Can temperature scanning slow COVID-19 spread? Airports are the testing ground for new tech

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A camera in the security lines at Dallas Love Field is scanning every passerby for elevated temperatures, in a test by the airport and Southwest Airlines to find out if it can detect sick people before they board flights.

In the back hallways, employees are getting temperature checks at kiosks before they start work each day, trying to keep sick employees out of the airport, too.

As airlines, companies and governments scramble to reopen a battered economy facing the eighth month of a worldwide pandemic, airports are now the frontline for evolving thermal imaging technologies designed to pick out infected travelers before they can spread COVID-19 further.

Temperature scanning device makers such as Dallas-based Wello Inc. and Beaumont’s Infared Cameras Inc. have suddenly been inundated with requests for their technology. Even small restaurants, hotels and schools are asking about it.

“It’s not just convention centers and airlines,” said Gary Strahan, CEO of Infrared Cameras Inc. “It’s impacting so many different places. We have to do something.”

Thermal cameras and other technologies that can pick out COVID-19 cases are a Holy Grail for an airline industry that has lost 70% of its business and is facing another quarter of multibillion-dollar losses, along with any other business or institution trying to keep people safe.

Airlines are trying hard to find ways to limit the spread of COVID-19 and assure governments that travelers aren’t bringing the disease with them.

Fort Worth-based American Airlines will let passengers bound for Hawaii take rapid COVID-19 tests at DFW International Airport. The airline is also working on a similar program for travelers to Europe and Latin America.

States such as New York require two-week quarantines for travelers from most other states, as do Hawaii, Connecticut and New Jersey. Hawaii is lifting its quarantine requirement Oct. 15 for

Can thermal cameras slow COVID-19 spread? Airports are the testing ground for new tech

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A camera in the security lines at Dallas Love Field is scanning every passerby for elevated temperatures, in a test by the airport and Southwest Airlines to find out if it can detect sick people before they board flights.

In the back hallways, employees are getting temperature checks at kiosks before they start work each day, trying to keep sick employees out of the airport, too.

As airlines, companies and governments scramble to reopen a battered economy facing the eighth month of a worldwide pandemic, airports are now the frontline for evolving thermal imaging technologies designed to pick out infected travelers before they can spread COVID-19 further.

Thermal camera makers such as Dallas-based Wello Inc. and Beaumont’s Infared Cameras Inc. have suddenly been inundated with requests for their technology. Even small restaurants, hotels and schools are asking about it.

“It’s not just convention centers and airlines,” said Gary Strahan, CEO of Infrared Cameras Inc. “It’s impacting so many different places. We have to do something.”

Thermal cameras that can pick out COVID-19 cases are a Holy Grail for an airline industry that has lost 70% of its business and is facing another quarter of multibillion-dollar losses, along with any other business or institution trying to keep people safe.

Airlines are trying hard to find ways to limit the spread of COVID-19 and assure governments that travelers aren’t bringing the disease with them.

Fort Worth-based American Airlines will let passengers bound for Hawaii take rapid COVID-19 tests at DFW International Airport. The airline is also working on a similar program for travelers to Europe and Latin America.

States such as New York require two-week quarantines for travelers from most other states, as do Hawaii, Connecticut and New Jersey. Hawaii is lifting its quarantine requirement Oct. 15 for travelers who test negative

North Korea scientists criticize Oracle’s database system as slow, costly

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Oct. 7 (UPI) — North Korean engineers gave Oracle’s database management system low marks in a research paper published by Pyongyang’s Kim Il Sung University, according to a South Korean press report.

NK Economy reported Wednesday the second issue of Volume 66 of
an academic journal of geo-environmental studies from the university included a paper about “indexing for constructing a large-scale panorama image database management system.”

North Korean researchers wrote that “database management systems such as those of Oracle take a great deal of time” to process and store large amounts of data.

“It’s time consuming, it’s expensive and impossible to search for [storage] space.”

North Korean engineers also claimed they researched methods of storing and managing image data using file indexing and basic search methods. The paper compared the North Korean method to those of Oracle. The North Korean method of data management “cut processing time by about half,” and the North Koreans were able to “speed up search in very large databases.”

North Korean evaluations of U.S. database systems come at a time when North Korea is under heavy international sanctions. Pyongyang could be referring to an older generation of Oracle DBMS products. The paper also indicates demand is high in North Korea for database management systems capable of processing large numbers of photos and other images, according to NK Economy.

Kim Jong Un has declined to meet with world leaders amid the coronavirus pandemic, but the regime could be building new defense systems.

The office of South Korean lawmaker Yoon Joo-kyung said Wednesday North Korea may have completed a “square structure” about 10 meters long on all sides in North Hamgyong Province that is designed to resist penetration of bunker busters, or missiles built to destroy hardened bunkers, News 1 reported.

The structure may have been built

Nobel Prizes and COVID-19: Slow, basic science may pay off

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Slow and steady success in science has made researchers hopeful in the fight against the pandemic. It even offers a glimmer of climate optimism.

Many years of advances in basic molecular science, some of them already Nobel Prize-winning, have given the world tools for fast virus identification and speeded up the development of testing. And now they tantalize us with the prospect of COVID-19 treatments and ultimately a vaccine, perhaps within a few months.

“This could be science’s finest hour. This could be the time when we deliver, not just for the nation but the world, the miracle that will save us,” said geophysicist Marcia McNutt, president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The coronavirus was sequenced in a matter of weeks, testing became available quickly, and vaccines that would normally take years may be developed in a year or less, and “it’s all been built on the back of basic science advances that have been developed in the past three decades,” McNutt said.

She pointed to gene sequencing and polymerase chain reaction, which allows for multiple copying of precise DNA segments. That latter discovery won the 1993 Nobel in chemistry.

And even further back, in 1984, the Nobel in medicine went to a team for theories on how to manipulate the immune system using something called monoclonal antibodies. Now those antibodies are one of the best hopes for a treatment for the coronavirus.

“Despite the politics, despite whatever other things are slowing us down, Nobel Prize-winning discoveries from 20 years ago are going to be key to treating and preventing COVID next year,” said Sudip Parikh, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. “That was made possible by basic research.”

Basic research comes first. The benefits are typically reaped only later, in what is called applied

Slow, basic science may pay off

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While the world wants flashy quick fixes for everything, especially massive threats like the coronavirus and global warming, next week’s Nobel Prizes remind us that in science, slow and steady pays off.

It may soon do so again.

Science builds upon previous work, with thinkers “standing on the shoulders of giants,” as Isaac Newton put it, and it starts with basic research aimed at understanding a problem before fixing it. It’s that type of basic science that the Nobels usually reward, often years or decades after a discovery, because it can take that long to realize the implications.

Slow and steady success in science has made researchers hopeful in the fight against the pandemic. It even offers a glimmer of climate optimism.


Many years of advances in basic molecular science, some of them already Nobel Prize-winning, have given the world tools for fast virus identification and speeded up the development of testing. And now they tantalize us with the prospect of COVID-19 treatments and ultimately a vaccine, perhaps within a few months.

“This could be science’s finest hour. This could be the time when we deliver, not just for the nation but the world, the miracle that will save us,” said geophysicist Marcia McNutt, president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The coronavirus was sequenced in a matter of weeks, testing became available quickly, and vaccines that would normally take years may be developed in a year or less, and “it’s all been built on the back of basic science advances that have been developed in the past three decades,” McNutt said.

She pointed to gene sequencing and polymerase chain reaction, which allows for multiple copying of precise DNA segments. That latter discovery won the 1993 Nobel in chemistry.

And even further back, in 1984, the Nobel in medicine went