Study: COVID-19 virus survives on skin 9 hours, 5 times longer than flu virus - CGTN
The coronavirus remains active on human skin for nine hours, Japanese researchers have found, in a discovery they said showed the need for frequent hand washing to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
The coronavirus remains active on human skin for nine hours, Japanese researchers have found, in a discovery they said showed the need for frequent hand washing to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The pathogen that causes the flu survives on human skin for about 1.8 hours by comparison, said the study published this month in the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal. "The nine-hour survival of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus strain that causes COVID-19) on human skin may increase the risk of contact transmission in comparison with IAV (influenza A virus), thus accelerating the pandemic," it said. The research team tested skin collected from autopsy specimens, about one day after death. Both the coronavirus and the flu virus are inactivated within 15 seconds by applying ethanol, which is used in hand sanitizers. "The longer survival of SARS-CoV-2 on the skin increases contact-transmission risk; however, hand hygiene can reduce this risk," the study said. The study backs World Health Organization guidance for regular and thorough hand washing to limit transmission of the virus, which has infected nearly 40 million people around the world since it first emerged in China late last year.
China's Chang'e-4 detects hazardous radiation levels on the Moon - CGTN
Space radiation on the moon is two to three times higher than that on the International Space Station (ISS). This could be one of the biggest dangers for future moon explorers, the Chinese moon probe discovered.
Space radiation on the moon is two to three times higher than that on the International Space Station (ISS). This could be one of the biggest dangers for future moon explorers, the Chinese moon probe discovered. A Chinese-German team reported on the radiation data collected by the moon lander named Chang'e-4 for the Chinese moon goddess in the U.S. journal Science Advances. Chang'e-4 made the first ever soft-landing on the far side of the Moon in January, 2019. Read more: China's Chang'e-4 lunar probe completes 22nd lunar day with latest findings The discovery provides the first full measurements of radiation exposure from the lunar surface, vital information for NASA and others aiming to send astronauts to the moon, the study noted. "This is an immense achievement in the sense that now we have a data set which we can use to benchmark our radiation" and better understand the potential risk to people on the moon, said Thomas Berger, a physicist with the German Space Agency's medicine institute. Though Apollo missions in the 1960s and 1970s proved it was safe for people to spend a few days on the lunar surface, NASA did not take daily radiation measurements that would help scientists quantify just how long crews could stay. The question is now answered. Astronauts would get 200 to 1,000 times more radiation on the moon than what we experience on Earth or five to 10 times more than passengers on a trans-Atlantic airline flight, noted Robert Wimmer-Schweingruber of Christian-Albrechts University in Kiel, Germany. "The radiation levels we measured on the Moon are about 200 times higher than on the surface of the Earth and five to 10 times higher than on a flight from New York to Frankfurt," added Wimmer-Schweingruber. That means humans can stay at most two months on the surface of the Moon without special protection measures, according to Robert Wimmer-Schweingruber, an astrophysicist at the University of Kiel. Sources of radiation There are several sources of radiation exposure: galactic cosmic rays, sporadic solar particle events (for example from solar flares), and neutrons and gamma rays from interactions between space radiation and the lunar soil. Radiation is measured using the unit sievert, which quantifies the amount absorbed by human tissues. The team found that the radiation exposure on the Moon is 1,369 microsieverts per day about 2.6 times higher than the International Space Station crew's daily dose. The reason for this is that the ISS is still partly shielded by the Earth's protective magnetic bubble, called the magnetosphere, which deflects most radiation from space. Earth's atmosphere provides additional protection for humans on the surface, but we are more exposed the higher up we go. NASA is planning to bring humans to the Moon by 2024 under the Artemis mission and has said it has plans for a long term presence that would include astronauts working and living on the surface. For Wimmer-Schweingruber there is one work-around if we want humans to spend more than two or three months: build habitats that are shielded from radiation by coating them with 80 centimeters (30 inches) of lunar soil. (With input from agencies)
Science Saturday 0919 - CGTN
In this week's Science Saturday, we look at science news ranging from possible signs of life on Venus to wildlife protection.
In this week's Science Saturday, we look at science news ranging from possible signs of life on Venus to wildlife protection. Scientists detect gas in Venus clouds linked to life on Earth First, evidence of potential for life on the planet next door! A smelly, flammable gas called "phosphine" has been found on Venus. Here on Earth, phosphine is produced predominantly by anaerobic biological sources. So with this discovery, there's a chance that there are some living organisms in the clouds of Venus. But scientists say further observations and modeling are needed to explore the origin of the gas in the planet's atmosphere. The findings are published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Astronomy. Washington bans TikTok downloads from U.S. app stores Washington has announced a decision to ban TikTok downloads from app stores in the United States. Donald Trump, the U.S. president, is questioning plans by Chinese tech firm, ByteDance, to keep a majority stake in TikTok's U.S. operations as part of a partnership deal with Oracle. Trump says any agreement to continue operating in U.S. must be "100% as far as national security is concerned." He has called the popular video-sharing app a security threat, and says he will ban it unless it's sold by ByteDance. WWF report: Wildlife populations down by an average of 68 percent over past four decades The world's wildlife population is under threat! A new report by the World Wildlife Fund says human activity has wiped out two-thirds of the world's wildlife since 1970. Latin America and the Caribbean are the world's worst-affected areas, which have seen an average drop of 94 percent. The report says humans' over-exploitation of wildlife, grassland conversion and climate change are among the major drivers of this devastating decline. Researchers are calling for changes in production and consumption patterns of food and energy, increased conservation efforts and a global collective effort. Winners of Breakthrough Prizes announced for 2021 The winners of the 2021 Oscars of Science, also known as Breakthrough Prizes, have been revealed. Eight scientists have been recognized for their achievements in Mathematics, Fundamental Physics and Life Sciences. One of the recipients is David Baker, whose team designed a molecule that potentially inhabits the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The team also successfully synthesized the proteins, which demonstrated a neutralizing antibody, shedding light on a potential new treatment to the disease. The prizes total 21 million U.S. dollars. Due to the global coronavirus pandemic, this year's ceremony has been postponed until March 2021. "Science Saturday" is part of CGTN's science and technology series "Tech It Out." The segment brings you the latest news about innovations and technological breakthroughs in the past two weeks from across the world.
China CDC suggests key groups should be the first to take flu vaccines - CGTN
Health professionals, staff and vulnerable individuals in venues with gatherings of people, including elderly care centers, nursing and welfare homes, are being urged to take flu vaccines on a priority basis. They are among the four key populations who, according to suggestions from the latest technical guidelines for influenza vaccination issued by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC) amid the COVID-19 epidemic, should be the first to take flu vaccines. The key populations include people at key sites, such as teachers and students in nurseries, primary and secondary schools; prison inmates and workers; other groups at higher risk from influenza, including citizens aged 60 and above who stay in their own homes, children from six months to five years old, patients with chronic diseases, family members and caregivers of infants under six months old, and pregnant women or women preparing to become pregnant during the flu season. Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist with the China CDC, said a hike in the number of flu patients is expected in autumn and winter periods that usually have a high incidence of influenza. The development will overlap with the country's COVID-19 control efforts, making it more difficult for health professionals to identify COVID-19 cases and increasing isolation difficulties and healthcare burdens to the disadvantage of COVID-19 control, Wu said. An effective solution is to vaccinate certain populations against flu as early as possible, he said. (Cover image via CFP)
Asteroid over 22 meters in diameter to pass by Earth on Tuesday: NASA - CGTN
An asteroid with a diameter between 22 and 49 meters will shoot pass Earth in a distance closer than Earth from the Moon on Tuesday, according to the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
An asteroid with a diameter between 22 and 49 meters will shoot pass Earth in a distance closer than Earth from the Moon on Tuesday, according to the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). "Will #asteroid 2011 ES4 hit Earth? No! 2011 ES4's close approach is 'close' on an astronomical scale but poses no danger of actually hitting Earth. #PlanetaryDefense experts expect it to safely pass by at least 45,000 miles (792,000 football fields) away on Tuesday Sept. 1," NASA Asteroid Watch posted Saturday on its Twitter account. NASA estimates the asteroid's relative speed at around 8.16 km per second. The last time asteroid 2011 ES4 fly by Earth was visible from ground for four days. This time, it will be closer to Earth than before with an estimated distance of 1.2 lakh km, closer than that of the Moon, which is 3.84 lakh km away from the Earth. The asteroid listed as potentially hazardous asteroid was first discovered in the spring of 2011 and passes by Earth every nine years. A "potentially hazardous asteroid" is currently defined based on parameters that measure the asteroid's potential to make threatening close approaches to the Earth, according to NASA.
What you need to know about this year's Perseid meteor shower - CGTN
One of the most anticipated "celestial events" in August, the Perseid meteor shower, is about to rock the sky in the coming days. Are you ready?
As one of the most anticipated "celestial events" in August, the Perseid meteor shower is about to rock the sky in the coming days. The meteor shower is expected to reach its peak on Wednesday, with about 110 meteors shooting through the night sky every hour, according to China's astronomical forecasts. Sky-watchers will be able to see long, glowing and persistent trails left by these meteors traveling at nearly 40 miles per second. Meet the Perseid meteor shower The Perseid, Quadrangular and Geminid meteor showers are the best in the Northern Hemisphere thanks to their brightness and high meteor rates. The Perseid meteor shower's name comes from the location of it radiant the point where it appears to originate from the constellation Perseus, according to NASA. In Greek mythology, Perseus was a hero who defeated Medusa. What causes the Perseid meteor shower? NASA scientists explained that it is caused by debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle. Every 133 years, the huge comet swings through the inner solar system and ejects a trail of dust and gravel along its orbit. When Earth passes through this trail, debris hits the atmosphere at 140,000 mph and disintegrates in flashes of light. When to watch Generally speaking, meteors from the Perseids are visible from the middle of July to late August every year. According to Li Meichun, vice president of the Astronomical Society of Tianjin, the shower this year will peak showcasing the highest number of meteors during the late evening hours of August 12 and early morning hours of August 13, Beijing Time. How to watch NASA scientists advised that the best time to spot the dazzling meteor show will be during the darkest part of the night and in the early hours before dawn. Although the moon is in its last quarter phase, which may mar the sky show a bit this year, it will still have about 52 percent illumination, bringing the expected number of meteors visible down from more than 60 per hour to about 15 to 20 per hour, according to NASA. It's not difficult to see the meteor shower as long as you find a space with less shielding and less light pollution, Li said. No special equipment is needed. "Just wait patiently and with a little luck, looking up at the sky with a wide view, then you will catch the moment when a shooting star streaks across the sky."
The myth of Apple production leaving China - CGTN
India has great potential. But the idea that India is now somehow a rival to China who is able to lure away supply chains is not based in realism.
Editor's note: Tom Fowdy is a British political and international relations analyst and a graduate of Durham and Oxford universities. He writes on topics pertaining to China, the DPRK, Britain, and the U.S. The article reflects the author's opinions, and not necessarily the views of CGTN. News circulated Saturday that Apple's new iPhone 11 model would be manufactured in India's southeastern city of Chennai. The news circulated on Twitter under its trending "technology news" tab and many media outlets, as well as the public, interpreted this to mean Apple was decoupling its manufacturing from China, and therefore was a win for Indian Prime Minister Modi against Beijing in the pursuit of his "Made in India" policies. This fell into a broader narrative that companies are seeking to remove China from their supply chains in light of political tensions. This is inaccurate. Apple is not leaving China or down scaling its presence, and there is plenty of evidence to the contrary. First, what many commentators are omitting is that the company's manufacturing in India is not for international export, but for the domestic market in the pursuit of avoiding protectionist tariffs, which many Chinese mobile companies do there themselves. Secondly, Apple has no incentives to leave China because Donald Trump exempted the company from his trade war and did not tariff its imports, not the least considering the size of its market. Thirdly, both Apple and its supplier Foxconn have recently doubled down on a number of new investments in China, showing long-term commitment. India is a country with a great deal of economic potential, which is undeniable, and one cannot blame its people for trying to set it on the path of development China has taken. They are right to note that India will one day have a lucrative consumer base along with its already ample labor force. However, such dreams ought to come with measured realism. In its current state, India is not a more attractive proposition than China, lacking in a number of areas. Yet many nationalists, encouraged by Modi, have assumed that New Delhi can easily and readily be a peer competitor to Beijing and with the snap of a finger can woo away industries and supply chains from Beijing in a zero-sum, Trumpian game of economics. This is not how Apple sees it. While it eyes opportunity in India's market, it recognizes the country does not have the infrastructure, capability or qualified workforce in order to pursue advanced production. It will assemble its new iPhone in Chennai for the domestic market in order to avoid hefty tariffs, but not for international export as the country simply does not have the supply chains for advanced components. This makes it similar to Huawei and Xiaomi, who are also assembling their phones in India. Does that represent a loss for China's industry? Of course not, it is targeting a market, but not changing the rules of the game. Apple and Foxconn are in fact strengthening, rather than reducing their hold in the Chinese supply chain. Local company Luxshare Precision Industry Co., Ltd. recently acquired Taiwan Wistron Corp.'s iPhone production business in China for 472 million U.S. dollars. The company also produces a range of other Apple gadgets such as AirPods. Meanwhile, Foxconn is undergoing a massive investment in the city of Qingdao, which oversees the creation of a chip factory, having signed a contract in April, and only a week ago Apple opened a megastore in Beijing. Quite clearly, these companies are very comfortable in their China business; India is more complementary than competitive. Why so? Despite the aggression and political noise coming from Washington, Apple's China supply chain was in fact spared from Trump's trade war against the company. As negotiations with China went on last year, the president was lobbied heavily by CEO Tim Cook and won tariff exemptions for his major products, the subsequent phase one trade deal between the U.S. and China subsequently ended fear of any further tariffs, thus securing Apple's place in the country. Thus, what reason do they have to move out? Given this, it should be made abundantly clear that Apple is not moving, down scaling or shifting its flagship production from China. While the company is investing manufacturing in India, this is a locally orientated move which is designed (like Chinese smartphone companies themselves do) to bypass government tariffs and to reach the country's growing market. There is no denying that India has great potential, but the idea that it is now somehow a rival to China, and able to lure away supply chains, is not based in realism. As this rhetoric misleads people, in practice Apple and its assembler Foxconn are continuing to expand their supply chain presence in China, and have no incentives to change course. (If you want to contribute and have specific expertise, please contact us at [email protected])
Tech It Out: What is Tianwen's scientific mission on Mars? - CGTN
If everything goes as planned, the Tianwen-1 will be the first Mars mission in history to successfully study the red planet with an orbiter, lander and rover. What is their mission and how will they accomplish?
If everything goes as planned, the Tianwen-1 will be the first Mars mission in history to successfully study the red planet with an orbiter, lander and rover. What is their mission and how will they accomplish? Last time, we walked you through the landing process, or known as "seven minutes of terror." Then, China's Mars rover will make its debut. It will extend its four solar panels in a shape of butterfly wings and trundle off the ramp on the lander. It is expected to explore the surroundings for at least 90 Martian days, or roughly three months on the Earth. During the time, it will use the orbiter as its communication relay with controllers on the Earth. Before any scientific mission, power is the first thing to be concerned with. The rover starts work during the afternoon when the temperature has hit its highest so it can store energy for its night shift. But just 30 percent of solar energy can be transferred into electricity. Another power innovation is a chemical called N-undecane, which will absorb the sun's heat and melt down when the temperature is high during the daytime, and release the energy and re-solidify when it cools down during night. Eighty percent of the heat can be stored. The Chinese team has identified two potential landing areas for the rover, north of the equator on the plains of Utopia Planitia. The large area is believed to have been a giant ocean during ancient times. It's flat, smooth, and has good sunshine. Many rovers before, including two Vikings, Pathfinder and Perseverance in 2020, have chosen to land nearby. And most importantly, you want to land somewhere close to your research area. The Tianwen-1 will carry out a comprehensive study on Mars, including overall inspection on the global level and some depth research in specific areas. It needs to be surveyed with 13 instruments, with six fitted on the rover, and seven on the orbiter. That's right, the orbiter will not only act as communication link, but also needs to move to a closer orbit to survey the planet for an entire Martian year, or roughly 23 months. Specifically, the orbiter will stay higher for a broader perspective. With a high-resolution camera and radar, it will map the surface and characterize its geological structure, searching for water and ice as well as rock distribution. The rover aims to study the composition of soil and look for evidence of underground water. It also needs to collect atmospheric data to document climate change on Mars. All of those aims have been the key elements for scientists to explore the so-called "habitability" of the Mars. Similar scientific instruments could be seen in previous missions to Mars. But Mars is so big and so unknown to us. Given that China's rover will explore an area that no-one has reached before, any data collected will definitely deepen our understanding about the red planet. Along with the Tianwen-1, the UAE's Hope mission was carried out on July 20 and the U.S. Perseverance will follow later in July. The Hope satellite was launched on a Japanese rocket. Given the COVID-19 travel restrictions, the UAE had to deliver the satellite to the Tanegashima Space Center before their schedule, in case of missing the precious launching window. Hope will orbit the Mars and focus exclusively on Martian atmosphere, including the lower atmosphere, which can reveal the climate change on Mars, and exosphere, which may tell us how and why oxygen and hydrogen escape from Mars. Also, the mission has a unique inclined orbit, which will offer it a chance to study Mars the whole day rather than a specific time of a day. As a pioneer of Mars exploration, NASA is about to send its latest car-size robot Perseverance with a goal of searching signs of microbial life. It will be sent to an uncharted crater which is an ancient lake bed, making some drilling on the surface for cores of rock and soil. The sample will be stored in 43 tubes and as planned, will eventually be taken back to Earth in a future mission, when we can study to see if there is any organic inside. Perseverance will carry a helicopter drone for a testing flight on Mars. China's officials have suggested that if the Tianwen-1 and later the Chang'e-5 Moon mission go well, China could attempt to return samples from Mars beginning around 2030.
China unveils full-sized models of its Mars rover and lander - CGTN
China is ready to launch its Tianwen-1 Mars probe in the coming days, which includes an orbiter, a lander and a rover. So what do they look like? The country unveiled full-sized models of the lander and rover on Wednesday.
China is ready to launch its Tianwen-1 Mars probe in the coming days, which includes an orbiter, a lander and a rover. So what do they look like? The country unveiled full-sized models of the lander and rover on Wednesday. The Rover The rover will work for over 90 days on Mars, exploring the planet and sending back what it detects to Earth. It's equipped with a 60-centimeter-high mast with detecting device, two panorama cameras on its top to avoid obstacles when moving forward, as well as a multispectral camera to identify minerals. It also has four giant "wings" solar panels to provide power for it. The rover can adjust the angles of its solar panels to receive more solar power, according to Liu Tongjie, deputy director of the Moon Exploration and Space Engineering Center of the China National Space Administration. "As Mars receives less solar energy than the Earth and the Moon, the area [of its solar panels] is larger. It can angle its solar panels according to the direction of the sunlight. The more vertical the angle is, the more solar energy it will receive," said Liu. Other instruments onboard include a detection radar, magnetometer and meteorological instruments, which will enable it to conduct an all-round exploration of Mars. It can detect the ingredients of soil 10 meters underneath the surface of Mars and of ice 100 meters below the surface. The rover is made out of hi-tech materials so that it can move at a speed of 200 meters per hour on Mars' surface despite the harsh conditions. The Lander Making a soft landing on Mars has never been an easy job, only eight of the 17 landing missions in human history to Mars have succeeded. Liu said the thin atmosphere of Mars poses a challenge to the rover and the landing platform during their landing process. "The density of the Mars atmosphere is relatively low. It is equivalent to one percent of the Earth's standard atmosphere. So we have to equip the landing platform with parachutes, which is more complex and difficult," said Liu. The landing process takes only seven to eight minutes, during which the lander plays a critical role. During the process, the lander, carrying the rover, needs to reduce speed from 20,000 kilometers per hour to zero in seven minutes during the re-entry, descent and landing process, which is known as "seven minutes of terror." "In the landing process, the electromagnetic signal is completely blocked. So the lander completely relies on itself, which requires it to have a strong ability to operate on its own," said Liu. Read more: What is the most challenging part of Mars mission 7 minutes of terror? Once it successfully lands on Mars, a ramp will be extended for the rover to move onto the planet surface. The fourth Long March-5 rocket, coded as Long March-5 Y4 and to be used to launch China's first Mars exploration mission, was vertically transported to the launching area at the Wenchang Space Launch Center in south China's Hainan Province on Friday.
Life on Mars? NASA set to send new rover to planet - CGTN
Tucked inside an Atlas Rocket is NASA's Perseverance Rover is set to go. Next stop- a February landing on Mars. The robotic vehicle is designed to look for signs of past microbial life that would at last answer the fundamental question: Did life ever exist on the Red Planet?