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Last month, Stanford’s Sewer Coronavirus Alert Network, or SCAN, added monkeypox to the suite of viruses it checks wastewater for daily. Since then, monkeypox has been detected in 10 of the 11 sewer systems that SCAN tests, including those in Sacramento, Palo Alto, and several other cities in California’s Bay Area.

As of July 21, the US had recorded 2,593 monkeypox cases. Globally, the virus has been detected in 74 countries—68 of which have not historically reported monkeypox. 

SCAN began to monitor California wastewater for covid-19 in 2020. It’s the only public effort in the US to test if monkeypox is detectable in the shower, sink, and toilet water that is sent to wastewater treatment plants for decontamination. Extracting genetic material from the solids absorbed in raw, unprocessed sewage can provide a community-level look at where a virus or bacteria has spread, and how prevalent an outbreak is. 

Everyone poops, but very few people are getting tested for monkeypox.

Over the past two years, the concentration of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in wastewater has mirrored trends in covid-19 cases confirmed by testing individuals. In late 2021, wastewater surveillance suggested the omicron variant was prevalent in the US much earlier than clinical testing reported.

Early data suggest that the concentration of monkeypox in wastewater can similarly inform us about monkeypox cases in the community, according to Alexandria Boehm, co-director of SCAN and a Stanford professor studying how pathogens are transmitted.

Now Boehm and her colleagues are working to use their wastewater data to estimate the actual number of people with monkeypox in the communities they monitor by modeling how wastewater data and monkeypox cases from the past month correlate. This estimate, which can be updated daily, would be a much faster way to track community spread than waiting for symptomatic patients to go to a doctor and get tested.

Unlike a covid test, monkeypox can only be tested for if the patient already has skin boils that a doctor can swab and test. These boils only appear 1 to 2 weeks after a person has been infected. Wastewater surveillance could help catch monkeypox infections much earlier.

This approach is particularly useful when there’s a clinical testing bottleneck. Everyone poops, but very few people are getting tested for monkeypox. Prior to June 22, only about 70 out of over 200 CDC laboratories nationwide were authorized to test for monkeypox. Five companies have since been authorized to perform monkeypox testing, but scaling up will take time.

A lack of accurate data on monkeypox infections makes it harder to create a model that can use wastewater to estimate monkeypox cases, because lack of testing makes it difficult to establish a real-world relationship between the two. 

Monkeypox is in the same virus family as smallpox but is less infectious and generally has more mild symptoms. It’s still unpleasant—alongside flu-like symptoms, monkeypox’s telltale sign is the appearance of pus-filled blisters on the face, hands, feet, or genitals. Running water over these open sores in the shower or while washing your hands can catapult monkeypox DNA into wastewater. 

Recent data suggest that the DNA of monkeypox can also be detected in a variety of bodily fluids from those infected. That includes respiratory and nasal secretions, spit, urine, feces, and semen—meaning a flushed tissue from someone with monkeypox can register the virus in wastewater.

If a pathogen’s genetic footprint can persist in wastewater for over 24 hours, SCAN can likely detect it. Covid-19 viral RNA persists in wastewater for well over 10 days. Though monkeypox DNA seems to clear the 24-hour threshold, there is no public research on how long it persists. 

A question remains as to how much monkeypox DNA needs to get into the wastewater for SCAN to actually detect it. SCAN can sniff out covid from the wastewater from as few as two infected people among 100,000.

Even in a state like California, which keeps sewage and water drains separate, rain dilutes the quantity of viral DNA in wastewater. To account for that, SCAN normalizes its estimates using a virus with a well-established expected quantity—pepper mild mottle virus. Healthy humans excrete the harmless virus after eating pepper and pepper-based products, making it the most abundant RNA virus in human feces (conveniently, it’s also very stable in water).

Orange dots appear scattered throughout an array of green protrusions and tubes.Read More

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By: Hana Kiros
Title: Monkeypox is in Bay Area wastewater
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2022/07/23/1056399/monkeypox-california-wastewater/
Published Date: Sat, 23 Jul 2022 11:00:00 +0000

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LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys

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Bitso, a leading cryptocurrency platform operating in Latin America, and the Mexican Football Federation (FMF), today announced the joint launch of the first collectible NFT of the Mexico National Team’s jerseys that was acquired in cryptocurrencies.

This morning through their social media platforms, the FMF and Bitso announced the opportunity to acquire the new official National Team fan jerseys ahead of the team’s participation in the 2022 World Cup. In just 20 minutes, the entire collection sold out.

bitsonftjeysey
The NFTs of the jerseys have an exclusive design for the metaverse – each is unique on the blockchain and can be resold by its owner in subsequent transactions.

The collection consisted of 100 official physical jerseys, each with a corresponding NFT version of the jersey that fans’ avatars can wear within the Decentraland metaverse. Each physical and NFT jersey set sold for the equivalent of $1,800 MXN in ethers.

“Our mission is to make cryptocurrency useful in the everyday life of Mexicans; we are committed to spreading the technology through innovative opportunities that help people throughout the country familiarize themselves with this new world. We are very excited to offer the incredible, historic opportunity for the fans of our National Team so that through their Bitso account, they can wear the colors of the National Team on and ‘off’ the field in the metaverse.”
– Bárbara González Briseño, General Director of Bitso México

Jersey NFTs

Created by Bitso, the virtual jersey sports the official colors of Mexico and the new National Team shield, characteristics that will make it stand out when users wear it in the virtual world of Decentraland.

The post LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys appeared first on CryptoNinjas.

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By: CryptoNinjas.net
Title: LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2022/07/29/latam-crypto-exchange-bitso-and-fmf-launch-nft-of-mexicos-national-team-jerseys/
Published Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2022 15:19:02 +0000

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Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth

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EXMO, a crypto exchange platform operating since 2014, announced this week a rebranded visual identity with includes a new logo, brand colors, and design features. This new branding comes as EXMO continues to grow its crypto platform while also seeking to expand its presence in other jurisdictions.

Some new developments underway at EXMO:

Soon, users will be able to earn passive income from EXMO’s new staking platform.Plans to launch an EXMO crypto debit card.Expansion of its services in international markets with the opening of offices in Poland and Lithuania.

EXMO’s new logo

The rationale for the re-brand:

“At EXMO, we have a vision of a world where crypto is in every wallet. Hassle-free. We want to achieve this by making crypto as simple and accessible to everyone as possible. And we know that you already appreciate EXMO for offering user-friendly services and helpful support. Also for the opportunity to trade anywhere and anytime, closing deals in just a few taps. Such important changes required a rethinking of our corporate style, which has long needed a massive upgrade. So today we are introducing a new brand identity for EXMO with a completely new visual concept. We are launching a new logo, brand colors, and design elements. Our key design principles are simplicity, boldness, and a pinch of fun. But most importantly, we have changed our logo. Simple and easily recognizable, it represents the humanity of our brand. The logo stands out due to the wavy letter ‘m’ which symbolizes exchange rate charts and also resembles a spring that will launch you into the crypto world.”
– The EXMO Team regarding the re-branding

The post Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth appeared first on CryptoNinjas.

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By: CryptoNinjas.net
Title: Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2022/07/26/long-running-crypto-exchange-exmo-unveils-lively-rebrand-amidst-growth/
Published Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2022 08:10:38 +0000

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Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens

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The blistering heat waves that set temperature records across much of the US in recent days have strained electricity systems, threatening to knock out power in vulnerable regions of the country. 

The electricity has largely stayed online so far this summer, but there have been scattered problems and close calls already. 

Heavy use of energy-sucking air-conditioners is the biggest problem. But intense heat can also reduce the output of power plants, blow transformers, and force power lines to sag. Severe droughts across large parts of the country have also significantly reduced the availability of hydroelectric power, according to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). 

It’s unlikely to get better soon. A number of grid operators may struggle to meet peak summer demand, creating the risk of rolling blackouts, the NERC report notes.

The nation’s isolated and antiquated grids are in desperate need of upgrades to keep the lights, heat, and air-conditioning on in the midst of extreme weather events that climate change is making more common, severe, and dangerous. One clear way to ease many of these issues is to more tightly integrate the country’s regional grids, stitching them together with more long-range transmission lines. 

If electricity generated in one area can be more easily shared across much wider regions, power can simply flow to where it’s needed at those moments when customers crank up air-conditioners en masse, or when power plants or fuel supply lines fail amid soaring temperatures, wildfires, hurricanes, or other events, says Liza Reed, a research manager focused on transmission at the Niskanen Center, a Washington, DC, think tank.  

The problem is it’s proved difficult to build more long-range transmission and grid interconnections for a variety of reasons, including the permitting challenges of erecting wires through private and public lands across cities, counties, and states and the reluctance of local authorities to forfeit control or submit to greater federal oversight.

The case of Texas

The unreliability of the US grid is not a new problem. Severe heat and winter storms have repeatedly exposed the frailty of electricity systems in recent years, leaving thousands to millions of people without power as temperatures spiked or plunged.

One of the fundamental challenges is that the grids today are highly fragmented. There are three main electricity networks within the US: the Eastern Grid, the Western Grid, and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). But there are numerous regional transmission organizations within those first two systems, including the California Independent System Operator, Southwest Power Pool, PJM Interconnection, New York ISO, and more. 

These grids form a complex web of networks operating under different regulators, rules and market structures, and often with limited connections between them.

Map USA grid
A variety of regional transmission organizations oversee different parts of the nation’s aging and fragmented grids, which operate under different rules and with often limited connections between them.
legend

ERCOT is especially isolated, in part because of the desire among local politicians, citizens, and power companies to avoid added competition, the hassle of following other states’ rules, and oversight from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). But the state offers a case study in why that can be a serious problem amid increasingly harsh climate conditions, Reed says.

The Texas grid operator pleaded with customers several times earlier this month to cut electricity use as blistering summer temperatures created  demand surges that threatened to outstrip supply and require rolling blackouts.  Low wind conditions, cloud cover, and outages at fossil-fuel power plants added to the strains.

Shutting off the electricity needed to run air-conditioning in triple-digit temperatures

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By: James Temple
Title: Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2022/07/28/1056483/stitching-together-the-grid-will-save-lives-as-extreme-weather-worsens/
Published Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 08:00:00 +0000

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