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Janus

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  • #348514

    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    Hope you enjoy the nice weather. Thunderstorms started at 2:17 pm today and they lasted until 2:41 pm and then it was cloudy for a while before the sun came out around 4pm. There was a slight breeze and it was great to feel the breeze and look at the cumulus clouds in the sky. The birds came out and it was fun watching them around the yard searching for food. I love the wind (as long as the weather is not cold) and the thunderstorms. It makes me feel cozy to just sit inside watching the rain, and looking at the trees dancing in the wind. Nature is an inspiration because it reminds people that even though that life may bring storms that it’s okay to cry (rain of tears) and know that sunny skies are ahead again. The rain helps cleanse away the negativity and the wind blowing is like working on building your strength again to get through the struggle. And when the skies are dark and lightning races across the sky, it reminds me that there is still a strong light in a person no matter how dark life gets. So I see the storms as inspiration. I hope that I can enjoy the time being out in nature, exercising and just being creative and gain a good relaxation from my anxiety that lasts into when the quarantine is over. I still have some anxiety, but spending time in nature and social distancing has helped me lessen it a bit because I’m not as self-conscious about myself.

    #348340

    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    Thank you so much for your insightful advice. I find that the quarantine is great because it helps me de-stress and I love being out in nature. The thunderstorm cleared in the afternoon and left cloudy skies with cumulus clouds, slight breeze and a few rays of sunshine. So I was outside picking some small pebbles for my indoor flower pots and there was a bird sitting on the fence watching me. I decided to talk with the bird and ask him if those rocks that I was picking were good to use to line the indoor flower pots and the bird turned its head and chirped at me. It made me smile. Each time I grabbed some small pebbles and asked the bird whether those pebbles would work the bird would turn its head towards me and chirp and I found myself laughing. I told the bird that I would show them the flowers when they started growing and the bird chirped and I went inside to grab a flower plant and the bird was sitting on the fence as if waiting to see the flowers. I showed the bird the flower buds and told the bird that the flowers were just starting to bloom and that I would show the bird again when they bloomed completely. The bird turned its head and I think that the bird looked at the new flower sprouts and chirped. I brought the flower plant back inside and I went back out and I told the bird thank you for brightening my day and the bird chirped and then after a while flew into the nearby trees. I love birds and Animals are amazing and very insightful when you talk to them, they always seem to brighten your days.

     

    Also my mint plant on my windowsill has been growing well and here’s some positivity I learned from watching the plant grow. Nature is a true inspiration.

    After some days of sunlight, the mint plant’s leaves are starting to become more vibrant green and the plant is shooting up towards the sun’s rays. Before there wasn’t much sunlight and the mint plant’s leaves were a dark green and it was spread out more horizontally so that the sun’s rays would fall directly into the center of the plant and the plant could soak up the small amount of sunlight that it could. Now that these days there has been more sunlight, the mint plant is growing taller and has vertical growth. It’s so cool how nature seems to be so inspirational. People are like plants, they need to keep hope that the sunlight will shine bright again even if the days seem gray, and like the mint plant when there’s little sunlight breaking through the clouds, people may feel less tall and slower progress but they should know that brighter days are ahead because the mint plant decided to keep hope for brighter days and now these days there has been more sunlight so the mint plant can grow tall, so people should also be hopeful that brighter days are ahead even when clouds limit the sunshine because although progress may be slow at times, keeping hope there will be positivity to help you grow tall. Hope this was inspirational.

     

     

     

    • This reply was modified 1 day, 8 hours ago by  Janus.
    #348230

    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    There is a thunderstorm this morning and listening to the rain is relaxing, I love watching the lightning light up the sky, the static in the air fills me with energy and the loud thunder is like a drum that releases the tension in my mind as I listen to its rumble, nature’s music is the best to relax and enjoy the little things in life. The quarantine makes things quieter and I find that it helps me de-stress with less people around making me feel less self-conscious. I still have anxiety since I’m around my parents who tend to yell at me every now and then and sometimes don’t really provide much emotional support when I feel sad. But I feel lots better because I’m taking the time to meditate, listen to nature, get healthy exercise and do some spring cleaning. I find myself getting up early in the mornings when it is quiet to meditate or journal and it helps me de-stress throughout the day. I hope to lower my anxiety more so it’s not overwhelming before the fall 2020 semester starts. I think that I will always have some anxiety being around my parents and not being accepted for who I am, but I think that as I work on my spiritual self, I might be able to manage the anxiety better. Although I miss going to LGBTQ events because of the quarantine, I find it helpful to talk with the LGBTQ community online and since I enjoy writing to people (I tend to write better than speaking in person), I find myself building connections in the LGBTQ community and I feel better about myself knowing that there are people who struggle and we help uplift each other. I love the LGBTQ community with all my heart because they have helped me find a sense of self and provide me with hope during the stressful times. I love the blog on tinybuddha.com as well because I find journaling my thoughts and reading over past posts helps me understand how far I’ve come and to remind myself of things when I feel lost in myself. The quarantine may be the time for me to work on myself and understand what career path to go for because I love the sciences and helping people and I was thinking of helping the LGBTQ community, it would be great to study health sciences and neuroscience to help the LGBTQ community with mental health resources and promote better health care for people. Although I’m not sure what career exactly that I want I know that I love being a creative scientist helping out the LGBTQ community and know for certain that I want to transition to feel more comfortable with myself.

    #347968

    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    I hope that you are staying healthy with the coronavirus pandemic spreading around. It is the beginning of a new week and I am glad. I went out for a light jog this morning and watched the sunrise which was beautiful. The pink, orange and yellow streaks across the sky as the sun rose to greet the world with the light of positivity made me grateful to be alive. Also it’s quieter in the mornings so I enjoyed the light jog, watching the birds flying around in the trees. I have been practicing social distancing from people and am doing well. I plan to prepare for the fall 2020 semester because registration opens April 14th for classes. I am hoping to take a stress and anxiety class which I think will be fun and some health science classes. I also created a destress music list of my favorite meditations and music songs into a playlist saved on my YouTube account so I can listen when I feel stressed and feel more relaxed. I am thinking of doing some more spring cleaning around the house and organizing my books so that I know where my notes are and so that I can refer to any notes that I might need to for my classes when the new semester starts.

    #347098

    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    Hope you are having a good weekend. It is currently sunny here in New Jersey. I started planting some flowers in the garden and soaking up the positivity of the sunshine. I am adopting to the pace of nature, allowing my inner light to shine like the sun, dancing to the music of my heart like the wind and working on establishing my self-confidence like a tree. Here is something that I found interesting that combines my love for nature and science:

    Some interesting things:

    The moon has no light of its own, it reflects the sunlight. Sometimes the sunlight is quite strong and as it shines, the moon reflects a yellowish-orange glow. The moon sometimes is in the sky in the early hours of dawn as a small light whitish semicircle before the day breaks and I think that the colors of the sky are the sun rising. As the sun rises, the moon fades away. As the hours of the night pass, the moon seems to become more whiter in its glow, I think when the moon first rises it is faintly yellow-orange because the sun has just recently set and as the night progresses the moon becomes more whiter as the sun sets below the horizon. the moon seems the brightest white in the hours of 12am when the sun is below the horizon and directly shining it’s light that is reflected by the moon. As the sun rises in the sky as the day progresses the moon fades away because it has no light of its own and it is the sunlight that gives the moon the light.

    In addition, sunlight is all of the color wavelengths of visible light combined together so it’s actual color is white. If you view the sunlight through a prism, you will see the color wavelengths of the visible spectrum. However, the sun appears yellow because people view it from the Earth and the Earth’s atmosphere reflects some of the color and it is filtered through the lens of the atmosphere so depending on where the sun is throughout the day, we see different colors of yellow, red, or orange.

     

    The Earth’s atmosphere changes the color of the sunlight that people see because it scatters the the light waves of the sun in a process called Rayleigh Scattering. The Earth’s atmosphere scatters the violet and blue light in the visible light spectrum. Violet has the shortest wavelength on the visible light spectrum and it is scattered by the Earth’s atmosphere because the short wavelengths of light do not have much length to travel through Earth’s atmosphere. The blue light is scattered by the Earth’s atmosphere as well and as the blue light is scattered by the molecules of Earth’s atmosphere, this scattering of the blue light gives the sky its blue color.

     

    At sunset and sunrise, the sun appears orange or slightly red because people view the sun through a thick layer of the Earth’s atmosphere which scatters most of the shorter wavelengths of the visible spectrum. Likewise, at midday or noon when the Earth’s atmosphere is the thinnest, the sun appears closest to its actual color which is white and may have a slight yellowish tint.

     

    The moon appears more yellowish-orange when it is closer to the horizon because the moon has no natural light of its own and it reflects the sunlight so when the sun is closer to the horizon such as at sunset and the sun is reddish-orange, it casts its light on the moon making it have that color. However, when the sun sinks below the horizon, the Earth’s atmosphere is thinner and less of the visible light is scattered so the sunlight is white (which combines all the colors of the visible spectrum) and when it casts its light on the moon as the moon rises higher in the sky and the sun sets, the moon appears white.

    Hope this makes sense!

    Science is fascinating and there’s always something interesting to learn.

    Thoughtco.com article “Why the sun looks yellow when it’s not”

     

     

     

     

    #346592

    Janus
    Participant

    I learned some positivity in Italian and French:

    Che la salute benedica la tua vita e la pace riempia la tua mente e la positività riempia il tuo cuore per aiutarti nei momenti stressanti della tua vita

    “May health bless your life and peace fill your mind and positivity fill your heart to help you in the stressful moments of your life”

     

    tu es être de lumière , tu es magnifique
    ne laisse personne te dires contraire

    French translation:

    “you are light, you are beautiful
    don’t let anyone tell you otherwise”

     

     

    #346590

    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    Thank you so much for your advice. I enjoy writing about science articles that I read because it’s fascinating and interesting. I’m more of a creative scientist rather than one who takes research and writes formal lab reports. I like to read science articles about different topics and explore them in more detail and then talk about it with people. I’m going to be taking some writing in the health sciences classes fall semester which will help me build my writing skills so that I can write articles about human health. I am thinking it would be great to work with the CDC or other health organizations to provide knowledge about diseases to people.

    Hope you are staying healthy in the midst of the coronavirus and don’t stress yourself too much. I decided to take a break from the coronavirus updates to share some positivity.

    Positivity poem

    P: Progress may seem slow at times and that’s okay

    O: Opportunities will open along your path, have hope and keep going along the way

    S: Sometimes you may feel lost in darkness, remember that the stars shine brighter in darkness and that you are a beautiful soul

    I: Individuals like you have creative ideas and are in this world for a reason

    T: Take time to relax and enjoy the moment, spending time out in nature to relieve stress

    I: Inspiration for you is out there in the world, so go out and explore

    V: Venture to places that make your heart beat faster and light up your soul

    I: Imagine yourself as the person you want to be and have hope that you are walking the path towards your goals

    T: Talk to yourself as if you were talking to a friend, treat yourself with care because you are worth so much

    Y: Your goals are your own and they should be the ones that make you happy, you are the person living your life and writing the pages so make each day a day of gratitude and keep working on your goals.

     

     

    #346408

    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    Thank you for wishing me well, hope you are having a good week so far. I spent yesterday doing some spring cleaning around the house. I have been following updates on the coronavirus and it is very fascinating. I am also learning Italian and French from friends and I find it lots of fun. Here are some interesting things that I have found about the coronavirus:

    Chinese scientists in Wuhan tested the samples of nine patients affected by the current coronavirus and they found that in these nine patients the coronavirus genomes were similar to a coronavirus that was originally found in bats making them think that the current coronavirus may have come from bats and this was confirmed by researchers in England and France (Genomics Education Programme from England article). The SARS-COV-1 (sars disease) in 2003-2004, which shares 79.5 % of its genome with the current coronavirus (SARS-COV-2) was discovered by scientists to have come from bats, so currently scientists believe that the current coronavirus that is spreading likely originated from a mutation in a coronavirus that was originally from the bat population and spread to humans. Scientists also think that once the current coronavirus spread to humans, there was no other intermediate species that facilitated the spread, but that the current coronavirus became widespread due to human to human contact. According to CNN, the reason why humans are coming into contact with bats and getting the current coronavirus and spreading it to others via human interactions is that people are cutting down trees for homes in forests where bats live and that is making the bat population come into closer contact with people.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) says that the current coronavirus is not airborne because the droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes are too heavy to remain in the air and they fall onto surfaces where if a person touches the surface and then touches their face with their hands there is a chance for the coronavirus to enter the body.

    Why the current coronavirus is not genetically made in a laboratory:

    Scientists discovered that the coronavirus spike protein on the virus’s outer membrane was so effective at binding to the ACE2 receptors on the human respiratory cells that scientists think that the virus likely resulted as a product of natural evolution rather genetic engineering.

    The evidence for natural evolution is further supported by the coronavirus’s molecular structure because scientists discovered that the coronavirus structure resembled that of the coronavirus that originally affected bats and differed from the known coronaviruses. The current coronavirus is an RNA virus and RNA viruses can mutate, if it was manufactured in a laboratory it would not be able to mutate itself, the fact that it can mutate its genome points that natural evolution may be at play to select for traits that help the virus spread. In addition, the coronavirus shares similarities to the sars virus that originated from bats which makes scientists think that the coronavirus may have came from bats and then spread to humans. (ScienceDaily article).

     

     

     

    #344824

    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    I just plugged the numbers (32,000/3.2 billion) into a scientific calculator and the result is 0.00001. So the coronavirus is 0.00001 times smaller than the human genome.  I hope that a vaccine is developed sooner as well because quarantine is hurting the economy a lot with businesses closing down and stock market declining. Coronaviruses typically affect birds and mammals such as humans (bats are mammals as well) and they can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to the current coronavirus. Coronaviruses often cause illness during winter and early spring months. According to medicalnewstoday.com article, humans who catch a cold due to coronavirus may catch the same one again in four months because coronavirus antibodies (help fight infection in a person’s immune system) do not last for a long time. In addition, the person’s immune system antibodies may be ineffective against a different strain of coronavirus because the coronavirus is a RNA virus that can mutate.  The World Health Organization says that people over the age of sixty and people with weakened immune systems have more likely chance of getting severe symptoms of the current coronavirus.

    “What to know about coronaviruses” March 23, 2020; medicalnewstoday.com

     

    The current coronavirus breaks into human cells by using a spike protein (S-protein) that is on the outer membrane of the virus cell and the coronavirus uses the spike protein like a key to fit into a doorknob of the ACE2 receptor in respiratory cells allowing the coronavirus to enter the human body. This was discovered by scientists studying how coronavirus enters the human body, discovery in Feb. 19 and published in March 4th in the journal Science.

     

    That is why the new drug APNO1 that Chinese scientists are working on may be helpful with combatting the coronavirus since the APNO1 drug may help block the virus from getting to the ACE2 receptors in the respiratory cells and make the virus less virulent.

    “Scientists figure out how new coronavirus breaks into human cells” livescience.com

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    #344794

    Janus
    Participant

    Another interesting thing about the current coronavirus from “Mutations can reveal how the coronavirus moves—but they’re easy to overinterpret” article from sciencemag.org :

    “Over the length of its 30,000-base-pair genome, SARS-CoV-2 accumulates an average of about one to two mutations per month, Andrew Rambaut says. “It’s about two to four times slower than the flu.””

     

    Since the coronavirus mutates slower, this allows researchers to sequence the viral genome much easier. It also allows researchers to make connections between different people who get infected by the coronavirus.

     

    According to “UCSC genome browser posts the coronavirus genome” article (University of California- Santa Cruz, link eurekalert.org) :

    the coronavirus genome consisting of a single-strand RNA has been analyzed using a Genome Browser that provides a visual representation of the coronavirus genome. The Genome Browser allows researchers to zoom in and out of the genome and they have discovered that the coronavirus has approximately 10 individual genes and comprises  29,903 base pairs.  The researchers have discovered that amongst the ten individual genes, the largest is the spike protein on the virus’s outer membrane which the virus uses to snag onto human cells and then enter the human cell to make more virus cells. Scientists are working on using CRISPR* to see if they can target specific sequences  in the virus’s genome and understand how certain genes work or how to make certain genes inactive in the virus which might lead to the virus being less virulent (less severe or harmful).

    “UCSC genome browser posts the coronavirus genome” Feb. 7, 2020 article.

     

    *[CRISPR is a tool that allows scientists to target a specific genetic sequence and then make a cut in the DNA or genome. Some uses for CRISPR currently are scientists  working on using CRISPR to manipulate specific genes such as using it to knock out a gene (making it inactive) and possibly repair a mutation by replacing the mutated gene with a healthy one.]

     

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by  Janus.
    #344782

    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    Thank you so much for your encouragement and for your time. I find studying how diseases occur and human health very interesting. I was reading an article titled “What can genomics tell us about the coronavirus?” (From the Genomics Education Programme research in England) that says Chinese scientists were the first to sequence the genome of the current coronavirus and they discovered that the coronavirus has 26-32 thousand base pairs.  The article also mentions that the scientists compared nine samples of the coronavirus taken from patients who had been infected and they discovered that the current coronavirus shares similarities with a bat strain rather than to other human coronaviruses so they think that the current coronavirus likely evolved from mutations of a coronavirus that had originally been affecting the bat population, but they are still figuring out if there was an intermediary host that caused the spread to humans. The scientists say that the Sars disease that is closely related to the current coronavirus came from a different bat strain and there was an intermediary host that caused the spread to humans, so they think that it is possible that the current coronavirus originated from the bat population.

    So, the scientists decided to do more research and looked for differences in coronavirus samples taken from different human patients and they found many similarities in the people who were infected and they discovered that the coronavirus that started to become widespread in the world due to human to human contact is the result of a single strain of coronavirus. Since the coronavirus genome sequence was similar in all the samples taken from the nine patients, the scientists think that the coronavirus had a single origin likely from the bat population.

    “What can genomics tell us about the coronavirus?” Feb. 11, 2020

     

    The scientists have decided to use pcr (polymerase chain reaction) to sequence the genome of the coronavirus so that scientists can better understand it and work on developing treatments for it. PCR can sequence the genome of the coronavirus samples taken from patients in 4-6 hours ( Genomics: combating coronavirus article). Oslo, Norway is currently working on a vaccine that they think will take six-eight months before it is safe to release for public use.

     

    Since scientists already have a decent understanding of the coronavirus genome, they have two drugs (remdesivir and chloroquine) that have been helpful for people with mild coronavirus symptoms. For more severe symptoms, Chinese scientists are still working on APNO1 drug that can help if the coronavirus spreads to the lungs. (Healthline.com article about current coronavirus treatments).

     

     

     

     

     

    #344494

    Janus
    Participant

    Some other interesting things about the current coronavirus “The new coronavirus has killed nearly 3 times as many people in 8 weeks as SARS did in 8 months. Here’s how the 2 outbreaks compare.”:

    And it seems that the sars disease is more deadly than the coronavirus because generally sars killed 9.6 % of those affected whereas the current coronavirus seems to kill 1-2% of those affected according to Business Insider article. The sars disease took eight months to spread to about 8,000 people but the coronavirus has spread to 75,000 people in the span of eight weeks. So the coronavirus may spread more easily, but causes less mortality rates. “Both the sars and the coronavirus share 79.5% of their genome and belong in the class of betacoronaviruses and these two viruses use the ACE2 receptor that allows  the virus to enter into people’s lungs.”

    #344492

    Janus
    Participant

    Looking at Healthline.com article “Treatment for Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)” this is quite interesting:

    Chinese scientists have a drug called APNO1 which may help with the coronavirus but the FDA hasn’t approved of its use yet because it hasn’t passed enough clinical trials. APNO1 is supposed to help coronavirus patients who have had the virus affect their lungs and made it difficult to breathe by alleviating the symptoms. Since the virus uses a protein called ACE-2 to affect cells, that drug (APNO1) seeks to block some protein receptors in the body so that the virus is limited to getting into the cells and affecting them. But it’s still in clinical trials and currently there isn’t a vaccine or treatment for coronavirus yet.

     

     

    #344490

    Janus
    Participant

    I was also looking at the common questions people have been asking about the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) on the World Health Organization’s article ” Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19)”

    It says that the virus can survive on certain surfaces up to a few hours or up to several days (*three days on plastic or steel mentioned by the National Institutes of Health and also thanks for your sharing) depending on the temperature, or humidity of the environment. I think that the Facebook post I saw was wrong because it said that coronavirus can remain active for thirty days on surfaces, that goes to show that sometimes things posted on Facebook aren’t always completely accurate.

     

    #344486

    Janus
    Participant

    The coronavirus is an interesting virus to study and there’s something new to learn each day. The official name of the virus is SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it causes is Covid-19 (coronavirus). Coronavirus are quite common, but they recently came to the attention of the general population because of the current coronavirus outbreak that is going on in the world. Like you mentioned, there are different types of coronaviruses and some of them cause diseases like the common cold. According to the article, “2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Update: Uncoating the Virus” from the American Society for Microbiology, the first human coronavirus was discovered in the 1960s. The American Society for Microbiology says there are four types of coronavirus: “alpha, beta, delta and gamma. Only alpha and beta coronaviruses are known to infect humans .”  Coronaviruses are the second most common viruses for the common cold next to rhinoviruses and both viruses have effects on the  upper respiratory system. There are seven human coronaviruses that have been discovered that you listed above (thank you for sharing) and six of them are common widespread human pathogens (agents that cause disease). The seventh one SARS-CoV-2 ( current coronavirus) is recent and starting to become widespread though.

    SARS-COV-1 (sars disease) and MERS-CoV (middle east respiratory syndrome) spread between people who are in close contact. These two coronaviruses are widespread, but the “MERS-CoV was more deadly claiming 30% of the victims that were infected as opposed to the SARS-CoV-1 which killed nearly 10% of the 8, 096 people infected” ( American Society for Microbiology article).

     

    Coronaviruses are quite fascinating to study and they have the largest known single-stranded RNA genome and they can mutate or change their structure which makes it difficult for one vaccine to treat coronavirus diseases. The information about viruses is fascinating and learning new things with more I read, thank you Anita for your insight as well. It was inspirational reading about things.

     

     

     

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