Battery charges in five minutes

theceomagazine.com

Imagine an electric car battery that can be fully charged in five minutes

“StoreDot continues to go from strength to strength as we get one step closer to making our vision of five-minute charging of EVs a commercial reality,” said StoreDot Founder and CEO Dr Doron Myersdorf in a statement.

The CEO Magazine

StoreDot

A major obstacle in buying an electric vehicle is the thought of having to wait and wait for your battery to charge. Israeli company StoreDot has invented a battery that can be fully charged in five minutes.

Five minutes is in the ballpark time of filling up a car with petrol or diesel. The new lithium-ion batteries were made by StoreDot’s strategic partner EVE Energy Co in China on standard production lines.

“StoreDot continues to go from strength to strength as we get one step closer to making our vision of five-minute charging of EVs a commercial reality,” said StoreDot Founder and CEO Dr Doron Myersdorf in a statement.

“Our team of top scientists has overcome inherent challenges of XFC (extreme fast charging) such as safety, cycle life and swelling by harnessing innovative materials and cell design. Today’s announcement marks an important milestone, moving XFC for the first time beyond innovation in the lab to a commercially-viable product that is scalable for mass production. This paves the way for the launch of our second-generation, silicon-dominant anode prototype battery for electric vehicles later this year.

“We founded StoreDot to achieve what many said could never be done – develop batteries capable of delivering a full charge in just five minutes. We have shown that this level of XFC charging is possible – first in 2019 with an electric scooter and again six months ago with a commercial drone. We are proud to make these samples available, but today’s milestone is just the beginning. We’re on the cusp of achieving a revolution in the EV charging experience that will remove the critical barrier to mass adoption of EVs.”

Commercial use of electric vehicles is regarded as a vital part of tackling the climate crisis. A major obstacle of their widespread use is running out of charge during a journey and the time taken to charge an EV battery. A typical electric car with a 60-kilowatt-hour battery takes just under eight hours to charge from empty to full with a seven-kilowatt charging point.

Companies around the world are developing fast-charging batteries, with Tesla, Enevate and Sila Nanotechnologies all working on silicon electrodes. Others are looking at different compounds, such as Echion, which uses niobium oxide nanoparticles.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted, “Battery cell production is the fundamental rate-limiter slowing down a sustainable energy future. Very important problem.”

The StoreDot battery replaces graphite with semiconductor nanoparticles into which ions can pass more quickly and easily. These nanoparticles are currently based on germanium, which is water soluble and easier to handle in manufacturing. StoreDot’s plan is to use silicon, which is much cheaper, and it expects these prototypes later this year.

Dr Myersdorf said the cost would be the same as existing lithium-ion batteries.

“The bottleneck to extra-fast charging is no longer the battery,” he said.

Charging stations and the grids that supply them will then need to be upgraded, he said, which is why the company is working with BP.

“BP has 18,200 forecourts and they understand that 10 years from now all these stations will be obsolete if they don’t repurpose them for charging – batteries are the new oil.”

Posted in Alternative Energy, Climate Change, Middle East Report, Recent Posts, Science and Technology | Comments Off on Battery charges in five minutes

Some evolution is not adaptive

cosmosmagazine.com

Useless evolution

A molecular mechanism may evolve even though it provides no benefit just because it also provides no disadvantage – it simply happens because of biochemical quirk.

By Deborah Devis

It’s easy to focus on the big picture when one thinks of evolution: how organisms adapt and change over the march of time makes for pretty compelling study. But smaller evolutionary mechanisms are easily missed when looking at such a grand scale.

Not all evolutionary shifts are, as we imagine, a driving force for improvement. On close examination, some represent meaningless change.

“Nothing in evolution makes sense except in light of population genetics,” writes Michael Lynch, from the University of Indiana, US, in his 2007 paper “The frailty of adaptive hypotheses for the origins of organismal complexity”.

Lynch explains that we are taught genetics from a higher level, to see how genes change in a population over time. In reality, evolution isn’t an intelligent strategist that aims to make things better; rather, it’s a passive, multi-faceted process and product of the unchangeable rules of biochemistry.

Molecules operate the body to keep everything in a complicated balance, and these molecules experience evolutionary change, too. Many of these molecules must work together to form molecular machines, or complexes, which have classically been thought of as beneficial.

“How complexity evolves is one of the great questions of evolutionary biology,” says Joseph Thornton, of the University of Chicago, US. “The classic explanation is that elaborate structures must exist because they confer some functional benefit on the organism, so natural selection drives ever-increasing states of complexity.

“But at the molecular level, we found that there are other simple mechanisms that drive the build-up of complexity.”

This is known as constructive neutral evolution (CNE). A molecular mechanism may evolve even though it provides no benefit just because it also provides no disadvantage – it simply happens because of biochemical quirk.

CNE isn’t a new concept. It was proposed decades ago. But if we don’t know the practical function of an ancient protein, it’s really difficult to confirm whether an ancestral protein was inferior to contemporary proteins or not.

This is where modern technology helps. Thornton and colleagues tested how steroid receptor molecules evolved to form pairs called a dimer, which they explained in a paper recently published in Nature. They used an elegant method called ancestral sequence reconstruction, in which they recreated the ancient ancestor of the steroid receptors before they’d evolved to work as dimers.

It turned out that the ancient proteins functioned just as well as the modern, intricate dimers, despite the solo protein being significantly simpler; it wouldn’t matter if they’d never evolved at all. There was nothing beneficial about forming the molecular machine, but it became a fixed trait due to an evolutionary fluke.

Ironically, the steroid receptors evolved to rely on a completely useless form because of biochemistry. In this case, it happened because proteins are made of amino acids, some of which dissolve in water, and some that are hydrophobic and dissolve in oil. Usually the protein shape “hides” hydrophobic molecules inside the protein, which protects it from dissolving in the oils in our body. But proteins that form dimers can keep these hydrophobic amino acids on the surface, because they’ll be hidden once the machine complex is formed. This, in turn, causes the single, unpaired molecules to break down as their hydrophobic molecules are exposed, so only the paired molecules can function.

Genes are always undergoing change. A process called purifying selection removes bad changes from the genome over time, but only harmful mutations are removed. This means that once the steroid receptors evolved to form a dimer, extra mutations that stopped the protein dimerising suddenly became detrimental and were lost during purifying selection.

The original formation of the dimer wasn’t harmful, and so wasn’t lost during selection. But once it happened, the proteins just couldn’t go back to the older, simpler method, and the machines hung around for hundreds of millions of years.

“These proteins gradually became addicted to their interaction, even though there is nothing useful about it,” explains Georg Hochberg of the Max Planck Institute, Germany. “The parts of the protein that form the interface where the partners bind each other accumulated mutations that were tolerable after the dimer evolved, but would have been deleterious in the solo state. This made the protein totally dependent on the dimeric form, and it could no longer go back. Useless complexity became entrenched, essentially forever.”

The researchers tested this method of evolution with thousands of proteins and found that the same thing kept happening. They called this mechanism a “hydrophobic ratchet”. It may be responsible for the sheer number of proteins that rely on forming complexes to work properly. The hydrophobic ratchet is a purely biochemical principal that influences how the proteins evolve, instead of an evolutionary principal such as natural selection or genetic drift.

While it might sound bizarre, the original mutations that led to these machines might have been quite simple, too.

For example, a six-protein machine that pumps protons through cell membranes may have formed due to minimal mutations. The machine, called the V-ATPase proton pump, is an extremely important complex in celled organisms. One part is made of three very closely related proteins that form a ring that interacts with other machines.

Researchers resurrected the ancient proteins using synthetic DNA and introduced a very simple mutation to the gene. This triggered a chain of reactions that led to descendant proteins working exactly as they do today, suggesting how little is actually needed for neutral mutations to become established in the genome.

At a small scale, there’s no “thought” of adaptation, there’s simply change based on chemistry and physics. At a higher, population scale, we can’t see these hidden complexities, so it all seems like adaptation. Quite simply, molecules are not intelligently evolved.

Constructive neutral evolution is a beautiful theory that highlights exactly how complex evolution is, and that it goes well beyond “survival of the fittest”. Sometimes, things just uselessly evolve.

Posted in Evolutionary Biology, News Articles, Recent Posts, Science | Comments Off on Some evolution is not adaptive

Ivermectin reduces viral load

scitechdaily.com

Encouraging Results on Ivermectin Clinical Trial for Reducing Mild COVID-19

A small pilot study suggests that early administration of ivermectin can reduce viral loads and symptom duration in patients with mild COVID-19, which in turn could help reduce viral transmission. The study, which is part of the SAINT project, has been led by the University of Navarra Clinic, and the Barcelona Institute for Global Health

Barcelona Institute for Global Health

Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2

When the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) infects a human cell, it hijacks cellular machinery to produce millions of new copies of itself. Credit: NIAID

A small pilot study suggests that early administration of ivermectin can reduce viral loads and symptom duration in patients with mild COVID-19, which in turn could help reduce viral transmission. The study, which is part of the SAINT project and has been led by the University of Navarra Clinic and the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), an institution supported by the “la Caixa” Foundation, warrants further exploration in larger clinical trials. The findings of the pilot study have been published in EClinicalMedicine, a clinical journal published by The Lancet.

We already have two approved COVID-19 vaccines in the European Union, but immunizing enough people worldwide to stop viral spread will require at least two years. Meanwhile, finding drugs that can treat or prevent infections remains a priority. “Many efforts are focusing on developing treatments for COVID-19, but few are addressing how to reduce viral transmission,” affirms study coordinator Carlos Chaccour, researcher at ISGlobal and physician at the University of Navarra Clinic.

In this pilot study performed with patients from the Clinic and in facilities of the University of Navarra, Chaccour and his team evaluated whether the maximal dose of ivermectin recommended in Europe could have an impact on viral transmission when administered within the first days after symptom onset.

SAINT Research Team

SAINT Research team. Credit: ISGlobal/Clínica Universidad de Navarra

Ivermectin is an antiparasitic drug that has been shown to reduce SARS-CoV-2 replication in vitro (in cell lines), albeit at concentrations that exceed those recommended for human use. This, together with preliminary results from a trial in humans that used data of dubious origin and was never peer-reviewed, prompted the use of ivermectin in many Latin-American countries despite the lack of reliable evidence on its efficacy in treating or preventing infection.

The research team gave one single dose of ivermectin or placebo to 24 patients with confirmed infection and mild symptoms, within the first 72 hours after the first symptoms started. Nasal swabs and blood samples were taken at the moment of enrolment and 1, 2 and/or 3 weeks after treatment.

Seven days after treatments, no difference was observed in the percentage of PCR-positive patients (100% of patients were positive in both groups). However, the mean viral load in the ivermectin-treated group was lower (around 3x lower at 4 days and up to 18x lower at 7 days post-treatment), although the difference was not statistically significant. Treated patients also showed a reduced duration of certain symptoms (of 50% for loss of smell and taste and of 30% for cough). All patients developed virus-specific IgG but, again, the mean level of antibodies in the treated group was lower than in the placebo group. “This could be the result of a lower viral load in these patients,” explains Chaccour.

The fact that there was no effect on duration of symptoms or markers associated with inflammation suggests that ivermectin may act through mechanisms that do not involve a possible anti-inflammatory effect. The authors believe it could be interfering with viral entry in the cells, as suggested by another study performed in hamsters at the Pasteur Institute.

“Our findings are in line with those from recent assays conducted in Bangladesh and Argentina,” says Chaccour. “Although our study is small and it is too early to draw conclusions, the trends observed in viral loads, symptom duration and antibody levels are encouraging and warrant further exploration in larger clinical trials with a higher diversity of patients,” he adds.

Reference: “The effect of early treatment with ivermectin on viral load, symptoms and humoral response in patients with mild COVID-19: a pilot, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial” by Chaccour C, Casellas A, Blanco-Di Matteo A, et al. 19 January 2021, EClinicalMedicine.
DOI: 10.1016/j.eclinm.2020.100720

Posted in Education Report, Health Sciences, News Articles, Recent Posts | Comments Off on Ivermectin reduces viral load

Research on new therapeutics

phys.org

Researchers find inhibitors effective against a coronavirus enzyme

“The inhibitors attack this enzyme and render it inactive, meaning the virus can no longer proliferate,” explained principal investigator Professor Tanja Schirmeister of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). “Based on our findings, it may be possible to develop drugs that are not only effective against the current coronaviruses, but that will also be effective against any which emerge in the future.”

Science X staff

Researchers find inhibitors effective against a coronavirus enzyme
The essential protease is targeted and attacked by novel inhibitors, leading to the eradication of the virus. Credit: Hannah Maus, Lea Maus

While the first vaccines have been developed against the pathogen SARS-CoV-2, studies are still underway to identify effective drugs for treating coronavirus infections. Scientists in Gießen, Mainz, and Würzburg in Germany involved in a fundamental research project have now identified potential starting points that could contribute to the development of drugs able to combat the pathogen responsible for the current COVID-19 pandemic as well as the coronaviruses in general. These include inhibitors that home in on a particular viral enzyme. “The inhibitors attack this enzyme and render it inactive, meaning the virus can no longer proliferate,” explained principal investigator Professor Tanja Schirmeister of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). “Based on our findings, it may be possible to develop drugs that are not only effective against the current coronaviruses, but that will also be effective against any which emerge in the future.”

The team of researchers at the JGU Institute of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences led by Tanja Schirmeister first focused on the virus which caused the pandemic of 2002/2003, now known as SARS-CoV. At the time, they investigated two important viral enzymes and were able to develop an inhibitor for one of the two enzymes. They took the same approach in the current study. “As there are homologous enzymes present in SARS-CoV-2, we have tested our old inhibitors on these enzymes and on the virus itself,” said Schirmeister. These enzymes are proteases that the virus needs to reproduce. If these proteolytic enzymes are inhibited, the viruses can no longer replicate.

Discovering the structures of proteases and related structure-activity relationships

The first priority was uncovering the structure of the proteases. With the aid of computer programs, the researchers then identified drugs that would be suited to these structures. For this, the Mainz team collaborated with computer-aided drug design (CADD) experts led by Professor Christoph Sotriffer at Julius-Maximilians-Universität of Würzburg. The Mainz-based team then synthesized and tested promising candidates at JGU. “Potential inhibitors are first designed on the drawing board, then we determine how effective they are,” explained Schirmeister. Her group tested some 40 to 45 different compounds against SARS-CoV-2, including all the previous inhibitors that had already been used against SARS-CoV. “We also synthesized substances that we expected not to be effective. This enabled us to verify that the data provided by the computer models is valid.”

The tests were first undertaken using the target , which is the papain-like protease necessary for the viruses’ proliferation. However, a positive result does not necessarily mean that the inhibitor also stops the virus from reproducing. The next step was to use it against the virus itself. If this result is also positive, then it is necessary to evaluate the potential toxicity of the agent to ensure that cells infected by the are not impaired.

Inhibitors demonstrate antiviral effects

In addition to the medicinal chemistry teams in Mainz and Würzburg, the multi-stage process also involved virologists led by Professor John Ziebuhr of Justus Liebig University Giessen. The study shows that non-peptide molecules can inhibit the target enzymes and also have an antiviral effect. The research team also suspects that the inhibitors identified may have an even greater role to play. “They represent a starting point for further research into pan‐coronaviral inhibitors thanks to the similarity in the proteases of these viruses,” stated Tanja Schirmeister. “This means that it may lead to the discovery of broadly acting antivirals that are effective against previously known and newly emerging coronaviruses.” Thanks to their work, the results of which have been published in the journal ChemMedChem, the cooperation partners have also gained a deeper understanding of the mechanisms which bind the inhibitors to the enzymes.



More information: Armin Welker et al. Structure‐Activity Relationships of Benzamides and Isoindolines Designed as SARS‐CoV Protease Inhibitors Effective against SARS‐CoV‐2, ChemMedChem (2020). DOI: 10.1002/cmdc.202000548

Citation: Researchers find inhibitors effective against a coronavirus enzyme (2021, January 18) retrieved 19 January 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2021-01-inhibitors-effective-coronavirus-enzyme.html

Posted in Education, Health Sciences, News Articles, Recent Posts, Science | Comments Off on Research on new therapeutics

Israel is not an apartheid country

 

The term “apartheid” should not be applied to Israel

Reprinted from Daily Alert, Israel News Digest, January 18, 2021

  • Refuting the Israel Apartheid Analogy – Prof. Eugene Kontorovich
    The Apartheid accusation in Btselem’s recent report is classic anti-Semitic rhetoric: it accuses Jews, uniquely among the peoples of the world, of one of the most heinous crimes, while also judging the Jewish state by a metric not applied to any other country.
    There are no racial or ethnic distinctions in Israeli law. In Israel and all territories under its jurisdiction, Palestinians patronize the same shops and restaurants as Jews do. Indeed, it is Jews who are excluded from Palestinian-controlled territory.
    The Palestinian government was created by the Palestinians themselves and is recognized internationally as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people by almost every country in the world. The Palestinian Authority governs 90% of the Palestinian population, as provided in the Oslo Accords. Israeli Arabs have full voting rights for the Knesset, while Palestinians in the territories have voting rights for the Palestinian Legislative Council.
    The writer is director of George Mason University Law School’s Center for the Middle East and International Law and a scholar at Kohelet. (Kohelet Policy Forum)
  • What Apartheid? – Yoseph Haddad
    How dare B’Tselem say that I, an Arab Israeli who served along with Jewish soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces and managed hundreds of Jewish employees, live under an apartheid regime? How can anyone say this when among us you will find doctors, judges, and even lawmakers? Samer Haj-Yehia is the head of the biggest bank in Israel (Bank Leumi).
    I am not here to claim that everything in Israel is perfect. But show me a country where everything is perfect. I look around at our neighbors in the region and thank God I was born in Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East. While minorities across the Middle East – Shia Muslims, Sunni Muslims, Yazidi, Kurds, and Christians – are persecuted, Israel is the only country that grants minorities equal rights and the ability to influence their future.
    The writer is CEO of Together – Vouch for Each Other, an NGO which aims to bridge between the Arab and Jewish sectors of Israeli society. (Israel Hayom)

 

Posted in Education, Judaism, Middle East Report, Monotheistic Religions, Opinion, Recent Posts | Comments Off on Israel is not an apartheid country

Progressive Democrats must be defeated

Life as we knew it, B.C.E. (Before the Corona Era)

The Progressive left, the Democratic Party, and mainstream media spent the past four years B.C.E. telling the American public that descent into chaos by looting, burning, and destroying public institutions were all legitimate political tools to resist the policies of a Republican President, until now, when that fabricated narrative became inconvenient. They legitimized violence, they empowered Black Lives Matter and Antifa and now they claim outrage and indignation when the opposing side of the political isle acts in exactly the same way.

By Ron Jager, January 17, 20121

The previous four years B.C.E., seem to have been forcibly erased from public memory by all major broadcasted media and social media platforms as if the public’s collective memory B.C.E began only this past week with the storming of the Capital and the ensuing violence by demonstrators expressing support for the departing President Trump. The Democratic Party and their progressive cohorts, the majority of broadcasted media and social media platforms, a euphemism for prominent voices representing the progressive left, used superlatives such as insurrection and rebellion in describing the riot/demonstration in the Capital as inexcusable lawlessness despite hundreds if not thousands of instances in which anti-Trump protesters violently demonstrated setting fire to courthouses, vandalizing police stations, and shooting fireworks at police officers, were portrayed as “peaceful.” The Progressive left, the Democratic Party, and mainstream media spent the past four years B.C.E. telling the American public that descent into chaos by looting, burning, and destroying public institutions were all legitimate political tools to resist the policies of a Republican President, until now, when that fabricated narrative became inconvenient. They legitimized violence, they empowered Black Lives Matter and Antifa and now they claim outrage and indignation when the opposing side of the political isle acts in exactly the same way.

Over the past four years B.C.E, we the public have witnessed the daily reports of Churches being burnt to the ground; police stations attacked, ransacked, and burnt to the ground; Federal Courthouses and State legislatures ransacked, invaded, and burnt to the ground; whole business districts in major urban cities looted, destroyed, and burnt to the ground; murderers roaming urban streets with immunity shooting without fear or deterrence innocent bystanders resulting in skyrocketing homicide rates unseen for over a quarter of a century; old ladies being knocked down with “sucker punches”, as they returned from grocery shopping. The very same broadcasted media and social media platforms never had any hesitancy in reporting this violent reality B.C.E. as mostly peaceful, expressing the belief that the Black Lives Matter violent mayhem and the Antifa inspired anarchy is acceptable, glamorizing the violence, and excusing the lawlessness. All it took was for Trump supporters to cause the lawlessness to spark a swift change of heart. In stark difference, the invasion of the Capital was widely condemned by just about any Republican public leader given a public platform to express his or her disapproval without exception.

Seventy Five million voters who put their trust and faith in President Trump will not change their minds and will most likely refuse to be disenfranchised by those on the opposite side of the isle. They will patiently wait for the midterm elections in two years and the 2024 Presidential elections in which there is every likelihood that President Trump will run again for the Presidency. In Israel, there is an often repeated saying about those who didn’t want a particular politician as Defense minister will eventually get him as Prime Minister. Those that didn’t want Trump as a one term President might very well face a future reality in which he will be a three term President.

The past four years B.C.E. will be remembered as an exceptional period of American political history in which the prolific level of accomplishments will be viewed in historical perspective and shown to be a period that brought well-being and improvement to the lives of the majority of the American people. Below is only the tip of the iceberg of President Trumps’ and the Republican administration’s accomplishments B.C.E.

Employment: America gained 7 million new jobs, Middle-Class family income increased nearly $6,000 – more than five times the gains during the entire previous administration, the unemployment rate reached 3.5 percent, the lowest in a half-century, more Americans reported being employed than ever before – nearly 160 million, jobless claims hit a nearly 50-year low, unemployment rates for African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, veterans, individuals with disabilities, and those without a high school diploma all reached record lows, unemployment for women hit its lowest rate in nearly 70 years.

Home ownership: Homebuilder confidence reached an all-time high, and home sales hit their highest reading since December 2006. Home prices hit an all-time record high.

Massive Deregulation: Ending the regulatory assault on American Businesses and Workers. Removed nearly 25,000 pages from the Federal Register – more than any other president. The previous administration added over 16,000 pages. Provided the average American household an extra $3,100 every year as a result of deregulation.

Trade Agreements: Ended the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and replaced it with the brand new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The USMCA contains powerful new protections for American manufacturers, auto-makers, farmers, dairy producers, and workers. The USMCA is expected to generate over $68 billion in economic activity and potentially create over 550,000 new jobs over ten years. Signed an executive order making it government policy to Buy American and Hire American, and took action to stop the outsourcing of jobs overseas.

Middle East: The Abraham Accords and the establishment of a strategic alliance between Israel and the Arab Sunni nations creating a unified defense against the fanatic and unpredictable Iranian regime hindering their ambitions for nuclear capability.

American Energy Independence: Unleashed America’s oil and natural gas potential. For the first time in nearly 70 years, the United States has become a net energy exporter, the United States is now the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world, natural gas production reached a record-high of 34.9 quads in 2019, following record high production in 2018 and in 2017, the United States has been a net natural gas exporter for three consecutive years and has an export capacity of nearly 10 billion cubic feet per day.

It was President Abraham Lincoln who asked at Gettysburg about the American nations’ ability to endure and move ahead as a unified nation in the aftermath of the American Civil War. Lincoln’s sweeping pardon of all Confederate soldiers at the end of the American Civil War sends an important message to our politicians and to all of the American nation about the importance and necessity for unity. Instead of punishing the Confederate soldiers, President Lincoln forgave them. President Lincoln believed in the Constitution, in the supremacy of the Democratic political system, and the potential of all Americans and not only his political allies. President Lincoln understood that after years of violence and division, restoring American stability would require meeting halfway with his political opponents. Today’s political reality demands of the incoming Democratic administration to adopt President Lincoln’s wise message to today’s leaders.

Ron Jager

Ron grew up in the South Bronx of New York, making Aliyah in 1980. Served for 25 years in the IDF as a Mental Health Field Officer in operational units. Prior to retiring was Commander of the Central Psychiatric Clinic for Reserve Solders at Tel-Hashomer. Since retiring has been involved in strategic consultancy to NGO’s and communities in the Gaza Envelope on resiliency projects to assist first responders and communities. Ron has written numerous articles for outlets in Israel and abroad focusing on Israel and the Jewish world.

Posted in Opinion, Recent Posts | Comments Off on Progressive Democrats must be defeated

Best practices for reducing virus risks

murfreesboropost.com

The smart, easy steps to reduce risk of virus

It all boils down to the health and strength of our immune system. Our immune system is very adept at fighting off viruses on a regular basis. Think about the countless times in your life that you have been exposed to a virus yet did not experience significant illness.  Our immune system in an ideal healthy state is capable of fighting a virus such as COVID-19.  That is why so many people that test positive have few or no symptoms.

DR. MARK KESTNER

COVID-19 is nothing to make light of.  It is a very contagious virus that has the potential to have devastating effects in the body, even to the point of causing death. Besides the illnesses and unfortunate deaths that have resulted from this virus, its impact on the economy of the world has been enormous.

It is important to realize that while being smart and proactive about reducing our risk of COVID-19, we should not live in a state of panic or fear.

Most cases of COVID-19 illness are mild. However, due to the potential of serious illness we should take all reasonable and sensible steps to protect our health and that of those around us.

First of all, the basics are still very important.

• Wherever possible, keep your distance from others. Physical distance is one of the best ways to reduce your exposure to the virus. Six feet is the most frequently suggested distance.

• Wear an appropriate mask in appropriate circumstances. While masks are controversial to some and some masks that are being used are of negligible benefit, wearing an effective mask does reduce the spread of any contagious disease at least to some amount. The main problem I see with recommending masks is that some people tend to think of them as an impervious shield that protects the wearer to such a degree that they are invincible to the virus. That is probably why there are cases of people getting sick that swear they always wore their mask. Masks help by partially reducing spread. They are not a magic shield of complete protection.

• Wash your hands frequently. This is probably the most important and valuable physical step we can take to minimize our risk of most infectious diseases including COVID-19. Even with social distancing and mask-wearing we are vulnerable to incidental contact with viruses and other pathogens on our skin, especially our hands.

Getting germs such as viruses on our hands is not likely to cause an infection by itself. Our immune system can usually handle that well. We infect ourselves, however, by constantly touching our face. As we bring our hands near our face, we expose our mouth, nose and eyes to the virus. These are the vulnerable gateways for the virus to enter our body.

This is another way that masks can help, by reducing the number of times we touch our mouth and nose directly.

Hand sanitizer works especially well for this virus as it is very susceptible to outer cell wall disruption by alcohol and other disinfectants. However, washing with regular soap and water are still the best option for clean hands.

• As the COVID-19 vaccine becomes more widely available your doctor may recommend this for you.  Check with your local health department for availability.

Besides these often-repeated recommendations to minimize risk of exposure to the virus, what can be done to minimize our vulnerability to COVID-19. Obviously, some people are exposed and don’t become ill at all. Others may experience an illness but it is very mild compared to the small portion of patients that become severely ill.  What makes the difference?

It all boils down to the health and strength of our immune system. Our immune system is very adept at fighting off viruses on a regular basis. Think about the countless times in your life that you have been exposed to a virus yet did not experience significant illness.  Our immune system in an ideal healthy state is capable of fighting a virus such as COVID-19.  That is why so many people that test positive have few or no symptoms.

Some nutritional supplements have been recognized as significantly helpful in prevention and treatment of COVID-19. Hospitals are currently providing the following supplements as a means of helping patients’ immune system fight the virus. Eastern Virginia Medical School recommends the following amounts:

• Vitamin C – 500 mg Twice Daily

• Vitamin D3 – 1000-4000 iu Daily

• Zinc – 30-50 mg Daily (Lozenge form recommended)

• Melatonin – 2 mg Daily (Likely to cause drowsiness, best taken at night.)

• Quercetin – 250 mg Daily

The research on these particular nutritional supplements is strong enough to recommend their use in prevention and treatment for COVID-19.

I have previously written about Vitamins C and D, Zinc and Melatonin in this column. Quercetin has been added to the list because it appears to be effective in helping your body actually use the zinc effectively as well as playing other important roles.

There are other steps to take to boost your immune system so it is more effective in fighting all potential infections.

• Regular daily exercise or physical activity of a half hour or more is a really great idea.

• Getting fresh air and some sun exposure every day helps.

• Staying hydrated is especially important during the winter months since indoor heating dries the air.  Drink more water.

• Avoid sugary and highly processed foods as much as possible.

• If overweight, begin taking sensible healthy steps to reduce excess body fat.

• Stop smoking immediately.

Posted in Education, Health Sciences, Nutrition & Fitness, Opinion, Recent Posts | Comments Off on Best practices for reducing virus risks

NIH designation on Ivermectin is encouraging

newswise.com

NIH Revises Treatment Guidelines for Ivermectin for the Treatment of COVID-19

By no longer recommending against ivermectin use, doctors should feel more open in prescribing ivermectin as another therapeutic option for the treatment of COVID-19. This may clear its path towards FDA emergency use approval. 

by Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC Alliance)

Newswise — NEW YORK, NEW YORK: —JANUARY 14, 2021:  One week after Dr. Paul Marik and Dr. Pierre Kory—founding members of the Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC)— along with Dr. Andrew Hill, researcher and consultant to the World Health Organization (WHO), presented their data before the NIH Treatment Guidelines Panel, the NIH has upgraded their recommendation on ivermectin, making it an option for use in COVID-19.

This new designation upgraded the status of ivermectin from “against” to “neither for nor against”, which is the same recommendation given to monoclonal antibodies and convalescent plasma, both widely used across the nation.

By no longer recommending against ivermectin use, doctors should feel more open in prescribing ivermectin as another therapeutic option for the treatment of COVID-19. This may clear its path towards FDA emergency use approval.

“Ivermectin is one of the world’s safest, cheapest and most widely available drugs,” noted Dr. Kory, President of the FLCCC Alliance. “The studies we presented to the NIH revealed high levels of statistical significance showing large magnitude benefit in transmission rates, need for hospitalization, and death. What’s more, the totality of trials data supporting ivermectin is without precedent.” 

In its ivermectin recommendations update, the NIH also indicated they will continue to review additional trials as they are released. “We are encouraged that the NIH has moved off of its August 27 recommendation against the use of ivermectin for COVID-19,” continued Kory. “That recommendation was made just as the numerous compelling studies for ivermectin were starting to roll in. New studies are still coming in, and as they are received and reviewed, it is our hope that the NIH’s recommendation for the use of ivermectin will be the strongest recommendation for its use as possible.”

Current meta-analyses of studies of ivermectin from around the world show a compelling trend towards the drug’s potent benefits against SARS-CoV-2. Ivermectin, developed in 1975, led to the eradication of a “pandemic” of parasitic diseases across multiple continents and earned the 2015 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for its discoverers, Dr. William Campbell and Dr. Ōmura Satoshi.

In related news, the manuscript written by the FLCCC has been accepted for publication, following a rigorous peer review, in Frontiers in Pharmacology.  The full paper will be published within the next couple of weeks, however the preview can be found here.

Posted in Education, Health Sciences, Recent Posts | Comments Off on NIH designation on Ivermectin is encouraging