How Children Are Spoofing COVID-19 Tests With Soft Drinks

Children are always going to find cunning ways to bunk off school, and the latest trick is to fake a positive Covid-19 lateral flow test (LFT) using soft drinks. [Videos of the trick have been circulating on TikTok since December and a school in Liverpool, UK, recently wrote to parents to warn them about it.] So how are fruit juices, cola and devious kids fooling the tests, and is there a way to tell a fake positive result from a real one? I’ve tried to find out.

First, I thought it best to check the claims, so I cracked open bottles of cola and orange juice, then deposited a few drops directly onto LFTs. Sure enough, a few minutes later, two lines appeared on each test, supposedly indicating the presence of the virus that causes Covid-19.

It’s worth understanding how the tests work. If you open up an LFT device, you’ll find a strip of paper-like material, called nitrocellulose, and a small red pad, hidden under the plastic casing below the T-line. Absorbed on the red pad are antibodies that bind to the Covid-19 virus. They are also attached to gold nanoparticles (tiny particles of gold actually appear red), which allow us to see where the antibodies are on the device. When you do a test, you mix your sample with a liquid buffer solution, ensuring the sample stays at an optimum pH, before dripping it on the strip.

The fluid wicks up the nitrocellulose strip and picks up the gold and antibodies. The latter also bind to the virus, if present. Further up the strip, next to the T (for test), are more antibodies that bind the virus. But these antibodies are not free to move – they are stuck to the nitrocellulose. As the red smear of gold-labelled antibodies pass this second set of antibodies, these also grab hold of the virus. The virus is then bound to both sets of antibodies – leaving everything, including the gold, immobilised on a line next to the T on the device, indicating a positive test.

So, how can a soft drink cause the appearance of a red T line? One possibility is that the drinks contain something that the antibodies recognise and bind to, just as they do to the virus. But this is rather unlikely. The reason antibodies are used in tests like these is that they are incredibly fussy about what they bind to. There’s all sorts of stuff in the snot and saliva collected by the swabs you take from the nose and mouth, and the antibodies totally ignore this mess of protein, other viruses and remains of your breakfast. So they aren’t going to react to the ingredients of a soft drink. (Read more from “How Children Are Spoofing COVID-19 Tests With Soft Drinks” HERE)

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Listeria Outbreak Tied to Chicken Recall Turns Deadly

One person has died and three others remain hospitalized from a listeria outbreak tied to recently recalled fully cooked chicken, according to federal health officials.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted a warning notice online, which was last updated July 9, noting that there have been three illnesses and one death reported in two states since its investigation linking “listeria monocytogenes illnesses to precooked chicken produced at Tyson Foods Inc.” started in June.

The reported death occurred sometime between April 6 and June 5, 2021, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service’s (FSIS) recall notice.

The two agencies are working together after FSIS received reports on June 9 that two people fell ill with listeriosis.

“During routine sample collection, FSIS collected two precooked chicken samples from two establishments that are closely related genetically to Listeria monocytogenes from ill people,” FSIS wrote. “One of the samples was collected at Tyson Foods Inc.”

(Read more from “Listeria Outbreak Tied to Chicken Recall Turns Deadly” HERE)

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Freak Accident: Chef Dies after Falling into Boiling Pot of Soup

An Iraqi cook in Iraq’s northern district of Zakho, affiliated to Dohuk governorate in the Kurdistan, died after slipping and falling into a huge pot filled with hot soup.

The cook was rushed to a Dohuk hospital to receive treatment for severe burns, but after several days of trying to save his life, the cook died on Monday, as a result of 3rd-degree burns over 70 per cent of his body. . .

In the details of the incident, which occurred last Tuesday in the Hazel wedding hall, according to the local health and security authorities in the area, the victim was preparing dinner for the guests of a wedding party, and while he was busy preparing food, he fell into a hot soup pot.

The strange incident sparked widespread grief in the Kurdish and Iraqi social media platforms, as many commentators stressed the need to double and observe preventive measures inside restaurants and kitchens. (Read more from “Freak Accident: Chef Dies after Falling into Boiling Pot of Soup” HERE)

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Subway’s Tuna Sandwiches Found to Contain No Tuna Fish DNA

Subway is on the hook for its tuna once again after a lab report found there’s no actual tuna DNA in its sandwiches and wraps.

The New York Times had 60 inches of Subway tuna sandwiches from three different restaurants in Los Angeles lab tested after the chain was accused in a lawsuit reported earlier this year, alleging the fish is made from “a mixture of various concoctions,” first reported by the Washington Post.

The tuna was frozen and sent out to the lab, which determined “no amplifiable tuna DNA was present in the sample and so we obtained no amplification products from the DNA. Therefore, we cannot identify the species,” according to the Times.

The lab conducted a PCR test to see if Subway’s tuna featured one of five varying tuna species, the New York Times reported, explaining there are 15 species of fish that can be labeled tuna, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Seafood List.

The lab determined two potential reasons why no tuna was detected in the sample, saying, “One it’s so heavily processed that whatever we could pull out, we couldn’t make an identification … Or we got some and there’s just nothing there that’s tuna,” the newspaper noted. (Read more from “Subway’s Tuna Sandwiches Found to Contain No Tuna Fish DNA” HERE)

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Lobster Diver Survives After Being SWALLOWED by Whale

In what is an exceedingly rare incident, a commercial lobster diver was seriously injured Friday morning when he was caught in the mouth of a humpback whale feeding near a beach, his sister said.

Michael Packard, 56, is at Cape Cod Hospital with at least one broken leg, Cynthia Packard said.

“He was swallowed by the whale, he was in his mouth for about 20 seconds,” Cynthia Packard said in a phone interview Friday morning. . .

“There was all this action at the top of the water,” Packard said Mayo told her. Then the whale released her brother.

The call came in a little before 8 a.m. ET that a diver had suffered serious injuries to the legs after interacting with a whale. Provincetown Fire Chief Michael Trovato said he did not go to the call but confirmed that he heard that the diver had been injured by a whale. (Read more from “Lobster Diver Survives After Being SWALLOWED by Whale” HERE)

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Scientists Extend Mice’s Lives by 23 Percent, Humans Could Be Next

Israeli scientists have found a way to increase the life expectancy of mice by 23 percent, in groundbreaking research that they hope to replicate in humans — who could then reach an average age of 120 years old.

The researchers boosted the life expectancy of 250 rodents by increasing the supply of SIRT6, a protein that normally wanes in the aging process, the Times of Israel reported.

In the peer-reviewed research published in the journal Nature Communications, the scientists also said the protein-enriched animals were less prone to cancer.

“The change in life expectancy is significant when you consider that an equivalent jump in human life expectancy would have us living on average until almost 120,” Prof. Haim Cohen of Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan told the news outlet.

“The changes we saw in mice may be translatable to humans, and if so that would be exciting,” added Cohen, whose lab is working on identifying drugs that may allow the SIRT6 to safely be spiked in people. (Read more from “Scientists Extend Mice’s Lives by 23 Percent, Humans Could Be Next” HERE)

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Astrophysicist Explains Why UFO Videos Fail To Impress Him

A top astrophysics professor penned a column published Sunday that addresses the recent buzz around UFO sightings by US Navy personnel and the highly anticipated report on these sightings due out in the summer. . .

Adam Frank, the professor from the University of Rochester, wrote a column in the New York Times titled, “I’m a Physicist Who Searches for Aliens. UFOs Don’t Impress Me.” He wrote that he has been asked about these documented encounters because of his resume. (He won a recent grant from NASA to search for some kind of advanced technology on planets in far-away solar systems.)

He pointed to the videos that aired on CBS’ “60 Minutes” that were captured by US Navy pilots. He is skeptical of how much those videos can teach us about the objects.

“While some researchers have used the footage to make simple estimates of the accelerations and other flight characteristics of the UFOs, the results have been mixed at best. Skeptics have already shown that some of the motions seen in the videos (like the ocean skimming) may be artifacts of the cameras’ optics and tracking systems,” he wrote. (Read more from “Astrophysicist Explains Why UFO Videos Fail To Impress Him” HERE)

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Southwest Pilot Sentenced to Probation for Watching Porn, Exposing Himself on Flight

A Southwest Airlines pilot who watched porn and exposed his genitals to a female officer on a flight to Florida has been sentenced to one year of probation.

Michael Haak, 60, apologized before US Magistrate Judge J. Mark Coulson ordered him on Friday to serve probation and pay a $5,000 fine. . .

The incident occurred on a flight that he was piloting from Philadelphia to Orlando on Aug. 10 2020, federal prosecutors said. . .

When the plane reached cruising altitude, Haak got out of the pilot’s seat and “disrobed” and began watching pornographic material on a laptop computer in the cockpit, prosecutors said.

“As the plane continued its flight, Haak further engaged in inappropriate conduct in the cockpit, as the first officer continued to perform her duties as an assigned aircrew member,” federal prosecutors said in a statement. (Read more from “Southwest Pilot Sentenced to Probation for Watching Porn, Exposing Himself on Flight” HERE)

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Simple Thumb Test Can Reveal if You’re at Risk for Condition That Can Kill in Minutes

A simple thumb test can help indicate whether a person is harboring a hidden aortic aneurysm — which can prove fatal if left undetected and untreated, new research reveals.

The self-conducted test, proposed by experts affiliated with the Aortic Institute at Yale New Haven Hospital, requires holding up one hand as if signaling someone to stop.

Then, the person should flex their thumb as far as possible across the palm. If the thumb crosses beyond the far edge of the palm, the patient may be hiding a hidden aneurysm — an abnormal bulge that occurs in the wall of the major blood vessel that carries blood from the heart throughout the body.

Being able to stretch the thumb in that way is an indication that a patient’s long bones are excessive and their joints are lax — possible signs of connective tissue disease throughout the body, including the aorta, the researchers said. (Read more from ” (Read more from “Simple Thumb Test Can Reveal if You’re at Risk for Condition That Can Kill in Minutes” HERE)

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Scientists: This Is the Maximum Age Humans Can Physically Reach

Researchers believe they have identified the upper limit of human mortality: 150 years old. . .

Using an iPhone app and a huge amount of medical data from volunteers in the UK and US, scientists think they’ve confirmed the maximum age people can anticipate ever living to, the researchers wrote in a study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications.

Artificial intelligence analyzed the health- and fitness-related information, and researchers determined that the human lifespan is most significantly based on two data points: biological age (associated with stress, lifestyle and chronic diseases) and resilience (how quickly the person returns to normal after responding to a stressor).

Using these findings and related trends, researchers reckoned that, at around 120 to 150 years old, the human body shows “a complete loss” of resilience, resulting in an inability to recover, according to a press release. (Read more from “Scientists: This Is the Maximum Age Humans Can Physically Reach” HERE)

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