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This Tiny Implant Could Prevent HIV for an Entire Year

This Tiny Implant Could Prevent HIV for an Entire Year 86

Ounce of Prevention

Today, people at a high risk of contracting HIV can choose to take a daily medication called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). This can prevent them from catching the virus — not entirely unlike how the daily birth control pill can prevent pregnancy.

But just like some people have trouble remembering to take their birth control pill every day, there’s a chance a person might forget to consistently take their PrEP, which makes it far less effective.

Now, global biopharmaceutical company Merck thinks it’s found a solution to this problem: an implant that delivers a year’s worth of HIV-preventing medication gradually, ending the need for daily pills.

Implant Power

Merck’s HIV implant isn’t too different from the birth control implant favored by many people — it’s about the size of a matchstick and sits just under the skin in a person’s upper arm.

On Tuesday, the company announced the results of a Phase 1 trial of the implant, saying it was “well tolerated” and effective at delivering an HIV-preventing medication.

Cautiously Optimistic

While the trial involved just 12 men and lasted for just 12 weeks, Merck said in a press release that it is encouraged by the results.

National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease Director Anthony S. Fauci, who wasn’t involved in the trial, meanwhile, is cautiously optimistic.

“If — and I’m emphasizing if — if it pans out in a larger trial that it delivers a level of drug that’s protective for a year, that would be a game-changer,” he told The New York Times.

READ MORE: Someday, an Arm Implant May Prevent H.I.V. Infection for a Year [The New York Times]

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A lack of oxygen leads to aging, excess oxygen leads to immortality

A lack of oxygen leads to aging, excess oxygen leads to immortality 87

Israeli scientists claim that by using only oxygen, they have successfully reversed the biological aging process.

A recent study conducted by Tel Aviv University professor Shai Efrati and a team at Shamir Medical Center showed that when healthy adults over 64 were placed in a pressurized chamber and given pure oxygen for 90 minutes a day, five days a week and within three months, the aging process not only slowed down, but actually changed in the opposite direction.

In particular, a study published in the peer-reviewed journal Aging focused on whether this oxygen enrichment process could reverse two key indicators of biological aging: the contraction of DNA telomeres and the accumulation of senescent cells in tissues. Telomeres are located at the ends of a chromosome, consist of repeating sequences of non-coding DNA, and serve as caps to protect the chromosome from damage during replication.

A lack of oxygen leads to aging, excess oxygen leads to immortality 88

Each time replication occurs, these bumpers take a hit, making the chromosomes shorter and shorter. Once the telomere reaches a certain length, the cell can no longer replicate, which leads to aging: malfunctioning of cells, which ultimately leads to cognitive or other age-related impairments and even diseases such as cancer.

About 35 adults over the age of 64 took part in the study and applied hyperbaric oxygen therapy, using 100% oxygen at an ambient pressure greater than one absolute atmosphere to increase the amount of oxygen dissolved in body tissues.

A lack of oxygen leads to aging, excess oxygen leads to immortality 89

Every 20 minutes, participants were asked to remove their masks for five minutes, returning oxygen to normal levels.

However, during this period, the researchers saw that fluctuations in free oxygen concentration were interpreted at the cellular level as a lack of oxygen – rather than interpreting the absolute level of oxygen.

In other words, repeated intermittent hyperoxic (increased oxygen levels) exposure induced many of the mediators and cellular mechanisms that are usually induced during hypoxia (low oxygen levels). Dr. Efrati calls this the hyperoxic-hypoxic paradox.

“The fluctuations in the oxygen level that we have created is what matters,” he told The Jerusalem Post. “During this process, there is, as it were, a lack of oxygen, which causes cell regeneration.”

The practical consequences of therapy include increased attention, processing speed, and executive function, which tend to decrease with age and about which more than 50% of people over the age of 60 express concern.

According to the study, the changes were equivalent to having the participants’ bodies at the cellular level go back 25 years.

“We’re not [just] slowing aging – we’re moving back in time,” says Dr. Efrati. Efrati has been studying aging for ten years and runs Aviva clinics in Florida. The study, he said, is evidence that the cellular basis of the aging process can be reversed, adding that it “offers hope and opens up the opportunity for many young scientists to target aging as a reversible disease.”

It could also allow doctors and scientists to find a way to control telomere length and develop drugs to help them grow again when needed. But will it make people live longer?

The duration of the effect has yet to be determined in the long term, says Efrati. But “probably yes.” We know people with shorter telomeres die earlier, so that makes sense.”

At the moment, the only drawback of the study is the limited sample size, that is, so far relatively few people have participated in the experiment, but over time, scientists will solve this problem too.

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Cyberfarm 2077. YouTuber showed what a Russian cyber village could look like

Cyberfarm 2077. YouTuber showed what a Russian cyber village could look like 90
Photo: video screenshot youtube.com/birchpunk

On November 19, the day the Cyberpunk 2077 video game was supposed to be released, a five-minute video about a Russian cyber village appeared on YouTube. It combines the aesthetics of cyberpunk with the life of the Russian provinces.

Cyberfarm 2077. YouTuber showed what a Russian cyber village could look like 91

Russian director and blogger Sergei Vasiliev made a short film that is an excerpt from the life of a fictional Russian village with the technologies of the future. The short film was shot in the style of a video blog. 

“They say that Russia is a technically backward country, there are no roads, no robotics, rockets do not fly, and mail takes too long. [This is not true],” the creators say.

The main character, a farmer called Nikolai, talks about his cyber farm, where three androids work, and invites new workers to his business. The robots milk the cows, walk them and go to fetch water. Instead of a cesspool, there is a black hole in the toilets, and mail is delivered by flying wagons of the Russian Post. New technologies have also solved the problem of Russian roads – cars now fly over it, but even there are holes in the air.

The authors of the short film said that a “creative association of enthusiasts” worked on the creative, and now they “plan to release further videos in the same universe.”

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German scientists have found a drink that kills coronavirus in five minutes

German scientists have found a drink that kills coronavirus in five minutes 92

German scientists from the University of Ulm have discovered a natural product that kills up to 97% of the coronavirus in the body. The researchers published their work in the journal bioRxiv.  

During the study, experts mixed juices with viruses at room temperature and monitored the results. It turned out that black chokeberry juice most effectively suppresses the activity of the virus in the human body – it destroys up to 97% of COVID-19 pathogens in just five minutes.

Scientists have discovered a product that kills coronavirus by 97%

In addition, pomegranate juice can kill up to 80% of the coronavirus pathogens. The rest of natural juices and green tea can also weaken the disease, since they have an acidic environment and plant polyphenols that negatively affect the virus.

Scientists have discovered a product that kills coronavirus by 97% in 5 minutes

In order to get rid of 80% of COVID-19 pathogens, scientists recommended that patients rinse the oropharynx with these solutions and rinse the nasopharynx. The study adds that plant polyphenols and acidic environments have a damaging effect on viral proteins.

During the study, scientists mixed drinks with viral particles and influenza A virus (IAV), adenovirus 5 (AdV5) and SARS-CoV-2. The observation was carried out under room temperature conditions. The experts also worked on swine flu with different juices and teas.

“Preventing the initial infection or reducing the viral load of an infection can relieve symptoms, prevent spread to the lower respiratory tract or transmission to another person,” the study said.

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