- Nuclear fusion just hit another milestone…
- We finally have a complete picture of the human genome…
- Project Titan is accelerating…
I was pleasantly surprised to read through some new research published by the Departments of Infectious Diseases, Infection Prevention, Occupational Health, and Quantitative Health Sciences at the Cleveland Clinic just a few days ago.
For those who aren’t familiar with the Cleveland Clinic, it is consistently ranked as one of the very best hospitals in the U.S. year after year.
And its cardiology department has been ranked No. 1 for more than two decades. The program is so good, people fly from all over the world for care.
I had the pleasure of spending a very long day at the Cleveland Clinic back in October of 2015 on one of my research trips. I signed up for the Executive Physical Program, which kicked off at 6:45 a.m. and ran very well into the evening.
It’s a fantastic program with a comprehensive examination catered to those with limited time to get everything done. The team was fantastic, and I had a great visit.
The research that was recently published was an examination of 52,238 employees in the U.S. healthcare system.
Specifically, the investigation focused on whether or not employees who had already had COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) became infected with COVID-19 again. This study included those employees who had been infected but chose not to take a COVID-19 vaccine.
The purpose was “to evaluate the necessity of COVID-19 vaccination in persons previously infected with SARS-CoV-2.”
And this is why I was so surprised.
The medical establishment and public health officials have been so reluctant to discuss this topic. The widespread presence of natural immunity has been largely and intentionally ignored.
Many professionals in their fields have been censored for suggesting that those previously infected do not require a vaccine. Science used to thrive on objectivity and eschew political narratives. Sadly, this is no longer the case.
Yet the stated purpose of this research is so logical. Wouldn’t this be useful information to have?
Research like this is even more relevant considering that we already have scientific research that proves that prior infection from COVID-19 confers immunity that is at least as strong and longer lasting than that conferred with a vaccine.
Shouldn’t we at least be asking the question that the Cleveland Clinic set out to ask?
The results were conclusive.
Of the 2,579 previously infected subjects, 1,359 of them remained unvaccinated. Not a single previously infected, unvaccinated subject had a COVID-19 infection throughout the study. Not one.
The team at the Cleveland Clinic summed up the research perfectly:
Individuals who have had SARS-CoV-2 infection are unlikely to benefit from COVID-19 vaccination.
We have to wonder why we are still being told to take actions that are not based on scientific research this far down the line.
I’m sending out a big “thank you” to the team at the Cleveland Clinic for having the courage to perform and publish this incredibly important and useful research.
Now let’s turn to today’s insights…
Nuclear fusion continues to advance…
We’ll start today with big news on the nuclear fusion front.
To bring new readers up to speed, nuclear fusion is essentially the power of the Sun. It involves taking two separate nuclei and combining them to form a new nucleus. This produces an enormous amount of energy.
And it is 100% clean. Unlike nuclear fission, forms of nuclear fusion produce no radioactive waste.
Simply put, nuclear fusion technology is the only renewable energy source capable of providing clean baseload electrical power for our daily power needs. This is the kind of utility-scale energy that is required to run businesses, factories, fuel our electric vehicles, and yes, even power our homes.
The hardest part of the process is maintaining a fusion plasma to sustain the reaction that produces energy. That’s why the work being done on nuclear fusion reactors today is so critical.
And that brings us to the big breakthrough…
China’s Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) nuclear fusion reactor just hit a major milestone. EAST was able to maintain plasma at an incredible 120 million degrees Celsius for 101 seconds – nearly two minutes. That’s a new world record.
And for those keeping score, this plasma reaction was eight times hotter than that of the Sun’s core, which only reaches 15 million degrees Celsius. The reason much higher temperatures are needed is because we don’t have the same pressure created by the immense gravity of the Sun here on Earth.
What’s most exciting about the achievement is that EAST just shattered the previous record set back in January. That’s when South Korea’s KSTAR reactor maintained a high-temperature plasma for 20 seconds.
And remember, the record before that was just eight seconds in 2019.
So we jumped 2.5x in about a year. And then we jumped 5x in about six months. This is a perfect example of exponential growth.
To be clear, EAST consumed more power than it ultimately produced to create and maintain the plasma reaction. In other words, more energy went into the reactor than came out. Fusion won’t be viable until that dynamic is reversed.
Still, this is another big milestone on the path to limitless clean energy. If we project this growth out into the near future, it’s easy to envision that we’ll stretch these plasma reactions from 100 seconds to 500 seconds… and then to 2,500 seconds.
And before we know it, nuclear fusion reactors will be able to maintain plasma for hours on end. That’s how we get to the point where these reactors start producing more power than they consume.
When we’re able to do that, the technology will be available to eliminate the use of carbon-based fuels entirely. This is the transformation and the technology that the world should be working toward.
Only then will we be able to power our factories and fuel our electric vehicles with clean energy instead of electricity that was produced from natural gas or coal.
This is a very exciting development and one that came only months after the last one. I predict that we’ll see at least one more record set before the year is out.
We have finally sequenced the entire human genome…
An international team of scientists just released the preprint of a report showing that they have finally sequenced the entire human genome. This was 20 years in the making.
The first full human genome sequencing was completed by Dr. Craig Venter and his team at Celera Genomics in 2001. But that sequencing didn’t include the complete three billion base pairs that make up our DNA.
That’s because genetic sequencing technology tends to use short-form sequencing techniques. This is where the DNA is broken up into short strands and then reconstituted into a holistic picture of the genome.
But certain parts of our DNA are hard to piece together using short-form sequencing. These parts are highly repetitive and require different techniques to sequence. For context, the first human DNA sequences were missing about 8% of our genome. That’s quite a lot.
To solve this problem, both Oxford Nanopore and Pacific Biosciences developed different kinds of sequencing technology. Pacific Biosciences, in particular, is known for its long-form sequencing technology. Thanks to this great technology, we finally have a complete picture of the human genome.
And here’s where it gets really exciting… Now we can apply artificial intelligence (AI) and computational biology models to the human genome to gain incredible insight into the human body. I have no doubt that some life-changing breakthroughs will come from this.
In fact, Health Nucleus – the company that identified my prostate cancer – is already doing fantastic research on the human genome to help us spot both existing and future diseases. It’s helping us understand the links to our own DNA.
So this is a really big moment in history. And it’s a turning point in the healthcare industry.
As I’ve said before, we are no more than one or two decades away from eradicating most of the genetic diseases that plague humanity. We have a lot to look forward to.
And as investors, this means there are some great opportunities in this space. If you’d like to learn about my current top recommendation at the convergence of biotech and AI, then please go right here for the details.
Checking back in on Apple’s self-driving EV…
We last talked about Apple’s ambitions to launch a self-driving electric vehicle (EV) back in December. Apple code-named this initiative “Project Titan.”
Well, Reuters just broke the news that Apple is in talks with two of China’s EV battery makers, CATL and BYD. This can only mean one thing – Apple is trying to secure a long-term supply of batteries for its own EV. This makes perfect sense.
We know that Apple likes to play a key role in the design of its products. And when it comes to EVs, the battery is the single most important technology. It’s also the single most expensive component.
So if there were an area where Apple wanted to have strong oversight over production, it would be the batteries.
And the word is out that Apple is taking a distinctly different approach to the battery technology it will use. The tech giant wants to use lithium-ion phosphate batteries instead of traditional EV batteries that use nickel and cobalt.
Apple is taking a page from Tesla here.
Years ago, Tesla smartly moved to minimize the use of cobalt in its batteries because the metal is so hard to get and comes primarily from conflict zones. 60% alone comes from the Congo. Cobalt is always subject to supply chain problems. And because of these challenges, cobalt is a very expensive metal.
Also of note, Apple wants to have its batteries made in the U.S. – even if it collaborates with one of China’s manufacturers. This is consistent with the ongoing push to secure domestic supply chains. It will also give Apple more control over the quality of manufacturing.
And get this – the rumor is that Apple could launch its self-driving EV in 2024 or 2025.
Keep in mind that car designs are completed three or four years ahead of production. So if Apple is looking at a 2024 or 2025 launch date, that means it must be very close to finishing the design right now. Project Titan is most likely much further along than anyone realized.
So this is absolutely a story we want to watch closely going forward. I’ve said before that I don’t think the legacy carmakers will be able to keep pace with Tesla.
Apple, on the other hand, will be an interesting challenger if it makes the right moves in the next 12–24 months.
Editor, The Bleeding Edge
P.S. I just visited Silicon Valley on a very important mission…
As many readers know, we’ve been seeing initial public offerings (IPOs) in record numbers. Already, more companies have gone public in 2021 than in the entirety of last year.
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