You don’t have to be a professor of virology to understand that the fight against the Covid-19 epidemic is not well underway. The dreaded second wave is here, without a doubt. France set a sad record on Thursday: that of the highest number of new positive tests in all of Europe, with 41,622 confirmed cases in a single day. With an understandable lag effect, the death curve follows the same trend. The 162 deaths recorded on Thursday are comparable to what the country experienced on March 23, less than a week after the start of containment. A parallel that has certainly not escaped Jean Castex, who posed the threat of a new total blockage of the country by warning that it would be necessary “Consider much harsher measures” that the curfew if the epidemic was not contained in the coming days.
The temptation is strong to want to overwhelm the government, it is true guilty of a difficult to read strategy often giving a sad impression of improvisation
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DECRYPTION – Beijing takes the lead in the global race for the vaccine against the Covid-19, at a forced march.
First come, first served. The Covid 19 vaccine is still a sea snake in Europe, but it is already available to early morning residents of Yiwu, a prosperous city in Zhejiang, an hour by train from Shanghai. “We do not accept reservations, you have to queue, those who arrive early can be vaccinated”, affirms an official of the city, questioned by the site sina.com. Only 500 doses are available in this commercial hub on the eve of this so-called vaccination campaign “emergency”, reserved primarily for people deemed vulnerable, workers and students going abroad, beyond the great protective wall, in a world infested by the Covid, as the official press reminds us at the right time. In practice, any person can come to obtain an injection of this vaccine still not approved, against a sum of 400 yuan (50 euros approximately) for two recommended doses, and a signature at the bottom of a form.
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From March 17 to May 10, France lived to the rhythm of exit certificates. The abrupt cessation of social life was a hardship for many, especially those who live in an apartment without a garden or balcony. In 2015, Stéphanie Gicquel experienced a confinement of another order, in Antarctica. With her husband Jérémie, the thirty-something crossed the South Pole in cross-country skiing, without a traction veil. A course of 2,045 kilometers in 74 days. This feat, which required four years of athletic and mental preparation, earned him a place in the Guinness Book of Records.
In the frozen desert, she faced powerful waves of ice and temperatures down to -50 ° C. While they were walking, eight to sixteen hours a day, the spouses could not speak to each other because of the wind. Once sheltered in their tent, they did not communicate with their relatives in France. It was on their return that they learned of the Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher attacks.
I struggled to readjust to the night – but also to noise, smells and urban pollution. It took me several weeks to get used to it
Their “deconfinement” was difficult. “After 74 days in the middle of nature, in permanent daylight, I had a hard time readjusting to the night – but also to noise, smells and urban pollution. It took me several weeks to get used to it ”, explains the thirty-something in the report produced by Le Figaro.
Compared to what she endured five years ago, this year’s confinement seemed easy to Stéphanie Gicquel. “Digital tools have kept me in constant contact with my relatives”, appreciates the explorer. With the second wave, the ultra-trail competitions that she likes are postponed. The extreme sportswoman takes her trouble patiently. She has seen worse.
Since the development of the technique in 2012, the halls of the Swedish Academy of Sciences rustled with their names. On Wednesday October 7, the French Emmanuelle Charpentier and the American Jennifer Doudna finally received the Nobel Prize in chemistry for their work on genome editing and in particular the Crispr-Cas9 technique.
A widely used tool in research
Very schematically, these “molecular scissors” amount to cutting a DNA fragment and replacing it with another sequence of one’s choice. Compared to previous techniques of genetic modification, it is no longer just a question of adding a fragment which would be superimposed on a defective portion, but truly of cutting and replacing the chosen piece. Above all, the Crispr-Cas9 assembly allows this genome editing at low cost, for a few tens of euros.
→ PORTRAIT. The 2020 Nobel Prize in chemistry awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier, globetrotter of genetics
« It is an easily reprogrammable and easy to use tool, details David Bikard, head of the synthetic biology laboratory at the Institut Pasteur. Today, all research laboratories use it, for everything and everywhere in the world. » « At one time, using Crispr-Cas9 in itself justified a scientific publication, this is no longer the case as the use has become commonplace », Supports Guillaume Levrier, member of Cevipof and specialist in institutional issues of genome editing.
Genetically modified embryos
It is the scale of this technical revolution that justifies this choice for the Nobel Prize, whereas the jury generally prefers to wait several years to ascertain the importance of the discovery in the history of science. ” But this new tool also brings its share of new ethical, economic and social questions. », Summarizes Patrick Gaudray, geneticist at the CNRS.
→ INVESTIGATION. What safeguards for genome editing?
In its press release, the Nobel Committee itself acknowledges that “ it is of the utmost importance that this technology is regulated and reserved for responsible use. “Because by editing the genome at the germinal level, even before the embryo, we could certainly prevent serious genetic diseases by replacing the” defective “portion, but we would also modify the genetic heritage transmitted to the entire line.
Some also point to the temptations to “increase” the human being by modifying his genome. Guillaume Levrier also recalls that ” at European level, the Oviedo convention prohibits any reimplantation of genetically modified embryos. »
Effects still poorly controlled
In 2018, Chinese biologist He Jiankui caused amazement and strong international condemnation by announcing that he had modified the genome of twins at the embryonic stage, officially to prevent them from being born with HIV when their father was HIV-positive. The scientist was sentenced to several years in prison, and this experience led to a worldwide awareness of the need for strict legislation. Not to mention that no serious study has come to prove the success of the project.
Crispr-Cas9, a revolutionary and… dangerous genetic tool
«Crispr-Cas9 mainly does what you expect, but all the nuance lies in this mainly, explains Carine Giovannangeli, a specialist in this technique in the structure and instability of genomes laboratory at the National Museum of Natural History. The tool uses DNA’s natural repair mechanisms to rebuild itself after cutting, but we do not yet fully understand these mechanisms. » Despite the Nobel Prize, research continues to refine the Crispr-Cas9 technique and avoid these “side effects”.
Cure genetic diseases and manufacture GMOs
In the meantime, around thirty clinical trials using Crispr-Cas9 would be underway across the world, according to the researcher. They mainly concern genetic blood diseases, such as sickle cell anemia or beta-thalassemia, and research on immunotherapy in cancerology. In the United States, a young woman with sickle cell disease benefited in 2019 from an experimental treatment in which cells in her spinal cord were modified by Crispr-Cas9.
→ EXPLANATION. Crispr-Cas9: correcting the genes?
Even before touching the human genome, Crispr-Cas9 had already found its way into food. In the United States, a fungus modified so as not to blacken, for example, is authorized for sale. In Europe, the court of justice ruled in 2018 that any plant that had been modified by this technique was GMO.
1968. Born in Juvisy-sur-Orge, France.
1996. Departure for the United States, after studying at Pierre and Marie Curie University and at the Institut Pasteur.
2012. Then a microbiologist at the University of Umea, Sweden, she joined forces with the American Jennifer Doudna to work on the Crispr-Cas9 system.
Since 2018. Director of the Max Planck Research Center for Pathogen Science, Berlin.
1964. Born in Washington, United States.
1989. Graduated from Harvard Medical School.
Since 2002. Professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Berkeley.
BIG BANG SANTÉ – This is one of the major findings of the OpinionWay-Elsan survey published on the occasion of the Big Bang Health. Overall, those surveyed had a good experience with the confinement.
The mistrust of the French population vis-à-vis vaccines, in particular that against SARS-CoV-2, is tenacious. It is in all that emerges from an OpinonWay-Elsan poll for the “Big Bang Health” of the Figaro. Barely one in two respondents (48%) will “ certainly ” or “ probably “ to get vaccinated. It is possible that with the return of the epidemic and the arrival of a vaccine, this proportion will change. Almost a quarter (23%) nevertheless answered “ certainly not ” do it.
Trust in hospitals at 75%
Asked about the capacity of the various actors to cope with the second wave, only 45% of those polled believe the government capable of cope. On the other hand, three quarters of respondents trust their hospitals and clinics. The survey also shows that the confinement was perceived positively by our compatriots. More than 8 in 10 French people say they have experienced confinement. Only 12% have it “Badly lived “, And 5%” very bad “. The vast majority rather enjoyed this period and they are even a quarter to have it. “Very well lived”.
58% fear new confinement
However, the prospect of new confinement hardly enchants the respondents: they are 58% to fear such a scenario. The ratio is even higher (66%) among those over 65. Their vulnerability to the virus and the risk of further severing ties with their children and grandchildren are undoubtedly explanatory elements. Seniors are also less used to using digital platforms to keep in touch with their loved ones.
In this regard, the confinement has benefited teleconsultation websites such as Doctolib or Qare. Around 30% of French people have increased their use of digital tools this year to make an appointment with their doctor or consult him remotely.
Greater role for Europe
The latest lesson from this survey conducted with a sample of 1,002 people representative of the French population at the end of September, more than 80% of French people want Europe to play a more important role in the management of pandemics. The figure is surprising, because the French population has been very critical of the European institutions for several years. But it recognizes the importance of coordinating efforts between countries in the face of a complex virus that knows no borders. In addition, the reconquest of our health sovereignty will undoubtedly pass through the European level.
In your letter: the curfew announced for 54 departments, the sulphurous contact of the assassin of Samuel Paty, and the surrogacy business in Ukraine.
Dear readers, hello!
«Finished, it’s over, it will end, it may be over“. Since March, we are at the same stage as Clov and Hamm in Game over Beckett to wonder if the health situation will improve sooner or later. One thing is certain, it will not be immediately, 40,000 people tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday and the government has decided to tighten the screws even more: from this Friday evening, 46 million French people will be holed up in their homes at 9 p.m.
Have a great weekend. Here is the forgotten word of the day: roquentin (a ridiculous old man who wants to play the young man).
Ronan Planchon, journalist at Figaro
Covid-19: where is the epidemic really?
«It is too early at this stage to measure the effects of the curfew”Said Jean Castex on Thursday. Finally, this semi-containment must not be unnecessary since the Prime Minister has just extended it. And not just a little. 54 departments are now concerned from Friday midnight, or 46 million
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BIG BANG HEALTH – Robotic surgery, less invasive, leads to less pain and postoperative complications. The patient arrives in the morning and leaves the same evening. This allowed Pellegrin hospital to catch up on operations the day after confinement.
In this operating room at the Pellegrin hospital in Bordeaux, Professor Jean-Christophe Bernhard has his eyes riveted, not on the patient’s body, but on a computer console. The urologist uses joysticks that guide the forceps of a robot surgeon inside the patient’s body, to his kidney, from where they will carefully extract a cancerous tumor. The images shot by the Figaro teams and broadcast as part of the Big Bang Santé on Thursday, October 22 are impressive. Sensitive hearts, refrain! The patient arrived at 6:45 am this morning at the CHU. He will leave at the end of the day and will be able to sleep at home, like any evening.
Thanks to the Da Vinci robot
Robotic-assisted surgery has shown its full interest in this year of health crisis. Many operations deemed non-priority were canceled during containment. It was therefore necessary to catch up with a significant delay. Dr. Bernhard’s team is able to operate one in five patients on an outpatient basis, thanks to the Da Vinci robot-surgeon and a “Improved rehabilitation path”. A few years ago, the patient had to spend two days in intensive care and then ten days in the hospital. The outpatient clinic generates precious savings and immobilizes far fewer beds.
Still, not everyone can claim an outpatient tumor removal. The selection depends among other things on the age, general state of health and the entourage of the person.
Stéphane Bancel, the French CEO of the American biotech Moderna Therapeutics, who starteds phase 3 clinical trials started in July, explained, at the microphone of Jacques-Olivier Martin, editorial director of the Big Bang Santé du Figaro, that he should file an authorization for a vaccine at the end of November. “We will have efficacy data from our trials in November. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has asked the United States for a period of two months of safety data for at least half of the study, ie 15,000 people, which should be communicated on November 24. So at the end of November, beginning of December, we should file in both the United States and Europe an emergency authorization for a vaccine.», He said.
«It seems that regulatory authorizations, both in the United States and in Europe, for an emergency authorization, focus on medical personnel and the elderly, the people most at risk, continued the boss of Moderna. I think the authorities will want to wait a month or two more to have more data on the safety of the vaccine before it is authorized for any adult ”.
Our correspondent in Beijing Sébastien Falletti, for his part, explained that“Today 100,000 people had already been injected with the vaccine in China. Although no vaccine has yet been approved, the regime is starting to deliver vaccines to essential workers, such as hospital staff or the military.
During a debate dedicated to accelerating research, the president of Sanofi France Olivier Bogillot for his part underlined the fact that“It is interesting to have several technologies simultaneously” in tests to maximize the chances of efficacy of a vaccine.
After this second morning of the Big Bang Santé dedicated to research, the event will continue each morning until the end of the week, live from Figaro.fr at 10:30 am. Thursday, October 22, the morning will be devoted to new technologies. On the program in particular: a speech by Charles-Edouard Bouée, co-managing partner of Alpha Intelligence Capital (AIC), based in Shanghai, and a debate on the role of new technologies in the crisis. Finally, Cédric O, Secretary of State in charge of Digital Transition and Electronic Communications, will do us the honor of unveiling some avenues of the new tracking application, “Tous Anti Covid”.
Do you remember life on Earth 21,000 years ago… Are you not there? Hunter-gatherers then roamed the vast expanses of Eurasia in search of game, drawing in the process on the walls of caves. It turns out that this period was that of the last glacial maximum, in other words the coldest moment of the last glaciation.
→ READ. Climate: when the planet caught cold … and got warmer
Since then, for essentially astronomical reasons, the climate has warmed: on a planetary scale, it was at the time about 5 ° C less than today and even, in France, from 10 to 15 ° C. less. The glaciers that covered northern Europe and imprisoned the Alps melted, sea level rose 120 meters, it started to rain, and the steppes were replaced by forests – which was not without consequences for the large herds that lived there, and which either disappeared or migrated south.
Never has Homo sapiens lived on such a hot planet
However, this increase of 5 ° C is more or less what scientists are telling us. Not in 21,000 years but by the end of the century, if nothing is done to limit our greenhouse gas emissions. The density of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere has already reached unprecedented levels on the scale of the last three million years: 415 parts per million (ppm). “For nearly a million years, the CO2 had only evolved in a small window of 180 ppm (in ice ages) to 280 ppm (in interglacial periods) ”, confirms climatologist Gilles Ramstein, specialist in the climatic history of the very distant past.
“On the scale of Earth’s history, such densities of CO2 are not exceptional, but to that of humanity, yes. The planet will recover; it’s annoying for life “, alert the researcher. Never Homo sapiens, nor even his distant ancestor Toumaï, has lived on a planet as hot as the one which is announced for the end of the century, whereas we have entered, since the industrial revolution, in a new geological era: l anthropocene.
Speed of current disturbances
If the Earth’s climate has always known significant variations, it is speed – the scientific community even speaks of “Dazzling” – current disturbances which is exceptional, due to massive CO emissions2 generated by the combustion of fossil fuels (coal, oil, gas).
It is feared that many species, both animal and plant, will not have time to adapt to these changes or to migrate quickly enough. They will in fact have to get closer to areas with an adapted climate, but such migrations are very slow processes.
“All plant species are not equal in the face of climatic variations”, says Rachid Cheddadi, of the Institute of Evolutionary Sciences of Montpellier (Isem). “Beech, for example, could be threatened in its range, but other species such as fir should have more thermal amplitude, and better resist. One thing is certain: there will be extinctions, even if they will be more gradual than brutal. ” It remains to be seen how humanity will be able to adapt to such a disruption of ecosystems.
Since last Saturday, nearly 20 million French people have been living under curfew, soon joined by the inhabitants of the new departments probably placed on maximum alert in the coming days. These measures are globally well accepted despite some hiccups. The epidemic continues to grow in France as well as in Europe where countries like ireland make even more restrictive decisions. As hospitals fill up like Saint Etienne, looking for a miracle drug continues its course. Scientific and technological advances deciphered by the guests of the Big Bang Health and the drafting of Figaro.
Camille Lestienne, journalist at Figaro
1. France under curfew, Ireland reconfined
The cover of the curfew extends over France. New departments are preparing to go on high alert according to government spokesman Gabriel Attal. The announcement should be made this Thursday evening during the weekly government press briefing, this time led by the Prime Minister. These territories will then be subject to curfew, like the nine metropolises that have been experimenting with it for six days. Last Saturday, at 9 p.m., some 20 million French people lived their first evening under curfew. “It’s 9 p.m., it looks like it’s 1 a.m.Then lamented a Parisian waiter while a quickly dispersed savage protest challenged the measure in the streets of the capital and in Toulouse. Overall, “the curfew is respected», Welcomed the Minister of the Interior Gerald Darmanin who reported Monday of 19,300 checks and 3,000 verbalizations made by the police this first weekend. In sensitive areas of Grenoble, reinforcements were deployed to cover the early evening and night. A quack to be deplored, that of transport. In the Paris region, users complain of “crowded” trainsets between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Europe is also reconfiguring itself. France is no exception. In Europe, many countries are taking more or less drastic restrictive measures. In Belgium, cafes and restaurants have been closed since Monday for four weeks. In Italy, Lombardy is establishing a curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. from this Thursday. Italy has seen a sharp increase in new cases of Covid-19 since Friday, with more than 10,000 patients per day. Dublin goes further. Since midnight Wednesday, Ireland has been the first country in the European Union to reconfigure its population. All non-essential shops are closed, but schools and nurseries remain open. “If we unite our efforts for the next six weeks, we will have the opportunity to celebrate Christmas properly”, assured Prime Minister Micheal Martin. Outside Europe, Israel, which has already reconfigured itself, faces a challenge to its instructions by some ultra-Orthodox Jews.
2. The epidemic is progressing, so is medical research
Saint-Étienne and its region at the heart of the cyclone. While the epidemic is flaring again in France with 26,676 new cases and 166 deaths in the past 24 hours, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region is facing a critical situation, particularly in Saint-Étienne. In just three weeks, the city of seven hills has moved from tenth to first place in the ranking of cities with the most new cases per capita (608 per 100,000 inhabitants) while the hospitalization rate for Covid-19 in the area was multiplied by 2.5. In Lyon, but also in Paris, Lille or Bordeaux, the Christmas market has already been canceled. At the same time, the idea that the epidemic is not so deadly is circulating extensively on social media and is becoming very popular. The drafting of Figaro sift through the numbers and do the math.
In search of the miracle drug. Since the start of the epidemic, the race for drugs that would cure the most serious cases has not weakened. While the hope for tocilizumab is high, it has yet to be confirmed. This antibody intended to calm the immune storm in severe cases indeed presents encouraging results, but contrasted. As for the “miracle” molecule studied by the Institut Pasteur de Lille (IPL) for the treatment of Covid-19, its name has been revealed even if the greatest secrecy still reigns over the progress of research. It is clofoctol already marketed in the form of suppositories until 2005. In addition, new studies tend to prove that people with blood type O are less vulnerable to the virus, protected by their anti-A and anti-B antibodies. . Another advantage is that groups O and B are less likely to see their condition worsen than groups A and AB. Less fortunate, patients would have been infected twice by the coronavirus. Extremely rare cases of reinfection that question the scientific community. The latter favors for the moment the track of an individual susceptibility.
3. See you today for the third morning of the Big Bang Santé
The Big Bang Health that we announced to you some time ago is taking place this week. This Thursday from 10:30 am to noon, you will find an intervention by Charles-Edouard Bouée, co-managing partner of Alpha Intelligence Capital (AIC), based in Shanghai, a debate on the role of new technologies in the crisis and Cédric O, Secretary of State in charge of the Digital Transition and Electronic Communications, which will do us the honor of unveiling some avenues of the new tracking application.
The philosopher and psychoanalyst Cynthia Fleury, who opened the first morning on Tuesday, October 20, estimated that “to take care of human life is to take care of humanity of life“. As part of a debate on containment, Karine Lacombe, infectious disease specialist, head of service at Saint-Antoine Hospital, did not rule out the possibility that the virus would become seasonal.
Stéphane Bancel, the French CEO of Moderna Therapeutics, for his part announced Wednesday, October 21 that he should file an emergency authorization for a vaccine at the end of November-beginning of December, while our correspondent in Beijing Sébastien Falletti explained that ‘“Today 100,000 people had already undergone an injection of vaccine in China”.
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4. Curfew instructions for use
Since October 17 and for at least four weeks, nine metropolises classified in “maximum alert”(Île-de-France, Lille, Grenoble, Lyon, Aix-Marseille, Montpellier, Rouen, Toulouse and Saint-Étienne) are subject to a curfew. Other territories should join them in the coming days.
From 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., travel is prohibited. The inhabitants of these areas must present a certificate to leave their home establishing that they are among the exceptional cases: visit to the doctor, the duty pharmacy or the hospital, professional reason, travel by plane or train (the ticket making faith), help for vulnerable or insecure people, pressing family reasons or child custody, judicial or administrative summons as well as walking a pet. In the event of violation of these rules, they incur a fine of 135 euros and up to 3,750 euros in the event of a repeat offense.
In these perimeters, bars, sports establishments, games rooms, fairs and salons are closed all day and funfairs are prohibited. Higher education establishments cannot accommodate more than 50% of face-to-face students.
In the rest of the country, restrictions are also in force: no gathering of more than 6 in public space, ban on festive gatherings (weddings, student parties) in public rooms, reinforced health protocol.
5. Reflexes to keep
A few simple steps can limit the spread of the virus. Here they are :
Wash your hands every hour or use hydroalcoholic gel
Cough or sneeze into the crease of your elbow
Use disposable tissues
Avoid kissing or shaking hands
Wear a mask in public spaces when respect for physical distances is not guaranteed.
Covid-19 is transmitted by droplets (respiratory secretions), by close contact with an infected person, especially when the latter coughs or sneezes. But it can also be transmitted through the air. The virus also remains viable for a few hours on different surfaces.
The disease manifests itself in several symptoms. In 9 out of 10 cases, this results in a fever below 39 ° C. According to the World Health Organization, this fever is most often accompanied by fatigue, signs of shortness of breath and a dry cough. Often a loss of smell and taste.
5. What to do in case of symptoms?
The most important thing is to get tested. According to the recommendations of the Ministry of Health, you should, in case of symptoms, stay at home and contact your doctor who will prescribe a test. While waiting for the result, you must isolate yourself, wear a mask and prepare a list of people you could have infected.
If the test is positive, the Primary Health Insurance Fund will contact people likely to be infected. You must then remain isolated for at least 8 days, taking care not to infect your loved ones. Watch your health. In case of fever, take paracetamol. Plan a follow-up remote consultation with your doctor if necessary. If you feel that you are having difficulty breathing, call 15.
If the test is negative, contact your doctor and follow his instructions.