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Apr 21, 2020

Jack Ma: E-commerce will be key to surviving during the COVID-19 pandemic

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, internet

Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma said on Friday in a virtual interview with China Media Group that under the current situation of COVID-19, the internet economy is supporting the world and the internet is the technology of the future.

“No country or enterprises can be isolated from the internet,” Ma said, adding that every one of us must grasp the future and improve the country’s economic system through future technologies and ideas.

Apr 20, 2020

The Effects of Temperature and Relative Humidity on the Viability of the SARS Coronavirus

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, health

The main route of transmission of SARS CoV infection is presumed to be respiratory droplets. However the virus is also detectable in other body fluids and excreta. The stability of the virus at different temperatures and relative humidity on smooth surfaces were studied. The dried virus on smooth surfaces retained its viability for over 5 days at temperatures of 22–25°C and relative humidity of 40–50%, that is, typical air-conditioned environments. However, virus viability was rapidly lost (3 log10) at higher temperatures and higher relative humidity (e.g., 38°C, and relative humidity of 95%). The better stability of SARS coronavirus at low temperature and low humidity environment may facilitate its transmission in community in subtropical area (such as Hong Kong) during the spring and in air-conditioned environments. It may also explain why some Asian countries in tropical area (such as Malaysia, Indonesia or Thailand) with high temperature and high relative humidity environment did not have major community outbreaks of SARS.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), was a new emerging disease associated with severe pneumonia and spread to involve over 30 countries in 5 continents in 2003. A novel coronavirus was identified as its cause [1–3]. SARS had a dramatic impact on health care services and economies of affected countries, and the overall mortality rate was estimated to be 9%, but rising to 50% in those aged 60 or above [4]. A notable feature of this disease was its predilection for transmission in the health care setting and to close family and social contacts. The disease is presumed to be spread by droplets, close direct or indirect contact, but the relative importance of these routes of transmission is presently unclear. A study showed that viral aerosol generation by a patient with SARS was possible and therefore airborne droplet transmission was a possible means of transmission [5].

Apr 20, 2020

Israeli researchers: Hackers aiming to exploit government financial aid

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, business, cybercrime/malcode, economics, finance, government

#Hackers are seeking to exploit the roll-out of government financial relief plans to fill their own pockets at the expense of businesses and affected workers, Israeli cyber researchers have revealed.


Hackers are exploiting the rollout of governmental financial relief to fill their pockets at the expense of businesses and affected workers, according to Israeli cyber researchers.

In recent weeks, governments have sought to ease cash-flow shortages and avoid a recession with ambitious stimulus packages and grants to households, including a massive $2 trillion economic package in the United States.

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Apr 19, 2020

Will Covid-19 accelerate the use of robots at work?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, robotics/AI

“People usually say they want a human element to their interactions but Covid-19 has changed that,” says Martin Ford, a futurist who has written about the ways robots will be integrated into the economy in the coming decades.

“[Covid-19] is going to change consumer preference and really open up new opportunities for automation.”


Robot workers can help us keep social distance but once machines take over it will be hard to go back.

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Apr 18, 2020

How did the Bubonic Plague make the Italian Renaissance possible?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, food

The Black Death (1347−1350) was a pandemic that devastated the populations of Europe and Asia. The plague was an unprecedented human tragedy in Italy. It not only shook Italian society but transformed it. The Black Death marked an end of an era in Italy, its impact was profound, and it resulted in wide-ranging social, economic, cultural and religious changes.[1] These changes, directly and indirectly, led to the emergence of the Renaissance, one of the greatest epochs for art, architecture, and literature in human history.

The Impact of the Plague of Italy

To Black Death spread to Italy from modern-day Russia. Genoese merchants spread the plague while fleeing a Mongol attack on their trading post in Crimea. The plague was carried and spread by the fleas that lived on the Black Rat and brought to Italy on the Genoese ships.[2] The population of Italy was ill prepared for the spread of the disease. There had been a series of famine and food shortages in the region, and the population was weak and vulnerable to disease, and furthermore, the population did not have any natural resistance to the disease. Italy was the most urbanized society in Europe, Milan, Rome, Florence, and other Italian centers among the largest on the continent.[3].

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Apr 18, 2020

How Cannabis Cleans Up Nuclear Radiation And Toxic Soil

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, government

Europe’s largest steel mill is in the city of Taranto in southern Italy. In its heyday, the ILVA steel plant produced more than 10 million tons of steel every year—about 40 percent of all the steel made in Italy—and it currently employs about 12,000 people.

This is no small deal in an area where unemployment is north of 20 percent; indeed, the local economy of Taranto, population 200,000, is almost entirely dependent on the steel mill —which is also one of the biggest and most deadly polluters of anywhere in the Mediterranean.

The plant is a notorious source of dioxin, and dust from the plant is believed to be the reason why Taranto has a lung cancer rate 30 percent higher than the national average. It’s so toxic that farmers have been forbidden from raising livestock within a 20-kilometer radius of the plant; in 2008, the government ordered the slaughter of thousands of sheep and other animals that were found to have excessively high levels of dioxin.

Apr 17, 2020

About the Event 201 exercise

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, business, economics, finance, government, health, policy, security

Talk being ahead of the curve;


Event 201 was a 3.5-hour pandemic tabletop exercise that simulated a series of dramatic, scenario-based facilitated discussions, confronting difficult, true-to-life dilemmas associated with response to a hypothetical, but scientifically plausible, pandemic. 15 global business, government, and public health leaders were players in the simulation exercise that highlighted unresolved real-world policy and economic issues that could be solved with sufficient political will, financial investment, and attention now and in the future.

The exercise consisted of pre-recorded news broadcasts, live “staff” briefings, and moderated discussions on specific topics. These issues were carefully designed in a compelling narrative that educated the participants and the audience.

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Apr 16, 2020

Americans aren’t ready to go back to normal after a coronavirus reopening

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, government

A majority of people say they would resume at least some level of normal activities if the federal government announced a coronavirus reopening, but more than a third say they would remain in quarantine, a survey from CivicScience provided first to Axios shows.

Why it matters: An economic recovery is much more dependent on people’s willingness to go out and spend money than it is on whether the government has issued a proclamation.

Apr 16, 2020

Money Is Losing Its Meaning

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, finance, government

Doing “whatever it takes” to save the global economy from the coronavirus pandemic is going to cost a lot of money. The U.S. government alone is spending a few trillion dollars, and the Federal Reserve is creating another few trillion dollars to keep the financial system from collapsing. A custom Bloomberg index measuring M2 figures for 12 major economies including the U.S., China, euro zone and Japan shows their aggregate money supply had already more than doubled to $80 trillion from before the 2008–2009 financial crisis.

These numbers are so large that they no longer have any meaning; they are simply abstractions. It’s been some time since people thought about the concept of money and its purpose. The broad idea is that money has value, but that value is not arbitrary. Former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker once said in an interview that “it is a governmental responsibility to maintain the value of the currency they issue. And when they fail to do that, it is something that undermines an essential trust in government.”

Apr 16, 2020

A virology expert answers key questions on COVID-19

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics

Discussion with A biologist answering about Covid in quite a lot of detail.

World Economic Forum


As of 23 March, there were 336,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the world, with more than 250,000 cases outside China. Despite these numbers, much is still misunderstood or unknown about the virus which has brought regions of the globe to a standstill and placed huge pressure on the global economy.

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