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Vaccine technologies: Why a COVID vaccine will take months, not centuries

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The smallpox virus raged among humans for 10,000 years before a leap of insight led to the vaccine that killed it forever. The insight took about 300 years to develop.

Today, in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, drug companies throughout the world are experimenting with vaccines. One company, Moderna, took 42 days to create an experimental vaccine.

Why so fast?

The most obvious reason is the research infrastructure: Laboratories, drug companies, medical systems — systems we take for granted — have never before been available on such a wide scale. Humans are in the era of science and technology.


Still, of the seven known coronaviruses, there are no known human vaccines.

According to Johns Hopkins Senior Scholar Dr. Amesh A. Adalja, the key to the newly rapid development of vaccines is new vaccine platform technologies. Writing in leapsmag.com, Adalja says these platforms use the same building blocks to make more than one vaccine. Using the basic platform, researchers are able to, in effect, switch out one targeted virus (or bacteria or other organisms) like a person switches out a video game cartridge. One example of that is the Ebola vaccine, which uses another virus as a platform with the Ebola protein inserted.

A variety of different approaches are being used to create a COVID vaccine. Moderna is using an RNA approach. Inovio is using a DNA model in which genetic material is injected into the platform and human cells translate it into a viral protein. At that point the immune system makes antibodies.

Other approaches include nanoparticles (by Novavax), while other companies try to adapt an avian coronavirus vaccine.

According to Adalja, a coronavirus vaccine could possibly confer protection against other human coronaviruses, eliminating their use as a biological threat in the future.

And, even curing a common cold.

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Food

5 foods that are good for your eyes

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As you get older, you become more likely to develop certain age-related eye conditions. However, eating a nutrient-rich diet can prevent or mitigate changes to your vision. Here are some foods that are believed to be good for your eyes.

1. Nuts and seeds
Chia seeds and walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. These nutrients help protect your eyes from inflammation and decrease the risk of elevated eye pressure and glaucoma.

2. Citrus fruits
Grapefruits, oranges, and lemons are high in vitamin C, which helps strengthen the blood vessels in your eyes and reduces your risk of developing cataracts.

3. Leafy greens
Lettuce, spinach, and kale are high in lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that can help protect against age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.


4. Fish
Salmon, mackerel, and sea bass contain DHA and EPA, two fatty acids that help keep the retina healthy.

5. Orange vegetables
Sweet potatoes and carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which helps keep the surface of your eyes hydrated and healthy. It also reduces oxidative stress caused by blue and UV lights.

Your vision and eye health affect your physical and mental well-being. Consequently, taking good care of your eyes is a key component of living a long and healthy life.

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Health

How to prevent digital eye strain

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If you’re experiencing dry eyes, headaches, or blurry vision, digital eye strain may be to blame. Here are five things that can help alleviate the effects of frequently looking at your computer, tablet, or phone screen.

1. Follow the 20/20/20 rule
Look up from your screen every 20 minutes and focus on something approximately 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This short break will give your eyes the needed rest to relax, refocus and reset.

2. Change your settings
If your job makes it impossible to avoid looking at a screen all day, try using a larger font size. Additionally, you can increase the contrast, sharpness, and brightness of your screen.

3. Adjust the lighting
Glare from the sun or overhead lights can cause your eyes to work overtime. Try dimming the lights in the room, closing the blinds, or installing an anti-glare filter.


4. Improve your posture
Bad posture can intensify digital eye strain. Avoid slumping over, craning your neck, or looking down at your screen for long periods of time.

5. Schedule regular eye exams
An optometrist can ensure that your uncorrected vision problems are addressed. Plus, they can provide professional advice on how to keep your eyes healthy.

Though digital eye strain is unlikely to lead to permanent damage, it can be uncomfortable. Taking precautions will help minimize difficulties with your vision and eye health.

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Health

Naps by duration: what you should know

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Do you have days when it feels like a nap is just what you need to restore your energy and boost your mood? While a quick rest can provide these benefits, napping for the right amount of time is key. Here’s what you should know.

Five to 10 minutes
The brief moment of relaxation offered by a nap of this duration can slightly improve your attention span. Even just closing your eyes and breathing deeply for a few minutes can help reduce stress.

10 to 20 minutes
This is widely considered the ideal amount of time for a nap. It’ll leave you feeling refreshed and more alert, which can improve your concentration and productivity. To ensure this nap is restorative, set an alarm to prevent you from sleeping for too long.

30 minutes
A nap of this duration can actually make you feel more tired. Your body has enough time to enter a deep sleep but not enough to complete a full sleep cycle. This causes sleep inertia, which can leave you feeling sluggish and groggy for up to an hour after you wake up.


60 minutes
Although an hour-long nap can leave you feeling drowsy when you wake up, it can also enhance your performance of memory-related tasks. Additionally, it may provide you with enough deep sleep to boost your capacity to learn.

90 minutes
Since you have time to complete a full sleep cycle, a nap of this duration is easier to wake up from than a 30- or 60-minute one. It promotes creativity, alertness, memory, and concentration. While not recommended for people with insomnia, a 90-minute nap can help make up for a short or sleepless night.

If you have trouble sleeping or often feel exhausted, speak with your doctor right away. This will help you avoid the onset of related health problems.

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Health

4 apps to track your menstrual cycle

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Are you looking for a simple way to keep track of your period? If you want to know when you’re ovulating or avoid being caught off guard without a tampon, here are four useful applications that might be right for you.

1. Clue
This app uses daily reminders to help track your menstrual cycle and provides science-based predictions about your next period and fertility window. You can also use the app to track information such as your sleep schedule and PMS symptoms to better understand how your body works. Available for Android and iOS.

2. Flo
In addition to tracking your menstrual cycle, this app offers ovulation predictions, a comprehensive pregnancy guide, and resources on a wide range of topics such as sleep, nutrition, and skincare. You also have the option to receive reminders to take your birth control pill. Available for Android and iOS.

3. Menstrual Period Tracker
This minimalist app by Efrac uses a standard calendar format to record your menstrual cycle history, make predictions about your periods and track up to four symptoms. You can also add notes about your flow, birth control, and mood. Available for iOS.


4. Glow
More than just a period tracker, this app allows you to log PMS symptoms and chart your fertility. You’ll also have access to reproductive health resources and an online forum. Additionally, this inclusive platform provides information and support for trans men who have a menstrual cycle. Available for Android and iOS.

Regardless of which app you use, there are numerous benefits to keeping an accurate record of your menstrual cycle. Among other things, you can gain a better understanding of your body’s patterns as well as your mood, sex drive, fertility, and overall health.

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Health

Too good to be true: Choosing the most effective sunscreens

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Beauty fanatics called it a holy grail product HG for short. It layered beautifully under makeup, moisturized the skin, and didn’t cause acne breakouts. And according to Vogue Magazine, the manufacturer self-reported an unbelievable SPF of 84.5. The product was a South Korean sunscreen, Centella Green Level Unscented Sun SPF50+, by South Korean cosmetics company Purito.

The product rode the wave of popularity recently enjoyed by Korean beauty products in the United States to become a beloved favorite among social media influencers.

But there was a catch. It turned out that instead of SPF 84.5, the sunscreen was no higher than SPF 19, according to Cosmetics Business. And according to New York Magazine, overstated SPF levels is not new or uncommon. One Consumer Reports study found that 36 out of 53 sunscreens tested failed to live up to their SPF promises.

So all of this begs the question: How do consumers identify products they can trust to protect the health of their skin?



According to New York Magazine, the best way to ensure that sunscreen works the way you think it will protect your skin is to make sure it’s FDA-approved. To do that, look up the product’s name or NDC number (a ten-digit code) on NDClist.com. Inclusion on this list verifies that the manufacturer has conducted FDA-compliant testing.

You can also simply look at the label. Every sunscreen should be labeled with a drug facts box that lists the active ingredients and percentages. As cosmetic chemist David Petrillo told New York Magazine, one easy way to pick the best protection between two sunscreens with the same SPF is to choose the formula with the higher percentages of active ingredients.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, everyone should use sunscreens that offer broad-spectrum protection with SPF 30 or higher. Water-resistance is also recommended.

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Health

How to connect with your emotions

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The fast pace of daily life can make it easy to brush feelings aside rather than reflect on them. And yet, the process of connecting with your emotions is crucial to your mental well-being. Here’s some advice that can help you get in touch with your feelings.

Learn to accept them
It’s important not to distract yourself from difficult emotions. Instead, you should aim to become more at ease with them. If you want to learn to accept your feelings, both positive and negative, you need to find a way to embrace rather than resist your emotions.

Identify them with words
Pay attention to your body and attempt to identify how you feel physically and mentally. Is there tightness in your throat, tension in your temples, or heaviness in your gut? Are you feeling angry, anxious, or sad? Putting your emotions into words, out loud or in a journal, will allow you to better understand them.

Recognize their impermanence
Accepting your emotions isn’t the same thing as resigning yourself to them. Remember that all feelings are temporary, and even the most powerful emotions will fade with time.


If you’re struggling with your emotions, keep in mind that speaking with a friend, family member or mental health professional can help you sort through them.

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King Cartoons

Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

Jun
21
Mon
9:00 am Stop Motion Animation @ Code Ninjas
Stop Motion Animation @ Code Ninjas
Jun 21 @ 9:00 am – Jun 25 @ 12:00 pm
Stop Motion Animation @ Code Ninjas
Stop Motion Animation Experiment with video production through a variety of mediums including Claymation, LEGO® Minifigures, pipe cleaner creatures, and much more! Ninjas will capture images frame-by-frame and produce videos in a rapid prototyping style.[...]
Jun
23
Wed
12:00 pm FRWRC Women In Networking @ ONLINE
FRWRC Women In Networking @ ONLINE
Jun 23 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
FRWRC Women In Networking @ ONLINE
CLICK HERE for link to attend. Guest: Patty Fadeley, Blue Ridge Hospice *Event will also be Live on Facebook Topic: Blue Ridge Hospice FREE VIRTUAL EVENT “More than just another networking group”. FRWRC WIN is[...]
4:00 pm Messy Makers and Art Adventures ... @ microWave Project
Messy Makers and Art Adventures ... @ microWave Project
Jun 23 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Messy Makers and Art Adventures for Kids @ microWave Project
We are bringing back two of our most popular classes for the month of June, Messy Makers and Art Adventures! Messy Makers returns for the month of June on Wednesdays from 4-5 pm. With the warm weather[...]
7:00 pm Front Royal Cardinals Baseball Game @ Bing Crosby Stadium
Front Royal Cardinals Baseball Game @ Bing Crosby Stadium
Jun 23 @ 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Cardinals Baseball Game @ Bing Crosby Stadium
Front Royal Cardinals Baseball vs. Winchester Royals Wednesday, June 23rd @ 7 PM Bing Crosby Stadium Warren County Night at the Bing
Jun
24
Thu
5:30 pm Daisy Girl Scout Open House @ Living Water Christian Church
Daisy Girl Scout Open House @ Living Water Christian Church
Jun 24 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Daisy Girl Scout Open House @ Living Water Christian Church
The newly formed Daisy Girls Scout troop for Warren County is hosting an Open House on June 24th, 2021, from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM. It is open to girls in Pre-school through 1st grade.[...]
7:00 pm Front Royal Cardinals Baseball Game @ Bing Crosby Stadium
Front Royal Cardinals Baseball Game @ Bing Crosby Stadium
Jun 24 @ 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Cardinals Baseball Game @ Bing Crosby Stadium
Front Royal Cardinals Baseball vs. Purceville Cannons Thursday, June 24th @ 7 PM Bing Crosby Stadium
Jun
26
Sat
all-day Great American Campout @ Sky Meadows State Park
Great American Campout @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 26 – Jun 27 all-day
Great American Campout @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Don’t miss your chance to camp out in the beautiful historic Mount Bleak backyard. See all that Sky Meadows has to offer through activities beginning at noon on Saturday and running until noon[...]
9:00 am Summer Wild Edible Plants: Earth... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Summer Wild Edible Plants: Earth... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 26 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Summer Wild Edible Plants: Earth Connection Series @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meet at the Carriage Barn. Sky Meadows’ summer landscape comes alive with the bounty of nature. Join professional outdoor instructor Tim MacWelch to learn about the tasty wild edible plants of the Crooked Run Valley.[...]
Jun
27
Sun
5:00 pm Front Royal Cardinals Baseball Game @ Bing Crosby Stadium
Front Royal Cardinals Baseball Game @ Bing Crosby Stadium
Jun 27 @ 5:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Cardinals Baseball Game @ Bing Crosby Stadium
Front Royal Cardinals Baseball vs. Waynesboro Generals Sunday, June 27th @ 5 PM & 7:30 PM Double Header Game Bing Crosby Stadium
6:00 pm SCUMC Vacation Bible School @ Stephens City United Methodist Church
SCUMC Vacation Bible School @ Stephens City United Methodist Church
Jun 27 @ 6:00 pm – Jul 1 @ 8:15 pm
SCUMC Vacation Bible School @ Stephens City United Methodist Church
Dates: June 27 – July 1 Time: 6 pm to 8:15pm each night Place: Stephens City UM Church on Main Street Theme: Wilderness Escape – Moses leads the Israelite’s through the desert Ages: 4 years[...]