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posted by martyb on Tuesday January 28 2020, @11:38PM   Printer-friendly
from the clearing-the-air dept.

https://blogs.sciencemag.org/pipeline/archives/2020/01/27/coronavirus

As the world knows, we face an emerging virus threat in the Wuhan coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak. The problem is, right now there are several important things that we don't know about the situation. The mortality rate, the ease of human-human transmission, the rate of mutation of the virus (and how many strains we might be dealing with – all of these need more clarity. Unfortunately, we've already gone past the MERS outbreak in severity (which until now was the most recent new coronavirus to make the jump into humans). If we're fortunate, though, we'll still have something that will be worrisome, but not as bad as (say) the usual flu numbers (many people don't realize that influenza kills tens of thousands of people in the US each year). The worst case, though, is something like 1918, and we really, really don't need that.

[Ed note: The linked story is by Derek Lowe who writes a "commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry". He is perhaps best known for his "Things I Won't Work With" blog entries which are as hilarious as they are... eye opening. I have found him to be a no-nonsense writer who "tells things as they are", holding no punches. The whole story is worth reading as he clearly explains what a coronavirus is, about the current one that reportedly originated in Wuhan, China, what could be done about it, how long that would likely take, and what can be done for those who have already been infected. --martyb]

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Snotnose on Wednesday January 29 2020, @01:37AM (1 child)

    by Snotnose (1623) on Wednesday January 29 2020, @01:37AM (#950390)

    I'm an embedded software engineer, not a chemist. Found Things I won't Work With maybe 5-10 years ago, and have made his blog a daily destination ever since. Once or twice a week he has something I find interesting, plus as others have said the guy is a helluva writer.

    --
    Now I'm worried. I just spent several minutes using Where's My Droid and my phone's flashlight to, ... find my phone.
    Starting Score:    1  point
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       Interesting=1, Total=1
    Extra 'Interesting' Modifier   0  
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    Total Score:   3  
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29 2020, @03:00AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29 2020, @03:00AM (#950424)

    I'm an embedded software engineer, not a chemist.

    See also appeal to non-authorities [wikipedia.org].
    The "tells things as they are" part may not be such a clear cut verdict when it comes from a S/N editor/submitter. Taking Derek's or anyone's choices as "the things that are" means one may never discover an actual value or less dangerous paths in things he deemed useless or too dangerous.

    Granted, internalizing the cautionary messages on his writings is a thing that may make all the difference in regards with the life and limb of the daredevils who wander in dangerous territories.

    Once or twice a week he has something I find interesting, plus as others have said the guy is a helluva writer.

    The above being said, nothing wrong in enjoying his style and picking whatever information one finds useful.