“immune memory”, the main weapon against the virus?

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According to an American study, the human body would be able to develop an immunity against SARS-CoV-2 greater than six months after infection thanks to memory cells.

This is good news in the fight against the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. And it comes from work published Monday, January 18 in the scientific journal Nature. Researchers at Rockefeller University in New York have shown that the immune system produces “memory cells” that keep track of the attack for at least six months after infection.

« These cells have a very broad recognition spectrum. If they encounter the virus, they will then be able to provide more effective protection in the event of a new infection. », explains immunologist Claude-Agnès Reynaud, a researcher at Inserm and who collaborated with the authors of the study in question. They will then trigger the production of antibodies in the event of a new attack of the virus. ” These cells are the ideal response given the nature of SARS-CoV-2, the symptoms of which appear after several days. They will have time to activate during reinfection. »

At the beginning of January, another American study published in the newspaper Science came to the same conclusions regarding “memory cells”. But according to her, immunity would persist for more than eight months after the onset of symptoms of Covid-19.

Memory cells effective against variants

The study carried out on a sample of 87 people showed that the antibodies produced by the “memory cells” were more efficient and also more versatile, capable of protecting variants that appeared in the United Kingdom, Brazil or South Africa.

According to Claude-Agnès Reynaud, “ once infected, the immune system anticipates these variants around the viral structure. This allows a broader protection than the nature of the virus encountered. Someone who was confronted with the virus by the previous strain is able to fight these variants thanks to memory cells. »

Extremely reassuring conclusions even if the immunologist specifies that this protection concerns only ” the variants identified to date ».


A drop of amber protects a rare amphibian for 100 million years

On the left, an artistic recreation of a 'Yaksha perettii'.  On the right, the specimen found in amber

A drop of amber protects a rare amphibian for 100 million years

It only takes a drop of resin to fall at the right time and in the right place for a little animal to be trapped in this viscous liquid that little by little is solidifying. From there, the ‘survival’ of this fossil is in the hands of luck. But tell the rare specimen of fossil amphibian that has been found in a 100 million year old amber stone.

It is a small animal. With claws, scales and a long tail. Similar to a lizard, yes. But from the amphibian family. “We can imagine them as small animals, somewhat chubby, scampering and hiding in the litter and occasionally going out to catch a fly with its tongue, “he explains Susan Evans, a paleontologist from University College London and one of the scientists who this Thursday presented her finding in an article in ‘Science’.

Scientists have named this animal ‘Yaksha perettii‘, while this would be a new genus and species for science. Its name, experts explain, refers to the ‘yaksha’; mythical creatures of the Burmese tradition who guarded treasures. And his last name is a tribute to Adolf Peretti, the researcher who discovered his fossil remains.

Two Inch Retractable Tongue Predators

Their discoverers explain that these small amphibians were ‘ambush predators’. They captured their prey by shooting their retractable tongue. The discovery of these animals would also be the first known example of a “tongue of fire”. His tongue, in fact, was like that of a chameleon; known today as one of the fastest muscles in the animal kingdom. This movement could reach from 0 to 100 km / h in a hundredth of a second.

These rare amphibians belonged to a different lineage from today’s frogs, salamanders, and caecilians. Experts estimate that the first ‘Yaksha perettii‘appeared at least 165 million years and they became extinct just a few 2 million years for reasons that, today, remain unknown. “This discovery adds a very interesting piece to the puzzle of this rare group of animals,” explains study co-author Edward Stanley, director of the Florida Museum of Natural History.

Journey inside a fossil

Its history has been recovered thanks to study of a set of fossils 99 million years old found in present-day Burma. At first, the specimen was wrongly classified as an ancient chameleon. The claim created a stir among scientists, so their study came under scrutiny from a computed tomography.

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This tool allowed to obtain high resolution images of amphibian anatomy and even showed areas of soft tissue, such as the tip of the tongue and parts of the muscles of the jaw and eyelids.

The extraordinary degree of preservation of this fossil has provided us with new useful information to deduce the behavior of these small amphibians “, he comments Arnau Bolet, researcher ‘Juan de la Cierva’ at the Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP) and associate professor at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), one of the experts who has participated in the analyzes carried out for the new species described.


Stomach aches – Health priority

How to prevent stomach aches?
How to prevent stomach aches? © iStock / mi-viri

Bloating, burns, acid reflux, gas … Stomach aches and digestive problems are frequent and annoying symptoms. Sometimes linked to overeating, or stress, they can also have a gynecological, urinary or even cardiac origin.

How to treat stomach aches and prevent them? When to see a doctor What are the potential complications ?

At the end of the program, we find the sexuality chronicle of the Dr Catherine Solano, sex therapist.

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Forced marriage: the health consequences

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According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), more than 140 million girls will be married between 2011 and 2020.

Forced marriage is when a person marries against their will. It is organized by families who do not respect or even care about their child’s denial of consent. Young girls who try to escape it are very often confronted with a family breakdown, with physical and psychological risks, and the traumas generated by early and unwanted sexual activity, early pregnancy, infections of the genital system. (AGI) and HIV.

What are the consequences of these forced marriages on the health of young girls?

Find the full program by clicking here.


Why does mathematics also make its cinema?

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Why does mathematics also make its cinema? From Shadow Figures to Imitation Game via Cube stop on the image of maths in cinema and in series: how to find the right formula?

We are taking you to the cinema today for a special screening on large and small screens: why does math also make its cinema? Of Shadow figures at Imitation Game Passing by Cube, private screening of films where maths takes the lead!

With Jerome Cottenceau, math teacher, blogger and videographer on Youtube for his work published by Dunod Math is the movie, from Will Hunting to Imitation Game.

And Randal Douc, actor and mathematician, professor at Télécom Paris and at Polytechnique.


“Cotton Candy” Planet Baffles Astronomers – Science

In space, planets in which a large envelope of gas accumulates around a small core are called “super puff” or “cotton candy” planets.

Most of the time, gas giants like Jupiter and Saturn in our solar system are much larger and heavier than our earth, which belongs to the rock planet category. The core that such a massive shell needs should be at least ten times the mass of the earth. However, one gas giant contradicts this physical theory. It’s as big as Jupiter, but ten times lighter.

A lot of gas for a little core

This “cotton candy planet” has now been extensively analyzed. Astronomers at the Canadian University of Montreal found that gas giants can also form around significantly smaller nuclei, according to study director Caroline Piaulet to Nouvelles. “This low mass combined with the radius of Jupiter makes WASP-107b an absolute outsider in the planetary mass-radius diagram.” To do this, they analyzed the structure of the exoplanet WASP-107b, which is about 212 light years from our Earth, in the constellation Virgo, and published their results in the Astronomical Journal.

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The health consequences of forced marriage

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According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), more than 140 million girls will be married between 2011 and 2020.

Forced marriage involves marrying a person against their will. It is organized by families who do not respect or even care about their child’s denial of consent. Young girls who try to escape it are very often confronted with family breakdown, physical and psychological risks, and the traumas caused by early and unwanted sexual activity, early pregnancy, infections of the genital tract. (AGI) and HIV.

How can we help these women and girls, some of whom live in Europe and are forced into marriage abroad? What physical and psychological pathologies or disorders are diagnosed in the wake of these practices? Who to consult?


Cannabis Can Kill Super Bacteria That Are Resistant To Antibiotics

by Adrien Vlahovic | January 21, 2021

Australian scientists have discovered that it is possible to use cannabis to fight superbugs, a huge relief for the medical community. Indeed, the fact that some of these bacteria become resistant to all types of antibiotics was a sword of Damocles above our heads. But a new class of antibiotics from cannabis would manage to disarm them, announced the researchers on the site UQ News January 20.

Researchers at the University of Queensland examined five compounds in cannabis for their antibiotic properties. They discovered that one of them, cannabidiol, better known as CBD, can kill a wide range of bacteria, as they explain in a new study in the journal Nature.

CBD is thus effective against a very large number of Gram-positive bacteria, including pathogens resistant to antibiotics such as Staphylococcus aureus (resistant to methicillin). But CBD is also said to be effective against Gram-negative bacteria, such as Neis­se­ria gonor­rhoeae, which causes gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted disease.

« This is the first time that CBD has been shown to kill certain types of Gram-negative bacteria. These bacteria have an outer membrane which provides an additional line of defense making it more difficult for antibiotics to penetrate. Said Dr Mark Blaskovich, director of the University of Queensland Institute for Molecular Biosciences. ” We believe cannabidiol kills bacteria by bursting their outer cell membranes, but we’re not sure yet exactly how it does this, and we need to do more research. », He specifies.

Botanix Pharmaceuticals also participated in the research. Its president, Vince Ippolito, has also announced that the company will move towards clinical trials. ” These Phase 2a clinical results are expected early this year and we hope this will pave the way for treatments for gonorrhea, meningitis and legionella. Continues Dr Blaskovich. Experts estimate that it will take 10 to 15 years before it becomes an approved antibiotic, if further trials are successful. It is definitely an incredible plant.

Source : UQ News/Nature


How to avoid a resurgence of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa?

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Transmitted to humans by mosquito bites, malaria is a potentially fatal disease, which caused 405,000 deaths in 2018, 94% of which were in Africa. As the continent also faces the Covid-19 pandemic, which is straining already fragile health systems, the WHO is concerned about an upsurge in malaria cases. The number of deaths could even double in 2020, which would represent a return to the mortality rates observed 20 years ago