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Showing posts from March, 2022

In search of a Universal Vaccine

By Noralyn Dudt Now that a big chunk of the world population has had at least two doses of the coronavirus vaccine, scientists are focused   on designing a vaccine that is broadly protective and would last a long time. A tetanus-like shot is now the goal. The tetanus vaccine that my physician jabs into my arm every 10 years was designed to last 10 years. And now it's a scientist's dream to develop a vaccine for the Coronavirus that would last 10 years. The National Institutes of Health having taken that into account, awarded US$36 million to scientific teams last fall who were trying to answer basic questions that would lead to a breakthrough.   At a minimum, the world needs a truly variant-proof vaccines. Even better would be a vaccine that would stop a future pandemic—protection against a yet-unknown coronavirus. The first versions of coronavirus vaccines were powerful. From the virus that emerged in 2019, spiky proteins were taken from their surface and were tweaked to

The Galleon Trade of 1565-1815

By Noralyn O. Dudt GLOBALIZATION is not what one would associate with the 16 th and 17 th centuries   when ships with sails were the only means of transportation in crossing the great oceans and only horses and carriages in traversing the continents.   Jetting the globe on an airplane was still three centuries away. Globalization is what one may ascribe only to our modern era but the history of the   Galleon Trade between Manila and Acapulco tells otherwise. The Manila Galleons were the FEDEX of their time.   The Galleon Trade was the birth of what we now know as globalization. It was in 1565 when the Galleon Trade was first launched. Manila galleons as they were called were the Spanish Trading ships that linked the Spanish General of the Philippines with New Spain   (now Mexico) for 250 years. It made one or two round-trip voyages per year: one from Acapulco to Manila that took 120 days with some 500,000 pesos worth of goods—mostly silver from Spain's South American colonies

The pandemic's last act

  By Noralyn O. Dudt THE OMICRON, we would like to think with a modicum of hope,   is the   pandemic's last act . As Omicron has behaved so brazenly chasing as many victims as it could, but not as potent as the Delta had been, the pandemic   ending is no longer a question of how but when.   So many cases of infections—serious and not too serious—have brought people to the hospitals that the light we thought we saw at the end of the tunnel suddenly looked dimmer.   However, these large numbers of infections had provided a "layer of immunity" to huge swathes of the world and may be moving us closer to an endemic stage as the virus is maxing out in its ability to make such big evolutionary jumps. For the first time since the spread of COVID-19 stunned the world in early 2020, many   epidemiologists are now willing to entertain the prospect that the virus might be making steps toward endemic status—the stage when COVID-19 is comparable to seasonal illnesses like the c