A team of Israeli researchers have identified five proteins in the SARS-CoV-2 virus that are responsible for severe vascular damage that could lead to heart attack or stroke.
While Covid-19 is largely known as respiratory disease, there has been a very high incidence of vascular disease and blood clotting, for example stroke and heart attack, among Covid patients.
Researchers from Tel Aviv University identified the five proteins from a total of 29 different proteins that make up the novel coronavirus. When the coronavirus enters the body, it begins to produce 29 proteins, the team said.
In the process of infection and the protein development, the "blood vessels turn from opaque tubes into kind of permeable nets or pieces of cloth, and in parallel there is an increase in blood clotting", said Dr Ben Maoz, Afrom the varsity's Department of Biomedical Engineering and Sagol School of Neuroscience.
The team thoroughly examined the effect of each of the 29 proteins expressed by the virus, and were successful in identifying the five specific proteins that cause the greatest damage to endothelial cells and hence to vascular stability and function.
"We tend to think of Covid as primarily a respiratory disease, but the truth is that coronavirus patients are up to three times more likely to have a stroke or heart attack. All the evidence shows that the virus severely damages the blood vessels or the endothelial cells that line the blood vessels. However, to this day the virus has been treated as one entity. We wanted to find out which proteins in the virus are responsible for this type of damage," Maoz said.
In the study, published in the journal eLife, the team used the RNA of each of the Covid-19 proteins and examined the reaction that occurred when the various RNA sequences were inserted into human blood vessel cells in the lab.
In addition, the team used a computational model which allowed them to assess and identify which coronavirus proteins have the greatest effect on other tissues, without having seen them 'in action' in the lab.
"Our research could help find targets for a drug that will be used to stop the virus's activity, or at least minimise damage to blood vessels," Maoz noted. (Agency)
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Lucknow, Aug 20 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh has become the first state in the country to carry out more than seven crore Covid tests.A government spokesperson said that, "The testing protocol by the World Health Organisation for Uttar Pradesh is 32,000 tests per day, whereas Covid testing in the state has averaged 2.5 lakh tests a day for the past few weeks."Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh reported 29 new Covid positive cases and 35 recoveries on Thursday, bringing the total number of active cases in the state down to 407.Cases were reported from just 16 districts, with Lucknow reporting the highest number of new cases at five. Banda and Bulandshahr also reported one death each."The reason UP is able to keep the infection under control is the aggressive testing," the spokesman said.On Thursday, the state carried out more than 2.36 lakh tests.Except for a few days in between, Uttar Pradesh has been averaging 2.3-2.5 lakh tests a day. On the scale of testing samples per positive case, the state is doing 39.9 tests per positive case," he said.He further added that 70 per cent of tests conducted since the surge of the second wave of Covid-19 were in the rural regions."More than 73,000 surveillance committees constituted by the Yogi Adityanath government are moving across 97,941 villages in all 75 districts for this activity, which began on May 5. We are targeting 100 per cent coverage of rural households," he said.--IANSamita/dpb
A well balanced and nutritious diet plays an essential role in the holistic development of a child. The tiny toddlers tend to be highly selective when it comes to food which might miss out on the crucial components of their nutritious needs. It is therefore very important to ensure a substantial intake of nutrients for a child's proper growth and development which further can be provided with desirable milk powders or supplements. During the growing years of a child's life, some nutrients carry more weightage than others like that of proteins.Right from the initial years of infancy through adolescence, proteins fuel a child's physical and mental growth leading to stronger bodies and minds. Protein is a crucial component because it is responsible for building tissues such as muscles, skin and bones. Kids require more proteins during their childhood than at any other time in their lives. As suggested by the National Academies of Science, 1-3 year olds should get at least 13 grams a day, 4-8-year-olds should get at least 19 grams a day and 9-13-year-olds should get at least 34 grams a day, says Yashna Garg, CMO E-Commerce, ZeoNutra.Here are a few things she suggests to focus on in your child's development years --Try to engage your kid in as much physical activity from their initial years itself. Activities like -- dance, skating, cycling, swimming, etc. will not only help them to grow physically but mentally as well.Including foods rich in healthy fats is also very essential. Try to add olives, nuts, avocados and seafood which provide essential fatty acids and vitamin E.The best results are found by consuming just the milk powder in the milk without additional sugars. The compound has clinically the ideal amount of sweetness to intake by the kids to help them grow well. Kids these days are in high contact with electronic gadgets which restricts brain development and also increases lethargy in them. It is suggested to pursue them in brain teaser activities and reading books. (Siddhi Jain can be contacted at [email protected])--IANS<br>sj/ <br>
Toronto, Aug 5 (IANS) Scientists have identified a protein in the blood that could be responsible for an aggressive inflammatory response, known as a cytokine storm, which is also the leading cause of death in Covid-19 patients.The team, from the University of Alberta in Canada, analysed the blood plasma of 120 patients with Covid-19. They found that Covid-19 patients have significantly elevated levels of a protein called galectin-9 in their blood plasma. They also found a positive correlation between the levels of galectin-9 and pro-inflammatory cytokines released in the blood, which can lead to a cytokine storm."We have reported in the past that galectin-9 levels go up in HIV infection and with some cancers," said Shokrollah Elahi, Associate Professor in the School of Dentistry's Division of Foundational Sciences."However, when we compared the levels of galectin-9 in the Covid-19 patients to HIV and cancer patients, we could easily distinguish the Covid patients based on the galectin-9 levels," Elahi added. The findings have been published in the journal mBio.The discovery of elevated galectin-9 levels in Covid-19 patients is important because of the positive correlation between the protein and a wide range of pro-inflammatory cytokines."Cytokines as small cell-signalling proteins are involved in checks and balances in the immune system; they can turn on or turn off some cells to regulate the immune system," said Elahi."In the context of Covid, the problem is that there is a dysregulation of cytokine production - they are released very quickly in elevated levels. That's what we call a 'cytokine storm.'"Elahi found that galectin-9 is responsible for instructing immune cells to release the pro-inflammatory cytokines quickly in response to Covid-19 infection by binding to immune cells and forcing them to produce the cytokines. Further, as tissues are damaged as a result of inflammation, more galectin-9 is released from the cells, which activates more immune cells and releases more cytokines in a vicious cycle. The resulting cytokine storm damages tissue and organs, causes severe inflammation and can lead to death, Elahi said. Even if patients survive the storm, the dysregulation of the immune system can have ongoing consequences and could be associated with the condition known as post-Covid-19 syndrome or long Covid.--IANSrvt/bg
Beijing, Aug 5 (IANS) Amid a resurgence of new locally transmitted Covid-19 cases, authorities in Wuhan, the capital of China's Hubei province where the pandemic originated in 2019, have planned to complete a new round of all-inclusive nucleic acid testing before Friday.Last year, Wuhan completed a comprehensive nucleic acid testing campaign, during which it tested nearly 10 million residents in 19 days, Xinhua news agency reported.It launched a new testing drive on Tuesday after new infections emerged among several migrant workers on Monday. Between Monday and Tuesday, Wuhan reported 12 locally transmitted confirmed cases of COVID-19 and eight locally transmitted asymptomatic cases, all related to the cluster infections in Jiangsu province, the authorities said.The city has set up 2,820 sampling sites and mobilised over 18,000 medical workers and other staff members to work there, said Peng Houpeng, vice director of Wuhan's health commission, at a press conference on Wednesday.The method of pooled sampling will be adopted in medium- and low-risk areas to boost efficiency, while individual testing will be reserved for areas or groups of people with higher infection risks, according to Peng.As of Wednesday, approximately 2.5 million Wuhan residents had been sampled.Wuhan has also imposed close-off management on 56 residential complexes that are close to the new infections or home to their close contacts, said Peng Lili, vice director of the city's civil affairs bureau. --IANSksk/
Chennai, Aug 5 (IANS) The Tamil Nadu health department is actively focusing on complete vaccination of its frontline Covid warriors including health workers, police personnel, taxi, auto drivers, volunteers, etc.According to the state health department, while 80 per cent of the frontline workers were inoculated with the first dose of vaccine, only 37 per cent have taken both the jabs. The state has received 79 lakh doses of vaccines for the month of August and the health department is chalking out strategies to provide a portion of this vaccine to the frontline workers.The state health department has already issued a circular to its workers to come forward and take the second dose of vaccines as the department is aggressively encouraging the frontline workers to take both the doses of vaccines at the earliest.State health secretary, Dr J. Radhakarishnan while speaking to media on Wednesday said that the department is keen that the frontline workers including health workers are fully inoculated.Tamil Nadu has vaccinated 1.72 lakh pregnant women, and 1.39 lakh of lactating mothers, which is the highest in the country.The state received 2.45 crore vaccines to date and of this 2.25 crore vaccines were distributed to government hospitals and the balance of 19.87 lakh doses to private hospitals.The state has vaccinated 2.36 crore people till now and with the arrival of 79 lakh doses of vaccines for August quota, the state will accelerate the vaccination process and the health department wants to inoculate maximum frontline workers.Subramanian M, a policeman in Chennai, told IANS, "I have taken both the doses of vaccine, but there are my colleagues who have not yet taken the second dose. The health department has already communicated to the police department also for taking both the vaccines as early as possible."--IANSaal/skp/