Facemasks might prevent inhaling infectious aerosols, but that’s not how most people catch the virus. If you get the virus on your hands and then touch your face, the facemask won’t do anything.
Seriously people- STOP BUYING MASKS!
They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus, but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!
— U.S. Surgeon General (@Surgeon_General) February 29, 2020
Soap and water are the best tools to fight viruses. If a sink and soap are unavailable, then an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is an OK substitute. So I gather they are entirely sold out now. Of course. So here’s the recipe: 1 tablespoon glycerol, 3 tablespoons drug store (3%) hydrogen peroxide, and 3 2/3 cups 96% ethanol (192 proof Everclear alcohol).
starting my work pic.twitter.com/kndN8qIFOk
— poorly drawn lines (@PDLComics) March 6, 2020
The coronavirus is changing as it spreads because evolution is a thing. The changes can be tracked with DNA sequencing and mapped. So we have a family tree of the viruses in circulation.
This article is directed at journalists, but it is worth reading. The right questions to ask are tricky and technical. The difference between “how many samples can we test” and “how many patients can we test” is big. We test two samples from each patient, so it’s only half as many patients.
These youtubers make great projects. Their cat is (predictably) not very impressed. Their humor is understated but great.
When I was a kid I heard about a sonar dome on a surface ship covered with sucker holes from (probably) a giant squid. This is different. I had never heard of the cookie-cutter shark.
A reddit user gives a great introduction to growing salt crystals. The principles are the same for most crystals.
The LDS/Mormon church does not have democratic governance. So members get no vote on how their contributions (10% of their income) get spent. They don’t even get to see how the money gets spent. This report claims that the church quietly accumulated a vast fortune. Color me surprised.
This animated video touches on something very real: virtual interactions are not a good substitute for real in-person relationships and supportive communities. But then, not all in-person communities are created equal. In some abusive communities, leaders quietly accumulate vast fortunes at members’ expense.
I made a video about qPCR and how it works to detect the RNA in viruses like 2019nCoV. An FDA approved and verified kit may be hard to get, but research hospitals can definitely make and verify their own. The FDA just needs to sign off. That seems to be happening now.
When I was a kid I was obsessed with ruby lasers. The idea that a ruby (already a cool thing) could be used to generate laser light was the epitome of cool to my 10-year-old brain. If I had seen this I probably would have begged my dad to break out the arc welder and try it.
There was this science fiction story called Manna by Marshal Brain where “manna” was short for “manager.” It was a science-fiction take on exactly this phenomenon. Apps and software can replace middle managers more easily than low-wage laborers. Middle managers delegate orders and collect data. Neither task requires a physical body. Furthermore, middle managers get paid more, so automating their jobs has a big rate of return for very little capital (especially compared to the investment required to build physical robots). But that’s miserable for the managed. And it doesn’t have to be. The efficiency gains COULD be distributed to more people. If automated management results in better efficiency and cost savings, we COULD have shorter workweeks with better pay.
It seems that one of the three primer sets was not working well. That still leaves two sets for good duplicate testing. But this all might have been mitigated if we had a pandemic preparedness team reporting to the president, or if we had stronger support of the CDC.
Is that too political? It shouldn’t be. It should be common sense.