“Long Covid” – the Emergence

Every way we look at it, Covid-19 presents us with new challenges and repercussions.

BBC reports an MP, Layla Moran, talking about the staggering number of “long covid” cases in the UK. As per her estimates, current numbers are crossing 300,000 patients.

With such a large number of patients, it is important to recognize this as an “occupational disease”. Now, in practice, what this really means is that around half of the hospitalized patients would still exhibit symptoms as long as six months since the first onset of the disease.

On the other hand, from the people who did not get hospitalized, 10% would still show the symptoms after 3 months.

While the UK has reacted by establishing 10 more “Long covid” clinics, other countries are not being that proactive.

References:

  1. Staggering number of long covid cases. Link

Woes of Opening Schools and Educational Institutes too Early!

Schools and Educational Institutions tend to cause super-spreader events because a lot of people from numerous areas and families come together on a daily basis.

A team lead by famous Complex Systems Scientist Prof. Yaneer Bar Yam has noted that only when COVID-19 is no longer being transmitted within a community, educational institutes can be reopened safely.

Links

Course Pages Using Unity 3D

I have been using Unity in a number of my courses in the past. So, here is some sample content originating from various created using Unity 3D software!

Fall 18

  • Information Systems Modeling & Design (BSCS) – class created various games
  • Theory of Computation (MS CS) – class created Pacman based levels

Spring 19

  • Biological Modeling and Simulation (BS Bioinformatics) – class page 
  • Theory of Computation (MS CS) – class page

Fall 19

  • Theory of Computation (MS CS) – class page

Spring 20

Hubble Captures Cosmic Cinnamon Bun

Hubble Telescope is one of the foremost extensions of human vision. It also keeps getting better and better.

Do check out the Hubble capture of what has been nicely termed by the researchers as a “Comsic Cinnamon Bun”

An atypical spiral galaxy
UGC 12588 awes us in all its glory!

References

NASA image of the Cosmic Cinnamon Bun.

Puzzling Results for the Oxford Covid-19 Vaccine

The whole world seems to be waiting for a cure for Covid-19.
Numerous companies and researchers around the world are racing to beat the clock in making a vaccine available for the masses. In their efforts to develop a vaccine, often times however, there are setbacks and even confusing results.

One such case is that of the Oxford’s vaccine which has very strange results. Nature reports that the developers have discovered 70% efficacy for a two-dose vaccine. This was analyzed a fortnight after the second dose. Read more here.

References

1. Why Oxford’s positive COVID vaccine results are puzzling scientists – Nature News

Dinosaurs and Cancer: A Podcast

Cancer is a dreadful disease. In some ways, it is actually a disorder or malfunction of the body. While its details are still fuzzy, considering the large number and types of cancer, it appears as an emergence resulting from a lack of coordination of various systems inside the body.

Scientists have always been looking for the origins of Cancer. Recently they have found concrete proof of cancer existence in animals dating back to the dinosaurs.

David Evans, senior curator of Paleontology at the Royal Museum of Ontario in Toronto has identified bone cancer from a so-called “Centrosaurus” dinosaur from around 7075 million years ago.

The study has been presented in the journal Lancet Oncology [1].

Emily Schwing from the Scientific American presents a podcast on this interesting topic.

References

Hubble and the Moon

To the best of our current knowledge, moon is the only natural “official” satellite orbiting our planet.

This, however, has often been challenged by some researchers over time who call some near-earth objects with synchronized orbits as “second moons” [1, 2].

While a number of these observations have been discarded by the scientific community, there still are objects which include temporary satellites, quasi-satellites, trojans, horseshoe orbit objects and more.

This is actually an exception in the solar system with 70 known moons for Jupiter.

The Hubble telescope took this splendid shot of our moon in 1991.

Earth's Moon
https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/hubble-shoots-the-moon

References

  1. Sepharial, A. The Science of Foreknowledge: Being a Compendium of Astrological Research, Philosophy, and Practice in the East and West.; Kessinger Publishing (reprint), 1997, pp. 39–50; ISBN 1-56459-717-2
  2. Bakich, Michael E. The Cambridge Planetary Handbook. Cambridge University Press, 2000, ISBN0-521-63280-3, p. 148
  3. Wikipedia article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claimed_moons_of_Earth

Climate Scientists Reaffirm the Importance of Simple Models

Background Complex Adaptive Systems involve a large number of variables. These variables are essentially inputs from complex processes which can often be modeled as agents. The data generated from these systems can be considerably nonlinear and difficult to understand.

Problem Statement In systems which are very closely linked to the human world, often times, there is a need to make quick or at least, expensive decisions in a relatively shorter amount of time.

Research Outcome The presented research reaffirms the belief of the Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) community that simpler models can be considerably better in terms of making decisions.

References

  • Casey Helgeson et al, Why Simpler Computer Simulation Models Can Be Epistemically Better for Informing Decisions, Philosophy of Science (2020). DOI: 10.1086/711501
  • A’ndrea Elyse Messer Simpler models may be better for determining some climate risk by Blog