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Race to stop the world getting sick: As coronavirus ravages the globe, experts work around the clock developing vaccines and trialling drugs in a desperate attempt to contain it

by Pat Hagan, Daily Mail

As the needle slipped into Jennifer Haller’s arm, the world watched and held its breath.

This was the moment last week when Jennifer became the first person to be injected with an experimental vaccine that scientists hope will help prevent future pandemics of the deadly Covid-19 coronavirus.

Mother-of-two Jennifer, 43, from Seattle, told reporters: ‘We all feel so helpless. But this is an amazing opportunity for me to do something.’

Over the next few months, hundreds more people — including many in the UK — are expected to sign up as human guinea pigs, just like Jennifer.

Last week, Boris Johnson announced that the first British patient has been put into a trial for drugs that may treat coronavirus. And a safety trial on humans, led by Oxford University, for a potential new vaccine is also expected to start next month.

This is part of a global effort, as the search gathers pace for new ways to detect, treat and prevent Covid-19.

Some, like Jennifer, will have vaccines that contain corona-like (albeit harmless) viruses injected into their bloodstream to see whether their immune systems can be trained to recognise and destroy the virus.

Others are likely to be deliberately infected with weaker versions of coronavirus and given a variety of drugs to try to stop it in its tracks. It will be science at Formula 1 pace — with some corners cut and rules bypassed.

But what does it mean to offer up your body for scientific exploration in the battle against the virus?


In the UK, one of the centres leading the fight is FluCamp, a 24-bed privately run unit based in Whitechapel, East London, where for the past 30 years scientists have been carrying out research on cold and flu viruses.

It is the only research facility of its kind in Europe — and one of just four in the world — equipped to quarantine patients for weeks at a time while they are exposed to highly infectious viruses.

Confined to one room 24 hours a day for up to a fortnight, volunteers are subject to round-the-clock testing by health professionals clad in protective clothing.

FluCamp has announced plans to recruit hundreds of healthy volunteers over the next few months. The first stage is to select 24 participants and expose them to two virus strains that are related to Covid-19 but do not wreak the same degree of havoc on the body.

A spokesman said the clinic has been inundated with more than 20,000 enquiries from would-be human guinea pigs since it unveiled its plans on March 9.

Professor John Oxford, an expert in virology at Queen Mary, University of London and scientific adviser to hVivo — the company that runs FluCamp — says the selection process will begin in the next few weeks. ‘The plan is to test hundreds of patients but do 24 at a time, as that is how many beds the unit has,’ he says.

Link here for the full article

Mail Online: Small Cap Movers – A good week for Tertiary Minerals #TYM

by Ian Lyall –

Proactive Investors for This Is Money

Sticking with the risers for a little while longer: it was a good week for AIM-listed Tertiary Minerals #TYM which doubled in value on Friday.

This came after the German group Possehl said it would help the junior miner develop its three main projects.

Tertiary is London’s only publically-traded fluorspar company. Fluorspar? No, me neither.

Anyhoo, here’s a quick cut-out-and-keep we purloined from the Proactive Investors website.

Fluorspar is the mineral form of calcium fluoride – CaF2.

When mined, it is separated into two main grades – acidspar is at least 97 per cent calcium fluoride, while metspar (metallurgical spar) is a much lower purity – at between 60 per and 85 per cent.

The latter is used for iron smelting, and to manufacture glass, steel, enamels and aluminium products, while acidspar is generally converted to hydrofluoric acid, by combining it with sulphuric acid.

This can then be made into other things like fluorocarbons, which are used in Teflon (the stuff your frying pan is coated with), fridges, freezers and air conditioning units.

It is perhaps worth noting that new environmentally friendly refrigerants, required by regulation, contain more fluorine than the older ozone depleting ones.

Physiomics and Tertiary aside, it was a fairly dour week for investors in the junior market with the AIM All Share down 0.8 per cent over the last five trading days to 1,022.57. It did, however, outperform the FTSE 100, which had a rather rough week as it posted a 1.3 per cent decline.

Mail Online full story link here

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