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US virologists have claimed to identify a potential COVID-19 treatment. Pixabay

As the world scrambles to find a cure for the novel coronavirus, virologists in the US have reported a possible therapeutic treatment for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the COVID-19 infection.

Pathogenic coronaviruses are a major threat to global public health, as shown by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, or SARS-CoV; Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, known as MERS-CoV; and the newly emerged novel coronavirus (COVID-19).


The study, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, revealed how small molecule protease inhibitors show potency against human coronaviruses.

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These coronavirus 3C-like proteases, known as 3CLpro, are strong therapeutic targets because they play vital roles in coronavirus replication.


Small molecule protease inhibitors show potency against human coronaviruses. Pixabay

“Vaccine developments and treatments are the biggest targets in Covid-19 research, and treatment is really key,” said study researcher Kyeong-Ok Chang from the Kansas State University in the US.

“This paper describes protease inhibitors targeting coronavirus 3CLpro, which is a well-known therapeutic target,” Chang added.

The current study demonstrated that this series of optimised coronavirus 3CLpro inhibitors blocked replication of the human coronaviruses MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 in cultured cells and in a mouse model for MERS.

These findings suggest that this series of compounds should be investigated further as a potential therapeutic for human coronavirus infection.


Series of compounds should be investigated further as a potential therapeutic for human coronavirus infection. Pixabay

The research team has been using the National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants to develop antiviral drugs to treat MERS and human norovirus infections.Their work extends to other human viruses such as rhinoviruses and SARS-CoV-2.

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“The work that this group of collaborators has been doing on antivirals and inhibitors for SARS and MERS for a number of years has been vital to their ability to quickly pivot to emphasise research on SARS-CoV-2 virus and therapeutics,” said Peter K. Dorhout from the Kansas State University.

“We would not have been able to come this far without important collaborations with our colleagues at other institutions. I think we are adding valuable information to the antiviral field,” the study authors wrote. (IANS)


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Holige, ready to serve

During the festive season, kitchens are filled with people trying to find a space for them to work, while they contribute to the eventual feast. In India, festivals are one of the most important things that bind families and friends together over food. Diwali is of those festivals that apart from being known for the colors and lights, is known and remembered by the elaborate dishes that each family doles out.

In Karnataka, parts of Gujarat and Maharashtra, and South India in general, making obbattu/ holige/ puran poli is a festive ritual. Known as Holige, more popularly in Kannada, this dish is eaten as a dessert because of its sweetness but can be eaten as a meal in itself because of its nutritious value.

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Kerala Kalamandalam admits girl students after 90 years

Kerala Kalamandalam that teaches the globally recognized art form of Kerala -- Kathakali, has for the first time in its history of 90 years, admitted girl students.

In class VII of Kalamadalam, out of 10 students admitted, 9 are girl students for its Kathakali course. Kathakali is a highly masculine art form with even the female characters being portrayed by men. The attempt is being welcomed across the world.

However several women had started practicing Kathakali in 1970 and 1990 and K.K. Gopalakrishnan, renowned art critic of Kerala in his research book, 'Kathakali Dance - Theatre', said that some women from foreign countries had trained for some short-term courses in Kerala on Kathakali.

Most of these performing women artists were either trained privately by Kathakali masters but this is the first time that Kalamandalam is taking in girl students for its long-term programme.

T.K. Narayanan, Vice-Chancellor, Kerala Kalamandalam told media persons that giving admission to girl students in Kalamadalam was a demand for several quarters since long and that this academic year the governing body has decided to give admission to girl students in a full-time programme at Kalamandalam.

Training at Kalamandalam from school days would expose the students to the teaching and guidance of experts and a diverse pool of teachers of the institute who have huge exposure and deep knowledge of the subject. (IANS/JB)


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Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the Delhi government would arrange free-of-cost travel for senior citizens from Delhi to Ayodhya.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said the Delhi government would arrange free-of-cost travel for senior citizens from Delhi to Ayodhya.

"I want every Indian should be fortunate enough to have a 'darshan' (visit) of Ram Lalla. I am a small man but Lord Ram has given me enough and I will use my position to help people to come for darshan here," Kejriwal added after offering prayers at the Ram Janmabhoomi temple in Ayodhya on Tuesday.

Speaking to the media, he said, "I pray to Lord Ram to help India move ahead in the world and bring prosperity for 130 crore people."

Kejriwal, who visited the Hanuman Garhi temple, said he was fortunate enough to be in Ayodhya and seek blessings from Lord Ram for the welfare of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and the rest of the country.

The Delhi Chief Minister had arrived at the temple town on Monday and attended the 'Sarayu aarti' where he interacted with saints and seers. (IANS/JB)


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