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Updated: 51 min 49 sec ago

Wuhan To Europe To America - The Evolutionary Paths Of SARS-CoV-2

1 hour 35 min ago
The early "evolutionary paths" SARS-CoV-2, the 2019 coronavirus that leads to COVID-19 in humans have been traced using phylogenetic network techniques and shows how it spread from Wuhan to Europe and America.

While there are too many rapid mutations in coronaviruses, they are in the same family as the common cold, to ever find a Patient Zero or even a settled family tree, analysis of the first 160 complete virus genomes to be sequenced from human patients show the original spread of the new coronavirus through its mutations. 

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Why COVID-19 Spreads Faster In Cities

1 hour 54 min ago
Wealthy elites from Manhattan have been retreating to their vacation homes while year-round residents wish they would stay away. Urban residents are being treated look poor refugees during pandemics, famine, and war. They will bring the problem with them, it is believed. 

While it may seem like an odd stance for progressive elites in the northeast to take about their fellow man, it is likely the first time that these issues were anything except academic to them. And they are not wrong for believing that people from cities are more likely to be carriers.

But while cities are more likely to be carriers, they are also more likely to have infrastructure to handle it.(1) 

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COVID-19:How Effective Is Quarantine?

3 hours 7 min ago
There is no question that travel restrictions and social distancing have helped reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2, that coronavirus strain that originated in Wuhan, China late last year and then spread worldwide.

What about quarantine?

A new review hopes to shed some light but because the review is primary of modeling papers - many of which looked like estimates and some more like guestimates - it may be only partially useful from an applied health policy perspective. The real answers may not be known for years.

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Using The Simpsons To Show Why Isolating Covid-19 Cases And Contact Tracing Protects Your Houshold.

3 hours 52 min ago

This is one of the biggest differences between the UK policy and the WHO recommendations. The UK think that Covid19 is very infectious like flu, and only for a very short time and that if you have it then likely everyone in your house already has it or will get it soon.

But the data from China and now many other places is the opposite. Covid19 is mildly infectious for a long time. It can be infectious through to death if you die and up to two weeks after recovery if you recover.

If you catch it early, often nobody else has got it from the first case. This story is often in the news - couples where one has it and the other doesn’t. Prince Charles got it for instance, and his wife Camilla didn’t get it.

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The Mathematical Model For COVID19 That Guides UK Policy - Simulated Flu Pandemic Differs In Almost Every Detail From Real Data

4 hours 43 min ago

This is a trimmed down version of my last article with just the cites from the Imperial college paper to show that in the UK we are indeed using a simulated flu pandemic to guide UK policy and that it differs in almost every detail from the real disease. I know this is hard to understand or believe. But please check my cites carefully and you will see they do.

First the background. You may not know that we in the UK are ignoring the WHO's advice. Allyson M Pollock, professor of public health at Newcastle university put it like this:

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Over Half Of Brazil's Coronavirus Cases Arrived From Italy - And That Is WHO's Fault

12 hours 14 min ago
Political critics can argue that the U.S.

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All Hail Cthulhu - And Its 45 Tentacles

Apr 08 2020 - 23:04
There is one Cthulhu it's safe to invoke; Sollasina cthulhu, obviously named after H.P. Lovecraft's tentacled monster, a 430 million-year-old fossil that has been identified as a new species related to living sea cucumbers.

The new cthulhu, Sollasina, was an echinoderm (the group that includes sea urchins, sea cucumbers, and sea stars) that had 45 tentacle-like tube feet, which it used to crawl along the ocean floor and capture food. The creature was small, about the size of a large spider. It was found in the Herefordshire Lagerstätte in the United Kingdom, a site that has proven to be a trove of fossilized ancient sea animals, and included soft tissue preservation.

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'Miracle Mineral Solution' Is No COVID-19 Miracle Remedy, It's Chlorine Dioxide

Apr 08 2020 - 17:04
I love chemicals. I keep them in the house because they clean stuff in ways that Seventh Generation nonsense and All Natural Lavender alternatives never will.

But unless they have common names like 'coffee' I don't drink them. Nor should you. Especially if some charlatan slaps the words Miracle Solution on there. The Genesis II Church of Health and Healing, which is obviously not a church and can only prevent conditions no one has, is selling chlorine dioxide products that it fraudulently claims can treat or prevent COVID-19.

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Disgust Evolved To Protect Us From Disease But With Coronavirus Our Ancient Instincts May Be Wrong

Apr 07 2020 - 16:04

(Inside Science) -- Imagine putting your hand in a pile of poop. It stinks and squishes. What do you do next?

Most likely, you'll scrub that hand with plenty of soap -- and you don't need public health officials or a germ theory of disease to tell you that's the right thing to do. But when you touch the handrail on an escalator, it's much harder to remember that you could be picking up coronavirus germs.

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Gemstone Classification With A Specific Gravity Scale

Apr 06 2020 - 11:04
The isolation that most of the civilized world is being subjected to, during the past few weeks, has produced a number of nasty effects, first and foremost on our economies, but it has also had a few positive ones. One of them is, at least in my case, an urge to use the extra time I have in my hands in a creative way.

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Evolution Could Make Future Viruses Even Weirder: Some Have The Building Blocks For Their Own Metabolism

Apr 06 2020 - 10:04
Though they are called giant viruses they're still among the tiniest denizens of the microbiome. A few genes' worth of DNA or RNA folded into a shell so small you need an electron microscope to see it. They are more like a stripped-down husk of an organism. Giant viruses are ten times the size of their more compact cousins and with hundreds or even thousands of genes, so unlike the rest of the family that when first cataloged in 1992, researchers dismissed it as bacteria. 

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COVID-19: Why UK Is Ignoring WHO Advice - Key Differences Between UK's Simulated Flu And Real World Data

Apr 06 2020 - 09:04

I am going to send this article to Allyson M Pollock, professor of public health and lead author of a recent paper in the British Medical Journal.

The paper is called Covid-19: why is the UK government ignoring WHO’s advice?.

The authors of this paper say that

The reasons why tracing was stopped, against WHO recommendations, have not been published.

The detailed reasons are not published but the paper that motivates the new policy has been published. I have written about this before but for the purposes of this article have followed up in more detail and I will focus this article on the paper itself.

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What Is Contact Tracing And Why Is It So Effective At Stopping COVID-19?

Apr 05 2020 - 16:04

I feel many people don't really understand clearly what contact tracing really is and why it is so effective for COVID-19. If they understood this better they might make wiser decisions. The WHO in every press briefing stress that this is the key to not just delaying the spread of COVID-19 but suppressing it and then stopping it - crushing it right down to no new cases a day.

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Game Theory May Predict How To Reduce Panic Buying

Apr 05 2020 - 13:04

During difficult times, we hope that everyone will pull together, keep calm, and work as a unit to ensure that society continues to run smoothly. Unfortunately, this is not always the case – as is particularly evident right now.

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How Contact Tracing For COVID-19 Saves Lives

Apr 05 2020 - 08:04

Many governments, the UK included, do not seem to fully understand how important contact tracing is for stopping the outbreak. They focus their policy on physical distancing - which is the most obvious eye catching thing that filled the news about Wuhan. But contact tracing is the absolute key to stopping this virus.

The WHO stress this over and over.

Some countries have got this message. But many countries still focus on physical distancing and only isolating cases that are already tested and found to have Covid-19. Many academics also focus their theoretical work on physical distancing.

They also sometimes quarantine all the people that the person is in the same household with, or they close the school they went to, or their work place.

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Free Trade Has Created Greater Food System Sustainability - Lack Of Farmers Puts Wealthy Countries At Risk

Apr 04 2020 - 09:04
The locally grown effort was always fine for people fortunate enough to be born into agriculturally rich areas but for everyone else it historically meant famine, poor diets, or high costs.

Modern agriculture and free markets changed all that. A new study finds that as the world has increased its standard of living - there are fewer people in poverty than ever in history and it continues to drop fast - it can lead to concern about food system sustainability. As people get wealthier, they move out of rural areas and into cities, but as we have seen during the SARS-CoV2 panic, when 2 percent of people provide all of the food there is less food system stability. Unless there is a large free trade market.

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UK's Isolation Period Of 7 Days For COVID-19 Is Too Short - WHO Advises Isolation To 14 Days After Symptoms Resolve

Apr 04 2020 - 09:04

In the UK those who think they have COVID-19, including confirmed cases, isolate at home for 7 days after onset of symptoms. Matt Hancock, the health secretary, was confirmed to have COVID-19 a week ago. He has just come out of isolation after 7 days. See: Matt Hancock leaves week-long isolation period under UK's 'outlier' rules

This is radically different from the WHO isolation period. According to the WHO he is still infectious and could contribute to the spread of the disease. He should only leave isolation this early if he has two negative PCR tests 24 hours apart.

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Good Morning! Did You Sleep Poorly Because Of Your Genes?

Apr 04 2020 - 08:04
A new paper suggests 47 links between our genetic code and the quality, quantity and timing of our sleep.

The correlation was created using 85,670 participants of UK Biobank and 5,819 individuals from three other studies, who wore accelerometers (e.g. Fitbit) which recorded activity levels continuously. They wore the accelerometers continuously for seven days which provides more accuracy than people who write how well they slept diaries.

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UK's Antibody Certificates Would Not Prove You Are Safe From COVID-19 - And Herd Immunity Is Unproven For COVID-19

Apr 03 2020 - 14:04

Experts are weighing in on Matt Hancock’s proposal of “antibody certificates” in the UK, and saying that antibody tests will NOT prove that you are immune from the disease. We do not know. It is possible that those with antibodies can still be infected, and die of the disease.

Such certificates would give a false sense of security. Especially for the general public, they could also encourage risky behaviour such as people deliberately trying to get COVID-19 in order to pass the test and get back to work - a fraction of those people deliberately trying to get COVID19 would need ventilators or would die.

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No More Chemophobia: Millions Cheer As Hydrogen Peroxide Machine Makes N95 Masks Reusable 20 Times

Apr 03 2020 - 12:04
Environmental Working Group recently rolled out its annual Dirty Dozen list of foods that ... wait, did they?

This year, no one seems to know or care if a group of lawyers paid an intern to go through USDA pesticide data and did simple arithmetic to declare how 'toxic' fruit was unless the pesticides on it were made by their clients.

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