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Scientists identify new gene differences in severe COVID patients

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  • The scientists said their discoveries, could help prioritise the likely treatments that could work against the disease.
  • The information could even help predict which patients were likely to become severely ill.
  • The new findings could help guide scientists in their search for existing drugs that might be useful for treating COVID-19.

Scientists have pinpointed 16 new genetic variants in people who developed severe COVID-19 in a large study published on Monday that could help researchers develop treatments for very sick patients.

The results suggest that people with severe COVID have genes that predispose them to one of two problems: failure to limit the ability of the virus to make copies of itself, or excessive inflammation and blood clotting.

The scientists said their discoveries, published in the journal Nature, could help prioritise the likely treatments that could work against the disease.

Eventually, the information could even help predict which patients were likely to become severely ill.

“It is potentially possible in future that we will be able to make predictions about patients based on their genome at the point of presenting (for) critical care,” said Kenneth Baillie, consultant in critical care medicine at the University of Edinburgh and one of the study authors, told reporters.

The genetic analysis of nearly 56,000 samples from people in Britain showed differences in 23 genes in COVID-19 patients who became critically ill, when compared with the DNA of other groups included in the study, including 16 differences that had not been previously identified.

The new findings could help guide scientists in their search for existing drugs that might be useful for treating COVID-19.

For example, the researchers found changes in key genes that regulate the level of factor VIII, a protein involved in forming blood clots.

“Blood clotting is one of the main reasons why patients with COVID develop a shortage of oxygen. So that’s potentially targetable to prevent those clots from forming,” Baillie said.

But “we can’t know if these medicines will work until we try them in people”.

One of the previously discovered genes, TYK2, is targeted by Eli Lilly’s arthritis drug baricitinib, now being studied as a treatment for COVID-19.

The drug was shown last week to cut the risk of death and hospitalisation in COVID-19 patients by 13% in a trial.

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Rahat Faeth Ali Khan receives a clean sheet from FIA

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According to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), there is no proof that well-known musician Rahat Fateh Ali Khan has engaged in any illicit behaviour, including money laundering or tax evasion.

Since there is no proof of any wrongdoing, the FIA has declared that it has completed its investigation into the popular singer’s alleged money-laundering and tax evasion case.

According to the recommendations made by the field inquiry unit, which suggested closing the investigation into Khan, the competent authority has approved the closure of the investigation into Rahat Ali Khan and other individuals, as confirmed by the Additional Director of the Federal Investigation Agency’s Lahore Zone.

The data that are now accessible include no information that would link Rahat Fateh Ali Khan to any illicit money smuggling operations.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Lahore has said that an investigation was opened in January of this year against Rahat Ali Khan and 182 other regular passengers who were leaving Lahore International Airport to find employment overseas. According to the report, information on frequent passengers served as the impetus for this inquiry, which had as its primary goal finding anybody engaged in money laundering or currency smuggling.

It is important to note that, based on their travel history, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) opened a money laundering and tax evasion investigation against well-known musician Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and others.

According to the FIA, the Deputy Director of Immigration at Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore supplied the information on 182 travellers. As a result, the investigation was started to find any regular travellers involved in cash smuggling or money laundering.

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan has paid taxes on all of his local and foreign income, according to sources at the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the Federal Institute of Agriculture (FIA).

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Saudi Arabia rewards brave police officer ASP Shehrbano with a royal pension.

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Sources claim that when the two met at the Saudi embassy, where the ambassador was entertaining the courageous female officer, the diplomat gave ASP Shehrbano the information.

The Saudi ambassador praised the police officer’s bravery and assured her that her family’s travel expenses to Saudi Arabia as a royal guest will be covered by the Saudi royal family.

He gave the ASP high marks for her poise and selfless dedication to her work in managing an agitated environment.

One day before, the Gulberg ASP visited the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Syed Asim Munir, at General Headquarters.

The head of the army acknowledged the significant contribution Pakistani women made to society as a whole.

He was cited as adding, “Since independence, Pakistani women have made a name for themselves both at home and abroad thanks to their skill, perseverance, and determination.

Additionally, ASP Shehrbano’s name was suggested by IG Punjab Usman Anwar for the Quied e Azam Police award.

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36% of fresh faces make it to the National Assembly.

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Following the general elections of this year, a record 36% of new members have joined the National Assembly.

There are now 96 new legislators that have been elected to the assembly out of 265 total. In the general elections, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) has elected the most number of fresh faces as Independents.

Of the new faces, eleven PPP and MQM members, as well as fifteen PML-N members, have become MNAs for the first time. The IPP’s Abdul Aleem Khan and Awn Chaudhry were elected to the National Assembly for the first time.

Ataullah Tarar of the Pakistan Muslim League-N, Mir Jamal Khan Raisani, the party’s youngest member, was also elected from Balochistan for the first time and made it to the lower house.

Sher Afzal Marwat, Latif Khosa, and Barrister Gohar Ali Khan, who is supported by the PTI, are some of the fresh faces. In the last parliament, Shandana Gulzar had a reserved seat; however, this time, she was elected to a general seat.

Arshad Vohra, Syed Mustafa Kamal, and Rauf Siddiqui of the MQM were also elected to the National Assembly for the first time.

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