Thursday, March 7, 2024

Short Takes – 3-7-24

Sinema exit could put Senate filibuster in peril. article. Pull quote: “Sinema, along with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), had drawn the ire of progressives by refusing to weaken the 60-vote threshold in order to codify abortion or voting rights legislation — and both are retiring at the end of the year.”

SpaceX eyes March 14 for next Starship test launch. article.  Pull quote: “"The third flight test of Starship could launch as soon as March 14, pending regulatory approval," SpaceX posted on X, the social media platform also owned by Musk.”

Scientists develop new machine learning method for modeling chemical reactions. article. Pull quote: “"We have shown that those machine learning models can be trained at high levels of quantum mechanics theory and can successfully predict energies and forces with quantum mechanics accuracy and an increase in speed of as much as 6–7 orders of magnitude. This is a new paradigm in reactive simulations."”

A branch of the flu family tree has died and won't be included in future US vaccines. article. Pull quote: “The now-extinct viruses were a branch of the influenza B family tree known as the Yamagata lineage. Scientists first reported the apparent disappearance of Yamagata viruses in 2021. At that time, experts speculated that precautions taken to stop the spread of COVID-19 — such as masking and social distancing — had not only driven the overall number of flu cases to historic lows but may have completely snuffed out this type of flu virus.”

Availability of the Draft IRIS Toxicological Review of Perfluorononanoic Acid [PFNA, CASRN 375-95-1] and Related Salts. Federal Register EPA IRIS notice. Summary: “The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing a 60-day public comment period associated with release of the draft IRIS Toxicological Review of Perfluorononanoic Acid [PFNA, CASRN 375–95–1] and Related Salts. The draft document was prepared by the Center for Public Health and Environmental Assessment (CPHEA) within EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD). EPA is releasing this draft IRIS assessment for public comment in advance of a contract-led peer review. Public comments received will be provided to the external peer reviewers.” Comment due date: May 6th, 2024.

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