DAILY DOSE: Promising mRNA vaccine tech sets sights on heart disease; Climate conference knee-capped by two countries.


It should come as little surprise that COP26 ended with a prolonged whimper and lots of finger pointing. Needless to say, the conference fell short of its initial goals. Per Nature, “Researchers have expressed relief that the meeting did not fail to produce an agreement, but some left COP26 dissatisfied at the lack of stronger commitments to reduce emissions, and failure to agree ‘loss and damage’ finance for countries that are vulnerable to climate change. ‘COP26 has closed the gap, but it has not solved the problem,’ says Niklas Hoehne, a climate researcher at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. He adds that countries now need to come forward with more ambitious pledges to tackle climate change, he adds.” This time around, Indian and Chinese intransigence bears responsibility for things getting messy. It’s like musical chairs. Anyway, for weeks, we told you so. https://go.nature.com/3wOqXf8


As yet another wave of Covid-19 kicks Europe in the shins, government eyes are turning toward the unvaccinated and essentially telling them to get immunized or expect normal life to be severely curtailed for them. According to Reuters, “Austria imposed a lockdown on people unvaccinated against the coronavirus on Monday as winter approaches and infections rise across Europe, with Germany considering tighter curbs and Britain expanding its booster programme to younger adults. Europe has again become the epicentre of the pandemic, prompting some countries to consider re-introducing restrictions in the run-up to Christmas and stirring debate over whether vaccines alone are enough to tame COVID-19.” Expect to hear collective cries of victimization. https://reut.rs/3kBMuTe

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China is experiencing one of its more serious and yet to be controlled outbreaks. This time, it is located on a university campus. According to the Associated Press, “China has confined nearly 1,500 university students to their dormitories and hotels following an outbreak of COVID-19 in the northeastern city of Dalian. The order was issued Sunday after several dozen cases were reported at Zhuanghe University City and hundreds of students were transferred to hotels for observation. Students were attending class remotely and having their meals delivered to their rooms.” For the past couple of months, China has been experiencing small breakouts rolling through the country. So far, they have been able to contain them before the outbreaks can get out of hand. https://bit.ly/3HoW8SZ


With mRNA vaccine technology officially ready for prime time, AstraZeneca and Moderna have teamed up to develop a shot that targets heart disease. Per FierceBiotech, “For years, the pair has quietly been plugging away using Moderna’s mRNA technology to help patients with heart disease (as well as other diseases), and new midstage data out today offer a glimmer of hope that, outside of infectious disease, this platform could have a broader scope. We know mRNA players such as BioNTech, Moderna and CureVac are all gunning for influenza and cancer with their tech, having already swiftly proven its worth in treating SARS-CoV-02, but heart failure may be a viable target, too.” If the potential drug is as effective as Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine, that is really promising news. https://bit.ly/3cbJSXK

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

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