DAILY DOSE: Shanghai enters lockdown; Worrying news about Metformin.

IT’S ON…

The first test of Beijing’s slightly tweaked Zero-Covid strategy has been implemented in Shanghai. Per the Associated Press, “A two-phase lockdown of Shanghai’s 26 million people is testing the limits of China’s hard-line ‘zero-COVID’ strategy, which is shaking markets far beyond the country’s borders. China’s largest city on Tuesday entered the second day of the lockdown’s first phase, which includes the Pudong financial district and adjacent areas on the east side of the Huangpu River that divides the center of finance, manufacturing and trade. The measures confining Pudong residents to their homes, closing nonessential businesses and requiring mass testing are to be lifted Friday. At that time, the vast Puxi area on the opposite side of the river will go under lockdown.” Commodity markets dropped 7% because traders believed that  oil prices in London failed to reflect the ‘true reality of the situation’. https://bit.ly/3iMSdEu


WORRYING NEWS ABOUT METFORMIN.

One of the most common diabetes drugs may cause birth defects in the offspring of men taking the drug. Per Science, “Metformin, a first-line diabetes drug used for decades, may boost the risk of birth defects in the offspring of men who took it during sperm development, according to a large Danish study. Sons born to those men were more than three times as likely to have a genital birth defect as unexposed babies, according to the paper, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine today.” At least there are options. https://bit.ly/3NxX9ew


WHAT IS A HEATWAVE? WELL, THAT DEPENDS.

Climate change has forced the British government to redefine what can be called a heatwave in parts of the country. Per the BBC, “Forecasters have raised the temperature at which a heatwave is declared in several areas of England. The Met Office defines a heatwave as when an area experiences daily maximum temperatures meeting or exceeding a certain level for three days in a row. Eight counties have had these limits raised by the forecaster by 1C. Announcing the change, experts said climate data showed “undeniable warming” in the UK accompanying increasing greenhouse gas emissions. The new limits are 8C (82F) in Surrey, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire; 27C (81F) in Lincolnshire; 26C (79F) in the East Riding of Yorkshire. What defines a heatwave is linked to historical climate data. The UK has been experiencing rising average temperatures in recent years as a result of global warming.” https://bbc.in/35jA6mw


HEADS ARE ROLLING AND IT AIN’T PRETTY.

There’s some serious carnage taking place in the biotechnology industry. Fierce Biotech took a stab at trying to tally how many scalps are on the floor. According to the article, “You could call it survival of the fittest or the law of the jungle. But whatever you call it, the recent spate of layoffs in biotech is separating the losers from the rest, one expert says… Of the 32 layoffs tallied by Fierce Biotech, four have occurred in just the past two weeks: Zosano Pharma, Ovid Therapeutics, Passage Bio and Athenex. At least 23 companies have announced layoffs so far this year, and the list keeps growing.” https://bit.ly/3IOofL3


SPACE FLIGHT WITHOUT CELEBRITIES.

Blue Origin’s latest trip to the lower atmosphere has been delayed two days. Per Reuters, “The fourth commercial flight of Jeff Bezos’ space tourism venture Blue Origin, offering short suborbital joyrides to well-heeled thrill-seekers and celebrity guests, has been delayed by two days because of poor weather conditions, the company said.” This will be the first flight without a famous celebrity on board to serve as flight advertising. Thistrip will include Gary Lai, architect of the New Shepard reusable launch system; angel investor Marty Allen, real estate veteran Marc Hagle and his wife Sharon Hagle, entrepreneur and University of North Carolina professor Jim Kitchen and George Nield, founder-president of Commercial Space Technologies. https://reut.rs/36DtWhN


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