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Expression of ACE2 and a viral virulence-regulating factor CCN family member 1 in human iPSC-derived neural cells: implications for COVID-19-related CNS disorders

It has been reported that coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) causes not only pneumonia but also systemic inflammations including central nervous system (CNS) disorders. However, little is known about the mechanism that triggers the COVID-19-associated CNS disorders, due to the lack of appropriate experimental systems. Our present study showed that angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2), a cellular receptor for SARS-CoV-2, is expressed in human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived neural stem/progenitor cells (hiPSC-NS/PCs) and young neurons. Furthermore, together with database analysis, we found that a viral virulent factor CCN family member 1 (CCN1), which is known to be induced by SARS-CoV-2 infection, is expressed in these cells at basal levels. Considering the role of CCN1 which is known to be involved in viral toxicity and inflammation, hiPSC-NS/PCs could provide an excellent model for COVID-19-associated CNS disorders from the aspect of SARS-CoV-2 infection-ACE2-CCN1 axis. In addition, we identified compounds that reduce CCN1 expression. Collectively, our study using hiPSC-NS/PCs may aid in the development of a therapeutic target for COVID-19-related CNS disorders.

Integrated Bioinformatics Analysis for the Screening of Associated Pathways and Therapeutic Drugs in Coronavirus Disease 2019

COVID-19 caused by a novel coronavirus, a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has recently broken out worldwide. Up to now, the development of vaccine is still in the stage of clinical research, and there is no clinically approved specific antiviral drug for human coronavirus infection. The purpose of this study is to investigate the key molecules involved in response during SARS-CoV-2 infection and provide references for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2. Methods: We conducted in-depth and comprehensive bioinformatics analysis of human proteins identified with SARS-CoV-2, including functional enrichment analysis, protein interaction network analysis, screening of hub genes, and evaluation of their potential as therapeutic targets. In addition, we used the gene-drug database to search for inhibitors of related biological targets. Results: Several significant pathways, such as PKA, centrosome and transcriptional regulation, may greatly contribute to the development and progression of COVID-2019 disease. Taken together 15 drugs and 18 herb ingredients were screened as potential drugs for viral treatment. Specially, the trans-resveratrol can significantly reduce the expression of N protein of MERS-CoV and inhibit MERS-CoV. In addition, trans-resveratrol, Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and BX795 all show good anti multiple virus effects.

EU makes tech alliance offer to Biden administration ‘Make multilateralism great again’. Is it all about providing cover for new "Orwellian" agenda? It certainly looks as if it is.

"The EU presented a new transatlantic agenda on Wednesday, laying out a wish-list for better ties with the US on technology, trade, climate change and public health preparedness. EU foreign affairs minister Josep Borrell said the push for closer cooperation with the incoming US president Joe Biden is an attempt to get off a “bumpy road”. “We want to make multilateralism great again,” Borrell said, presenting the plan. The European Commission is proposing a new ‘Transatlantic Trade and Technology Council’ to set joint standards on new technologies. Areas of work would include 5G mobile networks, artificial intelligence and data flows. Borrell dismissed the suggestion that the new proposal is about siding with the US to outflank China and prevent China from dominating important economic and technological sectors. “That would be a crazy objective. We need China,” he said. Washington and Brussels "must work closely together on solving bilateral trade irritants", the commission said in a 12-page paper, noting that EU-US commerce accounts for a third of world trade." Irritants like democracy?

‘A good day for global health’: US to join COVAX program, fulfill obligations to WHO

The United States under President Joe Biden intends to join the COVAX vaccine facility that aims to deliver vaccines to poor countries, his chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci has told the World Health Organisation. WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus welcomed the announcement to the WHO executive board, saying: “This is a good day for WHO and a good day for global health.” “President Biden will issue a directive later today which will include the intent of the United States to join COVAX and support the ACT-Accelerator to advance multilateral efforts for COVID-19 vaccine, therapeutic, and diagnostic distribution, equitable access, and research and development,”

Protective effects of resveratrol on acute kidney injury in rats with sepsis.

Resveratrol significantly decreased the mortality rate of septic rats and alleviated AKI, probably by attenuating endoplasmic reticulum stress, inhibiting activation of the NF-κB pathway and mitigating the inflammatory response. --- The survival rate of cecal ligation + Res group (75.00%) significantly exceeded that of the CLP group (41.67%) (P<0.05). At postoperative 12 h, resveratrol significantly decreased serum creatinine and urea nitrogen levels (P<0.05). Resveratrol evidently relieved renal tubular swelling and luminal narrowing in CLP rats, and significantly reduced the high expressions of GRP78, BiP, phosphorylated IRE1 and p65 proteins (P<0.05). P65 was mainly located in the cytoplasm of Sham, Sham + Res and CLP + Res groups, and in the nucleus of the CLP group. At postoperative 12 h, resveratrol significantly reduced serum levels TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6 in CLP rats (P<0.05), whereas elevated that of IL-10 (P<0.05). This has application to COVID-19 ICU treatment.

Effective inhibition of MERS-CoV infection by resveratrol.

By consecutive administration of resveratrol, we were able to reduce the concentration of resveratrol while achieving inhibitory effectiveness against MERS-CoV. CONCLUSION: In this study, we first demonstrated that resveratrol is a potent anti-MERS agent in vitro …

How Government Contracts Became Next Trade War Front

(Bloomberg, Feb 20, 2020) Global trade tensions have a new front: government contracts. President Donald Trump is said to be mulling America’s withdrawal from a decades-old pact known as the Government Procurement Agreement. Overseen by the World Trade Organization, the GPA is an agreement among a group of 48 WTO members that offers preferential access to contracts worth $1.7 trillion per year.

The (Oppressively undemocratic, elitist) World Economic Forum is slowly taking over the UN

The World Economic Forum is a lobby of the 1000 largest multinational corporations calling itself “THE international organization for public-private cooperation”. According to the WEF, the most important political business and other leaders of society are involved in determining global, regional and industry agendas. The agenda is set by the 100 largest and most influential who contribute the most money. In all major countries, the forum has “hubs” in the largest cities, where the “global shapers” are networked with one another. The final GRI report was called “Everybody’s Business: Strengthening International Cooperation in a More Interdependent World” and was 600 pages long. The forum seems to have removed it from its website in the meantime. The link to download the report on the relevant page of the forum no longer works. There is a short version in the form of a Readers’ Guide on the website of the University of Massachusetts Boston, from which I will cite below. In the section titled “An Overview of the WEF’s Perspective” it says clearly that the goal is to replace the UN- and nations-based system of global governance by one that the corporations like better

A Massive Loss of Habitat: New Drivers for Migration

Saskia Sassen: The paper examines three emergent migration flows, each with specific features that can be described as extreme. The effort organizing the paper is to understand conditions at places of origin that lead people to risk their lives in dangerous trips to escape those places of origin. As is by now known, these migrants are not the poorest of the poor in their places of origins. The rapid surge in these flows combined with the conditions they leave behind raise a question that organizes much of the analysis: Are the categories we use to understand and describe migrations—that is, the notion of people in search of a better life, who leave behind a family and home that they want to support from afar and possibly return to–enough to capture the specificity of these emergent flows. My answer is: not quite. One big difference from the past is that part of the story is a massive loss of habitat due to a variety of extreme patterns, from massive land-grabs to poisoning of land and water due to mining. The paper examines how the development models implemented over the last 30 and more years have enabled some of these negative conditions. Further, another major factor reducing the habitat of these migrants is a proliferation of asymmetric wars. Both sets of factors reduce the habitat for more people. One outcome of this combination of elements is these new migrations. Keywords:migration, development, globalization

"No more vampire treaties" The Global South has much to lose with so called Free Trade Agreements – Interview with Sanya Reid Smith

By Gerhard Dilger Ms. Smith, what chances and what risks are there for the countries of the Global South when negotiating so-called new generation free trade agreements (FTAs), or vampire treaties? Let´s take the Mercosur-EU negotiations as an example. ------------------------ sanya: Latin America is facing many FTA negotiations at the moment and they’re all being negotiated in secret, so they can be called vampire treaties – we don’t know what’s in them unless the text is leaked...

The Totalitarian Dystopia of the World Economic Forum is Becoming Reality

A global, totalitarian system? The KTDI White Paper makes clear the great ambition of the project in its conclusions: This paper outlines the ambition for KTDI to provide the foundations for a globally accepted decentralized identity ecosystem. Further development and wider adoption depend on maximizing data exchange interoperability and federated trust. Success will rest upon cooperation between world governments, regulators, the aviation industry, technology providers and other players to establish global standards and specifications for compliance by all stakeholders. The conditions for enforcing this global surveillance standard are excellent. The Known Traveller project uses technical standards for verifiable credentials and decentralized identifiers as they are currently being developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) . W3C is the most important standards-setting body for the Internet and is dominated by US-American Internet and telecommunications companies.

Real-time facial recognition and remote biometrics combine in Idemia NSS’ ‘installation of the future’

Idemia NSS recently won an OTA to provide the government with a different and disruptive solution, sponsored by the U.S. Air Force’s AFWERX program. The company developed a suite of technologies, consisting of I2 Embedded, I2 Access, and I2 Verify, which overhaul the process, starting with remote registration that can be carried out from home, and work together to enable what Idemia NSS calls “the installation of the future.” Not only does this streamline access control and permissions processes, it also gives base operators the capacity to identify the occupants of a car speeding into the base at 80mph with facial recognition. The frictionless biometric entrance capability also works with tracking on base, provides a way to let someone into a building without keeping them waiting out in the rain, and even access into digital environment. Idemia NSS Senior Solutions Engineer Stanley Lagrenade demonstrated the ID document capture, automatic information-capturing, and selfie biometrics of the I2 Verify mobile enrollment app. By moving identification processes forward, traffic can also be directed in ways that avoid bottlenecks, such as by sending preregistered visitors through a fast lane. As they approach the base, vehicles and people are scanned with biometrics, thermal and infrared cameras from different angles.

Globalization 2.0 will not be unfettered, Google learns

The significance of the decision lies in the context of the push and pull between the old continent and the United States, and in the fact that at issue is a piece of software which is nominally open source, not governed by the institutional norms regarding intellectual property.

ID 2020 – a unified digital identity for everybody on earth

Norbert Haring is right on top of scary series of developments that US media is ignoring. What amounts to a push to vastly extend a net of control, using cashless digital ID technology. while taking away peoples means of preserving privacy. In the event of a solar storm which wiped out the grid for possibly years, in a cashless global economy billions of people would starve to death.

Harvard Kennedy School: National TV news has created the perception Congress is more polarized than it is

Denise-Marie Ordway highlights a study showing that national network and cable TV news outlets have given the most airtime to Congress members with the most extreme views, exacerbating the public's perception of a highly polarized federal legislative branch. "The Congress that gets reported in the media is a different ideological distribution than Congress as it exists," Joshua P. Darr, an assistant professor of political communication at Louisiana State University, tells Ordway. "The media feature these extreme legislators and that makes Congress seem more extreme than it is."

Saskia Sassen: "Our economic system no longer incorporates but expels" (in French)

A sociology professor at Columbia University in New York, Saskia Sassen is an atypical intellectual. She is one of those minds capable of theoretical flashes of globalization (like her concept of “predatory formations” ), while imagining daily political mobilizations. It was with her book on megalopolises released in 1996 - the Global City, Descartes & Cie - that the Dutch-American made herself known, questioning the happy discourse on globalized cities. Long before the criticism of the bobo, she identifies the logic of exclusion that can engender interconnected cities. This time, it is a vision of the globalized economy that she proposes in Expulsions,his new essay. An intervention book aimed at as many people as possible to grasp a paradox: why does the extreme complexity of the cross-border economy generate "primitive forms of accumulation" while strongly unbalancing the distribution of wealth?

WTO COVID-19 TRIPS Waiver Proposal: Myths, realities and an opportunity for governments to protect access to medical tools in a pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic has unfolded, one of the challenges is the negative impact that intellectual property (IP) barriers have had in the past and are anticipated to have on the scale up of manufacturing and supply of lifesaving COVID-19 medical tools across the world. Given this, South Africa and India submitted a landmark proposal earlier this year to the World Trade Organization (WTO) requesting that countries be allowed to waive certain IP rights, under the Agreement of Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), until the majority of the world population receives effective vaccines and develops immunity to COVID-19. Unfortunately, some WTO members – Australia, Brazil, Canada, the EU, Japan, Norway, Switzerland, the UK, and the US – oppose this proposal. Some of these countries have traditionally backed the interests of pharmaceutical corporations through a proprietary IP system. Opponents of the TRIPS waiver proposal have promoted some myths regarding the impact of IP on COVID-19 technologies. This briefing document dispels those myths and explains why all countries should support the waiver proposal to protect access to lifesaving medical tools in a pandemic.

Saskia Sassen on the Age of Extraction

"What marks the specificity of our current period is that we have extracted so many resources from our planet and pushed so many people and whole communities off their land to do so, that this extractive logic is now becoming highly visible. Elsewhere I have argued that this extractive mode has also generated new types of migrations. And it is not clear to me how this all ends, but it can’t be very good." GT: "Recently I was reading an article in which you were positing the importance of considering expulsion as an analytical category, which adds something more to the well-established category of exclusion, as it introduces the concept of ‘systemic edge’. What are the main differences between borders, peripheries, and systemic edges?" SS: "Very glad you picked up on this. In Expulsions I develop an argument, partly methodological and partly conceptual, that aims at identifying a radical rupture that goes well beyond what is captured with more familiar categories such as inequality and social exclusion. When that systemic edge is crossed, such conditions become invisible to our ‘standard measures’. I see a multiplication of sharp breaking points that can be thought of as systemic edges. Once crossed you are in a different space; it is not simply a less agreeable or liveable zone, as might be the spaces of social exclusion. It is far more radical: you are out."

Extrinsic fraud

This is a legal concept. Is it relevant to how the right to regulate and the right to govern is being taken? See also Rodrik's Trilemma of the global economy.

Adverse possession

This is a legal concept. Is it applicable to FTA's theft of the nations and world from our planet's people?

"TISA's Threat to Democracy" A Trade Justice Alliance Webinar

"The TISA would override your Constitution, override your domestic laws" - 55:30 (Sanya Reid Smith) 2 hour video with: Sanya Reid Smith, Legal Advisor and Senior Researcher, Third World Network, Deborah James, Director of International Programs at the Center for Economic and Policy Research ABOUT TISA: TISA, the Trade in Services Agreement or TiSA, is the largest multilateral trade deal ever negotiated, and currently includes 50 countries. TiSA would set the rules for “services” that the text defines so broadly as to encompass almost all areas of our lives. TiSA would apply to approximately 80% of the global economy yet the massive corporate-designed agreement has been negotiated completely behind closed doors without public input. Without WikiLeaks, we would know very little. TiSA would inhibit regulations of the very banks that brought down the global economy, destroy online privacy and data protections and would legally codify global privatization of the commons, including access to clean water, public education and quality health care. TiSA would entrench neoliberal dirty energy projects like fracking and tar sands at the expense of renewables like solar and wind power. Despite President Trump’s proclaimed opposition to TPP, and his checkered messages around NAFTA, he has yet to say one word about TiSA which has farther-reaching implications.

Copyright and the Right to Repair

QUT Faculty of Law Thursday, 29 October 2020 Session 4 Intellectual Property and the Right to Repair Professor Leanne Wiseman and Dr Kanchana Kariyawasam Abstract The inability to repair and modify consumer goods is increasingly and globally important as countries transition to Circular Economies. The inability of Australians to repair their smart goods or to access repair or service information has a significant impact on not only the Australian economy, but also its economic future. At the heart of legal and regulatory barriers to repair are the IP rights exerted by the manufactures. This paper will focus on the role that copyright plays in inhibiting consumer’s ability to repair their goods. Manufacturers of digital enabled goods, such as our smart phones, smart watches and the myriad of smart devices that now inhabit our homes, use copyright in the computer software to ‘lock’ up consumer goods. They rely upon the copyright scheme of technological protection measures (TPMs), developed in the 1990s to protect music, film and other digital works to prohibit access to the underlying software programs that are now embedded in everyday smart consumables. In addition to TPMs, copyright owners are using copyright law to deny access to basic repair information in product manuals. This has attracted much recent attention, particularly in relation to access to repair information for ventilators, that have been so urgently needed during the Covid 19 crisis. This paper will explore how copyright owner’s excessive control over the owner’s ability to repair and modify physical goods has given rise to the international right to repair movement. In so doing, it will consider the different regulatory approaches being taken to the Right to Repair internationally, and explores how reform of IP, particularly copyright law, could rebalance the competing demands of private incentives for product and technology innovation and the public’s concerns over access to goods that have digital technologies embedded within them. Biographies Professor Leanne Wiseman is a Professor of Intellectual Property Law at the Griffith Law School, Griffith University. Her research addresses critical questions about the role intellectual property plays in hindering or enabling access to new technologies. She has published widely on intellectual property, in particular, copyright law, and its intersection with new digital technologies. Her current research focus is on intellectual property and the right to repair and legal implications of the digitalisation occurring in consumables, motor vehicles and agricultural machinery. Dr Kanchana Kariyawasam is a Senior Lecturer in Griffith Business School at Griffith University. Kanchana's primary research interests lie in the field of intellectual property (IP) law and her publications are in the fields of intellectual property and consumer Law. Kanchana completed her PhD in IP Law at Griffith and holds Masters Degree in IP from the University of Queensland. She has published widely on copyright law and information technology, patent law and biotechnology, and access to medicines.

The Trojan Horse of e-commerce.

The Trojan Horse of e-Commerce Professor Jane Kelsey (University of Auckland) Intellectual Property and Trade in the Pacific Century Brisbane, 22 June 2017 QUT Intellectual Property and Innovation Law Research Program The comprehensive chapter on electronic commerce in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) heralded a game changer in the negotiation of international rules. The benign chapter heading belies a fundamental rewriting of the international trade rules to serve the rapid growth of digital economy, controlled by a powerful oligopoly of mega-corporations. Their stated goal is to achieve global rules that protect them from national regulation of their activities for the indefinite future. The TPP text has since been tabled in the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) negotiations and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), judging by a leaked list of the headings of articles in the e-commerce chapter. If adopted, these rules would impose huge and unforeseeable fetters on the sovereignty of governments to regulate their economies, and address related issues of privacy, security and consumer protection. The cross-fertilisation of the e-commerce chapters with others on cross-border services, financial services, telecommunications and transparency would create a regime of unprecedented constraints and complexity that even advanced countries in RCEP would struggle to implement them, let alone the developing and least developed country parties in the RCEP.