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Moderna vaccine induced antibodies in all trial participants: paper - Bangkok Post
WASHINGTON - An experimental COVID-19 vaccine that is being developed by US biotech firm Moderna induced antibody responses against the coronavirus in all 45 participants of a human trial, a paper published Tuesday showed.
WASHINGTON - An experimental COVID-19 vaccine that is being developed by US biotech firm Moderna induced antibody responses against the coronavirus in all 45 participants of a human trial, a paper published Tuesday showed. Moderna had previously published "interim results" from its Phase 1 in the form of a press release on its website in May, which revealed the vaccine had generated immune responses in eight patients. Though these were called "encouraging" by Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious diseases official, the full study had been eagerly awaited by the scientific community. The company has since moved to the next stage of its trial, involving 600 people. The new paper was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The 45 participants were split into three groups of 15 each to test doses of 25 micrograms, 100 micrograms and 250 micrograms. They were given a second dose 28-days-later. After the first round, antibody levels were found to be higher with higher level doses, and after the second round, participants had higher levels of antibodies than most patients who have COVID-19 and gone on to generate their own antibodies. More than half the participants experienced mild or moderate side-effects, though these did not rise to the level where the trial would be called off. The side effects included fatigue, chills, headache, bodyache, and pain at the injection site. Three participants did not receive their second dose, including one in the 25 microgram group who developed a skin rash on both legs, and two (one in the 25 microgram group, one in 250 group) who missed their window because they had COVID-19 symptoms, but their tests later returned negative. Andrew Freedman, an infectious disease expert at the University of Cardiff who was not involved in the study, said the paper suggested the vaccine "is able to stimulate antibody production in a dose-dependent fashion." "Importantly, the antibodies generated were able to neutralise the virus" in lab conditions, he added. "The side effects experienced by more than half the participants are quite common after other vaccinations, although the 'more severe adverse events' experienced by three of the subjects given the highest dose may mean that dose is too high to take forward," he said. The Moderna vaccine belongs to a new class of vaccine that uses genetic material, in the form of RNA, to encode the information needed to grow the virus' spike protein inside the human body, in order to trigger an immune response. The spike protein is a part of the virus it uses to invade human cells, but by itself is relatively harmless.
Even Our Lightbulbs Are Spying On Us Now - Bangkok Post
Scientists at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel have discovered a way to eavesdrop on entire conversations by studying the vibration patterns in a lightbulb. Honest.
Scientists at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel have discovered a way to eavesdrop on entire conversations by studying the vibration patterns in a lightbulb. Honest. In a terrifying-yet-true paper entitled "Lamphone: Real-Time Passive Sound Recovery from Light Bulb Vibrations," researchers say that by calibrating the fluctuations in air pressure exerted on the surface of an ordinary lightbulb by sound vibrations, it is possible for identity thieves and other spies to "recover speech…passively, externally, and in real time." They can do this by concealing themselves within 80 feet of the lightbulb, armed only with a laptop, a microphone, a telescope and something called a remote electro-optical sensor. All of this stuff can be bought relatively cheaply. This is scary stuff. Obviously, it will immediately change the way that spies and gangsters conduct conversations. Henceforth, underworld denizens will have to avoid saying anything compromising while the lights are on and the windows are open. Casual remarks like "Go ahead and whack Fat Freddy" must be avoided, as anything recorded by a lightbulb can presumably be used in court. For similar reasons, sotto voce instructions such as "Go ahead and invade Latvia on Sunday, Vladimir's fine with it" should never be said where a lightbulb can hear it. That said, the most devastating effect of unchecked "lamphone" surveillance will be felt by the general public. For starters, it illustrates the futility of concocting Byzantine password chains and triple-verification I.D. systems. No matter how hard we try to keep our personal data private, the crooks are always one step ahead of us. They spy on us through our email, our laptop cameras and our personal electronic assistants. And now they're coming in through the lightbulbs. Am I suggesting that anyone can steal our PINs and Social Security numbers by hiding in the garden and peering into our homes with a telescope outfitted with a cheapo remote electro-optical sensor? That's exactly what I'm suggesting. Now I turn off all the lights and close the blinds whenever I talk to my financial adviser or read out my Visa number over the phone. I never say my security code within listening distance of any lighting unit, not even if it has a lamp shade on it. I don't give out personal data over the phone unless I make sure to dim the lamps and cover them with an afghan. The problem is, in the dark I can't read the tiny print on my Visa card. Sure, I could try using a flashlight. But do you seriously think that a remote electro-optical sensor that can pick up vibrations from a lightbulb would be foiled by a flashlight? Get serious. How great is the lamphone threat? Just last week, after noticing that someone had stomped all over the shrubbery behind our garden hedge, I found a cheesy-looking cardboard box labeled "AGTX-546 Remote Electro-Optical Sensor." On the side was a price sticker: "$89.95: While Supplies Last." Think it can't happen to you? Think again. The stuff about using a lightbulb to eavesdrop is not even the most chilling part of the Ben-Gurion University disclosure. The very first paragraph says that it may also be possible to spy on people by studying the sound vibrations emanating from a bag of chips! Honest, you can look it up. The paper didn't specify whether such espionage was limited to potato chips or also extended to corn chips and pretzels, but I got the message loud and clear. I've told my children: "Don't order anything over the phone from Yankee Candle or that tapas bar in Colorado Springs unless you make sure to hide the Doritos in the basement." And Pringles? Sure, they come in an airtight can, but we've banished them too. You can't be too careful.