Tuesday 29th of November 2022

horses for courses……….

By the time a cell senses that it’s been infected by a virus, it generally knows it is doomed. Soon, it will be busted up by the body’s immunological patrol or detonated by the invader itself. So the moribund cell plays its trump card: It bleats out microscopic shrieks that danger is nigh.


The Coronavirus Has One Strategy We Can’t Vaccinate Against

It may be getting better at dodging one of the immune system’s main defenses.

By Katherine J. Wu


These intercellular messages, ferried about by molecules called interferons, serve as a warning signal to nearby cells—“‘You are about to be infected; it’s time for you to set up an antiviral state,’” says Juliet Morrison, an immunologist at UC Riverside. Recipient cells start battening down the hatches, switching on hundreds of genes that help them pump out suites of defensive proteins. Strong, punchy interferon responses are essential to early viral control, acting as a “first line of defense” that comes online within minutes or hours, says Mario Santiago, an immunologist at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. At their best, interferons can contain the infection so quickly that the rest of the immune system hardly needs to get involved.


Viruses, of course, aren’t content to let that happen. Pretty much all of them, SARS-CoV-2 included, are darn good at impairing interferon signaling, or finding their way around the virus-blocking shields that cells raise after heeding those molecular calls. And as new coronavirus variants arise, they may be steadily improving their ability to resist interferons’ punch—making it easier, perhaps, for the microbes to spread within and between bodies, or spark more serious disease.

This development may sound kind of familiar: As the coronavirus has evolved, one of its main moves has been to repeatedly dodge the antibodies that vaccines and past infections raise. But there’s a key difference. Although antibodies are powerful, most are able to recognize and latch onto only a super-specific sliver of a single pathogen’s physique. Interferons, meanwhile, are the ultimate generalists, a set of catch-all burglar alarms. Even if the body has never seen a particular pathogen before and no relevant antibodies are present, cells will make interferons as soon as they realize a virus is around—“any and all viruses,” says Eleanor Fish, an immunologist at the University of Toronto. “It doesn’t matter what the virus is, it doesn’t matter where it comes in.”


Once warned, interferon-ized cells leap into action. They will reinforce their exteriors; sharpen molecular scissors that can hack the microbe to bits, should it get inside; and conjure up sticky substances that can stop the virus’s progeny from exiting. All that buys the immune system time to rouse, again with interferons’ help, more precise fighters, such as B cells and T cells.


But this system isn’t foolproof. Some viruses will cloak their innards from cellular sensors, so the relevant alarm wires never get tripped. Others destroy the gears that get the interferon system cranking, so the warning signals never get sent. Particularly resilient viruses may not even mind if interferon messages go out, because they’re able to steel themselves against the many defenses that the molecules marshal in other cells. Strategies such as these are pretty much ubiquitous because they’re so crucial to pathogen success. “I defy you to identify any virus that doesn’t have in its genome factors to block the interferon response,” Fish told me.






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an american bat……...

Russia’s Defense Ministry says it’s investigating the possible role of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in the creation of the Covid-19 virus.

In a press briefing on Thursday, the head of Russia’s Radiation, Chemical and Biological Defense Forces, Lieutenant-General Igor Kirillov, claimed that US-backed bio-laboratories in Ukraine had been conducting questionable research and clinical tests on Ukrainian citizens, and that “over 16,000 biological samples, including blood and serum samples, were exported from the territory of Ukraine to US and European countries.”

He went on to explain that a statement from Jason Crow, a member of the US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, who warned Americans that their DNA samples could be used to create targeted biological weapons, caused Russia’s Defense Ministry to “take a fresh look” at the origins of the Covid pandemic.

“Taking into account the interest of the US administration in the study of narrowly targeted biological agents, such statements force us to take a fresh look at the causes of the novel coronavirus pandemic and the role of US military biologists in the emergence and spread of the Covid-19 pathogen,” Kirillov said.


Russia now suspects that USAID might have been directly responsible for the emergence of the Covid-19 virus, according to Kirillov, who pointed to a Lancet article by Columbia professor Jeffry Sachs, who suggested that the virus was likely created in a lab with the help of the America’s latest achievements in the field of biotechnology.

Kirillov pointed out that since 2009, USAID had been funding a program known as “Predict,” conducting research into new coronaviruses which involved the capture of wild bats infected with such pathogens, and that one of the project’s contractors, Metabiota, had been known for its military biological activities on the territory of Ukraine.

In 2019, the agency shut down the ‘Predict’ program while the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security coincidentally began studying the spread of a previously unknown coronavirus.

“The implementation of the COVID-19 development scenario and USAID's emergency phasing out of the Predict program in 2019 suggest the deliberate nature of the pandemic and US involvement in its occurrence,” Kirillov said.


He added that the recent emergence of the monkeypox virus, as well as the US’s purported history of using biological agents against its enemies, has led Moscow to observe a “clear trend” of pathogens which for whatever reason are of interest to the Pentagon, eventually turning into pandemics.

The US has repeatedly denied using biolabs in Ukraine to conduct military research and claims the “46 peaceful Ukrainian laboratories, health facilities and disease diagnostic sites” were used to assist Kiev in improving biological safety, security and disease surveillance for both human and animal health.

The exact origins of the Covid-19 virus have yet to be conclusively proven. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) stated in February 2021 that it was most likely transmitted from an animal, possibly a bat, to humans.









pharma pollution…...

The growth of pollution arising from the production and consumption of synthetic chemicals now outpaces all other environmental disruptors (e.g., rising carbon dioxide emissions) (1). Humans consume more pharmaceuticals than ever; in 2020, the volume of medicines used globally reached 4.5 trillion doses, and consumption continues to rise (2). In addition, drugs are also administered to a wide range of livestock and pets. Although pharmaceutical use brings huge benefits to human and animal health, it has also led to increased pharmaceutical pollution of ecosystems throughout the world (3). This pollution is likely to be exacerbated by disease epidemics and pandemics, which induce major drug spikes in aquatic ecosystems that receive wastewater, resulting in unknown ecological impacts.



  SCIENCE  14 Jul 2022  Vol 377, Issue 6603  pp. 259-260






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