A perfect storm of medical misinformation and political disinformation is creating new challenges for the press, for social media platforms and for the public. Take just the events of the last few days. On the heels of his release from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, President Donald Trump stood on the balcony of the White House, removed his mask and then gave a short speech that was quickly uploaded to social media. “Maybe I’m immune, I don’t know,” he declared. The truth is, he is still very contagious. But the public declaration alarmed scientists, who are working to produce an effective and safe vaccine. Online, fans cheered that Trump had beaten Covid-19, even as he put his staff in danger.
A perfect storm of medical misinformation and political disinformation is creating new challenges for the press, for social media platforms, and for the public.
In the face of dangerous heat waves this summer, Americans have taken shelter in air-conditioned cooling centers. Normally, that would be a wise choice, but during a pandemic, indoor shelters present new risks. The same air conditioning systems that keep us cool recirculate air around us, potentially spreading the coronavirus.
“Air conditioners look like they’re bringing in air from the outside because they go through the window, but it is 100 percent recirculated air,” said Forrest Meggers, an assistant professor of architecture at Princeton University. “If you had a system that could cool without being focused solely on cooling air, then you could actually open your windows.”
Meggers and an international team of researchers have developed a safer way for people to beat the heat — a highly efficient cooling system that doesn’t move air around.
Scientists lined door-sized panels with tiny tubes that circulate cold water. Stand next to
Sky-watchers in southern Alberta were treated to a spectacle Sunday night, with bright auroras dancing across the sky.
And that’s not all.
One image — featuring an elusive ‘moonbow’ alongside the auroras has gone viral.
“A moonbow is, essentially, a lunar rainbow which is seen at night, as the light from the Moon is backscattered by water droplets or raindrops,” explains Weather Network science writer Scott Sutherland.
“Basically, moonlight is entering one side of a water droplet or raindrop, it is refracted off the inside surface of the opposite side of that droplet or raindrop, so that it exits out of the droplet or raindrop back in the direction from where it came, and then it is picked up by our eyes (or a camera),” he writes.
A comprehensive search of genetic variation databases has revealed no significant differences across populations and ethnic groups in seven genes associated with viral entry of SARS-CoV-2.
African Americans and Latinos in the United States and ethnic minorities in the United Kingdom are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. They are more likely to develop severe symptoms and also show significantly higher mortality compared with other regional and ethnic groups.
To investigate if this disparity could be caused by genetic variation, a team of three researchers — including Assistant Professor Ji-Won Lee of Hokkaido University’s Graduate School of Dental Medicine — surveyed publicly available databases of genomic variants, including gnomAD, the Korean Reference Genome Database, TogoVar (a Japanese genetic variation database) and the 1000 Genomes Project. They studied variants across multiple regional and ethnic groups in seven genes known to play roles in viral entry into host cells and recognition of viral RNA
TikTok has asked other social media platforms to join it in establishing a partnership to better combat content depicting self-harm and suicide after clips from a Facebook livestream of a man taking his own life circulated around TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and more for weeks earlier this month.
The August 31 Facebook livestream of Ronnie McNutt, a 33-year-old veteran, taking his own life remained on Facebook for nearly three hours after his death, and quickly went viral on other social media platforms, which struggled to keep up with accounts reposting clips of his death, sometimes disguised as videos of cute animals.
On TikTok, where an estimated 18 million daily users are 14 or younger, teens and their parents complained that videos were recommended on the “For You” discovery page, with