Vijaya Laxmi Tripura
Coronavirus has already crossed the Chinese border and has already spread its notorious wings into a number of South-East Asian nations, including Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, and Myanmar. Most importantly, Myanmar’s cruel authorities have imposed strict restrictions on reporting infection or death from this deadly virus. According to unofficial sources, in Myanmar, dozens of people have already been hit by Coronavirus, mostly within the Sino-Myanmar bordering areas. Meanwhile, there is a growing number of Coronavirus patients in India and it is feared that Japan may become the second most affected nation with a large number of Coronavirus cases.
According to a report published in India Today, several Iranian nationals have already been detected to have been infected by Coronavirus. Mainland China has reported 394 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections — down from 1,749 cases a day earlier and the lowest since January 23. With this, the total number of confirmed cases in mainland China so far has crossed 74,500-mark.
Breakthrough map of Coronavirus:
Scientists in the United States have created the first 3D map of the part of the new coronavirus that attaches to and infects human cells, a critical step toward developing vaccines and treatments.
The team from the University of Texas at Austin and the National Institutes of Health studied the virus’s genetic code, which had made publicly available by Chinese researchers, and used it to develop a stabilized sample of a key part called the spike protein.
They then imaged the spike protein using cutting-edge technology known as cryogenic electron microscopy, publishing their findings in the journal Science on Wednesday.
“The spike is really the antigen that we want to introduce into humans to prime their immune response to make antibodies against this so that when they then see the actual virus, their immune systems are ready and loaded to attack,” said UT Austin scientist Jason McLellan, who led the research.
He added that he and his colleagues had already spent many years studying other members of the coronavirus family, including SARS and MERS, which helped them develop the engineering methods required to keep the spike protein stable.
Their engineered spike protein is itself being tested as a potential vaccine by the NIH.
The team is sending the map of its molecular structure out to collaborators around the world so they can improve it by making it provoke a greater immune response.
The model can also help scientists develop new proteins to bind to different parts of the spike and prevent it from functioning, to treat those already infected. These proteins are known as antivirals.
“This is a beautifully clear structure of one of the most important coronavirus proteins — a real breakthrough in terms of understanding how this coronavirus finds and enters cells,” said virologist Benjamin Neuman at the Texas A&M University-Texarkana, who was not involved in the work. “The structure shows that although the spike is made of the three identical proteins, one flexes out above the rest, effectively giving the virus a longer reach.”
A useful aspect of the structure for vaccine development is that it maps out the size and location of chains of sugar molecules that the virus uses in part to avoid being detected by the human immune system, added Neuman.
Cryogenic electron microscopy uses beams of electrons to examine the atomic structures of biomolecules that are frozen to help preserve them.
Three scientists credited with developing the technology were awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in chemistry.
Coronavirus may spread through poop:
The new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which has now infected nearly 76,000 people, spreads mostly through respiratory droplets and contact with infected patients. But new research suggests that it can also spread through feces.
There are currently more cases of COVID-19 (the disease caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2) than would be expected if the virus were spreading only through respiratory droplets and contact with infected patients, according to a report published Feb. 15 by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC).
Previous tests have found that the coronavirus can be present in feces, but it was unclear if the virus would be viable enough to spread to another person, according to a previous Live Science report. So, a group of researchers analyzed stool samples from patients with COVID-19.
They isolated the coronavirus from one patient who had severe pneumonia and examined the virus under an electron microscope. They found that the coronavirus was viable. “This means that stool samples may contaminate hands, food, water, etc.,” the China CDC wrote in the report. People who use the bathroom and then don’t wash their hands could spread the virus to others, for instance.
“This virus has many routes of transmission, which can partially explain its strong transmission and fast transmission speed,” the China CDC wrote. To avoid feces contamination, the China CDC recommends washing your hands frequently, disinfecting surfaces, maintaining personal hygiene, avoiding the consumption of raw food, boiling water before drinking it and disinfecting hospital environments.
Another study, published Feb. 17 in the journal Emerging Microbes and Infections, found that the virus was present in blood and anal swabs taken from patients infected with SARS-CoV-2.
Coronavirus will die soon:
According to experts, the existing Coronavirus epidemic may come to an end with the change of season. They said, in the previous cases, including the case of SARS virus, it had simply disappeared with the weather change.
Experts say, Coronavirus too will start disappearing from the beginning of May and it would be totally vanished by end June this year.