Viral Times

A viral novel to inject hearts with hope and health

Brain mapping gives us a path to understanding love

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A new book from Judith Horstman on how brain activity affects love includes a message about how much fMRI scans have taught us about the neuron dances that our minds do when we’re in love. From an article and interview with Horstman in the Marin Independent Journal:

We know more about the brain in love than ever before, thanks to technology such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) that maps brain activity in real time. And it’s shed light on how taking the Pill might affect the men that a woman’s attracted to (which could possibly be the reason behind some divorces); how love can be addictive (especially for women); how meditation might make you a better lover (who wouldn’t want to be?); and how taking acetaminophen just might relieve some of the often devastating pain of being jilted.

Horstman’s book “The Scientific American Book of Love, Sex and the Brain: The Neuroscience of How, When, Why, and Who We Love” examines how our biggest sex organ builds the emotion we all need. In Viral Times, Jenny Nation wins a Nobel Prize for her research into mapping brain activity in 2017. The discoveries lead her to develop a new drug that will impart love to all who take it — a most holy kind of love.

 

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Written by Ron Seybold

February 7, 2012 at 7:51 pm

Posted in Media reporting, Viral Times: Novel

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Herbs and oils can inhibit viruses

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Natural herbal remedies are on the medical list Angie uses in my novel Viral Times. I mention echinacea in chapters where this naturopath’s healing and protecting those with the New Flu, or even HIVE-5. It’s not a cure, but it can make it harder for viruses to replicate in a body where there’s a steady dosage level of echinacea. This herbal is taken internally, as a tincture, a tea, or even as capsules. Although we can’t know how effective the herb will become when it’s grown in 2020, the demand for a stronger echinacea is bound to spark some fresh breeding. It’s a lot like a Z-Pack of antibacterials — you need to stop using it for awhile once you’ve been on it, or its healing effects will be reduced.

Our world of the present is infused with these ancient remedies, ones we will come to rely upon as the insurance complex reduces the range of the populace that can afford traditional medicine. Lemongrass, witch hazel, slippery elm root, licorice, lavender — all these can boost the body’s ability to heal and repel viral effects. Look for them in a healing tea together. It’s okay, adding honey won’t inhibit the healing effects.

St. John’s Wort has antiviral properties as well, but it doesn’t play a role in Viral Times. The plant can suppress viral growth in cells. It’s applied as an oil when it’s most effective, and that’s going to trigger some fear in a society of 2020 that’s under siege from a touch-transmitted virus like HIVE-5. But we don’t have that struggle today. It’s got side-effects at high dosages that include extra sensitivity to the sun; sunburns are more likely. As an anti-viral, scientists have tried to separate the active ingredient hypericum out and put it in capsule form. But for the moment it’s only offered as a homeopathic remedy, meaning that a minute amount of the substance is used. And there’s tea, too, since it comes from a plant that grows throughout the US. St. John’s Wort has an classic history as a natural anti-depressant — and that’s also a state that will raise your immunity in Viral Times.

Written by Ron Seybold

February 6, 2012 at 8:52 pm

Press time arrives for Viral Times

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My novel Viral Times has gone to the printing press at last. Eight years of hope, rewriting, workshopping and research has delivered a 276-page saga that was born after an epic gestation. A release party is on tap in Austin, at the Writer’s Workshop, on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012 — since the novel’s story ends on a Sunday. Printed copies of the book will be available on Amazon and from this website, as well as in readings around Texas. An ebook is on its way to Barnes & Noble and Amazon as well.

There are many people to thank for their energy and patience over the years it took to finish this first novel. It almost feels like the close of a movie, when those many minutes of credits roll over the screen. Writing the acknowledgements turned out to be a joyful trek down the lane of history. Now the new life of the book begins, as I work — like every author — to share my newborn with the world of readers.

Written by Ron Seybold

January 26, 2012 at 11:59 am

Posted in Viral Times: Novel

Bird flu goes airborne after modification

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20120108-182153.jpgA story in the New York Times reports that scientists are learning that avian flu has acquired airborne transmission ability after it was modified for increased strength. The experiments were part of studies to learn how the virus behaves. Now this virus can survive in the nose of ferrets, mammals whose nostril temperature is 4 degrees C cooler than a bird’s gut, where H5N1 usually grows.

The article points out that there’s a difference in ferret noses and those of us higher order mammals. One point cannot be smoothed out, however. The crossover point of animal to human is a step closer after this discovery. That kind of crossover is a prospect for triggering a pandemic.

Written by Ron Seybold

January 8, 2012 at 7:15 pm

Posted in Public health, Virus protection

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The future is here. Are you wearing anti-viral gear?

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Sex. Disease. Love. Fear. Faith. Grief. Star reporter Dayton Winstead juggles all these in Viral Times, when a viral pandemic of HIVE-5 and AIDS Ultra drives out full-contact sex. After millions die in less than a year, new SimSuits on a network give the world the technology to experience SafeSex’s passion, lust and climax in simulations as real as any forbidden embrace. But love takes a beating in Viral Times. Casualties of loved ones mount in a pandemic that spreads through touch. Dayton’s lost wife haunts his heart and drives his work through a losing battle.

Although SimSuits keep the virus at bay, they also open the door for attack. Nobel-winner Jenny Nation’s evangelistic faith sparks the geneticist’s mission to erase the SexNet, the Suits’ lure, plus any sinner who wears one. On the seventh day after her ultimatum, Nation’s engineered virus Mighty Hand will sweep through the net and into the Suits to infect the millions who believe they are safe. She places her faith in a God that kills any who love outside His laws.

Humiliated and broken by a counter-attack against his investigations, Dayton meets Angie, a naturopath with her own losses in love and sex to bear. Spreading the medicine of natural immunity through ageless practices and cures, she finds herself on a head-on course with Mighty Hand’s death and Dayton’s love. Mighty Hand threatens to change their world forever, unless Angie and Dayton can find and forestall the first biological virus to attack through a network. Only if they can touch upon acts of faith—and believe that their past might heal the future—will they hope to recover love during Viral Times.

Viral Times: Going viral on 2-12-12 on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple’s iBookstore and more.

Written by Ron Seybold

January 8, 2012 at 6:35 pm

Posted in Viral Times: Novel

Humans wait at the end of the virus growth chain

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Flu has been with humans for thousands of years, but the rise of arboviruses sparks an era of desperate disease, a battle we are losing. These arboviruses—named after the arthropod mosquitoes, fleas and ticks bearing them—have skipped the virus trademark of preserving a human host. The arboviruses prefer reservoir hosts, birds which don’t catch the virus and only carry it. They enter the bird, whose blood kicks up the virulence a notch. The bird then offers up a more deadly virus to the bug’s next vector, the mosquito. Once a human is infected, the virulence is turned up beyond our natural immunity. This is one spark that heats up the world of 2018, when the trouble begins in Viral Times.

Written by Ron Seybold

December 27, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Posted in Virus behavior

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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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