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Russia is testing out a COVID-19 vaccine for pets

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Russia is testing out a COVID-19 vaccine for pets

Help may soon be on the way for good boys everywhere.

As states are expanding their COVID-19 vaccine eligibility, the next group included may be our furry family members. 

A coronavirus vaccine for animals has been registered in Russia and could be rolled out to our pets next month, according to Russian News Agency TASS.

Rosselkhoznadzor, the Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance, said on March 31 that the drug’s development started last October on dogs, cats, Arctic foxes, minks and other animals as it followed clinical trials. 

The shots may be needed to curb the spread of the virus in animals, scientists have warned.

Research proved that the Carnivak-Cov vaccine was safe and effective in all vaccinated carnivorous animals as they developed antibodies to the virus.

The shot is estimated to be 91.6% effective against symptomatic COVID and 100% effective against severe and moderate COVID cases for “no less than six months.” Mass production could potentially begin as early as April.

There has been interest in the animal vaccine from companies in Greece, Poland, Austria, Singapore, Canada and the United States. 

Alexander Gintsburg, head of the Gamaleya Institute that developed Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, announced that animals would be the next group to get the vaccine given the proximity of pets to their owners. 

According to the CDC, there has been no scientific evidence that “animals play a significant role in spreading” coronavirus from animals to humans. However, a new report from the World Health Organization has said the virus probably originally spread to people through an animal.

The virus has been recorded in pets such as cats, dogs and one ferret in Slovenia.

Zoo animals have also tested positive for the virus, including big cats such as lions, tigers, pumas, cougars, snow leopards and several gorillas. Recently, gorillas at the San Diego Zoo, including one named “Karen,” received the vaccine.  

Mink farms have also experienced outbreaks of the virus, leading Denmark to put down 17 million minks last May. 

However, the announcement did not specify which animals the drug will work on and Rosselkhoznadzor said they “do not see the need for total vaccination of domestic animals.”

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Millennials can now afford homeownership, causing a shortage

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Millennials can now afford homeownership, causing a shortage

So close, and yet so far. 

As various factors finally make homeownership attainable for frequently maligned millennials, a new hurdle has appeared: Not enough houses to go around. 

According to recent findings by investment bank Jefferies, younger millennials between ages 25 and 29 are increasingly buying their first pads, and 30- to 34-year-olds are doing so at even higher rates, Insider reported. 

The only problem is there aren’t enough starter homes available, an issue that’s existed since before the coronavirus pandemic and is a result of profit-seeking real-estate investors buying the pads, increasingly expensive construction costs and more restrictive zoning rules. 

Despite being much less economically well-off than previous generations were at their age, millennials in fact led home-buying in 2020, significantly motivated by the pandemic. According to an Apartment List’s Homeownership report, 40 percent of the age group now own homes, while a Clever Real Estate survey notes that 30 percent started house-hunting earlier than planned due to COVID-19. 

But unless contractors can somehow quickly construct 2.5 million homes — the amount America is short on, according to Jefferies — in the next year, millennials may be left holding yet another form of unfortunate financial cards. 

In another recent real estate boom significantly inspired by the pandemic, sales of homes built more than 100 years ago rose by 16 percent in 2020 in the tri-state area compared to last year, with a median sale price of $236,000, The Post reported earlier this month. 

Not booming during that same period, however, were New York City pads, which saw a 6 percent overall sales decline. That trend has a few notable exceptions, however, including Brooklyn townhouses — for which demand is relatively sky-high.

“I have seen more demand for brownstones, too, especially in Brooklyn, where the market seems to be on fire. There is more demand for properties with outdoor space, and bigger apartments where buyers can carve out home office space as well,” Melissa Cohn, an executive mortgage banker at William Raveis Mortgage, told The Post this month.

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Scientific American joins trend, will call climate change ‘climate emergency’

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Scientific American joins trend, will call climate change ‘climate emergency’

Scientific American has joined the growing list of news outlets who are upgrading the term climate change to a “climate emergency.” In its warning, SA compares climate change to someone losing their breath and being rushed to the hospital in the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“The planet is heating up way too fast. It’s time for journalism to recognize that the climate emergency is here,” SA writes in their statement on Tuesday.

The statement, co-authored by Columbia Journalism Review, the Nation, the Guardian, Noticias Telemundo, Al Jazeera, Asahi Shimbun and La Repubblica, insists that the word “emergency” best describes the current predicament.

“Why ’emergency’? Because words matter. To preserve a livable planet, humanity must take action immediately. Failure to slash the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will make the extraordinary heat, storms, wildfires and ice melt of 2020 routine and could ‘render a significant portion of the Earth uninhabitable,’” warned the January Scientific American article.

The groups insist their take is based on science, not politics. But skeptics observe that the climate terms just appear to be changing with the wind.

Climate change is also being blamed by outlets like MSNBC for the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border. According to anchor Ayman Mohyeldin, climate change is urging migrants to make their way into the U.S. because natural disasters are “making the farmland and agricultural base … that much harder to sustain the economic needs of a country that has 17 million people.” 

President Biden has signed several climate change executive orders and promised aggressive spending on that front during his campaign. Conservative concerns over Biden’s approach were compounded with his nomination of Deb Baaland for interior secretary, due to her sponsorship of the far-left Green New Deal and endorsement of a fracking ban.

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Fireball captured passing ‘exceptionally close’ to Earth

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Fireball captured passing ‘exceptionally close’ to Earth

Well, that was too close for comfort. 

A fireball that streaked across the sky Monday was so close to Earth that the American Meteor Society received 259 reports and nine videos of its celestial sprint. In Grand Bahama, residents didn’t only see it, but heard a sonic boom, the Guardian reported. 

CBS12 reporter Jay O’Brien was recording a Facebook live story for the local news outlet when he saw it race through the heavens and seemingly disappear into a blaze of blue.

“WOAH! Big flash and streak across sky in West Palm Beach. Happened moments ago while we were on Facebook Live,” he tweeted. “Working to figure out what it was.” 

NASA astronomer Bill Cooke told the Palm Beach Post, it was a nearly 900-pound asteroid fragment entering Earth’s atmosphere at 38,000 mph and disintegrating 23 miles above the Atlantic. In the process of breaking apart, Cooke said, the meteor generated the energy equivalent of 14 tons of TNT. 

“These things just come at random,” Cooke added. “The atmosphere will break apart anything smaller than a football field.” 

Meteor experts refer to Monday’s fireball — which was documented by countless dashcams and doorbell cameras — as a “bolide,” referring to the fact that it explodes upon entry to Earth’s atmosphere. Gianluca Masi, of VirtualTelescope.eu, told the publication it passed 12,430 miles from Earth’s surface, which is considered “exceptionally close.” 

“This is a special type of fireball that ends with a large burst of light and often a boom sound,” Mike Hankey, American Meteor Society operations manager, told the Palm Beach Post.  

This particular one was actually quite small — about 2 feet in diameter — meaning it technically does not qualify as an asteroid, but rather only an asteroid fragment, or meteoroid.

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