• Dr. Herpy

World News 11/17-11/20

Your weekly newsflash:

On Mondaypsychedelic mushrooms are now being shown, by scientists, to significantly reduce depressive symptoms when mixed with psychotherapy. Psilocybin, the compound that gives “magic mushrooms” their magic has the ability to reduce depressive symptoms 4 times more effectively than traditional antidepressants. According to data from the U.S. Centers For Disease Control (CDC), tens of millions of adults have at some point in their life suffered from chronic anxiety disorder. One in 6 will have depressive symptoms during some period in their life. In their new trial scientists are trying to see if psilocybin could be effective enough to be considered a standard treatment for depressive disorders. Scientists and people all around the world are excited to know if this new treatment could be another aid in helping people with debilitating mental disorders such as depression.                              

On Tuesday, early results were announced today showing a robust 90% success rate for the new coronavirus vaccine. As part of the phase 3 trials launched in July by developers Pfizer and BioNTech, the participants from six countries, the US, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, and Turkey received two injections spaced 21 days apart. Researchers compared those participants who recipe the vaccine with participants who received a placebo shot and results show that 90% of the vaccinated group reported no contraction of the disease. This data is only an early look at how the new vaccine seems to be performing and further safety and efficiency data will continue to be collected.                                   

On Wednesday, Stephen Hawking’s 50 year old mystery about what would happen if you were to fall into a black hole was finally solved. The question Mr. Hawking once asked, “If you were to fall into a black hole, would you ever come out?” Researchers have just now answered this question with a simple, yes. Hawking discovered quantum uncertainty causes small amounts of radiation to emanate from a black hole called “Hawking radiation.” This eventually causes it to lose mass and evaporate into nothingness. If the black hole loses mass and eventually disappears, then what falls in must appear again somewhere. The question is, where, how, and why does the information escape? The way in which it works is through quantum entanglement, a phenomenon which simply means that particles of matter can be linked on the quantum level, and display patterns and reactivity to each other even though they could be separated by thousands of miles. In demonstrating that entanglement entropy of black holes followed the Page curve, Almheiri and his friends confirmed that black holes do in fact release information. 

On Thursday, the International Energy Agency or IEA has just now reported unbelievable growth figures in renewable energy sectors of major countries such as India, China, and the U.S., even as their economies struggle with COVID-19. A slight 5% dip in global energy demand, priority access to power grids, and continuous installation of new renewable power plants, worldwide growth in renewable energy will reach 7% by the end of 2020. Although supply chain disruptions and construction delays may have slowed down the progress of renewable energy in the first months of lockdown, however, construction of plants and manufacturing ramped up quickly again. With increasing production of solar panels, wind farms, and manufacturers such as Tesla renewable energy has just now hit a record growth. 

On Friday, as many more tech and research organizations turn their sights towards space exploration, a Brooklyn-based startup has discovered a new way to explore the solar system without polluting the earth. This company is applying their carbon conversion technology to help the space industry become more eco -friendly by turning C02 into rocket fuel. Until now, rocket engines have used liquid methane made from natural gas, an unsustainable, non-reusable fossil fuel product. However, organizations like SpaceX and Blue Origin have begun to look for new propellants so they can power their rocket engines for commercial spaceflight and Mars exploration. If a CO2 fueled rocket was used for every launch, space companies would mitigate 715 tons of CO2 from being emitted into the atmosphere. This CO2 fuel can also be used for many other forms of transportation, although it is most being focused on space exploration for right now. Air Company says that the dream of humans inhabiting Mars is now becoming more of a reality thanks to their new CO2 fuel.