What is mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine? - Virus 15

Friday, August 7, 2020

                                                         Painting at my neighborhood

As we might know that messenger ribonucleuc acid (mRNA) play crucial role to supply information to DNA in protein synthesis to regulate cells and tissues in our body.

Unfortunately, virus, in this case Covid-19 “manipulate” RNA to enable to enter cells, then duplicate itself. Consequence of this activity:

- infected people to be sick or dead

- if virus infected lung, then patient to be difficult to breath.

Vaccine is one of effective methods to control virus. Traditionally, vaccine was made by weaken or killed virus, then injected into body to stimulate immune system to produce antibody.

The traditional method has taken long time (could be years and even a decade) to develop, because of:

- make sure that weaken or dead virus be able to stimulate immune system to produce antibody

- we must certain that virus is dead or weak, not strong enough to infect human.

- search suitable media for virus to well growing

- need large scale to test effectiveness and safety of vaccine.

In 1990, scientist develop mRNA vaccine which contain viral protein. This viral protein could trick immune system to “think” that body is attacked by real virus. Then, immune system responses by producing antibody to fight virus.

In case of Covid-19, the technique is quite advance where:

- additional certain substance into mRNA to reduce negative effects of vaccine such as inflammation.

- using spike protein, a kind of protein for virus to enter cells. Thus, antibody result from vaccine to be effective to combat Covid-19.

The mRNA vaccine shown good result in first and second clinical trials, hope, will be the best result in the final trial.

Beautiful and Health Benefits of Red Button Ginger Plant

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Red flower of Red button ginger plant, illustration only

Ginger is well known from Southeast Asia countries, domesticated for purposes culinary and medicine.

Flowers of ginger (Zingiber officinal) are beautiful, they have colors variations include white, yellow, red and combine of many colors.

I saw very red of flower from my neighbor garden, get my attention, because it looks unusual, eye catching flower.

My neighbor said the plant called as “Red Button Ginger Plant” with scientific name called Costus woodsonii.

This plants came from central America, they can be used in forms of:

- fresh 
- powdered
- dried
- oil

Beautiful flower, just for illustration

The ingredients are put on drinks, processed foods and even in cosmetic. Some part of plant are edible and used as recipe ingredients.

Traditionally, this plant has health benefits, some of them:

- improve digestion
- improve flu
- help to fight common cold
- decrease nausea

Have you seen Red Button Ginger Plant?

Have you Seen Black Racer Snake Comes in your Backyard?

Saturday, August 1, 2020
A black racer snake in the backyard.

First, we saw skin of snake on our backyard sometimes ago. Its could be Black racer snake, because this snake is a common reptile in the southern USA.

Coluber constrictor is scientific name for black racer. It is said the snake is active during daylight, and not poisonous.

Few other characters of black racer are:
- fast moving snake (why called as racer)
- length could reach to 55 inches (140 cm)
- color blind
- yearly to shed its skin
- live in woody, garden or yard areas
- predators of snake are hawk and bigger birds.
- similar appearance to venomous snake called water moccasin.

Black racer in other position

We might wonder about what kind of food Black racer eat. Here some:
- mole
- bird
- lizard
- frogs
- rodents
- insect
- smaller snakes

We never saw snake’s eggs in our yards. Some sources said the snakes could have about 20 eggs yearly with 40% survival rate for young born.

In fact, black racer snakes have positive impact on yards, because they may eat or get rid of the animals which cause damaging to the plants in the garden or yards.

However, in case you do not like this snake to stay in your yard, the best way that you snatch this reptile by trap.

Have you seen any snakes in your gardens or backyards? If so, what do you do?

What is Safe Dosage of Covid-19 Vaccines? – Virus 14

Tuesday, July 28, 2020
A vaccine for Covid-19 (credit to Reuter UK)

The good news that we are in phase 3 clinical trials with 30,000 volunteer at 89 different site in the USA now.

We might have questions:
- is safe for human?
- what is safe dosage of Covid-19 vaccines?

Yes, vaccine, in this case, developed by cooperation between federal agency and biotechnology company, National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH) and Moderna is safe.

It is reported safe because it had been went through two clinical phases, and will complete final phases with thousand volunteer soon.

There are 3 dosages are tested so far:
- 25 micro gram (µg)
- 100 µg
- 250 µg

The results shown that all 3 dosages have positive impacted where its generated immune responses. No serious effects have been recorded.

The phase 3 will involve dose of 100 µg, it is medium doses. Researchers use this medium dose, because:
- at first shot, there is little reaction.
- after 1 month, there is moderate reaction at second shot.

In case of 25 µg dosage, the reaction is mild. There is severe reaction when using 250 µg dosage.

We are waiting the best outcome from clinical trials of 300,000 volunteer as soon as possible, probably by next 3 months!

Farmer Market is Dominated by Homemade Products

Thursday, July 23, 2020
Homemade face masks

We have at least three farmer markets close by our neighborhood, they mainly selling produces from vegetable to fruit, flowers to potatoes, honey to cheese and any farming relate produces.

The markets open hours from 6.30 AM to 6.30 PM, and 7 days a week. Not quite short hours compared to ethnic groceries which open from 9.00 AM to 7.00 PM only.

However, one of our neighborhood “farmer market” is different than others in term of selling items and opening hours, the market called as “Harb Oasis.”

This market is collection of small vendors (farmers), they rented the available spaces. Market management said that there are 50 stalls.

It is open about 5 hours, from 8.30 AM to 1.30 PM. But, some booths may little bit longer, maximum at 3.00 PM, depend very much on the number of visitors. If there is crowd, then longer opening hours will be.

Bracelets, homemade accessories

The Harb Oasis is a weekly “farmer market,” every Saturday. 50 vendors fall in categories of:

- farmers
- food sellers
- craft makers
- artists 

Summer style and accessories

We may find plenty of products to buy. Selling items include:
- handcrafts
- art works
- jewelry
- toys
- soaps
- fashion accessories

Art works from community

In addition to shopping, visitors may enjoy live music. We may tastes many different kind of foods sold by food trucks at the corner of market.

Is there weekly farmer market or any weekly market in your area? How long its opening hours?

Tea for Diabetes Patients – Diabetes 24

Saturday, July 11, 2020
Tea bag of diabetes tea.

We talked about advantage of green tea to control blood sugar level (please read: Could Green Tea Improve Insulin Sensitivity? - Diabetes 11 | Tanza Erlambang Update).

Actually, there are many teas that good for diabetes, some of them are:
- Hibiscus tea
- Ginger tea
- Black tea
- Bitter Melon tea
- Bigelow green tea
- Chamomile tea
- Cinamon tea

Tea for diabetes, ready for drink.

I just take picture this kind of diabetes tea in the ethnic grocery. It is said that the tea is herbal supplement, contains “polyphenols.”

Substance called polyphenols which may combines of:
- flavonoids
- theaflavins
- tannins
- catechins

Polyphenols is antioxidant used to improve insulin sensitivity, thus manage or prevent diabetes type 2.

Drinking tea is getting popular in America lately. American drink 155 cups of tea per year. They consume mainly black tea. Some drinks green tea.

It is suggested that people drink at least 4 cup of teas may reduce their risk get diabetes about 30% to 33%.

Have you drink tea? How many cups per day?

# Previous posts:

Algae and Weed on the City Park Lake

Saturday, June 6, 2020
Algae cover the lake surface

We visited city lake close to our former university several times a year. In recent visit, we found:
- Algae covers almost entire lake surface
- Weed seems decrease in number compared to previous visit.

In case of algae, it is said the algae is include in blue green algae species which contain dangerous poison called “microcystin.”

Blooming of Blue green algae due to several factors:
- excessive nutrient inflow to the lake
- temperature increase due to season
- shallowness of lake makes water warm easily.

Uncontrolled blooming has impacted on environment in general, at least to lower the aesthetic values of the lake. 

Blue green algae produces poison

Abundance of weed and algae not only affect on aesthetic value, but also have direct effect on:
- fish population due to present of dangerous poison, microcystin.
- swimming movement of people
- boating recreations
- other types of visitors and recreational activities.

Government and local communities have planning to clean up the lake as soon as possible. Project cost is estimated about US$ 50 million.

Hope, the lake back to its previous, natural condition sooner than later!