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First COVID-19 treating pill approved in the UK

First COVID-19 treating pill approved in the UK
Nov 4 2021 Share

The UK has become the first to give legal approval to a new pill designed to treat COVID-19. With more than 104 million doses of the vaccine administered in the UK, with an estimated 45.8 fully vaccinated, the country is still experiencing a massive spike in cases. Just yesterday, on the 3rd of November, 41,299 positive cases were reported, along with 217 deaths and more than 141,000 people having lost their lives to the virus. 

However, the new pill is meant to crack down on COVID-19 for those recently tested positive. Molnupiravir, which was developed by  US drug company Merck, is the first oral antiviral medication for COVID-19, BBC News reports. It will be given twice a day for 5 days to patients over the age of 18. The pill allegedly cut the risk of hospitalisations or deaths by half among patients with early symptoms. 

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Health Secretary Sajid Javid said that today is a historic day for the UK, as it is the first country in the world to approve an antiviral which can also be taken at home to combat COVID-19. ‘We are working at pace across the government and with the NHS to set out plans to deploy molnupiravir to patients through a national study as soon as possible.’ What do you make of this? 

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The world’s best cheese for 2021 has been revealed…

Nov 4 2021 Share

Attention all cheese lovers – the master of all cheeses has been chosen and it’s… Olavidia – a soft goat’s cheese from Spain. It won first place at the World Cheese Awards (yes, that exists) on Wednesday, besting an entire field of 4,079 entries from more than 40 countries on five continents. Olavidia is made by an artisan cheesemaker using the commercial name Quesos y Besos (Cheeses and Kisses), and it received 103 votes, besting second place finisher from France. 

A British judge, Jason Hinds, described the cheese before the rest of the panel, saying that it had a ‘rich, seductive, creamy texture’ and a ‘flavour that was round and warm’. ‘I just wanted to go to bed with it’ he claimed. Sexual innuendos aside, owner of the winning cheese producer Silvia Pelaez said that they are a small humble cheesemaker in Jaen, and that daily labour has its reward.

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The goat’s cheese has a noticeable black stripe in the middle, something the judges highlighted. The product was described as matured with penicillium candid and olive stone ash (with the latter probably accounting for the black stripe). With some 250 judges ranging from food scientists and chefs mingling with each other and the cheeses, the Spanish product managed to outrank all its competition. 

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Photo Source: CNN

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Malta could lose 16% of groundwater volume due to climate change

Malta could lose 16% of groundwater volume due to climate change
Nov 4 2021 Share

Despite our island being one of the poorest countries globally in terms of water resources, Malta could lose 16% of its groundwater volume due to the climate change crisis. Groundwater supplies almost half of the portable water in Malta, and 16% could be lost within the next 80 years, a study reports. The study was carried out by scientists from the Universities of Calabria and Malta, lead by Professor Aaron Micallef. 

With three-dimensional geological and groundwater models developed for the Maltese islands, there were three predicted effects considered. These involve reduction in precipitation, increase in water demand and the sea-level rise. Water demand plays the most prominent role in reducing groundwater volume, with sea rise being the least impactful. With new measures introduced in the COP26, it remains to be seen whether this crisis could be averted. 

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Classic cars could become the next big electric vehicle trend

Classic cars could become the next big electric vehicle trend
Nov 4 2021 Share

As we all consider making the move towards a more sustainable mode of transportation, it seems as though classic cars are making a massive, and environmentally friendly, comeback. Lunaz, founded in 2018 in Silverstone, England, specialises in electric engine conversions of high-end classic cars. Whether it’s a six-seat Rolls-Royce Phantom to an Aston Martin DB5, this is one of the growing number of businesses providing such a service. 

Lorenz goes as far as to claim that electric engines can make classic cars low-maintenance and user-friendly to preserve these cars for future generations. So, however you feel about the conversion to electric vehicles, it seems as though the aesthetic won’t be too far gone. It will instead be part of the revolution and will offer a variety of benefits. 

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Engineering PhD researcher at Cardiff University Dominic Dattero-Snell said that electric vehicles (EVs), with no tailpipe emissions, are less polluting and cheaper to refuel than petrol or diesel cars. There might be a catch however – despite new EV producing overall lower CO2 emissions than petrol cars, manufacturing can account for anywhere between 20 to 95% of the emissions associated with an electric vehicle. 

EV conversions aren’t an easy alternative to scrapping schemes yet  however, as they are expensive and take up thousands of hours. Still, classic cars are the perfect testing ground for these conversions, as the benefits in terms of increased reliability and usability are more evident. Not to mention sentimental value – which make owners more likely to invest. 

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Photo Source: CNN

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