Science Tech Medical News


The Latest Science, Technical, and Medical News - from a variety of sources

Current Science Tech Medical News - click here

Science Tech Medical News Archive - from 2019 and earlier

29 June 2020

Developments in a vaccine for coronavirus

First reduce the amount of virus during typical infection.

It will be nearly impossible to eradicate the virus simultaneously all around the world. And when we do emerge from isolation, the virus could potentially re-establish itself.  Our best chance to keep it in check in the future will be to develop a vaccine.

A vaccine must contain two components:  the adjuvant, a molecule that acts as a "danger signal" to activate your immune system; the antigen, a unique molecule that acts as a "target" for the immune response to the virus.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus uses ribonucleic acid (RNA) as its genetic material.  This is usually associated with high mutation rates, which can be a problem for vaccines, as viruses can mutate their antigens to evade the immune response.  Fortunately, SARS-CoV-2 seems to have a moderate rate of mutation to date, meaning it should be susceptible to a vaccine.

There's a lot we still don't know.  Importantly, for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, we don't yet know what type of immune response is needed.  We know patients who recover from COVID-19 can produce antibodies, but we don't know what kind of antibodies.  We know COVID-19 patients who develop severe disease have low numbers of T cells, but we don't have clear evidence of whether T cells can protect against COVID-19.  We know some experimental vaccine designs for MERS and SARS can make disease symptoms worse in animals, but we don't know whether this would happen with SARS-CoV-2.

The first vaccine to make it into clinical trials in mid-March is a lipid-encapsulated mRNA vaccine. For this vaccine, a short piece of the genetic material from the virus (mRNA) is coated with an oily layer (lipid).  This vaccine is now being given to volunteers in a phase I clinical trial in Seattle.

Cancer acts like bacteria to resist drugs

Study shows cells accumulate genetic variations.  Cancer cells can turn on error-prone DNA copy pathways to adapt to cancer treatment in much the same way as bacteria develop antibiotic resistance.

A range of cancers, including melanoma, pancreatic cancer, sarcomas and breast cancer, have the ability to generate a high number of errors when they copy their DNA when exposed to cancer treatments.

This resulted in more genetic variation, ultimately fuelling resistance to treatment.

How quickly is the Universe expanding?

It's a question that's causing a crisis in astrophysics.

In the last few years, it's become clear that two of the methods previously considered to be the most precise and reliable ways to measure this have been pointing us toward different answers.  In one method, we observe a large number of galaxies around us and measure how quickly they seem to be receding.  The other is based on looking at the most distant light in the Universe - the cosmic microwave background - and carefully measuring the sizes of hotter and colder spots in that light to conclude something about the shape of space and the whole history of cosmic expansion.

Astronomers have always expected both methods to give us the same answer:  a number called the Hubble Constant, named after the first astronomer to measure it.  But as both sides get more precise data, it's becoming clear that the answers disagree.  This is sometimes called the "Hubble tension"; other times it's called a "crisis in the cosmos".

One possibility is that both measurements are essentially correct, but they're not actually measuring the same thing, which would mean our big picture is incomplete, and the evolution of the cosmos is more complicated than we thought.

Explaining an uncertain law of physics

Batchelor's law, which helps explain how chemical concentrations and temperature variations distribute themselves in a fluid, can be seen at work in the variously sized swirls of mixing warm and cold ocean water.

Turbulence is seen as the ultimate example of chaos theory: the way a butterfly flaps its wings in Australia could be linked to whether a hurricane forms over the Caribbean Sea or not.

This would be a perpetual motion machine, if it was possible.

The very notion disregards all the energy sources and impacts between the butterfly's location and the hurricane's location, each of which is orders of magnitude greater.

Like the bow wave of a rowboat on the ocean, the energy is quickly diluted and dissipated.  If it would be possible for a butterfly, it would be possible for an ocean-going rowboat; yet clearly it is not.  QED

Early fossil evidence of humans in Europe

Artefacts suggest cultural interaction with Neanderthals.

Newly unearthed fossil remains offer the earliest clear evidence of Homo sapiens in Europe and suggest they had greater influence on Neanderthals than previously thought.  They place humans in the mid-latitudes of Eurasia at least 45,000 years ago, three millennia before previous estimates and 8000 years before the dwindling Neanderthal populations disappeared into extinction.

More research is needed to understand human filtration of Europe and cultural impact on Neanderthals and how this may have impacted that species' disappearance.

A simple song but listening to it is complex

Appreciating a good song, it turns out, is very much a whole-brain business, with research revealing specific regions in the left and right hemispheres decode words and music separately.

Processing words relies on temporal - time-based - stimuli.

Music is processed in relation to its "spectral" components - the range of fluctuating signals involved.

Words and music are processed in a region next to the left and right auditory cortices of the brain, specifically an area known as the lateral anterior superior temporal gyrus.

"Humans have developed two means of auditory communication: speech and music, [...] with a complementary specialization of two parallel neural systems."

26 June 2020

Boeing 737 MAX certification flight test expected soon

A key step in the return to service of the grounded Boeing 737 MAX could take place as soon as early next week.

24 June 2020

Too big to be a neutron star, too small to be a black hole; which is it?

19 June 2020

Perseverance is just about ready to launch

If all goes well, the 1043-kilogram rover will be launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on 20 July, arriving on Mars in February 2021.

17 June 2020

A Breathtaking 'Ring of Fire' Solar Eclipse Will Adorn Our Skies This Weekend

Traversing east Africa, southern Asia

Astronauts: Falcon 9 rocket was 'totally different' ride than the space shuttle

Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken piloted the first manned flight of the Falcon 9 on May 30.  Each astronaut had previously been on on two space shuttle missions, and they spoke of their surprise at how comparatively smooth the SpaceX launch was.

"What I thought was really neat was how sensitive we were to the throttling of the Merlin engines."

16 June 2020

Coronavirus: Dexamethasone proves first life-saving drug

A cheap and widely available drug can help save the lives of patients seriously ill with coronavirus.

About 19 out of 20 patients with coronavirus recover without being admitted to hospital.

7 June 2020

SpaceX Mars city:  Elon Musk confirms he's sticking to ambitious launch date

Musk is still aiming to launch the first ships to Mars by 2022.  These ships will hold cargo designed to support a future manned mission.  That mission will come in 2024, the next time when the Earth and Mars are close again.

From these two initial missions, the plan would be to continue sending rockets to the red planet until there were enough resources to become a self-sustaining civilization.  This, he suggested Thursday, would take "about a dozen transfer windows."  Earth and Mars align approximately every 26 months, meaning this process could take around 25 years.  That would mean that a self-sustaining Mars city could emerge before 2050.

4 June 2020

Transit of the ISS with the Moon as backdrop

2 June 2020

NASA astronauts describe their historic SpaceX ride to International Space Station

Dinosaur-killing asteroid created massive magma chamber that lasted millions of years

The blast was enough to melt part of Earth's crust.

31 May 2020

Astronauts enter space station on historic SpaceX missionat 1:22 p.m.

30 May 2020

SpaceX, NASA to try again for landmark launch of two astronauts from Florida

Barring weather or other unforeseen problems, the 24-story-tall SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is due to lift off at 3:22 p.m. EDT today, propelling astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken aloft on a 19-hour ride to the International Space Station.

See the launch schedule and link to watch the launch.

Check the Kennedy Space Center weather forecast.

27 May 2020

Meet NASA SpaceX astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley

They will head to the International Space Station to join the Expedition 63 crew today.

SpaceX, NASA, astronauts making final preparations:  'We're go for launch'

Hurley and Behnken are scheduled to launch at 4:33 p.m. EDT from launch pad 39A of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, which was also used for the Apollo and space shuttle programs.  The launch will be the first time a private company, rather than a national government, sends astronauts into orbit.

The Mysterious Anomaly Weakening Earth's Magnetic Field Seems to Be Splitting

ESA:  In an area stretching from Africa to South America, Earth's magnetic field is gradually weakening. Scientists are using data from @esa_swarm to improve our understanding of this area known as the 'South Atlantic Anomaly'.  Since 1970, the anomaly has been growing in size, as well as moving westward at a pace of approximately 20 kilometres (12 miles) per year.

In the last two centuries, Earth's magnetic field has lost about 9 percent of its strength on average.

25 May 2020

NASA Invites Public to Be Its Guests to Celebrate Historic 'Launch America'

NASA is inviting the public to help celebrate a historic milestone in human spaceflight as it prepares for #LaunchAmerica - the first flight into orbit of American astronauts on American rockets from American soil since the end of the space shuttle era in 2011.

NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 test flight, which is targeted for lift off at 4:33 p.m. EDT Wednesday, May 27, this mission will send NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley to the International Space Station as part of the agency's Commercial Crew Program. Members of the public can attend the launch virtually, receiving mission updates and opportunities normally received by on-site guests.

22 May 2020

SpaceX will use this rocket for its first manned space launch on May 27th

The SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule will be first private spacecraft to carry astronauts into orbit.

The launch is the first time astronauts will launch into orbit aboard a spacecraft built by a private company.

This will be the first time American astronauts pilot an American-made spacecraft launched from U.S. soil since NASA's Space Shuttle program ended in 2011.

Two astronauts will travel to the International Space Station aboard the Crew Dragon, although the spacecraft can carry up to seven passengers.

The SpaceX Dragon capsule cargo version first flew to the ISS in 2012.  The photo below was taken of its arrival on Dec. 8, 2019.  (NASA via AP)

19 May 2020

Army researchers may have discovered new coronavirus-killing antibodies

Dead Sea Scrolls discovery: Fragments thought to be blank reveal text

18 May 2020

Moderna stock jumps after a positive vaccine trial

An early trial of its coronavirus vaccine candidate produced positive results.  All 45 volunteers in the trial produced antibodies that may help protect them against COVID-19.  The company hopes to soon start a mid-stage study of the vaccine candidate after the phase-one trial and move to a late-stage trial in July.

Moderna is aiming to have a vaccine ready for emergency use in the fall - a timeline that has never been seen for vaccine development.

Evidence suggests sun entering 'solar minimum' stage

100 days since there were any recorded sunspots.  So far this year, the Sun has been blank 76 percent of the time.  Last year, 2019, the Sun was blank 77 percent of the time.  Two consecutive years of record-setting spotlessness adds up to a very deep solar minimum.  This is called a solar minimum, and it is a regular part of the sunspot cycle.

The sun's magnetic field has become weak, allowing extra cosmic rays into the solar system.  Excess cosmic rays pose a health hazard to astronauts and polar air travelers, affect the electro-chemistry of Earth's upper atmosphere and may help trigger lightning.

15 May 2020

Ozone's Effectiveness in Killing SARS Coronavirus Leads to Theory on COVID-19

Ozone has been proven to kill 99.999 percent of pathogens in the air, including SARS Coronavirus and influenzas such as H5N1.  In past studies, 99 percent of viruses have been destroyed and showed damage to their envelope proteins after 30 seconds of exposure to ozone.  This can result in the virus's failure to attach to normal, healthy cells, and the breakdown of the single-stranded RNA can lead to the destruction of the virus.

Viruses are small particles made up of crystals.  Ozone destroys viruses by attacking the nucleic acid core, thus damaging the viral RNA.  After destroying these particles, ozone dissipates and leaves breathable oxygen as its only byproduct.  COVID-19 is an enveloped virus.

Using ozonated water for handwashing kills bacteria and viruses on impact.  Ozone is created by special generators that release it in the air for purification or infuse it into water for disinfecting surfaces.  More information about ozone generators and how they work can be found here.

See this build-it-yourself virus-killing ozone generator.

Latest news:

See this virus-killing ozone generator being developed for use in shared vehicles, from Autonomous Vehicle Engineering magazine, by the Tech Briefs Media Group.

How toxic is ozone to humans?

EPA recommendations on ozone generators that are sold as air cleaners

Ozone breaks down into Oxygen fairly quickly

14 May 2020

12 May 2020

Why are there so few antivirals?

Antibiotics treat bacterial infections.  Bacteria are cellular.

Unlike bacteria, viruses cannot replicate independently outside a host cell.  There is a debate over whether they are really living organisms at all.

To replicate, viruses enter a host cell and hijack its machinery.  Once inside, some viruses lie dormant, some replicate slowly and leak from cells over a prolonged period, and others make so many copies that the host cell bursts and dies.  The newly replicated virus particles then disperse and infect new host cells.

Different viruses vary from each other much more than different bacteria do.  There is extreme diversity between different viruses. Some have DNA genomes while others have RNA genomes, and some are single-stranded while others are double-stranded.  This makes it practically impossible to create a broad spectrum antiviral drug that will work across different virus types...

After recovering from coronavirus, are you immune?

8 May 2020

Black hole only 1,000 light-years from Earth discovered

The newly discovered black hole is dubbed HR 6819.  The star system was only spotted after two companion stars provided researchers with information on its whereabouts.  It can be seen on a clear night in the Southern Hemisphere without the use of a binocular or telescope, making it the first black hole to be seen without tools.

Though the black hole itself is invisible (as all black holes are) and does not have violent interactions with objects around it, the researchers are nonetheless certain it's there.  "An invisible object with a mass at least 4 times that of the Sun can only be a black hole."

The discovery was published in Astronomy & Astrophysics

The artist's impression below shows the orbits of the objects in the HR 6819 triple system.  This system is made up of an inner binary with one star (orbit in blue) and a newly discovered black hole (orbit in red), as well as a third object, another star, in a wider orbit (also in blue).  (Credit: ESO)

8 May 2020

Vitamin D levels may impact COVID-19 mortality rates

Researchers have discovered a strong correlation between vitamin D deficiency and mortality rates from the novel coronavirus

Patients from countries with high COVID-19 mortality rates, such as Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, had lower levels of vitamin D compared to patients in countries that were not as severely affected.

5 May 2020

Pancreatic cancer hidden in plain sight

Pancreatic cancer does not respond to certain anticancer treatments that boost immune responses.  A mechanism active in tumour cells that contributes to this evasion of immune targeting has been uncovered.

4 May 2020

Mars helicopter to fly on NASA's next rover mission to the Red Planet

The aircraft will travel to Mars with NASA's Perseverance rover, scheduled to launch in July 2020.  The aircraft will demonstrate the viability and potential of heavier-than-air vehicles on Mars.

1 May 2020

FDA allows emergency use of remdesivir to treat coronavirus patients after promising study

President Trump announced Friday that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the emergency use of Gilead Science's experimental antiviral drug remdesivir to treat coronavirus patients after early results of a clinical study indicated the drug helps speed recovery.  Trump announced the news at the White House alongside Gilead CEO Daniel O'Day and FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, praised the drug Wednesday.

Comet disintegrates in remarkable pictures captured by Hubble space telescope

30 April 2020

WHO: 102 potential coronavirus vaccines in the works

Seven possible vaccines had been given the green light for testing.  One of the groups approved for clinical trials on humans is from the United States.  Four are from China, one is from England and the last is made up of both Americans and Europeans.

29 April 2020

Gilead touts 'positive data' on drug as coronavirus treatment

Gilead Sciences said "positive data" emerging from a clinical trial studying one of its drugs as a potential treatment for COVID-19.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases' study of remdesivir, an experimental antiviral, has reached its primary endpoint, meaning the drug was found to be effective in the trial.

There is no proven COVID-19 treatment yet, though hundreds of clinical trials are ongoing all around the world to find one.  Scientists have high hopes for remdesivir, which was originally developed as a potential treatment for Ebola.

28 April 2020

The Hubble Space Telescope turns 30 years old

Thirty years of remarkable achievements

27 April 2020

Heartburn meds tapped in coronavirus treatment

Trial started in mid-March and includes 150 people

Pepcid heartburn drug as a possible coronavirus treatment in combination with hydroxychloroquine.

The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Dashboard

24 April 2020

Gilead disputes report that its coronavirus drug failed in China trial

Gilead said the findings were inconclusive because the study was terminated early

Gilead Sciences is responding to a World Health Organization report that its experimental antiviral drug failed to help patients with severe COVID-19 in a clinical trial conducted in China.  Gilead coronavirus drug could still be promising despite leaked negative results.

"We believe the post included inappropriate characterizations of the study. The study was terminated early due to low enrollment and, as a result, it was underpowered to enable statistically meaningful conclusions," according to a Gilead statement.  "As such, the study results are inconclusive, though trends in the data suggest a potential benefit for remdesivir, particularly among patients treated early in disease."

23 April 2020

Study finds most New York's hospitalized COVID-19 patients had one or more underlying health issues

People with a serious chronic disease should take special precaution and seek medical attention early, should they start showing signs and symptoms of being infected, or know that they've been exposed to someone who has this virus.

22 April 2020

See the Emory University COVID-19 self-triage tool

The tool is basically for anyone who believes that they may have COVID-19 based on their symptoms (e.g., loss of smell, shortness of breath, fever).

It is designed, in part, to prevent a surge of patients at hospitals and healthcare facilities.

If you think you may have COVID-19, the website can answer questions to help you determine the best course of action (anything from stay at home and rest to get immediate medical attention).

For more information, see this news release, Emory helps build free online tool to assess COVID-19 risk.

21 April 2020

Coronavirus has mutated into at least 30 different strains

Medical officials have vastly underestimated the overall ability of the virus to mutate, in finding that different strains have affected different parts of the world, leading to potential difficulties in finding an overall cure.

18 April 2020

What is remdesivir, Gilead's possible coronavirus drug that's in trials?

Thus far, no drugs have been approved for treating the virus.

17 April 2020

NASA, SpaceX to Launch First Astronauts to Space Station from U.S. Since 2011

NASA and the exciting history of Spaceflight

Image of Mars

16 April 2020

Visualizing what COVID-19 does to your body

14 April 2020

Antibody points to potential weak spot on novel coronavirus

"The antibody binds to a spot on the novel coronavirus that is usually hidden, except for when [the] virus shapeshifts its structure in order to infect a cell."

13 April 2020

Two-thirds of patients showing improvement after treatment with Remdesivir

Coronavirus has 'reactivated' in more than 100 South Koreans who recovered

More than 100 South Koreans who fully recovered from coronavirus have tested positive for a second time. Last week there were 51 cases of patients testing positive after being cleared of the virus. There have been no cases of the relapsed patients spreading the virus to anyone else.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Q: Is it useful to take common-cold remedies to help fight the virus?

A: Experts say remedies such as DayQuil are helpful for controlling the virus's symptoms. But they aren't a cure and won't prevent you from infecting others.

12 April 2020

  ISS crew blast off after long quarantine

11 April 2020

Can UV from the Sun kill the coronavirus? Better read this.

10 April 2020

Europe could be close to herd immunity from coronavirus ALREADY with 15% of people carrying antibodies say researchers studying city dubbed 'German Wuhan'

Two researchers from G?ttingen University claimed countries have only spotted six per cent of all COVID-19 cases, on average. Rates - which the researchers said were true up to March 31 - were staggeringly low in Britain (1.2 per cent), Italy (3.5 per cent), Spain (1.7 per cent) and the US (1.6 per cent). Because of the huge disparity, they described the official tallies trotted out by health ministers across the world each day as 'rather meaningless'.

Up to 15 per cent of people in hard-hit German town may already have immunity. If 15 per cent of people do have antibodies, then Germany's actual death rate could be as low as 0.37 per cent. This is five times lower than the current calculated level.

"This means a gradual relaxation of the lockdown is now possible."

With far more people infected than previously thought, Europe as a whole could be closer to herd immunity than expected.

4 April 2020

Immunologist says he has a possible cure for the coronavirus

"We've engineered neutralizing antibodies that go and block the virus. The coronavirus, if you were to zoom in on it, you would see a series, a ring of spikes, and it uses those spikes to invade human cells. We've identified a series of super potent antibodies that block those spikes and therefore make the virus no longer infectious."

3 April 2020

New Coronavirus Test Provides Results in as Few as Five Minutes

Actual tracing and virtual dating of COV-19

A digest of COVID-19 science, data, reporting and optimism as of 3 April.

2 April 2020

Australia begins testing 2 potential coronavirus vaccines, including one from US

Top NY Blood Center doctor says plasma coronavirus treatment looking 'promising'

30 March 2020

Army researchers at Fort Detrick who helped discover Ebola treatment seek coronavirus vaccine

These are the same army scientists who helped develop vaccines for anthrax, the plague and Ebola. Now, they have been working double shifts growing large amounts of the COVID-19 virus at this sprawling lab complex.

"We can test about 300 drugs or compounds in each plate."

They have used sneeze labs -- a technology the U.S. Army invented -- to test how the virus has spread through the air. "It would mimic you and I walking through someone's sneeze. There's a swirl of virus within droplets, so it doesn't exist just in air, but it's in fine droplets of many different sizes. Large droplets would land on your mouth and eyes, maybe on your hands, on surfaces, small droplets. You breathe them into your nostrils. Some of them make it past your projections, get deep into the lungs."

"We're going to find this vaccine and we're gonna win in the end."

FDA Authorizes Use of Malaria Drugs for Coronavirus

The emergency-use authorization is for two oral prescription drugs, hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, which are used primarily to treat malaria, but are now being investigated by federal agencies. 30 million doses of hydroxychloroquine sulfate and one million doses of chloroquine phosphate have been donated. The FDA will allow the drugs to be distributed and prescribed by doctors to hospitalized teen and adult patients with COVID-19, as appropriate.

As of early Monday morning, the coronavirus has infected more than 143,000 people in the U.S. and at least 2,513 people have died from the respiratory illness.

Up to 10 percent of recovered coronavirus patients test positive again, China reports

As many as 10% of recovered coronavirus patients in China tested positive again after being discharged from the hospital, according to a report. So far there is no evidence to suggest that they are infectious. The five patients who tested positive again did not have any symptoms and none of their close contacts had been infected.

Surveillance of similar patients showed that 80 to 90% had no trace of the virus in their system one month after being discharged from the hospital.

Additionally, health officials around the world are testing the concept of taking plasma from someone who has been infected, processing it, and injecting the antibodies into a sick person to stimulate their immune system.

Like a key to a lock

How seeing the molecular machinery of the coronavirus will help scientists design a treatment.

Another twist in the dark matter story

Electromagnetic signals don't provide the evidence physicists were hoping for.

28 March 2020

Hydroxychloroquine, a less toxic derivativeof chloroquine, is effective in inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro (PDF)

Keeping the Wuhan virus away - recommended practices from Johns Hopkins University:

26 March 2020

Is the Coronavirus as Deadly as They Say?

"Fear of Covid-19 is based on its high estimated case fatality rate-2% to 4% of people with confirmed Covid-19 have died, according to the World Health Organization and others. We believe that estimate is deeply flawed. The true fatality rate is the portion of those infected who die, not the deaths from identified positive cases."

The deaths from identified positive cases are "misleading? because of limited data.

"The real fatality rate could in fact be closer to 0.06%."

25 March 2020

Tiny creature from the late Proterozoic era identified as the earliest ancestor of all modern animals.

24 March 2020

Death in the U.S. by the numbers

For 2017, the latest year for which there are numbers, there were 2,813,503 deaths.

That means there were an average of 7,708 deaths per day in the U.S.

From the first Wuhan virus death in the U.S., on February 29th, to date, there have been 624 deaths due to the Wuhan virus.

That means there were an average of 24.88 deaths per day in the U.S. due to the Wuhan virus.

Deaths from the Wuhan virus are 00.32 % of the total deaths per day in the U.S.

To put that number in perspective, the infant mortality rate in the U.S. is 00.58 %
- almost twice as high.

See the CDC Deaths and Mortality webpage for more information.

The date of the first U.S. Wuhan virus mortality was taken from this news article, and the total number of deaths in the U.S. was taken from here.

The coronavirus did not escape from a lab. Here's how we know.

23 March 2020

Message on Coronavirus (COVID-19) Neither From UNICEF Nor Accurate

The Hidden Epidemic Behind COVID-19: Myths & Misinformation

Protective N95 face masks, regular hand-washing, avoiding any contact with the infected person, coughing and sneezing hygiene, adequate isolation of the affected are the measures suggested.

Death does not happen inevitably with COVID-19 infection. The mortality rate is only 2%, much lesser than the similar strains causing illness like SARS or MERS in the past. Majority of cases are mild infections and the number of uncomplicated cases are on the rise. Death occurs due to pulmonary complications, mainly pneumonia and respiratory failure.

In any case, death is NOT imminent with this virus.

21 March 2020

Chloroquine for the 2019 novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2

20 March 2020

France makes 'massive' discovery that old medicines work against coronavirus

Researchers are turning to existing medication for potential use in a new coronavirus treatment.

Chloroquine: What to know about potential coronavirus treatment

Early symptom of coronavirus might be digestive issues

Digestion issues, not respiratory, may be indicator

19 March 2020

Coronavirus swab test from UNC gets results in 4 hours, approved by FDA

University doctors believe they can test 300 patients a day

18 March 2020

Recent fossil discovery sheds light on the origin of modern birds

and how they survived the last mass extinction

Coronavirus and the Sun: a Lesson from the 1918 Influenza Pandemic

Fresh air, sunlight and improvised face masks seemed to work a century ago; and they might help us now. Open air therapy reduced deaths among hospital patients from 40 per cent to about 13 per cent.

17 March 2020

The simple protein that started all life

Why outbreaks like coronavirus spread exponentially, and how to "flatten the curve"

Even a small nuclear war could cause severe global food shortages

16 March 2020

Coronavirus: Biotech company ships first batches of vaccine, to be tested on humans

Roughly 35 companies and academic institutions are rushing to create a vaccine and at least four have tested it on animals. Moderna, a biotech company in Massachusetts, has already shipped the first batches of its COVID-19 vaccine to the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. It was said to be ready for human trials in April, but the first patient will receive an experimental dose today.

Our Solar System Is Even Stranger Than We Thought

New research shows a pattern of exoplanet sizes and spacing around other stars unlike what we see in our own system.

15 March 2020

EPA publishes a list of potent ammunition against coronavirus

The Environmental Protection Agency has published a list of disinfecting chemicals and products that have been verified to be effective against the coronavirus.

Because viruses are unique kinds of microorganisms, not all antibacterial products will have the same degree of effectiveness; however, the soaps and cleaners on this list are known to dissolve the virus's "envelope," or outer coating.

In a spot of good news, the EPA states enveloped viruses like SARS-CoV2 are among the easiest to kill using the products on the list. This is partially because the virus envelopes are composed of lipids, which are fatty, oily types of compounds.

Just how you can wash grease from pans, you can scrub away the virus's shell with vigorous, soapy handwashing.

Notable names on the list include the following widely available cleaning products:

? Clorox Multi-Surface Cleaner + Bleach

? Clorox Disinfecting Wipes

? Clorox Commercial Solutions? Clorox? Disinfecting Spray

? Lysol brand Heavy-Duty Cleaner Disinfectant Concentrate

? Lysol Disinfectant Max Cover Mist

? Lysol brand Clean & Fresh Multi-Surface Cleaner

? Purell Professional Surface Disinfectant Wipes

? Sani-Prime Germicidal Spray

You can see the complete list here, courtesy of the EPA.

See also

Disinfectant Concentrations and Contact Times for EPA's List of Products Effective against Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the Cause of COVID-19

14 March 2020

Researchers in U.S., China uncover how coronavirus hijacks human cells

13 March 2020

Tracking chart for the current status on the Coronavirus

Coronavirus vaccine development: Where does it stand?

Seattle woman infected with coronavirus says 'don't panic' when recounting battle with deadly illness

Ireland and Britain aren't part of Trump's coronavirus travel ban. This is why.

Trump's travel ban applies only to countries within the "Schengen area"

Apple says reopening all its branded stores in China

Earth's tilt angle key trigger for ending ice ages

12 March 2020

Scientists crack 58-year-old quantum mystery

The discovery will simplify the control of individual atoms placed in nano electric devices, with implications for overhauling nuclear magnetic resonance - a technique used in a diverse range of fields such as modern physics, medicine, chemistry, and mining.

Tiny bird-like dinosaur smallest ever found

Coronavirus becomes a pandemic: What to know about the classification

Coronavirus in the U.S.: Map of where cases have been confirmed across the country

11 March 2020

Over 50,000 People Have Recovered From Coronavirus Around the World, According to Johns Hopkins

10 March 2020

Giant asteroid apocalypse 13K years ago was witnessed by ancient humans

Giant asteroid strike 13K years ago had 'global consequences'

Earth 'rocked' by KILOMETRE-wide asteroid 12,000 years ago - leaving 19-mile crater only just uncovered

Scientists made a surprise discovery of an enormous crater hiding beneath Greenland's ice sheets

9 March 2020

2,400 in U.S. dead from flu
    21 in U.S. dead from coronavirus
    (3 plus 18 in nursing home in Wa. state)

COVID-1 - Coronavirus Q&A with Dr. Harish Moorjani

7 March 2020

New Research Explains How Solar Panels Could Soon Be Generating Power at Night

Faster-Than-Light Speeds Could Be Why Gamma-Ray Bursts Seem to Go Backwards in Time

5 March 2020

Skulls and skills varied in archaic Homo erectus

Homo erectus was possibly the most successful and longest surviving of any early human. They first popped into the fossil record some 2 million years ago and only went extinct in the last 50,000-100,000 years.

5 March 2020

Medical breakthrough in Israel:
        a lung was removed from the body of a cancer patient, cleaned and returned

The coronavirus outbreak has an unexpected silver lining

The coronavirus has infected close to 90,000 people around the world so far. 45,000 patients have recovered so far, and over 3,000 patients have died.

Footage of the Apollo 16 'Lunar Rover Grand Prix' Upscaled to 4K and 60fps

Here's how to apply to be a NASA astronaut!

2 March 2020

How COVID-19 (Corona virus) Spreads

Behavioural immunisation against the coronavirus

The evolution of a faraway star system
Scientists seize the rare chance to watch it unfold.

1 March 2020

Innovation thrives in partially connected populations
        The finding that looser connections are better is counter-intuitive.

Lyrics and melody receive separate attention once they enter the brain
        "Humans have developed two means of auditory communication: speech and music."

27 February 2020

Billion-year-old green algae is an ancestor of all plants on Earth

24 February 2020

'Hidden Figure' Katherine Johnson Dead At 101
        Don't miss her famous quote on page 245 of the book.


23 February 2020

Physicists Take Their Closest Look Yet at an Antimatter Atom

19 February 2020

SpaceX will launch humans to space for the first time

Researchers make solar efficiency breakthrough

17 February 2020

How planetary building blocks were constructed

Maths and the art of topology

Topology is a branch of mathematics concerned with space and deformation.

See also How art merges with maths
to explore continuity, change, and exotic states

New research explains the strange electron flow in future materials

Watching on as Betelgeuse dims
        The star is down to about a third of its normal brightness, and its shape is changing.

15 February 2020

NASA's New Horizons mission sheds new light on how planets form

14 February 2020

SpaceX to launch 60 internet Starlink satellites in one day
        The launch will be SpaceX's third one for 2020 already

10 February 2020

Expedition reveals the violent birth of Zealandia
        for more, read about the discovery of Zealandia continent
        Earth's hidden continent was shaped by two tectonic events.

6 February 2020

The largest ever study of cancer genetics, involving more than 1300 researchers across four continents, has catalogued a trove of cancer mutations in a vast, open access, computer cloud database.

3 February 2020

Physicists have cooled a nanoparticle to the lowest temperature quantum mechanics allows - a temperature of roughly minus 273 degrees Celsius - by reducing its motion to the ground state

2 February 2020

Two trillion galaxies

30 January 2020

Magnetic field moves electrons into concentric circles

Humans not to blame for genetic diversity loss
        Same old story - diversity loss caused by the need to adapt to differing habitats.

Siberian cave yields trove of Neanderthal blades linked to eastern Europe

A mega library of nanoparticles

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, which uses infrared light to study the cosmos,
        will be formally retired today after 16 years

The new Inouye Solar Telescope has produced the most detailed solar images
        ever taken, showing structures as small as 30 kilometres.

26 January 2020

The Hubble Constant - calculating it different ways gives different answers

The five worst mass extinctions

24 January 2020

Java Man - First human species out of Africa - reached Asia later than thought

The Super Bowl of Astronomy

Earth's oldest known impact structure coincides with the end of Snowball Earth
    After Snowball Earth there is no record of large-scale glaciation for 400 million years

Children's graves reveal genetic diversity of ancient West Africa

Possible Bigfoot spotting?

22 January 2020

Unusual gravitational waves hit Earth

21 January 2020

40-ton whale jumps completely out of the water

19 January 2020

SpaceX blew up a rocket and this time it's great news

17 January 2020

Neandertal birch tar-hafted tool proves abstract conceptualization ability
"The production of birch tar adhesives was a major technological development, demonstrating complex Neandertal technology and advanced cognitive ability."


A tar-backed tool from the present-day North Sea reveals the use of complex technology by Neandertals.   This article reports the discovery of a 50,000-year-old birch tar-hafted flint tool found off the present-day coastline of The Netherlands.   The production of birch tar adhesives and multicomponent tools was a major technological development.   It is considered complex technology and has a prominent place in discussions about the evolution of human behavior.   This find provides evidence on the technological capabilities of Neandertals and illuminates the currently debated conditions under which these technologies could be maintained.   The find demonstrates that birch tar was a routine part of the Neandertal technological repertoire.   Dating the geological provenance of the artifact firmly associates it with a host of Middle Paleolithic stone tools and a Neandertal fossil.   The object is a piece of birch tar, encompassing one-third of a flint flake.   This find demonstrates that Neandertals mastered complex adhesive production strategies and composite tool use.   The discovery also shows that a large population size is not a necessary condition for complex behavior and technology.

In a related article, the author states that "Neandertals used artificial adhesives to haft, or better handle, stone tools across their entire geographic range and since at least 200,000 years ago."   That is almost 130,000 years prior to H. Sapiens' final mental evolutionary change 70,000 years ago, and about 145,000 years before H. Sapiens made their way into the parts of Eurasia where H. Neanderthalis lived.

This is clear evidence that Neandertals possessed the ability for abstract conceptualization.   Abstract conceptualization is the mental capability that makes possible reasoning and thinking, which replaces the instinctual behavior that is otherwise universal among animals.   This discovery also makes clear that abstract conceptualization at some level preceded H. Sapiens.

14 January 2020

7 Billion-Year-Old Stardust Is Oldest Material Found on Earth
        Some of these ancient grains are billions of years older than our sun.
        See the research article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

13 January 2020

Cancer Metastasis Has More to Do with Wound Healing than You Might Think
        "Metastasis is wound healing gone wrong."

9 January 2020

New image of the Milky Way's center could help explain why its heart is missing stars

How protons and neutrons behave inside an atom
        That behavior is different from their behavior as individual particles

7 January 2020

NASA's alien planet hunter discovers its first Earth-sized planet in 'habitable-zone'

2020's first meteor shower seen from space

4,000-year-old guide to Egyptian underworld could be oldest illustrated 'book'

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