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Category Archives: Immortality Medicine

How Old Is Andy in The Old Guard? – Charlize Theron Character Age – Men’s Health

Posted: July 15, 2020 at 9:52 pm

Netflix kicks back with another international action thriller, The Old Guard, which you likely thought would resemble its previous Hemsworth-athon, Extraction, but realized was actually closer to The Expendables meets Interview with the Vampire. Confusing genre. Still some pretty decent action. (Can we get a Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth movie now, please? Our fight money is on Theron.)

The Old Guard, based on the graphic novel written by Greg Rucka and illustrated by Leandro Fernandez, follows a group of immortal soldiers who heal Wolverine-style (though its unclear how they overcome explosions or missing limbs; do they, like, grow them back?). The power arrives randomly during an individuals life and also disappears randomly, or when the plot calls for it. The disappearance is supposed to mean something, but seems to only mean someone is getting ... old.

Age becomes, then, a salient talking point throughout the film. We learn that two characters were vampire bittener, we mean, immortalizedsometime during the Crusades (so, anywhere between 1095 and 1492, though likely closer to the First Crusades). Another character became immortalized in the 19th century. And then theres Andy, also referred to as Andromache of Scythia.

Andy is the oldest known soldier. She doesnt remember exactly when she first realized her immortality, which seems odd.

The Old Guard Book One: Opening Fire

$15.18

(Other questions Does time move slower for Andy since shes so old? Does her brain stay its age forever, and if so wouldnt she also be super smart and not just good at killing? And if you are super smart, why keep killing if all you want is to better humanity? Couldn't you learn everything there is to know about medicine and just, like, do experiments for hundreds of years? Also, why abandon Quynh when you have literally centuries to find her, and those Spanish ships couldnt have gone THAT far out to sea? And can you really drown forever if your lungs are still full of water? Wouldnt you just stay asleep?) We digress

The hint is in that word "Scythia," which Copley mentions toward the end of the film. The word also appears during the bulletin board credits.

Scythia was a nomadic empire located across much or Eurasia in what is now Ukraine, Russia, and Crimea. Like the Mongols, the Scythians were revered for their horse-riding and warring. Historians trace the Scythians as far back as the 8th century BCE. That would be almost 3,000 years ago, making Andy very old. The empire collapsed at the hands of the Sarmatians before 200 CE.

Theron's Andy is, therefore, anywhere from 3,000 to about 1,800 years old.

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Improving immunity with Ayurveda: 5 herbs to help your body fight diseases – Times Now

Posted: at 9:52 pm

Improving immunity with Ayurveda: 5 herbs to help your body fight diseases  |  Photo Credit: iStock Images

New Delhi: Ever since the coronavirus pandemic began, talks about immunity and health became a common subject. Experts recommended that with no existing cure or vaccine for the virus, prevention techniques such as social distancing, wearing masks, practicingproper hand and respiratory hygiene, along with trying to stay as healthy as possible were the only ways to beat the virus and avoid getting sick.

This is when Indians turned to the centuries-old wisdom of Ayurveda for boosting their immunity and keeping free of diseases. As the world starts to adopt Ayurvedic practices and Yoga for overall health, and as Ayurveda moves to a global level in the fight against COVID-19 with clinical trials and research, here are 5 ayurvedic herbs that are close to home and easily available, that you can use to boost immunity and ward off diseases.

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a professional healthcare provider if you have any specific questions about any medical matter.

For full coverage on Coronavirus pandemic, click here.Join the Times Group initiative #MaskIndia.Share a picture with your home-made mask on your social handles using #MaskIndia. The best picture will be featured in TOI and on maskindia.com

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AgeX Therapeutics and Pluristyx Announce Manufacturing, Marketing, and Distribution Agreement to Expand Access to Clinical-Grade Human Pluripotent…

Posted: June 17, 2020 at 12:45 am

ALAMEDA, Calif. & SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- AgeX Therapeutics, Inc.. (AgeX: NYSE American: AGE), a biotechnology company developing therapeutics for human aging and regeneration, and Pluristyx, Inc. (Seattle, WA), an advanced therapy tools and services company serving customers in the rapidly growing fields of regenerative medicine and cellular and gene therapies, today announced they have entered into a Manufacturing, Marketing, and Distribution Agreement through which Pluristyx will undertake these activities on behalf of AgeX with respect to AgeXs research- and clinical-grade ESI brand human embryonic stem cells, sometimes referred to as hESCs.

The agreement builds on Pluristyxs strategy to manufacture, market, and distribute high-quality standardized Ready-to-Use and Ready-to-Differentiate pluripotent stem cells to industry and academic scientists intent on developing therapeutic products to treat human disease. AgeXs ESI hESC lines are distinguished for being the first clinical-grade hESC lines created under current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP). The AgeX ESI hESC lines are listed on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Stem Cell Registry and are among the best characterized and documented stem cell lines available worldwide.

The agreement is a key step in AgeXs licensing and collaboration strategy to facilitate industry and academic access to its hESC lines, its PureStem cell derivation and manufacturing platform, and its UniverCyte immunotolerance technology in order to generate near- and long-term revenues.

A recent FDA IND clearance for a biotech company to begin a human trial for a cell therapy candidate derived from an AgeX ESI hESC line has amplified interest from industry and academia to utilize our cells in regenerative medicine. It is AgeXs goal to make its cell lines the gold standard when it comes to therapeutic products derived from pluripotent stem cells. We are delighted to be working with the Pluristyx team given their extensive cGMP manufacturing experience with pluripotent stem cells, said Dr. Nafees Malik, Chief Operating Officer of AgeX.

Pluristyx is excited to be working with AgeX and their ESI hESC lines. As AgeX intends to make their cell lines the gold standard, our aim is to disrupt and redefine stem cell therapy manufacturing with our proprietary, high-density format, Ready-to-Use and Ready-to-Differentiate hESC lines, which will dramatically reduce both cost and time in translating revolutionary therapies from bench to bedside, said Dr. Benjamin Fryer, CEO of Pluristyx.

Academic and biopharma organizations will need to obtain separate commercial licenses from AgeX in order to advance their cellular product candidates generated from AgeX hESC lines into human clinical trials and commercialization. AgeX retains all rights to manufacture its own in-house cellular products as well as to extend license rights to other third parties.

About AgeX Therapeutics

AgeX Therapeutics, Inc. (NYSE American: AGE) is focused on developing and commercializing innovative therapeutics for human aging. Its PureStem and UniverCyte manufacturing and immunotolerance technologies are designed to work together to generate highly defined, universal, allogeneic, off-the-shelf pluripotent stem cell-derived young cells of any type for application in a variety of diseases with a high unmet medical need. AgeX has two preclinical cell therapy programs: AGEX-VASC1 (vascular progenitor cells) for tissue ischemia and AGEX-BAT1 (brown fat cells) for Type II diabetes. AgeXs revolutionary longevity platform induced Tissue Regeneration (iTR) aims to unlock cellular immortality and regenerative capacity to reverse age-related changes within tissues. AGEX-iTR1547 is an iTR-based formulation in preclinical development. HyStem is AgeXs delivery technology to stably engraft PureStem cell therapies in the body. AgeXs core product pipeline is intended to extend human healthspan. AgeX is seeking opportunities to establish licensing and collaboration arrangements around its broad IP estate and proprietary technology platforms and therapy product candidates.

For more information, please visit http://www.agexinc.com or connect with the company on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube.

About Pluristyx

Established in 2018, Pluristyx Inc. is a privately held, early-stage company providing a complete cell manufacturing solution. As an advanced therapy tools company, Pluristyx helps companies and researchers solve manufacturing challenges in the field of drug development, regenerative medicine, and cell and gene therapy. Pluristyx is led by a team with decades of industry experience each with specific expertise in key areas needed to develop and manufacture pluripotent stem cells. Pluristyx provides know how in every stage of the process from cell banking through scale-up of clinical grade material as well as all aspects of process development and manufacturing.

For more information, please visit http://www.pluristyx.com or connect with the company on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Forward-Looking Statements for AgeX

Certain statements contained in this release are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any statements that are not historical fact including, but not limited to statements that contain words such as will, believes, plans, anticipates, expects, estimates should also be considered forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from the results anticipated in these forward-looking statements and as such should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect the business of AgeX Therapeutics, Inc. and its subsidiaries, particularly those mentioned in the cautionary statements found in more detail in the Risk Factors section of AgeXs most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commissions (copies of which may be obtained at http://www.sec.gov). Subsequent events and developments may cause these forward-looking statements to change. In addition, with respect to AgeXs Manufacturing, Marketing and Distribution Agreement with Pluristyx there is no assurance that (i) Pluristyx will generate significant sales of AgeX ESI hESC lines, or (ii) AgeX will derive significant revenue from sales of ESI hESC lines by Pluristyx. AgeX specifically disclaims any obligation or intention to update or revise these forward-looking statements as a result of changed events or circumstances that occur after the date of this release, except as required by applicable law.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200616005377/en/

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AgeX Therapeutics and Pluristyx Announce Manufacturing, Marketing, and Distribution Agreement to Expand Access to Clinical-Grade Human Pluripotent...

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Avoid eating these artificial preservatives whenever possible – Yahoo Lifestyle

Posted: at 12:45 am

Food Flashexplores the wild world of food news, from the health benefits of red wine to why dark chocolate is actually good for you.

Our favorite foods all have a shelf life, but did you know that many of them are living far beyond their original expiration date?

Thanks to artificial preservatives, fruits, vegetables, meats and dairy products last much longer now than they naturally would, and that is not necessarily good news.

Not all preservatives are bad for you, of course. Humans have been using natural preservatives like salt and sugar for thousands of years to keep food from spoiling,

Be cautious with artificial preservatives, though. According to Healthline, many of them can have harmful effects on your health.

Sulfites, for example, are used to prevent discoloration, but they have been linked to asthma.

Sodium benzoate is found in sodas and used in fermentation, but its also considered a carcinogen.

Nitrite, another carcinogen, gives hot dogs their unique red color.

Try avoiding preservatives as much as you can by shopping for organic, fresh and naturally labeled products.

If you enjoyed this story, you might also like reading abouthow our favorite foods of today have a secret past.

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Young Blood and Old Blood | In the Pipeline – Science Magazine

Posted: June 13, 2020 at 12:53 am

So lets do a non-coronavirus post for the weekend. Over the years, Ive sporadically reported on the (rather contentious) field of aging and its biochemical implications. Many readers will recall the results of the past few years that claim that infusion of young-animal plasma into aged animals seems to have many beneficial effects. Of course, this field is well stocked with controversy. Not everyone believes the results, from what I can see (although, for what its worth, there seem to be an increasing number of papers on it). If theyre real, not everyone thinks that they can be readily extrapolated to humans. And even if they can, it doesnt take very much thought to see a number of ethical implications as well.

There have been a couple of recent papers that will stir things up even more. This preprint from a multinational research team (UCLA and many others) details work on several methylation clocks of molecular aging. DNA is methylated (especially on cytosine residues) to a number of transcriptional effects, and the number and distribution of such methyl groups definitely change over the lifespan of most animals. The Horvath lab at UCLA has made a specialty out of this epigenetic research area for some years now, and the changes in DNA methylation with aging seem pretty well established (even if quantifying them is trickier). This new paper draws on a large number of rat samples, with an overall methylation clock detailed, as well as more specific ones for brain, liver, and blood tissue. The addition of an even larger set of human tissue samples provides two more cross-species methylation clocks as well. Previous work from the group has provided similar clocksfor mice, which correlate well with known lifespan-extending interventions such as caloric restriction (reviewed here).

This new preprint details the readouts of such clocks after treatment of two-year-old rats (and their various tissues) with a proprietary plasma preparation from a company called Nugenics Research (update: corrected spelling of the name). I dont think thats going to make publication of this paper in a journal any easier, because that preparation is resolutely not described in any detail at all in the paper, from what I can see. This is no indictment of the paper or its results, but it does make them rather difficult to reproduce, doesnt it? Two of the papers authors are founders and/or owners of Nugenix, and Horvath and another author are consultants for the company (all this, to be sure, is stated in detail).

At any rate, the effects of the plasma preparation on both the methylation signatures and on more traditional readouts of physiological function seem to be pretty dramatic, after two rounds of treatment in elderly rats. By the DNA methylation clock, the ages of the blood, heart, and liver tissue were basically halved (there was much less effect on the hypothalamus, interestingly). Markers of inflammation and oxidative stress went down significantly in the treated animals, and many other blood parameters changed for the better as well (HDL, creatinine, and more). The animals performed better in physical and cognitive tests (grip strength, maze test) with numbers approaching that of the young animals themselves. The authors say that this work supports the notion that aging can be systemically controlled, at least in part through the circulatory system with plasma as the medium.

Meanwhile, this paper has also just come out, which looks at whether such effects are due to factors coming in from the young animals or things being removed from the old ones. The authors, from UC-Berkeley and the California Pacific Medical Center, are looking at what they call a neutral blood exchange. They replace half the blood volume in mice (both young and old) with isotonic saline plus added albumin protein. The effect of this on the older animals was also significant, with noticeable improvements in wound-healing ability, neurogenesis, and fibrosis/fatty deposits in the liver. The younger mice were not really changed by the treatment. The authors tried several control experiments to make sure that this wasnt an effect being driven by added albumin protein, and it apparently isnt. They conclude that removal and substitution of old plasma is sufficient for most if not all observed positive effects on muscle, brain and liver in parabiosis-type experiments. It doesnt exclude the idea of there being beneficial factors in young plasma, but suggests that this is not the driver of many of the results seen. (It would be very interesting to check the DNA methylation status of various tissues before and after this treatment!)

The paper wastes no time in noting that therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) is already an FDA-approved process (as witness convalescent plasma treatment in the current coronavirus epidemic), and it says that Phase II and III human trials are being planned on the basis of these results.That will be quite interesting to watch, says the 58-year-old dude writing this blog. Overall, I still find such results hard to believe, but at the same time they seem to be showing up from multiple experiments. This second paper especially seems to be a very testable hypothesis indeed. Thats a good thing, because in the end, its going to be reproducible human clinical data that decide whether this is real or not so Im glad that feasible experiments will allow such data to be collected. Something to watch. . .

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BLM’s anti-Semitism must be addressed – San Diego Jewish World

Posted: at 12:53 am

By Rabbi Dr. Michael Leo Samuel

CHULA VISTA, California Jews have always possessed this ability to reorient themselves to the challenges of a changing world. Our ancestors demonstrated a certain toughness when it came to survival. Mark Twain expressed this idea best in 1897:

But nowadays, here in the United States, I am seriously beginning to doubt whether the American Jew has what it takes to survive as a minority faith in our country.

On May 30th, 2020, the nation witnessed a spectacle that was reminiscent of the time Hitler and his brownshirts seized power in Germany. As my fellow writer, Bruce S. Ticker observed in his penetrating article, Rioting in Los Angeles was an anti-Jewish pogrom for San Diego Jewish World, The Jews of the Fairfax neighborhood of Los Angeles were exposed to a modern, American-style pogrom on May 30 that should enrage us all. Not only were Jewish businesses sacked but five synagogues and three Jewish schools were reportedly vandalized in George Floyds name by thugs. Ticker drew inspiration from Daniel Greenfield, who wrote on his blog, One small business owner described a Late Saturday night with people driving down the Fairfax district streets screaming effing Jews.

Close your eyes.

Imagine listening to the sound of broken glass.

Can you visualize the horror the peaceful Jewish community of Fairfax experienced?

With the eye of your imagination, think back to the date of November 9-10, 1938, when the German paramilitary led their thugs to initiate a pogrom against the German Jews throughout Nazi Germany, as the German population looked on. Some were cheering, most were probably shocked, and others chose not to get involved.

Now open your eyes to our present.

This time, the pogrom took place in the Fairfax neighborhood of Los Angeles. And the local Jewish reaction?

Jewish leaders have gone out of their way to show support for the wrongful death of George Floyd. This is very understandable.

But our fellow Jews have gone out of their way to show complete solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, ignoring the fact this movement calls Israel an Apartheid State and in a manifesto, accuses Israel of perpetuating a genocide against the Palestinians.[1] In addition, Jews are considered racist by virtue of being white.

And the Jewish reaction?

What reaction?

Call it Silence of the Lambs.

One local rabbinical colleague, whose name I will keep anonymous, claimed that we must honestly and genuinely address the root causes of the local protests the inequity in enforcement and the systemic racism.

I must take issue with my esteemed colleague.

The conflation of looting and peaceful protests is antithetical to one another. The looting in many of the countrys inner cities have harmed Black and other minority businesses. Several Black officers have been shot by the militant anarchists.

Did their lives matter?

Lets be honest. Many of those who scream, Black Lives Matter are among the most racist people you can find in our country. They have demonstrated by their words and by their deeds, they do not care about their fellow Black Americans. This is a movement that has done nothing to address the problems of Black on Black murders. In cities like Chicago, sometimes hundreds of innocent people are gunned down by their fellow Blacks.

Apparently, the inner citys Black lives, do NOT matter.

Until the social activists start addressing their legitimate grievances at the leaders who continue to exploit their communitys misery, it is doubtful there will be any kind of meaningful change. Black Lives Matters is a movement that continues to demonize white people for their skin color. Throughout this past week, one could see white Americans admitting they are racist because of their skin-color; some paraded wearing chains, to be yoked like animals.

What can be more racist than that?

The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., who condemned this type of behavior throughout, had this to say:

Hillel used to say, , . , . , If I am not for myself, who is for me? When I am for myself only, what am I? And if not now, when? Jews can be active in helping other minorities by championing civil rights.

But we cannot turn a blind eye to this retrograde form of anti-Semitism that exists in the Black community.

And the rest, my friends, is commentary.

[1] https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/from-left-to-right-jewish-groups-condemn-repellent-black-lives-matter-claim-of-israeli-genocide

*Rabbi Michael Leo Samuel is spiritual leader of Temple Beth Shalom in Chula Vista. He may be contacted via michael.samuel@sdjewishworld.com

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Writing History on the Banks of Spoon River – Patheos

Posted: at 12:53 am

I have been posting about using American poetry as primary historical sources, and last time, I talked about Wallace Stevenss Sunday Morning. That appeared in 1915, in an era of extraordinary social, religious and political ferment. Today Ill discuss another work from that same year, which is famous as a name, but when you actually explore it, it offers some treasures for the historian.

I am referring to Edgar Lee Masters (1868-1950), and his Spoon River Anthology, which endlessly repays close reading for its assumptions about the everyday lives and beliefs of ordinary Americans. The couple of hundred poems within the collection are interlaced to form a perfect community portrait. This really is the Great American Novel That Never Was. It has been said that no other volume of poetry except The Waste Land (1922) made such an impact during the first quarter of [the 20th] century.

Each poem its way stands as a short story, which speaks volumes about community assumptions. The Anthology is a goldmine for social history of all kinds, including gender, sexuality, politics, and religion. You actually could teach a whole course about early twentieth century America with this as the core text, and it would fit beautifully into a typical college offering on the era 1877-1919 or so.

In a time of tight censorship, Masters was boldly going into many topics that were deeply sensitive, including (and not limited to) rape, child abuse, abortion, drug abuse, adultery, promiscuity, and sexual diseases. Virtually every poem gets into some issue that would have attracted the wrath of the Hays Code if it had ever found its way into the later cinema. Here is the whole of Julia Miller:

We quarreled that morning,For he was sixty-five, and I was thirty,And I was nervous and heavy with the childWhose birth I dreaded.I thought over the last letter written meBy that estranged young soulWhose betrayal of me I had concealedBy marrying the old man.Then I took morphine and sat down to read.Across the blackness that came over my eyesI see the flickering light of these words even now:And Jesus said unto him, VerilyI say unto thee, To-day thou shaltBe with me in paradise.

Just to take one daring theme of countless, Masters was writing during the first great American discovery of child sexual abuse. Back in 1998 I published a book called Moral Panic: Changing Concepts of the Child Molester in Modern America (Yale), which offered a wide-ranging history of that theme throughout American history. Among my discoveries, I found the first ever study ever written on the topic in the US, in a collection entitled A System of Legal Medicine (1894). This included a path-breaking essay on Indecent Assault of Children, by the young gynecologist W. Travis Gibb (1863-1939), which reads as if it could have been written a century later.

Over the next quarter century or so, Americans became firmly conscious of the sexual abuse threat in a way they would not be again until the 1980s. Also as in the 1980s, awareness of that threat was firmly linked to feminist causes and agitation. And if I want to illustrate that concern, how better to do so than to use Spoon River? Here is the wrenching Nellie Clark:

I was only eight years old;And before I grew up and knew what it meantI had no words for it, exceptThat I was frightened and told myMother; And that my Father got a pistolAnd would have killed Charlie, who was a big boy,Fifteen years old, except for his Mother.Nevertheless the story clung to me.But the man who married me, a widower of thirty-five,Was a newcomer and never heard itTill two years after we were married.Then he considered himself cheated,And the village agreed that I was not really a virgin.Well, he deserted me, and I diedThe following winter.

Ye young debaters over the doctrine Of the souls immortality I who lie here was the village atheist, Talkative, contentious, versed in the arguments Of the infidels. But through a long sickness Coughing myself to death I read the Upanishads and the poetry of Jesus. And they lighted a torch of hope and intuition And desire which the Shadow, Leading me swiftly through the caverns of darkness, Could not extinguish. Listen to me, ye who live in the senses And think through the senses only: Immortality is not a gift, Immortality is an achievement; And only those who strive mightily Shall possess it.

Note the assumption that in the early twentieth century, in a small mid-Western town, a very ordinary person had access to all the arguments of the militant anti-religious writers, the infidels, not to mention the (Hindu) Upanishads. He appreciates Jesuss own words, which he originally read as poetry not revelation. The coughing reference sadly has a strong relevance today.

Less fortunate was the outspoken anti-religious militant and amateur Bible critic, Wendell P. Bloyd. Jailed for blasphemy, Bloyd was then locked up as insane, and beaten to death by a Catholic guard.

I fight the temptation to quote every last poem here, but just one more, please. In 1915, Americans were deeply divided over the thought of intervening in Europes Great War. Masters was obviously thinking of this in his poem about the Philippine war veteran, Harry Wilmans:

I was just turned twenty-one, And Henry Phipps, the Sunday-school superintendent, Made a speech in Bindles Opera House. The honor of the flag must be upheld, he said, Whether it be assailed by a barbarous tribe of Tagalogs Or the greatest power in Europe. And we cheered and cheered the speech and the flag he waved As he spoke. And I went to the war in spite of my father, And followed the flag till I saw it raised By our camp in a rice field near Manila, And all of us cheered and cheered it. But there were flies and poisonous things; And there was the deadly water, And the cruel heat, And the sickening, putrid food; And the smell of the trench just back of the tents Where the soldiers went to empty themselves; And there were the whores who followed us, full of syphilis; And beastly acts between ourselves or alone, With bullying, hatred, degradation among us, And days of loathing and nights of fear To the hour of the charge through the steaming swamp, Following the flag, Till I fell with a scream, shot through the guts. Now theres a flag over me in Spoon River. A flag! A flag!

Have you ever read accounts of how US soldiers went off to war in 1917 expecting the experience to be romantic and idealistic, with no idea of the realities they would be facing? Uh-huh. If something like Harry Wilmans had appeared a decade later, we would immediately attribute it to Lost Generation disillusion.

Its interesting, or depressing, to note that when the US actually entered the Great War in 1917, Masters yielded to nobody in his exalted rhetoric about the mystical experiences that young men would face in the approaching combat. In that movement from his earlier positions, he shared the trajectory of a great many other liberals, pacifists, and specifically religious believers in that short time span between 1915 and 1917.

Spoon River Anthology offers a wonderfully readable portrait of American society around 1915, and very much from the grass roots. Its well worth reading, and citing.

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These are the Winners of the 2020 Sony World Photography Awards – PetaPixel

Posted: at 12:53 am

The World Photography Organization has revealed the winners of this years Sony World Photography Awards, one of the most prestigious competitions in the industry. Each imagefrom the overall winner, to the category winners, to the Open, Student, and Youth winnersdemonstrate the power of photography to not only capture a meaningful moment, but to send a powerful message.

The overall winner and title of Photographer of the Year goes to Pablo Albarenga of Uruguay for his striking portrait series titled Seeds of Resistance. For this series, Albarenga created diptychs by photographing environmental activists alongside the land they are risking their lives to defend, both shot from above.

According to the projects description, the series explores the bond between the defenders and their landa sacred area in which hundreds of generations of their ancestors rest. The top-down view is meant to represent how these activists are willing to literally lay down their lives for their territory.

Photographer: Pablo Albarenga

Title: Seeds of Resistance 3

Image Description: Jos is one of the leaders of the Achuar indigenous people in the Sharamentsa community. He defends his rainforest by generating projects in collaboration with external organizations. One of them aims to create an indigenous group to monitor their territory from the ground and also by using aerial technology such as drones.

Left: Jos lying down in his yard over a banana leaf, dressed in traditional Achuar clothing.

Right: The Achuar rainforest at the back of Joss house. Sharamentsa, Pastaza, Ecuador.

Scroll down to see all of this years Professional Category winners, as well as the winners of the prestigious Open Photographer of the Year, Student Photographer of the Year, and Youth Photographer of the Year awards.

Photographer: Tom Oldham

Title: Black Francis

Image Description: Photographers for MOJO Magazine enjoy a rare degree of freedom and trust with what is usually an open brief. This allows us to capture our own experience with very high profile musicians. However, when photographing famous singers, we are often painfully aware of how many times the sitter has, well, sat. I like to acknowledge this and asked Charles (aka Black Francis) to show me the level of frustration photoshoots can generate. He offered up this perfect gesture of exasperation, and the image ran as the lead portrait for the feature.

Photographer: Ioanna Sakellaraki

Title: Aeiforia

Series Description: In an era of climate change and challenges around sustainability, islands are particularly vulnerable. Insular by their very nature, these land masses usually depend on fossil fuels and imports for energy (despite the high transportation costs). Until a few years ago, the idea of an island being fully reliant on clean energy was almost unthinkable, and yet it is about to become a reality on Tilos in Greece.

This tiny island in the Dodecanese archipelago is the first in the Mediterranean to run almost entirely on renewable energy. Over the years it has received energy from a diesel power plant on the neighboring island of Kos, via an undersea cable, but during the tourist season this has proven unreliable, leading to frequent power cuts. Since 2015, however, the supply on Tilos has been reinforced with a hybrid system exclusively powered by renewable sources including solar and wind power.

These images were taken in the islands capital, Meglo Chori, which is home to just 70 people during the winter. At night the passageways, rooftops and yards are illuminated by moonlight, presenting plenty of opportunities for photography. The islanders use various solar panels and energy devices including some handmade versions. The aim is to keep these running for as long as possible to help sustain households throughout the winter.

My series looks at how these strangely-shaped devices and wires become an organic part of the scenery at night. As darkness falls, a harmonic symbiosis exists between this technology and the dry and mountainous landscape of Tilos. Aeiforia is a Greek word for defining progress based on the use of natural ecosystems and energy sources to ensure future resources.

Photographer: Hsien-Pang Hsieh

Title: Hurry

Image Description: This image was taken shortly after I came to Germany to study. It was the first time I had travelled abroad alone, and I felt under enormous pressure. There were so many things to learn at school, and I was also trying to fit in with everyone else.

Although this man looks as though hes in a rush to get to work, hes actually standing still and its this dichotomy that appealed to me. These days, with life moving at such a frantic pace, its important for people to slow down. When Im facing challenges I look at this picture and it reminds me to take a moment and just breathe.

Photographer: Sandra Herber

Title: Ice Fishing Hut XV

Series Description: Winters in Manitoba, Canada, are long and often bitterly cold. When the temperature drops, and thick ice forms, lakes and rivers in the province play host to some amazing folk architecture in the form of ice fishing huts. These huts, shacks or permies (as they are called in Manitoba) must be transportable, protect their occupants from the elements and allow access to the ice below for fishing. Once these requirements have been met, the owners are free to express their personalities in the shape, structure and decoration of their huts they are large or small, decorated or plain, luxurious or utilitarian and everything in between.

I captured these images on Lake Winnipeg in December 2019. My hope for this series, which is a continuation of work I started in 2018, is to showcase the quirky charm of these huts by presenting a select few in a typology. The typology showing the huts framed in the same, minimalist style and in the same lighting allows the viewer to notice similarities in function and uniqueness in form, as well as to display these utilitarian structures as beautiful works of art.

Photographer: Maria Kokunova

Title: Motherhood

Series Description: It has been four years since I voluntarily isolated myself in a cosy cave of maternity, living in a country house in Leningrad Oblast. I deliberately restrict social contact and limit media consumption my whole life is bound up in my home, children and art practice. Against all expectations, however, my life is far from calm and quiet.

The notion of the cave has become, for me, the quintessence of what a personal experience is made up of. It has been linked to the Anima and the cult of the earth mother, the symbol of fertile soil that both gives life and takes it away. Francis Bacon, developing the idea of Plato, stated that the Idols of the Cave arise from education and custom in short, the past of each individual determines how they perceive things.

For me, isolation in my own cave triggered a childhood trauma that had not been resolved emotionally a stress disorder triggered by a series of four deaths and a suicide in the family over a very short period of time. In this project, I am constructing my own personal cave by combining photographs I have made in my parents house with pictures of the place I am living in now. I pair these images with the experience of a physical presence in Sablinskiye Caves, near my home. In a cave your senses are deprived, encouraging hallucinations. Under similar conditions, my memory produces its own illusions.

My work explores the idea that motherhood, and the awakening of primitive instincts such as unconditional love, aggression and fear of death, make life extremely meaningful. Despite its challenges, in-cave living boosts creativity: it becomes a personal myth, provides a plot for the project and initiates reflective processes.

Photographer: Chung Ming Ko

Title: Wounds of Hong Kong 7

Image Description: Chu, a 17-year-old Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination (DSE) student, was hit by a police baton while taking part in a human chain at Tai Po Station, Hong Kong, on 7 September 2019. He was seen lying in his own blood on cable TV. Chus head needed stitches and the phalanx of the little finger on his right hand was broken, requiring six bone screws. He has decided to postpone his DSE for a year in order to tackle his PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

Photographer: Robin Hinsch

Title: Natural gas flaring site, Ughelli, Niger Delta, Nigeria.

Series Description: Covering 70,000 sq km (27,000 sq miles) of wetlands, the Niger Delta was formed primarily by sediment deposition. The region is home to more than 30 million people and 40 different ethnic groups, making up 7.5% of Nigerias total land mass. It used to boast an incredibly rich ecosystem, containing one of the highest concentrations of biodiversity on the planet, before the oil industry moved in.

The Nigerian department of petroleum resources estimates that 1.89 million barrels were spilled in to the Niger Delta between 1976 and 1996. Whats more, a report from the United Nations suggests there have been a total of 6,817 spills between 1976 and 2001, amounting to some three million barrels of oil. So far, the authorities and oil companies have done little to clean up and neutralize the Delta, and oil spills are still very common. Half of the spills are caused by pipeline and tanker accidents, while others are the result of sabotage (28%), oil production operations (21%), and inadequate production equipment (1%).

Another issue in the Niger Delta is gas flaring, a byproduct of oil extraction. As the gas burns it destroys crops, pollutes water and has a negative impact on human health. Wahala was shot in Nigeria in 2019 and draws attention to untamed economic growth and its negative impact on ecology.

Photographer: Ronny Behnert

Title: Torii Einootsurugi

Image Description: Einootsurugi was one of the torii which was totally hidden. It was difficult to find that amazing spot but after a few hours of searching and exploring I found the torii. The special feature here was the symmetrical arrangement through the two lamps in the foreground. I spent more than three hours at this spot because of the spiritual atmosphere at this place!

Photographer: Brent Stirton

Title: Pangolins in Crisis 1

Image Description: A Temmincks Pangolin learns to forage again after being rescued from traffickers on the Zimbabwe/South Africa border. Pangolin caregivers at this anonymous farm care for rescued, illegally trafficked pangolins, helping them to find ants and termites to eat and keeping them safe from predators and poachers.

This is one of only three true Pangolin rescue and rehabilitation sites in the world. Pangolins are the worlds most illegally trafficked mammals, with an estimated one million being trafficked to Asia in the last ten year. Their scales are used in traditional Chinese and Vietnamese medicine and their meat is sold as a high-priced delicacy. As a result, pangolins are listed as critically endangered and all trade or consumption is illegal.

The Tiki Hywood trust undertakes public awareness campaigns on Pangolins, trains law enforcement and judiciary personnel, conducts research, and rehabilitates pangolins that have been confiscated from the illegal trade. They are based in Zimbabwe but operate with partners across Africa and Asia.

Photographer: Cesar Dezfuli

Title: Oumar. Guinea Conakry (1999).

Image Description: Left: Oumar portrayed on 1st August 2016 on board of a rescue vessel in the Mediterranean sea.

Right: Oumar portrayed on 19th January 2019 in Italy, where he currently lives.

Photographer: ngel Lpez Soto

Title: Senegalese Wrestlers 3

Series Description: Wrestling has become the number one national sport in Senegal and parts of The Gambia. It belongs to a larger West African form of traditional wrestling (known as Lutte Traditionnelle) and is more popular than football.

Senegalese wrestlers practice two forms of the sport: Lutte Traditionnelle avec frappe and Lutte Traditionnelle sans frappe (international version). The sport has become a means of social ascendance, making some athletes millionaires. Fights have been known to attract audiences of around 50 thousand in a stadium. For many, its a slice of African life, tradition and culture, in which there is a mix of animist and Muslim beliefs.

These pictures show wrestlers training on a beach in Dakar.

Photographer: Alessandro Gandolfi

Title: Immortality 8

Image Description: Pieve Emanuele (Milan, Italy), the Simulation Lab with a robot-patient created by Humanitas University: an extremely realistic scenario but one with zero risks, enabling the students to train for every type of emergency.

To learn more about the images above, or if you want to see the 2nd and 3rd place winners in each category, or explore some of the previously-announced Open and National Award winners, head over to the World Photography Organizations website.

About the author: All photos credited individually, used courtesy of the World Photography Organization.

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These are the Winners of the 2020 Sony World Photography Awards - PetaPixel

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Ramdesivir, hailed as cure for COVID-19: is history repeating itself? – National Herald

Posted: May 14, 2020 at 4:59 pm

In June 2002, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved Oseltamivir for prophylaxis and treatment of influenza. In 2005 SE Asia witnessed another corona virus (H5N1) outbreak avian or bird flu. Panic mongers went on an overdrive and projected up to 200 million deaths. Governments across the globe stockpiled the drug worth billions of dollars in a bid to prepare to meet the pandemic. It turned out to be unnecessary and ended in an anti-climax. Deaths due to the bird flu epidemic did not exceed a few hundred.

In 2009 we had another outbreak of coronavirus, this time the Swine Flu(H1N1). In no time, the WHO declared the A/H1N1 influenza a pandemic. The National Institute for Health and Care Exellence (NICE), the CDC, the WHO, and the ECDC were also quick to recommend the use of Oseltamivir both for treatment as well as prophylaxis. WHO included the drug in the list of essential medicine.

A red flag was raised in 2009 itself by Keiji Hayashi, a Japanese physician. He pointed out that the key piece of evidence for the conclusion--that Tamiflu reduced the risk of secondary complications such as pneumonia--was based on a manufacture-authored, pooled analysis of 10 manufacturer-funded trials, 8 of which were unpublished.

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Ramdesivir, hailed as cure for COVID-19: is history repeating itself? - National Herald

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COVID-19: Ministry of Ayush starts clinical trials for Ashwagandha and 4 other Ayurvedic herbs for coronavirus treatment; Here is what you need to…

Posted: at 4:59 pm

In a recent positive development, Ministry of Ayush, in collaboration with the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) has started clinical trials testing formulation of four important Ayurvedic herbs in fighting the novel coronavirus. The medicines under study include ashwagandha, guduchi, yasthimadhu, peepli and another formulated drug, 'Ayush 64'.

The trials, which will be done on health workers first will be conducted in high-risk zones identified by the Arogya Setu App first. Reports say that over 50 lakh people from cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Pune will be a part of the clinical trial. Ayush ministry is also studying the impacts of Ayush-based prophylactic interventions in some preventive cases. In the first phase, patients are likely to be administered ashwagandha and later, the other drugs will be given to patients, depending on how they react or severity of the symptoms.

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COVID-19: Ministry of Ayush starts clinical trials for Ashwagandha and 4 other Ayurvedic herbs for coronavirus treatment; Here is what you need to...

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