Hello. Have a nice and safe Thanksgiving.
(J. Harris: This may just be for schools. I’ll look around.)
1. Evidence Builds That an Early Mutation Made the Pandemic Harder to Stop (New York Times) As the coronavirus swept across the world, it picked up random alterations to its genetic sequence. Like meaningless typos in a script, most of those mutations made no difference in how the virus behaved. But one mutation near the beginning of the pandemic did make a difference, multiple new findings suggest, helping the virus spread more easily from person to person and making the pandemic harder to stop.
“…Researchers don’t know for sure what the dogs are smelling, but many suspect that these illnesses cause the human body to let off a distinct pattern of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These molecules readily evaporate to create scent that dogs can pick up. Previous work with non-COVID viruses has suggested that viral infections might also cause the body to do this….
“Trials at airports in the United Arab Emirates, Finland and Lebanon are using dogs to detect COVID-19 in sweat samples from passengers; these are then checked against conventional tests. According to data presented at the K9 meeting, dogs in Finland and Lebanon have identified cases days before conventional tests picked up the virus, suggesting that they can spot infection before symptoms start.”
(J. Harris: Article in Nature that’s easy to read and understand, especially for dog people. The dogs get most of the positive cases and have very few false positives [almost none]. Several more trials are described.)
J. Harris: A 1918 photo at Georgia Tech. They were smart enough in 1918 to wear masks.
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