#95: A secret hospital for criminals

Last week was off because of family travel but we're back this week with a doozy. Let's gooooooooo!


This week's question was: how the hell are we gonna feed 10 billion people? Our guest was Fred Iutzi, whose new perennial wheat makes for a damn delicious beer, and almost might save the world. Crack one open and check it out!

Subscribe now to get Tuesday's episode where we ask: what's the single most effective thing you can do to personally fight climate change?Guest Peter Kalmus, climate scientist at JPL, takes us through his journey.


On to the news!

Fuck Cancer, Volume XCIII 🖕

Doctors hail world first as woman’s advanced breast cancer is eradicated

"A woman with advanced breast cancer which had spread around her body has been completely cleared of the disease by a groundbreaking therapy that harnessed the power of her immune system to fight the tumours.

It is the first time that a patient with late-stage breast cancer has been successfully treated by a form of immunotherapy that uses the patient’s own immune cells to find and destroy cancer cells that have formed in the body.

Judy Perkins, an engineer from Florida, was 49 when she was selected for the radical new therapy after several rounds of routine chemotherapy failed to stop a tumour in her right breast from growing and spreading to her liver and other areas. At the time, she was given three years to live.

Doctors who cared for the woman at the US National Cancer Institute in Maryland said Perkins’s response had been “remarkable”: the therapy wiped out cancer cells so effectively that she has now been free of the disease for two years."

+ 🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕

+ Ok, amazing news. Groundbreaking news. Game-changing news. Now that that's said, however, let's remember: the fight is nowhere near over. It's more complicated than ever. Science is hard. But progress is fucking awesome.

      - When immunology makes patients worse, not better

      - Immunotherapy could stop prostate cancer spreading, trial shows

      - For Some Breast Cancer Patients, The Chemo Decision Just Got Easier

      - Antibiotics greatly reduce effectiveness of immunotherapy for cancer – study

      - For Some Hard-To-Find Tumors, Doctors See Promise In Artificial Intelligence



Climate Change 🔥🌊💨

'Carbon bubble' could spark global financial crisis, study warns

"Plunging prices for renewable energy and rapidly increasing investment in low-carbon technologies could leave fossil fuel companies with trillions in stranded assets and spark a global financial crisis, a new study has found.

A sudden drop in demand for fossil fuels before 2035 is likely, according to the study, given the current global investments and economic advantages in a low-carbon transition.

...that is because advances in technologies for energy efficiency and renewable power, and the accompanying drop in their price, have made low-carbon energy much more economically and technically attractive."


Hurricane Maria Killed 75 Times More Puerto Ricans Than the Government Has Admitted

"The new study was led by a team of scientists from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, which surveyed more than 3,000 randomly selected Puerto Rican households in January. They used their responses to extrapolate the number of deaths on the islands that were either direct results of the hurricane—say, being hit by flying debris—or that took place due to aftermath of the storm, primarily from interrupted medical care. The researchers arrived at a “likely to be conservative” estimate of 4,645 deaths from September 20 through December 31, 2017; other statistical adjustments by the researchers push their final estimate above 5,000. 

During an October visit to the island, President Donald Trump opined that the low official death toll (then just 16) meant that Puerto Rico had avoided “a real catastrophe like Katrina.”

FEMA eventually attributed 1,800 some deaths to that 2005 Gulf Coast storm."

+ The new hurricane season started seven days ago. Is America Ready for the Next Superstorm?

+ More on climate change:

      - Hurricanes Are Lingering Longer. That Makes Them More Dangerous.

      - Mapped: The world’s coal power plants (pretty incredible depth of research)

      - Coal lobby fights black-lung tax as disease rates surge



Biology 401 💉👾💊 

The Nipah virus has a mortality rate of up to 70 percent and has no vaccine or cure. It just hit South India.

"A little-known virus discovered 20 years ago could become the next global pandemic.

A recent outbreak in South India has renewed interest in Nipah virus, a disease that generally spreads from bats or pigs to humans and kills nearly three-quarters of those infected. It has no vaccine and no cure. The virus has so far killed 11 in the current outbreak, with 14 additional cases confirmed. It has many strains capable of spreading from person to person, which increases the chances of a strain emerging that rapidly spreads among South Asia’s densely populated communities and beyond."

+ More bio:

      - Vaccines Alone Won’t Beat Ebola

      - This mock pandemic killed 150 million people. Next time it might not be a drill.

      - Scientists Kick Off Synthetic Biology Project to Make Virus-Resistant Super Cells

      - Antibiotic resistance crisis worsening because of collapse in supply



War 🚀🌎🔥

The Growing Dangers of the New Nuclear-Arms Race

"Less than a decade after President Barack Obama called for the abolition of nuclear weapons, the nine countries that possess them are engaged in a new nuclear-arms race. North Korea has most likely developed a hydrogen bomb, and its Hwasong-15 missiles may be large enough to transport not only a warhead but also decoys, chaff, and other countermeasures that would thwart America’s Ground-Based Midcourse Defense anti-ballistic-missile system. India recently commissioned its second ballistic-missile submarine, launched an Agni-5 ballistic missile that can strike targets throughout Pakistan and China, and tested nuclear-capable BrahMos and Nirbhay cruise missiles. Pakistan now has the world’s fastest-growing nuclear stockpile, including low-yield warheads on Hatf-9 missiles for use against Indian troops and armored vehicles. Israel is expanding the range of its Jericho III ballistic missiles and deploying cruise missiles with nuclear weapons on submarines. France and the United Kingdom are developing replacements for their Vanguard and Triomphant ballistic-missile submarines. China is about to introduce Dongfeng-41 ballistic missiles that will be mounted on trucks, loaded with up to ten nuclear warheads, and capable of reaching anywhere in the United States. Russia is building a wide range of new missiles, bombers, and submarines that will carry nuclear weapons. The R-28 Sarmat missile, nicknamed Satan-2, will carry up to sixteen nuclear warheads—more than enough for a single missile to destroy every American city with a population larger than a million people. Russia plans to build forty to fifty of the Satan-2s. Three other countries—Iran, Japan, and South Korea—may soon try to obtain their own nuclear arsenals."


The Highlight Reel