A minor incursion.
1. A team of biotech veterans say they have raised $3 billion to create a continent-spanning company that will aim to battle disease by reprogramming the fundamental machinery of living cells. It appears to be the largest venture capital fundraising effort in biotech history, based on a survey of data from Pitchbook. The company, Altos Labs, is the brainchild of Richard Klausner, a serial biotech entrepreneur who has previously founded two biotechnology companies that raised large sums of money and were sold to larger firms. Klausner is being joined by Hans Bishop, who served as CEO of those companies, Juno Biotechnology and Grail. And Hal Barron, the chief scientific officer of GlaxoSmithKline, will join as the new company’s CEO in August. Klausner will serve as the new company’s chief scientist, and Bishop as its president. The three men will co-chair the company’s board of directors. (Source: statnews.com)
2. Antimicrobial resistance poses a significant threat to humanity, health leaders have warned, as a study reveals it has become a leading cause of death worldwide and is killing about 3,500 people every day. More than 1.2 million – and potentially millions more – died in 2019 as a direct result of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections, according to the most comprehensive estimate to date of the global impact of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The stark analysis covering more than 200 countries and territories was published in the Lancet. It says AMR is killing more people than HIV/Aids or malaria. Many hundreds of thousands of deaths are occurring due to common, previously treatable infections, the study says, because bacteria that cause them have become resistant to treatment. (Source: theguardian.com)
3. Australian researchers have proven that near error-free quantum computing is possible, paving the way to build silicon-based quantum devices compatible with current semiconductor manufacturing technology. “Today’s publication in Nature shows our operations were 99 per cent error-free,” says Professor Andrea Morello of UNSW, who led the work. “When the errors are so rare, it becomes possible to detect them and correct them when they occur. This shows that it is possible to build quantum computers that have enough scale, and enough power, to handle meaningful computation.” This piece of research is an important milestone on the journey that will get us there,” Prof. Morello says. (Sources: eurekalert.org, nature.com)
4. Eurointelligence: “We are reaching a dramatic climax in the standoff between Russia and Ukraine. Russia is now in a position where it is militarily and politically ready. Vladimir Putin has got the troops where he needs them to be: in Belarus to the north, and in Russia along the border with Ukraine. He has got the backup logistics in place. And, more importantly perhaps, he is ready to take any hit on international sanctions. He has first-rate intelligence about what the Europeans are likely to do, or more likely what they are not going to do. A smaller but agile power can prevail in conflicts with a larger but disunited opponent. Putin thinks he can win this war. This is not an irrational belief, as some complacent western analysts are thinking. The biggest problem for Putin is not so much the likely sanctions from the west, but the political consequences of a dirty war back home. Ukraine has a formidable army of some 100,000 troops, and several hundred thousand reservists and army veterans. This would not be a walkover, but a real war.” (Source: eurointelligence.com)