full moon

DAILY DOSE: China’s space strategy is not short on ambition; Billionaire gut-punches McDonald’s over gestation crates.


If there was any doubt that China intends to challenge the United States and Russia for space supremacy, a recently released whitepaper by the country’s space administration should banish any doubt. Per Nature, “China has had a bumper few years in space exploration, and its ambitions are about to get bolder. The China National Space Administration has released an overview of its plans for the next five years, which include launching a robotic craft to an asteroid, building a space telescope to rival the Hubble and laying the foundations for a space-based gravitational-wave detector.” The article explored the 5 most significant goals. https://go.nature.com/3p37kNR


The debate surrounding Covid-19 vaccines is pretty messy. A significant portion of people insist that natural infection provides all the protection a person needs. However, a recent study in Israel has shown that a single dose of a Covid-19 vaccine after infection significantly increases the body’s response to the virus. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, “A total of 149,032 patients who had recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection met the eligibility criteria. Of these patients, 83,356 (56%) received subsequent vaccination during the 270-day study period. Reinfection occurred in 354 of the vaccinated patients (2.46 cases per 100,000 persons per day) and in 2168 of 65,676 unvaccinated patients (10.21 cases per 100,000 persons per day). Vaccine effectiveness was estimated at 82% (95% confidence interval [CI], 80 to 84) among patients who were 16 to 64 years of age and 60% (95% CI, 36 to 76) among those 65 years of age or older. No significant difference in vaccine effectiveness was found for one dose as compared with two doses.” Unfortunately, anything relating to the benefits of vaccine administration is like screaming into a hole. https://bit.ly/3s7NWko


Ever since CRISPR emerged as the gene editing tool scientists have always dreamed of, there have been no shortage of labs using the technology to transform genetics. It’s pretty hard keeping track of what’s going on in the therapeutic arena. Filling an obvious void, STAT has “created a new tracker of milestone CRISPR studies, and found that the explosion in interest created a positive feedback loop, accelerating the movement of new and better gene editing approaches toward the clinic. For CRISPR 1.0 therapies — those using the original Cas9 cutting enzyme described in the Doudna paper — four-and-a-half years passed, on average, between the first studies in cells and the first public data in non-human primates. Base editing, or CRISPR 2.0, got it down to three years, according to the CRISPR TRACKR.” Unfortunately, if you want to actually see and play around with the Crispr database, you’ll need to subscribe and pay for access. https://bit.ly/3sOImm8


A fist-fight has broken out in the financial industry over the use of gestation crates by pork suppliers. According to CNBC, “Billionaire investor Carl Icahn has started a proxy fight with McDonald’s over the fast food giant’s treatment of pigs, pushing for two board seats at the global fast food giant. McDonald’s said Sunday in a release that Icahn has nominated Leslie Samuelrich and Maisie Ganzler for election at the company’s 2022 annual shareholder meeting. ‘Mr. Icahn’s stated focus in making this nomination relates to a narrow issue regarding the company’s pork commitment, which the Humane Society U.S. has already introduced through a shareholder proposal,’ McDonald’s said.” It’s hard to know what Icahn really believes. For decades, the debate around him has been whether he’s an opportunistic corporate raider or someone who kind of cares about the people and causes he claims to be representing. The fact that Icahn has his own pork and meat suppliers in his portfolio makes it seem as if he sees money to be made by becoming a thorn in McDonald’s side. Either way, hopefully the fast-food chain fares better going head to head against Icahn than Bill Ackman did during their infamous Herbalife confrontation. https://cnb.cx/3JIQziJ

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

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