COVID-19 variant R.1 spreads quickly at Kentucky nursing home

A new variant of the COVID-19 virus has been identified at a Kentucky nursing home, where it infected 45 residents and workers, many of whom were vaccinated.

The R.1 variant originated in Japan, and contains dangerous mutations that can improve "transmission, replication, and immune suppression," a scientist wrote in Forbes Monday.

There are already more than 10,000 entries of the R.1 variant in a database used by researchers to track genomic material, infectious disease expert Dr. William Haseltine said.

The variant shares the highly infectious D614G mutation that is present in other variants fueling new surges of the coronavirus, according to the doctor.

"R.1 is a variant to watch. It has established a foothold in both Japan and the United States," Haseltine wrote.


Remdesivir reduces Covid hospitalizations when given early, study shows


What I Learned From My 'Mild' Breakthrough Case of COVID | KQED


The Boys Who Cried Wolf

Between 1 July and 1 October 2012, we received 13 serum samples collected from 4 patients (one of whom was deceased) who showed severe respiratory disease. These patients had visited a mine cave at Tongguan town, Mojiang County, Yunnan Province, China, to clean bat feces in order to mine copper before being admitted to the First Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical University on 26–27 April 2012.

It also stated that:

We suspected that the patients had been infected by an unknown virus. Therefore, we and other groups sampled animals including bats, rats, and musk shrews in or around the cave, and found some alphacoronaviruses1 and paramyxoviruses2. Between 2012 and 2015, our group sampled bats once or twice a year in this cave and collected a total of 1,322 samples.

During these expeditions, the WIV sampled the closest-known bat coronavirus relatives of SARS-CoV-2 including RaTG13, which is 96.2% similar to SARS-CoV-2. To be clear, the RaTG13 and the SARS-CoV-2 viruses diverged more than a decade ago (2003-13 95% HBD limit). This distance in evolution is short enough to indicate that the more proximal ancestors of SARS-CoV-2 likely come from the same geographical region in Yunnan province and the surrounding area where the RaTG13 virus was collected...

We know now from Shi Zhengli's interview with Science that the WIV team sequenced the whole genome in 2018. This reveals interest in SARS-CoV-2-like bat coronaviruses shortly before the pandemic. However, we don't know if they indeed encountered SARS-CoV-2 itself or a closer progenitor than RaTG13 during their expeditions. There is also evidence of Wuhan lab scientists admitting to being bitten by bats and evidence of scientists at the Wuhan CDC not wearing protective equipment or taking proper safety measures during similar expeditions to bat caves. Given what we know about the research at the WIV and the Wuhan CDC and the interest in SARS-CoV-2 like bat coronaviruses shortly before the pandemic, and as SARS-CoV-2 easily loses furin cleavage site when cultured, the most likely route for a lab leak is, therefore, infection of a lab worker during field activity.

So what is the significance of a lab-related leak caused by negligent field workers? It is important to note that although humans outside of laboratories come into contact with animals more frequently than scientists overall, researchers are interested in viruses with human infection potential—and therefore they are much more likely than the average person interacting with animals to come across a bat coronavirus with human infection capabilities. The miners' story provides context that explains why Wuhan scientists were interested in SARS-CoV-2-like bat coronaviruses, and may well have accidentally brought it to a population-dense city and started a global pandemic. If it is confirmed that the pandemic emerged as a result of accidental infection of a lab worker during an expedition, that would raise the question of whether it is a good idea to construct major virology labs in a population-dense city with thousands of people traveling in and out every day.

The U.S. Department of State published a fact sheet in 2020 noting that the U.S. government had reason to believe that workers at the WIV fell sick with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 in the autumn of 2019. Later, it was more specifically revealed that U.S. intelligence identified three lab workers that fell ill in November 2019 and sought hospital treatment.



Shelbyville hospital boss urges skeptics to get vaccinated

In addition to Major Hospital being at capacity, he said the Indianapolis hospitals are at the breaking point.

Re: V'ger

There is a saying in science that it is never aliens... until it is. A great many natural phenomena can generate electromagnetic radiation.

On Wed, Sep 8, 2021 at 7:01 PM Larry wrote:

I am enjoying a great sci fi book called Omega from Jack MxDevitt, which has bad things coming from the galactic center...but here is something new in reality...

Astronomers have detected a strange, repeating radio signal near the center of the Milky Way, and it's unlike any other energy signature ever studied.

According to a new paper accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal and posted on the preprint server arXiv, the energy source is extremely finicky, appearing bright in the radio spectrum for weeks at a time and then completely vanishing within a day. This behavior doesn't quite fit the profile of any known type of celestial body, the researchers wrote in their study, and thus may represent "a new class of objects being discovered through radio imaging."

The radio source — known as ASKAP J173608.2−321635 — was detected with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope, situated in the remote Australian outback. In an ASKAP survey taken between April 2019 and August 2020, the strange signal appeared 13 times, never lasting in the sky for more than a few weeks, the researchers wrote. This radio source is highly variable, appearing and disappearing with no predictable schedule, and doesn't seem to appear in any other radio telescope data prior to the ASKAP survey.

When the researchers tried to match the energy source with observations from other telescopes — including the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory, as well as the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy in Chile, which can pick up near-infrared wavelengths — the signal disappeared entirely. With no apparent emissions in any other part of the electromagnetic spectrum, ASKAP J173608.2−321635 is a radio ghost that seems to defy explanation.

Prior surveys have detected low-mass stars that periodically flare up with radio energy, but those flaring stars typically have X-ray counterparts, the researchers wrote. That makes a stellar source unlikely here


Merced River closed to public after California family dies on hiking trail in Sierra National Forest - ABC7 San Francisco

A cause of death has not been determined, and investigators are considering whether toxic algae blooms or other hazards may have contributed to the deaths.

Toxicology reports are still pending, and investigators have ruled out any weapons being used or dangerous gases from a mine along the trail.

On Tuesday, forest officials had closed access to trails in the area due to "unknown hazards."



How The Immune System ACTUALLY Works

Natural Immunity Is Real, And Here's What That Means | A Doctor Explains

China draws three bottom line on bilateral relations with U.S.

The U.S. must not challenge, slander or even attempt to subvert the path and system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, Wang said, stating the first of the three demands. Chosen by history and the Chinese people, China's path and system are matters of Chinese people's welfare and Chinese nation's future as well as core interests that China must firmly uphold, he added.

Secondly, the U.S. must not attempt to obstruct or interrupt China's development process, Wang said. The Chinese people have the right to live better lives and China has the right to modernize, as modernization is not an exclusive right of the U.S., he said, urging the U.S. to remove all unilateral sanctions, high tariffs, long-arm jurisdiction and technology blockade it has imposed on China as soon as possible.

China's third demand is that the U.S. must not infringe upon China's state sovereignty or damage China's territorial integrity, Wang said, referring to issues surrounding China's Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong and Taiwan. These issues have never been about "human rights" or "democracy," but concerning "Xinjiang independence," "Tibet independence" and "Hong Kong independence." No country will allow its national sovereignty and security to be compromised, he reiterated.

As for the Taiwan issue, Wang said it's even more important. He said the fact that both sides of the Taiwan Straits belong to one and the same China and Taiwan is part of China has never changed and will never change. If "Taiwan independence" forces dare to provoke, China has the right to take any necessary measure to stop it, Wang said, urging the U.S. side to honor its commitment on Taiwan issue and act prudently.


List of Wrong doings:

Wolf warrior" foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian explained the "wrongdoings" include U.S. visa restrictions on Communist Party members, increased supervision of Chinese students, sanctions on Chinese companies, and the U.S. extradition request targeting Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

First off, and without any apparent sense of irony, China is saying the only way Washington and Beijing can improve relations is if Beijing can make Washington's China policy. However, when we consider the issues China has raised, it becomes clear why that might be difficult.

Consider that increased U.S. scrutiny of Chinese student visa applications is necessary because many students are official or casual intelligence officers and agents.

COVID-19 origin tracing matters because there is a substantial possibility a devastating global pandemic originated in a Chinese government laboratory.

U.S. action over Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Xinjiang matters because of grotesque human rights abuses and China's betrayal of its treaty obligations. U.S. efforts to uphold free passage in the South China Sea matter because China intends to leverage access to those waters at the price of nations kneeling to its political demands.

Considering the South China Sea accounts for more than $3.5 trillion in international trade flows, this is no small concern.


Also on the list of "wrongdoings," was the suppression of Chinese companies, "harassing" of Chinese students overseas and attacks on the Confucius Institute. Beijing also wants America to not extradite Meng Wanzhou, a Chinese business executive who served as Huawei's chief financial officer.

Meng was detained and arrested at a Canadian airport in 2018 on a U.S. extradition request alleging fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud. The Department of Justice accused Meng of conducting "millions of dollars" in transactions that violated sanctions the U.S. had against Iran.

"For years, Chinese firms have broken our export laws and undermined sanctions, often using U.S. financial systems to facilitate their illegal activities," former Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in a statement. "This will end."


How long does covid-19 immunity last? | The BMJ

How does natural immunity compare with vaccine induced immunity?

Various studies have shown that an immune response involving memory T and B cells emerges after covid-19 infection.11 But people's immune systems tend to respond in very different ways to natural infection,12 notes Eleanor Riley, professor of immunology and infectious disease at the University of Edinburgh. "The immune response after vaccination is much more homogenous," she says, adding that most people generally have a really good response after vaccination. Data from the clinical trials of the leading vaccine candidates have found T and B cell reactivity.13

Does vaccination make a difference to those who have already had covid-19?

There is some evidence that vaccination can sharpen immunity in people who have previously been infected with SARS-CoV-2 and recovered. A letter published in the Lancet in March discussed an experiment in which 51 healthcare workers in London were given a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Half of the healthcare workers had previously recovered from covid-19 and it was they who experienced the greatest boost in antibodies—more than 140-fold from peak pre-vaccine levels—against the virus's spike protein.14