OMICRON’S GLOBAL ONSLAUGHT CONTINUES.
The Omicron variant of Sars-CoV-2 continues to rip through East Asia. We’ve covered China during the past few days but the worst outbreak is taking place in South Korea. Per Al-Jazeera, “South Korea has reported new daily records for coronavirus cases and deaths as the Omicron variant continues to spread rapidly across the country. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) reported a staggering 621,328 new COVID-19 infections on Thursday, including 62 among arrivals from overseas, according to the Yonhap news agency.” Those are staggering numbers for a country South Korea’s size. https://bit.ly/3MV0fJz
RACE AGAINST TIME.
Climate change scientists in Europe are in a race against time. Per the Associated Press, “Italian scientists are racing against time to study, scan and sample Europe’s southernmost glacier before it melts and disappears as a result of rising global temperatures. Researchers conducted a preliminary radar survey of the Calderone glacier in Italy’s central Apennine Mountains on March 13 and plan to return next month to drill into it and take samples. The aim is to extract chunks of the glacier and store them in Antarctica for future study.” https://bit.ly/3MZAvvp
BIRTH OF A CONSPIRACY THEORY.
The origin of Russia and China’s claim that the United States is running a biological warfare lab in Ukraine involves a single researcher named Cornelia Silaghi. A researcher based in Germany, she worked with Friedrich Loeffler Institute (FLI) and had received samples from researchers at the Institute of Experimental and Clinical Veterinary Medicine in Kharkiv. Per Science, “Silaghi’s straightforward collaboration swiftly became the eye of a disinformation storm: A few facts were spun into false accusations that were quickly amplified and spread via social media, repeated on Fox News, and discussed in QAnon forums. As supposed evidence, Russian authorities posted a grainy image of the sample transfer agreement between Silaghi’s lab and the Kharkiv veterinary institute. ‘This is what makes disinformation work—you have to have these little kernels of truth,’ says King’s College London biosecurity expert Filippa Lentzos. ‘If you’re able to plant enough doubt, people start to question.’” https://bit.ly/3JkFogh
CHANGE GONNA COME.
Science has a diversity problem. That much is clear. Whether it’s in the lab or representation in clinical trials, entire segments of society are marginalized. This is particularly true for people of color. Turns out, another area of concern is in the mapping of the human genome, something that was abundantly clear when Evan Eichler stumbled upon a long stretch of DNA that had never been identified before. That was because it was only present among people from Papua New Guinea. According to Nature, “This and other unexpected discoveries have made Eichler and other geneticists increasingly dissatisfied with the breadth and depth of the available maps of the human genome. The first draft genome from the US$2.7-billion Human Genome Project, released in 2001, was meant to become a reference point for future genetic research. But 93% of its sequence came from just 11 individuals, many of whom were recruited through a newspaper advertisement in Buffalo, New York; a whopping 70% of the DNA comes from just one man.” Safe to say, diversity problems will continue to arise because Science has yet to fully own up to its problems. https://go.nature.com/37y96At
Thanks for reading. Let’s be careful out there.
IMAGE CREDIT: Piotrus.