How biological detective work can reveal who engineered a virus

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, wasn’t intentionally created in a lab. We don’t have much evidence one way or the other whether its emergence into the world was the result of a lab accident or a natural jump from animal to human, but we know for sure that the virus is not the product of deliberate gene editing in a lab.
How do we know that? Bioengineering leaves traces — characteristic patterns in the RNA, the genetic code of a virus, that come from splicing in genes from elsewhere.

Read original

How biological detective work can reveal who engineered a virus

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, wasn’t intentionally created in a lab. We don’t have much evidence one way or the other whether its emergence into the world was the result of a lab accident or a natural jump from animal to human, but we know for sure that the virus is not the product of deliberate gene editing in a lab.
How do we know that? Bioengineering leaves traces — characteristic patterns in the RNA, the genetic code of a virus, that come from splicing in genes from elsewhere.

Read original

Pfizer’s clinical data puts the US one step closer to a Covid-19 vaccine for younger kids

A Food and Drug Administration review this week determined that Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine is safe and effective for children ages 5 to 11, paving the way for a shot to be authorized for that age group as soon as early November.
Pfizer also announced on Friday that the vaccine is more than 90 percent effective at protecting school-age children from serious illness or hospitalization from Covid-19, similar to the level of protection it provides in adults.

Read original

What Dave Chappelle gets wrong about trans people and comedy

Toward the end of Dave Chappelle’s incendiary Netflix standup special The Closer, he says something revealing about the fight he’s waged against trans people — a fight that’s drawn Netflix itself into the fray and which led to a walkout and protest against the company on October 20.
After discussing the death of his friend, a trans comedian named Daphne Dorman who Chappelle also mentioned in his previous special Sticks and Stones, Chappelle makes a joke where the punchline is to blatantly misgender her.

Read original

What Dave Chappelle gets wrong about trans people and comedy

Toward the end of Dave Chappelle’s incendiary Netflix standup special The Closer, he says something revealing about the fight he’s waged against trans people — a fight that’s drawn Netflix itself into the fray and which led to a walkout and protest against the company on October 20.
After discussing the death of his friend, a trans comedian named Daphne Dorman who Chappelle also mentioned in his previous special Sticks and Stones, Chappelle makes a joke where the punchline is to blatantly misgender her.

Read original

Who should get a Covid-19 booster shot right now?

It may be time for your Covid-19 vaccine booster shot.
The Food and Drug Administration has now authorized additional doses of all three Covid-19 vaccines in the US — Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson — for certain higher-risk groups and has said that booster shots don’t have to be the same brand as the first round of vaccination. The CDC has seconded those recommendations.

Read original

The French Dispatch is peak Wes Anderson. I wish I loved it.

The French Dispatch takes place in the fictional town of Ennui-sur-Blasé, France — the name of which, to my chagrin, neatly matches my feelings about the movie. Wes Anderson’s latest (full title: The French Dispatch of the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun) is not bad, per se. It’s just that the eponymous listlessness and indifference is, for me, its entire emotional effect.
Part of the trouble with Wes Anderson is that I know he’s making movies specifically for me, an occasionally pretentious dreamer with francophile tendencies and a fetish for printed magazines.

Read original

The French Dispatch is peak Wes Anderson. I wish I loved it.

The French Dispatch takes place in the fictional town of Ennui-sur-Blasé, France — the name of which, to my chagrin, neatly matches my feelings about the movie. Wes Anderson’s latest (full title: The French Dispatch of the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun) is not bad, per se. It’s just that the eponymous listlessness and indifference is, for me, its entire emotional effect.
Part of the trouble with Wes Anderson is that I know he’s making movies specifically for me, an occasionally pretentious dreamer with francophile tendencies and a fetish for printed magazines.

Read original

The French Dispatch is peak Wes Anderson. I wish I loved it.

The French Dispatch takes place in the fictional town of Ennui-sur-Blasé, France — the name of which, to my chagrin, neatly matches my feelings about the movie. Wes Anderson’s latest (full title: The French Dispatch of the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun) is not bad, per se. It’s just that the eponymous listlessness and indifference is, for me, its entire emotional effect.
Part of the trouble with Wes Anderson is that I know he’s making movies specifically for me, an occasionally pretentious dreamer with francophile tendencies and a fetish for printed magazines.

Read original

The Supreme Court’s very unusual new abortion orders, explained

The Supreme Court handed down a pair of very closely related orders on Friday concerning SB 8, a Texas law that effectively bans all abortions after the sixth week of pregnancy. The punchline is that the ban on nearly all abortions in Texas remains in effect, but the justices appear very eager to resolve the very unusual legal questions presented by this law.
The two orders arise out of two separate cases. Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson is a suit brought by abortion providers hoping to block SB 8. United States v.

Read original