Methods to Combat the COVID-19 Coronavirus

Discussion in 'Present & Current Events' started by Thomas R. Morrison, Mar 15, 2020.

  1. nivek

    nivek As Above So Below

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    Here's a ray of hope, a touch of good news...

    ...

    Scientists find new mutation of coronavirus that mirrors a change in the 2003 SARS virus that showed the disease was weakening

    Scientists have discovered a unique mutation to coronavirus in Arizona - and it's a pattern that they've seen before. One of the 382 samples they collected from coronavirus patients in the state was missing a sizeable segment of genetic material.

    In the middle and late stages of the SARS epidemic of 2003, this very same kind of deletion started cropping up in patients around the globe. It's not just any mutation - the change robs the closely related viruses of one of their weapons against the host's immune response, making the infection weaker. As that mutation became widespread, the SARS outbreak wound down. By July - five months after it emerged in Asia in February 23 - there were no new cases, and the outbreak was considered contained.

    Now, the Arizona State University researchers have only found one person who had a version of the virus with this mutation - but they say if genome sequencing for coronavirus become more common, we may find far more.

    Some viruses mutate nearly constantly, making them more difficult for us to keep up with, prevent and treat. HIV is among the most prolific mutators known to man. It replicates itself rapidly as well, making billions of copies of itself in a single day. These traits combined make it exceptionally hard to control and allow the virus to become resistant to drugs.

    From what we know of it so far, the virus causing the current pandemic - SARS-CoV-2 - is far more reliable than something like HIV.

    That's both good and bad.

    On one hand, the less a virus mutates, the better our odds of making a vaccine that can effectively block it are.

    But until we have a vaccine - a wait period for which estimates vary wildly, with some experts saying we could have one by January, others predicting making one will take a year or two, and a few, fringe speculators putting its arrival date a far out as 2036 - the stable coronavirus will continue to reliably infect millions and kill hundreds of thousands.

    (more on the link)

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  2. AD1184

    AD1184 Honorable

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    There is a study from South Korea which indicates that hydroxychloroquine might be an effective post-exposure prophylaxis against Covid-19, after the drug was administered to patients after a mass-exposure event at a Korean hospital due to the presence of a symptomatic and Covid-19 positive healthcare worker.

    Can post-exposure prophylaxis for COVID-19 be considered as an outbreak response strategy in long-term care hospitals? - ScienceDirect

    You might say that the South Korean study mentioned above is not controlled or randomized, and that is why it is not so widely reported. But neither was the US Veterans' Association study which was widely publicized and which had many other flaws. HCQ is hypothesized to inhibit the replication of the virus in the body (this mechanism also requires adequate zinc levels). Dose timing is therefore very important. If you give it to people with advanced Covid-19, as in the VA study, it will be useless. We expect that already, and any studies demonstrating that it has no effect on late-stage Covid-19 are also useless and do not add anything, but of course garner lots of press attention.

    Donald Trump's pushing HCQ has poisoned the well. There are many in the media, and even I think in the scientific and medical establishments, to whom it would be a defeat if the drug that Trump was endorsing turned out to be useful. However, there are indication that it might be. It is also very cheap, in comparison to something like Remdesivir, which costs something like $5,000 per course, and has been given something of a free-ride, despite also having patchy trial results. A course of HCQ is less than 1% of that. Trump should recognize his anti-Midas touch and keep his mouth shut, and people should stop being so petty.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2020
  3. nivek

    nivek As Above So Below

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    I think the only treatment that is currently effective at curing people with advanced Covid-19 is plasma transfusion...There should be a more concerted effort through sources like the media to encourage people who have overcome Covid-19 on their own to donate plasma for the severe and critical cases...

    ...
     
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  4. AD1184

    AD1184 Honorable

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    Coronavirus: Amount of particles, or 'viral load' affect severity | Daily Mail Online
    This gels with a lot of things I have been reading in other sources about this virus. I don't think it is correct to refer to it as the 'viral load', which is a different concept, but rather the correct term is the inoculum or infective dose. If you live with someone with Covid-19, you may get a worse illness with everything else being equal, because you potentially get a large inoculum by being in close proximity for an extended period. Cases of infection caused by casual momentary contact are probably less worse than those who are exposed to the same person a lot, or to lots of people with the virus, especially to those who are have serious illness (which are conditions that health care workers face). There may be a repeat exposure phenomenon, where lots of small doses also equate to the effect of a large dose.

    Therefore, the danger in getting infected by someone in your household who has Covid-19 is potentially much greater than if you were to get infected at the supermarket, say.
     
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  5. Thomas R. Morrison

    Thomas R. Morrison Administrator

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    I've been scanning the news for early findings from the on-going studies of convalescent plasma therapy, and even now....five months into this outbreak...there are still no results to be found. It's infuriating. I have no idea what could possibly be taking so long - this treatment is being used all around the world and yet nobody has released any assessment data. Wtf?

    And you're absolutely correct - this needs to be a daily news item so people who have recovered can save the lives of those who haven't.

    But this is where the unfathomable incompetence of our government comes in: the only people who qualify to donate blood plasma are those who have treated positive for the virus and then recovered . But thanks to the pitifully sparse availability of testing, only a tiny percentage of recovered patients have been tested for the virus. So most of the people who could be helping out by donating their blood plasma, can't.

    Hopefully somebody somewhere will eventually publish findings about the effectiveness of this therapy so we can put the efficacy question behind us and start promoting a protocol that could save tens of thousands of lives. So far all I can find are very hopeful anecdotal reports about its effectiveness...which are encouraging but next to worthless, from a scientific vantage point.

    I hate to complain without posting a silver lining, so here it is: some researchers are harvesting antibodies from recovered patients, then isolating the different varieties of antibodies and testing their effectiveness against the virus, and then cloning the most potent antibodies, which is known as monoclonal antibody therapy. And a treatment from this process could be available as early as summer's end, they're saying:

    Coronavirus News: New twist on plasma treatment could be ready by summer's end
     
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  6. Thomas R. Morrison

    Thomas R. Morrison Administrator

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    Okay this is my first and possibly only ever Must Read recommendation. Want a simple, scientific understanding of the basic physics of coronavirus epidemiology...so you can quickly and intuitively assess the risks present in any environment? Want to know how many virus particles you have to be exposed to in order to develop an infection, and know how many of those particles are released when somebody breathes, talks, coughs, and sneezes?

    Then read this, and possibly save your own life and many others in the process:

    https://erinbromage.wixsite.com/covid19/post/the-risks-know-them-avoid-them
     
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  7. AlienView

    AlienView Honorable

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    Can Magnetic Fields be used to Combat and even Cure Covid 19 ?

    NOTE: Magnetic therapy dates back to Ancient Egypt and is still popular for things like arthriits.
    People who have studied it have found magnetic field also have anti-bacterial, anti-viral,
    and some say even anti-caneer properties.

    Read this short excerpt:

    "Magnetic Antibiotics:

    There are numerous evidences that microorganisms capable of infecting humans will die in a
    negative magnetic field of a sufficient gauss strength and sufficient duration. This is true whether
    the infectious agent is a virus, bacteria, fungus, parasite or other invading microorganism.

    A man with a culture identification of a tuberculosis lesion on the back of his had, having been
    unsuccessfully treated with various antibiotics, was treated with a plastiform magnet 4” square
    and 1/8” thick with the negative magnetic field facing the lesion and kept on continuously for six
    weeks. This negative magnetic field completely killed the tuberculosis skin lesion. Thus, we
    know there is a magnetic answer for tuberculosis no matter where it is on or in the body.

    A man with viral C hepatitis with a positive fetoprotein test was treated with the negative magnetic
    field of a 4” x 6” x ½” magnet 24 hours a day for several weeks. The viral infection died out and
    the fetoprotein test became zero.
    ...."


    Conclusion from Current Observations

    The death of invading type microorganisms cannot be demonstrated by invitro culture outside of the human body. The death of these invading microorganisms is dependent on invivo infection. The static negative magnetic field strengthens the human cell’s response such that the human cells can kill invading microorganisms. All invading microorganisms of viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites and others have all responded with death of the microorganism from sufficiently strong static negative magnetic field of sufficient duration. There is no adaptation capacity of these microorganisms to a static negative magnetic field. The good news is that in addition to the life saving value of currently used antibiotics, we now have a static negative magnetic field with universal antibiotic value to which no human invading microorganisms can adapt........"


    See whole article here:
    http://www.lymehub.com/Magnetic_Antibiotics.pdf


    I've been using magnets for years on arthritic joints with much success. On other things, say a bad tooth,
    I found they killed pain but I'v never been able to heal a really bad tooth. Could a strong enough magnetic
    field actually be uses to control and/or kill the Coronavirus???
     
  8. nivek

    nivek As Above So Below

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    Here's a little news on this, glad to see more people are getting involved in donating plasma...

    ....

    New York Orthodox Jews make up HALF of all US plasma donors volunteering blood to help treat COVID-19 patients as the community turns 'tragedy into a superpower'

    New York Orthodox Jews make up half of all US plasma donors volunteering blood to help treat COVID-19 patients, according to a medical expert.

    Dr. Michael Joyner of the Mayo Clinic, who is running a study on the effects of plasma to treat the virus, said more than 5,000 patients across the US have been given plasma treatment so far and, when it comes to donors, 'by far the largest group is our Orthodox friends in New York City. I would be shocked if they were less than half the total,' Joyner told the New York Times.

    Thousands of Americans who have recovered from coronavirus are donating their blood to plasma clinics in the hope that it can be used to treat other people struck down by the virus. And Orthodox Jews are making up a significant proportion of the volunteers as the famously tight-knit community pulls together amid the health crisis and many see their newfound health as a 'blessing', according to medics and community members.

    More than 12,000 New York Orthodox Jews have signed up to various community programs donating blood plasma since April 4 and organizers expect this to reach 30,000 soon, the Times reported. Several grassroots initiatives have sprung up in the local community, with the word spreading via synagogues and community newsletters.


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  9. nivek

    nivek As Above So Below

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    Canadian scientists test whether compounds in marijuana can prevent coronavirus from 'hijacking' human cells

    A team of Canadian scientists is testing whether or not marijuana compounds can block coronavirus infection. Researchers at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta looked at 400 cannabis strains and focused on about a dozen that showed promise in preventing the virus from 'hijacking' our cells.

    They say extracts of cannabidiol (CBD), the main non-psychoactive component of pot - helped lower the number of cell receptors available for coronavirus to attach to by more than 70 percent. However, the team says people should not rush out and by cannabis products and that clinical trials are needed to confirm the results.


    For the study, published in the pre-peer reviewed journal Preprints, the scientists partnered with Pathway Rx, a cannabis therapy research company, and Swysh Inc, a cannabinoid-based research company. The team created artificial 3D human models of oral, airway and intestinal tissues with a sample of high CBD extracts from Cannabis Sativa plants. The extracts were low in THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

    Next, researchers tested the effect the extracts had on angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the receptors required for the virus to enter human cells. Results showed that the extracts helped reduce the number of receptors that are the 'gateway' for the coronavirus to 'hijack' host cells.

    'A number of them have reduced the number of [virus] receptors by 73 percent, the chance of it getting in is much lower,' lead researchers Dr Igor Kovalchuk, CEO of Pathway Rx, told The Calgary Herald. 'If they can reduce the number of receptors, there's much less chance of getting infected.'

    They also looked at other receptors such as TMPRSS2, which allows the virus to invade cells more easily and multiply quickly. 'Imagine a cell being a large building,' Kovalchuk told CTV News. 'Cannabinoids decrease the number of doors in the building by, say, 70 percent, so it means the level of entry will be restricted. So, therefore, you have more chance to fight it.'

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  10. nivek

    nivek As Above So Below

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    No known animal host and 'almost perfect' human adaption: Top Australian vaccine scientist reveals how COVID-19's unique structure means it's either man-made - or a 'complete fluke' of nature

    Coronavirus is so 'perfectly adapted' to infect humans that the possibility it was made in a Chinese lab can't be ignored, Australian vaccine researchers conclude. Professor Nikolai Petrovsky said the virus was better at attaching itself to human cells than to any other animal, explaining why it has infected five million people.

    The vaccine expert warned the investigation into where COVID-19 started, as proposed by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, was as a result urgently needed and should have begun months ago.

    The startling results of his research were first revealed by the Mail on Sunday on the weekend - and on Wednesday his team gave Daily Mail Australia fresh details about why it must be considered a possibility the virus escaped from a lab in Wuhan.


    [​IMG]
    Coronavirus is so 'perfectly adapted' to infect humans that the possibility it was made in a Chinese lab can't be ignored, vaccine researcher Professor Nikolai Petrovsky concludes.

    The team at Flinders University in Adelaide and Latrobe University in Melbourne studied how well SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, infected different animals. Coronavirus binds itself to the ACE2 receptor molecule in lung cells using a spike protein - the tighter it can attach itself, the less likely it is to be washed away and the sicker it makes its host.

    Professor Petrovsky expected to find an animal that was most susceptible to this, such as bats, and was likely the original source of the virus - but was shocked when humans came out on top. Furthermore, viruses tend to get better at infecting new species as they adapt over time, but COVID-19 started 'completely optimised from day one without the need to evolve'.

    'This is a new virus that has never been in humans before, but it has an extraordinarily high binding to human receptors, which is very surprising,' he told Daily Mail Australia. 'It is almost perfectly human adapted, it couldn't do any better.

    'We have to ask how that happened. Was it a complete fluke? It can be as nature has many shots at goal and you only see the ones that land.

    'Another possibility which still cannot be excluded is that SARS-CoV-2 was created by a recombination event that occurred inadvertently or consciously in a laboratory handling coronaviruses, with the new virus then accidentally released into the local human population.'

    (more on the link)


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  11. AD1184

    AD1184 Honorable

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    How do a "a cannabinoid-based research company" and a "cannabis therapy research company" make their money? Is it so surprising that organizations devoted to attempting to persuade people that cannabis cures everything claim to have found that it cures Covid-19? Also, the human body likely produces ACE2 for a reason, attempting to remove as much of it as possible from the body may not be good for health.
     
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  12. pigfarmer

    pigfarmer tall, thin, irritable

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    We self-diagnose and self-prescribe cures. Snake oil salesman always have a market.
     
  13. AD1184

    AD1184 Honorable

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    There probably is a market for this 'snake oil', but I don't think these companies market their products directly to the public. They may not even have marketable products (I do not have time to research them at the moment). I suspect however that they are backed by interests which seek to promote, and profit from, cannabis as a recreational drug, and to use 'medical cannabis' as a wedge through which to drive legalization in potential markets where it is not yet legal, and to increase acceptance and use in places where it now is.
     
  14. nivek

    nivek As Above So Below

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  15. AD1184

    AD1184 Honorable

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    Turns out that the study, along with one other in the New England Journal of Medicine, relied on dodgy data provided by health data company Surgisphere, founded by one of the study's co-authors. Issues with the data include the purported existence of massive numbers of comprehensive electronic health records in African countries, that the authors supposedly got consent to use at the drop of a hat. Rates of certain ailments and lifestyle habits were eerily uniform across disparate nations in the data, as well as a raft of other issues, indicating that the data were fraudulent. The Lancet needs to explain how and why the paper was able to pass peer review.

    Science is operating differently to normal in this pandemic. Scientific papers are usually years in the making. Once the research is complete, and the paper has been submitted for publication, the peer review stage typically takes many months. That would mean that any study begun at the start of the pandemic would normally not be expected to be published before next year. This process has been greatly accelerated due to the crisis of Covid-19 but this will necessarily have led to a lowering of standards, so published papers need to be viewed with greater scepticism.

    As the adage goes, haste makes waste. Bad studies being published by prestigious journals at this time mean that people take actions based on them that may do more harm, they also require people to waste their time in responding to and correcting the misinformation within them. In this case, it has also tarnished the reputation of HCQ such that it will be more difficult for researchers to recruit study participants to take the drug, as they will have the impression that it is poisonous as this study was gleefully and abundantly reported throughout the world's press.

    Top journals raise concerns about data in two studies related to Covid-19
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2020
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  16. nivek

    nivek As Above So Below

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    Wear a mask in public, simple...

    This Miltter is a nice one and inexpensive...

    Screenshot_20200618-185247.jpg
     
  17. nivek

    nivek As Above So Below

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    This is the first advertising I've seen online asking for Plasma to combat Covid-19...

    2020_06_25_08.28.41-1.jpg
     
  18. nivek

    nivek As Above So Below

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    I didn't know this about the live polio vaccine, that it provides temporary immunity to other viruses for a very short time...It's not a cure but could save lives, of course there are risks...

    ...

    Decades-Old Soviet Studies Hint at Coronavirus Strategy

    MOSCOW — To the boys, it was just a sugary treat. To their parents, prominent medical researchers, what happened in their Moscow apartment that day in 1959 was a vital experiment with countless lives at stake — and their own children as guinea pigs.

    “We formed a kind of line,” Dr. Peter Chumakov, who was 7 at the time, recalled in an interview. Into each waiting mouth, a parent popped a sugar cube laced with weakened poliovirus — an early vaccine against a dreaded disease. “I was eating it from the hands of my mother.”

    Today, that same vaccine is gaining renewed attention from researchers — including those brothers, who all grew up to be virologists — as a possible weapon against the new coronavirus, based in part on research done by their mother, Dr. Marina Voroshilova.

    Voroshilova established that the live polio vaccine had an unexpected benefit that, it turns out, could be relevant to the current pandemic: People who got the vaccine did not become sick with other viral illnesses for a month or so afterward. She took to giving the boys polio vaccine each fall as protection against flu.

    Now some scientists in several countries are taking a keen interest in the idea of repurposing existing vaccines, like the one with live poliovirus and another for tuberculosis, to see if they can provide at least temporary resistance to the coronavirus. Russians are among them, drawing on a long history of vaccine research — and of researchers, unconcerned about being scoffed at as mad scientists, experimenting on themselves.

    Experts advise that the idea — like many other proposed ways of attacking the pandemic — must be approached with great caution.

    “We are much better off with a vaccine that induces specific immunity,” Dr. Paul Offit, a co-inventor of a vaccine against the rotavirus and professor at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, said in a telephone interview. Any benefits from a repurposed vaccine, he said, are “much shorter-lived and incomplete” compared with a tailored vaccine.

    Still, Dr. Robert Gallo, a leading advocate of testing the polio vaccine against the coronavirus, said that repurposing vaccines is “one of the hottest areas of immunology.” Gallo, director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, said that even if the weakened poliovirus confers immunity for only a month or so, “it gets you over the hump, and it would save a lot of lives.”

    But there are risks.

    Billions of people have taken live poliovirus vaccine, nearly eradicating the disease. However, in extremely rare cases, the weakened virus used in the vaccine can mutate into a more dangerous form, cause polio and infect other people. The risk of paralysis is estimated at 1 in 2.7 million vaccinations.

    For those reasons, public health organizations say that once a region eliminates naturally occurring polio, it must stop routine use of the oral vaccine, as the United States did 20 years ago.

    And this month, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases delayed a study designed by Gallo’s institute, the Cleveland Clinic, the University of Buffalo and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center to test the effectiveness of live polio vaccine against the coronavirus using health care workers as subjects. The agency raised safety concerns, including the chance of live poliovirus making its way into water supplies and infecting others, according to researchers familiar with the study application. The press office of the NIAID declined to comment.

    But other countries are moving ahead. Trials with the polio vaccine have begun in Russia and are planned in Iran and Guinea-Bissau.

    A specific vaccine for the coronavirus would be one that trains the immune system to target that virus specifically, and more than 125 vaccine candidates are under development around the world.

    Repurposed vaccines, in contrast, use live but weakened viruses or bacteria to stimulate the innate immune system more broadly to fight pathogens, at least temporarily.

    The first polio vaccine, developed by Dr. Jonas Salk, an American, used “inactivated” virus — particles of killed virus. It had to be injected, an obstacle to immunization campaigns in poorer countries.

    When that vaccine was widely introduced in 1955, Dr. Albert Sabin was testing a vaccine using live but attenuated poliovirus, which could be taken orally. But in the United States, with the Salk vaccine already in use, authorities were reluctant to take the perceived risk of conducting live-virus trials.

    Sabin gave his three strains of attenuated virus to a married pair of virologists in the Soviet Union, Dr. Mikhail Chumakov, founder of a polio research institute that now bears his name, and Voroshilova.

    Mikhail Chumakov vaccinated himself, but a medicine intended primarily for children needed child test subjects, so he and Voroshilova gave it to their three sons and several nieces and nephews.

    Their experiment enabled him to persuade a senior Soviet official, Anastas Mikoyan, to proceed with wider trials, eventually leading to the mass production of an oral polio vaccine used around the world. The United States began oral polio vaccinations in 1961 after it was proved safe in the Soviet Union.

    “Somebody has to be the first,” Peter Chumakov said in an interview. “I was never angry. I think it was very good to have such a father, who is confident enough that what he is doing is right and is sure he will not harm his children.”

    His mother was, if anything, even more enthusiastic about running the tests on the boys, he said.

    “She was absolutely sure there was nothing to be scared of,” he said.

    Something Voroshilova noticed decades ago has renewed interest in the oral vaccine.

    A typical healthy child is host to a dozen or so respiratory viruses that cause little or no illness. But Voroshilova could not find any of them in children soon after they were immunized against polio.

    A huge study in the Soviet Union of 320,000 people, from 1968 to 1975, overseen by Voroshilova, found reduced mortality from flu in people immunized with other vaccines, including the oral polio vaccine.

    She won recognition in the Soviet Union for demonstrating a link between vaccinations and broad protection against viral diseases, likely by stimulating the immune system.

    Voroshilova’s and Chumakov’s work clearly influenced their sons’ minds as well as their health; not only did all of them become virologists, they embraced self-testing as well.

    Peter Chumakov today is chief scientist at the Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology at the Russian Academy of Sciences and co-founder of a company in Cleveland that treats cancer with viruses. He has developed about 25 viruses for use against tumors — all of which, he said, he has tested on himself.

    He is also now taking the polio vaccine, which he grows in his own laboratory, as possible protection against the coronavirus.

    Dr. Ilia Chumakov, a molecular biologist, helped sequence the human genome in France.

    Dr. Alexei Chumakov, who was not yet born when his parents experimented on his brothers, worked as a cancer researcher at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles for much of his career. While working in Moscow, he developed a vaccine against hepatitis E, which he tested first on himself.

    “It’s an old tradition,” he said. “The engineer should stand under the bridge when the first heavy load goes over.”

    Dr. Konstantin Chumakov is an associate director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Vaccine Research and Review, which would be involved in approving any coronavirus vaccines for use in Americans. He is also a co-author, with Gallo and others, of a recent article in the journal Science that promotes research into repurposing existing vaccines.

    In an interview, he said he cannot remember eating the sugar cube back in 1959 — he was 5 years old — but approved of his parents’ experiment as a step toward saving untold numbers of children from paralysis.

    “It was the right thing to do,” he said. “Now there would be questions, like, ‘Did you get permission from the ethics committee?’”

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  19. nivek

    nivek As Above So Below

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    How Covid-19 causes infected human cells to sprout tentacles loaded with viral venom to help it spread around the body in a process scientists call 'sinister'

    [​IMG]


    The coronavirus zombifies human cells and causes them to sprout tentacles in order to spread around the body, scientists have discovered. A study led by the University of California saw researchers take microscopic images of this process, which they have described as 'so sinister'. Images show infected cells growing tentacle-like spikes, known as filopodia, which appear to be littered with viral particles.

    The researchers believe the disease uses the tentacles to 'surf' to healthy cells, where it injects its viral venom into them and creates more zombie cells. Until now, researchers believed Covid infected like most other viruses - by latching onto healthy cells and turning them into copying machines. But, in people with healthy immune systems, the body can fight off the majority of the virus and prevent it from replicating in high amounts in the body.

    The latest discovery appears to show that Covid has, at some point in its evolution, developed a back-up plan to get round the immune system. The finding has been described as an 'amazing leap' in the fight against coronavirus and may open the door to a host of new treatment options.

    Nevan Krogan, a professor in cellular and molecular pharmacology at the University of California and lead researcher, told the LA Times: 'It’s just so sinister that the virus uses other mechanisms to infect other cells before it kills the cell.' Other viruses — including HIV and vaccinia, a member of the virus family that causes smallpox — also use filopodia as way to spread infection through the body. But Professor Krogan said the way Covid-19 can grow the tentacles so rapidly is highly unusual.

    He also said their shape - protruding out of the cell towards other cells like branches on a tree - was also strange. Columbia University microbiologist Professor Stephen Goff admitted the finding was 'intriguing' but said it did not necessarily mean the tentacles were behaving as a second mode of spreading. He told the LA Times: 'It’s intriguing and a really cool observation. But we don’t yet know what stage [of infection] is affected. It will be great fun to find out.'

    Scientists behind the study - published in the journal Cell - believe the discovery could open the door to new treatments. They have now identified seven existing cancer drugs that block the growth of filopodia.

    Among the seven drugs are gilteritinib, sold as Xospata, which is used to treat acute myeloid leukemia and Silmitasertib, an unproven drug being trialled as a treatment for bile duct cancer and a form of childhood brain cancer.

    Reacting to the findings, Professor Andrew Mehle, a microbiologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told SFist: 'This paper shows just how completely the virus is able to rewire all of the signals going on inside the cell. That's really remarkable and it's something that occurs very rapidly (as soon as two hours after cells are infected).' Lynne Cassimeris, a professor of biological sciences at Lehigh University, said the discovery was an 'amazing leap'.

    The study included scientists from Mount Sinai in New York, Rocky Mountain Labs in Montana, the Pasteur Institute in Paris and the University of Freiburg in Germany. It was launched in February to rapidly identify existing drugs that had the potential to treat the then-brand new disease. They monitored how the virus responded to drugs under laboratory settings in test tube experiments.

    One of Britain's leading experts said last week that the coronavirus has lots of 'immunological tricks up its sleeve' that make it hyper-infectious. Peter Openshaw, professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London, said the virus is 'surprisingly' good at ducking the human immune system — despite only jumping from animals six months ago.

    He said normally it takes years of co-existing with humans for any virus to evolve these traits.

    Professor Openshaw told the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee last week: 'In terms of durability, viruses often have a way of modulating the host's immune response. 'It's the way they've evolved to tune down the immune response that's generated by the virus. That would usually be particularly strong in virus that's had long time to co-evolve with human host. 'What surprises us about this novel virus that's only recently jumped from bats to humans, is already seems to have a lot of immunological tricks up its sleeve and is able to interfere with the immune response and in a way disseminate in a way that you wouldn't really expect a virus that has only just moved into the human population.

    'We wonder why that is. We wouldn't have thought that a virus could behave in such a complex way when its only just been introduced into a new species.' He added: 'So maybe there are tricks it has learned while evolving in another species that have cross over effect.'

    Professor Openshaw shot down theories that the virus had already infected humans before. He also ruled out the possibility that had been manufactured or interefered with in a laboratory in China, as has been heavily insinuated by US President Donald Trump. Professor Openshaw told the committee that he thought it was 'just chance' that the virus has learnt to trick the immune system.

    (more on the link)

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  20. nivek

    nivek As Above So Below

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    Visualizing the effectiveness of face masks in obstructing respiratory jets

    ABSTRACT

    The use of face masks in public settings has been widely recommended by public health officials during the current COVID-19 pandemic. The masks help mitigate the risk of cross-infection via respiratory droplets; however, there are no specific guidelines on mask materials and designs that are most effective in minimizing droplet dispersal. While there have been prior studies on the performance of medical-grade masks, there are insufficient data on cloth-based coverings, which are being used by a vast majority of the general public.

    We use qualitative visualizations of emulated coughs and sneezes to examine how material- and design-choices impact the extent to which droplet-laden respiratory jets are blocked. Loosely folded face masks and bandana-style coverings provide minimal stopping-capability for the smallest aerosolized respiratory droplets. Well-fitted homemade masks with multiple layers of quilting fabric, and off-the-shelf cone style masks, proved to be the most effective in reducing droplet dispersal. These masks were able to curtail the speed and range of the respiratory jets significantly, albeit with some leakage through the mask material and from small gaps along the edges.

    Importantly, uncovered emulated coughs were able to travel notably farther than the currently recommended 6-ft distancing guideline. We outline the procedure for setting up simple visualization experiments using easily available materials, which may help healthcare professionals, medical researchers, and manufacturers in assessing the effectiveness of face masks and other personal protective equipment qualitatively.


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