DAILY DOSE: May 5, 2021

Posted on 05/05/2021

1. U.S. Treasury Secretary Yellen says cryptocurrency regulation is a topic “that’s well worth addressing.”

2. Real estate investor Sam Zell is seeing inflation everywhere. Zell has bought gold as a hedge.

3. T.V. host Conan O’Brien disclosed he will “wind down” his late night TBS show after 11 years and move over to HBO Max.

4. Israel lender Bank Leumi is contemplating a sale of its U.S. bank arm.

5. Cascade Investment is the family office of Bill Gates. Cascade Investment transferred securities worth more than US$ 1.8 billion to Melinda French Gates, a day after they announced their divorce.

6. Gym operator Equinox could go public by merging with a blank-check company (Social Capital series) backed by investor Chamath Palihapitiya.

7. VASCULAR DISEASE? A paper shows conclusively that COVID-19 is a vascular disease, demonstrating exactly how the SARS-CoV-2 virus damages and attacks the vascular system on a cellular level.

According to the Salk Institute, “Previous studies have shown a similar effect when cells were exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but this is the first study to show that the damage occurs when cells are exposed to the spike protein on its own.”

SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein Impairs Endothelial Function via Downregulation of ACE 2
Abstract: SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) infection relies on the binding of S protein (Spike glycoprotein) to ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) 2 in the host cells. Vascular endothelium can be infected by SARS-CoV-2,1 which triggers mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production and glycolytic shift.2 Paradoxically, ACE2 is protective in the cardiovascular system, and SARS-CoV-1 S protein promotes lung injury by decreasing the level of ACE2 in the infected lungs.3 In the current study, we show that S protein alone can damage vascular endothelial cells (ECs) by downregulating ACE2 and consequently inhibiting mitochondrial function.

Sources of Funding
This work was supported in part by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) grants 81870220 (S. Wang), 81800328 (J.Z.), 81941005 (Z.-Y. Yuan); Shaanxi Natural Science Fund S2020-JC-JQ-0239 (S. Wang); The National Key Research and Development Program (Grant No. 2018YFC1311500; Z.-Y. Yuan); the Clinical Research Award of the First Affiliated Hospital of Xi’an Jiaotong University (Grant No. XJTU1AF-CRF-2016-004; Z.-Y. Yuan); Xi’an Jiaotong University Financial support.

Link: https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.121.318902

8. U.S. births drop to the lowest level since the 1970s. Provisional data for 2020, which is at 3.6 million births, marks the sixth annual drop in a row.

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