mRNA Vaccine Used to Fight Brain Tumour

Brain tumours are scary and very difficult to deal with, current treatments include invasive surgery and/or radiation. The advent of mRNA based vaccines is making a difference in how we can treat various brain cancers and the early results are looking promising. A team just found a way to get the body’s immune system to start to find and address cancer within the brain. While the results are not yet usable the outlook is very promising.

“The demonstration that making an mRNA cancer vaccine in this fashion generates similar and strong responses across mice, pet dogs that have developed cancer spontaneously and human patients with brain cancer is a really important finding, because oftentimes we don’t know how well the preclinical studies in animals are going to translate into similar responses in patients,” said Duane Mitchell, M.D., Ph.D., director of the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute and the UF Brain Tumor Immunotherapy Program and a co-author of the paper. “And while mRNA vaccines and therapeutics are certainly a hot topic since the COVID pandemic, this is a novel and unique way of delivering the mRNA to generate these really significant and rapid immune responses that we’re seeing across animals and humans.”

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How Solar Supports Ukraine

Solar panels on grass

In the ongoing war caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine power plants have been attacked by both sides to hurt military and civilian operations. Beyond the obvious horrors of war the loss of power generation makes heating homes more challenging and people are suffering as a result. As Russia continues to target large power installations the solution is to turn to distributed power generation, and the best for of distributed power is renewable power. There’s now an organization in Ukraine installing solar power throughout the country to improve reliability of the grid and make it harder for Russia to cause blackouts.

What’s more, if we all follow Ukraine’s lead and get off of centralized power generation and move to a renewably powered electric economy then Russia would have fewer customers to sell oil to.

Hospitals save thousands of lives every day providing medical care to the civilian population, and for that they need an uninterrupted electricity supply. Water utilities provide water supply to the population. Solar power plants are a long-term solution to the problem, a reliable protection against possible worsening of the situation, and also one of the first steps for Ukrainian municipalities towards the green recovery of the country.

The non-government organization Ecoclub with the support of the Solar Energy Association of Ukraine, launched the Solar Aid For Ukraine Project ITS PURPOSE IS TO PROVIDE UKRAINIAN CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE WITH A RELIABLE SOURCE OF ELECTRICITY, WHICH IS SOLAR POWER PLANTS

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Bike Lanes are Really Good for Businesses (seriously, there are too many studies proving this)

Bike lanes are good for business and everybody knows it, except for business owners and local politicians afraid for of small minded businesses. Over at Business Insider they’re running an article that summarizes the current knowledge about bike lanes and how good they are. Like anything, there are winners and losers when it comes to change in the built environment and it’s clear some stores do better than others. The key thin is no business regrets having bike lanes once they are in. Yes, bike lanes are good for business.

The most effective way to deal with opposition from local businesses is to just get the bike lanes built. Before-and-after surveys tend to show that in the long run, everyone winds up satisfied. “It’s a political question, and oftentimes it’s a very divided community when it comes to these types of projects,” Poirier says. “But once a street is changed, generally speaking, after six months or a year, nobody remembers what it used to look like. It’s the new normal.” All the data in the world may prove that bike lanes are good for business. But nothing beats experiencing them.

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Packing Potential Power: Better Batteries Blasting Baselines

Graph showing increasing quality of batteries and decreasing costs of batteries.
Source: Ziegler and Trancik (2021) before 2018 (end of data), BNEF Long-Term Electric Vehicle Outlook (2023) since 2018, BNEF Lithium-Ion Battery Price Survey (2023) for 2015-2023, RMI analysis.

The baseline power that a battery can deal out is increasing at a faster rate than anticipated. This s-curve of growth reflects the burgeoning demand of batteries as we increasingly electricity our systems and shift away from fossil fuels (finally!), and global industry is feeding that demand. As there is more demand for batteries we see an increase in supply and research into improving batteries, which lead to better batteries. This feedback loop of efficiency is driving growth in batteries to double every three years! Even government subsidies for the fossil fuel sector won’t keep the oil companies burning our planet once these bigger market factors really are felt on the global economy. Once you go electric, you never go back.

If we look forward to the next seven years, we see the drivers of change strengthening. Notably, we see costs continuing to fall, policy support continuing to rise, and competition between economic blocs continuing to drive a race to the top. And while there are barriers to battery adoption on the horizon, humanity’s wit, will, and capital are scaling proportionally faster. Thus, we do not see a scenario of slow adoption as credible; instead, we model two futures: fast or faster. Reality is likely to lie somewhere between the two.

RMI forecasts that in 2030, top-tier density will be between 600 and 800 Wh/kg, costs will fall to $32–$54 per kWh, and battery sales will rise to between 5.5–8 TWh per year. To get a sense of this speed of change, the lower-bound (or the “fast” scenario) is running in line with BNEF’s Net Zero scenario. The faster S-curve scenario exceeds it.

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Walking Increases Wellbeing and Productivity

Are you looking to improve your productivity AND your well being? Then just go walk it off. Walking is a good way to stay fit and have fun, but it’s also a good way to relax your mind. By going for a walk you give yourself space to let the mind wander and explore new ideas instead of being exposed to the same interior space. The more you explore on foot the better things can get.

One thing you learn when you walk really far is that so many things that you’re concerned about on a daily basis really don’t matter. Also you learn that most things have a solution and that solution is really usually quite close by.

You think better when you walk. Obviously you won’t become Steve Jobs just by walking. But it’s a good start. What’s interesting is that at Stanford University, in 2015, they started research on it and they confirmed what we know: you become much more creative by walking. Charles Darwin had his own walking path—every time he’d get stopped up in his head, he took a little walk.

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