The surge in New York City’s coronavirus infections is already so critical that the chief medical officer at a major hospital system warned staff of the grim reality: "…there will be loss, and suffering, and at times perhaps each of us will question our will to fight."

 

The coronavirus — which is hospitalizing severely sick young and old people alike — has already had a punishing, paramount influence on human civilization, and it will get much worse. But today’s wide-scale shutdown of cities, extreme social distancing measures, and plummeting transportation usage will have no immediate, meaningful impact on Earth’s colossal carbon dioxide woes or the planet’s relentless warming trend.

 

 

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A quantum internet could be used to send un-hackable messages, improve the accuracy of GPS, and enable cloud-based quantum computing. For more than twenty years, dreams of creating such a quantum network have remained out of reach in large part because of the difficulty to send quantum signals across large distances without loss. 

Now, Harvard and MIT researchers have found a way to correct for signal loss with a prototype quantum node that can catch, store and entangle bits of quantum information. The research is the missing link towards a practical quantum internet and a major step forward in the development of long-distance quantum networks.

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No matter if you enjoy taking or just watching images of space, NASA has a treat for you. They have made their entire collection of images, sounds, and video available and publicly searchable online. It’s 140,000 photos and other resources available for you to see, or even download and use it any way you like.

 

You can type in the term you want to search for and browse through the database of stunning images of outer space. Additionally, there are also images of astronauts, rocket launches, events at NASA and other interesting stuff. What’s also interesting is that almost every image comes with the EXIF data, which could be useful for astrophotography enthusiasts.

 

NASA recently launched a GIPHY account full of awesome animated gifs. It’s also great that photography is an important part of their missions, and so it was even before “pics or it didn’t happen” became the rule. The vast media library they have now published is available to everyone, free of charge and free of copyright. Therefore, you can take a peek at the fascinating mysteries of space, check out what it’s like inside NASA’s premises, or download the images to make something awesome from them. Either way, you will enjoy it!

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Medical authorities in China have said a drug used in Japan to treat new strains of influenza appeared to be effective in coronavirus patients, Japanese media said on Wednesday.

 

Zhang Xinmin, an official at China’s science and technology ministry, said favipiravir, developed by a subsidiary of Fujifilm, had produced encouraging outcomes in clinical trials in Wuhan and Shenzhen involving 340 patients. “It has a high degree of safety and is clearly effective in treatment,” Zhang told reporters on Tuesday.

 

Patients who were given the medicine in Shenzhen turned negative for the virus after a median of four days after becoming positive, compared with a median of 11 days for those who were not treated with the drug, public broadcaster NHK said.

 

In addition, X-rays confirmed improvements in lung condition in about 91% of the patients who were treated with favipiravir, compared to 62% or those without the drug.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.theguardian.com

A nest is “a disordered stick bomb,” resilient in ways that humans have hardly begun to understand, much less emulate.

 

The term “bird’s nest” has come to describe a messy hairdo, tangled fishing line and other unspeakably knotty conundrums. But that does birds an injustice. Their tiny brains, dense with neurons, produce marvels that have long captured scientific interest as naturally selected engineering solutions — yet nests are still not well understood.

 

One effort to disentangle the structural dynamics of the nest is underway in the sunny yellow lab — the Mechanical Biomimetics and Open Design Lab — of Hunter King, an experimental soft-matter physicist at the University of Akron in Ohio.

 

“We hypothesize that a bird nest might effectively be a disordered stick bomb, with just enough stored energy to keep it rigid,” Dr. King said. He is the principal investigator of an ongoing study, with a preliminary review paper, “Mechanics of randomly packed filaments — The ‘bird nest’ as meta-material,” recently published in the Journal of Applied Physics.

 

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.nytimes.com

A psychological theory could kickstart improvements in the way robots are able to walk, thanks to a University of Manchester study.

 

The study – a unique collaboration between a clinical psychologist, robotics engineers and a robotics entrepreneur is published in the Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems. It analyzed what happens when standard algorithms driving a self-balancing robot – made from simple Lego – were replaced with those based on ‘perceptual control theory’.

 

The theory was encoded into the little droid, allowing it to control what it sensed so that it moved around more effectively, just as humans and other animals can. Though the robot moves on two wheels, it is an ‘inverted pendulum’, which requires nimble balancing in a similar way to how our bodies are kept upright when we walk. So, the better the robot can balance, the better prepared it will be for walking like a human.

 

In the study, the more lifelike robot balanced more accurately, more promptly and more efficiently than its rivals by assessing its environment at least 100 times a second. It also moved to a new location, even when disturbed by sideways nudges, more effectively than its competitors.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.manchester.ac.uk