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  1. Deltacron: New COVID variant or lab mistake? A researcher in Cyprus claims to have found a new coronavirus variant that combines characteristics of delta and omicron. Other researchers have their doubts. But the Cypriot scientist has doubled down on his discovery. Even if you've become somewhat numb to the constant onslaught of COVID-19 news, this might have caught your attention over the weekend: A University of Cyprus-based researcher said he had discovered a new strain of the coronavirus that combines characteristics of the delta and omicron variants. Leonidos Kostrikis and his team have identified 25 cases of what the professor of biological sciences and head of the Laboratory of Biotechnology and Molecular Virology is calling "deltacron." Omicron is highly contagious and has become the dominant variant of SARS-CoV-2 in many countries, including the UK and the US. Delta was the dominant variant worldwide over the summer. Infected patients had a significantly higher risk of hospitalization than those with the alpha variant of the virus. Deltacron, according to Kostrikis, has omicronlike genetic signatures within the delta genome. "We will see in the future if this strain is more pathological or more contagious or if it will prevail" against delta and omicron, Kostrikis told the Cypriot broadcaster Sigma TV on Friday. The emergence of a variant with the potential ability to spread just as fast as omicron or lead to more severe cases caused concern when it was first brought up. But experts have since called the veracity of Kostrikis's findings into question. Pushback after claim of contamination "The Cypriot 'Deltacron' sequences reported by several large media outlets look to be quite clearly contamination," Thomas Peacock, a research associate at Imperial College London's Barclay Laboratory, which focuses on coronavirus research, wrote on Twitter Saturday. In another tweet, he added that "this is not really related to 'quality of the lab' or anything similar - this literally happens to every sequencing lab occasionally!" After the pushback, Kostrikis defended his findings to US financial wire Bloomberg News on Sunday. The cases identified "indicate an evolutionary pressure to an ancestral strain to acquire [the] mutations" that led him to believe a combination of delta and omicron had occurred, he said in an email statement. He added that this combination was not the result of a singular event — like, for example, the contamination of samples in a lab. Kostrikis said the samples he analyzed were processed in multiple genetic sequencing procedures across several countries. Deltacron 'almost certainly not' a true combination of two variants So-called recombinant forms of viruses, as deltacron would be, are a known phenomenon. They can arise when there are several variants of a virus circulating at the same time, which is currently happening with SARS-CoV-2. But experts have pointed out that the discovered omicronlike mutations in the delta genome all lie in one section of the genetic sequence ― a section that is known to be affected by difficulties in certain sequencing procedures. Jeffrey Barrett, director of the COVID-19 Genomics Initiative at the UK-based Wellcome Sanger Institute, points to research his institute has done on the subject, which leads him to believe that the purported deltacron variant "is almost certainly not a biological recombinant of the delta and omicron lineages." So can we just ignore the Cyprus findings, breathe a sigh of relief and move on? It's a little early for that. Timo Wolf, a doctor and the head of the isolation unit for highly pathogenic diseases at University Hospital Frankfurt, told DW that he is optimistic but staying cautious for the moment. "I don't think there is a strong indicator that this will cause a huge problem," Wolf said. Wolf acknowledged that global data such as Kostrikis' still needs to be reviewed thoroughly. "To be definitely sure," he said, "I think we'll have to wait another few weeks." link :
  2. Deltacron: a new variant of COVID-19 or a lab contamination mishap? Health experts are skeptical of the existence of a reported delta and omicron combined variant By Amy McGorry | Deltacron, the reported new variant of COVID-19 said to combine both delta and omicron variants, has sparked a reaction of skepticism from world health experts. Scientists have expressed their doubts about its existence to various media platforms, saying that deltacron is likely the result of a lab contamination error. However, on Monday, the scientist behind the discovery defended his findings. A Cyprus researcher discovered deltacron, according to a report in Bloomberg News Saturday. According to the report, Leondios Kostrikis, who is a biological sciences professor at the University of Cyprus, discovered a genetic background of the delta variant along with some mutations of omicron. The media report stated that Kostrikis and his team claim to have found 25 cases and sent the findings to GISAID, an international database that tracks changes in the virus. Kostrikis told the Cyprus Sigma TV network last week, "We will see in the future if this strain is more pathological or more contagious," but he told the media outlet that the dominant strain will be omicron, according to multiple reports. Nurse Ray Akindele processes COVID-19 rapid antigen tests at a testing site in Long Beach , Calif., Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022. Dr. Tom Peacock, a virologist at the Imperial College in London, tweeted that the anomaly appears to be "quite clearly contamination" and said that it does not meet the criteria for a new variant. Another World Health Organization COVID-19 expert, Dr. Krutika Kuppalli, also wrote on her Twitter account, "This is likely sequencing artifact (lab contamination of Omicron fragments in a Delta specimen)". Amidst the backlash, Kostrikis defended his findings with an emailed statement Sunday to the Bloomberg media outlet. Nurse Mary Ezzat prepares to administer a Pfizer COVID-19 booster shot to Jessica M., Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, at UCI Medical Center in Orange, California. Kostrikis told the media outlet that the contamination hypothesis should be ruled out because the deltacron infection rate was higher among hospitalized patients with COVID-19 than among non-hospitalized patients, according to the report. The researcher in Cyprus said that the cases he identified "indicate an evolutionary pressure to an ancestral strain to acquire these mutations and not a result of a single recombination event," according to the report. Kostrikis also said in the media report that the samples were processed in multiple sequencing procedures in more than one country. According to his statement in the report, at least one other sequence from Israel was deposited in a global database that exhibited deltacron genetic characteristics. Puseletso Lesofi prepares to sequence COVID-19 omicron samples at the Ndlovu Research Center in Elandsdoorn, South Africa Wednesday Dec. 8, 2021. "These findings refute the undocumented statements that deltacron is a result of a technical error," Kostrikis said in the media report. Meanwhile, in the U.S., emergency department physician Dr. Fred Davis told Fox News, "The reports out of Cyprus are the first we are hearing of such a variant and will continue to be followed." Davis, who is the associate chair of emergency medicine at Northwell Health on Long Island in New York, did tell Fox News that vaccines are helping with the fight against COVID-19 and its variants. While emergency departments remain vigilant for COVID-19 variant cases, infectious disease expert Dr. Aaron E. Glatt, who is the chair of the department of medicine, and chief of infectious diseases at Mount Sinai South Nassau on Long Island, New York, told Fox News, "Variant strains of Covid-19 are always something that needs to be carefully observed and evaluated." "At this time, there is simply insufficient information available for anyone to make a reasonable assessment as to what this particular strain represents," Glatt, who is also a spokesperson for the Society of Infectious Diseases of America, told Fox News. link :
  3. i thought the CBI is an independent institution. why should the CBI or Iraqi government has to listen to what the IMF has to say regarding " reduce the exchange rate of the dollar and restore its price as before "? thanks god. again, this is just Economist equals to= someone opinion, not directly from the Governor of the CBI.
  4. New coronavirus variant 'Deltacron' emerges in Cyprus; experts say 'not something to be worried about' In total, 10 of the mutations from Omicron were found in the 25 samples taken in Cyprus. Eleven of the samples came from people who were hospitalized due to the virus. Edited by: India TV News Desk New DelhiPublished on: January 09, 2022 14:47 IST New coronavirus variant 'Deltacron' emerges in Cyprus A new coronavirus variant Deltacron has emerged in Cyprus which has a similar genetic background to the Delta variant, as well as some of the mutations from Omicron and experts say that it is not something to be worried about at the moment, a media report said. In total, 10 of the mutations from Omicron were found in the 25 samples taken in Cyprus. Eleven of the samples came from people who were hospitalized due to the virus, while 14 came from the general population, reported Jerusalem Post citing Cyprus Mail. Dr. Leondios Kostrikis, the head of the laboratory of biotechnology and molecular virology at the University of Cyprus, said that the frequency of the mutation among hospitalized patients was higher and could point to a correlation between the new variant and hospitalizations. Kostrikis also emphasized that the variant has a similar genetic background to the Delta variant, as well as some of the mutations from Omicron. The new variant was not something to worry about at the moment, said Cyprus's Health Minister Michalis Hadjipandelas on Saturday. The minister also expressed pride in discovering the new variant. Hadjipandelas said the groundbreaking research and findings of Dr. Kostrikis' team make us proud of our scientists. The minister also underlined that this research puts Cyprus on the international map when it comes to health matters, according to Jerusalem Post. So far, the scientific name of the new variant has not been announced. link :
  5. DOUBLE TROUBLE New ‘Deltacron’ Covid variant found in Cyprus ‘that combines the Delta and Omicron strains of the virus’ Tariq Tahir 11:52 ET, Jan 9 2022 Updated: 13:07 ET, Jan 9 2022 A NEW strain of the Covid virus that combines the Delta and Omicron variants has been found, scientists have claimed. The discovery was made by a research team led by Leondios Kostrikis, professor of biological sciences at the University of Cyprus. A test being carried out on in Cyprus, where the new variant was found The team have identified 25 such cases and data shows the relative frequency of the combined infection is higher among patients hospitalised due to Covid, Bloomberg reports. The variant was called Deltacron due to the identification of omicron-like genetic signatures within the delta genomes, Kostrikis explained. “There are currently omicron and delta co-infections and we found this strain that is a combination of these two,” Kostrikis said in an interview with Sigma TV Friday. Kostrikis, the head of the university’s Laboratory of Biotechnology and Molecular Virology said “we will see in the future if this strain is more pathological or more contagious or if it will prevail”. But his personal view is that this strain will also be displaced by the highly contagious omicron variant. A string of hugely positive studies show Omicron IS milder than other strains, with the first official UK report revealing the risk of hospitalisation is 50 to 70 per cent lower than with Delta. Covid booster jabs protect against Omicron and offer the best chance to get through the pandemic, health officials have repeatedly said. The Sun's Jabs Army campaign is helping get the vital extra vaccines in Brits' arms to ward off the need for any new restrictions. The Cypriot researchers have now sent their findings this week to GISAID, an international database that tracks viruses. The discovery of the new variant comes as omicron continues its rapid spread across the globe, causing a surge in Covid cases. Back in December, a top vaccine boss warned there is a very real risk of getting a "dual infection" from both Omicron and Delta. Dr Paul Burton, chief medical officer for Moderna, said: "In the near future these two viruses are going to coexists." He made the warning as he spoke to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee. “Omicron is going to infect people with a very strong background of Delta. "I think Omicron poses a real threat - the doubling time at three days is far faster than we've seen. "People can harbor both viruses, and that could be possible here. It certainly could be [much worse]. "It give an opportunity for the two viruses could share genes and swap genes over." It's not clear if this would make any infection worse but could certainly cause potential opportunities for each variant to develop further, Dr Burton warned. Although it is rare, this has happened before in the pandemic. A 90-year-old woman in Belgium caught both Alpha and Beta variants at the same time. She had not been vaccinated and doctors suspected she had contracted the dual viruses from two different people, before she died. Covid variants have previously been referred to by their country of origin, whether it's the Indian variant, the Kent strain or the South African variant. But some variants have now been renamed with experts referring to them by their Greek names. link :
  6. the question is who is going to replace Shabibi to continue the process revalueing the dinar?
  7. that's a good question. may be Yota can give us to post the articles about the picture of lower denoms.
  8. so, we should keep a close attention to the first and second quarter of 2022 while waiting for the end result of the election ( who is going to be the New PM officially ).
  9. exactly Luigi1. and don't forget the dinar investors too.
  10. on the mosques? you really crack me up, frankie. i don't think anybody is allowed to put a picture poster on the mosques because that is the place where they pray to their god ( I mean " Allah " or whatever they call it ).
  11. did Government of Iraq have to pay off the internal debts before they rv the IQD, like what they already paid off the debts to Kuwaiti Government? so the point is does that mean that Government of Iraq has to pay off all internal debts and external debts ( to Kuwaiti Government ) in order to rv the IQD ( free of debts at all )?
  12. Next June is in the second quarter of 2022 and it is in the beginning of summer season. i wish there will be a rate change in June 2022. again, we can only hope. only time will tell.
  14. sorry, i thought that would be a good reading for preparation when chapter 7 will be lifted one day.
  15. With Chapter 7 Lifted, Iraq Regains Control of Its Own Economy 07-07-2013 By Goran Mustafa ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The lifting of Chapter 7 sanctions last month can be considered one of Iraq’s biggest achievements since the ouster of Saddam Hussein a decade ago, allowing Baghdad to regain control over its own currency, oil and economy. Chapter 7, imposed on Iraq by the UN Security Council after Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait in 1991, froze all Iraqi assets in international banks, ordering they be used to compensate victims of the aggression. Besides placing limits on use of its wealth, the sanctions also placed limits on the Iraqi military. One of the biggest advantages of the lifting of the sanctions is the return of all frozen assets to the Iraqi government, estimated at $82 billion, according to Central Bank data. Its return will not only revitalize the economy, it will strengthen the value of the Iraqi dinar and increase its purchasing power. A few hours after Chapter 7 was lifted, the value of Iraqi dinar increased against other currencies. The exchange rate of dinar is fixed against the dollar, but its value continues to rise. Saif Al-Halafi, an economic and banking expert, expects that the dinar will probably replace the dollar for investments, and that as demand for the dinar rises, so will its value. With Chapter 7 lifted, Iraq also can independently handle its oil revenues without UN supervision. “The lifting of Chapter 7 against Iraq will enable it to regain independence in its oil policy, and Iraq again can become an important regional and international energy player,” said economic expert, Dr. Rebwar Khinsi. Iraq plans to emerge as one of the world’s biggest oil exporters in 12 years. According to Iraq’s energy plan, oil exports are expected to reach six million barrels per day (bpd) by 2017, elevating the federal budget to $216 billion dollars. The plan aims for exports of nine million barrels bpd by 2020, raising the budget to $324 billion dollars. In 2025, the federal budget will reach 432 million dollars, if Iraq succeeds to export 12 million barrels of oil per day. Under George Bush’s administration the US government agreed to keep $50 billion belonging to Iraq in America, and Barack Obama’s administration continues to do the same. An estimated $7.8 billion dollars are blocked in Jordan and Lebanon, and a huge amount of capital belonging to Iraqi Airways remains frozen in Kuwait and Jordan. The United Nations Security Council forced Iraq to compensate Kuwait for an estimated $52 billion. Following the first Gulf War, Iraq did not have an independent economic policy, with all of its income administered by Iraq’s development program and supervised by the UN. Five percent of Iraq’s annual oil revenue was allocated to compensating Kuwait. So far, Iraq has paid $41 billion dollars to Kuwait. According to Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoosyar Zebari, Baghdad is committed to paying the rest of the remaining $11 billion in compensation to Kuwait, and expects to pay off all of its debts by 2015. link :
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