In addition to disease prevalence, labs must consider a phenomenon called "the dilution effect" when determining pool sizes, Frazier said. PCR machines can process only so much fluid at one time; the larger the pool size grows, the smaller the proportion of fluid contributed by each swab becomes, he said. As a positive swab will contain a finite number of viral particles, enlarging the pool size can lower your chances of spotting those few particles in a batch sample, he said. … [Read more...] about Wuhan tested millions of people for COVID-19 in just days. Could US cities do the same?
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Square-Enix is a company best known for creating JRPGS with extensive storylines and deep game play, so more than a few eyebrows were raised when the company announced that it would be putting out a tower defense game for the iPhone called Crystal Defenders. The game hit the App Store last week, and the $7.99 price tag definitely made a few iPhone gamers think twice about picking up the game, especially since there's already an excellent tower defense title available for the platform at a cheaper cost. So, the big question about Crystal Defenders is "is it worth the purchase price?" The short answer is yes, but only if you really enjoy that style of game play. … [Read more...] about Review: Crystal Defenders is a Mage-laden tower defense gem
In its civil complaint, Airbnb argues that it should not be found liable under the new ordinance, as it is exempt under federal statute. Specifically, Airbnb says that it is protected under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act—the famed law that protects "computer service" providers from being found liable for speech made by its users. … [Read more...] about Airbnb: We shouldn’t have to help San Francisco enforce new rental law
Some museums, including the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., have dodged financial cliffs thanks to government support. In London, the Natural History Museum stayed afloat with emergency support from the U.K. government, but it furloughed half its staff until the end of June. Similarly, the Field Museum has thus far avoided layoffs thanks to a cash reserve and the federal paycheck protection program, says director Richard Lariviere. But 30% of the museum’s income comes from ticket sales and related activities, and his operation has already lost $17 million. Given that cases of COVID-19 have yet to peak in Illinois, Lariviere doubts the museum will open this summer, and he worries he will be forced to make layoffs. … [Read more...] about Shuttered natural history museums fight for survival amid COVID-19 ‘heartbreak’
When cases of COVID-19 began popping up in Washington state in late February, researchers were quick to dive into the genetics of the viruses infecting residents. Based on what they knew at the time, they hypothesized that those cases in late February were genetically linked to the very first case found in the state—one in a person who arrived in Washington on January 15 after traveling from Wuhan, China, where the outbreak began. The case was also the first infection identified in the whole of the United States. … [Read more...] about Washington’s COVID-19 outbreak may have begun a month later than we thought