Researchers invented an air filter that instantly eliminates 99.8% of COVID-19
via LeapsMag / Instagram

Researchers at the University of Houston have developed a filtration system that can instantly neutralize and kill 99.8% of the coronavirus after a single pass through.

"It's basically a high-performance COVID-19 killer," Dr. Garrett Peel of Medistar, who helped craft the design, said according to Fox News.

The filter looks to be an important tool in fighting a virus that can remain in the air for hours and, in turn, spread more readily than viruses like the common flu. Harvard Health says that aerosolized coronavirus can remain in the air for up to three hours.

People who are asymptomatic can easily spread it to multiple people when they talk, breathe, cough, or sneeze.


In a world that has yet to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, an air filtration system is one of the best ways to combat the airborne disease at a time when businesses and schools are set to re-open across the country.

The filter was primarily designed by Zhifeng Ren, director of the Texas Center for Superconductivity at UH, in collaboration with Monzer Hourani, CEO of Medistar, a Houston-based medical real estate development firm.

via PixaBay

"This filter could be useful in airports and in airplanes, in office buildings, schools, and cruise ships to stop the spread of COVID-19," Ren, a co-author of the research paper said in a press release.

"Its ability to help control the spread of the virus could be very useful for society," Ren added.

Researchers describe the device as a "catch and kill" filter, made of commercially-available nickel foam that is heated to 392° F. Viruses like COVID-19 are unable to survive in temperatures above 158° F.

"It is porous, allowing the flow of air, and electrically conductive, which allowed it to be heated," Ren said in a statement. "It is also flexible."

When heated, the filter is able to kill 99.8% of COVID-19 that passed through it during laboratory tests, along with 99.9% of anthrax spores.

University of Houstonvia Steven Saing / Flickr

The developers of the filter would like it to be rolled out to organizations in order of importance.

Peel says it should be deployed "beginning with high-priority venues, where essential workers are at elevated risk of exposure — particularly schools, hospitals and health care facilities, as well as public transit environs such as airplanes."

"We want to roll this out of Texas first and start deploying them in schools, nursing homes," Peel added. "This unit could be deployed in 60 days."

Researchers also hope to develop a smaller, desktop version that people can put on their desks at work to protect them from airborne COVID-19.

If you've never seen a Maori haka performed, you're missing out.

The Maori are the indigenous peoples of New Zealand, and their language and customs are an integral part of the island nation. One of the most recognizable Maori traditions outside of New Zealand is the haka, a ceremonial dance or challenge usually performed in a group. The haka represents the pride, strength, and unity of a tribe and is characterized by foot-stamping, body slapping, tongue protrusions, and rhythmic chanting.

Haka is performed at weddings as a sign of reverence and respect for the bride and groom and are also frequently seen before sports competitions, such as rugby matches.

Here's an example of a rugby haka:

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

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via Budweiser

Budweiser beer, and its low-calorie counterpart, Bud Light, have created some of the most memorable Super Bowl commercials of the past 37 years.

There were the Clydesdales playing football and the poor lost puppy who found its way home because of the helpful horses. Then there were the funny frogs who repeated the brand name, "Bud," "Weis," "Er."

We can't forget the "Wassup?!" ad that premiered in December 1999, spawning the most obnoxious catchphrase of the new millennium.

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via Good Morning America

Anyone who's an educator knows that teaching is about a lot more than a paycheck. "Teaching is not a job, but a way of life, a lens by which I see the world, and I can't imagine a life that did not include the ups and downs of changing and being changed by other people," Amber Chandler writes in Education Week.

So it's no surprise that Kelly Klein, 54, who's taught at Falcon Heights Elementary in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, for the past 32 years still teaches her kindergarten class even as she is being treated for stage-3 ovarian cancer.

Her class is learning remotely due to the COIVD-19 pandemic, so she is able to continue doing what she loves from her computer at M Health Fairview Lakes Medical Center in Wyoming, Minnesota, even while undergoing chemotherapy.

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