A coronavirus vaccine is on the horizon, thanks to a key discovery by these researchers
AUSTIN, Texas — When the latest coronavirus emerged, Jason McLellan and his team were ready to take action.McLellan, an associate professor of molecular biosciences at the University of Texas, has been studying respiratory diseases for years. In 2017, McLellan’s postdoctoral researcher Nianshuang Wang identified genetic mutations necessary to stabilize a key component of diseases like MERS, also a coronavirus.So when Chinese researchers shared the genetic sequence of the new coronavirus on Jan. 10, UT researchers were able to quickly map the virus and inject it with previously-discovered mutat...
A COVID 'silver lining': You can start drug treatment over the phone — and more people are starting to
SEATTLE — Denny Bos’s ministry is the foothills of Mt. Baker, in east Whatcom County, Wash., a vast forest home to hundreds of people without addresses. Some live in ramshackle RVs, some in tents, some under tarps.People go there when they lose their jobs or homes, when their addictions get too serious, or to get away from society, Bos said.“They just disappear into the woods,” said Bos, who’s had to build trust to be accepted into the camps.When Bos, a former pastor who runs Seeds of Hope Ministries, finds someone who’s ready for drug treatment, it used to be hard to get them to go see a doct...
The Seattle Times
The 'summer slide' was tough before COVID-19, but getting kids in back-to-school mode is extra tough this year. Here are some tips to get you started.
Usually around this time of year, the Homewood Science Center near Chicago is full of school and camp groups learning about roller coasters and building with Legos. This summer, because of the coronavirus pandemic, the south suburban center has been offering at-home science activities to keep kids engaged.The free kits include printed instructions (in English or Spanish) and some supplies to create things like an aluminum foil boat to hold pennies, a butterfly life cycle model and a bird feeder from household containers. Homewood Science Center Executive Director Edie Dobrez said more than 8,0...
Commentary: Good science takes time — even during a pandemic
Good science takes time. This has always been clear to those of us doing health research — less so to the general public. In the pursuit of treatments for COVID-19, we need to manage expectations about what’s not just possible, but also desirable.Finding a vaccine is difficult work, but it’s not like finding a needle in a haystack. Scientists start from a place of knowledge. Researchers around the world are already working on more than 150 possible vaccines, with 22 in human trials. There are also thousands of previously developed pharmaceuticals in testing. A vaccine for COVID-19 is quite lik...
Can hydroxychloroquine prevent COVID-19? Bad press getting in the way of KU finding out
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For 30 days, Kansas City physician Michael Waxman took a daily dose of hydroxychloroquine.Or maybe, he didn’t.Maybe, those pills were nothing more than a placebo.He won’t know until the end of a national clinical trial investigating whether hydroxychloroquine — the drug that keeps popping up in headlines — can prevent health care workers like him from getting COVID-19.The study, led by Duke Clinical Research Institute, is taking place at 40 sites across the country, including the University of Kansas Medical Center.Waxman, a pulmonary critical care physician who has worked a...
The Kansas City Star
A drug that may lessen COVID-related lung damage. Miami will be first in US to test it
MIAMI — A Miami hospital will be the first in the country to test a possible COVID-19 treatment on humans this August.The research center at Westchester General Hospital in Coral Terrace is on its way to enroll patients to test Ifenprodil, a pill developed in the 1970s to treat blood circulation disorders that may alleviate some COVID-19 side-effects in the lungs.The drug, which was tested on a coronavirus patient overseas for the first time Wednesday, may reduce the severity and duration of COVID-19 infections, according to Algernon Pharmaceuticals, a Canadian drug repurposing company that in...
Americans are more likely to report mental health concerns related to the pandemic than other developed countries, survey finds
As the United States works to stop rising coronavirus case numbers, behavioral health professionals warn that mental health will continue to deteriorate as a result of the pandemic.Between March and May, one-third of Americans reported experiencing stress, anxiety and sadness that was difficult to cope with by themselves, according to a survey published this week by the Commonwealth Fund, a foundation focused on promoting a high performing health care system, and Social Science Research Solutions, a market and survey research firm. The survey, which interviewed 8,259 adults in the U.S. and abr...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Nearly 60 different types of fish found in Chicago waterways, study shows
CHICAGO — Amazing what can happen when a city stops dumping massive amounts of bleach into its waterways.Nearly 60 different types of fish are swimming in the Chicago and Calumet rivers these days, up from fewer than 10 during the early 1980s, according to a new study of sampling conducted by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District.Common carp are still the species found most frequently by district biologists during their annual monitoring of the rivers and connected channels. Last year they pulled a nearly 40-pound carp swollen with eggs out of the Little Calumet River.But since 2001, bio...
Diane Bell: San Diego-area colleges are going to pot
Higher education is getting even higher.The legalization of marijuana for medicinal use in 33 states and for recreational use in 11, including California, is giving birth to a cannabis cottage industry and with it a new educational field.Last August, the University of California, Davis, known for its agricultural curriculum, added a Cannabis and Hemp Research Center that assembled experts in marijuana law, business, cultivation, medicine, psychiatry and veterinary treatment. It also offers courses in hemp breeding, seed production, genetics and pharmacology.Tiny Pacific College of Health and S...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Cancer diagnoses plummet during COVID-19, and experts fear that could mean worse disease later
Diagnoses of six common cancer types dropped in the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, as routine screenings were postponed by health systems and patients avoided going to the doctor for fear of contracting the virus, a new study suggests.The study, an analysis of Quest Diagnostics data published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association Network Open, found that new diagnoses of breast, colorectal, lung, pancreatic, gastric and esophageal cancers were down 46% between March 1 and April 18 of this year compared with the average diagnosis rates from previous years.New find...
The Philadelphia Inquirer