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People are travelling with containers on their heads at YVR (PHOTOS) – Vancouver Is Awesome

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While it isn’t uncommon to see people wearing face masks during an outbreak, some people take more extreme measures to protect themselves. 

Earlier today, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry confirmed B.C.’s first novel coronavirus case. A man in his 40s who lives in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and recently returned from a trip to Wuhan, China.

Despite this, Dr. Henry says the risk of infection of the virus in B.C. is “still extremely low.” Nevertheless, some people are still concerned about contracting the virus in the Lower Mainland.  

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A person was photographed at Vancouver International Airport wearing what looks like a plastic container on their head and a mask over their mouth. In an image from the back, it appears that the person has cut a hole into the container in order to make room for their ponytail. 

Lynne Carter posted the images to Facebook at roughly 2 p.m. on Jan. 28, captioning, “Fresh out of YVR. The latest anti-virus shields made with old water jugs.”

bottle-headPhoto: Lynne Carter / Facebook
bottle-head-coronavirusPhoto: Lynne Carter / Facebook

Carter also included a third photo of an adult with a child who are both wearing bottles on their heads. However, the train isn’t in Vancouver.

elsewhere-asiaPhoto: Lynne Carter / Facebook

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not advise wearing containers on your head to prevent a coronavirus infection.

And while there are currently no vaccines available to protect you against human coronavirus infection, the CDC advises that you may be able to reduce your risk of infection by doing the following:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • avoid close contact with people who are sick

The World Health Organization stopped short of calling it a global health emergency last week, while officials here have said Canadians are at low risk of contracting the illness.

Nevertheless, experts stress the need to be vigilant and prepared for signs of infection. If you have mild cold-like symptoms, health officials encourage you to stay home while sick and avoid close contact to help protect others. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and be sure to throw used tissues in the trash and wash your hands. Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.

Here are some things for people in Canada to know about the coronavirus.

– With files from Nicholas Johansen / Castanet.

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Salt-inducible kinase 1-CREB-regulated transcription coactivator 1 signalling in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus plays a role in depression by regulating the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis | Molecular Psychiatry – Nature.com

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Abstract

Elucidating the molecular mechanism underlying the hyperactivity of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis during chronic stress is critical for understanding depression and treating depression. The secretion of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) from neurons in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the hypothalamus is controlled by salt-inducible kinases (SIKs) and CREB-regulated transcription co-activators (CRTCs). We hypothesised that the SIK-CRTC system in the PVN might contribute to the pathogenesis of depression. Thus, the present study employed chronic social defeat stress (CSDS) and chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) models of depression, various behavioural tests, virus-mediated gene transfer, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, western blotting, co-immunoprecipitation, quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, and immunofluorescence to investigate this connection. Our results revealed that both CSDS and CUMS induced significant changes in SIK1-CRTC1 signalling in PVN neurons. Both genetic knockdown of SIK1 and genetic overexpression of CRTC1 in the PVN simulated chronic stress, producing a depression-like phenotype in naive mice, and the CRTC1-CREB-CRH pathway mediates the pro-depressant actions induced by SIK1 knockdown in the PVN. In contrast, both genetic overexpression of SIK1 and genetic knockdown of CRTC1 in the PVN protected against CSDS and CUMS, leading to antidepressant-like effects in mice. Moreover, stereotactic infusion of TAT-SIK1 into the PVN also produced beneficial effects against chronic stress. Furthermore, the SIK1-CRTC1 system in the PVN played a role in the antidepressant actions of fluoxetine, paroxetine, venlafaxine, and duloxetine. Collectively, SIK1 and CRTC1 in PVN neurons are closely involved in depression neurobiology, and they could be viable targets for novel antidepressants.

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Fig. 1: Exposure to chronic stress notably modulated SIK1-CRTC1 signalling in the PVN of mice.
Fig. 2: AAV-mediated genetic knockdown of SIK1 in the PVN of naive mice produced various depression-like symptoms.
Fig. 3: AAV-mediated genetic overexpression of SIK1 in the PVN exerted significant antidepressant-like effects in mice.
Fig. 4: AAV-mediated genetic overexpression of SIK1 in the PVN exerted significant protective effects against chronic stress on the SIK1-CRTC1-CRH pathway in the PVN and the BDNF signalling cascade in the hippocampus and mPFC.
Fig. 5: Repeated administration of fluoxetine and venlafaxine notably reversed the effects of chronic stress on the SIK1-CRTC1-CRH pathway in the PVN.
Fig. 6: Schematic representation of a suggested model describing the role of SIK1-CRTC1 signalling in PVN neurons in chronic stress-induced depression is provided.

Data availability

The authors declare that all data supporting the findings of this study are available within the paper and its Supplementary information files.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by four grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 82071519, 81873795, 81900551, and 82001606).

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Conceptualisation: BJ. Methodology: YW, LL, J-HG, C-NW, WG, YL, W-QT, C-HJ, Y-MC, and JH. Investigation: YW, LL, J-HG, YL, W-QT, C-HJ, Y-MC, JH, W-YL, T-SS, W-JC, and B-LZ. Formal analysis: BJ. Resources: BJ, C-NW, and WG. Writing—original draft: BJ. Writing—review and editing: BJ. Visualisation: BJ. Supervision: BJ. Project administration: BJ. Funding acquisition: BJ, C-NW, and WG.

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Wang, Y., Liu, L., Gu, JH. et al. Salt-inducible kinase 1-CREB-regulated transcription coactivator 1 signalling in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus plays a role in depression by regulating the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis.
Mol Psychiatry (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41380-022-01881-4

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  • Received: 05 August 2022

  • Revised: 30 October 2022

  • Accepted: 09 November 2022

  • Published: 25 November 2022

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41380-022-01881-4

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Deadly Bird Flu Outbreak Is The Worst In U.S. History – Yahoo Singapore News

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An ongoing outbreak of a deadly strain of bird flu has now killed more birds than any past flare-up in U.S. history.

The virus, known as highly pathogenic avian influenza, has led to the deaths of 50.54 million domestic birds in the country this year, according to Agriculture Department data reported by Reuters on Thursday. That figure represents birds like chickens, ducks and turkeys from commercial poultry farms, backyard flocks and facilities such as petting zoos.

The count surpasses the previous record of 50.5 million dead birds from a 2015 outbreak, according to Reuters.

Genius Dog 336 x 280 - Animated

Separately, USDA data shows at least 3,700 confirmed cases among wild birds.

Turkeys in a barn on a poultry farm.

Turkeys in a barn on a poultry farm.

Turkeys in a barn on a poultry farm.

On farms, some birds die from the flu directly, while in other cases, farmers kill their entire flocks to prevent the virus from spreading after one bird tests positive. Such farmers have occasionally drawn condemnation from animal welfare advocates for using a culling method known as “ventilation shutdown plus,” which involves sealing off the airways to a barn and pumping in heat to kill the animals.

The virus has raged through Europe and North America since 2021. A variety of wild birds have been affected worldwide, including bald eagles, vultures and seabirds. This month, Peru reported its first apparent outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza after 200 dead pelicans were found on a beach.

Pelicans suspected to have died from highly pathogenic avian influenza are seen on a beach in Lima, Peru, on Nov. 24.Pelicans suspected to have died from highly pathogenic avian influenza are seen on a beach in Lima, Peru, on Nov. 24.

Pelicans suspected to have died from highly pathogenic avian influenza are seen on a beach in Lima, Peru, on Nov. 24.

Pelicans suspected to have died from highly pathogenic avian influenza are seen on a beach in Lima, Peru, on Nov. 24.

The migration of infected wild birds has been a major cause of the spread. Health and wildlife officials urge anyone who keeps domestic birds to prevent contact with their wild counterparts.

While health experts do not generally consider highly pathogenic avian influenza to be a major risk to mammals, a black bear cub in Alaska was euthanized earlier this month after contracting the virus. Wildlife veterinarian Dr. Kimberlee Beckmen told the Juneau Empire newspaper that the young cub had a weak immune system.

Over the summer, avian flu also spread among seals in Maine, which the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration believed contributed to an unusually high number of seal deaths.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that the risk “to the general public” from the bird flu outbreak is low. However, the agency recommends precautions like wearing personal protective equipment and thoroughly washing hands for people who have prolonged contact with birds that may be infected.

In April, a Colorado prisoner working at a commercial farm became the first person in the U.S. to test positive for the new strain, though he was largely asymptomatic.

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Successful tests in animal models pave way for strategy for universal flu vaccine – Deccan Herald

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An experimental mRNA-based vaccine against all 20 known subtypes of influenza virus provided broad protection from otherwise lethal flu strains in initial tests, according to a study.

This could serve one day as a general preventative measure against future flu pandemics, the researchers from University of Pennsylvania, US, said.

According to the study, tests in animal models showed that the vaccine dramatically reduced signs of illness and protected from death, even when the animals were exposed to flu strains different from those used in making the vaccine.

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The “multivalent” vaccine, which the researchers described in a paper published in the journal Science, used the same messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) technology employed in the Pfizer and Moderna SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, the study said.

This mRNA technology that enabled those Covid-19 vaccines was pioneered at Penn, the study said.

Also Read | Covid-19 may increase risk of stroke in children: Study

“The idea here is to have a vaccine that will give people a baseline level of immune memory to diverse flu strains, so that there will be far less disease and death when the next flu pandemic occurs,” said study senior author Scott Hensley.

Influenza viruses periodically cause pandemics with enormous death tolls. The best known of these was the 1918-19 “Spanish flu” pandemic, which killed at least tens of millions of people worldwide.

Flu viruses can circulate in birds, pigs, and other animals, and pandemics can start when one of these strains jumps to humans and acquires mutations that adapt it better for spreading among humans.

Also Read | Remdesivir could reduce Covid-19 mortality if given early: Study

Current flu vaccines are merely “seasonal” vaccines that protect against recently circulating strains, but would not be expected to protect against new, pandemic strains. The strategy employed by the Penn researchers is to vaccinate using immunogens – a type of antigen that stimulates immune responses – from all known influenza subtypes in order to elicit broad protection, the study said.

The vaccine is not expected to provide “sterilizing” immunity that completely prevents viral infections. Instead, the new study showed that the vaccine elicited a memory immune response that can be quickly recalled and adapted to new pandemic viral strains, significantly reducing severe illness and death from infections.

“It would be comparable to first-generation SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines, which were targeted to the original Wuhan strain of the coronavirus.

“Against later variants such as Omicron, these original vaccines did not fully block viral infections, but they continue to provide durable protection against severe disease and death,” said Hensley.

The experimental vaccine, when injected and taken up by the cells of recipients, started producing copies of a key flu virus protein, the hemagglutinin protein, for all twenty influenza hemagglutinin subtypes—H1 through H18 for influenza A viruses, and two more for influenza B viruses.

“For a conventional vaccine, immunizing against all these subtypes would be a major challenge, but with mRNA technology it’s relatively easy,” Hensley said.

In mice, the mRNA vaccine elicited high levels of antibodies, which stayed elevated for at least four months, and reacted strongly to all 20 flu subtypes. Moreover, the vaccine seemed relatively unaffected by prior influenza virus exposures, which can skew immune responses to conventional influenza vaccines.

The researchers observed that the antibody response in the mice was strong and broad, whether or not the animals had been exposed to flu virus before.

Hensley and his colleagues currently are designing human clinical trials, he said. The researchers envision that, if those trials are successful, the vaccine may be useful for eliciting long-term immune memory against all influenza subtypes in people of all age groups, including young children.

“We think this vaccine could significantly reduce the chances of ever getting a severe flu infection,” Hensley said.

In principle, he added, the same multivalent mRNA strategy can be used for other viruses with pandemic potential, including coronaviruses.

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