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Nat Chem Biol ; 17(10): 1012-1013, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1454793
ssrn; 2021.
Preprint in English | PREPRINT-SSRN | ID: ppzbmed-10.2139.ssrn.3828970


Terror attacks pose a serious threat to public safety and national security. New technologies assist these attacks, magnify them and render them deadlier. The more funding terrorist organizations manage to raise, the greater their capacity to recruit members, organize and commit terror attacks. Since the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, law enforcement agencies have increased their efforts to develop more anti-terrorism and anti-money laundering regulations, which are designed to block the flow of financing of terrorism and cut off its oxygen. However, at present most regulatory measures focus on traditional currencies. The more efforts to restrict the financing of terrorism by traditional fiat currencies succeeds, the greater the likelihood that cryptocurrencies will be used in order to fund illicit behavior. Furthermore, the COVID-19 virus and social distancing guidelines that followed it have increased the use of cryptocurrencies for money laundering, material support to terror and other financial crimes. Cryptocurrencies, electronically generated and stored tokens which can be exchanged via a decentralized payment system, are a game changer, significantly affecting market functions like never before and making it easier to finance terrorism and other types of criminal activity. These decentralized and (usually) anonymous usable currencies facilitate a high volume of transactions, allowing terrorists extensive fundraising, management, transfer and spending of money for illegal activities. The ability of terror organizations and those who finance them to increase their activities and attacks by using cryptocurrencies poses a major threat to national security. As cryptocurrencies gain popularity, the issue of how to regulate them becomes more urgent. The scope and utility of financing of terrorism begs for a coherent legal response. This Article proposes to reform the regulation of cryptocurrencies. It advocates the promotion of mandatory obligations directed at cryptocurrency issuers, wallet providers and exchanges to verify the identity of users on the blockchain. Thus, courts could grant warrants obligating companies issuing cryptocurrencies to unmask the identity of cryptocurrency users when there is probable cause that their activities support terrorism or other money laundering activities. Such reforms would make it possible to allow stifling the financing of terrorism and other types of criminal activity financed through cryptocurrencies, and in so doing would make it possible to curb harmful lethal activities and promote national security. As we are aware of the legal challenges our solution poses, this Article also addresses substantial objections that might be raised regarding the proposed reforms, such as jeopardizing innovation, First Amendment freedom of expression objections, Fourth Amendment protection from surveillance and measures for promoting efficiency in the application of the proposed reforms.

Dissociative Identity Disorder , COVID-19
biorxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.11.04.361576


The COVID-19 pandemic is a widespread and deadly public health crisis. The pathogen SARS-CoV-2 replicates in the lower respiratory tract and causes fatal pneumonia. Although tremendous efforts have been put into investigating the pathogeny of SARS-CoV-2, the underlying mechanism of how SARS-CoV-2 interacts with its host is largely unexplored. Here, by comparing the genomic sequences of SARS-CoV-2 and human, we identified five fully conserved elements in SARS-CoV-2 genome, which were termed as "human identical sequences (HIS)". HIS are also recognized in both SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV genome. Meanwhile, HIS-SARS-CoV-2 are highly conserved in the primate. Mechanically, HIS-SARS-CoV-2 RNA directly binds to the targeted loci in human genome and further interacts with host enhancers to activate the expression of adjacent and distant genes, including cytokines gene and angiotensin converting enzyme II (ACE2), a well-known cell entry receptor of SARS-CoV-2, and hyaluronan synthase 2 (HAS2), which further increases hyaluronan formation. Noteworthily, hyaluronan level in plasma of COVID-19 patients is tightly correlated with severity and high risk for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and may act as a predictor for the progression of COVID-19. HIS antagomirs, which downregulate hyaluronan level effectively, and 4-Methylumbelliferone (MU), an inhibitor of hyaluronan synthesis, are potential drugs to relieve the ARDS related ground-glass pattern in lung for COVID-19 treatment. Our results revealed that unprecedented HIS elements of SARS-CoV-2 contribute to the cytokine storm and ARDS in COVID-19 patients. Thus, blocking HIS-involved activating processes or hyaluronan synthesis directly by 4-MU may be effective strategies to alleviate COVID-19 progression.

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome , Dissociative Identity Disorder , Pneumonia , Respiratory Distress Syndrome , COVID-19