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Knowledge technology

Knowledge sharing, essential technology to curb Covid-19

(New York) – Wealthy governments and pharmaceutical companies are compromising a rapid and fair public health response to vaccines, therapeutic drugs and Covid-19 tests, Human Rights Watch researchers said in a report paper released ahead of a World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting this week. Human Rights Watch also published a video on the subject. Governments and businesses urgently need to share knowledge and technology to save lives, protect the right to health, and ensure that everyone can benefit from scientific research, especially with the highly contagious Delta variant.

The paper, “COVID-19 Exposes Warped Global Health Power: System Needs Course Correction», Published on August 31, 2021 in the Journal of Business and Human Rights, explains how a handful of high-income countries that have come under pressure from powerful pharmaceutical companies have blocked a proposal to temporarily waive global trade and intellectual property rules in order to expand access to life-saving vaccines and other health products. Drawing on Human Rights Watch’s research and analysis of Covid-19 vaccine supply issues, it shows how governments have abdicated their responsibility to regulate pharmaceutical companies. Governments funding the development of the Covid-19 vaccine with public funds have not conditioned those funds on affordability and technology sharing, leaving companies to decide how, when and where they will manufacture, distribute and price the vaccines, Human Rights Watch said. Instead of sharing knowledge and technology, some governments are redistributing insufficient quantities of vaccines to the poorest countries while leaving companies to set the prices.

“Waiting for the benevolence of wealthy governments and pharmaceutical companies has dealt a fatal blow to fundamental rights,” said Aruna Kashyap, associate director of affairs and human rights at Human Rights Watch and co-author of the document. “It is unacceptable that rich governments reduce vital health care to a tradable commodity and use their power at the WTO to subjugate the right to health to pharmaceutical and commercial interests.

Access to Covid-19 vaccines remains deeply unequal. Three quarters of the more than 5 billion doses of vaccine administered worldwide have gone to just 10 countries, According to the WHO. While some wealthy governments have started distributing third “booster” vaccines, only two percent of Africa’s population are fully immunized. The WHO Director-General called for a moratorium on booster doses to allow vaccines to reach people who have not yet received their first dose.

The pandemic has exposed the dangers of having a vital vaccine manufacturing capacity concentrated in a few countries where governments have refused to prioritize and demand intellectual property waivers and technology transfers for rapid production. diverse and global. This has created deep inequalities in access to health products that can save lives.

Months of debates at the WTO have left the WHO and public health authorities around the world in limbo. In May, the United States indicated that it would support negotiations on the text of the waiver proposal. But the European Commission, representing member states of the European Union, Switzerland and several other high-income governments have consistently blocked and blocked efforts to quickly pass the waiver. Negotiations resume in Geneva on September 14.

Meanwhile, vaccine shortages and inequitable vaccine distribution policies have led to vaccine inequalities in a number of countries around the world, including India, Australia, Lebanon, Syria. , Yemen and Brazil.

The proposal to temporarily waive global trade and intellectual property rules, which has the support of more than 100 governments, if adopted by the WTO, would indicate that, in the context of the ongoing pandemic, the provision of vital health care comes first.

International law recognizes the right of everyone to benefit from scientific progress. Since the start of the pandemic, United Nations human rights entities have repeatedly stated that states have an obligation to share the benefits of scientific research. Governments have obligations in terms of international cooperation. They must refrain from any action which interferes, directly or indirectly, with the enjoyment of rights in other countries. This obligation extends to their actions within intergovernmental organizations such as the WTO.

Most governments have also ruled out WHO technology sharing pools. WHO first created a technology sharing pool for Covid-19 medical products in May 2020 which would have enabled the sharing of vaccine technology to promote faster production and distribution. However, only 41 governments have approved the swimming pool. Most of the rest, including the US, UK, Germany and many other EU member states and the European Commission, have yet to report their participation in the pool. None of these governments used their influence or influence to convince the pharmaceutical companies whose vaccines they funded to join the tech pool.

The WTO is an intergovernmental organization that regulates and facilitates international trade between nations. Its promotion of trade and the protection of intellectual property have always taken priority over health, the environment or human well-being. This pattern had deadly consequences during a pandemic by slowing the public response when at least 4.5 million lives have already been lost.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has shown that the system needs a long overdue course correction in order for the WHO to be empowered, not undermined, by the WTO,” said Margaret Wurth, senior researcher at Human Rights Watch and co-author of the paper. “Participating in WHO’s technology-sharing platforms and temporarily relinquishing intellectual property rules are essential ways forward. “

States should not thwart the efforts of other States to fulfill their human rights obligations, including when negotiating international agreements or participating in decisions as members of international organizations, for example by invoking intellectual property protections to slow the distribution or production of vaccines. In addition to violating their human rights obligations, obstructing a rapid health response is a huge setback for the ability of low- and middle-income countries to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The pandemic has sparked discussions on an international pandemic treaty that will take place in the coming months. Any pandemic treaty should include human rights protections, including triggers for automatic IP waivers, and demand greater transparency and accountability from global sourcing efforts.

“We urgently need enforceable global health standards that trivialize life-saving medical products and prioritize people’s health and safety instead of dragging their feet and equivocating,” said Kyle Knight, senior researcher at Human Rights Watch and third co-author. paper. “A powerful minority of wealthy governments have cynically prioritized their own interests and those of their businesses as infections and deaths around the world skyrocket. “



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Knowledge technology

Knowledge sharing, essential technology to curb Covid-19 – World

The commodification of vital medical products undermines the global health response

(New York) – Wealthy governments and pharmaceutical companies are compromising a rapid and fair public health response to vaccines, therapeutic drugs and Covid-19 tests, Human Rights Watch researchers said in a report paper released ahead of a World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting this week. Human Rights Watch also published a video on the subject. Governments and businesses urgently need to share knowledge and technology to save lives, protect the right to health, and ensure that everyone can benefit from scientific research, especially with the highly contagious Delta variant.

The paper, “COVID-19 Exposes Warped Global Health Power: System Needs Course Correction», Published on August 31, 2021 in the Journal of Business and Human Rights, explains how a handful of high-income countries that have come under pressure from powerful pharmaceutical companies have blocked a proposal to temporarily waive global trade and intellectual property rules in order to expand access to life-saving vaccines and other health products. Rely on Human Rights Watch research and analysis on Covid-19 vaccine supply issues, it shows how governments have abdicated their responsibility to regulate pharmaceutical companies. Governments funding the development of the Covid-19 vaccine with public funds have not conditioned these funds on affordability and technology sharing, leaving companies to decide how, when and where they will manufacture, distribute and price the vaccines, Human Rights Watch said. Instead of sharing knowledge and technology, some governments are redistributing insufficient quantities of vaccines to the poorest countries while leaving companies to set the prices.

“Waiting for the benevolence of rich governments and pharmaceutical companies has dealt a fatal blow to fundamental rights,” said Aruna kashyap, associate director of affairs and human rights at Human Rights Watch and co-author of the article. “It is unacceptable that rich governments reduce vital health care to a marketable commodity and use their power at the WTO to subjugate the right to health to pharmaceutical and commercial interests.

Access to Covid-19 vaccines remains deeply unequal. Three quarters of the more than 5 billion doses of vaccine administered worldwide have gone to just 10 countries, According to the WHO. As some wealthy governments began to distribute third “booster” shots, only two percent of the African population are fully immunized. The WHO Director-General called for a moratorium on booster doses to allow vaccines to reach people who have not yet received their first dose.

The pandemic has exposed the dangers of concentrating life-saving vaccine manufacturing capacity in a few countries where governments have refused to prioritize and demand intellectual property waivers and technology transfers for rapid production. diverse and global. This has created deep inequalities in access to health products that can save lives.

Months of debates at the WTO have left the WHO and public health authorities around the world in limbo. In May, the United States indicated that it would support negotiations on the text of the waiver proposal. But the European Commission, representing member states of the European Union, Switzerland and several other high-income governments have consistently blocked and blocked efforts to quickly pass the waiver. Negotiations resume in Geneva on September 14.

Meanwhile, vaccine shortages and inequitable vaccine distribution policies have led to vaccine inequalities in a number of countries around the world, including India, Australia, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, and Brazil.

The proposal to temporarily waive global trade and intellectual property rules, which has the support of more than 100 governments, if adopted by the WTO, would indicate that, in the context of the ongoing pandemic, the provision of vital health care comes first.

International law recognizes the right of everyone to benefit from scientific progress. Since the start of the pandemic, United Nations human rights entities have repeatedly stated that states have an obligation to share the benefits of scientific research. Governments have obligations in terms of international cooperation. They must refrain from any action which interferes, directly or indirectly, with the enjoyment of rights in other countries. This obligation extends to their actions within intergovernmental organizations such as the WTO.

Most governments have also ruled out WHO technology sharing pools. WHO first created a technology sharing pool for Covid-19 medical products in May 2020 which would have enabled the sharing of vaccine technology to promote faster production and distribution. However, only 41 governments have approved the swimming pool. Most of the rest, including the US, UK, Germany and many other EU member states and the European Commission, have yet to report their participation in the pool. None of these governments used their influence or influence to convince the pharmaceutical companies whose vaccines they funded to join the tech pool.

The WTO is an intergovernmental organization that regulates and facilitates international trade between nations. Its promotion of trade and the protection of intellectual property have always taken priority over health, the environment or human well-being. This pattern had deadly consequences during a pandemic by slowing the public response when at least 4.5 million lives have already been lost.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has shown that the system has long needed a course correction in order for the WHO to be empowered, not weakened, by the WTO,” said Marguerite Wurth, senior researcher at Human Rights Watch and co-author of the article. “Participating in WHO’s technology-sharing platforms and temporarily relinquishing intellectual property rules are essential ways forward. “

States should not thwart the efforts of other States to fulfill their human rights obligations, including when negotiating international agreements or participating in decisions as members of international organizations, for example by invoking intellectual property protections to slow the distribution or production of vaccines. In addition to violating their human rights obligations, obstructing a rapid health response is a huge setback for the ability of low- and middle-income countries to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The pandemic has sparked discussions on an international pandemic treaty that will take place in the coming months. Any pandemic treaty should include human rights protection, including triggers for automatic intellectual property disclaimers and impose greater transparency and accountability on global sourcing efforts.

“We urgently need enforceable global health standards that de-commodify life-saving medical products and prioritize people’s health and safety instead of dragging their feet and equivocating,” said Kyle knight, senior researcher at Human Rights Watch and third co-author of the article. “A powerful minority of wealthy governments have cynically prioritized their interests and those of their businesses as global infections and deaths soar. “



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Knowledge technology

“Iranian pioneer in the knowledge and technology of stem cells”

TEHRAN – Iran is one of the most pioneering countries in the world and the second country in the region based on stem cell knowledge and technology, said Hossein Baharvand, director of the Royan Institute for Biology and stem cell technology.

Baharvand is a distinguished professor of stem cells and developmental biology at the Institut de Royan.

He obtained his B.Sc. in Biology from Shiraz University in 1994, and M.Sc. in Developmental Biology from Shahid Beheshti University in 1996. He also obtained his PhD. in Cellular and Developmental Biology from Khwarizmi University in 2004. In 2012, he became a professor at the Royan Institute.

For the first time, it generated murine and human embryonic stem cells (2003) and induced pluripotent stem cells (2008) in Iran. This has enabled his team to pursue numerous avenues of research in translational research and regenerative medicine.

He is the founder and director of the Royan Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Technology, where the institute has engaged in interdisciplinary partnerships and collaborations by academics in biology, engineering and medicine to improve the human health and quality of life. Now the institute has 4 main departments named Stem Cells and Developmental Biology, Regenerative Medicine, Cell Engineering and the newly established Brain and Cognitive Sciences.

In an exclusive interview with The Tehran Times, Baharvand explained his research and the potential of cell therapy and regenerative medicine technologies to “cure disease”.

Below is the text of the interview:

1) Liver and heart disease are the leading causes of death worldwide. How can your 32nd Khwarizmi International Award-winning research on regeneration of liver and heart cells help in the treatment of these diseases?

Chronic degeneration of various organs is the leading cause of death and morbidity worldwide. Organ transplantation is the gold standard for terminally ill patients with organ failure. However, the limited number of donated organs is a potential barrier to organ transplants. In addition, post-transplant complications are another obstacle after organ transplants. Cell therapy is an alternative strategy for patients with organ failure. At the Royan Institute, we have developed advanced protocols for producing liver and heart cells from human stem cells. The cells generated were functional in the laboratory and fulfilled their physiological functions. Then we tried to extend these protocols and generate enough cells for any possible application in industry and clinic. The differentiation protocols are constantly updated and we will optimize them.

2) You have also won the 2019 Word Academy of Sciences (TWAS) Prize in Biology. You received the award for your fundamental contribution to understanding how pluripotency and differentiation are established and maintained in stem cells. Can you explain how research can help treat diseases in humans?

Pluripotent stem cells have unique abilities that make them an ideal source to produce any functional cell. The proliferative capacity of these cells is limitless and they can differentiate into all cell types in the human body, providing an exceptional platform for treating a wide range of diseases. Cutting-edge research in stem cell science, however, faces many challenges. We are now working on these challenges.

One of the biggest obstacles to any embryonic stem cell therapy is the forced, directed differentiation of stem cells to the desired cell. The process of specifying and maturing into a functional cell type from a pluripotent state is called differentiation.

Various clinical trials of autologous and allogeneic cell transplantation in patients with diseases such as myocardial infarction and diabetes and vascular, hepatic, skin, eye, bone, cartilage and neurological disorders have been conducted in Iran.Guiding embryonic stem cells to become a particular cell type has proven difficult. Normally, stem cells that develop in a developing embryo receive different signals from the surrounding tissue as well as cells. In the laboratory, we have to mimic these conditions and this microenvironment. For example, in addition to producing liver and heart cells, we have successfully differentiated human embryonic stem cells into retinal pigment epithelium and dopaminergic cells for age-related macular degeneration and Parkinson’s disease, respectively. We transplanted the cells into animal models and saw improvement. For this translational science, we have to pass many regulations and many quality controls before clinical trials. So, to go further, we have set up a special unit to produce stem cells under Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) conditions. This provides clinical grade cells of defined quality and assured safety for human use for Parkinson’s disease and age-related macular degeneration.

3) As director of the Royan Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Technology, how effective do you think stem cell technology can be in treating disease and what progress Iran has made made in this regard?

Regenerative medicine technologies, aimed at changing the form and function of therapeutic methods, inform the prospect of transforming standard care practices in the near future.

The evolution from the traditional perspective of “curing disease” to the increasingly actionable paradigm of “curing disease” has been shown to be effective in a large number of clinical trials in recent years and also in a growing number of units. emerging industrial companies in this field which are more than 900 companies in the world.

Iran is one of the most pioneering countries in the world and the second country in the region based on stem cell knowledge and technologies. There are several companies registered in this field which have so far approved 5 cell products in Iran FDA. Regulatory guidelines have also been defined which will promote the advancement of stem cell technologies in the years to come. Various clinical trials of autologous and allogeneic cell transplantation in patients with diseases such as myocardial infarction and diabetes and vascular, hepatic, skin, eye, bone, cartilage and neurological disorders have been conducted in Iran. To date, Iran has registered 119 clinical trials at https://clinicaltrials.gov.

[ClinicalTrials.gov is a resource provided by the U.S. National Library of Medicine. It is a database of privately and publicly funded clinical studies conducted around the world.]

QM / MG


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Knowledge technology

We can import knowledge, technologies to stimulate the economy

While our government continues to believe that borrowing money is one of the ways to jumpstart the economy, perhaps it can be reminded that it can also import new knowledge and technologies, which have historically arisen. proven to be one of the most effective ways of stimulating the growing economy.

Money alone, when not backed by productive ideas, will not add much value except to fuel corruption. Zimbabwe needs to organize and produce. We need wealth-creating initiatives that take into account that money is an output of production and that production stimulates trade, which generates income. The country has everything it takes to support the economy, except organization. We need to organize.

Most of the economies that have come out of the doldrums have done so largely by borrowing new ideas from others and honing them to meet the needs of their local circumstances, which would strengthen their economies. One such example is the economy of the United States, which began to gain stability and maturity in the 18th century, after being largely based on agriculture and plantations. However, their history of economic growth did not begin until after they gained independence from Britain in 1776.

There are three key factors behind their success, which are discussed in this article. First, soon after independence, their leaders prioritized putting in place strong systems, structures and policies that would enable the country to make good use of available resources, facilitate trade and economic growth, and develop. ” ensure transparency and accountability. After experiencing economic stagnation, they had to organize themselves. These systems have remained intact and have been the cradle of American economic success over the centuries.

Second, despite the fact that the European industrial revolution started much earlier than theirs and that European investors were prowling their shores in search of raw materials to feed their growing industry, American leaders have instead opted for a local model, empowering their local entrepreneurs and facilitating their access and acquisition of British and European industrial and scientific knowledge. They realized that economic growth is a highly competitive business.

Their agricultural industry was among the first to show signs of rapid growth due to mechanization, which contributed to the high standard of living of their workers and the general population.

Third, as the European industrial revolution was in full swing, selling raw materials to Europe was more than tempting and would have been an easy path to take. This is the easiest route currently taken by most African countries, reducing their income for growth.

The US government has instead chosen to invest heavily in the enrichment and processing of their own raw materials. Locally made products boosted domestic trade, while exports of these same products bolstered international trade with Britain and the rest of the world, which helped spawn the American Industrial Revolution between the 1820s. and 1880.

These three factors, combined with others, spawned the industrialization of the United States, with its local entrepreneurs taking the lead in the iron and steel, engineering, oil and gas, finance, electricity, textiles and finally the automobile. Cotton textile mills were also among the favorite enterprises that later became the foundation of the industrial revolution.

An economic boom put pressure on the government, which led to the expansion of the transport sector such as roads, canals and railways to facilitate trade and distribution of goods and services. The development of infrastructure has helped spur industrial growth, including mining and petroleum. The US government was only able to achieve this because their income base from taxes also increased from their industrial revolution.

These and other developments have prepared the United States to become a global industrial power. Of course, the slave trade and the expropriation of resources from poor countries played a role in the history of economic growth in the United States. In the 20th century, the US economy was among the largest in the world, even though the European Industrial Revolution began earlier. With a great economy comes colossal military might, which together has made the United States the most powerful country in the world.

Chinese history is similar, but more recent and shorter. When they transitioned from communism to capitalism in the late 1970s, they acquired Western industrial knowledge as part of their growth policies. Both President Obama and Donald Trump have repeatedly complained to the World Trade Organization about China’s alleged unorthodox acquisition of its patents, scientific knowledge, and some of its innovation policies. But that hasn’t deterred China.

They localized this knowledge making China one of the leaders in intellectual property. The story does not end there. A massive and cheap Chinese workforce with western industrial knowledge and skills has become a big global economic attraction, resulting in a rush of western industries to China.

As its economy grew and its population grew richer, Western businesses became more established because they make more profit by trading their goods and services with the now richer generation of children in the country. same workforce that made them.

All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of the Bulawayo24 community. The opinions of users posted on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Bulawayo24. The editors of Bulawayo24 also reserve the right to edit or delete any comments received.


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Knowledge technology

We can import knowledge, technologies to stimulate the economy

develop me: Tapiwa Gomo

While our government continues to believe that borrowing money is one of the ways to jumpstart the economy, perhaps it can be reminded that it can also import new knowledge and technologies, which have historically arisen. proven to be one of the most effective ways of stimulating the growing economy.

Money alone, when not backed by productive ideas, will not add much value except to fuel corruption. Zimbabwe needs to organize and produce. We need wealth-creating initiatives that take into account that money is an output of production and that production stimulates trade, which generates income. The country has everything it takes to support the economy, except organization. We need to organize.

Most of the economies that have come out of the doldrums have done so largely by borrowing new ideas from others and honing them to meet the needs of their local circumstances, which would strengthen their economies. One example is the economy of the United States, which began to gain stability and maturity in the 18th century, after being largely based on agriculture and plantations. However, their history of economic growth did not begin until after their independence from Britain in 1776.

There are three key factors behind their success, which are discussed in this article. First, soon after independence, their leaders prioritized putting in place strong systems, structures and policies that would enable the country to make good use of available resources, facilitate trade and economic growth, and develop. ” ensure transparency and accountability. After experiencing economic stagnation, they had to organize themselves. These systems have remained intact and have been the cradle of American economic success over the centuries.

Second, despite the fact that the European industrial revolution started much earlier than theirs and that European investors were prowling their shores in search of raw materials to feed their growing industry, American leaders have instead opted for a local model, empowering their local entrepreneurs and facilitating their access and acquisition of British and European industrial and scientific knowledge. They realized that economic growth is a highly competitive business.

Their agricultural industry was among the first to show signs of rapid growth due to mechanization, which contributed to the high standard of living of their workers and the general population.

Third, as the European industrial revolution was in full swing, selling raw materials to Europe was more than tempting and would have been an easy path to take. This is the easiest route currently taken by most African countries, reducing their income for growth.

The US government has instead chosen to invest heavily in the enrichment and processing of their own raw materials. Locally made products boosted domestic trade, while exports of these same products bolstered international trade with Britain and the rest of the world, which helped spawn the American Industrial Revolution between the 1820s. and 1880.

These three factors, combined with others, spawned the industrialization of the United States, with its local entrepreneurs taking the lead in the iron and steel, engineering, oil and gas, finance, electricity, textiles and finally the automobile. Cotton textile mills were also among the favorite enterprises that later became the foundation of the industrial revolution.

An economic boom put pressure on the government, which led to the expansion of the transport sector such as roads, canals and railways to facilitate trade and distribution of goods and services. The development of infrastructure has helped spur industrial growth, including mining and petroleum. The US government was only able to achieve this because their income base from taxes also increased from their industrial revolution.

These and other developments have prepared the United States to become a global industrial power. Of course, the slave trade and the expropriation of resources from poor countries played a role in the history of economic growth in the United States. In the 20th century, the US economy was among the largest in the world, even though the European Industrial Revolution began earlier. With a great economy comes colossal military might, which together has made the United States the most powerful country in the world.

Chinese history is similar, but more recent and shorter. When they transitioned from communism to capitalism in the late 1970s, they acquired Western industrial knowledge as part of their growth policies. Both President Obama and Donald Trump have repeatedly complained to the World Trade Organization about China’s alleged unorthodox acquisition of its patents, scientific knowledge, and some of its innovation policies. But that hasn’t deterred China.

They localized this knowledge making China one of the leaders in intellectual property. The story does not end there. A massive and cheap Chinese workforce with western industrial knowledge and skills has become a big global economic attraction, resulting in a rush of western industries to China.

As its economy grew and its population grew richer, Western businesses became established more because they make more profit by trading their goods and services with the now richer generation of children in the world. same workforce that made them.


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