CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A spacecraft that plowed into a small, harmless asteroid millions of miles away succeeded in shifting its orbit, NASA said Tuesday in announcing the results of its save-the-world test.
Solar power withstood the hurricanes that struck Puerto Rico and Florida last month — a fact that could aid the technology’s supporters in lobbying battles around the country.
Hurricanes Fiona and Ian caused catastrophic flooding, knocked out power lines and washed away roads and bridges. But people who could afford solar panels and batteries say those systems kept the lights on during the storms, and even allowed them to share electricity with neighbors left in the dark.
Now, that performance during natural disasters offers ammunition to the solar industry in its lobbying fights with lawmakers, regulators and traditional power companies as renewable energy seeks to accelerate its growing role in the U.S. electricity supply. Such fights have held up solar’s expansion in jurisdictions across the U.S., including in Puerto Rico and Florida.
“I wish we never had to have this proof point,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association. But she said the hurricanes have shown that renewables paired with battery storage are a reliable form of energy.
It “is not just a theory, but it actually is providing power to people in otherwise darkened areas,” Hopper added.
The two storms knocked out power to 2.7 million customers in Florida as well as the entire island of Puerto Rico, which has more than 3 million residents. (Nearly 12,000 power customers in the state and about 9,000 on the island remained without power as of Sunday night.) Still, much of the grid in both places bounced back faster than it had after some past hurricanes, in part because of efforts in Florida to harden power networks by burying power lines and replacing wooden poles with steel or concrete.
But solar power was especially critical for many residents. One reason: Rooftop panels, coupled with batteries, let people keep their lights and appliances humming during and after the storms, without having to worry about downed power lines or finding fuel for generators.
Hector Jimenez, a field manager with BrightPlanet Solar in Puerto Rico, said the system he had installed at his home “has been working like a charm” before and since Fiona hit the island on Sept. 18. His neighbors relied on diesel to run their generators and started to worry when fuel supplies grew tight. But Jimenez was able to help them out by sharing power from his batteries.
Tampa resident Donald Kirk, a client of residential solar provider Tampa Bay Solar, said he had originally invested in solar and storage last spring to be more sustainable. But after the system kept the power on in his home during Ian, he realized the real benefits of a self-reliant home.
“It was our essential thing when the power went down,” he said.
Some independent energy analysts said the storm could boost interest in solar power in states like Florida — and may play a role in legislative fights about economic incentives for the technology.
“We have long observed an uptick in demand for distributed solar and energy storage among customers that have recently experienced long grid outages,” Timothy Fox, vice president and research analyst at ClearView Energy Partners, said via email. “We expect some Florida customers to look to bolster their supply with onsite systems following Hurricane Ian.”
Solar systems in Puerto Rico held up well under the pressure of Fiona, which primarily pummeled the island with rainfall instead of fierce winds. Power providers indicate that the same appears true in Florida, even after Ian came ashore as a Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph.
Jason Burwen, vice president of energy storage at the American Clean Power Association, said these on-site solar and storage installations have proven “reliable, through and after these disasters.” That’s particularly important, he said, as storms like the ones in Puerto Rico and Florida tend to take down crucial infrastructure such as wires — even as power plants themselves remain online.
Ben Ollis, a power and energy researcher at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, said lessons that Puerto Rico learned from 2017’s catastrophic Hurricane Maria led to improved installation techniques to protect solar systems against high winds. He has been working on a community project in the mountainous town of Adjuntas, which used $1.7 million from two nonprofits to create two microgrids with solar and battery storage.
Chris Rauscher, senior director of market development and policy at the company Sunrun, said solar and storage installations helped families in Puerto Rico fare better through Fiona than they had during Maria. Sunrun says its systems provided Puerto Rican residents with roughly 400,000 hours of aggregated backup power during and after Fiona, with the average duration being 100 hours per household.
Following Maria, it was “impressed upon” residents in Puerto Rico that rooftop solar was a potentially cheaper and more reliable alternative, said Tom Sanzillo, director of financial analysis for the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, which advocates for a sustainable energy transition. He said many have heeded that call.
In Puerto Rico, “we're now seeing 2,000 families per month adding solar power to their own homes, independent of any public support, and in fact, actually, in the face of governmental opposition to this,” Sanzillo said. “We expect that to accelerate.”
One factor driving that trend is economics: Puerto Ricans, who rely mostly on energy from four fossil fuel power plants, pay some of the highest electricity costs in the United States. Soaring fossil fuel expenses for an island that imports much of its energy resources have driven a nearly 84 percent rise in average electric rates since January 2021. This on an island where the median income is $21,000, IEEFA noted.
Customers on the island are “sick and tired of having unreliable electricity” and “living with a grid that could be viewed as third world,” Rauscher said. He said those complaints are leading to a “consumer-driven clean revolution.”
But solar energy supporters in Puerto Rico still have a fight on their hands in pushing the territory’s leaders and Washington to deliver renewable power a more prominent role in the rebuilding of the island’s electrical grid from damage suffered during Maria.
The Queremos Sol coalition — whose name means “We Want Solar” — is pushing President Joe Biden to require the Federal Emergency Management Agency to favor rooftop solar systems and other small-scale renewable-energy projects, rather than fossil fuels, when doling out $9.5 billion in federal recovery and reconstruction aid.
“Otherwise most people here won’t be able to afford it, and it will be potentially life-threatening not to have it,” said Ruth Santiago, a community and environmental attorney in Puerto Rico and a member of Queremos Sol. She met with Biden during his visit to Puerto Rico this month and said he appeared “receptive” to the message.
Lawmakers including House Natural Resources Chair Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) also want Congress to make solar energy more affordable in Puerto Rico by using an emergency spending bill to provide $5 billion for rooftop solar and storage solutions for low-income households and people with disabilities. They noted that a new residential solar panel and battery system costs about $25,000, making solar energy unaffordable for many island residents.
“Those without the means to buy or finance them are getting left behind,” the legislators wrote in a letter Tuesday to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Appropriations Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.).
Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Pierluisi supported the request. “We currently have $800 million in federal funds earmarked for that purpose, but we clearly need more,” he said Wednesday via tweet.
A 2019 law passed by the Puerto Rican government requires the island’s government-owned utility to obtain 100 percent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2050. But it has a ways to go: Solar constituted only 1.4 percent of total generation in the 2021 fiscal year, according to the Energy Information Administration. And Puerto Rico’s energy plan would allow for new or upgraded fossil fuel infrastructure if needed to maintain reliability.
Renewable energy advocates cast a wide net of blame when it comes to the slow expansion of solar in Puerto Rico, including the governor and the financial oversight board that manages the island’s finances.
But Matthias Rieker, a spokesperson for the board, called the government-owned Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority an “impediment” to broader renewable energy deployment. Even with those obstacles, he said, solar rooftop connections have almost doubled to about 50,000 customers in the last 12 months under grid manager LUMA Energy.
“Transferring the grid to a private operator has already significantly increased the number of rooftop solar systems,” Rieker said.
A PREPA spokesperson could not be immediately reached for comment, while a spokesperson for the governor did not respond to a request for comment.
Florida’s largest utility, Florida Power & Light, said the 38 solar systems it operates in Ian’s path experienced little damage, with only 0.3 percent of the company’s nearly 15 million solar panels affected.
Ben Millar, president of Florida’s Solar Energy Industries Association, said he is hearing that “the vast majority” of members' systems held up during Ian, including in the hardest-hit areas.
“They're engineered to meet wind zones and so we see that the systems stay in place and continue performing,” said Millar, who’s also CEO of the solar developer Sun Harvest Energy.
Several other developers reported that their systems held up well against the storm, particularly residential rooftop solar paired with small-battery storage.
Bill Johnson, founder of Florida-based solar company Brilliant Harvest, said all of the 70 to 80 battery-plus-solar systems his business installed around the state performed for customers during the storm.
“It's really making a difference,” Johnson said, adding that the company has clients with medical conditions that require electrically powered equipment to manage. In those cases, the battery-plus-storage systems can be “lifesaving,” he said.
Home-based solar systems don’t need huge capacity to be effective, according to a new analysis from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. It found that a modest solar-plus-storage system can power critical loads in a home for days during a generic power outage, including for refrigeration and night-time lighting.
“A small system does just perfectly fine over a long-duration outage and in powering those loads,” said Galen Barbose, a research scientist in the electricity markets and policy department at the Berkeley Lab. But heating and cooling would require a larger system, he noted.
Even in sunny climates such as those in Florida and Puerto Rico, political challenges have constrained the expansion of solar energy for homes and businesses. Those include the rivalry between big utilities like FPL, which operates its own centralized solar power installations, and providers of rooftop solar systems controlled by individual homeowners.
Florida is one of the nation’s highest-producing solar states, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, with the sun providing power to more than 1 million homes. It ranks just behind Texas and California.
But Florida politicians have taken steps that would make solar power more expensive for typical homeowners. One bill the legislature passed this year, with support from FPL, would have let utilities impose additional charges on rooftop solar customers to make up for the companies’ lost electricity revenues.
Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed the bill, citing inflation concerns, which earned him praise from solar advocates in the state. But he also opposed Biden’s newly signed climate bill, which is poised to send demand for renewables in states like Florida’s — where there is a ton of untapped potential for solar power — skyrocketing.
FPL may try to “revisit” rooftop solar legislation during next year’s legislative session “should interest in rooftop solar grow in the sunshine state,” ClearView’s Fox wrote.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A spacecraft that plowed into a small, harmless asteroid millions of miles away succeeded in shifting its orbit, NASA said Tuesday in announcing the results of its save-the-world test.
The space agency attempted the first test of its kind two weeks ago to see if in the future a killer rock could be nudged out of Earth's way.
"This mission shows that NASA is trying to be ready for whatever the universe throws at us," NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said during a briefing at NASA headquarters in Washington.
The Dart spacecraft carved a crater into the asteroid Dimorphos on Sept. 26, hurling debris out into space and creating a cometlike trail of dust and rubble stretching several thousand miles (kilometers). It took days of telescope observations from Chile and South Africa to determine how much the impact altered the path of the 525-foot (160-meter) asteroid around its companion, a much bigger space rock.
Before the impact, the moonlet took 11 hours and 55 minutes to circle its parent asteroid. Scientists had hoped to shave off 10 minutes but Nelson said the impact shortened the asteroid's orbit by about 32 minutes.
Neither asteroid posed a threat to Earth — and still don't as they continue their journey around the sun. That's why scientists picked the pair for the world's first attempt to alter the position of a celestial body.
"We've been imagining this for years and to have it finally be real is really quite a thrill," said NASA program scientist Tom Statler.
Launched last year, the vending machine-size Dart — short for Double Asteroid Redirection Test — was destroyed when it slammed into the asteroid 7 million miles (11 million kilometers) away at 14,000 mph (22,500 kph).
Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland built the spacecraft and managed the $325 million mission.
"This is a very exciting and promising result for planetary defense," said the lab's Nancy Chabot.
The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A spacecraft that plowed into a small, harmless asteroid millions of miles away succeeded in shifting its orbit, NASA said Tuesday in announcing the results of its save-the-world test.
The space agency attempted the test two weeks ago to see if in the future a killer rock could be nudged out of Earth’s way.
“This mission shows that NASA is trying to be ready for whatever the universe throws at us,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said during a briefing at the space agency’s headquarters in Washington.
The Dart spacecraft carved a crater into the asteroid Dimorphos on Sept. 26, hurling debris out into space and creating a cometlike trail of dust and rubble stretching several thousand miles (kilometers). It took consecutive nights of telescope observations from Chile and South Africa to determine how much the impact altered the path of the 525-foot asteroid around its companion, a much bigger space rock.
Before the impact, the moonlet took 11 hours and 55 minutes to circle its parent asteroid. Scientists had anticipated shaving off 10 minutes, but Nelson said the impact shortened the asteroid’s orbit by 32 minutes.
“Let’s all just kind of take a moment to soak this in ... for the first time ever, humanity has changed the orbit” of a celestial body, noted Lori Glaze, NASA’s director of planetary science.
Apollo astronaut Rusty Schweickart, a co-founder of the nonprofit B612 Foundation, dedicated to protecting Earth from asteroid strikes, said he’s “clearly delighted, no question about that” by the results and the attention the mission has brought to asteroid deflection.
The team’s scientists said the amount of debris apparently played a role in the outcome. The impact may also have left Dimorphos wobbling a bit, said NASA program scientist Tom Statler. That may affect the orbit, but it will never go back to its original location, he noted.
The two bodies originally were already less than a mile apart. Now they’re tens of yards closer.
Neither asteroid posed a threat to Earth — and still don’t as they continue their journey around the sun. That’s why scientists picked the pair for this all-important dress rehearsal.
Planetary defense experts prefer nudging a threatening asteroid or comet out of the way, given years or even decades of lead time, rather than blowing it up and creating multiple pieces that could rain down on Earth.
“We really need to also have that warning time for a technique like this to be effective,” said mission leader Nancy Chabot of Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory, which built the spacecraft and managed the $325 million mission.
“You’ve got to know they’re coming,” added Glaze.
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Launched last year, the vending machine-size Dart — short for Double Asteroid Redirection Test — was destroyed when it slammed into the asteroid 7 million miles away at 14,000 mph.
“This is huge feat, not only in achieving the first step in possibly being able to protect ourselves from future asteroid impacts,” but also for the amount of images and data collected internationally, Daniel Brown, an astronomer at Nottingham Trent University in England, said via email.
Brown also said that it’s “particularly exciting” that the debris tail can be seen by amateur skygazers with medium-size telescopes.
Team scientists cautioned more work is needed to not only identify more of the countless space rocks out there, but to ascertain their makeup — some are solid, while others are rubble piles. Scouting missions might be needed, for instance, before launching impactors to deflect the orbits.
“We should not be too eager to say one test on one asteroid tells us exactly how every other asteroid would behave in a similar situation,” Statler said.
Nonetheless, he and others are rejoicing over this first effort.
“We’ve been imagining this for years and to have it finally be real is really quite a thrill,” he said.
NASA’s attempt to thwap an asteroid by crashing a spacecraft into it has succeeded spectacularly, changing the rock’s motion through space significantly and offering promise that this still-experimental technique could someday be applied as a practical form of planetary defense, agency officials said Tuesday.
The Double Asteroid Redirection Test was just that — a test. The targeted asteroid, named Dimorphos, posed no threat. It won’t come within 4 million miles of Earth at any point in the foreseeable future. Dimorphos orbits a larger asteroid named Didymos. Both were circling the sun about 7 million miles from Earth when the DART spacecraft took aim on the evening of Sept. 26.
DART is NASA’s first “planetary defense” mission. The goal was to test whether this technique, called a kinetic impactor, would deliver enough of a punch to a speeding space rock to knock it significantly off course.NASA crashes spacecraft into asteroid, passing planetary defense test
It did. Before DART’s arrival, Dimorphos orbited Didymos in 11 hours and 55 minutes. Then: Blam! The newly calculated orbit: 11 hours and 23 minutes.
That 32-minute change in the orbital period was at the high end of a range of estimated outcomes, NASA’s head of planetary science, Lori Glaze, said. DART surpassed the agency’s minimum benchmark for a successful mission by more than 25 times.
“We showed the world NASA is serious as a defender of this planet,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.
The mission “felt like a movie plot,” he said. “But this was not Hollywood.”How it works: NASA hopes to hit an asteroid now in case we really need to knock one away later
Despite the enthusiasm emanating from NASA officials, there is not a fully developed system for intercepting asteroids. The key to planetary defense is finding potentially hazardous asteroids long before they cross Earth’s path. Astronomers can calculate whether they are on a trajectory to strike the planet.
“You gotta know they’re coming,” Glaze said.
The idea of a kinetic impactor is to deliver a hazardous asteroid a nudge many years before its anticipated impact with Earth. This is not a last-minute technique for saving the world.
“We really need to have that warning time for a technique like this to be effective,” said Nancy Chabot, DART coordination lead at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, which handled the mission under a NASA contract.
Big asteroids that might menace Earth are easily spotted, and their orbits calculated many decades into the future. But many smaller asteroids in the general size range of Dimorphos, which is about 160 meters in diameter, are harder to detect.
Asteroids are not identical. Some are hard, solid bodies, while others are “rubble piles.” The composition and shape of Dimorphos were not known prior to the arrival of DART. Only in the last few minutes of the mission did the asteroid come into focus. The impact created a stunning plume of ejecta, and the dramatic motion of the asteroid came in part from the way it recoiled as boulders and fine particles spewed into space.
The mission was already in the books as an engineering triumph simply by virtue of a successful collision — indeed a bull's eye — dramatically captured by the spacecraft’s camera in the final moments before impact.
The laws of physics dictated that there had to be some effect. And images captured by a trailing cubesat, provided by the Italian Space Agency and deployed by DART 15 days before impact, showed material hurtling into space. Subsequent observations from telescopes on Earth as well as the Hubble and Webb space telescopes revealed a long trail of debris, creating a comet-like effect.NASA spacecraft will slam into an asteroid Monday — if all goes right
Not until Tuesday, after much analysis, did NASA reveal the precise change in Dimorphos’s orbit. The analysis is continuing, and one question is whether the rock has gone wobbly.
“We should not be too eager to say one test on one asteroid tells us how every other asteroid would behave,” NASA program scientist Thomas Statler cautioned.
Even so, the bottom line is that the DART mission worked just like scientists and engineers had hoped.
“Let’s all just kind of take a moment to soak this in,” Glaze said. “For the first time ever, humanity has changed the orbit of a planetary body.”
However, this approval is subjected to a condition that the firm should include both a T-score and a Z-score for monitoring bone marrow density (BMD).
This came after the firm presented the revised Phase III clinical trial protocol of Elagolix (150 and 200 mg) before the committee, in light of an earlier SEC recommendation dated July 28, 2012.
Elagolix is a gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor antagonist used to treat moderate to severe pain in endometriosis.
Endometriosis develops when tissue that is similar to the kind that is normally located in the uterus starts to grow outside of the uterus. Such growth leads to various symptoms like pain during periods, pelvic pain between periods, and pain during sexual intercourse. The growths themselves are referred to as lesions and frequently develop on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and other areas around the uterus, including the bowels or bladder. The growth of these lesions is dependent on the estrogen hormone.
Elagolix is an orally administered nonpeptide small molecule gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) receptor antagonist that inhibits endogenous GnRH signalling by binding competitively to GnRH receptors in the pituitary gland. Administration of elagolix results in dose-dependent suppression of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), leading to decreased blood concentrations of the ovarian sex hormones, estradiol and progesteron.
Earlier, the Medical Dialogues Team had reported that, in response to pharma major Sun Pharma's proposal to manufacture and market the drug Elagolix in 150 mg and 200 mg tablets by conducting a Phase-III clinical trial in the country, the Central Drug Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) panel had recommended to conduct a Phase III clinical trial of Elagolix 150 mg tablets for test arm 1 by monitoring bone marrow density for six months and with the follow-up of serum oestrogen levels of the subjects.
Furthermore, regarding the Phase III study of Elagolix 200mg Tablets with Test Arm 2, the committee raised safety concerns with subjects at higher doses and did not consider the request to conduct a Phase III study with Test Arm 2 (Elagolix 200mg Tablets).
In light of this, during the earlier SEC meeting for Reproductive and Urology, the committee recommended that the company submit the revised protocol for additional review.
Now, in continuation, at the latest SEC meeting for Reproductive and Urology held on September 28th, 2022, the expert panel extensively reviewed the revised Phase III clinical trial protocol of Elagolix Tablets 150 mg and 200 mg presented by drug major Sun Pharma.
After detailed deliberation, the committee recommended the grant of permission to conduct the study as per the presented protocol, subject to the condition that the firm should include both T-score and Z-score for monitoring of bone marrow density (BMD).
As fall temperatures set in, cold and flu season gets into full swing and holiday travel picks up, people will undoubtedly have questions about COVID-19 testing. Is this the year people can finally return to large gatherings for traditional celebrations? What role does testing play when deciding whether to go out or stay home?
Adding to the confusion are personal accounts of people who are experiencing confusing or seemingly contradictory test results.
Our insights from both the cutting edge of rapid testing research as well as our clinical perspectives from working directly with patients can help people figure out how to make the best use of rapid tests.
Technique matters when it comes to getting a sufficient amount of virus for a rapid test. Images By Tang Ming Tung/Digital Vision via Getty Images
SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, takes time to build up in the body, like many other viruses and bacteria that cause respiratory illness. Typically it takes two to three days to test positive after exposure. Our research group has demonstrated this, as have others.
Rapid tests detect parts of the virus that are present in the sample collected from your nose or mouth. If the virus has not replicated to a high enough level in that part of your body, a test will be negative. Only when the amount of virus is high enough will a person’s test become positive. For most omicron variants in circulation today, this is one to three days, depending on the initial amount of virus you get exposed to.
It’s important to clarify which type of test we’re talking about in this situation. Studies have shown that some people can test positive for a month or more with a PCR test. The reason for this is twofold: PCR tests are capable of detecting extremely small amounts of genetic material, and fragments of the virus can remain in the respiratory system for a long time before being cleared.
When it comes to rapid tests, there are reports that some people test positive for an extended period of time with the current strains of the omicron variant compared with earlier variants. Several studies show that most people no longer test positive after five to seven days from their first positive test, but between 10% to 20% of people continue to test positive for 10 to 14 days.
But why it takes longer for some people to clear the virus than others is still unknown. Possible explanations include a person’s vaccination status or the ability of one’s immune system to clear the virus.
In addition, a small number of people who have been treated with the oral antiviral drug Paxlovid have tested negative on rapid antigen tests, with no symptoms, only to “rebound” seven to 14 days after their initial positive test. In these cases, people sometimes experience recurring or even occasionally worse symptoms than they had before, along with positive rapid test results. People who experience this should isolate again, as it has been shown that people with rebound cases can transmit the virus to others.
There are several possible explanations for why you might get negative rapid tests even when you have COVID-like symptoms. The most likely is that you have an infection of something other than SARS-CoV-2.
Many different viruses and bacteria can make us sick. Since mask mandates have been lifted in most settings, many viruses that didn’t circulate widely during the pandemic, like influenza and Respiratory Syncytial Virus, or RSV, are becoming common once again and making people sick.
Second, a mild COVID-19 infection in a person that’s been vaccinated and boosted may result in a viral level that’s high enough to cause symptoms but too low to result in a positive rapid test.
Finally, the use of poor technique when sampling your nose or mouth may result in too little virus to yield a positive test. Many tests with nasal swabbing require you to swab for at least 15 seconds in each nostril. A failure to swab according to package instructions could result in a negative test.
Our previous studies show that if you are symptomatic and do two rapid antigen tests 48 hours apart rather than just one, you are more highly likely to test positive if you are infected with SARS-CoV-2.
Fortunately, these studies show that all the rapid tests that have been authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration detect the current omicron variants just as well as previous variants such as alpha and delta. If a symptomatic person tests positive on a rapid test, they likely have COVID-19. If you are exposed to someone who has COVID-19, or have symptoms but receive a negative test, you should take another test in 48 hours. If you then test positive or if your symptoms get worse, contact your health care provider.
Testing remains an important tool to identify infected people and limit the spread of the virus. It’s still a good idea to take a rapid test before visiting people, especially older people and those with weakened immune systems.
If you believe you may be infected, the FDA recently updated their testing guidance largely based on data our lab collected. The testing regimen most likely to identify if you’re infected is to take two tests 48 hours apart if you have symptoms. If you don’t have symptoms, take three tests, one every 48 hours.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that if you test positive for COVID-19, you should stay home for at least five days from the date of your positive test and isolate from others. People are likely to be most infectious during these first five days. After you end isolation and feel better, consider taking a rapid test again.
If you have two negative tests 48 hours apart, you are most likely no longer infectious. If your rapid tests are positive, you may still be infectious, even if you are past day 10 after your positive test. If possible, you should wear a mask. Multiple studies have shown a correlation between the time an individual tests positive on a rapid test and when live virus can be collected from a person, which is a common way to determine if someone is infectious.
Testing is still an important tool to keep people safe from COVID-19 and to avoid spreading it to others. Knowing your status and deciding to test is a decision that individuals make based on their own tolerance for risk around contracting COVID-19.
People who are older or at higher risk of severe disease may want to test frequently after an exposure or if they have symptoms. Some people may also be panic about having COVID-19 and transmitting it to others who may be at higher risk for hospitalization. When combined with other measures such as vaccination and staying home when you’re sick, testing can reduce the impact of COVID-19 on all of our lives in the coming months.
Nathaniel Hafer receives funding from NIH grants UL1TR001453 and U54HL143541.
Apurv Soni receives funding from NIH grants UL1TR001453 and U54HL143541.
Yukari Manabe receives funding from the NIH. She has received research grant support to Johns Hopkins University from Hologic, Cepheid, Roche, ChemBio, Becton Dickinson, miDiagnostics, and has provided consultative support to Abbott.
Cornell has decided to continue its COVID-19 testing policies from the beginning of fall semester as fall break comes to a close, asking students to self-test with antigen test kits before returning to classes on Wednesday, according to an email sent to students.
The University’s response to COVID-19 has changed from previous years during the fall 2022 semester, doing away with mandatory PCR surveillance testing and masking and replacing those rules with optional but encouraged antigen tests, which are available at sites across the Ithaca campus.
As students return from fall break, many of them returning from travel outside Ithaca, the University is asking students to take a few precautions. In an email from the Cornell Campus Public Health Support Team, students were asked to test before leaving for Ithaca and again before beginning campus activities — ideally upon return to Ithaca and then again 3-5 days after arrival — and to report any positive test results through the Daily Check website.
In 2021, after students’ return from fall break, COVID-19 rates did not see significant spikes. In 2020, the University removed the fall break period in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Students can receive free antigen test kits from the University to help them complete these steps if they have recently traveled, attended a large gathering, had an illness or been potentially exposed to COVID-19.
Though encouraged, none of the steps the University is requesting students take are required, a change from fall break 2021 when the University enforced mandatory surveillance testing for students who traveled.
It is difficult to measure the necessity of post-fall break testing this year given the lack of information from the University: The COVID-19 dashboard, which used to display the rates of positive tests on campus, has been removed from the website since last week.
“I was surprised to see the email for return from fall break COVID-19 testing because we have, thus far, had a very normal semester, and I associate that with last year,” said Isabel Hou ’24. “But, so far, I’m happy with where we’re at.”
In response to this week’s COVID-19 return testing email, Ethan Abbate ’24 expressed appreciation for the University’s commitment to COVID-19 safety over the past few years.
“Cornell’s acknowledgement of the damage that COVID-19 has done in past semesters makes me feel like they care,” Abbate said.
Driving the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette convertible through the Mojave Desert in triple-digit heat was far from ideal top-down cruising, even with the A/C and ventilated seats on full blast. But with a flick of a switch on the driver's side door, the 'Vette droptop shielded us from the punishing heat in just 16 seconds. This near-instant access to (or cover from) the sun is obviously the convertible's main draw over the Corvette coupe, which has a totally rad and removable roof panel that nevertheless can be somewhat of a hassle to remove and stow in the trunk.
Chevrolet launched the Corvette in 1953 as a convertible, and the body style has remained core to the sports car's identity ever since. And while previous generations sported soft tops, the eighth-gen (C8) Corvette breaks with tradition with a new, power-retractable two-piece hard top that neatly folds over the engine bay without taking up precious trunk space.
The 2023 Corvette convertible starts at $73,395, which equates to a $7,500 price jump from the base 1LT coupe. The droptop's upcharge drops to $7,000 for the mid-level 2LT and top 3LT trims. Our 3LT test car rang in at $96,220 thanks to a front nose-lift system, performance exhaust, and a 70th Anniversary Special Edition package that most notably includes cosmetic touches, a set of travel bags, and forged aluminum wheels.
Cheap it ain't. But there's no denying the Corvette convertible is an impressive bargain once you head over to Porsche's configurator and discover a similarly equipped 911 Carrera S Cabriolet will set you back at least $145,000. And not only will you get more creature comforts with the Chevy, you'll also get more power: The mid-mounted 6.2-liter V-8 delivers 495 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels via an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.
If memories of the notoriously squeaky and rattly C5 or C6 Corvette convertibles still haunt you, we're confident you'll find solace in the C8. This is a supremely solid car. And quiet in operation, too, with tolerable wind noise whether the top is up or down. Our test car wasn't equipped with the excellent magnetic dampers, but overall ride quality was still smooth and impressive. The GT2 seats, which look thin and uncomfortable at first glance, are quite supportive and comfortable enough for a road trip.
Chevy promised the convertible wouldn't weigh much more than the coupe, and it was right; at 3,695 pounds, our test car was just 73 pounds heftier than a comparable C8 Corvette 3LT coupe we previously tested. Chevy's efforts to keep weight down paid off in our straight line test where the droptop C8 Corvette ran to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds and reached the quarter-mile mark in 11.6 seconds at 120.3 mph. That's on par with our results of a C8 coupe (without the Z51 performance package) that posted the same 0-60-mph time but was just a bit quicker and faster through the quarter (11.5 seconds at 121.9 mph).
We have yet to test a current Porsche 911 Carrera S cabriolet, but the coupe version we got our hands on notched 60 mph in 2.9 seconds and the quarter mile in 11.2 seconds at 124.3 mph. We should note that this Porsche was equipped with the Sport Chrono package, which the automaker claims shaves 0.2 second from the 0-60-mph time. Porsche also says the cabriolet is about 0.2 second slower than the coupe. So based on those numbers, the Corvette would theoretically be the quicker of the two by just a hair.
It was a mixed bag out on our figure-eight course, where road test editor Chris Walton praised the strong engine and quick gearbox but knocked the stubborn understeer during limit handling. (The Michelin Pilot Sport all-season performance tires were the likely culprits.) Granted, 0.96 g of lateral acceleration isn't bad, but not as impressive as 1.04 g achieved by a C8 coupe sporting grippier Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S rubber. Not surprisingly, braking also didn't feel as sharp.
And while we're glad the folding top doesn't diminish trunk space, Chevy made space by slightly raising the rear decklid. Unfortunately, this does cut into rearward visibility, which was already barely acceptable in the coupe. Visually, the convertible's hard side profile doesn't look much different from the coupe's, but the higher deck is somewhat noticeable at other angles from the rear.
Convertibles are a dying breed in America, so kudos to Chevy for sticking with tradition and developing a hardtop C8 Corvette with very few compromises.
|2023 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 70th Anniversary Convertible Specifications|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$96,220|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Mid-engine, RWD, 2-pass, 2-door convertible|
|ENGINE||6.2L direct-injected OHV 16-valve 90-degree V-8|
|POWER (SAE NET)||495 hp @ 6,450 rpm|
|TORQUE (SAE NET)||470 lb-ft @ 5,150 rpm|
|TRANSMISSION||8-speed twin-clutch auto|
|CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)||3,695 lb (39/61%)|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||182.3 x 76.1 x 48.6 in|
|0-60 MPH||3.3 sec|
|QUARTER MILE||11.6 sec @ 120.3 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||113 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.96 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||24.5 sec @ 0.78 g (avg)|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON||16/24/19 mpg|
|EPA RANGE, COMB||352 miles|
THE most common driving test myths have been revealed - and knowing them will help you pass your test.
Attempting to get your drivers licence is a nerve-wracking experience, but many would-be motorists drive themselves mad by believing these common misconceptions.
Over 400,000 driving tests were taken between January and March this year, with thousands more expected to try before the year is out.
Experts at Bill Plant Driving school have revealed the most common myths that surround how to pass your test.
Since 2021, over 300,000 people failed their driving test for the first time, and although many people believe it’s because examiners can only pass a certain number of people each week, this isn’t true.
If you fail your test then unfortunately it’s down to errors on the day, and nothing to do with how many drivers the examiner passed that week.
Stalling your car on your test can certainly be nerve-wracking, but it doesn't mean you have instantly failed.
If you stall in a dangerous spot, such as on a roundabout, this may make the examiner fail you.
But in most cases it's how you compose yourself and carry on driving that the examiner will pay most attention to.
Although many learners believe driving slower than the speed limit will increase their chances of passing, this is false.
In fact, driving too slowly in some areas can be deemed dangerous by an examiner - especially if other motorists are at a high speed.
During your test, your best bet is to stick to the speed limit and match the speed of cars around you.
Asking friends or relatives who have recently sat their driving test to show them the route they took may seem like good practice, but unfortunately this will provide little benefit.
Not all test routes are the same, and you have to take into consideration weather conditions, traffic and other factors that can change the test route on any given day.
A common myth is driving instructors will try and squeeze extra money out of you by making you take more lessons than you need.
However, this isn't the case, and research has suggested learners need between 40-50 hours of lesson time on average before taking their test.