Ho ho ho another fine FINE week, friends. As always, we recommend you close Twitter, take a deep breath, let it back out, do some meditations, get some rest, and then get the hell back to work fighting for the soul of our country/species/planet.
131 days to go. And we need every one of them.
This week's question was: Can We Predict the Next Big Earthquake? Josh Bashioum of Early Warning Labs joined us to give it to us straight. Note: despite my insistent claims, he is apparently, technically, not a "seer". I've still got doubts. Tune in!
Subscribe now to get Tuesday's episode where we ask: When Will San Francisco Be Underwater? Our guest: the totally baller journalist Molly Peterson. She's swell.
On to the news!
Climate Change 🔥🌊💨
Judge Dismisses Suit Against Oil Companies Over Climate Change Costs
"A federal judge on Monday threw out a closely watched lawsuit brought by two California cities against fossil fuel companies over the costs of dealing with climate change. The decision is a stinging defeat for the plaintiffs, San Francisco and Oakland, and raises warning flags for other local governments around the United States that have filed similar suits, including New York City.
The judge, William Alsup of Federal District Court in San Francisco, acknowledged the science of global warming and the great risks to the planet, as did the oil and gas companies being sued. But in his ruling, Judge Alsup said the courts were not the proper place to deal with such global issues, and he rejected the legal theory put forth by the cities.
“The problem deserves a solution on a more vast scale than can be supplied by a district judge or jury in a public nuisance case,” Judge Alsup wrote in a 16-page opinion."
Methane leaks offset much of the climate change benefits of natural gas, study says
"The U.S. oil and gas industry emits 13 million metric tons of methane from its operations each year — nearly 60 percent more than current estimates and enough to offset much of the climate benefits of burning natural gas instead of coal, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Science.
The higher volumes of natural gas leaking from across the industry’s supply chain would be enough to fuel 10 million homes and would be worth an estimated $2 billion, the researchers said."
+ More climate:
- New Bloomberg Energy prediction: 50% of energy comes from wind and solar by 2050. Bonkers. Is it soon enough?
- Sea level rise: Jersey Shore town flooding predictions; $10B at risk
- NASA chief wants to be 'above the fray' on climate change (fun nugget: we're well past the moment to be objective/nice/polite/above the fray)
- Are these old ass Republicans serious about their new carbon tax coalition? I WANT TO BELIEVE
Fuck Cancer, Volume XCVIII 🖕
We need more answers about immunotherapy for the elderly
"We know that immunotherapy is tolerated by older individuals. But how well they respond to it and the side effects it causes them may be different from those observed in most clinical studies for two reasons. One is that clinical trials tend to include younger participants. The other is because of an aging process known as immunosenescence. It causes the immune system to change and become less effective over time. Since immunotherapy involves harnessing the immune system to fight cancer, there are questions about how well it works in patients whose immune systems are changing.
Since the first immunotherapy for cancer, ipilimumab (Yervoy), was approved in 2011, this approach has begun to transform cancer care. Today, immunotherapy is used to treat a number of cancers, from glioblastoma to advanced melanomaand lung cancer. According to the Cancer Research Institute, six types of immunotherapy clinical trials are taking aim at leukemia. It may also have the potential to help patients with breast cancer.
But we don’t know as much as we should about immunotherapy for older individuals as they are poorly represented in clinical trials. In 2013, individuals between the ages of 65 and 69 years made up 17 percent of clinical trial participants, those between the ages of 75 and 79 years made up 8 percent, and those who were 80 years and older made up only 4 percent."
Biology 401 💉👾💊
How prepared is YOUR country for the next epidemic?
"An initiative led by Tom Frieden, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has developed a tool that spotlights gaps in preparedness, and actions that countries and organizations can take to close them. The new website, PreventEpidemics.org, gives an individual score to each country and uses color codes to rank the world by five levels of preparedness.
“What this does, it tells you where the gaps are and what needs to be done,” said Frieden, chief executive of Resolve to Save Lives, part of Vital Strategies, a New York-based public health nonprofit organization.
Infectious diseases can spread from one village to any country in the world in about 36 hours. On average, there are 100 outbreaks a day around the world. But the website shows that most countries have not yet taken the steps needed to prepare for this risk."
The Final Frontier/Escape Hatch 🚀
Federal Government Releases National Near-Earth Object Preparedness Plan
"A new multiagency report outlines how the U.S. could become better prepared for near-Earth objects—asteroids and comets whose orbits come within 30 million miles of Earth—otherwise known as NEOs. While no known NEOs currently pose significant risks of impact (editor's note: suuuuuuure), the report is a key step to addressing a nationwide response to any future risks.
NASA, along with the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and several other governmental agencies collaborated on this federal planning document for NEOs.
The 20-page document is titled “The National Near-Earth Object Preparedness Strategy and Action Plan,” and organizes and coordinates efforts related to the NEO efforts within the federal government during the next 10 years to ensure the nation can more effectively respond in case this type of very low-probability but very high-consequence natural disaster should occur."
+ Laugh it up, but this is way overdue. Look at this impact projection.
+ More space:
- The Discovery of Complex Organic Molecules on Saturn’s Moon Enceladus Is a Huge Deal (read: SPACE DOLPHINS)
The Highlight Reel
- Senate panel proposes $2 billion, 5.4% increase for NIH, because, you know, zombies
Scientists say earthquake tremor projections for big cities are way underestimated, so great
Future Astronauts Must Perform Surgery in Space — and It Will Be Gross
NASA delays launch of James Webb telescope to 2021
Should we hold AI directly responsible for their crimes?
Growing evidence implicates herpes viruses in Alzheimer's
Vitra Health Nabs $45M to Reverse Type 2 Diabetes
Is There a Limit to the Human Lifespan?
Thanks for reading, thanks for acting, and thanks for giving a shit.
Have a great weekend, everyone!