Sunday, October 2, 2022

Coronavirus Briefing Newsletter – Times of India

Must Read
FactdarshanPedia Desk
Factdarshanpedia Desk is a team of various journalists, who work together and publish best-researched news stories on Factdarshanpedia

  • India on Wednesday reported 16,906 Covid cases and 45 fatalities. The cumulative caseload is 4,36,69,850 (1,32,457 active cases) and 5,25,519 fatalities
  • Worldwide: Over 557 million cases and over 6.35 million fatalities.
  • Vaccination in India: Over 1.99 billion doses. Worldwide: Over 11.77 billion doses.
How machine learning helps learn about emerging variants faster
How machine learning helps learn about emerging variants faster
  • With the pandemic throwing up a thickening alphabet soup of variants and sub-lineages, scientists across the globe are constantly tracking the SARS-CoV-2 virus for mutations.
  • But the emphasis so far has been on the spike protein and lineage markers in a bid to gauge suspected impact on disease or vaccination efficacy.
  • Researchers at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia’s national science agency, felt that monitoring variants in such a way might miss genetic changes with functional effect on disease.
  • So they have now developed a faster and more comprehensive way to identify emerging and dangerous variants, by analysing the RNA of the whole variant. After all, there are more than 11 genes within the Covid-19 virus, and these interact with the human immune system in different ways.
  • “By harnessing the capability of a powerful machine-learning tool we developed, called VariantSpark, we were able to analyse the genomes of 10,000 Covid-19 samples, which is the largest number of samples ever analysed in this way,” says Denis Bauer, a co-author of the study.
  • VariantSpark can, hence, account for small changes that on their own may not seem significant, but when combined with other small changes can influence the way the virus behaves.
  • The study, published in Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal, claims that the new approach was able to identify variants that could be monitored a week before they were flagged by health organisations – and a week is a long time when you’re trying to outsmart a pandemic.
  • “We can also apply this approach to other viruses. In fact it has the potential to become the international standard of disease surveillance,” adds Bauer.
Covid-19 causes hair loss, but it is reversible
Covid-19 causes hair loss, but it is reversible
  • Hair loss is a common complaint among Covid survivors. Past studies show that it affects one in five patients, covering a wide range of categories, including telogen effluvium (TE), worsening of male pattern baldness and alopecia areata.
  • A new paper, published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, explores the reversibility, duration, association with Covid severity, and likely causes of this potentially distressing condition.
  • The researchers looked at all eligible papers published on the subject, including randomised controlled trials and case-control studies, and found that TE – when large numbers of hair follicles enter the resting phase in response to stress or other disorders – began at 45-50 days after the onset of the infection.
  • TE was the predominant form of hair loss – reported in three-quarters of the cases – while alopecia was found in 5% of the patients. No clear associations were made with Covid-19 severity.
  • Almost all the patients claimed to have recovered from the hair loss at a median of five months. The most common treatments were topical lotions containing clobetasol or minoxidil or low-dose systemic corticosteroids.
  • Theories on the cause of such hairfall include severe inflammation in some patients, with high levels of cytokines like interleukin (IL) 6, which suppresses the elongation of the hair shaft.
  • The hormones estrogen and progesterone may play a role too, given that most “victims” were female. Covid-19 may alter the balance of these hormones or cause a reduction in their levels, leading to hair loss. Further studies are needed to validate this hypothesis, the researchers add.
Follow news that matters to you in real-time.
Join 3 crore news enthusiasts.

Written by: Rakesh Rai, Sushmita Choudhury, Jayanta Kalita, Prabhash K Dutta
Research: Rajesh Sharma

Source link

- Advertisement -spot_img


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -spot_img
Latest News

SBI Chairman Announces the Launch of SBI Foundation’s Gram Seva Program Across 6 States of India

On the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, Shri Dinesh Khara, Chairman, State Bank Group, announced the launch of the...
- Advertisement -spot_img

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -spot_img