Splainer

Tuesday, July 21 2020


Dive In

Conditions in the jails in which these prisoners of conscience have been kept are said to be unhealthy and the threat of spread of infection has grown. Mr Rao, who is 80 years old, has now tested positive for COVID-19 and is seriously ill with several comorbidities. His condition suggests clear neglect of his health by the authorities. 

That’s from a letter signed by 146 leading academics around the world—including Naom Chomsky, Barbara Harris-White and Christophe Jaffrelot—demanding the release of the 80-year-old Telugu poet Varavara Rao. He is one of 11 human rights activists and lawyers who have been arrested for allegedly inciting violence against Dalits, and for having “Maoist links.” Illustration: Parth Savla

Big Story

A ‘breakthrough’ treatment for Covid-19

The TLDR: The spectacular trial results of a new treatment is stirring great excitement—and anxiety—in the medical community. The drug appears to be highly successful in preventing patients from becoming seriously ill. But scientists worry about rushing to embrace a ‘miracle cure’ without sufficient testing. 

 

What’s this new drug?

Developed by the UK company Synairgen, it uses a protein called interferon beta. This is something our body naturally produces when it detects a threat. There are three kinds of interferons. Here is how interferon beta works:

 

  • When a virus enters our system, each cell shoots “an emergency flare” of interferon to alert the immune system.
  • Interferon beta specifically activates white blood cells, natural killer cells (NK cells), and a type of T cell—all of which then target and kill the virus. 
  • More importantly, there is evidence that this coronavirus blocks the production of interferons—and significantly weakens or delays the body’s immune response.

 

How the drug works: It boosts interferon beta levels by delivering it directly to the infected area, i.e. the lungs. It is literally inhaled by patients via a nebuliser.

 

Tell me about these ‘spectacular’ results

Login

In today’s edition

Headlines That Matter

  • Oxford vaccine shows great promise
  • The cold war with China heats up
  • Floods kill Assam’s rare rhinos
  • Portland protests take a unique turn
  • A 3-D map of the universe

 

Smart And Curious

  • Being a virgin in your thirties
  • Do opposites attract or is compatibility the key?
  • Cow cuddling is the hottest wellness trend
  • A yellow turtle is mystifying Odisha's wildlife officers
Login

Share your love!

Sign up your friends & fam (and anyone else!) by copy/pasting your special referral link below! Or just click on the link and share that specially coded subscription page the usual way. We will say a big 'thank you' by offering you a very nice token of our appreciation. Check out our FAQs. to know more. We grow and thrive because of you!

REF_CODE

Become a subscriber!

Discover why smart, curious people around the world swear by splainer!

Sign Up Here!

Gift splainer today!

Love spending your mornings with us? Share the joy by gifting a subscription to someone you ❤️

Gift splainer

Complaints, suggestions or just wanna say hi? Talk to us at talktous@splainer.in

Join our community

© 2020 splainer.in
You are receiving this email because you opted in via our website.
Unsubscribe from this list.