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DAILY DOSE: Race matters when it comes to primary care physicians, study; Dengue program attacks disease at its roots – mosquitoes.

Race matters when it comes to postive healthcare outcomes, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. In fact, it’s massively important. Per JAMA,

Black people in counties with more Black primary care physicians live longer, according to a new national analysis that provides the strongest evidence yet that increasing the diversity of the medical workforce may be key to ending deeply entrenched racial health disparities.

The study, published Friday in JAMA Network Open, is the first to link a higher prevalence of Black doctors to longer life expectancy and lower mortality in Black populations. Other studies have shown that when Black patients are treated by Black doctors, they are more satisfied with their health care, more likely to have received the preventive care they needed in the past year, and are more likely to agree to recommended preventive care such as blood tests and flu shots. But none of that research has shown an impact on Black life expectancy.

The new study found that Black residents in counties with more Black physicians — whether or not they actually see those doctors — had lower mortality from all causes, and showed that these counties had lower disparities in mortality rates between Black and white residents. The finding of longer life expectancy persisted even in counties with a single Black physician”.

Experts say that the findings add credence to the argument that a more diverse physician workforce is needed. https://bit.ly/3MOIXjr

Brazil has embarked on a massive Dengue eradication campaign without the use of vaccines or other medications. Rather, the program attacks the disease at its source: the mosquito responsible for transmitting the disease. Per Nature,

The non-profit World Mosquito Program (WMP) has announced that it will release modified mosquitoes in many of Brazil’s urban areas over the next 10 years, with the aim of protecting up to 70 million people from diseases such as dengue. Researchers have tested the release of this type of mosquito — which carries a Wolbachia bacterium that stops the insect from transmitting viruses — in select cities in countries such as Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia and Vietnam. But this will be the first time that the technology is dispersed nationwide.

A mosquito factory will be built in a location yet to be determined in Brazil to supply the WMP’s ambitious initiative, in partnership with the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), a Brazilian public science institution in Rio de Janeiro. The facility should begin operating in 2024 and will produce up to five billion mosquitoes per year. “This will be the biggest facility in the world” to produce Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes, says Scott O’Neill, a microbiologist at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and head of the WMP. “And it will allow us in a short period of time to cover more people than in any other country.” Brazil has one of the highest rates of dengue infection in the world, reporting more than two million cases in 2022.

Despite the positive results from past mosquito releases, researchers expect that it will be challenging to operate the technology at such a massive scale. https://bit.ly/3ohe5Oy

Nations who have made Net-zero carbon emissions pledges are often faced with a difficult decision. How exactly does one replace the energy being cut without replacing emissions with new emissions. Nuclear power is a considerable source that merits consideration. With that in mind, Finland’s brand spanking new nuclear reactor looks set to lighten the load significantly. Per the Associated Press,

Finland’s much-delayed and costly new nuclear reactor, Europe’s most powerful by production capacity, has completed a test phase lasting more than a year and started regular output, boosting the Nordic country’s electricity self-sufficiency significantly.

The Olkiluoto 3 reactor, which has 1,600-megawatt capacity, was connected into the Finnish national power grid in March 2022 and kicked off regular production on Sunday. Operator Teollisuuden Voima, or TVO, tweeted that “Olkiluoto 3 is now ready” after a delay of 14 years from the original plan.

It will help Finland to achieve its carbon neutrality targets and increase energy security at a time when European countries have cut oil, gas and other power supplies from Russia, Finland’s neighbor.

“The production of Olkiluoto 3 stabilizes the price of electricity and plays an important role in the Finnish green transition,” TVO President and CEO Jarmo Tanhua said in a statement. The company added that “the electricity production volume of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant unit is a significant addition to clean, domestic production."

Construction of Olkiluoto 3 began in 2005 and should have been completed in four years. Unfortunately, the project was plagued by technological problems. https://bit.ly/3UKZQ0C

The European Space Agency can notch a W into its belt thanks to the successful launch of rocket launch designed to propel a satellite to Jupiter in order to observe distant moons. Per the BBC,

Europe's mission to the icy moons of Jupiter has blasted away from Earth.

The Juice satellite was sent skyward on an Ariane-5 rocket from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana.

There was joy, relief and lots of hugs when the watching scientists, officials and VIPs were told the flight to orbit had been successful.

It is second time lucky for the European Space Agency (Esa) project after Thursday's launch attempt had to be stood down because of the weather.

Juice called home shortly after coming off the top of the Ariane. A key milestone was confirmation that the satellite's enormous solar array system had also deployed correctly - all 90 sq m (98 sq yds) of it.

Great news all around. https://bit.ly/41eZxgG

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

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