Researchers urge scientists to find more about bat viruses - WION
Since the pandemic took over the world, bats have gone from being just a creature to one of the most important subjects of various studies. It is not solely the scientists and researchers who are how taking interest in these creatures, but even civilians who …
Since the pandemic took over the world, bats have gone from being just a creature to one of the most important subjects of various studies. It is not solely the scientists and researchers who are how taking interest in these creatures, but even civilians who want to sharpen their knowledge to protect themselves from any other viruses. Working on the same lines, researchers Daniel G. Streicker and Amy T. Gilbert have published a report in the Science journal urging their fellow researchers to launch immediate and more detailed study into the impacts of the bats in various viruses. Also read: Dr. Li-Meng Yan reveals Chinas fake science and the COVID-19 cover-up Streicker is a vampire bat researcher at the University of Glasgow and Gilbert is a disease ecologist at the National Wildlife Research Center in Fort Collins, Colorado. The two researchers believe that instead of finding why the bats play an important role, it is important to first figure how do they play an important role in the spread of viruses. "Immunological traits have been proposed to allow bats to control viruses differently from other animals. However, incomplete baselines for broader comparisons across vertebrates and extensive immunological variation among bat species casts uncertainty on their distinctiveness as viral reservoirs," the report reads. Also read: WHO awaits China's nod on list of experts to probe origin of coronavirus As per the researchers, there is a common perception that bats nurture more viruses as compared to other animals. Streicker claims that the experts, he believes, lack the actual data on this claim as they tend to ignore the huge number of species in bats. "Bats (order Chiroptera) comprise 1400 species that split from the remaining members of the Scrotifera (carnivores, pangolins, cetaceans, and odd- and even-toed ungulates) over 60 million years ago." They do agree that some bats species can harbor few viruses such as SARS and MERS that are hazardous to the human species, but it is not enough to prove that these viruses are more dangerous than any other viruses caused to humans through other animals. Also read: Outbreaks among minks hold secrets to understanding animal-to-human transmission of COVID-19 We seem to be lacking really strong, compelling evidence that the viruses of bats are more diverse or more prone to infect humans or more dangerous when they do infect humans than viruses of other animals, he told a media house. The researchers also talk about the heightened interest in bat-related studies. "Heightened interest in bat-associated viral zoonoses has also revealed high immunological variation among species." Also read: Why no one should believe COVID-19 is naturally-occurring Gilbert and Streicker also pointed out a few specific areas of research in which bats can serve as the subjects of testing. These can be related to new techniques for disease control and/or animal population vaccines. Giving an example, they cited how rabies in foxes has been fought with vaccines in bait that foxes eat. Simialrly, the researchers said, a vaccine can be applied in the bat fur that can be spread with contact. However, this needs more research. They also stressed on the importance of researchers coming together from various disciplines. We need interactions between immunologists, virologists, ecologists and evolutionary biologists, Streicker said. He also added that such interactions are happening at a greater scale now due to the Coronavirus pandemic. "The search for answers may inspire new approaches to manage disease threats to human and animal health," the report reads.
Children need extensive testing to identify ‘silently shedding’ COVID-19: Study - WION
New research suggests that children can shed SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, even if they never develop symptoms or for long after symptoms have cleared.The study, published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, provides important insight on the role ch…
New research suggests that children can shed SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, even if they never develop symptoms or for long after symptoms have cleared. The study, published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, provides important insight on the role children might play in the spread of coronavirus as communities continue to develop public health strategies to reign in this disease. The study that sparked this commentary focused on 91 pediatric patients followed at 22 hospitals throughout South Korea. Also read: Children face greater risk from coronavirus than previously expected, says study "Unlike in the American health system, those who test positive for Covid-19 in South Korea stay at the hospital until they clear their infections even if they aren`t symptomatic," said study researcher Roberta L. DeBiasi from Children`s National Hospital in the US. The patients here were identified for testing through contact tracing or developing symptoms. Also read: Coronavirus could be tied to a rare but serious illness in children About 22 per cent never developed symptoms, 20 per cent were initially asymptomatic but developed symptoms later, and 58 per cent were symptomatic at their initial test. Over the course of the study, the hospitals where these children stayed continued to test them every three days on average, providing a picture of how long viral shedding continues over time. The study's findings show that the duration of symptoms varied widely, from three days to nearly three weeks. There was also a significant study in how long children continued to shed virus and could be potentially infectious. While the virus was detectable for an average of about two-and-a-half weeks in the entire group, a significant portion of the children, about a fifth of the asymptomatic patients and about half of the symptomatic ones, were still shedding virus at the three-week mark. The researchers wrote that the study makes several important points that add to the knowledge base about Covid-19 in children. One of these is a large number of asymptomatic patients, about a fifth of the group followed in this study. Another is that children, a group widely thought to develop a mostly mild disease that quickly passes, can retain symptoms for weeks. A third and important point, they said, is the duration of viral shedding. Even asymptomatic children continued to shed virus for a long time after initial testing, making them potential key vectors. Recently, a study published in The BMJ journal, revealed that children and young people have less severe COVID-19 than adults and death is exceptionally rare. Earlier, another research published this month in the Journal of Pediatrics, found that children play a larger role in the community spread of the Covid-19.
NASA maps Beirut blast damage through satellite images - WION
The deadly Beirut explosion, that took nearly 165 lives, has caused severe damage in the city. To map the extent of this damage, NASA used satellite-derived data.
The deadly Beirut explosion, that took nearly 165 lives, has caused severe damage in the city. To map the extent of this damage, NASA used satellite-derived data. NASA's Advnaced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) analysed the satellite-derived synthetic aperture radar data to map the likely extent of damage with the help of the Earth Observatory of Singapore. Also read| Lebanese leaders were informed of risk posed by explosives at port in July: Reports "Synthetic aperture radar data from space shows ground surface changes from before and after a major event like an earthquake. In this case, it is being used to show the devastating result of an explosion," NASA report reads. In the map, the dark red pixels represent the areas that have been severely damaged by the explosion, areas marked in orange have been moderately hit and the yellow-marked portions reveal the areas which have sustained somewhat less damage. Each colored pixel represents an area of 30 meters (33 yards). NASA released the map on its official website. With the help of the map, the authorities can detect the areas where people might be severely affected and would require emergency assistance. The explosion in Beirut happened on August 4 and affected more than 6,000 people with more than 20 people still missing.
Healthcare workers in Brazil volunteer to test coronavirus vaccines - WION
Healthcare workers in Brazil are on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic in more ways than one, treating patients but also volunteering to test some of the most promising experimental vaccines.
Healthcare workers in Brazil are on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic in more ways than one, treating patients but also volunteering to test some of the most promising experimental vaccines. Brazil is the country with the second-highest number of infections and deaths in the pandemic, after the United States, and the virus is still spreading quickly here. Researchers are planning to run a controlled experiment to see how well the vaccines work. At least 5,000 volunteers in Brazil are helping test one of the most promising vaccines so far, developed by Oxford University and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. Last week, Brazil also became the first country carrying out Phase 3 trials of Chinese vaccine CoronaVac, developed by pharmaceutical firm Sinovac Biotech. Phase 3 clinical trials involve large-scale testing on humans, the last step before vaccines seek regulatory approval. Medical workers play the starring role in testing that vaccine, too. Volunteers must be between 18 and 55 years old, work in a patient care role and have no underlying medical conditions. Half the volunteers in the Oxford trial are receiving the vaccine and the other half a placebo. But they will only know which a year from now. Scientists worldwide are racing to develop and test a vaccine for the virus. There are more than 150 projects so far. But there are no guarantees in the high-stakes race. Brazil has a deal to make up to 100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine if it proves effective.
Asteroid bigger than London Eye approaching close to Earth, warns NASA - WION
The famous UK landmark is 443 feet high, and the space rock is larger than the London Eye by as much as 50 per cent.
A huge asteroid believed to be more than one and half times the size of the London Eye is approaching Earth, space agency NASA has warned. The famous UK landmark is 443 feet high, and the space rock is larger than the London Eye by as much as 50 per cent. The space agency has given the asteroid the name Asteroid 2020ND, and have branded the asteroid "potentially hazardous". The rock will make its closest approach to Earth on July 24, reports Birmingham Live. NASA has warned it will come within just 0.034 astronomical units (AU) of our planet. The space agency said: "Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) are currently defined based on parameters that measure the asteroids potential to make threatening close approaches to the Earth. Also read | Five asteroids head towards Earth; one the size of stadium "Specifically, all asteroids with a minimum orbit intersection distance (MOID) of 0.05 AYU or less are considered PHAs." An astronomical unit is equal to about 150 million kilometres or roughly the distance from the Earth to the Sun. NASA said on its Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) website: "The scientific interest in comets and asteroids is due largely to their status as the relatively unchanged remnant debris from the solar system formation process some 4.6 billion years ago. "The giant outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) formed from an agglomeration of billions of comets and the left over bits and pieces from this formation process are the comets we see today. IN PICS | You can see these 5 planets in the night skies all week long! "Likewise, todays asteroids are the bits and pieces left over from the initial agglomeration of the inner planets that include Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars."