Science & Health
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While COVID-19 Rages, Don’t Forget About Pandemic Flu

Don’t panic, but there is another virus out there that could cause a pandemic.  This one is an influenza strain circulating in pigs and their caretakers in China.  It is not currently causing widespread illness, and it may never do so. But it has “all the essential hallmarks of a candidate pandemic virus,” according to the authors of a new study in the FILE – A patient receives a flu vaccination in Mesquite, Texas, January 23, 2020.‘Good news, bad news’ “There’s good news and bad here,” Pavia said. “I think the bad news is that once again, it looks as if we’re identifying strains of flu that are emerging in populations with the potential to jump to humans.”However, only a handful of serious cases have been reported.”The severity remains low. That’s good news,” Pavia said, adding, “there’s no guarantee that it’s going to stay that way.”Other factors also must change before alarm bells really go off, experts note.”What is really important for influenza pandemic emergence, as well as for any viral pandemic emergence, is sustained airborne transmission,” said University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine microbiologist and molecular geneticist Seema Lakdawala, who was not part of the research team.While a few people are getting infected, she said there is no sign now of sustained transmission.Food animals are a common source of new flu viruses. Birds, pigs and humans can all exchange flu strains. Pigs are especially welcoming environments for influenza viruses to reinvent themselves. Multiple strains can infect one animal, swap genes and emerge as a novel strain.Unpredictable There is no telling when the right combination of genes will fall into place and produce a virulent, transmissible virus.A lethal strain called H5N1 first appeared in poultry in Hong Kong in 1997 and resurfaced in 2003. It kills more than half the people it infects. But for reasons scientists do not understand, it has not gone pandemic.”It’s still a concern. It has caused hundreds of deaths,” said senior scholar Gigi Gronvall at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, who was not involved with the research. “But for whatever reason, even though all eyes were on that, it was this other virus that took off in 2009.” FILE – Researchers of the Veterinary Institute under the Academy of Agricultural Research check on African Swine Flu at Ryongsong District in Pyongyang, North Korea, June 10, 2019.That year, H1N1 emerged from pigs and sparked a pandemic. Researchers estimate that nearly 300,000 people died from it in the first year. Since then, health officials have increased efforts to monitor livestock farms and markets for new viruses.”There’s been a big improvement, but it’s far from complete,” Pavia said. “The challenge is enormous. Influenza circulates among ducks, turkeys, swine – not to mention there are strains that infect everything from horses to dogs. And tracking all of these is an enormous task.”The effort is understaffed and underfunded, “like so many things in public health,” he said.And that’s dangerous. “We’ve seen the consequences of inadequate public health surveillance in the emergence and failure to control COVID-19,” Pavia noted. Flu tools Unlike COVID-19, health experts have tools against influenza that might help if the new strain were to launch a new pandemic.  “We know how to test for influenza viruses,” Lakdawala said. Flu antivirals are only partly effective, “but we do at least have antivirals that can limit the severity of disease. We have a number of them. We also have a vaccine platform that is already approved and safe.”  A vaccine could be available in a matter of months.  But there is no way to know whether the newly identified strain will spark a pandemic.”The more you study flu, the more you realize we just don’t know how to predict that,” Pavia said.  

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Economy & business/Silicon Valley & Technology
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Facebook Bans Violent ‘Boogaloo’ Groups, Not the Term Itself

Facebook has banned an extremist anti-government network loosely associated with the broader “boogaloo” movement, a slang term supporters use to refer to a second Civil War or a collapse of civilization. But the platform didn’t try to name the group, underscoring the difficulty of grappling with an amorphous network linked to a string of domestic terror plots that appears to obfuscate its existence. Among other complications, its internet-savvy members tend to keep their distance from one another, frequently change their symbols and catch phrases and mask their intentions with sarcasm. The move by Facebook designates this group as a dangerous organization similar to the Islamic State group and white supremacists, both of which are already banned from its service. The social network is not banning all references to “boogaloo” and said it is only removing groups, accounts and pages when they have a “clear connection to violence or a credible threat to public safety.”  The loose movement is named after “Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo,” a 1984 sequel to a movie about breakdancing. Boogaloo supporters have shown up at protests over COVID-19 lockdown orders, carrying rifles and wearing tactical gear over Hawaiian shirts – a reference to “big luau,” a homophone for “boogaloo” sometimes favored by group members. Facebook said that the movement dates to 2012 and that it has been tracking it closely since last year.  FILE – Steven Carrillo is seen in a booking photo from the Santa Cruz County (California) Sheriff’s Office, June 7, 2020.Earlier in June, Steven Carrillo, an Air Force sergeant with ties to the boogaloo movement, fatally shot a federal security officer and wounded his partner outside a U.S. courthouse, ambushed and killed a California sheriff’s deputy, and injured four other officers in Oakland, California. According to the criminal complaint, Carrillo posted in a Facebook group, “It’s on our coast now, this needs to be nationwide. It’s a great opportunity to target the specialty soup bois. Keep that energy going.”  The statement was followed by two fire emojis and a link to a YouTube video showing a large crowd attacking two California Highway Patrol vehicles. According to the FBI, “soup bois” may be a term that followers of the boogaloo movement used to refer to federal law enforcement agents.  While the term “boogaloo'” has been embraced by white supremacist groups and other far-right extremists, many supporters insist they aren’t racist or truly advocating for violence. As part of Tuesday’s announcement, Facebook said it has removed 220 Facebook accounts, 95 Instagram accounts, 28 Pages and 106 groups that that comprise the violent Boogaloo-affiliated network. It also took down 400 other groups and 100 pages that hosted similar content as the violent network but were maintained by accounts outside of it. The company said it has so far found no evidence of foreign actors amplifying boogaloo-related material. Social media companies are facing a reckoning over hate speech on their platforms. Reddit, an online comment forum that is one of the world’s most popular websites, on Monday banned a forum that supported President Donald Trump as part of a crackdown on hate speech. Live-streaming site Twitch, which is owned by Amazon, temporarily suspended Trump’s campaign account for violating its hateful conduct rules. YouTube, meanwhile, banned several prominent white nationalist figures from its platform, including Stefan Molyneux, David Duke and Richard Spencer. Civil rights groups have called on large advertisers to stop Facebook ad campaigns during July, saying the social network isn’t doing enough to curtail racist and violent content on its platform, and several major advertisers have signed on to the boycott.  Violent and extremist groups are increasingly turning to encrypted communications networks and fringe social platforms with no content moderation, which makes them more difficult to track.  

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Science & Health
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New Study Suggests Weightlifting Changes Brain as Well as Muscles

A new study published this week in the Journal of Neuroscience suggests weightlifting affects a person’s brain weeks before there is a noticeable change in muscles. The study, conducted by researchers at New Castle University in northeast Britain, used macaque monkeys, whose brain systems are similar to humans in regard to movement.   The researchers trained the monkeys to pull a weighted handle with one arm by rewarding them with food. Over the course of three months, researchers increased the resistance of a weighted handle week by week. The monkeys completed daily strength training sessions, including 50 weighted pulls (moving the handle at least 4 centimeters). FILE – Russia’s Andrey Demanov competes during the men’s 94kg group A weightlifting event of the London 2012 Olympic Games at The Excel Centre in London on August 4, 2012.The experiment revealed that weightlifting strengthens the nervous system through a motor tract called the reticulospinal tract, and this change occurs weeks before any muscle is added. Newcastle University researcher Isabel Glover, co-author of the study, explained that when people lift weights, they get stronger because the neural input to the muscles increases.  “It’s a few weeks later that the muscles themselves start to get bigger,” Glover said. Professor Stuart Baker, the study’s other co-author, said this change in the nervous system helps weightlifters activate their existing muscles more efficiently. Baker said these neural changes in the brain also have other physiological benefits. “If we understand the neural mechanisms of strength, then we can start to think about how to help individuals suffering from a loss of strength, such as following a stroke,” he said.  

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Science & Health
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Measles Mumps and Rubella Vaccine May Protect Some People from COVID-19

Something data crunchers have noticed during the coronavirus pandemic: countries with recent outbreaks of measles have fewer deaths and serious illnesses from the coronavirus. Is this a coincidence? Or is there something about the measles mumps and rubella vaccine that protects against the worst outcomes of the coronavirus? We learn more from VOA’s Carol Pearson.Produced by: Barry Unger

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Economy & business/Showcase/World
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У жителей путляндии все меньше свободных денег

У жителей путляндии все меньше свободных денег.

Пока власти путляндии обнуляют опущенного карлика пукина, финансовое благосостояние или точнее положение верноподданного населения продолжает скатываться на дно, даже несмотря на подачки от паханата
 

 
 
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Economy & business/Showcase/World
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Три основні причини падіння рейтингу зеленого карлика. Чому українці перестають довіряти президенту?

Три основні причини падіння рейтингу зеленого карлика. Чому українці перестають довіряти президенту?

Пояснюю, чому у зеленого карлика стрімко падають рейтинги та хто в цьому винен.

Блог про українську політику та актуальні події в нашій країні
 

 
 
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Economy & business/Showcase/World
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Как в путляндии рисуют победу на голосовании за поправки

Как в путляндии рисуют победу на голосовании за поправки.

Обнуление опущенного карлика пукина идет уже несколько дней и пока мы наблюдаем и фиксируем нарушения, нас уверяют, что проголосовало уже 40 млн россиян. Хотя это не удивительно, ведь по всей стране, не то что в каждом дворе, они ходят даже по квартирам тех, кто не подавал заявку на надомное голосование. Ведь им нужна ваша подпись, что вы приняли в этом участие, только и всего, а как этот голос посчитают – это уже совсем другая история
 

 
 
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Economy & business/Showcase/World
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Гражданин никто. Обнуление Михаила Ефремова

Гражданин никто. Обнуление Михаила Ефремова.

Михаил Ефремов назвал опущенного карлика пукина кормильцем, а себя клоуном, которы читал стихи с критикой власти исключительно ради финансовой выгоды
 

 
 
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