Aizan reads stuff #3

Saturday April 6, 2019

Why Is 70% Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) a Better Disinfectant than 99% Isopropanol, and What Is IPA Used For?. This is an important question for me because I use 70% EtOH on a daily basis. The reasons are (1) water in the 70% EtOH acts as catalyst and can penetrate cell wall rapidly, allowing the EtOH to coagulate proteins inside the bacteria rapidly; (2) extra water content slows down evaporation compared to 91% EtOH. However, 99% EtOH still has its use, for example, cleaning tech devices because water can damage electronic components.

Concrete: the most destructive material on Earth The question is how? (1) it produces 4-8% of world’s CO2; (2) consumes a tenth of world’s industrial water; (3) adds to heat island effect; (4) factories producing concrete also produce toxic particulates. This article itself is a long-read so I am not doing the right kind of justice here. Feel free to read it yourself and spend 15-20 minutes internalizing the information.

To Stay in Love, Sign on the Dotted Line. The author learned from her past relationship where terms were not explicit and she did not have room in her past relationship. To quote the author, “It’s amazing how empowering this can feel: to name your desires or insecurities, however small, and make space for them. It’s such a simple thing, but it wasn’t easy. I wasn’t used to knowing what I wanted in a relationship, much less saying it aloud. Now, I have to do both.” This looks healthy, but both sides need to be really mature navigating this facet of relationship.

How Measles Hacks the Body—and Harms Its Victims for Years. I am not familiar with measles virology. Seems like it primarily infects alveolar macrophages, then travel through the lymph node, then give the virus to B cells. Somehow, it could cause pathogenic amnesia, a concept that I am not familiar with. What makes it a crazy spreader is because the virus particles somehow accumulate in the windpipe, allowing cough to bounce it out.

Taking Sleep to Heart. Premise: sleep protects against atherosclerosis. In mice that experienced fragmented sleep, there was a higher level of circulating neutrophils and monocytes in the blood. Apparently, a sleep-related hormone hypocretin plays a role in regulating the leukocyte production, where mice that experienced fragmented sleep had a reduced level of hypocretin. Apparently, hypocretin controls the CSF-1 expression.

Screw Finding Your Passion. To quote him, “the problem is not lack of passion for something. The problem is productivity. The problem is perception. The problem is acceptance.”

NIH begins first-in-human trial of a universal influenza vaccine candidate. The vaccine is known as “H1ssF_3928”, and it seems like this has the form of HA stem mounted on ferritin nanoparticles vaccine platform. Previous studies employed the ferritin nanoparticles, but with full HA stem+head. Note that this is the Phase 1 clinical trial, and hopefully we are going to see more interesting stuff from this study. The study identifier is “NCT03814720” and this is its page on Clinical Trials website.

Introducing the most-unlikely public health hero ever: giant rats. Great, but the news article does not list study that formally and systematically compares the conventional method of detecting TB in mucus/sputum vs. this rat-based method. But I am genuinely surprised and excited to see this.

A Rise In Depression Among Teens And Young Adults Could Be Linked To Social Media Use. But the article body argues that it is not the advent of social media per se, rather the time spent not socially communicating with other people physically IRL. The argument here is that in-person social contact is good for mental health. On a side note, after removing Instagram from my phone, my happiness and focus indices increased by few percentage points.

How Inuit Parents Teach Kids To Control Their Anger. Basically, don’t yell. Keep it cool, always. Tell stories to children to keep them away from doing what you don’t like. This is a long-read but compacted with messages. Also, the article says something about Canadian government forcing them to stay in town instead.

A New Discovery Upends What We Know About Viruses. The virus of interest here is the faba bean necrotic stunt virus (FBNSV). Its genes are split among 8 segments, each of which is packaged into its own capsule, and these 8 segments can reproduce themselves, even if they infect different cells. This is so wild.