1.24.2024

 

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Good morning. It's Wednesday, Jan. 24, and we're covering a groundbreaking hearing loss treatment, Oscar nominations, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Need To Know
 

Hearing Loss Breakthrough

An 11-year-old boy with congenital hearing loss is able to hear for the first time thanks to an experimental gene therapy treatment, according to initial results released yesterday.

 

Aissam Dam was born with hearing loss caused by a mutated single gene known as otoferlin, which affects roughly 200,000 people globally. Otoferlin is a protein in the inner ear's hair cells that allows for sound to be transmitted to the brain. Dam became the first patient in the US to undergo a surgical procedure at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in October, in which doctors replaced the mutated otoferlin gene in Dam's ears with a functional gene. The gene therapy trial showed Dam's hearing was restored within 30 days of the procedure, reducing his hearing loss severity from total to mild (see chart).

 

The trial from Philadelphia is one of five that are underway, with others in China and Europe. Results from all five trials are set to be presented next month. See the science behind hearing here (via YouTube).

 

Oscar Nominations Released

Nominations for the 96th annual Academy Awards were announced yesterday, led by “Oppenheimer” with 13 nods and “Poor Things” with 11. "Killers of the Flower Moon” (10 nominations) star Lily Gladstone makes history as the first Native American woman to be nominated for best actress, while director Martin Scorsese becomes the most-nominated living movie director. The box-office hit "Barbie," which grossed $1.4B globally, received eight nominations.

 

Jodie Foster earned a supporting actress nod, her first Oscar nomination in 29 years, while 91-year-old composer John Williams, the most-nominated living person in Oscar history, received his 54th nomination. And, for the first time, three foreign-language films are nominated for best picture. This year’s Oscars are the first with new eligibility criteria for best picture, requiring films to meet two of four representation and inclusion standards.

 

See the biggest snubs and surprises here. The ceremony takes place live March 10 (7 pm ET, ABC), with Jimmy Kimmel returning as host for a fourth time. 

 

See the Muppet version of each best picture nominee here (via X).

 

Holocaust Survivors Report

Over 245,000 Jewish Holocaust survivors are alive today globally, according to a report published yesterday by a group responsible for survivor claims. The report—considered the most comprehensive available—was released ahead of Saturday's International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

 

Roughly 6 million Jews were systematically executed, primarily by poison gas or mass shootings, during World War II as part of the National Socialists' plans to form an ethnically German state (see history). Learn how historians arrived at the death toll here

 

The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany has facilitated nearly $90B in compensation from the German government for Jewish survivors since 1952 via direct payments, healthcare costs, and more. Roughly half of survivors live in Israel, a fifth reside in Western Europe and the US each, and another 12% in Russia. Almost all survivors were children at the time, with a median age today of 86. Read some of their stories here. Find the full report here.

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Adrián Beltré, Joe Mauer, and Todd Helton voted into 2024 class of the National Baseball Hall of Fame (More

> Los Angeles Times to lay off more than 20% of its newsroom staff; development comes four days after its journalists went on strike for first time in the newspaper's 142-year history (More)

WWE and Netflix agree to 10-year, $5B deal to stream WWE's flagship "Raw" program on Netflix beginning in 2025 (More) | Netflix's film chief Scott Stuber to depart Netflix in March to start his own media company (More)

 

Science & Technology

In partnership with hear.com

> New Alzheimer's study suggests strange visual symptoms may provide an early warning sign of the disease in some cases; linked to posterior cortical atrophy, symptoms present in roughly 10% of cases (More)

> New supramolecular ink allows 3D printing of flat electronic displays and wearable devices using cheap, nontoxic organic materials (More)

> Chemists demonstrate the smallest knot ever made; the 54-atom structure self-assembled during the mixing of two separate liquids via an unidentified process (More)

From our partners: THE hearing aid of 2024. What if you never had to say “what?” again? No more straining to hear your friends or conversational FOMO. What if every conversation felt effortless? That’s where hear.com’s new IX hearing aids come in. They’re the world’s first devices with multi-stream processing, so you can follow the conversation - period. Multiple people? No sweat. Lots of noise? No problem. Unlock total clarity and try them 45-days no-risk today.

 

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close mixed (S&P 500 +0.3%, Dow -0.3%, Nasdaq +0.4%) as investors assess latest batch of earnings reports; S&P 500 notches third straight record close (More)

> Netflix tops revenue estimates and adds 13.1 million subscribers during Q4, bringing total number of paid subscribers to record 260.8 million (More

> Johnson & Johnson agrees to pay $700M to settle investigations by more than 40 states over its talcum-based baby powder (More) | French regulators fine Amazon warehouses $35M for "excessive" employee surveillance (More

 

Politics & World Affairs

> Former President Donald Trump wins New Hampshire GOP primary with over 50% of the vote, defeating former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley; President Joe Biden wins Democratic primary, fueled by write-in campaign (More) | See results (More)

> Turkey approves Sweden for membership into NATO, leaving Hungary as final member needed to approve the addition (More) | What is NATO? (More

> Hamas reportedly rejects two-month cease-fire proposal by Israel in Gaza, calls for full Israeli withdrawal in exchange for the release of about 136 hostages (More) |

Twenty-one Israeli troops killed in single attack while demolishing buildings in the southern Gazan city of Khan Younis (More) | See updates on war (More)

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Etcetera
 

The world's 50 best cities to visit

 

... and Yelp's 100 best restaurants of 2024.

 

Marking 40 years since the Apple Macintosh's debut.

 

Stunning landscapes top travel photography awards.

 

Colombia nabs the year's first narco-submarine.

 

See America's favorite hot sauces.

 

Trail camera captures coyote concert in Lake Tahoe.

 

Dwayne Johnson finally owns "The Rock."

 

Clickbait: Doomsday Clock gets annual update.

 

Historybook: Actress Sharon Tate born (1943); Winston Churchill dies (1965); Ted Bundy executed (1989); Thurgood Marshall dies (1993); Department of Homeland Security opens (2003).

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