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Dalmeet Singh Chawla, Influential pandemic simulation verified by code checkers. nature 582 (2020), 323–324.
Model shown to be reproducible after software engineers called the underlying code ‘a buggy mess’.
Ferguson — who didn’t comment on the criticisms at the time — agrees that the simulation didn’t use best-practice coding methods, because it was adapted from a model created more than a decade ago to simulate an influenza pandemic. There was no time to generate new simulations of the same complexity from scratch, he says, but criticisms of the code didn’t affect the science of the simulation.
David A. Drew et al., Rapid implementation of mobile technology for real-time epidemiology of COVID-19. science 368 (2020), 1362–1367. <DOI:10.1126/science.abc0473>.
The rapid pace of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) presents challenges to the robust collection of population-scale data to address this global health crisis. We established the COronavirus Pandemic Epidemiology (COPE) Consortium to unite scientists with expertise in big data research and epidemiology to develop the COVID Symptom Study, previously known as the COVID Symptom Tracker, mobile application. This application—which offers data on risk factors, predictive symptoms, clinical outcomes, and geographical hotspots—was launched in the United Kingdom on 24 March 2020 and the United States on 29 March 2020 and has garnered more than 2.8 million users as of 2 May 2020. Our initiative offers a proof of concept for the repurposing of existing approaches to enable rapidly scalable epidemiologic data collection and analysis, which is critical for a data-driven response to this public health challenge.
David A. Drew, Long H. Nguyen, Claire J. Steves, Cristina Menni, Maxim Freydin, Thomas Varsavsky, Carole H. Sudre, M. Jorge Cardoso, Sebastien Ourselin, Jonathan Wolf, Tim D. Spector, Andrew T. Chan & COPE Consortium
Kelly Servick, Can phone apps slow the spread of the coronavirus? science 368 (2020), 1296–1297. <DOI:10.1126/science.368.6497.1296>.
Digital contact tracing is growing—and facing its first real-world tests.
Recent modeling by infectious disease epidemiologist Christophe Fraser and colleagues at the University of Oxford predicted that if about 56 % of a population used an app, it alone could reduce the virus’ reproduction number—how many people catch the virus from each infected person—enough to control the outbreak. But Salathé says that, even at relatively low levels of uptake, an app could still prevent infection and save lives: “As soon as you have double digits, I think the effect is already quite substantial.”
Ursula Schattner-Rieser, Das Aramäische zur Zeit Jesu, „Abba!“ und das Vaterunser, Reflexionen zur Muttersprache Jesu anhand der Texte von Qumran und der frühen Targumim. In: Jörg Frey & Enno Edzard Popkes (Hrsg.), Jesus, Paulus und die Texte von Qumran. (Tübingen 2015), 81–144.
Der vorliegende Beitrag gilt der Sprache des Vaterunsers und damit der Gebetssprache Jesu von Nazareth und bietet eine neue Rekonstruktion der aramäischen Sprachgestalt des Vaterunsers. Diese ist erforderlich, da sich unser Verständnis des Aramäischen zur Zeit Jesu aufgrund der Textfunde vom Toten Meer wesentlich weiterentwickelt hat. Während ältere Standardwerke zum Aramäischen in der Sprache Jesu ihren Rekonstruktionen lediglich das spätgaliläische Idiom aus den Midraschim und anderen rabbinischen Texten ab dem 3. oder gar 4. Jh. n. Chr. zugrunde legen konnten, liegen mittlerweile aus den Textfunden vom Toten Meer aramäische Texte aus der Zeit um die Zeitenwende vor, die es erlauben, die Besonderheiten des Aramäischen zur Zeit Jesu, von Judäa bis Galiläa, präziser zu erfassen.
Im Folgenden werde ich nach einigen Vorerwägungen zur Sprachsituation in Erets Israel um die Zeitenwende die aramäischen Gebetstexte aus Qumran sowie vergleichbares Targummaterial heranziehen, um von hier aus die Sprachgestalt des Vaterunsers und einige interpretatorische Probleme zu beleuchten.
Philip D. Stern, Wordplay in Genesis. Biblical Archaeology Review 46 (2020), iii, 58–61.
“I escaped by the skin of my teeth!” You may be familiar with this expression, but did you know that this phrase originates in the Bible? Well, kind of.
Poor Job is starving to death, his skin is sloughing of, and his teeth are falling out.
Ariane Düx et al., Measles virus and rinderpest virus divergence dated to the sixth century BCE. science 368 (2020), 1367–1370.
Many infectious diseases are thought to have emerged in humans after the Neolithic revolution. Although it is broadly accepted that this also applies to measles, the exact date of emergence for this disease is controversial. We sequenced the genome of a 1912 measles virus and used selection-aware molecular clock modeling to determine the divergence date of measles virus and rinderpest virus. This divergence date represents the earliest possible date for the establishment of measles in human populations. Our analyses show that the measles virus potentially arose as early as the sixth century BCE, possibly coinciding with the rise of large cities.
Ariane Düx, Sebastian Lequime, Livia Victoria Patrono, Bram Vrancken, Sengül Boral, Jan F. Gogarten, Antonia Hilbig, David Horst, Kevin Merkel, Baptiste Prepoint, Sabine Santibanez, Jasmin Schlotterbeck, Marc A. Suchard, Markus Ulrich, Navena Widulin, Annette Mankertz, Fabian H. Leendertz, Kyle Harper, Thomas Schnalke, Philippe Lemey & Sébastien Calvignac-Spencer
Simon Y. W. Ho & Sebastián Duchêne, Dating the emergence of human pathogens. science 368 (2020), 1310–1311.
Ancient genomes can narrow the search for the sources of zoonotic transmissions.
Emil Kautzsch (Hrsg.), Die Apokryphen und Pseudepigraphen des Alten Testaments, Band 2: Die Pseudepigraphen des Alten Testaments. (Darmstadt 1994).
Emil Kautzsch (Hrsg.), Die Apokryphen und Pseudepigraphen des Alten Testaments, Band 1: Die Apokryphen des Alten Testaments. (Darmstadt 1994).
Fred Pearce, Weather Makers. science 368 (2020), 1302–1305.
Forests supply the world with rain. A controversial Russian theory claims they also make wind.
Greg Ashman, Filling the pail, Decolonising maths and science degrees at Oxford. Online 2020 , June 17. <http://gregashman.wordpress.com/2020/06/17/decolonising-maths-and-science-degrees-at-oxford/> (2020-06-19).
If so, I wonder where future generations of people who can actually do science will come from? Presumably, not Oxford University.
Lara M. Cassidy & Daniel G. Bradley et al., A dynastic elite in monumental Neolithic society. nature 582 (2020), 384–388.
The nature and distribution of political power in Europe during the Neolithic era remains poorly understood1. During this period, many societies began to invest heavily in building monuments, which suggests an increase in social organization. The scale and sophistication of megalithic architecture along the Atlantic seaboard, culminating in the great passage tomb complexes, is particularly impressive2. Although co-operative ideology has often been emphasised as a driver of megalith construction1, the human expenditure required to erect the largest monuments has led some researchers to emphasize hierarchy3—of which the most extreme case is a small elite marshalling the labour of the masses. Here we present evidence that a social stratum of this type was established during the Neolithic period in Ireland. We sampled 44 whole genomes, among which we identify the adult son of a first-degree incestuous union from remains that were discovered within the most elaborate recess of the Newgrange passage tomb. Socially sanctioned matings of this nature are very rare, and are documented almost exclusively among politico-religious elites4— %
specifically within polygynous and patrilineal royal families that are headed by god-kings5,6. We identify relatives of this individual within two other major complexes of passage tombs 150 km to the west of Newgrange, as well as dietary differences and fine-scale haplotypic structure (which is unprecedented in resolution for a prehistoric population) between passage tomb samples and the larger dataset, which together imply hierarchy. This elite emerged against a backdrop of rapid maritime colonization that displaced a unique Mesolithic isolate population, although we also detected rare Irish hunter-gatherer introgression within the Neolithic population.
Lara M. Cassidy, Ros O Maoldúin, Thomas Kador, Ann Lynch, Carleton Jones, Peter C. Woodman, Eileen Murphy, Greer Ramsey, Marion Dowd, Alice Noonan, Ciarán Campbell, Eppie R. Jones, Valeria Mattiangeli & Daniel G. Bradley
Andrew Curry, Incest in ancient Ireland suggests an elite ruled early farmers. science 368 (2020), 1299.
DNA from massive Newgrange tomb reveals a practice linked to royalty around the world.
Alison Sheridan, Incest uncovered at elite prehistoric Irish burial site. nature 582 (2020), 347–349.
The huge, elaborate, 5,000-year-old tomb at Newgrange, Ireland, is thought to have been built for a powerful elite. DNA of a man buried there reveals a case of incest. Was this a strategy to maintain a dynastic bloodline?
Moreover, in emphasizing the genetic affinities between Irish and British Neolithic farmers and those in Iberia (Spain and Portugal), the authors seem to fall into the trap of assuming that Ireland’s farmers had sailed up from Iberia — an argument for which there is no archaeological evidence. Instead, the archaeology points towards the Morbihan area of Brittany in northwest France, and the Nord-Pas de Calais region of northern France, as the ultimate areas of origin for Ireland’s immigrant farmers — with those from northern France probably arriving in Ireland via northern Britain. A recently published analysis of DNA samples from Neolithic French farmers lends support to this scenario …
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