Couple Of Notes From The Science World

Even as the extreme right MAGAs try to undermine science on all fronts, science still marches on. Here are a few things I just wanted to make sure you hear about so it doesn’t get drowned out in all the noise out there

First – You know those electric battery cars that we are planning on to be the way we cut a huge amount of climate changing gasses that are emitted into the air? Well it looks like the world’s largest battery maker (CATL) will be start making batteries this summer that will up the power and range of their batteries. This is a game changer:

In one of the most significant battery breakthroughs in recent years, the world’s largest battery manufacturer CATL has announced a new “condensed” battery with 500 Wh/kg which it says will go into mass production this year.

CATL’s new condensed battery will have almost double the energy intensity of Tesla’s 4680 cells, whose rating of 272-296 Wh/kg are considered very high by current standards.

During the presentation, CATL said its working with partners on the development of electric passenger aircraft practicing aviation-level standards and testing in accordance with aviation-grade safety and quality requirements.

In addition to aircraft, CATL says it will soon launch the automotive-grade version of condensed batteries which it says will also go into mass production within this year.

With the density CATL’s batteries battery powered flight and sea craft are possible – very exciting.

In another area some exciting news out of Boston from last summer look to be coming to fruition. You may remember that some sketchy information about a true Covid vaccine coming out last summer. We had an update just last week, and thing’s are looking promising. The following article has a lot of information and I suggest you read the full article. But here are a couple of paragraphs to whet your appetite:

A new way to neutralize

What characteristics make SP1-77 so efficient at neutralizing the virus? Through the combined efforts of structural biology studies conducted by teams led by Bing Chen, the Rosalind Franklin, PhD Professor of Pediatrics at Boston Children’s; Jun Zhang, HMS instructor in pediatrics at Boston Children’s; and Barton Haynes at Duke, it was discovered that this antibody functions in a distinct manner.

For SARS-CoV-2 to infect human beings, it must first bind to ACE2 receptors on our cells. Many of the antibodies produced in response to vaccines, as well as those used in the treatment of COVID-19, inhibit this binding process. They achieve this by attaching to the spike’s receptor-binding domain at specific sites.

The SP1-77 antibody, however, interacts with the receptor-binding domain in a unique way that does not stop the virus from binding to ACE2 receptors.

So how would it protect us?

After the virus attaches itself to ACE2, it has to perform a concluding process: integrating its exterior membrane with the membrane of our cells. This effectively paves the way for infection. With the help of a unique live-cell imaging platform, Alex Kreutzberger, an instructor in pediatrics at Boston Children’s from HMS, and Tomas Kirchhausen, a professor of cell biology at the Blavatnik Institute at HMS and also a professor of pediatrics at Boston Children’s, demonstrated that SP1-77 halts this process.

This is just a short blurb on a couple of what should be game changers from the world of science.


About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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1 Response to Couple Of Notes From The Science World

  1. Edward Fallon says:

    Good column, Dave. It’s sad that our Democratic leaders rarely talk about climate and related issues. Ed


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