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Links 4/11/2021 | naked capitalism

A Self-Replicating Radiation-Shield for Human Deep-Space Exploration: Radiotrophic Fungi can Attenuate Ionizing Radiation aboard the International Space Station (PDF) (preprint) bioRxiv. Paging Paul Stamets:

Certain fungi thrive in high-radiation environments on Earth, such as the contamination radius of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Analogous to photosynthesis, these organisms appear to perform radiosynthesis, using pigments known as melanin to convert gamma-radiation into chemical energy. It is hypothesized that these organisms can be employed as a radiation shield to protect other lifeforms.

I am more inclined to file this under how wondrous nature can be if we aren’t stupid about it, rather than space-flight technology.

PIA24291: Swatch of Wright Brothers Flyer 1 Attached to Mars Helicopter Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Wall Street Finds New Way To Finance Unprofitable Tech Firms WSJ (Re Silc). “Complex bonds.”

Boston Fed’s Cunha On Building A Payments Network For The ‘Next 100 Years’ PYMNTS. I’d stick with paper. But n-o-o-o-o-o!

The global future is looking dark and stormy Axios

Crews Install Plate At Site Of Piney Point Leak As A Temporary Fix WUSF. Another backhoe story. The leak is due to a liner failure. All liners fail. Landfill abutters take note!

Fond du Lac Band wins halt to copper mine Indian Country

Waves of Abandonment Grist. Texas oil wells.

Massive collapse of Atlantic cod didn’t leave evolutionary scars Science


The Gaslighting of Science Zeynep Tufecki, Insight. A must-read. And as with Iraq, all the people responsible for the debacle are in power today, and making very good money in their institutional positions, on the teebee, on book deals, etc.

Predicted Infection Risk for Aerosol Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (preprint) (PDF) medRxiv. WHO’s Conley claims that aerosol transmission is “situational” (which I so far as I can tell means not in a hospital setting with HCWs in PPE and a squillion air changes an hour). Perhaps this handy chart will clarify:

Been thinking about what is meant by “situational” airborne. I /think/ it means the overlapping of multiple conditions — here is one possible slant of how R0 (how much it spreads) is predicted to vary for SARS-CoV-2 from a PREPRINT by Kriegel et al.

— Kimberly Prather, Ph.D. (@kprather88) April 10, 2021

* * *

States ranked by percentage of population vaccinated Beckers Hospital Review. #1, NM: 28.69%; #2, ME: 27.3%. Here is the CDC’s tracker, with handy map:

Evidence for increased breakthrough rates of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern in BNT162b2 mRNA vaccinated individuals (preprint) medRxiv. From the Summary: “[T]he B.1.351 incidence in Israel to-date remains low and vaccine effectiveness remains high against B.1.1.7, among those fully vaccinated. These results overall suggest that vaccine breakthrough infection is more frequent with both [Variants of Concern (VOCs)], yet a combination of mass-vaccination with two doses coupled with non-pharmaceutical interventions control and contain their spread.”

* * *

Symptoms and Functional Impairment Assessed 8 Months After Mild COVID-19 Among Health Care Workers JAMA (IM).

Airlines warn the cost of Covid tests will stop people going abroad Guardian. Not with sniffer dogs!

‘A Great Excuse to Do Nothing’: The People Who Don’t Want to Return to Normalcy New York Magazine


Official: Chinese vaccines’ effectiveness low AP

Coronavirus: Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine won’t be supplied to Hong Kong this year, source says, dashing experts’ hopes of replacement for AstraZeneca shots South China Morning Post


‘Any news from the internet?’: Fear and rumour in villages forced offline Frontier Myanmar

Myanmar security forces kill over 80 anti-coup protesters -group Reuters. Exit, voice, and loyalty. A thread:

1/ So far, 3 captains (Nyi Thuta, Tun Myat Aung, Lin Htet Aung) and 1 navy lieutnant (Kaizar Aung) publicly announced their defections from #Tatmadaw. Based on their statements, they believe “many” others want to defect. One of them even said abt it’s as high as 75%.

— pyaezone (@pyaezone) April 10, 2021

The Koreas

(LEAD) S. Korea decides to resume rollout of AstraZeneca vaccine Yonhap News Agency


Electrical problem strikes Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility AP

Jordan is where domestic and regional fissures collide The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer (Re Silc).

New Cold War

Nicolai N. Petro: Looking Beyond the Current Tragedy in Ukraine American Committee for US-Russia Accord

Donbass crisis: Domestic political battles in Kiev, Moscow & Washington could see Ukraine & Russia stumbling into war nobody wants Glenn Diesen, RT

Ukraine says it could be provoked by Russian ‘aggression’ in conflict area Reuters

Ukraine Antagonises China, While Pleasing the US IWPR. “Analysts see the Ukrainian decision to seize the assets of aerospace company Motor Sich as a sign of Kyiv’s increasing confidence in favouring Washington’s interests over that of its other key ally, China.”


Far-right AfD calls for ‘normal’ Germany at conference Deutsche Welle

Prince Philip

My Day With Prince Philip Craig Murray

Prince Philip: Boris Johnson will not attend Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral and will give up seat for a family member Sky News

Too much? BBC gets complaints over Prince Philip coverage AP

CNN, Banking and Business Leaders Applaud Bolsonaro At Lavish Dinner Brasilwire

Brazil building new giant Christ statue, taller than Rio’s France24. The photo is brilliant.

Biden Administration

Biden requests $715B for Pentagon, hinting at administration’s future priorities Defense News

Divided court blocks California’s COVID-related restrictions on in-home religious gatherings SCOTUSBlog

President Biden Creates Supreme Court Commission To Consider Court-Packing Plan Jonathan Turley

Despite Promises to Listen to Tribes and Fight Climate Change, Biden Administration Allows Oil to Continue Flowing Through Dakota Access Pipeline Earth Justice

Capitol Seizure

Timeline: How the storming of the U.S. Capitol unfolded on Jan. 6 USA Today

Proud Boys and other far-right groups raise millions via Christian funding site Guardian

Trump Legacy

Inside Trump’s Mar-a-Lago office: Former president’s desk offers a glimpse into life after the White House Yahoo News

Our Famously Free Press

The news media offers wall-to-wall propaganda every day. We only notice when a royal dies Jonathon Cook Blog

How Bellingcat Launders National Security State Talking Points into the Press Mint Press

The 420

Virginia: Legalization of Adult-use Marijuana Takes Effect July 1, 2021 NORML

George Floyd

Ex-officer’s trial in Floyd’s death shows courtroom tactics AP

Inside Cup Foods, where it seems George Floyd never left CNN

Millions in public, private aid help rebuilding in St. Paul’s riot-damaged Midway Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Police State Watch

Cops Caught on Video Holding a Black Army Lieutenant at Gunpoint, Then Pepper-Spraying Him Vice

Capitol Police sent cops to a guy’s door for somebody else’s tweet Ryan Grim, Bad News

Police Say an Antifa Activist Likely Shot at Officers. His Gun Suggests Otherwise. NYT

Guillotine Watch

“They Present a Version of Themselves That Isn’t Real”: Inside the Dark, Biohacked Heart of Silicon Valley Nick Bilton, Vanity Fair. “Last year, a number of rich founders began experimenting with microdosing drugs to make it through the day.” So, not only are we ruled by psychos, they’re drug-addled. There’s a history here.

This Is the Most Embarrassing News Clip in American Transportation History Vice

The Dangers of Elite Projection Human Transit. From 2017, still germane.

Capitalism-Loving Dad Doesn’t Get Why Things Aren’t Built to Last Anymore Reductress

Class Warfare

Life expectancy in adulthood is falling for those without a BA degree, but as educational gaps have widened, racial gaps have narrowed Anne Case and Angus Deaton, PNAS

A Year in the Life of Safeway 1048 In These Times.

Amazon’s victory against a union drive in Alabama proved workers want better workplaces, but America’s labor laws are too broken to help them get that, experts say Business Insider. Well, if the organizers were only organizing at the plant gate, as Mike Elk reports, there’s more going on than the need for legislation.

Working Multiple Jobs Is a Financial Necessity for Many Young People Teen Vogue. The headline sent to the mailing list is better: “Can We Stop Glamorizing Side Hustles?”

My later-in-life rediscovery of Jane Austen FT

Cross-kingdom inhibition of bacterial virulence and communication by probiotic yeast metabolites (PDF) Microbiome. From the Conclusions:

“This study illuminates a yet-unrecognized mechanism for cross-kingdom inhibition of pathogenic bacteria cell-cell communication in a probiotic microorganism mixture. A newly identified fungus-secreted molecule—tryptophol acetate—was shown to disrupt quorum sensing pathways of the human gut pathogen V. cholerae. Cross-kingdom interference in quorum sensing may play important roles in enabling microorganism coexistence in multi-population environments, such as probiotic foods and the gut microbiome. This discovery may account for anti-virulence properties of the human microbiome and could aid elucidating health benefits of probiotic products against bacterially associated diseases.”

I guess today is Beneficial Fungus Day!

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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