Big Tech Wins One.
1. An experimental cancer-killing virus has been administered to a human patient for the first time, with hopes the testing will ultimately reveal evidence of a new means of successfully fighting cancer tumors in people's bodies. The drug candidate, called CF33-hNIS (aka Vaxinia), is what's called an oncolytic virus, a genetically modified virus designed to selectively infect and kill cancer cells while sparing healthy ones. In the case of CF33-hNIS, the modified pox virus works by entering cells and duplicating itself. Eventually, the infected cell bursts, releasing thousands of new virus particles that act as antigens, stimulating the immune system to attack nearby cancer cells. Previous research in animal models has shown the drug can harness the immune system in this way to hunt and destroy cancer cells, but up until now no testing has been done in humans. (Source: sciencealert.com et alia)
2. The sudden appearance of monkeypox in 13 countries on four continents has jolted the public health community into action. A much milder cousin of smallpox that sporadically causes small outbreaks in Africa, monkeypox is thought to spread slowly and is unlikely to be a pandemic in the making. But scientists worry about the spread among men who have sex with men (MSM), who make up a disproportionate number of the cases so far. The outbreak is a strange and unsettling return to the spotlight for poxviruses, a largely forgotten threat since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared smallpox eradicated in 1980. (Source: science.org)
As the war’s duration approaches three months, however, the Ukrainians have not only reversed the Russian military’s drive on Kyiv but, to the surprise of virtually everyone, forced it to withdraw from the entire northern part of the country. A subsequent attempt to narrow the Russian offensive to the east in order to encircle Ukrainian forces has likewise come to grief. Even overcoming the resistance of the small, beleaguered body of Ukrainian defenders in Mariupol took more than eighty days, required Russia to resort to appallingly destructive tactics, and can hardly be counted as the performance of a highly capable military force. Russian casualty numbers in these misadventures have been staggering. What’s more, Russia’s poor military performance has come at an extraordinary cost: only a month into the war, NATO estimated that up to forty thousand Russian troops had already been killed, wounded, or captured, or had gone missing.
These developments reveal that prewar analysis focused too narrowly on the Russian military’s new and modernized equipment, which was hiding ugly facts and conditions. An analysis of those realities, now on full display on Ukraine’s battlefields, provides a far better understanding of what analysts missed in their evaluation of the Russian army that invaded Ukraine. In effect, those gleaming new tanks and planes constitute a Potemkin army, an impressive facade designed to hide from Vladimir Putin the ugly truth that it was not ready for war. (Source: mwi.usman.edu et alia)
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