Microsoft buys Bethesda Software DOOM Fallout Elder Scrolls author among others - The video game sector has suffered a huge jolt caused by Microsoft's latest move. An action that moves tab, and in what way, in the next generation console war that will begin in November. Microsoft has bought Bethesda Software for 7.500 million dollars (about 6.400 million euros).

To understand the magnitude of this purchase by Microsoft you just have to stop at another couple of similar situations that have been made over the past few years. One was for the same Microsoft when it paid 2.500 million (about 2.150 million euros) to stay with Mojang and therefore the license of Minecraft and the other the 4.000 million dollars that Disney paid for Lucasfilm, staying with Star Wars, Indiana Jones and many others.

The purchase of Bethesda Software by Microsoft is a huge punch on the table because inside ZeniMax Media, parent company of Bethesda Software, are large studios of the size of Id Software, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog and Roundhouse Studios.

Microsoft buys Bethesda Software DOOM Fallout Elder Scrolls author

If they don't sound like you, even the mere mention of his best-known works makes you clear the bomb: DOOM, Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, Starfield, Dishonored, Prey, Quake, Wolfenstein and many more.

A long list of sagas that usually deliver authentic games that will arrive at the future Xbox Series S and Xbox Series S and the best: will be available on the Xbox Game Pass service from day one.

Phil Spencer, CEO of Xbox, has made clear the importance of this agreement: "like us, Bethesda believes passionately in creating a wide range of creative experiences, exploring new video game franchises, and telling fantastic stories. All their great work, of course, will continue and grow and we hope to empower them with Microsoft's resources and support to scale their creative visions to more players in new ways for all of you."

Microsoft plans to close the acquisition of Bethesda Software during the second half of fiscal year 2021 and it is expected that more than 2,300 employees will gradually become part of the Xbox Game Studios family.

End of the Microsoft buys Bethesda Software DOOM Fallout Elder Scrolls author article

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Antigen tests are consolidated as the solution to the lack of diagnostic capability of coronavirus, but science makes it clear that they are not perfect

Next week the community of Madrid will start performing antigen tests to diagnose the coronavirus quickly thanks to the purchase of 2 million tests of this type from the company Abbott, as announced the community itself.

The Vice-consejero de Salud Pública Y plan Covid-19, Antonio Zapatero, and the director of Public Health, Elena Andradas, explained that the new tests are a rapid technique of detection of antigens COVID-19, which will allow to detect more cases, faster and at lower cost.

While PCR tests collect the genetic material of the coronavirus, antigen tests record the surface proteins of the virus. They are easier to detect, making testing faster and cheaper, and potentially available for use at home.

So far, doubts about their accuracy and sensitivity have limited the mass adoption of such tests and PCRs remain the diagnostic test recommended by health authorities to confirm or rule out the presence of coronavirus.

However, the urgency of countries to control regrowth-especially after the start of the school year— and the development of better antigen tests are driving their demand worldwide.

This is all you need to know.

Abbot, Roche and other large companies do business with the tests and drive their improvement

U.S. pharmaceutical company Abbot has become the leader in the antigen testing business after being the first to receive authorization to market its tests, assuring that they had a sensitivity of more than 93% and a specificity of more than 99%.

Sensitivity refers to the ability to detect cases and specificity to the ability to differentiate them. Basically, sensitive tests generate few false negatives and specific tests give few false positives.

In the United States, Abbott expects to send tens of millions of tests in September, reaching 50 million tests a month since early October.

At the end of the first week of September, the company also received certification from the European Commission that allows it to market in our country.

Industry giant Roche has also just made a similar announcement, saying it will launch an antigen test at the end of September in all markets where it can operate with the authorisation of the European Commission. The test has a sensitivity of 96.52% and a specificity of 99.68%, according to the company, which wants to produce 40 million monthly tests.

Another company that has started distributing in Spain is Vircell, responsible for distributing rapid tests that detect COVID - 19 in just 30 minutes.

Are these tests really useful? All problems with quick tests

The most attractive thing about antigen tests is that they are easy to perform and very fast, but their sensitivity to coronavirus is lower than that of a PCR: at the time it was estimated that these tests are lost between 15% and 20% of infections.

In the case of the Abbott tests, considered the best on the market, "when used in people who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 in a standard PCR test, the Abbott antigen test correctly detected the virus in 95-100% of cases if the samples were collected within the week after the onset of symptoms," notes the journal Nature.

However, " the proportion dropped to 75% if samples were taken more than a week after people first showed symptoms."

That is, by requiring a higher viral load to detect the presence of the virus, rapid antigen tests are less effective when the infection is more advanced.

In addition, it should be borne in mind that manufacturers do not always set their specificity and sensitivity parameters according to the same criteria. To measure them you have to use a gold standard, which in this case would be the PCR test, but not all companies use this test as a reference.

The lower sensitivity of the antigen test can be an advantage

PCR tests have such a high sensitivity that they can even detect viral load in a patient who is no longer infectious or even in whom the virus is no longer active.

In fact, the first reported cases of reinfections at the onset of the pandemic were ruled out after PCR was found to detect the genetic material of the inactive virus.

In contrast, antigen-based tests quickly identify people who have high levels of viruses and therefore are more likely to be infectious to others. This would make it possible to take action more quickly, says Marion Koopmans, a virologist at the Erasmus University Medical Centre in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, at Nature.

The expert admits that this idea has some limitations, since it is not yet clear what is the threshold from which a person is no longer contagious.

However, some recent studies are beginning to point out that subjecting people to this type of less sensitive but faster tests about twice a week is more effective in controlling the spread of the virus than performing PCR once every fifteen days, says Nature.

Countries such as India or the Philippines are already using antigen tests massively, as are, for example, Italian airports. However, the official recommendation is that the results should always be confirmed with a PCR test whenever possible.

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