A man was reinfected with coronavirus after recovering…!


May James/AFP/Getty

A 33-year old man was found to have a second SARS-CoV-2 infection some four-and-a-half months after he was diagnosed with his first, from which he recovered. The man, who showed no symptoms, was diagnosed when he returned to Hong Kong after a trip to Spain.

There is no published peer-review report on this man – only a press release from the University of Hong Kong – although reports say the work will be published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The author, Megan Culler Freeman, asks and answers questions raised by the news reports.

Death in Beirut


Click to run

This is 4K video. Open it up to full screen. It repeats twice…each time slower motion.

Annually, the world produces and stores enormous amounts of ammonium nitrate—more than 20 million tons in 2017. But for the compound to figure in an explosion of this magnitude, chemists and explosives experts say a lot has to go wrong.

The most interesting thing to me – technically – is noting the shock wave travels through the earth, through solids…faster than it does through the air. You can see near(er) objects judder frame-by-frame in the last slo-mo before the airborne blast arrives in the vicinity of the videographer.

No surprise there. Just didn’t think of it till I saw it.

‘Accurate’ estimate of Covid-19 casualties = US death toll to exceed 68,000


News 18

Scientists have developed a new mathematical model that they say can accurately estimate the death toll linked to the COVID-19 pandemic in the US, and around the world.

The model, published in the journal Mathematics, predicted that the death toll as a result of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes COVID-19 in the US would eventually reach about 68,120…

“Based on data available on April 28, the model showed that the COVID-19 pandemic might be over in the US, meaning no more American deaths, by around late June 2020,” said Hoang Pham, a professor at Rutgers University in the US.

“But if testing and contact tracing strategies, social-distancing policies, reopening of community strategies or stay-at-home policies change significantly in the coming days and weeks, the predicted death toll will also change,” Pham said.

Just another reason to ignore the tripe issued periodically from the Trump Re-election Headquarters…somewhere in a bunker under the White House.

Researchers are publishing and sharing coronavirus data at an unparalleled pace

There are 1581 articles and counting on Covid-19 on the preprint servers medRxiv and bioRxiv. This represents a phenomenal deluge of publications, given that the novel coronavirus Sars-CoV-2 was first described in early January and only formally named on 11 February.

Peer reviewed papers are now coming out at breakneck speed. ‘It is essential that scientific information is made available as quick as possible, but also evaluated as quickly as possible during a pandemic,’ explains Magdalena Skipper, chief editor of Nature.

…’Sharing data straight away can be crucial to people’s lives. We know this from previous epidemics,’ says Skipper, who became editor of Nature in 2018. Nature also sends new data to the World Health Organization, which is aggregating information on Covid-19.

The pace of research and presentation of research is astonishing,’ says Tom Gallagher, a coronavirus scientist at Loyola University Chicago. He says quality can be variable, but ‘some of the papers are the best of the best, and it is truly remarkable that they’ve come out so quickly.’ Under normal circumstances some of the virology papers might take years. ‘To have them completed in a month, I find truly amazing,’ says Gallagher.

The article is delightful, describing the response from the scientific community. Graphics are mind-boggling. Truly a worthwhile read.

Brit Hume — Check Your Screenshots Before Tweeting


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Someone remind Fox News’ Brit Hume to close down the tabs on his internet browser the next time he decides to share a screenshot online.

On Tuesday morning, the conservative network’s senior political analyst posted a screen grab of primary election betting odds showing former Vice President Joe Biden as the Democratic 2020 front-runner, ahead of Sen. Bernie Sanders…

Twitter users were more titillated, however, by an open browser tab reading “Sexy Vixen Vinyl.”

Har!

Something out there Is Sending Signals

A mysterious radio source located in a galaxy 500 million light years from Earth is pulsing on a 16-day cycle, like clockwork, according to a new study. This marks the first time that scientists have ever detected periodicity in these signals, which are known as fast radio bursts (FRBs), and is a major step toward unmasking their sources.

FRBs are one of the most tantalizing puzzles that the universe has thrown at scientists in recent years. First spotted in 2007, these powerful radio bursts are produced by energetic sources, though nobody is sure what those might be. FRBs are also mystifying because they can be either one-offs or “repeaters,” meaning some bursts appear only once in a certain part of the sky, while others emit multiple flashes to Earth…

“We conclude that this is the first detected periodicity of any kind in an FRB source,” the [Canadian] team said in a paper published on the preprint server arXiv in late January. “The discovery of a 16.35-day periodicity in a repeating FRB source is an important clue to the nature of this object.”…

But while we know where it is, we still don’t know what it is.

Reflect on how little our species has advanced. If the signal is artificially produced, I don’t believe we can reproduce it and return the call. That’s OK. The answer to that is “not yet”. Bring in a True Believer and they can pray to it. Bring in a traditional American politician and they will begin to plan how to kill it.