DAILY DOSE: Logistics a major concern for women needing abortions; Cat infects human with Covid-19.


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The dust still hasn’t settled from the Supreme Court’s anti-abortion ruling from last week. That said, one thing is crystal clear: the ability to travel to another state that allows abortions may be the only option available to women and a good portion of them won’t be able to do so. That has placed the onus on authorities to provide transportation. Per the Associated Press, “The ruling has set off a travel scramble across the country, with a growing number of states mostly banning the procedure. Clinics operators are moving, doctors are counseling crying patients, donations are pouring into nonprofits and one group is dispatching vans to administer abortion pills. Some cities — like Kansas City and St. Louis — also are drafting plans to help with the travel logistics.” It’s not going to end well. https://bit.ly/3I1yoFf


The theoretical has now become the real. A domestic cat has passed Covid-19 to a human being for the first time. According to Nature, “First there were sneezing hamsters, now sneezing cats. A team in Thailand reports the first solid evidence of a pet cat infecting a person with SARS-CoV-2 — adding felines to the list of animals that can transmit the virus to people. Researchers say the results are convincing. They are surprised that it has taken this long to establish that transmission can occur, given the scale of the pandemic, the virus’s ability to jump between animal species, and the close contact between cats and people. ‘We’ve known this was a possibility for two years,’ says Angela Bosco-Lauth, an infectious-disease researcher at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.” It was only a matter of time. https://go.nature.com/3a5zaEP


It’s welcome news when a government puts climate change toward the top of its priorities. Per the Associated Press, “Australia’s new government is putting climate change at the top of its legislative agenda when Parliament sits next month for the first time since the May 21 election, with bills to enshrine a cut in greenhouse gas emissions and make electric cars cheaper, a minister said on Wednesday. A bill will be introduced to commit Australia to reducing its emissions by 43% below 2005 levels by 2030 when Parliament sits on July 26, Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen told the National Press Club.” Let’s hope time and political pressure doesn’t change the government’s priorities. https://bit.ly/3a1iUol


Researchers are inching closer to establishing when dogs were first domesticated. A study consisting of 81 archaeologists, anthropologists, and geneticists shared their data allowing them to sequence 66 ancient wolf genomes from sites across Europe, Siberia, and North America. The ages of these animals spanned the past 100,000 years. They used computer software to compare the 72 ancient genomes, eventually working out a rough family tree. According to Science, “Comparing the ancient wolf genomes with those from modern and ancient dogs, the researchers found that dogs are much more closely related to ancient wolves from eastern Asia than those from Europe. That points to eastern Eurasia as their home region and more or less eliminates western Eurasia as a potential origin spot, the team contends today in Nature. But none of the ancient wolves proved to be a close ancestor of dogs, meaning the actual site of domestication remains a mystery. The paper also resolves the mystery of whether an 18,000-year-old pup found in 2019 near the Siberian city of Yakutsk was a wolf or a dog. The answer? Wolf.” That’s one heck of an effort by everyone involved. https://bit.ly/3A8yyJc

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


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