Training Ferrets to Recognize Virus Odor in Duck Droppings

The effort to train ferrets to recognize virus odor in mallard duck droppings may be paying off, suggests a new study. The study is: “Biodetection of a specific odor signature in mallard feces associated with infection by low pathogenic avian influenza A virus,” Glen J. Golden, Meredith J. Grady, Hailey E. McLean, Susan A. Shriner, […]

Today in Fluid Dynamics: “Can a Toilet Promote Virus Transmission?”

Pressure from the pandemic is bringing an urgent flow of partial information about the safety-or-danger of everyday activities. That flow brings us this new study: “Can a Toilet Promote Virus Transmission? From a Fluid Dynamics Perspective Featured,” Yun-yun Li, Ji-Xiang Wang, and Xi Chen, Physics of Fluids, vol. 32, 2020, 065107. The authors, at Southeast […]

Finger-Food Hygiene Attachments [new patent]

US-based inventor Peter Delgrosso points out that consuming finger foods can sometimes be a hygienically suboptimal process – with a (timely) reminder that, in the act of eating finger foods ; “Germs, bacteria, and other harmful elements (e.g., microorganisms, viruses, chemicals, etc.) on our hands and fingers can then make their way into the body.” […]

Masked and Un-Masked Spittle Produced When One Says “Stay Healthy”

The biomedical race to understand and tame the COVID-19 virus proceeds rapidly, drop by drop. This new spittle study is the very latest addition to the literature: “Visualizing Speech-Generated Oral Fluid Droplets with Laser Light Scattering,” Philip Anfinrud, Valentyn Stadnytskyi, Christina E. Bax, and Adriaan Bax, New England Journal of Medicine, April 15, 2020. (Thanks […]

Saying “FACE”, in gatherings in pandemic times

How to get people to pay more attention to NOT touching their eyes, nostrils, or mouth? We invited people, in a gathering, to say “FACE” whenever they saw a speaker touching a hand to their face. And most of those people said “FACE”, cheerily—appreciating that they were talking to themselves as much as to the […]

Is Facial Hair Biologically-Hazardous When a Pandemic Looms?

As a newly discovered corona virus spreads through an increasingly anxious world, advice is being offered—and sometimes mocked—about the mundane-seeming question of facial hair. The basic safety question was investigated more than fifty years ago—and that investigation was honored ten years ago with an Ig Nobel Prize. Also: Today the Trump administration took a new […]

“Overtaken by curiosity” Users Really Do Plug in USB Drives (which) They Find

“We investigate the anecdotal belief that end users will pick up and plug in USB flash drives they find by completing a controlled experiment in which we drop 297 flash drives on a large university campus. We find that the attack is effective with an estimated success rate of 45–98% and expeditious with the first […]