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The coronavirus’s shape has an impact on how it spreads

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The coronavirus’s shape has an impact on how it spreads

Since the start of the COVID-19 epidemic, images of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 have been permanently implanted in our minds. However, the virus is not exactly shaped like a sphere with spikes as we typically imagine it. Images taken under a microscope of infected tissues reveal coronavirus particles to be ellipsoidal in shape and to have a variety of compressed and elongated morphologies.

Researchers from Queen’s University in Canada and the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) in Japan are leading a global study team that has examined how different elliptical shapes affect how viral particles rotate within fluids, affecting how easy the virus can spread. Recent publication of the study in the journal Physics of Fluids.

According to Professor Eliot Fried, head of OIST’s Mechanics and Materials Unit, when coronavirus particles are breathed in, they move around inside the nose and lungs. “We want to know how mobile they are in these surroundings,” the researcher said.

The speed at which particles rotate as they move through the fluid is controlled by rotational diffusivity, a particular type of movement that the scientists modelled (in the case of the coronavirus, droplets of saliva). Fluid drag is reduced and rotation speed is increased in smoother, more hydrodynamic particles. The ability of coronavirus particles to bind to and infect cells is influenced by their rotating speed.

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In their research, the scientists modelled both prolate and oblate ellipsoids of revolution. Prolate shapes have one longer axis and oblate shapes have one shorter axis, which sets them apart from spheres (which have three axes of equal length). Prolate shapes grow into rod-like shapes when followed to their logical conclusion, whilst oblate shapes contract into coin-like shapes. On the other hand, coronavirus particles differ in a more subtle way.

The scientists improved the ellipsoids’ surface by coating them with spike proteins to create the most accurate model yet. The inclusion of triangular-shaped spike proteins slows the rotation of coronavirus particles, potentially increasing the virus’ ability to infect cells, according to earlier research from Queen’s University and OIST.

Each spike protein was represented by a single sphere on the surface of the ellipsoids in the scientists’ simplified model of the spike proteins.

At order to determine the arrangement of the spikes on the surface of each ellipsoidal shape, Dr. Vikash Chaurasia, a postdoctoral researcher in the OIST Mechanics and Materials Unit, explained, “We then assumed that they all have the same charge. Similar charge spikes reject one another and seek out as much space as possible. They consequently surround the particle evenly, minimising its repulsion.

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The researchers’ model revealed that a particle rotates more slowly the further it deviates from a spherical shape. This would suggest that the particles have improved alignment and cell-attachment abilities.

The model is still crude, the researchers acknowledge, but it advances our knowledge of the coronavirus’s transport characteristics and may help identify a factor that is crucial to the success of its infective process.

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health and remedies

Winter-related ear popping: causes, remedies, and strategies for prevention

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Winter-related ear popping: causes, remedies, and strategies for prevention

If you live in a cold climate, you’re probably no stranger to the sensation of your ears popping when you step outside. This is caused by the change in pressure between the warm air inside your body and the cold air outside. While this is usually a harmless phenomenon, it can be quite annoying. In this article, we’ll explore the causes of winter-related ear popping, as well as some remedies and strategies for prevention.

One of the main causes of ear popping is a difference in air pressure. When you step outside into the cold air, the pressure outside is lower than the pressure inside your body. This difference in pressure can cause your ears to pop.

There are a few things you can do to ease the discomfort of ear popping. First, try yawning or swallowing. These activities can help equalize the pressure in your ears. You can also try chewing gum or sucking on candy. If you’re flying, drink plenty of fluids and avoid chewing gum during takeoff and landing.

There are also some preventive measures you can take to avoid ear popping. If you know you’ll be exposed to cold air, try to take a deep breath before you go outside. This will help equalize the pressure in your lungs and prevent your ears

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