From Russia With News

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 26th October, 2020) In this digest, we will discuss new research into the coronavirus, an animated tv series about aliens and ecology, and a bill on chemical castration for pedophiles.

Stem cells may be vulnerable to SARS-CoV02, scientists at Moscow State University discovered.

"Scientists believe that this may be one of the reasons why the novel coronavirus is highly contagious," the press service of the university said.

The results of this research can help understand pathological processes that occur in the organism that is infected by the coronavirus. SARS-CoV-2 can infiltrate and seriously damage the lungs. To understand how the virus gets to the lungs and to determine treatment protocol, it is important to find all types of cells that can get infected, the press release said.

The virus attacks the epithelium that covers the trachea and bronchi first. Epithelium renews throughout a person's life, in part due to the stem cells. When damaged by pneumonia or other factors, epithelium needs help from a special kind of stem cells to restore. Damages to stem cells may impact the epithelium's ability to regenerate.

Russia's Soyuzmultfilm animation group will collaborate with international production group Toonz on a new animated series about well-meaning aliens. The premise of the series is that aliens come from their home planet, which does not have any environmental problems, on a mission to make the Earth greener.

James Driscoll (Shoe People) will be one of the authors of the project. The animated TV series is expected to have 52 11-minute episodes. The production is set to begin in late 2020. The series is slated for release in 2021.

A bill on chemical castration for pedophiles may soon be submitted to the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, a member of the parliamentary security committee, Anatoly Vyborny, told Sputnik.

According to the lawmaker, the number of sexual assault crimes against children increased by about 20 percent in the last five years. Most often, people who committed this kind of crime go on to become repeat offenders, the lawmaker said.

"We understand that this is a disease, a malfunction, and we have to do something about it. The most obvious thing is that these people are of sound mind, they know they are committing a crime, but they cannot stop," the lawmaker said.

Lawyer Vladimir Postanyuk argues against this type of punishment, as it is irreversible.

"I think any sensible person would be against it. The law envisages a possibility of parole after 25 years for people sentenced to life, envisages a possibility for a person to reform. A punishment like a chemical castration is irreversible, a person cannot reform and return to society," the lawyer said.

Another lawyer, Dmitry Krasnov, believes that the proposal had long been called for.

"These people cannot be reformed or retrained, this is a mental issue. They get treatment, they get released and commit the same crimes again," Krasnov said.

A possibility of a mistake is another factor that stands in the way of this kind of punishment, the chair of the civic movement Silnaya Rossiya (Strong Russia), Anton Tsvetkov, believes.

"Unfortunately, we can see that investigators and the court can make mistakes when it comes to these crimes. It is very difficult to prove these crimes, examination results are ambiguous, and there are some cases when people have been sentenced or are being prosecuted even though the victims and their parents oppose the investigation. The line is very fine here," Tsvetkov said.

According to Tsvetkov, a special bracelet would be a better solution.

The situation with chemical castration is similar to that of capital punishment "if there was no possibility of a court mistake, it would already be allowed," Tsvetkov said.