man in black t shirt and red shorts holding black and gray shovel

DAILY DOSE: Smash-mouth therapy for your Covid-19 lockdown blues; The last unwrapped mummy revealed at last.

IS A PROTEIN RESPONSIBLE FOR OMICRON’S MILD INFECTIONS?

It’s becoming increasingly evident from laboratory studies that Omicron causes much milder infections than other Sars-CoV-2 strains such as the Delta variant. Researchers are beginning to understand why. Per Nature, “Early indications from South Africa and the United Kingdom signal that the fast-spreading Omicron variant of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is less dangerous than its predecessor Delta. Now, a series of laboratory studies offers a tantalizing explanation for the difference: Omicron does not infect cells deep in the lung as readily as it does those in the upper airways.” Some experiments also identified a protein called TMPRSS2, which may be responsible for the difference. It protrudes from the surfaces of many cells in the lungs and other organs. However, it is notably absent from the surfaces of most nose and throat cells. https://go.nature.com/34x1ooZ


SMASH-MOUTH THERAPY.

The pandemic and its subsequent lockdowns have done serious damage to our collective psyches. In order to cope, people around the world have devised different ways of releasing pent up energy and, sometimes, anger. An article in Reuters took a look at how some people have adapted in the Netherlands. Per Reuters, “One swinging a sledgehammer and the other a crowbar, twin brothers Steven and Brian Krijger grin as they take turns pulverising a Peugeot 106 spray-painted with the words “F*** COVID”. They are participants in “CarSmash”, a Dutch project aimed at providing locked-down locals with ways of releasing anger and frustration built up during a pandemic now entering its third year.” Hey, if it works… https://reut.rs/3HGfulV


MAN VS. APE.

One of the common arguments against modern diets and our partially sedentary lifestyles. According to the argument, we evolved to have very different energy requirements and in the past, we expended energy running around killing for meat or foraging for food. A recent research article in Science compared energy acquisition and usage between human hunter gatherers and great apes. Per Science, “Humans are animals—merely another lineage of great apes. However, we have diverged in significant ways from our ape cousins and we are perennially interested in how this happened. Kraft et al. looked at energy intake and expenditure in modern hunter-gatherer societies and great apes. They found that we do not spend less energy while foraging or farming, but we do acquire more energy and at a faster rate than our ape cousins. This difference may have allowed our ancestors to spend more time in contexts that facilitated social learning and cultural development.” https://bit.ly/3F2LTl9


AND THEN THERE WERE NONE.

Modern technology has finally revealed the secrets inside the only royal mumms that has not been physically revealed. Per the Frontiers In blog, “For the first time since the 11th century BCE, scientists have unwrapped – virtually, using CT scans – the mummy of pharaoh Amenhotep I (r. 1525 to 1504 BCE), the only royal mummy to remain unopened in modern times. They show that the pharaoh was around 35 years old, 169cm tall, circumcized, and in good physical health when he died, apparently from natural causes All the royal mummies found in the 19th and 20th centuries have long since been opened for study. With one exception: egyptologists have never been bold enough to open the mummy of pharaoh Amenhotep I. Not because of any mythical curse, but because it is perfectly wrapped, decorated with beautiful flower garlands, and with face and neck covered by an exquisite lifelike mask inset with colorful stones. But now for the first time, scientists from Egypt have used three-dimensional CT (computed tomography) scanning to ‘digitally unwrap’ this royal mummy and study its contents.” It’s hard to express how awesome technology is sometimes. https://bit.ly/3zAKQaP

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


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