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

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.

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.

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

Japan has developed an inflatable scooter that weighs practically nothing

The University of Tokyo engineers have developed the Poimo inflatable electric scooter, which is created individually for each owner. It is enough to send your photo to the manufacturers – and a personal optimized model will be assembled for you.

The scooter is designed with a special program for the body size of a particular user and his specific fit. Moreover, each owner is free to make any changes to this model. If he makes any changes to the drawing, the program will automatically redesign the electric bike to maintain its strength, stability and controllability. When the model is finished and approved, it is handed over to the manufacturer.

Scooter Poimo

The scooter consists of seven separate inflatable sections that are constructed from durable fabric and sewn with straight stitch. It remains to add electronic components – in particular, a brushless motor and a lithium-ion battery. 

The finished electric scooter weighs about 9 kg and can travel at speeds up to 6 km / h (that is, slightly faster than a pedestrian). It can work for an hour on one charge.

This is how the current version of Poimo looks like in action:

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Excerpts from Elon Musk’s speech at the Martian Society convention

Elon Musk’s comments with questions relayed from the Mars Society Membership by Dr. Robert Zubrin, James L. Burk, and Carie Fay. Following Elon’s 30 min time, Dr. Zubrin took additional questions. This special event was part of the 2020 Mars Society Virtual Convention from October 14-18, 2020.

About Starship Test Schedule:

– entering orbit – with a probability of 80% -90% will take place in 2021

– the probability of the return of the ship and the 1st stage in this flight is 50%

– test of refueling in orbit – 2022

– Starship lunar version – 2022 or 2023

– Starship flight to Mars – around 2024

The goal of the Starship is to build a self-sufficient settlement on Mars as quickly as possible. Musk does not rule out the possibility that this will not be achieved during his lifetime. According to his rough estimates, to create a self-sufficient city, it will be necessary to deliver 1 million tons of cargo, which corresponds to 4-5 million tons in a low Earth orbit. Modern single-use launch vehicles are capable of removing less than 1% of this value.

“Disposable launch vehicles are completely stupid. They are a waste of time. I think people need to stop wasting time on this. If you try to sell a disposable plane, you will be thrown out of the office. If you try to sell a disposable car, you will also be thrown out of the office. “

A series of questions and answers followed:

What is the best landing site on Mars?

– I’m not sure about that. But I can name the criteria. The first of these is latitude: most likely it will be in the northern hemisphere, far enough to the north to have water ice, but to still have enough sunlight.It also needs to be low to get the most benefit from atmospheric braking.

How do you prioritize mission priorities: research, infrastructure construction, and science?

– The first will be the construction of a fuel plant.

A question from a teenager who wants to become an engineer and robot maker with a dream to work at SpaceX: what is the most important education in order to become an engineer?

– There are many varieties of this profession: you can be an aerospace engineer, in the field of electronics, software, or a chemical engineer involved in creating safe production of fuels. I think physics is a good foundation for critical thinking.

Boring Company was originally conceived as a tunnel manufacturing firm on Mars?

– No. It was originally something of a joke. I thought tunnels were a good solution to reduce the traffic problem in cities and improve the quality of life by turning parking lots into green parks. To do this, you need to go to 3d [get away from the “flat” infrastructure – approx. per.]. I think tunnels are good for Mars too. But there you need a lot lighter equipment: you don’t care about mass on Earth, but you will have to take care of it a lot when going to Mars.

At Boring Company, have you learned a lot of technology that might come in handy on Mars?

– I think, yes.

Do you have any tips for young people who love Mars but don’t know how to participate in its settlement?

– I think any strong advocate of the need to conquer Mars matters. People often don’t even think about it. I often talk to people who don’t even know about it. Therefore, I consider it important for humanity and consciousness in general to bring a discussion about this to society. Talking about it with friends and acquaintances – I think this is what we should do. In my estimate, we will spend less than 1% of our efforts on Mars exploration, exactly less than healthcare, perhaps even less than cosmetics – this will be enough to make life multi-planetary. But this requires people to start talking about it 100 times more often. I think this is what really matters. [the entire cosmonautics of the world is $ 424 billion a year, while cosmetics is $ 532 billion, and tobacco production is $ 849 billion – approx. per.]

What’s the coolest part about Starship development?

– I think the coolest detail is the ability to work with a great group of engineers and come up with interesting solutions. I think the best thing is the opportunity to work with smart and creative people who come up with solutions that were not available before. This is a great reward.

What do you focus on when hiring, especially with regard to engineers?

“We’re looking for signs of exceptional ability. Or at the very least, striving to do exceptional things at SpaceX.

Are you planning to make a Mars-Earth communication system like Starlink?

– Yes, I think we will use a laser, probably launched into orbit, to avoid atmospheric diffraction. Thus, it will be a laser beam going from the orbit of the Earth to the orbit of Mars. And also relay satellites in solar orbit, since the laser beam cannot be sent through the Sun [when it is between Mars and Earth – approx. per.].

Can Starship be used for other destinations like Venus and other planets?

– Starship will be able to travel to any target in the solar system that has a solid surface when fuel depots appear. It is not the kind of transport that will take us to other stars, but when we become a multi-planetary species, we will create a demand for innovation in space travel that will ultimately lead us to interstellar travel.

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Cern Scientists Plan an Impressive Experiment – They Will Come Into A Parallel Universe

Cern scientists are once again preparing to impress the entire planet and become the focus of discussions with the new experiment they are planning.

An experiment that, if it brings the fascinating result that scientists have in mind,  will change the way we think about the world , will take place in the next few days at the Large Hadron Collider, the European nuclear center, Geneva CERN Research.

The astonishingly LHC complex, the largest, most energetic elemental accelerator in the world,  will be “fired” for the first time to its highest energy levels, in an effort to detect – or even create – tiny black holes. 

If it succeeds, then, a completely new universe will be revealed – rewriting not only the books of physics, but also the books of philosophy! 

It is possible, however,  that gravity from our universe will “leak” into this parallel universe, as LHC scientists say. 

From the Higgs boson to dark matter and the parallel universe

According to the British Express, the experiment is sure to “trigger” the critics, who are worried about the LHC, many of whom warn that the elementary particle accelerator will mark the end of our universe, creating a of the black hole.

Nevertheless,  Geneva has remained … intact since 2008, when the LHC began its spectacular “work”.

The first scientists at the Large Hadron Collider proved the existence of the Higgs boson – a key building block of the universe – and the LHC appears to be on track to locate “dark matter” – a previously undetectable force now considered that it constitutes the majority of matter in the universe, being, in fact, the reason why the latter is constantly expanding and moving away. 

So next week’s experiment is considered to change the game. 

The truth is out there

Mir Faizal, one of three heads of the three natural groups behind the experiment, said: 

“Like many parallel sheets, which are two-dimensional objects (width and length) can exist in a third dimension (height) , so parallel universes can also exist in higher dimensions. We anticipate that gravity can leak into extra dimensions, and if that happens, then tiny black holes can be produced in the LHC. 

Normally, when people think of the multiverse, they think of the interpretation of quantum mechanics by many worlds, where every possibility is realized. This cannot be tested and so it is a philosophy and not a science. We do not mean this with parallel universes. What we mean is real universes, in extra dimensions. The truth is out there.”

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