"THE END OF RANDOMNESS IN HUMAN
EVOLUTION TRULY MARKS THE
BEGINNING OF MAN'S NEXT AVATAR."

EVENTS

WITFluence by Wequity
Elevate by Target Corporation
British Deputy High Commission
Global Entrepreneurship Summit, IIT
National Retail Federation
Techfest, IIT Bombay
INK 2019 Within & Beyond
IMA India CEO Forum
Tomorrow Dialogues – WWMTU

Are you feeling the #lockdown blues? Tired of binge-watching on #Netflix or endless #gaming? Do you feel like you could be doing so much more? Here’s just the springboard that might catapult you into the realms of outer space!⠀

Enlist as a volunteer on and help hunt or classify shapes of #galaxies. A brief training session on the Galaxy Zoo Project, and you’ll be ready to work on real data (images).⠀

Chris Lintott, an #astrophysicist at University of Oxford says, “The shape of a galaxy tells you about its history: it tells you about when it accreted material, when it collided with other galaxies, when it formed stars and all sorts of other things. But astronomers are quite good at getting images of galaxies and less good at sorting through the data.” ⠀

That’s where you step in and add value to the project. Interestingly, the project leaves the easier classifications to an #algorithm. So, you get to work on the intriguing ones. Your power of observation and a penchant for discovery could make a difference. ⠀

Who knows, you might be first one to spot a galaxy, or observe the formation of #blackhole. ⠀

Happy galaxy surfing! #astronomy #COVID19 #WFH
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While #socialdistancing and primary testing measures continue, many countries are worried about re-kick-starting their #economies as well. How do we start getting key people in various industries back to work and help societies return to normalcy?⠀

German researchers are considering giving ‘immunity #passports’ to those who have already caught the #virus and are now #immune. However, some serious testing needs to be done before such a step can be taken. ⠀

A mass study, led by the Robert Koch Institute, will test blood samples from 100,000 people for #coronavirus #antibodies, starting on April 14. The idea is that once a sufficient number of people in a locality are found to be immune, neighbourhoods could be reopened for schools, and work, in a phased manner.⠀

The litmus test on this will be the length of time the #immunity is valid for. In the case of #SARS it was for only up to a year. It could be that #COVID19 provides a favourable immune response scenario but we cannot be sure as of now. Continuous monitoring will be required to guarantee that people will not get reinfected after a point of time.⠀

Experts are hopeful. We, in the trenches, are too.
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Are #socialdistancing, closure of restaurants, and #WFH measures to contain the spread of #coronavirus really working? We all believe they do, and that is why administrations have adopted them, but there are the doubting Thomases.⠀

The problem is of getting accurate data, in real time, to the measure the efficacy of these programs. Kinsa Health, a US company dealing in internet-connected thermometers, is now providing stats that indicate that social-distancing is indeed working. How do they do it? ⠀

“Kinsa has more than one million thermometers in circulation and has been getting up to 162,000 daily temperature readings since #COVID19 began spreading in the country.” ⠀

These thermometers are spread across various states, amongst households, and users upload their temperature to a centralised database through a #cellphone app. It records other symptoms as well, and even advises those who need medical attention.⠀

Kinsa has created ‘a national map of fever levels’ since March 22. Since then, the daily trend is downward. Three important findings:⠀

• The #lockdowns have not only reduced COVID-19 transmission but normal seasonal #influenza spread also.⠀
• Closing of bars and restaurants had a positive correlation to the dropping of fevers.⠀
• Most states had a downtrend.
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It gladdens my heart to write this post. Not because it is the story of a woman achiever who is breaking the #glassceiling or the fact she put her company in the forefront of the #coronavirus fightback challenge.⠀

It is the story of Minal Dakhave Bhosale who put the cause of her nation (and humanity) above the cause of personal and family emergency. ⠀

In early February, 2020, Minal, who is a #virologist and the Head of R&D at Mylab Discovery, a molecular diagnostic company in Pune, was released from hospital after being attended to for pregnancy complications. She went back to work, and along with her team, tested and delivered a coronavirus testing kit called Patho Detect in record time, of six weeks instead of 3-4 months. ⠀

"It was an emergency, so I took this on as a challenge. I have to serve my nation." https://buff.ly/2WQL5NU⠀

Mylab became the first home-grown company to be approved for #COVID19 #testing #kits. Each kit (100 samples) costs only Rs.1200 ($16), compared to Rs.4500($60) for imported kits. ⠀

Minal submitted the kit for evaluation to #NIV on March 18. That evening she checked into the hospital. She delivered a daughter the next day!⠀

Bravo!
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There are a number of theories surrounding various aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic. I have sought to illuminate on two simple questions.⠀

1) Is the COVID-19 #virus lab-created or of natural origin?⠀

According to findings published in #Nature Medicine, scientists from the #Scripps Research Institute, USA, after analysing the public genome sequence of COVID-19, have not found evidence of deliberate #genetic engineering. ⠀

Engineering a new virus as a pathogen requires dependence on the backbone material of the virus. “But the scientists found that the #SARS-CoV-2 backbone differed substantially from those of already known #coronaviruses and mostly resembled related viruses found in #bats and #pangolins.” ⠀

2) What are the chances of fresh outbreaks?⠀

Scenario One: Since bat-to-human virus spread is unknown, the virus could have jumped from an intermediate host such as #civets or ferrets. ⠀

If the virus evolved to its current #pathogenic state through #natural selection and jumped from an intermediate host, it could be lethal. It means the virus could still be circulating in the intermediate host and could jump to humans once again.⠀

Scenario Two: If humans received a non-pathogenic version of the virus, and evolved it inside humans, we can seek to control it more efficaciously. #covid19 #coronavirus #pandemic
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Here’s an #autonomous, #AI driven, ‘respiratory illness in public spaces’ tracking device that promises to quickly establish #epidemiological trends in any neighbourhood. While the device is only in the testing phase, and cannot be used to track the current #COVID19 situation, potentially it could be a life-saviour in case there is a second wave of the #coronavirus later in the year.⠀

The device, called #FluSense, a brainchild of researchers at the #University of Massachusetts (#UMass) at Amherst, is “an AI that listens for coughing and sneezing sounds to estimate what percentage of people in a public space have a #respiratory illness.” So far they have tested it for 8 months in 4 clinic waiting rooms on the UMass Campus.⠀

The device will be great for tracking any normal #influenza-like symptoms in the air. This is important because not all people who are sick report into hospitals, and people from the poorer sections continue to work for fear of losing wages. This could be dangerous for a community as a whole if it is too late before it is detected.⠀

As per the researchers, “FluSense basically consists of a thermal camera, a microphone, and a compact computing system loaded with a #machine learning model trained to detect people and the sounds of coughing.” ⠀

Can this be used as a #surveillance device? It’s designed not to be. It does not scan individual faces, or record personal speech: it merely tracks the number of people on view and records coughs, sneezes and other metrics related to identifying epidemiological attributes conforming to an index. ⠀

According to the researcher Tauhidur Rehman, “We believe that FluSense has the potential to expand the arsenal of health surveillance tools used to forecast seasonal flu and other viral respiratory outbreaks, such as the COVID-19 pandemic or #SARS.” Based on the symptoms, public health recommendations such as #socialdistancing or #vaccinations, can then be made.⠀

It’s the simple ideas that are usually the most powerful. This device may play a critical role in our collective future.
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With #COVID19 raging unabated, the clamour for a drug or treatment is reaching higher decibels. And while the cause of containing the spread, and saving lives, remains paramount, there is a bucketload of money to be made by the company that is first to deliver the elixir-vitae. ⠀

There are quite a few contenders in this race. The stock price of #GileaSciences has seen a spike since February despite the #Dow heading south. Their antiviral drug, #remdesivir, originally developed for #Ebola, is touted to be a potential treatment for the #coronavirus. They are currently planning to conduct two randomized studies for evaluating effective dosage durations: one batch of 400 patients with severe manifestation and another batch of 600 patients with moderate symptoms. ⠀

The others in the race are #RegeneronPharmaceuticals (‘working on a #coronavirus cocktail of viral-neuralizing antibodies’), #Moderna and #Novovax (vaccines.) ⠀

#Trump is hustling the #FDA to investigate a drug called #chloroquine (known for 70 years) and see if it can do the magic. #ElonMusk has mooted the idea. If approved, #Bayer is ready to donate 3 million tablets of #Resochin (chloroquine phosphate) to US patients. ⠀

In the cause of humanity, may all of them succeed, and soon! #drugs #pharmaceuticals #vaccine
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An exciting moment! Thank you everyone for your support! #AI #literature #nonfiction #bestseller ...

The #COVID-19 #virus has brought us back home like nothing ever has. While we all hunker-down in our bunkers, with Work From Home (#WFH) becoming mandatory, the new regimen is probably disturbing the applecarts of our quotidian existence.⠀

I was wondering, how in the first place, did we transmogrify from #hunter-gathers to farmers to industrial workers and come up with the 8-hour workday or shift. ⠀

Hunter-gatherers worked only 4-8 hours toward food collection. Some tribes even less. Agricultural #farming brought food surpluses, specialization and profiteering and the hours of work increased.⠀

In the #Industrial age, the advent of steam-power and gas lighting brought untold misery to millions in terms of long working hours. However, in 1819, the Cotton Mills and Factories Act, UK, banned child labour (under 9) and reduced the workday to 12 hours (under 16). Imagine what it must have been for the adults!⠀

#Uruguay was the first country to adopt the 8-hour workday in 1915. Henry #Ford adopted the 40-hour week in 1926, adding famously, “It is high time to rid ourselves of the notion that leisure for workmen is either 'lost time' or a class privilege.”⠀

But in these times of malady, it maybe best to remember those that introduced the first sick leave policy: the village of Deir-el-Medina in ancient #Egypt, which housed workers for building royal tombs, between 1550 – 1070 BC! #workfromhomemom #workfromhomedad #workfromhomelife #worklife #work #worklifebalance
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