COVID-19 Vaccines Don’t Contain Magnetic Ingredients; Dose Volume is Too Small To Contain Any Device Able To Hold a Magnet Through The Skin

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Around mid-May 2021, multiple videos (examples here, here, and here) claimed that COVID-19 vaccines caused magnetic reactions in vaccinated people. The videos purportedly showed that magnets attached to the arm where people received a COVID-19 vaccine, but not to the unvaccinated arm. The so-called “magnet challenge” went viral across social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, receiving hundreds of thousands of interactions.
While some posts didn’t try to explain the phenomenon, others claimed that COVID-19 vaccines contained metals or microchips that attracted the magnets. None of the videos provided verification that the people appearing in them were actually vaccinated against COVID-19. Regardless of whether they received the COVID-19 vaccine or not, the claim that COVID-19 vaccines “magnetize” people is inaccurate and unsupported by scientific evidence, as we explain below.

None of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines contain magnetic ingredients

All materials react to magnetic fields in some way. However, these magnetic forces are, in general, so weak that most of these materials are effectively non-magnetic. Only a few metals, including iron, cobalt, nickel, and some steels, are considered truly magnetic and are attracted to magnets.

Lists of the ingredients in all the COVID-19 vaccines authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are publicly available. The mRNA COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and BioNTech and Moderna contain mRNA, lipids, salts, sugar, and substances that keep the pH stable. The COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson contains an adenovirus expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, amino acids, antioxidants, ethanol, an emulsifier, sugar, and salts. None of these ingredients are metals, and therefore, none of them are magnetic.

The Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine contains similar ingredients to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but includes magnesium chloride as a preservative. Although magnesium is a metal, it is also non-magnetic, both in its elemental form and as magnesium chloride salt. In fact, higher amounts of magnesium are naturally present in the body, in many foods, and in dietary supplements, and they don’t cause magnetic reactions in people.

Finally, the volume of a COVID-19 vaccine dose is very small, ranging from 0.3 ml in the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to 0.5 ml in the Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines. According to experts, even if the vaccines contained a magnetic ingredient, the total amount would be insufficient to hold a magnet through a person’s skin. Michael Coey, a physics professor at Trinity College Dublin, explained to Reuters:

“You would need about one gram of iron metal to attract and support a permanent magnet at the injection site, something you would ‘easily feel’ if it was there […] By the way, my wife was injected with her second dose of the Pfizer vaccine today, and I had mine over two weeks ago. I have checked that magnets are not attracted to our arms!”

This Instagram video illustrates how a magnet (or any other small object) can stick to people’s skin without the need for any magnetic force.

Claims that COVID-19 vaccines contain microchips are unfounded

The claim that COVID-19 vaccines are magnetic because they contain microchips or tracking devices traces its roots to a conspiracy theory that has persisted throughout the pandemic. Despite being debunked many times, the baseless theory that COVID-19 vaccines include secret devices for tracking the population emerges from time to time in different forms.

Such claims led the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to explain on its website that COVID-19 vaccines don’t contain microchips or tracking devices:

“No, the government is not using the vaccine to track you. There may be trackers on the vaccine shipment boxes to protect them from theft, but there are no trackers in the vaccines themselves. State governments track where you got the vaccine and which kind you received using a computerized database to make sure you get all recommended doses at the right time. You will also get a card showing that you have received a COVID-19 vaccine.”

The claims that the COVID-19 vaccines contain magnetic microchips are incorrect for multiple reasons. First, any microchip contained in a COVID-19 vaccine would need to be small enough to fit through the syringe needle. Vaccination generally uses 22 to 25-gauge needles. “Gauge” indicates the size of the hole that runs down the middle of the needle.

The higher the gauge, the smaller the hole. These needles have a maximum inner diameter of 0.5 mm. Current microchips aren’t small enough to fit through the syringe needle. Second, even if a microchip of that size exists, it would be too small to hold a magnet through the skin, for the same reasons explained by Coey above.

Finally, all COVID-19 vaccines are supplied in multidose vials containing five to 15 doses, depending on the manufacturer (see dosing information from Pfizer and BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson). This would make it impossible to guarantee that all individuals receive a chip. Some people could receive several chips, while others receive none. Furthermore, many of the devices would likely remain in the vial or get stuck in the syringe.

Conclusion

Claims that COVID-19 vaccines cause magnetic reactions are unsubstantiated and implausible. COVID-19 vaccines authorized for emergency use by the FDA don’t contain metals or other magnetic ingredients that could cause a magnetic reaction in vaccinated individuals. Furthermore, no component or microchip that fits in the volume of a COVID-19 vaccine dose would be strong enough to hold a magnet through the skin.

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Source: COVID-19 vaccines don’t contain magnetic ingredients; dose volume is too small to contain any device able to hold a magnet through the skin – Health Feedback

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The War Between Gamers And Cryptominers and The Scarce Global Resource That Sparked It

gamers

hroughout the week, Doug Dejarnette heads to his Houston home’s second-floor game room and there transforms himself entirely. Sometimes the 38-year-old pretrial services officer becomes a Paladin warrior, raiding dungeons in the PC-version of World of Warcraft, and, at other times, the titular character in Half-Life Alyx, battling ETs on an alien-occupied Earth through an Oculus Rift headset.

What largely makes his gaming possible is a videocassette-shaped device inside his handmade computer called a graphics processing unit (GPU), which renders the games’ animation, allowing it to appear on a screen.

Dejarnette’s Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 is a top-of-the-line model, and it wasn’t easy to come by. When he tried to buy a new one last year, he discovered it “just impossible to find anywhere. I woke up early at the launch day to hit every website. I finally gave up and bought one off Reddit for about $1,000,” a roughly 30% markup.

There’s a worldwide shortage of new and old GPUs right now, leading to a sense of “sheer fatalism” among gamers despondent about getting the latest tech or even replacing an old part, Dejarnette says. “It’s killing us.” And it’s led to some testy finger-pointing by gamers toward another group of geeks: cryptocurrency miners.

Gamers and others observing the GPU market say the miners have wreaked havoc on the $20 billion industry, taxing it with unexpected demand while key components for GPUs—microchips—are scarcely available. The companies making the GPUs understand the situation with the miners, and as recently as Wednesday, Nvidia announced it would change some future versions of its GPUs to make them less attractive to miners. But that fix will not arrive anytime soon.

“There’s nothing out there,” says 22-year-old miner Shaneel Mohandas, considering the current availability of GPUs. The IT worker has seven GPUs running in a darkened bedroom in palm-tree-lined Durban, South Africa, each device devoted to producing cryptocurrency like bitcoin and ether.

He figures even his aging collection of GPUs could fetch two and a half times their original price. “It’s all overpriced stuff. And it’s driving the gamers crazy.” Through mining, Mohandas receives Bitcoin as a reward for creating blocks of verified transactions that are added to the blockchain and doesn’t have to pay for it.

The tussle between gamers and cryptominers over these high-tech gizmos is a helpful way to understand something much broader that’s going on in the world. There’s a profound, worldwide shortage of microchips, which has grown to be almost as essential as concrete, oil or wheat for an increasingly digitized planet. Nearly a half-trillion dollars’ worth are sold each year. They power the electronic systems within planes, automobiles, smartphones—and yes, GPUs. Moreover, they’re increasingly found in such everyday objects as toothbrushes, refrigerators and coffee pots.


“It’s become kind of an addiction,” admits miner Aniel Varma, of Orlando, Florida. “Everyone wants to build their own machine. It’s a money printer.”


As incomes grow globally, consumers generally want more and more of these types of things each year, and some have been in especially high demand during the pandemic. But many of the chips within these items are made overseas by foreign companies, such as Taiwan Semiconductor and Samsung. And those global supply chains have been pressured greatly by the pandemic, disrupted by factors like factory closures and border shutdowns

By tensions between Taiwan and mainland China, which has never recognized its right to exist as a sovereign country. World governments are concerned: President Biden, for one, pledged to find nearly $40 billion to spur greater U.S. manufacturing of semiconductors in February, the same month European Union ministers met to discuss a $60 billion package meant to do the same thing in their 27-country bloc.

As with many problems so vast, the Great Microchip Shortage is best considered in miniature—which is where those gamers and cryptominers come back in. What’s happening in their little corner of nerd-dom is happening in some form across every industry relying on microchips, producing an almost comical array of besieged businesses, unruly consumers and markets gone haywire.

“I think what you have is a perfect storm of things,” says Matthew Stafford, the bespectacled managing editor of Tom’s Hardware, an online industry bible for the IT crowd. “Global companies expect stability. And this is anything but stability.”

Nvidia and its competitors have been making GPUs for gamers throughout much of the past three decades. By lore, Nvidia’s three cofounders are said to have, basically, dreamed up the entire market over breakfast at a dirty San Jose, California, Denny’s back in 1993, figuring there would be a market for people looking to improve their PCs as video games got more advanced.

One of those men, Jensen Huang, remains Nvidia’s CEO, and he has a personal fortune estimated at $14.2 billion. Nvidia, meanwhile, has a market valuation of nearly $370 billion. AMD, its closest rival, is worth close to $100 billion. (Nvidia’s stock price is up more than 67% over the past year, far outpacing the Nasdaq’s 43% gain.)

Gamers had GPUs largely to themselves until the last decade—when the crypto boom began. GPUs perform trillions of calculations each second, and their immense computing power can be applied to cryptomining, where a computer solves a series of complex equations, producing new portions of the cryptocurrencies that can be sold off for cash on easily accessible online exchanges, such as Coinbase.

Despite their advanced age and size, Nvidia and AMD have largely been caught flat-footed by the flourishing demand from cryptominers and don’t seem even now to fully understand what percentage of their sales come from miners, exacerbating the supply problem. In one recent conference call with Wall Street analysts, Nvidia executives cited vague third-party figures when discussing what portion of their GPUs currently go to cryptomining.

“They probably don’t really know,” says Bernstein analyst Stacy Rasgon. The figure might be as much as 10%, up from essentially zilch a decade ago and nearing a half-billion dollars. The situation is probably only worsening: Crypto prices have soared over 2020 and 2021, increasing the appeal to cryptomining.

The GPU makers don’t particularly want miners as top customers. They saw a similar burst in demand from miners back in 2017 and 2018, another moment of soaring crypto prices. But when that earlier bubble burst, the miners flooded aftermarkets with secondhand GPUs, depressing prices and suppressing demand for new models. The damage was evident in the figures Nvidia reported for its first fiscal quarter of 2019: nearly a third less revenue from a year prior, just $2.2 billion, a rare decrease for the company.

So Nvidia and the rest are not only dealing with a supply crunch but strong demand from a group of consumers who might vanish at any second if crypto prices plummet again. (Crypto is a mercurial world. In the past week, bitcoin has gone for as much as $51,383 a coin—and as little as $34,923.) Meaning, even if supply would improve, and the companies do better integrate mining into their forecasts, they could suddenly be left with a glut of product, weakening prices.

Considering all these factors, the companies have decided against making any big adjustments. The result is the tension between gamers and miners and the mad-dash rush for whatever GPUs are out there, often used ones from eBay or ones brokered through Reddit forums for double or triple the units’ original prices.

Locating a GPU “should be as simple as just checking Newegg”—a popular online electronics retailer—“to see if they’re in stock and then buy it, but now it’s anything but that,” says Ryan Welean, 27, a gamer in Mill Creek, Washington. Newegg has, actually, resorted lately to selling new GPUs through a lottery system to handle the crush. “It’s limited stock and high demand,” Welean says.

He has owned several GPUs since he began PC gaming a decade ago; he purchased a new Radeon RX 5700 from AMD last year, which has fueled dozens of hours of Final Fantasy to fill pandemic-induced downtime. “But recently I’ve been unlucky,” he says, grimly. “I’ve been on a waiting list with another site for the opportunity to buy a 3080 or 3090,” two Nvidia models, “and it’s taking a while.”

Justin Kelly, 42, straddles both worlds, a former gamer turned miner. Kelly first bought several GPUs to game—“friends would come over, we’d play Duke Nukem or Delta Force 2”—then put it toward mining bitcoin around 2013. He has purchased $10,000 worth of the latest Nvidia cards in the past year, good enough to produce as much as $600 worth of crypto a day.

He wishes he’d bought up more. “I would have spent more than $10,000. But in some cases, I wasn’t able to do that,” says Kelly, a Seattle IT consultant. Many of the sales had a strict one-GPU-per-order limit. “If I had gone back to, like, my August [2020] self, I should have told him to buy, like, 50 cards,” possibly flipping those Nvidia cards for several thousand dollars in profit each.

“It’s become kind of an addiction,” admits miner Aniel Varma, of Orlando, Florida. “Everyone wants to build their own machine. It’s a money printer.” Varma, 36, has managed to buy 30 Nvidia GPUs over the prior 12 months after finding someone to sell him a bot; the programmatic software can be taught to scour the web for GPU sales and snap them up as soon as a website adds them. More famously, bots have become scourges of the collectibles and sneaker worlds, making it impossible for normal buyers to purchase products fast enough.

Varma, who is also a tech consultant, has set up four computers in his house: one in the living room, foyer, guest bedroom and hallway. He mostly mines bitcoin and ether but has recently branched out to dogecoin, too, on the insistence of his young daughter. “I’m building these awesome supercomputers,” he says, proudly. “Everyone that walks in my house and sees the rigs”—miner slang for PCs—“and are just completely blown away. I’ve seen some jaw drops and some eyes popping out.”

Follow me on Twitter. Send me a secure tip.

I’m a senior editor at Forbes, where I cover social media, creators and internet culture. In the past, I’ve edited across Forbes magazine and Forbes.com.

Source: The War Between Gamers And Cryptominers—And The Scarce Global Resource That Sparked It

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Tiny Graphene Microchips Could Make Your Phones & laptops Thousands of Times Faster, Say Scientists

Graphene strips folded in similar fashion to origami paper could be used to build microchips that are up to 100 times smaller than conventional chips, found physicists – and packing phones and laptops with those tiny chips could significantly boost the performance of our devices.

New research from the University of Sussex in the UK shows that changing the structure of nanomaterials like graphene can unlock electronic properties and effectively enable the material to act like a transistor.  

Innovation

The scientists deliberately created kinks in a layer of graphene and found that the material could, as a result, be made to behave like an electronic component. Graphene, and its nano-scale dimensions, could therefore be leveraged to design the smallest microchips yet, which will be useful to build faster phones and laptops. 

SEE: Hiring Kit: Computer Hardware Engineer (TechRepublic Premium)

Alan Dalton, professor at the school of mathematical and physics sciences at the University of Sussex, said: “We’re mechanically creating kinks in a layer of graphene. It’s a bit like nano-origami.  

“This kind of technology – ‘straintronics’ using nanomaterials as opposed to electronics – allows space for more chips inside any device. Everything we want to do with computers – to speed them up – can be done by crinkling graphene like this.” 

Discovered in 2004, graphene is an atom-thick sheet of carbon atoms, which, due to its nano-sized width, is effectively a 2D material. Graphene is best known for its exceptional strength, but also for the material’s conductivity properties, which has already generated much interest in the electronics industry including from Samsung Electronics. 

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The field of straintronics has already shown that deforming the structure of 2D nanomaterials like graphene, but also molybdenum disulfide, can unlock key electronic properties, but the exact impact of different “folds” remains poorly understood, argued the researchers.  

Yet the behavior of those materials offers huge potential for high-performance devices: for example, changing the structure of a strip of 2D material can change its doping properties, which correspond to electron density, and effectively convert the material into a superconductor.  

The researchers carried an in-depth study of the impact of structural changes on properties, such as doping in strips of graphene and of molybdenum disulfide. From kinks and wrinkles to pit-holes, they observed how the materials could be twisted and turned to eventually be used to design smaller electronic components.  

Manoj Tripathi, research fellow in nano-structured materials at the University of Sussex, who led the research, said: “We’ve shown we can create structures from graphene and other 2D materials simply by adding deliberate kinks into the structure. By making this sort of corrugation we can create a smart electronic component, like a transistor, or a logic gate.” 

SEE: Microsoft’s quantum cloud computing plans take another big step forward

The findings are likely to resonate in an industry pressed to conform to Moore’s law, which holds that the number of transistors on a microchip doubles every two years, in response for growing demand for faster computing services. The problem is, engineers are struggling to find ways to fit much more processing power into tiny chips, creating a big problem for the traditional semiconducting industry. 

A tiny graphene-based transistor could significantly help overcome these hurdles. “Using these nanomaterials will make our computer chips smaller and faster. It is absolutely critical that this happens as computer manufacturers are now at the limit of what they can do with traditional semiconducting technology. Ultimately, this will make our computers and phones thousands of times faster in the future,” said Dalton. 

Since it was discovered over 15 years ago, graphene has struggled to find as many applications as was initially hoped for, and the material has often been presented as a victim of its own hype. But then, it took over a century for the first silicon chip to be created after the material was discovered in 1824. Dalton and Tripathi’s research, in that light, seems to be another step towards finding a potentially game-changing use for graphene.

Daphne Leprince-Ringuet

By: Daphne Leprince-Ringuet

Subject Zero Science

Graphene Processors and Quantum Gates Since the 1960s, Moore’s law has accurately predicted the evolution trend of processors as to the amount of transistor doubling every 2 years. But lately we’ve seen something odd happening, processor clocks aren’t getting any faster. This has to do with another law called Dennard Scaling and it seems that the good old days with silicon chips are over. Hello everyone, subject zero here! Thankfully the solution might have been available for quite some time now and Graphene offers something quite unique to this problem, not only for your everyday processor types, but also Quantum computing. In 2009 it was speculated that by now we would have the famous 400GHz processors, but this technology has proven itself to be a bit more complicated than previously thought however most scientists including me, believe that in the next 5 years we will see the first Graphene commercial hardware come to reality. References https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum…https://www.nature.com/articles/s4153…https://www.hpcwire.com/2019/05/08/gr…https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphen…https://www.computerhope.com/history/…http://www.tfcbooks.com/teslafaq/q&a_…https://www.rambus.com/blogs/understa…https://www.technologyreview.com/s/51…https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/13…https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases…https://www.nature.com/articles/srep2…http://infowebbie.com/scienceupdate/s…https://graphene-flagship.eu/field-ef…https://github.com/karlrupp/microproc…https://aip.scitation.org/doi/full/10…https://www.theglobeandmail.com/repor…

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