plant-based meats and lab-grown meat down the line, a revolution in the food we eat may be on the horizon. Scientists are at the vanguard of that movement. Per the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, “Food researchers are constantly trying to develop new products that entice consumers, without changing the look, taste, or appeal of the original version. The aims are for the benefit of human health, as well as environmental responsibility. From plant-based burgers to lower-fat salad dressings and mayonnaises, to nonalcoholic beers, researchers are designing a range of products by studying the full-fat, full-cholesterol, full-alcohol, or meat-based version.” Widespread adoption of these new foods could harken the biggest change in eating habits since Neolithic agriculture. https://bit.ly/3aMfDWD

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


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