Recently, the research team of Xu Yu, an immunologist at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lagon Institute of Medicine, discovered a second case of HIV infection who healed without treatment. Among the more than 1.19 billion blood cells and 500 million tissue cells in this newly discovered “Esperanza patient”, scientists did not detect the complete HIV genome. Related research was published in “Annuals of Internal Medicine” on November 15.
In August last year, Loren Willenberg, known as the “San Francisco patient,” became the world’s first HIV-infected person who healed naturally. The patient’s genome did not find a complete HIV virus sequence, which indicates that her immune system may have cleared the HIV virus reservoir. Scientists call this phenomenon a clear cure. Xu Yu’s research team sequenced billions of cells in this patient, but did not find any HIV sequences that could be used to make a new virus.
After the human body is infected with HIV, the virus will copy its genome into the cell’s DNA to form a virus reservoir, and then continue to produce viruses. In this state, the virus can effectively evade anti-HIV drugs and human immune responses. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) can prevent the production of new viruses, but cannot eliminate the virus reservoir, so daily treatment is needed to suppress the virus.
Among AIDS patients, there is a special group of people called “elite controllers” whose immune system can control the virus without using ART. In other words, although they still have a reservoir of HIV virus in their bodies, a kind of immune cells called “killer T cells” can suppress the virus, so there is no need for drug treatment.
The researchers said that the two patients share a specific killer T cell response. If they can understand the immune mechanism behind this response, they may be able to develop treatments that will encourage the immune systems of other patients to mimic these responses in the case of HIV infection and achieve a clearing cure.
Scientists have long believed that adequate sleep at night is essential to maintaining health. Studies have pointed out that poor sleep is accompanied by obesity and can even cause high blood pressure and diabetes. But these studies are mainly limited to adults (especially shift workers). Few people are involved in the health effects of sleep patterns of newborn babies within half a year.
The recently published “Sleep” magazine published a new study to investigate the relationship between sleep and health of newborn babies within six months. Finding that babies sleep well in the first few months of life will be an important factor in preventing early overweight.
The researchers used an activity recorder attached to the ankle joint to track the sleep activities of 298 newborn babies. Scientists have found that as long as an extra hour of sleep is added every night, the risk of overweight infants from 1 to 6 months will be reduced by 26%. Babies who wake up less at night have a lower risk of being overweight.
This study emphasizes the importance of healthy sleep for all ages. In order to ensure a good sleep for the baby, parents should provide a dark and quiet space for the baby to sleep.
Recently, Aoyama Aoyama, a visiting professor at the University of Tsukuba in Japan, released research results at an international seminar hosted by Fukushima University, saying that the radioactive substance cesium 137 that entered the ocean in the 2011 Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident reached the west coast of the United States and moved northward. After passing through the Bering Sea in the northernmost part of the Pacific Ocean, it will return to the northeastern coast of Japan after about 7 to 8 years.
Qingshan collected surface seawater at 761 locations in the North Pacific, investigated the radioactivity of cesium-137 and cesium-134, collected observational data such as joint research and monitoring by governments of various countries, and used model calculations to analyze trends. He found out the route of cesium-137 returning to Japan around the southern side of the North Pacific, and the route from the Sea of Japan through the Tsugaru Strait back to the Pacific.
This analysis showed that some cesium-137 reached the west coast of the United States and moved northward along the Alaska Peninsula. In 2017, its radioactivity was measured at 0.003 becquerels per liter of seawater in the Bering Sea and 0.004 becquerels in the Chukchi Sea.
Around 2018, along the northeastern coast of Japan, the activity of cesium-137 radioactivity began to rise, exceeding 0.002 becquerels in 2019. In the Tsugaru Strait, which crosses from the Sea of Japan to the Pacific side, the activity of cesium-137 peaked around 2017 and has since decreased.
Therefore, Qingshan analyzed that it was the cesium-137 that returned southward from the Bering Sea along the Kamchatka Peninsula. He said that through this study, “the cesium that originated from the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has identified major trends in the entire North Pacific over the past 10 years.”