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Obsolete COVID-19 information continues to circulate in Okanagan – Salmon Arm Observer

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The B.C. government says a COVID-19 fact sheet, downplaying the effectiveness of a mask in keeping oneself safe from viral infection, is outdated.

This comes after the one-page fact sheet, bearing the logos of the provincial ministry of health and the BC Centre for Disease Control, circulated social media in the South Okanagan.

A copy was recently received at the Summerland Review.

The sheet, titled Coronavirus Protection, lists seven suggestions in point form.

The first six are items which have been mentioned time and again, including washing hands, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces and staying home when sick.

The seventh point states, “wearing a mask is not an effective measure to keep yourself safe from viral infection.”

The fact sheet, although originated from the BC Centre of Disease Control, is now an obsolete document, according to the government.

Ministry of Health spokesperson Shannon Greer said the COVID-19 fact sheet was created by the BC Centre for Disease Control, but was removed from the website and from distribution in May after public health began recommending the use of non-medical masks in situations where one cannot keep a safe distance from others.

READ ALSO: Wearing non-medical masks now recommended in public: Canada’s top doctor

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Masks now mandatory on public transit, ferries in B.C.

The province and the BC Centre for Disease Control have advocated wearing non-medical face masks as a way of slowing the spread of the virus.

The BC Centre for Disease Control also has information about the use of non-medical masks, stating that masks do not replace other preventative measures.

“Masks, face coverings and gloves are the least protective measures for reducing transmission of COVID-19. Masks, when worn properly and for short periods, may offer some protection especially when you are not able to keep a 2 metre distance from others,” a statement on the BC Centre for Disease Control website reads.

The centre includes information on cloth masks, other cloth face coverings including bandanas and scarves, industrial respirators and medical personal protective equipment.

They explain cloth masks should cover the nose and mouth and should fit snugly and securely, yet still allowing the wearer to breathe easily.

Medical personal protective equipment, such as medical and surgical masks and medical N95 respirators are listed by the BC Centre for Disease Control as well, but these pieces of equipment should be reserved for health care workers, not the general public.

“Non-medical masks are meant to protect other people in case you are infected and are recommended to be used in situations when physical distancing is challenging (i.e…public transportation),” said Greer.

“COVID-19 is spread through infected droplets from a sick person’s mouth or nose. Wearing a mask when you are sick, helps protect people around you from the droplets that carry the virus. It does not guarantee that you, as the wearer, are protected.”

For those who are healthy, wearing a non-medical or cloth mask or face covering can help to protect others. This is because some people can spread the virus when they have very mild symptoms or may not know that they are infected. In this case, wearing a mask can help protect others by containing your own droplets when talking, coughing or sneezing.

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How to watch historic SpaceX rocket launch more Starlink satellites Friday – CNET

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The Falcon 9 rocket booster that sent NASA astronauts to the International Space Station in May is scheduled to get recycled again Friday, when SpaceX plans to send 60 more Starlink satellites to orbit atop its column of fire. 

Elon Musk’s trademark reusable rocket will be making its third flight when it lifts off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center at 10:57 a.m. PT (1:57 p.m. ET). This specific unit sent astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to orbit in May and then launched a South Korean satellite in July. So far, SpaceX has managed to launch and land the same rocket up to six times

The launch was originally scheduled for Thursday, but it got scrubbed and pushed back a day due to a “recovery issue.” It could be that SpaceX didn’t like the look of the weather in the Atlantic where the first stage and the fairing were set to be recovered. 

One half of the nose cone, or fairing, atop the rocket has also seen two previous flights, both of them earlier Starlink missions. 

This should be a fairly routine launch. It will be the 13th Starlink mission so far, and SpaceX is ultimately planning on dozens more as it grows its broadband mega-constellation.


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SpaceX Starship prototype takes first ‘hop’

1:01

Following the launch and separation of the rocket’s second stage and payload, the first-stage booster will again return to Earth to land on a droneship in the Atlantic. 

SpaceX will stream the entire thing via the feed above, starting at about 10 minutes before launch.

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Scientists Find Efficient Way to Convert Carbon Dioxide into Ethylene | Chemistry, Materials Science – Sci-News.com

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A team of U.S. researchers has developed copper nanowires with rich surface steps to catalyze a chemical reaction that reduces carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions while generating ethylene (C2H4), an important chemical used to produce plastics, solvents, cosmetics and other important products globally.

Copper represents an effective catalyst in reducing carbon dioxide to hydrocarbons or oxygenates, but it is often plagued by a low product selectivity and limited long-term stability. Choi et al report that copper nanowires with rich surface steps exhibit a remarkably high Faradaic efficiency for ethylene that can be maintained for over 200 hours. Image credit: Choi et al, doi: 10.1038/s41929-020-00504-x.

“The idea of using copper to catalyze this reaction has been around for a long time, but the key is to accelerate the rate so it is fast enough for industrial production,” said co-lead author Professor William Goddard III, a researcher in the Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science at Caltech.

“This study shows a solid path towards that mark, with the potential to transform ethylene production into a greener industry using carbon dioxide that would otherwise end up in the atmosphere.”

Using copper to kick start the carbon dioxide reduction into ethylene reaction has suffered two strikes against it.

First, the initial chemical reaction also produced hydrogen and methane — both undesirable in industrial production.

Second, previous attempts that resulted in ethylene production did not last long, with conversion efficiency tailing off as the system continued to run.

To overcome these two hurdles, Professor Goddard III and colleagues focused on the design of the copper nanowires with highly active steps — similar to a set of stairs arranged at atomic scale.

One intriguing finding of this collaborative study is that this step pattern across the nanowires’ surfaces remained stable under the reaction conditions, contrary to general belief that these high energy features would smooth out.

This is the key to both the system’s durability and selectivity in producing ethylene, instead of other end products.

The scientists demonstrated a carbon dioxide-to-ethylene conversion rate of greater than 70%, much more efficient than previous designs, which yielded at least 10% less under the same conditions.

The new system ran for 200 hours, with little change in conversion efficiency, a major advance for copper-based catalysts.

In addition, the comprehensive understanding of the structure-function relation illustrated a new perspective to design highly active and durable carbon dioxide reduction catalyst in action.

“We are at the brink of fossil fuel exhaustion, coupled with global climate change challenges,” said co-lead author Professor Yu Huang, a researcher in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles.

“Developing materials that can efficiently turn greenhouse gases into value-added fuels and chemical feedstocks is a critical step to mitigate global warming while turning away from extracting increasingly limited fossil fuels.”

“This integrated experiment and theoretical analysis presents a sustainable path towards carbon dioxide upcycling and utilization.”

The team’s paper was published in the journal Nature Catalysis.

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C. Choi et al. Highly active and stable stepped Cu surface for enhanced electrochemical CO2 reduction to C2H4. Nat Catal, published online September 7, 2020; doi: 10.1038/s41929-020-00504-x

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NASA mulls Venus mission after recent discoveries | Reuters Video – Reuters UK

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Oddly Enough

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NASA is considering approving by next April up to two planetary science missions from four proposals under review, including one to Venus that scientists involved in the project said could help determine whether or not that planet harbors life. Freddie Joyner has more.

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