Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin The mRNA vaccines we are currently using are not sufficient to stop the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Although they have been critical in the fight against SARS-CoV-2, they suffer from a glaring limitation: poor longevity. Wait long enough between booster shots, and you’re back to square one — once again susceptible to infection, with variable protection against serious disease, hospitalization, and death . Even against the same strain of the virus, immunity wanes. Factor in viral mutation and the constant rise of new variants, and this trend is supercharged. Just within the Omicron family of variants, for example, many of the newer offshoots manage to evade immunity built up against their parent lineages (Figure 1). Generally, this happens through structural changes to the spike (S) protein that the virus uses to bind and enter host cells. If these changes are significant enough, our immune system —and in particular … [Read more...] about Extended Antigen Availability Improves Vaccine Protection
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Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin Key takeaways As mortgage rates rise and inflation remains stubborn, there are signs that the housing market is slowing down Real estate brokerage Redfin predicts that housing sales will sink to their lowest level since 2011 Elevated prices and inadequate build rates will likely prop up prices, preventing a massive wave of foreclosures In the past year, rising inflation and soaring interest rates have spilled into the turbulent housing market. Just a year ago, mortgage rates set near record lows as home prices soared. Now, interest rates near 7%, while home prices have jumped nearly 40% since March 2022. Unsurprisingly, that level of home growth is unsustainable in the current market. Now, there’s hope that the housing market is slowing down – albeit gradually. The impact of Covid-19 on the housing market The Covid-19 performed a hefty number on the housing market. As millions lost their jobs and … [Read more...] about Is The Housing Market Slowing Down: Redfin 2023 Predictions
Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin “We’re going to travel better.” That was the refrain of the optimists who thought, back in the confused early days of 2020, that the pandemic was part of some giant recent and everyone would become more thoughtful after they blinked their way back into the world after being locked up for however long. But then the chaotic, record-setting summer of 2022 happened—along with the bizarre idea of “revenge travel”—and showed that very little had actually changed. Now, though, things might actually be changing. Fringe ideas like “conscious travel” and “regenerative travel” are becoming mainstream, destinations have had serious reckonings with overtourism, and travelers—thoughtful ones, at least—are waking up to their responsibility not to leave places worse than they find them. Fodor’s released a “don’t go” list, and the New York Times just published an ode to responsible travel . And so, while I used to ask a few … [Read more...] about Where To Go (Responsibly) In 2023: 17 Unforgettable Travel Ideas
Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin GoodRx qualified as a unicorn prior to its IPO , but its story and ambition is rare enough that it may warrant a new mythological creature dedication. Founded in 2011, the nine year-old digital health company went public last September with $388 million in 2019 revenue and, more surprisingly, $139 million in operating profit. GoodRx is best known for making prescription drug pricing transparent and offering discount coupons to consumers, allowing consumers to shop for which pharmacy provides the best combination of price and convenience. The company earns revenue only only when it saves people money. Thus far, the company estimates it has helped Americans realize $20 billion in savings. Doing good is going well for GoodRx and its investors, as suggested by the company’s $18 billion market capitalization (as of the publish date). While GoodRx’s growth has been impressive, it also begs questions: How does … [Read more...] about What Could A Healthcare Marketplace Look Like? GoodRx Is Trying To Show Us
Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin Explorers and adventurers seem to have more than one life. In pursuit of their goals, risk is a given. After all, that’s part of the thrill of completing a project. How much risk is often determined by fate, something hard to control. But there are ways to mitigate it up-front, too. When climbing sheer cliffs and big mountains, use some protection - ropes and belays. Don’t wing it like, say, Alex Honnold. He climbed the 3,000-foot vertical wall in Yosemite National Park, California, known as El Capitan, without any protection at all. Honnold’s chances of making it without falling - which meant certain death - were, at best, 50/50. But he did it, and lived to tell the tale chronicled brilliantly in the Academy Award-winning 2018 documentary, “Free Solo.” Robert DeLaurentis, who has done his share of dicey things in the aviation world, readily admits to accepting risk. “There’s a point where the mission becomes more than … [Read more...] about Nine Lives, Maybe 10? The Curious Case Of Pilot Rob DeLaurentis
Recent Chinese anti-lockdown protests across several cities and over 50 universities reveal fissures in the social fabric of the authoritarian giant. After almost three years of strict lockdowns, a petering economy and with many struggling to obtain basic necessities, some Chinese have had enough. While it is difficult to gauge how widespread this sentiment is, there is evidence it is sizable. Public demonstrations are rare in China. Many still remember the massacre at Tiananmen Square , making these protests all the more significant. Moreover, in response to them, Xi has hinted that he will relax COVID restrictions, demonstrating their efficacy. Notably, the demonstrations are not aimed only at COVID policy, but the communist party and Xi himself. “Xi Jinping! Step down! CCP! Step down!” and “We do not want PCR (tests), but want freedom,” were common chants . Others held up a blank piece of paper as a symbol of their censorship . Xi may be able to … [Read more...] about DUFFY: How The US Can Use Chinese Protests To Avoid War In The Pacific
Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin Topline China announced it was relaxing some of its strictest Covid restrictions on Wednesday, a major policy shift that suggests Beijing is preparing to abandon its zero-Covid strategy in favor of learning to live with the virus, which experts told Forbes was inevitable but risks igniting a huge wave of cases that the world’s most populous country is poorly prepared to face. Key Facts Zero-Covid, Beijing’s signature policy of strict lockdowns and extensive testing designed to stamp out Covid infections, was very successful during earlier stages of the pandemic when the virus variant was less transmissible and before vaccines and treatments were widely available, Winnie Yip, a professor of global health policy and economics at Harvard, told Forbes. However, the evolution of more transmissible variants, particularly the most recent omicron subvariants, means zero-Covid is no longer sustainable, explained Ben … [Read more...] about China’s Zero-Covid Policy Succeeded—Until It Didn’t. Here’s What Went Wrong And What Experts Think Could Happen Next.
Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin This fall has seen an unprecedented increase in respiratory infections across the country, and it is not just Covid. Infections from Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), Influenza, Covid, Rhinovirus, and Enterovirus have been causing illnesses in alarming numbers since late summer. Here are lessons the general public should all be aware of moving forward from this surge. Hospitals, Physicians, And Healthcare Workers Are Overwhelmed Just as we witnessed during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, hospitals have again been overwhelmed by the sheer number of patients visiting emergency rooms and ICU’s across the country. Longer than normal wait times for patients, staffing shortages of physicians, nurses, and techs; as well as nursing home closures have created a nightmare for healthcare facilities in many states . Not only are there fewer beds for critically ill patients in the hospital, there is often nowhere for some … [Read more...] about Lessons Learned From The Rising Respiratory Infections In America
Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin By Nancy F. Clark— Here's what you need to do first: Decide you want to be happier right now. Then you'll be more receptive to the other things I'm going to tell you. Do it—that was easy, right? You're off to a good start. ADVERTISEMENT Where Should You Pin This Decision To Be Happier? Since most of our actions every day are habits on autopilot, let's add one more. Research by Stanford professor B.J. Fogg shows us that three things must converge to cause a change: motivation, ability and a prompt. My choice of a daily prompt is when I put toothpaste on my toothbrush each morning. I pin my decision to be happier in my head at that time. You can pick a different prompt if you want. To make it business related, how about when you take your first step into your office that day? Or you might choose to do what Christine Carter of UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Center says, “After I put my head on the pillow, I will think … [Read more...] about How You Can Have A Happier, More Positive Year!
Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin The warm wood panels, rippled blue walls and the glow of the amber-colored lights gave an overwhelming feeling of tranquility as wine trade from all over the world came to Le Bernardin Privé for an epic wine tasting that spanned a century. A unique wine producer, Château Le Puy , from the Right Bank of the Bordeaux wine region, was illustrating how their over 400 years of organic grape growing and natural winemaking practices produce outstanding wines with a distinctive sense of place that can stand the test of time – even past 100 years. A woman entering the room stopped in her tracks as one of the most glorious sights she had ever seen was presented: an endless line of wines ranging several decades from a well-admired producer. At first, she took a double-take as she couldn’t believe what she saw with her own eyes, a 1921 vintage! The very site of such a vintage started to make her giddy with anticipation. As the wine … [Read more...] about Wine Tasting Spanning 100 Years From Wine Producer Showing That Bordeaux Has Terroir