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Coronavirus may resemble common cold in future, say scientists - The Hans India
Four common cold-causing coronaviruses have been circulating in humans for a long time. Natural...
New Delhi: SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, may resemble the mild cold-causing coronaviruses that currently circulate in humans if it becomes endemic and most people are exposed in childhood, according to a study. The modelling study, published on Tuesday in the journal Science, is based on research of the four common cold coronaviruses and SARS-CoV-1. The analysis of the immunological and epidemiological data for these viruses helped the researchers to develop a model to predict the trajectory of SARS-CoV-2 as it becomes endemic, when the virus circulates in the general population. The researchers noted that four common cold-causing coronaviruses have been circulating in humans for a long time and almost everyone is infected at a young age. Natural infection in childhood provides immunity that protects people later in life against severe disease, but it doesn't prevent periodic reinfection, said Jennie Lavine, from Emory University in the US, first author of the study. The research suggests that endemic SARS-CoV-2 may become a disease of early childhood, where the first infection occurs between 3 and 5 years old, and the disease itself would be mild. Older individuals could still become infected, but their childhood infections would provide immune protection against severe disease, according to the researchers. How fast this shift comes depends on how fast the virus spreads and what kind of immune response the SARS-CoV-2 vaccines induce, they said. The model suggests that if the vaccines induce short-lived protection against becoming reinfected but reduce the severity of the disease, as is the case with other endemic coronaviruses, SARS-CoV-2 may become endemic more quickly. "This model assumes immunity to SARS-CoV-2 works similar to other human coronaviruses. We don't really know what it would be like if someone got one of the other coronaviruses for the first time as an adult, rather than as a child, Lavine said. The model predicts that the infection fatality ratio for SARS-CoV-2 may fall below that of seasonal influenza (0.1 per cent), once an endemic steady-state is reached. "We are in uncharted territory, but a key take-home message from the study is that immunological indicators suggest that fatality rates and the critical need for broad-scale vaccination may wane in the near term," said Ottar Bjornstad, a professor and epidimiologist at Penn State.
Minister K. Sudhakar says State may start Covid vaccination from Monday - The Hans India
We are expecting to receive 13.90 lakh vaccine vials in a couple of days: Sudhakar
Bengaluru: Health Minister K. Sudhakar on Friday said the State was expected to receive 13,90,000 vials of Covid-19 vaccine in a day or two, and it's likely to be administered starting from January 11. "The big good news for Karnataka is that I have received information from the Union Health Ministry that tomorrow or the day after probably we will be receiving 13,90,000 vials of vaccine. It's a big happy news for all of us," he said. Speaking to reporters after visiting a private hospital here, where vaccination dry run is being conducted, Sudhakar said, the vaccination would be first administered to healthcare workers. "We have registered 6.30 lakh healthcare professionals in Karnataka till date. Those who are left out, may be in some medical or dental colleges, we have requested them to register," he said adding that health workers will be followed by those with comorbidities, those above 60 years and those in other departments like Police and Revenue working against the pandemic. Later speaking in Chikkaballapura, Sudhakar said, the vaccine vials would be distributed to all the districts and probably it would be administered from Monday itself. Covid-19 vaccination dry run was held at 263 health facilities across Karnataka on Friday. The minister who visited some facilities, where the dry run was going on said, arrangements and preparedness were quite good, and the process was being followed as per the guidelines. The first round of the dry run, an exercise for end- to-end testing of the vaccination process was held in five districts - Bengaluru (including BBMP), Belagavi, Kalburgi, Mysore and Shivamogga- on December 2 as per the government of India guidelines.
Earth to move closest to Sun today - The Hans India
At 7.27 pm on Saturday, Earth will reach the closest point to Sun in its annual elliptical orbit...
Hyderabad: Earth will reach the closest point to sun on January 2 (Saturday), Planetary Society of India (PSI) said on Friday. Its director N Raghunandan Kumar said that Earth revolves around Sun in an elliptical orbit. So, at one point of time during its journey around the sun, it will be at the closest point it can get (perihelion) and at one point of time during the year it would be at the farthest point (aphelion). "At 7.27 pm Earth will reach the closest point to Sun in its annual elliptical orbit around Sun at 0.9832571 AU i.e. at 14,70,93,168 km from Sun. Whereas on July 6, 2021 at 3:46 a.m. IST Earth will be at Aphelion at 1.0167292 AU (15,21,00,523 km) from Sun i.e. which is the farthest point from Sun. AU stands for astronomical unit, a unit of length effectively equal to the average, or mean, distance between Earth and the Sun, defined as 149,597,870.7 km (92,955,807.3 miles). Earth will be 50,07,355 km closer to Sun compared to July 6, 2021. Though people will not able to notice or observe this celestial event, it is of greatest importance with educational potential for students and the public to understand temperatures or seasons on Earth are not dependent on the distance of Earth to the Sun but axial tilt during its journey around the Sun," he added.
Raja Chari to lead SpaceX mission to ISS - The Hans India
NASA and European Space Agency (ESA) have selected three astronauts, including Indian-American Raja...
Washington: NASA and European Space Agency (ESA) have selected three astronauts, including Indian-American Raja Chari, to serve as crew members for SpaceX Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station (ISS), which is expected to launch in the autumn of 2021. Raja Chari will serve as commander, while NASA's Tom Marshburn will be pilot and ESA's Matthias Maurer will serve as a mission specialist, NASA said on Monday. A fourth crew member will be added at a later date, following a review by NASA and its international partners. This will be the first spaceflight for Raja Chari, who became a NASA astronaut in 2017. He is a colonel in the US Air Force and joins the mission with extensive experience as a test pilot. He has accumulated more than 2,500 hours of flight time in his career. Chari was among the 18 astronauts selected last week to form the Artemis Team and help pave the way for the next lunar missions, including sending the first woman and next man to walk on the lunar surface in 2024. His father Sreenivas V Chari immigrated to the US from Hyderabad. Marshburn is a Statesville, North Carolina, native who became an astronaut in 2004. Prior to serving in the astronaut corps, the medical doctor served as flight surgeon at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston and later became medical operations lead for the International Space Station. The Crew-3 mission will be his third visit to the space station and his second long-duration mission. Marshburn previously served as a crew member of STS-127 in 2009 and Expedition 34/35, which concluded in 2013. Maurer comes from Sankt Wendel, in the German state of Saarland. Like Chari, Maurer will be making his first trip to space with the Crew-3 mission. When Chari, Marshburn, and Maurer arrive at the orbiting laboratory, they will become expedition crew members for the duration of their six-month stay.
First Covid-19 shots begin on historic day in US - The Hans India
“Hopefully soon! Im first on the list!, reads a text message from Dr. Krishan Kumar, an Indian...
New York: "Hopefully soon! I'm first on the list!", reads a text message from Dr. Krishan Kumar, an Indian American doctor on the frontlines of the pandemic response in New York City. Excitement and a sense of relief are palpable as the first Covid-19 shots go into the arms of healthcare workers and nursing home residents in the United States. Kumar works in the emergency rooms of two hospitals, in Brooklyn and in Queens. His message landed just as the very first shot in the United States was delivered to a nurse in New York City, shortly before 9: 30 am on Monday. "I feel like healing is coming," said Sandra Lindsay, a critical care nurse who received the first vaccine in New York City, in Queens, in the full glare of news cameras. As these remarkable visuals play out, hospital workers across 50 states are unloading precious cargo: the first vials of nearly 3 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech's Covid-19 vaccine which mark the shift towards real recovery from a virus that has killed nearly 300,000 Americans in just 11 months.
New smartphone-based Covid test gives result in 30 minutes - The Hans India
Scientists have developed a novel technology for a CRISPR-based Covid-19 diagnostic test that uses a ...
Washington: Scientists have developed a novel technology for a CRISPR-based Covid-19 diagnostic test that uses a smartphone camera to provide accurate results in under 30 minutes. According to the research published in the journal Cell, the new diagnostic test can not only generate a positive or negative result, but it also measures the viral load -- the concentration of virus -- in a given sample. All CRISPR diagnostics to date have required that the viral RNA be converted to DNA and amplified before it can be detected, adding time and complexity, the researchers said. In contrast, the new approach skips all the conversion and amplification steps, using CRISPR to directly detect the viral RNA, they said. "One reason we are excited about CRISPR-based diagnostics is the potential for quick, accurate results at the point of need," said Jennifer Doudna, a senior investigator at Gladstone Institutes in the US. "This is especially helpful in places with limited access to testing, or when frequent, rapid testing is needed. It could eliminate a lot of the bottlenecks we've seen with Covid-19," Jennifer Doudna said. Jennifer Doudna won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for co-discovering CRISPR-Cas genome editing, the technology that underlies this work. In the new test, the Cas13 protein is combined with a reporter molecule that becomes fluorescent when cut, and then mixed with a patient sample from a nasal swab, the researchers said. The sample is placed in a device that attaches to a smartphone. If the sample contains RNA from SARS-CoV-2, Cas13 will be activated and will cut the reporter molecule, causing the emission of a fluorescent signal, they said. The smartphone camera, essentially converted into a microscope, can detect the fluorescence and report that a swab tested positive for the virus, according to the researchers. They say that the assay could be adapted to a variety of mobile phones, making the technology easily accessible. When the scientists tested their device using patient samples, they confirmed that it could provide a very fast turnaround time of results for samples with clinically relevant viral loads.
GHMC Election Results 2020 Live Updates: Result of Mehdipatnam would come first because of least voting... - The Hans India
GHMC Election Results 2020 Live Updates: Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) Elections...
GHMC Election Results 2020 Live Updates: Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) Elections results for all the 150 wards will be announced today (Friday, 4 December). and as many as 8152 personnel will be involved in the entire vote-counting excercise. Counting of votes will take place in 30 locations and for every round 14,000 votes will be counted. A total of 150 halls have been setup and each hall will have 14 tables and 31 observers to monitor the counting of votes. Surveillance cameras are setup at each table to ensure transparency. First, postal ballots will be counted followed by ballot paper votes. A total of 34,50,331 votes are polled in all the 150 wards. Strong rooms in which the ballot papers are stored will be opened at around 7:45 AM in the presence of contesting candidates and their agents. Only authorized personnel for whom the identity cards are issued by the Returning Officer will be allowed into the counting halls. State Election Commissioner Mr Partha Sarathi said that counting will be done by following COVID guidelines. Stay Tuned with Hans India for Live updates of GHMC Election Results 2020
Recycled gas from stars surrounds Milky Way, shows mini satellite - The Hans India
Observations made by a small spacecraft called HaloSat have shown that the Milky Way galaxy is...
Observations made by a small spacecraft called HaloSat have shown that the Milky Way galaxy is surrounded by a clumpy halo of hot gases that is continually being supplied with material ejected by birthing or dying stars. A halo is a large region filled with hot gas that surrounds a galaxy, also known as a "circumgalactic medium." The heated gaseous halo around the Milky Way was the incubator for the Milky Way's formation some 13 billion years ago and could help solve a longstanding puzzle about where the missing matter of the universe might reside. In the new NASA-funded study published in the journal Nature Astronomy, the researchers concluded the circumgalactic medium has a disk-like geometry, based on the intensity of X-ray emissions coming from it. "The X-ray emissions are stronger above the parts of the Milky Way where star formation is more vigorous," said Philip Kaaret, Professor at the University of Iowa and corresponding author on the study. "That suggests the circumgalactic medium is related to star formation, and it is likely we are seeing gas that previously fell into the Milky Way, made stars, and now is being recycled into the circumgalactic medium." Every galaxy has a circumgalactic medium, and these regions are crucial to understanding not only how galaxies formed and evolved but also how the universe progressed from a kernel of helium and hydrogen to a cosmological expanse teeming with stars, planets, comets, and all other sorts of celestial constituents. HaloSat searches for baryonic matter -- that is, the same kind of particles that compose the visible world -- believed to be missing since the universe's birth. The satellite has been observing the Milky Way's circumgalactic medium for evidence that the missing baryonic matter may reside there. Baryonic matter is distinct from dark matter, which is invisible and does not interact through any force except gravity. Scientists can only account for about two-thirds of the baryonic matter that should be present in the universe. To look for the missing matter, Kaaret and his team wanted to get a better handle on the circumgalactic medium's configuration. More specifically, the researchers wanted to find out how big the circumgalactic medium really is. If it is a huge, extended halo that is many times the size of our galaxy, it could house enough material to solve the missing baryonic question. But if the circumgalactic medium is mostly comprised of recycled material, it would be a relatively thin, puffy layer of gas and an unlikely host of the missing baryonic matter. "What we've done is definitely show that there's a high-density part of the circumgalactic medium that's bright in X-rays," Kaaret says. "But there still could be a really big, extended halo that is just dim in X-rays. And it might be harder to see that dim, extended halo because there's this bright emission disk in the way. "So it turns out with HaloSat alone, we really can't say whether or not there really is this extended halo around the Milky Way," Kaaret said. HaloSat is a NASA CubeSat mission led by the University of Iowa.
Arthritis patients not at extra risk of getting Coronavirus - The Hans India
“The COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in uncertainty and anxiety in patients with arthritis
Bengaluru: "The COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in uncertainty and anxiety in patients with arthritis. This anxiety is predominantly acute for those with the indistinct "underlying conditions" that render them more vulnerable to the infection or severe complications. People with arthritis are expected to fall into this group because of their underlying diseases and the therapy used to treat them," Dr. Yogesh Preet Singh, HOD & Consultant Rheumatology, Manipal Hospitals Old Airport Road stated. Singh further said there is limited data about the effects of arthritis medications on infection risk. "However, current evidence shows that people taking arthritis medications (disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs - DMARDs including biologics) are not at a higher risk for getting Covid-19. In fact, experts believe that well-controlled disease activity may help decrease the risk of infection, so in that regard, medication is beneficial. With respect to precautions, individuals with arthritis have to take the same precautions as everybody else namely - hand hygiene, use of face mask, maintaining physical distance, avoiding crowded places, avoid touching face / nose / eyes," he explained. Arthritis is not bracketed to a specific age group and even children can be affected by it. "There are more than 100 types of arthritis and the age group depends on the type of arthritis. Arthritis affecting children is called juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Arthritis that is seen commonly in adults are rheumatoid arthritis and spondyloarthritis. Both these conditions are known to affect 1 % of the population each. Spondyloarthritis tends to affect individuals between ages of 18 and 45 years. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect any age. But it is more likely to start in the middle age. So contrary to popular belief arthritis is not a condition that exclusively affects the elderly. The cause for these arthritis is not known," Singh explained. Delving further into the subject, he told The Hans India, "The immune system is the protective system of the body protecting the body from external threats. In these conditions the immune system of the body becomes hyperactive and starts attacking its own healthy cells. Osteoarthritis is a condition which tends to affect the elderly. It is due to wear and tear of the cartilage in the joints. Cartilage acts as cushion between the bones in your joints and with aging this gradually deteriorates. Cartilage is a firm, slippery tissue that enables nearly frictionless joint motion. Eventually, if the cartilage wears down completely, bones will rub resulting in symptoms of joint pain. There are multiple risk factors for osteoarthritis and include - increasing age, female gender, joint injuries, genetics, joint deformities and repetitive stress to the joint." While both the genders (male and female) can be affected Singh stated that in some conditions Arthritis is common among females. "Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are common in females. Rheumatoid arthritis is typically 2 to 3 times more common in females when compared to males. Whereas, Ankylosing spondylitis is more common in males when compared to females. Both males and females can be affected by arthritis," he said. Dr Nischit Consultant Orthopedician at ACE Suhas Hospital opined that the burden of the disease in India is very much underestimated. "Prevalence in India is around 39 %. More predominantly seen in middle-age women more than men. The risk factors are sedentary lifestyle, obesity and smoking. Rheumatoid arthritis one of the types of arthritis needs special attention as early diagnosis and treatment can save a joint from irreversible damage. Also rheumatoid arthritis is associated with premature atherosclerosis & coronary artery disease," he said.
No hope of Covid vaccine to everyone before 2024 - The Hans India
Serum Institute CEO says it’s going to take 4 to 5 years until everyone gets the vaccine on this...
Hyderabad: Dashing hopes of early vaccination against deadly coronavirus, Serum Institute of India, the world's largest vaccine producer, made it amply clear that sufficient quantity of Covid-19 vaccine would not be available to immunise everybody in the world until the end of 2024. In an interview with the London-based Financial Times, Adar Poonawalla, Chief Executive Officer of Pune-based Serum Institute of India, revealed that pharma companies were not ramping up production capacity faster to be able to immunise the world population in less time. "It's going to take four to five years until everyone gets the vaccine on this planet," Poonawalla was quoted as saying in the interview. He earlier said that the world would require 15 billion doses if the Covid vaccine is a two-dose immunisation, as is the case with measles or rotavirus. Serum Institute partnered with five global pharmaceutical companies, including AstraZeneca and Novavax, to develop a Covid vaccine. It committed to produce one billion doses, out of which it promised 50 per cent to India. The vaccine maker may also tie up with Russia's Gamaleya Research Institute to produce its Sputnik vaccine. Poonawalla's comments on the vaccine production and distribution are crucial, in the wake of the Serum Institute taking on the responsibility of manufacturing Covid vaccine for the majority of the developing world. His remarks came a day after Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said a vaccine against the coronavirus disease would be ready by early next year. "It may be ready by the first quarter of next year," he had said. Further, there are also concerns that huge pre-orders from Europe and US will result in developing countries being pushed to the bottom of the list. Poonawalla further said that the commitments had outdone the production capacity of vaccine manufacturers. "I know the world wants to be optimistic on it but I have not heard of anyone coming even close to that level right now," he said. As part of its agreement with AstraZeneca, the company will produce Covid-19 vaccine doses that cost closed $3 for 68 countries and under its deal with Novavax, for 92 countries. Poonawalla, who is the son of Cyrus Poonawalla, India's seventh-richest billionaire, minimised the risks over the halt in AstraZeneca trials last week after a participant fell, describing it as "very normal". "We're doing a fund raising and diluting equity so that we have enough capital to manage the raw materials and equipment we need in the next one or two years to operate at this scale," he told FT. Poonawalla had in April ordered 600m glass vials and other particulars to gear up for the mass manufacturing of the Covid-19 vaccine. However, he expressed worries over distribution in India, which is registering a rapid rise in the number of coronaviruses infections, and said that the process would be difficult as there is an absence of a sophisticated cold chain system to transport the vaccine safely to its 1.4 billion people. "I still don't see a proper plan on paper to do that in India beyond 400 m doses," he was quoted as saying.