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Coronavirus Treatment Retraction Shows The Life Sciences Are Too Often ‘A House Built On Sand’

Apr 15 2020 - 11:04
The International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents has already retracted a March 20th paper analyzing hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19, the disease that can result from the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China late last year.

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WHO Endorses Reopening Wuhan Wet Markets That Caused Coronavirus

Apr 14 2020 - 13:04
China has decided to re-open the "wet" markets in Wuhan, where live animals are butchered, sanitary conditions are non-existent, and which directly led to the coronavirus rampaging across the world, and the World Health Organization has rushed to show support.

No one is surprised. WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus believes anything a communist dictatorship tells him - because the United Nations itself is a centralized paper tiger. It rushes to endorse decisions made by countries that are going to ignore the U.N. anyway. It is the only way their ineffectiveness is not exposed to the rest of the world.

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Trump Did Not Start Fracking On Public Lands, Obama Did

Apr 13 2020 - 06:04
When is it right to turn over 5 million acres of public land for exploitation by energy corporations? 

The Obama administration did just that, with corn ethanol, and environmental groups wrapped him in the flag of renewable biofuels despite science showing it was worse for the environment than gasoline. A generation earlier they had also wrapped natural gas in the flag of environmentalism and continued to do so until it began to replace coal.(1) During the Bush administration, a Republican.

Then it was time for lawsuits.

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Nuisance Parameters In Classification Problems: A Simple Example

Apr 12 2020 - 09:04
These days I have been writing a chapter of a book on machine learning for physics, and in so doing I have found myself pondering on how to best explain, in very simple terms, the nocuous effect that model uncertainty may have on the result of a classification task. So I decided to create a toy example with the purpose of introducing the discussion.
The example is meant to have two attractive properties: be analytically solvable in closed form - meaning that one may compute with paper and pencil all the relevant results - and be described by simple-to-interpret graphs. Below I will describe what I came up with, but first let me explain what are the points I wish to focus on.

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Urgent: Must Examine Scientific Evidence Base Of UK's COVID-19 Policy Of Ignoring WHO Advice To Isolate Cases And Trace Contacts

Apr 10 2020 - 07:04

Reminder to all of you, do protect yourself using the simple methods recommended by the WHO - they work and save lives of yourself and others:

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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What '5G Causes Coronavirus' Claims Share With Anti-Ag, Anti-Vax, And Anti-Natural Gas Movements - Russia

Apr 10 2020 - 06:04
It's long been hiding in plain sight that Russia funnels money to activist groups in the U.S. that will help their causes. Russia's top two exports are food and energy so it was no surprise when activists began to claim that hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") would lead to earthquakes or cause the earth to deflate, or that 400 miles of Keystone XL pipeline in addition to 20,000 miles of pipeline on top of an aquifier would be risky.

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

Apr 09 2020 - 17:04
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

Apr 09 2020 - 16:04
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?

Apr 09 2020 - 15:04
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.

Apr 09 2020 - 14:04

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

Apr 09 2020 - 14:04

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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Exploring the Universe ‘Is there Evidence for the Big Bang?’

Apr 09 2020 - 10:04
Evidence for the big bang can be provided from observational astronomy using Hubble’s law (redshift of galaxies) also known as the ‘Doppler effect’ (Roy et al 2003) where the wavelength of light from distant galaxies is shifted towards the red end of the visible spectrum and results from receding galaxies.

Hubble published his observations in 1929. It provides direct evidence that the galaxies in the universe are accelerating away from our reference point and implies that the universe is expanding.

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

Apr 09 2020 - 06:04
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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