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  • The Know Daily - Thursday 15 February 2024

The Know Daily - Thursday 15 February 2024

🏳️‍🌈 A same-sex marriage vote in Greece, diagnostic tampons + the UK enters recession.

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🏳️‍🌈 Landmark bill: Greece’s parliament is expected to legalise same-sex marriage in a vote later today.

💛 Tampon-based tests: An at-home diagnostic tampon, created by the female-founded startup Daye, is revolutionising gynaecological healthcare.

📊 Recession reached: The UK has entered recession, likely to be “mild and short lived”.

Some tort-ally good news from Cambodia: conservationists have discovered nine sea turtle nests on a remote island, “sparking hopes” for the future of the critically endangered hawksbill turtle and the endangered green turtle. And if that wasn’t enough reason to celebrate, the discovery is also the first time sea turtle nests have been spotted in the country in over a decade.

🏳️‍🌈 Landmark bill for same-sex marriage

Greece’s parliament is expected to legalise same-sex marriage in a vote later today.

Tell me more.
In a “rare display of cross-party collaboration”, the country’s parliament is likely to approve the bill, which would also clear “multiple legal hurdles” for gay couples who already have or want to have children, reported Associated Press (AP).

A spokesperson from the governing centre-right New Democracy party called the bill a “small contribution towards the creation of a society without discrimination”. However, the bill has also faced criticism for not going far enough, as it does not extend surrogacy to male couples.

Why is the vote a big deal?
It follows a decades-long struggle by LGBTQ+ campaigners, given that the Greek Orthodox Church and much of Greek society “fiercely reject same-sex marriage”, said NPR.

Nevertheless, public opinion appears to be slowly shifting. A recent poll by the newspaper Proto Thema indicated that 55% of Greeks support the legalisation of same-sex marriage - while the country legally recognised same-sex partnerships in 2017.

What’s the bigger picture?
If the bill passes, Greece would become the first Orthodox Christian country to legalise same-sex marriage - and also the first in southern Europe, noted The Guardian. It would join 15 other EU states and 35 countries globally, with Estonia the latest to grant marriage equality last month.


A man who spent more than eight years building a model of the Eiffel Tower using 700,000 matchsticks had his Guinness World Records attempt rejected “without even being looked at”. Why?

A) His six-year-old daughter helped him create the model
B) He connected the matches using stickers rather than superglue
C) He used matches that members of the public couldn’t buy

Scroll to the very bottom for the answer.

Our newsletters are free, but our work is valuable. Back independent, female-founded journalism for just 24p per edition. This directly supports keeping our content free for all and ensures we can pay our team a fair wage.

💛 Tampon-based tests

An at-home diagnostic tampon - created by the gynaecological health startup Daye - is helping to speed up the diagnosis and treatment of vaginal infections and STIs.

What can the tampon test for?
Launched in 2022, Daye’s original tampon-based test screens for disruptions to the vaginal microbiome - in other words, the “ecosystem of bacteria, yeasts and other microorganisms that live inside your vagina”. In even simpler terms, it tests for vaginal infections like thrush and BV, as well as fertility-blocking pathogens like ureaplasma and mycoplasma that can make it more difficult to conceive.

More recently, Daye expanded their offering to allow users to test for 5 common STIs - including chlamydia and gonorrhoea - at the same time, with plans to roll out HPV and herpes screening in the near future.

Why a tampon?
By removing the need for a “stirrups, speculum and swab” at a sexual health clinic, Daye’s tampon-based tests save “time, effort and cost”, explained Forbes. They also get around the anxiety and embarrassment that can prevent some women and AFAB folks from attending screenings, turning "what could be an intrusive test” into something its users “are likely to be intimately familiar with,” said TechCrunch.

Plus, as Daye’s founder Valentina Milanova told TechCrunch in 2022, there is also evidence to suggest that tampons can increase the accuracy of diagnostic tests due to their capacity to collect greater sample material compared to conventional methods, something which is particularly important in the context of at-home screening.

So how does the tech work, exactly?
UKAS-accredited labs screen the samples for pathogens using PCR testing technology, and users are then given the option to chat through their results with vetted health professionals (who are also experts in things like fertility, menopause and chronic pelvic pain).

Some medical experts have expressed caution that at-home tests could lead to overtreatment of some vaginal infections, noted The Guardian - but Milanova has stressed that Daye is “mindful” of these concerns and promotes education about restoring a healthy microbiome in the first instance. In addition, Daye only provides treatment based on the prescription of one of their pharmacists, and screens samples for antimicrobial resistance to ensure effective and personalised care.

What’s the bigger picture?
Milanova has said that Daye aims to “democratise” access to gynaecological health information - something which is urgently needed, given the latest stats on sexual health testing.

Government figures show a 23.8% increase in STI diagnosis in England in 2022 compared with the year before, while up to 70% of female STIs are asymptomatic, making proactive screening all the more important.

Michelle Tempest, a Cambridge University lecturer in medical law and ethics, told The Guardian that Daye was “redefining” STI testing by allowing women to take control of their sexual health “in the comfort of their own homes”.

📊 Recession reached: The UK has officially entered recession, meaning that the economy shrank for two consecutive quarters. However, this recession is likely to be “mild and short lived” with “no major changes in the day to day life of customers”. More on this here.

🇮🇩 Indonesia election: Prabowo Subianto has claimed victory in Indonesia’s presidential election. The BBC has this explainer on how the ex-military general, accused of war crimes, sold himself as a “cute grandpa on TikTok” to win the vote.

🚇 TfL trailblazers: The London Overground is set to get a “Lioness line”, as part of a wider rebranding that will also see a “Windrush line” and “Suffragette line”.

🤳 “Lol hey guys”: US president Joe Biden has joined TikTok in a bid to woo Gen Z. The move has “raised national security concerns” - but he has almost 1M likes

🍇 Pretty fly: Plans have been revealed for Florence’s new airport - and it could feature a 19 acre vineyard on its roof. No, really.

Come for: Making the most of blood orange season with this deliciously juicy and tangy treat.

Stay for: A pretty and tasty dessert to impress dinner party guests with.

Recommended by Kate, who is pretty terrible at baking but finds this cake to be an exception to the rule!


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Trivia answer: C) Frenchman Richard Plaud said his world record attempt was rejected because he used matches which did not have flammable red tips. Even so, his creation is still pretty impressive

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