#87: Harry, the clock on that nine-foot nuclear weapon is ticking.

Apologies for the delay. Sick kids. Rain in Los Angeles. Basically the apocalypse. 

We don't usually cover Trump's cabinet appointments here but you'll have to excuse the momentary lapse as it's not often a warmonger like John Bolton, once thought long dead, is appointed to a (non-confirmation - perfect!) post as #vital as National Security Advisor.

So. I don't know. Definitely a bit thrown off this morning. There's more below. Don't like it, either? Get out and march this weekend. Call your reps. Use your vote. Flip some seats.

Let's make some change.


This week's guest was Dr. Nahid Bhadelia, Director of Infection Control and Medical Response at National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory. That's right -- zombies. Sort of. Check it out here.

Subscribe now to get Tuesday's episode with illustrator, author, mom, and Aussie Megan Herbert, co-author of The Tantrum That Saved The World, a remarkable new kids' book about a little girl who stares down the climate crisis and channels tantrum power into positive action to save the world. 


On to the news!

Biology 401 💉👾💊 

13-Year-Old Boy Is First Person in US to Receive Newly Approved Gene Therapy for Blindness

"On Tuesday, a 13-year-old boy from New Jersey was at the center of medical history as he became the first person in the US to receive an FDA-approved gene therapy for an inherited disease. The event marks the beginning of a new era of medicine, one in which devastating genetic conditions that we are born with can be simply edited out of our DNA with the help of modern biomedical technologies."

+ One hiccup: this particular ground-breaking treatment cost $425,000. An excellent recap from STAT, here.

+ In other bio news:

      - Pakistan Is Racing to Combat the World’s First Extensively Drug-Resistant Typhoid Outbreak

      - The Struggle to Build a Massive ‘Biobank’ of Patient Data


Climate Change 🔥🌊💨

Car makers are pieces of shit. 

"Last month, one of the largest lobbying groups argued in a regulatory filing that the basic science behind climate change is not to be trusted.

In the same filing, the lobbying group, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, also cast doubt on the negative effects of tailpipe pollution on human health."

+ But this shouldn't surprise you. This is the same alliance of almost every automaker you know who -- the DAY AFTER Trump was elected -- sent him a letter arguing Obama's new tailpipe standards, the ones they co-developed, were too stringent. And now they're arguing against basic science. Fuck you.


What you learn from giving 200 climate speeches to your fellow senators

"Every week the Senate has been in session since April 2012, one lonely Democratic senator from Rhode Island, Sheldon Whitehouse, has taken to the Senate floor to speak about global warming. On March 13, Senator Whitehouse gave his 200th “It’s Time to Wake Up” speech on climate change."

+ That's action, folks. 

+ More on climate and clean energy:

      - Fourth Wave Environmentalism Fully Embraces Business

      - Pruitt signals war with California over CAFE mileage standards

      - The Koch Brothers Vs. God: when the black churches fought back

      - The Arctic’s carbon bomb might be even more potent than we thought

      - China's clean energy hustle is getting some respect

+ It's easy to make fun of California, but remember: we feed you. And if climate change continues, we may not be able to do so.

Oh, but California? Come down off that pedestal. We have to do our part, which means we're going to need serious housing reform, and to basically stop driving our precious vehicles.


Fuck Cancer, Volume LXXXVII 🖕

What's next for immunotherapy?

"Cancer immunotherapies that trigger a person's own immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells have logged some success in certain patients and with certain types of cancers. "But overall that is a minority of cancer patients," says Antoni Ribas from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Now, researchers are looking to leverage their understanding of what's working and what's not in patients receiving this class of drugs."

+ That's Axios with a great rundown of the current and future states of immunotherapy's two main weapons. Here's a more in-depth review in Nature.


War 🚀🌎🔥

By new National Security Advisor John Bolton: "The Legal Case for Striking North Korea First"

"CIA Director Mike Pompeo said in January that Pyongyang was within “a handful of months” of being able to deliver nuclear warheads to the U.S. How long must America wait before it acts to eliminate that threat? 

Pre-emption opponents argue that action is not justified because Pyongyang does not constitute an “imminent threat.” They are wrong."

+ Related: I believe John Bolton may very well be our "Great Filter". Read more here.

+ More on war: Pentagon Wants Silicon Valley’s Help on A.I.


The Highlight Reel