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Round Two: Coronavirus outbreak could begin in September, scientists say

Round Two: Coronavirus outbreak could begin in September, scientists say 86

Recently, news about the coronavirus has come increasingly alarming and controversial. Perhaps this is a natural consequence of the panic that inevitably occurs during times of serious upheaval, such as the CoVID-19 pandemic.

From the very first case of infection with the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, recorded in Wuhan at the end of 2019, a series of shocks followed. Even if not immediately, but more and more conspiracy theories appear: some question the existence of the virus, others are convinced of its artificial origin and and there are more further on the list. However, there is still a reason for doubt in the available data. For several weeks now, the entire world press has been discussing the likelihood that the Chinese government may be hiding the real number of those killed during the outbreak. Distrust of the Celestial Empire’s official information added a new bill, which limits the publication of studies on the origin of CoVID-19. Now all research needs to be coordinated with the government. Now, as Cambridge scientists studying the origins of the disease found out, an outbreak of coronavirus could begin in mid-September in another city.

Coronavirus in Wuhan

According to Newsweek, geneticist Peter Forster of the University of Cambridge leads a research project to study the historical processes that led to the CoVID-19 pandemic. Ultimately, he and his team hope to identify the “null patient,” the first person to become infected with the new coronavirus. To date, they have managed to schedule SARS-CoV-2 distribution, while tracking genetic mutations that occur as it moves from China to Australia, Europe, and the rest of the world.

Specialists conducted a network analysis using more than 1000 coronavirus genomes. The analysis includes the date of infection of the patient and the “type” of the virus that the person was infected with – there are three types – A, B and C. The closest to the new coronavirus, the natural host of which is bats, turned out to be option A, which is considered the original genome of the virus person. The same type was found in Chinese and American citizens, as well as in patients from Australia and the United States with an already mutated variant.

However, in most cases, type A virus was not in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak. Instead, type B was found in most Chinese citizens. In turn, type C, a “daughter” of type B, was identified during the first cases in Europe, as well as in South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong, but was apparently absent Mainland China.

Round Two: Coronavirus outbreak could begin in September, scientists say 87
The virus breaks the cells of the human body using spikes (corona)

The virus breaks the cells of the human body using spikes (corona)

Judging by the data collected by Forster and his colleagues, the outbreak of the coronavirus began in the period from September 13 to December 7. This period assumes a constant mutation rate, which is unlikely, and therefore the time estimate may be erroneous. However, this is the best assumption at the moment, as scientists expect the results of the analysis of further samples obtained from patients during 2019. Moreover, according to researchers, it is quite possible that the outbreak occurred not far from Wuhan, seven of the 11 cases identified were of type A. The work was published in the journal in PNAS on April 8.

Let me remind you that the first recorded case of coronavirus was registered on November 17, 2019. According to the South China Morning Post, government data show that the 55-year-old resident of Hubei, whose capital is Wuhan, was the first person to become infected with CoVID-19. Today it is believed that the virus at some point jumped to a person from an animal – probably from a bat. Also, scientists do not exclude the presence of an intermediate host of coronavirus.

Round Two: Coronavirus outbreak could begin in September, scientists say 88
Doctors in the midst of an epidemic in Wuhan, China

Doctors in the midst of an epidemic in Wuhan, China

However, when and where the infection occurred is unknown. In December, the first cases identified were related to the seafood market in Wuhan, which served as the basis for speculating the birth of the virus. But as we learn more about the virus, this version of events seems less and less likely. So, the results of a study published in The Lancet magazine showed that some of the first infected with the new coronavirus were not on the market. Let us remind you that since the first cases appeared at the end of last year, more than two million people are infected with CoVID-19. According to Johns Hopkins University, the virus has spread to 185 countries and regions. The death toll exceeded 150 thousand people.

Scientists are looking for a “zero patient” so that the pandemic does not recur again. Understanding the different types of viruses and what role they play in the spread of CoVID-19 is “one of the urgent issues that need to be addressed urgently,” the authors of the study write.


Science & Technology

New Physics: Mysterious radiation pointed to the verge of discovering a “ghost” particle that makes up dark matter

New Physics: Mysterious radiation pointed to the verge of discovering a "ghost" particle that makes up dark matter 91
Photo: Daniel Molybdenum, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Physicists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the United States have found that the mysterious high-energy radiation emitted from the vicinity of a group of neutron stars may indicate the existence of axions – not yet discovered particles within the framework of New Physics, the search for which has been going on since 1977. It is assumed that special types of axions form dark matter. This is reported in an article published in the journal Physical Review Letters. The research is summarized in a press release on

It is believed that axions can form in the core of neutron stars and transform into photons in the presence of a powerful magnetic field. To detect the electromagnetic radiation associated with axions, you need to find stars that do not emit radiation at different wavelengths that can mask the desired signal. 

These objects include the Magnificent Seven neutron stars that emit only X-ray and ultraviolet radiation. They are located at a distance of 200-500 parsecs from the Earth.

The researchers ruled out the scenario that the excess X-rays produced by the Magnificent Seven are actually emitted by other, more distant objects. These sources would be found in datasets from the XMM-Newton and Chandra X-ray space telescopes.

The extra X-rays likely originate from axions hitting an extremely strong electromagnetic field billions of times stronger than the magnetic fields that could be created on Earth, the scientists concluded. The axions themselves resemble neutrinos in their properties, since both have insignificant masses and rarely and weakly interact with matter.

The axion is currently viewed as the most promising candidate for dark matter particles, since another hypothetical candidate, the massive WIMP particle, has gone unnoticed in experiments aimed at detecting it. 

In addition, there may be a whole family of axion-like particles that form dark matter, as suggested by string theory. If axions are found, it will prove that there is a whole new area of ​​physics outside the Standard Model describing the properties of all known particles.

To find out, the next step will be to study white dwarfs, which are not expected to emit X-rays.

“If we see an abundance of X-rays there too, our arguments will be pretty compelling,” said lead author Benjamin Safdie.

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The goal of human civilization is to create AI and disappear?

The goal of human civilization is to create AI and disappear? 92

Various sources often talk about civilizations that lived long before us. They all developed, prospered for a while, and then disappeared in an incomprehensible way. 

What is the reason for their decline, we probably will not know. All we can do is admire the remains of stone buildings, over which time has almost no power.

While looking for an answer, we somehow accidentally stumbled upon an interesting saying about the life of Japanese samurai: “A samurai has no goal, but a path.” In the end, the “path of the samurai” ended in what is known – death. The path of any civilization ended in the same way.

If you look at the issue through the prism of a samurai saying, then there is no point in looking for why and how civilization ended its existence. Probably, the process itself and its result are important here. But to whom is it important and what result does it expect?

Mysterious director

Apparently, behind the curtains of this “ancient theater” there is a mysterious “director” who periodically makes necessary adjustments to the history of civilization.

To figure out what’s what, you need to look at current trends in science. Where does a person strive with such an irresistible desire to “play God.” This attracts him and at the same time frightens him, but in no way turns him away from the intended path. Most likely, artificial intelligence (AI) is the purpose of our civilization’s existence.

About 50 years ago it would have seemed nonsense, but to someone, perhaps even now. However, if you trace the last 100 years of the life of our civilization, you get the feeling that most of the discoveries were given to mankind at the same time. A powerful leap has taken place in a hundred years. Why did it happen?

At the beginning of the last century, scientists recognized the existence of fields that have memory and the ability to store and transmit information. It is very likely that such or a similar field can be around the Earth and, more interesting, possess intelligence. Isn’t this the same “Director” hiding behind the screen of the “ancient theater”?

If this is so, then at a certain moment the “Director” gives the selected scientist “access” to certain knowledge (perhaps even in a dream, like Mendeleev), and another scientific breakthrough occurs in the world. Step by step, discovery after discovery, humanity is steadily moving towards the creation of AI. The trend is already well visible.

The goal of human civilization is to create AI and disappear? 93

AI is probably the next “Babylon”, which will combine all the knowledge, culture and accumulated experience of civilization. In the future, the neural network will enter into a connection with the general information field and leave humanity without knowledge, technology, and even a spoken language. This will be the next decline of civilization. And the “Director” will receive another array of new data (experience) in order to start creating a new civilization.

If someone believes that past civilizations ended in large-scale conflicts, then most likely this is already the consequences of “turning off” AI.

Co-founder of Skype talked about the threat of AI to humanity

One of the creators of the Skype internet call service, Jaan Ta

The goal of human civilization is to create AI and disappear? 94
© still from the movie “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”

llinn, said that the development of artificial intelligence (AI) threatens humanity. According to him, humans face three key threats, but it is AI that should be feared most of all, the expert said. 

Tallinn explained that at the moment, no one can predict what development AI will achieve in the next decades. In addition, the fact that scientists are creating artificial intelligence that can form a new AI without human intervention is also a cause for concern.

In addition, as the co-founder of the popular video calling service noted, the development of synthetic biology also causes concern. According to him, this direction in science allows the creation of artificial DNA sequences and biological systems that may not exist in nature.

Tallinn also drew attention to the fact that he fears we are entering an era of “unknown unknowns”, things that people are not even able to imagine right now.

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Volkswagen robot will autonomously charge cars: a working prototype presented

Volkswagen robot will autonomously charge cars: a working prototype presented 95
Copyright: © VW

The renowned German car manufacturer announced a new development. This time, engineers have created a unique robot capable of autonomously charging electric vehicles. 

For more than a year, specialists have been developing this project, but only now the concern was ready to demonstrate the first working prototype. The robot is ready to charge electric vehicles and has shown the high efficiency of this process.

It is called the Mobile Charging Robot, and experts have already compared it to the R2-D2 droid from Star Wars, including squeaks and clangs. Indeed, there is a similarity. Before implementing this idea, the engineers decided that robots should be allowed to charge cars parked in large residential complexes.

This will save their owners from leaving in order to find a gas station. Another advantage is that large parking lots and garages do not have to contain several expensive charging points for electric cars. The car company said in a press release that the robot works exclusively autonomously.

It independently controls and interacts with the vehicle being charged. It opens the cover of the charging socket and independently connects the power plug, then disconnects it. The robot looks like a trailer, which is a mobile energy storage.

It is capable of charging multiple electric vehicles at the same time. Despite the fact that the manufacturer confidently praises its concept, experts saw inefficiency in the fact that first it is necessary to charge the robot’s battery, which is then used to recharge electric cars.

Volkswagen Group Components CEO Thomas Schmall noted that creating an efficient charging infrastructure for the cars of the future is an important step in the company’s development.

Its engineers focus on finding solutions to avoid costly do-it-yourself measures. The mobile robot is only part of the concept that will continue to be developed.

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