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Health authorities have confirmed a case of a rare type of smallpox in a UK patient

Skin rashes caused by ape pox. Credit: CDC's Public Health Image Library (Public domain)

A patient in England has been diagnosed with a rare case of monkeypox, as reported by Public Health England (PHE).

The rare viral infection is similar to smallpox, and though it is milder, it can be fatal.

It has been reported that the individual was in Nigeria and that he would have contracted the disease there. Later, upon returning to the United Kingdom, he stayed in the southwest of England where the disease occurred.

Upon symptoms, he was transferred to the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust , a center specializing in infectious diseases in London.

The health authorities have taken the necessary measures to prevent the virus from spreading to other people.

Vaccination against smallpox to people in Africa. (Public domain)

The PHE said in a statement:

As a precaution, PHE experts are working closely with NHS colleagues to implement rapid infection control procedures, including contact with people who may have been in close contact with the individual to provide health information and advice. ”

But experts are not very worried about contagion, because monkeypox does not spread easily among people and the risk of affecting the population is quite low, said Dr. Meera Chand , PHE consulting microbiologist.

This transmission electron micrograph (TEM) represents a series of smallpox virus virions. Credit: CDC / Dr. Fred Murphy; Sylvia Whitfield / Wikimedia Commons

Although the infection usually occurs mildly and people get better without treatment; Some individuals may develop very serious symptoms, with a percentage of 1 to 10 percent of patients dying from the disease during outbreaks, according to the World Health Organization .

The symptoms presented are similar to those of smallpox but milder. First, fever, headaches, muscle aches, back pain, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion. Subsequently rashes may appear on the skin , starting on the face and spreading throughout the rest of the body.

This is not the first time a patient has been infected with smallpox in the United Kingdom. In 2018, there were three cases after a person was diagnosed with the disease. The individual had also returned from Nigeria.

Source: Gov.ukIFL Science

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Science & Technology

The mystery of Azzo Bassou, nicknamed the planet’s last Neanderthal

For years, scientists have been looking for the missing link in human evolution, the “connection” between humans and their ape-like ancestors, according to evolutionary theory.

Scientists ran to look at new evidence of the existence of the Yeti and the Bigfoot, just to catch this very connection. But there was one person in the history of science who excited scientists’ minds for many years.

In 1931, a man named Azzo Bassou was discovered by the local press in Marrakech in Morocco.

Azzo Bassou lived in the Dades Valley, near the town of Skoura.

The locals knew about him. According to them, he lived in a cave, ate raw meat. He walked naked (they put him in a bag just to take pictures) and used very basic tools.

They also described him as a person with low intellectual abilities in a primitive way.

He had the ability to pronounce some words, but many of them were illegible.

His forehead was sunken, there was a convex jaw, a large nose and long arms that reached almost to the knees.

In 1956, the French writer Jean Boulet, accompanied by ethnologist Marcel Gomet, arrived in the city to find out and study this case.

Scientists who saw him compared his skull with the remains of Neanderthals found and were amazed at their similarity.

The tabloids immediately dubbed him “the missing link”, portraying him as the last living Neanderthal.

In the midst of his research, Azzo died at the age of 60. True, there were two of his alleged sisters with similar facial features – Hisa and Herkaya.

Both women did very hard physical work with ease and were as wild as their alleged relative.


After careful study, scientists concluded that most likely these three were sick with microcephaly.


Microcephaly is a significant decrease in the size of the skull and, accordingly, the brain with normal sizes of other parts of the body. Microcephaly is accompanied by mental impairment – from not pronounced imbecility to idiocy.

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Like naked: new fabric will provide cooling without air conditioning

Scientists have developed a fabric that does not interfere with the body’s natural cooling. Now even the hottest summer in a strict office suit can be as comfortable as in swimming trunks or a bikini.

The innovation is described in a scientific article published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

What to do when clothes are too hot? You can, for example, undress. Alas, if it is not on the beach, people around are unlikely to correctly assess such a gesture.

Weary of strict business etiquette, people are increasingly relying on air conditioners. For example, in such a southern country as the United States, 10% of all electricity (!) is spent on cooling premises.

Now materials scientists have developed a fabric that does not interfere with the body’s natural cooling. This will make people feel more comfortable while saving on air conditioners.

The material consists of three substances: polyurethane, fluorinated polyurethane and two-dimensional boron nitride. The latter covers the fibers, between which there are wide pores.

These pores allow the skin to come into contact with the air and the sweat to evaporate. What’s more, boron nitride imparts incredible thermal conductivity to fabrics. So the heat of the human body does not accumulate under the clothes, but freely goes out into the surrounding space.

The fibers form large pores, allowing the skin to come into contact with air.Illustration by American Chemical Society.

Surprisingly, at the same time, the fabric also does not let water through from the outside. This is achieved thanks to the outer layer of water-repellent fluorinated polyurethane.

In one experiment, scientists stretched the material between two chambers, one above the other, placing the fabric with the outer side up. The top was filled with water, and air was left at the bottom. As a result, the water did not seep down, but the air went up perfectly and entered the water in the form of bubbles.

The new material allows sweat to evaporate from the surface of the skin, but does not allow water to enter from the outside.Illustration by American Chemical Society.

The authors of the development note that the new fabric is cheaper and easier to manufacture than other self-cooling materials.

The novelty can be useful not only for making clothes. It can be used, for example, in the manufacture of electronics, as well as for the desalination of sea water.

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China is preparing a project of a futuristic “smart” city without cars

China’s largest telecommunications company plans to build a futuristic smart city in the suburbs of Shenzhen, in the near future, which will be free of road transport. During the construction of the “Net City” they will adhere to the principles and norms of “green architecture”, which will contribute to the preservation of the environment not only in this part of the metropolis. As the organizers of this ecologically safe area promise, it will not become an isolated island only for the elite.

Net City will be built on a reclaimed land plot along Dachan Bay in Shenzhen, China. | Photo: eyeshenzhen.com/ © NBBJ.

Net City will be built on a reclaimed land plot along Dachan Bay in Shenzhen, China. | Photo: eyeshenzhen.com/ © NBBJ.

Internet giant Tencent has revealed plans to build a new sustainable futuristic city in the Chinese metropolis of Shenzhen. Soon, a unique “smart” city will appear in the south of China, which will become a dream come true not only for the leaders of the country’s largest telecommunications company, but also for the majority of the world’s inhabitants. According to the concept that has appeared, the city will combine the latest achievements of high technologies, education, environmental safety, complete energy self-sufficiency and an ideally comfortable urban environment.

China is planning to build a futuristic car-free smart city (Net City concept). | Photo: eyeshenzhen.com/ © NBBJ.

China is planning to build a futuristic car-free smart city (Net City concept). | Photo: eyeshenzhen.com/ © NBBJ.

This event was preceded by a competition for the creation of the best innovative project of the city of the future, which will be able to leave a minimum carbon footprint and at the same time will be as comfortable as possible for people to live. In 2019, the American company NBBJ, known for its non-standard solutions, won the competition. As the project leaders admit:

“We spent a lot of time trying to make the city as less vulnerable as possible and move away from the use of road transport as much as possible, focusing on creating a comfortable life for citizens.”

The conglomerate Tencent bought an unusable piece of land in Dachan Bay for $ 1.2 billion to build its city. | Photo: eyeshenzhen.com/ © NBBJ.

The conglomerate Tencent bought an unusable piece of land in Dachan Bay for $ 1.2 billion to build its city. | Photo: eyeshenzhen.com/ © NBBJ.

“Net City” is the name given to the project, which will occupy an area of ​​2 sq. km at the mouth of the Pearl River, on lands that for many years were unsuitable for life or the development of agricultural land. Before the start of construction, large-scale reclamation measures will be carried out on this territory so that the allocated area is suitable for the construction and placement of the urban environment. According to the developers, the master plan gives priority to pedestrians with the most limited access to traditional types of vehicles.

Dozens of buildings from one to 30 storeys high will be designed by various architectural firms (“Net City” concept). | Photo: interestingengineering.com/ © NBBJ.

Dozens of buildings from one to 30 storeys high will be designed by various architectural firms (“Net City” concept). | Photo: interestingengineering.com/ © NBBJ.

Interesting fact: Despite the seeming diminutiveness, the area of ​​the “smart” city will correspond to the size of the tiny state of Monaco. It is planned that at least 80 thousand people will be able to live in this paradise. And if we compare it with the same dwarf country, then in the “Net City” there will be 2 times more inhabitants.

Green areas will decorate not only city squares, but also roofs and even walls of houses (“Net City” concept). | Photo: interestingengineering.com/ © NBBJ.

Green areas will decorate not only city squares, but also roofs and even walls of houses (“Net City” concept). | Photo: interestingengineering.com/ © NBBJ.

Despite loud statements about the rejection of the use of vehicles, some areas of the city in the city will have transport arteries that will connect with the metropolis and allow you to move between distant points. Only for organizing the traffic of buses, bicycles and individual vehicles a single “green corridor” will be created around which the main residential areas, business center and recreation areas will be located.

The wavy photovoltaic panels on the roofs of buildings imitate mountain peaks (concept

The wavy photovoltaic panels on the roofs of buildings imitate mountain peaks (concept “Net City”). | Photo: archiposition.com/ © NBBJ.

The authors of the project report that most of the territory is given for the organization of parks, common recreation areas, but they plan to place numerous green areas on the roofs of buildings. Naturally, it will not do without the construction of a business center, educational institutions, residential areas, entertainment and recreation areas for citizens.

In

In “Net City” pedestrians will be a priority, and separate zones will be allocated for vehicles (concept “Net City”). | Photo: archiposition.com/ © NBBJ.

Despite the fact that the creation of this “smart” city was conceived as a place of work, residence and social interaction of employees of the conglomeration Tencent, the developers hope that it will become a vital hub for all of Shenzhen. Moreover, all the conditions have been created for the maximum integration of the new community into the urban environment of the metropolis. An unusual town, created on previously unsuitable for life and construction lands, will be connected to the main part of Shenzhen by road bridges, ferries and subway lines.

“Net City” will be connected to road bridges, water transport and metro lines (concept “Net City”). | Photo: archiposition.com/ © NBBJ.

Given the changeable climate of the bay, the development team views the region as an organic ecosystem. Its clever design will transform it into a self-sufficient place to generate its own energy, recycle and reuse waste, produce its own food, and, ultimately, into a natural city-wide intelligent system with flexible interconnections. Such an ecological and innovative focus will have a beneficial effect not only on the preservation of the environment, but also significantly reduce the cost of maintaining all urban systems.

The main decoration of the city will be the “Catch the Wave” park located along the coast of the bay (“Net City” concept). | Photo: archiposition.com/ © NBBJ.

The main decoration of the city will be the “Catch the Wave” park located along the coast of the bay (“Net City” concept). | Photo: archiposition.com/ © NBBJ.

In this unique project, a special place was given to the embankment, which is a wavy green area in the form of a huge park. It is he who will be the connecting link between other areas of the metropolis and will become the central object of the city of the future. Along the entire length of the winding coast of the bay, tourists and locals can stroll and admire the opening views of the bay itself and the twinkling lights of the metropolis. At the same time, you can enjoy the fresh air and socializing.

All city squares are buried in greenery (“Net City” concept). | Photo: archiposition.com/ © NBBJ.

All city squares are buried in greenery (“Net City” concept). | Photo: archiposition.com/ © NBBJ.

Vacationers will especially appreciate the abundance of vegetation that can be observed throughout the entire length of this park and the entire city. Moreover, not only ground space will smell sweet, green roofs and vertical gardens on the walls of multi-level buildings will subtly fit into public spaces. And most importantly, the functions of the park space will be divided according to the goals of creating life, learning, interacting and working. At the southern tip, for example, are office buildings, to the east are commercial, entertainment and public spaces, and to the west and north are office properties mixed with residential high-rise buildings.

Walking areas near offices in the business district will encourage employees to have a balanced work and leisure time (Net City concept). | Photo: archiposition.com/ © NBBJ.

Walking areas near offices in the business district will encourage employees to have a balanced work and leisure time (Net City concept). | Photo: archiposition.com/ © NBBJ.

In general, the urban area promises to be ultra-modern and absolutely comfortable for people to live in.

“In today’s computerized world, we can build a city where work, life and play are closely intertwined and synergize with interactions between people.”– said Jonathan Ward, design partner at NBBJ.

The wetland area will soon become the city of the future (Net City concept). | Photo: archiposition.com/ © NBBJ.

The wetland area will soon become the city of the future (Net City concept). | Photo: archiposition.com/ © NBBJ.

Reference: Preparatory work for the creation of the future city will begin by the end of 2020, but the first residents will appear in it no earlier than in 7 years.

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