Category Archives: Science

““This is a flu. This is like a flu,” Trump said on Feb. 26.”

The Washington Post: Fact-checking Trump’s letter blasting the World Health Organization.

“In previous administrations, a letter to an international organization signed by the U.S. president generally would have been carefully vetted and fact-checked. But President Trump’s May 18 letter to World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus contains a number of false or misleading statements. Here’s a sampling, as well as a guide to some of his claims”.

See also: NPR: Fact-checking And Assessing Trump’s Letter Of Rebuke To WHO.

“Still, Trump’s threats are already causing substantial damage to the global agency tasked with coordinating the world’s response to the pandemic, said Benjamin Mason Meier, associate professor of global health policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“For the United States to blame the World Health Organization for its own months and months and months of inaction seems factually untrue and designed to divide the world at a moment when global solidarity is needed most,” Meier said. “It undercuts the World Health Organization’s efforts to provide a collective response to this common threat [of the COVID-19 pandemic].””

“There is the mammal way and there is the bird way”

The Atlantic: Why Birds Do What They Do. “The more humans understand about their behavior, the more inaccessible their world seems.” By Jenny Odell.

“In all this struggling to imagine, I encounter a certain irony: The more I know about birds, the more inaccessible their perceptual world seems to me. From Jennifer Ackerman’s The Bird Way: A New Look at How Birds Talk, Work, Play, Parent, and Think, I learned that birds such as the vinous-throated parrotbill and the black Jacobin hummingbird make sounds beyond our range of hearing, while the mating displays of male black manakins feature a “high-speed somersault” so fast that humans can see it only in slowed-down video. Birds see colors that we never will, and distinguish among colors that look the same to us. Writing about how they interpret a wall of foliage as “a detailed three-dimensional world of highly contrasting individual leaves,” Ackerman laments that she has tried to see what birds see, but humans just can’t differentiate among the greens.

Learning more also means having more questions. Both books include recent research that illuminates new behavior, whose mechanics and purpose remain hypothetical or totally unknown. Ackerman writes that veeries, a type of North American thrush, can anticipate hurricanes months in advance, adjusting their nesting and migration schedules accordingly—but the way they do it is a “deep mystery.””

Link via MetaFilter.

Die beiden Bücher aus dem Artikel sind:

  • Jennifer Ackerman: The Bird Way: A New Look at How Birds Talk, Work, Play, Parent, and Think
  • David Allen Sibley: What It’s Like to Be a Bird
  • “In der vergangenen Woche lag dieser stabile R-Wert an keinem Tag über eins”

    Deutsche Welle: Corona-Krise: RKI führt neue R-Kennzahl ein. “Mehrere Tage lag hierzulande die Corona-Reproduktionszahl R wieder über eins. Und sie wirft wegen statistischer Unsicherheiten allerlei Fragen auf. Deshalb kündigte das Robert Koch-Institut nun eine neue Kennzahl an.”

    “Wie in anderen Ländern rechnen Experten auch in Deutschland mit einer hohen Dunkelziffer nicht erfasster Infektionen. [RKI-Vizepräsident Lars] Schaade betonte daher, das Einhalten der Abstands- und Hygieneregeln sei weiterhin sehr wichtig. “Helfen Sie mit, das Virus auch weiterhin in Schach zu halten. Es ist noch da, auch wenn es deutlich weniger geworden ist”, mahnte er.”

    Crashkurs zu den Daten über Corona (WDR): Was die Daten zu Corona aussagen und was nicht. “Mit dem neuen Coronavirus preschen täglich neue Zahlen auf uns ein – mehr Infizierte, neue Todesfälle, dazu Berechnungen über Verdopplungsraten und Sterberate. Wir erklären, was das bedeutet, was oft falsch gemacht wird und wo die Wissenschaftler noch streiten.”

    Erklärt werden Basisreproduktionszahl, effektive Reproduktionszahl, Morbidität, Prävalenz, Verdopplungszeit, Mortalität (Todesrate, Sterblichkeit), Letalität, Fall-Verstorbenen-Anteil (CFR, englisch: case fatality rate), infection fatality rate (IFR), Manifestationsindex.

    “A Robust Public Health Care System”

    The New York Times: A German Exception? Why the Country’s Coronavirus Death Rate Is Low. “The pandemic has hit Germany hard, with more than 92,000 people infected. But the percentage of fatal cases has been remarkably low compared to those in many neighboring countries.”

    “All across Germany, hospitals have expanded their intensive care capacities. And they started from a high level. In January, Germany had some 28,000 intensive care beds equipped with ventilators, or 34 per 100,000 people. By comparison, that rate is 12 in Italy and 7 in the Netherlands.

    By now, there are 40,000 intensive care beds available in Germany.

    Some experts are cautiously optimistic that social distancing measures might be flattening the curve enough for Germany’s health care system to weather the pandemic without producing a scarcity of lifesaving equipment like ventilators.

    “It is important that we have guidelines for doctors on how to practice triage between patients if they have to,” Professor Streeck said. “But I hope we will never need to use them.”

    The time it takes for the number of infections to double has slowed to about eight days. If it slows a little more, to between 12 and 14 days, Professor Herold said, the models suggest that triage could be avoided.

    “The curve is beginning to flatten,” she said.”