IST Saturday News Dump–13May23

Once again the week has ended and time for the now famous IST News Dump that brings under-reported news stories….stories that are of interest and some even bring to my readers a bit of the old FYI….

Enough intro….let’s get started….

Does anyone remember the Russian protest band, Pussy Riot?  As one could imagine they are not high on the Putin popularity chart….the band members have found a home away from home…..

Two members of the Russian protest and performance art band Pussy Riot are on course to become citizens of Iceland after fleeing their homeland. Maria Alyokhina and Lucy Shtein are on a list of people to receive fast-tracked citizenship through parliamentary decree, reports Iceland Review. After Russia invaded Ukraine last year, Shtein, who was already under house arrest, decided it was time to get out of the country and dodged surveillance of her Moscow home by dressing in a food courier’s outfit. Alyokhina, her girlfriend, later used the same outfit to escape.

Bryndís Haraldsdóttir, chairman of the citizenship committee, said members decided to grant the pair citizenship as an act of protest against Russia, the Reykjavik Grapevine reports. Long before the invasion of Ukraine, members of Pussy Riot were targeted by Russian authorities for their protests against Vladimir Putin’s policies. Some served time in prison. On Saturday, members of the group including Alyokhina visited Tulsa to accept the Woody Guthrie award from Nora Guthrie, the singer’s daughter, the Tulsa World reports.

“As artists who, like Woody Guthrie, have the courage of their convictions, there are no contemporary artists more worthy of this recognition than Pussy Riot,” said Cady Shaw, director of the Woody Guthrie Center, per the World. “They have paid a very personal price for speaking their minds on the most serious issues of our time, yet they continue to fight for justice and freedom.” Another member, Nadya Tolokonnikova, has been placed on Russia’s criminal wanted list, though she is believed to live in the US.

A Louisiana man shoots a kid playing hide and seek……

A Louisiana man is facing multiple charges after allegedly opening fire on young people who were playing hide-and-seek on his property. Authorities say David V. Doyle, 58, shot a 14-year-old girl in the back of the head early Sunday, USA Today reports. She was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries and Doyle was charged with aggravated battery, four counts of aggravated assault with a firearm, and illegal discharge of a firearm. The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office said they received a report of a shooting in Sparks, a small town near the Texas border.

The sheriff’s office said deputies were called to the home around 1am Sunday, KPLC reports. The office said detectives determined that several juveniles were playing hide-and-seek in the area and were hiding on Sparks’ property. The only homes on the dead-end road are those of Doyle, the victim’s family, and a relative of the victim’s family, per KPLC. The sheriff’s office said Doyle told investigators that he retrieved his firearm after seeing shadows outside his home. He said he then “observed people running away from his property, at which time he began shooting at them and unknowingly hit the girl.”

Just another normal day in America.

Environmentalists are concerned about the global build-up of discarded plastic…..and now some possible ‘good’ news…..

Scientists have been aware of microorganisms that can digest plastic, but they’re of limited help. They mostly need temperatures over 86 degrees Fahrenheit to function; heating the environment for them is impractical and not carbon neutral. But now microbes have been isolated that can do the work at a much lower temperature, about 59 degrees, the Guardian reports. Scientists from the Swiss Federal Institute WSL documented their work in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology. The discovery was made in the Alps and the Arctic. “These organisms could help to reduce the costs and environmental burden of an enzymatic recycling process for plastic,” one of the researchers said.

Just more than half of the strains tested—11 fungi and eight bacteria—could digest biodegradable polyester-polyurethane (PUR); 14 fungi and three bacteria digested the plastic mixtures of polybutylene adipate terephthalate (PBAT) and polylactic acid (PLA). None could digest non-biodegradable polyethylene (PE). It’s a trail scientists have been on for a while, and an American researcher has pointed out the challenge in the past. “Think about the sheer scale on which we manufacture plastics and the low value of these plastics,” said Susannah Scott, a chemical engineer at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “It’s a tall order to ask biology to do that well.”

For years I have been reading and writing about this ‘breakthrough’….if it is so promising why is it taking so long to implement?

Keeping with the environmental thing……fir years we have heard from deniers that the CO2 in our atmosphere was not from emissions but rather from cow farts…this also helped those vegan freaks to promote their lifestyle…..but is that all there is?

Cows and methane. No doubt you have heard that cow’s burps are a major source of methane, a very active greenhouse gas. Sources vary, but some say ruminants, of which cows are just one example, are responsible for 16 percent of worldwide methane emissions.

What are ruminants? Ruminants have a specialized stomach, called the rumen, that harbors bacteria and other organisms that ferment grasses and other vegetative food, turning otherwise indigestible fiber into compounds the ruminant can use for growth and maintenance. But one class of organisms, the methanogens, working in the oxygen deficient environment of the rumen, use some of those products of fermentation for their growth and maintenance, releasing methane as a byproduct. The ruminant burps this methane into the atmosphere.

But here is something you have probably never heard when cows are accused of being a major cause of global warming: Methane contains one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms. The carbon atom a ruminant belches came from the carbon dioxide a plant took from the atmosphere. The methane released from the rumen will decay back to carbon dioxide after 10 to 12 years of roaming around the atmosphere.

Perspective: Don’t blame cattle for climate change

On the meat production thing…..cultured meat.

According to a recent study that was published in the journal ACS Synthetic Biology, researchers at the Tufts University Center for Cellular Agriculture (TUCCA) have developed immortalized bovine muscle stem cells (iBSCs) that can grow rapidly, divide hundreds of times, and possibly continue to do so indefinitely. These immortalized cells are a significant step toward making it possible for millions of people to be fed through cellular agriculture, which is the process of growing meat in bioreactors.

Currently, it is difficult and expensive to produce cell-cultured meat because muscle and fat cells need to be able to grow and divide rapidly. Normal muscle stem cells can only divide about 50 times before they stop dividing and die. However, immortalized cells developed by the TUCCA team can divide indefinitely, which means they can produce much more meat.

Making these immortalized cells widely available will make it easier and cheaper for other researchers to develop cell-cultured meat, which could help to reduce the environmental impact of meat production.

That just does not seem edible to me….but I am old.

Sorry but that is all I have on the Mother’s weekend Saturday….

Enjoy your day and give your mother a hug.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”