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A chemical found in live cannabis plants could help protect human cells against coronavirus infections, research suggests.
A study by scientists at Oregon State University (OSU) and Oregon Health and Science University found that two acids present in hemp, a type of cannabis plant used widely in cloth, paper and as a drug, were able to jam the gears of the virus that causes Covid-19.
The researchers said the two compounds can bind onto the SARS-Cov-2 virus’ spike protein, which it uses to invade and commandeer human cells and which gives the coronavirus family its name.
However, the compounds probably cannot be consumed via any of the traditional methods of taking cannabis as a drug, meaning they would have to be harvested separately to make a specific medicine.
“These cannabinoid acids are abundant in hemp and in many hemp extracts,” said lead author Richard van Breemen of OSU’s Global Hemp Innovation Center.
“They are not controlled substances like THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, and have a good safety profile in humans. And our research showed the hemp compounds were equally effective against variants of SARS-Cov-2.»
The study, published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Natural Products on Monday, examined numerous plant extracts such as red clover, wild yam, hops and licorice for potential affinity with the Covid spike protein.
The spike protein is a microscopic structure protruding from the body of the virus, featuring chemical receptor sites that have evolved to bind onto the outer parts of human cells. If another chemical binds to those receptors, it can block them, making them useless.
The two compounds that worked best were cannabigerolic acid, known as CBG-A, and cannabidiolic acid, known as CBD-A, both precursors to the better-known chemicals in cannabis drugs.
The former exists only while the cannabis plant is growing, while the latter is converted into CBD, one of the key ingredients in recreational and medicinal cannabis, through burning, vaping or baking.
The chemicals worked well against both the alpha and beta variants of coronavirus, raising the prospect that they might also function against Omicron and other mutations.
«Our data show CBDA and CBGA are effective against the two variants we looked at, and we hope that trend will extend to other existing and future variants,» said Mr van Breemen.
Regina King’s 26-year-old son, Ian Alexander Jr., has died, a spokesperson for the actor confirmed Saturday morning.
«Our family is devastated at the deepest level by the loss of Ian,» the statement read. «He is such a bright light who cared so deeply about the happiness of others. Our family asks for respectful consideration during this private time.»
Alexander Jr. — King’s only child, whom she shared with ex-husband Ian Alexander Sr. — died by suicide, a spokesperson confirmed to The Associated Press.
The two were very close, with Alexander Jr. often accompanying his mother on the red carpet. They even had matching tattoos reading «unconditional love» in Aramaic, the AP reported.
Last year, Alexander Jr. posted a tribute to his mother on her birthday, writing, «To be able to watch you take this lifetime by its neck and make it yours is something i will forever be grateful for. But to have you as my mother is the greatest gift I could ask for. To be all that you are while always having the time to be there, love and support me unconditionally is truly remarkable.»
Alexander Jr. was a DJ who went by desduné. He had just recently released a song called «Green Eyes,» which King posted about on her Instagram last week. According to Alexander Jr.’s Instagram, he had a show scheduled for January 28 in Los Angeles.
King is known for her roles in the movie «If Beale Street Could Talk» and on the television show «Watchmen.» She also directed the 2020 film «One Night in Miami…» She has won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, four Primetime Emmy Awards and two NAACP Image Awards over the course of her more than 30-year career.
BERLIN, Jan 22 (Reuters) – Germany’s navy chief stepped down on Saturday after drawing criticism for saying Russian President Vladimir Putin deserved respect and that Kyiv would never win back annexed Crimea from Moscow.
«I have asked Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht to relieve me from my duties with immediate effect,» Vice Admiral Kay-Achim Schoenbach said in a statement. «The minister has accepted my request.»
Schoenbach made the remarks to a think-tank discussion in India on Friday, and video was published on social media. The comments came at a sensitive time as Russia has amassed tens of thousands of troops on Ukraine’s borders.
Diplomatic efforts are focused on preventing an escalation. Russia denies it is planning to invade Ukraine.
In New Delhi, Schoenbach, speaking in English, said Putin seeks to be treated as an equal by the West.
«What he (Putin) really wants is respect,» Schoenbach said.
«And my God, giving someone respect is low cost, even no cost… It is easy to give him the respect he really demands – and probably also deserves,» Schoenbach said, calling Russia an old and important country.
Schoenbach conceded Russia’s actions in Ukraine needed to be addressed. But he added that «the Crimea peninsula is gone, it will never come back, this is a fact,» contradicting the joint Western position that Moscow’s annexation of the peninsula from Ukraine in 2014 cannot be accepted and must be reversed.
Prior to Schoenbach’s resignation, the defence ministry publicly criticised his remarks, saying they did not reflect Germany’s position in either content or wording.
Schoenbach apologized for his comments.
«My rash remarks in India … are increasingly putting a strain on my office,» he said. «I consider this step (the resignation) necessary to avert further damage to the German navy, the German forces, and, in particular, the Federal Republic of Germany.»
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry had called on Germany to publicly reject the navy chief’s comments. Schoenbach’s comments could impair Western efforts to de-escalate the situation, Ukraine said in a statement.
«Ukraine is grateful to Germany for the support it has already provided since 2014, as well as for the diplomatic efforts to resolve the Russian-Ukrainian armed conflict. But Germany’s current statements are disappointing and run counter to that support and effort,» Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said separately in tweet.
Reporting by Sabine Siebold; Editing by Catherine Evans and Cynthia Osterman
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler announced his retirement on Saturday evening in a statement released by the team.
«It is an emotional day as I announce I am retiring from my football coaching career,» said Butler. «I have spent every year since 1990 as a coach in the NFL and the NCAA, but the time is right for me to walk away after a successful career both playing and coaching the game I love.
«I want to thank the Rooney Family, Bill Cowher, Mike Tomlin and all the coaches and players that I have been involved with over my entire coaching career. I look forward to spending more time with my family, whom have been so supportive of me throughout the years. I wish nothing but the best to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and I will be cheering them on during my retirement.»
Butler served as the team’s defensive coordinator since being promoted to that role in January 2015. He had previously served as the team’s linebackers coach for 12 seasons from 2003-14. Butler was a part of two Super Bowl winning teams with the Steelers (Super Bowl XL and Super Bowl XLIII).
The Steelers lead, or tied for the lead, in overall sacks for the last five years under Butler, setting an NFL record in 2020 when they did it a league-high four years in a row.
In 2020 the Steelers broke an NFL record with a streak of 70 games with at least one sack, breaking the record set by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of 69 straight games with at least one sack (1999-2003). The team extended the streak to 75 games, which is still the NFL record.
He came to the Steelers after an NFL coaching career that began with the Cleveland Browns (1999-2002) and before that in the college ranks at Arkansas State (1998) and Memphis (1990-97).
Butler played in the NFL for 10 seasons (1978-87) for the Seattle Seahawks.
Butler was a three-year starter at inside linebacker for the University of Memphis, leading the team in tackles his junior and senior seasons and being named as Associated Press All-American in 1977.
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