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Researchers reveal anticancer property of nanomaterials with mitosis targeting mechanism



Chinese Academy of Sciences

A research group led by Professor LI Hongchang of the Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology (SIAT) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has identified a new anticancer property of black phosphorus (BP) nanomaterials with a mitosis targeting mechanism.

Their findings were published in Nature Nanotechnology August 5.

Nanomaterials have shown great promise in the treatment of cancer. However, whether a certain nanomaterial can target a specific organelle or even a specific biomolecule to cause a specific cellular effect, as in the case of many commonly used small molecular drugs, remains largely unknown, preventing their inclusion in mainstream clinical applications.

In this study, researchers discovered a new nano-biological effect in which BP nanomaterials directly affect the heart of all mitotic life as well as the centrosome machinery of the cell cycle, and therefore hold cancer-fighting promise.

At the molecular level, they further identified the mitotic kinase PLK1 as a specific target of BP nanomaterials in cell cycle progression.

The study reveals a molecular mechanism of the tumoricidal properties of BP and proposes a direction for the biomedical application of nanomaterials by exploring their intrinsic bioactivities.

Based on this study, they proposed that each type of nanomaterial would have specific interactions with certain machines within the cell, meaning that nanomaterials can be applied for true nanomedicine development with their intrinsic nano-bio properties. .

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Guangdong Provincial Natural Science Foundation, and the Shenzhen Science and Technology Program.

A model to illustrate the molecular anticancer activity of BP nanomaterials by blocking mitotic progression (Image by SIAT)

/ Public distribution. This material is from the original organization and may be ad hoc in nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View full here.


COVID-19 vaccines offer better protection than natural immunity against previous infections



In today’s MMWR, a study of COVID-19 infections in Kentucky in people previously infected with SAR-CoV-2 shows unvaccinated individuals more than twice as likely to be re-infected by COVID-19 than those who were fully vaccinated after onset contract the virus. These data further indicate that COVID-19 vaccines offer better protection than natural immunity alone and that vaccines, even after a previous infection, help prevent re-infections.

If you have had COVID-19 in the past, please get vaccinated anyway. This study shows that you are twice as likely to get infected again if you are not vaccinated. Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and others, especially since the most contagious Delta variant is spreading across the country. “

Dr Rochelle Walensky, Director of the CDC

The study of hundreds of Kentucky residents who had already been infected until June 2021 found that those who were not vaccinated had a 2.34 times greater risk of re-infection than those who were fully vaccinated. The results suggest that among people who have had COVID-19 in the past, full vaccination offers additional protection against reinfection.

What’s more, a second publication from the MMWR shows that vaccines have prevented COVID-19-related hospitalizations among the age groups most at risk. As cases, hospitalizations and deaths increase, data from today’s MMWR reinforces that COVID-19 vaccines are the best way to prevent COVID-19.

COVID-19 vaccines remain safe and effective. They prevent serious illness, hospitalization and death. Additionally, even among the rare cases of COVID-19 among fully or partially vaccinated vaccines, people are more likely to have a milder and shorter illness than those who are not vaccinated. The CDC continues to recommend that all ages 12 and over be vaccinated against COVID-19.


Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention


KBS sells 264,149 square foot office tower in Denver, Colo. For $ 66 million



DENVER – (COMMERCIAL THREAD) – KBS, one of the largest investors in blue chip commercial real estate, has sold Peakview Tower, a nine story, 264,149 square foot office tower in Greenwood Village, Colorado, in the South Market. is from Denver. The property was purchased by a joint venture led by Vanderbilt Office Properties for $ 66 million.

KBS originally acquired Peakview Tower in August 2012, recognizing the high value potential of the Denver market, according to Gio Cordoves, KBS regional president West.

“As in all markets in which KBS invests, Denver has strong job and population growth, solid infrastructure and a number of respected universities. The market is also attracting top tech talent, with Millennials making up 33% of the population and Denver having the largest net migration of Millennials in 2019, ”Cordoves said. “By acquiring this trophy office building nine years ago, KBS identified a premium asset well located in an emerging market positioned for steady growth in the years to come. Today we fulfilled that promise in the sale of Peakview Tower. ”

Located in Fiddler’s Green Circle, a suburban micro-market with a traditionally low Class A vacancy rate, the tower features 27,600 square feet of floors, ceiling heights of over 9 feet, covered and attached parking and a two-story lobby atrium, among a host of other modern conveniences for office tenants.

“Peakview Tower has a strong appeal for tenants looking for well-appointed office space ideally located in one of Denver’s most prestigious and successful micro-markets,” said Tim Helgeson, asset manager for Peakview Tower and senior vice president for KBS. “With its generous ceiling heights and wide line of windows offering views of the Rocky Mountains, the building maximizes natural light, reduces energy consumption, while providing a beautiful working environment for tenants in this market.

Built in 2001, KBS recently completed a series of landmark asset upgrades, most recently adding a state-of-the-art fitness center and boutique tenant lounge offering coffee service with a barista. in a contemporary setting next to an outdoor patio.

In addition to top-notch on-site amenities, the Peakview Tower provides access to amenities typically only found in urban areas, such as a food court, Starbucks, grocery store, movie theater, more from 200 hotel rooms, the Denver streetcar system and a variety of shopping, dining and entertainment options – all within a five-minute walk of the building, ”says Helgeson. “This optimal location gives the property a distinct advantage in the market and makes it particularly attractive to buyers.

“The Peakview Tower’s exceptional design, unrivaled location, and proximity to everything office tenants desire in the market has drawn us to the property,” says Chuck Gillum of Vanderbilt Office Properties. “This acquisition for us is the first of many to come to the Denver market.”

Mark Katz, Senior Managing Director and Peter Merrion, Senior Managing Director at JLL, represented KBS in the sale of Peakview Tower.

“KBS has been able to maintain a high average occupancy rate at Peakview Tower well above others in the market for the past five years, even during renovations and throughout the pandemic,” Merrion said. “This is a testament to KBS’s proven property management strategy, as well as the high value of this asset. ”

Attorneys Bruce Fischer and Howard Chu, and paralegal Amanda Kennedy of the global law firm Greenberg Traurig, of the Orange County office of LLP, as well as attorney Mark Baker of the Greenberg Traurig office in Denver, represented KBS as legal advisor in the acquisition.

“We were very pleased to represent KBS in this important strategic transaction,” said Fischer, president of Greenberg Traurig of the West Coast real estate practice and co-managing shareholder of the Orange County office, who led the Greenberg Traurig team representing KBS.

The Peakview Tower is located at 6465 Greenwood Plaza Boulevard in Greenwood Village, Colorado.

Please find photos of the property here.

About KBS

KBS is one of the largest investors in leading commercial real estate in the country. As an SEC-registered private equity real estate firm and investment advisor, KBS and its affiliates have completed over $ 43 billion in transactional activity on behalf of private and institutional investors worldwide. Founded in 1992 by Peter Bren and Chuck Schreiber, KBS acquires and operates premier commercial real estate in some of the country’s most successful epicenters. The firm is committed to its business ethics, its business relations and its constant concern to exceed the expectations of its investors, partners and tenants. Registration with the SEC as an investment advisor does not imply any particular level of skill or training. For more information on KBS, please visit www.kbs.com.

About Vanderbilt Office Properties

Vanderbilt Office Properties (“VOP”) is a vertically integrated real estate investment manager focused on office investment opportunities in the United States. , manages and / or leases 16.8 million square feet of office space. For more information on VOP, please visit www.vanderbiltptrs.com.

This press release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, including statements relating to the ability of KBS to invest in and manage a diversified portfolio and performance of Peakview Tower and the Denver, Colorado real estate market. These statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other known and unknown factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of KBS and / or Peakview Tower to be materially different from the future results, performance or achievements expressed or underperformed. understood by these forward-looking statements. statements.


The 14 Best Supplements for Boosting Immunity, Doctorate and RD



The immune system has seen a resurgence of interest in our world today for obvious reasons. Likewise, supplements that boost immunity have grown in popularity and use. And although it took a global health crisis for immunity to be a priority for many of us, mindbodygreen has always viewed a strong immune system as the cornerstone of overall health and wellness. .

We believe that immune health is rooted in key lifestyle strategies, like eating a nutrient-dense diet, getting quality sleep, moving often, and helping control stress. High-quality, targeted supplements also fit into this larger holistic picture of immune resilience. *

It can be difficult to navigate the maze of immune health supplements and differentiate one product from another. That’s why mindbodygreen has done the job for you. I have a doctorate. scientist and dietician (and director of scientific affairs at mbg) who personally specializes in nutritional product development and innovation, so I was happy to help bring together, critically analyze and share the best options.

Not only will you find our 14 best supplements for immune health, but also simplified tips on what to look for and avoid, as well as practical information on complementary lifestyle strategies to support your immune system.


How 5G interference can negatively affect weather forecasts



Some scientists are trying to stop the expansion of 5G cellular networks.

Boulder, Colorado – Some meteorologists are concerned that the expansion of the 5G cellular network could interfere with satellite observations and reduce the effectiveness of weather forecasts.

The Earth’s atmosphere naturally emits radio waves. Satellite sensors pick up these radio waves and convert them into meteorological data such as temperature and water vapor.

These radio waves are very weak and travel at very specific frequencies.

“And these frequencies, which are about half a dozen of them, are a gift of nature, and they’re the only ones that work that way,” meteorologist Bill Mahony said. National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

According to Mahony, 90% of the data entered into the computer prediction model comes from information about these radio waves.

The problem for meteorologists is that mobile operators want to buy these frequencies from the government.

According to Mahony, only certain frequencies are suitable for communication, and these frequencies are highly sought after because they can transmit data through the metal of a car or the walls of a house.

And they can support more users.

He said the government had already avoided certain frequencies that could affect the weather forecast, and they quickly expressed their willingness to sell more.

The only way for cellular carriers to expand their 5th generation cellular networks, known as 5G, is to add a wider frequency range.

The frequencies sold are in the 24GHz range.

This is very close to the 23.8 GHz signal emitted by water vapor. Mahony is concerned that 5G cell activity could bleed and disrupt weather satellites.

He said weather satellites could interpret cell activity as water vapor, rendering one of the most important elements of weather forecasting unusable.

“If we lose or interfere with the data from these passive channels, we can take our weather forecasting skills back 30 years,” says Mahoney.

Mahony and other scientists testified in House committee meeting On July 20, we’ll try to stop the expansion, or at least delay it.

“I am optimistic that we will be able to protect these channels one day, and maybe we can implement a solution,” he said.

Mahony says he wants to successfully expand the 5G cellular network and wants more time to study the impact so the atmospheric science community can find alternative solutions.

“And we think the federal government should probably use some of the funding from these spectrum auctions to fund additional research,” he said. .. “To give you a better understanding of what the problem space really is.”

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Studies Show Shots Give COVID-19 Survivors High Immunity | national



Even people who have recovered from COVID-19 are encouraged to get vaccinated, especially as the number of highly contagious delta mutants increases. New studies show that survivors who ignore advice are more than twice as likely to be re-infected.

A Friday report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that people who have suffered a single COVID-19 attack dramatically increase the number of immune cells that fight the virus and gain broader protection bonuses against the new mutants. Increased evidence of the play. Vaccination.

“Even if you’ve been infected with COVID-19 before, get vaccinated,” CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said. “Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and others around you, especially as more contagious delta variants are spreading across the country.”

One of the main reasons Americans don’t plan to vaccinate, according to a new Gallup study, is the belief that they are already infected with COVID-19 and are protected. From the start, health officials urged survivors to seek broader immunization pledges. The injections aren’t perfect, but they also offer strong protection against hospitalization and death from delta mutants.

Scientists say infections usually protect survivors from severe re-infections with at least similar versions of the virus, but blood tests show less protection against mutants of concern.

CDC research provides concrete evidence.

Researchers interviewed residents of Kentucky with a lab-confirmed coronavirus infection in 2020. The majority of them occurred between October and December. They compared 246 re-infected in May or June this year with 492 similar survivors who remained healthy. Unvaccinated survivors had a significantly higher risk of reinfection than fully vaccinated survivors, but most had their first COVID-19 attack only 6 to 9 months ago. Wakes up.

Another variant of the coronavirus caused most illness in 2020, but the new alpha version prevailed in May and June in Kentucky, according to the study’s lead author, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention. . Alyson Cavanaugh, who works with the Department of Health, said.

This suggests that the innate immunity against previous infections is not as strong as the boost these people can get from the vaccination as the virus progresses.

Little information is yet available on reinfection with the new delta variant. However, U.S. health officials have said Delta appears to be at greater risk for reinfection than the once common alpha mutant six months after the previous infection, according to first UK data. I point out.

Vaccination of COVID-19 survivors “no doubt” improves both the amount and extent of immunity. This “will allow us to cover not only the original (virus) but also the variants,” Dr.Anthony Fauci, the US government’s leading infectious disease expert, said in a recent White House briefing. ..

The CDC recommends that everyone be fully vaccinated, that is, both be vaccinated twice.

However, in another study published Friday to the JAMA Network Open, researchers at Rush University found that a single dose of the vaccine dramatically increased the number of immune cells that fight and infect the previously infected virus. He reported that he could get it with two injections than someone who had never done before.

Other recent studies published in Science and Nature have shown that the combination of previous infections and vaccination also broadens people’s immunity to changing viruses. This is what virologist Shane Crotty of the Lahora Institute of Immunology in California calls “hybrid immunity”.

Vaccinated survivors “can make antibodies that can recognize all types of mutants, even if they have never been exposed to them,” Crotti said. “It’s pretty sweet.”

One of the warnings for those considering skipping vaccination if they have already been infected: The degree of innate immunity varies from person to person and likely depends on the severity of the initial illness. A Rush University study found that four of 29 people previously infected did not have detectable antibodies before vaccination. The vaccine worked the same as a person who had never received COVID-19.

Why do so many previously infected people respond so strongly to vaccination? It has to do with how the immune system develops multiple layers of protection.

After vaccination or infection, the body develops antibodies that can dodge the coronavirus the next time it tries to invade it. They naturally declined over time. If the infection passes through them, the T cells help prevent serious illness by killing the cells infected with the virus, and the memory B cells work to make many new antibodies.

These memory B cells do more than just make a copy of the original antibody. John Wellie, an immunologist at the University of Pennsylvania, explained that in an immune system boot camp called the germinal center, antibody-producing genes are mutated to test the range of these virus fighters.

The result is essentially a library of antibody recipes for the body to choose from after future exposure. The process becomes more powerful when the vaccination triggers the original memory of the immune system’s fight against the virus itself.

Due to the hyperinfectivity of the delta mutant, vaccination despite previous infections is “more important now than before to be certain,” Crotti said. “The extent of antibodies and their potency against mutants is much better than current antibodies.”


The Associated Press’s Department of Health Sciences is supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. AP is solely responsible for all content.

Source Link Studies Show Shots Give COVID-19 Survivors High Immunity | national


The truth about COVID-19 vaccines and infertility



Among the many things the pandemic has taught us? When it comes to COVID-19 and how to best protect yourself against the coronavirus, there is often a lot of confusion and misinformation.

This is the case with vaccines developed to fight the virus: Some of the worrying claims that have been in the news lately suggest that they could possibly cause reproductive health problems for a woman or interfere with her ability to conceive. Resource The editors spoke with Baptist Health obstetrician and gynecologist Larry Scott Spiegelman, MD, who helped separate fact from fiction on this important topic.

Resource: Is there any data to support the idea that COVID-19 vaccines – whether Moderna, Pfizer, or Johnson & Johnson – can cause infertility?

Larry Scott Spiegelman, MD, obstetrician and gynecologist at Baptist Health South Florida

Dr. Spiegelman: No, in fact, there have been quite a few studies on infertility in both men and women. Some of them looked at men’s sperm count before and after being vaccinated, and they found absolutely no change. And to date, no one has shown signs of infertility as a result of the vaccine for up to 42 days after receiving a full dose.

In other studies with all three vaccines, some women had unintentional pregnancies while participating in the studies, meaning their pregnancy was unrelated to the vaccine or the study. These patients were followed closely and none of them showed an increased risk of pregnancy complications or birth defects. When it comes to infertility, the fact that they were able to get pregnant while participating in these studies suggests that there was no problem.

Resource: Do these vaccines interact with any of a woman’s reproductive organs?

Dr. Spiegelman: By way of explanation, the COVID-19 vaccine is delivered into the muscle of the upper arm and, for mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, this is where the mRNA is received at the cellular level. Muscle cells take up mRNA without it ever entering the nucleus or affecting the DNA of your cells. It delivers a message to your cells, telling them to make a specific protein – the spike protein – that helps the coronavirus infect people. Your cells then create antibodies to help fight the COVID-19 virus if you are exposed to it.

Now to answer your original question: because these vaccines are absorbed in the area where they are given, they never reach the reproductive organs in appreciable amounts that could affect or bind to the cells of those organs.

Resource: Should women trying to conceive be reluctant to get vaccinated? What about women who are or may be pregnant?

Dr. Spiegelman: For women trying to get pregnant or who are currently pregnant, the American College of OB-GYN and the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine recently released updated recommendations as of July 30.e advise that women should not delay pregnancy if they are currently receiving the vaccine. Understanding that the risks are extremely low to any developing fetus, the two organizations say the vaccine can be safely received in any trimester. In addition, the American College of OB-GYN strongly encourages all women to get the vaccine now, whether or not they are planning to become pregnant. Bottom Line: If you want to have a baby, it is not necessary to delay the pregnancy, even if you have received the vaccine.

Resource: Can the COVID-19 vaccine affect fertility in men?

Dr. Spiegelman: In men, there is no evidence of vaccine-related infertility. There have been several studies that have compared the sperm count of men before and after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, and no significant changes were noted. In addition, there was no increase in the rates of miscarriages or birth defects in pregnancies in which the male partner received the vaccine.

Resource: What about the virus itself – does COVID-19 affect pregnancy or fertility?

Dr. Spiegelman: When it comes to the effects of the coronavirus itself, we know several things. First, pregnant women who are infected with the virus get much sicker than women who are not. Second, studies show that vaccinated women not only make good antibodies for themselves, but also pass these antibodies to their babies through the umbilical cord, thus protecting the baby against COVID-19 once it is born. Third, if a mother breastfeeds her baby, she continues to pass these antibodies to her baby.

What this tells us is that by getting vaccinated, women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant can protect their own health. and that of their baby. Unfortunately, according to the CDC, just over half of all American women eligible to receive the vaccine have been vaccinated to date, which means there are many women who are depriving themselves of the ability to stay well. health during pregnancy. .

This surprises me, because women spend so much time getting antenatal care, seeing their doctor, and preparing for childbirth – yet some have dissociated COVID-19 from their normal prenatal care. Not getting the vaccine while you are pregnant puts you and your baby at greater risk. If you get very sick from COVID-19, the lack of oxygen you are receiving also affects your baby. The potential risks to your baby are much higher if you get sick with COVID than they would be with the vaccine itself.

Resource: Is there anything else women or men should know about the vaccine and their reproductive health?

Dr. Spiegelman: My biggest concern is that by refusing to get the vaccine or not taking the vaccine, many women are putting themselves and their babies at risk.

With the coronavirus sweeping back into South Florida and across the country – especially the Delta variant, which is of great concern – getting the vaccine is more important than ever. The Delta variant is much more contagious, it makes young people sick and makes them even sicker. During the initial wave of COVID-19 last year, one person could pass it on to another person, more or less. But with the Delta variant, studies show that one person can pass it on to between five and ten others.

So even if you are not vaccinated – for whatever reason you think is important – you are exposed to many other people who could potentially pass the virus on to you. And you, in turn, could pass the virus on to your own family and friends. Please don’t take any chances – your health and that of your baby is extremely important.

Tags: Coronavirus, COVID-19, COVID-19 and pregnancy, COVID-19 vaccines, delta variant, infertility, Larry Scott Spiegelman MD, OB-Gyn, reproductive health


Collective immunity to COVID-19? It won’t happen, what then?



Any idea that COVID-19 was going to last just a few months was very misplaced in 2020. Especially after it was recognized that the SARS-CoV-2 virus had spread widely through the air, there was every indication that it would cause repeat damage. episodes of waves. This is what happened during the flu epidemic of 1918.

Plus, very few scientists predicted that we would see the type of mutations that would occur in such a short period of time. This allowed the virus to become both more transmissible and more able to evade immune responses.

The evolution of the virus has been so rapid that the Delta variant, which currently dominates the world, is at least twice as transmissible as the ancestral virus which circulated.

This means that collective immunity is no longer a discussion the world should be having. We should start to avoid using this term in the context of SARS-CoV-2, because it will not materialize – or it is unlikely to materialize – in our lifetime.

When politicians and others talk about collective immunity, unfortunately, they mistakenly think that the current tools at our disposal are adequate to eliminate the virus. This is not what we have on hand at the moment.

Instead, we should be talking about how to live with the virus. The enormous success that is materializing with COVID-19 vaccines allows us to do so, without actually entering the collective immunity threshold.

The peddling of the concept of collective immunity creates a misconception that we are actually going to come to a point where this virus is going to be eliminated. This is unlikely to happen. It will continue to circulate.

There are a number of dangers in continuing to make people believe that it is possible.

First, it could undermine confidence in vaccines. Even if South Africa meets its target of 67% of the population vaccinated – as reported by the Department of Health – there will still be outbreaks of COVID-19. The result will be that people will start to doubt the benefits of getting the vaccine. Additionally, for the now dominant Delta variant, immunity to infection (not just COVID-19 disease) would need to be closer to 84% for the “herd immunity” threshold to be met.

Second, failing to face the reality that collective immunity cannot be achieved will mean countries like South Africa will continue to believe that the current restrictions will get them there. It will jeopardize people’s lives on several fronts, including education and livelihoods.

What is collective immunity?

Collective immunity is when a person infected with the virus will not infect, on average, another person. Thus, you reach a state where the immunity of the population to infection with the virus is such that there are too few people in the environment for continued transmission to occur to others.

This is because they have developed immunity to the infection, or at least developed immunity to the extent that even if they were infected, they could clear the virus very quickly and could not pass it on to others. other people. .

So, herd immunity essentially means that you have caused an absolute disruption in the chain of transmission of the virus in the population in the absence of other interventions that could also interrupt the transmission of the virus, such as wearing face masks.

But some changes have forced a shift in our thinking about collective immunity. It is now seen much more as an aspiration rather than an actual goal.

What changed

First, the evolution of the virus and the mutations that have occurred.

A set of mutations made the virus much more transmissible or infectious. The Delta variant is one example. Initially, we thought the reproduction rate of SARS-CoV-2 was between 2.5 and 4. In other words, in a fully susceptible population, each infected person would infect an average of about two and a half to four years. other people. But the Delta variant is at least twice as transmissible. This means that the Delta variant’s reproduction rate is probably closer to six rather than three.

The second change is that the virus has shown an ability to have mutations that make it resistant to antibody neutralizing activity induced by past infection with the original virus, as well as to antibody responses induced by most. current COVID-19 vaccines.

The third big problem concerns the durability of the protection. Our memory responses currently last at least six to nine months. But that doesn’t mean they’ll protect us from infection with evolving variants, even though such memory responses help alleviate the clinical course of the infection leading to less severe COVID-19.

The fourth problem preventing us from reaching a collective immunity threshold anytime soon is the inequitable distribution of vaccines around the world, slow absorption and slow deployment. Unfortunately, this provides fertile ground for the continued evolution of the virus.

No country is going to lock its borders forever. This means that the entire world population must reach the same type of threshold at around the same time. Currently, only 1% of the population in low-income countries has been vaccinated. And 27% of the world’s population.

With the Delta variant, we would need to ensure that nearly 84% of the world’s population develops protection against infection (in the absence of non-pharmacological interventions) in as short a time as possible.

Next steps

The only lasting solution is to learn to live with the virus.

This will require ensuring that the majority of individuals, especially adults, and especially those at higher risk of developing severe COVID-19 and dying, are vaccinated as quickly as possible. In my opinion, this could be achieved in South Africa with 20 million people vaccinated – not the 40 million target set by the government. But the 20 million should include 90% of people over 60 and 90% of people over 35 who have co-morbidities.

If South Africa reaches this milestone, it could return to a relatively normal way of life, even if the virus continues to circulate and cause an occasional outbreak. It would also ensure a threshold that ensures its health systems are not overwhelmed and people die in large numbers.

We’re just going to have to familiarize ourselves with the idea that SARS-CoV-2 will be like one of the many other viruses that circulate and cause respiratory illness every day. Usually mild infections, and less often severe illness.

So, unfortunately, people will continue to die from COVID-19, but certainly not to the extent seen in the past 18 months. A major advance would be that COVID-19 is not more serious than what is observed in each influenza season (10,000 to 11,000 deaths) in South Africa.

The British experience is the direction in which we should be heading. It comes down to a relatively normal lifestyle, provided we have an adequate number of people vaccinated, and especially people who are at a higher risk of developing severe COVID-19.

The UK currently has nearly 85% of adults who have ever received at least a single dose of the vaccine. As a result, they are able to remove almost any restriction.

The UK is seeing an increase in the number of cases of the Delta variant. But they have seen very minimal changes when it comes to hospitalization and death. The vast majority of people (97%) who still end up hospitalized and die from COVID-19 in the UK are those who have decided not to get the vaccine.


Bone Marrow Donation Registry Celebrates Life-Saving Milestone



BOCA RATON, Florida – The Bone marrow donation registry in Boca Raton celebrates life-saving milestone of 500 blood stem cell donations.

It is an achievement that could not be achieved without the help of selfless individuals.

The Gift of Life-Be The Match Collection Center is the first installation of its kind to be integrated into a registry.

MORE: Gift of Life Opens New Stem Cell Donation

The association aims to cure blood cancer through cell therapy.

Their efforts are personal to Gift of Life CEO and cancer survivor Jay Feinberg.

“[The organization] actually came out of my own research for a bone marrow donor. I was about a year out of college and was told I had leukemia and needed a transplant to save my life, but no one in my family was compatible, ”Feinberg said.

The highlight of what staff do is match donors with those in need. Two of these people were fortunate enough to meet on Friday.

“There are very different people in the world, 7.5 billion, and I needed to find the perfect match to save my life. I have always considered myself to be the luckiest person in the world and that experience the has proven once again. The Gift of Life has been spreading luck and science for 30 years. The Boca Raton collection today celebrates 500 donations of blood stem cells, “said Dave Fromson, a bone marrow transplant recipient.

Donor Josh Posner and his family said they know how important a game can be.

“We all knew that being able to have an opportunity like this isn’t something you should pass up, and the way they raised me was if the tables were turned. What would you do then? if someone who could save your life, you haven’t? ” said stem cell donor Josh Posner.

With a patient diagnosed with blood cancer every three minutes, it’s never too late to make a difference.


AZ HEROES research study receives $ 15 million to continue and expand assessment of COVID-19 immunity and vaccine effectiveness



University of Arizona Health Sciences


AZ HEROES was launched to assess COVID-19 infections among frontline workers through antibody testing. Pictured is a test site in Winslow, Arizona.
Kris Hanning / Arizona University of Health Sciences

A University of Arizona Health Sciences The study on the efficacy and immunity of the COVID-19 vaccine in frontline workers received a $ 15 million award from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to continue ongoing research for another year and expand to include children and focus on underserved populations.

“This phase of the AZ HEROES study will build on what we have already learned, expand our knowledge of vaccine effectiveness as more young people receive

Jeff Burgess

Jeff Burgess
Kris Hanning / Arizona University of Health Sciences

vaccine and provide vital knowledge as new variants of COVID-19 with increased transmissibility develop globally, ”said Dr. Jeff Burgess, who directs AZ HEROES and is associate dean of research and professor at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.

HEROES OF Z – Arizona Healthcare, Emergency Response, and Other Essential Workers Surveillance study – expands participation to include children aged 4 months to 17 years and focuses more on underserved populations. The study initially aimed to assess the incidence of COVID-19 infection, re-infection and immunity among healthcare workers, first responders and other essential workers.

Recent discoveries published in the New England Journal of Medicine have shown that people who contract COVID-19 even after vaccination are likely to have a lower viral load, shorter duration of infection, and milder symptoms than unvaccinated people.

Over the next year, researchers will continue to assess the effectiveness of vaccines, including different types of vaccines and adherence to recommended doses and immunization schedule. They will also assess the duration of vaccine protection, the extent to which vaccines prevent more serious illness in cases where vaccinated people are infected, and the extent to which a previous infection affects the effectiveness of the vaccine.

“This new round of CDC funding is a vote of confidence in the critical research that health scientists at the University of Arizona are conducting on COVID-19 vaccines and immunity,” said the president of the University of Arizona. Robert C. Robbins. “Dr Burgess has assembled an amazing team to work on the AZ HEROES study. The information they collect will benefit people around the world as we continue to find solutions to the global pandemic. This is another exceptional example. from the University of Arizona leadership and research expertise that makes a difference in people’s lives. ”

AZ HEROES was launched last year by researchers at Zuckerman College of Public Health and UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson, thanks to a grant of $ 7.7 million from the CDC. Early findings have helped establish patterns of COVID-19 immunity over time in previously infected and newly infected people who have tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of public health research, and our Zuckerman College of Public Health has shown impressive leadership in collaboration with our other colleges of health sciences and the CDC to collect vital data on COVID immunity and vaccine efficacy in a range of populations, ”said Dr. Michael D. Dake, senior vice president of the Arizona University of Health Sciences. “The AZ HEROES study showcases our expertise in public health on the national scene.”

Under CDC leadership, the AZ HEROES study expanded in December to include university students and assess the vaccine’s effectiveness. The research team has since published data in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report showing that Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are very effective under real conditions.

AZ HEROES researchers are also characterizing knowledge, attitudes and practices related to COVID-19 vaccines among critical workers and participant groups. As the study develops, they will continue to examine associations between these three factors and subsequent vaccination behaviors, including vaccine refusal, reluctance, or incomplete adherence to vaccination recommendations.

In addition to Burgess, the AZ HEROES research team includes: Karen lutrick, assistant professor at the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the College of Medicine – Tucson; Dr. Janko Nikolich-Zugich, Director of the College of Medicine – Tucson’s Department of Immunobiology and co-director of the Center on Aging; and Ed Bedrick, Kate ellingson, Dr. Joe gerald, lynn gerald, Purnima Madhivanan, and Sun Xiaoxiao at Zuckerman College of Public Health.

“I am very proud of our faculty of public health. This study shows how they collaborate to provide high-level research in times of crisis, research that draws on their complementary expertise and experience, ”said Dr. Iman Hakim, Dean of Zuckerman College of Public Health. “This research shows our capabilities at the national level. And what we learn from this study will advance the public health response to COVID around the world and save lives.”

AZ HEROES is always recruiting participants, including healthcare workers, first responders and other frontline and essential workers, as well as students who have not yet been vaccinated, and now young people aged 4 months to 17 years. Participants with and without previous COVID-19 infection are welcome.

To learn more about the study, visit HEROES OF Z website.

A version of this story originally appeared on the University of Arizona Health Sciences website: https://healthsciences.arizona.edu/newsroom/news-releases/2021/az-heroes-research-study-awarded-15m-continue-expand-evaluation-covid-0


Senolytics, seenomorphs and their cosmetic potential



The effects of cellular senescence on tissues in the human body – including the skin – are at the forefront of age-related disease research. And the beauty world is paying attention, as Cosmetics Business reports

Cellular senescence – defined as irreversible cell cycle arrest – is one of the frontiers of research into aging and age-related diseases.

It is a phenomenon that affects virtually all aged tissue in the human body, including our skin, and as such the subject has caught the attention of owners of beauty brands and manufacturers of cosmetic ingredients.

Around the same time last year, the Est̩e Lauder Companies announced that they were working with a biotech company Рaptly named Atropos Therapeutics Рto identify and develop chemicals that modulate senescence.

The goal of joint development would be the discovery of botanical space senomodulators for use in personal care products.

In November, meanwhile, Amorepacific published a research, in collaboration with the Department of Biological and Brain Engineering of KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology), titled “Inhibition of 3-phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase 1 (PDK1) can revert cellular senescence in human dermal fibroblasts ”.

Additionally, in recent months, several skin-care-focused active ingredients have been launched with great fanfare around their claims to prevent skin cell senescence, modulate harmful secretions from senescent skin cells, or both.

But what exactly is cell senescence? And what are the broader implications of research on this facet of aging?

. . .

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Report – NBC 6 South Florida



Another potential setback for the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine – new study suggests single-dose vaccine may be less effective in fighting delta variant than other vaccines, The New York Times reported.

The highly contagious delta variant now accounts for 83% of new cases in the United States.

the study – first published in The Times – found that antibody levels in those who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine may be low enough to be less protective.

Dr Joshua Lenchus of Broward Health pointed out that the study has yet to be peer reviewed.

“I think the bottom line is that it shouldn’t deter anyone from getting the vaccine, whether it’s J&J, Pfizer or Moderna in the United States,” he said.

The study authors say the data suggests that those who received the single dose should consider receiving a second injection of one of the available vaccines.

“As previously reported, Phase 3 studies demonstrated that a single injection of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine was 85% effective in protecting against serious illness and offered complete protection against hospitalization and death,” a spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson said in a statement. declaration. “Although the data from Landau et al. provides insight into just one aspect of the immune response elicited by COVID-19 vaccines, the data does not speak to the full nature of immune protection. “

Laura Matheric and her husband actually received two injections of Johnson & Johnson as part of a study in February that has since opened.

“We just felt like two doses were probably better than one,” she said.

The research is in progress. Matheric returns in September for a blood test.

The latest news doesn’t change her feelings except to remind her that the pandemic is not over.

“I feel protected. My husband and I are very happy that we did the study, doing our part to help the science,” she said. “I just think this confirms the fact that masks, social distancing, and hand washing are the most reliable things to do right now.”

Johnson & Johnson’s full statement in response to the report:

As previously reported, Phase 3 studies demonstrated that a single injection of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine was 85% effective in protecting against serious illness and offered complete protection against hospitalization and death. Although the data from Landau et al. provides insight into just one aspect of the immune response elicited by COVID-19 vaccines, the data does not speak to the comprehensive nature of immune protection. The dual protective mechanisms against COVID-19 generated by the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, both neutralizing and non-neutralizing binding antibodies and multiple types of T cells, play a cooperative role in the fight against SARS VOC-2.

The complex nature of a strong immune response is further enhanced by intermediate results of a phase 1 / 2a substudy published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) (Barouch, et al) who demonstrated that the humoral (antibody) and cellular (T cell) immune responses generated by the single injection COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson were strong and stable for eight months after vaccination, the duration evaluated at Date. The data showed that T cell responses – including the important CD8 + T cells that seek out and destroy infected cells – persisted over the eight-month period examined.

Additional Company data also demonstrated that Johnson & Johnson’s single-injection COVID-19 vaccine generated strong and persistent activity against the rapidly spreading Delta variant and other widespread SARS-CoV-2 viral variants.


Yes, there is a way to measure COVID immunity



A THV11 VERIFY viewer asked, “Is there any evidence to verify the average immunity level and duration of immunity of people who have had COVID?”

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – According to experts, one of the most damaging aspects of this pandemic has been the speed with which misinformation has spread about the virus and the vaccine.

Several viewers reached out to our audit team to find out what is true and what is not about a person’s level of immunity after contracting COVID-19.

A THV11 VERIFY viewer asked: “Is there any evidence to verify the average immunity level and duration of immunity of people who have had COVID?”

The National Institutes of Health and the Arkansas Department of Health have said that once people recover from a virus, the immune system remembers it.

To better understand the immune memory of SARS-CoV-2, researchers at the Institute of Immunology analyzed the immune cells and antibodies of nearly 200 people who had been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 and recovered.

And according to the National Institutes of Health, the immune systems of more than 95% of those studied had memories of the virus for up to eight months after infection.


The Arkansas Department of Health said one way to measure immunity is to perform antibody tests.

However, ADH said, “it is not yet clear what level of antibodies a person needs to be immune to COVID-19.”

Studies are underway to compare those who have recovered from COVID and those who are fully immune, but like many things with this virus, we are still learning.

We can verify that yes, there is some evidence showing some immunity for up to eight months after infection, but not enough research has been done at this point to determine what level of antibodies you need to be immune to.

Remember, when you want to check something out, let us help you! Email us at [email protected] or contact us on social media.


Seraphina Therapeutics obtained GRAS status for FA15 (TM)



Fatty15 has officially acquired its GRAS certification.

Seraphina Therapeutics Announces It Has Received Generally Recognized As Safe Certification Status (BOLD) for FA15 (TM), a pure powder and a free fatty acid form of C15: 0. A growing body of science argues that C15: 0, also known as pentadecanoic acid, is the first essential fatty acid discovered in the past 90 years. This approval paves the way for the use of FA15 (TM) as an ingredient, including in plant-based milks, plant-based meats and nutritional bars. Natural saturated fatty acid is also currently available in supplement form known as fat15, which ships in durable packaging and is available as a subscription.

“More and more people are looking for plant-based alternatives, including milk and meat substitutes. Although this movement is based on health grounds, these products are deficient in C15: 0, a healthy dietary fat naturally found in whole milk and meat, ”said Dr Stephanie Venn-Watson, CEO and co-founder of Seraphina . Several large studies around the world have consistently shown that higher dietary and body levels of C15: 0 are associated with better health and longevity, possibly due to its demonstrated ability to promote cell resilience, repair mitochondria and naturally bind to key receptors (called PPAR𝛼 and PPAR𝛅) that regulate metabolism, immunity, mood, appetite and sleep. With this new approval, the company will strive to forge partnerships with current companies producing plant-based milk and meat substitutes, as well as nutritional bars, to integrate FA15 (TM) into these products and fill the gaps. dietary deficiencies in C15: 0.

This new approval will provide this essential saturated fat, in pure powder form and suitable for vegans, children over the age of four, and mothers both pregnant and breastfeeding. But, while GRAS is an important step in incorporating FA15 (TM) into foods as an ingredient, Therapeutic Seraphina reiterates that those who wish to adopt this revolutionary new ingredient as soon as possible have the opportunity to acquire FA15 (TM) from a currently available supplement, grass15, today to get enough C15: 0 in their diet.

Fatty15 delivers FA15 (TM) to people as a single vegan capsule per day, providing the body with an essential nutrient that helps protect against degradation associated with aging. the essential fatty acid comes packaged in a reusable glass jar with an eco-friendly bamboo wood cap, and refills are mailed in recyclable packaging to reduce environmental impact. Studies have shown that the supplement can lead to an 80% improvement in cell stability and the mitochondria of human cells can see a 45% improvement in function.

The company has successfully developed methods to produce this innovative, high-quality ingredient in metric tons, and is working to introduce it to more places so that it is easily accessible to everyone. But for now, he remains committed to offering it in bold15, which is readily available online at http://fatty15.com.

Therapeutic Seraphina is a revolutionary start-up founded by a team of leading doctors, scientists and entrepreneurs with decades of experience. This group came together to build fat15, a supplement providing C15: 0, which a growing body of science supports as the first essential saturated fatty acid to be discovered in 90 years. Fatty15 helps protect our health, especially as we age, and is available today. More information is available at https://www.fatty15.com/.

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Espinoza: Immunity against combinations?


THE dye is poured. President Rodrigo Duterte will run for the vice-presidency of his PDP-Laban party in the general elections on May 9, 2022. He received deafening applause on Saturday July 17 from his party comrades and supporters during the the party’s national assembly in Clark, Pampanga, when he candidly announced his decision to run for vice-president.

But President Duterte’s announcement might not appeal to Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi and his faction at PDP-Laban which pushed the president through a resolution to run for vice-president with Senator Bong Go as Presidential bet because it is now very clear that the decision of the president to run is to keep him safe from prosecution and not because of the insistence of the party.

Well, whatever you say about President Duterte, the fact remains that he is not shy about what he wanted to say. Everyone laughed when he joked that he would run a thousand times, so his critics, like former Senator Antonio Trillanes and former SC Judge Antonio Carpio, couldn’t prosecute him after his tenure. Seriously, it shows that the president has hunches about what he becomes when he is no longer in power.

But legal luminaries say President Duterte is wrong because our Constitution does not provide immunity from prosecution for the vice president.

All kidding aside and so to speak, Cusi’s faction should be grateful for President Duterte’s criticisms because without their threats to sue the president when he is no longer in office, he would have retired from politics and possibly have. be given the opportunity to Congressman Leyte Martin Romualdez or former Senator Bongbong Marcos to be his daughter’s running mate, the mayor of Davao, Sara Duterte-Carpio, who has previously declared herself a candidate for her party’s presidency Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP).

But what was obviously lacking in this national assembly of the PDP-Laban Cusi-wing is the formal nomination of their presidential candidate. Although, at Cusi’s party convention in Cebu City, they approved Senator Go as their presidential bet to team up with the president, but he repeatedly declined. Is the Cusi faction now laying the groundwork for Davao Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio as the official presidential candidate?

It is the bone of contention of Senator Koko Pimentel, executive chairman of the PDP-Laban, against Cusi that they have a secret candidate for the presidency, who is not a member of the party, which is prohibited by the Constitution and the PDP-Laban regulations. Senator Koko’s father, the late Senator Nene Pimentel, was the founder of PDP-Laban. Due to infighting within the administration party, the interim chairman of the PDP-Laban, Senator Manny Pacquiao, was expelled and, naturally, Cusi was elected chairman.

There is no ban for political parties to regroup, which is one of the strategies of politicians to ensure their victory in the elections. If Mayor Sara’s HnP merged with the PDP-Laban Cusi wing, then the result would be a daughter and father team, Duterte-Duterte. This is a smart strategy as there would be no confused or misplaced vote for President and Vice President if Mayor Sara registered her maiden name with Comelec.

Last week I wrote and guessed that the possible presidential and vice-presidential candidates for the May 9, 2022 elections are the partnership of Senator Ping Lacson and Senate Speaker Tito Sotto against the Duterte- tandem. Duterte. Mayor Sara has already announced that his HnP will merge with other political parties to expand and strengthen its reach in the country. To Senators Koko and Manny, sorry boys, you are now the outcast of your own party.

Neutralizing antibodies persist against SARS-CoV-2 for at least one year after infection



Finnish researchers conducted a study showing that neutralizing bodies generated as a result of infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) – the agent that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID- 19) – usually persist for at least a year.

“Studies of people who have recovered from natural infection with SARS-CoV-2 are crucial in determining how long antibodies persist and whether these antibodies might protect against reinfection,” write Anu Haveri and colleagues at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare in Helsinki. .

Now the team has shown that in a cohort of more than 360 individuals recovered, immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies binding to the wild-type SARS-CoV-2 spike protein persisted in 97%. patients for at least twelve months.

The viral spike protein is the main structure that the virus uses to infect host cells and a main target for antibodies after infection or vaccination.

In addition, neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 also persisted in 89% of individuals for at least a year.

“This strongly suggests that the protection against reinfection is long lasting,” the researchers write.

In contrast, the neutralization capability was significantly reduced compared to the worrying variants B.1.1.7 (alpha), B.1.351 (beta) and B.1.617.2 (delta) which occurred in the UK respectively, in South Africa and India. .

However, the team points out that although reinfection can occur in the absence of neutralizing antibodies, cellular immunity has been shown to be less affected by mutations present in these variants and will likely provide long-term protection against a serious illness.

A pre-printed version of the research paper is available on the site medRxiv* server, while the article is subject to peer review.

Learn more about the antibodies generated by SARS-CoV-2 infection

Infection with SARS-CoV-2 induces antibodies against the spike protein and another surface structure called a nucleoprotein which plays a vital role in packaging the viral genome.

Neutralizing antibodies generated against SARS-CoV-2 target the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the tip and prevent it from binding to the host cell’s receptor, the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2.

Neutralizing antibody titers, which are highly predictive of protection against infection and clinical disease, have been reported to persist for at least six to twelve months after infection.

“However, a protective threshold for humans is still under debate and subject to standardization of serological methods,” explains Haveri and his colleagues.

Additionally, SARS-CoV-2 has developed certain mutations that raise concerns about viral transmissibility and the potential escape of infection and vaccine-induced immunity.

“Evidence from convalescent sera from individuals who have recovered from natural infection can help determine how long antibodies and immunity persist and whether antibodies can protect against reinfection,” the team writes.

What did the researchers do?

Researchers assessed the persistence of serum antibodies in 367 people who had recovered from wild-type SARS-CoV-2 infection six and twelve months after diagnosis. Thirteen percent of the participants had recovered from a serious illness requiring hospitalization.

The team determined the proportion of individuals with anti-spike IgG (S-IgG), anti-nucleoprotein IgG (N-IgG) and neutralizing antibodies (NAb). In a subset of 78 participants, they also measured NAb titers against wild-type SARS-CoV-2 virus (B.1) and variants of concern B.1.1.7, B.1.351 and B.1.617 .2.

What did they find?

The study found that S-IgG, N-IgG, and NAb were detected in 91%, 98%, and 67% of participants, respectively, six months after infection was diagnosed.

The proportion of samples positive for S-IgG and Nab was still high twelve months after diagnosis, at 97% and 89%, respectively, but decreased to 36% for N-IgG.

The proportion of positive, weak positive (borderline) and negative subjects for neutralizing antibodies twelve months after infection against four strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (n = 78).  A. Wild type virus (B.1).  B. Alpha variant (B.1.1.7).  C. Beta variant (B.1.351).  D. Delta variant (B.1.617.2).

The proportion of positive, weak positive (borderline) and negative subjects for neutralizing antibodies twelve months after infection against four strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (n = 78). A. Wild type virus (B.1). B. Alpha variant (B.1.1.7). C. Beta variant (B.1.351). D. Delta variant (B.1.617.2).

“We have shown that S-IgG antibodies and, more importantly, NAbs persist in most people for at least a year after infection with SARS-CoV-2,” Haveri and colleagues explain. “This strongly suggests that the protection against reinfection is long lasting.”

The mean concentration of IgG and NAb levels was higher six months after infection in those who had recovered from severe illness compared to mild illness. The difference was 2.0 to 7.4 times depending on the age group and persisted for at least twelve months after diagnosis.

“Consistent with previous observations, subjects with severe infection had higher concentrations of N-IgG, S-IgG and NAb titers than subjects with mild infection and are expected to remain seropositive longer,” the team explains.

NAb titers were significantly lower compared to variants of concern

Among the 78 individuals selected to compare neutralization of the wild-type virus and the three variants of concern, the NAb titers were significantly lower for all three variants.

Compared to the wild-type virus, the geometric mean titers were 1.2 to 2.2 times lower for the B.1.1.7 variant, 3.3 to 6.6 times lower for B.1.351 and 2, 6 to 3.5 times lower for B.1.617. 2.

“The results of our study support previous findings indicating that protection against neutralizing antibody-mediated infections may be impaired against the variants of concern, especially after mild illness,” says Haveri and colleagues.

However, the team states that “although in the absence of neutralizing antibodies reinfection is possible, cellular immunity is not affected in the same way by mutations at the RBD site and is likely to provide long-term protection against serious illness “.

*Important Notice

medRxiv publishes preliminary scientific reports which are not peer reviewed and, therefore, should not be considered conclusive, guide clinical practice / health-related behavior, or treated as established information.


Diet During Pregnancy Can Influence Baby’s Heart Health National and global news



A pregnant woman’s diet and other lifestyle factors can change how her baby’s genes work in ways that can affect a child’s cardiovascular health at age 8 or 9 , according to new research.

According to statistics from the American Heart Association, nearly half of American adults have some form of cardiovascular disease, including coronary artery disease, heart failure, stroke, and high blood pressure. Early intervention can reduce the risk. But it’s difficult to identify potential problems in children who might develop cardiovascular disease later in life.

To meet this challenge, scientists are looking at epigenetics – the study of how the environment and other exposures alter how a person’s genes work – to better predict future risk of heart disease.

One of the body’s epigenetic mechanisms for changing the function of genes, without changing the gene itself, is called DNA methylation. During this process, bundles of carbon and hydrogen atoms known as methyl groups attach themselves to part of a DNA strand. They act as a power switch to turn gene expression on or off, making genes more or less active in fulfilling their designated role. Maternal nutrition, smoking, stress, and other environmental factors can influence a child’s DNA methylation even before birth.

In the new study, published Monday in the journal AHA Hypertension, researchers at the University of Southampton in England analyzed 470 umbilical cord blood samples from participants in the Southampton Women’s Survey, which collects information on women’s health. before, during and after their pregnancy. They compared the DNA methylation patterns in the samples with measures of the cardiovascular health of children at ages 8 or 9. The researchers identified 16 sites where methylation altered the expression of genes associated with the speed of the aortic pulse wave. It is a measure of the stiffness of blood vessels, which can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Next, the researchers looked at possible links between maternal factors and methylation patterns at the sites. Smoking during pregnancy, diet during pregnancy, and weight before and during pregnancy altered these patterns. Specifically, lower consumption of oily fish – such as salmon and mackerel – during pregnancy increased pulse wave speed during childhood.

“We were very interested to find that maternal consumption of fatty fish, both in early and late pregnancy, was linked to these epigenetic changes,” said Dr Mark Hanson, professor of cardiovascular science at the British Heart Foundation and Director of the Institute of Developmental Sciences at the University of Southampton. “Oily fish are a source of healthy polyunsaturated fatty acids which are important in the development of cell membranes, including in our blood vessels.”

The results suggest that the cardiovascular disease risk trajectory begins very early, even before we are born, Hanson said. But because the epigenetic process seems to play a role, “there is an opportunity to change that in various ways,” he said. “And if we want our children to have the longest, healthiest lives possible, then we need to help them develop in healthy ways, literally from the moment of conception.”

The researchers said that because the study included only white children, more research is needed to confirm whether the findings apply to children of other races and ethnicities. But, said Hanson, “there is no reason to believe that these findings would not apply to other groups.”

It is too early to draw definitive conclusions between these epigenetic changes and the actual heart health of children, said Dr Jennifer Van Eyk, director of the Advanced Clinical Biosystems Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. She did not participate in the study.

“The most important finding is that they have correlated specific epigenetic signatures to key health outcomes, and the correlations can be important. But one must be extremely careful before linking them to the cause of the disease,” he said. said Van Eyk, also holder of the Erika J. Glazer Chair. in Women’s Heart Health in Cedars-Sinai.

The study hints at vast cellular changes that could have a long-term impact, she said, but there are still many steps between identifying patterns of DNA methylation and knowing their real influence on health risks. Epigenetic changes can have both positive and negative effects or have narrow or wide consequences, and scientists are just beginning to understand what they mean.

“It’s the tip of the iceberg, but it’s an exciting discovery,” said Van Eyk.

If you have any questions or comments on this story, please email [email protected]

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HEALTH CARE DISCLAIMER: This site and its services do not constitute the practice of medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult your health care provider for diagnosis and treatment, including your specific medical needs. If you have or think you have a problem or medical condition, please contact a qualified healthcare professional immediately. If you are in the United States and experience a medical emergency, call 911 or immediately call for emergency medical help.

Copyright 2021 American Heart Association News


Collective immunity to COVID-19 in El Paso could be reached soon, leaders say


City and county leaders say El Paso is gradually moving towards collective immunity from COVID-19, as cases increase.

El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser said 68% of El Paso residents were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at a press conference on Monday. At least 75% of populations must be fully vaccinated to have herd immunity.

“I think we can (achieve collective immunity) if we just get this latest push to get our citizens vaccinated,” Leeser said.

To ensure more citizens are vaccinated, County Judge Ricardo Samaniego said the county would look for “creative ways” to get more people vaccinated, such as having members of the older generation to tell older people. young people to get vaccinated.

El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego addresses members of the press at a press conference on July 19.

In an introductory working session for El Paso City Council on Monday morning, El Paso City Manager Tommy Gonzalez said nearly 79% of the city’s population aged 12 and over is partially vaccinated. Gonzalez said that among the same population, 68% are considered fully vaccinated.

“So we’re on the home stretch,” said Gonzalez.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 42% of Texans are fully vaccinated.

Gonzalez said he believes the city will achieve collective immunity by the “August-September” period.

“But I think since it has slowed down considerably, I think it will be a few more months,” Gonzalez said.

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Dr Hector Ocaranza, the city / county health authority, continued to urge residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Coronavirus hospitalizations increased by 54%, from 39 patients on June 19 to 60 patients on July 19. Fourteen of those patients are currently in intensive care, according to city and county data.

Ocaranza said hospitalizations represent about 3% of total patients and that a quarter of those hospitalized with COVID-19 are people 17 and under.

As of July 19, the city and county of El Paso reported 606 active cases.

Ocaranza said 76% of those cases were from unvaccinated people, but it is not known how many were partially vaccinated.

“We continue to recommend and strongly recommend that people who have not received the vaccine do so, especially before the start of the school year,” Ocaranza said. “Vaccination has been proven to be the best tool we have to prevent the spread of variants in our community.”

Ocaranza told city council members that the delta strain of the virus has yet to be detected in El Paso.

“But it’s only a matter of time,” Ocaranza said.

After:New delta variant of COVID-19 raises concerns in El Paso as it spreads in the United States

After:Mental health strategies for dealing with the new normal of COVID-19: Amy Field

Ocaranza said he urged those vulnerable to the infection to continue to wear face coverings. Even those who are fully vaccinated, Ocaranza said, should continue to wear face masks.

In May, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order prohibiting Texas government entities, including school districts, from “requiring or enforcing the wearing of masks.”

Abbott said people should decide their best health practices, not the government. Government or local officials who attempt to conflict with public health may be subject to a fine of up to $ 1,000.

Those who have been infected are still advised to be vaccinated, Ocaranza said, because it is not known how long the antibodies will last, in addition to the possibility of being re-infections.

Walk-in COVID-19 vaccines are available free to members of the public at the El Paso Convention Center, 1 Civic Center Plaza.

Vaccines are available 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Saturday.

Residents can also register and make an appointment for the vaccine with the City of El Paso by visiting EPCovidVaccine.com and by clicking on the registration form or by calling 915-212-6843.

Those who received their first injection and did not receive their second dose are urged to call the city’s COVID-19 hotline at 915-212-6843.

Anthony Jackson can be reached at [email protected] and @TonyAnjackson on Twitter.

BlueRock Therapeutics Receives FDA Fast Track Designation for DA01 for Treatment of Advanced Parkinson’s Disease



CAMBRIDGE, Mass., July 19, 2021 / PRNewswire / – BlueRock Therapeutics LP, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company and wholly-owned subsidiary of Bayer AG, announced that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Fast Track designation for DA01 for the disease Parkinson’s disease (PD). DA01, BlueRock’s pluripotent stem cell-derived dopaminergic neural therapy, is being evaluated in a Phase 1 study.

The FDA’s Fast Track designation is intended to facilitate the development and review of drug candidates that treat serious conditions and address an unmet medical need. A drug candidate who receives the Fast Track designation may be eligible for more frequent interaction with the FDA to discuss the drug candidate’s development plan as well as eligibility for expedited approval and priority review.

“Receiving the Fast Track designation from the FDA is an important milestone, which will help us further accelerate the clinical development of our DA01 cell therapy approach for Parkinson’s disease,” said Joachim Fruebis, Ph.D., Director of Development by BlueRock. “This is another critical step in BlueRock’s mission to create authentic cellular drugs to reverse devastating disease, with the vision to improve the human condition.”

About the trial
The trial will enroll ten patients in the United States and Canada. The main objective of the Ph1 study is to assess the safety and tolerability of DA01 cell transplantation one year after transplant. The secondary objectives of the study are to assess the evidence for transplant cell survival and motor effects at one and two years after transplantation, to assess continued safety and tolerability at two years, and to assess feasibility. of transplantation.

More information about this trial is available at clinicaltrials.gov (NCT # 04802733).

About Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease caused by damage to nerve cells in the brain, resulting in decreased levels of dopamine. The worsening of motor and non-motor symptoms is caused by the loss of dopamine-producing neurons. At the time of diagnosis, it is estimated that patients have already lost 60 to 80% of their dopaminergic neurons. Parkinson’s disease often starts with a tremor in one hand. Other symptoms are stiffness, cramps, and dyskinesias. Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease, affecting more than 7.5 million people, including 1.3 million people in North America.

About BlueRock Therapeutics
BlueRock Therapeutics is a cell therapy company designed with a mission to develop regenerative drugs for incurable diseases. The company’s cell + gene platform enables the creation, manufacture and delivery of authentic cell therapies with engineered functionality by simultaneously exploiting pluripotent cell biology and genome editing. This allows for an approach where, in theory, any cell in the body can be made and any gene in the genome can be altered for therapeutic purposes. The platform is widely applicable, but the company today focuses on neurology, cardiology, immunology, and ophthalmology. In August 2019, the company was acquired by Bayer Pharmaceuticals, for an enterprise value of $ 1 billion in upfront and milestone payments. For BlueRock, this is the next step in the journey of proving degenerative diseases are reversible and bringing our breakthrough new drugs to patients who desperately need them. For more information, visit www.bluerocktx.com.

About Bayer
Bayer is a global company with core competencies in the fields of life sciences, healthcare and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to help people and the planet prosper by supporting efforts to address the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. Bayer is committed to promoting sustainable development and generating a positive impact with its activities. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its profitability and create value through innovation and growth. The Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality around the world. In fiscal year 2020, the Group employed around 100,000 people and generated sales of € 41.4 billion. R&D expenses before exceptional items amounted to 4.9 billion euros. For more information, visit www.bayer.com.

Forward-looking statements
Certain statements contained in this press release are forward-looking within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements may be identified by the use of forward-looking words such as “anticipate”, “believe”, “anticipate”, “ estimate ”and“ intention ”, among others. These forward-looking statements are based on BlueRock’s current expectations and actual results could differ materially. There are a number of factors that could cause actual events to differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, the timing of our clinical trial for DA01; our findings regarding the safety, tolerability and efficacy of DA01 cell transplantation in patients with Parkinson’s disease; and current FDA and other regulatory requirements for the development of DA01. As with any pharmaceutical product under development, there are significant risks in the development, regulatory approval and commercialization of new products. Unless expressly required by law, BlueRock does not undertake to update or revise any forward-looking statement. All of the Company’s forward-looking statements are expressly qualified by all of these risk factors and other cautionary statements. The information contained herein is only valid as of the date hereof.

SOURCE BlueRock Therapeutics

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From memory to immunity, why the office is good for you


After 16 months of working from home, white-collar workers are starting a gradual return to the office – and it’s fair to say that some are more enthusiastic than others. Most UK homeworkers believe their well-being has improved while away from the office, according to ONS figures released last month. Many of them claim that working from home has helped them incorporate healthy habits, like exercise and better nutrition, into their day.

But scientists say returning to the office has its own, somewhat surprising, health benefits for our body and mind. What are they?

Don’t be afraid of your ride

It is 7:30 am and your alarm clock is ringing. As of March 2020, your trip to work may have been little more than a teary-eyed stumble at the bottom of your living room table. But scientists say returning to a good commute – involving walking, sun, and fresh air – can do wonders for our health.

Despite our well-intentioned promises at the start of the pandemic to use the extra time to ‘start running’, physical activity has actually dropped worldwide during each lockdown, according to a study of daily step count measures. published last year by the University of California. .

A daily commute, on the other hand, requires us to use our legs, says Jane Ogden, professor of health psychology at the University of Surrey. “Getting out of the house and going somewhere, even if it’s by car or public transport, means you’re actually walking around and you’re a lot less sedentary. We know that being sedentary is incredibly unhealthy. Any type of physical activity – standing, walking, using public transportation, even walking to and from the parking lot – is better than sitting all day.

Going out also exposes us to sun and vitamin D, increasing the strength of bones, teeth and muscles, and potentially boosting our immune system, making us less vulnerable to infections.

The power of routine

Doctors have become interested in the power of a structured day in recent years. A study from the University of Minnesota published in 2019 in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine found that patients who incorporated healthy habits into their lives in a structured and routine way – such as eating fruit at the same time every morning or jogging the same route every night after work – were much more likely to stick to it.

These routines can easily fall apart when we are working from home, says Professor Ogden. Meal times become irregular. Some problem drinkers say the lockdown’s lack of structure has driven them into full-blown alcoholism (a problem that worsened during the pandemic, research shows). Others say they have stopped showering and even stopped brushing their teeth. Our psychological distinction between work and leisure evaporates; some say that working from home is best described as “making a living from work”.

“The structure of your day helps you manage your time,” says Professor Ogden. “It helps your well-being, because you know what’s happened and you know what’s going to happen. It helps pass the time if you are feeling anxious or upset. You are not drifting.

“It’s good to eat three meals a day at fairly fixed times to keep your energy level and your digestion active. It’s more difficult to do when you’re at home, next to the fridge.

The power of tea break

Even after we get to the office and turn on our computer, we still tend to move around more than we would when working from home. Daily exercise is boosted by activities as simple as going to a colleague’s office for a chat, says Dr Jenna Macciochi, an immunologist at the University of Sussex. “Before you know it, you’ve taken over 10,000 steps just walking around the office. “

Often at work, we burn calories without even realizing it, adds Professor Ogden. “We talk about mindless eating, but there is also a lot of thoughtless activity that people don’t even register when working outside the home. You move between rooms to have different meetings, you walk down the hall. On Zoom, as you move between meetings, you [just] flip through a screen.

Tea breaks are particularly useful for our mental well-being and productivity, thinks Dr Michael Pollan, author of the new Here is your opinion on the plants: Opium-Caffeine-Mescaline. “Your employer gives you free medicine at work, then gives you paid time to enjoy it. They do it because it makes you a much better worker, ”he told BBC Radio 4 this week.

Walking to the tea station also means less time in your chair, which improves posture and reduces back and neck pain. In the office, you’ll also have the option of a more ergonomic chair with more solid back support – a blessing for a home worker who has spent the past 16 months locked in a poorly designed living room chair with little to no back support, or slumped horizontally on a sofa or bed. No wonder there was an explosion of back pain during the lockdown.

Tempus Resources Ltd metallurgical review confirms high gold recoveries from Elizabeth Project ore in Canada



JDS Mining has been appointed to consolidate and complete a review of historical metallurgical work performed on the Elizabeth mineralized material and to outline potential options for future processing of the ore from the Project.

The Consolidated Metallurgical Review of () () (OTCMKTS: TMRFF) (FRA: 4W0) confirmed high gold recoveries in tests on two ore processing lanes of the Elizabeth section of the Blackdome-Elizabeth gold project in Colombia- British, Canada.

The review, which was performed by JDS Energy & Mining Inc, confirmed that mineralization is not a mess and that high recoveries can be expected from various processing routes.

Two treatment routes have been tested and have confirmed recoveries of up to approximately 95%:

  • 94.7% recovery in gold bars by crushing, grinding, gravity separation and leaching; or
  • 92.5 to 95.1% recovery in high grade gold concentrate using the same processing route as that used by the Blackdome gold mine plant (ie.

“Gives more confidence”

President and CEO Jason Bahnsen said, “The review work performed by JDS Mining builds confidence in the free grinding characteristics of Elizabeth’s ore and the value of our existing blackdome processing plant.

“As we continue to drill Elizabeth, we will simultaneously advance in the planning and engineering work that will lead to the completion of a scoping study and a preliminary economic assessment of the project following the publication of a first estimate of mineral resources belonging to Tempus. “


The review examined options for processing Elizabeth’s ore based on the results of a metallurgical testing program conducted by G&T Metallurgical Services Ltd in 2009-2010 at their laboratories in Kamloops, British Columbia.

The objective of G & T’s test work was to perform a preliminary metallurgical assessment of a sample from the Elizabeth Gold Project and to determine the suitability of two main treatment options, namely:

  • Using a test process diagram with the same process steps as the existing Blackdome Gold Mine Mill (i.e. a simulation of using the Blackdome Mill to produce a high grade gold concentrate); and
  • Examine the results of the stand-alone processing steps and run them through crushing, grinding, gravity separation, and then cyanide leaching to produce gold bars (i.e. a simulation of a typical carbon in leach / carbon in pulp circuit).

Composite samples received by G&T Met for their test work program were approximately 21 kilograms of south vein drill core (record at 3.95 g / t gold and 2.1 g / t silver) and approximately 37 kilograms of West Vein chip samples (assay at 0.49 g / t gold and 1.0 g / t silver).

However, it was determined that the analyzes received from the West Vein were too low grade and this was excluded from the testing program and used only for calibrations when preparing for testing for the South Vein composite.


JDS Mining recommended that further metallurgical and engineering study work be completed as part of an upcoming Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) of the project.

Recommended study work includes:

  • A review of the costs of restarting the Blackdome plant;
  • A trade-off study between the production of a flotation concentrate versus leaching and the production of a dore at the Blackdome plant or at the Elizabeth site;
  • Elizabeth ore optical sorting test work completed;
  • A trade-off study between the refurbishment of the Blackdome plant and the construction of a new facility in Elizabeth; and
  • Track metallurgical test work to refine the optimal process map for Elizabeth.


5 expert tips to boost your child’s immunity


Health coach and nutritionist, Resshmi Rajkumar reveals 5 nutritional tips to boost your child’s immunity before the third wave of Covid19.

Parenthood is a difficult process. Making sure your children eat well is just one of the challenges parents face on a daily basis. Due to the increase in cases of Covid19 in children and the scarcity of vaccines, it is crucial to take more care of your child’s immune system.

Optimal health helps build immunity, thereby reducing the risk of infection in children. A simple way to promote optimal health is to encourage your child to eat more whole foods than processed foods, as these ensure that our bodies absorb and use nutrients more efficiently. Providing your child with a balanced, nutrient-dense food intake is the most effective way to improve their health and physiology, and therefore the strength of their immunity.

Foods to include:


They are packed with nutrients, minerals like selenium to keep the heart, muscles and skin healthy, and vitamins like A, B2 (riboflavin) which are essential for growth and development, D for absorption. calcium and bone development and K to improve blood clotting factors.

Hacking experts:

Best time to consume eggs – breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Try incorporating colorful peppers, mushrooms, and other protein sources into the eggs to make it interesting.

Make your eggs tastier by using butter or ghee.

Use stainless steel pancake pans to prepare your eggs in different shapes, as kids are more drawn to color and shapes.


Parenthood can be a tedious process, but it’s important to make sure that you instill healthy behavior when it comes to eating vegetables. Locally grown green leafy vegetables like curry leaves, drumstick leaves, cilantro, palak, etc. are rich in fiber and minerals like iron and zinc.

Hacking experts:

Add excess amounts in different forms to your child’s plate.

Include bite-size vegetables with hummus sauce / homemade cheese dip / guacamole dip.

Children often imitate or teach parents to adopt healthy table manners. Savor more varieties of healthy ingredients.


The curd helps to strengthen the intestine but also to increase the intake of vitamin B12 from probiotics, the good bacteria that fight and stop the colonization of bad bacteria in the stomach, thus strengthening immunity.

Hacking experts:

Include the curd in any form – plain curd, fruit yogurt, or vegetable raita. Ex – Grated carrot in curd.

Dried Fruits, Nuts and Seeds

Almonds, walnuts, cashews, figs, raisins, and apricots are rich in nutrients like essential fatty acids and omega-3s, which boost immunity and promote brain development.

Hacking experts:

Add nuts or nut powders to soups and rice preparations.

Ghee, another immunity booster can be used to coat nuts to modulate the immune system.


Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin which has anti-inflammatory properties. Reports have shown the beneficial effects against allergies, asthma and various other conditions.

Hacking experts:

The consumption of turmeric milk is preferred for children rather than commercial dairy products.

Additional Tips:

Maintaining good sleep hygiene without using gadgets is mandatory.

Sun exposure and exercise are important for improving bone health and immunity.

A diet high in sugar suppresses immunity in children. Avoid or limit sugar-based foods like chocolates, candies, sauces, juices, and packaged snacks.

About the Author: Resshmi Rajkumar, Health Coach and Nutritionist.

Also read: 5 healthy, tasty and easy sandwich recipes to curb your sudden cravings

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Desalinate using less energy – the Hindu BusinessLine



Desalination is by far the best water production technique the world has at its disposal, but despite technological improvements, the process is still energy intensive. However, some low energy or no energy desalination techniques are on the horizon. They are still a long way from commercial adoption but, nonetheless, signal the nature of things to come.

the Quantum The June 21 issue featured a brief mention of a process for producing hydrogen from seawater. Now scientists experimenting with this process are working to take a step forward, to produce water.

The process is straightforward. Add metallic aluminum, preferably nicely shredded, to the seawater and nature will do the rest. Metals naturally have a strong affinity for oxygen. Aluminum will pick up oxygen from seawater and become alumina (which is actually the substance of aluminum ore, bauxite). When oxygen leaves the water and joins the metal, hydrogen in the water is released.

This absurdly simple process, which isn’t a big scientific revelation, would have long since become ubiquitous in commerce without the fact that it is expensive – it would take a lot of aluminum to make it work.

However, Professor Satya Chakravarthy of the Aerospace Engineering Department at IIT-Madras, who is also the president of the National Center for Combustion Research and Development, tried to cut costs by converting alumina back to aluminum, by electrolysis, using non-consumable (or renewable) electrodes.

Once you produce hydrogen, it can be used for many different uses. The original idea of ​​the researchers was to react hydrogen with carbon dioxide, which is available in abundance, to produce methanol.

From salty to drinkable

Now, Chakravarthy and his team are looking to react hydrogen with atmospheric oxygen to produce water. So, incoming seawater, outgoing drinking water. Since the process involves recycling the alumina, the cost is expected to be very low.

Of course, it takes energy to recycle alumina. Some of the energy is produced in the process. Two constituents of the process produce heat (exothermic). First, the reaction of (sea) water with aluminum to produce hydrogen (and alumina) itself is exothermic. Second, when hydrogen reacts with atmospheric oxygen (to form water), again heat is produced. If the energy that is developed in the process itself is harnessed, then little or no external energy is needed for the conversion of alumina to aluminum. For any recharge, solar could be involved, which would be much less than the solar energy required for the electrolysis of seawater to produce hydrogen.

Chakravarthy and the start-up he supervises, X2Energy Fuels, also play with the idea of ​​using aluminum nanoparticles for better efficiency. IIT-Madras has more than 20 years of experience in the generation of nanoaluminum “by explosion of electric wire subjected to a high voltage”, he says.

Once perfected, seawater reacting with aluminum, with the resulting recycled alumina, could prove to be the cheapest route for desalination.

Chakravarthy tells Quantum that intuitively the process is very energy efficient, but the actual costs will have to be calculated.

Meanwhile, another low cost desalination technique is baking in another lab.

Professor Sarith P Sathian from the Department of Applied Mechanics at IIT-Madras performed computer simulation work to design special membranes that can replace conventional membranes used in reverse osmosis desalination plants.

Be like the human cell

It has been known for some time that graphitic carbonaceous materials make wonderful membranes in reverse osmosis plants. However, water does not easily pass through the membranes because of a phenomenon called ‘hydrodynamic resistance’ at the entry of the carbon tubes. If you could make a membrane that would allow water to pass through it more easily, while leaving behind the salts, you have a winning product.

Sathian and his team were inspired by something that is happening in our body, at the cellular level. The water channels in cell membranes – aquaporins – are not tubes but hourglass shaped. These water channels let water through but say “no entry” to salts, for reasons that are not well understood.

Sathian decided to check if the same hourglass structure could be used to make membranes based on carbon nanomaterials. His study reveals the mechanisms responsible for the increased permeation of water through hourglass-shaped nanopores. Basically, the density distribution of water induced by the curvature inside the nanopores influences the transport of water through the nanopores.

“The results are useful for designing novel nanopore-based separation membranes that mimic the shape of biological nanochannels,” notes a recent article by Sathian, published in the international journal Desalination.

Calculations show that if you used these membranes you would need 60-70% less energy for desalination, compared to conventional methods, Sathian says, but insists that this is work based. on computer simulations and that they must be validated by physical experiments.

For this, Sathian and his team collaborate with scientists from the Institute of Light and Matter, France. Together, the researchers are working on different tilt angles of the nanopores to find out which one works best.

Basically, it’s possible to make membranes with hourglass-shaped nanopores, Sathian explains Quantum. It is possible to “design a geometry of nanopores with a very high permeation capacity without compromising the rejection of the ions,” he says. It is the scientific language for “letting the water pass but stopping the salts”.


Elementary school of Unterdorf / Dietrich | Untertrifaller Architekten



Elementary school of Unterdorf / Dietrich | Untertrifaller Architekten

© Bruno Klomfar© Bruno Klomfar© Bruno Klomfar© Bruno Klomfar+ 24

© Bruno Klomfar
© Bruno Klomfar

Text description provided by the architects. Primary school provides an ideal educational institution for modern pedagogical approaches. It is an uncompromising example of a cluster design offering a flexible and engaging learning environment. In an elegant one-storey wooden structure, four identical educational centers revolve around a brightly-lit living room with a raised roof. The flat building blends harmoniously into the environment of single-family homes. The schoolyard in front of the auditorium is connected to the Unterdorf path network. Local residents can use parts of the outdoor areas and sports facilities.

© Bruno Klomfar
© Bruno Klomfar
© Bruno Klomfar
© Bruno Klomfar

Playful learning in small groups characterizes the pedagogical concept. In each cluster, two classrooms, a multipurpose room, a cloakroom with sanitary facilities and a relaxation area surround a central lounge. Spatial diversity and transparency translate into a varied and flexible learning environment. Special classes and administration are linked to the lowered gymnasium by a spacious auditorium. Removable walls can isolate the auditorium from the school zone, providing space for outdoor events such as lectures, readings, etc. with a maximum of 120 people. Separate access to the gymnasium allows local sports clubs to use it outside of school hours.

© Bruno Klomfar
© Bruno Klomfar

The central living room with its high pyramid-shaped ceiling and large skylight, allows natural light to enter the room, providing an airy and dramatic space. The visual axes are a constant invitation to use the middle space, reinforcing the sense of community within the cluster. Large glazing ensures transparency and allows teachers to always keep an eye on the students during their activities. Private gardens and outdoor classrooms with direct access from each cluster blur the boundaries between indoor and outdoor and integrate nature into the educational environment.

© Bruno Klomfar
© Bruno Klomfar
© Bruno Klomfar
© Bruno Klomfar
© Bruno Klomfar
© Bruno Klomfar

The school is built entirely of wood, with the exception of the area touching the ground. The wooden construction remains visible. The students enjoy a pleasant atmosphere. Regional and renewable building materials significantly reduce the “gray” energy factor. The Unterdorf school obtained one of the highest marks for a new building in the Vorarlberg “municipal building register”. The extensive green roof compensates for the higher consumption of floor space, providing optimum thermal insulation, protection against overheating in summer, an ideal pasture for bees and a habitat for many insects.

© Bruno Klomfar
© Bruno Klomfar
© Bruno Klomfar
© Bruno Klomfar

The entire building has been optimized in terms of energy and building technology, with highly thermally insulated components, windows suitable for passive houses with triple insulating glazing, low temperature underfloor heating, a ventilation system with heat recovery and air flow control by CO² sensor, free cooling by underground water probe, night ventilation for cooling in summer. Our school architecture aims to support new forms of teaching and facilitate inclusion.

© Bruno Klomfar
© Bruno Klomfar

This educational concept translates into teaching in small groups, modular rooms and various open spaces, ideally with external references. A working group made up of teachers, community representatives and consultants was involved from the start. This close cooperation has been an essential factor for a successful and rapid realization. This pilot project set a new standard for schools and acted as a multiplier for timber construction in Austria and beyond.

© Bruno Klomfar
© Bruno Klomfar


New Bedford residents urged to donate blood



The Massachusetts American Red Cross says there is an urgent need for all types of blood in Massachusetts. They are asking residents of the New Bedford area to help meet the challenge and donate blood.

The Red Cross is responsible for 40 percent of all blood drives in the country, but last year, and to some extent this year, these blood donors are staying at home.

Red Cross Director of Communications Kelly Isenor said this week on Town square sunday that there is always a drop in blood donation during the summer, but this year there is a new twist: there has been an increase in the demand for blood.

People who postponed surgery last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic are now seeking this procedure in 2021, causing an unusually high demand for blood. Isenor explained how easy it is to find a blood donor clinic near you by visiting redcross.org.

She also praised the efforts of Red Cross volunteers, whom she called “the lifeblood” of the organization.

You can listen to her interview here:

Town square sunday is a weekly public affairs show that airs every Sunday at 6 a.m. and 11 a.m. on 1420 WBSM. The program highlights the individuals and organizations working to make SouthCoast a better place to live and work.

If you want your organization to be listed on Town square sunday, please email the host at [email protected]

KEEP READING: Discover 25 Natural Ways To Boost Your Immune System


Covishield 63% overall effectiveness, 81% against serious diseases: study



Covishield has shown an overall vaccine efficacy of 63% and 81% in preventing serious Covid-19 infections in fully vaccinated people, according to India’s first such study on its efficacy amid virulent second wave led by Delta.

Despite Delta’s ability to reduce the humoral / antibody-induced immune response, cell-mediated immunity – the immunity induced by T cells at sites of infection – was still well preserved and may increase the efficacy of the drug. vaccine, according to study by leading Indian researchers. institutions have shown.

The study indicates that although infection can occur in a vaccinated individual, protection against severe Covid-19 disease can be attributed to cell-mediated immunity.

Covishield, the brand name of the vaccine developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca and manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, is key to India’s Covid-19 vaccination program.

The study paper is a preprint currently being submitted to the renowned global journal, The Lancet.

The government-funded study was led by the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute in Faridabad and in partnership with the CSIR – Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, the National Institute of Immunology and the India Consortium for Covid-19 research.

The study indicates that two doses of the vaccine should be encouraged and calls for further epidemiological public health measures to overcome the threat posed by Delta and other emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2.

“Our study showed that full and even partial vaccination protected against severe Covid-19 even in the case of the worrying B.1.617.2 variant, an observation shown earlier consistently against the wild-type virus,” says- he does.

All preliminary studies on the Delta variant so far have shown that it has a greater ability to evade the vaccine-induced immune response.

British studies so far have shown the vaccine to be 59.8% effective against variant B.1.617.2, which has shown the highest rate of transmission to date.

New Indian study reinforces that the Covishield vaccine is “modestly protective against infection attributed to the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant during the recent massive wave but provided higher protection against moderate to severe illnesses requiring hospitalization “.

He adds, however, that there was a significant reduction in the protective humoral immune response against the Delta variant in Covishield vaccine recipients, but cell-mediated immunity was well maintained.

“While neutralizing antibodies can prevent symptomatic disease, cellular immune responses can prevent serious disease…. This view is consistent with our findings that cellular immune responses could save reduced neutralizing capacity and prevent serious illness in vaccinated people, even if protection against infection is compromised, ”he said.

The study was carried out on 2,766 people affected by Covid 19 – mainly by the Delta variant – between April 1 and May 31.

The results showed that full vaccination prevented moderate-severe Covid-19 in 81.5% of cases. The efficacy of the single-dose vaccine was 46.2% against infection but 79.2% in preventing moderate-severe Covid-19.

There were 16 deaths in the unvaccinated or incomplete vaccination group but none in those fully vaccinated.

In the case of Delta, the study found a significant reduction in neutralization and the mutated proteins were shown to escape even monoclonal antibodies used in the clinic.

“However, while neutralizing antibodies are important in preventing entry of the virus into host cells, an important defense mechanism is the cellular immune response against the virus,” he adds.

The study found that T cell responses were preserved against antigens in the recombinant mutant receptor binding domain, suggesting cell-mediated immune protection.

“Although CD4 + and CD8 + T cell responses are essential for viral clearance, it has been reported that CD4 +, compared to CD8 +, the T cell immune response in SARS-CoV-2 is more important for controlling infection with SARS-CoV-2, ”he explains.

The study is entitled “Cellular immune responses are preserved and may contribute to the efficacy of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine against infection due to the delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 B · 1 · 617 · 2 despite a reduced viral neutralization “.


True wireless headphones provide a personalized and perfect fit for everyone



Fit is one of the most important qualities of a pair of true wireless headphones. Without a good fit, there is no waterproofing and the audio will not live up to expectations. Bass, in particular, will sound thin. There will be a natural tendency to turn up the volume in an attempt to improve the sound of music, which will reduce battery life. Ambient noise will pass through. And without a good fit, the headphones themselves can easily come out. It is not only annoying, it can damage a dropped earphone. Ultimate Ears thinks they have the answer to ill-fitting headphones in the Suitable for EU.

The standard approach has always been to include a handful of different sized ear tips and wings to try and fit the earbuds to suit everyone. It doesn’t always work. I have trouble with the headphones. In almost 15 years of testing (first wired, then wireless) and well over 100 different sets at this point, I have maybe half a dozen headphones that fit right – comfortably, in completely safe and with a good seal for optimal sound.

My first experience with custom molded headphones was with the amazing UE 18+ CSX headphones. You can read my review here, but the bottom line is these are some really amazing headphones with six speakers deliver beautifully nuanced sound and a custom molded fit to ensure you hear every note of that detail. The wrong side? They aren’t exactly wireless (there’s a cable with a battery connecting the two buds), and the price was in mortgage payment territory.

UE FITS adopt a more traditional headphone design, with dynamic 10mm drivers. However, Ultimate Ears has brought the CSX Series custom molding approach to the mainstream market, with Lightform technology built in. These custom molded headphones are priced at a very down-to-earth $ 249.

Lightform custom molding

UE FITS arrive in sealed packaging. Sealed because the included ear tips are light sensitive. Once I opened them I waited a week to go ahead but kept them in the box closed to avoid exposure to light and it had no impact on the process.

Download the UE FITS app, which walks you through the basics of connecting headphones. It’s a pretty straightforward Bluetooth thing. FITS use Bluetooth 5.0 with SBC, AAC, and APT-X support. Once connected, the app will guide you step by step through the personalization process. It takes about 60 seconds. You are shown how to position the headphones for optimal audio performance, and then the built-in LED lights begin to heat the malleable interior material so that the headphones conform to the shape of your ear canal. They heat up a bit, but the app keeps you posted on the progress.

Once the molding is complete, the ear cups contact surfaces are still nice and soft, but they fit perfectly as the inner material has hardened to conform to the shape of your ear canal. No extra spikes or wings needed. I could shake my head and jump all over the place and the UE FITS wouldn’t come out. They are also extremely comfortable to wear. Each bud weighed only 0.25 ounces on my scale.

Ultimate Ears says the included ear tips will suit 95% of users. They’re fine with me, although for review purposes the company sent larger and smaller versions as well. If the included ear tips are too big or too small for your ears, or if you are not happy with the results, Ultimate Ears support advises you that you have 30 days to request replacement ear tips. Casting is a one-off thing, so if you decide to give the heads to someone else later, they’ll have to purchase new tips (which EU says will be sold separately) to repeat the process.

Audio performance

As happy as I was to have wireless headphones that fit so perfectly, listening to music on the UE FITS took the experience to a whole new level.

The fit was so good that an impressive amount of ambient noise is passively blocked. Typing with my mechanical keyboard and music at super low volume, the UE FITS eliminated keyboard click as effectively as other buds that use active noise cancellation.

I wore them while cutting the grass (which I wouldn’t do with these UE 18+ CSX headphones) and couldn’t believe it. The noise from the lawn mower was greatly reduced in the background and I could actually hear the music. I didn’t have to turn it up to maximum volume, and heard details, not just a drone like music in the background. This is a first for me.

Generally speaking, the audio performance reminds me of the sound you will get from an Ultimate Ears portable speaker. There is no attempt to be flat, but there is a lot of energy available and it makes for entertaining listening. With a perfect seal almost guaranteed, there is a lot of thumping in the low frequencies, without overloading the mids and highs. It’s not an audiophile listening experience (if you want some extreme subtlety and nuance, there’s the CSX series), but it makes listening to music an enjoyable experience.

If you want to take personalization a step further, the mobile app includes an equalizer with presets as well as the ability to save your own audio settings.

Not everyone will see this extreme difference – if regular headphones are a good fit for you, then custom molded headphones will be great, but not as dramatic – however, if you’re one of the many headphone owners who have suffered from it. ‘an imperfect fit, the difference is night and day.

Battery life, touch controls and water resistance

The big part of the UE FITS story is the tailor-made fit. However, they are capable wireless headphones in general.

The battery life is very good, with a rating of up to eight hours of continuous listening time per charge. Without ANC to drain the battery and the waterproof seal, which means you don’t need to get the volume as high as you might otherwise, those eight hours are easily achievable. In comparison, Apple’s AirPods Pro (which cost $ 80 more) last up to five hours without ANC and 4.5 hours with ANC on. 10 minutes of fast charging gives you an extra hour of listening, and the total playing time, including the charging case battery, is 20 hours.

The charging case is slightly larger than most (to accommodate the unusual form factor) and charges using USB-C.

UE FITS are equipped with two microphones for voice calls. They also support touch controls, with single and dual touch options. Controls can be configured independently for each bud (using the app), for functions like play / pause, volume control, and calling Siri or Google Assistant.

Ultimate Ears says the FITS are sweat resistant, but their IPX3 water resistance rating isn’t top-of-the-line (the AirPods Pro have an IPX4 rating, for comparison).

EU FITS recommendation

If you’ve had a hard time finding true wireless headphones that fit well, I highly recommend UE FITS – they will not only fit well, but perfectly. The results will be revealing and well worth the price of $ 249.

The only caveat I have is if you watch them for strenuous exercise or wear them in bad weather. As much as the secure fit makes them ideal for exercise, they have a relatively low IPX3 water resistance rating. They are designed to be ‘sweat resistant’, but if you sweat a lot or get caught in the rain, headphones with a higher water resistance rating would be the safest choice.

Suitable for EU are priced at $ 249 and available in Eclipse (Midnight Blue), Dawn (Lilac) or Cloud (Gray).

Disclosure: Ultimate Ears provided UE FITS headphones for review, but did not contribute to this review.


No brain? No problem! This mold makes navigation decisions in a thought process



Having a brain can be a big advantage. Of course, you have to put in a lot of energy to make it work properly, but it unlocks all kinds of cognitive processes that just wouldn’t be possible otherwise. Or… would they do it?

In a new study, researchers have shown that a brainless slimy mold uses its body to sense mechanical signals in the environment and performs calculations similar to what we would call thinking to decide which direction to go.

Image credits: Jerry Kirkhart.

Extraordinary mussels and how to study them

P. polycephalum is a strange creature. It is not an animal, nor a plant, nor a mushroom. It is a protist, which means pretty much any eukaryotic organism (that is, an organism whose cells contain a cell nucleus) that is not an animal, plant, or fungus. Seriously, that’s what his Wiki page says.

But it gets even stranger. P. polycephalum is actually cell-free – meaning it has no cells, at least in the stage of plasmodial life. His main work is the decomposition of organic matter, especially in dark and humid environments like forest soils.

Researchers have done some pretty crazy things with P. polycephalum. For example, a team of Japanese and Hungarian researchers have shown that this mold can solve the shortest path problem. They grew mold in a maze with food (oatmeal) at both ends of a maze and the mold retracted from all over the maze except for the shortest path connecting the two places. It can even solve more complex navigation problems, sometimes with a precision rivaling that of modern computers. The point is (as you may have already understood) that P. polycephalum has no brain. However, he is able to learn and navigate very well in his environment.

“People are more and more interested Physarum because it doesn’t have a brain, but it can still perform many of the behaviors we associate with thinking, ”said neuroscientist Nirosha Murugan of Algoma University in Canada.

“Finding out how proto-intelligent life does this kind of calculation gives us a better insight into the foundations of cognition and behavior in animals, including our own. “

Normally, in this type of study, the mold receives an incentive in the form of a food or chemical signal, but in this case, the researchers more or less left it on its own. They placed samples in the center of Petri dishes covered with agar gel, placed a glass disc on one side and three small discs on the other. They then allowed the organisms to grow freely over the next 24 hours, following their growth patterns.

This time-lapse series of photos shows a Physarum specimen growing in a generalized “buffering” pattern for about 13 hours, then extending a long growth to the side of the dish with three discs. Credit: Nirosha Murugan, Levin lab, Tufts University and Wyss Institute at Harvard University.

During the first 12 hours, the slime mold grew evenly in all directions. But after 12-14 hours he started to make decisions. About 70% of the time, it extended a long branch that grew on the surface of the gel towards the three discs. He also made a remarkable decision: he chose to expand towards the three discs instead of one, without actually exploring the area to confirm what was happening.

The researchers then tried to figure out how (and why) it did this.

Redefining Thinking

The researchers tried to experiment with different configurations. For the most part, the mud would go towards the three disks – until the researchers stack the three disks on top of each other. When they did that P. polycephalum lost its ability to sail towards the larger mass and grew roughly equally on both sides.

So the mold wasn’t using the total mass to direct its navigation, that was something else. It turns out that something was a slight deformation of the semi-flexible gel at the bottom of the petri dish. In other words, the three discs distorted the lower gel more than the single disc, and the mold used this to direct its navigation towards what it saw as a greater potential reward. In other words, this strange brainless creature wasn’t just drifting towards the first big thing she perceived around her – she was making a calculated decision on where to grow based on the stress patterns she saw. detected in its environment.

“Imagine you are driving on the freeway at night and looking for a city to stop. You see two different arrangements of light on the horizon: a single bright spot and a group of dim spots. While the single dot is brighter, the cluster of dots illuminates a larger area which is more likely to indicate a city, and therefore you are heading there, ”said co-author Richard Novak, Ph.D., chief personnel engineer at the Wyss Institute. “The light models in this example are analogous to the mechanical stress models produced by different mass arrangements in our model. Our experiments confirmed that Physarum can physically detect them and make decisions based on patterns rather than just signal strength.

Researchers still don’t know exactly How? ‘Or’ What he felt it, but mechanisms describing this type of sensory ability have been shown in previous studies. What is perhaps the most exciting thing here is the mold’s ability to use simple inputs and cellular mechanisms to make decisions.

“With most animals, we can’t see what changes inside the brain as the animal makes decisions. Physarum offers a truly exciting scientific opportunity as we can observe its decisions on where to move in real time by watching how its shuttle streaming behavior changes, ”said Murugan.

For this type of ability to have evolved in such a simple creature, it would seem to suggest that intelligence is not as modern in evolutionary history as we thought. Since researchers have already argued that slime mold has evolved multiple times throughout the history of the planet, including over 500 million years ago, we may even have to redefine what it means. intelligence.

“Our discovery of the use of biomechanics by this slimy mold to probe and respond to its surrounding environment highlights how early this ability evolved in living organisms and how closely intelligence, behavior, and morphogenesis are intertwined. related. In this organism, which grows to interact with the world, its change of form is its behavior. Other research has shown that similar strategies are used by more complex animal cells, including neurons, stem cells, and cancer cells. This work in Physarum offers a new model to explore the ways in which evolution uses physics to implement primitive cognition that determines form and function, ”said corresponding author Mike Levin, at Tufts University.

Oh by the way, did I mention that he can not only think, but he can also learn and pass on his experience?

The study was published in Advanced materials.


Decreasing immunity, more transmissible variants may be at the origin of the 3rd wave: Randeep Guleria


Declining immunity, the emergence of a more transmissible variant of the coronavirus capable of evading the immune shield, and loosening of the lockdown may be the likely causes of a possible third wave of COVID-19, said Thursday. Director of AIIMS, Randeep Guleria. Speaking at an event, he said the third wave can be mitigated by following behavior appropriate to Covid, such as maintaining social distancing, using masks and taking vaccines.

He said several studies and modeling have been carried out to project the trajectory of a possible third wave of the pandemic under different scenarios.

“Such a model of an IIT shows that if all restrictions are lifted and a virus (variant) is also able to evade immunity, the next wave may be larger than the second wave.

“If some restrictions are maintained and the virus also remains stable, the cases will not be many and if we maintain more restrictions the cases will decrease further,” he said.

Guleria said that while new variants emerge, the available vaccines can be changed.

Guleria said the third wave of COVID-19 is being seen in other countries, but hospitalizations have declined, indicating vaccines are working.

Listing the possible reasons that may precipitate the third wave, Guleria said waning immunity – which restores individuals previously exposed to a susceptible state – the emergence of a new, more transmissible variant of the virus capable of escaping the immunity, and loosening of current blockages may be the likely causes.

He said that aside from Covaxin, Covishield and Sputnik V, several other vaccines are in the works in the country.

Also Read: COVID-19 Wave 3: Delhi Government Develops Guidelines for Domestic Travelers

Also read: Delhi oxygen line: AIIMS director calls audit report ‘provisional’, Kejriwal calls for end to political feuds

Rise in California of COVID cases mainly among the unvaccinated population



Cases and deaths from COVID-19 have increased in more than half of U.S. states over the past week, as vaccination rates slow and the highly transmissible delta variant spreads across the world.

Forty-seven states reported more new cases of COVID-19 last week than the week before, and deaths increased in 30 states compared to a week earlier, according to USA TODAY analysis of data from Johns University Hopkins.

California saw an increase in the number of cases throughout July, a 124% increase from two weeks ago, according to data from the Los Angeles Times. The county itself has surpassed 1,000 cases for five consecutive days. But while hospitalizations remain low, they come from a specific source.

“To date, we have not had a patient admitted to a [Department of Health Services] hospital that has been fully vaccinated, with the J&J, Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Every patient we have admitted for Covid is not yet fully vaccinated, ”County Health Services Director Dr Christina Ghaly said on Tuesday. DHS operates four hospitals in the region.

More than 60% of California residents have been fully vaccinated, but vaccination rates have slowed in recent weeks.

Also in the news:

â–ºNebraska will resume reporting coronavirus statistics after abandoning the practice a week ago after public health experts widely criticized the decision. Updates will be weekly rather than daily.

â–ºNew cases of the coronavirus surged in New York City during the week ending Sunday, increasing 66% as 3,970 cases were reported, according to state and national records.

â–ºThe delta variant leads to an increase in the number of cases worldwide, including in Italy. There have been 2,153 confirmed cases in the past 24 hours, according to figures from the Italian Ministry of Health on Wednesday. This is more than double the 1,010 infections confirmed a week earlier.

â–º Argentina has reported more than 100,000 deaths from COVID-19, a blow to a country that has intermittently imposed some of the world’s toughest lockdowns, only to then see erratic compliance from many.

â–ºJohnson & Johnson said its single dose injection protects against the delta variant and produces an immune response that lasts eight months and more. The company announced the results of the preprint study earlier this month and published the interim results of the study in the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.

â–ºWith the Tokyo Olympics opening in just over a week, Tokyo on Wednesday reported its highest number of new COVID-19 cases in nearly six months, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said.

â–ºOverdose deaths hit a record 93,000 last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the US government reported on Wednesday. This estimate overshadows the peak of about 72,000 drug overdose deaths the year before and represents a 29% increase.

The numbers of the day: The United States has recorded more than 33.94 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 608,100 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Global totals: over 188.28 million cases and over 4 million deaths. Nearly 160 million Americans – 48.2% of the population – have been fully immunized, according to the CDC.

What we read: Thousands of school children across the Navajo Nation live without internet access, computers, cell phone service or electricity. When the pandemic struck, more than 23,398 Native American students in New Mexico lacked the high-speed internet and devices they needed for distance learning, the Department of Public Education of the United States of America concluded. ‘State. The actual number is significantly higher.

Keep refreshing this page for the latest news. Want more? Sign up for USA TODAY’s Coronavirus Watch newsletter to receive updates straight to your inbox and join our Facebook group.

“Make polio great again”? : Americans outraged as Tennessee drops vaccination for teens

Americans, including Tennessee residents, media and public figures, took to social media after the Tennessean reported on Tuesday the state health department’s stop of adolescent immunizations.

TDH’s new approach includes removing teens from postcards about vaccination doses, stopping COVID-19 vaccination events on school property, and cleaning the agency logo from certain documents that may be provided, according to an internal report and emails obtained by the Tennessean, part of the United States Network TODAY.

This applies to all vaccines. Not just COVID-19.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki commented on the sacking of the state’s top vaccine official and Tennessee’s decision to drop the vaccination, the USA TODAY correspondent reported to the White House on Wednesday. , Joey Garrison.

“We have of course seen the reporting and coverage of this issue,” Psaki said. “We oppose any effort that politicizes our country’s response to the pandemic. “

TDH chief medical officer Dr Tim Jones said any information released on back-to-school vaccinations should come from the Tennessee Department of Education, not the Tennessee Department of Health, according to the email and report obtained by Tennessee.

However, former Tennessee senior vaccine official Dr Michelle Fiscus, who was fired without explanation on Monday, said the state’s decision to cancel vaccination for minors came in response to pressure from conservative lawmakers.

“Kill kids for owning libraries,” Paulette Aniskoff, former director of the Obama White House’s Office of Public Engagement, said on Twitter.

Read more here.

– Daniella Medina, Nashville Tennessee

Indonesia becomes new virus hotspot in Asia, surpassing number of cases in India

Indonesia reported more than 54,000 new cases of the coronavirus for the first time on Wednesday, overtaking recent daily infections in India, whose catastrophic outbreak is on the decline, and becoming the new virus hotspot in Asia.

Authorities fear that the most transmissible delta variant may now spread from the islands of Java and Bali, where epidemics have caused a partial lockdown that has closed places of worship, shopping malls, parks and restaurants.

“I predict that the epidemic will increase continuously in July because we are not yet able to prevent the spread of infections,” epidemiology expert Pandu Riono from the University of Indonesia said on Wednesday. “Emergency social restrictions are still insufficient. They should be twice as strict since we are facing the delta variant, which is twice as contagious.”

The Department of Health on Wednesday reported 54,517 new cases and 991 deaths, bringing the number of confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic to more than 2.6 million and the number of confirmed deaths to more than 69,000. a month, the number of daily cases was about 8,000.

Contribute: The Associated Press.


Ancient microfossils of primordial microbes found in rocks 3.4 billion years old



Newly discovered microfossils, about 3.42 billion years old, are the oldest evidence to date of a particular type of methane-cycling microbial life – and they could help us understand how life began , both on Earth and further out in the Universe.

These life forms would have originally existed just below the seabed in pockets of a rich liquid soup, created from the mixture of colder seawater from above and hotter hydrothermal fluids rising from the sea. depths.

The new findings may answer some of the questions about how and where life began in the Paleoarchean era (3.2-3.6 billion years ago), or whether indigenous microorganisms like this existed even earlier in Earth’s history.

The outcrop from which a sample was taken. (Cavalazzi et al., Science Advances, 2021)

“We found exceptionally well-preserved evidence of fossilized microbes that appear to have thrived along the walls of cavities created by hot water from hydrothermal systems a few meters below the seabed,” says paleontologist Barbara Cavalazzi of the University of Bologna.

“Subterranean habitats, heated by volcanic activity, likely hosted some of Earth’s earliest microbial ecosystems and this is the oldest example we have found to date.”

The rocks containing the fossils were collected from the Barberton greenstone belt in South Africa, near the border with Eswatini and Mozambique – a place where some of the oldest and best preserved sedimentary rocks on the planet are found. whole.

Analysis of the recovered sediment showed microfossils with a carbon-rich outer coating around a core that was both chemically and structurally distinct – indicating microorganisms with cellular material enveloped in a wall or membrane.

Further study revealed most of the major chemicals needed for life, as well as other supporting evidence that these microfossils were once microbes: concentrations of nickel similar to those found in prokaryotic archaea today. ‘hui, microbes that use methane rather than oxygen like their distant ancestors did. .

“Although we know that prokaryotic archaea can be fossilized, we have extremely limited direct examples,” Cavalazzi explains. “Our findings may extend the record of archaeal fossils for the first time around the time life first appeared on Earth.”

Scientists continue to make progress in understanding how life on Earth began and how the inorganic turned organic – perhaps with the help of a billion years of lightning strikes or hydrothermal vent explosions – but we still don’t know exactly what happened. and in what order.

This might not be surprising, given how difficult it is to look billions of years back, but this latest research suggests that underground hydrothermal systems could be as important in the creation of life as some scientists did. had already assumed.

Better understanding the conditions life needs to exist and the parameters in which it can function is going to be useful, not only for tracing the origins of life on Earth, but also for researching it on other planets.

“As we also find similar environments on Mars, the study also has implications for astrobiology and the chances of finding life beyond Earth,” says Cavalazzi.

The research was published in Scientists progress.


J&J vaccine provides long-lasting immunity, including against variants


Disclosures: Barouch claims to be co-inventor of related vaccine patents. Please see the study for relevant financial information from all other authors.

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Data now published in a major journal shows that the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine generated high activity against SARS-CoV-2 for at least 8 months, including against variants of concern.

The results were published today in a correspondence to The New England Journal of Medicine, several weeks after Johnson & Johnson reported them in a press release and researchers submitted them to a preprint server.

Vials of COVID19 vaccine
Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine elicits lasting responses for at least 8 months, including against variants of SARS-CoV-2.
Source: Adobe Stock.

In the newspaper, Dan H. Barouche, MARYLAND, Doctorate, director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and colleagues report 8-month durability of humoral and cellular immune responses in 20 people who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in one or two doses, and five people who received a placebo.

According to the study, they assessed the antibody and T cell responses of 10 people 8 months after receiving a single dose of the vaccine, and 10 people 6 months after receiving two doses. They also tested the performance of the vaccine against wild-type SARS-CoV-2 and alpha (B.1.1.7), kappa (B.1.617.1), delta (B.1.617.2), gamma (P . 1), epsilon (B.1.429) and beta (B.1.351).

Barouch and colleagues reported detection of antibody responses in all vaccine recipients by day 239, with the median titer of binding antibody against the wild-type SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain reaching 645 by day. 29, 1772 on day 57, 1962 on day 71, and 1306 on day 239. The median titer of neutralizing antibodies to the WA1 / 2020 virus-like virus was 272 on day 29, 169 on day 57, 340 on day 71 and 192 on day 239, and titers were similar when analyzes were limited to participants who had received the single-injection vaccination schedule, the researchers said.

In addition, the study found that three recipients of the vaccine had a sharp increase in antibody responses during the study period, including one who had a breakthrough infection that was “minimally symptomatic” and two who had received a vaccine. to messenger RNA. Exclusion of these participants showed that antibody responses were relatively stable over the 8-month period, with a reduction in median neutralizing antibody titer by a factor of 1.8 between peak response on day 71 and the timing of the sustainability assessment at day 239, Barouch and colleagues said.

According to the study, the dosed recipients had a median neutralizing antibody titer of 184 against the wild strain, 158 against the D614G variant, 147 against the alpha variant, 171 against the kappa variant, 107 against the delta variant, 129 against the gamma variant, 87 against the epsilon variant and 62 against the beta variant at day 239. The researchers said that these data suggest “an expansion in the extent of neutralizing antibodies” associated with improved coverage of the SARS- variants. CoV-2 over time, including increased neutralizing antibody titers against these variants of concern.

“These data show that the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine elicited lasting humoral and cellular immune responses with minimal decreases for at least 8 months after vaccination,” they wrote. “The durability of humoral and cellular immune responses following Ad26.COV2.S vaccination with increased neutralizing antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 variants over time, including after single injection vaccination, further supports the use of the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine to fight the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Palo Alto sets the stage for ‘smart meter’ switch | New



After eight years of hesitation, debate and planning, Palo Alto is preparing to move to “smart meters,” a $ 20 million initiative that city leaders say will make local utilities electricity, more efficient and reliable gas and water.

The city is about to approve contracts with three companies that the utilities department has selected to install what is called an “advanced metering infrastructure”, a system in which meters and tools for managing metering. data enables communication between customers and utilities.

A report Department of Utilities calls Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) “a foundational technology that is becoming a standard in the utility industry.” The technology, the report notes, helps improve the customer experience, boosts reliability and enables the community to meet its sustainability goals, according to the report. It could, for example, provide customers with real-time energy consumption data and help them find the optimal time to charge their vehicles or use their devices. It could also alert customers to water leaks.

The city’s switch to smart meters will cost around $ 20 million to implement. This includes a payment of around $ 12.7 million to Sensus, the company the city selected as part of its tendering process to replace the existing 30,326 electricity meters with its own “smart” meters. . Palo Alto also plans to pay up to $ 4.7 million to Utilities Partners of America, a subcontractor to Sensus, for installation services, and $ 1.3 million to Smart Works for data management. .

It will also require a reshuffle of the public services management, where seven meter positions will become obsolete. The report notes that the city will make the “best efforts” to train and reassign seven staff to new roles once the new technology is adopted. At the same time, the city is preparing to create new positions, including an AMI manager, an AMI systems technician and an MDMS (Meter Data Management Systems) data analyst, to manage the systems associated with the new technology.

While smart meters aren’t new, with around half of all utilities and over 80% of utilities owned by investors like PG&E already using them, the city council’s conversion to technology is relatively recent. In 2012, the board chose not to make the switch, citing high costs and uncertain benefits. Council members changed their mind in November 2018, when they unanimously endorsed the technology and approved a roadmap for its implementation.

A key milestone in the implementation process came on July 7, when the Utilities Advisory Board voted to approve the withdrawal of $ 18.5 million from the Department of Canada’s “special electrical projects” reserves. water taxpayers). The board is expected to approve the commission’s recommendation upon returning from summer vacation.

The commission, which has been discussing the project for years, generally agreed that the change will benefit both the city and customers. The only dissenter was Commissioner Phil Metz, who suggested that the city develop a clear plan for “smart grid” programs before proceeding with the investment. Other Commissioners, including AC Johnston and Greg Scharff, have all spoken in favor of moving forward without further delay.

“It’s really exciting to see this move forward and get closer to the actual implementation,” Johnston said during the July 7 discussion.

Johnston and commission chair Lisa Forssell both said they were concerned about potential cybersecurity threats to the advanced counting system. While staff assured them that each of the vendors met industry standards for privacy and security, Forssell urged staff to work with auditors and security companies to perform infiltration tests to ensure guarantee the security of the system.

And while Commissioners generally agreed that the system would bring tangible benefits to electricity and water users, Scharff noted that the benefit to gas customers is less tangible and questioned the need for investment. in the gas utility, which could gradually disappear over the next few years. as the city tries to meet its sustainability goals.

Utility staff noted, however, that maintaining the existing gas meters would force the city to retain the meter readers and thus forgo one of the main economic benefits of switching to the new system.

“Not investing in radios for the gas utility is not economical because we would send meter readers just to read gas meters,” said Shiva Swaminathan, senior resource planner in the utility department.

The project will be carried out in phases, with around 100 meters installed in early 2022 and 3,000 additional meters in late 2022 and early 2023. Teams would then install the remaining 71,000 meters by the end of 2024. In addition to replacing each electricity meter, the project provides for the replacement of 8,369 water meters over 20 years old. The rest would be equipped with “SmartPoints” to allow connection to an advanced metering infrastructure. Around 24,000 gas meters would also be equipped with “SmartPoints” so that each contains a radio that would transmit gas data wirelessly.

Utility staff noted that the system would provide customers with information that would allow them to use gas more efficiently, allowing the city to buy less gas and saving the customer on their bills.

“AMI is very profitable because you help people save money just by providing information. This is where the community realizes bill savings – by not having to purchase that additional gas as it uses information from its AMI system to use energy more efficiently, ”said Jonathan Abendschein, deputy director of the management of utility resources, during the meeting.

Metz, meanwhile, noted that the city has yet to fully define the “smart grid” programs it hopes to implement once the new technology is in place. Utilities officials are signaling their willingness to implement “hour-of-use” tariffs and “distributed energy” systems that encourage, for example, eclectic vehicle owners to charge their cars during off-peak periods. The city, Metz said, should develop a “concrete plan” for these programs to justify the city’s investment in advanced metering infrastructure.

“I kind of feel like ‘smart grid’ was used as a slogan and not fleshed out.… What will we do about it, to take advantage of automated meters?” Metz asked.


Dr Alan Ettinger, DPM endorses CHI shoes



HOUSTON, July 14, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Farouk Shami, President of Farouk Systems Inc., Announces New Approval with Dr. Alain Ettinger, DPM. As a Board Certified Member of American Podiatric Medicine, Dr. Ettinger will be CHI Footwear’s primary medical resource, exploring the many foot health benefits offered by CHI’s graphene sneaker collection.

“When we think about our health, we often consider the foods we eat, the water we drink and the exercises we do for our body. But do we never stop to think about foot health and its impact on our overall well-being? »Explains Dr. Alain Ettinger. “That’s why preventative footwear is more important than ever. The right shoes are essential for fighting bacterial and viral infections, fungal growth, possible injury, or other complications. “

As a result, a first line of defense to prevent such foot conditions is the material of the shoes we wear on a daily basis (leather vs synthetic). Through intensive research, testing and a variety of prototypes, CHI Footwear has developed a next-generation sneaker design that protects consumers from a host of foot problems including bacteria, poor circulation, perspiration, odor. and foot fatigue, all thanks to the line’s Graphene technology. Considered the strongest material in the world, graphene is an ultra-thin honeycomb sheet of carbon atoms that is 200 times stronger than steel, yet extremely light.

In particular, the graphene sneakers and inserts from CHI Footwear:

  • Helps kill germs by destroying the cell walls of bacteria, fungi, yeasts and some types of viruses.
  • Prevent odors
  • Relieving Plantar Fasciitis – One of the Most Common Causes of Heel Pain
  • Ensure stability and balance
  • Regulates body temperature for optimal comfort and support
  • Reduce muscle fatigue
  • Encourage you to stand and walk correctly, which can correct posture over time
  • May provide a healthy option for diabetic shoes
  • Features insoles with acupuncture points to help massage the foot while walking, providing energy and good circulation while fighting fatigue
    • Acupuncture points create a variety of beneficial effects on the body, as well as people with hypertension, hyperglycemia, and hyperlipidemia.
    • They also prevent blood from collecting in your feet. This reduces inflammation and fights other symptoms caused by poor blood circulation.

Available in women’s and men’s sizes, this 15-piece sneaker collection implements this technology to ensure consumers don’t have to compromise on comfort or style. The collection comes in a variety of attractive color combinations with many designs inspired by the Eye of Horus, an ancient Egyptian symbol of protection, good health and energy.

Price: $ 269 each from https://chifootwear.com/our-materials/ or https://chi.com/chi-footwear/#shop (chi.com is connected to rewardStyle, Skimlinks and Viglink)

Style, comfort and technology all in one.

For more information, please visit www.chifootwear.com
Be social with us @chifootwear

Contacts: Janice McCafferty
Jessica mccafferty
Janice McCafferty Communications
[email protected]

SOURCE Farouk Systems Inc.

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Industry responds to Nestlé’s deep dive into cultured meat



Jul 14, 2021 — As the world’s largest agribusiness company, Nestlé’s foray into cultured meat has prompted reaction from some of the other key players in this burgeoning industry. This shows how vast the space promises to be, and shows just how much research into “no slaughter” foods is accelerating.

The Swiss giant is evaluating strategies for producing cultured meat and its derived ingredients with a multitude of external partners and start-ups.

Cellular farming is still at its core and the new interest of a multinational like Nestlé signals greater progress for the nascent industry. The CEOs of Blue Nalu and Finless Foods, two leading players in cell-based seafood, spoke to FoodIngredientsFirst about these latest developments.

“It’s very exciting to hear Nestlé’s interest in this category as it is the largest food and beverage company in the world,” said Lou Cooperhouse, President and CEO of BlueNalu. “Cell culture-derived seafood, meat and poultry products can result in products that support human health, animal welfare, and global food security and sustainability. “

“We have already seen tremendous interest from a number of food companies, as well as diverse multinational conglomerates, in the cell culture protein industry over the past few years and I believe that interest is growing considerably. increase in the years to come. ”

Click to enlargeMeat grown by Future Meat Technologies. (Credit: Future Meat Technologies)Michael Selden, CEO of Finless Foods adds: “This is a good sign, I am extremely happy that Nestlé is interested – this technology is inevitable and the big players should join if they want to participate and help build a supply. food that is more resilient, more profitable and better for the planet.

Getting closer to price parity
Reinhard Behringer, Director of the Nestlé Institute of Material Sciences at Nestlé Research, comments: “For many years, we have been investing in our protein expertise and in the development of proprietary technologies for plant-based alternatives to meat, this which allows us to continuously expand our wide range of tasty and nutritious products with a lower environmental impact.

“To complement these efforts, we are also exploring technologies that could lead to animal-friendly alternatives that are nutritious, sustainable and similar to meat in terms of taste, flavor and texture. We are delighted to understand their potential.

Scientists at Nestlé Research in Lausanne are working with Future Meat Technologies, a cultured meat start-up, to explore the potential of cultured meat components that don’t compromise taste or durability.

Future Meat Technologies’ innovative and cost-effective proprietary technology can produce non-GMO cultured meat components from animal cells, reducing the need for land and resources to raise animals.

Click to enlargeCultivated meat could achieve competitive costs and environmental criteria by 2030.Future Meat Technologies is the first company in the industry to break a price record, producing cultured chicken breasts for just US $ 3.90.

“As our technology advances on a large scale, prices will continue to fall, making cultured meat affordable around the world,” the company says. “We have the power to rapidly scale the production of non-GMO, sustainable, clean and cultivated meat by 2023.”

“Our cost-effective solutions bring us closer to price parity with traditional farmed meat, enabling us to secure a better future for generations to come.”

A recent analysis by the Dutch research organization CE Delft found that cultured meat could achieve competitive costs and environmental criteria by 2030. It further suggests that hybrid products combining plant-based meats with Cultured meat could offer a “compelling short-term opportunity” to further reduce costs and achieve environmental goals, while more fully mimicking the experience of eating meat.

Cell phone at the supermarket
Cooperhouse in Blue Nalu predicts that the cell culture market will evolve rapidly over the next five to ten years.

“Management consulting firm AT Kearny predicts that cell culture meats will account for 35% of the market share, and plant-based meats will account for 25% of the market share by 2040. This indicates that what we call today conventional proteins will become unconventional by 2040., “he shares.

“My personal prediction is that 2030 will be the decade in which many large-scale cell culture factories are built around the world, resulting in compound annual growth across this category,” he continues.

“Before that, you’ll see small-scale factories going up, and maybe several hundred million pounds in total volume among all cell culture companies over the remainder of this decade, which will only be a fraction. limited market. “

But from 2030, Cooperhouse expects “extremely rapid growth” and the ability to close the gap in the global supply chain, as demand increases and conventional supply remains relatively stable. “We hope that seafood from cell culture can really bridge the gap that awaits us. “

Selden of Finless Foods adds, “I see cell culture meat sitting next to animal meat and not needing its own aisle, the same way farmed seafood does. do not have their own driveway. Consumers will see this as just another option and make the day-to-day decisions themselves rather than ideologically conforming to one or the other.

Surf and turf
Cell-based beef steak research is where the movement of cultured meat first took root. Among the notable developments covered on FoodIngredientsFirst, Aleph Farms – the company behind the world’s first cultured beef steak, rib eye cuts and first grown meat grown in space in 2019 – recently secured 105 million Series B funding. of US dollars.

But Cooperhouse at Blue Nalu believes that one of the “biggest market opportunities” for cell culture protein products is in the seafood category. The segment has already attracted gigantic investments over the past year, such as the funding of US $ 12.6 million of cell-based shrimp by Shiok Meats in Singapore.

“Today’s seafood market prices are based on supply, making them variable and unpredictable, as well as considerably expensive in areas such as quality, distribution and logistics,” notes Cooperhouse. “Currently, food service operators pay for the parts of the fish that are not typically eaten, such as the head, tail, skin and bones. “

“With BlueNalu cell culture seafood, we anticipate that our products will be 100% efficient, likely to come from much shorter distances with a very favorable environmental and logistical footprint, and be able to fetch a price equivalent to that of seafood. high quality sea on the market today.

Selden comments: “There is still work to be done to reduce costs, but most of the work that remains involves detailed and healthy conversation with regulators to ensure that we are meeting the safety standards necessary to get to market. “

“Consumer adoption can be encouraged through a neutral labeling system that clearly shows how we are different without scaring people into making it look too new. And also by starting to educate consumers now – to demystify the technology and build excitement around the potential and benefits of cell culture meat.

By Benjamin Ferrer

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PH achieves collective immunity in mid-2022


GOOD HOUSEHOLD To further encourage COVID-19 vaccinations, the Mandaluyong City government is marking households whose members have completed two doses. —GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

The Philippines is said to be among the last countries in the region, along with Vietnam and Taiwan, to vaccinate 70% of its population and gain so-called herd immunity, Britain’s think tank Oxford Economics said on Tuesday.

Vaccinated people are protected against disease and virus transmission, so inoculating so many would break the chain of transmission and stop the spread of COVID-19.

Oxford Economics has forecast that it will take until the middle of next year for the Philippines to inoculate some 78 million people, or 70 percent of its population of 111 million.

Across Asia, low vaccination rates, combined with low tolerance to the virus in several locations, have made many Asian economies vulnerable to the setbacks of COVID-19, said Louis Kuijs, head of Asia’s economy. Oxford Economics, and Senior Economist Lloyd Chan in their report “Limited Vaccination. delays recoveries.

Achieving collective immunity is necessary to allow the reopening of more economic activities. The longer it takes to get there, the longer the time to economic recovery.

Oxford Economics has said it expects Singapore to hit this threshold in August; China in less than five months; Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand and South Korea, in just over five months; Australia, Hong Kong and Thailand, in less than 10 months, and India and Indonesia, in just over 10 months.

As of July 10, Taiwan and Vietnam had the slowest mass vaccination rate, while the Philippines ranked third among Asia-Pacific countries for the percentage of the population vaccinated.

Target end of July

The government hopes to fully immunize some seven million people by the end of the month, according to the chief secretary of the National COVID-19 Task Force Carlito Galvez Jr.

This would equate to just 6.3 percent of the country’s population.

So far, some 3.5 million people are considered fully vaccinated after receiving two doses since the government launched its mass vaccination campaign in March.

Galvez said the government is confident it will reach the seven million target this month as it is due to receive a delivery of 3.2 million doses of Janssen vaccines from Johnson & Johnson.

Requiring only a single jab, administering the full Janssen cargo would equate to 3.2 million fully vaccinated people.

The elderly and those with co-morbidities would be the priority in the distribution of the single-dose vaccine and each region would receive at least 100,000 doses each, according to Under Secretary of Health Myrna Cabotaje.

On Tuesday, however, OCTA Research called on the government to continue to prioritize the National Capital Region (NCR) and eight other regions in its vaccination campaign to help the country weather the pandemic faster.

These are Pampanga, Bulacan, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Metro Cebu and Metro Davao, the areas with the highest number of COVID-19 cases outside the NCR.

“The key to success is sticking to a plan. We have a plan, NCR Plus 8. We hope that the plan will not be marred by different politics and influences. If we stick to this plan, the country will move forward, ”OCTA’s Ranjit Rye told Laging Handa’s briefing.

It also needs to be done urgently given the threat posed by the more contagious Delta variant of the virus, he added.

Vaccine trials

Meanwhile, the Department of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) have signed an agreement to conduct clinical trials on COVID-19 vaccines to find the most suitable brand for Filipinos, according to the Ministry of Science and Technology.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan signed the deal, DOST Under Secretary Rowena Guevara said on Tuesday.

Guevara said the trials were also aimed at finding the most effective vaccine that would provide adequate protection and be easy to administer and manufacture in the country.

The trial would involve four vaccines, but Guevara said she couldn’t name them without Food and Drug Administration approval.

WHO also provided the final clinical trial protocol, standard operating procedures and investigative brochures for the vaccines, she said.

The Philippines has so far used the Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Sputnik V, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in their vaccination campaign. He is also expected to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccines later this month.

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Performance Lab Unveils Revolutionary Immunity Support Supplement, featuring two Kyowa Hakko branded ingredients.



PL-Immune â„¢ More comprehensive immune support.

“IMMUSE ™ is unlike any other immune support ingredient. IMMUSE ™ activates pDCs (Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells), an immune system leader that provides immune support at the cellular level.

Performance Lab Ultramodern Nutrition® has launched a revolutionary immune support supplement, the first on the market, available in the US, UK, EU, Australia and Canada. PL-Immune ™ includes Setria® Glutathione and IMMUSE ™ from international health ingredient manufacturer Kyowa Hakko, dedicated to supporting immune health. Performance Lab® unites vision with technology to produce pure, potent and effective finished supplements.

According to Abigail Roberts, Msc. Sport Nutrition at Performance Lab and Opti-Nutra, “There are many immune system boosting supplements on the market today. But there are still more challenges. This is why the best immune support strategy may involve immune support throughout the year. PL-Immune ™ is an advanced formula with a dynamic stack of probiotics and antioxidants that activates multiple types of immune cells. We have chosen to include IMMUSE ™ and Setria® Glutathione for a product with high immune performance.

Validated by eleven human clinical studies comprising nine efficacy studies and two safety studies, IMMUSE â„¢ is a science-based ingredient that works to prepare the immune system, supporting health all year round when taken regularly. * A range of safety data, including in vitro, in vivo and in humans have been collected. IMMUSE â„¢ is a new dietary supplement ingredient offering a revolutionary approach to immune health.

Dr. Shintaro Ichikawa, Director of Technical Affairs at Kyowa Hakko USA, led the development and product launch of IMMUSE ™ Notes: “IMMUSE ™ is unlike any other immune support ingredient. IMMUSE ™ activates pDCs (Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells), an immune system leader that provides immune support at the cellular level.

Setria® Glutathione, an innovative ingredient in glutathione that supports respiratory and immune health, is a branded form of glutathione. Clinically studied to support immune health, detoxification, and overall healthy aging properties, daily consumption of Setria® may help maintain optimal glutathione levels and overall good health, and is also recommended as a dietary supplement for its antioxidant action. *

Today’s best formulas provide essential essential nutrients, along with reliable approaches to truly next-level immune performance. “As consumers seek to proactively and consistently support their immune systems with a focus on overall health and wellness, it is exciting to have our innovative, clinically-researched Kyowa Hakko ingredients included in this product for support an immune health strategy throughout the year. Observes Dr Shintaro Ichikawa.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

To learn more about Kyowa Hakko IMMUSE â„¢ or Setria® Glutathione brand ingredients, please contact [email protected]

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Meta-analysis shows increased risk of tumors for cell phone users



A comprehensive meta-analysis of 46 case-control studies conducted by researchers at UC Berkeley School of Public Health, Korea’s National Cancer Center, and Seoul National University found evidence that more intensive phone use wearable is associated with an increased risk of tumors, primarily in the brain. tumors.

According to the analysis published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, using a cell phone for more than 1,000 hours, or about 17 minutes per day for a decade, significantly increased the risk of tumors (by 60%). In the individual studies that were analyzed, people who used cell phones for more than a decade had a slightly higher overall tumor risk than those who had used cell phones for less than 5 years.

“Cell phone use highlights a multitude of public health issues and has unfortunately received little attention from the scientific community,” said Joel moskowitz, Ph.D., lead author of an analysis article and director of the Center for Family and Community Health at Berkeley Public Health. “I have written and researched the risk of cell phone radiation from cell phones and cell phone towers since 2009, and as soon as these stories were made public in the media, I was contacted by cell phone radiation survivors begging me to stay on this topic. . “

This current meta-analysis is an update of a 2009 meta-analysis and includes studies that were conducted over the past decade. Moskowitz pointed out that these studies have been controversial because it is a very sensitive political subject with important economic ramifications for a powerful industry.

The researchers also highlighted results showing that cell phone use for 10 years or more doubled the risk of brain tumors. Recent figures from the Pew Research Center has shown that 97% of Americans now own a cell phone of some kind. Cell phone use has become more and more popular, in fact CDC figures National Center for Health Statistics found that 61.8% of adults decided to go wireless only.

With the increased use of mobile devices, research has been extensive on their potential link to cancer. The results have varied and have at times been controversial.

Many studies examining the health risks of cell phone use have been funded or partially funded by the cell phone industry, which critics say may skew research results.

“Moskowitz stressed that these studies have been controversial because it is a very sensitive political subject with important economic ramifications for a powerful industry,” noted Berkeley Public Health.

The position held by federal regulators indicates a lack of evidence showing a direct link.

“To date, there is no consistent or credible scientific evidence of health problems caused by exposure to radio frequency energy emitted by cell phones,” he added. Food and drug administration indicated on its website.

The FDA also said that the Federal Communications Commission set a limit on radio frequency energy which “remains acceptable to protect public health”.

In December 2017, the California Department of Public Health released a warning the public about exposure to radio frequency energy from mobile phones“Although the science is still evolving, some laboratory experiments and human health studies have suggested the possibility that high and long-term cell phone use may be linked to certain types of cancer and other effects on human health. health.”

Ultimately, when it comes to cellphones, “distance is your friend,” Moskowitz said. “Keeping your cell phone 10 inches from your body, compared to a tenth of an inch, results in a 10,000-fold reduction in exposure. So keep your phone away from your head and body,” he said. -he advises.

Moskowitz, who has researched and written about the dangers of radiation from cell phones and cell phone towers for more than a decade, said the publication of his findings has consistently led to an increase in calls for further research. .


Immune System Adverse Events in NSCLC


Mark A. Socinski, MD: Let me ask Sandip, one of the things we haven’t talked about a lot is the [adverse] effects of immunotherapy [IO], although many of us believe that as a general class of drugs, these IO agents are generally quite well tolerated in this setting. What is the message to our audience regarding adverse events related to the immune system [IRAEs] and in their recognition and management? Do you have any golden pearls that you can share with us, Sandip?

Sandip P. Patel, MD: I think these therapies are remarkably effective immunotherapies that we have discussed, but they are not without toxicity, and the double-edged sword of the immune response is friendly fire against healthy tissue and you can achieve self-toxicities. immune. In lung cancer, the toxicity that is probably the most annoying in our practices is pneumonitis. Immune-mediated lung disease, it often mimics various other entities to which our lung cancer patients are particularly prone, whether it is COPD [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease] to burst; infection, especially the most recent with COVID-19; pulmonary embolism; disease course. So, these patients invariably have chest CT scans to try to gain a better understanding, and the problem with many immune system-related adverse events is that there isn’t a specific blood test that tells you that this is. ‘a phenomenon linked to the immune system. You will have a liver function test or a CT scan that will show something is wrong. You’re going to try to rule out everything else, but the problem with almost all of our immune system adverse events is that they are exclusion diagnoses. With that, you rule out other things, and you start therapy empirically.

My humble 2 ARI tips are, # 1, have a high index of suspicion. If the patient is more short of breath than usual or begins to have diarrhea, exclude Clostridioides difficile, but be prepared to treat it like immune colitis. The second is to start steroids early, especially after you’ve ruled out an infection, which you can often do quite quickly with a procalcitonin, for example. Or treat at the same time as steroids and antibiotics for a very severe case of, say, colitis while you wait for results and wait for specialist expertise because I have never seen anyone regret giving steroids too much. early. I’ve only seen people regret not starting steroids early enough. Then finally, there was a nice summary at ASCO [American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting]… Who reviewed what to do if steroids don’t work. I think the message is there if you have immune-related colitis which means you have ruled out C diff, which unfortunately can be common in this patient population, infliximab or another anti-TNF [tumor necrosis factor] can be effective. But beyond that, our options start to become increasingly potentially problematic for patients, including drugs that block T cells, such as mycophenolate. You can use drugs that block the movement of immune cells in normal tissue, like vedolizumab, and I think it gets really complicated at this point. But the only point I should make about steroids is that it’s not your 5 day COPD burst. If you are dealing with an immune system related adverse event, you want to have at least a 3 week steroid decrease, and probably closer to a month, maybe a little over a month, because if you don’t not, the likelihood of this immune effect returning from any related adverse event, whatever it is, is quite high.

Mark A. Socinski, MD: We presented data to the recent ASCO that a low intensity immune adverse event might be a good thing in this context. Of course this was also true on the scan control arm of IMpower150, 130, 132, so any thoughts on this? Because I agree with your comment that understanding the spectrum of toxicity can affect almost any organ and recognize that hopefully when it’s grade 1 or 2 it needs to be treated early and there. ‘prevent being 3 or 4. And that was sort of the message of this analysis.

Sandip P. Patel, MD: Absolutely, and it’s a great summary of a very complicated data set. I think the general theme of the studies you mentioned, as well as other analyzes, especially some retrospective analyzes, is that the development of an adverse event related to the immune system means that the immunotherapy affects the immune response. And as you raise the temperature, so to speak, of the immune system, hopefully more of that heat is directed to cancer, but some of it can also be directed to friendly organs, and so there is this correlation which I think has been seen in several databases. I’m not 100% there, but I think most of us have seen it, that most patients who develop ARIs are often the ones who benefit. This does not mean that you have to get any of these autoimmune toxicities to benefit from immunotherapy, but it does mean that for patients who develop an adverse event related to the immune system, the issue of reinjection often involves severity. of toxicity, how dangerous it was to life, how recoverable it was with immunosuppressive steroids. But if you also know that this patient who had this immune toxicity has a fairly good long-term prognosis, that means you can take a break. You can look with serial CT scans and see if the immune system took over the cancer and caused toxicity on the normal epithelium. I think this is probably where this dataset is most relevant to the clinical practice of most people.


How Intra-Workout Supplements Benefit Your Mid-Workout Needs



We are all familiar with pre- and post-workout supplements, but intra-workout workouts can do wonders for all of our gains.

When it comes to our mid-workout needs, look for a intra-workout supplement is exactly what we need to fuel us. Finding a good supplement can be difficult and although the focus is on pre and post workout needs as these are the best times to prepare and recover your body, the middle of our workout still needs to be shown a bit of. ‘love. As we grind and work our bodies, it should be a priority to continually pump ourselves with all the nutrients essential for growth and recovery as we strive for the best for our gains.

What an intra-workout supplement can do is help growth and recovery while hydrating and ensuring that your muscles are fully supported. It can be very easy to exhaust your body of everything it needs to really be successful, and luckily companies have started to take a serious look at the products that will keep us in shape at any stage of our training. With clean and effective intra-workout ingredients, you’ll never have to worry about feeling tired or sacrificing your gains again.

Let’s take a look at intra-workout supplements and really see what they can do for our intra-workout needs. With so much to offer and big companies backing some really great products, it is possible for you to start seeing the growth you want most from every workout.


What are intra-workout supplements?

Intra-workout supplements are those meant to be taken during your workout. This would effectively complement the three stages of your training before, during and after training. While a pre-workout will give you energy and muscle pumps, and a protein supplement will improve growth and recovery, an intra-workout fills the gap in between for increased energy, better hydration, less fatigue and faster recovery. Capable of being absorbed into the body quickly, your muscles can use it for peak performance and these amazing ingredients can quickly start to make an effective change.

Key ingredients included

  • BCAAs: Three branched-chain amino acids have many benefits including muscle growth, fatigue and pain reduction, and recovery (1).
    • Leucine: Works for muscle maintenance, recovery and can alter body composition.
    • Isoleucine: May decrease muscle damage and pain as well as reduce fatigue.
    • Valine: Will increase energy and stimulate muscles for faster recovery.
  • Creatine: Can increase strength, size and power output while increasing recovery and high intensity work (2).
  • Betaine: May improve muscle mass, relieve muscle soreness, and promote fat loss.
  • Beta Alanine: Delays fatigue and stimulates muscle building for better athletic performance.
  • L-Citrulline: Reduces muscle pain and increases both exercise capacity and athletic performance (3).


Benefits of intra-workout supplements

With a host of benefits for your overall workout, performance, health, and well-being, all of your needs will be covered to ensure you get the most out of every workout. The benefits of intra-workout supplements include:

Intra-workout supplements can improve muscle growth by stimulating your muscles and allowing for hypertrophy. With ingredients like creatine included in the formula, it will increase strength and size and really target accelerating the growth of these muscles (4).

With less fatigue and more energy, you allow yourself to really target time under tension and more resistance against your muscles. This increases strength, but also power as you are now relying on your muscles to do more work and with more explosiveness.

With certain ingredients and often a healthy amount of carbohydrates, your body can then use them for energy and allow your workouts to really take off. It will work to improve endurance and all of your other aerobic needs.

  • Reduce fatigue and muscle pain

Fatigue and muscle aches can be a bit inevitable when it comes to exercising and pushing your body to the max, but there are ways around this problem so that it doesn’t become so debilitating. By reducing them, you are really working to give your body the best chance for overall growth (5).

When your muscles are dehydrated, they cannot function properly and your gains suffer. These supplements can hydrate your muscles and ensure they are maintained throughout the workout.

  • Decrease muscle breakdown

We all work hard in the gym and deserve to see our gains come to life. With these supplements, you are working to decrease catabolism and keep those muscles intact regardless of your goals (6).

strong man

Featured Intra-Workout Supplement

Finding the best products for you can be difficult, but it is possible. With the right advice and the best brands representing leading products, looking to use the best intra-workout supplement just got a little easier. While other supplements like protein powder, pre-workout, or fat burners are great for boosting your overall gains, something like an intra-workout product is what you need for those mid-workout boosts. .

SPORT BCAA performance laboratory

SPORT BCAA performance laboratory

Performance Lab SPORT BCAA is a versatile performance and muscle building supplement. With an excellent BCAA ratio of 2: 1: 1, this will allow for increased strength and better overall performance.

SPORT BCAA performance laboratory is a versatile performance and muscle building supplement in the convenience of a capsule. SPORT BCAAs can increase strength and endurance, block muscle breakdown and pain, and optimize muscle growth and recovery. With a solid 2: 1: 1 ratio of L-leucine, L-isoleucine and L-valine, it makes this supplement very easy to absorb and makes it versatile for all athletes. L-leucine works on protein synthesis and muscle growth, L-isoleucine helps transport oxygen to muscles and promotes healing, while L-valine optimizes muscle tissue growth and repair. Due to the easy absorption and the ability to refuel quickly, Performance Lab SPORT BCAA is a great supplement to increase performance.

Price: $ 39.00

Check out our list of the best BCAA supplements for more great products!


Intra-workout supplements have the ability to truly improve all areas of our overall performance and health. With amazing ingredients and proven benefits, taking these supplements will give you the boost you need the most. When it comes to those pre and post workout needs, we have them covered. But your mid-workout goals should also be met and with a quality intra-workout product they’re much closer than they appear.

Let us know what you think in the comments below. Also make sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

* Images courtesy of Envato

The references

  1. Negro, M .; Giardina, S .; Marzani, B .; Marzatico (2008). “Branched-chain amino acid supplementation does not improve athletic performance, but affects muscle recovery and the immune system.” (source)
  2. Kreider, Richard B. (2003). “Effects of Creatine Supplementation on Performance and Training Adaptations”. (source)
  3. Gonzalez, Adam M.; Trexler, Eric T. (2020). “Effects of citrulline supplementation on exercise performance in humans: a review of the current literature”. (source)
  4. Blomstrand, Eva; Eliasson, Jorgen; Karlsson, Hakan KR; Kohnke, Rickard (2006). “Branched Chain Amino Acids Activate Key Enzymes in Protein Synthesis After Exercise.” (source)
  5. Blomstrand, Eva (2006). “A Role of Branched Chain Amino Acids in Reducing Central Fatigue”. (source)
  6. Shimomura, Yoshiharu; Murakami, Taro; Nakai, Naoya; Nagasaki, Masaru; Harris, Robert A. (2004). “Exercise promotes the BCAA catabolic effects of BCAA supplementation on skeletal muscle during exercise.” (source)


Covid nasal vaccine prevents disease and transmission in animals: study



A new single-dose COVID-19 intranasal vaccine fully protects mice against deadly infections and also blocks transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in ferrets, a study has shown.

The new vaccine, described in the journal Science Advances, is administered through a nasal spray similar to those commonly used to vaccinate against influenza.

This new method is different from currently approved COVID-19 vaccines that require injection.

“The currently available COVID-19 vaccines are very effective, but the majority of the world’s population is still unvaccinated and there is a critical need for more easy-to-use and effective vaccines to stop disease and transmission.” said Paul McCray, professor at the University of Georgia, United States.

“If this new COVID-19 vaccine proves effective in humans, it may help block the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and control the COVID-19 pandemic,” said McCray, co-head of the ‘study.

The researchers noted that the vaccine only requires a single dose and can be stored at normal refrigerator temperature for at least three months.

Because it’s given intranasally, the vaccine may also be easier to administer, especially for those afraid of needles, they said.

“Our preclinical data shows that this vaccine not only protects against infection, but also dramatically reduces the chance of transmission,” said Biao He, professor at the University of Georgia and co-lead of the study.

The investigational vaccine uses a harmless parainfluenza 5 (PIV5) virus to deliver the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein into cells where it triggers an immune response that protects against COVID-19 infection.

PIV5 is related to cold viruses and easily infects various mammals, including humans, without causing significant disease.

The spike protein helps the virus enter and infect human cells, and vaccines are directed against it.

The team has already shown that this vaccine platform can completely protect laboratory animals from another dangerous coronavirus disease called Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

The inhaled PIV5 vaccine targets the mucous cells that line the nasal passages and respiratory tract, which are the primary entry point for most SARS-CoV-2 infections and the site of early reproduction of the virus.

Viruses produced in these cells can invade the lungs and other organs of the body deeper, which can lead to more serious disease, the researchers say.

Viruses made in these cells can be easily excreted through exhalation, allowing transmission from one infected person to others, they said.

The study showed that the vaccine produced a localized immune response, involving antibodies and cellular immunity, which completely protected mice from lethal doses of SARS-CoV-2.

The vaccine also prevented infection and disease in ferrets and appeared to block transmission of COVID-19 from infected ferrets to their unprotected and uninfected cage mates, the researchers added.

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


Can Pfizer or Moderna mRNA COVID vaccines affect your genetic code?



The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are expected to become the mainstay of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Australia over the year, according to recently released government projections.

As of September, up to 1.3 million average doses of Pfizer vaccine and another 125,000 doses of Moderna vaccine, which has not yet been approved, are expected to be available per week. These numbers are expected to increase from October, as use of the AstraZeneca vaccine declines.

Both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are mRNA vaccines, which contain tiny fragments of the genetic material known as “messenger ribonucleic acid”. And if social media is something to do, some people fear that these vaccines could affect their genetic code.

Here’s why the chances of that happening are next to zero, and some pointers on how the myth originated.

Pfizer Moderna COVID Vaccines

Remind me, how do mRNA vaccines work?

The technology used in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines is a way to give your cells temporary instructions to make the coronavirus spike protein. This protein is found on the surface of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Vaccines teach your immune system to protect you if you ever come across the virus.

The mRNA from the vaccine is taken up by cells in your body and found in the fluid inside each cell called the cytoplasm. Our cells naturally make thousands of our own mRNAs all the time (to encode a range of other proteins). The vaccine mRNA is therefore just another. Once the vaccine mRNA is in the cytoplasm, it is used to make the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.

The vaccine’s mRNA is short lived and breaks down quickly after it does its job, as it does with all of your other mRNAs.

Mammalian cell diagram

The vaccine’s mRNA is found in the cytoplasm and once it has done its job it is broken down.

Here’s why mRNA can’t fit into your genetic code

Your genetic code is made up of a different, but related, molecule to the vaccine’s mRNA called DNA or deoxyribonucleic acid. And mRNA cannot fit into your DNA for two reasons.

First, the two molecules have different chemistry. If mRNAs could systematically fit into your DNA at random, it would wreak havoc on the way you make proteins. It would also scramble your genome, which is passed on to cells and future generations. The life forms that do this would not survive. That’s why life evolved for it do not happen.

The second reason is that the vaccine’s mRNA and DNA are found in two different parts of the cell. Our DNA stays in the nucleus. But the mRNA from the vaccine goes directly into the cytoplasm, never entering the nucleus. We do not know of any transport molecules that carry mRNA into the nucleus.

But are there no exceptions?

There are extremely rare exceptions. One is where genetic elements, known as retro-transposons, hijack cellular mRNA, convert it into DNA, and reinsert that DNA into your genetic material.

This has happened sporadically throughout evolution, producing old copies of mRNA scattered throughout our genome, to form pseudogenes.

Some retroviruses, like HIV, also insert their RNA into our DNA, using methods similar to retro-transposons.

However, there is a very small chance that a natural retro-transposon will become active in a cell that has just received an mRNA vaccine. There is also a very small chance of getting infected with HIV exactly at the same time as receiving the mRNA vaccine.

HIV test

There is a very small chance of getting infected with HIV at the same time as having an mRNA vaccine.

Even if a retro-transposon becomes active or a virus such as HIV is present, the chances of it finding the COVID vaccine mRNA, among the tens of thousands of natural mRNAs, are extremely unlikely. This is because the vaccine’s mRNA is broken down within a few hours of entering the body.

Even if the vaccine mRNA became a pseudogen, it would not produce the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but just one of the viral products, the harmless spike protein.

How do we really know?

We are not aware of any studies looking for vaccine mRNA in the DNA of people who have been vaccinated. There is no scientific basis for suspecting that this insertion has occurred.

However, if these studies were to be done, they would have to be relatively straightforward. This is because we can now sequence DNA in individual cells.

But in reality, it will be very difficult to satisfy an opponent who is convinced that this insertion of the genome is taking place; they can always argue that scientists need to look deeper, harder, into different people and into different cells. At some point, this argument will have to be dropped.

So how did this myth come about?

One study reported evidence for the integration of coronavirus RNA into the human genome in laboratory-grown cells that had been infected with SARS-CoV-2.

However, this article did not examine the mRNA vaccine, lacked critical controls, and has since been discredited.

These types of studies must also be seen in the context of public distrust of genetic technology in general. This includes public concerns about genetically modified organisms (GMOs), for example, over the past 20 years or so.

But GMOs are different from the mRNA technology used to make COVID vaccines. Unlike GMOs, which are produced by inserting DNA into the genome, vaccine mRNA will not be in our genes or passed on to the next generation. It breaks down very quickly.

In fact, mRNA technology has all kinds of applications beyond vaccines, including biosecurity and sustainable agriculture. It would therefore be a shame if these efforts were hampered by disinformation.

Written by:

  • Archa Fox – Associate Professor and ARC Future Fellow, The University of Western Australia
  • Jen Martin – Head of Science Communication Education Program, University of Melbourne
  • Traude Beilharz – Associate Professor ARC Future Fellow, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute, Monash University

Originally posted on The Conversation.The conversation


Qualified immunity raises the bar


It is often difficult to thread the needle of the qualified immunity defense, which requires a public official not only to violate the law but to do so through “objectively unreasonable” conduct in light of clearly established law. The decision of our Supreme Court in Winberry real estate associations. v. Boro of Rutherford, while not innovating, shows how narrow the eye of the needle is.

The applicant was a family entity that owned a home for a disabled relative. After failing to pay the property taxes, the city sold the tax sale certificate to a private buyer. Four years later, the owner of the certificate seized it. In accordance with the written law in force, the draft judgment granted the owner the right to redeem at any time until midnight on the day of entry, against payment of the taxes due with interest and costs. Awakened from his inaction, the owner called the collector to ask for the amount of the gain, only to be told that the collector was “too busy” to calculate the interest owed. It eventually turned out that the collector’s computer could have done this in a matter of minutes, but the collector had an unwritten and illegal policy of only accepting written redemption requests. When the landlord handed over an estimated payment that was greater than the actual amount, the collector said she did not have the authority to accept his check. The property was sold in foreclosure, which the owner was only able to vacate and buy back the property after a costly litigation.

Research paves way for saliva test for concussion



The saliva test is particularly promising because concussion can be difficult to diagnose, especially locally, where most of it occurs, but where the baseline medical evaluation is not readily available. © Mike Bain

Distinct chemical “signatures” for concussions have been identified in the pin of elite male rugby players, researchers report.

The results potentially pave the way for a rapid, non-invasive diagnostic test for concussions that could be used on the field and after the game at all levels of participation, suggest the study team.

A patented salivary concussion test is being marketed as an over-the-counter test. However, at this point it will only target elite male athletes.

Meanwhile, the researchers aim to collect further samples of players in two top men’s rugby competitions in order to provide additional data to expand the test and develop its use.

They are also conducting several additional studies to further validate and expand the test for use in different groups that were not included in this study, including female athletes, young athletes, and participants in community-level sports.

The study team, whose results are reported in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, believe their test could be used alongside gold standard head injury protocols used in elite sports.

The saliva test is particularly promising because concussions can be difficult to diagnose, especially at the local level, where most of them occur, but where the baseline medical evaluation by qualified clinicians during and after a match. is not readily available, they add.

As a result, a high percentage of concussions are missed and concerns have emerged regarding the long-term brain health of athletes exposed to repeated concussions.

The short-term consequences of a missed diagnosis range from a prolonged recovery period, often accompanied by prolonged and overwhelming symptoms, to an increased risk of further injury, including catastrophic brain swelling, although this is rare, pointed out. Researchers.

In the absence of objective diagnostic tests for concussion, diagnosis currently relies on a clinician’s interpretation of observed signs and symptoms and the results of formal clinical assessments.

But recent technological advances in gene sequencing have allowed scientists to examine the diagnostic potential of molecules called small non-coding RNAs, or sncRNA for short. They regulate the expression of different cellular proteins linked to various diseases, such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers therefore obtained saliva samples from more than 1,000 professional male players from the top two levels of England’s top rugby union over two seasons of competition.

Samples were collected before the start of the season from 1,028 players and during standardized head injury assessments “baseline” at three specific times: during the match, immediately after, and 36 to 48 hours later at 156 of these players.

Saliva samples were also collected from a comparison group of 102 uninjured players and 66 who had suffered muscle or joint injuries, and therefore had not been assessed for a head injury.

A combined panel of 14 sncRNA differentiated players with concussion from those suspected of having head trauma, but whose head trauma assessments had excluded concussion, and from the comparison group, both immediately after the game and 36 to 48 hours over. late.

This was an observational study, the study team pointed out, and its design clearly shows that sncRNA biomarkers cannot surpass the benchmark clinical assessment.

But it is believed that saliva can receive cellular signals directly from the cranial nerves in the mouth and throat, and therefore can quickly register traumatic brain injury, making a saliva test particularly suitable for field-level diagnosis, suggest. -they.

“Concussions can be difficult to diagnose and are often missed, especially when a structured assessment by an expert clinician is not possible – for example, at the local level,” they write. “Small non-coding RNAs can provide a diagnostic tool that could reduce the risk of missing this type of injury at all levels of involvement,” they suggest.

“In community sport, [sncRNAs] can provide a non-invasive diagnostic test comparable in accuracy to the level of assessment available in a professional athletic setting, “while the test could be added to current protocols for assessing head trauma at the elite level,” they add. .

And since the biology of concussion is still not fully understood, sncRNAs could help shed light on the response to injury as it evolves over time, they suggest.

“The detection of concussion signatures at early times in saliva (a biofluid collected non-invasively) presents both at the field level, and in primary care and emergency medicine departments, an opportunity to develop a new objective diagnostic tool for this common clinical presentation ”, they conclude.

At the end of last year, at a roundtable published alongside the Journal of Neurotrauma, experts stressed the urgent need for objective markers to diagnose concussion.

The status of blood biomarker development and point-of-care testing were reviewed by the expert panel.

They said that the accurate and timely diagnosis of a concussion in the field is essential to ensure that those who have suffered a concussion are at no risk of sustaining a second injury before recovering from the first.


Representatives propose the removal of the immunity clause for the president and governments


The House of Representatives is considering removing the immunity clause enjoyed by the president, vice-president, governors and vice-governors.

A bill to remove their immunity from criminal and civil prosecution is awaiting second reading in the House.

The Constitution Amendment Bill was sponsored by Taraba State People’s Democratic Party member Rimamnde Kwewum.

The explanatory memorandum to the legislation reads as follows: “This bill aims to ensure immunity and ensure that the category of persons appointed and / or referred to in subsection 3 of article 308 of the 1999 Constitution is not subject to legal, civil or criminal proceedings. , during their tenure, provided that such actions or offenses do not relate to acts of corruption, murder, treason or other (personal) crimes committed by them as individuals, whether they are or not depending.

Kwewum, in the legislative brief on the bill, said he seeks to amend section 308 (1) (a), (b) and (c) and section 308 (2).

The legislator has partly stated: “This bill aims to remove all forms of immunity during the exercise of these functions. Currently, section 308 of the CFRN grants immunity to persons holding the office of president or vice-president, governor or deputy governor under subsections 1 (a), (b) and (c); (2) and (3) thereof. Indeed, by this constitutional provision, a restriction is imposed on legal proceedings for the persons occupying these functions by virtue of paragraphs 1 and 2, article 308, CRFN.

“The amendment proposed here, however, is intended to limit or remove such immunity, whether civil or criminal, provided however that the action and decisions contemplated therein do not relate to matters such as corrupt to the crime of murder, treason or any other personal act. crimes committed by the office holder as an individual while in or out of office.

According to Kwewum, the immunity of heads of the executive branch of government presupposes that office-holders necessarily possess some form of deity which makes them immune from the commission of crimes; always act in accordance with the law and the constitution; have no interest or loyalty that runs counter to the state and its people and are above the law, which means the law does not apply to them.

He said: “The above principles do not conform to democracy and the natural law of justice. Further, deifying human beings, these regulations protected heinous crimes against the people and the state.

“More and more, all over the world, the rules of accountability and equality before the law are being tightened.

Speaking on the “wait until after tenure” cliché, lawmakers noted that some well-meaning people have argued that executives should not be distracted and that frivolous cases can be brought against such executives.

Kwewum said: “The scenario of several cases, however, cannot prevent the strengthening of our system and our constitutional framework to increase the greater good for the greatest number of people. Second, a general manager – president or vice-president, governor or vice-governor – who commits a criminal offense has already distracted himself.

“In addition, such a criminal action in itself prevents him from occupying such a position and the very fact that he is suspected by the police and people of having committed such a criminal offense diminishes him. him and the offense he occupies in the eyes of reasonable persons. .

“Moreover, justice delayed is justice denied. Assuming a president or governor commits rape or murder, what if the lack of immediate prosecution leads to tampering with witnesses or evidence?

“The proposed amendment will not predispose governors and (other) leaders to distraction as these are explicitly prohibited.”

The legislator cited various examples of other jurisdictions where immunity was limited or does not exist.

He said, “United States of America: There is absolute immunity from civil suit for official acts undertaken. The United States Supreme Court ruled that the president does not enjoy absolute immunity from civil lawsuits for acts he committed before becoming president. In 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that the president was under subpoena in criminal proceedings for personal conduct.

“United Kingdom: Immunity from criminal prosecution is not immunity enjoyed by parliamentarians. Parliamentary privileges are authorized. No prosecution for what is disclosed in parliamentary debates and processes.

“France: only parliamentary privileges / immunities are authorized.

“Germany: There are only parliamentary privileges / immunities, but the parliament can vote to lift the immunity of some members and allow prosecution.

“Chile: parliamentary immunity. No immunity for sitting presidents. The prosecution can begin immediately upon leaving the office.

“CTE D’Ivoire: the President is responsible for the acts accomplished in the exercise of his functions; can be prosecuted for high treason.

“Fiji Islands: Full and unconditional immunity for the President, the Prime Minister, etc.

“Kazakhstan: immunity for the president

“Lebanon: Immunity in the performance of office functions.

“Niger: Immunity in the exercise of the function; no immunity for high treason.

“Russia: Inviolability of immunity for the former and president.

“Syria: Immunity except for treason.”

Kwewum said: “Obviously, immunity only exists in countries with weak democratic structures. The immunity of the rulers has retarded our development and created democracy, the removal of the general immunity clause would increase the accountability and open the creativity of the Nigerian people. ”

Study sheds additional light on cancer immunotherapy | 2021-07-09


Translational-controlled tumor protein (TCTP) is an immunomodulator that initiates the development of an inflammatory medium in the tumor microenvironment, where TCTP regulates the high activity of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC), the researchers reported.

The team also demonstrated that therapeutic targeting of TCTP could be an effective approach to limit the growth and / or metastasis of residual cancer cells in cancers that relapse or are refractory to immunotherapy after ablation, they reported in the July 8, 2021 edition of Natural immunology.

“We believe this is the first study to show the role of extracellular TCTP in the regulation of [microenvironment] and block it with the TCTP inhibitor, dihydroartemisinin (DHA), or a monoclonal antibody (MAb) that we developed against a human TCTP peptide, suppressed tumor growth in vivo, ”said Tadatsugu Taniguchi, study co-lead.

Despite promising clinical results with cancer immunotherapy, many patients are resistant to immune checkpoint blockade (ABI), largely because of barriers imposed by the microenvironment, which plays multiple essential roles in prevention, development and progression of tumors.

“The effectiveness of ICB depends on the type of tumor and tissue, but overall treatment with ICB is considered to be effective in about 20-30% of tumors,” said the professor and chair of the centre’s inflammation department. of Research for Advanced Science and Technology of University of Tokyo. “However, colorectal cancers (CRCs) are almost all resistant to ABI, except those with a mismatch repair deficit or high levels of microsatellite instability, suggesting that our MAb may be more effective for these cancers, ”he said. BioWorld Science.

The microenvironment also determines whether a tumor is destined to be eliminated or to escape, with non-inflamed or highly immunosuppressive microenvironments having a poor prognosis and worse treatment outcomes, while inflamed tumors favorably correlate with outcomes.

The microenvironment may also interfere with the effectiveness of other immunotherapies, including adoptive cell therapy and IL-2, and confer resistance to conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy.

Notably, the high densities of MDSC in the microenvironment promote tumor progression via multiple suppressive mechanisms, including suppression of lymphocyte function and physically disturbed tumor infiltration.

MDSCs are a major component of immune cells in the microenvironment, which suppress anti-tumor lymphocyte function and trafficking to the tumor.

Two major subsets of MDSC, both apparently differentiated from a common granulocyte / monocyte progenitor cell, have been identified and extensively studied in mice and humans.

Polymorphonuclear MDSCs (PMN-MDSCs) are morphologically similar to neutrophils, while monocytic MDSCs (M-MDSCs) resemble monocytes and differentiate into tumor associated macrophages (TAMs).

Elevated levels of MDSC are seen in almost all malignant tumors and are directly correlated with more advanced cancers, metastasis and poor prognosis, but despite extensive study, the dynamics of MDSC in the microenvironment remain poorly understood.

Another defining characteristic of the microenvironment is the low levels of nutrients and oxygen due to the metabolic demands of tumor growth. Under these conditions, the death of tumor cells results in the ectopic release of immunomodulatory molecules, collectively called damage-associated molecular motifs (DAMPs).

DAMPs are involved in sterile inflammation under physiological conditions, but our understanding of their role in the microenvironment, which could lead to the development of new cancer therapies, remains poorly understood.

In the new Natural immunology study, researchers led by Taniguchi and Hideyuki Yanai, associate professor in his laboratory, showed that TCTP released by dying tumor cells was an immunomodulator essential for the complete accumulation of the MDSC microenvironment.

“We generated an SL4 colon carcinoma cell line deficient in TCTP to analyze the immune cell population and their activation during tumor growth, while also generating and analyzing SL4 tumor cells that produce TCTP extracellularly”, Taniguchi said.

“The percentage of PMN-MDSC in the tumor microenvironment was found to be significantly reduced in tumors of TCTP-deficient cells compared to those of control cells,” he said. BioWorld Science.

“The opposite result was observed in cells expressing TCTP extracellularly, where enhancement of extracellular TCTP function significantly accelerated tumor growth.”

The researchers also demonstrated that extracellular TCTP mediated the recruitment of the microenvironmental population of PMN-MDSC via activation of the Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) and that inhibition of TCTP with DHA or neutralizing MAb suppressed in a manner that significant accumulation of PMN-MDSC and tumor growth.

“We showed for the first time that TCTP activates TLR2 and induces the expression of cytokines, including CXCL1 [C-X-C motif ligand 1] and CXCL2, which are important in the migration of PMN-MDSCs into the microenvironment, ”said Taniguchi.

“In fact, TCTP failed to induce the genes for these chemokines in cells lacking TLR2 or MyD88, an essential moderator of TLR2 signaling, while chemokine production was markedly suppressed in cell tumors. deficient in TCTP. “

In human cancers, researchers have demonstrated an elevation of TCTP and an inverse correlation of TCTP gene assay with anti-tumor immune signatures and clinical prognosis.

“Serum TCTP levels in patients with CRC were found to be significantly higher than those in the control group,” Taniguchi said.

“Our analysis using [The Cancer Genome Atlas] The TCGA database revealed amplification of the TCTP gene allele in approximately 5% of CRC patients, and that the level of TCTP mRNA expression correlated with the TCTP gene copy number ” , did he declare.

“We also found a negative correlation between the expression levels of TCTP and those of cytotoxic T lymphocytes, markers of natural killer cells and of cytolytic activity.”

Collectively, these results shed light on a previously poorly understood mechanism of MDSC dynamics in the tumor microenvironment, offering a new rationale for cancer immunotherapy, which may have important therapeutic implications.

Treatment implications

“Although therapeutic strategies targeting MDSCs have not yet been established, our results could aid the development of such immune therapies, while the combination of TCTP inhibitors and ICB could further improve antitumor efficacy,” Taniguchi said.

“Our results may also have implications for conventional chemo / radiotherapy, which kills large numbers of tumor cells, which is known to have immunogenic or immunosuppressive consequences, as DAMPs can suppress anti-tumor immunity.”

Going forward, “because suppressing TCTP may be effective in inhibiting the growth and metastasis of residual tumor cells, we need to identify the types of tumors that can be treated effectively using this modality, while increasing the potency of MAbs neutralizing TCTP also represents a challenging future. “


Watch Now: Delta Variant Update: Vaccine Efficacy, Sequencing, and Herd Immunity Studies | Local News


Dr Dale Bratzler, director of OU Health, says vaccination rates of 60% or 70% will likely be insufficient to prevent the spread of the delta variant.

With more COVID-19 cases sequenced by the Oklahoma public laboratory, more infections due to the delta variant have been discovered, as this most contagious mutation in the virus now accounts for more than 50% of all new cases in the USA.

Thanks to a concerted effort to send more COVID-19 specimens to the state lab in Stillwater, sequencing has quadrupled in the past seven-day period. Sequencing determined that delta-variant infections in Oklahoma nearly doubled from 54 cases to 92.

For the week-long period that ended on Saturday, Oklahoma recorded 1,824 new cases, a weekly increase of about 400. Active cases in Tulsa County increased from week to week. other from 388 to 512.

The spread of the virus in Tulsa County has reset several zip codes to higher risk status, as shown by Tulsa Health Department Alert Card by color category. With a postcode of 291 people in southwest Tulsa turning red on the map for “serious risk” this week, four postcodes turned yellow after the map was almost entirely green for months.

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Oklahoma health officials reported on Tuesday that 896 infections were breakthrough cases, in which fully vaccinated people tested positive for COVID-19.

Dr Dale Bratzler, director of OU Health, said on Wednesday that those with breakthrough cases don’t seem to spread the virus as easily as others, “but remember, the delta virus is very contagious, and so even if you have few symptoms and you are infected, you could pass the virus on to someone else.

Frequent, intense exercise may promote ALS in people with genes at risk



Frequent strenuous and strenuous exercise is an environmental risk factor for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in people with risk genes for ALS, especially those who carry an C9ORF72 gene, a study concluded.

Future research is needed to better understand and identify those at risk for disease from such exercises, and to develop appropriate lifestyle advice for them and their families, its researchers said.

“It is clear that, for the majority of individuals, the health benefits of a physically active lifestyle clearly outweigh the risks,” they wrote. But in this study of patients with ALS with and without genetic vulnerability, “we found that ALS risk genes are differentially expressed. [their activity is more or less] after exercise ‘done intensely and repeatedly.

The study, “Exercise is a risk factor for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: converging evidence from Mendelian randomization, transcriptomics and risk genotypes, ”Was published in the journal EBioMedicine.

A progressive disease, ALS is characterized by the death of motor neurons that control voluntary muscles. Mutations in several genes are associated with familial ALS and are known to contribute, along with environmental risk factors, to sporadic ALS.

Professional athletes are also known to develop ALS at a higher rate and at a younger age than the general public, suggesting that exercise is an environmental risk factor for ALS.

Studies examining the history of exercise in patients with ALS, however, show conflicting results, mainly due to data from questionnaires on various types of exercise in general patient groups, the study noted. The inaccurate recall of past exercise and the absence of a controlled selection of patients in the study, with their different disease characteristics, introduced bias into these investigations which affected their results.

However, an association between the risk of ALS and exercise has often been reported in people with a high incidence of alterations in the C9ORF72 gene, the most common genetic risk factor for ALS.

Researchers at the University of Sheffield in the UK, in a three-part study, assessed exercise as an environmental risk factor for ALS.

First, they used publicly available genome-wide association study (GWAS) data to look for unique genetic changes – small nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) – that correlated with the disease. SNPs associated with various forms of exercise have also been identified, making it possible to assess a relationship between exercise and ALS.

The study focused on frequent and intense physical activity, as the motor neurons most vulnerable in ALS engage muscle fibers responsible for short periods of activity under anaerobic (oxygen-free) conditions.

Questionnaires completed by UK Biobank (UKB) participants identified those who engaged in strenuous exercise and SNPs associated with regular ‘sport or other strenuous exercise’ (SSOE) – defined as two to three days per week or more exercise, for at least 15 to 30 min. People who were less physically active – or largely inactive – served as witnesses. In total, 124,842 active people and 225,650 witnesses made up this study phase.

Using Mendelian randomization to eliminate most of the biases found in previous studies, the team found a genetic liability to SSOE that was positively associated with ALS.

“This result is consistent with a causal relationship between frequent and intense exercise, and ALS that is not confused by selection or recall bias,” the team wrote. “The association is primarily due to a deleterious effect of exercise on motor neuron health.”

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Independent exercise movement was also measured, via an accelerometer worn for a week by some UKB participants. Movement alone, including occasional “strenuous sport”, was not associated with ALS. This was “consistent with the hypothesis that the risk of ALS is linked to frequent and intense physical activity during leisure time,” the researchers wrote.

Sedentary behavior was also shown to not significantly protect against ALS, and the link between exercise and ALS was not affected by body fat percentage – body mass index – or level of exercise. education of a person.

The researchers then studied how exercise affected the activity (expression) of ALS risk genes. By measuring changes in gene activity in immune cells in the blood after exercise, they identified 323 biological pathways that are expressed differently in response to intense exercise.

Notably, 72 pathways (22%) were significantly enriched with rare variants associated with ALS, including the “ALS signaling pathway”. (A signaling lane refers to a series of reactions performed by certain molecules in a cell to control cell functions, such as intentional cell division or death.)

Consistently, 52% of genes with a validated connection to ALS, including C9ORF72, were expressed differently after exercise, and this enrichment was statistically significant.

The third part of the study used a questionnaire to examine the historical physical activity of 17 adult patients with ALS with the disease C9ORF72 alterations, compared to a control group matched by age and sex of 34 patients without these alterations C9ORF72 variants, and a control group of 34 neurologically healthy people.

The results showed the onset of the disease at younger ages in ALS patients with C9ORF72 variants and a history of greater physical activity. No such association was seen in people without C9ORF72 modifications.

“In our model, an individual with a C9ORF72 expansion is likely to develop ALS when given a certain ‘dose’ of exercise,” the researchers wrote.

Less variability in mean physical activity was also seen in patients with ALS with this common genetic risk factor than in those without or without it. healthy controls, supporting intense and frequent physical activity as an environment risk, especially for C9ORF72 variant patients.

“In conclusion, the current evidence supports a complex causal relationship between exercise and ALS,” the investigators wrote.

“We used two-sample MRI [Mendelian randomization] to establish the basis for frequent and intense recreational exercise as a risk factor for ALS and we have also developed an understanding of the specific genetic subtypes of ALS that may be responsible for this interaction, ”they added.

But exercise is not “a homogeneous exposure; in fact, different types of exercise can impact different biological pathways and even different subtypes of motor neurons, ”they continued. “In accordance with this, our MR The study does not support a causal role for low-intensity, infrequent exercise, but does support toxicity resulting from frequent, high-intensity recreational exercise.

Future research, the study concluded, must “understand who people are at risk for developing ALS if they exercise excessively and provide appropriate lifestyle advice.” Our work goes to some extent towards the development of this objective and, in particular, we propose that C9ORF72 penetrance [the likelihood it will cause disease] can be influenced by high levels of physical activity.


Dallas County Achieves Collective Immunity Against COVID-19 – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth


What there is to know

  • Dallas County reaches 80% vaccinated or previously infected milestone to achieve collective immunity.
  • Vaccines are still needed to prevent further infections among the unvaccinated.
  • Vaccines effective against the Delta variant that doubles every two weeks, according to local officials.

Finally, according to county health officials, Dallas County has been granted herd immunity to the COVID-19 virus. But what does reaching this goal mean?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, herd immunity, or community immunity, is “a situation in which a sufficient proportion of a population is immune to an infectious disease (through vaccination and / or previous disease) to spread person-to-person unlikely. “When herd immunity is present, unvaccinated people (such as newborns and people with chronic illnesses) are offered some protection because the disease is unlikely to spread. spread within the community.

Achieving herd immunity in Dallas County meant that 80% of the population had been vaccinated against the virus or had already been infected with the virus and therefore had antibodies to prevent further infection.


A screenshot of the DCHHS / PCCI collective immunity dashboard for Dallas County on July 7, 2021.

In February, the Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation (PCCI) initially predicted that herd immunity would be reached in mid-June. However, a slowdown in COVID-19 vaccinations forced the forecast to be revised at the end of July. PCCI and DCHHS launched a dashboard this week to track collective immunity.

The milestone was crossed this week, a little earlier than the last forecasts. From Wednesday July 7 The Dallas County Health and Human Services / PCCI dashboard indicated that 80.4% of the population Now meets the criteria of having been infected or having been vaccinated and, as a result, the county has achieved collective immunity.

Parkland’s chief medical officer Dr Joseph Chang told NBC 5 Wednesday afternoon that herd immunity essentially means 8 out of 10 people in the county should not be able to contract the coronavirus.

Chang added, however, that some age groups are more protected than others. Older groups have around 90% herd immunity, while some younger and more vaccine resistant groups may be only 40% protected. Children under 12, who cannot yet be vaccinated, remain at risk of infection.

PCCI CEO Steve Miff said in a statement Wednesday that while collective immunity “represents good progress” in the community, “it is important that we understand that the job is not done.”

“While the entire community has averaged the 80% mark, there are only 49 postcodes above the 80% threshold with 45 postcodes still below the 80% mark.” Miff said in a statement Wednesday. “There are still large pockets in the community that remain vulnerable. “

There is a lot of talk these days about how collective immunity will be our ticket out of the pandemic. Here’s what you need to know about what collective immunity is and how we get it.

Experts like Chang and Miff always encourage those who are not vaccinated against the virus to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

“These vaccines are extremely effective even against all these new variants that are coming out, whether it’s the Delta or the new Lambda that everyone is talking about,” Chang said. “We know that these vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are very effective in preventing hospitalizations and deaths and that is, of course, the most important thing.”

Chang said patients hospitalized at Parkland for COVID-19 are now almost exclusively younger people, and not all of them are vaccinated.

“The Delta variant is here, it’s making people sick and you know what? It’s those 30 and 40 years that are getting sick,” Chang said. “Right now, in my hospital, if you take a look at February, all of the COVID admissions, none of the people who were admitted to my hospital with COVID have been vaccinated. That’s the power of vaccination. . “

How is collective immunity calculated

DCHHS calculates herd immunity using the number of confirmed, probable and projected cases of COVID-19 plus the number of people who received at least one dose of the vaccine, minus an estimated overlap.

The county health department dashboard showed on Wednesday that 1.21 million people in the county had received at least one dose of the vaccine (44.19%) and that 989,000 people had completed a full cycle. The DCHHS dashboard also showed that there were 306,000 confirmed and probable cases of the virus since March 2020.

The PCCI said the calculations used to measure the immunity heard tracked data at the individual level for vaccinations given and COVID test results since the start of the pandemic. For people infected, but not tested, there is an adjusted incidence rate ratio of 4x [AIRR] for the adult population and 5x for the pediatric group based on national and local seroprevalence data. The model also calculates an overlap of 28% of the vaccinated population of Dallas who would have had a previous infection with COVID-19 and have recovered.

Delta variant

The PCCI said the current Delta variant is expected to account for about 25% of COVID-19 cases locally, doubling about every two weeks. Within a month, the PCCI said, that could put the Delta variant in the range that caused a new wave of infections in the UK, despite their estimated immunity being below the herd immunity threshold for Delta.

The significantly higher viral loads and the more infectious nature of the Delta variant could raise the herd immunity target up to 88% to suppress peaks of infection when the Delta variant becomes the dominant variant within a few weeks.

The PCCI said the message is simple, don’t wait to get the vaccine.

“For those who are still hesitant, the safety and efficacy studies to date are overwhelmingly positive. There are also two key milestones ahead that should give those who remain hesitant more confident: full FDA approvals for mRNA vaccines expected in the coming weeks and approval for the under 12 age group. in the fall, “Miff said in a statement.

Intermittent fasting can improve your mood


If you have already forgotten to grab a granola bar for the day or maybe even (yes) on an empty stomach, you might recognize a strange feeling that comes over you after going without a snack longer than usual.

Is it vertigo? Joy? A little clarity? Well, it might be in your head. But there is also some scientific data, albeit preliminary, that suggests you wouldn’t imagine it – your fast can alter your mood.

Some forms of fasting – essentially abstaining from food intentionally – appear to have an effect on mood and have even been suggested as a treatment for conditions that can cause depressive symptoms and bad mood.

More than ever, lifestyle enthusiasts are dabbling in intermittent fasting everywhere. This is the practice of limiting eating over time, perhaps limiting eating to a certain time of day or eating every other day. Some proponents of the diet claim that it has a significant influence on their mood, which begs the question: do they really experience a change in mood as a result of the fast, or are they riding on a placebo effect?

It is safe to say that the science of the effects of fasting on mental health is in its infancy. But the research so far contains tantalizing clues about the influence of fasting on mood and mental health.

The science of fasting and mood

Studies of fasting – including intermittent fasting – and mood or mental health in humans tend to be hampered by several important factors, including small samples, unrepresentative participant populations, and poor design. mediocre study. But with these limitations in mind, scientists can use these preliminary results to open the door to new, more rigorous research.

These three studies are an example.

For example, in a 2018 study that looked only at people with multiple sclerosis, researchers created a diet in which some participants ate 22% fewer calories than usual each day of the week, while others practiced the 5: 2 diet. This is a kind of intermittent fasting in which people limit their calorie intake to 75% of baseline two days a week and eat whatever they want the other five days. The two groups were then compared to a control group, which made no change in their diet.

None of the MS symptoms of the participants considered in the study seemed to improve significantly, but the participants who dieted saw other benefits.

On the measure of MS symptoms used in this study, the emotional well-being of diet participants increased. Compared with those who did not change their diet, those who limited their calorie intake saw what the authors called a “clinically significant” improvement. Most importantly, there was no clear difference between dieting on an empty stomach or following a traditional calorie restriction diet every day.

In a different study from 2006, people with chronic pain who tried an 8-day prolonged fast also saw improvement in their mood compared to those in a control group who followed a low-calorie diet. Oddly enough, the mood benefits did not appear until the second half of the fasting period.

More recently, a June 2021 study of 22 adult women in Spain found that they reported improvement in symptoms of depression following a time-limited food intervention when they ate early in the day. But there was no control group for this study, so it’s hard to take the results at face value.

What to do with mixed results

As with a lot of things related to fasting and health, there is some evidence that blurs the lines when it comes to how it affects mood – or not. For example, a study of about 30 men in 2013 found that a combination of fasting and calorie restriction decreased their feelings of tension, anger, confusion and mood disturbances compared to the control group, which did not ‘made no change, but their depression scores did not improve.

And in fact, some evidence suggests the opposite is true: Fasting can have a negative influence on the mood of some people. A 2002 study describes how people with fatigue and pain went on a seven-day “fast” in which they ate 250 calories a day, and found it made no difference in their mood. On the contrary, the mood of some participants deteriorated.

And in another 2016 study, weightlifters who fasted for 48 hours didn’t seem to experience any difference in mood, except for anger levels, which worsened slightly.

It can also matter when you eat. A 2015 article describes how women who ate breakfast before exercise in the morning seemed to have a better mood at the end of the day than women who ate breakfast after exercise in the morning. This suggests that early morning fasting as part of a time-limited diet may not be good for mood.

The biology of fasting and mood

Only a handful of researchers have reviewed the scientific literature on fasting and mood or emotional well-being. A 2013 review attempts to analyze the biology that may be at play when it comes to mood swings and fasting. In this review, researchers refer to studies involving therapeutic fasting, which primarily involve people with certain health conditions who refrain from eating for more than a day or two.

One theory of how fasting influences mood is that during a fast, the levels of certain hormones can rise or fall when a person stops eating for an extended period of time. This, in turn, could trigger some sort of defense system in the brain.

In the body’s attempt to protect itself from the negative effects of higher than normal hormone levels, what the authors call “cellular stress resistance mechanisms” may come into play.

They identify a number of chemical changes found in the brain during fasting:

  • The levels of the neurotransmitters (mainly chemical messengers) norepinephrine, epinephrine, dopamine, and cortisol may increase.
  • Tryptophan and serotonin can increase.
  • There is an increase in brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which is a protein linked to nerve growth.
  • Leptin and insulin levels may decrease.
  • There may be a decrease in the levels of thyroid hormones T3 and T4.
  • Brain glucose – the sugar in your brain that it uses for energy – goes down.
  • Endogenous endorphins can be released after prolonged fasting (5-10 days).
  • Production of ketone bodies, which may be involved in “improving mood, decreasing pain sensation and promoting neuro-neuronal protection” in some cases.

And after – Human research may be thin, but there is more scientific evidence from animal studies and intermittent fasting. From this research, scientists gleaned evidence of fasting as a way to extend life and even prevent diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. But studying mood disorders or emotional well-being in mice in the lab presents obvious challenges. By trying to translate such science to humans, this effect could be magnified.

The human studies that do exist are a good start, but they are relatively small, short-term, and inconsistent.

But because mood disorders and depression are so difficult to treat, more high-quality research in humans is badly needed. Psychiatric drugs may not work in some cases, or may be unaffordable.

If there was some kind of fasting that could improve mood or relieve symptoms of depression, it could be an inexpensive way to lead a happier life.


Hand washing vs using a dishwasher – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Consumer Reports has always advised against running a half-empty dishwasher because it wastes energy and wears down the machine more. They also say washing dishes by hand can waste tons of water.

But what if you can’t wait for your favorite cup? Consumer Reports says there is a method for washing dishes by hand that can use less water than a dishwasher.

Washing dishes by hand can use a lot of water compared to newer, energy-efficient dishwashers. Consumer Reports’ test models use about 4 to 6 gallons of water to clean a full load. If you wash the dishes by hand with running water, you can use about 22 gallons!

If you still prefer to wash dishes by hand or don’t have a dishwasher, the two-bin method is optimal.

First, scrape off any leftover food. Then fill one side of the sink with hot water and a few squirts of dish soap and the other sink with clean, cool water. Hot water is unnecessary. If you have only one sink, use a plastic basin for clean water instead.

Now let’s get to work! Start with the least soiled dishes and work up to heavily soiled pots and pans. If necessary, let them soak, then rub with a sponge.

Never put sharp knives in soapy water where you cannot see them.

Soak the rubbed items in clean water to remove the suds. If the rinse water gets too soapy, pour in some and add clean water.

Put your clean dishes on a dish rack with a dish rack. They need space for air to circulate and dry them. To avoid stains, dry glassware and metal objects with a lint-free towel.

Other useful tools for washing hands? A bottle brush to make your bottles really clean. Small brushes are ideal for reusable straws. Simple sponges are all you need for regular dishes, while a scrub brush will take care of stuck-on foods. And dishwasher soap can give you “pan hands,” so always wear a pair of rubber gloves.

Wet sponges are a breeding ground for bacteria. Consumer Reports says to disinfect them, wet them and put them in the microwave for 2 minutes. Sponges should be replaced every two weeks.


Study reveals role of genes in Florida corals’ immune response to rapidly spreading disease


Researchers Document Gene Expression Response to Hard Coral Tissue Loss Disease

MIAMIA new study by scientists at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami (UM) is the first to document what coral genes do in response to a disease that is rapidly killing corals across the world. Florida and the Caribbean. The findings may help better understand the immune system of corals as new diseases emerge as the ocean warms.

The collaborative effort between researchers at UM Rosenstiel School, Mote Marine Laboratory and the Smithsonian Marine Station is the first to document a coral gene expression response to stony coral tissue loss disease and that disease elicits a shared immune response in at least two coral species mountain star coral (O. faveolata) and star coral (M. cavernosa).

“This work is vital in our efforts to save Florida’s coral reefs,” said study lead author Nikki Traylor-Knowles, assistant professor of marine biology and ecology at UM Rosenstiel School. “It is imperative that we better understand their immune system and how it can help or harm their health in the face of climate change and disease. “

Since its onset in 2014, the stony coral tissue loss disease has spread to most coral reefs in Florida as well as others in the Caribbean and has affected more than 20 coral species to date.

In this study, researchers exposed healthy corals to hard coral tissue loss disease in order to study their reaction at the cellular level. They discovered a network of genes important for cell responses including cell death, immunity and tissue rearrangement, indicating that the disease causes rapid cell death and tissue rearrangement.

An interesting set of genes discovered by researchers peroxidases are known to be important for the stress response in invertebrates and have been shown to play an important role in the late stage disease response in corals.

The study, titled “Gene Expression Response to Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease Transmission Disease in M. cavernosa and O. faveolata from Florida,” was published in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science. The co-authors are: Nikki Traylor-Knowles, Michael T. Connelly, Benjamin D. Young, Melissa K. Drown, Ashley Goncalves, Grace A. Snyder, Allyson DeMerlis, Cecily Martin, Nicholas Kron and Kevin Rodriguez of UM Rosenstiel School; Katherine Eaton and Erinn M. Muller of Mote Marine Laboratory; and Valerie J. Paul and Blake Ushijima of the Smithsonian Marine Station.

The study was funded by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (grant # PR11155032).

/ Public distribution. This material is from the original organization and may be ad hoc in nature, edited for clarity, style and length. See it in full here.


The key to landfill emissions control




Dr Saeid Baroutian argues that we must put technology and innovation at the forefront if we are to find New Zealand-specific solutions for landfill gas capture

New Zealand must invest more in innovation and future technologies to meet the recommendations of the Climate Change Commission to increase the capture of landfill gas (LFG), the gas created from organic waste in decomposition.

Methane is the main component of LFG. It is a powerful greenhouse gas; it traps heat in the atmosphere and is much more aggressive than carbon dioxide. The warming power of methane means that the uncontrolled release of landfill gas into the atmosphere can create serious problems by contributing to global climate change, and, on a more local level, can cause fires and odors.

The recommendation to reduce waste and emissions from landfills and increase landfill gas capture was contained in the commission’s final report to government that was tabled in parliament last week.

The good news is that while landfilling is still one of the essential elements of an integrated solid waste management strategy, reduced waste emissions can be achieved through a balanced combination of waste management and waste management. landfill gas capture.

There are already different strategies available that can be used to increase the amount of methane captured. For example, installing new landfill gas capture systems in new or existing landfills and upgrading old landfill gas capture systems can minimize the uncontrolled release of landfill methane into the landfill. atmosphere. Many landfills in New Zealand have installed gas collection systems, but not all are effective.

We can also improve the efficiency of LNG production in landfills, increasing the amount of recoverable landfill gas over time while maintaining a relatively high level of methane concentration, which is crucial for conversion to energy. usable.

Innovations such as bioreactor landfills contribute to this strategy by using moisture to speed up the waste decomposition process, and additives to maximize landfill gas production. These processes increase the rate of waste decomposition which can be applied for energy recovery and emission reduction. For a local example of using innovation, resource recovery company EnviroNZ uses moisture adjustment and additive techniques at landfills, but so far there is no is no modern bioreactor landfill in New Zealand.

Adding value to landfill gas through upgrading so that it turns into a reliable energy source is another vital consideration. Crude LFG has a methane content (40-60%) and contains impurities and traces of gases such as hydrogen sulfide, siloxanes and other volatile organic compounds.

It has to go through a series of steps to be converted into Renewable Natural Gas (RNG), a high-quality fuel containing around 90% methane and suitable for use in power generation, industry , home and transport. For example, replacing the use of fossil diesel fuel in waste collection trucks with RNG can reduce transportation emissions in the waste management industry, leading the industry to net negative carbon intensity.

One of the main advantages of RNG is that it can be used in existing gas infrastructure. This makes it a cost effective option, especially for heavy duty industrial combustion and heating systems.

The calorific value of LFG is about half that of natural gas because it contains less methane. This means that the volume of LFG that has to be transported and handled by the burner is double that of natural gas. Upgrading from LFG to RNG will minimize net carbon emissions. Once compressed or liquefied, RNG can be used in natural gas vehicles without any modification to engines or fuel systems.

I would like to stress the role of research and innovation in reducing waste emissions. Technological innovation is increasingly seen as a key driver for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in developed countries. New Zealand should not be exempt. New Zealand’s climate change policy and investment should be coordinated with careful consideration of the role of research and technological innovation in reducing emissions. To be successful, efforts must catalyze scientific and technological expertise from industry, academia and government agencies.

EnviroNZ’s Energy and Resource Recovery Center at Hampton Downs, for example, has succeeded in maximizing gas extraction from residual waste and capturing it through an innovative approach. This is achieved through close research collaboration with the University of Auckland.

The New Zealand government can play an important role in this regard. For example, increasing funding intensity and subsidizing research and development (R&D) by private companies and supporting universities and research institutes can fill innovation gaps and reduce capital and investment risks. investment in new technologies. Independent academic research can also provide government and industry with access to data and knowledge and reduce the information gaps between the two.

Effective government enforcement of existing regulations will help ensure innovation and technology in the waste management and landfill sector. We cannot see significant improvements in reducing waste emissions if enforcement is relaxed. Additionally, new policies that encourage innovation and the development of advanced technologies can lead to breakthroughs that can transform New Zealand’s waste management industry.

The synergies between application, incentives and increased research and development will help shape the optimal technology solutions that work for New Zealand.


Police departments in the region now use E-911, mental health registry



Police services in the region are working to improve the way they respond to 9-1-1 calls.

In Prince William, the county has just rolled out its new E-911 technology. The system, which is adopted by public safety agencies across the United States, works best to pinpoint the location of the 9-1-1 caller to better help first responders find the site of the emergency. .

Because existing 9-1-1 systems have limited data and Internet protocol capabilities, it is difficult to get more data over these networks, including getting routed to the right 9-1-1 center. and to have better location information provided by mobile operators. .

Upgrading 9-1-1 infrastructure to next-generation 9-1-1 ESInet allows Prince William County to begin leveraging modern technology to handle emergency calls, in order to include better caller location information and the ability to transfer misrouted calls faster. in public safety communications and are actually intended for one of the four municipalities that surround the county.

Eventually, the county will be able to receive photos of callers reporting an incident. Once these photos are submitted, they will become the property of the county and will be subject to the Freedom of Information Act.

“We’re at least a year away from receiving photos from callers because our call handling equipment can’t accept photos at this time,” said Eddie Reyes, who manages the county’s public safety communications office. “But once that time arrives, yes, we will keep them for evidence for up to 180 days, in accordance with our retention policy.”

Anyone wishing to get a photo submitted by a 9-1-1 caller will be able to submit a recording order to the county public security communications department, as they will be the custodian of those images and subject to all laws of FOIA. and regulations.

In Manassas, this city is stepping up and changing the way it responds to calls involving people with mental health disorders. The City Police Department participates with the Marcus Alert System of Virginia through the RapidSOS Emergency Response Data Platform.

“Ensuring that we provide effective services to citizens remains a top priority for our agency. This new technology will help officers and dispatchers quickly provide citizens with the help they need to continue saving lives, ”said Manassas City Police Chief Doug Keen.

The Marcus-David Peters Act, which was enacted in 2020, requires towns in Virginia to establish a voluntary database for citizens to register. The information will be made available to 9-1-1 dispatchers to provide mental health information and emergency contact information for use in emergency situations.

Once a person is registered, police officers can access registry information when called to the scene. Residents who wish to register on the list must do so at profilurgence.org, says Keen.


Should people with immune problems receive a third dose of the vaccine?


As for the coronavirus vaccination, the third time was the charm of Esther Jones, a dialysis nurse in the Oregon countryside. After two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine failed to get her immune system to produce antibodies, she sought a third, this time the Moderna vaccine.

It worked. Blood tests revealed a reasonable antibody response, although less than what would be detected in healthy people. She received a fourth dose last month in hopes of raising the levels even more.

Ms Jones, 45, had a kidney transplant in 2010. To prevent organ rejection, she has been taking drugs that suppress the immune response. She expected to have trouble responding to a coronavirus vaccine and enrolled in one of the few studies to date to test the usefulness of a third dose in people with weakened immune systems .

Since April, healthcare providers in France have systematically given a third dose a two-dose vaccine for people with certain immune diseases. The number of organ transplant recipients who presented with antibodies rose to 68% four weeks after the third dose, compared to 40% after the second dose, according to a French team researchers recently reported.

The study Ms Jones enrolled in turned out to be similar results in 30 organ transplant recipients who obtained the third doses on their own.

Being vulnerable to infections even after inoculation, it is “very frightening and frustrating” for immunocompromised people, said Dr. Dorry Segev, transplant surgeon at Johns Hopkins University who led the study. “They have to continue to act without being vaccinated until we find a way to give them better immunity.”

But in the United States, there is no concerted effort by federal agencies or vaccine makers to test this approach, leaving people with low immunity with more questions than answers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and the National Institutes of Health in fact recommend even against the tests to find out who is protected. And university scientists are blocked by rules that limit access to vaccines.

“There should already be a national study of post-transplant patients receiving booster shots,” said Dr. Balazs Halmos, oncologist at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, who conducted a study showing that some cancer patients did not respond to the vaccines. “It shouldn’t be our little team here in the Bronx trying to figure this out.”

It is estimated that 5 percent of the population is considered to be immunocompromised. The list of causes is long: some cancers, organ grafts, chronic liver disease, renal failure and dialysis, and drugs like Rituxan, steroids and methotrexate, which are taken by approximately 5 million people for conditions ranging from rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis to some forms of cancer.

“These are the people who are being left behind,” said Dr. Jose U. Scher, rheumatologist at NYU Langone Health who led a study on methotrexateeffect on vaccines.

Not all people with any of these risk factors are affected. But without more research, it’s impossible to know who might need additional doses of the vaccine and how much. Besides the risk of Covid-19, there is also some evidence that low immunity may allow the virus to continue to reproduce in the body for long periods of time, which can lead to new variants.

An infusion of monoclonal antibodies may help some people who don’t produce antibodies on their own – but again, the idea isn’t fully explored, said John Moore, a virologist at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York. York.

The use of monoclonal antibodies “makes a lot of sense to this group of people, so I would like companies to be more active in this area,” he said. “Government support or pressure would also help. “

The third dose approach enjoys wide support among researchers because there is a clear precedent. People who are immunocompromised receive booster doses of hepatitis B and influenza vaccines, for example. And stopping methotrexate after receiving a flu shot is known to improve the vaccine potency – evidence that compelled the American College of Rheumatology to recommend stopping the use of methotrexate for a week before being immune to the coronavirus.

Several studies have indicated than a third dose of coronavirus vaccine could succeed in patients who did not have detectable antibodies after the first or second dose. But the research is behind schedule.

Moderna is prepare to test a third dose in 120 organ transplant recipients, and Pfizer – which produces certain immunosuppressive drugs – is plan a study 180 adults and 180 children with immune disease.

The companies have turned down at least two independent teams that hoped to study the effects of a third dose.

The NIH is recruitment of 400 immunocompromised people for a trial that would track their antibody and immune cell levels for up to 24 months – but has no third-dose trials.

“It takes time, unfortunately, especially as a government agency,” said Emily Ricotta, epidemiologist at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “We have to go through a lot of regulatory and approval processes to do these kinds of projects. “

But this explanation does not satisfy some researchers. Many medical centers already have groups of patients who have not responded to vaccines, so federal agencies could set up a clinical trial without too much difficulty, Dr Scher noted. “It’s a very simple study,” he says. “There is no wizard here.”

Previous studies suggested that many people with cancer would not respond to vaccines, but these tests were done after patients received a a single dose. A new study published this month by Dr Halmos of Montefiore Medical Center and his colleagues allayed some of those fears. The vaccines appear to work well in patients with a wide range of solid and liquid tumors, according to the big analysis.

But 15 percent of those with blood cancers and 30 percent of those taking drugs that suppress the immune system had no detectable antibodies after the second dose. Dr Halmos said he and his colleagues were eager to test whether a third dose could benefit these people, but have not yet been able to access the vaccines.

Dr Segev’s team found in an earlier study that less than half of the 658 organ transplant recipients had measurable antibodies after the two doses of an mRNA vaccine manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna. But to follow through on the discovery, they had to resort to recruiting volunteers like Ms Jones who got the third dose on her own.

Scientists have discovered that a third dose amplified antibody levels in the 30 organ transplant recipients who had low or undetectable antibody levels.

Ms Jones said many people like her felt abandoned by the federal government – especially with the threat of more contagious variants circulating in the United States.

Some members of a Facebook group for immunocompromised people desperate to protect themselves received a third dose at mass vaccination sites where providers do not check records, or have even crossed state borders, a- she declared. Even so, most continue to wear masks to protect themselves – and have sometimes faced harassment as a result.

“It really saddens me that so many people in this world have been doing masking, this super political thing when it never should have been,” she said. “It makes it harder for us to take care of ourselves. “

How to Get the Impact Hand Cannon Finished (and God Roll)



Finite Impactor is easy to acquire. The first stage of Iron-Handed Diplomacy guarantees each player at least one Finite Impactor Hand Cannon.

Destiny 2: Splicer season has brought many new weapons for players to test their skills in the Crucible, but Iron Banner’s weapons are unique to his arsenal. Iron Banner is run by Lord Saladin, and it’s a game mode in Crucible that only exists for one week per month. Unlike normal Crucible matches, Iron Banner relies on a player’s light level to determine their raw effectiveness in combat. The lower the player’s light level, the more difficult they will have to face difficult opponents who have been fighting for some time.

Related: Destiny 2: How To Get Re-released Lunar Gear

Iron Banner has plenty of rewards for players to earn, including armor and weapons that are only available through Iron Banner Tokens. Iron Banner Tokens can be earned by winning matches, a little less by losing, or by completing the bounties available for purchase from Lord Saladin. While Lord Saladin also offers a six-step quest to complete, Iron Banner tokens are not available here. However, it does allow players to unlock certain Iron Banner weapons, like the Finished Impact Hand Cannon, through progression.

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Destiny 2: How to Get the Impact Hand Cannon Finished (and God Roll)

Just like the Destiny 2 Riiswalker Shotgun, players have a guaranteed way to earn the Finished Impactor through Iron-Handed Diplomacy – the quest available from Lord Saladin. Finite Impactor is a 140 RPM hand cannon that can be equipped in a player’s energy weapon slot. This is an adaptive frame hand cannon, which means its well-balanced grip (maneuverability, stability, and reload stats) generally makes it easier to control. Its impact is 84, which puts it on par with the damage of exotic 140 RPM hand cannons like Thorn and Ace of Spades – and even above Hawkmoon.

There are a lot of perks available for Finite Impactor, but these are the optimal perks that are worth taking advantage of:

Legendary view

  • Truesight HCS (PvE)
  • Sureshot HCS (PvP)

Legendary Magazine

  • High caliber rounds (PvP / PvE)
  • Richochet Towers (PvP / PvE)
  • Piercing Rounds (Pve)
  • Mag added (PvP)

Legendary Trait 1

Legendary Trait 2

  • One for all (PvE)
  • Iron Scope (PvP)
  • Clip Multikill (PvP

Finite Impactor, fortunately, is easy to acquire. Completing the first stage of Iron Hand Diplomacy grants each player at least one finished Impact Hand Cannon. To do this, players will need to capture 10 areas, get 10 Arc or Void ability final hits, and defeat 30 Guardians, all in Iron Banner. This method does not guarantee a Destiny 2 God Roll Finite Impactor. For this, players will need to continually search for Iron Banner tokens and cash them while talking to Lord Saladin. The good news is that four wins will provide enough Iron Banner tokens to hit the minimum tokens to redeem for a reward, and Iron Banner will return once more before the splicer season ends.

More: Destiny 2: How To Unlock Great Deals & Complete The Catalyst

Destiny 2 is available on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X | S and Google Stadia platforms.

Genshin Impact Kazuha Best Character Builds

Genshin Impact: Best Kazuha Character Builds Explained

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Post-Covid rush for genome testing



Has the Covid-19 pandemic given a boost to direct-to-consumer (DTC) genome sequencing services? Evidence on the ground suggests that it does.

DTP genomics, where a laboratory provides sequencing services (and, if necessary, genetic counseling) directly to the consumer without the intervention of a physician, has been around for a few years.

The benefits have always been known. A genomic test can look at your genes, check for any abnormalities, and make predictions, such as whether you are predisposed to a certain disease.

The science is pretty straightforward. Scientists are looking for “single nucleotide polymorphisms” (SNPs) in non-coding genes. SNP is a variation of the position of a single nucleotide in a DNA sequence – say, instead of an Adenine nucleotide, you have the Cytosine nucleotide. SNPs themselves don’t cause a disorder, they just flag them because certain SNPs are associated with certain diseases. An educational article in Nature.com explains it this way: “If certain SNPs are known to be associated with a trait, then scientists can examine stretches of DNA near those SNPs to try to identify the gene (s) responsible for the trait. ”

This is because a genomic test can lead to expert advice on what you should and should not eat, whether you would be a good athlete or a musician, which medications are best for you if you contract a disease, in which part. of the world will trace your ancestry to you, and so on.

Although useful, DTC was not very popular because it was expensive. A complete genome profile could cost up to ₹ 1 lakh; a nutritional counselor and fitness planner, or a health assessment test could cost around ₹ 20,000. However, demand is expected to increase. The Indian market was on the radar of global companies. In January of last year, US company Precise.ly announced a partnership with hospital network Narayana Health to provide next-generation sequencing and “personalized and preventive health care.”

The pandemic has further accentuated this trend. “Due to the current Covid pandemic, people have become more health conscious, potentially leading them to use new and advanced techniques such as consumer genomics,” says Bithiah Grace Jaganathan, Department of Biosciences and bioengineering, IIT-Guwahati.

Anu Acharya, CEO of Mapmygenome, the Hyderabad-based company she founded in 2013, agrees that more and more people are seeking the services of the company after the pandemic. When the first wave was raging, the company opened a lab at Hyderabad airport for Covid-19 testing. Thanks to her, many discovered other genomic testing services.

Companies that previously provided genomic sequencing for areas such as pharmacogenomics (to determine which drug works best against, say, cancer), are now seeing demand for personalized testing.

Lilac Insights, based in Mumbai, has been providing genomic services such as prenatal screening for genetic disorders in unborn babies for several years. Now, given the growing demand, Lilac wants to get into DTC, says company co-founder and director Subhamoy Dastidar.

Lower costs

All connoisseurs Quantum respondents were confident that costs would decrease, leading to increased demand for DTC genomics. It’s not just about economies of scale (you can bulk order reagents for less), but also emerging technologies that make mainstream genomics more affordable.

Rakesh Mishra, who until recently was director of the Hyderabad-based Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology, points out that it is now possible to sequence long strands of DNA; earlier it would take 200 or 300 pieces and put them together to get a full view.

Additionally, with more and more people using these services, the database becomes more robust and the algorithm can provide the necessary information even with a smaller sample, explains Mishra. This will further reduce the cost. In addition, with more Indian data, the predictions will be more accurate. Today, the use of global data, available for free or against payment, could generate flawed predictions due to ethnic differences.

Lower costs naturally lead to cheaper services. For example, Mapmygenome’s “Genomepatri” services, which provide “15 reports that help you uncover genetic strengths and vulnerabilities that affect your body’s immune system and disease risk,” cost 7,500 today, versus ₹ 25,000 a few years ago.

Medical and wellness

Under “personalized genomics” there is a distinction between “medical” services (such as cancer prevention and pharmacogenomics) and “wellness” services (nutrition and lifestyle). But the demand for one feeds the other. Acharya says that people who come for health reasons also check their “ancestry” out of curiosity.

However, in the case of disease prevention, the falling cost of genomics to consumers could lead to lower health bills over time. “Consumer genomics has great significance in screening for specific cancer mutations,” says Grace Jaganathan. “For diseases such as diabetes, heart and cancer, identifying gene associations can help develop precision medicine,” she says. She warned, however, that genomic tests should be validated by other medical tests, because “genetic risk does not always mean incidence of disease.”

Genomics expert Amjad Hussain, Principal Scientist, IISER, Bhopal predicts an increase in demand for these tests, especially for cancer and metabolic disorders. Acharya believes that every diagnostic lab will offer this service in the near future.

Data issues

So, as consumer genomics becomes affordable and mainstream, a few related issues arise. Data security is the most important of these.

Labs sitting on piles of data can lead to privacy concerns. Experts say that while existing laws cover these privacy issues, separate regulation for consumer genomics is desirable. “As soon as a laboratory takes your sample, it is a contract between the laboratory and you,” explains Dastidar de Lilac. Any misuse of the data is illegal. Lilac and Mapmygenome said they anonymize the data in the lab, assigning sample numbers or barcodes. Yet in the hands of an unscrupulous company, this personal and revealing data is vulnerable to misuse.

Hussain says genomic data is owned by the individual, but can be used with their consent. Yet he calls for a regulatory framework for more security. For example, if the data indicates a violent personality, should the laboratory notify the authorities?

We appreciate your feedback. Send your comments to [email protected]


U.S. Coronavirus: Spread of Delta Variant May Make Obtaining Collective Immunity Even More Difficult, Expert Says


“We don’t know exactly what the collective immunity percentage would be for Covid-19. It would be different for the Delta variant, and higher, because it is more transmissible,” Dr Rachel Levine, assistant secretary in the US Department of Health and social services, CNN’s Ana Cabrera said Friday.

Estimates vary on the proportion of the population that needs to be immunized to achieve this goal. Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said herd immunity could be achieved if 70 to 85% of people are immune.

There is good news, according to Levine, who said, “People vaccinated are protected against this Delta variant. And they are extremely unlikely to get sick and it is virtually impossible for them to require hospitalization.”

As for those who remain unvaccinated, “The Delta variant poses a threat,” Levine said.

Variant representing a higher percentage of cases in some states

The Delta variant, first seen in India, can infect people more easily and cause even more serious illness.

In California, where about half of the state’s 40 million people are vaccinated, cases of Covid-19 are on the rise, with the Delta variant accounting for 36% of all new cases, officials say.

“The most important thing we can do to stop the spread of COVID-19 and its variants is to ensure that all eligible people are vaccinated,” said Dr. Tomás Aragón, California Public Health Officer .

On Monday, Los Angeles County recommended that people wear masks in indoor public spaces even if they were vaccinated, and on Friday, the city and county of St. Louis, Missouri, followed suit. Both jurisdictions made recommendations due to the spread of the variant.

“As we monitor the Delta variant, we see that it spreads quickly and the data shows that it is more contagious and has an impact on younger segments of the population,” said Dr Fredrick Echols. , Acting Director of the City of St. Louis Department. Health, in a press release.

“Missouri is in a very bad situation right now,” said Dr. Megan Ranney, emergency physician and CNN medical analyst. She said the state was seeing a “dramatic increase” in Covid-19 cases, similar to that seen last summer.

“You have places in Missouri where only 10%, 15%, 20% of their residents are fully vaccinated. This new Delta (variant) is going to spread like wildfire there,” she said. declared. “They have no choice but to put up mask warrants while they also try to bring in vaccines.”

Regarding the Los Angeles County mask warrant, Ranney said that “in the face of this increase in the number of cases, reinstalling an indoor mask warrant is not the worst thing in the world.”

Such a warrant will send a signal to people that they should wear a mask if they are not vaccinated. But the problem is, she noted, that people who are not vaccinated are also the least likely to wear a mask.

CNN analyst Dr Leana Wen told CNN on Friday that states with the lowest vaccination rates were seeing an even higher percentage of the Delta variant in new cases.

“In the five states with the highest rate of spread of Covid-19, the Delta variant accounts for over 50% of cases there. Arkansas is at 50%. Utah at 60%. Missouri is at 70%. said Wen. “I think we also have to keep in mind the statistics of people who get sick. Overall these are unvaccinated people.”

People cross Las Vegas Boulevard on July 2, 2021. Tourists are flocking to the city again, and gambling revenues have hit an all-time high.  But that progress is under threat: Nevada this week recorded the highest rate of new Covid-19 cases in the country.

Where are the US states in terms of immunization?

As of Friday, 47.1% of the total United States population were fully vaccinated and 54.7% had received an injection, according to federal data. Over the past week, an average of 662,906 people have been fully immunized daily.

According to the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 18 states have fully immunized more than half of their populations. These are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington, as well as Washington, DC

Experts agree that the best protection against the Delta variant is vaccination.

Two weeks after the second dose, the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine is 88% effective against symptomatic infections caused by the Delta variant, Fauci said. Those who received only one dose have less protection.

Moderna’s vaccine has been found in lab experiments to work against new variants, including the Delta strain, the company said this week. Serum samples from people who received two injections of the Moderna vaccine showed neutralizing activity against the variants, Moderna said in a preprinted study that has not yet been peer reviewed.

Johnson & Johnson said its single-injection coronavirus vaccine provides immunity that lasts for at least eight months and appears to offer protection against the Delta variant.

WHO travel advice

Fauci offered a glimmer of good news ahead of the July 4 holiday: Americans can celebrate with the proper precautions, he said.

“That is, if you have been vaccinated, you have a high degree of protection. If you are not, you should wear a mask and you should think very seriously about getting vaccinated”, a- he declared.

However, US Surgeon General Dr Vivek Murthy said he was most worried about unvaccinated people heading for the holiday weekend.

“If you are not vaccinated and if you are going to travel and see other people from various households, congregate inside and if you are not masked, then there is a significant risk that the virus will continue to spread. spread, ”he told CNN. Friday.
The July 4th trips will return with a vengeance as Americans

People are traveling in ever-increasing numbers: The Transportation Security Administration said it screened 2.19 million people at airports across the country on Friday. This is the highest number since the start of the pandemic and higher than the same day in 2019, before the pandemic.

AAA expects 47.7 million people to travel by road or plane between July 1 and July 5, a 40% increase from the July 4 vacation last year.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization’s new interim international travel guidelines released on Friday take into account vaccine status as well as worrisome and interesting variants.

The organization recommends that a “risk-based approach” be followed when implementing Covid-19 measures.

“This approach should take into account the risk posed by travel for import and export of cases in the context of changing epidemiology, including the emergence and circulation of viral variants of concern; expanding the rollout of COVID-19 vaccination; and lessons learned in responding to the pandemic, including on early detection and management of cases and the application of public health and social measures, ”the WHO said in a statement.

WHO also stressed that proof of vaccination should not be required as a condition of entry or exit from a country and that national authorities could consider individualized approaches when implementing testing or testing. quarantine as a condition of entry if people are immune to vaccination or have already confirmed infection.

CNN’s Cheri Mossburg, Carma Hassan, Deidre McPhillips, Maggie Fox and Naomi Thomas contributed to this report.

Breast cancer response to tumor stiffness could help predict bone metastasis


Cancer cells become more aggressive when exposed to stiffening tissues and these changes persist over time, according to a new study by health scientists at the University of Arizona. The article titled “Breast tumor stiffness instructs bone metastasis via maintenance of mechanical conditioning,” published in the journal Cell Reports, found that the stiffness of the breast tumor microenvironment can lead to changes in cancer cells. which make them more aggressively spread to the bone.

Tumor stiffening, which develops as diseased breast tissue becomes fibrous, plays a major role in the spread of breast cancer cells throughout the body. The resulting changes are stored in the form of “mechanical memory,” which asks cancer cells to send signals that lead to bone breakdown. Once this happens, patients often suffer from debilitating complications like spontaneous fractures.

“Unfortunately, bone metastases are normally only identified at an advanced stage where they are not reversible,” said lead author Ghassan Mouneimne, PhD, associate professor of cellular and molecular medicine and cancer biology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson. He added: “What’s really exciting is that one day we can take a sample from the patient’s primary tumor and predict who is at high risk for bone metastasis. Then we could intervene with a prevention strategy that we are currently validating in the laboratory. “

The study, which is the first to demonstrate the concept of mechanical memory in cancer metastases, developed a new mechanical conditioning score, or “MeCo”, to quantify cellular changes. Ultimately, the researchers hope the MeCo score can be used to help identify breast cancer patients who might benefit from reused antifibrotic treatments to prevent bone metastasis. “The higher the MeCo score of the patient’s breast tumor, the greater the likelihood of her having metastasized to bone and poorer outcomes,” said Casey Romanoski, PhD, assistant professor of cellular and molecular medicine and member of the BIO5 Institute and the University of Arizona Cancer Center. “This stiffness signature could have incredible clinical utility.”

To further explore the clinical application, Dr. Mouneimne and Adam Watson, PhD, a former graduate student and postdoctoral fellow at the University of Arizona Cancer Center, worked with Tech Launch Arizona, the university’s office that commercializes inventions from the research, to launch a startup, MeCo Diagnostics, LLC. The company strives to mature the technology and bring it to market where it can impact the lives of breast cancer patients around the world.

It was previously known that tumor stiffness induces cellular changes that lead to more aggressive cancer, but according to lead author Dr. Watson, the concept of “stiffness” was misleading. “Most early-stage breast tumors are stiffer than the surrounding tissue, but most don’t spread to bone,” he said. “It’s not about tumor stiffness but rather reactivity to the stiffness of cancer cells, which we call mechanical conditioning.”

To study this phenomenon, the team created a laboratory environment that mimicked the rigid or soft tumor environments found in the body and assessed the response of breast cancer cells. They found that cells grown in a rigid environment had a “mechano-response” characterized by the spread, invasion and activation of genes related to both bone development and disease. And these genetic changes persisted even after the cells were moved to a mild environment.

Next, the researchers looked at which genes were turned on and off in breast cancer cells in response to the harsh environments. Based on these gene expression changes, they developed the MeCo score, which has been validated and refined using data from thousands of breast cancer patients. “It is the culmination of a lot of work by researchers from many different fields,” said Dr Mouneimne. “It highlights the environment we have at the Arizona University of Health Sciences, and how working together can make progress in this difficult area of ​​breast cancer metastasis.”

Future research may focus on how cancer cells maintain gene expression changes that lead to metastasis, based on additional findings that identified a transcription factor called RUNX2 that was activated by fibrotic-like stiffness. . RUNX2 stays attached to DNA as the cell divides and “tags” which genes stay on, which includes genes that cause bone metastasis and bone breakdown. (ANI)

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


Big Bang Protein Reveals Molecular Composition for Medicine and Bioengineering Applications



Research by Gustavo Caetano-Anollés and Fayez Aziz of the University of Illinois reveals a “big bang” in the evolution of protein subunits called domains. The team investigated the relationships between proteins and domain recruitment in proteins over 3.8 billion years in all taxonomic units. Their findings could have implications for vaccine development and disease management. Credit: Fred Zwicky, University of Illinois

Proteins have been quietly taking control of our lives since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. We live by the virus’s so-called “spike” protein, which has mutated dozens of times to create increasingly deadly variants. But the truth is, we’ve always been ruled by protein. At the cellular level, they are responsible for almost everything.

Proteins are so fundamental that DNA – the genetic material that makes each of us unique – is essentially just one long sequence of blueprints of proteins. This is true for animals, plants, fungi, bacteria, archaea and even viruses. And just as these groups of organisms evolve and change over time, so do proteins and their components.

A new study by researchers at the University of Illinois, published in Scientific reports, maps the evolutionary history and interrelationships of protein domains, the subunits of protein molecules, over 3.8 billion years.

“Knowing how and why domains combine in proteins during evolution could help scientists understand and design protein activity for applications in medicine and bioengineering. For example, this information could guide disease management, such as making better vaccines from the peak protein of COVID-19 viruses, ”explains Gustavo Caetano-Anolles, professor in the Department of Crop Sciences, affiliated with Carl R Woese Institute for Genomic. Biology at Illinois, and lead author of the article.

Caetano-Anollés has studied the evolution of COVID mutations since the early stages of the pandemic, but this timeline represents a tiny fraction of what he and doctoral student Fayez Aziz undertook in their current study.

Researchers have compiled the sequences and structures of millions of protein sequences encoded in hundreds of genomes in all taxonomic groups, including higher organisms and microbes. They focused not on whole proteins, but rather on structural domains.

“Most proteins are made up of several domains. They are compact structural units, or modules, which house specialized functions, ”explains Caetano-Anollés. “More importantly, these are the units of evolution.”

After sorting proteins into domains to build evolutionary trees, they set to work to create a network to understand how domains developed and were shared among proteins over billions of years of evolution.

“We have built a time series of networks that describe how domains accumulated and how proteins rearranged their domains during evolution. This is the first time that such a network of “domain organization” has been studied as an evolutionary timeline, ”says Fayez Aziz. “Our investigation revealed that there is a large evolving network describing how domains combine with each other in proteins.”

Each link in the network represents a time when a particular domain was recruited into a protein, usually to perform a new function.

“This fact alone strongly suggests that domain recruiting is a powerful force by nature,” says Fayez Aziz. The timeline also revealed which areas contribute important protein functions. For example, researchers have been able to trace the origin of the areas responsible for environmental detection as well as secondary metabolites, or toxins used in bacterial and plant defenses.

Analysis showed that the domains began to combine early in protein evolution, but there were also periods of explosive network growth. For example, researchers describe a “big bang” of domain combinations 1.5 billion years ago, coinciding with the rise of multicellular organisms and eukaryotes, organisms with membrane-bound nuclei that include humans.

The existence of biological big bangs is not new. The Caetano-Anollés team previously reported the massive and early origin of metabolism, and they recently tracked it down when tracking the history of metabolic networks.

The historic recording of a big bang describing the evolutionary patchwork of proteins provides new tools for understanding protein composition.

“This could help identify, for example, why structural variations and genomic recombinations often occur in SARS-CoV-2,” explains Caetano-Anollés.

He adds that this new way of understanding proteins could help prevent pandemics by dissecting the origin of viral diseases. It could also help alleviate the disease by improving vaccine design in the event of an outbreak.

Reference: “Evolution of network of protein domain organization” by M. Fayez Aziz and Gustavo Caetano-Anollés, June 8, 2021, Scientific Reports.
DOI: 10.1038 / s41598-021-90498-8

The work was supported by the National Science Foundation and the US Department of Agriculture.

The Department of Crop Sciences is part of the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois.


Reopening does not mean collective immunity for Washington, scientists warn


A sign indicating where to wait at a West Seattle vaccination clinic. (Photo MonNord-Ouest)

Despite the full reopening of the state this week for the first time since the start of the pandemic, state health officials are warning that we have not seen the end of our COVID problems.

With vaccinations capped and new variants spreading, heads of state say it would be premature to consider the pandemic over as we celebrate the reopening.

As state epidemiologist Dr Scott Lindquist explained, even with 69% of people vaccinated – just a percentage point below the state’s 70% target – we can’t say Washington has collective immunity. This is because the distribution of vaccines is not distributed evenly.

“[Herd immunity] suppose there is universal [protection] across the state, if we say 70% vaccinated, that means universal statewide, and that’s just not what we’re seeing in Washington, ”he said . “We are seeing very large pockets of low vaccination rates. “

State officials worried about Gamma variant ahead of summer events

And the three main variants of the condition – Alpha, Gamma and Delta – are wreaking havoc among these unvaccinated groups.

Unlike other parts of the world, there don’t seem to be many variant cases in people vaccinated in our state, which shows that our vaccines seem to work against them.

King County public health official Dr Jeff Duchin said last month it was only a matter of time before unvaccinated people caught any of these variants.

Lindquist called efforts to prevent the spread of the variant as a “race against time” to get people vaccinated.

“It’s rolling the dice so you don’t get vaccinated,” Secretary of State for Health Dr Umair Shah said. “It’s a preventable disease and even hospitalization.”

While our overall cases are not skyrocketing like other countries hit hard by Delta, the percentages of our cases consisting of Delta and Gamma are increasing. This worries health officials because Gamma causes more hospitalizations than other COVID mutations.

The good news is that while Delta is causing more serious COVID infections around the world, in Washington it doesn’t appear to be the case.

“The big question that is on everyone’s mind is whether the Delta variant is becoming predominant and aggressive?” Says Lindquist.

State officials say it’s possible the masking – or even closures – will return if the variant situation gets much worse. However, now is not the time and the reopening is not stopped.

“We are not yet in a position to withdraw a mask warrant,” said Lacy Fehrenbach, deputy secretary of the state’s COVID response team. “We are also very closely monitoring the emergence of these variants and the situation with them and our disease levels.”

Shah said it was impossible to predict what might happen down the road with this new virus, but the only thing that is certain is that the vaccine is our tool to come out of the pandemic.

“Variants are the evolution of a virus, when you have a mutation and that virus has evolved. So we’ll never say never because we just don’t know what’s to come, ”Shah said. “But I’ll tell you, the more we vaccinate people, the more we protect ourselves. “

Digital innovations must serve the energy transition of an increasingly green Africa



Faced with climate change, carbon neutrality has become a central issue for the future of our planet. 28 countries around the world have already officially committed to achieving carbon neutrality. In Africa, awareness of environmental issues coupled with the growing demand for electricity is pushing decision-makers to put in place public policies favorable to energy transition. This awareness is vital not only for the development of African economies, but also for the well-being of its populations.

The ecological transition must mobilize all our societies

The last European elections in 2019 showed the explosion of the green vote among 18-24 year olds, according to Harris Interactive. This ecological push is spreading in Africa, and must be included in the political agenda of each state. This was the subject of our Africa Green ICT seminar on green energy, where we shared with international experts our expertise in technological innovations to help the world’s major economies to effectively achieve carbon neutrality. Photovoltaics will play a key role in energy transformation by becoming the main source of energy. On the consumer side, electricity will gradually replace traditional consumption of fossil fuels. We expect that the use of renewable energies will exceed that of oil in 2050, and that the proportion will drop from 20% in 2017 to 49% in 2050. Indeed, the energy transition requires the mobilization of all actors, including the digital sector. . The private and public sectors must share their expertise to jointly establish effective strategies for a green future. Governments, infrastructure providers, regulators and civil society each have their roles to play.

Digital technology enables intelligent management of energy production and consumption

Digital technology and the technological innovations that accompany it hold the promise of sustainable and connected cities where energy consumption and production are optimal and responsible. Smart cities operate thanks to digital solutions interconnected by broadband and allow intelligent management of energy consumption. Photovoltaic panels make it possible to harness solar energy, which is abundant on the continent. These innovations, powered by artificial intelligence, are proof that digital technology is already playing a major role in the transition to renewable energies, a role that will grow in the future. To do this, we need to accelerate investment in infrastructure. Not only will these strategies bridge the energy gap in Africa, but they will ultimately benefit all socio-economic sectors of the continent. This requires strong and proactive public policies. Dialogue between digital players and public decision-makers is therefore essential because the skills of each are complementary. I am convinced that the digital revolution underway in Africa converges perfectly with sustainable development and the production of renewable energy. This is the direction in which we are working at Huawei, with the development of Huawei FusionSolar, for example. Several solutions have already been installed in Africa, such as Rural Solar Power and Smart Micro Grids, which use solar energy for even more connectivity!

By Philippe Wang,

Executive Vice President of Huawei North Africa


Scientists Uncover Genetic Basis and Molecular Mechanisms of New Neurodevelopmental Syndrome


Scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine and their colleagues have demonstrated that variants of the SPTBN1 gene can alter neuronal architecture, dramatically affecting their function and leading to a rare and newly defined neurodevelopmental syndrome in children.

Damaris Lorenzo, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Cell Biology at UNC and member of the UNC Neuroscience Center at the UNC School of Medicine, led this research, which was published today in the journal Genetics of nature. Lorenzo, who is also a member of the UNC Research Center on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDDRC) at the UNC School of Medicine, is the lead author.

The SPTBN1 gene tells neurons and other cell types how to make βII-spectrin, a multi-functional protein in the nervous system. Children with these variants may suffer from delayed speech and motor skills, as well as intellectual disability. Some patients received an additional diagnosis, such as autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, and epilepsy. Identifying the genetic variants that cause this wide range of disabilities is the important first step in finding treatments for this syndrome.

Lorenzo first learned of patients with complex neurodevelopmental presentations and carriers of SPTBN1 variants from Queenie Tan, MD, PhD, medical geneticist, and Becky Spillmann, MS, genetic counselor – both members of the network site. NIH-funded undiagnosed diseases (UDN) at Duke University and co-authors of the Genetics of nature paper. They connected with Margot Cousin, PhD, geneticist associated with the UDN site of the Mayo Clinic and co-first author of the study. Cousin had also collected clinical information from carriers of SPTBN1 variants. Other clinical genetics teams took note of these efforts and joined the study.

The cohort of individuals affected by the SPTBN1 variants continues to grow. Lorenzo and his colleagues have been contacted about new cases after publishing a preprint of their initial findings last summer. Identifying the genetic cause of rare diseases such as SPTBN1 syndrome requires pooling the knowledge of multiple patients to establish common clinical and biological patterns.

Fortunately, the advent of affordable gene sequencing technology, as well as the creation of databases and networks to facilitate information sharing between clinicians and researchers, has significantly accelerated the diagnosis of rare diseases, said Lorenzo. “To put our case in a historical perspective, βII-spectrin was co-discovered 40 years ago through pioneering work involving my colleagues at UNC Keith Burridge, PhD, and Richard Cheney, PhD, as well as my postdoctoral mentor Vann Bennett, PhD, at Duke. However, his association with the disease has eluded us so far. “

Î’II-spectrin is closely associated with the neuronal cytoskeleton – a complex network of filamentous proteins that spans the neuron and plays a central role in their growth, shape and plasticity. Î’II-spectrin forms an extensive scaffolding network that ensures the mechanical integrity of membranes and helps orchestrate the correct positioning of molecular complexes within the neuron. Through research published in PNAS in 2019, Lorenzo discovered that II-spectrin is essential for normal brain wiring in mice and for the proper transport of organelles and vesicles in axons – the long stretches that carry signals from neurons to other neurons. Î’II-spectrin is an integral part of the process that allows neurons to develop, maintain and function normally.

In this new study, Lorenzo’s research team has shown that at the biochemical level, the genetic variants identified in patients are sufficient to cause protein aggregation, an aberrant association of βII-spectrin with the cytoskeleton, alter the transport and the growth of axonal organelles, and alter the morphology of neurons. These impairments can permanently alter the way neurons connect and communicate with each other, which would contribute to the aetiology of neurodevelopmental disorders. The team showed that reducing βII-spectrin levels only in neurons disrupts structural connectivity between cortical areas in mutant mice, a deficit also seen in brain MRIs of some patients.

Working with Sheryl Moy, PhD, professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UNC and director of the Mouse Behavioral Phenotyping (MBP) Core at UNC IDDRC, the researchers found that these mice exhibited developmental and behavioral deficits consistent with the presentations. observed in humans.

“Now that we have established the methods to ascribe the probability of pathogenicity to the SPTBN1 variants and to determine how they modify neurons, our immediate goal is to learn more about the molecular and cellular mechanisms and brain circuits affected, and to assess strategies for potential clinical interventions, ”said Lorenzo.

To this end, her team will collaborate with Adriana Beltran, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Genetics at UNC and Director of the UNC Human Pluripotent Cell Core, to use neurons differentiated from patient-induced pluripotent stem cells. And the research team will continue to exploit the predictions of molecular modeling in collaboration with Brenda Temple, PhD, professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at UNC and Director of the Core of Structural Bioinformatics at UNC, both. co-authors of Genetics of nature paper.

“As a basic science researcher, it’s so satisfying to use knowledge and tools to provide answers to patients,” said Lorenzo. “I first witnessed this thrill of scientific discovery and collaborative work as a graduate student 15 years ago, when our lab identified the genetic cause of the first spectrinopathy affecting the nervous system.

This work was the discovery of variants in a different gene of spectrin as the cause of squamous cell ataxia type 5 (SCA5), led by Laura Ranum, PhD, who was at the time at the University of Minnesota. In the follow-up work, as a member of this team, Lorenzo provided information on the pathogenic mechanism of SCA5.

“In addition to immediate relevance to affected patients, information from our work on SPTNB1 syndrome will inform findings in other complex disorders with overlapping pathologies,” said Lorenzo. “It is exciting to be a part of such important work with a team of dedicated scientists and clinicians.”

The members of the Lorenzo lab who are co-authors of the Genetics of nature the papers are co-lead author Blake Creighton, research technician at the Lorenzo lab; Reggie Edwards, graduate student; Keith Breau, graduate student at the time of this research; Deepa Ajit, PhD, postdoctoral fellow; Sruthi Dontu, Simone Afriyie and Julia Bay, all students at UNC-Chapel Hill; and Liset Falcon, laboratory research technician at the time of this research. Other contributors and co-authors of the UNC-Chapel Hill article are Kathryn Harper, PhD, project manager at MBP Core; and Lorena Munoz and Alvaro Beltran, both research associates at hHPSC.


University of North Carolina Health Care

Journal reference:

Cousin, MA, et al. (2021) Pathogenic variants of SPTBN1 cause autosomal dominant neurodevelopmental syndrome. Genetics of nature. doi.org/10.1038/s41588-021-00886-z.


How a 2005 immunity deal led to Bill Cosby’s release


Bill Cosby released from prison Wednesday, appearing triumphant after serving an incomplete prison sentence for a sexual assault conviction that had just been overturned by Pennsylvania’s highest court.

A jury had found Cosby guilty in 2018 of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at her home in suburban Philadelphia in 2004. Several other women have accused Cosby of drugging and assaulting them over the past decades, charges he has denied.

Appearing with him to reporters and supporters, spokesman Andrew Wyatt said Cosby had been “vindicated” and attempted to refute the charges against the 83-year-old comedian, saying he had always “used his fame” to raise women “. Cosby wrote on his Twitter page: “I never changed my position or my story. I have always maintained my innocence.

But good Wednesday’s decision of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court prohibits any future attempts to prosecute Cosby for the crime, this does not exonerate him. The decision is largely based on a questionable deal granted to him more than 10 years ago that granted him immunity from criminal prosecution – and a 2015 decision to abandon that deal, which the High Court said , deprived Cosby of due process.

Bill Cosby outside his home in Elkins Park, Pa. On Wednesday. (Matt Rourke / AP)

The deal was arranged by Bruce Castor, then a Montgomery County District Attorney, who investigated Constand’s charges in 2005 and determined that there was not enough evidence to launch a successful criminal prosecution. With that in mind, Castor decided to remove the threat of criminal prosecution for Cosby so that he could not invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination if he were to testify in a civil trial, according to the court ruling. .

When Constand sued Cosby that same year, the comedian and his lawyers relied on that deal – which was more of an assurance, as it had not been formalized or written down – when Cosby sat for depositions. During depositions, adhering to the court ruling, he did not assert his Fifth Amendment right and confessed that he had provided Quaaludes to women he wished to have sex with in the past. Constand ultimately settled the lawsuit in 2006 for more than $ 3 million.

Castor, who was most recently known as former President Donald Trump’s attorney during his second impeachment trial this year, told Yahoo News on Thursday that providing Constand with a route to take civil action was his best option.

“What other choice did I have? ” He asked. “There wasn’t enough evidence to stop him. And the evidence of testimony did not exist. So what were my choices? I could not do anything. And then nothing would happen. Or I could try to get half a loaf and set up the board so that there is an incentive to settle the matter. “

Andrea Constand

Cosby’s accuser Andrea Constand in 2018 (David Maialetti / Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, File)

The deal was the subject of further criticism after the court ruling on Wednesday, but Philadelphia lawyer Damian Jackson, a former prosecutor who has been following Cosby’s case closely, told Yahoo News he thought it was a good move.

“We have to realize that the climate for these types of cases in 2005 was very different from what it is now, and even in 2015 when they charged him it was still very difficult cases to deal with. continue, “Jackson said Thursday. “When we look at it through the lens of 2021, it’s a very different case, because now we understand these types of crimes better. [There’s] more sensitivity towards these types of crimes. So while it’s not a popular decision, I think it was a good decision.

Castor said it never occurred to him at the time that his successor would try to reverse his decision. But that’s exactly what happened in 2015, when Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman, who is now a county judge, reopened the criminal investigation into Cosby after details of his 2005 civil settlement with Constand were released.

Castor told Yahoo News he tried to warn Ferman against continuing the case. “I sent a private memorandum to the district attorney’s office reminding them of what had happened 10 years ago and saying it was a bad idea to go ahead,” Castor said. “I thought that would be enough.”

But since no written agreement was provided to Ferman, she, along with her predecessor Kevin Steele, moved forward, using the evidence from the deposition. This culminated in Cosby’s conviction in April 2018.

Bruce Castor Jr.

Bruce Castor in February, following the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump. (Alex Edelman / AFP via Getty Images)

When Cosby’s lawyers requested that the charges against him in the case be dismissed, the trial court concluded that, without an immunity agreement authorized, it did not apply. Cosby’s post-conviction appeals were also unsuccessful, and he was even denied parole in May, Reuters reported.

Although the Pennsylvania Supreme Court did not challenge the trial court’s finding that the Castor Agreement was not a binding agreement and was rather a “quid pro quo”, it was not agree with the idea that Cosby and his lawyer should not have relied on this assurance. or somehow should have known better than to trust him. On the contrary, the court found that Cosby’s recourse to the agreement was “reasonable and that it resulted in the deprivation of a fundamental constitutional right when he was forced to [furnish] self-incriminating testimony.

Bill Cosby

Cosby leaving the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa. On April 26, 2018, following his conviction. (Matt Slocum / AP)

The district attorney’s decision to prosecute Cosby violated his Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights to due process, the court said.

Jackson noted that the court’s ruling is about upholding the Constitution, not about proclaiming Cosby’s innocence. Castor expressed a similar point of view.

“There’s no way to think Cosby won,” Castor said. “He spent almost three years in prison, and [had] his reputation was ruined and had the anguish of two trials. So it was not a victory for him, it was a victory for people who, like me, believe in the rule of law.


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NBA DFS: Top Hawks vs. DraftKings Bucks, Fantasy Basketball FanDuel Daily Picks for July 1, 2021



While a team in the Eastern Conference final will have a decisive advantage after Game 5 on Thursday, both teams will have to play the game with injuries to their star players. Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee) is doubtful to play, while Trae Young (foot) and Clint Capela (eye) are listed as doubtful. Their absences, even their limitations, allow other players to climb to the top of tonight’s NBA DFS player pool. Players like Bobby Portis for the Bucks or Lou Williams and John Collins for the Hawks are in line for more playing time, boosting their NBA DFS values.

Can Portis help fill Antetokounmpo’s void if the two-time MVP is unable to dress? Plus, would it be a prudent NBA DFS strategy to stack Williams and Collins with the uncertainty of Young and Capela? Before locking down the NBA DFS picks for Hawks vs. Bucks, be sure to see NBA DFS tips, player rankings and top daily fantasy basketball rosters from SportsLine’s Mike McClure.

McClure is a DFS Professional with nearly $ 2 million in career earnings. He is also a Predictive Data Engineer at SportsLine which uses a powerful prediction model that simulates every minute of every game 10,000 times, taking into account factors such as matchups, statistical trends and injuries.

This allows him to find the best NBA DFS values ​​and create optimal queues that he only shares at SportsLine. They are a must have for any NBA DFS player.

And on Wednesday, McClure included Suns goalie Chris Paul as one of his NBA DFS top picks. The result: Paul tied a career-high playoff game with 41 points and eight assists, returning over 67 points on DraftKings and over 66 on FanDuel. Everyone who had him in their lineup was on track for a profitable day.

Now McClure has turned his attention to the NBA DFS Thursday July 1 roster and has locked down his daily fantasy basketball top picks. You can only see them by going to SportsLine.

NBA DFS Top Picks for Thursday, July 1

One of McClure’s top NBA DFS picks for Thursday is Bucks forward Khris Middleton. If Antetokounmpo isn’t able to go, Middleton will step up to the Bucks’ No.1 scoring option and he has proven he can fill that role. He scored 38 points in Game 3 against the Hawks.

The Bucks have some experience playing without Antetokounmpo as he has missed several games this season. In the last three games he’s been out of, Middleton has averaged 23.3 points. 8.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists in under 29 minutes per game. He’s averaging nearly 39 minutes per game in the playoffs, so those numbers are set to rise significantly, and if Antetokounmpo can’t make it, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Middleton played the entire game.

Part of McClure’s NBA DFS strategy also includes stacking Middleton with goalie Jrue Holiday, who averages 20 points and 9.5 assists in the Eastern Conference Finals. Both of those averages are increases over Holiday’s regular season numbers and Holiday is also reportedly in line for more scoring opportunities without Antetokounmpo.

Holiday’s season high was 33 points and it happened in an April game in which Antetokounmpo was out of shape. Holiday was slow to find his place with the Bucks in the playoffs, but he’s having his best streak in the Eastern Conference Finals. He tied that season high by scoring 33 points in Game 1 and he could benefit if Young or Capela can’t play for Atlanta. Young’s absence would allow Holiday to save energy on the defensive side – and use more of it on the offensive side – while Capela not patrolling the paintwork would allow more driving opportunities for the Bucks point guard.

How to set the NBA DFS rosters for Thursday, July 1

McClure is also targeting a player who could win massive numbers on Thursday due to a dream clash. This choice could be the difference between winning your tournaments and cash games or coming home with nothing. You can’t see who it is here.

So who is DFS pro Mike McClure putting in his optimal NBA DFS rosters for Thursday? Visit SportsLine now to see the optimal NBA DFS picks, rankings, tips and stacks, all from a professional DFS player with nearly $ 2 million in career earnings, and find out.


Amrita School of Biotechnology, University of Arizona to offer dual degree program in Life Sciences



Amrita School of Biotechnology, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University Of Arizona, will offer a dual degree program in Life Sciences

Image credit: Amrita University

New Delhi:

The School of Biotechnology at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University has partnered with the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of Arizona to offer a dual degree program in Life Sciences.

Students will have the option of receiving two degrees – MSc Biotechnology, Microbiology or Bioinformatics from Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham and MS Cellular and Molecular Medicine from the University of Arizona, Amrita University said.

Students enrolled in this double-degree program will also be able to conduct research in the laboratories of the University of Arizona, he said.

Professor Bipin Nair, Dean of the Faculty of Science at the Amrita School of Biotechnology, said it was a strategic merger of the strengths of the two universities, both in terms of academic fervor and excellence. in research.

“We are honored to have entered into this dual degree partnership with Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University … this opportunity allows us to push the boundaries of our own university by harnessing the expertise of our renowned and internationally recognized faculty. exciting is part of our larger mission to expand access to Arizona health science education in the United States and around the world, ”said Carol C. Gregorio, Head of the Department of Cellular Medicine and molecular from the University of Arizona.

Dr Maneesha Ramesh, Dean of International Programs, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham said the partnership with the University of Arizona is a “strategically important step” to ensure that Amrita University students “receive the best possible education as stepping stone to a bright future.


July: Summer exhibition at the Botanical Garden | News & Features


How do bees visualize and interact with flowers? A summer exhibition of art and science that uses a blend of the most innovative interactive technologies, including augmented reality (AR), inspiration from 17th century Dutch flower paintings and the latest scientific research into the symbiotic relationship of plants and insects, opens at the University of Bristol Botanic Gardens next week [Tuesday 6 July].

“Displays Decoded”: the multisensory language of flowers, will allow visitors to interact with the natural world in a unique way. The original artwork is the work of artist Alex Hirtzel, who collaborated with the University’s behavioral ecologist, Dr. Dave Lawson, and his colleagues at the School of Biological Sciences.

At a time when insect populations continue to decline, recent research by scientists in Bristol, and led by Dr Lawson, has revealed previously unknown ways of attracting pollinators and interacting with plants , which are collectively known as “sensory modalities”.

Through interactive sculptures, ultra-violet prints, and heat-sensitive materials, Alex’s work demonstrates some of the main modalities: fragrance, UV light and color patterns, static attraction, and the cellular structure of the flowers themselves. . His work recreates 17th-century Dutch flower paintings from the Broughton Collection at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge into a series of prints titled “Tipping Point,” with vases overturned to reflect the current global ecological crisis.

Other aspects of her work are more interactive, and visitors to the Garden will have the opportunity to experience for themselves how bees and other pollinators perceive static electricity in flowers or are affected by the scent of a flower. .

Alex Hirtzel, speaking on the exhibit, said: “COVID-19 made me rethink how to present ideas to a wide range of audiences and I chose to use augmented reality (AR) as a medium to express more scientific storytelling and the need for playful interaction. . “

Dr Dave Lawson added, “There are aspects of flower arrangements that are obvious to us as humans, such as scent and vision, but there are many lines of communication used by flowering plants that are hidden from us. It’s so exciting to work alongside Alex Hirtzel. and the Botanical Garden on a project that reveals these hidden facets of flower arrangements to a wider audience. “

Inspired by Dr. Lawson’s research, which focuses on the hidden aspects of flower arrangements and the effects of these elements on foraging pollinators, Alex has created multimedia works that highlight how a bee visualizes and interacts with the flowers.

In these latest series, Alex uses materials that require interaction in order to discover the invisible world of the bee. When working with fluorescent paints the color is very strong and is designed to represent the way a bee sees a flower. An activity that the work needs by the viewer is therefore a metaphor for involvement. Alex wants the viewer to take an active role in ensuring that bees are at the heart of a natural and healthy future.

Nick Wray, Curator of the Botanical Garden, said: “After not having been able to organize any events at the Botanical Garden for over a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are truly delighted to host this exhibition and to d ” welcome visitors again. .

“We worked closely with Alex and Dave, and the exhibit will allow people to experience the complex, multi-layered ways in which pollinators interact with flowers.”

As an art historian, Alex is particularly interested in the 17th century, as it was a time of exploration with new flowers arriving in Holland as a result of trade and scientific discussions to understand how Plant. Nowadays, new techniques and technologies have revealed how flowering plants act as billboards to attract insects so that the flowers can reproduce.

This art and science exhibition will be of interest to those passionate about art, science, history, wildlife, new technologies and all those interested in the natural environment. Visitors will also have the opportunity to enjoy a workshop with Alex and tours of the garden with behavioral ecologist Dr Lawson.

The exhibition was funded by the University of Bristol and Lottery Funding via Arts Council England.

“Displays Decoded”: the multisensory language of flowers at Bristol University Botanical Garden, The Holmes, Stoke Park Road, Stoke Bishop, Bristol BS9 1JG, will be open to the public from Tuesday July 6 to Thursday September 30, 2021 from 10 a.m. to 4.30 p.m., seven days a week, including including public holidays.

Admission: Adults: £ 5, (£ 7 with open greenhouses) Free for children under 18, Friends of the Garden, University staff and all students. Tickets must be booked in advance via the University online store.

More information

Arrival at the Botanical Garden
Parking is available on Stoke Park Road and around the Downs (five hours of free parking). For Blue Badge holders and people with reduced mobility, parking is available in the enclosed garden car park. For more details on public transport, visit www.bristol.ac.uk/botanic-garden/visit/find-us/

About Dr Dave Lawson, University of Bristol Behavioral Ecologist
Dr Lawson is a behavioral ecologist interested in animal behavior and plant-pollinator interactions. He works primarily with bumblebees using behavioral laboratory experiments, and his research examines why flowers produce such complex multi-sensor displays and the effects of rain on flowering plants and their pollinators.

About the University of Bristol Botanical Garden
The botanical garden has a strong evolutionary theme and cultivates over 5,000 plant species forming four core collections that illustrate the evolution of plants, plants of Mediterranean climates, useful plants (including Chinese and Western herb gardens) and rare and endangered native plants of the Bristol area.

Top attractions include an incredible coomb demonstrating the evolution of land plants, including favorite plants of dinosaurs: ginkgo trees, cycads, tree ferns, monkey puzzles and the Wollemi pine. Other delicacies include greenhouses, which house giant Amazonian water lilies, tropical fruits and medicinal plants, orchids, cacti, and a unique collection of sacred lotuses.

The contemporary design of the Botanical Garden, its strong emphasis on education and the interpretation of science make it a unique location for the Impossible Garden exhibition.

The Botanical Garden is wheelchair accessible and the brochure will be available in audio and braille.


Is sovereign immunity off the gas in the case of pipeline conviction?


The Supreme Court outfit 5-4 in PennEast Pipeline Co. v. New Jersey this sovereign immunity does not protect New Jersey from conviction proceedings by a private company in federal court to obtain pipeline properties. Chief Justice John Roberts drafted the majority opinion, joined by Justices Stephen Breyer, Samuel Alito, Sonia Sotomayor and Brett Kavanaugh. Justice Amy Coney Barrett dissented and was joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Elena Kagan and Neil Gorsuch. Gorsuch also separately wrote a dissent joined by Thomas.


The dispute arose when PennEast obtained, under the Natural Gas Act, a certificate of public utility from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to build a 116-mile pipeline from northeastern Pennsylvania to western New Jersey. . To facilitate pipeline projects, the NGA delegates prominent federal authority to private parties who have certificates of public utility issued by the FERC.

Shortly after receiving its certificate, PennEast initiated sentencing proceedings in federal district court against the properties along the pipeline route in which New Jersey held an interest. New Jersey, which opposes the pipeline, said it was immune from 11th Amendment lawsuits. The court rejected the sovereign immunity defense. New Jersey appealed and the United States Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit reversed. He found that while Congress could delegate federal power in the eminent domain to a private party, lifting a state’s 11th Amendment sovereign immunity was a distinctly different matter. To repeal sovereign state immunity, the 3rd Circuit determined that Congress was required to do so clearly in the text of the law, which the court found lacking in the NGA.

PennEast requested a review by the Supreme Court, which was granted. The tribunal also asked the United States to intervene on the issues presented. The pleadings took place in April.

The majority opinion

Writing for the majority, Roberts framed the framed question as “can the federal government constitutionally confer on pipeline companies the power to condemn necessary right-of-ways in which a state has an interest”, noting that “”[s]since founding, the United States has used its eminent domain authority to build a variety of infrastructure projects. Summarizing the NGA, he pointed out that, as originally enacted, the law did not provide certificate holders with any mechanism to obtain properties if owners objected, leaving certificate holders only “Illusory right to build”. Eventually, however, Congress amended the NGA to delegate federal eminent domain power to certificate holders.

The first question Roberts addressed was whether the 3rd Circuit had jurisdiction over the New Jersey appeal. The United States argued that jurisdiction was lacking because the NGA confers exclusive jurisdiction on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to “affirm, vary or set aside” orders issued by the District of Columbia. FERC. Roberts quickly resolved this issue by concluding that in the 3rd Circuit proceeding New Jersey did not seek to vary or reverse the FERC order clearing the PennEast pipeline. Therefore, the exclusive jurisdiction provision of the NGA was not triggered.

Next, Roberts considered the merits of whether sovereign immunity was an available defense for New Jersey to resist PennEast’s sentencing process. Beginning with a discussion of the scope of federal eminent domain power, Roberts noted that “[s]ince its foundation, the federal government has exercised its eminent domain authority both through its own agents and private delegates. Although initially limited to “areas subject to exclusive federal jurisdiction”, the federal power of eminent domain evolved and, by the end of the 19th century, the Supreme Court confirmed that it “also extended to properties located within within the borders of the State “. Moreover, the states had no control over the extent or manner in which the eminent federal domain was exercised.

Roberts then questioned whether the federal government could delegate its eminent domain authority to private parties. Here he first pointed out that there is a long history of delegation, noting that it “was common before and after the founding of settlements, and then of states, to allow private condemnation of land for various public purposes.” . Roberts went on to conclude that, by its express terms, the NGA allows private certificate holders to initiate sentencing proceedings against private parties, as well as states.

He then went to the crux of New Jersey’s argument, which is that, without state consent, the 11th Amendment banned the pursuit of PennEast. Here, Roberts first acknowledged that there are only a few circumstances in which a state can be sued. First, a state can be sued if it consents to it. Second, a state can be sued if Congress repealed its sovereign immunity to enforce the 14th Amendment. Finally, a state can be sued if it “has agreed to act within the ‘plan of the Convention’”, which is “a shorthand for“ the structure of the original Constitution itself ”” and “includes certain waivers of sovereign immunity to which all States have implicitly consented at the founding.

The majority then attacked Seminole Tribe of Florida c. Florida, which strengthened sovereign state immunity by restricting federal judicial power over states and recognized that “Article I cannot be used to circumvent constitutional limitations on federal jurisdiction.” Otherwise, “the inherent state immunity from prosecution would be ‘gutted’ if Congress were allowed to revoke state immunity under its Article I powers. Roberts then avoided the application of Seminole Tribe of Florida by asserting that “repeal by Congress is not the only way to subject states to prosecution. … States can also be prosecuted if they have consented to prosecute under the Convention. Therefore, Roberts determined that “the states have consented in the Convention plan to the exercise of eminent federal power, including sentencing proceedings brought by private delegatees.”

New Jersey’s final argument was that the NGA lacked the clarity required to authorize sentencing proceedings by federal delegates. Roberts quickly shook off this claim when he found that New Jersey “misinterpreted the issue in this case as if Congress could delegate its ability to sue states.” According to Roberts, the appropriate question in court was “rather whether Congress could delegate the federal power of eminent domain to private parties”. As such, there was simply no requirement that Congress should speak with “unchallengeable clarity” when empowering a private party to exercise eminent federal power in the area.

Barrett’s dissent

In his dissent, Barrett challenged the majority’s overall analytical framework and the assertion that states waived their sovereign immunity under the Convention scheme. According to Barrett, while the majority “present the inquiry as an inquiry into the extent of ’eminent federal power’, this is the wrong way to approach the problem.” On the contrary, in the absence of a prominent autonomous domain power in the Constitution, “[a]Any takeover provided for by Congress is therefore the exercise of another constitutional power – in the case of the natural gas law, the commerce clause – augmented by the necessary and appropriate clause. “

Barrett argued, therefore, that the proper analysis begins with the trade clause. According to his approach, Congress enacted the NGA based on its power to regulate interstate commerce, and “we have repeatedly argued that the commerce clause does not deprive states of their sovereign immunity.” In addition, in Seminole Tribe of Florida, the court recognized that Congress cannot repeal sovereign state immunity and allow private prosecutions against unwilling states. As a result, she concluded that “Congress cannot allow a private party like PennEast to bring a condemnation action against a non-consenting state like New Jersey.”

Gorsuch’s dissent

Gorsuch, while fully joining Barrett’s dissent, wrote a very curious separate dissent, where he noted that states enjoy two distinct types of federal immunity from prosecution. The first type of immunity he called “structural immunity”, which is based on the structure of the Constitution. This first type of immunity “is a constitutional right of a sovereign state”. It applies “to both federal and state courts”, and it applies “whether the claimant is a citizen of the same state, a citizen of another state, or a no-Citizen. “Structural immunity, Gorsuch wrote,” seems to be a personal matter, “so it can be waived.

The other type of sovereign immunity derives from the text of the 11th Amendment. According to Gorsuch, it “provides a foolproof rule for a particular category of diversity suits,” and the “text means what it says. It eliminates federal judicial power over a set of cases: lawsuits brought against states, in law or in equity, by various plaintiffs. He concluded by noting that neither the majority opinion nor the parties expressly address this issue. In a footnote, he noted that “[w]What the Court says, in an uncontrollable rumination on the waiver of the “Eleventh Amendment”, relates to of construction immunity ”and not 11th Amendment immunity, which he said should bar the prosecution of PennEast.

Gorsuch further noted that not all cases cited by the majority “fall within the text of the Eleventh Amendment”. He concluded his dissent by stating that while the majority and the parties may not have explicitly considered the immunity granted by the 11th Amendment, “[t]However, lower courts have an obligation to consider this issue in pre-trial detention before proceeding to the merits.

It remains to be seen whether Gorsuch’s dissent results in yet another opportunity for New Jersey to delay PennEast’s lawsuits. Moreover, the fight for the pipeline is not quite over yet as New Jersey previously filed a separate challenge in the DC Circuit, which has been put on hold pending the Supreme Court ruling.

Fast and efficient – Airport World



Improved wireless networks are essential to enable the digitization of airports and to take performance and safety to the next level, writes Richard van Wijk, head of global aviation practice at Nokia.

Given its dependence on the movement of people, it’s no wonder the aviation industry has been among the hardest hit by the pandemic. Countries locked, planes immobilized and airports emptied.

Upon returning from flights, airports have imposed strict restrictions to ensure the safety of passengers and staff. They focused on health checks, maintaining social distancing, and the use of face masks. All of this meant deploying more staff when numbers needed to be kept to a minimum.

Some airports have implemented thermal detection and remote monitoring to mitigate the risk. But as the pandemic progressed, borders opened and closed in the blink of an eye and governments enforced new regulations almost daily, forcing airports to respond increasingly quickly.

Airport 4.0 and economic recovery

Clearly, to quickly comply with changing requirements, airports needed a flexible and robust digital infrastructure. By becoming digital hubs – and embarking on the transformation to Airport 4.0 – they could harness the capabilities of connected sensors to benefit from widespread automation at the terminal and airside.

By enabling them to digitize processes and reduce paper and pencil activity, they could reduce costs and achieve operational efficiencies and strategic goals.

To facilitate this, airports need to move away from fixed cable networks to take advantage of greater flexibility in asset placement and allow airside wireless services. The reason? Those who depend only on fixed networks cannot react quickly enough. Imagine the time (and cost) of connecting new sensors at an airport using Ethernet cables.

It also requires moving away from shared public cellular and Wi-Fi networks. These are susceptible to airside interference, as well as congestion during peak traffic. They simply do not provide the reliability and connectivity required by new digital applications.

Airport 4.0 is based on the implementation of an industrial-grade private wireless network. By adopting their own private wireless network, airports can quickly and “wirelessly” connect applications, sensors, remote buildings and other assets in a secure manner.

During the pandemic, Brussels Airport, for example, quickly implemented changes by leveraging a resilient private wireless network. It introduced capabilities to show how its compliance with distancing regulations and quickly set up a rapid on-site COVID testing facility.

Learn to fly through the pandemic and beyond

As they work to keep passengers on the move, some airports and airlines are investigating digital travel passes using a combination of COVID testing, vaccination certificates, and electronic tickets on passengers’ mobile devices, to get closer to contactless travel and boost passenger confidence.

Beyond COVID, a strong private LTE or 5G network will give airports greater control to take advantage of new revenue opportunities, such as using their network to sell connectivity services to stakeholders. This will allow them to “cut the wire” with fixed networks and introduce applications that will further digitize their operations.

Airport stakeholders will benefit from unprecedented connectivity and real-time operational and situational awareness to improve response times and streamline airside operations such as maintenance and refueling as well as operations baggage handling.

Once again, Brussels Airport has shown how private wireless can facilitate new digital capabilities. Recent trials have used drones remotely controlled via 5G for security and surveillance activities, providing high-definition images and mapping wildlife around the runways. A drone detection system has also been deployed to test for unauthorized activity.

While there is no doubt that COVID has created challenges for the aviation industry, Airport 4.0 can offer airports a flight path to recovery and effectively reduce operational costs.

As we emerge from the pandemic, the introduction of flexible and resilient private wireless networks will allow airports to automate their operations and benefit from new security capabilities and air travel, as we once knew, is making a comeback.


COVID-19 brings lasting changes to blood cells, which could explain a lot



Why does the long COVID last so long, leaving long haulers with symptoms that persist for months after the initial infection?

New evidence suggests that the lasting imprint of COVID-19 could be due to the virus changing people’s blood dramatically – leading to lasting changes in blood cells that are still evident months after infection is diagnosed.

“We were able to detect clear and lasting changes in cells – both during acute infection and even after,” says biophysicist Jochen Guck of the Max Planck Institute for Light Science in Germany.

In a new study, Guck and other researchers analyzed the blood of patients using an in-house developed system called real-time strain cytometry (RT-DC), capable of quickly analyzing hundreds of blood cells per second, to detect if they are exhibiting abnormal changes in their size and structure.

The technology is relatively new, but it could do a lot to explore what remains a major unknown in COVID-19 science: how the coronavirus can impact blood at the cellular level.

“Although the pathology is not yet fully understood, the hyper-inflammatory response and coagulation disorders leading to congestion of microvessels are considered to be the main factors in the ever-increasing number of deaths,” write the researchers, led by the first author Markéta Kubánková, in their article. .

“So far, physical changes in blood cells have not been considered to play a role in COVID-19-related vascular occlusion and organ damage.”

In the study, researchers analyzed the blood of 55 people: 17 patients with severe COVID-19 (half of whom sadly died later), 14 recovered patients, and 24 healthy volunteers who showed no signs of having had the disease.

In total, more than 4 million blood cells taken from these people were passed through the RT-DC system, analyzed under a microscope as they passed through a narrow channel in the device.

The results showed that red blood cells (erythrocytes) in COVID-19 patients varied more in size than those in healthy people and showed signs of stiffness in their physical structure, exhibiting less deformability, which could affect their ability. to deliver oxygen throughout the body.

“The physical properties of erythrocytes are crucial for microcirculatory flow and, as such, these changes could impair circulation and promote hypoxemia,” the researchers explain.

“The effect may persist in COVID-19 patients long after the infection is no longer active; we found that in recovered patients, the alterations in phenotype were not as significant, but still present.”

In contrast, the researchers found that a form of white blood cells (leukocytes) called lymphocytes exhibited reduced stiffness in COVID-19 patients, while other white blood cells, called monocytes, were significantly larger than in blood cells. a group of witnesses.

Meanwhile, neutrophils – another type of white blood cell – have shown many changes in COVID-19 patients, seen in higher volume, with greater strain.

Interestingly, neutrophils have a particularly short lifespan (only around a day), but changes in neutrophils in COVID-19 patients could still be seen months after infection, a result Kubánková describes as “totally unexpected” – and even more evidence of COVID-19 infection likely leaving a lasting influence on the immune system.

“While some of these changes returned to normal values ​​after hospitalization, others persisted for months after discharge from hospital, testifying to the long-term imprint of COVID-19 on the body.” , write the researchers.

“We hypothesize that the observed changes could occur due to alterations in the cytoskeleton of immune cells. The mechanical properties of cells may be directly related to the cytoskeleton, an important supporting structure that also determines cell function.”

It remains to be seen how these changes in blood cells can ultimately be triggered by a viral infection, and it is not yet completely clear how the alterations in the cells lead to symptoms of COVID-19, and sometimes to death.

For now, this is just further proof of how deeply this virus invades our bodies – and why it sometimes doesn’t let people go.

“The persistent alterations in erythrocytes and neutrophils could be linked to long-term symptoms of the cured patients, of whom 70 percent described chronic headaches or neurological symptoms, 54 percent had impaired concentration and 62 percent circulatory problems like cold sweats and tachycardia, ”the authors explain. write.

“We hypothesize that persistent changes in the physical phenotypes of blood cells may contribute to the long-term impaired circulation and oxygen supply associated with COVID-19.”

The results are reported in Biophysical Journal.


Reviews | Increased qualified immunity is a danger to society


Throughout history, qualified immunity has been used as a means of excusing police brutality. We must dismantle this law, not enforce it.

Qualified immunity has a long history of perpetuating racism within the justice system, and now the Iowa government is adding fuel to the problem.

Governor Kim Reynolds enacted the “Back the Blue” bill on June 17th. The law project increases the penalties for protests, it also increases the qualified immunity of the police.

While Reynolds and supporters of this bill see it as necessary protection, it is just another detrimental way for the Iowa government to defend racism within the justice system.

Qualified immunity has a tumultuous history in our country, rooted in racism. The concept and the language that surrounds it qualified immunity emerged during the civil rights movement.

As a result of racism within the transit system, 15 priests were arrested while demonstrating in Jackson, Mississippi. The priests took legal action because they believed their arrests were aimed at enforcing segregation instead of officers’ arguments that it was about preventing violence /

In his ruling, Chief Justice Earl Warren coined the language we use today, saying the police have no right to “Absolute immunity without reservation” – which means that there would be complete immunity from criminal charges. However, officers are not held accountable if they acted in “good faith”, meaning that judges today must grant immunity if there is no clear precedent that the actions of the officer were irrelevant.

This bill is even more troubling when you consider the increased force used by the Iowa police. With ongoing civil rights initiatives and increased cases of police brutality, there has been an increase in the number of suspects fleeing from the police, as well as a significant increase in the numbers.

Iowa state patrol officers and officers reportedly unsheathed weapons 296 times in 2020, an increase of 83% compared to the previous year.

Along with the increase in law enforcement unrest, black people in Iowa are disproportionately implicated in these incidents. While making up only 4.1% of the population, blacks in Iowa constitute 30 percent of those involved in cases of increased force.

An example of qualified immunity can be seen in the 2017 case of Jerome Harrell. Harrell had surrendered to the police after having a traffic offense, and had been left alone in his cell. He was banging his head and screaming in distress all night until morning.

When officers came in the morning to hold him for a medical evaluation, Harrell resisted. The officers then stacked him twice and pinned him to the ground. By the time they were done with him, he was dead. The autopsy would have revealed that it was only an abnormal accident. However, a photographer noted that there was a large pool of blood in his cell.

The officers were not charged due to qualified immunity, saying the use of force was justified. It is cases like these that remind us of the dangers of justifying the deaths of people at the hands of law enforcement.

Had Harrell received proper care earlier and in his handling during restraint, his death could have been avoided. Law enforcement and lawmakers should be in more of a hurry to avoid these situations than to protect the police involved from the repercussions.

Often when conversations arise about police brutality, the argument is not whether the actions of the police were harmful. It is about whether the injured lives matter enough for there to be repercussions.

Time and time again, the justice system devalues ​​the lives of black and brown people while protecting the perpetrators of this brutality. While qualified immunity is only a small part of the police problem in America, we should be striving to dismantle it, not enforce it.

Columns reflect the views of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.

Between astrophysicists clashing on a galaxy “deficient in dark matter” • The Register



Never mind the memory errors due to radiation. Another deteriorating part of the decades-old Hubble Space Telescope has found itself in a tight spot. This time, his camera unit is again in the middle of a clash between scientists over whether the galaxy NGC 1052-DF2 contains dark matter or not.

When DF2 was written in a Nature article in 2018, the study immediately raised eyebrows. The article concluded that the galaxy was devoid of dark matter. How could this be possible?

The mysterious substance is believed to be present in all galaxies, holding together twinkling stars, swirls of dust and gas, and more, giving galaxies structure and shape. Dark matter is a crucial element in our theories of galactic formation, and finding a galaxy without this hidden substance, or a very small amount of it, breaks all the rules. DF2 was presented as a major eccentric.

About a year after the Nature article appeared, researchers led by the Spanish Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) rejected the findings, arguing in the Royal Astronomical Society’s monthly notices that the previous study was was mistaken on the distance with DF2. The galaxy is actually 42 million light years away, not 65 million as stated in the Nature article, the IAC boffins said. And when you plug that closer distance into the formulas for calculating its mass, it turns out that a lot of DF2 is made up of dark matter, and there certainly isn’t a shortage of it. In fact, DF2 would look like any normal galaxy harboring dark matter.


Unresponsive to this conclusion, the authors of the Nature article – led by astrophysicists at Yale University – now believe that DF2 is even further away than previously thought. In a new article, published this month in The Astrophysical Journal, the team placed their dark matter-deficient DF2 72 million light-years away.

“There is a saying that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and the new distance measure strongly supports our previous conclusion that DF2 lacks dark matter,” said Zili Shen, a graduate student at Yale and first author of the latter. article.

This can be wishful thinking. Ignacio Trujillo, IAC researcher based in Tenerife, is not backing down. “I think their analysis is far from convincing,” he said. The register. “I think it’s really poor.”

By the way, just to give you an idea of ​​how intense this debate is from a distance, days after the IAC said in 2019 that DF2 was 42 million light years away, team members from Yale published another article finding a nearby galaxy, NGC 1052-DF4, was also short of dark matter and at about the same distance as DF2.

Telescope damage

Where does Hubble fit into all of this? Well, the Yale team used the Space Telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) to calculate the distance from our corner of the Milky Way to DF2. This is done using the red giant branch tip technique, which involves using the brightness of the stars to determine how far away they are.

The ACS was installed in 2002, and repaired in 2006 following an electronic failure. At the time, the ACS was equipped with an instrument called Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3). It was the instrument that was briefly out of service in January 2019 after voltage levels were erroneously measured, requiring a reset of the telemetry circuit.

The WFC3’s UVIS detector has suffered radiation damage due to its orbit, reducing its charge transfer efficiency, which scientists must take into account and correct, especially when studying distant and weak galaxies. Trujillo suspects that this degradation of the image sensor coupled with the weakness of DF2 played a role in the Yale team’s erroneous calculation of the distance of tens of millions of light years.

“They overlooked many important issues related to weak source analysis,” he said. “This is the key to a camera that is already as damaged as the Advanced Camera for Investigations (ACS) on board the Hubble Space Telescope. In a reanalysis of the galaxy that we are currently conducting, we find that the galaxy is close. contrary to what they claim. ”

For what it’s worth, in their 2019 article, the IAC team said they calculated the distance of 42 million light years (13 million parsecs) after weighing six sets of data from various telescopes. and sky surveys, although it relied mainly on images. from Hubble. He claimed that “up to five independent redshift distance measurements converge at a distance of 13 Mpc for the galaxy,” and believes his approach is more accurate than the Yale team’s estimate.

This dispute over the dark matter content of DF2, based on the Hubble imagery, comes at a turning point for the Space Telescope, which has been in operation for just over 30 years: it continues to suffer from memory errors, the preventing scientific work from being carried out, despite NASA’s continued efforts to repair the instrument. Earlier this year, a questionable software update temporarily put it in safe mode.

Everything in the details

Shen not only defended the telescope, she said the Yale team used longer exposure times for their last article to measure the brightness of red giant stars and therefore the distance from DF2. “Hubble is used for incredibly precise measurements, including the rate of expansion of the universe, and its instruments are perfectly calibrated,” she told us. “Also, with these long exposures, the red giant stars are easily detected. The red giant stars are what matters to our distance measurement. This is a measurement at which Hubble is very good.”

Hubble is used for incredibly precise measurements, including the rate of expansion of the universe, and its instruments are perfectly calibrated

“What is happening is that the other team used our previous data from the same ACS camera to draw conclusions which have now been found to be incorrect with our new 20 times longer exposures,” she added. .

Regarding the corrections needed for the deteriorated charge transfer efficiency, “this shouldn’t be a problem,” Shen said. “Radiation causes slow and well understood degradation of detectors over the years. It is well characterized, and it is corrected in the analysis. We have a step called charge transfer efficiency (CTE) correction, and when performing photometry there is a time dependent zero point. These are standard data analysis steps that we have followed.

Yale astronomy professor Pieter van Dokkum, who co-authored the university papers on DF2, also told us that the degradation of CTE is explained, adding that the long-exposure images cement the conclusion of a distant galaxy with low dark matter content. “This is a case where the team from Tenerife had an interesting hypothesis, that the galaxy was much closer to us than we thought, but the new data definitely rules out it,” said he declared. The register.

Mireia Montes, an astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Maryland, who works with Trujillo to refute the suggestion of a galaxy without dark matter, agreed that longer exposures should, in theory, work better. However, she said the latest Yale article is confusing and appears to ignore the brightness of some of the red giants, an omission that may have skewed the final numbers.

“The analysis they did is not very clear to me,” Montes told us. “They remove a lot of stars, which is essential for the method they use, without clearly explaining why they are doing it. Another factor is the aging of the telescope. Hubble has been in orbit for 31 years and this camera has been in there. space since 2002.

“Since the stars in this galaxy are so faint in the images, we would expect some effect on the measurements.”

Shen, meanwhile, doesn’t think there has been a significant change in the state of Hubble’s camera. “We haven’t seen any official announcements regarding the damage to the camera from the Hubble team. I would be happy to see any documentation on this damage,” she said. El Reg.

Montes and his team, which includes IAC’s Trujillo, said their follow-up article on DF2 had been accepted for publication; a pre-printed version is here. She thinks the galaxy is more normal than people think, because not only is it tied to dark matter, but it also has a disk and structure, as one would expect.

Let science continue. ®


Agios submits a marketing authorization request to



CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 28, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Agios Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AGIO), a leader in cellular metabolism developing and providing innovative treatments for genetically defined diseases, today announced it has submitted a Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) for mitapivat to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for the treatment of adults with pyruvate kinase (PK) deficiency in the European Union. This submission follows the company’s recent New Drug Application (NDA) submission of mitapivat to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of adults with PK deficiency in the United States.

“With our two cases, NDA and MAA, we are poised to provide the first potentially disease-modifying treatment for people with PK deficiency, lifelong chronic hemolytic anemia characterized by severe complications affecting multiple organs,” said said Chris Bowden, MD, chief medical officer. officer in Agios. “There is no approved treatment for PK deficiency, and current management strategies for blood transfusions and splenectomy are associated with short- and long-term risks, including iron overload, blood clots, and increased risk of infections. PK deficiency can lead to chronic fatigue, hemolytic crisis, gallstones, splenomegaly, cirrhosis of the liver, pulmonary hypertension and osteoporosis, and the burden of disease can adversely affect the ability of patients. patients navigate work and other daily activities, as well as their mental health. We look forward to working with the FDA and EMA to provide a potential new treatment option for this community that could help address the significant unmet needs of patients with PK deficiency.

Like the NDA, the submission of the MAA is based on the results of two pivotal studies, ACTIVATE and ACTIVATE-T, carried out respectively in non-transfused and regularly transfused adults with PK deficiency. A comprehensive analysis of this data – including Patient Reported Outcomes (PRO) – was recently presented at the European Hematology Association (EHA) Virtual Congress. An extension study for adults with PK deficiency previously enrolled in ACTIVATE or ACTIVATE-T is ongoing and designed to assess the long-term safety, tolerability and efficacy of mitapivat treatment.

The use of Mitapivat is not approved by any regulatory authority.

About PK Deficiency
Pyruvate kinase (PK) deficiency is a rare inherited disease that presents as chronic hemolytic anemia, which is the accelerated destruction of red blood cells. Hereditary mutations in PKR genes cause an energy deficit in red blood cells, as evidenced by lower enzymatic activity of PK, lower levels of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and an accumulation of upstream metabolites, including 2, 3-DPG (2,3-diphosphoglycerate).

PK deficiency is associated with serious complications including gallstones, pulmonary hypertension, extramedullary hematopoiesis, osteoporosis and iron overload and its sequelae, which can occur regardless of the degree of anemia or transfusion load. . A PK deficiency can also cause quality of life issues, including issues with work and school activities, social life, and emotional health. Current management strategies for PK deficiency, including red blood cell transfusions and splenectomy, are associated with short and long term risks. There is currently no approved treatment for PK deficiency. For more information, please visit www.knowpkdeficiency.com.

Agios, in partnership with PerkinElmer Genomics, launched the Anemia ID program to offer free genetic testing to eligible patients in the United States with suspected hereditary anemia, including PK deficiency. The program was created in response to feedback from patients, advocates and physicians on the need for improved diagnostics to inform disease management decisions. To learn more, please visit www.AnemiaID.com.

About Agios
Agios is focused on the discovery and development of new experimental drugs to treat genetically defined diseases through scientific leadership in the field of cell metabolism. The company’s most advanced drug candidate is a first-class pyruvate kinase R (PKR) activator, mitapivat, currently under evaluation for the treatment of three distinct hemolytic anemias. In addition to its active late-stage clinical pipeline, Agios has several new experimental therapies in clinical and preclinical development. For more information, please visit the company’s website at www.agios.com.

Caution regarding forward-looking statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include those regarding the potential benefits of Agios’ products and product candidates; Agios’ plans for future regulatory submissions; and the potential benefits of Agios’ strategic plans and direction. The words “anticipate”, “” ” ” ” expect, ‘intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Such statements are subject to many important factors, risks and uncertainties which may cause actual events or results to differ materially from Agios’ current expectations and beliefs. Management’s expectations and, accordingly, all forward-looking statements contained in this press release could also be affected by risks and uncertainties relating to a number of other important factors, including, without limitation, risks and uncertainties related to: the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Agios’ planned activities, operations, strategy, objectives and milestones, including its ongoing and planned research activities, its ability to conduct clinical trials in current and planned, clinical supply of current or future drug candidates, commercial supply of future approved products and the launch, market and sale of future approved products; the results of clinical trials and preclinical studies of Agios, including subsequent analysis of existing data and new data received from ongoing and future studies; the content and timing of decisions made by the US FDA, EMA or other regulatory authorities, clinical trial site investigation review boards, and publication review bodies; Agios’ ability to obtain and maintain required regulatory approvals and enroll patients in its planned clinical trials; unforeseen cash flow needs and expenses and competitive factors; Agios’ ability to obtain, maintain and enforce patents and other intellectual property protections for all product candidates it develops; Agios’ ability to establish and maintain collaborations; and general economic and market conditions. These and other risks are further described under the heading “Risk Factors” included in Agios’ public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, including the risks and uncertainties set forth under the heading “Risk Factors”. risk in our documents filed with the SEC. . Although the list of factors presented here is considered representative, this list should not be taken as a complete statement of all potential risks and uncertainties. All forward-looking statements contained in this communication are made only as of the date hereof, and we assume no obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect developments or information obtained after the date hereof and disclaim any obligation. to do so other than what may be required by law.


Steve klass
[email protected]

Josie butler
[email protected]


United Arab Emirates: Now boost your immunity with an ice bath in the hot desert – News


The temperature difference increases the immune system, according to an expert.

As the morning sun bakes the orange dunes of the UAE desert, a man sinks into a tub of tingling ice – a new way to take a break from the summer heat.

Resisting such extreme discomfort is an attempt to build up the body’s immunity and connect with inner strength.

“The temperature difference increases your immune system,” said Benoit Demeulemeester from Switzerland, who runs the ice bath and breathing sessions in the United Arab Emirates.

“You stress your system for a short time, which makes you stronger. “

Emirati participant Marwan Abdelaziz, sitting in the orange ice pool in swim shorts and sunglasses, said: “The start is a bit scary. You want to get out, you can’t control your breathing. But now I’m fine, everything is fine.

Abdelaziz entered the bath with a grimace, but held his breath calmly as directed by Demeulemeester, who trains participants on breathing techniques.

“I am a hot and cold enthusiast … I like to take people out of their comfort zone and give them a body and soul experience, (to) reconnect with nature,” said Demeulemeester.

Cold water immersion and breathing techniques were made popular by Wim Hof, a Dutch cold water enthusiast who holds several world records for exposure to cold.

Hof developed his own methodology, with similarities to ancient Tibetan Buddhist breathing techniques, including breathing, cold exposure, and engagement.

Old, young, athletic or non-athletic, the techniques are good for everyone, said Demeulemeester, a former banker and now an executive coach who uses Hof’s methods in his practice.

Looking at the rocky outcrops of the desert, participant Reza Tirgari from California agreed that the start was the hardest part, but then the benefits came.

“You realize that your mind is more powerful than your body and that your mind controls your body. You have to make your body obey your mind – that’s the secret, ”Tirgari said. – Reuters

Azerbaijani President highlights depth of UAE-Azerbaijan relations – News



Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, recently received Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy of the United Arab Emirates, and the accompanying delegation to Baku, where the two sides discussed bilateral relations between the two countries.

The visit of the UAE delegation to Azerbaijan aimed to finalize new joint action plans in the next phase to increase trade and investment flows between the two countries, thereby strengthening economic partnerships. strategic. During the visit, talks were held between Bin Touk and Ali Asadov, Prime Minister of Azerbaijan; Mikael Jabarov, Azerbaijani Minister of Economy; Rashad Nabiyev, Azerbaijani Minister of Transport, Communications and Advanced Technologies; and representatives of the Azerbaijani business sector.

President Aliyev expressed his satisfaction with the current state of relations between the two countries and his desire to strengthen ties of economic cooperation with the United Arab Emirates. He called for the deepening of strategic partnerships over the next 10 years through the creation of new investment opportunities by focusing on several vital sectors such as infrastructure, investments in renewable energy logistics transport and tourism. .

During the meeting, Bin Touq said: “Azerbaijan is a friendly country, a major economic partner of the UAE in the region and a popular destination for UAE citizens to travel, sightsee, study. and engage in business activities and investment.The United Arab Emirates government wishes to continue working closely with our Azerbaijani partners to develop cooperation in various sectors which offer promising opportunities for the future.

In another meeting, Bin Touk discussed ways to develop UAE-Azerbaijan relations with Ali Asadov, and explored the prospects of supporting and developing them through the optimal use of promising potentials and opportunities available to both parties, in the framework of fruitful cooperation. in various fields, in particular new and emerging sectors.

Asadov said: “We see promising opportunities to strengthen the partnership with the UAE at government and private levels, making the best use of the promising potentials and opportunities available on both sides. fruitful cooperation in various vital areas. of common interest, in particular the fourth industrial revolution and artificial intelligence, e-commerce and food safety. We will work to raise the effective partnerships between the two countries to a new level of excellence to serve the development aspirations of both countries. ”

In turn, Bin Touq said, “Relations between UAE and Azerbaijan are making rapid progress in various fields, especially on the economic and trade front. This provides a solid basis for strengthening joint action between the UAE and Azerbaijani governments to further increase levels of cooperation and economic integration.

During Bin Touq’s meeting with Mikhail Jabarov, the two sides agreed to adopt joint practical measures to facilitate and increase the movement of trade, create new investment opportunities for the private sector in the two countries. In addition, companies will be encouraged to explore new horizons of partnership and take advantage of promising opportunities in their respective markets.

Jabarov appreciated Bin Touq’s response to the invitation to visit Azerbaijan to establish future plans to increase investment between the two friendly countries. He highlighted the importance of Azerbaijan’s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai and the success of its related activities so far.

The total volume of non-oil trade between UAE and Azerbaijan in the first nine months of 2020 amounted to over 1.2 billion dirhams. The UAE is Azerbaijan’s largest trading partner in the Gulf Cooperation Council, as it accounts for 76 percent of Azerbaijan’s trade with GCC countries. The two countries also have active relations in the field of tourism, with the United Arab Emirates ranking sixth in the world in terms of the number of tourists who have visited Azerbaijan, according to 2019 data, which numbered over 70,000 tourists.

In the field of investments, the value of Emirati investments in Azerbaijan in 2019 amounted to $ 2.2 billion through projects in the sectors of energy, transport, metallurgical industries, technological solutions, food industry, logistics and others. Meanwhile, Azerbaijan has invested more than $ 350 million in UAE markets across several sectors, including real estate, wholesale and retail, and scientific and technical activities.

[email protected]



Plans progress for a new research building at the Whitney Laboratory



The location of the Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience is perfect for studying local biodiversity and advancing biomedical research. Unfortunately, space is limited – if you stopped for a tour and walked through the various labs, you would see aquariums full of zebrafish, tucked away in cupboards; or glass bowls of sea anemones or worms stacked on laboratory benches; or banks of dissecting microscopes hugging the walls.

After the difficulties of 2020 – with a global pandemic and the resulting safety protocols and laboratory resource limitations – 2021 looks bright for Whitney Laboratory.

With plans to begin construction of a new, state-of-the-art facility, the lab is poised to double its research space and expand capacity for the benefit of both the scientific community and those who care about it. live (and visit) Flagler County.

Plans for the 25,000 square foot building were presented in 2002, while fundraising for the project began in 2013.

Since then, lab administrators have raised nearly half of the $ 28.5 million required for the new facility.

On the morning of June 2, Governor DeSantis approved $ 16.5 million in this year’s state budget to be allocated to the construction of the new research building on the Whitney campus.

“We’ve waited a long time to get a new building, and we can’t wait to fill it with more of the best and brightest scientists in the country!

– MARK MARTINDALE, Director, UF Whitney Lab

“This is the only capital construction money coming across the entire UF campus this year,” said director Mark Martindale. “We have reached our goal, including almost $ 10 million in private donations, and planning for the building will continue in earnest.”

Martindale and Jessica Long, senior director of advancement at the Whitney Laboratory, recently met with the UF campus planning and construction teams on Zoom.

The meeting brought together over 80 different people representing design and construction companies. Directors of UF and Whitney Laboratory will begin interviewing companies and have narrowed the list to three potential candidates by the middle of this month.

Construction of the new building is expected to begin in winter 2023.

Those who have passed the Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience on the A1A may be surprised to learn what is going on behind the “bunker walls” of the main research building.

Current installations are a snapshot of the ’70s – chunky and durable enough to withstand a hurricane, but not really a billboard for aesthetics.

“Our existing building is dilapidated with small rooms, poor lighting and insufficient air circulation,” Martindale explained, stressing the need for an updated building.

The concrete walls may show some rocks from old age, but the work done inside these walls pushes the boundaries of scientific conservation and discovery.

The current Whitney Hall building. Photo by Brent Foster

On the shores of Matanzas Inlet, researchers at the Whitney Laboratory are engaged in oyster restoration, an initiative that began in 2019 to prevent shoreline erosion and promote local biodiversity.

The technology used by researchers at Sea Turtle Hospital has helped fight the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Research technicians, graduate students and post-docs are engaged in scientific research spanning the discovery of antibiotics, stem cell biology, and cell regeneration, which lay the foundation for advancing biomedicine and public health.

With the construction of the new building, the administrators and staff of the Whitney Laboratory are responding to the country’s growing demand to inspire and train STEM researchers, young and old.

“We’ve waited a long time to get a new building,” Martindale said. “And we look forward to filling it with more of the best and brightest scientists in the country!”

The new facility will expand laboratory space devoted to specialized areas of study such as sensory biology and neuroscience, as well as additional research on environmental conservation.

The building will also include an educational center to attract visitors who want to learn more about the research underway in the lab and its impact on the community.

A key added feature will be a new and expanded sea turtle hospital where the public can learn more about local sea turtles.

With the lab location nestled between Marineland and Matanzas Inlet, families visiting the Florida First Coast can swim with dolphins, then cross the street to the new Whitney Laboratory education center.

“None of this would be possible without the significant community investment in research, education and conservation on our coast,” Long said. “We are especially grateful to our local lawmakers Paul Renner, Cyndi Stevenson and Senator Travis Hutson, who have always supported STEM education and research at UF’s Whitney Laboratory.”

The existing Whitney Lab facility. Image from Whitney Lab Facebook page


COVID lab leak theory: ‘rare’ genetic sequence doesn’t mean virus was engineered



Keith Grehan, Leeds University and Nathalie Kingston, Leeds University

The theory that the COVID-19 pandemic was triggered by the Sars-CoV-2 virus leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China was recently given new life following an explosive article in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) in which the authors asserted “the most compelling reason for promoting the laboratory leak hypothesis is firmly based on science”. But does science really support the claim that the virus was engineered in the lab?

Understanding the origin of a viral outbreak can provide scientists with important information about the viral lineages and enable measures to be put in place to prevent similar outbreaks in the future. As such, the origin of Sars-CoV-2 has been debated since the start of the pandemic and remains an active topic of discussion among scientists.

It has long been known that viruses similar to the original Sars-CoV that cause Sars are found in bats. These viruses are well studied in China, the source country of the Sars epidemic in 2002. But related viruses have been found around the world.

Not surprisingly, coronaviruses are again implicated in a pandemic, the third such event in the 21st century – first Sars, then Mers, now COVID-19. While a natural origin seems likely – and many have long warned of the danger of viruses circulating in wildlife – scientists shouldn’t jump to conclusions.

An important way for scientists to determine the origin of a virus is to examine its genome. In the WSJ article, the authors, Professor Richard Muller, astrophysicist, and Dr Steven Quay, physician and CEO of Atossa Therapeutics, claim that Sars-CoV-2 has “genetic fingerprints” of a virus laboratory origin. They say the presence of a particular genetic sequence (CGG-CGG) is a sign that the virus originated in a lab.

To understand the claims made, we must first understand the genetic code. When a virus infects a cell, it hijacks the cellular machinery, providing instructions (genome) to make more copies of itself. This genome is made up of a long series of molecules called nucleotides, each of which is represented by the letters A, C, G or U.

A group of three nucleotides (known as a codon) instructs a cell to make an amino acid, the most basic molecular building block of living things. Most amino acids are encoded by several different codons. CGG is one of six possible codons that instruct the cell to add the amino acid arginine.

The authors of the WSJ article argue that Sars-CoV-2 originated from a laboratory based on the presence of a “CGG-CGG” sequence. They claim that this is a “readily available and convenient” codon pair that scientists prefer to use to produce the amino acid arginine. But for anyone with an understanding of the techniques required for genetic modification, this double CGG is generally not more difficult or easy to produce than any other pair of codons that encode arginines.

No reason why CGG-CGG had to be made in the lab

The authors claim that the CGG codon appears less frequently than the other five possible codons in beta-coronaviruses (the coronavirus family to which Sars-CoV-2 belongs). If we look at related coronaviruses, the CGG codon encodes approximately 5% of all arginines in Sars-CoV versus about 3% of all arginines in Sars-CoV-2. Although CGG is less common than other codons, the authors’ argument fails to explain why the double-CGG sequence could not exist naturally.

The authors argue that recombination (when viruses that infect the same host share genetic material) was the most likely way Sars-CoV-2 was able to obtain the double-CGG sequence. They note that the double-CGG codon pair is not found in other members of this coronavirus “class”, so natural recombination could not generate a double-CGG. However, viruses don’t just depend on preassembled segments of genetic material to evolve and expand their host range.

The authors also claim that the mutation (random copy errors) is unlikely to generate the double-CGG sequence. But viruses evolve at a rapid rate, so much so that the accumulation of mutations is a common drawback in virological studies. Recombination is one way viruses evolve, but the authors’ dismissal of the mutation as a source of viral change is an inaccurate depiction of reality.

The latest claim that the first sequenced Sars-CoV-2 virus was ideally suited to the human host overlooks evidence of viral circulation in local animal populations, animal-to-animal transmission, and the rapid evolution that results in the increasing transmissibility of the new virus. variants. If the virus was ideally suited to humans, why is so much further evolution evident?

Disappointingly, many other media articles appear to have accepted and repeated the claims of the WSJ article. The origin of Sars-CoV-2 may remain unresolved, but there is no evidence presented in the WSJ article that scientifically supports the concept of a laboratory leak of a genetically engineered virus.

Keith Grehan, Postdoctoral Fellow, Molecular Biology, Leeds University and Natalie Kingston, virology researcher, Leeds University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.


Our collective immunity prompts tourists to travel here


Sedfrey M. Linsangan

Our focus is on marketing Guam as a safe travel destination. The dissemination of facts about the 91,000 inhabitants of Guam, or nearly 65% ​​who are vaccinated, will lead to herd immunity during the next month of July.

It would restore peace of mind to tourists traveling here.

People don’t travel to save money or get incentives because most of them have money to spend.

Now, to attract more tourists, we should not quarantine them if they have proof that they are vaccinated regardless of the brand of vaccine or show a negative PCR test three days before their arrival.

Their children should be allowed to visit without preconditions as they have a strong immune system against COVID.

Our shield here is our high percentage of residents who are fully immunized.

The incentive money can be used to help Guam residents, businesses, repair, maintain and clean up the island.

Hotels offering good deals and other establishments to attract tourists with the help of funding from the Emergency Plan.

After:Airport: More flights to Guam from July

After:Hotels now reserve “Air V&V” packages for citizens and foreign visitors

Vaccines for expatriates or tourists are already underway. But the costs must be reasonable, otherwise we end up losing money or it will not be successful.

We don’t want to attract a lot of tourists, but in the end we lost or didn’t get any income because we offered too many incentives.

All expenses must be declared, published and verified to ensure accountability and transparency.

Bottom line – quarantine, restrictions, delayed processing at the airport will prevent tourists from visiting our island. Yes, steps can be taken to protect our people while creating jobs and improving our economy.

Sedfrey M. Linsangan is a resident of Dededo

Take a 4th of July fitness challenge



The July 4th vacation is almost here.

Since we are more free to roam around this time, what are your plans? Beach, mountains, inflatable pool and an adult drink in the garden? July is the middle of the year, and what better time to take stock of the fitness goals we set for January 1 and start a little “something” to shake up the old routine.

Exercising when it becomes routine can not only become boring, it can become totally ineffective. Our bodies respond to exercise by adapting and changing. We develop more endurance, increase our strength and flexibility, and lose or maintain a healthy body weight. Having said that, if we keep doing the same old, same old, our bodies are, in essence, “stuck” and all the training we do will be for naught. Also, if boredom sets in, we tend to skip all workouts. Therefore, in honor of the July 4th vacation, I challenge you to pick a new exercise routine or two to try by January 1 and see what happens. What have you got to lose other than a belt size or two?

Yours truly has traveled the world (actually the internet) to find something new and different to explore:

– Plogging: this one is courtesy of the friendly Swedes. In an effort to become more environmentally conscious, they developed Plogging, which combines jogging and garbage collection! Groups of runners are equipped with gloves and trash bags and run while collecting trash along the highways. Considering our county wide efforts to clean things up, I think it would be a good thing to deploy here in Robeson County.

– POUND: Pound is a class workout that combines cardio, conditioning and strength training with yoga and Pilates style movements. Better yet, you can use chopsticks and drum to the beat! Participants use weighted chopsticks throughout the class. I have found courses available as close as Fayetteville. Go to poundfit.com to find other locations and information.

– Welcome to the Jungle: As wacky as it sounds, animal movements as exercise are all the rage in the fitness world. By using just a medicine ball and a few glide discs (foot sliders) you too can get in shape like Mowgli and Baloo! Bear races are a CrossFit staple, but you can add cricket jumps, monkey mixes, and Komodo dragon boards to name a few. I found a complete set with instructions on Shape.com so you can try it out.

– Get in Shape with HIIT: HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training and is the latest and greatest in the fitness world. HIIT workouts are really at the heart of CrossFit, but they’re now showing up as short, stand-alone workouts that you can do in the gym or at home. Training involves running various high-intensity exercises for short periods of time. The full workout may only last 15 minutes, but you’ll burn calories, build muscle, and be in good shape. Google HIIT to get a feel for how to get intensity into your workout.

These are just a few of the ways you can modify your workout for the fourth. You can also take your current favorite fitness mode and tweak it a bit. If you’re a walker sprinkle a bit of running every now and then, cyclists swap your bike for inline skating or, since it’s so hot, we should all schedule some time for swimming. Sky is the limit. As usual, before starting any new exercise activity, consult your doctor and make sure everything is clear.

Kathy Hansen has over 30 years of experience in the health and fitness industry. She can be contacted by e-mail at [email protected]


For now, stem cells for Covid-19 are mostly a hit in the dark



TThe uncertainty of how to effectively treat Covid-19 is proving to be an opportunity for those interested in stem cells.

It’s such a hot area that there are dozens of ongoing clinical trials testing different types of stem cells and other cells against Covid-19. And many stem cell clinics have started offering cell therapies for Covid-19 over the past year.

As a stem cell researcher, I don’t think this approach will be a transformative way to treat Covid-19, but I fear the buzz around it could hurt.


How did we get into this situation?

In the human body, a skin cell is a skin cell, and when it grows and divides, becomes another skin cell. The same is true for other types of cells, except stem cells. One of the amazing things about them is that they can transform into other specialized cells, some of which have the potential to treat specific diseases. The most powerful stem cells, called pluripotent stem cells, can turn into any type of cell.


Adult stem cells, which also hold great promise but are not as flexible, are also often mistakenly thrown under the same large, powerful umbrella of ‘stem cells’.

As a result, many people believe that stem cells in general can turn into any type of useful cell. So it is perhaps not all that surprising that the public – and even some scientists – make the mistake of thinking that stem cells can also be used to treat any type of health problem, as if it were of a kind of universal healing ointment.

Not so. The sad fact is that the FDA has approved relatively few cell and gene therapies, and only a tiny subset of them use genuine stem cells.

Yet the more harmful or fatal the disease, the more likely it is that “stem cells” will be launched to fix it. It’s an equation for false hope and other issues like wasted research dollars. The use of stem cells to treat diseases also poses health risks that must be carefully evaluated.

This overexuberance and even this hype has now been going on for over a decade.

Enter Covid-19, which has been like a wishful thinking magnet on stem cells and cellular medicine.

IIn just about all Covid-19 stem cell-related clinical trials conducted, specific experimental cell therapy launched against the disease had never been seriously considered before for viral, or even respiratory, disease. Before the emergence of the pandemic, these experimental cell injections were primarily studied for diseases such as cancer, heart disease, spinal cord injury, Parkinson’s disease, and many more. The sponsors of many of these clinical trials have made a sharp turn towards Covid-19.

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration not only made this change possible, but actively facilitated it by authorizing a wide range of trials. Remarkably, the FDA did this even though many trial sponsors did not have relevant preclinical data. Rather, most of the sponsors and the FDA appear to rely on limited preclinical and clinical data from a few other sponsors. This is a very unusual situation.

Based on recently published research that my student, Mina Kim, and I performed on trials registered on ClinicalTrials.gov and its counterpart, the Chinese Clinical Trials Registry, there appears to be a similar turn of events with regulators in China.

The FDA has even gone so far as to give the green light to cell medicine trials for Covid-19 from certain sponsors that are unproven stem cell clinics or have some sort of connection to them, at least one or more of which the agency has previously warned against the use of unapproved therapies.

At the heart of this matter is the question of the raison d’être. A single common rationale – but in my opinion, fragile – is given for most of the cell therapies tested for Covid-19 around the world. It is this: In some contexts, cells known as mesenchymal or stromal cells (usually by the acronym MSCs) have anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive functions. So that they strength attenuate overactive immune responses to Covid-19, such as cytokine storms that can cause severe damage to the lungs and other tissues.

To my knowledge, only one stem cell company had directly relevant data from before the pandemic. Athersys had tested its MultiStem product against acute respiratory distress syndrome, which is a component of severe Covid-19. While the results were mixed, I would say Athersys was warranted to conduct a Covid-19 trial with MultiStem, even if it was a bit long. But dozens of other trials then relied on data from Athersys and the general idea that stem cells could reduce inflammation.

Additionally, the proposed mechanism by which stem cells quench inflammation greatly overlaps with the proven beneficial mode of action of affordable and generally safe steroids, which are now widely used to treat Covid-19. With steroids as the accepted standard of care here, how can stem cells do better?

They probably can’t.

And to complicate matters, it will be extremely difficult for stem cell clinical trials to distinguish stem cell-specific signals in individual patients from steroid-related benefits.

All of this raises questions for me: Why have dozens of sponsors followed the path of clinical trials to treat Covid-19 using mesenchymal stem cells or similar cells? The excess of exuberance to help stem the pandemic? Will it be good for the result? Why has the FDA given the green light to trials so often? Politics? Pandemic exceptionalism?

Whatever their reasons, Mina and I found over 79 cell medicine trials for Covid-19 listed in trial databases. It seems excessive.

We have also found that most Covid-19 cell medicine trials use MSCs or similar cells, but these are not equivalent to each other or to Athersys’ MultiStem product. Athersys even wanted to say that MultiStem cells are do not MSC. To further complicate matters, our data shows that sponsors use MSCs taken from a mishmash of sources: umbilical cord blood, the wall of the umbilical cord itself, bone marrow, adipose tissue (fat). and dental pulp. These cells are not interchangeable. They probably each have different potential for effectiveness and present different risks. For example, MSC preparations from different tissues made in different laboratories likely contain very different numbers of actual stem cells.

More worryingly, our analysis found that the vast majority of cell therapy trials for Covid-19 lack rigorous design features on which to draw solid conclusions. In most cases, therefore, the trials are unlikely to be conclusive. Larger and more powerful follow-up trials will be needed. It’s going to be expensive and time consuming.

In terms of published clinical trial data, they are scarce. The FDA recently recommended that Mesoblast stop enrolling participants in its Covid-19 trial using mesenchymal stem cells because the data was not encouraging.

Three recent reports of MSC’s randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials for Covid-19 are worth seeing, but the results are mostly unclear. In one, a team from the University of Miami were very excited about their data, although further examination found that the trial was too small and the groups too unbalanced to draw firm conclusions. A somewhat larger subsequent trial in China was also inconclusive. While a third small study in Indonesia was a bit more optimistic, it’s unclear whether it was balanced or had enough power to draw any concrete conclusions.

Based on the research Mina and I conducted, these three published trials were to be among the most rigorous trials related to Covid-19 stem cells in the group. Despite this, due to various characteristics, especially their small size, they still did not provide clear signals. This doesn’t bode well for the clarity of the test scores we predicted to be less powerful in design.

Tlaunch dozens of cell therapy trials against the Covid-19 wall in hopes of seeing what, if any, sticks is riddled with issues and risks.

Resources are limited, so spending tens or hundreds of millions of dollars on mostly unpromising cell medicine trials is likely to be a waste. Additionally, participants in these trials are unlikely to be available to participate in Covid-19 trials with more promising therapies. And there is also the issue of false hopes for the participants, their families and the public more generally.

A more serious risk, but perhaps less likely, is that these approaches could harm people with Covid-19. For example, if the rationale that stem cells could treat Covid-19 by reducing the activity of the immune system has a chance to be correct, then such treatment might overtake. Stem cell therapies could reduce immunity too much, causing the virus to spread more from cell to cell, or cause other damage unexpectedly.

With so much untargeted activity already underway, at this point we can only wait and see how this cellular medicine experiment for Covid-19 will turn out. So far, over a year later, there isn’t much to be optimistic about.

Paul Knoepfler is a professor at the Davis School of Medicine at the University of California, whose research focuses on stem cells and cancer. He writes about ethics, politics and other topics on his blog, The niche.


What Health Experts Know About COVID-19 Immunity


More than a year after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many questions remain about immunity against previous infections and vaccinations.

For example, how long can the immunity last? Do people need to be fully vaccinated if they have already been infected with COVID-19? Do mild and severe infections differ in antibody buildup and levels of protection against disease? What is the likelihood that a person will be re-infected?

Many of these questions are still being addressed by health experts, but offer insight into what they have learned.

“Reinfection is relatively rare in people who have recovered from COVID-19, but it can happen. I suspect that people are protected from serious illness for about a year after natural infection, although they can get mild or asymptomatic infections, ”said Dr. Amesh Adalja, principal investigator at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. .

Protection after natural infection appears to last for at least six to eight months, although it probably lasts even longer, said Dr William Schaffner, professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University.

He added that researchers are still studying the duration of immunity to infection and are not as confident about the one-year protection period offered as with the shorter periods.

Another uncertainty concerns the impact of variants of the coronavirus on a person’s immunity against a previous infection.

As the coronavirus mutates and more variants emerge, there is evidence that some variants, particularly the beta variant from South Africa, may be able to “overcome natural immunity,” said Dr Adalja, noting that vaccination is necessary to “increase immunity”.

Growing evidence also suggests that those who have been naturally infected with the coronavirus may only need one dose of the two-dose coronavirus vaccine to develop sufficient immunity.

A recent American Chemical Society study found that in participants who contracted COVID-19 prior to vaccination, the first dose produced a “vigorous antibody response similar to severe natural infection,” but the second dose did not. provided no further increase in antibody levels. .

For participants without a previous infection, one dose of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine elicited antibody responses similar to those seen after mild COVID-19 infections, while two doses elicited antibody levels comparable to those seen in mild COVID-19 infections. serious infections.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is actively discussing whether previously infected people should be partially or fully vaccinated, and no official recommendation has yet been made, according to Dr. Schaffner.

Antibody levels after vaccines are higher than after natural infection, which means injections could offer increasingly greater protection against emerging viral variants, the infectious disease specialist noted.

“If we reason analogously to what we know from other vaccines, higher levels of antibodies are generally associated with a longer duration of protection,” said Dr Schaffner.

Investigators at the lab also said that higher levels of antibodies appeared to offer safer and greater protection against the variants.

“This leads to the recommendation that people recovering from Covid should nonetheless be vaccinated,” said Dr Schaffner.

What remains unclear is whether a severe COVID-19 infection offers more protection than a mild infection.

“It appears that people with a more severe infection have, on average, higher levels of antibodies that neutralize the virus and are thought to be able to be protected for longer. But I don’t know if we know for sure, ”said Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.

“What we do know is that if you’ve been infected and protected and you get a vaccine that appears to give you very high levels of protection,” he said, citing a Rockefeller University study. .

Going forward, Dr Schaffner said more research is needed to find out how long protection against COVID-19 lasts, whether it is from a natural infection or from vaccines, and how long this is. protection is broad.

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Collective immunity is both mystical and mythical: NK Arora, president of NTAGI


Herd immunity works when immune and unimmunized individuals are mixed together in a true random process and about 80% are immune, Arora said.

The subjects
Coronavirus | vaccination | Vaccination in India

Sohini Das

As India ramps up its Covid vaccination campaign with the goal of vaccinating its entire adult population by the end of this year, NK ARORA, chairman of the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group, says the herd immunity is a myth. Arora explains why achieving 100% vaccination is necessary to break the cycle of transmission.

In conversation with Sohini Das, he also ensures that the vaccines work against the new strains. Edited excerpts: Once we cover 70% of the population, we get collective immunity. Is it true from a distance? Collective immunity is both mystical and mythical. …


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First published: Thu 24 Jun 2021 06:10 IST

The 11 best foods for healthy skin for men



We’ve all heard the phrase “You are what you eat” and, in many ways, it’s true. After all, the food we eat is broken down into the very nutrients that end up forming and repairing our cells and tissues and carrying out necessary processes in our body. Perhaps a more surprising, but true, modification of this adage could be: “your skin reflects what you eat”. That’s right, the health of your skin is a direct reflection of your gut health, which is affected by your eating habits. Due to what is called the gut-skin axis, the skin and the digestive tract are in constant communication and inextricably linked. The trillions of bacterial and fungal cells that reside in your gut microbiome digest your food and provide immune protection by eliminating pathogens to keep your body and skin healthy.

However, when things like a chronic poor diet or the use of antibiotics disrupt and damage these microbes, the lining of your digestive tract is damaged and can become leaky. This leads to chronic low-grade inflammation that causes acne, atopic dermatitis, rosacea, and other skin conditions. It can also lead to dull, unhealthy, red, or inflamed skin. Therefore, what you eat has a significant impact on the health of your gut and skin.

Fortunately, there are many foods that protect your skin from sun damage, wrinkles, inflammatory conditions, acne, and fine lines by nourishing your skin cells, protecting your gut microbiome, and fighting cell damage. . Keep scrolling through the best foods to eat for healthy, glowing, glowing skin.

Kiwi and Citrus

Shutterbug75 / Pixabay

Vitamin C is one of the main antioxidants that have been shown to inhibit free radicals from UV sun exposure that age our skin by damaging the collagen and elastin fibers that normally give our skin a healthy, firm and flexible structure. As these structural components are damaged by free radicals, our skin becomes prone to wrinkles, sagging and fine lines. Fruits like kiwi, citrus, and blackberries provide a potent dose of this powerful antioxidant.

Almonds, walnuts and other nuts

Piles of mixed nuts
Explorer Bob / Pixabay

Almonds, walnuts, and other nuts, as well as wheat germ, are great sources of vitamin E, a fat-soluble vitamin. Like vitamin C, vitamin E is an antioxidant that fights free radical damage from the sun and helps provide an anti-peach benefit to your skin. It is also hydrating and prevents excessive dryness. Vitamin E also helps promote skin growth. Brazil nuts are one of the best dietary sources of selenium, a key immune-supporting mineral that may protect against skin cancer, age spots, and sun damage. The fats in nuts nourish the skin and keep cell membranes supple and strong.


Tomatoes on the vine
Color / Pixabay

Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a carotenoid that protects against sun damage and sunburn. They also contain selenium and antioxidants. Tomatoes also contain a lot of water, which hydrates your skin cells and prevents excessive sagging and dryness.

Salmon, Sardines and Fatty Fish

salmon fillet with herbs
Shutterbug75 / Pixabay

Salmon, sardines, and other fatty fish provide omega-3 fatty acids, which have powerful anti-inflammatory effects in the body. They reduce redness and irritation and provide essential fats for cell membranes. Evidence suggests that these essential fatty acids also encourage collagen production, helping to maintain skin firmness and prevent wrinkles. Omega fatty acids also hydrate and nourish the skin, which helps keep it supple. There is some evidence to suggest that these oils may be effective against psoriasis and eczema. Oily fish is also a source of CoenzymeQ10, a powerful enzyme that fights cell damage and promotes healing and cell renewal.

Whole eggs

Cracked Fried Egg
Alexas Photos / Pixabay

Whole eggs are powerhouses because their proteins provide all the essential amino acids, and the yolks are rich in vitamins and minerals, many of which are in higher concentrations than most other food sources. Eggs provide many nutrients that are important for healthy skin. For example, yolks are a great source of biotin, which has anti-aging properties for the skin as it reduces inflammation and prevents flaking and itching. They also contain vitamin D, which is especially important for our skin as we age because it acts as a precursor to hormones that help repair and regenerate cells. Yolks also contain the mineral selenium, which fights sun damage by increasing elastin production to keep your skin supple and flexible. They are also one of the best natural sources of retinol, a compound found in many anti-aging skincare serums because it is vital for the regeneration of skin. skin cells, and it prevents hyperpigmentation and collagen breakdown, helping to keep your complexion even and your skin firm. The proteins in eggs also provide the building blocks of amino acids necessary for the production of structural collagen in the skin.

Unsweetened yogurt and kefir

Cup of berry yogurt
Terri Cnudde / Pixabay

Yogurt, kefir, and other fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, and kombucha contain probiotics, which are living microorganisms that support your healthy gut microbiome. Keeping these helpful bacteria and fungi healthy will maintain the integrity of your gut lining, inhibit pathogen invasion, and keep inflammation at bay. This will keep your skin clear and prevent inflammatory skin conditions. Milk and kefir also contain vitamin D, which can protect against wrinkles.

Chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds

pepitas, mixed beans, lentils, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, amaranth and

The seeds provide an abundance of essential nutrients, many of which support the health and appearance of your skin. For example, chia seeds and flax seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, making them a great option for vegans or vegetarians who don’t eat oily fish. The seeds help keep your skin supple, prevent inflammation, and encourage cell turnover. Pumpkin seeds are a good source of zinc, an important mineral in skin repair and regeneration. It is also essential in regulating the sebaceous (oil) glands, helping to avoid clogged pores and rashes.


Carrots with their tops
Conger Designs / Pixaabay

Carrots (along with sweet potatoes and pumpkins) are rich in beta-carotene and vitamin A, a fat-soluble nutrient essential for skin tissue regeneration. It helps prevent the skin from getting too dry, rough, and scaly, and clinical studies show it has a protective effect against UV damage. It can also help control oil production and can help prevent acne breakouts.

Green tea

Loose green tea
Appledeng / Pixabay

Green tea contains polyphenols, which have anti-carcinogenic effects and reduce inflammation. Research indicates that these powerful compounds can also fight acne. Green tea also contains vitamin K, which prevents blood from clotting and can reduce the appearance of dark circles under your eyes.

Dark green vegetables

Dark green vegetables like kale, Swiss chard and spinach
CSU / Pixabay extension

Green leafy vegetables make almost every list of the healthiest foods, so it’s no surprise that they are high on a list of foods that are good for your skin. They’re loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, all of which improve your overall health, and contain prebiotics, which feed your body’s beneficial bacteria residing in your microbiome. Dark leafy greens are a good source of B vitamins like niacin, which has anti-inflammatory and moisturizing effects on the skin. They also contain lutein, which is necessary for normal skin renewal. Spinach contains alpha lipoic acid, a powerful antioxidant that acts as a free radical scavenger. It is added to many skin care products because it improves the integrity of cell membranes, smoothes the skin, inhibits hyperpigmentation and dark spots, and fights sun damage and aging skin.

Turmeric and ginger

Turmeric and gonger spices
Ajale / Pixabay

Turmeric and ginger are powerful anti-inflammatories and can help protect against oxidative damage to the skin. They are believed to offer anti-aging benefits and even out your skin tone.

Editor’s recommendations


Grieving family wants Indiana lawmakers to rethink COVID immunity bills



INDIANAPOLIS – A grandson mourning the death of his grandfather wants Indiana lawmakers to reconsider two laws passed earlier this year that made it more difficult to file civil lawsuits involving COVID-19.

Daniel Enlow’s search for answers has only intensified since the death of his grandfather, Edward Rigney, in February. An 83-year-old COPD patient diagnosed with COVID-19, Rigney went to Eskenazi Hospital just after Christmas.

At the time, Enlow said he was unable to visit due to pandemic restrictions, so he was not present when Rigney suffered a stroke in early January that left him unconscious until ‘when he died.

“I’m so motivated to try to get his story known and just try to get something, some kind of justice for him,” Enlow said.

Medical records, as well as Rigney’s death certificate, note an “iatrogenic air embolism,” or air bubbles released in his veins during a medical procedure. A doctor noted: “It appears that air was introduced … at the time (a) of the line set-up or shortly thereafter,” which, according to Enlow, should not have happened. .

“I started asking for medical records because I wanted to know what was going on in black and white in front of me,” Enlow said.

Rigney’s death certificate includes several contributing factors, including COVID-19. Enlow wanted to file a medical malpractice complaint, asking a medical review board to rule, but several law firms refused to take his case.

In emails, one law firm noted the case “would be difficult to win,” while another pointed to “new COVID immunity laws” in its denial.

“They pretty much just put up a wall,” Enlow said.

Fred Schultz, outgoing president of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association, told CBS4 he was not surprised by Enlow’s difficulty in finding a lawyer. Schultz lobbied against two bills at the Statehouse this year, SB1 and HB1002, which granted civil immunity in COVID-19 cases. The bills have raised the bar for filing a medical malpractice claim when COVID-19 is involved, to only allow those that involve “gross negligence or willful or gratuitous misconduct.”

“In the vast majority of cases it is impossible to prove it,” said Schultz. “My office has probably had a dozen cases that we have had to turn down so far.”

CBS4 took this matter to one of the bill’s sponsors, State Senator Aaron Freeman (R-Indianapolis), himself a lawyer.

“It was never designed to be complete freedom from everything,” Freeman said.

Freeman noted that the bills were designed to take into account the unprecedented and unknown factors of the pandemic, although he remained open to exploring any potential unintended consequences.

“If something is used in a way that obstructs some claims then maybe we need to go back and look at it and open it up a bit and make it less restrictive, I’m definitely open to having those conversations, ”Freeman said.

Enlow hoped that talking about his grandfather’s case would open that door to more conversation, as he went through thousands of pages of medical records, with the goal of at least having a chance to seek answers in the midst of his life. grief.

“Maybe one day I’ll find out exactly what happened, but until that day I won’t stop,” Enlow said.

Eskenazi Health declined to comment on Rigney’s case, citing patient privacy laws. The Indiana Hospital Association sent the following statement:

“The liability protection adopted by the Indiana General Assembly this session has been supported by a wide range of businesses, universities, manufacturers, healthcare providers and others in the Indiana. Like many essential Hoosier workers, healthcare providers have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to comply with ever-changing guidelines and protocols from regulatory bodies. Many of these unique challenges were never anticipated under current Indiana liability law. The new law does not prevent Hoosiers or their families from filing a complaint, nor does it grant companies and other entities immunity for gross negligence, which is a well-established standard in case law.

Brian Tabor, President of the Indiana Hospital Association

Replacing coal with renewable generation and flexibility, wrtsil says, promises energy independence for Europe



Modeling by tech group Wrtsilhas revealed that the main system-wide benefits are within reach of European power producers who are rapidly replacing coal with renewable generation and flexibility: from fuel cost avoidance and carbon – to new clean energy export opportunities.

Modeling the energy system of Germany and Ukraine – two key European countries with very different power systems and coal phase-out policies – shows that the capacity gap in coal can be optimally bridged with renewable electricity coupled with flexible resources, that is to say flexible thermal power stations and energy storage.

Our analysis of both sides of the coal output spectrum is clear: The value of coal has been eroded by the low cost renewable base load. The phasing out of coal presents a myriad of opportunities for European countries to reduce production costs, achieve energy independence and generate income through sector coupling at the company level. Flexibility is the key to upgrading variable renewables to fulfill a baseload role to achieve these benefits, said Jan Andersson, Market Development Manager for Europe, Wrtsil Energy.

Wrtsil modeled a rapid phase-out scenario by 2030 in which Germany would phase out coal-fired electricity by 2030 (eight years ahead of the target), stressing that the value of coal-fired electricity would be eroded by building 13 GW of new renewable capacity per year. Key information for Germany includes:

  • An additional renewable base load makes Germany less dependent on imports from neighboring countries during the coal phase-out years, from a net rateimporterfilletexporterin the 2030s.
  • Germany could save up to 600 million tonnes of CO2by 2045, or 81% of its national carbon footprint today (compared to phasing out coal by 2038).
  • To meet the demand for heating as coal is phased out, and to balance the influx of new renewables, up to 12 GW of flexible gas-fired combined heat and power (CHP) is needed.

In Germany, decisions made in the coming months will determine whether they will increase imports of electricity (increasing costs and carbon) from neighboring countries to fill the capacity gap, or pave the way for becoming a net exporter of clean energy. to the rest of Europe, added Jan Andersson.

Wrtsil presented the result of a key decision Ukraine must take in the coming months: whether tomodernizeorwithdrawits coal to meet its national emission reduction targets. Key information for Ukraine includes:

  • The modernized coal-based power system costs € 5.2 billion (10%) more to consumers over 10 years, mainly due to the cost of domestically produced and imported coal to power its fleet of power plants .
  • Modernization of Ukraine’s coal-fired power plants will emit 53 million tonnes (32%) of more CO2than removing and replacing coal with a mix of low-carbon technologies between 2022 and 2031.
  • A new system at optimal cost, based on 32 GW of new renewable energies and flexibility, would save 500 million euros per year on the cost of the electricity produced by 2031.

Unlike Germany, Ukraine is currently unable to encourage its exit from coal, so it is essential that it finds the cheapest route to properly meet the demand for electricity. Our modeling gives a clear result: modernizing coal is much more expensive than retirement and leaves the system more exposed to climate risk, while investments in renewables, as well as battery energy storage and balancing gas, results in system-level cost savings, added Igor Petryk, Market Development Director, Wrtsil Energy.

About modeling

The models from Germany and Ukraine were supplemented by entering power system data and scenario definitions into the PLEXOS System Optimize platform. The platform focuses on finding the optimal energy mix by finding the cheapest solutions for defined scenarios. In the optimization process, all the real constraints defined are taken into account, as well as the hourly distribution and the capacity additions.

Learn more:

Webinar recording:The value of flexibility is recognized in Germany
White paper:Flexibility to perpetuate the Ukrainian electricity system

Wrtsil Energy in brief
Wrtsil Energy is leading the transition to a 100% renewable energy future. We help our customers in decarbonization by developing advanced technologies. These cover balancing power plants, hybrid solutions, energy storage and optimization technology, including the GEMS energy management platform. Wrtsil Energys lifecycle services are designed to increase efficiency, promote reliability and ensure operational performance. Our track record includes 74 GW of power plant capacity and over 80 energy storage systems delivered to 180 countries around the world.

Wrtsil in brief
Wrtsil is a global leader in intelligent technologies and complete lifecycle solutions for the marine and energy markets. By focusing on sustainable innovation, total efficiency and data analytics, Wrtsil maximizes the environmental and economic performance of its customers’ ships and power plants. In 2020, Wrtsils’ net sales totaled 4.6 billion euros with around 18,000 employees. The company is present in more than 200 sites in more than 70 countries around the world. Wrtsil is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki

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Intellia and Cellex Form New CAR T Cell Therapy Company Backed by $ 250M from Blackstone



Gene-editing biotechnology Intellia Therapeutics partners with Cellex Cell Professionals to launch a new startup that will develop immunotherapies against cancer and inflammatory diseases. This new company will be supported up to $ 250 million by Blackstone Life Sciences.

This new company aims to improve the type of cancer immunotherapy called chimeric antigen receptor T cells, or CAR T, which are made by turning a patient’s own immune cells into a living medicine. These therapies have so far only been approved for the treatment of blood cancers and they introduce the risk of triggering dangerous immune responses. Intellia, based in Cambridge, Mass., Believes that the combination of its technology with that of a biotech based in Germany can overcome these limitations.

Intellia brings its expertise in editing CRISPR genes, which it uses to develop allogeneic or ready-to-use CAR T therapies from donor cells. Cellex offers its manufacturing capabilities. Cellex’s subsidiary, GEMoaB, will provide technology that makes CAR T “switchable”, turning it on or off to improve the duration of therapy as well as its safety. Speaking on a conference call Tuesday, Intellia CEO John Leonard said that if cancer and normal tissue share a target, GEMoaB’s technology can withdraw cell therapy if toxic – a ” reversibility “which offers an advantage over other CAR T approaches.

“We believe that we will have access to a leading CAR T platform that will essentially go beyond other existing modalities,” he said. “It’s a powerful way to do it. “

The company, whose name has not yet been named, is the result of an alliance that Intellia initiated last year with GEMoaB. The aim was to discover and develop “new generation” cellular immunotherapies for cancers and inflammatory diseases that are difficult to treat. Leonard said that as the collaboration progressed, the partners realized that consolidating their respective technologies can progress faster and more efficiently. This new company, which will develop both autologous and allogeneic therapies, will have an exclusive license to combine Intellia’s technological platform with GEMoaB’s two T cell platforms, called UniCAR and RevCAR.

Although the new company will become a separate entity, it will retain close ties with the companies that formed it. Intellia has the right to participate in the development and financing of a universal allogeneic product of CAR T cells that the new company is developing for an indication in immuno-oncology intended for co-marketing in the United States and in certain European countries. Intellia also has an additional option to enter into a second co-development and co-funding agreement based on certain universal allogeneic CAR T cell therapies.

Intellia is still taking advantage of this by meeting its manufacturing needs. The deal with Cellex gives the US biotech access to the German company’s cell therapy manufacturing site and allogeneic cell donation, according to an investor presentation. This “privileged relationship” will support Intellia’s wholly owned pipeline of ex vivo cell therapies while also giving it the ability to expand this pipeline. The new company will also have access to Cellex’s manufacturing capabilities.

The most advanced Intellia program, NTLA-2001, is being developed in partnership with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals for the treatment of transthyretin amyloidosis, a rare disease. Interim Phase 1 data is due on June 26 at the Peripheral Nerve Society annual meeting. GEMoaB has developed its own pipeline of drugs at the preclinical and clinical stage for blood cancers and solid tumors. This pipeline includes wholly owned assets as well as a prostate cancer program in phase 1 testing as part of a partnership with Bristol Myers Squibb.

Phase 1 testing of GEMoaB’s main universal CAR T therapies for blood cancers and solid tumors is underway. Interim data published earlier this year in the journal Blood showed that the leading blood cancer control program, UniCAR-T-CD123, was well tolerated by patients and showed early signs of treatment efficacy. relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia. This and other ongoing program will remain with GEMoaB as it becomes a subsidiary of the new company.

The new company will draw its management team from Intellia and GEMoaB. Andrew Schiermeier, currently Executive Vice President and COO of Intellia, will be the new company’s President and CEO. Gerhard Ehninger, CEO of Cellex and Medical Director of GEMoaB, will become Medical Director of the new company. GEMoab’s Scientific Director, Armin Ehninger, will assume the same role in the new company. The new company will be based in Cambridge but will keep laboratories in Dresden, Germany. Leonard said most of the research will be done in Dresden, but Schiermeier will build a team in the United States as well.

“The idea is for the company to have a German background with a strong American accent, if you will,” Leonard said. “It’s a way to access US markets, have a clinical presence here in the US and move forward as it grows.

The deal is expected to be finalized in the third quarter of this year. When that happens, Blackstone, Intellia and Cellex will own 50% of the new company.

Photo: File photo, Getty Images


High Levels of Heart Health Proteins May Protect Against Alzheimer’s-Like Brain Injury



By the time people with Alzheimer’s disease begin to have difficulty remembering and thinking, the disease has been developing in their brains for two decades or more, and their brain tissue has already been damaged. As the disease progresses, the damage accumulates and their symptoms worsen.

Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that high levels of a normal protein associated with reduced heart disease also protect against Alzheimer’s-like brain damage – at least in mice. The results, published on June 21 in Neuron, suggest that increasing levels of the protein – known as the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDL receptor) – could potentially be a way to slow or stop cognitive decline.

The discovery of the LDL receptor as a potential therapeutic target for dementia is surprising since the protein is much better known for its role in cholesterol metabolism. Statins and PCSK9 inhibitors, two groups of drugs widely prescribed for cardiovascular disease, work in part by increasing the levels of LDL receptors in the liver and certain other tissues. It is not known whether they affect the levels of LDL receptors in the brain.

There are as yet no clearly effective therapies for preserving cognitive function in people with Alzheimer’s disease. We found that increasing the LDL receptor in the brain greatly decreases neurodegeneration and protects against brain damage in mice. If you could increase the LDL receptor in the brain with a small molecule or some other approach, that could be a very attractive treatment strategy. “

David Holtzman, MD, senior author, Professor Andrew B. and Gretchen P. Jones and Head of Department of Neurology

The key to the importance of the LDL receptor lies in a different protein, APOE, which is also linked to both cholesterol metabolism and Alzheimer’s disease. High blood cholesterol is associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, although the exact nature of the association is unclear.

During the long, slow development of Alzheimer’s disease, plaques of a protein called amyloid gradually build up in the brain. After many years, another protein in the brain called tau begins to form tangles that become detectable just before symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease appear. The tangles are believed to be toxic to neurons, and their spread throughout the brain predicts brain tissue death and cognitive decline. The first author, Yang Shi, PhD, postdoctoral researcher, and Holtzman previously showed that APOE causes tau-mediated degeneration in the brain by activating microglia, the brain’s cell janitorial team. Once activated, the microglia can damage neural tissue in its zeal to clean up molecular debris.

Higher levels of LDL receptors limit the damage that APOE can cause in part by binding to and degrading APOE. Higher levels of LDL receptors in the brain should therefore extract more APOE from the fluid surrounding brain cells and further attenuate the damage, the researchers said.

In this study, Shi, Holtzman and their colleagues, including co-lead author Jason Ulrich, PhD, associate professor of neurology, studied mice predisposed to developing Alzheimer-like neurodegeneration because they had been genetically modified. to develop a buildup of tau in the brain, just like people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. The researchers crossed the tau mice with mice genetically engineered to express high levels of LDL receptors in their brains. The resulting offspring had high levels of LDL receptors and a propensity to develop Alzheimer’s-like brain damage by the age of 9 months, which is similar to the average age in a person.

Next, the researchers compared the four groups: normal mice, tau mice, mice with high levels of LDL receptors, and tau mice with high levels of LDL receptors. At 9 months, normal mice and mice with high levels of LDL receptors had healthy-looking brains. The tau mice exhibited severe brain atrophy and neurological damage. In comparison, tau mice with high levels of LDL receptors were in much better shape. They had significantly less brain shrinkage and damage, their levels of certain forms of tau and APOE were significantly lower, and their microglia were shifted to a less damaging activation pattern.

“Alzheimer’s disease develops slowly in several phases, and the degenerative phase during which tau accumulates is when symptoms appear and worsen,” said Holtzman. “In terms of the quality of life for people with Alzheimer’s, this is a phase in which it would be great if we could intervene. I think this LDL receptor pathway is a good candidate because it has a strong effect, and we know it can be targeted in other parts of the body. This has motivated us over the last few years to try to develop programs to modulate the receiver in other ways. “


Washington University School of Medicine

Journal reference:

Shi, Y., et al. (2021) Overexpression of the low-density lipoprotein receptor reduces neurodegeneration associated with tau compared to mechanisms related to apoE. Neuron. doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2021.05.034.


Forced displacement at record level, despite COVID-related closures



The number of people fleeing wars, violence, persecution and human rights abuses rose to nearly 82.4 million last year, a further 4% increase from the already record high of 79 , 5 million, recorded at the end of 2019.

According to the flagship of the United Nations Refugee Agency Global Trends Report published on Friday, the restrictive COVID-19[female[feminine The pandemic has not slowed down forced displacement around the world and instead could have left thousands of refugees and asylum seekers stranded and vulnerable.

The new ‘one percent’

Despite COVID-related movement restrictions and calls from the international community for a global ceasefire, displacement continued to occur – and to grow. As a result, more than one percent of the world’s population – or 1 in 95 people – are now forcibly displaced. This compares to 1 in 159 in 2010.

The agency explains that while the full impact of the pandemic on wider migration and cross-border travel around the world is not yet clear, data shows that arrivals of new refugees and asylum seekers have declined sharply in the country. Most regions – about 1.5 million people less than would. were expected in circumstances unrelated to COVID, reflecting the number of people seeking international protection in 2020 who found themselves stranded.

New and old crises

According to UNHCR, several crises – some new, some long-standing, and some resurfacing after years – forced 11.2 million people to flee in 2020, up from 11.0 million in 2019.

The figure includes people who have been displaced for the first time as well as those who have been displaced several times, both within and beyond the borders of countries.

At the end of 2020, there were 20.7 million refugees under UNHCR’s mandate. 48 million more people have been internally displaced.

Driven mainly by crises in Ethiopia, Sudan, Sahel countries, Mozambique, Yemen, Afghanistan and Colombia, the number of internally displaced people has increased by more than 2.3 million.

If we consider only international displacement situations, Syria tops the list with 6.8 million people, followed by Venezuela with 4.9 million. Afghanistan and South Sudan followed with 2.8 million and 2.2 million respectively.

Turkey continued to host the largest number of refugees with just under 4 million, most of whom were Syrian refugees (92%). Colombia followed, hosting more than 1.7 million displaced Venezuelans.

Germany was home to the third largest population – nearly 1.5 million, with Syrian refugees and asylum seekers being the largest group (44%). Pakistan and Uganda round out the top 5 host countries, with around 1.4 million each.

The COVID-19 crisis has also hit hard forcibly displaced people, who have faced increased food and economic insecurity as well as challenges in accessing health and protection services.

At the height of last year, more than 160 countries had closed their borders, with 99 states making no exceptions for those seeking protection.

According to UNHCR, the dynamics of poverty, food insecurity, climate change, conflict and displacement are increasingly interconnected and mutually reinforcing, pushing more and more people to seek safety and security. .

A call to end the suffering

UNHCR urges world leaders to redouble their efforts to foster peace, stability and cooperation in order to end and begin to reverse a nearly decade-long trend of increased displacement caused by violence and persecution.

“Behind each issue hides a person driven from their home and a story of displacement, dispossession and suffering. They deserve our attention and our support not only with humanitarian aid, but also in the search for solutions to their plight ”, recalled the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi.

In a statement, Grandi stressed that while the 1951 Refugee Convention and the Global Compact on Refugees provide the legal framework and tools to respond to displacement, much greater political will is needed to deal with conflict. and the persecutions that force people to flee.

“The tragedy of so many children born in exile should be reason enough to make much greater efforts to prevent and end conflict and violence,” he added.

Girls and boys under the age of 18 represent 42 percent of all forcibly displaced persons. They are particularly vulnerable, especially when crises last for years.

New UNHCR estimates show that nearly one million children were born as refugees between 2018 and 2020. Many of them could remain refugees for years to come.

Low rate of return

The agency noted that during 2020, some 3.2 million internally displaced people and only 251,000 refugees returned to their homes, a decrease of 40 and 21 percent, respectively, from 2019. Another 33,800 refugees were naturalized by their country of asylum.

Refugee resettlement has dropped drastically with just 34,400 refugees resettled, the lowest level in 20 years – a consequence of reduced resettlement places and COVID-19.

“Solutions require world leaders and those with influence to put aside their differences, end a selfish approach to politics and instead focus on conflict prevention and resolution and respect for human rights.” , urged Grandi.

The United Nations refugee agency recalled that 2020 is the ninth year of an uninterrupted increase in forced displacement around the world. There are twice as many forcibly displaced people as in 2011, when the total was just under 40 million.


Survivor South Africa: Immunity Island – Episode 3 Recap – Crack in the Armor


Whether you are a seasoned Survivor fan or more newbie, chances are you’ve heard gamers and fans stressing the importance of social gaming. As we have seen many times before, candidate immunity wins and voting records can be worthless if they have no registered capital to back them up. It doesn’t just mean that you are at the top of your tribe’s food chain; instead, you need to make sure that your relationships are strong enough with everyone to minimize any bad luck that could happen to you. This is the lesson we saw reaffirmed in the last episode of Survivor SA.

From the recap of the previous episode, we remember how the dynamics in Survivor can change in no time. Just when you think you get it, things change. In Vuna, Chappies and Paul rightly feel left out after being the only two who didn’t vote for Pinty. Meanwhile, Carla feels high and powerful as the mastermind behind the blind side (though, to her disgust, Paul doesn’t give her credit for it). The alliance of Carla, Mike, Kiran, Tyson, Wardah and Anesu is in power now, and if they are successful, Chappies will be the next to go before he gets too much momentum.

On Zamba, the original alliance of Renier, Anela, Amy, Nicole, Marisha and Dino is still going strong, with one minor difference. According to Thoriso, Shaun managed to infiltrate the alliance and usurped Dino out of his place. This has almost as little explanation as Anela now going through Smash, but I digress. Thoriso, Dino, and Qiean are the new bottom of the pecking order, with Thoriso being the most obvious vote if they go to the tribal council.

Photo: M-Net

In the spirit of Survivor, all of those future plans are quickly thrown out the window during the reward challenge when Nico tells them to drop their buffs. Players randomly select their new buffs and new tribes are formed. Vuna 2.0 includes Anesu, Dino, Kiran, Marisha, Nicole, Qiean, Renier, Thoriso, and Tyson. Zamba 2.0 has Amy, Anela, Carla, Chappies, Mike, Paul, Santoni, Shaun and Wardah. Some players like Carla are delighted to have switched to the right side of the numbers. The same cannot be said of Tyson, Anesu and Kiran on Vuna, or Amy, Anela and Shaun on Zamba, who are immediately tribal line-based outsiders.

The reward challenge is a one-on-one between players for various items, but that’s not what’s important here. Earlier today, Santoni told Chappies about the Immunity Idol Clue she found, but they couldn’t find it. Now that she has been traded for Zamba, she realizes that she lost the opportunity to find him on her own. She talks to Paul about the clue and how they should pass the information on to one of Vuna’s original members. Given the structure of the challenge, Paul is able to confront Tyson and tell him that the idol is three paces north of the water well. Tyson hears it, but he also stands out once Dino points out that they were exchanging a message (oh, the irony of that statement).

SA S8 Ep3
Photo: M-Net

When the challenge is over and over, the new tribes settle in the camp. Anesu, Tyson, and Kiran understand the gravity of their situation on Vuna. They went from being settled in their comfortable alliance of six to being withdrawn in their own territory. Tyson doesn’t do himself any favors by disappearing for a while, but it ends up paying off for him and his alliance members. He finds the idol exactly where Paul told him to look, and honestly, this is the perfect person to find it. Having the idol doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be safe if they go to Tribal, but it could be the extra thing he, Anesu, and Kiran need to deal with their change in luck.

The new Zamba tribe is struggling more to find its place, the consequences of the majority of its tribe having been part of the more recent Tribal. Mike recognizes that the best way forward is to stay with the original members of Vuna. The problem is, her closest ally, Carla, makes this goal much harder to achieve. She seems physically unable to hide her aversion to Paul and Chappies, who were already on the sidelines. To make matters worse, she tells Anela, Amy, and Shaun all of this information, essentially giving them the key to changing things in their favor.

Amy is the first to strike, proposing that Chappies eliminate Mike in the next vote. Since that’s exactly what Chappies wanted anyway, it’s no surprise that he agrees, as does Paul. If you really want to get a glimpse of the obvious pecking order on OG Vuna, look no further than Santoni. Although she was unable to vote in the last Tribal, she is fully aware that she was expendable to her native tribe. Not only does it make strategic sense for her to switch, but she also feels better on a personal level with this new majority.

Photo: M-Net

Of course, it’s one thing to agree to a turnaround plan, but another thing to implement it. Zamba loses the Immunity challenge, which means Santoni, Paul and Chappies will have to decide very soon if they go with who they know or with players they just met. While Amy is on Immunity Island, it’s up to Anela and Shaun to secure the numbers. They know the votes on the other side are going to Anela, but they stick to their plan to eliminate Mike. Carla may be the most dramatic cause, but it’s clear to them that Mike will be the biggest threat down the line.

The irony is not lost on Mike that his fate in the game is now in the hands of the people they left out only a turn ago. He doesn’t come down without a fight and gives the last argument of his life as to why they must stay strong Vuna in the new Zamba tribe. If they start to clash, it gives the original members of Zamba the opportunity to take them out once the merge is complete. To Mike’s credit, that argument makes sense, and his skills as a lawyer are fully on display here. However, he doesn’t argue in front of a judge or jury, he pleads in front of Chappies and Paul, and they still don’t know what they’re going to do.

Mike Lois
Photo: M-Net

Tribal ends up being a back and forth between the two sides. Chappies, Paul and Santoni are stuck in the classic Survivor dilemma. Do they side with their original tribesmen for a better chance at longevity in the game, or do they create a new majority and oust players who have already fucked them once? In the end, they decide to forge a new path and ignore the tribal lines. Anela gets 3 votes, but Mike gets the other 5, and he’s kicked out of the game.

While Mike was a star this episode, with his vote comes the best of tribe swap situations. Just when the tribe’s dynamic seems to be stagnating, the game is launched on a loop. Those who were once at the top now face the consequences of their social game, for better or for worse. Santoni, Chappies, and Paul saw a chance to potentially change their fate in the game, and they seized it; the original allegiances are cursed.

It’s been a great episode for all of these reasons, and I don’t think it’s going to be the last of the alliance turnarounds we’re seeing. Thoriso, Dino, and Qiean are part of the other tribe, and I’m sure they were more than aware of their position with the original members of Zamba. Combine that with Tyson’s idol, it’s fair to say that all hope is not lost on Tyson, Anesu, and Kiran.

Amy SA
Photo: M-Net

Another free end that will be covered in the next episode is the Immunity Island results. Amy lost her challenge during her time there. As a result, the other tribe will be able to loot their tribe’s camp and take 3 items they want. Amy isn’t sure how she’s going to break the news to Zamba, and it looks like she’s lying to save face. Whether or not that will come back to haunt her remains to be seen, but I can’t wait to see how Mike’s vote and the camp raid impact the future of this season.

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Terra Nil is not a city builder, it is a nature builder and that’s great



GIF: Devolver Digital / Kotaku

There are a lot of great city building games. Some make it possible to design massive and modern cities. Others focus on historic or even futuristic urban sprawl. And still others fall into various sub-genres and categories. But none of the ones I’ve played let you do the opposite: rebuild all of nature that is dead. That was until I played Terra Nil, a game developed around that.

Terra Nil just South African Developer Free Lives, the same people behind Broforce and VR success Gorn. But unlike those games, which were fun, over-the-top action hits with comedic gore, Terra Nil is a quieter and more relaxed game about saving the world and bringing back nature. To do this, you will need to manage your minimum resources carefully and clean up after yourself.

Terra Nil’s gameplay and perspective share a lot with city builders and even factory building games like Dyson Sphere Program. But the goal is entirely different. Your goal is not to build a big city, but to use green energy and a minimum of man-made structures to bring back grass, trees, blue rivers and even animal life.

You only have one resource to manage, represented in the game by leaves. Build a Wind Turbine and Fertilizer Machines and you will use part of this resource. But if you use the grass seeder, you can quickly get back everything you used and even more, assuming you place the seeder in an optimal position.

Quickly the puzzle of Terra nill became clear to me and I became obsessed with it. Trying to maximize the amount of green you bring back to the world, while using very little technology, is very satisfying. It’s also an easy dance to fuck up. Focus too much on restoring wetlands and you’ll run out of the resources you need to build forests and recycle drones.

Illustration for the article titled Terra Nil Isn't A City-Builder, It's A Nature-Builder And It's Great

Screenshot: Devolver Digital / Kotaku

Terra nill Smartly locks and hides all the buildings and tools you will be using while you play. It’s only after you’ve achieved your goals, like increasing the temperature in the area or covering most of the greenery, that these latter tools will unlock. This keeps the game from getting too overwhelming and makes it easier to know what to focus on at any given time.

Currently a demo of Terra nill is playable through the ongoing Steam Next Fest, which ends on June 22.

I highly recommend downloading and playing it. The blend of freshness building, nature-healing and wonderful music combine to create something very special that I have already spent over three hours playing. And this is just the demo. The developers have committed to adding more and more once the full game is unlocked and I’m excited to play more when it finally releases at some point in the future.