Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Short Takes – 3-29-23

New insights into an old drug: Scientists discover why aspirin works so well. article. Pull quote: “New research has revealed important information about how aspirin works. Even though this drug has been available commercially since the late 1800s, scientists have not yet fully elucidated its detailed mechanism of action and cellular targets. The new findings could pave the way to safer aspirin alternatives and might also have implications for improving cancer immunotherapies.”

A new flu is spilling over from cows to people in the U.S. How worried should we be? article. Pull quote: “For example, if you have a respiratory infection in the U.S., doctors can identify the pathogen causing the infection only about 40% of the time. There's growing evidence that the other 60% of infections could be caused by animal viruses such as a dog coronavirus found in Malaysia, Haiti and Arkansas, or even possibly the same virus Hause and his colleagues found in those pigs. Recent studies have made clear that this virus floats in the air at farms and is likely infecting people who work there.”

NASA delays flight of Boeing’s Starliner again, this time for parachutes. article. Pull quote: “Boeing has conducted more than 20 tests of its parachute system, including dropping the vehicle from different altitudes to test their deployment sequence and how the parachutes perform in different environments to simulate returning from space. Stich said there are no issues with the parachutes, which are installed on Starliner already. Mostly, it is about reviewing all the tests Boeing has done to ensure the parachutes performed as intended.”

What can we learn from East Palestine? article. Pull quote: “Again, I have no good answers for the problem of ‘how do you ameliorate the spill of tonnes of vinyl chloride?’ ‘Don’t be in that situation’ is my overly facile answer. But leaks and spills happen to chemists all the time, and we can be better prepared for far more common situations. We can learn to prevent those situations, and to solve them when they happen.”

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