Coronavirus (aka COVID-19) - just how serious?

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Audax67
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Re: Coronavirus - just how serious?

Postby Audax67 » 6 Feb 2020, 2:16pm

horizon wrote:
Audax67 wrote:
horizon wrote:From the Guardian this morning:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/ ... us-vaccine

Do read it - it explains that the human body (lung cells) have a perfect receptor (the ACE-2 receptor) ready to meet and greet the virus. A perfect fit in fact. So would anyone like to hazard a guess as to why the human body (yes, your body) is set up in this way? Fifth column perhaps?


You're putting the cart before the horse: the ACE-2 receptor is part of the body's blood-pressure control system. Angiotensin - the A in ACE - causes blood vessels to contract, not just in humans but in practically every animal that has a circulatory system. Many coronaviruses have evolved to target ACE receptors: since they're so common, it's no surprise.


You must admit though that the relationship between the human body and the virus is quite interesting. We don't seem to have evolved to shut the virus out, indeed we seem quite friendly to it - a sort of old friend popping in who knows already where to hang his coat and where the biscuit tin is. :)


It's certainly interesting, but it's no different from the way that viruses have always worked. Animal cells provide gateways in the cell walls so that substances necessary for the life of the cell can get through. There are "keys" that open the gateways, e.g. insulin opens the way for glucose to get in, and in people with diabetes the gateway no longer opens easily so the sugar stays out and gums things up.

Viruses exploit available gateways simply by matching the keys. They manage to do so by simple evolution: several million viruses will fizzle and die for one that gets in, but that one will take over the mechanisms of the nucleus to produce multiple copies of itself, which will then burst out through the cell wall, killing the cell on the way, and infect other cells. And so it goes...
Have we got time for another cuppa?

Mike Sales
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Re: Coronavirus - just how serious?

Postby Mike Sales » 6 Feb 2020, 2:23pm

Audax67 wrote:It's certainly interesting, but it's no different from the way that viruses have always worked. Animal cells provide gateways in the cell walls so that substances necessary for the life of the cell can get through. There are "keys" that open the gateways, e.g. insulin opens the way for glucose to get in, and in people with diabetes the gateway no longer opens easily so the sugar stays out and gums things up.

Viruses exploit available gateways simply by matching the keys. They manage to do so by simple evolution: several million viruses will fizzle and die for one that gets in, but that one will take over the mechanisms of the nucleus to produce multiple copies of itself, which will then burst out through the cell wall, killing the cell on the way, and infect other cells. And so it goes...


You seem to show a more than layman's understanding of viruses.

I have long had an interest in bacteriophage viruses, for personal reasons.
Do you have any knowledge or opinions on this approach to antibiotic resistance in bacteria?

mercalia
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Re: Coronavirus - just how serious?

Postby mercalia » 6 Feb 2020, 4:35pm

It seems it might be more serious than we have been told as the whistle blower doctor who first publicised it (only 34 ) has just died of it :? Not one of the vulnerable groups of very young or old with preexisting health issues?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-51403795

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al_yrpal
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Re: Coronavirus - just how serious?

Postby al_yrpal » 6 Feb 2020, 5:02pm

In 2012 we sailed in that Cruise ship the Diamond Princess from Beijing to Singapore and places in between. I think there were 2900 people on board about 1/3 of them Asians. They tended to avoid the posh restaurants preferring the self service. I had some sort of throat condition exacerbated by the a/c that meant I couldnt go into the theatre for prolonged periods. They wipe all the handrails and door handles very frequently but I think the ship will be a hotbed of Coronavirus, you will be rubbing shoulders with infected people who are not presenting symptoms. How do you avoid infection, stay in your cabin?

Al
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merseymouth
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Re: Coronavirus - just how serious?

Postby merseymouth » 6 Feb 2020, 5:43pm

Hi Al, To create the "Cruise Felling" with the risk I suggest the following - (1) Have your windows changed for Portholes. (2) Stick P & O posters on the walls. (3) Have a background audio of sea shanties. (4) Dress for dinner every night. (5) Give a bung to everyone who comes to the door.
(5) Read Moby Dick. Save worrying about mal de mer and finding your sea legs. TTFN MM

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661-Pete
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Re: Coronavirus - just how serious?

Postby 661-Pete » 7 Feb 2020, 9:07am

al_yrpal wrote:How do you avoid infection, stay in your cabin?
Don't go on a cruise: simple answer. Mrs P and I have never been on one - unless you call the overnight Channel ferry between Portsmouth and St Malo a 'cruise'. The thought simply doesn't appeal to us. I don't know about hotbeds of Coronavirus, but they certainly seem to be hotbeds of Norovirus. And they have an unfortunate habit of being shipwrecked when you don't want them to...
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
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Audax67
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Re: Coronavirus - just how serious?

Postby Audax67 » 7 Feb 2020, 9:55am

Mike Sales wrote:
Audax67 wrote:It's certainly interesting, but it's no different from the way that viruses have always worked. Animal cells provide gateways in the cell walls so that substances necessary for the life of the cell can get through. There are "keys" that open the gateways, e.g. insulin opens the way for glucose to get in, and in people with diabetes the gateway no longer opens easily so the sugar stays out and gums things up.

Viruses exploit available gateways simply by matching the keys. They manage to do so by simple evolution: several million viruses will fizzle and die for one that gets in, but that one will take over the mechanisms of the nucleus to produce multiple copies of itself, which will then burst out through the cell wall, killing the cell on the way, and infect other cells. And so it goes...


You seem to show a more than layman's understanding of viruses.


Nah, I don't know much - most of what I know comes from what I learnt in school biology classes and reading New Scientist & Nature for most of my life.

I have long had an interest in bacteriophage viruses, for personal reasons.
Do you have any knowledge or opinions on this approach to antibiotic resistance in bacteria?


Not much. I know basically how they work, and that they were just beginning to catch on when antibiotics sideswiped them in the 1940s. I don't know how specific they are in their choice of prey, though - I could imagine them becoming a problem if they were to find e.g. liver cells crispy and good with ketchup.
Have we got time for another cuppa?

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Audax67
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Re: Coronavirus - just how serious?

Postby Audax67 » 7 Feb 2020, 10:09am

661-Pete wrote:
al_yrpal wrote:How do you avoid infection, stay in your cabin?
Don't go on a cruise: simple answer. Mrs P and I have never been on one - unless you call the overnight Channel ferry between Portsmouth and St Malo a 'cruise'. The thought simply doesn't appeal to us. I don't know about hotbeds of Coronavirus, but they certainly seem to be hotbeds of Norovirus. And they have an unfortunate habit of being shipwrecked when you don't want them to...


Cruise ships are obscene. Imagine living in a small village when one of those heaps of floating excrement suddenly dumps 5000 rubbernecks on you, and they totter round poking into everything, expecting you to be ecstatic to see them and everything to be for sale, then get paralytic in the evening and throw up by the hundred before buggering off to the next victim next morning, leaving your streets a stinking mess. Not to mention the needless volumes of CO2 they spew into the atmosphere and the effluent* that goes into the sea.

Anything that happens to render them less attractive has to be beneficial, and that includes a good pestilence.

* seven million tons a year per ship on average that can be dumped legally into the sea once the ship is over 3 miles offshore:

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/30/opin ... ewage.html
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ambodach
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Re: Coronavirus - just how serious?

Postby ambodach » 7 Feb 2020, 1:09pm

Audax67 you put it very nicely. I live in such a place which gets more of these infestations every year. The difference here is that after they have tottered around they then go back to the ships who prefer them to be on board to get more money out of them. The spewing comes mainly from yottie and similar events which are inflicted on us from outside the area.

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Audax67
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Re: Coronavirus - just how serious?

Postby Audax67 » 7 Feb 2020, 2:02pm

"Yottie" is a new one on me but I get the gist.

Mind you, I pity the towns the Semaine Fédérale descends on. On the first ride of the only one I've been to, in 2004, there were 7000 cyclists on the road, and drivers trying to move out of side streets got distinctly narky.
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Mike Sales
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Re: Coronavirus - just how serious?

Postby Mike Sales » 7 Feb 2020, 2:39pm

Audax67 wrote:Not much. I know basically how they work, and that they were just beginning to catch on when antibiotics sideswiped them in the 1940s. I don't know how specific they are in their choice of prey, though - I could imagine them becoming a problem if they were to find e.g. liver cells crispy and good with ketchup.


They are very specific.

Bacteriophages are much more specific than antibiotics. They are typically harmless not only to the host organism but also to other beneficial bacteria, such as the gut flora, reducing the chances of opportunistic infections. They have a high therapeutic index, that is, phage therapy would be expected to give rise to few side effects, even at higher-than therapeutic levels. Because phages replicate in vivo (in cells of living organism), a smaller effective dose can be used.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phage_therapy

Wikipedia article seems comprehensive.

mercalia
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Re: Coronavirus - just how serious?

Postby mercalia » 7 Feb 2020, 6:38pm

hospital.JPG
What the Chinese can do, Boris can do better


and Your Corona Is Safe From Coronaviruses—No Need to Add Disinfectant

Corona.JPG
The drink with a little something extra


and It is safe to eat Poliomints

Image

( source radio 4 The News Quizz)
Last edited by mercalia on 7 Feb 2020, 7:08pm, edited 1 time in total.

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al_yrpal
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Re: Coronavirus - just how serious?

Postby al_yrpal » 7 Feb 2020, 7:07pm

merseymouth wrote:Hi Al, To create the "Cruise Felling" with the risk I suggest the following - (1) Have your windows changed for Portholes. (2) Stick P & O posters on the walls. (3) Have a background audio of sea shanties. (4) Dress for dinner every night. (5) Give a bung to everyone who comes to the door.
(5) Read Moby Dick. Save worrying about mal de mer and finding your sea legs. TTFN MM


Thanks MM for the most sensible and measured post about Cruise Ships, its a pity others cant manage one. :D To me, the cruises I have done have been a means to an end. The Antarctic, Falklands and S Georgia, the coastline of East Asia to sample the various countries in one go and Canada/Alaska which had zero information on the ports and territories it visited. I must say that the last two were not the greatest, but they are what you make them. I do fear Cruising has definately dumbed down and is now seen as a holiday in itself by many aficionados with little real interest in the destinations and all in the space of a few years. Anyway a hotbed of disease, horrendous.

Al
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661-Pete
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Re: Coronavirus - just how serious?

Postby 661-Pete » 7 Feb 2020, 9:23pm

merseymouth wrote:(1) Have your windows changed for Portholes.
You are Bilbo Baggins of Bag End, AICMFP.
Image
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).

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Cugel
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Re: Coronavirus - just how serious?

Postby Cugel » 8 Feb 2020, 8:42am

661-Pete wrote:
merseymouth wrote:(1) Have your windows changed for Portholes.
You are Bilbo Baggins of Bag End, AICMFP.
Image


That Scouserland has been called the bagend of Lancashire. But they declared UDI some years ago and now it is known as Mercilesside (especially down The Dock Road and parts of Bootle). It's probably The Mankies giving the place these disrespectful names. One can only wonder why.

Cugel