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
Scientists 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.
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.
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.
The 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.
Ultrasound 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.
Featuring 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.
Scientists 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.”
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.