Scientists have not stopped studying the Ebola virus. And recently, scientists and researchers in Guinea have reported that the deadly virus has mutated.
Researchers in France who first told the world of the outbreak last March are now studying the samples from patients in Guinea and other countries to determine if the mutation has made the virus more contagious and deadly.
Ebola death toll and researchers’ role
It can be recalled that the first victim of Ebola was a 2 year old boy from Guinea. From the little helpless boy, the virus has caused widespread agonizing deaths all across West Africa.
At least 22,000 have died contracting the disease. Almost 9,000 of those who died came from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Researchers have a very important role in the fight of the Ebola virus. Researchers and scientists alike have joined forces in analyzing thousands of blood samples from victims. They are risking their lives to protect the future of human beings.
Currently, they are trying to determine how the virus is mutating. Studies have also been conducted if the virus can now be readily transmitted from one person to another and in what manner. One of the worst scenarios would be if this virus will become airborne in which case, the number of victims is predicted to skyrocket.
Viruses can change significantly into more deadly forms in a short amount of time. Ebola, like influenza and HIV, have a very high rate of mutation. With this characteristic, scientists are expecting that the virus can easily adapt and its chances of becoming more contagious are high.
The global problem
This deadly virus faced by the world is real and not just some fancy blockbuster sci-fi movie where avid fans wear movie costumes. This outbreak is serious and is killing thousands of innocent lives in the African region.
The problem of Ebola virus is not just Africa’s problem. It is a contagion that affects all of humanity. If the outbreak of the Ebola virus will not be stopped, it will not only kill people but could cripple every sector vital for human existence.
For those who don’t know, January 26 is Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day or BWAD as it is often called. On this day, people from all walks of life celebrate this transparent plastic material and the convenience it had provided in the past decades since its conception.
The bubble was accidentally discovered by two engineers, Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes, way back in 1957. It was first made while the two engineers were trying to create textured wallpaper. Its creation has greatly contributed to the innovations in packaging and it is said to have revolutionized the world of industry packaging.
Bubble wrap is technically a clear transparent plastic film or otherwise called polyethylene resin. It is mainly used to provide shock and isolation from vibration for products during transportation and delivery. This is all made possible through the evenly distributed air bubbles that are trapped between two plastic materials that are used to cushion products.
Since it was first released to the public, there are now countless of products and items made of bubble wrap that are made so that products will be able to travel safely and shipped without any abrasions or damages.
Bubble wraps are so inexpensive that is why people, especially suppliers and manufacturers, have taken such a great liking to it. Not only is it able to provide safety to various items and products, it can also reduce the cost for travel since it has less packing material.
It is also a common concept that bubble wraps can relieve stress. It is used by people around the world to relieve them of stress by popping the air inside the bubble. Some had even called the act addicting.
With the convenience of bubble wraps it is only right that people celebrate it. The Oral Roberts University had an amazing way to celebrate Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day. With over a thousand people, they had attempted to break the record for the most people popping Bubble wraps simultaneously.
The current record is held by Twin Lakes Elementary School in Minnesota. Results for the world record attempt are due for several weeks.
Other people have also invented creative ways to enjoy Bubble wraps. Some had created a Bubble wrap bike that continuously pops the bubbles as you ride on it while others prefer the traditional form of popping.
A photo uploaded through a video file suggested that ISIS has killed one of its Japanese hostages. ISIS is now demanding the release of a terrorist who is in Jordanian jail in exchange for the life of the other Japanese captive.
In the video, Kenji Goto, one of the hostages carries a photo of the corpse of his comrade, Haruna Yukawa. In the video, a voice was speaking in English and blames the Prime Minister of Japan for Yukawa’s death.
Goto, who claimed to be the voice in the file, said that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was given a deadline to meet the demand of the hostages which is $200 million to save their lives but he did not adhere to it.
New demand of the terrorists
After putting the blame on the PM, the voice asked for a new demand. The new ultimatum was to release a convicted terrorist, Sajuda al-Rishawi, an Iraqi woman. She currently is detained in Jordan and is waiting for the death penalty. She is said to have participated in the series of bombings in 2005 that left dozens of people lifeless in the streets of Saudi Arabia.
Terrorist acts condemned
Japan called the terrorists’ move to be outrageous and condemned the killing of Haruna Yukawa. He also demanded the immediate release of Kenji Goto. Japan’s position is not sure if it will to give in to demand of the terrorists or not.
A strong stance not to give in to terrorist is shared by other free nations including the United States of America. There is no bargaining with terrorists. Their acts need to be condemned and one should not succumb to what it demands or else it will give the group a sense of pride in that it could demand for anything.
Video file analyzed
The video was said to be uploaded by a supporter of ISIS. The US officials who analyzed and scrutinized the content of the video said that it was authentic.
However, a member of Kenji Goto’s family claimed that it could not have been his stepson’s voice. He stated that he has heard his stepson speak English a couple of times and that it was not his accent.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the leader of Iran penned a letter to the youth of America and Europe not to judge the followers of Islam based on the attacks in France earlier this year.
Two weeks earlier, France was gripped in what was the worst security breach in France for several years. Hooded men which were later identified terrorists belonging to the Islamic community did the massacre spree of innocent lives.
The leader’s post in Twitter and the website of the clerics was entitled to “To the Youth in Europe and North America”. He addresses the youth to gain understanding on what Islam is really all about and not to judge immediately. In his messaged, he condemned the media for putting a bad light of the followers of Allah.
He felt the need to write to the new generation in light of the recent violence in Europe and the Middle East. His letter reads, “I am addressing you, [the youth] not because I overlook your parents, rather it is because the future of your nations and countries will be in your hands; and also I find that the sense of quest for truth is more vigorous and attentive in your hearts.”
He asks the youth to be vigilant, to gain correct information regarding Islam, to take a closer look at the religion.
In his letter, Khamenei emphasized that the young people should ignore the dirty portrayals by the media of Islam.
Timing of the letter
The letter from Iran’s supreme leader came at a time where its relationship with US is in a questionable position. The hatred between nations escalated during the unveiling of Iran’s nuclear programs.
In October, President Obama wrote a letter to Khamenei expressing to the head of state that they both have the same enemy- the ISIS.
Iran’s government however answered in a different tone. It called the US as the “enemy” in one of its tweets a couple of months ago. It was during the negotiations for the nuclear surrender of Iran. The supreme leader from the Middle East also condemned America of its treatment of the African American population.