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COVID-19 messages may need to have greater impact – The Sudbury Star

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As the COVID-19 pandemic drags on, there’s a growing risk people may be tuning out information they need to know, says Dr. David Colby.

This undated transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2, also known as novel coronavirus, the virus that causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S. Virus particles are shown emerging from the surface of cells cultured in the lab. The spikes on the outer edge of the virus particles give coronaviruses their name, crown-like.

Photo supplied

As the COVID-19 pandemic drags on, there’s a growing risk people may be tuning out information they need to know, says Dr. David Colby.

“Higher-impact” messages may be necessary, said Chatham-Kent’s medical officer of health.

“There is such a thing as message fatigue as well,” Colby said. “Personally, I think it’s not a question of increasing the amount of education we’re doing but rather changing it up into a different style so that it refocuses peoples’ attention on the issues at hand.”

If people keep seeing the same message, eventually they no longer notice it, he said.

“Improvements can always be made,” Colby said. “We never want to get to the point where we basically sit back and say, ‘We’ve done it all. Let’s wait and see what happens.’

“We’re always searching to have a greater impact on people’s behaviour to the benefit of their health.”

The 401 new cases reported Friday in Ontario were the province’s highest single-day total since June 7 had 415 cases.

The numbers are better in Chatham-Kent, which reported no new cases for the sixth consecutive day Friday. The municipality’s cumulative total is 366 cases.

One more recovery raised Chatham-Kent’s total to 362. No one is hospitalized.

Active cases are down to two. Both stem from close contact with other cases.

There have been 25,756 individuals tested in Chatham-Kent.

“As the provincial numbers of new cases are increasing substantially, resulting in all this concern … we are not seeing that yet here,” Colby said, “but we will always be vigilant to deal with whatever comes our way, both in a reactive but especially a proactive way.”

The numbers were reversed in late July and early August. New cases were spiking in Chatham-Kent but sinking overall in the province.

“As our cases were going up, the provincial cases were going down sharply,” Colby said. “At a time when the (daily) number of new cases in the province was less than a hundred, that’s when we were dealing with our huge surge. We dealt with that. We are at a very, very low level now.”

Sarnia-Lambton has one active case, Middlesex-London has 53 active after 13 new cases were confirmed Friday, and Windsor-Essex County has 89 active cases.

Colby sympathizes with people suffering from pandemic fatigue.

“It’s difficult because people are tired of this, and none more than those on the front line that are dealing with it in public health,” he said. “It is very difficult.”

Anyone who says there’s no pandemic shouldn’t look to him for support.

“I have no idea how to deal with people that deny there’s a pandemic,” he said. “It’s sort of, to me, like people that deny that there are trees and rocks.”

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NASA finds rare metal asteroid worth more than global economy – MINING.com

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16 Psyche was actually discovered in 1852, but this is the first time scientists get a closer look. What makes it special is that, unlike most asteroids that are either rocky or icy, 16 Psyche is made almost entirely of iron and nickel, a study published this week in The Planetary Science Journal shows.

Tracy Becker, a planetary scientist and author of the paper, says the asteroid is likely the leftover core of a planet that never properly formed because it was hit by objects in our solar system and effectively lost its mantle and crust.

Closer look

While Hubble has been able to get clear images of 16 Psyche, only a visit to its surface will reveal what it’s really like. Fortunately, NASA already has plans to do just that as part of its Discovery Program, with an orbiter set to launch from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center in August 2022.

The mission would arrive at 16 Psyche in January 2026 and spend at least 21 months mapping and studying the asteroid’s unique properties.

“To understand what really makes up a planet and to potentially see the inside of a planet is fascinating,” says Becker, who works at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas. “Once we get to Psyche, we’re really going to understand if that’s the case, even if it doesn’t turn out as we expect.” 

If the mission could kindly bring the asteroid back to Earth, every person on the planet — all 7.8 billion of us — would get roughly $1.2 billion, based on current metal prices.

NOW READ: Moon richer in metals than previously thought

NASA finds rare metal asteroid worth more than global economy
Artist’s-concept illustration depicts NASA’s Psyche mission spacecraft near the metal asteroid 16 Psyche. (Image courtesy of NASA.)

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Two Canadian technologies are going to the Moon – Canada NewsWire

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LONGUEUIL, QC, Oct. 29, 2020 /CNW Telbec/ – The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is helping prepare Canada’s space industry for future missions to the Moon. The CSA is awarding $3.3 million in contributions to support the demonstration of two lunar technology payloads and their launch to the Moon.

This is the first time Canada will conduct a technology demonstration in lunar orbit and on the Moon’s surface. It represents a significant step in Canada’s participation in the next chapter of Moon exploration.

The demonstrations are:

  • Ontario company Canadensys Aerospace Corporation will develop, launch and test a lightweight and energy-efficient 360° camera that will capture stunning panoramic images of the lunar surface.
  • Quebec-based NGC Aerospace Ltd. will demonstrate a planetary navigation system similar to the GPS technology used on Earth. The system will use features on the surface of the Moon to guide and land a lunar vehicle safely, in a precise location.

These innovative technologies will enable new commercial opportunities and position the Canadian space industry for the future economy created by Moon exploration. The CSA will continue to support Canadian organizations by providing a wide range of opportunities for Canadian science and technology activities in lunar orbit, on the Moon’s surface, and beyond.

Quote

“In supporting the Canadian space sector, our Government is committed to the growth and career development of tomorrow’s industry leaders. Not only will this funding put Canada on the Moon, but it will also help strengthen Canada’s R&D capabilities, advance our scientific knowledge, and put Canada in a prime position for further space exploration.”

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Quick facts

  • Canadensys Aerospace Corporation is receiving a contribution of $2.49 million.
  • NGC Aerospace Ltd. is receiving a contribution of $840,153.
  • The two technologies will launch to the Moon by April 2024.
  • Funding for these projects stems from the CSA’s Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program (LEAP). LEAP is preparing Canada’s space sector for humanity’s return to the Moon by earmarking $150 million over five years to help small and medium-sized businesses in Canada develop new technologies to be used and tested in lunar orbit and on the Moon’s surface in fields that include artificial intelligence, robotics, and health.
  • The two contributions are the first awarded as part of the LEAP Capability Demonstration Announcement of Opportunity.

Links

Contributions Awarded – Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program (LEAP) 
Canada’s role in lunar exploration
Space Strategy for Canada
Innovation and Skills Plan

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SOURCE Canadian Space Agency

For further information: Canadian Space Agency, Media Relations Office, Telephone: 450-926-4370, Website: http://asc-csa.gc.ca, Email: [email protected]

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New coral reef taller than Eiffel Tower found off Australian coast – CBC.ca

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Australian scientists found a detached coral reef on the Great Barrier Reef that exceeds the height of the Empire State Building and the Eiffel Tower, the Schmidt Ocean Institute said this week, the first such discovery in over 100 years.

The “blade like” reef is nearly 500 metres tall and 1.5 kilometres wide, said the institute founded by ex-Google boss Eric Schmidt and his wife, Wendy. That’s nearly as tall as the CN Tower, whose antenna reaches a height of 553 metres. 

The reef lies 40 metres below the ocean surface and about six kilometres from the edge of Great Barrier Reef.

A team of scientists from James Cook University, led by Robin Beaman, were mapping the northern sea floor of the Great Barrier Reef on board the institute’s research vessel Falkor, when they found the reef on Oct. 20. “We are surprised and elated by what we have found,” said Beaman.

He said it was the first detached reef of that size to be discovered in over 120 years and that it was thriving with a “blizzard of fish” in a healthy ecosystem.

The discovery comes after a study earlier this month found the Great Barrier Reef had lost more than half its coral in the last three decades.

WATCH | Scientists explore the huge, newly discovered reef

Australian scientists have discovered a coral reef that’s millions of years old and dwarfs the Empire State Building. 1:51

Reef explored by robot

Using the underwater robot known as SuBastian, the scientists filmed their exploration of the new reef, collecting marine samples on the way, which will be archived and placed in the Queensland Museum and the Museum of Tropical Queensland.

“To not only 3D map the reef in detail, but also visually see this discovery with SuBastian is incredible,” Beaman added.

A robotic arm takes a sample from the reef, in this still image taken from video on Oct. 25. (Schmidt Ocean Institute via REUTERS)

Although the northern section of the Great Barrier Reef suffered from bleaching in 2016, Beaman said this detached reef didn’t display any evidence of damage.

Bleaching occurs when the water is too warm, forcing coral to expel living algae and causing it to calcify and turn white.

The Great Barrier Reef runs 2,300 km (1,429 miles) down Australia’s northeast coast spanning an area half the size of Texas. It was world heritage listed in 1981 by UNESCO as the most extensive and spectacular coral reef ecosystem on the planet.

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