You know that our planet lives a different scenario than in previous years. The new virus has taken possession of everything. SARS-CoV-2 is the cause of so many deaths and sadness. This microscopic pathogen bears resemblance to SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, other coronaviruses already studied in this century.
It is extremely important to know the structural features and sequence of coronavirus to achieve an effective vaccine. In this article we show you aspects of interest on the subject.
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Coronaviruses, striking data
Coronaviruses have a particular structure in which the polyprotein replicase ORF1ab (pp1ab). This contains the genetic characteristics of this type of virus.
The most outstanding properties are:
- The size of your genome: about 30,000 base pairs, one of the largest compared to other viruses.
- They emit several non-structural genes by shifting their ribosomal framework.
- They possess certain unusual enzymatic activities.
- Express downstream genes through the synthesis of messenger ribonucleic acid nested in position 3 prime.
- They have the ability to add new genes compared to other ribonucleic acid viruses.
SARS-CoV-2 and the genome
The genome of all organisms provides molecular knowledge expressed in nucleotides. In this sense, SARS-CoV-2 consists of 5 open reading frames (ORF):
- ORF1ab polyprotein (7 096 amino acids)
- Protein S (1,273 amino acids)
- Protein E (75 amino acids)
- Protein M (222 amino acids)
- Protein N (419 amino acids)
Through the use of tests in specialized laboratories it was concluded that the part where there is more variation is in domain S. This protein is necessary for the virus to invade the host.
The S domain has an affinity for ACE 2 receptors on human cells. That the regions most susceptible to mutation they will allow the development of a cure.
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The sequence of the coronavirus, why is it important?
Structurally determining the new coronavirus is crucial to dealing with it. It allows to know how the virus spreads and how it adapts to different environmental conditions.
All organisms change their genetic material As a natural result of evolution, this virus is not far behind. The above is a key point to be able to carry out forceful studies.
Most of the countries in the world join the list to be able to decipher this viral genome. These observations help to discover aspects of the virus that may influence its resistance to new antivirals.
The whole genome cluster studies lead to the characterization of some genetic factors involved in the development of the disease. In this way, it provides crucial information for vaccines in development.
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New findings of coronavirus sequences
All that was known about the protein sequences derived by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus had been obtained from genome-based forecasts or with the similarity it has to nearby viruses. A study was carried out of the interactions in the responsible structure that perform the function of synthesizing proteins.
Until today they have been discovered 23 new sequences of the coronavirus genome who have the ability to translate into proteins. The vast majority of them are short or are located at one end of the RNA of the genome in the virus. Other sequences have extended forms and the rest give way to the formation of polypeptide chains.
The proteins formed by this coronavirus provide great interest for future studies and possible therapeutic treatments. On the one hand, the amount of antigens they produce and that can be detected by the immune system. Also, they can be regulators of the production of viral proteins.
Gene found in virus
A gene named ORF3d has been discovered. The new structure is located inside another gene in the unexpected SARS-CoV-2. The exact function of him is still unknown. However, it can unveil new avenues of research for the disease by being a key player in viral biology.
This overlapping gene is an adaptive feature of the virus that allows it to:
- Replicate efficiently.
- Break down the immune barrier of the infected.
- Be able to transmit correctly.
By knowing the sequence of the coronavirus, vaccines are being developed. An example of this is those based on the use of RNA as a therapeutic material. This particular type of vaccine is based on the genome of the virus. Every day we are closer to defeating this invading virus.
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Viruses, more current vaccines to eliminate them
Many think that viral infections are harmless. The current reality is very different. These microorganisms compete for the top spots as causes of serious disease.
They have managed to collapse emergency services and intensive therapies in a shocking way. Their changing structures keep scientists in check.
Who will win the game?
Here I will update you on the main viruses in circulation and their vaccines.
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Viruses, a threat lurking
Do you know how they make you sick? To begin with, I tell you that this microbe needs a cell to live. Once he finds it, he makes it his home and puts it to work for his benefit.
The main objectives of viruses are to multiply and infect new structures. Faced with work overload, the cell ends up being damaged, stops performing its function and dies.
A virus infects your lungs. Respiratory cells are damaged. Then the symptoms of the disease appear: fever, cough, shortness of breath, among others.
Do you know why you regularly suffer from viral diseases? The answer is simple. Scientists estimate that viral conditions are 10 times more common than bacterial ones.
You will find out if you compare the number of times you got kidney disease and the number of times you have had the flu. Amazing, right? Sure you got lost on the second account.
This is how the human being lives or better, coexists with these microbes. The problem arises when they become more aggressive and cause serious infections, turning into epidemics and even pandemics.
The biology of viruses is different from that of bacteria. Therefore, they cannot be fought with antibiotics. Only vaccines and antiviral drugs reduce or eliminate the diseases caused by these microorganisms.
Viral diseases 2020-2021
During 2020 and early 2021, epidemic outbreaks were reported in different countries. I comment on them below.
- Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in the Republic of Guinea
- Measles in Central African Republic
- Dengue in Chile
- Yellow fever in Uganda
- Variant of the H3N2 influenza virus in the United States of America
In the region of the Americas, the circulation of measles, diphtheria and dengue viruses increased. However, 2020 will be remembered as the year of the Covid-19 pandemic. A disease that emerged in Wuhan, China and spread around the world in just a few months.
Here’s an example of how dangerous these microorganisms can be. And not to mention mutations (these changes that occur in its structure), which make them a real challenge for scientists.
Are they not a threat? How can we defend ourselves?
Well, the human body has natural defenses (antibodies) that protect it from infection, but sometimes they are not enough. This is where vaccines come into play.
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The first vaccine in history
In 1796, the researcher Edgar Jenner realized that the rural population suffered from a type of smallpox. This was due to direct contact with cows. He noted that these people did not suffer from deadly smallpox.
Jenner injected a boy with cowpox, waited for him to recover, and then injected him with human smallpox. Do you know what happened? The boy did not get sick, he had created antibodies!
Since that fascinating discovery vaccines came to protect us.
Should I get vaccinated or not?
Despite all the information available, there are people who still question the fact of getting vaccinated. Of course you should get vaccinated! There is extensive research before any drug is used in humans.
Here is a list of the most current vaccines.
- Chickenpox vaccine
- Hepatitis B vaccine
- Hepatitis A vaccine
- Hib vaccine
- HPV Vaccine
- Triple viral
- Conjugated pneumococcal
- Polysaccharide pneumococcal
- Polio vaccine
- Rotavirus vaccine
- Herpes zoster vaccine
- Tdap vaccine
Vaccination schedules allow you to organize the immunization process by age.
Should I get vaccinated to travel?
I recommend you visit your family doctor to update your vaccination before traveling. There is a scheme that includes reactivations against tetanus toxoid, hepatitis B, etc. The health authorities suggest certain vaccines depending on the region or state to which you will travel.
During the current epidemic, some nations ask travelers for a negative PCR test to enter the country. Vaccination against Covid-19 is not yet required.
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Do you know the current vaccines against Covid-19?
Faced with the international emergency motivated by Covid-19, the scientific community got on with it. As of March 31, 252 vaccines were registered in development, 70 in clinical trials and 13 are already in use. Amazing!
Vaccines in use
- SPUTNIK V
Remember something very important. Vaccines do not prevent the virus from infecting you, they only ensure that you do not develop a serious illness. Protective measures do prevent you from contracting any viral infection.
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What is liquefied gas and how is it collected?
The discovery of fossil fuel deposits radically changed the course of history. It is impossible to imagine the technological development that humanity now enjoys without the precious “black gold”.
With the processing of petroleum, many variants of fuels arose, including more efficient and less polluting. Liquefied gas is one of them. Do you know its variants and how to obtain it? In this article you will find the answers to this and other questions.
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What is liquefied gas?
There are 4 states of aggregation of matter: solid, liquid, gas and plasma. In nature, substances can pass from one form to another through different physical-chemical processes. When gases condense they change to a liquid state and this is precisely what happens with liquefied gas.
Technology intervenes in this process, since naturally most substances are present in a more or less invariable state. Industrially, two terms are used: liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) with clear differences between the two.
Liquefied petroleum gas is a derivative of the well-known “black gold” found naturally in deposits or collected during the industrial processing of crude oil.
It is composed of two types of condensable gases: propane and butane. These are organic molecules that are formed from the combination of hydrocarbons. In addition to this structure is added a residue from oil processing: 1,3-butadiene.
The pure formula for these gases is: C3H8 for propane and C4H10 for butane. This means that in the first case the molecule is made up of three carbon atoms and 8 hydrogen atoms. In the case of butane, it would be 4 carbon and 10 hydrogen.
The GLP that is marketed does not retain this same state of purity since the carbon atoms: C3 and C4 are incorporated in a proportion of 80% -20%. Propane will always have a predominance of C3 bonds, while C4 stands out for butane.
LNG is a substance similar in appearance to water that is obtained by cool natural gas to -161 ° C. It is an industrial process whose objective is to optimize gas transport since doing so in a liquid state reduces its profitability.
Characteristics of liquefied petroleum gas and liquefied natural gas
Some of the characteristics of LPG are:
- Colorless: Transparent, similar to water.
- Odorless: When obtained it does not give off any odor although later ethyl mercaptan is added for marketing. This odorant works as a security measure in order to identify a leak.
- It is not toxic although it displaces oxygen so it is not recommended to expose yourself for a long time.
- It is highly flammable so it should be kept away from any heat source.
- It is very profitable as a fuel for its production and performance.
- One liter of liquefied gas is equivalent to 273 liters of steam.
For its part, LNG offers some advantages compared to LPG. Their characteristics are:
- It is naturally odorless. As with liquefied petroleum gas, mercaptan is added as a protective measure.
- Is less polluting. During its combustion it generates negligible levels of sulfur oxide and greenhouse gases. This makes it an eco-friendly fuel and is therefore the liquefied gas of choice to reduce atmospheric pollution.
- If spilled on land or water, it evaporates and rises without generating waste.
- It is less flammable.
- Takes up 600 times less space than in a gaseous state.
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Differences between LNG and LPG
In order for you to better understand the main differences between liquefied natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas, I have prepared the following table for you.
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LPG obtaining process
The history of the use of LPG dates back to the beginning of the last century. It all started in the United States when it was found that natural gasoline evaporates as a result of the release of hydrocarbons present in the mixture.
This discovery led to the devising of a process for the refinement of fuel in order to extract propane and butane. After studying these gases, they found the high energetic value supporting its potential use as a fuel.
The collection of liquefied petroleum gas in refineries begins with the primary processing of crude oil in these plants. The derivatives obtained are: wet gas, gasoline, diesel, kerosene and vacuum diesel.
The latter are used for the production of gasoline and LPG is released as a by-product. These gases are included in a mixture in which there are other additives: gasoline and heavy products. Finally they are separated through a distillation process.
Despite the fact that the highest volume of LPG is obtained as a result of the oil refining, it can be extracted directly from oil fields.
The process consists of lowering the temperature to values below -40 ° C to favor the condensation of these heavy elements. Then the liquid is introduced into distillation trains where the mixture of propane and butane is purified.
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What is plastic and where does it come from? NotiFresh.com
Have you ever wondered what our lives would be like without plastic? Before 1950 the answer was very simple. Today, it is difficult to imagine the world without this material.
This is because more than 400 million tons of plastics produced each year flood everything. It is present in houses, streets, offices and even our own clothing and medical remedies.
But what is plastic? Where does it come from? Here we give you some information you need to know about this versatile and essential material.
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What we call plastic
The term comes from the Greek plastikos whose meaning is to mold. This definition refers to its capacity for malleability or plasticity during its manufacture. It is enough to pour a paste into a mold to obtain hundreds of thousands of copies of the same object.
We call plastic a range of products made up of synthetic or semi-synthetic organic compounds. As a fundamental mechanical quality, they have the ability to form with pressure and heat.
Where you look you will find it. It is due to the great diversity of shapes, textures and colors in which you can find it. Has it happened to you that you have touched something that you did not know was plastic?
Plastic was born from a contest
The first time plastic was created was as a result of a competition. It was called by the American billiard ball manufacturer Phelan and Collander in 1860.
The company awarded $ 10,000. The challenge? Replace the ivory used in the creation of the game balls with a resistant material that is acceptable in its aesthetics.
Who won? Historiography does not know it. However, this event served as a reason for John Weasley Hyatt will perform his experiments. Upon completion, he obtained what was then patented under the name of celluloid.
The discovery had a remarkable commercial success. The result of synthesizing cellulose in camphor and ethanol made it possible to manufacture different objects. It was used at first for knife handles, eyeglass frames, and a few other tools.
However, the most revolutionary thing at that time was the creation of the motion picture. Without it, the beginning of Movie industry at the end of the 19th century.
It was not until 1909 that humanity enjoyed the first fully synthetic plastic in history. When the American chemist Leo Hendrik Baekeland, he obtained a polymer of commercial interest. The Belgian-born scientist made the compound from phenol and formaldehyde molecules.
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How is plastic made today?
The versatility of plastic materials is not just a product of their properties. The elements used in its formation affect characteristics such as:
- Resistance to corrosion and chemical agents
- Thermal and acoustic insulation
- The good aesthetic presentation.
To manufacture them, two main processes are carried out: polymerization and poly-condensation. Both require specific catalysts, coming from highly complex chemical processes in many cases.
From natural compounds based on cellulose, coal, natural gas, salt and oil, the industry develops different plastic artifacts.
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An unsolved problem: plastic and the environment
Half of the objects made of this material become waste in four or five years.
For 2017 a study published in the journal Science Advances warned about the amount of plastics produced by humans. Throughout history, it turned out to be comparable to the weight of a million Eiffel towers.
Other research talks about the number of grams of plastic that people ingest per week. These data are around 21 grams per month and just over 250 per year. This only through water, both bottled and tap.
On the other hand, the source of obtaining is mostly high molecular weight organic polymers. These are chemical derivatives of hydrocarbons. A considerable part of the world’s crude oil production goes to this industry.
The use of said non-renewable raw material implies in the first place the depletion of the resource. At the same time, as a consequence of industrial processes, greenhouse gases are emitted. These are emissions harmful to the ozone layer and stimulants of climate change.
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