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DAILY DOSE: Merck Covid-19 treatment approved in U.K.; U.S. tap water deadly in the long term, report.

Public health officials in the United Kingdom have moved at breakneck speed to approve Merck’s novel Covid-19 therapy which comes in the form of a pill. According to the Associated Press, “Britain granted conditional authorization on Thursday to the first pill shown to successfully treat COVID-19 so far. It also is the first country to OK the treatment from drugmaker Merck, although it wasn’t immediately clear how quickly the pill would be available. The pill was licensed for adults 18 and older who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have at least one risk factor for developing severe disease, such as obesity or heart disease. Patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 would take four pills of the drug, known molnupiravir, twice a day for five days.” Modern science continues to dish out healthy servings of hope for those willing to eat at its table.

A recent report has warned that the drinking water in many U.S. locations may be deadly in the long term. According to Al-Jazeera, “Decaying infrastructure and pollution from toxic ‘forever chemicals’ are causing tens of millions of United States residents to drink contaminated water, increasing the risk of cancer and other ailments, according to a new report. Fifty-six new contaminants, including pesticides and radioactive materials, have been discovered in US tap water over the past two years, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) reported on Wednesday.” Clearly the country continues to grapple with its aging infrastructure.

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In a clear sign that scientists of Asian descent in America continue to feel threatened by the China Initiative implemented during the Trump Administration, researchers signed a letter expressing their concern and urging President Joe Biden to stop terminate the directive. According to Science, “The 2000 faculty members who signed the letter ask Biden to end the 3-year-old China Initiative, which has led to federal investigations of hundreds of U.S. researchers. Some have been fired and more than two dozen, mostly of Chinese origin, have faced criminal charges for violating disclosure rules related to foreign funding. Several have been convicted, but the government has dropped other cases—and lost one—amid fierce criticism that it has engaged in racial profiling and pursued flimsy allegations that have ruined careers.”

A recent article in Nature explains why the U.K. may be the Covid-19 canary in the coal mine. According to the authors, “As one of the first countries to trust high vaccine coverage and public responsibility alone to control the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the United Kingdom has become a control experiment that scientists across the world are studying. ‘We are watching the increase in cases closely, trying to dissect what is going on and how that might influence our situation right now,’ says Rafael Radi, a biochemist and coordinator of Uruguay’s COVID-19 Scientific Advisory Group.”

One of the enduring mysteries and most common questions about the big bang His what happened in the moment before the event took place. An article in the Universe Today explores the possibility that its all some kid’s chemistry experiment and we’re all along just for the ride. Per Universe Today, “Alas, one question that we may never be able to answer is the most pressing of all: if the Universe was conceived in a Big Bang, what was here before that? According to a new op-ed by Prof. Abraham Loeb (which recently appeared in Scientific American), the answer may be stranger than even the most ‘exotic’ explanations. As he argued, the cosmos as we know it may be a ‘baby Universe’ that was created by an advanced technological civilization in a lab!” Let it be said that this isn’t really that exotic. At its core, the theory is just another iteration of guiding-hand Intelligent Design malarkey.

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

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