US Companies Report Record High Profits as Scientists Sequence the Human Genome
While Americans suffer from record inflation and gas prices, American companies report record profits. Scientists Sequence the Human Genome after decades of work and dedication. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope spots the farthest and oldest star. New vehicles in the US must average 40 mpg by 2026. Here are this week’s stories.
1. US Companies Report Record High Profits
As the American population struggles financially with rising inflation and costs, American companies are thriving and reporting record profits. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Corporate pretax earnings in 2021 surged 25% from 2020 to $2.81 trillion, the most significant annual increase since 1976. Including taxes, profits increased 37% from 2020, the highest ever reported. Nonfinancial US companies documented their most profitable year since 1950. These companies have raised prices on their products and blamed it on rising production and supply costs. Corporate greed has caused consumer prices to increase by 7% and contributed to inflation. The increase in profits also accounts for the stability of the US stock market despite a high rate of inflation and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. These gains have also benefited Americans. Labor data shows that average hourly earnings in 2021 rose 5.7%, and the average wage rose 11%. The growth of profits is expected to slow down in 2022 because the Federal Reserve is raising interest rates, and Congress has decreased pandemic spending.
2. Scientists Sequence the Human Genome
After decades of hard work and dedication, scientists have sequenced 100% of the Human Genome. The human genome comprises nearly 3.1 billion DNA subunits, which are pairs of chemical bases adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine. Genes are sequences of these base pairs that contain instructions for producing proteins, the building blocks of life. Humans have around 30,000 genes, grouped into 23 groupings known as chromosomes, and are present in the nucleus of cells. The Human genome will allow scientists to comprehend how humans are formed and how we vary as individuals and species. It will enable us to understand what makes us unique from other animals and how our brain functions and evolves. Additionally, scientists can better understand diseases like cancer and accurately predict how a drug will react. The human genome will allow scientists and researchers to understand the human race and evolution and make advances in medicine.
3. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope Spots Oldest and Farthest Star
Scientists have discovered the oldest and most distant single star ever recorded using NASA’s Hubble telescope. The star, named Earendel, existed over 12.9 billion years ago. In Space, light takes time to travel from one location to another, so we perceive objects as they were when the light was reflected off the object. So, powerful telescopes like the Hubble and the new James Webb can see billions of years into the past. A team of scientists used the Hubble telescope and a phenomenon known as “gravitational lensing,” where a cluster of galaxies line up and create a natural magnifying glass, allowing the telescope to capture Earendel. The star existed nearly a billion years after the Big Bang and may be up to 50 times the mass of our sun. Scientists hope to use the James Webb Telescope, which is 100 times more effective than Hubble and will be able to see stars that are so far away that their light takes nearly 13.7 billion years, to better understand our universe and the formation of galaxies.
4. New Vehicles in the US must Average 40 mpg by 2026
New federal rules were unveiled Friday, stating that New vehicles sold in the United States will have to average at least 40 miles per gallon in 2026. Currently, new cars are only required to average 28 miles per gallon. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said its fuel economy requirements will increase gas mileage by 8% for 2024 and 2025 and 10% for 2026 models. The agency also says that the new requirements will reduce gasoline consumption by more than 220 billion gallons over the life of vehicles, and Carbon dioxide emissions will drop by 2.5 billion metric tons by 2050. In addition to reducing pollution, the new requirements will help drivers save money. Gasoline prices have recently skyrocketed to an average of over $4.20 due to inflation, supply chain issues, and the war between Russia and Ukraine. However, more stringent requirements will drive up the already high price of new cars, offsetting the savings. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg says the new laws will improve national security by reducing the country’s reliance on foreign oil and making it less vulnerable to unpredictable fuel costs.
Above were my top stories for the week of April 3, 2022. Thank you, and see you next week!