News roundup for Fri, Jul 9, 2021

Is Switzerland shutting down its nuclear plants

Scandinavia is having a heat wave, with temperatures reaching over 93 degrees F:

An interesting and interactive climate map and website shows which US land will be more arable (or at least livable) as climate change transforms the global landscape.

Tropical storm Elsa reached hurricane force winds near Florida’s West Coast this week. The winds eased as the storm made its way across the state and over to the US east Coast, much of which is now under storm warning:

Switzerland is shuttering all of its nuclear power plants. It’s unclear what will replace them:

Cuomo declares gun violence a State Emergency:

A student has created a novel mechanism to help stop bleeding from stab wounds. The device helps the body to clot through a balloon-like apparatus that applies pressure and allows blood to congeal. The student has applied for a UK patent.

Solar is less expensive and getting more efficient with time. Materials engineering is providing breakthroughs in technology, as with the use of perovskite to increase photovoltaic properties.

The Biden Administration hopes to bring down the prices of container shipping by targeting monopolies in the logistics sector.

When a father and son at sea intercepted a wayward boat, they discovered no one was aboard. After notifying the Coast Guard, they used their considerable skills to backtrack to where someone might have gone overboard. There they found the boat’s captain treading water—they saved his life.

The world has nearly 186.2 million COVID cases. The world has gained 2.9 million cases in a week. Global case gain is beginning to rise again. There have been over 4 million deaths in total. The US has had nearly 34.7 million cases. Over 622,000 Americans have died. There have been 257 deaths in the last 24 hours in the US. The US gained over 17,600 new cases in the last day. Indonesia, India, and the UK are leading the world in daily case gain—each of these countries is battling case rise caused by the Delta variant.

Morgues in Fiji’s hospitals are filling up or at capacity as Delta spreads across the island. Close to half of the population has had at least one vaccine, but less than 10% have had more than one.

Delta is now the dominant variant in the US:

Cases are rising in New York City as Delta begins to take hold:

Lambda is another identified variant of concern, and it’s mainly in South America. It has also been found in the UK and 27 other countries. It’s unclear if it’s more transmissible or more virile than the wild type pandemic virus. mRNA vaccines should be effective against Lambda.

The Biden Administration plans to use community outreach and community initiatives to make vaccines available to those in low-uptake areas. Hub and Spoke models like this help get resources to rural areas. The goal is to make vaccines more available to those who want one but have obstacles to getting one. “Hub and spoke” as a community initiative isn’t “get this shot or else.” It’s a pastor saying “there’s shots available after the church fellowship meeting today, come and get one if you want one!” And maybe the pastor goes door to door to see if home-bound parishioners need help getting one, too:

Pfizer plans to ask for emergency FDA approval for a booster dose:

I am eagerly awaiting the results of trials of mRNA vaccines on young children. Final results should be available in the fall:

 

 

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