May 2021: It’s been more than a year since the pandemic, we are facing a terrible second wave in India. Updating this blog. Let me know which topics you would like more information on.
April 2020: Covid has completely shaken our world. So many lives lost across the world especially Italy, Spain, the USA and China. So many of our fellow humans getting infected by this deadly virus every day that no one has a clear sense of when things will return to normal. Perhaps we will get used to a new normal.
While it has barely been a week or so, I have slowly started to get used to working from home. Staying at home has its own advantages. You have time to read and write. This has been the maximum number of articles that I have written in less than a month. The first was on March 7th.
For those of you who have followed my blogs but missed a few, I thought it would be best to put all of them in one place. Our team is now constantly adding content on this page, so make sure you check it out.
A massive shortage of masks, hand sanitizers and more. There is a sudden surge to protect ourselves from this pandemic called Covid19 caused by a novel mutation of the coronavirus. Didn’t we always know that “Prevention is cheaper than Cure”? Read More >
2. 10 ways to defend yourself from Covid-19
Amusing as it may sound, the “Covid19” won’t go away by chanting “ Go Corona Go”. As the WHO has announced it is a pandemic and governments are scrambling to keep their citizens safe, there are many things we can do ourselves. Read More >
3. The science behind Covid-19 for the avid reader
The (Coronavirus ) Covid 19 pandemic has been a reset button for the world and hopefully will make us mend ways in which we have been living so far- without caring about consequences for our environment. Of course, I worry about the massive amounts of detergents and alcohol that humankind has released into the environment over the last couple of months. Read More >
4. Covid-19: To test or not to test, is that a question?
If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 & develop a fever & symptoms such as cough or difficulty breathing, it might be worthwhile calling a doctor to first assess your symptoms. This disease has been rather unkind to the elderly population & to those at risk for underlying chronic conditions like diabetes, lung disease or heart diseases.
Read More >
5 things India can do to scale up Covid-19 Testing
There are two main types of testing used globally for testing Covid. Given the exponential growth rise in several countries, a wise approach would be two-pronged, to make sure we scale testing but also spend less from the government. Read More >
6. The Immune system warriors: GAMED antibodies
Our immune system is in many ways like the defenSe system for our body. One part is innate and the other is adaptive, rising to the occasion when invaders attack our body, the pathogens. Read More >
7. Sequence! Sequence! Sequence!
Studies have shown that infectious diseases spread differently in different populations. This is based on genetic predisposition and results in different clinical presentations. Sequencing of the viral genome present in Indian samples and also those who have tested positive will help us better understand SARS Cov-2 spread in India. This is also important for the following three reasons. Read More
8. Cytokine storm worsens Covid-19 outcomes
COVID-19 (or coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) infection) is a pandemic of our times, with thousands of new cases being reported every day. According to some reports, the severity of the infection is greater in patients who experience an aggravated immune system response known as the ‘cytokine storm’. Read More >
9. Fear Mongering In The Times Of Corona
Hello, humans at home! When I trained at the John’s Hopkins University (at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, JHSPH) over a decade ago, I had only one thing in mind — to train as a genetic counselor, get back to my country, and then establish global standards of genetic counseling in India. Read More >
10. Test OK Please? What, when, and where of COVID testing.
The novel coronavirus has thrown the global economy into a tailspin and governments everywhere are trying to figure out how testing can help open up economic activities to get life back to a new normal. Read More >
11. Plasma therapy in COVID-19 treatment
As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc, many scientists and researchers across the world are doing their best to find solutions to lessen the effects of the disease. Read More >
13. Diabetes: A red flag for COVID-19
Diabetes, a global health concern, may put people at higher risk for severe illness from COVID 19. Most of the fatal cases of COVID 19 are underlying the medical condition – diabetes. Read More >
14. COVID-19: Basics of Drugs and Vaccines in progress
From my previous articles, you know how a virus functions. Let’s dig a little deeper. Let’s take a look at how drugs for COVID are likely to work. Currently, there is no drug or vaccine with the required efficacy. Read More >
15. Fighting COVID-19: Why We Need A Lockdown
An infectious disease becomes a pandemic because of its widespread nature or because of its fatality rate. Throughout history, we have seen many pandemics such as plague, smallpox, influenza , tuberculosis etc. Read More >
15. Know Your Immunity Genes: HLA
Immunity is the most complex and life-saving mechanism in humans. One of the primary functions of the immune system is to defend against infection and disease-causing agents (like bacteria, virus etc.) Read More >
16. Food & Supplements: Do They Lower Risk Of Infection?
Today, some of the most pressing questions about health are – How can I boost my immunity? Should I take supplements? How can I avoid getting infected? And more.
Read More >
16. The role of your GENES in fighting COVID-19
Medical experts and agencies such as the CDC have stated that people with chronic heart disease, lung disease, liver disease or asthma and also, people who are at higher risk for these conditions are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Read More >
16. Autoimmunity: Causes, Mechanism and how it affects COVID-19 outcomes
Our immune response acts as the defence system, containing many biological structures, and different cells (B cells, T Cells, lymphocytes, macrophages etc) within our body to protect against diseases. Read More >
17. The role of ACE2 receptor in Covid-19
We know that ACE2 is a receptor for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. What is this ACE2?
It is an enzyme whose full name is Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). This is found on the surface of cells in the lungs, arteries, heart, kidney and intestines. Read More >
18. The role of ACE2 receptor in Covid-19
ACE is back in my life with ACE2, which is actually nothing like the ACE I was familiar with. We know that ACE2 is a receptor for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. What is this ACE2?
Read More >
19. Vitamin D : Does it reduce COVID risk?
Among all the nutrients, vitamin D, vitamin C and zinc are some of the most talked-about immunity boosters. As the virus continues to spread, maintenance of immunity for fighting coronavirus is crucial for every individual. Read More >
20. COVID-19 antibody testing and ELISA (Part 1)
Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) is a serological test (blood test) based test that can be used to detect if a person is exposed to COVID or not. Read More >
21. COVID-19 antibody testing and ELISA (Part 2)
We discussed the benefits of COVID antibody testing and why ELISA is a preferred method for the same. In Part 2 (this is VERY science-y!), we shall learn about the steps in an ELISA procedure, interpretation and limitations. Read More >
22. COVID And Rains: Preparing for the New Normal
Let us understand that COVID is here to stay for a while. Monsoons, back to work, or any other challenges, it is time to move beyond fear, with caution and care. Build healthy habits — nutrition, fitness, cleanliness, and compassion. Read More >
23. 5 Tips for Lockdown 5.0: Exercise Right for Better Immunity
Lockdown 5.0 – a partial lockdown? Workspaces are open while the metro rail is not. The shops are open but gyms are not. Wait…no gyms…that means I still can’t get into my fittest shape. AAH! Read More >
24. Surviving Covid: A guest post: My family and I (3 of us in our 40s) have been afflicted by COVID-19. The first one of us was diagnosed positive on July 4th and the rest of us living in the house tested positive within 8-10 days. We are all on the mend at home presently. We have also been very lucky to have doctors in our family who monitored us closely and advised us constantly. Thanks to them, here are some learnings from our journey so far. Read More?
26. Testing for Immunity. (Covid-19 and more…..): Its year 2021, a year after Covid first started and everyone across the globe is now waiting for life to get back to a somewhat normal level. It is quite possible that you were a victim of Covid in the last year or you already managed to get a shot of the vaccines either as part of a trial or as part of the vaccination program. It is possible that you have heard that antibodies wane after 3-4 months and also possibly that not all vaccines work on everyone. So how do you know you are safe? That you are now immune to Covid… well at least the variants we are familiar with so far. Read More
27. Simplifying Blood tests for Covid: Almost all of us have done a blood test at some point in our life. Whether it is for a general checkup or a specific problem, it is critical to understand the purpose and limitations of the tests we do. This series will simplify those for you. In this blog, I am writing about COVID-19 specific blood tests.
Chloroquine: How the drug works, Impact of genes & Possible side effects
Boceprevir: How the drug works, Impact of genes & Possible side effects
Abacavir: How the drug works, Impact of genes & Possible side effects
Genetic effects on Rifampin drug response
Work Out Videos
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