Understanding traditional Chinese medicine can help protect species

Demystifying traditional Chinese medicine for conservationists could be the key to better protecting endangered species like pangolins, tigers and rhino, according to University of Queensland-led researchers.

UQ PhD candidate Hubert Cheung said efforts to shift entrenched values and beliefs about Chinese medicine are not achieving conservation gains in the short term.

He said a better understanding of traditional practices was critical for conservationists to form more effective strategies.

“The use of endangered species in traditional Chinese medicine threatens species’ survival and is a challenge for conservationists,” Mr Cheung said.

“Pushing messages of inefficacy, providing various forms of scientific evidence or promoting biomedical alternatives doesn’t seem to be drastically influencing decisions and behaviours.

“And, although many practices and treatments continue to be criticised for lacking scientific support, the World Health Organization approved the inclusion of traditional Chinese medicine in its global compendium of medical practices last year.

“The challenge now is for conservationists to work proactively with practitioners and others in the industry to find sustainable solutions.

“However, most conservation scientists and organisations are unfamiliar with traditional Chinese medicine, which makes it difficult to devise effective and culturally-nuanced interventions.”

The researchers have examined the core theories and practices of traditional Chinese medicine, in a bid to make it more accessible.

They hope their study – and the nuances within – will influence policy and campaigning.

“Today, traditional Chinese medicine is formally integrated into China’s healthcare system, and has been central to China’s response to the ongoing pandemic,” Mr Cheung said.

“In fact, the Chinese government’s COVID-19 clinical guidance has included recommendations for the use of a product containing bear bile, which has raised concerns among conservation groups.”

UQ’s Professor Hugh Possingham said traditional Chinese medicine was now not only entrenched in the social and cultural fabric of Chinese society, but also gaining users elsewhere.

“A better understanding of traditional Chinese medicine will empower conservationists to engage more constructively with stakeholders in this space,” Professor Possingham said.

“We’re hoping that this work can help all parties develop more effective and lasting solutions for species threatened by medicinal use.”

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Understanding the Virus and Its Unanswered Questions: QuickTake

1. How is this virus different?

Unlike the coronavirus responsible for the 2002-2003 outbreak in Asia of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, this new one can spread via people who are infected but have yet to develop symptoms, or don’t at all. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 40% to 45% of SARS-CoV-2 infections occur without symptoms. A study by researchers at the Yale School of Public Health’s Center for Infectious Disease Modeling and Analysis found “silent” transmitters are responsible for more than half of the cases in Covid-19 outbreaks. What’s more, the new virus has a relatively long incubation period — the time between infection and the appearance of symptoms — enabling it to spread silently in a community before being detected. The interval is about five to six days compared with two days for the flu, which spreads the same way and is the most common cause of pandemics. The stealthy nature of the coronavirus wasn’t well understood at first and contributed to the staggered and uneven quality of the response.

Read more: Why ‘Silent Spreaders’ Make Coronavirus Hard to Beat: QuickTake

2. Why wasn’t it contained?

On Jan. 23, China imposed the most extensive quarantine in known history in Hubei province, where the outbreak began in the capital Wuhan, an industrial city of 11 million. By then, however, the virus had been seeded in other places. Starting in early February, many countries introduced travel bans but not before the virus had reached around the world. Governments issued stay-at-home orders and mandated “social distancing” to “flatten the curve” of new infections. But the economic toll propelled reopenings that in many places brought a surge in new cases, sometimes followed by new movement restrictions. It took months for some governments to recommend or mandate that people wear masks in public to counter the virus’s silent spread, and many still haven’t done so.

Read more: Mask or No Mask? And Which Kind? What the Experts Say: QuickTake

3. What’s the biggest mystery about the virus?

One major question is whether those who get the coronavirus emerge with immunity. Generally speaking, infections prompt the body to develop antibodies that protect against reinfection, although there are notable exceptions such as HIV and malaria. By mid-year a slew of antibody test kits were available, including some that could be taken at home. Many tests, however, weren’t reliable. What’s more, researchers still don’t know whether the presence of antibodies means someone has immunity, or how long that protection might last. With the main coronaviruses that cause the common cold, immunity generally doesn’t last very long. In Hong Kong, a man tested positive for the coronavirus in late August after recovering from a different strain in April, in what scientists said was the first documented case of reinfection. The man had no symptoms the second time, however, suggesting his immune system provided some protection, according to doctors. Dozens of reinfections have since been reported, according to a tracker maintained by

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New understanding of the neuropilin-1 protein could speed vaccine research

<span class="caption">The Spike protein on the surface of SARS-CoV-2 must bind to proteins on the surface of human cells to trigger an infection.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/illustration/coronavirus-particle-illustration-royalty-free-illustration/1205740031?adppopup=true" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:KTSDESIGN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty Images">KTSDESIGN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty Images</a></span>
The Spike protein on the surface of SARS-CoV-2 must bind to proteins on the surface of human cells to trigger an infection. KTSDESIGN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty Images

When it comes to how the coronavirus invades a cell, it takes three to tango. The dance began with the ACE2 receptor, a protein on human cells that allows SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, to enter and infect the cell. But now enter a new dance partner – another protein – that is present on human cells. This tango of three proteins – two human and one viral – enhances the ability of SARS-CoV-2 to enter human cells, replicate and cause disease.

COVID-19 has crippled health care systems and economies worldwide. Extraordinary efforts are underway to develop vaccines and other therapies to combat this virus. But for these efforts to succeed, understanding how the virus enters cells is critical. To that end, in two papers published in Science, two teams independently discovered that a protein called the neuropilin-1 receptor is an alternative doorway for SARS-CoV-2 to enter and infect human cells. This is a major breakthrough and a surprise, because scientists thought neuropilin-1 played roles in helping neurons make the correct connections and aiding the growth of blood vessels. Before this new research, no one suspected that neuropilin-1 could be a door for SARS-CoV-2 to enter the nervous system.

My colleagues and I were particularly intrigued by these reports because as neuroscientists who study how pain signals are triggered and transmitted to the brain, we were also probing the activity of neuropilin-1. In a recent paper our team showed how neuropilin-1 is involved with pain signals and how, when the SARS-CoV-2 virus attaches to it, it blocks pain transmission and relieves pain. The new work shows that neuropilin-1 is an independent doorway for the COVID-19 virus to infect cells. This discovery provides insights that may reveal ways to block the virus.

Neuropilin-1 helps SARS-CoV-2 get in

A protein called Spike that sits on the outer surface of SARS-CoV-2 allows this virus to attach to protein receptors of human cells. Recognizing that a tiny piece of Spike was similar to regions of human protein sequences known to bind to neuropilin receptors, both research teams realized that neuropilin-1 may be critical for infecting cells.

Using a technique called X-ray crystallography, which allows researchers to see the three-dimensional structure of the Spike protein at a resolution of individual atoms, as well as other biochemical approaches, James L. Daly of the University of Bristol and colleagues showed that this short sequence from Spike attached to neuropilin-1.

In experiments in the lab, the SARS-CoV-2 virus was able to infect fewer human cells that lacked neuropilin-1.

In cells with both the ACE2 and neuropilin-1 proteins, SARS-CoV-2 infection was greater compared to cells with either “doorway” alone.

Daly and colleagues showed that SARS-CoV-2 was able to infect fewer cells if they used a small molecule called EG00229 or antibodies to block the Spike protein’s access to neuropilin-1.

Neuropilin-1

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Primo Nutraceuticals Inc. signs a Memorandum of Understanding for Exclusive Rights to Sell Rapid (Colloidal Gold Method) COVID-19 Test Kits in Canada

COVID-19 Test Kits

COVID-19 Test Kits
COVID-19 Test Kits
COVID-19 Test Kits

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Oct. 21, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — PRIMO NUTRACEUTICALS INC. (CSE: PRMO) (OTC: BUGVF ) (FSE: 8BV) (DEU: 8BV) (MUN: 8BV) (STU: 8BV) (” PRIMO ” or the “Company”) announces the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Neo-Nostics (Suzhou) Bioengineering Co. Ltd. Of Su Zhou City, China (“Neo-Nostics”) as the official trade representative for Neo-Nostics ™ with the exclusive rights to apply for licensing and to market and sell the following COVID-19 production Canada: Neo-Nostics 2019-nCoV IgG/IgM Rapid Test Kit (Colloidal Gold Method) (Test Kit).

The Memorandum of Understanding between Primo and Neo-Nostics ™, is effective as of October 13, 2020. Upon successfully receiving product license and approval by Health Canada, Neo-Nostics ™ will grant Primo with “Official Dealer/Distributor Status” in Canada.

The Neo-Nostics 2019-nCoV IgG/IgM Rapid Testing Kit is currently registered with the FDA. Primo will be submitting the application for approval to Health Canada immediately. Neo-Nostics ™ has committed to supporting Primo’s efforts to obtain and maintain all necessary certifications and approvals for the sale and marketing of the Test Kits in Canada by granting access to all necessary documentation and clinical studies concerning the Test Kits.

Follow the link for a video demonstration: http://www.neo-nostics.com/skin/images/mp40.mp4

About the Neo-NosticsRapid Test Kits

The Neo-Nostics 2019-nCoV Antibody Detection Reagent Kit (Colloidal Gold Method) has the advantage of rapidity, convenience, high accuracy, and can make up for the shortcomings of professional requirements, time consumption and low positive detection rate of PCR nucleic acid detection, and can be used as an important supplementary detection method for the diagnosis of coronal pneumonia.

Through detection and calculation, it is found that the comprehensive accuracy rate of the Neo-Nostics2019-nCoV IgM Detection Reagent is higher than 95%.

During the worst period of the epidemic in China, the reagent kit was donated to hospitals and the CDC in the most severely infected areas of Hubei for clinical auxiliary diagnosis. At present, the verification reports made by three clinical units prove that the positive detection rate of clinically confirmed cases has reached 92%, which has exceeded the general detection effect. Not only negative or positive results can be detected, but also the early, middle and or recovery period of virus infection can be distinguished by the positive strength of IgM or IgG.
Source: Clinical study report conducted by the Institute of Virology, in the capital city of Hubei, China and The Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, China.

DISCLAIMER: “The Company is not making any express or implied claims that it has the ability to eliminate, cure or contain the Covid-19 (or SARS-2 Coronavirus) at this time”.

Clinical Applications of Reagents

This reagent has been used by professionals in China since February 2020 in an area that was the hardest hit and impacted most severely by COVID-19, in the form of clinical auxiliary diagnosis.

The reagent kit was clinically verified by several professionals, hospitals, and universities

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Understanding the Definition of Health Related Fitness

Being a Health and Fitness Professional, it is my job to understand terms and definitions which are commonplace to this industry, as well to keep abreast of evolving trends. Through my experience, I have found that a number of terms deserve a little more clarification than that which they are granted.

Aside from clarifying the definition of Health Related Fitness, this article intends to shed some light on a few of the associated terms, and to show their respective distinctions.

Is it simply all in a name?

The fitness world seems to use the concept Health Related Fitness like a generic fitness principle – interchangeable with others like “Physical Fitness”, “Health and Fitness” or simply “Fitness.”

While all of these terms can be included under the broad term Health and Physical Fitness, they individually refer to different aspects – both generic and specific. Unfortunately, references to these and other fitness-related terms are often vague, while consistency in their intended use is meager at best; there is a kind of “generally accepted” use for them, but individuals often rely on own interpretation, and this can lead to confusion.

With that said, does Health Related Fitness simply infer fitness by means of good health? Not quite. That is why we need to understand a little more behind these words before digesting the definition.

How did the term Health Related Physical Fitness come about?

That is a good question. One could probably ask what is this concept all about – can we not simply use the terms “Fitness” or “Physical Fitness” instead?” Why Health “Related”?

The main reason stems from the fact that most health and fitness terms are used inconsistently and often refer to different concepts or notions. Subsequent to the 1996 report from the US Surgeon General (Physical Activity and Health; a report of the Surgeon General), there was a move to try and address the alarming rise in obesity levels among the general American public. Studies and initiatives required standardization among clinicians, health practitioners and fitness trainers to grapple with the task at hand. Enter “Health Related Physical Fitness”, a working term to address the general state of health among the public.

The definition of Health Related Fitness

According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the main authority in this field, ineffective definitions with unclear and subjective wordings, as well as definitions containing terms which themselves require defining, have contributed to confusing the term “Physical Fitness.”

There exists no reliable guide for Health and Fitness Professionals to measure “Physical Fitness”, because the term has been so loosely and inconsistently defined. It is therefore that one should consider the concept of Health Related Fitness. The definition therefore centers on the 5 Components of Physical Fitness which relate to “good health.” These Components are:

  • Cardiorespiratory Fitness
  • Body Composition
  • Flexibility
  • Muscular Strength
  • Muscular Endurance

On the other hand, Skill Related Fitness Components are:

  • Balance
  • Reaction Time
  • Coordination
  • Agility
  • Speed
  • Power

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), …

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