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What we are learning about Covid-19 and kids

what we are learning about covid-19 and kids

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Back in April, the French epidemiologist Arnaud Fontanet found himself leading an investigation in the town of Crépy-en-Valois, a small community of 15,000 inhabitants just to the north-east of Paris. In February, the town’s middle and high schools had become the centre of a new outbreak of Covid-19.Fontanet and colleagues from the Pasteur Institute in Paris were tasked with conducting antibody testing across Crépy-en-Valois to understand the extent to which the virus had been circulating. As they surveyed the town, they noted an interesting pattern. While the virus had spread rampantly through the high school, with 38% of students being infected, along with 43% of teachers and 59% of non-teaching staff, the same was not true for the town’s six primary schools. While three primary-age pupils had caught Covid-19 in early February, none of these infections had led to a secondary case. Overall, just 9% of primary age pupils, 7% of teachers and 4% of non-teaching staff had been infected with the virus. “These results showed us that teenagers are just as contagious as adults,” said Fontanet. “But in the younger age groups, it’s a different story. They do not seem to transmit it to the same extent.” A pupil in Montevideo, Uruguay, …

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Here’s Why You Might Be More Innovative After Lunch, According To Science

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Portrait of relaxed pretty thoughtful pondering minded beautiful stunning clever smart creative … [+] inspired entrepreneur dreaming about weekend and vacation don’t want to work sitting at the table

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Innovation is hard. In tech circles, you’re competing with millions of apps that probably already meet the needs of the general populace. While you want to differentiate and do something new, if you create something truly unique (I’m looking at you, TikTok) people might wonder why it even exists. A bright idea becomes a dim bulb of sameness and obsolescence when you try to build a new website, create a gadget that people will want to use, or make an app.
One mistake I’ve been making when it comes to brainstorming is that I tend to formulate plans and add flesh to the bone of a new idea in the morning. As I learned recently, I’m more of a morning person than I ever imagined.
My metabolism is wired for “getting things done” before lunch. Experts say we only have about four hours per day of hard work in us. My miracle morning leads to high productivity, and then I’m usually exhausted and need to take a …

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An important part of science is admitting when we’re wrong

an important part of science is admitting when we’re wrong

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This week started with a whole lot of people getting very angry about someone being wrong on the internet. This time, it was computer scientist Steven Salzberg, who wrote a blog post on Forbes arguing that people should start vaccinating now — phase 3 clinical trials had just started. They seemed to be going well. Why not start passing out doses to willing, informed volunteers?
Well, a whole bunch of reasons, most of which boil down to some variation of that’s what the trials are there for. The evidence that’s needed to move something into the third level of human testing is pretty high — but not high enough to justify use on the broader population, as biostatistician Natalie Dean pointed out in a New York Times rebuttal of the Forbes post.
“It’s just fundamentally wrong to think that because there’s an emergency, that we should somehow throw out aspects of scientific research,” Alex John London, director of the Center for Ethics and Policy at Carnegie Mellon University told Verge reporter Nicole Wetsman this week.
In fact, Wetsman writes, sticking to the process, gathering the evidence, and making sure the vaccine actually works is what makes the vaccines we …

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Hollywood panned in US for caving to Chinese censors

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NEW YORK — As concerns over Chinese censorship mount, American writers, journalists and movie fans are calling out Hollywood studios all too ready to accommodate Beijing’s inclination to limit free speech.The nonprofit PEN America this week published a report titled “Made in Hollywood, Censored by Beijing” that details how major film studios in the U.S. increasingly self-censor to “avoid antagonizing Chinese officials” who serve as gatekeepers.And “if Hollywood — the center of global filmmaking — is unwilling to stand up to the censorship demands of a foreign government, there is little chance that filmmakers elsewhere will take such risks,” the report said. “In effect, Hollywood’s approach to acceding to Chinese dictates is setting a standard for the rest of the world.”The interview-based 94-page study shows how Beijing is driving changes in Hollywood films as the price of access to the massive Chinese market. Such titles as “Doctor Strange,” “World War Z” and “Top Gun: Maverick” are listed as cases where creative choices were made with an eye toward pleasing Beijing.”World War Z,” a 2013 zombie flick starring Brad Pitt, initially had the zombie virus originating in China. This was deemed a nonessential element and altered in …

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U.S. kids, parents perform DIY tests for coronavirus science

u.s. kids, parents perform diy tests for coronavirus science

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By LINDSEY TANNERAP Medical Writer

In a comfy suburb just outside Nashville, a young family swabs their noses twice a month in a DIY study seeking answers to some of the most vexing questions about the coronavirus.

How many U.S. children and teens are infected? How many kids who are infected show no symptoms? How likely are they to spread it to other kids and adults?

“The bottom line is we just don’t know yet the degree to which children can transmit the virus,” said Dr. Tina Hartert of Vanderbilt University, who is leading the government-funded study.

Evidence from the U.S., China and Europe shows children are less likely to become infected with the virus than adults and also less likely to become seriously ill when they do get sick. There is also data suggesting that young children don’t spread the virus very often but that kids aged 10 and up may spread it just as easily as adults. The new study aims to find more solid proof.

“If we don’t see significant transmission within households, that would be very reassuring,” Hartert said.

Some 2,000 families in 11 U.S. cities are enrolled in the DIY experiment, pulled from participants in …

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Speaking of Science: Why do the facts keep changing? A look at active research during the Covid-19 pandemic

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He’s been stung 1,000 times — for science

he’s been stung 1,000 times — for science

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For more stories about the fascinating people and places around us, check out Great Big Story, a new podcast from CNN.The entomologist and chemist gets stung by insects to understand the pain they produce, why they produce it and how they produce it. It’s all in the name of science.”I’ve been called many things over my lifetime, but I think some of my favorites are ‘King of Sting,’ and ‘The Connoisseur of Pain,'” Schmidt says. He’s definitely put in the work to deserve both those titles.”I’ve probably been stung at least a thousand times,” Schmidt says. “A lot of them were boring stings.” What’s a “boring sting”? “Any time you work with honeybees, sooner or later you get a pinch, so you get stung. You hardly count those.” An accidental ant bite inspired his careerSchmidt’s fascination with pain began by accident when he was a Ph.D. student at the University of Georgia.”I was a chemist and I was looking for interesting projects that I could do in chemistry which involved insects,” Schmidt recalls. “I was down in Georgia and I got stung by a harvester ant … They really hurt, and I thought, ‘Ow, …

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Coronavirus severely restricts Antarctic science

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The British Antarctic Survey is scaling back its research in the polar south because of coronavirus.Only essential teams will head back to the continent as it emerges from winter and virtually all science in the deep field has been postponed for a year.This includes all work on the huge, and rapidly melting, Thwaites Glacier, which has been the focus of a major joint study with the Americans.BAS says it doesn’t have the capacity to treat people if they get sick.And in consultation with international partners this past week, very strict procedures will now be put in place to keep the virus out of Antarctica.”No nation has the medical facilities to deal with people who are seriously ill,” explained BAS director Prof Dame Jane Francis.”Everybody is taking very strong precautionary measures to make sure that any activity in Antarctica this year is as safe as possible,” she told BBC News.

The key logistical challenge is the uncertainty surrounding air routes.Many of those who go to Antarctica each austral summer season do so by travelling on a plane to one of the main gateways – in South Africa, Australia/New Zealand and Chile – where …

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AI invents new ‘recipes’ for potential COVID-19 drugs

ai invents new ‘recipes’ for potential covid-19 drugs

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If umifenovir, a broad-spectrum antiviral, can fight COVID-19, then computer-designed synthetic routes could make it easy and cheap to produce.

Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images

By Robert F. ServiceAug. 7, 2020 , 5:45 PM

Science’s COVID-19 reporting is supported by the Pulitzer Center and the Heising-Simons Foundation.

As scientists uncover drugs that can treat coronavirus infections, demand will almost certainly outstrip supplies—as is already happening with the antiviral remdesivir. To prevent shortages, researchers have come up with a new way to design synthetic routes to drugs now being tested in some COVID-19 clinical trials, using artificial intelligence (AI) software. The AI-planned new recipes—for 11 medicines so far—could help manufacturers produce medications whose syntheses are tightly held trade secrets. And because the new methods use cheap, readily available starting materials, licensed drug suppliers could quickly ramp up production of any promising therapies.

“If you are going to supply a drug to the world, your starting materials have to be cheap and as available as sugar,” says Danielle Schultz, a chemist at Merck. The new method, posted as a preprint this week, “is really solid,” she says. “I am impressed by the speed at which [the researchers] were able to find new solutions …

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