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France Re-Elects A President For The First Time In 20 Years; Virtual Reality Sees A Unique Role In Medical Research. Aired 4-4:10a ET
Aired April 26, 2022 - 04:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hey, everyone. I`m Carl Azuz. Happy to see you this Tuesday.
We`re starting today`s show in Europe. For the first time in 20 years, a French president has won re-election. That president is Emmanuel Macron. On
Sunday, he faced off against the same candidate, Marine Le Pen, who`d run against him in the 2017 election.
President Macron`s victory wasn`t by as many votes this time as it was five years ago. On Sunday, Le Pen won 41-1/2 percent of the vote. That`s the
most ever for a candidate from France`s National Rally Party. But President Macron, from the Onwards Republic Party, won 58-1/2 percent of the vote.
In his victory speech, he promised he`d be a president for each and every one of the French. But after the election, he and Le Pen still disagreed on
whether Macron could smooth out political divisions in France. The president said he must. Le Pen said he wouldn`t.
Those divisions were clear among the protesters who opposed President Macron on the left side of your screen and the supporters who celebrated
his victory on the right. Many voters didn`t turn out for either candidate. The French government says the abstention rate, the percentage of people
who didn`t vote at all, was 28 percent. That`s its highest level in more than 50 years. And regardless of the election`s outcome, the challenges
facing France remain high.
The country has seen several political storms since the 2017 election, and amid rising energy prices that only got worse after Russia invaded Ukraine,
France`s newly re-elected leader has a lot to deal with in the months ahead. President Macron says he`ll address all of France`s current problems
and that his second term will not be a continuation of his first.
One thing that could affect his governing ability are France`s upcoming parliamentary elections. Those are happening in June and Le Pen says her
party is in an excellent position to make gains in them.
REPORTER: Young, bold, ambitious.
EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT (through translator): We are at the dawn of an extraordinary renaissance.
When Emmanuel Macron became the president of France in 2017, he promised a fresh direction for the country, pro-business and staunchly pro-European.
Within months, he was mired in challenges that would dog his presidency. The first was one of his own making.
Sparked by a tax on diesel that particularly affected poorer rural drivers, tens of thousands of French protesters took to the streets.
JEROME RODRIGUES, LEADING "YELLOW VESTS PROTEST (through translator): French people don`t have the means to buy an electric vehicle, and if you
want it, it`s the straw that broke the camel`s back.
REPORTER: The Yellow Vest movement became one of the most significant French protests in decades, although Macron eventually rode back on the
MACRON: I will not give anything to those who want destruction and disorder because the republic is both public order and the free expression
REPORTER: As protests faded, the unexpected struck, COVID-19.
We`re at war, declared Macron, shutting down France in one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe.
DJALLALI ANNANE, HEAD OF INTENSIVE CARE UNIT: So, first wave people were really angry because of neglected and the need for full lockdown and the
number of fatal cases.
REPORTER: Despite a slow rollout for European vaccines, Macron doubled down on vaccinations to get France out of lockdowns, mandating health
passes to push people to get jabbed.
Protests from a vocal minority erupted in response, even as demand for vaccines skyrocketed almost overnight. But it`s been internationally where
Macron has had some of his most important moments, all marked by his distinctive style.
NATALIE LOISEAU, FORMER MINISTER OF EUROPEAN AFFAIRS: He speaks his mind. He speaks loud, but you cannot use the same old diplomatic words and he`s
done it quite often. It`s blunt. It`s uh disruptive but then people listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia:
Which of these Greek scientists would have had the earliest laboratory?
Pythagoras, Archimedes, Plato or Aristotle.
Pythagoras was born the longest time ago in 570 B.C. and might have had the first laboratory ever recorded.
Up next, a new way to conduct medical research using virtual reality technology. That in itself is a new concept. The practice of research in
laboratories directly interacting with whatever matter you`re studying goes back millennia, but with new tools come new ideas and a company named
Nanome which is featured in our next report isn`t the only one that offers VR software for scientific research.
There are some potential drawbacks to this. For one thing, virtual reality has long been criticized for causing motion sickness in some users. Some of
the technology is still experimental. It`s not as refined as tried and true traditional research. It`s not known yet if the inside it offers is worth
the investment. You`ve got to buy the headsets, the computers, the software and Nanome itself might not be as user friendly in some ways as its
But it is one way in which scientists and medical companies can get an immersive view of the molecules they`re studying.
RACHEL CRANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, okay. Well, let`s give me some hair.
(voice-over): This might look like a game, but I`m exploring a virtual reality platform that helps scientists design real medicines by putting
them inside the molecules they study.
I mean, this is crazy. I`m like, in the molecule looking up at it.
Joining me is Steve McCloskey. The 30-year-old co-founded San Diego-based startup Nanome in 2016 to develop the technology.
But you started off as an academic nano engineer. So, what inspired you to get into the technology space and actually create this platform?
STEVE MCCLOSKEY, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO, NANOME: Yeah, I`ve always been into gaming, grew up big gamer. I remembered how different it was to go into VR
and be in the environment compared to just playing a 2D game.
When I was going through nano engineering, I was like, why don`t we have a better immersive graphics way to do this?
CRANE: Turns out, a lot of scientists were asking the same. Since the platform launched in 2018, hundreds of organizations have adopted Nanome`s
VR tools for their research, McCloskey says, at a cost of $5,000 plus per year.
MCCLOSKEY: Being able to go into VR, you actually immediately gain new insights. So, this could send you on a completely new path of molecular
development that would have otherwise never been discovered.
CRANE: That`s exactly what`s needed to fight one growing health crisis, antibiotic resistance. It`s what happens when bacteria adapt and no longer
respond to today`s antibiotics, making common infections difficult to treat and even fatal.
LifeArc, a medical research charity based in the UK, is using Nanome`s VR to search for molecules that can fight some of these bugs.
DAVID POWELL, CHIEF SCIENTIFIC OFFICER, LIFEARC: These bacteria are inherently difficult to develop new drugs for because they`ve got very high
CRANE: Tackling the problem in three dimensions helps speed up discovery, LifeArc says. But there are still financial hurdles to overcome.
POWELL: The commercial returns for new antibiotics are really poor.
CRANE: That`s because compared to other medications, antibiotics are cheap to buy but expensive to develop.
What kind of time savings does Nanome allow for and how does that then translate to cost savings?
MCCLOSKEY: Getting a drug to market six months quicker might be worth tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars of value, because you`re able to
start selling it earlier. This is going to be patient lives that you`re saving, improvements in their lives.
CRANE: Even with a quicker path to discovery, only around one in 10 new antibiotics make it past clinical trial, and no antibiotic designed with
Nanome`s platform is at that stage yet. But McCloskey says the VR gives more scientists a chance to beat the odds.
MCCLOSKEY: It`s actually a free version. We try to make it as accessible as possible, really democratizing access to scientific tools like this and
trying to see a billion scientists in the world.
AZUZ: Teachers, parents, homeschoolers, instructors if you want to know what`s in each day show, if you want a direct link to where you can submit
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AZUZ: Well, here`s a world record attempt you don`t hear about every day this is Whitby Abbey in the United Kingdom. Its ruins date back as early as
the 600s. But more recently, in 1890, the author Bram Stoker visited the site and he wrote it into his famous novel "Dracula". That book came out
125 years ago.
So, to commemorate that, there`s going to be live music, food and drinks and free entry to people styled like Dracula.
The goal: to break the record for the most people dressed as vampires in one place. That record is 1,039.
But who`s counting? I was just going to end the show there, but then I thought I could vamp a bit. This could be an interesting caper to tell the
tooth. Some people are really stoked about it. They`re certainly going to bat an eye.
And so, I decided to sink my teeth into a few more puns because I thought of them in the neck of time. I`m Carl del Azuz.
We are going to shout-out Seaford High School today. It is in Seaford, Delaware. Thank you for your request at Youtube.com/CNN10.