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WHO recommendations for influenza virus vaccine composition for the 2019–2020 northern hemisphere season

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On 18–20 February 2019 in Beijing, China, the World Health Organization (WHO) agreed on the recommended composition of the quadrivalent influenza vaccine for the northern hemisphere 2019–2020 influenza season: an A/Brisbane/02/2018 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus, a B/Colorado/06/2017-like virus (B/Victoria/2/87 lineage), a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus (B/Yamagata/16/88 lineage) and an A(H3N2) virus component to be announced on 21 March 2019. The recommendation for the A(H3N2) component was postponed in light of recent changes in the proportions of genetically and antigenically diverse A(H3N2) viruses to allow more time for the selection of the appropriate virus strain. It is recommended that the influenza B virus component of trivalent vaccines for use in the 2019–2020 northern hemisphere influenza season be a B/Colorado/06/2017-like virus of B/Victoria/2/87-lineage.

The WHO recommendations are based on the viruses currently circulating globally. These viruses are collected through intensive surveillance efforts, where European laboratories and ECDC play a major role.

WHO recommended a change in the (H1N1)pdm09 component compared to the current trivalent and quadrivalent vaccines for the northern hemisphere 2018–2019 influenza season. The majority of circulating A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses have haemagglutinin (HA) gene sequences that belong to the genetically diverse phylogenetic subclade 6B.1A. In Europe and worldwide, predominant viruses also carry amino acid substitution S183P in HA1. Although almost all currently circulating A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses are antigenically similar to the 2018–2019 vaccine virus A/Michigan/45/2015 in haemagglutination inhibition (HI) assays, serological studies showed that a virus component representing this newly emergent subgroup would be more appropriate. The A(H1N1)pdm09 virus component was therefore changed from A/Michigan/45/2015 to A/Brisbane/02/2018.

There is considerable genetic and antigenic diversity of recently circulating A(H3N2) viruses. The majority of circulating A(H3N2) viruses in Europe belong to the phylogenetic subclade 3C.2a1b. However, the number of clade 3C.3a viruses has increased substantially since November 2018 in several geographic regions in Europe and worldwide. The 3C.2a and 3C.3a viruses are antigenically distinct. A low proportion of A(H3N2) viruses was inhibited well by antisera raised against the 2018–2019 egg-propagated vaccine virus A/Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016, while none of the 3C.3a viruses were recognised by the 2018–2019 vaccine virus. The recommendation for the A(H3N2) vaccine component will be announced by WHO in 21 March 2019.

In Europe and globally, both B virus lineages co-circulate in very low numbers. All circulating B/Yamagata/16/88 lineage viruses are well inhibited by antisera raised against B/Phuket/3073/2013. The same component was retained for the quadrivalent 2019–2020 vaccine.

WHO recommended the inclusion of the B/Victoria lineage in the trivalent vaccine for the northern hemisphere 2019–2020 influenza season. All circulating B/Victoria viruses belong to clade 1A, but are genetically and antigenically diverse, with the majority belonging to either the subgroup that carries two amino acid deletions (Δ2) or the one that carries three amino acid deletions (Δ3) in HA. The recommended 2018–2019 vaccine virus B/Colorado/06/2017 that belongs to the Δ2 subgroup was retained for the trivalent and quadrivalent 2019–2020 vaccines.

Further antigenic and genetic characteristics of recent seasonal influenza viruses are described in the full report of the recommendation.

Source: https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/news-events/who-recommendations-influenza-virus-vaccine-composition-2019-2020-northern-hemisphere

Blockchain

‘Bitcoin maxis’ like Solana, but is there sound logic to that

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Recent changes in cryptocurrency market dynamics have fueled the popularity of altcoins like Solana [SOL]. It recently became one of the most trending blockchain platforms around on the back of its surging price.

The cryptocurrency, in fact, had a 1-year ROI of over 4,200%, despite dropping by 34% since its peak in early September. Despite the latest hiccup in value, however, market observers believe the project has managed “winning over a significant number of Bitcoin Maxis or near-maxis.”

Ikigai Funds’ Travis Kling offered this observation on Twitter when he said,

“After talking to a bunch of folks over the last couple months, it’s pretty clear that SOL is successfully winning over a significant number of BTC Maxis or near-maxis, which have previously owned zero ETH or very little ETH.”

While the crypto-space is competitive, the tech-twist to the age-old saying – “competition of your competition is your ally” also holds true. Solana is not competing with Bitcoin. Instead, it is competing with Ethereum’s position in decentralized finance, NFTs, and smart contract offerings. Given the fact that transacting on Ethereum is still a pain for some users, Solana’s cheap and fast transactions provide a better alternative to many.

Solana’s DeFi projects recently crossed $3 billion, despite Ethereum hosting the maximum number of DeFi and NFT projects. While Bitcoin “maxis” are also opting-in for smart contracts, they prefer SOL over ETH, according to Kling.

Why? According to the exec,

“I think maxis look at ETH vs SOL and think –

Well as long as its not going to be all that decentralized, might as well have a smart contract platform that can actually handle enough throughput with cheap enough fees where it can really scale, instead getting choked up like ETH.”

However, not everyone agrees with Kling’s opinions. Many believe the decentralization narrative to be wrongly used by Kling, with another Twitter user @mikemcg0 noting that Ethereum is “more decentralized than BTC.” Anyone can run an Ethereum validator,” he said, “but only a select few oligopolies can mine BTC.”

Even so, Bitcoin mining has spread out even more after the recent China crackdown. Although the process is extensive in terms of effort, time, and money, according to another user, “anyone can” mine BTC “if they have the entrepreneurial mindset.”

Now, the latest outage faced by Solana did raise questions about the level of centralization. However, that has not really discouraged those who want to indulge in DeFi, NFTs, and smart contracts. As Solana forges new contracts with Hacken Foundation and Gate.io, others institutions like Osprey Funds and Grayscale are in a race to include Solana in their respective bouquet of products.

In fact, Osprey Funds has already registered Osprey Solana Trust with the SEC.

‘Ethereum killer’ or not, Solana is en route to gaining more interest from the booming crypto-market. Even turning so-called BTC maxis in the process.

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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/bitcoin-maxis-like-solana-but-is-there-sound-logic-to-that

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‘Rich Dad’ Author Robert Kiyosaki Predicts ‘Giant Stock Market Crash’, Keeps HODLing Bitcoin

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The highly successful author behind the “Rich Dad Poor Dad” series of personal finance books, Robert Kiyosaki, has predicted a “giant stock market crash” is coming in October, and while he noted the price of bitcoin may crash too, he is not selling his BTC holdings.

According to a tweet Kiyosaki published, the best-selling author believes that the stock market crash will take down with it not only equities but also the price of precious metals like gold and silver. Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin will also be affected, with cash being “best for picking up bargains after crash.”

The author added he will not be selling his gold, silver, or bitcoin, but maintains “lots of cash for life after stock market crash,” before noting he believes the stock market is currently dangerous for investors.

Kiyosaki has over 1.7 million followers on the microblogging platform, partly thanks to the success of his “Rich Dad Poor Dad” books. The main book of the series of one of the top 10 personal finance books of all time, “advocates the importance of financial literacy (financial education), financial independence and building wealth through investing in assets, real estate investing, starting and owning businesses, as well as increasing one’s financial intelligence (financial IQ) to improve one’s business and financial aptitude.”

The best-selling author has been predicting a stock market crash for some time now. In June, he recommended buying bitcoin ahead of what he believes was going to be the “biggest crash in world history.” The crash, he revealed, was coming after the “biggest bubble in world history” popped.

In August, he revealed BTC had the “greatest upside” while the value of the U.S. dollar was dropping. Earlier this year, the author said the price of bitcoin was “going to $1.2 million” in five years. Kiyosaki has also recently commented on China’s crackdown on cryptocurrency.

Per his words, China is “about to launch its Government crypto coin,” and as such outlawed cryptocurrency mining and trading to crackdown on privately issued competitors.

DISCLAIMER
The views and opinions expressed by the author, or any people mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only, and they do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice. Investing in or trading cryptoassets comes with a risk of financial loss.

IMAGE CREDIT
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Source: https://www.cryptoglobe.com/latest/2021/09/rich-dad-author-robert-kiyosaki-predicts-giant-stock-market-crash-keeps-hodling-bitcoin/

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Blockchain

Europe Now World’s Biggest Crypto Economy: Boasts Over $1T Worth of Transactions

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Central, Northern, and Western Europe (CNWE) has grown into the world’s largest cryptocurrency economy since July 2020. The region experienced a massive increase in trading activity since then– particularly in the DeFi space.

The European DeFi Boom

Data from Chainalysis shows that CNWE received over $1 trillion in cryptocurrency over the last year alone. This represents 25% of global trading activity. Furthermore, it is responsible for at least 25% of all crypto value received by other regions, including 34% of the value received in North America.

This makes the EU the most concentrated in the world in terms of cryptocurrency trading volume. This is partially due to increases in all forms of trading activity over the past year, coming mostly from institutional investors.

Large institutional transaction value grew from $1.4B in July 2020 to $46.3B in June 2021, coming to take up half of all CNWE trading activity. The most pronounced increases were seen on DeFi protocols, where over 80% of these large institutional transactions were sent in June.

The impact of DeFi is further established when ranking coins in terms of transaction activity in the region. Despite being the largest cryptocurrency by market cap, Bitcoin heavily trails Ethereum in transaction volume among large institutional investors. Additionally, DeFi protocols took up a majority share of funds received by cryptocurrency services in CNWE in June 2021.


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The Decline in Eastern Asia

CNWE has seen significant absolute increases in its crypto trading volume. However, its new place as the world’s largest trading hub is partly due to a sharp decline in market share held by Eastern Asia– the previous world leader.

In early 2019 the region held over 30% of global transaction volume. This figure has since fallen sharply to about 15% – less than CNWE, North America, and even Central and Southern Asia.

This may be related to China’s continued push to prevent and discourage crypto trading within its borders. China re-announced their ban on crypto trading in the country days ago, and have been moving to prevent all access to exchanges within the country.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/europe-now-worlds-biggest-crypto-economy-boasts-over-1t-worth-of-transactions/

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