'All of the efforts are to reduce congregation': CMO outlines urgency of fresh Dublin restrictions - Brinkwire
THE ACTING CHIEF Medical Officer, Dr Ronan Glynn, has stressed the importance of Dublin residents abiding by newly introduced Covid-19 restrictions and explained why the measures are neccessary. At a live press conference this evening Dr Glynn outlined that there have been over 1,600 cases of Covid-19 in Dublin in the last two weeks. The cases have been spread across all areas of the city and county. This represents more than half of the cases reported in the country during this time frame. The governments most senior health advisor explained that this escalation inevitably caused the number of hospitalisations to dramatically increase and the number of deaths to rise. The growth rate in cases is between 5-7% per day. Without action the number of daily cases could climb to 1,000 by the middle of October. However, Dr Glynn noted that the drastic outcome can be avoided if people reduce their number of contacts. If we all cut our social contacts by half we can cut the reproductive rate of this virus by half, he said. Dr Glynn explained that the overarching objective of the Level three restrictions is to cut down peoples discretionary social contacts because more important contacts, such as those needed for healthcare and education need to be prioritised: Our priorities over the next three weeks must be to slow the spread of this virus, so that our health service can continue and people can get the vital care that they need for other illnesses; so that the successful resumption of education of our children can continue and so that those who are most vulnerable in our society are protected. He said with the anticipated increase in hospitalisations, NPHET had to take measures to reduce congregation. We have choices to make when we decide to reduce congregation. So it can be education, it can be healthcare, it can be restaurants and other social settings, and in that context, Level 3, unfortunately, is about making really tough decisions to reduce social congregation. Dr Glynn acknowledged that the number of identified clusters of the disease stemming from restaurants is low. However, he added that the number of cases of community transmission, where the source of the infection is not known, has climbed to between 750 and 1,000 in the last two weeks. These are cases where we dont know where the person got the virus from, the person themselves cant identify where they got the virus. So, based on what we know about the virus, we know that people pick it up when they meet other people, he said. Essentially its where people congregate. All of the efforts in Level three are to reduce this congregation. Dr Glynn urged people to prioritise who they need to see, advising residents of the capital to see half the number of people in the coming week as they saw last week. The acting chief medical officer made a specific appeal to teenagers and people in the 20s and 30s to abide by the guidelines: I know that what has been and what is being asked again of you is extraordinary. This pandemic has impacted on your education, your employment, your relationships and your social lives. But the disease is also spreading disproportionally amongst younger people at present. So Im asking you to stick with this and follow the advice once again over the next few weeks. Any one who experiences symptoms of the virus was asked to self-isolate, contact their GP and get a free Covid-19 test if appropriate. Anyone who is informed that they were a close contact of a confirmed Covid-19 case is being urged to take the free test. #Open journalismNo news is bad newsSupport The Journal Your contributions will help us continueto deliver the stories that are important to you Support us now The fresh restrictions will come into force in Dublin from midnight.
Slingshot spider launches itself 100 times faster than cheetah by creating spring coils in its web - Brinkwire
Deep in the Amazon jungle, the tiny slingshot spider soars through the air at lightning speed to capture its prey. Launching from a spring-like web, it can accelerate 4,300 feet per second squared -over 100 times faster than a cheetah. Velocities of 13 feet per second subject the world’s fastest spider to roughly 130 the acceleration of gravity (gs), or more than 13 times what fighter pilots can endure before passing out. Scientists studying the mechanics of this daredevil arachnid believe unlocking how its web silk can store so much energy could lead to it being used as a power source for tiny robots and other devices. Slingshot spiders, known by the scientific genus name Theridiosomatid, build three-dimensional conical webs with a tension line attached to the center. Their acrobatics have been observed as far back as the 1930s, but scientists couldn’t really explain the mechanics until now. In a report published this week in Current Biology, researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology detailed what’s believed to be the first kinematic examination of this spider’s amazing abilities. Footage from high-speed cameras stationed in the Tambopata Research Center outside Puerto Maldonado, Peru, reveal the slingshot spider pulls the tension line with its front legs while holding onto the main web structure with its rear legs. When the spider senses a fly or mosquito within range, it releases, launching the web – and itself – toward its prey, as seen in this video from Rainforest Expeditions. If the arachnid connects, it quickly spools its meal in silk and if it misses, it simply pulls the tension line and resets the web. ‘We think this approach probably gives the spider the advantage of speed and surprise, and perhaps even the effect of stunning the prey,’ said co-author Symone Alexander, a postdoctoral researcher at Georgia Tech. Slingshot spiders are only about 1/25 of an inch, far smaller than the insects on their menu, so they have to move fast if they want to eat. ‘If you compare this natural silk spring to carbon nanotubes or other human-made materials in terms of power density or energy density, it is orders of magnitude more powerful,’ said co-author Saad Bhamla, a professor at Georgia Tech’s School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. The slingshot is also rarity among arachnids in that it uses a tool – its web – to achieve such high speeds. ‘Unlike frogs, crickets, or grasshoppers, the slingshot spider is not relying on its muscles to jump really quickly,’ said Bhamla. Alexander and Bhamla estimate that stretching the web requires at least 200 dynes, a tremendous amount of energy for such a tiny bug. They believe the spider locks its muscles ‘like a latch’ so it doesn’t have to exert so much energy waiting for its next meal. ‘We wanted to understand these ultrafast movements because they can force our perspective to change from thinking about cheetahs and falcons as the only fast animals,’ Bhamla said. ‘There are many very small invertebrates that can achieve fast movement through unusual structures. We really wanted to understand how these spiders achieve that amazing acceleration.’
Breaking – Oil Pares Losses as OPEC Reportedly Agrees 10M BPD Cuts - Brinkwire
Investing.com – Oil prices retraced some of their losses in post-settlement trade on Thursday after the Wall Street Journal reported that the OPEC+ alliance will cut 10 million barrels per day of production by June, with Saudi Arabia and Russia contributing more than half of that. * West Texas Intermediate, the New York-traded benchmark for U.S. crude, was down $1.73, or 7%, at $23.36 by 4:09 PM ET (20:09 GMT). WTI had settled at $22.76 earlier, down $2.33, or 9.29%, on the day. * Brent, the London-traded global benchmark for crude, was off 75 cents, or 2.6%, at $32.09. It finished the official trading session at $36.68, down $1.36, or 4.1%. * The Wall Street Journal reported that OPEC delegates agreed to reduce total output by 10 million barrels a day in May and June with Saudi Arabia cutting 3.3 mln barrels and Russia cutting 2 mln barrels.