Ancient Grammatical Puzzle That Has Baffled Scientists for 2,500 Years Solved by Cambridge University Student Good News Network
How Water Cycles Can Help Prevent Disastrous Floods and Drought Scientific American
Bye, Bye PFAS The Brockovich Report but Why EPA’s long-awaited proposal on two ‘forever chemicals’ is bound to be controversial STAT
Underwater Living London Review of Books. “Human life and property by the trillion dollarload hang on the millimetre margins of the concept of ‘sea level’, but a closer look makes a seemingly hard-edged measure complex and uncertain.”
Alarming antibody evasion properties of rising SARS-CoV-2 BQ and XBB subvariants Cell. From the Abstract: “[O]]ur findings indicate that BQ and XBB subvariants present serious threats to current COVID-19 vaccines, render inactive all authorized antibodies, and may have gained dominance in the population because of their advantage in evading antibodies.”
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Brain autopsies of critically ill COVID-19 patients demonstrate heterogeneous profile of acute vascular injury, inflammation and age-linked chronic brain diseases Acta Neuropathologica Communications. n = 20, 14 male, mean age-at-death was 66.2 years. From the Discussion: “The results of this study confirm and extend prior COVID-19 autopsy studies in several ways….. Findings of this study suggest that acute brain injury superimposed on common pre-existing brain disease may put older subjects at higher risk of post-COVID neurologic sequelae.” Commentary:
Because they haven't aged, but the damage that has been done to them is equivalent to twenty years of aging.
— tern (@1goodtern) November 12, 2022
Excellent thread worth reading in full.
SARS-CoV-2 Spike triggers barrier dysfunction and vascular leak via integrins and TGF-β signaling Nature. From the Abstract: “Severe COVID-19 is associated with epithelial and endothelial barrier dysfunction within the lung as well as in distal organs….. Our findings offer mechanistic insight into SARS-CoV-2-triggered vascular leak, providing a starting point for development of therapies targeting COVID-19.”
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Asymptomatic screening for severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) as an infection prevention measure in healthcare facilities: Challenges and considerations Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology. From the Abstract: “Testing of asymptomatic patients for severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (ie, “asymptomatic screening) to attempt to reduce the risk of nosocomial transmission has been extensive and resource intensive, and such testing is of unclear benefit when added to other layers of infection prevention mitigation controls.” Those “other layers” being non-pharmeceutical interventions like masking, ventilation, and HEPA filters, which the hospital infection control community is either fighting tooth and nail or simply ignoring (and have no guidance from CDC to do anything else, see NC here).
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Biden’s China tech crackdown leaves Xi with few ways to hit back Japan Times. Or maybe not:
Wow, didn't expect it to happen so soon. If that's true, it's basically game over for US semiconductor sanctions…
Also extremely bad news for Dutch company ASML, because that makes them largely irrelevant. https://t.co/LHWyXRoEf6
— Arnaud Bertrand (@RnaudBertrand) December 21, 2022
‘We are facing a crisis’: New law puts Myanmar NGOs in ‘impossible’ position Frontier Myanmar. The impossible position is inherent in the NGO model, which would have treated Sherman’s march to the sea as a “humanitarian crisis,” as opposed to it being part of a war-winning strategy against the slave power.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong Officiates the Launch Ceremony of Singapore Navy’s Second and Third Submarines (press release) MINDEF Singapore
Wells Run Dry The Baffler
A U.S. ally in Iraq vowed to tackle corruption. Torture and extortion followed. WaPo. Surely no surprise, after Abu Ghraib and Gitmo.
‘Hugs, screams and cries’: Afghan women anguished at university ban Agence France Presse
Peru: Chronicle of a Coup in Slow Motion Orinoco Tribune and Aerial investigation reveals 168 previously unnoticed Nazca Lines in Peru Live Science. The latter story got much more coverage.
Dear Old Blighty
Season’s bleatings Private Eye
New Not-So-Cold War
Zelensky addresses Congress, makes push for advanced weapons Responsible Statecraft
No One Would Win a Long War in Ukraine Foreign Affairs
“Why Bakhmut”, a thread. John Helin. Interesting.
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No conclusive evidence Russia is behind Nord Stream attack WaPo. BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!
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U.S. LNG exports both a lifeline and a drain for Europe in 2023 Hellenic Shipping News
How Bloomberg is deceiving everyone about Russian oil exports (translated) Aftershock. Original.
Two Executives in Sam Bankman-Fried’s Crypto Empire Plead Guilty to Fraud NYT. Plus they’re “co-operating.”
Sam Bankman-Fried Alleges Law Firm Used ‘Mentally Unbalanced’ Tactics To Get FTX To File Bankruptcy DealBreaker. Sullivan and Cromwell.
Our Famously Free Press
Of Course the Feds Were All Over Twitter The American Conservative. The deck: “Twitter was staffed by craven functionaries eager to please contacts and former colleagues in the national security state.”
Xmas Pre-Game Festivities
Alive on the longest night Brutal South
Global health nonsense BMJ. Footnote 1 cites to Harry Frankfurt’s On Bullshit.
Realignment and Legitimacy
Fighting for Growth: Labor scarcity and technological progress during the British industrial revolution (PDF) University of Glasgow. From the Abstract: “We collect new data and present new evidence on the effects of labor scarcity on the adoption of labor-saving technology in industrializing England. Where the British armed forces recruited heavily, more machines that economized on labor were adopted. For purposes of identification, we focus on naval recruitment. Using warships’ ease of access to coastal locations as an instrument, we show that exogenous shocks to labor scarcity led to technology adoption. The same shocks are only weakly associated with the adoption of non-labor saving technologies. Importantly, there is also a synergy between skill abundance and labor scarcity boosting technology adoption. Where labor shortages led to the adoption of labor-saving machines, technology afterwards improved more rapidly.”
Disentangling Rent Index Differences: Data, Methods, and Scope (PDF) Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
The ‘Perpetual Broths’ That Simmer For Decades Atlas Obscura
Antidote du jour (via):
— The Onion (@TheOnion) December 15, 2022
Samuel Beckett directs an all-feline ensemble production of Waiting For Godot. Maidstone Repertory Theatre, 1953. pic.twitter.com/oxRmq3ZwND
— Histry in Pictures (@Histreepix) December 21, 2022
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.