Connect with us

Tech

Mesa Biotech gains emergency FDA approval for rapid, point-of-care COVID-19 test

Published

on

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is making use of its Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) powers to expand the pool of available COVID-19 testing resources in the U.S., and now you can add another rapid test that delivers results in just 30 minutes to the list. Mesa’s test is also small enough to be able to be used right at the frontline of care, including in clinics and hospitals, with multiple tests able to be run in parallel.

Mesa’s rapid test follows one from Cepheid that was approved on Monday. Both are PCR-based molecular tests, which identify the presence of virus DNA in a sample of a patient’s mucus. Both these tests prevent an important expansion of the technologies available to those looking to combat the spread of the new coronavirus, since they can provide lab-quality results, but can do so much faster, and without requiring transportation of the samples from the point of collection to off-site testing facilities.

On-site testing not only has advantages in terms of convenience and speedy return of results, but also in limiting the potential exposure of medical personnel to the virus itself. Testing on-site means you don’t need to worry about possible exposure to the virus for more people in the chain, including logistics and delivery people, as well as lab technicians and dedicated diagnostics people.

These tests will require that facilities are equipped with Mesa’s Accula testing system, but its equipment is already in use for testing flu, as well as other less serious equipment, and it was originally designed specifically to address use on the frontlines of efforts to combat global pandemics, including SARS before this.

News

What is a supermoon and when can you see tonight’s ‘Pink Moon’?

Published

on

By

supermoon against st paul's cathedral
Supermoons don’t come around all that often (Picture: AFP / Daniel Leal-Olivias)

The UK may be stuck in coronavirus lockdown, but at least the view will be good tonight, as we’ll be treated to a specular supermoon, also known as the ‘Pink Moon.’

They don’t come around all that often, and let’s face it – what else will you be doing tonight?

But what exactly is a supermoon and how can you catch this one?

Find out here.

What is a supermoon?

When the moon’s orbit brings it to its closest proximity to Earth – called its perigee – what we get is a super moon.

From this evening through until tomorrow morning, the moon will get as close as 356,907km (221,772 miles) to Earth.

A supermoon appears brighter and larger than normal, and is anything from 14% to 30% brighter than the average moon.

supermoon over london
Who doesn’t love a good sunrise? (Picture: Getty Images)A

This particular supermoon is known as a ‘Pink Moon’ as it is the first full moon of spring in the northern hemisphere.

Advertisement

Advertisement

The name derives from a pink flower called phlox subulata that blooms in spring in North America.

Disappointingly, it won’t actually be pink.

What time will the supermoon be tonight?

Tonight’s moon will be visible from sunet, from 8:15pm, but will peak at 3:35am.

All you need to do is stick your head out of the window.

The moon will be most visible when there is dark sky and a clear horizon, which is bad news for city folk.

To get the best view, head to the highest point in your house or flat, switch the lights off and gaze east.

Don’t worry if you miss it – there’s another one coming on 7 May. ​

MORE: Supermoon 2020: Why is it called the pink moon?

MORE: Nasa to colonise the moon with astronaut base ready for trip to Mars

Advertisement

Advertisement

Source: Metro News

Continue Reading

News

Reddit jokers use the Queen’s outfit as a green screen

Published

on

By

Reddit has fun with the queen's outfit
Reddit users had some fun with the Queen’s outfit (Reddit)

The Queen’s address to the nation during the coronavirus pandemic will likely go down in history as a collective moment for the nation.

And, as 23 million people tuned in to hear the monarch offer words of encouragement, a few internet jokers realised the potential of her green outfit.

Thanks to some digital trickery, they were able to replace her outfit with various other options – such as an Iron Maiden T-shirt and a Star Trek uniform.

The results were posted on Reddit and swiftly gained over 118,000 upvotes.

Over 1,600 comments were posted in response to the pictures – with many being good humoured about the changes to Her Majesty’s outfit.

Reddit has fun with the queen's outfit
One user joked that the Queen would be able to join Starfleet (Reddit)

Meanwhile, the Queen’s address has been widely praised for what is only her fifth special address to the nation.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Comparing the ‘challenging’ pandemic to the Second World War, the monarch, 93, said she hoped that everyone would be able to ‘take pride’ in their present actions in the ‘years to come’.

She continued: ‘Those who come after us will say the Britons of this generation were as strong as any. That the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet good-humoured resolve and of fellow-feeling still characterise this country. The pride in who we are is not a part of our past, it defines our present and our future.’

The Queen’s address was seen by 23 million people around the world (AFP via Getty Images)

The Queen then went on to say she was reminded of the first broadcast she had ever made, in 1940, with the assistance of her sister Princess Margaret.

The Queen has only ever made four previous special addresses. These marked the first Gulf War in 1991, Princess Diana’s death in 1997, the death of the Queen Mother in 2002, and the Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

Coronavirus latest news and updates

Advertisement

Advertisement

Source: Metro News

Continue Reading

News

Celebrity deepfake videos made easy with new iPhone app

Published

on

By

A few years ago it took a lot of effort to create convincing deepfake videos but now anyone can do it with just a few clicks.

Impressions is a new app for the iPhone that launched around the world last week lets users turn themselves into celebrities and the results are spooky.

The way it works is incredibly straightforward: start up the app, pick a celebrity (the likes of Keanu Reeves and Matthew McConaughey are available) and film a small video. The footage is then uploaded and you get a deepfake of yourself as the celeb that you can then share online.

Advertisement

Advertisement

We’re going to go out on a limb here and assume the celebs haven’t agreed to have their likenesses used in the app.

According to Impressions CEO Murat Deligoz, the clips have to be uploaded to the company’s servers because mapping the celeb faces over a moving clip is a graphically intensive task.

‘We built the architecture in this manner because phone hardware is not yet capable of doing this type of intensive processing,’ he told the Daily Dot.

Impressions is available for iOS at the moment with Android coming in the future (App Store)
Impressions is available for iOS at the moment with Android coming in the future (App Store)

The company behind the app is based in San Francisco and uses algorithms to create the deepfake videos as quickly as possible – returning them to your iPhone in just a matter of minutes.

Deligoz says the company is constantly feeding its artificial intelligence thousands of pictures of celebrity faces in order for it to learn even more detail to create better videos.

Deepfake is a portmanteau combining the words ‘deep learning’ and ‘fake’, referring to simulated videos of human beings.

The tech uses machine learning or artificial intelligence to combine digital images with audio files to make convincing-looking fake footage of people uttering words they’ve actually said in real life.

We’ve already seen the Mona Lisa spring to life. but this is likely to be only the beginning of the avalanche of deepfakes which could make it impossible to work out if a video is genuine or simulated.

And now if anyone with an iPhone can do it, the struggle is about to get a lot more difficult.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Source: Metro News

Continue Reading

Trending