An Antidote for the Evening News

An Antidote for the Evening News Image
Amidst dreary news of war and pandemic, we can celebrate four monumental achievements by visionary innovators, problem solvers, and scientists to propel the planet forward.  Here's my antidote to the evening news and a quick review of some of the overlooked stories of the past week. 

NASA's James Webb Telescope Gets Deployed

An extraordinary team of humans including inventors, problem solvers, engineers, and scientist launched a tennis-court-sized telescope into space. They deployed this remarkably complex looking glass one million miles from earth and unfurled its 21 foot mirror without a hitch.  The James Webb telescope will allow us to peer into the origins of the universe and it has already demonstrated the power of human ingenuity.  To quote Thomas Zurbuchen's Op-Ed in
"A team...had to take that vision and turn it into reality: the biggest, most powerful, most complex space science observatory the world has ever seen. To do that, we needed inventors and implementors. We needed visionaries and leaders who focus on realism of technology, schedule and cost. We needed both decades-long experience and youthful, unfettered enthusiasm. And we needed commercial and government stakeholders together with international partners, all aligned behind one purpose: to achieve this outlandish science goal. Truly, the only way big goals are achieved is by diverse teams that come together as one."

Man with Severed Spine Walks Again

In research published in Nature Medicine, Swiss researchers reported a seminal moment in spinal injury intervention: a man with a fully severed spine walked again, freely. Michel Roccati, who suffered a completely severed spine as the result of a motorbike accident, had a spinal implant reconnect neurological signaling to his legs. This complex technology is not a panacea for spinal injuries but it represents a promising breakthrough that may offer hope to many. To read a little more in this extraordinary achievement, read more on the BBC website.

Breakthrough in Production of Fusion Energy

The Joint European Toros (JET) Laboratory announced a breakthrough in the generation of power through a fusion reaction. The effort produced 59 megajoules of energy over five seconds (11 megawatts of power) which eclipses the 1997 standard by a factor of two. It was no overnight success but rather the tireless work of thousands of scientists and engineers over the course of 40 years.
Dr. Joe Milnes, head of operations at the reactor lab, was quoted in this BBC article "The JET experiments put us a step closer to fusion power. We've demonstrated that we can create a mini star inside of our machine and hold it there for five seconds and get high performance, which really takes us into a new realm."

South African Firm Creates Own mRNA Vaccine to Help Close Vaccine Gap

A South Africa-based biotechnology company Afrigen Biologics and Vaccines communicated their success at developing their own mRNA vaccine with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO) and using Moderna’s vaccine sequence as its foundation. As Amy Maxmen of Nature notes in  her article, South African scientists copy Moderna’s COVID vaccine: "A reliance on vaccines from wealthy countries and companies has proved dangerous during the pandemic — only about 10% of people in Africa have been fully vaccinated — and this initiative aims to help nations to protect themselves."
At Kaptivate LLC we celebrate this community of trailblazers who come together to sustain and improve our lives. They are the "better angels," the antidote to the evening news, and what drives the Kaptivate team to enable and amplify their achievements.
P.S. If you're interested in news that highlights progress, you might want to read Zachary Karabell's What Could Go Right? on LinkedIn. You can thank me later.