Spanish Researcher Develops ‘Potentially Lifelong’ COVID Vaccine  

A Spanish scientist is working on a COVID-19 vaccine that could offer immunity for many years or even for life, in the same way as the Yellow Fever, Hepatitis and Tetanus jabs do. Dr Lorena Sánchez Felipe and her team at Lovaina University’s Rega Institute in Belgium are also working on more and more effective treatments for those who catch the SARS-CoV-2 virus and other similar strains. 

The Rega Institute is confident its long-term, or even lifelong, vaccine will be authorised for use in the year 2022. So far, they have tested it on hamsters and obtained very pleasing results. The next stage is clinical trials, where it will be tested on humans. It uses the genetic code of the virus present in the Yellow Fever vaccine as a ‘vector’, or carrier, of the protein in the ‘spine’ of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, so that the immune system responds in a similar way, offering ‘efficient protection’ against both conditions at the same time.

The Yellow Fever jab is now 82 years old and has been used by 800 million people. For most people who are not regularly exposed to the risk of contracting Yellow Fever, a single jab is given and will provide immunity for life.

Clinical trials are not likely to happen before autumn 2021 and as well as Africa and Latin America, the Rega Institute immunisation is also expected to be distributed in Europe, the USA and Asia where the mosquitoes which transmit Yellow Fever are also found, in lower numbers but enough that they could produce an epidemic. Recipients will probably be those who have had the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines and will be ready for an annual or bi-annual booster. 

“Imagine that in the first few weeks of the Coronavirus in China, we’d had the right medication available – we could have treated all healthcare workers, families and contacts and possibly could have helped control the outbreak and given ourselves time to prevent it spreading round the world,” Dr Sánchez Felipe says.

Spanish Forest Fire Software Firm Among The Best In The World

Spanish start-up beat Google and Microsoft in a bid for California wildfire assistance system in the New York Times annual list for 2020.

Every year, the US-based broadsheet reviews the political, social and health situation nationally and globally and picks out the businesses that have contributed the most in humanitarian, scientific and technological terms to improve the state of the world and quality of life in general through their contributions.  Mountain and forestry engineer Joaquín Ramírez’s firm based in the province of León, Technosylva, was up against 131 corporate giants including Google and Microsoft.  

Technosylva’s modelling software enabled authorities to predict forest fires – calculating the direction of the flames, speed, and climate conditions that could influence its progress – turned out to be crucial in the fight against the infernos in California last year, including the one that swept through the south-west.

Fuengirola Is The Fastest-Growing Town In Andalucía

Fuengirola is now the fourth-largest in the province of Málaga. Mayoress Ana Mula says the published headcount broke the 80,000 barrier at the beginning of 2020 for the first time ever and the most recently-released population statistics show that year brought another 2,000-plus in resident numbers. More and more people are choosing Fuengirola for their main residence and it is turning into a top choice for retirement or for buying a holiday home.

Fuengirola’s privileged climate, geographical location and excellent transport links, including to the airport, by road and train adds to this sense of wellbeing and quality of life. There is a wide and varied arts, entertainment, sports and social schedule, all of which makes Fuengirola an attractive town for all tastes and all ages.

A rise in enquiries suggests sustained interest in Spanish holiday homes despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and its implications for Brits living abroad. Estate agents, real estate developers and property portals are all reporting strong interest in the Spanish property market, with enquiries already significantly up on last year. The property portal thinkSPAIN has seen a 47% rise in buyer enquiries during the first five days of 2021 compared with 2020, with a 19% rise in UK/English language enquiries over the same period, following on from a 66% year-on-year increase in 2020. Demand for new build properties also appears to be increasing with a 30% increase in leads in the first week of January 2021 compared with the same period in 2020. In addition, it has said that website traffic from the UK is up 57% over the same timeframe, with its first sale of the year being made to a British buyer.

As more people than ever have had to work remotely because of the coronavirus lockdown, many are now re-evaluating whether their ‘remote’ location has to be in the UK, or whether it could be in Spain.

Spanish Publisher Unearths ‘Forgotten Books’ For Re-Launch

A Spanish start-up firm has launched as a book shop selling works which have been ‘forgotten’, censored or largely out of print in a bid to bring unknown authors back into the spotlight. 

Jan Arimany began Trotalibros as a book-review blog and then expanded into YouTube where he has 12,500 bookworms among his followers. He has based his enterprise largely in Barcelona, Vigo (Galicia) and Andorra and says the project is ‘a dream come true’. After graduating in law and working for a legal firm, Arimany completed a master’s degree in international publishing at London’s City University. Although the books he sells are mostly in Spanish, he is likely to be able to source these works in other languages on request.

Arimany’s first ‘unknown’ writing is by the Greek poet Nikos Kavvadias, who was born in 1910 and lived to be just 65. The author’s only novel, The Shift, printed in 1954, narrates night-shift Greek sailors’ personal tales and is a combination of fact and fiction, as well as parts that are halfway between the two. He plans to publish Kavvadias’ sole novel.

In February, Arimany plans to publish work by the late Norwegian author Tarjei Vesaas who was born in Telemark and died aged 72 in Oslo in 1970. The 1963 novel The Ice Palace (Is-slottet) won the Nordic Council Literature Prize and is a dark tale of two young schoolgirls who nearly become romantically involved with each other before embarrassment stops them. One of them goes missing and the other, traumatised, becomes mute. Its on-screen adaptation was premièred at Flanders International Film Festival in 1988.

All books published by Trotalibros will include an epilogue written by Arimany, explaining the significance of the work in question, what it has meant to him as a publisher, the editorial process he went through and why he decided to release it. Anyone else who knows of a ‘forgotten book’, or one that is ‘unfairly out of print’, can suggest it to Arimany on the Trotalibros website and he will try to source them for publication. If he manages to do this, the person who gave him the idea for the book in question will have their name included in the epilogue.