Cannabis shows promise blocking coronavirus infection

After sifting through 400 cannabis strains, researchers at the University of Lethbridge are concentrating on about a dozen that show promising results in ensuring less fertile ground for the potentially lethal virus to take root, said biological scientist Dr. Igor Kovalchuk.

“A number of them have reduced the number of these (virus) receptors by 73 per cent, the chance of it getting in is much lower,” said Kovalchuk.

“If they can reduce the number of receptors, there’s much less chance of getting infected.”

Employing cannabis sativa strains over the past three months, the researcher said the effective balance between cannabis components THC and CBD — the latter more typically associated with medical use — is still unclear in blocking the novel coronavirus.

Kovalchuk, whose Pathway RX is owned partly by Olds-based licensed cannabis producer Sundial Growers and partnered with Alberta cannabis researcher Swysh.

But it’s generally the anti-inflammatory properties of high-CBD content that have shown most promise, he added.

“We focus more on the higher CBD because people can take higher doses and not be impaired,” said Kovalchuk.

The study under Health Canada licence using artificial human 3-D tissue models has been seeking ways to hinder the highly contagious novel coronavirus from finding a host in the lungs, intestines, and oral cavity.

If successful, the work could find practical medical use in the form of mouth wash, gargle, inhalants or gel caps, said Kovalchuk.

“It would be cheaper for people and have a lot less side-effects,” he said.

But the absence of clinical trials remains a barrier, and funding from an increasingly cash-strapped cannabis industry isn’t there to fuel that, said Kovalchuk.

“We have clinicians who are willing to work with us but for a lot of companies in the cannabis business, it’s significant cash that they can’t afford,” he said.

The scientist emphasized the findings wouldn’t lead to a vaccine — something “less specific and precise” but nonetheless another possible weapon against COVID-19.

“The extracts of our most successful and novel high CBD C sativa lines, pending further investigation, may become a useful and safe addition to the treatment of COVID-19 as an adjunct therapy,” said Kovalchuk.

“Given the current dire and rapidly evolving epidemiological situation, every possible therapeutic opportunity and avenue must be considered.”

Israeli researchers have begun clinical trials of CBD as a treatment to repair cells damaged by COVID-19 by using its anti-inflammatory abilities.

It’s thought CBD could enhance the traditional effect of steroids in such treatment of patients in life-threatening condition and also bolster the immune system.

It’s the kind of research and his own that deserves government support in Canada, whose federal government has pledged $1.1 billion in funding for COVID-19 research said the U of L scientist.

“Our work could have a huge influence — there aren’t many drugs that have the potential of reducing infection by 70 to 80 per cent,” he said.

South Korean baseball resumes with preseason game in front of empty stands

Doosan Bears pitcher Lee Young-ha (L) throws a ball in front of empty stands as a referee (R) wearing a face mask looks on during a pre-season baseball game between Seoul-based Doosan Bears and LG Twins at Jamsil stadium in Seoul on April 21, 2020. – Professional sport returned to South Korea on April 21 as coronavirus restrictions ease, with the first pitch thrown in a baseball preseason derby in front of empty stands. (Photo by Jung Yeon-je / AFP)

Professional sport returned to South Korea on Tuesday as coronavirus restrictions ease in the country, with the first pitch thrown in a baseball preseason derby in front of empty stands.

The Seoul-based Doosan Bears and LG Twins are Korea’s biggest rivals in the country’s most popular spectator sport and their shared stadium in the capital’s Jamsil area would usually be packed.

But with fans barred, the stands were empty as the Twins’ Cha Woo-chan threw the first pitch.

Even the cheerleaders — an essential element of firing up the atmosphere at what would normally be a feverish encounter — were also absent.

The stadium was silent except for the continuous clicking of camera shutters from around 50 members of the media, and occasional shouts from the dugouts.

Reporters were not allowed to approach the players.

“Although it is being held behind closed doors, I think it’s good that we can hold these games for the fans who are watching from their homes,” said LG Twins media officer Kim Kwang-hwan.

“We hope that the coronavirus outbreak will be contained soon so many fans can come and enjoy our game just like previous years.”

The Jamsil derby was among the first of 20 preseason games, and the Korea Baseball Organization said Tuesday the regular season would start behind closed doors on May 5.

Strict health guidelines were being enforced.

Players must have their temperature checked twice before the games, with facemasks strongly recommended in all parts of the stadium, except for the field and the dugout during the game, the KBO said.

Players have been asked not to shake hands or exchange high-fives, while spitting is prohibited.

The Doosan Bears were last year’s KBO champions but the LG Twins ran out 5-2 winners in a one-sided encounter.

Even so, more than 700,000 fans tuned in to watch a livestream of the match on Naver, the country’s largest online portal.

Japantimes.com

What will this Fool come up with next?

Trump gets stung from all sides after floating injections of disinfectants

The president, who has championed unproven coronavirus treatments, embraced the dangerous practice as a potential cure.

Trump’s own word:

“And then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning?” Trump said. “Because you see it gets in the lungs, and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it would be interesting to check that. So you’re going to have to use medical doctors with — but it sounds interesting to me.”

President Donald Trump’s suggestion that Americans should inject themselves with household disinfectants as a coronavirus remedy provoked an apparently universal rebuke Friday — including from congressional lawmakers, the medical community and the makers of the cleaning products themselves.

 

On the advice of the President of the United States of America, aka stable genius.

 

trumped1

 

How Coronavirus Emptied The World’s Streets

As millions of people around the world lock themselves indoors in order to prevent transmission of the dreaded coronavirus, the world outside looks eerily abandoned. The absence of humans and smoke belching vehicles is having a profound effect on the environment, not seen, perhaps, since the Industrial Age began. The atmosphere has become cleaner with significant drop in nitrogen dioxide pollution. The normally polluted waters of the canals of Venice have become so clear that one can see the bottom. In Sassari, the second-largest town of Sardinia, wild boars are roaming the streets, and in Rome’s many fountains ducks are taking advantage of the lack of tourists. Aside from these occasional visitors, public spaces across the world have become terribly devoid of life.

A scene from Wuhan, the epicenter of Covid-19.

Fontana di Trevi, Rome.

Prague.

Venice

Moscow underground.

 

Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin. Photo:

The Brandenburg Gate in berlin. Photo: nope_just_fish/Reddit

Poland. Photo: EPA-EFE / GREGORY Michałowska

Poland. Photo: EPA-EFE / GREGORY Michałowska

Moscow.

Times Square, New York

Piccadilly Circus, London, on 21 March 2020. Photo: fridericvs/Reddit

Brooklyn Bridge

Rome, Piazza di Spagna.

Quiet streets in the Lujiazui financial district in Pudong, Shanghai. Photo: REUTERS/Aly Song

The Eiffel Tower is closed for an indefinite time.

Pigeons thrives in the Plaza de Armas in La Paz, Bolivia. Photo: Aizar Raldes / AFP

Empty Fell street in San Francisco, 21 March 2020. Photo: brodil/Reddit

Marine Drive, one of the busiest streets of Mumbai is completely deserted on 22 March 2020, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 14-hour country-wide lockdown. Photo: silent_christ/Reddit

Strange Times

The twin brothers (71) still meets once a week. One lives in Norway, the other in Sweden.

 

For anybody who had or is yet to have their birthday in quarantine.

 

Mother keeping it classy in these uncertain times.

 

None of you are invited

 

Wealthy man flaunting his riches.

 

Disinfecting Pericles who died from the plague in 429 B.C.

USNS Comfort arriving into NYC. March 30, 2020.

The USNS Comfort arrived in New York on Monday, bringing a massive Navy hospital ship to help relieve city hospitals overwhelmed by coronavirus patients.

The 1,000-bed floating hospital docked Monday at Pier 90 on Manhattan’s West Side, and is set to begin treating patients Tuesday.

The Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort docks in New York, Monday, March 30, 2020. The ship has 1,000 beds and 12 operating rooms that could be up and running within 24 hours of its arrival on Monday morning. It’s expected to bolster a besieged health care system by treating non-coronavirus patients while hospitals treat people with COVID-19. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

A naval hospital ship is coming to New York

Governor Cuomo also said on Wednesday that President Trump had agreed to dispatch a 1,000-bed hospital ship to New York Harbor as the state struggles to deal with a stark jump in coronavirus cases. The governor’s office later clarified was not expected to arrive in until April.

The ship, the U.S.N.S. Comfort, has previously been deployed to natural disaster zones, including to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria in 2017.

“It has operating rooms,” Mr. Cuomo said. Drawing further on the U.S. military, Mr. Cuomo said he would meet with the Army Corps of Engineers on Wednesday as he seeks to rapidly add hospital beds.

Although Mr. Cuomo said the president had said he would dispatch the 894-foot ship “immediately,” Jonathan Hoffman, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters at a news conference on Wednesday that the vessel was undergoing repairs in Norfolk, Va., and that it would be weeks before it sailed for New York.

USNS Comfort (T-AH-20) is the third United States Navy ship to bear the name Comfort, and the second Mercy-class hospital ship to join the U.S. Navy’s fleet. The USNS prefix identifies Comfort as a non-commissioned ship owned by the U.S. Navy and operationally crewed by civilians from the Military Sealift Command (MSC). A uniformed naval hospital staff and naval support staff is embarked when Comfort is deployed, said staffs consisting primarily of naval officers from the Navy’s Medical Corps, Dental Corps, Medical Service Corps, Nurse Corps and Chaplain Corps, and naval enlisted personnel from the Hospital Corpsman rating and various administrative and technical support ratings (e.g., Yeoman, Personnel Specialist, Information Systems Technician, Religious Program Specialist, etc.).

General characteristics
Displacement: 69,360 tons (70,470 t)
Length: 894 ft (272 m)
Beam: 105 ft 7 in (32.18 m)
Draft: 33 ft (10 m)
Propulsion: two boilers, two GE turbines, one shaft, 24,500 hp (18.3 MW)
Speed: 17.5 knots (20.1 mph; 32.4 km/h)
Complement: 63 civilian, 956 naval hospital staff, 258 naval support staff, up to 1,000 bed patients
Time to activate: 5 days
Aviation facilities: A flight deck that can handle military helicopters (CH-53D, CH-53E, MH-53E, Mi-17, UH 60)