Viral Times

A viral novel to inject hearts with hope and health

Archive for the ‘Virus protection’ Category

Israeli pharma promises immunity boost drug

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Cancers are caused by viruses. (So many diseases start with a virus.) A new drug might be able to treat people who already have a cancer, by employing the body’s natural immunity T-cells to attack cancer cells. No mention in this link about availability of the drug, but since it’s developed outside the US, approval can be much swifter. You’d still need traditional chemo/surgery for advanced cancers. But this is a novel way to get a pharma solution to ally with natural immunity. If you can afford the booster shots.

This is the kind of medicine that the PharmAlliance wants to create in Viral Times. There is the US government in the way of approving that drug, in my future of 2021. But for now, here’s the early report on ImMucin.

A traditional vaccine helps the body’s immune system fend off foreign invaders such as bacteria or viruses, and is administered to people who have not yet had the ailment. Therapeutic vaccines, like the one Vaxil has developed, are given to sick people, and work more like a drug.

Vaxil’s lead product, ImMucin, activates the immune system by “training” T-cells –– the immune cells that protect the body by searching out and destroying cells that display a specific molecule (or marker) called MUC1. MUC1 is typically found only on cancer cells and not on healthy cells. The T-cells don’t attack any cells without MUC1, meaning there are no side effects unlike traditional cancer treatments. More than 90% of different cancers have MUC1 on their cells, which indicates the potential for this vaccine.

ImMucin is foreseen as a long-term strategy — a shot every few months, with no side effects — to stop the cancer from reoccurring after initial treatments, by ensuring that the patient’s own immune system keeps it under control.

Written by Ron Seybold

November 11, 2011 at 11:21 am

Posted in Public health, Vaccines, Virus protection

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The future of naturopathic medicine

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Tabitha Parker

Utne Reader has posted an article about medicine that plays a major role in defense of viruses in my novel Viral Times. Dr. Tabatha Parker’s skill set is similar to Delta’s, as well as my co-protagonist Angie Consoli. They are naturopaths, 10 years into the future.

The global health care system is in crisis, says Dr. Tabatha Parker, founder of Natural Doctors International (NDI). It relies on the exportation of a Western model—one that doesn’t even work in the countries it’s coming from—to developing countries that can’t afford it.

Parker, a naturopathic doctor, sees NDI as a bridge between exported conventional medicine and centuries-old indigenous healing techniques, such as the use of herbal medicine, which in some places in the world is the dominant type of health care. “That has to be a part of the system if you’re going to actually reach people,” Parker says. Naturopathic doctors “are trained in a way that no one else in the world is trained: to be [that] bridge.”

Read more:

Written by Ron Seybold

November 11, 2011 at 10:22 am

Haptics shows the steps to SafeSex

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One of the crucial concepts for Viral Times shows up early in the novel. In the first chapter of my novel the science of haptics, already well-developed today, has started to fill the gap that people create between themselves and communicable disease caused by viruses.

Given enough years and enough desire, haptics will offer the engine to drive the most serious home electronics device: The SimSuit. You only need to look at the Wikipedia definition of haptics to see how a well-built, broadband suit could help us reach out and touch.

Haptics is the study of touching as nonverbal communication. Touches that can be defined as communication include handshakes, holding hands, kissing (cheek, lips, hand), back slapping, high fives, a pat on the shoulder, and brushing an arm. Touching of oneself may include licking, picking, holding, and scratching. These behaviors are referred to as “adaptor” and may send messages that reveal the intentions or feelings of a communicator. The meaning conveyed from touch is highly dependent upon the context of the situation, the relationship between communicators, and the manner of touch.

In 1992 I worked as a computer tech journalist and followed an emerging video game experience that let players fight in role-play onscreen, their movements tracked by a sensory ring on the floor, surrounding them. Less than 17 years later we have the Nintendo Wii — so popular it was sold out for stretches of 2008 — and advanced enough to let us play sports with one another. Or Just Dance.

An article today in Fast Company tracks the fun quotient and sweat rating of Wii games. By 2019, an emerging crisis of viral times can create a very different, haptic kind of sweat.

Written by Ron Seybold

January 5, 2010 at 1:51 pm

See Swine Flu safety info. See data illustrated.

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Journalist David McCandless, a London-based author, writer and designer, has a superior summary of everything which a Swine Flu vaccine can do, based on a wide variety of public sources. Best of all, it’s presented in illustrated format.

One major surprise to me is the amount of mercury (thimerosal) that’s inserted into flu shots. A can of tuna has about twice as much mercury as any thimerosal you will find in an injection. The nasal application of the H1N1 vaccine contains zero micrograms of mercury. But getting vaccinated with an inhaled formula isn’t recommended for anyone over 50. This is the same age group that has only a 4 percent chance of contracting this kind of influenza. The data so far also indicates that this flu is being contracted mostly by people under 25. He also concludes that the chances of dying of the current vaccine are more than 1 in a million.

McCandless’s Swine Flu data is at, along with dozens of other interesting presentations.

Written by Ron Seybold

December 3, 2009 at 7:36 pm

WHO reports: Swine vaccine now in 65 million bodies

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The World Health organization has surveyed 16 countries and believes that 65 million vaccinations for swine flu have taken place worldwide. Perceived risks of vaccination include Guillain-Barre syndrome, and the WHO report says “fewer than 10 cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome have been reported” among people who received vaccines.

24 more countries are among those surveyed by the WHO, but the results in this majority of the world aren’t part of the report. Despite the safety reports, a new CNN poll asserts that the majority of Americans don’t want to receive an H1N1 vaccination.

According to the poll, 55 percent of adults don’t want to get the swine flu vaccine and don’t plan to get a shot. Another one in five say they want to get inoculated but haven’t taken any steps to do so; 14 percent want a shot and have tried to get it but have been unsuccessful. Just 7 percent have been inoculated for H1N1.

A “small number” of deaths have been reported to the World Health Organization, but given its optimism for the vaccine, the WHO believes its investigations can’t find a link between vaccine and death. “The results of completed investigations reported to WHO have ruled out a direct link to pandemic vaccine as the cause of death.”

But the CNN poll lists concern over side effects as the top reason more than half of the US residents surveyed don’t want a vaccine. The poll director calculates that 28 percent of the adult population don’t plan to get inoculated due to the risk of dangerous side effects.

Written by Ron Seybold

November 19, 2009 at 7:12 pm

More social distancing from flu

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The Infoworld enterprise computer newspaper reports that working outside the office is a new employment perk.

The H1N1 pandemic is pushing companies to upgrade their secure remote access capabilities in order to enable more employees to work out of their homes and other remote locations in an emergency.

Vendors of remote access technologies are reporting an unexpected increase in demand for their products over the past several months as a result of H1N1-related concerns.

Being honest, the lack of contact with other humans and their coughing is one sure way to reduce chances of infection. It will, however, lead to severe withdrawal from the physical pleasures we enjoy in life. And so, the need for SimSuits is born in Viral Times.

Written by Ron Seybold

November 12, 2009 at 10:27 pm

Glaxo Smith-Kline goes behind the viral mask

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ActiProtectThe British pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline has created an anti-virus face mask, new to the world markets this year. The FDA approved the masks, called ActiProtect, for sale to US health care workers as an “occupational use” product. GSK claims in its testing that ActiProtect kills 99.99 of viruses that make contact with the mask, dead within one minute. GSK uses the term “inactivated” for the virus particles. By most measures, viruses are not alive until they latch onto a host’s tissue.

Although H1N1 is among the viruses listed that ActiProtect’s coating kills, the 2009 strain hasn’t been included among those vulnerable to the mask. ActiProtect doesn’t include a drug in its manufacture, simply an antiviral inactivation coating on the surface of the FFP2 mask. The mask is a coated version of a protection mask that’s been in use in industry for years. GSK has a patent pending on ViruCoat, which covers the outer surface of the mask.

You can’t buy one of these unless you’re in the healthcare business today. GSK would like to change that to expand its sales, but the US FDA ruling stands in the way. You wouldn’t consider the masks attractive, but they might be effective. Or not, depending on how many flu viruses particles are in the air. Fashion? You may have wait awhile. In the world of Viral Times, the society wears SafeMasks designed by Hugo Boss and Cole Haan.

For a 2009 modeling session, you can watch an entertaining YouTube video of the ActiProtect masks. Somehow, a British voice doing the explanation and narration makes it all seem less dire.

Written by Ron Seybold

October 15, 2009 at 11:53 pm

Posted in Virus protection