The study was prompted by "the need to improve... treatments for people infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1)," according to a statement from the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS).
A comparison can be made with... cancer, diabetes and even COVID-19 with lung inflammation.
Professor Julien van Grevenynghe
Essentially, what the INRS team has discovered is a therapeutic way to restore immune cells — a part of the immune system — so they become effective again.
The team took a closer look at a specific group of HIV-positive people called "Elite Controllers."
Elite Controllers are able to live with HIV without requiring any drug intervention — unlike the majority of people with HIV who take medication daily to control the virus.
The drugs can cause "significant" side effects.
"[Elite Controllers] represent an incredible model for detecting... what needs to be improved for other patients," said Professor Julien van Grevenynghe who led the study along with doctoral student Hamza Loucif.
It turns out that Elite Controllers have stronger energy output in certain immune cells called CD8 lymphocytes.
Those who need treatment have CD8 lymphocytes that aren't using energy efficiently, leading to weakened immune function.
"Cells require energy, produced in the mitochondria to protect the body and carry out their functions," said Professor van Grevenynghe.
This may all sound like complex scientific jargon, but the most important thing to know is that lack of energy in CD8 lymphocytes doesn't have to be permanent.
Using an existing protein called interleukin-21, these cells can be "re-educated" in order to improve their energy intake and therefore their immune function.
"We will one day be able to survive the infection without aggressive treatment," Professor van Grevenynghe said.
"The cells could also respond better to vaccination and treatment with better energy efficiency."
The research team wants to ultimately test their therapeutic approach in humanized mouse models and macaque monkeys, according to the statement.
Team Canada has just announced its roster for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics and 58 Quebecers are heading to the Games to make the country proud, according to a press release from the Canadian Olympic Committee.
From experienced medal winners to first-time Olympians, the Quebec athletes on Team Canada have every chance to bring home some gold.
Since July 1, it has been possible for people who have had to recover from unemployment due to the pandemic and for people who have not been studying full time in the last 12 months to register for one of the training programs of the Program for the requalification and the accompaniment in information technology and communications (PRATIC).
Whether it's a college or university program, a certificate, an attestation of college studies (AEC) or a diploma of specialized graduate studies (DESS), among others, there are 142 training programs waiting for future students.
In Montreal alone, nearly sixty college programs and 20 university programs are available, and a total of 15 in the Capitale-Nationale region.
There are, for example, ACSs in programming, multimedia production, mobile application development or graphic design, to name a few.
The complete list of training courses offered by region can be found on the government website.
Thanks to a budget of some $39.6 million, financial assistance of $650 per week will be offered to 2,500 Quebecers for the duration of their full-time training. A $1,950 bursary will be awarded to graduates.
Who is eligible to enroll in PRATIC?
Two criteria will determine if a person is eligible to register for PRATIC. You must be unemployed and not have been a full-time student in the 12 months prior to applying.
The government suggests that you contact the Services Québec office in your area and an agent will determine with the future student if PRATIC corresponds to his/her needs.
Remember last year when it seemed that every week there were new COVID-19 rules that the Quebec government would spring on us and we all felt really down? Well, it's the same thing this year, but instead of misery, we're feeling optimistic because this summer's new COVID-19 rules have an eye towards a pandemic-freefuture.
One of the major changes coming on Monday is that you no longer have to maintain a two-metre distance between other people.
According to the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS), "the distance to be respected between people from different residences will be lowered from two meters to one meter, both outside and inside."
There are still two situations that require two-metre distancing, however: "singing activities" and "high-intensity exercise in gyms," according to the government.
Wearing a face mask is still mandatory in all indoor public spaces.
Let's get flexible
No, not like that!
We're talking about stores, festivals, sporting events, and other activities with potentially large crowds.
As of Monday, there won't be any capacity limits inside retail stores. While you still have to maintain a one-metre distance, there will be no more annoying lineups outside.
Moreover, in venues with fixed seating, people from different households only need to keep one seat between them and other parties. One-metre distancing is still required in common areas.
Finally, "at amateur events where spectators are seated in bleachers, bleachers or fixed seating, the maximum number of spectators permitted per sports venue is 50 indoors and 100 outdoors."
The government has also reminded Quebecers that "since June 25, adequately protected people" — i.e. people with two doses of a vaccine — "no longer have to follow the recommendations on distancing and wearing a face covering during gatherings in private homes."