Supercomputer attempts to explains bizarre Covid-19 symptoms

Published Sep 15, 2020


CAPE TOWN - A recent study from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee, uses the worlds second fastest supercomputer to discover new Covid-19 theory.

As the world currently still faces the Coronavirus pandemic the wait for a vaccine still torments. Scientists from across the globe are studying the virus with hopes of discovering something new or to improve existing knowledge on Covid-19.

In a recent study in Tennessee, researchers from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory used the lab's supercomputer to analyse fluid samples from the lungs of nine coronavirus showing severe symptoms in Wuhan, China.

The supercomputer, one of which is the second-fastest in the world, discovered major differences within the patients with their finding expressing certain genes relative to healthy people leading to a new theory called "bradykinin storm" which is the name given to what certain patients with severe Covid-19 could possibly experience.

Bradykinin is found within the body that helps regulate blood pressure and controls inflammation but the researchers found that some Covid-19 patients may be producing an excess which leads to an off-balance of respiratory, gastrointestinal, and neurological pathways.

The theory aligns with many other findings which suggest that coronavirus isn't a respiratory disease and rather a vascular disease with others reporting the possibility of blood clots, inflamed blood vessels and the reason behind organ damage such as the heart.

"We were really scratching our heads for a while, how does this disease have this darn broad set of symptoms across lots of different organ systems? As we looked at the effects of bradykinin, our model was that this virus can affect several different types of tissues, several different organs, lead researcher, Dr Daniel Jacobson, told Business Insider.

The Coronavirus binds to the cell receptors called ACE2 with the supercomputers discovering the expression of ACE2 in the Covid-19 patients were sitting at a 200-fold increase which means the virus influences the body in a way that it makes it even easier to infiltrate and infect with another discovering eight-fold decrease in the expression of ACE which is a protein that works with ACE2 receptors that regulate blood pressure.

"This system that is normally very carefully balanced — Covid-19 really throws it out of whack," Jacobson said.

With the imbalance caused by the virus, the researchers believe its what is causing the excessive bradykinin production putting the infected bodies into an overdrive state that's unable to stop the production cycle leading to what is now dubbed as a "bradykinin storm."

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