Tag Archives: science

Why LESS Sensitive Tests Might Be Better



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This video written & produced in collaboration with Aatish Bhatia,

This video is about how cheap, fast, and LESS sensitive rapid antigen tests might be better for screening (& maybe surveillance) than PCR COVID tests due to the nature of contagiousness/infectiveness at various points on the viral load trajectory of symptomatic and asymptomatic COVID sars-COV-2 carriers.

REFERENCES

Thanks to Daniel Larremore for feedback on early versions of this video

Rapid Antigen Testing:

COVID-19 testing: One size does not fit all.

Rethinking Covid-19 Test Sensitivity — A Strategy for Containment.

Test sensitivity is secondary to frequency and turnaround time for COVID-19 screening.

The effectiveness of population-wide, rapid antigen test based screening in reducing SARS-CoV-2 infection prevalence in Slovakia. (pre-print, not yet peer reviewed)

Effective Testing and Screening for Covid-19.

Brown University & Harvard University modeling of COVID-19 testing shortfall.

Fast Coronavirus Tests are coming.

Open letter signed by epidemiologists and infectious disease experts supporting widespread & frequent rapid antigen testing for COVID-19:

More information on various COVID-19 tests:

Field performance and public health response using the BinaxNOW Rapid SARS-CoV-2 antigen detection assay during community-based testing.

Performance of an Antigen-Based Test for Asymptomatic and Symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Testing at Two University Campuses.

Asymptomatic Spread:

People without symptoms spread virus in more than half of cases, CDC model finds

(More than half of all) SARS-CoV-2 Transmission From People Without COVID-19 Symptoms.

Three Quarters of People with SARS-CoV-2 Infection are Asymptomatic: Analysis of English Household Survey Data.

Viral Load Curve:

SARS-CoV-2 viral dynamics in acute infections. (pre-print, not yet peer reviewed)

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What If Lightsabers Were Real?



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Do you long for an elegant weapon from a more civilized age? Something less clumsy and random. As you hone your sensitivity to the Force, you may wonder. What if lightsabers were real? How hot would the plasma burn? How does a lightsaber know when to stop? And would this weapon require a license? How does a plasma torch work?

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Tianwen -1: China wants To Take Mars Too!



Despite the fact that the Chinese were the first to tinker with rockets a thousand years ago, although for purposes certainly not peaceful, in the most recent space race China has decided to get involved only in 1970.
A majestic crescendo, which is being followed by the current attempt to drop a rover on Mars as well.
Will it succeed?
In fact, the mission, whose launch took place in the early hours of July 23 from the Wenchang space center, is particularly ambitious. If all goes well, in fact, for the first time in the history of Martian exploration a single spacecraft will bring to the Red Planet an orbiter, a lander and a rover, with a scientific load of 13 instruments: seven mounted on board the spacecraft that will enter in orbit around the planet, and six on board the rover that will be released shortly after the landing module will rest on Martian soil.
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The “Questions to the Sky” (Tian-wen in Chinese) is the name of a text attributed to the poet Qu Yuan, who lived between the fourth and third centuries BC, a work that takes the form of a series of questions in verse with which the author questions some fundamental philosophical and scientific issues. Evidently now China hopes to find the answer to some of these questions, considering that the space probe currently traveling to Mars has decided to give the name Tianwen-1. A name that according to the Chinese Space Agency will be given to all of China’s planetary exploration missions, signifying the Chinese nation’s perseverance in pursuing truth and science and exploring nature and the universe.
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Credits: Ron Miller
Credits: Mark A. Garlick / MarkGarlick.com
Credits: Nasa/Shutterstock/Storyblocks/Elon Musk/SpaceX/ESA/ESO
Credits: Flickr

#InsaneCuriosity #Chinatianwen1 #Mars

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Honeybee Venom Induced 100% Cancer Cell Death in Lab studies



A specific concentration of honeybee venom can induce 100% cancer cell death, while having minimal effects on normal cells.

“We found that melittin can completely destroy cancer cell membranes within 60 minutes.”

#melittin #honeybeevenom #cancer

Ciara Duffy, Anabel Sorolla, Edina Wang, Emily Golden, Eleanor Woodward, Kathleen Davern, Diwei Ho, Elizabeth Johnstone, Kevin Pfleger, Andrew Redfern, K. Swaminathan Iyer, Boris Baer, Pilar Blancafort. Honeybee venom and melittin suppress growth factor receptor activation in HER2-enriched and triple-negative breast cancer. npj Precision Oncology, 2020; 4 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41698-020-00129-0

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Multiverse Theory: Are We A Part Of Infinite Parallel Realities?



Is our Universe just one of many in an infinite, ever-expanding multiverse? What exactly is the multiverse? Is it just a speculation of us humans or could it be that our universe is a part of a multiverse? In this article we will discuss these questions.
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We have used the theory of multiple universes in cosmology, physics, philosophy, astronomy, religion, science fiction, comic books and fantasy. But we will look at the scientific aspect of it. We will only focus on the evidences and facts and observations made by astronomers and then draw a conclusion on the topic. 
The three dimensional world which we witness in our daily lives may just be an illusion where there is no distinction between past, present and future. But how is it possible? How can we be so wrong about something so familiar? These questions bother almost all astronomers and physicist. It’s a groundbreaking possibility that opens up a whole different world for us. We will discuss an important Question. What if alternative Universes are being formed all the time? The Big Bang might not be a unique event. We might live In a duplicate parallel reality among the many other parallel realities.  Somewhere there’s a duplicate of you, me and everyone else. Are we in a Universe or a Multiverse? 
Uniqueness is an idea so usual that no one questions it. A recent picture of the cosmos is coming to light, where nothing is unique. This recent picture challenges the notion of Uniqueness, in which duplicates of things are unavoidable. There might be duplicates, not only of objects but of me, you and everyone else.  And if it’s right, where are they? Why haven’t we seen them? There was a time when the word Universe meant everything that existed, the notion of more than one universe seemed impossible. But if we go beyond our Milky Way and even beyond the distant galaxies and beyond the end of the observable Universe, we might find that our Universe is not alone. There might be other Universes, in-fact, there might be new universes being born all the time might have stars and even a planet that looks familiar. We may be live in an expanding sea of Multiverse! Some of these might not have the basic requirements for the formation of matter. Others might have planets, stars and Galaxies that look familiar to us but with a slight difference. And if there are many other Universes out there, some might be even identical to ours except for the slightest Details. For Example, in any other parallel reality, it might be possible I am the Prime Minister of India. And if the multiverse exists, we will have to encounter a lot of possibilities that might exist. There could be other places where duplicates of me would exist and would think, act and speak in the same way as I do, but with some slight differences. 
Is it science, is it religion, is it Philosophy? As a Physicist we should not and we don’t ask these questions. We follow the logic, and the logic leads there. There was a time when people thought Earth was at the centre of the Cosmos and everything else that exists revolved around us. Then scientists like Galileo and Copernicus showed us it’s the sun that’s at the centre of our solar system. And our solar system is just a little neighbourhood in our Gigantic Galaxy. And our galaxy, it’s among the billions of galaxies that make up our universe. These ideas sounded shocking and outrageous when they were first suggested, but now we don’t even think to question these ideas. The idea of different alternate universes or the multiverse might be the same.  It just requires a radical change in our perspective of the cosmos. 
So let’s talk about where did the idea of Multiverse came from? What are the evidences of its existence? Well, a lot of astonishing discoveries and theories have suggested we may be a part of the multiverse. The very first among them is the Big Bang, the theory of the origin of our universe. According to this theory, our Universe began 13.8 billion years ago in a very hot and dense, violen* explosio* of a very tiny primordial nugget. Over millions and millions of years the universe cooled down and it lead to the formation of Stars, galaxies and planets. The universe is still expanding because of that explosio*. But there’s one major piece of this theory that’s missing. The Big Bang tells nothing about what caused the explosio*, throwing everything outwards. What caused the BANG? So, what furled the violen* explosio*? What force could set everything moving outwards? 
In 1979, a young physicist Alan Guth laid the foundation of the idea of the multiverse.

Written By Prayag Pandey

#InsaneCuriosity #MultiverseTheory

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Elon Musk's Neuralink: How Does It Work And What Can It Do?



Neuralink corporation is an american company that was established in July 2016 by Elon Musk and some other partners including Ben Rapoport, Dongjin Seo, Max Hodak, Paul Merolla,
Philip Sabes, Tim Gardner, Tim Hanson, and Vanessa Tolosa .
Curious to know more about how Neuralink works and what can it do? Keep Watching!
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Two years upon its foundation, Neuralink had received approximately 158 million dollars of which 100 million dollars was from Elon Musk and the other 58 million dollars is from the other partners and research foundations. The number of employees of Neuralink became around 100 in August 2020, however,The company is a fast paced and growing organization that’s continually improving its technologies in the neuroscience field. The main objective of this video is to answer two questions regarding Neuralink business. The first question is, how does it work? And the second one is, what can it do?

Finding ways to stimulate the brain in paralysed humans in order to allow them to control computers; is the main aim of Neuralink where they are developing ultrafine threads that can be woven into the brains of patients to detect the neuro signals. According to Musk, the system has been tested on a monkey that was able to control a computer with its brain and now Neuralink has applied to US regulators to start trailing this device on humans because their plans in the present focus on patients with severe neurological conditions. So how does it really work?
Well, Neuralink has developed an extremely small device called the N1 chip that is a 4mm square chip and consists of a tiny probe containing more than 3,000 electrodes which are attached to flexible threads that can easily monitor the activity of up to 1,000 neurons. Each one of these threads is thinner than a human hair. This newly developed system has numerous advantages, one of which is that it would be able to target very specific areas of the brain without compromising the integrity of the other areas, which would make it surgically safer. Moreover and by using machine learning, the system would be able to analyse recordings and that would help work out what type of stimulation to give a patient. However, Neuralink did not reveal the mechanism by which the system translated brain activity or even the way the device stimulates brain cells. After all, it’s a new technology that will take a long time to fulfill its purpose, so it will not take over people’s brains all of the sudden. However, according to Neuralink, the system would ultimately allow for symbiosis via artificial intelligence; that is it would generate the required interaction between the brain and AI.
At first, the N1 chips will be implanted in the patients skulls via traditional neurosurgery, however, they aim at inserting the chips safely and virtually painlessly through very small incisions by a robot surgeon. Unfortunately, in order to monitor neurosignals, the N1 chip needs to be close to each nerve at a distance less than 60 microns and beyond that distance, the chip would not be able to detect individual impulses and will monitor noise due to the overlapping between signals coming from different nerves. Despite the fact that Neuralink did not reveal the way N1 chips work, it’s worth noting that Brain-Machine interfaces work within a typical procedure. These interfaces use electrodes in order to translate the neuronal information readings, known as action potentials, into commands that are capable of controlling external systems such as a computer or even a robotic arm. In addition to that, the N1 chips are specially designed for the neurological disorders resulting from the inability of the brain to connect with nerves around the body; such as epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease. Moreover, they can be developed and upgraded to treat some injuries to the spinal nerves including Paraplegia and Quadriplegia.
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Credits: Ron Miller
Credits: Nasa/Shutterstock/Storyblocks/Elon Musk/SpaceX/Esa
Credits: Flickr

#InsaneCuriosity #Neuralink #ElonMusk

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The Insane Engineering of the Perseverance Rover



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Writer/Narrator: Brian McManus
Editor: Dylan Hennessy
Animator: Mike Ridolfi (
3D Animator: Eli (social handle: TwisterEli)
Sound: Graham Haerther (
Thumbnail: Simon Buckmaster

References:
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Thank you to AP Archive for access to their archival footage.

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Elon Musk Mars City By 2050!



From the mission to Mars, to what it would be like to have it filled with people, join me as we talk about the Elon Musk Mars City By 2050!
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Elon Musk is a man on a mission, and that mission is to get humanity not just to Mars, but to get them to Mars in this decade. This is why he built his own space organization in SpaceX, to do what NASA (at the time) couldn’t do, inspire the need to be in space again. And he has succeeded, and now, SpaceX is not only one of the leading places in all space travel designs and plans, but they are indeed looking to be the group to send a person to Mars. But the plans go beyond that, he doesn’t just want to land a person on the surface of Mars and say he’s done (which is what we did with the moon if you really think about it), but he wants to set up a colony there.
Surely you must be thinking, “well a colony would be nice, but that’ll take some time to get up and running, right?” And you’re absolutely right. It will take a lot of time and effort, but some of the work is already being done because of SpaceX via their Starship. You see, the biggest problem with getting to Mars…is getting to Mars. We for the longest time barely had something that could get us to the moon and back safely, and even then (like Apollo 13) it was very easy to screw up. With SpaceX though, they’ve been working on faster, stronger, and most importantly of all, reusable craft that can operate in space, come back to Earth, and then be outfitted again for future missions. And it’s this Starship class of ship that we’d be taking to Mars to go and make a colony.
Musk wrote in a message that the eventual goal for his “Mars plan” is to launch each Starship vehicle three times per day on average. Each Starship will be able to carry about 100 tons of payload to orbit, so, at that flight rate, every vehicle would loft about 100,000 tons annually, he explained.
Now, Musk may sound like he’s just spouting out a number here (and if we’re being honest…he kind of is) but in truth, he is trying to abide by the laws of space and reality. What do we mean by that? Simple, when it comes to the facts of space travel, having the right windows to travel in are essential. Not the least of which is trying to minimize travel time by making sure you are in the correct windows.
Confused? I’ll explain. Think about the solar system we are in, ok? Think about how every planet orbits around the sun. Now, if you were to look at Mercury, and its orbit, and then compare it to Earth’s orbit, you would see quite easily that its orbit was shorter than Earths by a very good margins. 88 days compared to 365. So now, compare the Earth’s orbit around the sun to Mars. 365 days…to 867 days. Yeah…that’s quite a leap. And because of that, the Earth and Mars aren’t in the same alignment most times. Thus, Musk, NASA and others are aiming to try and get people to Mars within certain windows.
“Building 100 Starships/year gets to 1000 in 10 years or 100 megatons/year or maybe around 100k people per Earth-Mars orbital sync,” he said in a tweet.
So for him, he’s thinking REALLY long term by not just trying to get to Mars, but also trying to make it so WHEN we get there, and we have enough time and resources to make a true colony, we have the ships necessary to get a full colony made in a decent amount of time. By “decent amount of time” I mean about 50-100 years. Yeah, this is not a quick process, however, the quicker we get started, the quicker we get done, right? And that’s one of Musk’s biggest goals. Trying to do things now instead of hoping something will develop later to make things more speedy. Because waiting around just isn’t good when you’re trying to shape the human race towards its future.
After hearing some of his numbers, he stated one fan asked if he was seriously stating that we could have a million people on Mars by 2050. His response?
“Yes.”
Obviously that would go against his timeline we just spelled out in part because of how long it would take to MAKE a colony that could house a million people and be both functional and self-sustaining, but hey, goals!
Before we talk about whether these goals are feasible or not, be sure to like the video or dislike it so that we can work to make these videos as best we can for you the viewer! Also, be sure to subscribe to the channel, that way you don’t miss ANY of our weekly videos!
So let’s break this down, shall we? Could we really have a full-on colony city on Mars by 2050 that has a million or so people on it?

Credits: Nasa/Shutterstock/Storyblocks
credits: wolf gang (cc by-sa 2.0)

#InsaneCuriosity #ElonMusk #2050 #ColonizingMars #MarsFactsAndHistory

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What If a Tornado Hit an Active Volcano?



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Volcanic eruptions can last for weeks, months, and even years. This violent event is terrifying. But what if another storm, say a tornado or hurricane, combined with a volcanic eruption? Could it really happen? How long would it last? If a volcano and a tornado combined, what could it throw at you?

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What If You Were the Last Child Born on Earth?



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There have been 108 billion Homo sapiens born on Earth. But you are the very last one. With no other babies being born after you, you would be the end of the human race and its legacy. What would your life be like? Would the whole world be your parents? How long would you live?

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Thumbnail character by Nic Wassell:

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#whatif #whatifhumanity #lastpersononearth #population #reproducing

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