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注冊日期 : 2023-04-12

US aims for electric-car revolution — will it work? Empty US aims for electric-car revolution — will it work?

周三 4月 12, 2023 11:01 pm
A US judge’s decision to overturn the approval of mifepristone could put other drugs at risk, pharmaceutical-industry executives warn.

The Environmental Protection Agency has released draft regulations that set the stage for a huge transition to electric vehicles.

A complete understanding of how exposure to environmental substances promotes cancer formation is lacking. More than 70 years ago, tumorigenesis was proposed to occur in a two-step process: an initiating step that induces mutations in healthy cells, followed by a promoter step that triggers cancer development1. Here we propose that environmental particulate matter measuring ≤2.5 μm (PM2.5), known to be associated with lung cancer risk, promotes lung cancer by acting on cells that harbour pre-existing oncogenic mutations in healthy lung tissue. Focusing on EGFR-driven lung cancer, which is more common in never-smokers or light smokers, we found a significant association between PM2.5 levels and the incidence of lung cancer for 32,957 EGFR-driven lung cancer cases in four within-country cohorts. Functional mouse models revealed that air pollutants cause an influx of macrophages into the lung and release of interleukin-1β. This process results in a progenitor-like cell state within EGFR mutant lung alveolar type II epithelial cells that fuels tumorigenesis. Ultradeep mutational profiling of histologically normal lung tissue from 295 individuals across 3 clinical cohorts revealed oncogenic EGFR and KRAS driver mutations in 18% and 53% of healthy tissue samples, respectively. These findings collectively support a tumour-promoting role for PM2.5 air pollutants and provide impetus for public health policy initiatives to address air pollution to reduce disease burden.

Lunar eclipses were chronicled in medieval accounts (left to right) by Beatus of Liébana, Johannes de Sacrobosco and Fujiwara no Teika.Credit, L to R: British Lib. Board (Add. MS 11695, f108r); New York Public Lib. (De Sphaera, MssCol 2557, f112v); Meigetsuki 4, 517 (2000)/Reizei-ke Shiguretei Bunko/Tokyo: Asahi Shinbunsha

Mifepristone is used in combination with misoprostol to terminate a pregnancy.Credit: Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty

More than 500 people, including many pharmaceutical executives, have signed a letter condemning a federal judge’s decision to overturn US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of the abortion drug mifepristone. The document supports the FDA’s authority to regulate medicines and calls for the reversal of the ruling. By ignoring “decades of scientific evidence”, the decision creates a dangerous precedent that puts the approval of all drugs at risk, the letter says.

“Adding regulatory uncertainty to the already inherently risky work of discovering and developing new medicines will likely have the effect of reducing incentives for investment, endangering the innovation that characterizes our industry,” the signatories write. Among them are executives of prominent drug companies including Pfizer, AbbVie and Bristol Myers Squibb.

Electric cars could account for more than half of new US passenger-vehicles sales in ten years.Credit: Dominick Sokotoff/ZUMA/Alamy

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today proposed a landmark set of pollution regulations that could spark an electric-vehicle revolution and drive down greenhouse-gas emissions.

Under the rules, electric vehicles could account for an estimated 67% of new US passenger-car sales by 2032 and additional gains for larger vehicles — a major feat for a country where transportation is the largest source of greenhouse-gas emissions.

“These actions will accelerate the ongoing transition to a clean-vehicle future, tackle the climate crisis and improve our air quality for communities across the country,” EPA administrator Michael Regan said during a press conference.

The rules, which are currently in draft form pending public comments, apply to automobiles sold between 2027 and 2032. They would reduce average emissions from new passenger vehicles by more than half compared to the existing standard. But will the proposal succeed and how would it impact climate change?

Data availability
Duplex-seq data for the PEACE and BDRE cohorts are available at the European Genome–Phenome Archive (EGA) with the identifier EGAS00001006951. Duplex-seq data generated from PEACE study samples during this study are not publicly available and restrictions apply to the availability of these data. Such Duplex-seq data are available through the Cancer Research UK and University College London Cancer Trials Centre (ctc.peace@ucl.ac.uk) for academic, non-commercial research purposes upon reasonable request and subject to review of a project proposal that will be evaluated by a PEACE data access committee, entering into an appropriate data access agreement and subject to any applicable ethical approvals. Duplex-seq data generated from the BDRE study are available through J. DeGregori (James.Degregori@cuanschutz.edu) for academic, non-commercial research purposes upon reasonable request, entering into an appropriate data access agreement and subject to any applicable ethical approvals. The Duplex-seq data for the BDRE and PEACE studies were generated using a larger panel of probes that covered approximately 50 kb of the genome, spanning hotspots frequently mutated in cancers. This full dataset has been provided for the 17 never-smoker individuals from the PEACE study. For all other samples, only data for the EGFR and KRAS regions queried are included in this manuscript. The RNA-seq data for the COPA study are available at the EGA with the identifier EGAS00001006966. De-identified participant data are available upon reasonable request to C.C. (christopher.carlsten@ubc.ca) for academic, non-commercial research purposes. Data availability is subject to a data access agreement and applicable ethical approvals. Mouse WGS data are available at the European Nucleotide Archive (ENA) with the identifier PRJEB58221 (ERP143287). Mouse RNA-seq data are available at the ENA with the identifier PRJEB59269 (ERP144330). Source data are provided with this paper.

Japanese poet Fujiwara no Teika wrote in his diary of an unusually long and dark lunar eclipse in December 1229, observing that it was as if the Moon had entirely “disappeared”. Now climatologists have used Teika’s account and dozens of lunar observations made by medieval scholars, clerics and monks to help pin down the timing and impact of volcanic eruptions from 1100 to 1300. The research corroborates ice-core data and could help scientists to understand the run-up to the cold period known as the Little Ice Age.

Nature | 4 min read

Reference: Nature paper

How air pollution causes lung cancer
Air pollution might cause lung cancer by creating inflammation that encourages proliferation of cells with existing cancer-driving mutations — not by mutating DNA itself. The results provide a mechanism that could apply to other cancers caused by environmental exposure and might one day lead to ways to prevent them. “The idea is that exposures to carcinogens could promote cancer without actually doing anything to the DNA,” says medical geneticist Serena Nik-Zainal. “Not every carcinogen is a mutagen.”

Nature | 5 min read

Reference: Nature paper

Africa’s first central biobank opens
Africa’s first central biodiversity repository has launched in South Africa, giving a new home to more than a million DNA, seed, animal-tissue and microbe samples. They are insurance for the future and a source of genes for improving crops and livestock or for developing medicines, explains the project’s leader, Michele Hamer.

Nature Africa | 3 min read

Stem-cell derived ‘embryos’ in monkeys
Blastocytes derived from monkey stem cells have been implanted in the animals, triggering the early signs of pregnancy. The blastoids and pregnancy indications disappeared after 20 days, but the breakthrough could offer a new way to study how embryos develop. The mechanisms of human development are still largely unstudied because of the ethical difficulties of sourcing and experimenting with human embryos.

Approval overturned
Endorsed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the combination of mifepristone and misoprostol is the most commonly prescribed regimen for medication abortion in the United States. But on 7 April, judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, in the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas, ruled in favour of a group of anti-abortion organizations and physicians who sought to overturn the FDA’s approval of mifepristone in 2000, arguing that the drug is unsafe.



‘Ideological attacks’
Kacsmaryk’s ruling is set to take effect on 14 April. Both the US Department of Justice and Danco Laboratories, the maker of the branded version of mifepristone, have filed appeals and asked for the temporary suspension of the decision.

“If this ruling were to stand, then there will be virtually no prescription, approved by the FDA, that would be safe from these kinds of political, ideological attacks,” said US President Joe Biden in a statement.

During a media briefing on 10 April, Jessica Ellsworth, the lead counsel for Danco in this case, said she’s hopeful that either the appeals court or the Supreme Court will suspend the decision before 14 April.

Can the United States make enough electric vehicles in time?
The country has one of the largest vehicle fleets in the world, so one question is whether it’s possible to scale up to so many more electric vehicles in just a few years. Challenges include the need to roll out charging infrastructure, ramp up manufacturing capacity for electric cars and convince people to change their habits.

However, the rules are arriving in an economy that is already primed for innovation and change, says Margo Oge, who led the development of similar vehicle regulations as head of the EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality under former president Barack Obama.

In particular, an infrastructure bill enacted by Congress in 2021 and a massive spending bill known as the Inflation Reduction Act, passed in 2022, are funnelling federal money into charging infrastructure and tax credits for consumers and for manufacturers of automobiles or batteries that upgrade or build new facilities.

Even without the EPA’s rules, electric vehicles could account for more than 50% of new US vehicle sales by 2030, according to a January study by the International Council on Clean Transportation, a non-profit research group in Washington DC, and the consultancy Energy Innovation Policy and Technology in San Francisco, California. The EPA rules would help to eliminate lingering uncertainties about how federal incentives will play out under the Inflation Reduction Act, says Robbie Orvis, a senior director at Energy Innovation: “It cements current trends into place, and creates a much stronger investment climate.”

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