Posts tagged with "who"

Green covid by Mina Tocalini for 360 Magazine

Tuberculosis Bacteria Paradox

TB-causing bacteria remember prior stress, react quickly to new stress

Tuberculosis bacteria have evolved to remember stressful encounters and react quickly to future stress, according to a study by computational bioengineers at Rice University and infectious disease experts at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School (NJMS).

Published online in the open-access journal mSystems, the research identifies a genetic mechanism that allows the TB-causing bacterium, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, to respond to stress rapidly and in manner that is “history-dependent,” said corresponding author Oleg Igoshin, a professor of bioengineering at Rice.

Researchers have long suspected that the ability of TB bacteria to remain dormant, sometimes for decades, stems from their ability to behave based upon past experience.

Latent TB is an enormous global problem. While TB kills about 1.5 million people each year, the World Health Organization estimates that 2-3 billion people are infected with a dormant form of the TB bacterium.

“There’s some sort of peace treaty between the immune system and bacteria,” Igoshin said. “The bacteria don’t grow, and the immune system doesn’t kill them. But if people get immunocompromised due to malnutrition or AIDS, the bacteria can be reactivated.”

One of the most likely candidates for a genetic switch that can toggle TB bacteria into a dormant state is a regulatory network that is activated by the stress caused by immune cell attacks. The network responds by activating several dozen genes the bacteria use to survive the stress. Based on a Rice computational model, Igoshin and his longtime Rutgers NJMS collaborator Maria Laura Gennaro and colleagues predicted just such a switch in 2010. According to the theory, the switch contained an ultrasensitive control mechanism that worked in combination with multiple feedback loops to allow hysteresis, or history-dependent behavior.

“The idea is that if we expose cells to intermediate values of stress, starting from their happy state, they don’t have that much of a response,” Igoshin explained. “But if you stress them enough to stop their growth, and then reduce the stress level back to an intermediate level, they remain stressed. And even if you fully remove the stress, the gene expression pathway stays active, maintaining a base level of activity in case the stress comes back.”

In later experiments, Gennaro’s team found no evidence of the predicted control mechanism in Mycobacterium smegmatis, a close relative of the TB bacterium. Since both organisms use the same regulatory network, it looked like the prediction was wrong. Finding out why took years of follow-up studies. Gennaro and Igoshin’s teams found that the TB bacterium, unlike their noninfectious cousins, had the hysteresis control mechanism, but it didn’t behave as expected.

“Hysteretic switches are known to be very slow, and this wasn’t,” Igoshin said. “There was hysteresis, a history-dependent response, to intermediate levels of stress. But when stress went from low to high or from high to low, the response was relatively fast. For this paper, we were trying to understand these somewhat contradictory results. ”

Igoshin and study co-author Satyajit Rao, a Rice doctoral student who graduated last year, revisited the 2010 model and considered how it might be modified to explain the paradox. Studies within the past decade had found a protein called DnaK played a role in activating the stress-response network. Based on what was known about DnaK, Igoshin and Rao added it to their model of the dormant-active switch.

“We didn’t discover it, but we proposed a particular mechanism for it that could explain the rapid, history-dependent switching we’d observed,” Igoshin said. “What happens is, when cells are stressed, their membranes get damaged, and they start accumulating unfolded proteins. Those unfolded proteins start competing for DnaK.”

DnaK was known to play the role of chaperone in helping rid cells of unfolded proteins, but it plays an additional role in the stress-response network by keeping its sensor protein in an inactive state.

“When there are too many unfolded proteins, DnaK has to let go of the sensor protein, which is an activation input for our network,” Igoshin said. “So once there are enough unfolded proteins to ‘distract’ DnaK, the organism responds to the stress.”

Gennaro and co-author Pratik Datta conducted experiments at NJMS to confirm DnaK behaved as predicted. But Igoshin said it is not clear how the findings might impact TB treatment or control strategies. For example, the switch responds to short-term biochemical changes inside the cell, and it’s unclear what connection, if any, it may have with long-term behaviors like TB latency, he said.

“The immediate first step is to really try and see whether this hysteresis is important during the infection,” Igoshin said. “Is it just a peculiar thing we see in our experiments, or is it really important for patient outcomes? Given that it is not seen in the noninfectious cousin of the TB bacterium, it is tempting to speculate it is related to survival inside the host.”

Gennaro is a professor of medicine and epidemiology at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences. Igoshin is a senior investigator at Rice’s Center for Theoretical Biological Physics.

The research was supported by the Welch Foundation (C-1995) and the National Institutes of Health (GM096189, AI122309, AI104615, HL149450).

Healthcare Equity article illustrated by Rita Azar for 360 MAGAZINE

The Importance of Education for Advancing Healthcare Equity

By: Maria Hernandez, Ph.D.

If you’ve been tracking the nation’s progress in the fight against Covid-19, physicians and public health officials of color have been highlighting the need for health equity in the national dialogue. As the data on mortality rates becomes clearer, there is no mistake that the pandemic is impacting African American and Latino communities to a much greater extent. Current mortality rates for Blacks and Latinos is almost 2.8 times that of whites suggesting significant health inequities exist. The discussion about why these inequities are taking place has been less clear and even less clear is how to address this reality.

The key may be in educating healthcare providers about the root cause of these inequities and empowering patients that access healthcare systems.

Health inequities are the differences in health outcomes due to unfair conditions or factors that different populations may face. These factors can include access to quality care, inadequate housing, lack of access to quality food, poverty and systemic racism. Public health researchers and healthcare providers have known about health inequities in the US for over 40 years and the research about what to do point to a confluence of factors that center on economic, educational and social change. Even before the pandemic, Native American and Black women are 2.5 times more likely to die in childbirth than Whites. Women are under diagnosed for heart disease.

Research points to the presence of unconscious and systemic bias as well as a lack of culturally competent care.

https://www.cbpp.org/research/poverty-and-inequality/tracking-the-covid-19-recessions-effects-on-food-housing-andThe pandemic exacerbated the impact of these factors in profound ways. If we look at the fact that essential front line workers–cashiers, bus drivers, food service providers, healthcare workers, postal carriers, warehouse workers, receptionists–have high concentrations of Black and Latino workers, it becomes much easier to understand why so many victims of Covid-19 are from these communities. And if we also explore the role poverty plays in the pandemic, we know that crowded housing conditions where social distancing is not possible has been a factor. The reality is that low income, hourly workers are not able to do their jobs remotely using telecommuting or video conferencing. Many of these workers also experience a harder time finding personal protective equipment that can be a burden for tight household budgets.

The pandemic has set the stage for profound changes in healthcare and its about time.

Two important responses that have emerged in the nation’s healthcare systems is an awareness that physicians, nurses and other caretakers must accept that–like all other human beings–they suffer from unconscious biases. It’s those snap judgements about a person’s race, ethnicity, age, ability, and socioeconomic status that enter into each encounter which can influence the recommended course of care. Those biases can be positive or negative but we all make those associations. The pandemic has accelerated the

extent to which hospitals are seeking training for front line staff and providers in order to reduce the likelihood of these biases and provide more culturally competent care.

These programs include an awareness of how bias impacts the experiences of patients and what may be important factors to consider in working with different populations. Culturally competent care encourages staff to look at how the patient may be experiencing their illness and what their own understanding of how to improve their health. It means taking into account the patients cultural of reference and listening to their unique needs.

Another response is the effort hospitals are making to partner with community clinics, faith based organizations and community organizations to win the trust of patients. This was present before the pandemic, but it has taken on a new sense of urgency as vaccine adoption rates have faltered in Black and Brown communities. Since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, not for profit hospitals which are the majority of facilities in the US have been asked to report what community benefits they provide to address known community needs.

Despite all of these approaches for improved healthcare services for diverse patients, it will take years before all health systems are aligned on their approach to advance health equity.

The most vulnerable patients need quality care now.

A visit to the doctor—even on-line—may require some key steps to ensure the best care is made available. Three steps that can make a big difference for patient visits. First, bring an advocate with you–a family member or friend who will join you in your visit and support your being heard or to help you ask the right questions. You’ll have to give them permission to be with you given privacy rules in healthcare but it’s worth it. Having a trusted advocate can be a big relief if there’s a lot of options to explore or if there’s different treatment steps involved. There’s a growing field of professional Patient Advocates — sometimes called Patient Navigators that help individuals with navigating treatment options, getting insurance payments, and arranging for home health care if needed. Your health may rely on having someone who understands the complexity of healthcare systems to support you.

Next, review the information your physician provides about the condition or illness and the medicines you may be asked to take. Ask your doctor what information you most need to understand for your treatment or what to do to support your health. Most physicians will provide information on a condition or point you to a reputable website for more information like the Mayo Clinic Review what your physician provides to be informed about the options and treatments presented.

Last, communicate with your care team throughout the course of your treatment or care. If you are struggling with side effects in your treatment or symptoms worsen, call your doctor or the nurse practitioner assigned to your care. Take an active role–with your advocate–to look at options for continued treatment. Poor communication with your physician can put you at greater risk for poor health outcomes. During these challenging days, preparing for each time you visit your physician can set the stage for you to receive the very best care available

About the author -Maria Hernandez, Ph.D., President and COO of Impact4Health is a thought leader in health equity and pay for success initiatives designed to address the upstream social determinants of health among vulnerable populations.  Maria currently leads the Alameda County Pay for Success Asthma Initiative which is testing the feasibility of reducing asthma-related emergencies using health education and proven home-based environmental interventions for children.  

Money illustration for 360 Magazine

Top Five Tech Billionaires Worth More Than 80 Poorest Countries Combined

The COVID-19 has played a significant role in wealth redistribution, with tech companies and their founders emerging as the biggest winners. While aviation, real estate, and hospitality industries have been pushed to the bottom of the global rich list, the tech industry billionaires have witnessed the largest wealth gains in the last year.

According to data, the combined net worth of the five wealthiest people in the US tech industry hit $567 billion in February, more than the gross domestic product (GDP) of the 80 poorest countries combined.

Jeff Bezos’ Wealth Surged by 65% Year-Over-Year (YoY) and Hit $187 billion in 2021

As the COVID-19 spread, the world has relied on many technological tools across different sectors­–from business and education to commerce and health care. Tech companies that have provided the best solutions amid the pandemic witnessed the most significant revenue surge, while their founders got richer, to the tune of billions.

Amazon products have become one of the most demanded in the world during the pandemic, as it keeps providing tech items, groceries, and entertainment to people amid lockdown. Because of the high demand for its services, the company had to hire an additional 175,000 workers to keep up with surging demand.

According to the Forbes billionaire list, the COVID-19 has helped Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos to grow his wealth by $74 billion in the last year, with his net worth reaching $187 billion this month. The International Monetary Fund data shows this figure is closest to New Zealand and Iraq’s GDP, which ranked 52nd and 53rd globally with $193.5 billion and $178.1 billion, respectively.

Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder, is the second wealthiest person in the US tech industry, and globally. The net worth of the billionaire working with the WHO and drug makers to defeat the coronavirus is currently standing at $120billion. Statistics show Gates’ wealth grew by $22billion in the last year and is now closest to Morocco’s GDP, which ranked 59th globally.

As the fifth-largest tech company globally, Facebook has also witnessed impressive growth in 2020. The Facebook shares rose by 26% in the last year, pushing its CEO’s fortune up by $39 billion to $93.7 billion. This figure means that Mark Zuckerberg’s wealth is $700 million above Puerto Rico’s GDP, which stands at $93.9 billion.

The chairman, chief technology officer, and co-founder of software giant Oracle, Larry Ellison, and co-founder of Google, Larry Page, ranked as the fourth and fifth tech billionaires globally, with $84.9 billion and $80.4 billion in net worth as of this month. Their wealth is the closest to Sri Lanka and Dominican Republic’s GDP, which ranked 66th and 67th globally, with $81.1 billion and $77.8 billion, respectively.

Top Five Tech Billionaires Worth more than GDP of Sweden, Thailand or Belgium

According to Forbes and International Monetary Fund data, the cumulative wealth of the top five tech billionaires also surpasses the GDP of several countries considered to be economic powerhouses. For example, their combined net worth is bigger than the GDP of Austria, Norway, or United Arab Emirates, which ranked 28th, 33rd, and 35th globally with $432.8 billion, $366.3 billion, and $353.9 billion, respectively.

Statistics show that the five tech billionaires’ wealth is the closest to Poland and Sweden’s GDP, which ranked as the 23rd and 24th economies globally. The two countries’ gross domestic product stood at $580.9 billion and $529 billion in 2020.

How cooks are helping end world hunger

Cooks Who Feed is giving people a simple way to take on world hunger this holiday season.

Everyone has food waste, even if we try to be mindful about our purchases and how much we are preparing. While we may all account for a little here and there, it adds up to a lot of wasted food. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it’s estimated that 30-40 percent of our nation’s food supply is wasted. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization estimates that over 800 million people per year around the world do not have enough to eat. One organization, Cooks Who Feed, is taking on the mission of helping to feed the people who need it most.

“When I realized the facts surrounding food waste and world hunger, I felt I had to do something about it,” explains Seema Sanghavi, founder of the organization Cooks Who Feed. “We help make it easier to get involved in helping to end world hunger. One of our aprons will top the list of many gift buyers this season.”

The Cooks Who Feed organization has teamed up with well-known chefs to create a line of aprons that people can purchase. Every apron purchased provides 100 meals to those in need. The organization has addressed numerous areas of concern by working with charitable organizations around the globe that collect surplus food to provide immediate hunger relief.  

The mission is helping to end world hunger, but the company is also addressing the environmental impact of food waste. The organization works with three charities that obtain food surplus and provide it to those in need. The charities they work with are Rescuing Leftover Cuisine, Second Harvest, and Zomato Feeding India. Over a third of Cooks Who Feed profits go to supporting their charity partners.

Beyond the food benefits that the apron sales provide, they also help to support underprivileged women in India. The aprons are all made in a fair-trade facility, giving the women a way to earn a living and rise above poverty so they can feed their families and help others. All of the aprons are environmentally friendly, handcrafted with natural and recycled fabrics. A lot of details have gone into each apron creating a stylish, functional and eco-friendly product that brings sustainable fashion to the kitchen. 

Each of the organization’s celebrity chef ambassadors have created their own apron so their fans can purchase an apron designed by the chef. People can choose the one that suits them or the person they are gifting it to. Some of the celebrity chefs that have teamed up with Cooks Who Feed include:

  • Art Smith – Chef Art is an award-winning chef and co-owner of several restaurants, including Blue Door Kitchen & Garden, Art and Soul, and Southern Art and Bourbon Bar. He also spent 10 years being the personal chef of Oprah Winfrey. He’s known for his Southern fried chicken. Every purchase of his specially designed apron also supports Common Threads, which provides disadvantaged children free cooking and nutrition lessons.
  • Christine Cushing – An award-winning chef, Chef Christine is a judge on the hit Food Network program called Wall of Chefs, and won the 2020 Taste Award for “Best Chef” in a TV series for her food, travel documentary series called “Confucius Was a Foodie.” She also has an artisan line of tomato sauces.
  • Romain Avril – Best known for his appearance as a judge on Top Chef Canada All-Stars, Chef Romain has worked at a one and two Michelin star restaurant. He’s a star chef at such restaurants as Colborne Lane, Origin North Bar, and La Société Bistro. 
  • Devan Rajkumar – After several years of high-end catering with the Food Dudes, Chef Romain moved into an executive chef role at Luxe Appliance Studio.
  • Gaggan Anand – Known for his progressive Indian cuisine, Chef Gaggan has repeatedly placed on the Restaurants of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. He earned two Michelin stars in the first edition of the Thailand Michelin guide in 2018. He opened the restaurant Gaggan Anand in Bangkok in 2019, and has been profiled in Netflix’s Chef’s Table.

“The greatest lesson in life is taught by our family, simply share our food,” added Chef Art Smith. “By being a part of this great program I’m living that lesson, because every apron purchase shares food with the world. It’s a great feeling to be a part of doing that.”

Cooks Who Feed was founded by Seema Sanghavi. She loves cooking and got the idea for the organization after visiting a nongovernmental organization in India, where women were earning a living by performing safe work. Two years later, she came across information about the food waste problem, and an idea was formed. The mission of the organization is to create a movement, providing 1 million meals per year, which would be made possible by 10,000 apron sales annually. 

The Cooks Who Feed aprons come in a variety of colors and styles and start at $55, with free shipping within the U.S. In addition to the celebrity chef aprons, there are others to choose from. The aprons make great gifts for those who enjoy cooking. To get more information about the program or see the selection of aprons, visit the site: https://cookswhofeed.com/.

About Cooks Who Feed

Cooks Who Feed sells a line of fashionable aprons that have been sustainably made and help to feed the world. Working with charities that obtain surplus food, and providing it to the people who need it, the company helps people and the planet. The aprons are handcrafted, eco-friendly, and available online, for retail and for wholesale. To get more information, visit the site: https://cookswhofeed.com/.

Jewish Community Foundation of LA COVID-19 Relief

By Cassandra Yany

The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles reported Thursday that its donors have recommended grants of $5.4 million to COVID-19 response and relief programs. These grants come from donor advised funds and family support organizations that are administered by The Foundation.

The Foundation is the largest manager of charitable assets for Los Angeles Jewish philanthropists. According to the institution, Foundation donors have directed a total of 412 grants to 121 nonprofits to date for COVID-19 relief. 

Among the Los Angeles organizations to receive the largest grants from donors are the Mayor’s Fund, The Jewish Federation, Jewish Family Service and Food Forward. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee was a significant national beneficiary, as well.

After the World Health Organization declared a pandemic in March, The Foundation created an online COVID-19 Response Hub, where donors could find vetted nonprofit organizations. These included “safety-net” programs that address food, housing and financial insecurity, as well as access to healthcare locally and in Israel. 

“In response to the sudden and most profound crisis of this generation, our family of donors has demonstrated its remarkable capacity for generosity and compassion,” said Foundation President and CEO Martin I. Schotland. “Our donors are selflessly drawing on their charitable funds established with The Foundation at a time it’s needed most – as demand for services surges and nonprofits experience sharp declines in giving.”

The Foundation previously announced that it was redirecting its own institutional grantmaking this year to support COVID-19 programs, approximating $8.5 million— the largest amount ever directed to a single cause. This brings the total amount of grants awarded in response to the pandemic by the institution and its donors to nearly $14 million. These institutional grants include $2.5 million that was directed during the summer to 22 nonprofits that serve Los Angeles, with the remaining $6 million dollars to be awarded later this fall.

About The Jewish Community Foundation

Established in 1954, the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles manages charitable assets of more than $1 billion entrusted to it by over 1,300 families and ranks among the 10 largest Los Angeles foundations. It partners with donors to shape meaningful philanthropic strategies, magnify the impact of their giving, and build enduring charitable legacies. In 2019, The Foundation and its donors distributed more than $129 million in grants to 2,700 nonprofits with programs that span the range of philanthropic giving. Over the past 10 years, it has distributed nearly $1 billion to thousands of nonprofits across a diverse spectrum.

*Food Forward Photo Courtesy of Andrea Sipos

Are We Living Too Clean?

By Jessica ter Haar, Ph.D., scientific director of the International Probiotics Association

If the coronavirus pandemic has taught us anything, it is that proper hygiene is vital to keeping ourselves and the members of our communities safe and healthy. We are constantly reminded of the need to disinfect our hands, avoid touching our faces, keep our distance and take COVID-19 safety measures seriously.
But could all the hand washing, antibacterial cleansing and social distancing cause another health problem?

It may seem counterintuitive, but the extreme clean living our society has adopted could in fact make our body’s innate immune system weaker. Many people have entered into a sort of “microbe-phobia” to avoid the coronavirus, but it is important to remember that not all microbes are bad. In fact, many are essential for good health.
Sterilizing everything can have the unintended negative consequence of eradicating the good germs that we would normally be exposed to in our daily lives. In doing so, we are weakening our body’s own natural defenses to everyday threats.

Microbes—including bacteria, fungi, and viruses—are invisible to the naked eye, and our bodies host trillions of these microorganisms inside and out. Scientifically, this population is known as the microbiome. The gut microbiome, for example, is a concept that has been around for centuries but has only been commonly used in conversation since the early 2000s.

Some microbes are harmful and can make us sick, but many keep us healthy and should not be feared but appreciated. Understanding the role of the human microbiome has been complicated further by the confusion surrounding terminology – a big one being the differences between bacteria, fungi and viruses. It’s important to know more about them and how they differ when considering good versus bad microbes.

Bacteria are single-cell organisms, and most are not dangerous to humans. In fact, less than 1% of all bacteria are responsible for disease. Many bacteria live in our bodies and help us stay healthy. Bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics, which kill the bacteria or at least stop the bad bacteria from multiplying.

Fungi are single-celled or multi-celled organisms that are similar to bacteria in that they live in different environments and cause disease. Fungal infections can become life-threatening if the immune system is weak, but certain fungi also have many beneficial qualities. The discovery of penicillin, a type of fungus, was due to a variety of mold which is now used to produce this antibiotic.

Viruses, including the coronavirus, are more challenging. They have no cells of their own and instead rely on host cells to multiply and replicate. Many viruses peacefully co-exist with humans, but some can cause diseases, including the relatively harmless common cold, while others can be deadly and bring about serious diseases like AIDS, measles and COVID-19. It is difficult to fight a virus with medication, which is why vaccinations are often used to support the immune system to better prepare the body to fight the virus.

As we begin practicing good hygiene and social distancing recommendations, life is feeling far from normal. But similar to the emotional effects of our isolation, by not living life, we are failing to be exposed to the good natural microbes needed to support our immune system’s defenses, metabolism, digestion and the brain’s ability to modulate mood and focus.

The question is, how can we continue hygiene measures to prevent COVID-19 without weakening our immune systems?

This is where probiotics come in. Probiotics can be the hero in our current germophobic environment to help counter the lack of microbe exposure and stimulate our body’s own bacterial population in the gut microbiome and cells. Probiotics can literally wake up sleepy bacteria and cells and assist in protecting our health.
If you are unfamiliar, probiotics are live microorganisms that, when taken in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit to the host. Experts from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and WHO created this definition of probiotics, and to date, probiotics have more than 8,000 different scientific research studies indexed by PubMed.

Something as simple as a probiotic supplement can help compensate for our ultra-clean lifestyles and add beneficial microorganisms to our daily health arsenal. Probiotics add to the functional diversity of healthy microbes within our microbiome that bolster our immune system and overall health resilience. Probiotics have quickly risen in popularity and took center stage in the past decade, primarily because of how probiotics make people feel and how they work.

According to research, people report feeling better when they are taking a probiotic, which makes perfect sense because when the gut is happy, the rest of the body seems to be in synchronicity. But let’s not forget that probiotics can also work beyond the gut. There is a lot of probiotic science that continues to evolve, and everything seems to point to positive health outcomes.

Many of the microorganisms in probiotic supplements, including Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, are similar to those naturally found in the body. Different types of probiotics have many different effects on the body like helping to maintain balance of good bacteria; producing certain vitamins and other substances; impacting our mood; and regulating weight.

Interestingly, studies of probiotics have shown beneficial immune impacts. While no probiotic has been found to treat COVID-19, research studies are currently assessing their impact. To date, more than 1,600 human clinical trials have been published about probiotics on ClinicalTrials.gov and the International Clinical Trials Registry Platform of WHO databases. The International Probiotics Association is another great resource for updates on studies and new findings with probiotics.

As we wait for life to return to normal, taking something as simple as a probiotic supplement can help our immune systems compensate for an ultra-clean lifestyle and put our minds at ease as we take steps forward to boost our health during these uncertain and challenging times. In learning more about microbes, we can embrace the power of these organisms, take the fear out of equation and develop a plan to keep our immunities strong in the face of any health crisis.

About Jessica ter Haar, Ph.D.,

Jessica ter Haar is director of scientific affairs for the International Probiotics Association (IPA) and is a microbiology expert and probiotic educator focused on digestive and women’s health. She holds a doctorate from the University of Groningen in medical microbiology and probiotics for vaginal infections, and a master’s degree in nutrition and nutraceutical sciences from the University of Guelph. Ter Haar is also the founder and chairwoman of “Women and their Microbes,” a scientific conference directed at scientists, clinicians and industry professionals focused on helping women achieve their best possible microbial health during every stage of life. In her professional work with probiotics, she uses her thorough knowledge base to underscore the importance of probiotics, make scientific knowledge accessible, and address unmet medical and research needs. Additionally, ter Haar consults with a variety of companies in the probiotic, pharmaceutical and food industries on strategies to clearly communicate, valorize and leverage scientific benefits and best practices.

Kaelen Felix draws Snoop Dogg for 360 Magazine

Snoop Dogg × COVID-19

On September 12th 2020, Snoop Dogg will be streaming live from his Compound in LA to millions of homes around the world to raise funds for the International Medical Corps, which is helping to fight the global pandemic and provide life-saving care around the world.

Since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on March 11th 2020, cases have continued to increase rapidly. The International Medical Corps works closely with international, national and local charities and health organizations, providing medical expertise, equipment, training and triage & treatment services. Its goal is to ensure that at-risk countries and regions can prepare for and respond to outbreaks of coronavirus quickly and safely.

This will be the first of many shows created by Couch Concerts Live, a new streaming platform that presents major artists’ performances in support of those suffering from the effects of global crises, from COVID-19 to climate change and more.

The partnership between TARI Global, American Artist Company, The Temple Company and Jam Management Group brings together a team with the reach, experience and expertise that will enable them to support International Medical Corps on a global level.

Nathan Tari, CEO of TARI Global, and Founder of the event, comments: “The entertainment industry has been hard hit by the pandemic. While we were staying safely at home, we put our heads together and decided to use our talent and experience to do something in support of those suffering from the outbreak of this terrible virus. We are looking to bring some fun, excitement as well as a special experience with some of the world’s most celebrated stars. This concert will be the first of many, and we are excited to have Snoop Dogg to help us launch.”

Tickets for Couch Concerts Live presenting ‘Snoopadelic in da Pandemic’ are now available to purchase on TicketcoSeeTickets or Couch Concerts Facebook. Join Snoop Dogg as he entertains us live from his Compound, with his infamous Snoopadelic Live DJ Show, expect some hits whilst hanging out with Snoop from the comfort of your own home, staying safe and raising funds for COVID-19 causes.

Paint Splash illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Meguru Yamaguchi × Oakley

Today, Oakley and Tokyo-born and Brooklyn-based artist Meguru Yamaguchi debut the Kokoro Collection, a range designed to unite athletes around the world through a shared Love of Sport.

“Kokoro,” a Japanese word meaning “heart; mind; spirit,” unifies athletes of all abilities, professional and everyday alike. Released on the day when the world’s best athletes should have competed on the global stage, the collection aims to inspire a sense of belonging and community in a time when the need has never been greater.

To further celebrate this message of unity ,Oakley is making a $200k donation to support the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the WHO, which works globally to prevent, detect, and respond to the pandemic.

Known for his “sculptural paintings” that push the possibilities of art, gesture and form, Meguru met with Oakley visionaries, designers and Team Oakley athletes to bring this one-of-a-kind collection to life. Each individual product is completely unique, having been designed through a specialized spin technique utilizing a custom-made machine, which was made specifically by Oakley engineers to replicate Meguru’s style of brushstrokes.

The Kokoro Collection features 11 signature styles that are equipped with Oakley’s leading Prizm Lens Technology, designed to enhance color and contrast so athletes can see more detail. Ranging from $150 – $250, the collection is available now on Oakley.com.

Follow Meguru Yamaguchi: Instagram 

Follow Oakley: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

PUMA illustration by Mina Tocalini

PUMA Unity Collection

Global sports brand PUMA is releasing the Unity Collection – a pack that celebrates PUMA’s sports heritage and the power of sport uniting our world.

Retailing for $22 – $120, the unisex collection consists of apparel, footwear and accessories that feature simple black and white designs with pops of color drawn from international flags, while printed drawcords and gold metal hardware elevate the designs. Key footwear styles include bold iterations of the Future Rider, Ralph Sampson and Cali Sport, among others. 

Additional items from the pack include the water repellent TFS Track Suit featuring a center front zipper with multicolor woven tape and gold hardware, the Originals PU Backpack TFS with vibrant color accents, the TFS Cap with a multi-colored adjuster and more.

As part of this launch, PUMA has committed to donate $200,000 to the U.N. COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. PUMA’s donation associated with this collection will directly support WHO’s global work to help countries prevent, detect and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. PUMA’s Unity Collection will be available on PUMA.com, PUMA stores and select retailers worldwide starting Monday, July 13. 

Follow PUMA: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

360 Magazine, Allison Christensen

WHO x Rare Asymptomatic COVID-19 Spread

By Jason Tayer x Emmet McGeown

The Coronavirus remains very present and contagious around the country and world. However, as expert organizations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), find new ground-breaking data, knowledge about the nature of the virus and how it spreads advances.

According to CNBC, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove admits that the previously widely believed notion of the virus spreading between and from asymptomatic carriers has lost traction. Instead, Maria claims that it’s “very rare” for virus transmission to take place among asymptomatic patients based on contact tracing and secondary transmission analysis data. Maria’s news briefing at the UN agency’s Geneva headquarters can be found HERE. The New York Post also adds that narrowing in and focusing on all isolating and quarantining all of the symptomatic cases could result in much fewer transmission rates.

However, as of Tuesday, following widespread skepticism from global healthcare officials, the head of WHO’s diseases and zoonosis unit, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, has walked back statements that she made during a Monday press conference. After an influx of criticism, she clarified that it’s “misunderstanding to state that asymptomatic transmission globally is very rare,” instead claiming that she was referring to a “small subset of studies.” Van Kerkhove acknowledges that much is unknown and that there exist models, which estimate that around 40% of transmissions are due to asymptomatic individuals.

With this recent news and many cities beginning to enter new phases of reopening, it may seem feasible to allow asymptomatic people to reopen and participate in various public businesses and services. AMNY expands on the example of NYC, where they are now in phase 1 of reopening. Even with this phase of reopening underway, the Department of Health has found that there have not been significant spikes in COVID-19-like cases in emergency rooms.

Regardless of the scrambling by the WHO to refine its oratory or the Department of Health observing no significant spikes in cases, there is no doubt that isolation and social distancing are slowing the spread of the virus. Indeed, it is possible that “asymptomatic” individuals can, in fact, be pre-symptomatic or simply be experiencing a very “mild disease.” This muddies the waters to such an extent that taking precautions seems to be the only logical corollary of the medical community’s ongoing attempt at total comprehension of the virus. Dr. William Schaffner, a Vanderbilt University professor and longtime adviser to the CDC says, “I thought they [WHO] were getting very prissy and trying to slice the salami very fine.” He, like many other medical experts, believes that whether asymptomatic, pre-symptomatic, or mildly symptomatic, people should be wearing masks, washing their hands, staying away from large crowds and social distancing when possible.

Such perspectives echo the findings of a study, published in the scientific journal Nature, which suggest that the emergency lockdown procedures of six countries, ranging from Iran to the US, have prevented more than 500 million coronavirus infections across all six nations.

This leaves one wondering whether or not the accelerated re-openings of hotspots like Las Vegas casinos where, last year, guests outnumbered residents 20 to 1 are wise. Yet, with the risk of a mental health crisis and a hemorrhaging global economy, many are supportive of dismantling protective measures. However, we must dispel the false dichotomy that we must choose between complete lockdown and a restless revival or normal life. One only ought to look at Turkey where the government ordered only the young and elderly to remain at home while everyone else, except consumer-facing businesses, never ceased working. According to The Economist, “the vulnerable escaped the worst of the pandemic while those infected, mostly working-age adults, generally recovered.”

Irrespective of which approach the states decide to embark upon, the fact still remains that over 7 million people have been affected and the virus continues to spread.