Tag Archives: Medical Research

Health: Testing, Approving And Fairly Distributing A New Coronavirus Vaccine

SCIENTISTS ARE working at an unprecedented pace to find a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes covid-19. The stakes are high. Natasha Loder, The Economist’s health policy editor, explains how an effective vaccine might be developed.

Dr Trevor Drew of the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness speaks to host Kenneth Cukier about two trials which have reached the animal-testing stage. Plus, once a vaccine is discovered, what can be done to make sure it is distributed fairly? Dr Seth Berkely, chief executive of GAVI, the vaccine alliance, explains the importance of global cooperation. Runtime: 26 min

Coronavirus / Covid-19: “When Will We Have A Vaccine?” (Podcast)

Bloombert Prognosis Covid-19Scientists around the world are racing to develop a vaccine for COVID-19. But experts have said it could take a year to 18 months for one to hit the market. The process for testing and approving a vaccine is long and complicated.

That can be frustrating when the coronavirus is taking more and more lives every day. But cutting corners to push a vaccine through faster can lead to devastating consequences. We know that, because it’s happened before.

Health: Diseases Rise And Fall With The Seasons – Will Coronavirus? (Video)

Scientists and doctors have observed for thousands of years that some diseases, like polio and influenza, rise and fall with the seasons. But why? Ongoing research in animals and humans suggests a variety of causes, including changes in the environment (like pH, temperature, and humidity) and even seasonal and daily changes to our own immune systems. Figuring out those answers could one day make all the difference in minimizing the impact of infectious disease outbreaks—such as COVID-19.

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Exercise Health Benefits: “Should I Go To The Gym Today?” (MGH Video)

This presentation by Julia Browne, PhD, a clinical and research fellow in the Center of Excellence for Psychosocial and Systemic Research at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School was part of Schizophrenia Education Day 2019.

Research: CalTech Scientists Target Cancer Cells With Ultrasound

From a CalTech news article (February 4, 2020):

Ultrasonic-Cancer-Treat-14-50.2e16d0ba.fill-310x200-c100The hope, Lee says, is that ultrasound will kill cancer cells in a specific way that will also engage the immune system and arouse it to attack any cancer cells remaining after the treatment.

A new technique could offer a targeted approach to fighting cancer: low-intensity pulses of ultrasound have been shown to selectively kill cancer cells while leaving normal cells unharmed.

CalTech logoUltrasound waves—sound waves with frequencies higher than humans can hear—have been used as a cancer treatment before, albeit in a broad-brush approach: high-intensity bursts of ultrasound can heat up tissue, killing cancer and normal cells in a target area. Now, scientists and engineers are exploring the use of low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) in an effort to create a more selective treatment.

A study describing the effectiveness of the new approach in cell models was published in Applied Physics Letters on January 7. The researchers behind the work caution that it is still preliminary—it still has not been tested in a live animal let alone in a human, and there remain several key challenges to address—but the results so far are promising.

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Top Medical Podcasts: Lung-Cancer Screenings, Placebo Effects (NEJM)

Lung-Cancer Mortality with Volume CT Screening NEJM February 2020Featuring articles on lung-cancer screening in the NELSON trial, ribociclib and fulvestrant in metastatic breast cancer, vitamin D in pregnancy and asthma, treatment thresholds for neonatal hypoglycemia, and CAR-NK cells in anti-CD19 lymphoid tumors; a review article on placebo and nocebo effects; a Clinical Problem-Solving describing a rapid change in pressure; and Perspective articles on altruism in Extremis, on abuses of FDA regulatory procedures, and on joining forces against delirium.

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Research: Scientists Find Protein To Regulate Immune Attacks, Reduce Rheumatoid Arthritis

From a New Atlas online article:

1200px-Karolinska_Institutet_seal.svgScientists have just discovered a new mechanism that can be key in regulating these immune attacks, raising new hopes of drugs that can protect against joint inflammation and the ailments it can bring.

Through the use of the CRISPR gene-editing tool, the Karolinska Institutet scientists have now shed further light on the role they play in inflammation. The technology enabled the team to make adjustments to a set of hand-picked immune cell genes as a way of learning how those tweaks can impact the behavior of the cells.

“The results we obtained using CRISPR were key to quickly understanding how the system under study is regulated,” says Dr Wermeling. “I have high hopes that the experimental use of CRISPR will be hugely important to our understanding of how immune-cell behavior is regulated, and that this can guide us in the development of new efficacious drugs.”

https://newatlas.com/medical/newly-understood-protein-raises-hopes-of-advanced-arthritis-treatments/?utm_source=New+Atlas+Subscribers&utm_campaign=68b0bd3225-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_01_21_02_40&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_65b67362bd-68b0bd3225-93002753

Healthcare: “10 Drugs And Medical Devices Approved By FDA In Dec. 2019 (BHR)

From a Becker’s Hospital Review (BHR) online release article:

10 drugs and medical devices approved by the FDA since Dec. 6:

  1. Enhertu is Japanese drugmaker Daiichi Sankyo’s drug designed to treat HER2-positive breast cancer.
  2. Padcev is Astellas Pharma’s drug designed to target specific cancer cells to treat urothelial cancers.
  3. Control-IQ Technology controller is Tandem Diabetes Care’s insulin device, designed to help diabetes patients tailor their treatments to their individual needs.
  4. Vascepa is Amarin Pharmaceuticals’ drug, a fish oil-derived pill designed to treatVascepa benefits cardiovascular events.
  5. EXALT Model D is Boston Scientific’s device, the first fully disposable duodenoscope, designed to reduce the risk of infections in patients treated with the device.
  6. Vyondys 53 is Sarepta Therapeutics’ drug designed to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which the FDA had previously rejected.
  7. GSP Neonatal Creatine Kinase-MM kit is PerkinElmer’s device, used to detect Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in newborns.
  8. Unidose liquid system is AptarGroup’s device that uses a nasal spray to treat seizures. It is the first and only nasal treatment for patients with epilepsy.
  9. Avsola is Amgen’s drug, a biosimilar of Johnson & Johnson’s Remicade. It is designed to treat rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, plaque psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.
  10. cobas vivoDx is Roche Molecular Systems’ device, designed to diagnose MRSA hours faster than traditional tests.

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To read article at Becker’s Hospital Review

Medical Research Video: “Synthesizing Speech From Brain Signals” (JAMA)

Imagine you’re paralyzed and can’t move or speak. How would you communicate with the world? This video describes the principles of early brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) designed to read electrical brain signals, analyze how brain activity patterns contribute to vocal tract movements, and reproduce the sound patterns as speech. The model is a first step toward one day restoring paralyzed individuals’ natural rate of communication and quality of life.

For more information see https://ja.ma/37dfVSx and https://www.nature.com/articles/s4158….