Bloglikes - Science en-US Sat, 19 Jun 2021 22:25:14 +0000 Sat, 06 Apr 2013 00:00:00 +0000 FeedWriter Boba Fett Solo Series Has Wrapped Filming and Debuts in December 2021

Temuera Morrison (Aquaman) is cast in the role of Boba Fett and had a recurring role on Disney+ show The Mandalorian. Since then, the first season of Mandalorian spin-off, The Book of Boba Fett has wrapped production.


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California Hydropower Plant May Have to Shut Down as Record Heat Wave Drains Key Reservoir

The record heat wave searing the West Coast has drained one of California’s largest reservoirs so much that its hydroelectric power plant may be forced to shut down for the first time this summer, officials told CNN this week. This would be the first time the plant has shut off since it opened more than five decades…


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Watchmen Almost Cast a Different Actress as Laurie Blake aka Silk Spectre

Jean Smart is an acting pioneer with a career spanning over 40 years. She’s an experienced dramatic and comedy actress but seldom explored the sci-fi and superhero genres.


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James Cameron Explores His Cinematic Creative Process With Masterclass

Legendary director James Cameron has hopped on board the Masterclass train and is finally teaching his principles and techniques for directorial success.


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A man who boosted his Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine with a shot from Moderna said his side effects were a 'little more severe' the third time round From left: Study volunteer and virologist Joseph Hyser, Chanei Henry, senior research coordinator of molecular virology and microbiology, and Dr. Robert Atmar, the principal investigator on the study.

Baylor College of Medicine

  • Scientists in the US are starting a booster shot trial, giving fully vaccinated people another jab.
  • Participants are given a booster shot of the Moderna vaccine - whether they previously got 2 shots of an mRNA vaccine (from Pfizer or Moderna) or 1 adenovirus (J&J) shot.
  • One participant told Insider his booster dose of Moderna gave him similar side effects to his second Pfizer shot, but the third was "a little bit more severe."
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Virus expert Joseph Hyser has been fully vaccinated since the end of January, and he's not really worried that his COVID-19 protection from the Pfizer vaccine has waned much since then.

Yet, when he got an email last month asking if he'd be interested in getting a third dose booster shot - this time from Moderna - he did not hesitate to say yes.

The virologist at Baylor College of Medicine signed right up, and took the elevator down six floors to Baylor's Vaccine Research Center, where he offered up his arm for a third jab.

"Oooh I got boosted!" he remembered bragging to family and friends afterwards, who were nonplussed about his unique booster shot experience.

Perhaps they didn't realize that Hyser is one of the first Americans to participate in a groundbreaking COVID-19 mix-and-match study, aimed at assessing whether boosters work, and whether different COVID-19 shots are safe - and possibly more effective - when they're mixed together.

Though Hyser says he experienced "similar types of side effects" from both Moderna's and Pfizer's mRNA shots, he said the side effects were "a little bit more obvious with the Moderna."

Is it safe to mix shots from Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson? dr. robert atmar stands with his arms crossed and lab coat on Dr. Robert Atmar is leading the booster dose study at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas.

Baylor College of Medicine

This is not Hyser's first vaccine trial, he's been in studies of smallpox shots, anthrax vaccines, and annual flu jabs.

"I'm a dyed in the wool nerd, so I mean, of course I think that this is interesting," he said of the trial. "I like being involved in being a part of producing science and information for the world."

The study that he's now part of, funded by the National Institutes of Health, will evaluate mixing different coronavirus booster shots to assess whether they will be safe and effective for adults of all ages across the US.

For now, the study is boosting only with a single dose of Moderna's vaccine, whether participants' first shots were from Moderna, or from Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson - the other two US-authorized vaccines. Other combinations of the vaccines, and which order they're taken in, will be added in to the study later on.

Study participants will get routine blood draws (Hyser already had his first), and initial results could be ready within months.

A big question this study will explore is whether boosting people who've had J&J's one-shot adenovirus vaccine with Moderna's mRNA shot might make the performance similar. (J&J's vaccine did not protect as well against mild and moderate disease compared to Pfizer and Moderna's two dose mRNA regimens during clinical trials.)

"Is it because of the [vaccine] construct, or is it because of the one dose? We don't really have the answer to that," lead study researcher Dr. Robert Atmar, from the Vaccine Research Center at Baylor, told Insider of J&J's lower efficacy.

A day of chills, body aches, and ibuprofen after the 3rd dose woman in scrubs prepares covid-19 vaccine, with patient and doctor chatting in background Chanei Henry, senior research coordinator of molecular virology and microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine, prepares a COVID-19 vaccine.

Baylor College of Medicine

While Hyser's Moderna side effects were a little more intense, he said they faded with some ibuprofen and a day of rest.

"I did, for Pfizer, have a little bit of chills, a little bit of muscle ache, but nothing that prevented me from conducting my normal day to day activities," he said, remembering how the day after his second shot in January he did some work, went grocery shopping, and made a pot of chili.

"With the booster, it was a little bit more severe," he said, describing waking up the day afterwards feeling "like I had done a very rigorous gym workout," with chills and arm soreness like he'd gotten a "hard punch in the shoulder." He popped some ibuprofen, which helped ease the aches, and by the following day, he felt like himself again.

"Given the dramatic impact that [the coronavirus] has had on the world, as a scientist, it's actually really heartening that these clinical trials are still going on and the secondary and tertiary questions are still being asked," Hyser said, estimating that he'll make about $600 total (compensation for his time) over the course of this study.

Read the original article on Business Insider

[Author: (Hilary Brueck)]

Sat, 19 Jun 2021 13:00:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Science News US Trends Public Health National Institutes of Health Pfizer Baylor Johnson Johnson Baylor College of Medicine Moderna Vaccine Research Center Baylor College Hilary Brueck Coronavirus Robert Atmar Covid-19 Vaccine Moderna Pfizer Vaccine trials Joseph Hyser Chanei Henry Baylor College of Medicine Scientists Joseph Hyser Hyser Chanei Henry
How a cancer diagnosis inspired a fresh outlook for one young musician At the age of just 22, the very last thing you want to hear is that you have stage 4 cancer, but for some people the only response is to tackle it head on – which is just what Ellie Edna Rose-Davies did

I barely noticed it at first. A bump on the right side of my neck, small but definite. I was 22 and had no health issues (I’d never even broken a bone), so I didn’t think much of the lump. But my boyfriend was concerned, so I made an appointment to go to the GP.

For the next few months, I would see and feel more lumps spreading up my neck, and even larger ones under my armpits. I went to the doctor three times, where I was told: “It’s not cancer” and that I had “nothing to worry about”.

Continue reading...]]>
Sat, 19 Jun 2021 12:00:05 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Psychology Health Music Science Cancer Life and style Culture Health & wellbeing Goat Girl Ellie Edna Rose Davies
Disney+ Original Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire Series Will Debut in 2022

Creators from the African continent will put their artistic vision on display in the new ten-part film series Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire.


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Robin Wall Kimmerer: ‘Mosses are a model of how we might live’ The moss scientist and bestselling author reveals the secrets of these primitive plants – and what they might teach us about surviving the climate crisis

Robin Wall Kimmerer can recall almost to the day when she first fell under the unlikely spell of moss. “It’s kind of embarrassing,” she says. “I’ve always been engaged with plants, because I grew up in the countryside. That was my world. But mosses I’d set aside in my mind as not worthy of attention. I was studying to be a forest ecologist. That little green scum on the rocks: how interesting could it really be? Only then there came a point when I’d taken every botany class our university had to offer, except one: the ecology of mosses. I thought I’d do it, just so I could say that I’d taken them all. It was love at first sight. I remember looking with a lens at these big glacial erratic boulders that were covered in moss, and thinking: there’s a whole world here to be discovered.” Ever since, she has rarely left her house for a walk without such a lens on a string around her neck.

Kimmerer, a professor of environmental biology and the director of the Centre for Native Peoples and the Environment at the State University of New York in Syracuse, is probably the most well-known bryologist at work in the world today. She may be, in fact, the only well-known bryologist at work today (bryology is the study of mosses and liverworts), at least among the general public. But her unlikely success – her fans include the writer Robert Macfarlane and the Pulitzer prize-winning novelist Richard Powers, who gives daily thanks for what he calls her “endless knowledge” – hardly arrived overnight. In 2013, Kimmerer, a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation of Oklahoma, quietly published a book called Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teaching of Plants – a (seemingly) niche read from a small US press.

Continue reading...]]>
Sat, 19 Jun 2021 11:00:03 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Science Climate Change Environment US Plants Syracuse Oklahoma State University of New York Robert Macfarlane Richard Powers Robin Wall Kimmerer Citizen Potawatomi Nation Kimmerer Centre for Native Peoples Teaching of Plants
Covid jabs for billions of humans will earn their makers billions of dollars We look at the drug firms – led by Pfizer and Moderna – that are set to profit most in an unprecedented global vaccination drive

Drugmakers led by US firms Pfizer and Moderna stand to make tens of billions of dollars from their Covid-19 vaccines this year and next, given G7 governments’ pledge to vaccinate the entire world by the end of 2022, but sales are likely to drop sharply thereafter, according to analysts.

Acclaimed for allowing a return to more normal life, Covid vaccines will also substantially benefit some pharmaceutical companies. The global market for the vaccines is worth $70bn (£50bn) this year, says Karen Andersen of Morningstar.

Continue reading...]]>
Sat, 19 Jun 2021 11:00:02 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Health Business Science US Society World news Infectious Diseases Astrazeneca Pharmaceuticals industry Vaccines and immunisation Pfizer Moderna Coronavirus Karen Andersen Morningstar Continue
Take a look at some of the lakes in California that have been swallowed up by the 'megadrought'

Associated Press

  • California has been hit by a "megadrought" that has dried up key reservoirs in the state.
  • Entire lakes have shrunk exponentially, leaving yachts and docks beached on dry land.
  • Nearly 95% of the state is experiencing "severe drought" and is susceptible to wild fires.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

California is facing its worst drought in over four years.

Over 37 million people have already been impacted by the "megadrought" and nearly 95% of the state has been classified as experiencing "Severe Drought," which puts the land in significant danger of wildfires, according to the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS).

Last year, California land was consumed by over 8,200 wildfires - a number double the state's previous record. This year, scorching weather has dried out reservoirs and made the state even more susceptible to breakout wildfires than the record 2020 season. NIDIS analysts call the outlook for the land "grim."

california wildfire October 15, 2017.

Jim Urquhart/Reuters

Water levels of California's over 1,500 reservoirs are 50% lower than they should be at this time of year, Jay Lund, co-director of the Center for Watershed Sciences at UC-Davis told the Associated Press.

In April, scorching weather turned the San Gabriel reservoir lake bed to dust. The reservoir is not expected to see rain fall until the end of the year.

The drought turned the San Gabriel reservoir lake bed to dust The drought turned the San Gabriel reservoir lake bed to dust


On Wednesday, the drought dried up a lake so much that it potentially exposed a decades old mystery, allowing officials to find a plane that had crashed in 1965.

A composite image showing Folsom Lake, California, at drought levels in 2017, and a sonar image of a plane underwater there. Folsom Lake, California, under drought conditions in 2017 (L), and the sonar image of a plane there taken by Seafloor Systems (R)

Robert Galbraith/Reuters/CBS13

The California drought has been caused by climate change which has pushed temperatures an average of about 2 degrees hotter, drying out soil and melting Sierra snow rivers, which causes less water to soak into the ground, as well as flow through rivers and reservoirs. The state also endured two unusually dry winters that didn't bring needed storms to the area.

Officials are predicting the water level of Lake Oroville - a primary body of water that helps the state generate energy through hydroelectric power plants - will hit a record low in August. If that happens, they would need to shut down a major hydroelectric power plant, putting extra strain on the electrical grid during the hottest part of the summer.

Earlier this month, about 130 houseboats had to be hauled out of the lake as its water levels hit 38% capacity. The water levels are only at about 45% of average June levels, according to California Department of Water Resources.

House boats pulled out of Lake Orovill


It's going to be a rough summer for boat owners in the state.

Pictures from the Associated Press show massive lakes have run dry, leaving boats and docks completely beached

Boats at Fulsom Lake

Associated Press

Experts say the drought could devastate local wildlife populations, as well as California's tourism industry.

California drought

Associated Press

In April, Governor Gavin Newsom held a press conference in the dried up waterbed of Lake Mendocino. Where he stood there should have been about 40 feet of water.

"This is without precedent," Newsom said. "Oftentimes we overstate the word historic, but this is indeed an historic moment."

California drought

Associated Press

The month before, the California Department of Water Resources reduced farmers and growers to 5% of their expected water allocation in March. A move that has farmers leaving large portions of their land unseeded, while other have been forced to purchase supplemental water, which comes at a hefty cost. Supplemental water was priced at $1,500 to $2,000 per acre-foot in mid-May, according to a report from California Farm Bureau.

It has also made it difficult for ranchers to feed and water their livestock

California drought


As California temperatures continue to rise while water reservoirs fall, the state could be in for a devastating summer. From increased fears for wildfires to the impact on state agriculture and tourism, California residents are bracing for the worst drought season since 2014.

Read the original article on Business Insider

[Author: (Grace Kay)]

Sat, 19 Jun 2021 10:47:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Science News California Trends California Drought Drought Economy Associated Press Getty UC Davis Sierra Gavin Newsom Lake Oroville California Department of Water Resources San Gabriel R Newsom Jay Lund L California Department Lake Mendocino California wildfires California Farm Bureau Associated Press California Visual Feature Jim Urquhart Reuters Grace Kay Center for Watershed Sciences NIDIS Folsom Lake California Seafloor Systems R Robert Galbraith Reuters
Protecting space stations from deadly space debris
  • NASA estimates that more than 500,000 pieces of space trash larger than a marble are currently in orbit. Estimates exceed 128 million pieces when factoring in smaller pieces from collisions. At 17,500 MPH, even a paint chip can cause serious damage.
  • To prevent this untrackable space debris from taking out satellites and putting astronauts in danger, scientists have been working on ways to retrieve large objects before they collide and create more problems.
  • The team at Clearspace, in collaboration with the European Space Agency, is on a mission to capture one such object using an autonomous spacecraft with claw-like arms. It's an expensive and very tricky mission, but one that could have a major impact on the future of space exploration.

This is the first episode of Just Might Work, an original series by Freethink, focused on surprising solutions to our biggest problems.
Catch more Just Might Work episodes on their channel:

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The Jeff Bezos-backed company General Fusion is building a nuclear fusion plant, which is due to switch on in 2025 Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

  • Nuclear fusion company General Fusion is building a demonstration facility in the UK.
  • Jeff Bezos has been an investor in General Fusion for over a decade.
  • The new facility will begin construction next year, and should be operational by 2025.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

General Fusion, a Canadian company backed by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, announced Thursday it's building a nuclear fusion facility in the UK.

General Fusion and the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) announced the project together, which will see General Fusion build a fusion demonstration plant in the village of Culham, near Oxford.

The facility will be a proof-of-concept, allowing General Fusion to demonstrate its Magnetized Target Fusion (MTF) technology before going on to build its first commercial facility.

According to General Fusion, construction will begin in 2022, and it is expected to be about three years before the plant is able to open.

Read more: Amazon and Walmart are facing off on a new battleground: healthcare

"This new plant by General Fusion is a huge boost for our plans to develop a fusion industry in the UK, and I'm thrilled that Culham will be home to such a cutting-edge and potentially transformative project," the UK science minister, Amanda Solloway, said in a statement.

The BBC reports Bezos has been an investor in General Fusion for over a decade, and the company raised $100 million in its latest funding round.

Nuclear fusion is still an experimental energy source. It differs from nuclear fission, which is what modern nuclear power plants use to generate energy.

Whereas fission involves splitting atoms, fusion happens when two atoms collide and form one heavier atom. Commercially viable fusion has been highly sought after, as it would theoretically produce much more power than fission as well as far fewer radioactive byproducts.

Read the original article on Business Insider

[Author: (Isobel Asher Hamilton)]

Sat, 19 Jun 2021 07:33:46 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Amazon UK Science News Trends Walmart Bbc Oxford Nuclear Fusion Jeff Bezos Bezos Nuclear Power Plant MTF Tech Insider General Fusion Culham Isobel Asher Hamilton Amanda Solloway Weekend BI UK Jeff Bezos MANDEL UKAEA Getty Images Nuclear Atomic Energy Authority UKAEA
The Palestinian Authority rejected 90,000 vaccine doses from Israel because they were almost expired A Palestinian health worker displays a vial of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine in Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip, on February 24.

Yousef Masoud/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Palestinian Authority canceled a deal to swap coronavirus vaccine doses with Israel on Friday, citing concerns about the quality of the shots.

Earlier in the day, Israel announced that it would transfer up to 1.4 million nearly-expired doses of Pfizer's vaccine to the Palestinian territories.

In exchange, the PA would provide Israel with the same number of doses in September or October, after it received a fresh shipment, according to a joint statement from Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's office and the nation's defence and health ministries. (Bennett assumed office on Sunday, replacing longtime Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.)

But almost as soon as the first 90,000 doses arrived from Israel, the PA said it would send them back.

"After the technical teams in the ministry of health examined the first batch of the Pfizer vaccines that were received this evening from Israel, it became clear that the 90,000 doses received do not conform to the specifications contained in the agreement," Ibrahim Melhem, a PA spokesperson, said at a Friday press conference.

PA Health Minister Mai Alkaila said the doses were supposed to expire in July or August, but the expiration date turned out to be in June, according to Reuters.

"That's not enough time to use them, so we rejected them," Alkaila said.

Bennett's office did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for comment.

palestine east jerusalem vaccine A healthcare worker administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a Palestinian man at the Clalit Health Services in the Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem on January 7, 2021.


For the past several months, Israelis and Palestinians have witnessed starkly different vaccine rollouts.

Israel has vaccinated a greater share of its population than just about any country so far: around 63% of Israelis have received at least one dose. Many scientists believe that Israel has now reached herd immunity, the threshold beyond which the virus can't easily pass from person to person.

The nation rolled back the last of its coronavirus restrictions in early June: Businesses can now operate at full capacity, and residents no longer have to show proof that they've been vaccinated to enter restaurants, sporting events, or entertainment venues.

Meanwhile, less than 9% of the Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza Strip - around 30% of those eligible to get vaccinated - has received at least one vaccine dose, according to Palestinian officials. Many of these doses hail from other countries - including Russia, China, and the United Arab Emirates - as well as COVAX, a global alliance spearheaded by the World Health Organization to vaccinate the world's poorest nations.

Palestinians in East Jerusalem have access to Israeli health insurance, so they're eligible to be vaccinated by Israel, but those vaccinations don't extend to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. As a result, several human-rights organizations have called on Israel to give Palestinians vaccines right away.

"In the Palestinian communities, if they're not vaccinating as much and then there's a new strain that comes up that can evade the vaccine protection, then that's going to be a big issue," Jorge Alfaro-Murillo, an associate research scientist at the Yale School of Public Health, previously told Insider.

Israel has said that the PA is responsible for its own vaccination campaign. But the nation's new health minister, Nitzan Horowitz, tweeted Friday that the "important exchange of vaccines" would benefit both sides. That same day, the non-profit organization Physicians for Human Rights Israel called the deal "too little too late."

Read the original article on Business Insider

[Author: (Aria Bendix)]

Sat, 19 Jun 2021 02:48:16 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Science News Israel Trends PA West Bank United Arab Emirates World Health Organization Pfizer Benjamin Netanyahu East Jerusalem Gaza Strip Naftali Bennett Reuters Expired Netanyahu Bennett Russia China Palestinian Authority Khan Yunis Yale School of Public Health Clalit Health Services Aria Bendix Coronavirus Ibrahim Melhem Covid-19 Vaccine PA Health Yousef Masoud SOPA Images LightRocket Jorge Alfaro Murillo Getty Images The Palestinian Authority Mai Alkaila Alkaila Insider Israel Nitzan Horowitz
Biden says the Delta variant - set to become the US's dominant strain - is 'particularly dangerous for young people' Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden holds up a face mask at The Queen theater on October 28, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Joe Biden warned Friday that Delta, a coronavirus variant first discovered in India, poses an increased threat to unvaccinated Americans.

"It is a variant that is more easily transmissible, potentially deadlier, and particularly dangerous for young people," Biden said at a White House news conference.

His remarks came just hours after Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told "Good Morning America" that Delta would likely become the dominant strain in the US in the coming months. (Some experts have even suggested that might even happen within weeks.)

Delta represents just 10% of US COVID-19 cases so far, but it already makes up around 90% of cases in the UK, according to a study from Imperial College London that's still awaiting peer review. The researchers also found that COVID-19 cases in the UK are doubling every 11 days, most likely as a result of the fast-spreading variant.

Research from Public Health England suggests that Delta is associated with a 60% increased risk of household coronavirus transmission compared to Alpha - the variant discovered in the UK. Alpha is already around 50% more transmissible than the original coronavirus strain, according to the CDC.

Young people may be particularly susceptible to a Delta infection for two reasons: They're more likely to be socially active and less likely to be vaccinated than older adults.

In the US, fewer adults under 50 have gotten vaccinated than adults ages 50 and older. The Imperial College London researchers also found that coronavirus infections in the UK are two-and-a-half times more prevalent among people ages 5 to 49 than among those ages 50 and older. Most young people who recently got infected were unvaccinated, according to the study.

Experts increasingly worry that young people will be less protected against severe disease caused by a Delta infection: Researchers in Scotland found that getting infected with Delta doubles the risk of hospital admission relative to Alpha.

Emerging research also suggests that a single vaccine dose doesn't hold up as well against Delta compared to other coronavirus strains. Recent Public Health England analyses found that two doses of Pfizer's vaccine were 88% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 from Delta cases, while a single shot was just 33% effective by the same standard.

"Please, please if you have one shot, get the second shot as soon as you can," Biden said on Friday.

So far, less than 45% of Americans are fully vaccinated, while 53% have received at least one dose. US vaccination rates have also fallen dramatically in the last two months, from a weekly average of nearly 3.4 million doses per day in mid-April to fewer than 780,000 doses per day on Thursday.

The more vaccination rates continue to drop, the more opportunities there are for Delta to spread - and therefore keep replicating and mutating.

"The worst-case scenario is if Delta mutates into something completely different, a completely different animal, and then our current vaccines are even less effective or ineffective," Vivek Cherian, an internal medicine physician in Baltimore, recently told Insider.

Still, Biden said the US likely wouldn't return to lockdowns because so many people have been vaccinated already.

Read the original article on Business Insider

[Author: (Aria Bendix)]

Sat, 19 Jun 2021 00:50:29 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs UK Science News Cdc Scotland White House India US Trends Joe Biden Delta Vaccinations Pfizer Good Morning America Vaccines Biden Public Health England Baltimore Centers For Disease Control And Prevention Imperial College London Wilmington Delaware Aria Bendix Coronavirus Rochelle Walensky Covid-19 Cases President Joe Biden Variants Vivek Cherian UK Alpha Alpha Emerging Recent Public Health England
The US is scrambling to send promised vaccines abroad after the production plant that ruined millions of J&J vaccines may have tainted AstraZeneca shots A person receives the AstraZeneca vaccine in Bologna, Italy on March 19, 2021.

Michele Lapini/Getty Images

  • Emergent BioSolutions in Baltimore ruined at least 15 million Johnson & Johnson vaccines earlier this year.
  • 100 million AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines from the facility are under safety review.
  • The US is scrambling to send vaccines from other manufacturers abroad, The New York Times reported.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The US is working to replace vaccines meant to be sent to other nations after problems at a production plant ruined AstraZeneca shots promised by the Biden administration, The New York Times reported.

More than 100 million AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines made at Emergent BioSolutions in Baltimore are being reviewed to see if they're safe to use after several issues at the plant. If, after vetting by the Food and Drug Administration, the shots are deemed safe they will be shipped abroad.

In April, Biden promised 60 million of AstraZeneca's vaccine, all that it had produced at the time, and then added another 20 million vaccines from other manufacturers in May. Altogether, the administration said it would share 80 million doses by the end of June.

Last week, Biden's administration also pledged to share 500 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

Sources familiar with discussions on the shipment told The Times that officials are working to replace the tens of millions of AstraZeneca shots that were a part of the donation with others from Pfizer and BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. Though they may need the manufacturers' permission, The Times notes.

AstraZeneca is not currently authorized for use in the US, as the company did not apply for emergency authorization. Pfizer and BioNTech, Johnson & Johnson, and Moderna's shots all have emergency authorization in the US.

More than 176 million people in the US have already received at least one dose, which is over 53% of the entire population, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Emergent BioSolutions also ruined at least 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine earlier this year, due to human error when employees mixed up ingredients for the J&J and AstraZeneca vaccines.

Additionally, the plant had several "systemic failures" including a report by the FDA that said some staff at the plant failed to shower or change their clothes that may have contaminated the J&J doses.

Emergent BioSolutions did not respond to Insider's request for comment at the time of publication.

Read the original article on Business Insider

[Author: (Sarah Al-Arshani)]

Sat, 19 Jun 2021 00:35:35 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Science US Trends New York Times The Times Food And Drug Administration Astrazeneca Fda Pfizer Biden Baltimore Johnson Johnson Bologna Italy Moderna Coronavirus Sarah Al Arshani BioNTech Moderna BioNTech Johnson Johnson Michele Lapini Getty
Robot-assisted surgery: Putting the reality in virtual reality Sat, 19 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Science Novel interactions between proteins that help in recovering from brain injury Sat, 19 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Science Common antibiotic found useful in accelerating recovery in tuberculosis patients Sat, 19 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Science Blackologists and the Promise of Inclusive Sustainability Sat, 19 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Science Yitbarek Karen Bailey Nyeema Harris A second space rock hit Earth after the one that doomed the dinosaurs - a nail in the coffin of the mass extinction An artist's depiction of the moment the Chicxulub asteroid struck in present-day Mexico 66 million years ago.

Chase Stone

About 66 million years ago, Earth took a one-two punch, according to a new study.

First came a space rock 6-miles-wide that struck present-day Mexico. The impactor, named Chicxulub, contributed to the demise of the dinosaurs, along with 50% to 75% of life on Earth.

Then, 650,000 years later, a mile-sized asteroid known as Boltysh struck. The rock carved out a 15-mile-wide crater into what is now central Ukraine.

Scientists once thought both Boltysh and Chicxulub contributed to the mass extinction that doomed the dinosaurs. But according to the study published Friday in the journal Science Advances, Boltysh likely impacted Earth long after the last victims of the extinction died out.

"I believe the extinction was essentially done and dusted" by the time Boltysh hit, Annemarie Pickersgill, a researcher at the University of Glasgow who specializes in meteorite impacts and co-author of the new study, told Insider.

While it's unlikely Boltysh exacerbated the die-off, Pickersgill said the second impact may have delayed Earth's recovery from the catastrophic extinction.

Analyzing rocks that melted during the Boltysh impact melt rock from boltysh impact site ukraine A piece of shocked quartz from the Boltysh impact crater in the Ukraine.

Martin Schmieder/Wikimedia Commons

Scientists discovered the Boltysh impact in 2002, and an initial study suggested the asteroid had hit 2,000 to 5,000 years before Chicxulub did.

Pickersgill said that her team had intended to date the Boltysh crater with more precision, but she didn't expect their findings to upend previous research.

"I was surprised to find that the age for Boltysh was after​ Chicxulub," she said.

The researchers first analyzed two samples from deep within the crater, more than one-third of a mile underground. The heat from the asteroid impact had melted the rocks, so dating them allowed Pickersgill to piece together when Boltysh hit.

Then, the team looked at samples from a layer of sediment in Montana that coincided with the Chicxulub impact. Using radiometric dating - a technique that determines how long it takes for radioactive material in the rocks to decay - the team determined the Boltysh rocks melted about 650,000 years after Chicxulub struck.

Boltysh may have contributed to a burst of global warming Chicxulub_impact asteroid This painting depicts an asteroid slamming into tropical, shallow seas of the sulfur-rich Yucatan Peninsula in what is today southeast Mexico. The aftermath of this immense asteroid collision, which occurred approximately 65 million years ago, is believed to have caused the extinction of the dinosaurs and many other species on Earth.

Donald Davis/NASA

The updated age for the Boltysh crater coincides with a period of intense global warming known as the lower C29 hyperthermal, the study authors said.

During a hyperthermal event, which can last up to 40,000 years, average global temperatures can increase by 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius).

Pickersgill's team hasn't determined yet whether the asteroid caused the hyperthermal.

But she said there is evidence that suggests Chicxulub first cooled the Earth's climate, then warmed it.

When the dino-killing rock hit, it kicked up a cloud of dust, sulfur, and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. That gaseous haze blocked the sun for a couple of decades, one study suggests, cooling the Earth.

During those few decades, most of Earth's land and marine species went extinct.

Eventually, the Chicxulub cloud dissipated and the remaining sulfur and carbon in the atmosphere - which trap heat on Earth's surface - started warming the planet.

But once Boltysh hit, that impact may have released additional gases into the air and exacerbated that warming. This could've made it more difficult for Earth's species to recover following the mass extinction.

Research suggests it took 9 million years for the number of different species in North America to return to pre-Chicxulub levels.

Read the original article on Business Insider

[Author: (Aylin Woodward)]

Fri, 18 Jun 2021 23:21:25 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Science News Montana Mexico Trends Research Ukraine Nasa Earth Dinosaurs Asteroid North America Yucatan Peninsula Fahrenheit University of Glasgow Pickersgill Mass Extinction Chicxulub Asteroid Impacts Aylin Woodward Chicxulub Crater Boltysh Science Advances Boltysh Annemarie Pickersgill
Twitter Rallies Behind HBO Max Intern Blamed for Test Email Accidentally Sent to Subscribers

HBO Max has confirmed that one of its interns was behind the strange email mistakenly sent out to subscribers on Thursday evening, prompting an outpouring of support on Twitter as users came out to share their own horror stories of workplace screw-ups in solidarity.


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Earth tipped over on its side 84 million years ago and then righted itself, new study finds A photo of Earth taken by NASA's Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC).


If you'd been able to stare at Earth from space during the late Cretaceous, when Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops roamed, it would've looked like the whole planet had tipped over on its side.

According to a new study, Earth tilted by 12 degrees about 84 million years ago.

"A 12-degree tilt of the Earth could affect latitude that same amount," Sarah Slotznick, a geobiologist at Dartmouth College and co-author of the new study, told Insider.

It would approximately move New York City to where Tampa, Florida, is right now, she added.

Imagine the Earth as a chocolate truffle - a viscous center ensconced in a hardened shell. The center consists of a semi-solid mantle that encircles the liquid outer core. The top layer of the truffle, the Earth's crust, is fragmented into tectonic plates that fit together like a puzzle. Continents and oceans sit atop these plates, which surf atop the mantle.

The researchers found that, between 86 and 79 million years ago, the crust and mantle had rotated around Earth's outer core and back again - causing the entire planet to tilt and then right itself like a roly-poly toy.

Using magnetic rocks to track the Earth's tipping illustration of earth's core/mantle layers An artist's conception of the different layer's of our planet, including the crust, mantle, and inner and outer cores.


Scientists can piece together a picture of which tectonic plates were where millions of years ago by analyzing what's known as paleomagnetic data.

When lava at the junction of two tectonic plates cools, some of the resulting rock contains magnetic minerals that align with the directions of Earth's magnetic poles at the time the rock solidified. Even after the plates containing those rocks have moved, researchers can study that magnetic alignment to parse out where on the global map those natural magnets existed in the past.

The study authors examined the magnetic alignment of ancient limestones they collected from Italy and found Earth's crust was moving about 3 degrees every million years during its tilt and tilt back.

"We never suspected we would see this full round-trip event," Ross Mitchell, a geophysicist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Slotznick's co-author, told Insider.

A sinking tectonic plate may have caused Earth to tilt earth moon near 1998 jhuapl nasa NASA's asteroid-bound NEAR spacecraft took this mosaic image of Earth and the moon in January 1998.

NEAR Spacecraft Team/JHUAPL/NASA

Imagine that the Earth is like a spinning top: If the top's weight is evenly distributed, it should whirl perfectly, without any wobbling. But if some of the weight were to shift to one side or the other, that would change the top's center of mass, leading it to tilt toward the heavier side as it spins.

According to Slotznick, upwellings of hot rock and magma - known as mantle plumes - from the outer core towards the crust may have played a role in altering how Earth's mass was distributed during the late Cretaceous.

But Mitchell said shifting tectonic plates could explain Earth's ancient 12-degree tilt. When hotter, less dense material from deep within the mantle rises toward to the crust, and colder, denser material sinks towards the core, these plates can collide. Upon impact, one plate will subduct, or sink, under another.

Prior to the late Cretaceous, the Pacific Plate - the largest tectonic plate on Earth spanning 40 million square miles under the Pacific Ocean - was sinking under another plate to its north. Around 84 million years ago, the Pacific Plate started subducting in a different direction, under another plate to its west. This change "might have very well changed the literal balance of the planet," Mitchell said.

He wasn't surprised to find the Earth had reversed course and tilted back.

"The planet's outer later behaves elastically like a rubberband and would have snapped back to its original shape after the excursion," he said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

[Author: (Aylin Woodward)]

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Photos show historically low reservoirs across California as drought and a heat wave threaten power plants Low water levels at California's Lake Oroville, June 16, 2021.

California's reservoirs are shriveling up as drought and an early heat wave afflict the state. The water levels are so low that a key hydroelectric power plant will likely have to shut down for the first time ever this summer.

That's because the state's second-largest reservoir, Lake Oroville, has fallen to "alarming levels," a California Energy Commission spokesperson told CNN on Thursday.

houseboats sit at low water levels in lake oroville below a bridge with exposed lake bottom Houseboats are anchored in low water levels in Lake Oroville, June 16, 2021.

Normally Lake Oroville's water pumps through Edward Hyatt Power Plant to generate enough electricity for 800,000 homes, according to CNN. But the reservoir is currently filled to just 35% of its capacity. With no end to the drought in sight, officials expect they'll be forced to close the plant in two or three months, the spokesperson said. That's when the wildfire season typically peaks.

car drives across bridge over lake oroville's dry banks A car crosses Enterprise Bridge over Lake Oroville's dry banks, May 23, 2021.

AP Photo/Noah Berger

California isn't alone. Drought conditions across the West and Southwest are more widespread and severe than they have ever been in the 20 years the US Drought Monitor has been mapping such conditions.

A heat wave washing over the western US this week will likely worsen the situation. More than 46 million people were under a heat advisory or excessive heat warning as of Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.

buoy and concrete anchor lay on cracked ground where lake oroville has dried up A buoy and its concrete anchor lay on the dry ground at Lake Oroville, June 16, 2021.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a statewide emergency on Thursday, saying that the heat wave "has and will continue to put significant demand and strain on California's energy grid." He also asked that residents reduce evening energy use through Friday.

"The continued heat and dryness will undoubtedly have a negative impact on livelihoods across the western United States," Brandon Buckingham, a meteorologist at AccuWeather, told Insider.

Empty boat docks sit on dry land at the Browns Ravine Cove area of drought-stricken Folsom Lake, currently at 37% of its normal capacity, in Folsom, Calif., Saturday, May 22, 2021. Empty boat docks sit on dry land at the Browns Ravine Cove area of drought-stricken Folsom Lake in Folsom, California, May 22, 2021.

AP Photo/Josh Edelson

Heat waves cause an increase in energy demand as people try to keep their homes cool. That can strain the power grid and lead to rolling blackouts. That's what happened last year - when a heat wave hit in August, as fires ravaged California, utility companies cut power to hundreds of thousands of residents at increments that lasted up to 2.5 hours.

man fishes on dry orange banks of shasta lake A man fishes on the exposed banks of Shasta Lake, on May 23, 2021. The lake was at 45 percent of capacity and 52 percent of its historical average.

AP Photo/Noah Berger

Scientists can't attribute any individual drought or heat wave to climate change. However, research shows that rising global temperatures can increase drought risk in dry regions, as warmer air causes more moisture to evaporate, drying out soil. At the same time, heat waves are arriving earlier, lasting longer, and occurring more often than they did in the 1960s.

The dryness and heat came early this year. Reservoirs began dipping to new lows in May.

Lake Mead - the largest reservoir in the US, which provides water to 25 million people across Arizona, Nevada, California, and Mexico - is at its lowest level since it was filled in the 1930s.

lake mead's low waters expose pale cliffs behind the hoover dam Low water levels expose the edges of the Hoover Dam reservoir of Lake Mead near Las Vegas, Nevada, June 9, 2021.

As of Wednesday, all but one of California's key reservoirs were operating below their historical average, according to the California Department of Water Resources.

Madison Hall contributed reporting.

Read the original article on Business Insider

[Author: (Morgan McFall-Johnsen)]

Fri, 18 Jun 2021 15:20:46 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs National Weather Service Science News Climate Change California Mexico US Trends Drought Cnn West United States Accuweather Folsom Lake Power Plants Gavin Newsom Southwest Lake Oroville Shasta Lake Colorado River Las Vegas Nevada California Energy Commission US West Folsom California Noah Berger Heat Wave Reservoir Water Shortage Josh Edelson Morgan McFall Johnsen Brandon Buckingham Edward Hyatt Power Plant Normally Lake Oroville Browns Ravine Cove May Lake Mead Arizona Nevada California Hoover Dam reservoir of Lake Mead