News Roundup: April 26

Good morning, today is Wednesday, April 26, and here are the stories that interest me.

The US is imposing a 20% tariff on Canadian softwood lumber in a retaliatory strike against what the US believes is unlawful subsidizing of the industry. The US alleges that Canadian lumber is subsidized to the point where it make the wood noncompetitive with US lumber. This has been a LONG standing argument between the two countries. The US is also expected to place tariffs on milk as well. Canada has yet to respond to the changes.

Commentary:  Well, this has been a long standing issue in the construction and lumber companies. The last two administrations have worked with Canada on a resolution with no solution, so of course the current Administration goes in and uses a sledgehammer. The Administration is currently trying to relax EPA regulations to allow logging, mining, and drilling in national forests. Their goal is to target virgin but aging forest for cutting down. This will unlikely work. If a trade war does begin with Canada, it will mean that we are now in trade disputes with two of our largest trading partners. Furthermore, the Executive order being signed today to start the logging will likely be halted while court cases on it play out, meaning that the tariff will mean higher construction prices for homes and small businesses. With the Administration’s track of having their Executive Orders challenged, I question the timing of the tariff.

In a study released today, scientists and doctors have successfully incubated lambs in an artificial womb that could be a game changer for helping extremely premature babies to survive. For 4 weeks, the lambs were kept in an artificial womb, and their lungs and brains developed normally. This step is a massive leap for neo-natal studies and may lead to successfully develop premature babies and avoid developmental issues later.

Commentary: How cool is this! if we are able to supply the baby while it is developing in those situations, we can avoid a ton of physical and developmental issues that face many premature children. I really cannot wait to see what comes of this.

A short but intriguing article, it has been found that a the larvae of the  greater wax moth can break down the plastic’s  polyethylene into ethylene glycol. This discovery may unlock a way for us to better eliminate the plastic we have put into the environment. The discovery was made by chance by a Developmental biologist and Amateur beekeeper. The first link goes to a magazine source, the second, to the actual paper.

With that, I hope you all have a wonderful day!

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