Trapped in amber: Fossilized dinosaur-era crab bridges evolutionary gap ars techica (Chuck L)
Goodbye, Columbus: Vikings crossed the Atlantic 1,000 years ago Reuters (Kevin W). This is news?
A new report shows how climate change is hurting your health NPR (David L). Funny, I was more mosquito-chomped this fall than in recent summers.
The Ocean Cleanup Successfully Hauls 20,000 Pounds of Plastic From the Pacific Ocean MyModernMet (David L)
See How the Dixie Fire Created Its Own Weather New York Times
America Has a Sperm Shortage. One Man Is Reaping All the Benefits Esquire (resilc)
Covid: WHO warns pandemic will drag on into 2022 BBC. Pathetic. Not a hard call given the calendar and surges.
Putin orders nonwork week as COVID numbers rise in Russia Associated Press
Contrast the WHO’s “Water is wet” prognostication above with GM’s cheery update:
So someone finally measured the neutralization reduction and other properties of C.1.2 (the highly divergent non-Delta South African variant)
Not surprisingly, it is even more resistant than Mu/B.1.621, by a factor of 1.5-1.8 or so.
The scale of the assays is different, but in this one it is 7.8x for C.1.2 vs. 4.7x of B.1.621, while in the previous study that measured B.1.621, it was 12x for B.1.621. The 12x is probably the more accurate number because the other variants they tested there were close to their typical numbers, while here they are lower (e.g. this study finds 4.4x reduction for Beta/B.1.351 rather than the usually measured 8x)
Anyway, you get the picture, this is likely blitzing past existing antibodies with ease.
The good news is that ACE2 affinity seems to have decreased and that it is not as fusogenic as Mu/B.1.621. Which would imply lower transmissivity.
But, with one major caveat — there are actually quite a few variations of C.1.2 out there and they did not test the one that has many of the Mu/B.1.621 mutations, but the less mutated version. My bet is that C.1.2 + the R436 and T478 mutations is more dangerous.
In practice, it also seems to have not gone away in South Africa but even increased a bit in September:
So we will see what happens.
But in any case, this shows how easy it was to evolve really serious escape.
And since May 2021 the variant incubator that is South Africa has been working hard with a Delta template, so who knows what will come out of there. We will find out when the next wave starts.
Meanwhile we will still be injecting 2019 virus vaccines for most, if not all of 2022…
Yes. Cov2 beats adaptive memory. I have said it many times (and am attacked for it). https://t.co/2PkdmdoPNz
— Anthony J Leonardi, PhD, MS (@fitterhappierAJ) October 15, 2021
Let's bust some myths ?
1. Herd immunity is coming soon
This is Iran. There are 3 shades of green on this map. Starting at medium green, each person living in this province has been infected on average more than once. https://t.co/5gy485mZRB pic.twitter.com/A2LUpFjQY3
— Nancy Delagrave – COVID-STOP (@RougeMatisse) October 15, 2021
A shocking number of US nurses are quitting, but a majority would stay for more money Quartz (resilc). Here because primarily a Covid effect, risk combined with lack of combat pay adjustment.
New York City Issues Covid-19 Vaccine Mandate for All Public Employees Wall Street Journal. No testing.
When folks think about highly vaccinated places in America
They think Vermont or CT or MA
Those places are good
But not the most vaccinated place in America
So who's #1?
But PR has gotten way too little attention
Its worth reflecting on how they did it
— Ashish K. Jha, MD, MPH (@ashishkjha) October 17, 2021
US still sees India as ‘challenging’ for business Asia Times (Kevin W)
ECB pushes banks to boost their post-Brexit operations Financial Times
Welcome to Britain, the bank scam capital of the world Reuters (reslic)
New Cold War
Sochi probes the Utopia of a multipolar world Pepe Escobar
The FBI raids on Oleg Deripaska’s houses in DC & NYC Tuesday are payback by the Blin-Noodle gang for the treatment of Victoria Nuland in Moscow last week. https://t.co/nNSLNAjmxa pic.twitter.com/OKZFhSKQUD
— Dances_with_Bears (@bears_with) October 20, 2021
Footage of joint China Russia naval exercise in the Sea of Japan frm the Russian Defense Ministry.
Joint China Russia fleet have now sailed into Pacific Ocean aft passing thru Tsugaru Strait pic.twitter.com/dg47mXwScI
— Carl Zha (@CarlZha) October 18, 2021
Afghan Officials Admit Driving Luxury Car in London As Country Fell to Taliban Vice (resilc). We have such good taste in allies.
Vice President Harris Confronts a Reality Gap Counterpunch. Palestine.
House Intelligence Committee Seeks Answers from CIA on Plot Against Assange Joe Lauria (furzy)
Big Brother is Watching You Watch
Imperial Collapse Watch
Economic Update: Signs of System Decline Richard Wolff, YouTube (furzy)
Sanctions Are an Inherently Indiscriminate Weapon Antiwar (resilc)
Biden’s CBP Pick Supports Title 42 and Border Wall Construction Intercept. “Nothing fundamental will change.”
Sinema’s Opposition Stymies Democrats’ Planned Tax-Rate Increases Wall Street Journal. WSJ exclusive:
Senate Democrats are considering abandoning central tax elements of their social policy and climate package, as a key senator continues to oppose any increase in marginal rates for businesses, high-income individuals or capital gains, according to people familiar with the matter.
Democrats Face a Choice Whether to Expand Health Care Coverage to the Elderly or the Poor New Republic. Resilc: “EZ, poor don’t vote. USA USA. But another 10 bil a year for DoD.”
Speaking of the elderly: “Kyrsten Sinema Fought For Seniors” Daily Poster
Fossil Fuel Drilling Plans Undermine Climate Pledges, U.N. Report Warns New York Times (Kevin W). U.N. apparently has to honor the fiction that the US is agreement capable.
Obstacles Biden could face in changing approach to climate cost-benefit analysis Yale Climate Connections
LACERA files lawsuit against Los Angeles County Pensions & Investments (Joe R). LACERA wants to be CalPERS.
The MacBook Pro is the future of Apple’s ports mess Wired (Kevin W)
How to achieve full decolonization New Internationalist (Chuck L). MMT strikes again!
Antidote du jour (guurst):
And a bonus:
You haven’t eaten all day. pic.twitter.com/gaO0cIuAoa
— Happy Cat (@HappyCatCentral) October 19, 2021
See yesterday’s Antidote du Jour here.