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評論 回應:全球公民平台寫作計畫登場!我們如何回應這個世界?

GCPA編輯群–回應全球公民平台第一場論壇

Funmi
Funmi ・2021/04/20 ・1249字 ・閱讀時間約 2 分鐘
本評論由科夥伴自行發表,相關內容遵守會員內容發表規範與責任,此刊登內容泛科學編輯部並未干涉。

The global pandemic is not only a threat to public health, but also devastating on the global economy. After the initial outbreak of the COVID-19 in 2020, the need for vaccines and medicines has not been met. However, no effective medicines have appeared. Fortunately, the development of vaccines has shed light on an end of the global pandemic. 1

Vaccine development, due to this Covid-19 global pandemic, has been changed dramatically, not only based on previous techniques, but also enhanced new technology application.  Countries compete their techniques, production capacity, only hope to flatten the curve, reopen the nation’s gateway, and recover the normal life.  Whether Taiwan possesses these vaccine techniques, or obtains the authorization to reproduce effective vaccines are crucial.  Furthermore, whether we can catch-up the timeline for emergency use application, or start to receive orders from the global market are critical.  The vaccine diplomacy would again outstand Taiwan from its well-performed Covid-19 containment, gaining more ground in the global political field.  Therefore, biotechnology in this post-pandemic era would play a key role. 2

In the past, the cumbersome steps of the FDA and other countries’ medical-related equipment certification may be the biggest obstacle to the biomedical industry. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has posed a threat to public health at a global level, it has also accelerated the development of new vaccines and medical equipment. 3

The maintenance of public health has many dimensions. The medical community has proposed other ways to maintain public health besides vaccines, one of the projects being preventive medicine with biodesign. For example, disinfectant spray or masks that can isolate or even kill viruses before to prevent a direct contact from the virus to the human body. However, vaccines have a long history in human society as an epidemic prevention tool. Its validity is widely recognized. Whether the preventive public health products of new biodesign can outperform vaccination is in doubt. We will need experimental and clinical evidence to know the efficacy of biodesigned preventive public health products. If the biodesigned preventive products can be used simultaneously with vaccination, it will be more promising to achieve global public health in the post-pandemic era. 4

 

 

In Taiwan, for example, the collaboration of the biomedical industry and academy needs to move forward. The National Health Institutes and Academia Sinica both have the capability of developing effective vaccines. The nano-vaccines developed by the Institute of Biomedical Science are excellent considering their safety and effectiveness. However, some vaccines or reagents seem to have no follow-ups when they come to the stage of clinical trials. Therefore, promoting Taiwan’s industry-academic cooperation is essential to the development of biomedical science. Since the establishment of the National Biotechnology Research Park in Taiwan has provided a good environment, the government should support more biotech teams of great potential for the future. 5

In the future, major biomedicine factories will operate independently in terms of technology and look for other manufacturers to expand production capacity. In contrast, small factories that are comparatively behind in the competition must find their own strategic positions and look for cooperative opportunities to seek breakthroughs in the development of vaccines.

 

Domestic vaccine production in Taiwan’s vaccine industry leans toward protein sub-units. However, Taiwan is a border disease prevention and control country facing community infection risks, so third-phase clinical trial data can be hard to obtain, and it is also difficult to say whether future international vaccine passport agreements would include Taiwan. Therefore, it is essential to cooperate with other countries with their domestic vaccines in trial phases, buy time, jointly find international test sites, and obtain data through certification. These are also transnational biotechnology cooperation agendas.

Taiwan’s other advantage is its ability to provide improved production processes that could help it to secure a meaningful place in the vaccine international supply chain and contribute to the fight against the global pandemic. 6

Vaccine strategies and technologies vary from country to country. The first mRNA vaccine produced in response to the epidemic was initially an anti-cancer technology, but now it is deployed against COVID-19. It is both a commercial and an academic breakthrough. The mRNA serves as a message, and when the host receives the injection, the ribosomes of the cells can produce viral proteins according to the recipes. In this way, the vaccine triggers an immune response and produces antibodies. When a virus strikes, antibodies can effectively protect the human body and reduce harm. Because the mRNA itself is extremely unstable, it needs to be transported in an extremely low-temperature environment, which increases the uncertainty, which is why no mRNA vaccine has been seen in the past. However, heroes are made during extraordinary times, and mRNA vaccines have played an essential role in this epidemic. The promotion of the epidemic has also stimulated continuous innovation of mRNA vaccines, transforming more stable vaccines, and even ordinary household refrigerators can store vaccines well, making it even more convenient to transport and distribute. 7

The diversification of future mRNA vaccine development is a direction worth anticipating as vaccines become a buyer’s market. Taiwan has its own technology, and it can also acquire technical know-how by engaging in contract manufacturing practices, supplying firms with expanded production capacities, and acquiring the necessary technologies in the process. 8

#the inequality of the vaccine distribution and a competition among the new variants and herd immunity.

It’s very likely that COVID-19 is going to fluctuate and become a seasonal disease that coexists with humans. The development of vaccines and the subsequent unified distribution become more and more important because they will help reduce the level of threat of the periodic mutation of COVID-19. 9

 

The manufacturing and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine cannot be done in the best interest of reaching global immunity because of the patents acquired by pharmacies, resulting in the prolongation of the pandemic. This can, in effect, increase the possibility of mutation, which may render the previously developed vaccine ineffective. Therefore, Taiwanese biotechnological companies should develop in the direction of high flexibility (perhaps not the spike protein since it’s one of the most varied parts) during the research process, so can we adjust to new variation at any time.

 

This pandemic serves as a lesson for international governments and organizations. They should invest more capital in prevention of future pandemic, especially regulate big pharmacies from paying too much attention to their own business interest but not effective treatments. 10

 

Taiwan achieved concrete results in public health security and epidemic prevention in the early stages of the COVID crisis, leading to a significant boost to its international image. However, success in later stages of the crisis hinges upon vaccine research and development, which would require the injection of government funds and material support to maintain Taiwan’s hard-won international image. 11

There is a strong correlation between past hurdles hindering the development of Taiwan’s biomedical industry and the lack of government support. Mass-planting biomedical departments cannot resolve the issue in universities. The government should draw up relevant budgets to support biomedical factories and related industries. Well-planned industry-university collaborative frameworks are the key for Taiwan to progress in vaccine and pharmaceutical research and development. 12


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評論 回應:你聞過下雨的味道嗎?讓我們一同探究它是怎麼產生的吧!

畫面吸睛,豐富多元的《印度:失落的世界》第一集〈那加蘭邦的獵頭族〉| Disney+

鄭國威 Portnoy_96
鄭國威 Portnoy ・2022/05/22 ・1473字 ・閱讀時間約 3 分鐘
本評論由科夥伴自行發表,相關內容遵守會員內容發表規範與責任,此刊登內容泛科學編輯部並未干涉。

《印度:失落的世界》第一集〈那加蘭邦的獵頭族〉介紹印度東北部這個印度最終的荒野。該區域由八個邦組成,與五個國家接壤,是生物多樣性熱點。影片從海拔最高處開始介紹起,也就是坐鎮當地的喜馬拉雅山脈,雪鎖高山連綿如禁地,雪線下風化作用使岩屑破碎,大型動物中只有岩羊能在如此陡峭嚴寒之處存活,但除了環境惡劣,他們同時也得面對終極獵手,如幽靈般神出鬼沒的雪豹。

接著鏡頭轉向能在七千公尺高處遷徙的斑頭雁,他們的肌肉跟肺部跟同類差異很大,能夠善用稀薄的氧氣。拍攝畫面超近,彷彿鏡頭是安在某隻斑頭雁上,讓觀眾也跟著飛。

來到高山草原,影片首先介紹模樣超萌的亞洲黑熊(又稱月熊)。在春季,亞洲黑熊會遠行尋找食物,能聞到地底一公尺深的食物,影片畫面同樣近到不知道怎麼拍到的,很讚。畫面中黑熊一直積極地吃,是因為到了冬季可能得冬眠四個月。

接著登場的是金葉猴,長相超級像人類,一身金白長毛,只有臉跟耳朵是黑的,十數成群在樹冠層進食,幾乎終身不會離開。他們拇指萎縮,四指更好勾著樹枝,尾巴也長得令人印象深刻。

而雲豹盯著他們!在台灣已經消失的雲豹,在當地是樹上獵手,入夜之後開始掠食。影片並沒有介紹太多,有點可惜,很想多看雲豹。

印度東北部的地理位置特別,剛好位於印度次大陸、東亞、中南半島之間,各地動植物在此交會。最近在青春養成記當主角的小貓熊也出沒在此,影片裡的小貓熊可愛到沒天理。同樣吃竹子的小貓熊,是厲害的爬樹專家,全身覆蓋厚毛,卻非常愛乾淨。母的小貓熊一年只有一天發情,因此公小貓熊得把握機會,錯過一次邂逅,下一次要等很久。

竹子能快速生長,是因為來自印度洋的潮濕季風遇到喜馬拉雅山脈,傾瀉而下,加上日照時間長,形成世界最北的雨林區域。當地有以森林為家的卡西族,很特別的是他們引導樹木的根,長成一座座活的橋樑。要做這樣一座橋,需要幾十年,知識得代代相傳,因為一代人無法完成。

亞洲象也在這裡居住,年長的母象是族群首領,一頭象每天需要 150 公斤的食物跟 100 公升的水,他們時常在河流裡用鼻子淋浴。影片中拍到的人象衝突應該是擺拍。

早晨,印度唯一的猿類白眉長臂猿開始出沒,在樹冠間快速穿梭的畫面非常帥氣,影片中拍到兩隻長臂猿相擁,好有愛的感覺。他們的叫聲也很特別,一開始是慢的嗚喔嗚喔,後來加快。

當地的那加族會模仿長臂猿叫聲作為戰吼,影片中介紹那加族以前的獵頭儀式,對他們來說,頭顱象徵知識跟靈魂的容器,用在許多儀式中。不過獵頭已經被摔角替換了,出演的人看起來長相很華人,比較不像印度人。在山林裡奔跑的樣子像極前陣子看的斯卡羅。如果獵到山豬,獵人會把耳朵切下一角留在原地,作為對天神的感謝。

菲氏夜猴看起來很可愛,好像小丑,小時候毛色是金色的,很像戲劇裡的孫悟空。印度蟒是他們的天敵之一,長度可達 6 公尺,長相看起來很憨厚,在落葉之間穿梭,很難察覺。

印度東北部的水會流注到源自西藏的 Brahmaputra 河,這條河長達三千公里。在水域裡居住著恆河鱷,公鱷的鼻子上有個很大的突起,突起越大顆,越能吸引母鱷。這個部位在水下可以產生很大的聲音。母鱷一次會生下 50 多顆蛋,並保護這些蛋 2 個月直到孵化,出生後的小鱷魚就會開始獵食,公鱷可以長到 6 公尺,由於牙齒跟顎很細長,特別適合吃魚,可以感覺到魚的游動,且在水中不會受到太大的阻力。

但當地漁民覺得這些恆河鱷跟他們搶魚,人鱷相鬥的結果是現在只剩數百隻恆河鱷。

總結來說,蠻中規中矩的,很適合配飯,或全家人一起觀看。但我應該會過一陣子再看之後的幾集。印度實在太大了,我去過一次,為了開會,只有待在新德里附近,希望之後有機會去這些生態盎然的地方看看。

評分:8.7/10

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