Chinese experimental coronavirus vaccine safe in first stage trials

A Chinese experimental vaccine against COVID-19 developed by the Institute of Medical Biology under the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences shows safe in a first-stage clinical trial. In Stage 1 of the clinical trial in 191 healthy participants between the ages of 18 and 59, vaccination with the institute’s experimental vaccine showed no serious side effects, the researchers said in their pre-publication.

The most common side effects reported by participants in the trial of this Chinese vaccine were mild pain, slight fatigue and redness, itching and swelling at the site of the vaccine. The candidate vaccine elicited an immune response.

All the evidence from this trial suggests that this inactivated vaccine is safe and elicits an immune response and is encouraging in further studies of its effectiveness in the future,” the researchers said in their report.

China has vaccinated hundreds of thousands of workers in key sectors, as well as people in high-risk groups, with other experimental coronavirus vaccines, although their clinical trials have not yet been completed, raising concerns among experts about their safety. China has at least four experimental vaccines in the final stages of clinical trials.

People around the world 3D-printing masks for healthcare professionals and staff

Image: 3Dverkstan

Many people around the world have come together to produce protective medical tools for healthcare professionals and staff on the frontline of COVID-19. An initiative by Jenny Sabin of Cornell University has reached architecture studios, factories, and homes across the world in a very short time. People who don’t know how to help joined the effort and started to print their own masks at their homes. The network, which includes firms that own 3D printers, engineers, designers and software developers, came together on social media to ensure the production of medical parts, tools, and equipment by using the power of 3D printers at home or workplaces, soon coordinated and started production.

Image: 3Dverkstan

After the drawing of the medical equipment was made, the prototype was produced and shared with the people joining the network on social media, the volunteers started to produce protective face shields/masks for the healthcare workers with 3D printers from their homes and companies. Designers, engineers and many more based their products on the open-source design from the Swedish 3D printing firm, 3Dverkstan. The shields can be printed in less than 20 minutes and are made of only two elements: a 3D printed frame and a semi-rigid plastic sheet that can be easily placed on.

While 3D printer owners can join the network through the website, healthcare professionals, hospitals and healthcare organizations can also submit medical parts requests. Sponsors who want to provide rubber, PETG transparent protective plate, and filament support can also be included in the supply network. As manufacturers cannot meet the increasing demand for the mask, this effort and collaboration of people will help immensely to healthcare professionals and staff.

If you want to join this effort, you can find free-to-use files and instructions available here.

Italy is ready to use cannabis in its food

person holding green canabis

The doors to the use of cultivated and curative cannabis in food have been opened in Italy, with the publication in the Government Gazette of the decree setting the restrictions on the incorporation of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) into food ingredients.

Italians will now know for sure if and how much cannabis will be contained in a range of nutritional products. Such are biscuits, salty taralos (traditional Apulia bread), bread, flour, oil, and a number of other products that have increased dramatically in recent years. In fact, many are using cannabis to make ricotta, tofu and organic beer.

This decree defines the limits of tetrahydrocannabinol in foodstuffs, as explained by the Coldiretti Confederation of Agricultural Products, “providing answers to hundreds of agribusinesses that have invested in this type of crop.”

As the Confederation itself points out, THC cropland in Italy has been enhanced ten fold in the last five years, from 400 hectares in 2013 to nearly 4,000 in 2018. “

The same source estimates that by 2040 the hectares used for cannabis cultivation will exceed 100,000, as the products containing it are known to have high purchasing growth, according to Italian media.

The decree of the Ministry of Health stipulates that the maximum content of THC and its treatments (flour, etc.) will be 2 mg per kg, while for cannabis oil 5 mg per kg.

Imprisonment for scientist who created the first genetically modified human infants

baby in white onesie

The Chinese researcher, who sparked a global scandal last year when he announced that the first genetically modified human infants had come to the world, was sentenced to serve three years in prison, the Chinese state news agency reported.

He was also sentenced to pay a fine of 3 million yuan (about 384,000 euros), according to the same source.

Ho Jianqui announced in November 2018 that he was able to bring into this wolrd twin girls with modified DNA that made them AIDS-safe (their father was a carrier of HIV). The Chinese authorities, then accused him of being too loose with this kind of scientific activity, ordered that any such investigation must be terminated immediately and announced that a police investigation would be launched.

He was sentenced today by a court in Shenzhen, the metropolitan area of ​​southern China, where he conducted his investigation for “illegally modifying embryos for reproduction,” New China agency said.

The agency noted that three genetically modified babies were born based on the scientist’s research.

The Chinese authorities had confirmed in January 2019 that a second woman was giving birth to another genetically modified fetus in addition to the twins, but the birth of the baby has not been confirmed until now.

He, a former assistant professor at the Southern University of Science and Technology, as well as two other scientists, were convicted of unlawful medical practices and violating the rules and ethics of the Chinese scientific community, the New China agency said.

The main consequences of abstaining from sex

close up of woman holding condom

Sex life is undoubtedly an indicator of physical and mental health, and experts say the benefits of frequent intercourse are more than we think.

It is precisely for this reason that abstinence from sex can have an impact on people’s health and bring about both physical and psychological changes.

Below you can see three of them …

Bad memory

Studies that have been published in scientific publications from time to time have shown that sexual intercourse promotes the process of creating new neurons in the brain, enhancing mental performance and memory.

More stress

Research published in the journal Biological Psychology has suggested that sex is associated with better physical and mental health. It has also been observed that sex acts as a “stress management” mechanism, since it is associated with a smaller increase in blood pressure levels under stress conditions. So when there is abstinence from sex, the stress increases to some extent.

Weaker immune system

Sex protects against colds and other infections, according to a 2004 study published in the journal Psychological Reports. According to the researchers’ findings, sex is associated with elevated levels of immunoglobulin A (IgA) in the body, an antigen that is the “first line of defense” against colds and flu.

Perseverance is probably the key to longevity

adult man playing a musial instrument
Photo by Immortal shots on

Certainly there are no magic recipes that guarantee immortality, but new research suggests that strong-willedness, perseverance and a constant pursuit of something may be the key to longevity.

Researchers at the University of Rome and the University of California, studied 29 people aged 91 to 101 who were found to have worse physical health than their relatives aged 51 to 75 years.

woman standing near yellow petaled flower

In terms of mental health, however, the older ones – residents of nine villages in Cilento, southern Italy – have found themselves in better shape than their younger relatives, suggesting that the years ahead give a greater sense of well-being.

The researchers also concluded that high self-esteem, a strong sense of control over situations, and decision-making ability were more prominent in the ages.

People’s love for their land, their property, gives them a purpose, a purpose to live on,” explains study leader Anna Scelzo. “This is my life and I’m not going to give it up” is the basic thinking of older people, she explains.

Artificial photosynthesis reduces CO2 emissions

red petaled flower

The processes that occur in the natural environment are being imitated by scientists in order to develop solar energy exploitation systems.

Recently, the Japanese company Panasonic developed an artificial photosynthesis system for the production of an industrial chemical used in the agricultural and textile industries.

The system is based on a nitride semiconductor and a metal catalyst. These two factors work together to produce energy and collect carbon dioxide, which is converted into formic acid.

Formic acid is used in livestock and poultry as a preservative and antibacterial.

It is also used as a detergent in tanning and textile processing.

person holding container with seaweed

In Panasonic’s artificial photosynthesis system, the sun’s rays divert water and irritate the nitride semiconductor, triggering the breakdown of water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen.

The metal catalyst then triggers a new reaction also known as “carbon dioxide depletion”, which also breaks down its constituents, carbon and oxygen. The carbon, oxygen and hydrogen elements collected from the two reactions are combined to form formic acid.

Panasonic aspires to integrate artificial photosynthesis technology into a system that “captures” and converts carbon dioxide produced by incinerators, power plants and other industries into a useful resource. An additional advantage is the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.

Currently, the system converts carbon dioxide into formic acid with a yield of 0.2%. Although the rate is not high enough to justify the commercial exploitation of the technology, it is higher than any known similar technology.


Panasonic also argues that the system will operate at economies of scale as the chemical reaction evolves proportionally to the amount of sunlight. Concentration or increase in solar radiation will increase formic acid production.

Panasonic’s latest technological breakthrough is essentially an attempt to mimic the mechanism of photosynthesis that develops in plants, but also in some animals such as the mullet.

The technological future of humanity already underway in Silicon Valley

person using smartphone

There are trends in technology that are dying before they are well born and others that prove so important that transform not only the industry but also the way we actually live.

And in an industry that is so inextricably linked to innovation and innovation, things remain extremely fluid in terms of setting trends.

But there are times when Silicon Valley doesn’t hide what it’s looking for behind closed doors, as in our interconnected post-industrial world few things remain a secret.

The ever-increasing adoption of digital assistants, the infamous Internet of Things, interconnected applications, and even the new strategies of operating smart machines remain pillars of technology, the foundations upon which our young and brave world is built.

But with cutting-edge computing, increasingly smart homes, and even smart cities, more and more tech-savvy evangelizers are embracing the new, advanced 5G protocols, as well as greater security of e-commerce with the help of artificial intelligence. Or Bitcoin!

Large technology exhibitions, like the infamous CES, often point to the direction that industry giants will follow in terms of both consumer products and innovation. And now the weight is falling on both augmented and virtual reality, on motor vehicles, robotic technology, smart energy and so much more.

And of course the tech industry is one of those that doesn’t exactly expect the consumer to adopt technologies and adopt new devices. The blocks you see in space have the power to establish strategies and promote the digital transformation of our world in a way that “no” fits.

IDC Research tells us it expects more than $ 1.3 trillion will be spent. dollars to adapt the market to the dance industry of the tech industry. At the same time, the colossus at Gartner Inc. technology research is predicting rapid changes to e-security services, as cybercrime is something that no one can ignore.

And of course all market players expect much more diffusion of artificial intelligence in everything from the purely industrial sector to tertiary production. Gartner is referring to “robotic employees” in its long-awaited annual report, namely smart machines that “turn into a competitive necessity”.

Amidst the enormously exciting and always subversive technology landscape, what trends stand out for 2020, as evidenced by the estimates of expert analysts and the great Silicon Valley players themselves…

blue screen of death in silver black laptop

Our biggest dependency on data

From mere chatting with our online friends to online ordering or media streaming, whatever we do online today requires a long line of interconnected services. Services and applications that work naturally with data, so much data that have triggered an unprecedented explosion and call for bold reforms to continue to work this scary digital building seamlessly.

Most of us do not often realize what volume of data we are talking about. Want a thick image? So every minute of the hour there are some 900,000 Facebook posts, 450,000 tweets, 156 million emails and 15 million text messages. With such astronomical numbers, what we are essentially doing is doubling the volume of data that goes online every two years.

Something that requires enormous efforts from the tech industry to keep things running smoothly, an ever-evolving process that will naturally continue, as a necessity rather than a new vision…

selective focus photo of man in official shirt sitting in office working on laptop

The Internet of Things and how our machines are constantly becoming ‘smarter’

As the Internet of Things, we strongly call for the connectivity of our devices to the Internet and their ever-increasing interaction. From industrial robots to the simple technological objects of our day, they all rely on built-in sensors that collect and analyze data in order to do something. So we can, for example, open our home’s air conditioner from a cellphone.

The Internet of Things is one of those directions that is more or less imperative for the tech world. Everything nowadays is smart or done as we speak, constantly collecting data and interacting with other devices, thereby exponentially increasing data usage and without human intervention.

And tech industry estimates show that this trend will not only continue, but will dominate. By 2020, Gartner estimates, more than 250 million cars will be connected to the Internet, providing smart features and self-driving services!

The Internet of Things already has countless devices to communicate with, only to have just begun! Technology research firm IHS predicts that by 2020 there will be more than 75 billion internet connected devices…

business computer connection data

The exponential increase in processing power is fueling huge technological developments

It goes without saying that none of this, neither the Internet of Things with its billions of devices nor the management of astronomical data, would have been possible without the huge leaps in pure computing. To put it in perspective, between 1975-2015 the computing power doubled every two years, before reaching today’s extremely high levels, where the growth rate has fallen to 2.5 years.

Only with these and these we have reached the limit of almost everything that a computer could have traditionally worked on. That’s why Silicon Valley has turned its attention to quantum computers, the biggest revolution in the way computers work and what they can do. Quantum computing will see its devices become millions of times faster and space leaders are leading the race for who will launch a commercially viable version of the market.

A version that can solve problems and perform calculations that are currently unthinkable. And to solve natural problems that we haven’t even thought about yet …

air aircraft clouds drone

The incredible diffusion of artificial intelligence

Machines are the ones we are talking about today that are capable of learning exactly the same way we humans do. We are essentially talking about a scary leap in the industry, as today’s algorithms are not based on simple data processing, but can deliver their own programs and applications, acting as templates. As human minds, in other words.

It goes without saying that supercomputers are at the heart of all this development, as the faster artificial intelligence learns, the more accurate its estimates become. Only this jump in algorithms means that smart machines can now do more than traditional human tasks, as it is not just the automation of the production they master.

Programs recognize things in our world with great accuracy (facial recognition technologies, for example), read, write, listen, speak, produce reactions and emotions, and put us in glasses so spiritual that they were once considered exclusively human. And Silicon Valley is not going to stop …

The unstoppable train we call ‘automation’

The smarter our robotic assistants become, the more they can do for us. Which means that even more functions, processes, decisions and systems are automated as we speak, with artificial intelligence algorithms at their heart that can do just about anything.

Automation does not just affect production or the secondary sector, occupying jobs that are cumbersome and risky, jobs that make things faster, more efficient, safer and cheaper. But now she even gets the job of accountants, even lawyers!

And so the forecasts suggest that they will soon replace the human factor in practically everything, from the builder to the foreman and the professional truck driver to the doctor. An estimate even predicts that 47% of Britain’s jobs are now in danger of being overtaken by automation (“creative disaster” they typically call it), one of Silicon Valley’s most beloved destinations …

3D printing is already transforming the industry (and others)

Directly related to automation is the development of the infamous 3D printing, which changes – if not stops – industrial production as we know it. 3D printing is becoming more and more constant in the manufacturing industry as printers are now processing everything from metal and plastic to cement, liquids, powders and even human tissue (!), Creating cheaper objects one layer at a time.

Not only the cost, but also the creative solutions of 3D printing, as it can and does deliver much more sophisticated designs than traditional industrial design. And it consumes of course much less material. Products that come out of an industrial 3D printer can easily be adapted to the customer’s needs without having to worry about economies of scale at the same time.

2020 is sure to see even more amazing things in 3D printing…

We will interact with technology in a completely different ways

The way we talk to smartphones and other tech products has changed dramatically in recent years. But we haven’t seen anything yet, as the big players at least promise. Thanks to smartphones and tablets, we can now stroke the screen and even on the go a huge plethora of things, as 2016 was the milestone year for mobile technology overpowering traditional PCs (desktops). Google also confirmed this, telling us that mobile searches surpassed those of desktops in 2017.

At the same time, we are now talking on our devices, using voice commands in Siri and related programs (Alexa, Cortana). Estimates here say that by 2021, 50% of all online searches will be done via voice rather than typing, and a good 30% won’t even need a screen.

Naturally, the business world is now forced to link its products and services with industry developments, harmonizing them with their respective applications (Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant remain the benchmarks). Add to all of these applications that provide both artificial and enhanced intelligence, the next big step in how we interact with our devices, and you see where things are going…

ripple etehereum and bitcoin and micro sdhc card

Blockchain technology that is changing the… banking system

In other circumstances, a few years ago, this would be something we would learn backwards. But not anymore, as nothing is hidden in the world of technology. The Blockchain you are talking about is the technology behind the digital currency Bitcoin, one of those things that has caught the hexapin mankind and no one can turn their back on it.

It is essentially a platform that transforms the way we trade, store, and exchange data, so that everything is done without intermediaries, but with greater security. Think of Blockchain as a decentralized and extremely secure database, that is, much safer than any other transaction protection technology, as all of this data is not stored “somewhere”.

It is a box of chains – wherever the platform gets its name – only this chain is not managed by an organization or group of people, but is based on its users. And with Bitcoin coming into our day-to-day discussions for good, we intuitively understand exactly what it is.

And is it really a serious attempt to democratize the global financial system, an effort based on the simple idea of ​​why a third party (be it a bank, agency or service) is involved in trading between two parties?

As experts say, the banking, insurance and health services are the key areas that will soon adopt Blockchain technology, despite the fact that most have not even heard of it, a good… 90% of the top European and US banks are already exploring its operation.

3D printer produces “live” materials with bacteria ink

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Progress in 3D printers is continuous and in a few years there will probably be almost nothing that can be produced by such a device. Two new innovations are coming to prove it.

In Europe researchers at the University of Zurich have presented a 3-D printer that works with living, non-lifeless materials such as plastic or metal, using bacteria-containing ink to produce complex functional “living” materials. Across the Atlantic, researchers at the US MIT University have created a machine that has 10 times faster 3D printing speed than anyone else on the market.

The Swiss printer, presented in the journal Science Advances, was developed by researchers led by Professor Andre Stundart, director of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology’s (ANT) Complex Materials Laboratory. Bacteria-containing “ink” allows the printing of tiny biochemical “factories”, each with different properties, depending on what kind of bacteria are used each time.

shallow focus photography of microscope

Up to four different inks, containing different bacteria respectively, can be used simultaneously to produce articles with a variety of properties. Each ink is a mixture consisting of a biocompatible hydrogel (of hyaluronic acid), chains of sugar molecules, silica and bacteria. The ink has a texture reminiscent of toothpaste and was christened “Flink” (Functional living ink), that is, “functional live ink” and can print any shape.

At present, it remains unclear how long the bacteria can live in the printed articles, but researchers assume they can do so for a long time because they are scarce. They also emphasized that the bacteria used are harmless and the living ink absolutely safe. Such bacterial inks may in the future find various medical, biotechnological and other practical applications, e.g. to create elastic skin grafts, to print bacteria-containing sensors and thus be able to detect toxins in the water. They can also be used to develop bio-filters that will clean oil spills and other sources of pollution.

Two technical hurdles to overcome are to increase the current slow printing rate and to enable bio-printing on a mass scale.

On average, a commercial 3-D printer prints objects at a speed of about 20 cubic centimeters per hour. These common printers take about an hour to produce a few Lego-type bricks.

The new American printer does not take more than ten minutes to do the same job, thanks to its sophisticated print head. It has a built-in laser that heats and melts the material, allowing it to flow faster through the printer nozzles.

Researchers, led by Associate Professor Anastasios John Hart of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Department of Mechanical Engineering, who published the relevant issue in Additive Manufacturing magazine, showed a few minutes to each new publisher’s possibilities. glasses frame, a conical sprocket and a miniature replica of the MIT dome.

University of London puts an end to burgers

tomato burger and fried fries

An end for hamburgers and macaroni bolognese for students at Goldmiths University in London: beef will no longer be sold at this educational institution that intends to do so in the fight against climate change.

The ban on the sale of all beef products will come into effect at all university stores since the students’ return in September, the university’s management said in the south-east of the British capital, at a time when cattle farming is accused of high water consumption and deforestation.

Targeting its zero contribution to CO2 emissions by 2025, the university will also impose a payment of 10 pence (about 10 cents) for the purchase of non-reusable plastic bottles and cups.

It is impossible to ignore the increasingly pressing global demand for organizations to take their responsibilities seriously to stop climate change,” explained Goldsmith’s new director, who took office this month.

person holding two hamburgers

The staff and students (…) are determined to contribute to the radical change that needs to be made to drastically reduce our carbon footprint as quickly as possible.

In a report released last week, a panel of UN climate experts IPCC / Giec stresses that changing eating habits and food production is one of the drivers of the fight against global warming, without suggesting the passage. on a vegetarian or vegan diet.

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has denounced a “too simplistic approach” on the part of Goldsmiths and urged private or public organizations, including universities, to support the British farm and livestock sector. “The main problem is the lack of (…) distinction between British beef and elk produced elsewhere,” union vice president Stuart Roberts added in a statement.

The British beef carbon footprint is “2.5 times lower than the world average,” he said.

Other UK universities have already taken steps to reduce meat consumption, notably Cambridge.