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New Genetic Evidence Suggests Animal Origin for COVID-19

New genetic evidence from the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, China, where COVID-19 cases first emerged in late 2019, supports the theory that the virus originated from animals.

The WHO has criticized China for hiding this crucial information, and GISAID has faced scrutiny for its role in controlling access to the data.

The findings were presented to an advisory group convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) earlier this month. Florence Débarre, an evolutionary biologist at the French National Center for Scientific Research, discovered genetic sequences of the virus uploaded by Chinese researchers to a public genomic database called GISAID. These……


Twitter to Remove ‘Legacy’ Verified Badges in April, Reserving Blue Check-Marks for Paying Subscribers

Twitter has announced the end of its legacy verified program, starting April 1. The company will remove the blue check-mark status from accounts verified as notable before Elon Musk’s takeover unless users subscribe to Twitter Blue or the business-oriented Twitter Verified Organizations plan.

Twitter Blue accounts will retain the blue check-mark, while organizations will be identified by gold check-marks.

Individual users can maintain their blue check-mark by subscribing to Twitter Blue at a monthly cost of $8 via the web or $11 through in-app payment on iOS and Android. New Check-mark Badges for Companies……


Book Ban Attempts in US Libraries Nearly Doubled in 2022

Efforts to ban books in libraries and schools across the United States saw a significant increase in 2022, with 1,269 recorded attempts, according to a report published by the American Library Association (ALA).

Social media has played a significant role in spreading these campaigns, with lists of allegedly inappropriate books circulating online.

This marks the highest number of complaints since the ALA began tracking censorship efforts over two decades ago and nearly doubles the 729 attempts in 2021. The actual number of bans may be higher as the data is compiled from reported book challenges and news……


The Art of the Hoax: Famous Historical Pranks and Frauds

Delve into the fascinating world of deception and trickery with our exploration of famous historical hoaxes and frauds. From the enchanting Cottingley Fairies to the perplexing case of Mary Toft giving birth to rabbits, these tales of cunning and deceit have captivated the public’s imagination for centuries.

In 1555, an alchemist for Duke Cosimo I of Florence created a scheme to convince the Duke he could turn ordinary metals into gold.

Discover how an alchemist duped a Duke, and how a forged medieval document influenced politics and religion. Finally, learn about the timeless tradition of April Fools’ Day and its origins in……

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