• Entertainment

    John Legend, Chrissy Teigen Pick Up Penthouse Next Door

    New York City’s high-end real estate market was in a discernible slump long before the coronavirus pandemic came along and all but shuttered the property market across the country. However, there were any number of notable, big dollar deals in the works long before people were asked to shelter in place and non-essential businesses were […]

  • U.S.

    A Google Plan to Wipe Out Mosquitoes Appears to Be Working

    (Bloomberg) -- An experimental program led by Google parent Alphabet Inc. to wipe out disease-causing mosquitoes succeeded in nearly eliminating them from three test sites in California’s Central Valley.Stamping out illness caused by mosquitoes is one of Alphabet unit Verily’s most ambitious public-health projects. The effort appears to be paying off, according to a paper published in the journal Nature Biotechnology on Monday. Verily is also running coronavirus triage and testing in parts of California. Bradley White, the lead scientist on the Debug initiative, said mosquito-suppression is even more important during the pandemic, so that outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue fever don’t further overwhelm hospitals.Since 2017, the company has released millions of lab-bred Aedes aegypti male mosquitoes into several Fresno County neighborhoods during mosquito season. The insects are bred in Verily labs to be infected with a common bacterium called Wolbachia. When these male mosquitoes mate with females in the wild, the offspring never hatch.In results of the trial published on Monday, Verily revealed that throughout the peak of the 2018 mosquito season, from July to October, Wolbachia-infected males successfully suppressed more than 93% of the female mosquito population at field test sites. Only female mosquitoes bite.Working with the local mosquito abatement district and MosquitoMate, which developed the mosquitoes originally, Verily released as many as 80,000 mosquitoes each day in three neighborhoods from April 2018 through October 2018. In most collections, per night Verily found one or zero female mosquitoes in each trap designed to monitor the population. At other sites without the lab-bred bugs, there were as many as 16 females per trap.“We had a vision of what this should look like and we managed to do that pretty perfectly,” said Jacob Crawford, a senior scientist on the Debug project.In the arid climate of the Central Valley, disease is an unlikely result of a mosquito bite. But in the hot, humid regions of the tropics and subtropics, diseases caused by the Aedes aegypti, such as dengue fever, Zika virus and chikungunya, kill tens of thousands of people every year. Releasing masses of Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes into the wild might wipe out entire populations of deadly mosquitoes and the diseases they carry.Verily is not the only organization pursuing an end to mosquito-borne disease. Microsoft Corp. co-Founder Bill Gates has pledged more than $1 billion to help wipe out malaria, including controversial efforts to genetically modify mosquitoes. Infecting mosquitoes with Wolbachia, which occurs naturally in some mosquito species, is a popular approach rooted in an old insect control strategy called sterile insect technique. What Verily’s efforts offer is not just evidence that Wolbachia can help wipe out disease-causing mosquitoes but potential ways to make such efforts work on a massive scale. Last year, Verily released about 14.4 million mosquitoes in Fresno County.Initial small-scale Fresno trials in 2016, run by an upstart called MosquitoMate, were the first time male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes infected with the bacteria were ever released in the U.S. The following year, Verily stepped in, bringing more advanced technology to the breeding and release process that could make it possible to expand such efforts to entire cities or regions.The new paper details many of those technologies, such as an automated process for separating male and female mosquitoes in the lab, and software that helps to determine exactly where to release altered male mosquitoes for maximum effectiveness.“Once you try to start rearing hundreds of thousands of mosquitoes a week, you run into all sorts of problems,” said White. “Mosquitoes may be everywhere, but they are really finicky and difficult to grow.”Verily has expanded its partnerships to include Singapore’s National Environment Agency. Trials there have entered a fourth phase to cover 121 urban residential blocks and about 45,000 residents. Verily is eyeing partnerships in South America and is in talks to launch in the Caribbean.Within a few years, said Crawford, Verily hopes the program will cover entire regions. Without intervention, he said, the public health toll of mosquito-born illness will only grow.“This is something that’s not going away on its own,” he said.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Business

    Coronavirus to Permanently Change Way of Life, Here Are 4 Trends

    Investors' farsightedness is needed to reap rewards from the shift in human consumption-spending pattern.

  • Science
    Popular Mechanics

    How the Obscure Science of Rubbing Built the Past and Will Shape the Future

    From plate tectonics to knee replacements, tribology plays a big part in our world—and barely anybody knows about it.

  • World
    Associated Press

    Sex. Drugs. Virus. Venezuela elites still party in pandemic

    They whiled away the week on a sex- and drug-fueled romp: dancing on white-sand beaches and frolicking on a Caribbean island with prostitutes from Europe, some snapping selfies with famous reggaeton artists. For some of Venezuela’s high-flying “Bolichicos" — the privileged offspring of the socialist revolution — the party hasn’t stopped amid a widening pandemic in a country already gripped by crisis. To date, the virus has claimed only seven confirmed fatalities in Venezuela.

  • Sports

    Angry NASCAR Driver Bubba Wallace Quits Race Halfway; Loses Sponsorship

    Richard Petty Motorsports driver Bubba Wallace must be having a really bad day at Sunday's video game simulation of eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series last April 5-- enough to rage-quit in the middle of the race and lose a lucrative sponsorship deal.In case you didn't know, the term "rage quit" is a well-known gamer term for a player who gets so mad that they prematurely quit the race.Wallace, who was one of the 32 drivers vying for first place in the Food City Showdown at a Virtual Bristol Motor Speedway,  had a messy encounter with one of the racers.During the 11th lap of the 150-lap race, he was pinned into the wall by Clint Bowyer, and also swung up into Wallace's Chevy Camaro—wrecking it in the process. Wallace, apparently fed up by the messy encounter,  quit the race in a fit of rage.After the "incident", Wallace took to Twitter and tried to make the best of his rage-quitting by showing that he wasn't taking it too seriously.Unfortunately, his sponsor, joint/muscle cream company Blue-Emu, was dead seriously peeved. In fact, they were so serious that they decided to pull out their sponsorship of Wallace. Ben Blessing, executive vice president of Blue-Emu was even quoted in saying : “Can you imagine if he did that in real life on a track?”Blessing also told Action Network that they thought sponsoring Wallace was a "blessing in disguise", but found out they aren't sponsoring a professional driver, but someone like  "my 13-year-old son" who broke his controller while building a house in a game.Too bad for Wallace--Emu company has sponsored his real-life racing team, and just recently signed a multi-year contract to become an official partner of NASCAR.Goes to show why losing your cool and quitting halfway can make you lose a lot of money--just like that. Also Read:  Leclerc to Use Same Engine in China Fast Facts about Lewis Hamilton