Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Nobel Prize in Medicine Awarded for Work in Nervous System Discovery

Two scientists have received the 2021 Nobel Prize in Medicine for their discoveries of molecular receptors that detect temperature and touch. Nearly two decades ago, David Julius, a physiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, used capsaicin, the ‘spicy’ compound found in chili peppers, to figure out how the nervous system responds to and registers changes in body temperature. His team searched for a certain gene that induces this response, finally locating it after scouring millions of DNA fragments. Simultaneously, in 2002, Ardem Patapoutian, a scientist at Scripps Research in La Jolla, California, independently discovered another receptor that responds to low temperatures. The discovery of these receptors cascaded into the identification of numerous other receptors for temperature change. 

German Elections

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When German chancellor Angela Merkel announced her intention to not run in the 2021 election two years ago, everyone knew it would be a defining event that would shape not only Germany's future, but the entirety of Europe’s.

Trudeau’s Gamble

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On September 20th, Canadians headed to the polls to vote in the 44th Canadian federal election. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the election on August 15th hoping that his Liberal Party would win a majority in the House of Commons.

Booster Shot Plan Controversy

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Recent turmoil has broken out between the FDA and the Biden administration over whether or not it is necessary for all people to get the booster shot, and the FDA thinks politics are playing a clear role in the plan.

Statewide School Bus Shortage Leads To Panic

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Imagine waiting outside of your house for the bus to come. Ten minutes go by. Twenty minutes go by. You are still stranded in your driveway with no way to get to school. This is the reality for thousands of students across New York.

The World’s Whitest Paint Could Remove the Need for Air Conditioning

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Purdue University professor of mechanical engineering Xiulin Ruan and his students have created the whitest paint on record, which scientists claim could potentially lower or remove the need for air conditioning. 

Kidnap Crisis in Nigeria

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Nigeria has seen an alarming rise in mass school kidnappings in the past year and especially these last few months, leaving at least 1 million students unsure as to whether they will be able to attend school this year due to safety concerns. Armed groups have targeted schools to carry out their mass abductions for ransom, with more than 1,400 children abducted and 16 dead so far this year. At this point, 200 are still missing, leaving “families and communities remain[ing] fearful of sending children back to their classrooms”, said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria.

America Pulls Out of Afghanistan

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20 years after the most awful terrorist attack in American history on September 11, 2001, the United States has pulled out of its longest war in history. Started under George W. Bush to focus on finding Osama bin Laden and bring down the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, Operation Enduring Freedom marked the rise of America’s presence in Afghanistan when airstrikes bombed Kabul on October 7, 2001. After losing over 2,400 American soldiers and over 40,000 Afghani civilians, the Taliban continues to freely operate in Afghanistan. 

New York State Congressional Redistricting

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After the results of the 2020 Census, New York narrowly lost one of its 27 congressional districts. New York will now have 26 congressional districts starting from the 2022 election cycle all the way up to the 2032 election cycle. The district to be eliminated will likely be the 22nd congressional district. It includes the cities of Utica and Binghamton. Donald Trump won the 22nd 54.7% to Joe Biden’s 43.3%. Currently, New York’s congressional delegation consists of 18 Democrats and 9 Republicans. This number will certainly move in favor of the Democrats after the redistricting process. 

Update on El Salvador’s Bitcoin Adoption

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As cryptocurrency becomes more mainstream, both supporters and critics have asked the question of whether it will become officially endorsed by a country? El Salvador officially adopted bitcoin as a means of currency.

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