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Genes will decide how coronavirus will affect you seriously

Nayar Malik

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Geneticists from all over the world intend to carry out hundreds of thousands of genetic analyzes to find out what distinguishes the patients who evolve worse

Since the start of the pandemic, everyone has been wondering why the same virus causes such different reactions. While many people do not even know they are infected, others end up in the ICU, and thousands are dying. Some risk factors are clear: advanced age and suffering from other diseases mean that we buy more ballots to suffer a more serious version of Covid-19, but being young and healthy does not guarantee that we will get rid of it either.

Geneticists have thought that their specialty has a lot to contribute, that the different faces of the disease could be related to genetic variability between some individuals and others, as it is in other diseases. Could it be the same with the new coronavirus? To find out, experts have created The Covid-19 Host Genetics Initiative, an international platform to push forward studies on coronavirus patients and share the results. Knowing whether genes make a patient more vulnerable can be key in prognosis and treatment, and would end up saving many lives.

Of these, there will be 7,000 Spaniards and another 1,000 from the United Kingdom, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Colombia that will serve to identify whether the possible genetic markers found are characteristic of Spain or not. In principle, they will not study the complete genome of each individual but certain markers (what is technically called the ‘complete genome association study’ or GWAS). Later, they will sequence 300 complete genomes to analyze in detail the alterations found.

“When we talk about genes, one thinks of rare diseases or cancer, but all human pathologies are the result of the environment and of the person, and also in viral infections, genetics has a lot to say,” explains Pablo Lapunzina in statements to Teknautas. An individual’s genetic information “can make their response to an infection different and even prevent them from becoming infected.” The case of HIV is well known, especially since in November 2018 a Chinese scientist announced that he had genetically modified human embryos to make them resistant, which is why he was later convicted.

With respect to Covid-19, “we are facing a viral infection that should be banal because of every 100 people, close to 80% are asymptomatic, nor do they find out that they were sick, 10 or 15% feel greasy and only one 5% have a severe illness, so it is clear that the individual response is quite different, “says Pablo Lapunzina.

“Without a doubt, the genetic variants have to do with increased risks or protection against the disease, ” he says, although the answer will probably be very complex, the key will not be in a single gene. Many small differences may explain why some people who come in contact with the virus develop serious illness, while most have flu-like symptoms or not even that. “It is also quite likely that there will be people who will not directly become infected even if they are in contact with the virus because it cannot enter the cells, but this will be more difficult to prove,” he says.

As he explains, there is already some data that indicates that the European population could have a greater predisposition to be attacked by the virus, in particular, “variants in the ACE receptors of cells with respect to Asian populations.” The data says that mortality in China was very low compared to that recorded in Europe and, “apart from the fact that epidemiological policies to control the disease have been different, these receptors are likely to be decisive,” he says.

However, it will take hundreds of thousands of patients to confirm that these subtle genetic differences protect or make people more vulnerable. The international consortium aims to reach 150,000. The problem is to make a balanced and correct selection of the participants. “We need to have people who have been infected and have been asymptomatic, and this must be verified with antibody tests; also to others who have been regular, with fever and few more signs of illness, and others who, in the same situation, have been serious or have died, apparently without risk factors, “he explains.

The healthy young man who ends up in the ICU

All the projects included in The Covid-19 Host Genetics Initiative will provide minimal information that is useful for data sharing, but each one has its own particular characteristics. For example, another Spaniard focuses on patients under the age of 60 without other diseases. Led by the CSIC’s Barcelona Institute for Biomedical Research (IIBB), it will focus on 200 patients waiting to obtain more funding.

“We are interested in all patients, but obviously age and previous pathologies are more vulnerable even to the normal flu, so when doing a genetic study, they could lead us to confusion,” says Anna Planas, coordinator of this study. “In the normal population, there are polymorphisms or genetic variations that normally do not entail any pathology, but in the face of a viral infection, there may be people with a poorer response capacity and we can better identify this factor if we focus the study on people initially healthy ”, he highlights.

Already in the first coronavirus epidemic, the SARS epidemic of 2002-2003, some studies pointed out that having certain polymorphisms could increase the susceptibility to severe forms of the disease. However, they were performed with very few patients and almost primitive genetic tools compared to current means. “This encouraged us to think that with the advances of today, we could further explore this issue,” says the researcher.

In Granada, Marta Alarcón Riquelme, a scientist at the Center for Genomics and Oncology Research (Genyo), also wondered why young and middle-aged people developed bilateral pneumonia that characterizes the worst version of Covid-19 and, in particular, by that in the worst cases an inflammation occurs that complicates the condition of the patients.

The challenge of explaining decisive inflammation

In fact, physicians agree to observe a common characteristic among Covid-19 cases that have evolved poorly. Generally, in a first phase, patients have symptoms that could be assimilated to those of the flu, but after a few days, something goes wrong and the immune system overreacts, causing what is called a ‘cytokine storm’, proteins that they should fight the infection but in this case, they cause an inflammation of the organs, especially the lungs.

“We want to know if there is any type of predisposition that is not clinically evident, inflammatory processes that we can detect in DNA by looking for gene expression markers through what is called methylation, and identify possible genetic associations that tell us about a susceptibility to develop more severe disease, “says Marta Alarcón. For example, “I can have a gene with a variant that causes more cytokines to be produced, so the response is going to be greater.” Therefore, it is not about having or not having a gene, but about quantitative changes.

The key is to compare, among hospitalized patients, those who have a worse evolution with those who better overcome the disease. For this, the Genyo is already recruiting patients and the initial idea is to carry out the study with 1,300 participants, in collaboration with other geneticists from Valladolid, Barcelona, ​​Malaga, and Milan.

Although within the international consortium ” 90% of the groups still do not have data “, because they are looking for patients who can participate, Alarcón regrets the bureaucratic obstacles that have prevented him from speeding up the process. “Unfortunately, I have a limit of 15,000 euros to buy material. From this figure, I have to open a public offer that may take a while and I cannot start at this time because we are with the administrative deadlines closed. ” Meanwhile, “in the United States, they are already ahead.”

The application of the results

With more or less Spanish input, experts are confident that the international consortium as a whole will provide decisive data to fight the new coronavirus and that the results can be applied on several fronts. For example, “if a person becomes ill, with a genetic study we would know in 24 hours if their risk is high or low, and based on that we could decide on their income, their follow-up or even analyze the risk that their relatives run”, Lapunzina comments.

On the other hand, genetic information can also be decisive in treatment. First, in the search for new compounds or drugs that are already on the market and can be reused. On the other, to guide the medication of each patient. In fact, something similar happened until recently with hepatitis C – before new treatments became available – patients’ genetic markers were studied to find out who would respond to available treatments. It was a simple study that cost 16 euros and anticipated the effect of the drugs.

“Today, a patient is admitted and ‘a priori’ it is not possible to know if after four days he will go home or have to be admitted to the ICU, there is nothing that can predict this, ” says Anna Planas. However, after these studies, “in an ideal situation, we would find a key gene and know that people who had some variants of it would be more likely to develop a more serious disease.” The reality will be more complicated, but the CSIC researcher believes that “a test could be carried out on the general population with a drop of blood”, knowing that “if a person has a certain polymorphism, he is part of the population that must be to protect”.

The researcher believes that this could also be revolutionary in relation to epidemiological policies. “At the moment, we are talking theoretically, but if we had the entire population studied, we would know what percentage is at risk,” he says. In this sense, it would be possible to develop an epidemiological strategy that would not go through “blind” confinement like the current one, since “we do not know which are the biomarkers that cause us to pass the infection asymptomatically and which are the ones that cause us to be at serious risk ”, but it could be done much more selectively.

However, not everything will be in the genes. For example, among the population differences, there is the fact that men accumulate many more serious cases and deaths. The researchers do not rule out that massive genetic analyzes give any answer, but they believe that it most likely has nothing to do with it. “There are many variables, men tend to be more overweight, hypertensive, and have diabetes. And surely there is a hormonal factor, it seems that women’s estrogens protect a little more. If you remove all those factors, it is likely that the genetic difference between men and women will not make much difference, “Lapunzina points out.

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HEALTH

June bug: How to get rid of the June bug or Green June Beetle

Nayar Malik

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june bug

Relaxing with a drink on the pouch is when you suddenly get stiff and hit a flying bug. Looking down, you can see that the culprit is a beetle, more specifically a June bug. These pests are attracted to the lights you have, but they can’t do much harm to you, but they can annoy your deck on early summer nights. But your landscape is not so lucky.

What are the June bugs?

Part of the problem when discussing the “June bug” is that this common name is fooled in two ways.

  • Many different insects pass by this common name, but not all of them destroy the landscape of all parts of the Northern Hemisphere equally.
  • Different common names are used even when discussing a particular species. “June Bug” is the most popular in some areas, but in other areas “June Beetle” or “May Beetle” may be used.

All bug species in June are considered scarab beetles, all starting in the form of larvae known as “larvae” and all appearing as adults in the garden from late spring to early summer. Both adults and larvae can damage the landscape. However, keep in mind that not all beetles are bad. Lady beetles ( Hippodamia convergence ) are very beneficial.

Junebug grabs are most famous for damaging the lawn (living underground, eating grassroots, and causing lawn withering), but adults can eat leaves, shrubs, vegetables, and more. The damage caused by adults varies from region to region as well as from year to year. For example, in the years of New England (USA), one of the bugs in June, Japanese beetles ( Popilia japonica ) devastate pumpkins in your garden, but strangely in other years. You may be absent.

The insect most strongly associated with the common name “Junebug” is Phyllophaga longispina. Unless otherwise stated, Phyllophaga spp is used. What we’re dealing with here (although most of the information applies equally to other types of June bugs).

Signs of problem (even if you can’t see the beetles or larvae)

There are several indicators that may be a problem for adults or their larvae in June.

  • There is a brown patch on the lawn.
  • A small hole is dug in the lawn overnight. These holes are often made by scanks looking for their food source, grabs.
  • Mole also eats larvae, so if you have a mole problem, the cause may be the larvae.
  • There are holes in the leaves of some plants.

Track their detection by monitoring the landscape for such signs and confirming the presence of these insects. To confirm the presence of grabs, dig grass in the lawn and examine the soil for greyish caterpillar-like insects that vary in length from less than an inch to just over an inch (“C“ Disturbance ”. Inch shape “. To make sure there are adults, walk faithfully through the landscape and look for beetles on the leaves of the plant.

Taking effective and timely action is a great way to prevent problems caused by the June bug and its problems.

The best way to get rid of June bugs

The “best” way in this case is the method rather than the timing focus. Do not wait for adult beetles to appear before performing pest control. It is much better to target the larvae than to try to kill an adult. The larvae are contained in a defined space under the grass. This makes it easy to erase everything. In contrast, adults as flying insects can be anywhere.

The life cycle of a bug in June varies from species to species, but the typical scenario is:

  • Females lay eggs on the lawn in midsummer.
  • The grab quickly hatches and remains near the soil surface until it falls.
  • They dig deep into the ground for the winter.
  • They come out of the ground as adult beetles in the spring.

To kill the larvae, spray an insecticide containing carbyl or trichlorfon in September. At the moment, they are still close enough to the soil surface to be sensitive to pesticides.

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Trypophobia: what it is, main symptoms, and treatment.

Nayar Malik

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Trypophobia

Trypophobia, which literally means fear of holes, is the name we give to a condition that makes certain people feel aversion or discomfort when exposed to images that create patterns of holes or bumps.

Although very popular on the Internet, trypophobia is not a disease, much less a real phobia. This condition is not recognized by the scientific community nor is it described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) of the American Psychiatric Association, which is the most widely used categorization manual for mental disorders worldwide.

It is important to note that although trypophobia is not considered a mental disorder, it does not mean that there are not millions of people who are truly uncomfortable when seeing images of small holes together, especially if they are in a biological environment, whether on human skin or in another living being (the author of this text is one of them).

In this article, we will explain what trypophobia really is, what its causes are, its symptoms, and why it is so little studied scientifically, even though it is so common.

What is Trypophobia?

If you can barely look at the images below, if you feel terrible distress, feeling uncomfortable, and even itchy skin, you probably have a so-called trypophobia.

The name trypophobia, despite seeming scientific, was created on the Internet, probably in 2009 on a Facebook page. The author of the page noticed that he felt distressed when seeing certain holes and decided to create a community to know how common he felt was common. In a short time, the page became immensely popular and the term ended up catching on.

Therefore, the word trypophobia is not a scientific term nor was it created with the intuition of describing a widely studied and clearly characterized condition. Depending on the source you search for, definitions may vary. In general, trypophobia is a feeling of aversion to grouped images of small holes or reliefs.

As already mentioned, trypophobia is more common when these images of small holes are associated with the skin or living beings, as in the photos above. As we will see later, trypophobia is more intense if it arouses in the individual a feeling of being linked to a disease or a parasite’s presence.

When we use the same geometric pattern in images that do not clearly arouse the idea of ​​skin disease, as in the images below, the number of people who report feeling uncomfortable drops a lot.

What seems to cause the discomfort are not the geometric images themselves, but the type of memory or sensation they awaken. If the patterns of holes or reliefs make the individual think of diseases, skin lesions, poisonous animal burrows, or toxic or contagious substances, trypophobia is more likely to arise.

TRIPOPHOBIA IS A REAL PHOBIA?

Trypophobia is not a real phobia. We consider phobia to be a type of anxiety disorder that is characterized by significant fear of a particular object or situation. Classically, the phobia leads the individual to behave in an uncontrolled and evasive manner, that is, to flee in fear.

The feeling of fear that a person with a phobia of cockroach, spider, height, airplane, needles, or closed places feels is infinitely more intense than the uncomfortable sensation that a set of small holes causes in most people. Seeing an uncomfortable or disgusting image may even cause some discomfort, but it will never have the same negative influence on your life that real phobias do. People who claim to have trypophobia do not lose control when they see small holes. You may not be able to look for a long time and some people report itchy skin, but the sense of panic from a real phobia does not exist in the vast majority of cases.

However, it is important to note that there is a phobia for everything. There may be people with a real fear of these little holes. However, the patient fits into what we call a specific phobia, which is a widely recognized psychiatric disorder.

SCIENTIFIC STUDIES ON TRYPOPHOBIA

Because it is not a real disease and because it does not impact people’s lives, trypophobia is a condition that has been little studied and practically ignored by psychiatrists.

The few scientific papers published have focused on the causes of this bad feeling, which apparently has an evolutionary origin.

The first study published on the subject is 2013, in the journal Psychological Science. In it, the researchers speculate that trypophobia may have an evolutionary basis, as these groups of holes share visual characteristics with venomous animals (or their dens) that humans and their ancestors have learned to avoid as a matter of survival.

A 2017 study by the Journal Cognition and Emotion suggests another theory about the origin of disgust at these holes and protrusions. The researchers believe that these geometric patterns resemble contagious or parasitic diseases that mainly affect the skin. Aversion to similar images would therefore be a defense mechanism for the individual to avoid and move away from potentially contagious skin lesions.

SYMPTOMS

The few existing studies have shown that there is a wide variety of signs and symptoms among trypophobes. In the mildest – and most common – cases, the individual reports only a feeling of aversion, with no other associated signs. In the most intense cases, the individuals studied tachycardia (fast heartbeat), damp hands, itchy body, need to rub hands on the skin, nausea, and even episodes of panic and fainting.

In the most intense cases, the association with other psychiatric disorders is very common, especially with other phobias and anxiety disorders.

TREATMENT

In the vast majority of cases, patients with trypophobia do not need any treatment, as the problem has no impact on their quality of life. If you want the images to stop bothering you, the simplest way is to see several images of holes and protrusions get your brain used to them. Over time, you end up creating tolerance. However, if the images provoke more than just a feeling of disgust, you should seek help from a psychiatrist. In such cases, treatment is basically the same as other types of phobia, through cognitive behavioral therapy.

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Marie Antoinette syndrome: White hair overnight

Mudassar Hassan

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Marie Antoinette syndrome

What is Marie Antoinette syndrome?

Marie Antoinette syndrome is a condition in which someone’s hair suddenly turns white. The name of this situation comes from the folklore of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, who was rumored to be executed in 1793 and her hair suddenly turned white.

With age, hair naturally turns white. As you age, you may start to lose the melanin pigment that causes hair color. But this situation has nothing to do with age. It is related to a form of alopecia areata-a sudden hair loss. (It should also be noted that, regardless of whether the story is true or not, Marie Antoinette was only 38 years old when she died.

Although it may turn the hair gray in a relatively short period of time, this is unlikely to happen within a few minutes, which is suggested by hypothetical historical records. Learn more about the research and causes behind Marie Antoinette’s syndrome, and whether you need to see a doctor.

What did the research say about Marie Antoinette syndrome?

Research does not support the theory of sudden whitening. Despite this, legends about historical events continue to spread. According to reports, in addition to the notorious Marie Antoinette (Marie Antoinette), the hair color of other famous people in history also suddenly changed. A famous example is Thomas More, who is said to have suddenly turned white before being executed in 1535.

In another report, a report was published that recorded the witness of the sudden whitening of the hair of the survivors in the Second World War after the explosion. In literature and science fiction, the sudden change of hair color is usually psychological.

However, as Dr. Murray Feingold wrote in the MetroWest Daily, so far, no research has shown that you can lose your hair color overnight. Indeed, an article published in an article believes that reports of sudden appearance of gray hair in history are likely to be related to alopecia areata or temporary hair dye flushing.

Reasons for similar phenomena

It is generally believed that cases of the so-called Marie Antoinette syndrome are caused by autoimmune diseases. These conditions change the way your body responds to healthy cells in the body, attacking them unintentionally. If you experience symptoms similar to Marie Antoinette’s syndrome, your body will stop normal hair pigmentation. As a result, although your hair will continue to grow, its color will be gray or white.

There are other reasons that may cause the hair to turn white or white prematurely, which may be mistaken for this syndrome. Please consider the following conditions:

Alopecia Areata. 

This is one of the most obvious causes of pattern hair loss. The symptoms of alopecia areata are thought to be caused by underlying inflammation. This causes the hair follicles to stop new hair growth. Conversely, existing hair may also fall out. If you already have some gray or white hair, baldness in this case will make this loss of pigment even more pronounced. This may also give the impression that you have new pigmentation, when in fact it has become more prominent now. After treatment, new hair growth can help cover gray hair, but it does not necessarily prevent the hair from turning white.

Gene. 

If you have a family history of premature hair graying, you are likely to be at risk. According to the Mayo Clinic, there is another gene called IRF4 that can play a role. The genetic predisposition to whiten hair can make it challenging to reverse hair color changes.

Hormonal changes.

These include thyroid disease, menopause, and decreased testosterone levels. Your doctor can prescribe medications that can help you balance your hormone levels and may prevent further premature graying.

Born with dark hair. 

People with naturally dark and light-colored hair are prone to graying. However, if you have black hair, any form of hair whitening will look more compelling. This type of situation is not irreversible, but it can be dealt with with a comprehensive hair coloring and retouching kit. According to the Nemours Foundation (Nemours Foundation), all of the hair turns gray it may require more than a decade, so this is not unexpected events

Insufficient nutrition. 

The lack of vitamin B-12 is particularly to blame. You can help reverse the gray associated with nutrition by getting enough nutrition. Blood tests can help confirm such defects. It is also important to work with your doctor or even a registered dietitian.

Vitiligo. 

This autoimmune disease causes loss of skin pigment, and visible white patches may appear on your skin. This effect may extend to your hair pigment and make your hair gray. Vitiligo is difficult to treat, especially in children. Options include glucocorticoids, surgery, and phototherapy. Once the treatment has stopped the depigmentation process, you may find fewer gray hairs over time.

Can stress be brought?

Marie Antoinette’s syndrome has historically been described as the result of sudden stress. In the case of Marie Antoinette and Thomas More, their hair color changed in the last few days of jail.

However, the root cause of gray hair is much more complicated than a single incident. In fact, the change in your hair color may be related to another underlying cause.

Stress alone does not cause the hair to suddenly turn white. Over time, chronic stress may cause premature gray hair. You may also lose hair due to severe stress.

When to see the doctor

Grey hair is not necessarily a health problem. If you notice a premature gray, you can ask your doctor at the next physical examination. However, if you also experience other symptoms, such as hair loss, baldness, and rash, you may need to make an appointment.

Takeaway

Premature gray hair must be the cause of the investigation. Even if the hair cannot turn white overnight, the story of Marie Antoinette’s hair turning white before death and other similar stories continue. Instead of paying attention to these historical stories, it is important to pay attention to the current understanding of white hair by medical experts and how to deal with it.

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