Why hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine don't block coronavirus infection of human lung cells by Katherine Seley-Radtke, 8/8/20
In order for the virus to enter a cell, it can do so by two mechanisms – one, when the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein attaches to the ACE2 receptor and inserts its genetic material into the cell. In the second mechanism, the virus is absorbed into some special compartments in cells called endosomes.
Depending on the cell type, some, like kidney cells, need an enzyme called cathepsin L for the virus to successfully infect them. In lung cells, however, an enzyme called TMPRSS2 (on the cell surface) is necessary. Cathepsin L requires an acidic environment to function and allow the virus to infect the cell, while TMPRSS2 does not.
In short, those of us involved in antiviral drug development should all take a lesson from this study. It is important not only to focus our efforts on pursuing drugs that will directly shut down viral replication, but also to study the virus in the primary site of infection.
An infectious disease expert explains the results from Moderna's latest vaccine trials by Sanjay Mishra for the Conversation, 7/18/20
Photo Credit: UN WHO
Vaccines are meant to train the immune system to attack the disease-causing virus. In the case of SARS–CoV–2, there is a spike protein, or the S-protein, which is the flag that the immune system needs to recognize as the signature of the virus. So the goal of a vaccine is to train your immune system to recognize the S–protein, and then trigger the immune response. This S–protein is the standard in all coronaviruses, that’s why they’re called coronaviruses, because the “ corona” is the crown.
Young people ‘not invincible’ in COVID-19 pandemic: WHO chief 8/1/20
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus Photo Credit: UN News
Tedros further advised that people everywhere must learn to live with the virus, and to take steps necessary to protect themselves and others, including those who are most at risk, such as the elderly and people in long-term care.
Many countries have reported that more than 40 percent of COVID-19-related deaths have been linked to long-term care facilities, and up to 80 per cent in some high-income countries.
In response, WHO has released a policy brief on preventing and managing COVID-19 in those facilities. It lists key actions such as integrating long-term care in national response plans to counter the pandemic, ensuring strong infection prevention and control, and providing support for family and voluntary caregivers. The brief also suggests ways to transform long-term care services so that older people can receive quality care that respects their rights, freedoms and dignity, Tedros added.
NYC Top of the Rock Observation Deck re-opens to public on August 6 by Harry S. Johnson for eTN, 8/1/20
Photo Credit: eTN
Rob Speyer, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tishman Speyer, said, “We can't wait to once again share the magic of Top of the Rock with everyone. Nowhere is New York City more inspiring than from the 70th floor, where you feel like you can touch Central Park and the entire city beyond, from Yankee Stadium to the Statue of Liberty, from Flushing Meadows all the way to New Jersey. We are thrilled to welcome back New Yorkers, in a safe and socially distanced way, to rediscover these breathtaking views.”
Beginning August 6, 2020, Top of the Rock Observation Deck will be open seven days a week, from 1:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. daily. Guests will enter from West 50th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues, and proceed with their timed-tickets to the glass stairs upon entry. Visitors without a pre–purchased ticket will be directed to the box office.
To ensure visitors are able to stay at least six feet apart while visiting Top of the Rock, a limited number of people will be permitted to the observation deck at one time. In order to minimize wait times and discourage groups from gathering at the box office, timed-entry reservations can be made in advance.
Visitors are required to wear masks while visiting Top of the Rock, and hand sanitizer will be available throughout the attraction.
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