Over 7,000 Scientists, Doctors Call For COVID Herd Immunity, End To Lockdowns


08-10-20 10:17:00,

Authored by Steve Watson via Summit News,

Over six thousand scientists and doctors have signed a petition against coronavirus lockdown measures, urging that those not in the at risk category should be able to get on with their lives as normal, and that lockdown rules in both the US and UK are causing ‘irreparable damage’.


Those who have signed include professors from the world’s leading universities.

Oxford University professor Dr Sunetra Gupta was one of the authors of the open letter that was sent with the petition, along with Harvard University’s Dr Martin Kulldorff and Stanford’s Dr Jay Bhattacharya.

It declares that social distancing and mask mandates are causing ‘damaging physical and mental health impacts.’


The petition, dubbed the Great Barrington Declaration after the town in Massachusetts where it was written, has been signed by close to 73,000 members of the public at time of writing, as well as over 4,700 medical and public health scientists and around 3,200 medical practitioners.

“Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal,” it notes, adding “Keeping these [lockdown] measures in place until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed.”

“Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health,” the declaration also declares.

It continues, “The results (to name a few) include lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular [heart] disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health – leading to greater excess mortality in years to come, with the working class and younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden.”

“Keeping students out of school is a grave injustice,” the declaration adds.

“Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal, it concludes, explaining that “Simple hygiene measures, such as hand washing and staying home when sick should be practiced by everyone to reduce the herd immunity threshold.”

“Schools and universities should be open for in-person teaching. Extracurricular activities, such as sports, should be resumed. Young low-risk adults should work normally, rather than from home,” it emphasises.


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Top UK scientists urge govt to protect most vulnerable from Covid-19 instead of carpet-bombing virus


21-09-20 05:20:00,

The UK should focus on helping the most vulnerable – including residents in care homes worst affected by Covid-19 – instead of pursuing an “unfeasible” goal of suppressing the virus until a vaccine arrives, top scientists urged.

British scholars penned an open letter to PM Boris Johnson, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, as well as health chiefs in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, asking them to urgently reconsider the current epidemic strategy.

Authored by Oxford professors Sunetra Gupta and Carl Heneghan, as well as Karol Sikora of the University of Buckingham and Sam Williams of the Economic Insight consultancy, the letter says the “existing policy path is inconsistent with the known risk-profile of Covid-19.” The appeal has been signed by dozens of academics from the UK’s leading educational institutions.

The unstated objective currently appears to be one of suppression of the virus, until such a time that a vaccine can be deployed. This objective is increasingly unfeasible… and is leading to significant harm across all age groups, which likely offsets all benefits.

The letter comes days after Health Secretary Matt Hancock pledged “to do what it takes” in order to fight Covid-19. After the UK recorded close to 4,000 confirmed coronavirus cases on Sunday, the government is considering a “circuit-breaking” period of tightened measures which could be announced later this week, UK media revealed.

Such a move could reportedly involve bringing back restrictions in public spaces for a few weeks, most of which were relaxed throughout May and June. Pubs and restaurants could be mandated to close earlier across the country, but schools and most workplaces would be kept open. Closing some parts of the hospitality industry is also one of the options.

A group of us across medicine, academia and other areas have come together and sent this letter to the PM and his team.Professors Heneghan, Gupta and many others – a wide range of voices as this crisis affects everything.We desperately need a rethink to find a better balance. pic.twitter.com/0jHqta3KYE

— Professor Karol Sikora (@ProfKarolSikora) September 21, 2020

According to the authors of the open letter, blanket measures aren’t the way to go. “Instead, more targeted measures that protect the most vulnerable from Covid,

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Swedish scientists successfully ‘swap bodies’ in bizarre experiment, changing participants’ perception of themselves


31-08-20 10:02:00,

Swedish researchers have successfully created an out-of-body experience in which they “swapped participants’” bodies, drastically changing their perceptions of themselves while also interfering with their ability to make memories.

The team from the Brain, Body, and Self Laboratory led by Henrik Ehrsson took 33 pairs of friends and “swapped” their bodies using VR headsets, which allowed participants to see themselves in their friend’s body. 

“Body swapping is not a domain reserved for science fiction movies anymore,” said neuroscientist Pawel Tacikowski from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. 

The team also included a tactile element to the experiment so the participants could feel what they saw in the goggles, similar to 4D cinema experiences.

Pushing the experiment even further, when one participant was threatened with a prop knife, the other would break out in a sweat, showing just how far the dissociation could go, even in a limited timeframe. 

Before, during and after the minutes-long experiments, the participants were asked to rate both themselves and their friend on a number of personality traits such as talkativeness, cheerfulness, independence, and confidence. The answers changed dramatically over the course of the experiment. 

“We show that the self-concept has the potential to change really quickly, which brings us to some potentially interesting practical implications,” Tacikowski said.

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Tacikowski added that those living with depression often have what he called, “rigid and negative beliefs about themselves” which can greatly inhibit their everyday lives but, with a slight alteration of this illusion, it can have profound effects on these apparently intractable ideas of self. 

The researchers think the research may one day open doors into several depersonalization disorders, including schizophrenia, and potentially provide novel treatment options.

Curiously, the participants also performed worse in memory tests carried out shortly after they took part in the body swap, as if their memories faded along with their sense of self, however briefly.

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“People are better at remembering things that are related to themselves”

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Weaponized wild: Scientists discover how to control locust swarms using single chemical


13-08-20 08:25:00,

Researchers have discovered a possible secret weapon which could be used to not only keep the billions-strong hordes of locusts plaguing crops around the world at bay, but kill them off entirely.

Gigantic locust swarms have been threatening the food supplies of millions of humans in Asia and Africa since January, which along with wildfires were the only two plagues humanity had to worry about at the time, before the coronavirus spread across the globe.

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These swarms can devastate crops and turn day to night almost instantly, but now scientists have unlocked the secret to swarm behavior among migratory locusts: a pheromone called 4-vinylanisole (4VA). 

4VA is specific to only one subspecies of locust but could pave the way to discovering similar swarm control pheromones in other locusts. 

The study’s authors propose a variety of ways of weaponizing this pheromone against the locust, either by corralling them into specific areas before killing them off en masse or by bioengineering more passive, less genocidal solutions. 

“This study has found the long-anticipated but never-before-described aggregation pheromone that is responsible for bringing solitary locusts together and turning them into gregarious, dangerous swarming locusts,” said Leslie Vosshall, a neurobiologist who wrote an accompanying article explaining the study’s findings. 

The researchers found that 4VA was equally effective on male and female, as well as young and old locusts and that, as the density of the swarm increased, so too did the amount of 4VA in the air. 

Just four or five solitary locusts congregating together was all that was required to begin production and emission of 4VA, so the contagion effect was almost immediate.  

To test out their theories about the effectiveness of manipulating the pheromone, researchers used sticky traps baited with 4VA as a small-scale test which proved highly effective at both luring and killing the insects. 

They also proposed devising methods to prevent locusts from detecting 4VA altogether, by genetically engineering locusts without the receptor necessary to detect the pheromone,

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Scientists discover new kind of powerful, BOOMERANG earthquake which generates underground ‘sonic booms’


11-08-20 03:07:00,

For the first time in history, scientists have confirmed the existence of mysterious and extremely powerful ‘boomerang’ earthquakes, throwing open the possibility of even more devastating types of seismic events.

Researchers led by Stephen Hicks, an earthquake seismologist at the Imperial College London, studied data from 39 seismometers placed near the Mid-Atlantic Ridge to monitor seismic activity and finally found evidence of the oft-theorized but never witnessed boomerang quake, aka “back-propagating rupture.”

A 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck along a crack in the seafloor 650 miles off the coast of Liberia in August 2016, powerful but somewhat unremarkable, until the seismic data showed a major anomaly had just occurred. 

“Even though the fault structure seems simple, the way the earthquake grew was not, and this was completely opposite to how we expected the earthquake to look before we started to analyze the data,” Hicks said. 

The deep sea temblor started deep underground, rushing eastward towards the Mid-Atlantic Ridge before turning back on itself and rising up through the upper section of the fault at supershear speeds at roughly 11,000 miles per hour, fast enough to make it from New York to London in under 20 minutes.

The deep sea quake traveled so fast, it created the geological equivalent of a sonic boom in the process.

“To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time it has been reported,” said geophysicist Yoshihiro Kaneko of GNS Science in New Zealand.

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Mystery remains as to how frequent such boomerang quakes are and how many travel fast enough to create these underground “sonic booms.” Some in the scientific community have even begun to speculate that the magnitude-9.0 Tohoku earthquake that struck Japan in 2011 with devastating consequences may also have featured some of this boomerang rupture effect.  

“This might be actually more common than we think,” Kaneko added.

Properly understanding the surprisingly complex nature of these earthquakes will help us produce better models and more accurately predict where and how temblors might strike in the future,

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