Saturday, 27 June 2020

These 3 Incurable Diseases Will Have A Cure In 2020s


Incurable diseases


Some diseases which are being cured today were once major threats to lives around the world. However, with some series of research, studies, and investments, the medical solutions to some were discovered. Despite such advancement in the medical field, it is important to note that there are still lots of incurable diseases in the world today.

This post will reveal some incurable diseases that are likely to have a cure by the end of 2020s.


Diabetes

Diabetes still remains a genuine threat to lives around the world. The major cause of diabetes is an increase in blood sugar-level and fluctuations in insulin-levels. There are two types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2. Even though type 2 is as deadly as type 1, it can be managed by exercise, diet-control and insulin injections. Type 1 is more severe and deadly. Below we’ll discuss Pancreatic Islets transplantation which, in recent times, has shown promising results during its human experimental phase to treat diabetes.

Incurable diseases

What is Pancreatic Islets?

Pancreatic Islets are a group of cells in our pancreas that help produce insulin. The idea of Islet transplantation is old, and it was not approved by the FDA due to procedural complications and lack of research. One such complication was the cell self-destruction due to lack of oxygen, and second, rejection of Islet cells by the body.

Dr. Thakor, Assistant Professor, Department of Radiology, recently published a white paper addressing the oxygen depletion issue in newly transplanted Islet cells. In short, he was successful in making a collagen-based bio gel that could be safely transplanted along with the Islet cells and provide enough oxygen to new cells until the Islet cells are able to start producing their own oxygen reservoir. Thakor research is remarkable in a sense that Islet transplantation can be adopted sooner than later. The issue of body rejection of Islet cells can be resolved by immunosuppressant drugs.

Although the above treatments are in their initial phases, there is some light at the end of the tunnel for possible treatments for deadly diseases such as Diabetes mellitus.

Good news is, FDA is expected to approve Islet transplantation later this year.


Gaucher disease

For more than 40 years, scientists are trying to cure various types of genetic diseases and one such disease is Gaucher disease or GD. A person with this disease suffers from blood disorders which ultimately can lead to death due to overcrowding of normal cells with fatty substances.

Scientists, so far, have been successful in treating GD type 1 through ERT (enzyme replacement therapy), but type 2 and 3 remain incurable.

Although ERT is a breakthrough in treating GD type 1, lifelong intravenous infusions every 2 weeks is a big hurdle for both the patient and the doctor. All is not that bad, researchers have developed an oral treatment that works by slowing down production of glucocerebroside, the main enzyme responsible for blood anomalies. The substrate reduction therapy (SRT) was approved by the FDA in 2003 for patients with mild-to-moderate Gaucher disease. Thanks to modern medicine a more potent oral SRT medication is available which can replace IV infusions. The oral medication has to be taken twice a day to slow the production of glucocerebroside.

Unfortunately, SRT and ERT, are not effective in controlling GD type 2 and 3. To control type 2 and 3 scientists are experimenting on a next generation SRT which could cross the blood-brain barrier and, if successful, will not only cure GD but would also open doors for effective treatments for more advanced diseases such as Parkinson’s and Dementia.

Gene therapy is another approach scientists are exploring to treat various types of genetic orders, including GD.

AAV (Adeno-associated viruses) is a new type of gene therapy in which deactivated/modified viruses will be used to administer gene therapy at the cellular level. These viruses will not have the ability to infect, instead would have the ability to precisely replace the defected DNA strand with the healthy one.

Another promising contender in treating GD and other genetic disorders is the CRISPR-CAS system. This new gene-editing technology can permanently correct genetic irregularities. After successful clinical trials and decades of research, this technology is ready to revolutionize the field of biomedicine.


AIDS

Incurable disease

AIDS is probably the most dreaded amongst other sexually transmitted diseases around the world. In a continent such as Africa, it kills thousands of people every year. AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) is the latter stage of HIV (Human Immune Virus). Once it gets to such a stage, victims become prone to various pathogens.

Even though the above virus may seem quite frightening, scientists have already succeeded in controlling the disease with CCR5-Δ32 deletion treatment.

To multiply, HIV needs a co-receptor, CCR5, if that is controlled, the disease can be controlled, and the researchers did that and were able to eradicate HIV-related diseases like myeloid leukemia (AML) in some patients.

Although HIV can take a different route if CCR5 is not available, mainly blocking CCR5 can do the job as alternative routes for HIV spread depends on a lot of other factors.

Timothy Ray Brown is officially the first person to be cleared of HIV. Brown was studying in Berlin when he first contracted the disease. He was treated with stem cell transplantation from CCR5-Δ32 homozygous donor. He is now fully cured of HIV.

Another patient, Adam Castillejo, also received a similar treatment plus some low intensity radiation. Treatment was successful, and Castillejo is also fully cured of HIV as of 2020.

The ongoing CCR5-blocking treatment seems promising, and scientists hope that HIV will be fully cured in the 2020s.


Conclusion

Summarizing all above, there’s no doubt in my mind that we’re going to see some remarkable breakthroughs in different types of diseases and disorders in the 2020s.


Related:



Tuesday, 9 June 2020

3 Industries That are Doomed - At least For The Near Future: Part 2


doomed industries




We already highlighted some industries that are taking a hit from the COVID-19 pandemic in our previous post. As things are changing rapidly and the COVID-19 situation is getting worse day-by-day, our list needs to be updated.

In this post, we’ll touch those industries that we left in Part-1.



1. Restaurant Industry


Although restaurants will see a spike in online and takeaway orders, experts think that the restaurant industry will experience a sharp decline in gross profits and eventually face mass closures. The reason industry experts give is that as 75% of any restaurant’s revenue is dependent upon its dine-in customer and as dine-in is not possible the way it used to be, restaurants earning will fall drastically and the rent and salaries will supersede the profits, forcing closures.



Adding to the miseries of the restaurant industry, restaurant owners have started charging ‘COVID-19 surcharge’ to customers’ bills. In these times of massive unemployment all over the globe and business shutdowns, are you willing to pay a COVID-19 surcharge?

After an outcry on social media for a COVID-19 surcharge, some restaurants withdrew the surplus tax.

Even if you decide to risk the virus and go have delicious à la carte, below are the things you have to do before you’re allowed to be seated by the restaurant management.

  1. Wear a mask
  2. Bring alcohol wipes plus a sanitizer bottle
  3. Keep a safe distance
  4. Wash hands frequently

According to new SOPs, you must enter a restaurant with a face covering and remove it while you eat or drink. If you want to talk in-between, put on the mask and talk. Now, that’s annoying. Hold on, you went there for a pleasurable experience. Wait a minute, that’s not pleasurable. According to a recent research, droplets produced in a conversation can stay afloat in the air for 14 minutes.

In short, if it’s so much of a hassle to dine-in, most of us would prefer staying home or ordering online or prefer a takeaway.


2. Airline (Travel Industry)


As of now, everyone has been affected by COVID-19 one way or the other and the travel industry is no exception. As a matter of fact, if I say the travel industry is the worst hit by the pandemic it would not be an exaggeration. Below is some research supporting my point.



Among others, Australia has officially banned international air travel because of the ongoing pandemic. Two of the largest countries in the world, the U.S and China, have completely banned air travel to-and-from their respective countries.

In late March, IATA (International Air Transport Association) estimated a $252 billion revenue loss due to low demand in air travel, overall, which is below 44 percent from last year, 2019. In May, IATA predicted the airline industry’s total debt could increase to a whopping $550 billion by the end of 2020.

Airports Council International (ACI) predicted a total loss of $97 billion due to low traffic and fewer passengers traveling. At present, there’s only demand for goods carriers and storage aircraft in the airline industry.

A world leading airliner, Delta Air, was celebrating $1.6 billion in net profits at the start of 2020, but soon came out to be the worst affected by the pandemic as it was short of cash and is planning to drop 10 air routes due to low demand.

In the US, experts predict 23 passengers on each domestic flight and losses amounting to $400 million per day as expenses like rent and aircraft maintenance, salaries would far exceed profits.

As people are reluctant to board a plane due to the fear of disease contraction and no vaccine in sight, the future of air travel looks bleak. Even if a vaccine is available experts say, it may be months, if not years, for airlines to operate as pre-COVID era.

Aviation consultant CAPA estimates a large number of bankruptcies by smaller airlines in the near future. As these estimates are already becoming a reality, Avancia is the latest one to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Earlier Flybe (UK), Trans States (US), Compass Airlines (US), and Virgin Australia filed for bankruptcy due to the unforeseen impact of the ongoing pandemic.

Out of frustration, airlines have increased ticket fares manifolds making it almost impossible for a commoner to do air travel.

It is not all gloom and doom, S&P predicts that in the long term, once this disease subsides, air travel will resume to pre-pandemic levels. But the question is when will this disease subside? The answer is, no one knows yet.


3. Auto Industry


In times of pandemic/disaster, people go for life necessities rather than a luxury. I

would not necessarily buy a car during a pandemic and so would many of you. As a matter of fact, why would I go buy a car? Movement is restricted, people fear contracting the disease, most multinationals have allowed their employees to work from home even after lock-down is lifted, so if most of us need not to go to offices, we just don’t need a car. Now, let’s do a fact-check on why all is not well for the auto industry.

The global automobile industry was already going through a patchy path pre-COVID. Climate change, global trade wars, and competition due to technical innovation were already affecting the sales of new cars, and thus COVID-19 added fuel to the fire. Passenger car sales saw an 18.6% YoY decline in January. Car sales declined an astonishing 79.1% in February, which was the biggest fall recorded since 2008.

Experts are of the view that the auto industry may shrink to 15–25% matching the levels of the 2008 financial crisis, but there’s a difference between then and now. It was a financial crisis, big banks dissolved, there were a few bankruptcies, and that’s it, things started to get in order. Now, we’re facing a pandemic that has long-term repercussions. No one is thinking of investing, movement is restricted and people are in survival mode rather than going for luxuries.

The bad news for the auto industry doesn’t end there, large-scale manufacturing units remained closed for most of the first half of 2020, and it’s a simple calculation, no production, no sale. Although there’s virtually no demand, opening production units is just going to help spread the disease rather than spread the business.

On the finance side, things are not good either. It is estimated that auto industry losses would be around $5.7 billion, and Europe would be the worst-hit with overall losses amounting to $2.5 billion mainly due to disruption in the supply chain. International events like, Qatar Grand Prix, New York International Auto Show, 2020 Geneva Motor Show, that used to boost sales and investment are canceled or postponed.

The European Central Bank announced Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program amounting to €750 billion, which may help the auto industry survive for the rest of 2020. The ECB has relaxed its norms and expressed willingness to increase its size of asset purchase for as long as needed.

Here’s another terrible news, industry giants, BMW, Tesla and Honda remained closed for most of the first half of 2020. Even if they resumed production, there’s no guarantee of a rebound in sales as people are stocking up grocery and medicine rather than thinking of buying a car.

New health and safety protocols proved to be a final nail in the coffin as employees that already feared contracting the disease from crowded areas would now have to wear a face shield, gloves, protective gear, et cetera, prompting them to stay home rather than to go to the factory area in a spacesuit.

Yet another factor for the auto industry decline is the closure of dealerships. As most of the cars are sold via dealerships, if dealerships are closed down and car dealers are not dealing with customers, there’s no sale.


Conclusion


I think the devastating impact of COVID-19 is yet to be seen. Only time will tell that the industries that are mentioned above and in our previous post are able to survive the onslaught brought by this pandemic.


Tags: COVID19, future, doomed, industries


Related:

15 Future Predictions That Might Come True in The Year 2020 

Monday, 25 May 2020

4 Futuristic Quotes



"While I take inspiration from the past, like most Americans, I live for the future. "
                                                                By Ronald Reagan







"If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed; if in terms of ten years, plant trees; if in terms of 100 years, teach the people."
                                                                      By Confucius





"I never think of the future, it comes soon enough"
By Albert Einstein





"It is always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look further than you can see"
By Winston Churchill


Saturday, 23 May 2020

3 Industries That Are Doomed - At least For The Near Future: Part-1


23 May 2020

The tiny coronavirus was successful in infiltrating human cells on a micro level, but on a macro level, the virus has wreaked havoc on the human ecosystem. The economy, health, and natural lifestyle of a commoner have been disrupted.

On a more serious note, if this pandemic lingers on for another couple of months, which it definitely will, there’s no doubt in my mind that the recession, that has already set in, will convert into a depression plus a deflation, resulting in irrecoverable losses.

COVID-19, which has been declared a global pandemic by WHO, is having a devastating impact on the global economy. Below are some of the industries that have taken a hit from the novel coronavirus.


Cinema Industry


Before COVID-19, the cinema industry was already going through a patchy path. Except for the blockbusters, demand for big-screen had already plummeted. People now prefer to watch 4K-plus, Ultra HD movies from the comfort of their own homes, on Netflix, only for a $10 monthly subscription.

Industry giant, Disney, is all set to release their latest production digitally, but top cinemas threaten to boycott filming their latest release on the big screen. 

Although countries are reopening, the threat of catching the virus still exists and people are reluctant to go to movie theaters. Cinema industry was already facing tough times due to expensive tickets and digital streaming platforms, thus COVID-19 proved to be the last nail in the coffin.


Gym industry


The gym industry was booming before COVID-19. Good music, social interaction used to be a pleasurable experience, and gyming was more of a trend than just health and fitness. Gym goers were even willing to pay $100 a month subscription for the coaching and the posh environment, but things are changing rapidly and so is gyming.

The gym used to be a favorite place for fitness enthusiasts, but, now, it seems that it is a favorite place for COVID-19. Why? Because COVID-19 love places where there’s a lot of surface touching, so many people in such a small area, sweating, coughing, sneezing, and all that ensures its survival for years to come.

Lockdowns have helped at-home virtual fitness industry to boom. Gorilla Sports UK, a leading provider of fitness equipment in the UK, has requested its customers to cooperate with the delay in deliveries as the demand has sky-rocketed, whereas new orders keep pouring in.

ICON Health & Fitness, a leading fitness brand, announced a 600% increase in sales in April. People were panic-buying Pelotons, a noiseless state of the art in-home fitness cycle with live streaming availability. An indoor cycling shoe by Nike will be up for sales in the month of June.

All the above shows a doom and gloom scenario for the traditional brick-and-mortar gyms and studios.

Covid-19 has forced us to exercise indoors. This pandemic has accelerated the idea of a work-from-home gym. With new technology, internet-connected equipment, and apps, people are shifting from physical gyms to live-stream classes that can provide similar or in most cases a better experience from the comfort of their own home with a fraction of the cost.

To make matters worse, gyms that are opening have a long list of safety protocols. So even if you made up your mind to risk the virus, below is the list that you must follow to enter the gym.

  1. Face mask
  2. Gloves
  3. Bunch of towels
  4. Sanitizer
  5. Avoid the locker room
  6. Limit personal belongings

Certainly, I’m not the person who’ll put on a spacesuit to go to a gym, would you?


Open Office Space


I’ll start by questioning my readers would anyone of you invest in open office space, now, or in the near future? Definitely, your answer would be a big no.

MIT conducted an experiment on the travel speed and reach of a single person sneezing, the link provided shows the possible infection risk from a single sneeze. We can clearly see that a single sneeze can reach up to 27-feet and the normal social distancing protocols are 6–10 feet. I would prefer doing work from home rather than going to a deadly virus hot-spot and so would you.


In my opinion, open office space was already dying due to the advent of co-working space and remote work. Here’s a study that perfectly covers our point. 

In 2018, Royal society issued a white paper on behavioral changes in employees working in an open office environment. They observed a 70 % decrease in one-on-one communication and saw an increase in telecommunication.

In short, people don’t want face-to-face communication for trivial issues or simple instructions, they’d rather prefer a text message or if need be, a video call.

Another study published in the same year showed that people fear to catch an infection from crowded places and would avoid going to places with large gatherings.

My goal is not to fear you out, but here’s another news, 43.5% of workers on one floor of a call center in South Korea tested positive for COVID-19.

In the short-term, it seems likely that many of us will continue working from home even after government orders reopening.

Experts predict that even if offices reopen, sooner or later, they might look like an office-cum-hospital. In the long-term, we‘ll see a health department in office premises.

South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control conductive an investigative report on a call center building in Seoul, South Korea. They were surprised to see 94, out of 216, positive cases, and 90% of the cases were from most crowded places on the floor.

Conclusion


Things are bad and they are going to get much worse by the day, so we must re-think and re-shape our lives to survive the deadly pandemic.

Overall, I think closed spaced industries such as cinema, gym, and open space offices, among others which we couldn't discuss here, are doomed at least for the time being.

Authur: bfazal














Tuesday, 19 May 2020

5 Awesome Gadgets That Would Be Available In Coming Years

19 May 2020

The world of technology doesn’t seem to know any bounds in terms of growth at the moment. A proof of this is how companies seem to manufacture gadgets that are highly sophisticated. These are to ensure life is easier for everyone. 

The major aim of this post is to reveal some awesome gadgets that will be available in the near future. Watch out for these innovations which are expected to take the world by storm.


Smart washing machine


The advent of washing machine technology has made life easier for most people around the world. However, by the year 2025, this technology is expected to become even better. Engineers are doing everything to ensure this technology becomes smarter than it is at the moment.

For instance, they will function whenever energy seems to be very cheap, mix detergent, and handle every other aspect of washing.


Smart umbrellas


Most people believe the function of an umbrella is only to help provide some cover for the scourging sun and heavy rainfall. This is far from the truth as smart umbrellas are expected to perform better functions. For instance, they can forecast the weather very accurately.

These umbrellas come with some blue patterns through which they can communicate with their owners. Getting connected with AccuWeather is very easy given the wireless receiver that it comes with.


Autonomous cars


The idea behind autonomous cars is very fascinating. According to experts, autonomous driving isn’t far away given the fact that the test has been successfully carried out by Google and some other notable brands.

These cars are characterized by long range sensors to improve their vision. It is similar to what planes have. Imagine sitting down while a car drives you around without the help of any driver. This is comfort at its best. This technology is expected to be used by members of the public by 2025.


Organic lights


LED bulbs have been a complete revolution as compared to the traditional bulbs people were using before. They shine very bright and are known to save lots of energy. However, it has been predicted that the emergence of organic lights will make them become obsolete in the near future.

These bulbs have been built to mimic sunlight, which is probably one of their major advantages. The light they will produce is more natural as compared to that of the traditional LED bulbs.


Remote telemedicine


In the nearest future, home diagnosis will be possible through remote telemedicine. A new and more effective technology is being developed to make this become a reality. Doctors will communicate with patients through video calls to carry out diagnosis and make prescriptions.


The healthcare system has always been criticized for being inadequate over the years when it comes to meeting needs of patients. Remote telemedicine will change all of this through some high-tech video conferencing technology. 

Monday, 18 May 2020

3 Future Industries That Outperformed Due To COVID-19: Part 2

future industries



19th May 2020 

Although research on the impact of coronavirus on different industries is vast, some industries are worth mentioning as these industries are experiencing exponential growth. I covered some of them in part-1. We’ve highlighted the industries we left in part-1, here, and this is a continuation of the previous blog post posted on 9th April 2020.

Experts have written a lot about coronavirus and its impact on various aspects of our lives. In this post, part-2, we’ll delve deeper into what we left in part-1.


Gaming





Recent lockdowns have really affected our outdoor activities. We spend more of our time staying indoors than outdoors. Video gaming has become a billion-dollar industry for at least two decades. As the threat of coronavirus continues and people stay indoors, we’ll witness unbelievable growth in some industrial sectors in the coming months. Let’s do a fact check and see the current standing of the video game industry and where will it be in the coming times.

The NPD Group (National Purchase Diary Panel Inc.) has published its report on the video game industry analyzing recent trends in March 2020. According to the report, software sales grew 34% to $739 million last month compared to March 2019, and hardware sales grew an impressive 63%.

Another report from Verizon showed that there was a 115% growth in video game usage during COVID-19.

According to App Annie, a leading mobile app analysis platform, there was an increase of 40% weekly average downloads compared to the same month, March 2019, last year.

As this pandemic is ongoing, one can imagine the growth that these industries are poised for.



Cashless transactions/Cryptocurrency






I’m surprised at how pandemic changes the perspective. Before COVID-19, governments were reluctant to integrate blockchain technology in their financial channels. Now, every nation wants ‘contact-less/cash-less‘ currency.

Along with blockchain transactions, Visa, Amex, and Mastercard transactions have exploded. It seems though as cash transactions are quickly becoming a thing of past.
This pandemic has brought about big changes in our natural lifestyle. People don’t like to do a handshake, they want a 6m distance. In these circumstances, physical cash transactions seem impossible, paving the way for digital currency.

The future of cryptocurrency looks strong, and COVID-19 has just sped up its acceptance and adoption. There’s no doubt that cryptocurrency/blockchain is here to stay and ultimately will be beneficial to mankind, especially in times of pandemics and disaster.


Health and Lifestyle






Thanks to COVID-19, people, now, are taking their health seriously. They have more time to spend on health and lifestyle than they used to. People try to eat healthy food, especially food that helps to boost their immunity to fight bacteria and viruses.

Being healthy and fit used to be our choice, but now it looks as if it’s the government’s choice. Governments around the world are forcing you to be fit and healthy. For example, you can not enter a grocery store if your overall body temperature is elevated, even slightly. Out of fear of coronavirus, the shopkeeper will not allow you to enter if you’re not wearing a mask or if their thermal scanner is showing raised body temperature. If you are not healthy and fit, they’ll not allow you on their premises. In short, you should be healthy enough to buy groceries.

Now, to ensure health, we try to eat healthy and exercise more while staying at home. As we get more cautious about our health, home exercise programs and the fitness equipment industry are well-positioned to boom.

Live-to-stream fitness classes have surged 513%. Sales of fitness accessories and equipment have skyrocketed. Data from online e-commerce websites show an increase of almost 100% in the sale of fitness equipment such as yoga mats and dumbbells.


Conclusion


So far, the industries mentioned in part-1 and part-2 were worth mentioning up till now because we witnessed exponential growth in them. As time is changing fast, each day brings about new research about the novel coronavirus and its effects on our fastly changing world, changes keep coming, so stay tuned, there may be more parts to come.



Tags: COVID19, outperformed, future, industries




Saturday, 9 May 2020

4 Key Points For The Future Of Artificial Intelligence

artificial intelligence


9th April 2020



There is no doubt that the world of artificial intelligence seems to be growing stronger by the day. A proof of this can be traced to how it tends to be impacting almost all the industries. This has made experts predict that artificial intelligence will play a major role in daily activities of a common man in the near future.

In case you seem to be doubting how artificial intelligence is changing the world, ensure to read the details of this post from start to finish. It will be revealing some of the reasons why AI is the future.  


Improvement in transportation





The number of people dying annually from fatal road accidents is really alarming. This has been a major nightmare to transporters over the years which is why the emergence of AI will be seen as a positive development. Companies are embarking on research to ensure success in the creation of autonomous vehicles.


There is no doubt that the reality of self-driving is getting closer faster than anyone can imagine. Brands like Google Waymo, Lyft, and Uber are trying to make this happen. The building of autonomous cargo ships shouldn’t be taken for granted too. These are all aimed at reducing the rate of accidents. 

Its impact in the world of finance



For the purpose of effective security measures, AI seems to be the last resort for most governments around the world. For instance, experts have predicted that by the year 2030, most countries would depend on AI more than ever before.

This is evident in the use of blockchain technology which ensures improved security. Even central banks around the world will be affected by this development. This will happen through the use of bitcoin which is the platform through which blockchain functions. As countries are embracing blockchain technology, they are indirectly accepting the use of bitcoin.  

Revolutionizing the healthcare sector


The various healthcare sectors in countries around the world have always experienced the problem of poor administration and services rendered to patients. However, the future looks very bright through the innovations of AI which will ensure a higher level of efficiency.


For instance, there is intelligent emergency triage which ensures that the process of diagnosing symptoms in individuals is fully automated. The advent of robotic surgery shouldn’t be ignored. 

Improving eCommerce industry



The impact of AI in the ecommerce industry is already being felt as companies are experiencing improved performances in terms of revenue generated. Experts are predicting that it will only get better. There are lots of AI tools being created to make companies much better at what they do.

They have the chance of using these tools to boost sales over different periods of time. For instance, there are AI tools created to extract data of Facebook registered users. This means companies are spending less having to advertise their products to target audiences.




Tags: artificial intelligence future, AI companies, AI future


Related: 


These 3 Incurable Diseases Will Have A Cure In 2020s

Some diseases which are being cured today were once major threats to lives around the world. However, with some series of research, studies,...