What do monkeypox vaccines and bioterrorism have in common?

·2 min read

N&O Innovation and Technology Newsletter: July 8, 2022

Today’s newsletter is 457 words, a 3.5-minute read.

You probably have heard of US government’s scramble to buy monkeypox vaccines.

You probably haven’t heard why the US developed the monkeypox vaccine in the first place two decades ago.

The Danish drug company, which has a US headquarters in the Triangle, created the vaccine not in preparation for an outbreak like the one we’re currently seeing across the US, but in preparation for bioterrorist attack.

To read more about the vaccine’s history and the drug company’s connection to North Carolina, click here.

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Tech news from the Triangle

  • Investors pay $62.5 million to turn Durham shopping center into life sciences campus [N&O]

  • Solar energy is growing in NC but still occupies less farmland than you might think [N&O]

  • Welcome To The Metaverse: Raleigh’s Transmira Envisions A New Meta World [GrepBeat]

My five must-reads of the week

  • Elon Musk never ceases to surprise me. In some juicy tech gossip news, Insider reported that Musk quietly fathered twins with an executive from his company, Neuralink, last November. For anyone keeping track at home, he now has two sets of twins, one set of triplets and two single-born kids for a total of 9 (known) children. [Insider]

  • Disinfecting surfaces might not be our ticket out of communicable diseases. In fact, this writer argues that these measures do very little to actually prevent the spread of viruses like COVID-19, and “perpetuates unscientific thinking about coronavirus transmission”. [Atlantic]

  • Yet another omicron subvariant has taken over as the dominant strain in the US. BA.5 is now threatening new waves of infections. [NYT]

  • Five decades ago, a report based on early computer models predicted when and how the Earth would collapse. This Q&A probes what the report got right (which might surprise you) and where it diverged from reality [WIRED]

  • Hoards of Gen Z jokesters have pushed the newest Minions movie to shatter box office records. I don’t want to give too much away but the story involves millions of middle and high schoolers swarming theatres in full suits. [Vanity Fair]

Other Triangle business

  • In less than a day, Raleigh loses a sign that the city once considered a landmark [N&O]

  • Potential 40-story buildings get mixed results in downtown Raleigh, North Hills [N&O]

  • Raleigh creates city’s first social drinking district in part of downtown [N&O]

Let me know what you’re seeing. Email me at trosenbluth@newsobserver.com. Tweet me @teddyrosenbluth.

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This newsletter was produced with financial support from a coalition of partners led by Innovate Raleigh as part of an independent journalism fellowship program. The N&O maintains full editorial control of the work. Learn more; go to bit.ly/newsinnovate

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