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Virus

A blog about viruses in general and Coronavirus (CoV), COV-19, and SARS-CoV-2 in particular. I hope to make this a collection of blogs that reference useful information about the virus and dealing with it over a long period of time.

NJEDA Small Business Initiative for COVID-19

morreale Monday 30 of March, 2020
The NJEDA has announced some new initiatives to support small business due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiatives include:
  • Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program
  • Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Program
  • Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI) Emergency Loan Loss Reserve Fund
  • CDFI Emergency Assistance Grant Program
  • NJ Entrepreneur Support Program
  • Small Business Emergency Assistance Guarantee Program
  • Emergency Technical Assistance Program

For more information see: COVID-19/Novel Coronavirus Information for New Jersey Businesses

Social Distancing Score Board

morreale Monday 30 of March, 2020
Unacast has created an interactive Social Distancing Score Board using data from the Johns Hopkins Git repository. It shows the reduction in travel by state and county. Our state received a score of A, but we seem to have had a spike of infections.

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The public use of mask hypothesis

morreale Monday 30 of March, 2020
In their blog, Public use of masks to control the coronavirus pandemic researchers at the University of Bath hypothesize that public uses of masks may help control the coronavirus pandemic. The idea is that masks help reduce the spread of the virus by reducing the amount of droplets expelled and inhaled. The blog notes that surgical and N95 masks appear to be effective. Non-medical masks appear to be effective as well according to the blog. The research found that the effectiveness of improvised masks are unknown because of flawed study controls.

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In another older study, A cluster randomised trial of cloth masks compared with medical masks in healthcare workers found that infection rates for healthcare workers using cloth masks were higher, than the infection rates for worker using medical masks. The study concluded that cloth masks are not suitable for healthcare workers.

Help simulate COVID-19 protein folding

morreale Tuesday 24 of March, 2020
Folding@home (FAH or F@h) is a distributed computing project for simulating protein dynamics, including the process of protein folding and the movements of proteins implicated in a variety of diseases. Folding@home is working to start simulations of the COVID-19 protein. The simulations are run on a volunteer network of distributed computers. Volunteers install an app on their computer and the simulation runs when the users computer is idle. To support the effort, download, install the program, and configure it to allocate computer resources as desired. The app is available for Windows, Linux, and macOS.

Linus Tech Tips has a video Here's How YOU Can Help Find a Cure for COVID-19! that shows them setting up a machine to run the Folding@home.

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By Jftrempe (Own work) CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Interview with Caltech Virologist David Ho

morreale Tuesday 24 of March, 2020
Caltech has posted an interview with virologist David Ho on the COVID-19 outbreak. David Ho is an expert on viral outbreaks and the HIV/AID virus. The article provides may insights and a long term perspective on COVID-19.

Merlin

morreale Tuesday 24 of March, 2020
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories (LLNL) has placed open-source Merlin on GitHub. It is being used to run large scale machine learning workflow simulations for drug discovery and AI simulations on COVID-19. Maestro is another tool to help define and automate multi-step workflows.

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Helpful Engineering

morreale Saturday 21 of March, 2020
Helpful Engineering is a volunteer organization, with engineers, scientists and doctors around the world dedicated to helping the world address the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Open ventilator and other coronavirus projects

morreale Friday 20 of March, 2020
A number of groups are working on open ventilators and other hardware projects to contribute to the shortages of medical supplies, equipment, and Personal Protection Equipment due to the coronavirus COVID-19. I heard an estimate today on the news that 3 billion masks will be needed in the US, for example. The scale of the impact of the coronavirus is hard to fathom. A short list of projects are shown below.

Open Projects


Request for Information

Coronavirus Tech Handbook

morreale Tuesday 17 of March, 2020
The Coronavirus Tech Handbook is a effort by the open hardware community how to provide support and hardware for the coronavirus outbreak. This include ideas for Open Source Ventilators and Oxygen Concentrators, working remotely, caring for children, fighting misinformation, and tools for schools and scientist to name a few.

Distrubuted teams

morreale Tuesday 17 of March, 2020
At the 2020 Open Hardware Summit, @1lemore posted a useful link on with information running fully distributed teams. The distributed-playbook is located on GitHub. Some of the information is located on a Google drive that requires permission to access, but much of the accessible text is very good. Other resources include:

Automated COVID-19 Testing

morreale Tuesday 17 of March, 2020
Opentrons builds bio robots and posted a blog on Testing for COVID-19 with Opentrons that describes how to test for the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and how to build a high throughput testing system for the virus. The plan shows how to build up a system to test 1 million samples by the end of June using 10 labs testing 100,000 samples per week).

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Robot system: source Opentrons

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Testing ramp to 1 million samples: source Opentrons


The OpenCovid19 Initiative

morreale Tuesday 17 of March, 2020
The OpenCovid19 Initiative is a program is to collectively develop open-source and low-cost tools and methodologies that are safe and easy to use to fight the Covid19 Pandemic. The project originates from the non-profit Just One Giant Lab (JOGL) headquartered in Paris, France in connection with the Community Bio Initiative at MIT MediaLab and the Open Source Pharma Foundation.

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