Japanese scientists develop glowing masks to detect coronavirus

Dec 11, 2021 | 🚀 Fathership
Researchers in Japan have developed a face mask that glows under UV light when exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 according to Japanese news agency Kyodo News.

The mask uses antibodies extracted from ostrich eggs.

The researchers from Kyoto Prefectural University in western Japan hope to eventually gain government approval for the innovation, and could begin selling them as soon as 2022.

Ostriches capable of producing antibodies

Ostriches are capable of producing several different kinds of antibody, or proteins that neutralize foreign entities in the body.

In February last year, the team injected an inactive and non-threatening form of the coronavirus into female ostriches, successfully extracting a large quantity of antibodies from the eggs that they laid.

The team then developed a special filter that is placed inside the face mask. The filter can be taken out and sprayed with a fluorescent dye containing the coronavirus antibodies from the ostrich eggs. If the virus is present, the filter will glow when shone under an ultraviolet light.

“We can mass produce antibodies from ostriches at a low cost,” Yasuhiro Tsukamoto, president of the university and research lead of the project, told Kyodo News. “In the future, I want to make this into an easy testing kit that anyone can use.”

Antibodies discovered by accident

Tsukamoto says that he discovered that he himself had contracted the virus after he placed the mask on his own face and found that it glowed under a UV light.

To get initial results, the team conducted experiments with 32 people infected with the virus who were given the special masks. They discovered that the masks glowed under UV, but steadily faded over the course of 10 days as their viral load decreased.

Tsukamoto's team next aims to expand the experiment to cover 150 participants. The university president discovered that he himself was positive for COVID-19 after wearing one of the experimental masks and finding it glowed when checked. He confirmed his status with a polymerase chain reaction test.

Leong Mun Wai pulled a 'Raeesah Khan' in Parliament on Telegram hearsay

Jan 13, 2022 | 🚀 Fathership
On Tuesday (Jan 11), Progress Singapore Party (PSP) member Leong Mun Wai claimed that he received feedback from residents, "that some teachers have already practised vaccination diferentiated safe management measures in schools".

When asked by Education Minister Chan Chun Sing to name the schools and teachers involved, Leong backpedalled and said that the feedback was through Whatsapp and that he would need to ask 'his' residents before making a clarification. He later disclosed that the feedback originated from a Telegram group called SG Concerned Parents.

After a terse exchange between Chan and Speaker of the House Tan Chuan Jin, Leong admitted that the chat group messages did not name any particular schools.

Indranee: When you make allegations against teachers and just cast it out there, you must be able to substantiate it

Leong's response drew a rebuke from Leader of the House Indranee Rajah who admonished Leong for making unsubstantiated claims.

Indranee rose and said: "When you make allegations against teachers and just cast it out there, you must be able to substantiate it. And that is why Minister Chan (had) asked, ‘Please provide me with the details of which school and which teacher so that the Ministry of Education can follow up'.”

She described Leong’s explanation on Tuesday as an attempt to “grandstand” or make broad speeches that have no bearing on the details requested by the Education Minister.

Leong Mun Wai another Raeesah Khan?

In August last year, Raeesah shared an anecdote in Parliament about details of a rape case she alleged was mishandled by the police. She later admitted to lying about the anecdote.

In 2014, Workers' Party MP Faisal Manap also made an unsubstantiated claim alleging that when he was a counsellor, he came across a couple who were having housing issues and advised to file for a divorce by the Housing and Development Board — so that the wife would be eligible to buy a house under the Singles Scheme and she could subsequently remarry her husband.

He later apologised for not verifying the authenticity of his anecdote.