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By Steve Baragona
When the COVID-19 virus attacks, it turns the patient’s own cells into virus factories. This is the latest health and science research.
It starts at the surface of the cell, when the virus latches on to a protein that normally helps regulate the patient’s blood pressure. The cell unwittingly brings the virus inside, where the attacker unloads its cargo: instructions for making more virus.
Having no equipment of its own, the virus commandeers the cell’s machinery to make copies of its genetic code, manufacture more virus shells and deliver packaged germs to the cell surface, where they go on to infect more cells.
Drugs already on pharmacists’ shelves act on various parts of that machinery. Though they may not be intended as antiviral drugs, in the scramble to treat the rising toll of COVID-19 infections, scientists are hoping that these existing drugs might offer some help.
“We don’t have the luxury of a five-year drug discovery program. We need the agents now,” said Warner Greene, a physician and researcher at the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology.
The search has turned up some oddball candidates. Anti-cancer drugs, heart disease medications, a drug against schizophrenia and a treatment for Parkinson’s disease have all turned up as possibilities. Testing is already under way for chloroquine, an antimalarial drug.
Despite all the science behind drug development, scientists often don’t know exactly how medications work.
“In a lot of cases, we don’t know all their mechanisms of action. Sometimes we actually find that there are effects that we didn’t recognize initially,” said University of Manitoba virologist Jason Kindrachuk.
These therapies also may prove useful because drugs frequently have multiple effects. Our cells often use the same machinery to do different jobs, Kindrachuk said, and a drug that acts on one part of the machinery may produce more than one result.
Sometimes the results are unwanted side effects. But sometimes they offer opportunities to treat entirely different conditions.
When bald men taking the blood pressure medication minoxidil grew hair, the drug was repurposed as the blockbuster hair-growth product Rogaine.
Viagra was originally developed to treat chest pains from heart disease. Its impacts on erectile dysfunction were an unexpected — and lucrative — surprise.
But a drug designed for something else may not work as well against a virus.
“I do think that we might find a drug that’s moderately effective, or several drugs that are moderately effective.” And then the question is, what if you put those two moderately effective drugs together? Can they synergize and can you get a very potent antiviral? That’s our plan,” Greene said.
His group is screening thousands of drugs to see if they work against the virus in a test tube. He hopes to have results in two or three months. Several teams are pursuing similar strategies, using robots to run large numbers of tests at once.
Other scientists are working to unravel how the virus interacts with the different processes happening inside human cells, and looking for drugs that act on those processes.
It’s very early-stage research. Any drug that looks good in these tests would need to be tested on animals, and then on small groups of people, to be sure it does not do more harm than good.
Greene cautions there is a long way to go.
“It’s a first step,” he said. “There’s lots of false leads there. But there are leads.” (VOA)
By Peeyoosh Rankhamb
Parents, do you have any doubts regarding what to feed your newborn during the first year? Are you becoming anxious because of this? What should be the eating schedule for your baby?
The right kind of nutrition during the early years of life can help in the growth and development of the little one. Thus, exclusive feeding for over a year as per the doctor's advice remains key for your baby to stay healthy and keep various allergies, infections, and diseases away. Breastfeeding is vital for the baby and fulfils the baby's requirement of nutrition. At six months you need to also introduce the baby to solid foods.
Here's a list of do's and don'ts that you need to follow
* Do not introduce your baby to solid foods immediately after the first few months. The little one may not be ready for it and you will have a tough time making the baby eat this food. You should give breast milk to your child and formula milk can be given after consulting the doctor. Just be patient and follow the suggestions given by the expert.
You should give breast milk to your child and formula milk can be given after consulting the doctor. | Photo by Lucy Wolski on Unsplash
* The mother must breastfeed the baby after every two hours, including at the night. You need to properly understand the hunger cues that the baby gives you. Do not force the baby to take feeds. He/she can get grumpy and annoyed. You need to note down how many times the baby is taking feeds in a day, and if he/she is feeding correctly.
The mother must breastfeed the baby after every two hours, including at the night. | Photo by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash
* Make sure that you inculcate healthy eating habits in your babies that can help him/her throughout life. Solid foods should be introduced after six months depending on the growth and development of the baby. Do not give nuts, raisins, peanuts, nuts, jelly cubes or big pieces of food that may get stuck in the mouth.
Solid foods should be introduced after six months depending on the growth and development of the baby. | Photo by hui sang on Unsplash
* Give properly cooked or mashed potatoes, veggies, cheese, bananas, and peas. Do not introduce babies to finger foods as they are unhealthy. Make him/her eat whole fruits instead of chips or oily snacks.
Do not introduce babies to finger foods as they are unhealthy. | Photo by Anna Stampfli on Unsplash
* Chocolate contains caffeine and sugar and should be avoided after all you don't want to give your baby caffeine, right? This is so because your baby's health matters to you the most. Hence, it will be essential for you to make sure your baby is eating healthy foods.
It will be essential for you to make sure your baby is eating healthy foods. | Photo by Derek Owens on Unsplash
* Before giving an egg, ask the expert as an egg can lead to allergies. Raw vegetables contain high levels of nitrate and should be avoided owing to the choking hazards.
Before giving an egg, ask the expert as an egg can lead to allergies. | Photo by Hannah Tasker on Unsplash
In case you want to understand the diet in a better way than just consult an expert who will help you regarding how to feed the baby in the correct way.
(Article originally published on IANSlife) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: feed, baby, six, months, health, expert, year one, eating, food
Samsung Electronics will quickly decide on a foundry investment in the US, a senior executive said Tuesday, as the South Korean tech giant seeks to become the world's number one player in the logic chip and foundry sectors. Samsung Electronics, the world's number two foundry firm behind Taiwan's TSMC, announced in May that it will build a $17 billion fab in the US.
Samsung's de facto leader Lee Jae-yong is widely speculated to visit the US, possibly next month, to finalise the site, with the city of Taylor, Texas, emerging as the strongest candidate. Other candidates include Arizona, New York, and Austin, Texas. Kim Ki-nam, Vice Chairman and CEO of Samsung's device solutions division, said it takes time for the company to review all the factors such as "infrastructure, site, personnel and state incentives," and make a final decision.
"We are trying to make a decision as soon as possible," Kim told reporters on the sidelines of the Korea Electronics Show 2021, which is under way at an exhibition center in southern Seoul. He made the comments when asked whether Samsung will make an investment within this year. He did not elaborate, reports Yonhap news agency.
Separately, Kim said the company has been "calmly" preparing answers to a recent request by the US Department of Commerce about its semiconductor business. The US has asked global chipmakers, including Samsung, to share information on inventories and demanded other details by November 8 to "help improve trust and transparency within the supply chain." The request spawned concerns about the leak of chipmakers' major trade secrets. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: samsung, electronics, investment, US, chipmakers
It's been over two years since Hrithik Roshan appeared on celluloid. Fans have been waiting to witness his next performance on the silver screen and it seems like their wishes will be soon granted. Earlier, Hrithik had made an announcement about getting back to shooting schedule for the upcoming film 'Vikram Vedha'. And now, it's learnt that the actor has recently wrapped the first ever action sequence from the film.
The news came out when a few stuntmen from the film's set shared pictures of the sequence wrap. The stunt sequences seem to be quite crazy as suggested by the stuntmen. Talking about the same, a stuntman posted on his instagram as he wrote, "Wrapped up the first action sequence of Vikram Vedha. A big 'Thank you' to @parvez.shaikhh sir for this opportunity. Wouldn't have been possible without you ?? @hrithikroshan."
Another stuntman posted, "First craziest action sequence have done (sic).!! Cheer's To @hrithikroshan @parvez.shaikhh @stuntindia1 and all the stunt boys.!!"
'Vikram Vedha' is a Hindi remake of the runaway Tamil hit of the same name which was released in 2017. While the original action thriller starred R. Madhavan and Vijay Sethupathi, the Hindi version will see Hrithik Roshan squaring off against Saif Ali Khan. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Hrithik Roshan, Vikram Vedha, action, sequence, wrap up