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The Spill: Chinese Tensions

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China and the U.S. Aren’t Getting Along

The United States and China have not been on the best of terms lately. First, there were the trade wars between the two countries, then the novel Coronavirus that reportedly started in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Recently, the Chinese consulate in Houston, Texas, was forced to shut down, and staff given only 72 hours to leave the premises.

President Donald Trump’s administration claimed the consulate had been “a hub of spying and intellectual property theft.” It is rumored that the Chinese were trying to steal COVID experimental vaccination information as well. Mike Pompeo, the U.S. secretary of state, said the order to close Houston’s office happened because Beijing was “stealing” intellectual property.

China, however, disagrees with the claims. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the actions of the United States were based on “a hodgepodge of anti-Chinese lies.” In retaliation to Houston’s closure, China ordered the U.S. diplomats in its city of Chengdu to leave the American consulate there. The U.S. flag was lowered from the building. As the consulate was in the process of closing, local residents gathered outside, booing at a bus with tinted windows (supposedly carrying the American diplomats away from the area).

Tensions between China and America continue to grow. Who will make the next move, and what will be their course of action?

Vaccine Tests Under Way

There has been a lot of talk since the Coronavirus pandemic started of a vaccine to fight the virus. Will a vaccine be found, and if so, will it be safe and effective? Some countries have already passed laws making it compulsory for people to receive a vaccine if one is developed – what will the U.S. do?

On July 27, the United States started a phase three vaccination test in its race to find a way to protect the American people against COVID. The experimental treatment was developed by Moderna Inc. and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. In this stage of testing, roughly 30,000 people have participated in the trial.

In the first phase of testing, researchers analyze whether the vaccine will start an immune response. Phase two looks for people similar to those who are intended to receive the vaccination, such as the elderly or those with weakened health systems. In the third phase, the trial is expanded to a much larger test group and scientists investigate the safety and effectiveness.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has listed about 25 vaccines that could have some potential and are in trials.

Moderna is not the only drug manufacturer racing to find a cure and end the pandemic. The federal program Operation Warp Speed is providing support for companies looking for a vaccine. The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority gave $472 million to Moderna to help it through phase three trials, which brings the total amount spent on the testing to around $955 million so far.

KFC Introduces the Future of “Chicken”?

From cellphones to video games to space rockets, the wonderful world of technology has brought us all sorts of goodies. Take, for instance, the 3D printer that allows its user to create virtually anything with a few button punches. Whether it’s blankets, medicine, or pet toys, these contraptions seem to perform magic, and now Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) wants a bone in the competition. The fast-food chain has decided to use 3D printing to create a new version of its popular chicken nuggets.

In a press release, KFC said, “The project aims to create the world’s first laboratory-produced chicken nuggets.” Like something out of Star Trek, soon we may print our own meals. The restaurant added the nuggets “will be as close as possible in both taste and appearance to the original KFC product, while being more environmentally friendly to produce than ordinary meat.”

But the health-conscious may wonder exactly what they are eating. If these “chicken” nuggets aren’t made from meat, what are they made from?

A company based in Moscow will create the “chicken.” Its researchers will use plant-based material and chicken cells while KFC will provide the breading and spices it uses on its traditional meals. Yusef Khesuani, cofounder of 3D Bioprinting Solutions, said, “In the future … we are hoping that technology created as a result of our cooperation with KFC will help accelerate the launch of cell-based meat products on the market.”

Are you ready to try printer-made chicken nuggets?

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