Ethical Time, the first sustainable fashion app


Buying without blowing is a choice that we should all be able to make . With this philosophy, the Ethical Time Foundation has launched a crowdfunding campaign in Verkami , to raise funds that will allow it to create the first sustainable fashion mobile application in Spain.

The Ethical Time app will be the first platform designed to facilitate access to this type of fashion and is designed so that you can quickly identify which stores sell the piece of clothing you are looking for, and completely free of charge. A free virtual space that serves as a meeting point between brands of sustainable clothing and footwear and consumers.

The designer of the application is a student of Publicity and Public Relations of Pompeu Fabra University, Ignasi Eiriz , also creator of the Ethical Time Foundation, who thinks it is not easy to find alternatives for those who want to wear sustainable and ethical clothing.

“With the moment of being ethical, -explains in the presentation of Verkami, we want to make possible the coherence between values ​​and actions and to be able to offer the alternative to a subject of which we are often afraid to reflect: labor exploitation”.

He believes that in recent years there has been a great increase in the number of people aware of these values ​​and also in stores that offer an alternative and that their app will be the connection between both sides.

How will it work?

C%C3%B3mo funciona

In addition, Eiriz plans to create the first Sustainable Fashion Consumers Network and through various actions, state that they want a change. The members of this network will be those that will make possible the maintenance and development of the application and association over time.

The project has the support of different institutions such as the Barcelona Sustainable Fashion Association, the president of the Justícia y Paz Association of Barcelona, ​​Arcadi Oliveres and Slow Fahion Next, the largest sustainable fashion directory in Spain currently.

The project needs 20,000 euros to finance the creation of the application and the website. The crowdfunding campaign began on December 10 and will end on January 20. The launch of the app is scheduled for May 15, 2018.

The application and the website will collect all the stores in Spain that have brands that are responsible with people and the environment and that aim to generate a positive social impact; and will concentrate all the online sales pages of the territory, because most of the companies in the sector only have Internet presence.

Maillo sees "essential" that Catalonia participate in the new financing model



Rueda de prensa de Fernando Martínez-Maillo en la sede del PP

Press conference by Fernando Martínez-Maillo at the headquarters of the PP EUROPA PRESS

The general coordinator of the PP, Fernando Martínez-Maillo, has ensured that it is “essential” that Catalonia is present in the new model of regional financing , since, as he said, can not move to a scenario that does not take into account “to all the autonomous governments” . In addition, he warned that the new Catalan government would have “very difficult” to explain to the Catalans why not participate in this channel of dialogue that opens to improve funding.

In an interview with Europa Press, Maillo has indicated that the government wants to agree on the new financing model and that the “error” of 2009 is not repeated, when the Executive led by José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero negotiated the financing system only “with a part”.

Regarding a possible model of regional financing if Catalonia does not participate, he stressed that “it is essential that Catalonia is present in the model . “We can not repeat the error of 2009, which consisted in the contrary, a financing model only negotiating with a party, but we can not move to another scenario in which we do not take into account all regional governments , including Catalonia” , he assured.

Given the possibility that a pro-independence government is formed and does not want to participate in that negotiation, Maillo has pointed out that this “will be a problem”, but he reminded that Catalonia “is not only the separatists” but there is also a part of society which is not “They will have a very difficult time explaining to Catalan society that there is a way to improve financing and that they do not want to participate,” he warned.

The general coordinator of the PP has explained that its objective is to move forward a new financing system . “We are not going to put ourselves on the scene of the blockade, but of the dialogue, they may not attend some meetings, but I do not think they refuse to speak to improve the system, which is now unthinkable,” he added.


Regarding the draft General State Budgets (PGE) for 2018 , the general coordinator of the PP has stated that they are “moderately optimistic” in relation to the possibility of these public accounts going ahead. “There are options to get it out,” he said, when asked what will he perceive in the Basque nationalists.

“With the PNV I think we will reach agreements, as with the Canarian partners,” he said, adding that after the constitution of a new Government in Catalonia, article 155 “will no longer be in force.” Thus, he said that, with a Govern that “respects the laws, as the PNV does in Euskadi”, the Basque nationalists “understand” it and “from there a negotiation period can be opened” .

Last Thursday, Mariano Rajoy met at the Palacio de la Moncloa with Albert Rivera to discuss negotiations to approve regional financing and public accounts, apart from the situation in Catalonia. The Chief Executive will continue this January with these contacts and, in the case of the PGE, will give priority to the training with which he took out the 2017, that is, Cs, PNV, Coalición Canaria and Nueva Canarias.

By asking Maillo if Cs has raised the price of his support for the PGE after his success in Catalonia, he has answered that he has not yet entered into the “concrete detail”. “In any case we do not need to go up or down, we have an investiture agreement and we have the will to fulfill it,” he added, adding that they may have “discrepancies” with Cs in “many issues” but that “the important thing is to give stability to the Government of Spain “. “I hope Cs keeps that commitment,” he proclaimed.

Given the fact that Citizens now claim to match the salary of the police and the Civil Guard , Maillo has said that “curiously that was not one of their demands in the investiture pact.” In his opinion, this “going where the wind blows has its problems and contradictions.”

Thus, he stressed that wage equalization is “a commitment of the Government” and does not appear in the investiture pact that was sealed in August 2016 because Ciudadanos “did not ask for it”. “Now they ask for it and they do not need to ask for it, we have that commitment and we are negotiating with the unions,” he said.

The reform of the constitution

The general coordinator of the PP has said that ” a country that is not in permanent reform is not possible” and added that the task of the Government of Rajoy is “to continue with the reforms”. “We agree with the King that we must be in permanent movement, the PP is not an immobile party, we want to reform, but with responsibility and with the agreement of all,” he said, alluding to the words of Philip VI in his speech on Christmas Eve

As to whether he believes that behind those words of the King there is an invitation to undertake the constitutional reform, Maillo recalled that there are parties like Podemos that intend to “go against” and seek to call a referendum if there is a constitutional reform “that” do not like it. “” And that is also an approach that we all have to take into account. Therefore, reforms that are common sense, knowing what you want to do and with agreement, because we can not introduce instability, Maillo sees it “essential” that Catalonia is present in the new model of regional financing, we must give certainty, “he said. saying.

The general coordinator of the PP has indicated that at the moment a commission for the analysis and evolution of the territorial system has been created , “not for the reform of the Constitution”. “We will see if it gives for that or not, there, the PP is … Citizens have been in tow, but to make a constitutional reform we have to have agreement, consensus and know what it is for,” he concluded.

A vaccine to dominate them all (flu viruses)?

If you read my article yesterday, you will have been left with the firm impression that it is impossible to manufacture a unique vaccine, a wildcard that, like Tolkien’s ring, can dominate all influenza viruses regardless of whether they are orcs or dwarves. . But no, it is not. Possible, yes; easy, no. We already have one in evidence that could reach your preferred arm in a few years.

As I told you yesterday, the problem with immunization against influenza is that the vaccines are directed against a spike in the shape of a tree on the surface of the virus, consisting of two proteins called hemagglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N), which have a amazing ease to change form.

Illustration of the influenza virus preparing to infect a cell to which it binds through its hemagglutinin protein. Image of CSIRO / Wikipedia.

Illustration of the influenza virus preparing to infect a cell to which it binds through its hemagglutinin protein. Image of CSIRO / Wikipedia.

The action of the vaccines is based on creating an immunological memory that prepares the response against future attacks of the same enemy. Stimulating the immune system with a dead virus (I have already told here that – and why – I am in favor of describing viruses as living beings, but if they do not agree, they change “dead” to “inactivated”) or with those proteins loose, we create that memory that will later repel a real attack with fierceness. If we do not create that memory before, the organism will also react against the invader, but suffering from the disease it causes.

Thus, and given that the profile recorded by the vaccine in the immunological memory is determined by H and N, when they change it is as if the organism faces an almost completely new virus, although everything below those variable spikes is basically the same as before.

The question then is: would not it be possible to direct the vaccine against something that does not change so much in the flu virus? The answer is yes, yes it is, but finding the perfect strategy is complicated. Numerous research teams around the world are working on the creation of a universal flu vaccine, which can protect us once and for all (or at least, for a good number of years) not only against the seasonal of each year , but against rarer strains of those that cause pandemics such as the so-called “Spanish flu” of 1918.

As I told you here a couple of years ago, experts fear that at any moment a strain of an exotic type of flu, such as H9N2 or H10N8, may suddenly sprout, which suddenly turns our week of malaise and sick leave into a very serious threat for the lifetime. And the possibility of having an immunization that acts in the long term would allow the vaccine to be applied to children, when the response is stronger, and not as now at an advanced age when the immune system already suffers from the same ailments as the rest of the body. .

Thus, the current attempts of researchers to design a universal vaccine against influenza are summarized in these two lines:

1. Use the base of the skewers, less variable than the head

The H and N proteins of the influenza virus vary widely in their heads, the part most exposed to the outside, but not so much in their stems, the part that is attached to the envelope of the virus. Some research groups are trying to get the immune system to react against the base of the spikes; but since it is less accessible than the head, it is less exposed to the recognition of our body’s antibodies, so the challenge is to find a way to make it more visible to the immune system.

A US team is trying with nanoparticles covered in spikes that have had their heads cut to leave their stems exposed. Using in this way a skewer based on the H1 protein, the scientists have managed to completely protect mice and partially ferrets (two animal models widely used for influenza studies) against a lethal infection of another virus, H5N1, called bird flu. With a similar idea, but with the stems of H1 in small groups as they appear in the virus, the Crucell Vaccine Institute in Leiden (The Netherlands) has also managed to neutralize H5N1 in mice and monkeys.

Particles of the influenza virus to the electron microscope. Image of Pixnio.

Particles of the influenza virus to the electron microscope. Image of Pixnio.

2. Use internal antigens of the virus

An antigen is everything against which our organism is capable of producing antibodies, Y-shaped molecules whose ends fit the shape of the antigen like the pieces of a puzzle. Our veins and arteries are continuously patrolled by an immense legion of lymphocytes, cells of the immune system. One of its types, B cells, is specialized in producing a type of antibody capable of recognizing and binding a specific antigen, carrying this antibody on the surface. When by chance a B cell encounters the antigen that matches its antibodies, it captures it and swallows it, breaking it into pieces that it then exposes again on its surface.

This cell then waits for the help of other so-called Helper or Th ( helper) T cells. When a Th cell recognizes the pieces of antigen exposed on the B cell envelope, it produces a series of molecules called lymphokines that force the B cell to multiply. Some of the cells resulting from this multiplication become memory cells, which are left waiting, prepared to respond to a future infection (this is one of the mechanisms that take advantage of vaccines), while others become plasma cells , capable of producing mass antibodies that are released into the blood.

Once circulating through the blood, these antibodies will wait to find their target antigen to bind to it, coating the virus and neutralizing it. Often, the viruses thus coated with antigens will then be swallowed and eliminated by other types of cells called phagocytes.

I have explained this so that you understand what the problem is: viruses also carry antigens inside them, but since they are hidden when the virus circulates through the body, they can not trigger this response known as humoral, so called by antibodies who travel freely because of humor or blood flow. But luckily, our immune system has another answer called cell. Some cells swallow the virus and break all its components, including the internal ones, into pieces that are then exposed on its surface. Certain T cells will recognize these pieces to trigger the antibody response, as I explained above, but other cytotoxic T or Tc calls are also activated that kill the cells infected by the virus.

Therefore, the internal antigens of the virus can also trigger the cellular response. But in general vaccines are designed to cause a strong humoral memory response, and instead are ineffective in the cellular response. Currently many research on vaccines are looking for precisely this, increase the cellular response to improve the immune reaction and offer longer term protection.

Vaccine against the flu. Image of CDC.

Vaccine against the flu. Image of CDC.

Thus, if it were possible to design a vaccine capable of starting a strong cellular response against an internal antigen that varies little over time and between some viruses and others, we would have the single ring, the universal flu vaccine. To provoke a greater cellular response, vaccines with weakened live virus are tested instead of dead viruses or loose pieces as in the current ones, with the idea that they will trigger a good cellular response.

Although the prospect of injecting a live virus may sound alarming, attenuated virus vaccines are very common and work wonderfully; The viral triple that is applied to children against measles, mumps and rubella is a vaccine of attenuated viruses, as well as that of yellow fever that we travelers put on. An additional advantage of vaccines with attenuated viruses is that some can be administered through the mouth or nose; The oral polio vaccine could be distributed massively in developing countries, and is a decisive factor in the effort towards the eradication of this disease.

In fact, there is already the nasal flu vaccine attenuated against influenza, but it has not been very effective. This week, a new design that looks very promising has been published in the journal Science . Researchers in China and the United States have obtained a mutant virus that has everything that is desirable in a vaccine flu: it multiplies well, which allows it to be very visible to the immune system, but it barely produces symptoms and instead triggers a strong cell response. T; In addition, it is hypersensitive to interferon, a natural antivirus of our body that the normal influenza virus eludes. He still has a long way to prove its usefulness, but for the moment it has worked very well in mice and ferrets.

I have left for the end the vaccine that is closest to becoming a reality. The company Vaccitech, a spin-off from the University of Oxford, has mounted internal flu antigens in a fake virus that is used as a vehicle. The objective of this vaccine is to fight absolutely all types of influenza A, the most worrisome and the one that causes the greatest number of deaths.

Of the three phases of clinical trials that must be covered before a pharmaceutical product reaches the market, Vaccitech is now in the second. In the first one they already proved that the vaccine is safe, after demonstrating its effectiveness in animals. Currently phase II is testing whether it is able to protect against influenza in combination with seasonal vaccines. This stage will end in October 2019. If everything works as expected, phase III would undertake the final tests before the vaccine becomes available, which could occur within 5 to 7 years. Maybe this is a race we can win before the next big flu pandemic arrives.