How sick will you get from COVID-19?
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Monica and Adrian Arima both were infected by the COVID-19 virus at the same time on the same Nile River cruise, probably during a shared dinner buffet between the Egyptian cities of Aswan and Luxor. As they traveled home to Palo Alto, the couple’s early symptoms — body aches and low-grade fever — were identical.But then, mysteriously, their experiences suddenly diverged. Monica spent 13 days at Stanford Hospital; Adrian was there for just three days. She needed extra oxygen and an experimental drug; he didn’t.Now, weeks later, she still has a cough. He is fully recovered, h...
The Mercury News
Coronavirus is mutating and now has 8 strains, doctors say
The novel coronavirus is mutating, as viruses do, and eight strains are now making the rounds globally, medical experts say.The good news is that the mutations are not more lethal, said Trevor Bedford, whose website, NextStrain.org, is tracking the virus’s genome from samples provided to him from throughout the world. But they are informative.Researchers are dissecting the genomes of coronavirus and discovering the strains that have emerged since the virus first jumped from animals to humans in a Wuhan, China, wildlife market late last year. The work “shows how the virus is migrating and split...
New York Daily News
'Single point of failure': The CDC's past successes with an FDA process set the table for coronavirus testing debacle
SEATTLE — In late April 2009, Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, then the Food and Drug Administration’s principal deputy commissioner, received an urgent weekend phone call from the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Dr. Rich Besser told Sharfstein that the CDC — and by, extension, public health departments nationwide — faced a serious problem.Less than two weeks earlier, the CDC had identified a virulent new strain of swine flu in a 10-year-old patient in California. Within days, the novel strain cropped up in another California child, two patients in Texas, a cluster in Mexico a...
The Seattle Times
Solution for a scourge? University of Minnesota scientist is progressing with carp-killer tool.
MINNEAPOLIS — Sam Erickson followed his love of science to outer space one summer during an internship at NASA. He came away fascinated by seeing into deep space by interpreting interaction between matter and infrared radiation.Now a full-fledged researcher at the University of Minnesota’s College of Biological Sciences, the 25-year-old Alaska native is immersed in something far more earthly: killing carp. His fast-moving genetic engineering project is drawing attention from around the country as a potential tool to stop the spread of invasive carp.“I want to make a special fish,” Erickson sai...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
San Diego family hopes for answers, support at Rare Disease Day
SAN DIEGO — Every parent sees their child as “one of a kind.” But in the case of 11-year-old Damian Omler of San Diego, even scientists from the National Institutes of Health agree about the boy’s unique qualities.Damian was born with CDG, an acronym for Congenital Disorders of Glycosylation, a large family of rare genetic metabolic disorders affecting the body’s chemical processes. About 1,500 patients worldwide have been diagnosed with CDG. But Damian is the only patient in the world with the mutation known at GET4-CDG.Damian and his family are among more than 250 people from around the worl...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
DNA databases are a boon to police but a menace to privacy, critics say
WASHINGTON — Nearly two years after the arrest of the suspected Golden State Killer revitalized DNA forensics, some state lawmakers around the country are pushing to stop or restrict police searches of genetic code databases.Other lawmakers, meanwhile, want to make it even easier for police to use the technique, known as investigative genetic genealogy, to catch criminals.Inspired by the capture of the alleged Golden State Killer, police across the United States are uploading crime-scene DNA to GEDmatch and other databases where purchasers of genetic testing kits from companies such as 23andMe...
When should you get a cardiologist?
PHILADELPHIA — As we get older, it’s hard not to notice that an increasing number of our peers and older friends start having heart attacks.This raises a disconcerting question: When will it be my turn? That naturally leads to: Should I go to a cardiologist to see whether I’m OK?As it turns out, that actually leads to other questions, which we posed to three cardiologists — David Becker at Temple Chestnut Hill Cardiology; Katie Berlacher, governor of the Western Pennsylvania Chapter of the American College of Cardiology (ACC); and David Fischman, co-director of the cardiac catheterization labo...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Study says the chance of families having mostly boys or girls is 'random'
If you’re hoping to replicate the family you grew up in that was mostly girls or all boys, genetics won’t be on your side. According to a new study, the probability of you having children of the same gender is totally up to chance.Researchers from the University of Queensland have conducted a study published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. It analyzed of the population of Sweden since 1932 and debunked the myth that having all boys or all girls runs in the family. It’s been found that the gender of a family’s children is essentially random.“We found individuals do...
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Lucas Kwan Peterson: How I learned to stop worrying and love my Asian Glow
It starts almost immediately, within the first few sips. No more than a gentle warmth in the cheeks initially — like fogging a cold window with your breath, or the feeling of minor embarrassment, like getting caught talking to yourself in public.But the sensation grows exponentially as I continue to drink an alcoholic beverage. And as the blood vessels in the face dilate, the heat spreads to the lobes of the ears, crawls up the scalp and slowly creeps down the neck.My breathing becomes slightly labored and wheezy, as if a particularly dander-heavy cat has wandered into the room — a room that h...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
U.S. patent activity surged in 2019 with Microsoft, Amazon among the top 10 recipients
SEATTLE — Washington’s technology giants were both among the top 10 recipients of U.S. patents in 2019, a record year for new intellectual property.Microsoft ranked fourth with 3,083 patents granted and Amazon, with 2,434, was ninth, according to an analysis by IFI Claims Patent Services. Boeing was 22nd on the list, with 1,383.Just behind Amazon was Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, and Chinese companies as a group claimed 5% of U.S. patents issued last year, trailing South Korean and Japanese businesses among foreign patent awardees.In all, 333,530 patents were granted in 2019, up 15%...
The Seattle Times