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New vaccine blocks COVID-19, variants and other coronaviruses

first_img Comments (0) MaxiVision Eye Hospitals launches “Mucormycosis Early Detection Centre” Phoenix Business Consulting invests in telehealth platform Healpha The new vaccine, called pan-coronavirus vaccine, was found effective in protecting monkeys and miceUS researchers have developed a potential new vaccine, which has proven effective against the original SARS-CoV-1, SARS-CoV-2 as well as its UK, South Africa and Brazil variants and related bat coronaviruses that could potentially cause the next pandemic.The new vaccine, called pan-coronavirus vaccine, was found effective in protecting monkeys and mice.Pan-coronavirus vaccine triggers neutralising antibodies via a nanoparticle. The nanoparticle is composed of the coronavirus part that allows it to bind to the body’s cell receptors and is formulated with a chemical booster called an adjuvant. Success in primates is highly relevant to humans, said researchers from the Duke University in North Carolina, the US.The findings, published in the journal Nature, showed that the nanoparticle vaccine, in monkeys, blocked COVID-19 infection by 100 per cent. The new vaccine also elicited significantly higher neutralising levels in the animals than current vaccine platforms or natural infection in humans.“We began this work last spring with the understanding that, like all viruses, mutations would occur in the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19,” said senior author Barton F Haynes, Director, Duke Human Vaccine Institute (DHVI).“The mRNA vaccines were already under development, so we were looking for ways to sustain their efficacy once those variants appeared.“This approach not only provided protection against SARS-CoV-2, but the antibodies induced by the vaccine also neutralised variants of concern that originated in the UK, South Africa and Brazil, and the induced antibodies reacted with quite a large panel of coronaviruses,” Haynes said.The team built on earlier studies involving SARS, the respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-1. They found a person who had been infected with SARS-developed antibodies capable of neutralising multiple coronaviruses, suggesting that a pan-coronavirus might be possible.They identified one particular receptor-binding domain site that is present on SARS-CoV-2, its circulating variants and SARS-related bat viruses that makes them highly vulnerable to cross-neutralising antibodies.The team then designed a nanoparticle displaying this vulnerable spot. The nanoparticle is combined with a small molecule adjuvant, which boosts the body’s immune response to fight the disease. batscoronavirusesCOVID-19COVID-19 vaccineCOVID-19 variantsDuke Universitypan-coronavirus vaccine By IANS on May 19, 2021 COVID-19 Updates News Related Posts New vaccine blocks COVID-19, variants and other coronaviruses WHO tri-regional policy dialogue seeks solutions to challenges facing international mobility of health professionals The missing informal workers in India’s vaccine story Adoption of AI/ML can disrupt healthcare services Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals releases first “Comprehensive Textbook of COVID-19” Menopause to become the next game-changer in global femtech solutions industry by 2025 Read Article Share Add Commentlast_img read more

From feature phones to smartphones, the road ahead

first_img Read more Devices Author AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 03 FEB 2015 Tags HomeDevicesAnalysis From feature phones to smartphones, the road ahead Why emerging markets hold the key to smartphone success for Microsoft-Nokia AnalysisGSMAIntelligencecenter_img Previous ArticleIndosat tight-lipped on Hutch bid speculationNext ArticleIndia’s leading operators join rush for banking licences Is a ‘world’ LTE smartphone on the horizon? NEW ANALYSIS: The increasing number of smartphone models priced under the $10035 mark is the main driver of consumer migration from basic and feature phones to smartphones.GSMA Intelligence research shows that by 2020, around two thirds of all connections globally (excluding M2M) will be smartphones, illustrating the rapid shift away from basic and feature phones, which encompassed more than half of global connections in 2014. Data terminals (e.g, dongles, tablets, routers) make up the remaining share of connections (at just below 10 per cent in 2014).Smartphones began as a developed world phenomenon…In many developed markets, smartphone adoption is approaching the 70-80 per cent ‘ceiling’ at which growth tends to slow. Across the developed world, basic and feature phones represented only around a quarter of all connections in 2014, while only a residual share of the market is expected to run on these devices in 2020 as smartphones become ubiquitous.While heavy operator subsidies have contributed significantly to this shift in device migration in the developed region, the availability of smartphones at the same price as basic and feature phones shows that the latter device category is rapidly becoming obsolete.A study of Best Buy’s portfolio of ‘unlocked’ handsets in the US shows that the vast majority (84 per cent) of mobile phones offered in the country are smartphones (most of them running on Android), with a number of them priced at the same level as that of the remaining basic and feature phones – less than $100 (Average Selling Price, before discounts and subsidies). Around half of smartphones on offer are priced below $200, while 29 smartphones are priced between $47 and $80. Devices that form the portfolio of basic and feature phones on offer still hold a slight pricing advantage, but this may not be the case for long.33Figure 1 (click to enlarge): Best Buy USA, online portfolio of ‘unlocked’ handsets, December 2014Source: GSMA Intelligence… but the focus is shifting to developing economiesIn 2010, the global smartphone connections market was equally distributed between the developed and developing regions. However, almost seven in every ten smartphone connections were located in the developing world in 2014. We expect that the rate of smartphone adoption will continue to increase over the coming years, driving the region to encompass four in every five smartphone connections globally by 2020. The wider availability of more affordable smartphones is an important factor behind this trend, however we expect that the transition away from basic and feature phones in the region will take longer as the availability of low-cost smartphones (below the $50 price point) is still limited.As of 2014, less than a third of all connections in the developing region are smartphones, showing the large prevalence of basic and feature phones currently. By 2020, we expect that only around 30 per cent of connections in the region will still be running on basic and feature phones.34Figure 2 (click to enlarge): % of regional total connections (excluding M2M)Source: GSMA IntelligenceOur research shows that, while smartphone prices have declined since 2008 – by 30 per cent in Asia, 25 per cent in Latin America and 20 per cent in Africa – the majority of smartphones in the developing world are priced above the $100 mark, whereas the ‘sweet spot’ for these regions is considered to be in the $25-$50 range.Mozilla is one of the pioneers of low-cost smartphones, announcing a $25 smartphone design at Mobile World Congress in 2014. The company’s COO, Li Gong, explained that Mozilla’s success in driving down the cost of smartphones using its Firefox OS was down to optimising its software for lower-cost hardware.Gong noted that “sometimes the margin on the low-cost phones could be actually bigger than higher cost hardware because it’s a question of what OS you put on and what optimisation you can get from the OS. We heard lots of demand for lower prices — below $50, below $40 phones. And we hear loud and clear that the market for that sort of segment, where you convert feature phone users to smartphone users, [is] a huge market for us”.Last year, a number of smartphones priced between $25-$50 were introduced across the developing region, with new models from several handset manufacturers. These launches only mark the start of a price expansion trend towards low-cost levels that will spread to more developing economies, contributing to the adoption of smartphones in the region – but this will not happen overnight.Last May, Ooredoo Group explained that in the markets it operates in, “not everyone has got a smartphone. In fact, the majority have got feature phones or 2G phones […] certainly in the developing market in Iraq and Indonesia and Algeria. The smartphone revolution is happening but it is not there yet.”By Gu Zhang, Analyst – Forecasting, GSMA Intelligence Related Operators see smartphones beginning to dominate handset sales Guest last_img read more

Keep skin problems at bay

first_imgWith acne, heat rash and dryness becoming common skin problems during the summer season, make sure to avoid touching the face frequently and carry essentials like hydrating cleanser, moisturiser and hand sanitiser, says an expert.Kiran Lohia, medical director, Lumiere Dermatology, doles out some tips:Heat Rash: Red bumps and itchy rash on the skin is called heat rash. It usually occurs in hot weather. This rash affects almost any area of the body. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Solution: Avoid going out in the sun and try spending most of your time in shade. It will reduce the amount of sweat that you produce thereby, preventing heat rash.Acne: Acne is the most common skin problem that men and women around the world suffer from. Solution: Avoid touching your face with your hands or fingers. Always remove your makeup at night otherwise it will block your pores and lead to more pimples on your skin.Skin dryness: Skin needs a lot of care while travelling as you come in contact with pollution, dust, heat and more.Solution: Pack a small zip-lock bag before stepping out in the sun with essentials including a hydrating cleanser, moisturiser, lip balm, hand sanitiser, hand cream and sunscreen.last_img read more

Air Transat debuts summer 2019 flight program with more direct service to

first_img Posted by Tags: Air Transat, Europe Thursday, October 4, 2018 MONTREAL — Air Transat’s summer 2019 flight plans include a boost in the number of direct flights for many of its main transatlantic markets, namely, Italy, Greece, Croatia, France and Portugal.The airline’s summer 2019 lineup also includes new destination Split, Croatia, announced last week.With 27 destinations in Europe and the Middle East accessible from six airports in Canada via connecting flights, Air Transat says it wants to make discovering Europe easier for Canadians.As of summer 2019, passengers heading to destinations such as Nice, Porto and Basel will fly in one of two new Airbus A321neo LR airplanes being added to its fleet.“Our fleet’s transition period that started last winter is continuing. Summer 2019 will mark the arrival of two new Airbus A321neo LR airplanes, benefitting our flexibility and efficiency,” says Annick Guérard, Chief Operating Officer at Transat. “We’re adding Split in response to Croatia’s soaring popularity as a tourist destination, while maintaining our position as a leader in many of our key markets, including the Mediterranean region.”She adds: “While Europe is a huge part of our summer activities, as Canada’s number one holiday airline, we always make sure to offer a wide variety of destinations to our passengers. And that means maintaining our flights to some 20 South destinations, because people love the beaches of Mexico and the Dominican Republic even in the summer.”With its two flights to Zagreb, Air Transat will offer a total of three direct flights to Croatia every week from Toronto, with new destination Split.Here are more highlights of the 2019 program:There will be more direct flights to Greece and Italy, for a total of four weekly flights to Athens (Greece) from Montreal and Toronto. Lamezia (Italy), the gateway to the South of Italy, will be accessible twice a week from Toronto.The airline is increasing its departures to a number of other destinations as well: from Montreal, there will be three flights to Porto (Portugal), three to Nice (France) and two to Basel (Switzerland). Meanwhile, there will be five weekly flights to Dublin (Ireland) from Toronto.By flying direct every week from four Canadian cities, the airline makes London accessible to vacationers with departures from Toronto (daily), Vancouver (daily), Montreal (three times a week) and Calgary (three times a week). Vacationers looking to discover other areas of the UK can count on five direct flights weekly to Manchester and Glasgow from Toronto, as well as connecting flights from Montreal, Vancouver, Quebec City, Calgary and Edmonton.Air Transat is once again offering direct flights from Montreal to the biggest cities in France, that is, Paris (daily direct flights), Marseille (five direct flights weekly), Lyon and Toulouse (four direct flights weekly), as well as Nice, Nantes and Bordeaux (three direct flights weekly). Air Transat makes most of these destinations available to people in and around Quebec City, Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary with connecting flights.As announced on Sept. 24, Air Transat is also set to offer passengers a new product combining air and rail travel, in partnership with SNCF, France’s national rail service. The airline’s customers will be able to purchase a single ticket comprising a flight to Paris plus TGV AIR service enabling them to complete their journey on the TGV high-speed rail network within France or to Brussels, Belgium, facilitating access to French provinces and Brussels on a daily basis. Air Transat and SNCF promise a simple service delivering several benefits: a single booking, a single fare and a single ticket. It will be available as of January 2019, and travellers will be able to book from Canada starting in December.Air Transat will continue its direct flights from Montreal to Barcelona (five direct flights weekly) and Malaga (three direct flights weekly) as well as from Toronto, with three direct flights weekly to Barcelona. These Spanish destinations remain accessible to people in the Quebec City, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton areas via Air Transat’s network of connecting flights. Finally, getting to Lisbon (Portugal) will be as easy as ever with five direct flights weekly from Montreal and four from Toronto.To Rome Air Transat will offer five direct flights from Montreal and seven from Toronto. The Italian capital will be easily reachable for travellers from Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton via connecting flights through Toronto.Air Transat flies direct to Tel Aviv from Montreal twice a week and from Toronto once a week with a connecting flight. Brussels, the Belgian capital, is accessible from Montreal with three direct flights weekly, and from Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary with connecting flights.The airline offers Canadians seven direct flights to Amsterdam, including four from Toronto, two from Vancouver and one from Calgary, along with two direct flights to Prague from Montreal.More news:  Consolidation in the cruise industry as PONANT set to acquire Paul Gauguin CruisesFor the past five years Air Transat has been expanding its domestic flights, linking the country’s major cities. “These flights give an increasing number of Canadians access to more European destinations than ever, with connecting flights to Toronto and Montreal, as well as give access to other Canadian cities,” says Guérard.She adds that Air Transat is launching a new summer flight between Edmonton and Toronto, opening the door to European travel to people in northern Alberta. 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