President Biden receives second booster, says more COVID-19 funding is needed

President Joe Biden received his second COVID-19 booster shot on Wednesday after giving a speech urging Congress to pass emergency COVID funding to keep up the fight against the virus.

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Male birth control pill 99% effective in rodents, will now move on to human trials

Scientists in the United States say they have developed a male birth control pill that is 99 percent effective in mice without causing side effects, and that could begin human trials by the end of this year.

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Scientists find COVID-19 infection may lead to increased risk of type 2 diabetes

Two separate studies have found that having had a COVID-19 infection may lead to increased risk of type 2 diabetes, and that those who had more severe cases of COVID-19 are far more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes afterward.

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FDNY union calls on NYC Mayor to lift vaccine mandate for city workers

This week, New York City Mayor Eric Adams lifted COVID-19 vaccine mandates for professional athletes and performers in the city, prompting the union that represents New York’s firefighters to call on the mayor to lift the mandate for all city workers.

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Top female scientist removed from position over 13-year-old Michael Jackson Halloween costume 

Virologist Julie Overbaugh has been removed from her position of leadership at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and resigned her faculty affiliate position at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Her resignation is due to accusations of racism and investigations involving her decision to wear a Michael Jackson costume to a Halloween party in 2009.

A picture of the 13-year-old incident, in which she is accused of wearing “blackface,” has prompted peers to accuse her of racism despite the fact that her research has focused on aiding Africans for the last three decades.

“Overbaugh has devoted her professional career to studying viral pathogens that cause HIV. But amid publishing papers, running her own research lab, and flying back and forth from Kenya, she has also pursued another professional passion: mentoring. Overbaugh is one of two recipients of this year’s Nature Award for Mentoring in Science, which is awarded to select scientists in one country or region each year,” a 2016 report in GeekWire reports.

Last year, Overbaugh was elected to National Academy of Sciences. “I am really happy to see gender balance in this year’s elected members and hope this signals a future trend,” Overbaugh said at the time. “In my field, HIV, which is a very large field, there have only been a couple of women elected, hopefully, there will be more in the future.”

Overbaugh’s achievements were not enough to compensate for the Halloween picture, according to the cancer research center.

“The act depicted in the photo is racist, offensive and hurtful, and we offer our sincere apologies to anyone who has experienced pain or upset because of the act or this photo,” the cancer center announced in mid-February, adding Overbaugh was put on administrative leave and placed under investigation.

“Dr. Overbaugh has stepped down from her senior vice president role at Fred Hutch. She will continue working in her lab and will take a hiatus from her leadership duties in the Office of Education & Training. During this time, she will engage in an intensive education and reflection process.”

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