Computer model uses virus ‘appearance’ to better predict winter flu strains — ScienceDaily

Combining genetic and experimental data into models about the influenza virus can help predict more accurately which strains will be most common during the next winter, says a study published recently in eLife.

The models could make the design of flu vaccines more accurate, providing fuller protection against a virus that causes around half a million deaths each year globally.

Vaccines are the best protection we have against the flu. But the virus changes its appearance to our immune system every year, requiring researchers to update the vaccine to match. Since a new vaccine takes almost a year to make, flu researchers must predict which flu viruses look the most like the viruses of the future.

The gold-standard ways of studying influenza involve laboratory experiments looking at a key molecule that coats the virus called haemagglutinin. But these methods are labour-intensive and take a long time. Researchers have focused instead on using computers to predict how the flu virus will evolve from the genetic sequence of haemagglutinin alone, but these data only give part of the picture.

“The influenza research community has long recognised the importance of taking into account physical characteristics of the flu virus, such as how haemagglutinin changes over time, as well as genetic information,” explains lead author John Huddleston, a PhD student in the Bedford Lab at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Molecular and Cell Biology Program at the University of Washington, Seattle, US. “We wanted to see whether combining genetic sequence-only models of influenza evolution with other high-quality experimental measurements could improve the forecasting of the new strains of flu that will emerge one year down the line.”

Huddleston and the team looked at different components of virus ‘fitness’ — that is, how likely the virus is to thrive and continue to evolve.

Another ‘Unfounded’ Study on Origins of Virus Spreads Online

“That alone should give people pause,” Dr. Rasmussen said of the team’s connection to Mr. Bannon’s nonprofit.

Dr. Yan and her colleagues did not respond to a request for comment.

Their original paper — known as “the Yan report” — was also seized upon by thousands online and reported on in The New York Post, even though experts rapidly debunked its findings. Researchers called it unscientific and said it ignored the wealth of data pointing to the virus’s natural origins.

Close relatives of the new coronavirus exist in bats. The virus may have moved directly into people from bats, or first jumped into another animal, such as a pangolin, before transitioning into humans. Both scenarios have played out before with other pathogens.

“We have a very good picture of how a virus of this kind could circulate and spill over into human beings,” said Brandon Ogbunu, a disease ecologist at Yale University.

It may take quite some time to pinpoint exactly which animals harbored the virus along this chain of transmission, if scientists ever do at all — inevitably leaving some parts of the virus’s origin story ambiguous. Like many other conspiracy theories, the lab-made hypothesis “exploits the open questions in an ongoing investigation,” Dr. Ogbunu said.

But there is no evidence so far to support a synthetic source for the virus.

Dr. Yan’s Twitter account was suspended in September 2020 for pushing coronavirus disinformation. She shared the “second Yan report” from a second Twitter account, which has gained more than 34,000 followers.

Together, the papers written by Dr. Yan and her colleagues lay out what they identified as abnormalities in the genome sequence of the coronavirus. They suggested that those unusual features indicated that the virus’s genome had been purposefully spliced together and modified, using the genetic material

Virus Forces Europe to Confront Its Creaking Internet Problems

Massimiliano Capitanio

Source: Massimiliano Capitanio

Shortly after coronavirus forced Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to lock down the country, lawmaker Massimiliano Capitanio took an unusual call at his office in Rome.

It was an appeal for help from a hospital at the epicenter of the outbreak in northern Italy. Its administrators direly needed faster internet connections and computers to deal with the flood of patients. Capitanio — who sits on parliament’s telecommunications committee — called the country’s phone companies to help out.

To Capitanio, the pandemic was a wake-up call to fix Italy’s creaking internet. Now Conte has stepped in with a plan to kick-start investment by merging the country’s two biggest landline networks.

“Some families still don’t own a computer,” said Capitanio. “The government has been forced to step in and tackle this social emergency.”

Europe’s internet infrastructure is riddled with gaps and bottlenecks, exposed over the past seven months by surging hospital admissions to the rise of home working and explosion of e-commerce. Governments are now deciding how to intervene, after predicting the introduction of faster networks could lead to an annual benefit of 113 billion euros ($133 billion).

In Italy, the state investment vehicle Cassa Depositi e Prestiti SpA is expected to obtain a significant stake in a unified national network and give former monopoly Telecom Italia SpA confidence to speed up a roll-out of faster fiber-optic connections by removing rival Open Fiber SpA.

The plan tears up a guiding principle of the European project that more competition leads to better services. It’s part of a new pattern of engagement with industry that suggests Europe is watering down its anti-monopoly principles in response to China’s state-led expansion and Donald Trump’s America First agenda.

Building more robust infrastructure would stimulate stricken economies and spur the

The Latest: England blames computer glitch for 16,000 ‘lost’ virus cases

LONDON — An epic fail of a simple computer program “lost” nearly 16,000 coronavirus cases in England for more than a week, British public health officials said.

Everyone who tested positive was informed. But the cases were left out of the daily totals between Sept. 25 and Friday and ignored by contact tracers during that time. Given the average number of in-person contacts, that means as many as 50,000 people may have been exposed without being called about it.

By Monday morning, only half of the 16,000 who tested positive had gotten a contact tracing call. The other half “should be contacted as soon as possible,” said Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who was excoriated in the House of Commons by lawmakers.

Virus_Outbreak_Britain_25928

Commuters at London’s Waterloo Station on Sept. 24 after Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a range of new restrictions to combat the rise in coronavirus cases in England. After a recent gaff, only half of the 16,000 who tested positive had gotten a contact tracing call as of Monday. The other half “should be contacted as soon as possible,” said Health Secretary Matt Hancock. Victoria Jones/PA via AP

The accounting error – blamed on operators entering data in an Excel spreadsheet program – was another serious stumble for the British government, at a crucial moment, when it is daily trying to decide where to tighten regional restrictions to slow a second wave of the virus.

After the error was spotted and the lost cases accounted for, the government’s report of new daily infections nearly doubled – from 12,872 on Saturday to 22,961 on Sunday – sparking renewed angst among officials in London and England’s north, where most of the new cases were centered.

Michael Brodie, the interim head of Public Health England, said the issue was identified late

Virus Software Pros And Cons For Better Choice Of Safety

Some folks may say that art is dying. Personally I believe that ‘transhumanism’ – the search to improve and enhance on fundamental human biology via technology, has massive potential to improve our lives through growing life spans, increasing intelligence, our bodily skills and way more.

Assessing the affect of Technology on participation in lifelong learning. 1913 – Arthur Wynne invents the Crossword Puzzle. To begin with, the tip results of 3D modeling is 3D models which can as properly be remodeled to 3D animation by use of specialised software program.

Most classrooms will have computer systems for the students to make use of to connect to the internet, kind papers, analysis, answer questions, or take tests on. Many of the lecture rooms can have calculators for the scholars to make use of on their homework or on tests for more difficult calculations.

Info is energy and this energy has been given to many people all over the world due to what technology has achieved for the society in its totality. One other part of the reason is because technology is having such a dramatic affect on our lives, and it isn’t but clear where this technological progress will lead society.

Pc aided design (CAD) is a field in computing the place architects, artists, engineers and lovers create vector based 3 dimensional (3D) and a pair of dimensional (2ND) technical models (shapes) that can be used for something from industrial design to engineering calculations.…