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Latest COVID strain doesn’t appear to pose a threat in Las Vegas Valley

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Latest COVID strain doesn’t appear to pose a threat in Las Vegas Valley


Wastewater is an early warning system for COVID and other diseases, and a collaborative effort in Nevada appears to be the first in the nation to detect a new strain of the disease — known as FLiRT.

“We detected it as early as March 29,” said UNLV Professor Dr. Edwin Oh, director of the UNLV lab that monitors wastewater in southern and northern Nevada, adding that his check of various websites from labs across the country that do such wastewater monitoring, indicates UNLV was first in finding the new variant.

The goal of the wastewater surveillance and research is to determine if any new strain of the constantly evolving disease — that once killed 25,000 Americans a week at its height in 2020 — might pose a problem for humans.

“So far it does not look like it (FLiRT) poses any major threats,” Oh said of the the two variants — KP.1 and KP.2. — that are mutations of FLiRT.

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“We nerd out a lot on the different pathogens and variants,” Oh said of his crew that includes UNLV undergrads and wastewater treatment plant operators. About 15 different sites are checked weekly in Clark County and three or four sites in Northern Nevada.

The effort is to warn and protect the community from COVID variants that could raise the risk of major sickness potential.

Genetic material from the virus that causes COVID-19 can be found in human waste even when individuals have no symptoms. Tracking the amount of viral genetic material (viral load) in wastewater is an emerging method of monitoring increasing and decreasing trends of the virus in communities.

Wastewater surveillance has been ongoing for years. The most recent variant that raised eyebrows was JN.1 around Christmas time, Oh said. “It had about 50 mutations and a lot of us were concerned that it might bring added risk to the immunocompromised (population) or the vaccine resistant (population).”

The wastewater monitoring project is a collaboration between Southern Nevada Health District, Southern Nevada Water Authority, Desert Research Institute and UNLV.

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Contact Marvin Clemons at mclemons@reviewjournal.com.



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Powerful directional microwave downs six UASs in Nevada desert

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Powerful directional microwave downs six UASs in Nevada desert


On May 21, the US Army teamed up with the tech company Epirus to test the cutting-edge Leonidas anti-aircraft system in the Nevada desert. During the test, Leonidas showcased its prowess by successfully shooting down six unmanned aerial systems [UAS] using a silent high-power microwave [HPM] device, according to a statement from Epirus. 

Photo credit: Epirus Inc

Epirus has introduced three different versions of the Leonidas counter-electronics system in less than two years. The latest version debuted with impressive results at a recent Department of Defense [DoD] technology demonstration, highlighting the company’s leadership in the counter-electronics market. 

The heart of Leonidas is Epirus SmartPower. This innovation arose from the goal of creating a smaller, yet equally powerful and efficient, HPM system compared to older models. Epirus claims that they have revolutionized the way we think about HPM systems by transitioning from analog to digital technology.

Powerful directional microwave downs six UASs in Nevada desert
Epirus screenshot

Inside Leonidas

Underneath the hood of the Leonidas, you’ll find gallium-nitride-based linear switchable amplifier modules [LRAMs] that come with unique power management, control, and amplification features. This LRAM design offers remarkable flexibility, unmatched reliability, and advantages over other high-power microwave [HPM] methods. 

Each LRAM is built on Epirus’ innovative SmartPower technology platform, which combines hardware, software, and intelligent services to deliver outstanding power management. Thanks to SmartPower, Leonidas can achieve the high power output needed for HPM pulses without overheating. 

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Lastly, Leonidas boasts software-defined capabilities that allow for highly complex and customizable waveforms. Being software-defined means Leonidas can fine-tune its waveforms to either target a single entity in tight spaces or cover broader areas. This provides the operational flexibility to neutralize threats like enemy drones close to friendly assets or large swarms of drones with the same system.

Microwaves as a weapon

Microwaves, when they reach their target, have the unique capability to induce currents in electronic circuits. This can lead to malfunctions or even permanent damage to electronic components, making these systems highly effective against electronic devices and communication infrastructure. 

Beyond interfering with electronics, powerful microwave beams can also produce heat. This thermal effect can cause physical damage to materials and structures, though it’s a less common application compared to causing electronic disturbances. 

To function, microwave systems are typically powered by high-voltage sources that generate the necessary energy for the microwaves. The overall power and efficiency of both the microwave generation and its delivery system are crucial elements that determine the weapon’s effectiveness.

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Mobile Leonidas

Leonidas is a cutting-edge, high-power solid-state HPM system that leverages gallium nitride [GaN] semiconductors to deliver unparalleled anti-electron effects. This advanced system is designed to minimize size, weight, and deployment time while maximizing maneuverability, safety, and operator control. 

With Leonidas Mobile, you get the flexibility to integrate this powerful system into any vehicle or tow truck, offering robust anti-UAS and anti-swarm capabilities on the battlefield. As a fully mobile counter-electronics solution, Leonidas Mobile represents a groundbreaking advancement in mission assurance.

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Nevada Donor Network acquires new building for Donor Care Unit

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Nevada Donor Network acquires new building for Donor Care Unit


LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Nevada Donor Network is getting ready to expand its footprint in Las Vegas.

This week, organization officials announced they have purchased a 35,000-square-foot building, which is located at 1050 E. Sahara Avenue.

The new building will house the organization’s Donor Care Unit, which is “designed to enhance efficiencies and improve outcomes across all facets of the donation process.”

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“The establishment of our Donor Care Unit represents a monumental step forward in our commitment to serve our community,” said Elizabeth Shipman, Vice President of Organ Operations at Nevada Donor Network. “Through this initiative, we aim to revolutionize the donation process, ensuring that every donor’s legacy lives on through the gift of life.”

Nevada Donor Network said they were able to purchase and remodel the building with state-issued ARPA grant funds, which come from the American Rescue Plan Act.

The DCU is expected to open and begin operations in the first quarter of 2025.

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, since 1988, 2,222 transplants have been performed in Nevada. From January 1 through May 26, 2024, there have been 56 transplants performed in Nevada.

When looking at the number of people who are waiting for transplants, HHS data shows 302 people are registered in Nevada. All of those patients are waiting for either a kidney or pancreas transplant.

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To learn more about how to become an organ donor, you can learn more here.





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ROH TV Spoilers From Las Vegas, Nevada (Taped On 5/25)

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ROH TV Spoilers From Las Vegas, Nevada (Taped On 5/25)


On May 25, Ring of Honor taped matches for an upcoming episode of ROH TV alongside AEW Collision from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The spoilers, courtesy of F4WOnline.com, are as follows:

  • Zak Knight defeated Jon Cruz in a dark match.
  • Top Flight (Dante & Darius Martin) defeated The Workhorsemen (JD Drake & Anthony Henry)
  • Queen Aminata defeated Mazzerati
  • The Dark Order (John Silver, Evil Uno, and Alex Reynolds defeated The Iron Savages (Boulder and Bronson) and Jacked Jameson and Johnny TV, Cole Karter, and Griff Garrison
  • Shane Taylor Promotions (Shane Taylor and Lee Moriarty) defeated Nick Comoroto and Jacoby Watts
  • ROH World Women’s TV Champion Billie Starkz defeated Dafaya
    • Red Velvet attacked Starkz after the match. Queen Aminata was in Billie’s corner.
  • ROH World TV Championship: Kyle Fletcher (c) defeated Dalton Castle

WrestleZone has coverage of ROH TV as it airs every Thursday.

Emmy Camacho Reflects On Learning From Allison Danger, ROH Women’s Champ Athena



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