DAILY DOSE: Protests breakout in China over Zero-Covid strategy.


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Some of the emotional strain China’s Zero-Covid strategy has placed on its citizens has burst into the public sphere. Over the weekend, protests broke out in numerous cities across the country. In response, some reports indicate that Beijing at least hears what they are saying. Per the Associated Press,

Chinese authorities eased some anti-virus rules but affirmed their severe “zero COVID” strategy Monday after protesters demanded President Xi Jinping resign in the biggest show of opposition to the ruling Communist Party in decades. 

The government made no comment on the protests or the criticism of Xi, but the decision to ease at least some of the restrictions appeared to be aimed at quelling anger. Still, analysts don’t expect the government to back down on its COVID strategy and note authorities are adept at stifling dissent. 

It wasn’t clear how many people were detained since protests began Friday and spread to cities including Shanghai, the country’s financial center, and the capital, Beijing.

The city government of Beijing announced Monday it would no longer set up gates to block access to apartment compounds where infections are found. http://bit.ly/3OH6xxo

An article in Nature suggests that under certain circumstances mosquitoes may be useful. They are referring to a recent study that analyzed mosquito blood as a way to get a better understanding of the history of human disease. 

“Blood-sucking mosquitoes have their uses. An innovative approach analysing their last blood meals can reveal evidence of infection in the people or animals that the flying insects feasted on.

Scientists say that the method, presented at an infectious-disease conference in Malaysia last week, could be used to study people’s and animals’ past exposure to a range of pathogens, while avoiding the ethical and practical issues of testing them directly.

“This is a novel and fascinating approach, which demonstrates innovative ways to use the environment around us to learn more about exposure to infection,” says Shelly Bolotin, a vaccine scientist at the University of Toronto in Canada.”

It could also aid early detection in animals of diseases such as Ebola and SARS-CoV-2 or help scientists to identify the animal host of a new virus. http://bit.ly/3GRFEoF

Carbon emissions from airplanes are a significant source of pollution and, subsequently, major concern among climate activists. A major engine producer has now shown that hydrogen can be used effectively in place of carbon fuels. Per Reuters,

Britain's Rolls-Royce (RR.L) said it has successfully run an aircraft engine on hydrogen, a world aviation first that marks a major step towards proving the gas could be key to decarbonising air travel.

The ground test, using a converted Rolls-Royce AE 2100-A regional aircraft engine, used green hydrogen created by wind and tidal power, the British company said on Monday.

Rolls and its testing programme partner easyJet (EZJ.L) are seeking to prove that hydrogen can safely and efficiently deliver power for civil aero engines.

They said they were already planning a second set of tests, with a longer-term ambition to carry out flight tests.

Hydrogen is one of a number of competing technologies that could help the aviation industry achieve its goal of becoming net zero by 2050. http://bit.ly/3gNkHR7

Dinosaurs are big – in popularity and in size. For museums, dino exhibitions are big business. A massive sauropod is set to go on display. Per the BBC,

A replica of what could have been the largest animal ever to walk on land is coming to London in the New Year.

A cast of the sauropod dinosaur known as Patagotitan will go on show at the Natural History Museum - assuming it fits within the gallery space.

Measuring some 35m (115ft) from nose to tail, the beast could have weighed up to 60 or 70 tonnes in life.

"We should be able to get it in but there won't be much wriggle room," said exhibition developer Sinéad Marron.”

Can we just say, London’s Natural History Museum is amazing. http://bit.ly/3XBOfls

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

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