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Mar 20, 2020

French study finds anti-malarial and antibiotic combo could reduce COVID-19 duration

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

A new study whose results were published in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents has found early evidence that the combination of hydroxychloroquine, a popular anti-malaria drug known under the trade name Plaqenuil, and antibiotic azithromycin (aka Zithromax or Azithrocin) could be especially effective in treating the COVID-19 coronavirus and reducing the duration of the virus in patients.

The researchers performed a study on 30 confirmed COVID-19 patients, treating each with either hydroxychloroquine on its own, a combination of the medicine with the antibiotic, as well as a control group that received neither. The study was conducted after reports from treatment of Chinese patients indicated that this particular combo had efficacy in shortening the duration of infection in patients.

The patient mix included in the study included six who showed no symptoms whatsoever, as well as 22 who had symptoms in their upper respiratory tract (things like sneezing, headaches and sore throats, and eight who showed lower respiratory tract symptoms (mostly coughing). 20 of the 30 participants in the study received treatment, and the results showed that while hydroxycholoroquine was effective on its own as a treatment, when combined with azithromycin it was even more effective, and by a significant margin.

Mar 20, 2020

Real-Life X-Men: How CRISPR Could Give You Superpowers in the Future

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, futurism

Circa 2018

Could CRISPR technology lead to the development of real-life superheroes like the X-Men? We think yes – and you may be shocked to learn that people with superhuman abilities already walk among us. Learn about how CRISPR could turn the next generation into superhumans who choose their abilities from a catalog.

Mar 20, 2020

This Galaxy Cluster May Have Just Dealt a Major Blow to String Theory

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics, space

In the heart of a galaxy cluster 200 million light-years away, astronomers have failed to detect hypothetical particles called axions.

This places new constraints on how we believe these particles work — but it also has pretty major implications for string theory, and the development of a Theory of Everything that describes how the physical Universe works.

“Until recently I had no idea just how much X-ray astronomers bring to the table when it comes to string theory, but we could play a major role,” said astrophysicist Christopher Reynolds of the University of Cambridge in the UK.

Mar 20, 2020

[UPDATED] Progress On COVID-19 Treatment? Looks Like It

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

It appears that there are some effective treatments for COVID-19 rising up. These could dramatically improve/weaken the effects of the virus.

There’s also some hope that things are better than they seem anyway. There’s growing evidence that a lot of people have COVID-19 but have such mild symptoms that they aren’t being tested and counted as confirmed cases — which means the death rate and statistics about severe cases are much better than they seem. Additionally, it’s possible a larger share of the population is immune to the virus than initially thought:

Continue reading “[UPDATED] Progress On COVID-19 Treatment? Looks Like It” »

Mar 20, 2020

Redeploying plant defences

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

The complicated secondary metabolism of plants has been the source of countless medicinal compounds and leads for drug discovery. It is little surprise then that plant products and their analogues have been employed as an early line of defence against COVID-19. On 17 February, the Chinese State Council announced that chloroquine phosphate — a structural analogue of quinine, originally extracted from the bark of cinchona trees — can be used for treating COVID-19 patients. This anti-malarial also has broad-spectrum antiviral activity and regulatory effects on the immune system. Clinical evaluation of chloroquine phosphate in more than ten hospitals across several provinces in China has shown that it alleviates the symptoms for most patients and expedites virus seroconversion.

Epidemic diseases are not a new phenomenon, but easy access to transport in the modern world has accelerated their spread. Perhaps some botanical understanding can help slow them down.

Mar 20, 2020

Five Companies Using AI to Fight Coronavirus

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, robotics/AI

As of Thursday afternoon, there are 10,985 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States and zero FDA-approved drugs to treat the infection.

While DARPA works on short-term “firebreak” countermeasures and computational scientists track sources of new cases of the virus, a host of drug discovery companies are putting their AI technologies to work predicting which existing drugs, or brand-new drug-like molecules, could treat the virus.

Mar 20, 2020

Honeywell says it will soon release ‘the most powerful quantum computer yet’

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

Firm says ion-trap technology overcomes main obstacles to integrating qubits.

Mar 20, 2020

Marijuana Dispensaries Deemed “Essential” Amid Coronavirus Lockdowns in U.S.

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

🌿 Find Arizona marijuana information and news. Find AZ marijuana dispensaries, doctors, laws, events, news, and more.

Mar 20, 2020

‘Natural Killer’ Cells could halt Parkinson’s Progression

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Researchers at the University of Georgia’s Regenerative Bioscience Center and their colleagues have found that “natural killer” white blood cells could guard against the cascade of cellular changes that lead to Parkinson’s disease and help stop its progression.

Natural killer (NK) cells are white blood cells that can kill tumors without being “told” from the body to do so. NK cells provide the first line of defense against invasion or a virus and are equipped with activating receptors that can sense cellular stress and identify cells that have been altered due to infection.

“Right now there’s no available therapy to modify or stop the progression of Parkinson’s,” said lead author Jae-Kyung “Jamise” Lee, assistant professor in UGA’s College of Veterinary Medicine. “This would be the first NK study to show the possibility of actually stopping the disease.”

Mar 20, 2020

‘It’s Not the Exact Same Virus Everywhere in the World’

Posted by in category: biotech/medical


— Preprint manuscript suggests COVID-19 virus has already mutated into multiple strains.