Recent News

I study coronavirus in a highly secured biosafety lab – here’s why I feel safer here than in the world outside

Jun 18 2020

It’s quiet in the laboratory, almost peaceful. But I’m holding live SARS-CoV-2 in my hands and this virus is not to be taken lightly. As I dilute the coronavirus to infect cultured cells, I hear the reassuring sound of purified air being blown by my respirator into my breathing space. There are three layers of nitrile and protective materials between me and the virus, and every part of my body is wrapped in protective equipment.

Source: The Conversation The Conversation

The Anti-Vax Movement’s Radical Shift From Crunchy Granola Purists to Far-Right Crusaders

Jun 18 2020

When the pandemic hit, many American parents found themselves muddling through homeschooling for the first time—but Elizabeth Beall is an old pro: She’s been teaching her 13-year-old daughter from home since kindergarten. Over the years, Beall, who lives in California, has learned that homeschooling works best when it doesn’t just happen at home, so she slowly built up a network of parents—mostly moms—who share ideas in Facebook groups and sometimes get the kids together in person for educational and social activities. Beall has formed tight bonds with many of the moms—and they’ve found that the Facebook groups are handy places to swap tips and information. So in late April, when Beall noticed that a few of the moms had posted a video of two physicians talking about the coronavirus, she gamely clicked.

Source: Mother Jones Mother Jones

A COVID-19 vaccine will work only if trials include Black participants, experts say

Jun 18 2020

Calethia Hodges has an arduous task: persuade Black people who have a deep mistrust of experimental drugs and medical institutions to participate in clinical trials to help find a vaccine for the deadly coronavirus. It is quite the paradox. African Americans have been disproportionately devastated by COVID-19, but they are inadequately represented in human studies that would treat a disease that has claimed more than 116,000 lives in the United States. Almost a quarter of those were Black, according to a study called Color of Coronavirus by APM Research Lab.

Source: NBC News NBC News

Moving Beyond The Tools Of The 1918 Flu Pandemic: A Modern Way Forward

Jun 17 2020

Today we are torn between two apparently contradictory positions on COVID-19. One camp says, "We need to focus on saving lives first. Choosing between lives and the economy is a false choice because if millions die, the economy will be ruined anyway." The other side says, "The cure is worse than the disease. Let's focus on which activities are safe as opposed to which activities are essential and open up the economy ASAP." In short, people are doing what people tend to do in the face of a crisis — go to extremes. Absent better options, it seems as though there's only one lever to pull, and the lever has only two settings. And that makes people pull the lever even harder.

Source: Forbes Forbes

“Fast-Tracking” a Coronavirus Vaccine Sounds Great. It’s Not That Simple.

Jun 17 2020

Pharmaceutical companies are racing to develop a coronavirus vaccine, with the most ambitious timelines ever attempted in history. When announcing Operation Warp Speed, the government’s effort to develop a vaccine, President Donald Trump said in May, “We’re looking to get it by the end of the year if we can, maybe before.” Vaccine development under normal circumstances typically takes about 10 to 15 years. Now, developers are compressing the traditional timeline with both technological innovation and by putting vast amounts of money at risk.

Source: Pro Publica Pro Publica

Inside a mobile clinic delivering vaccines to children at home to prevent an uptick in measles during the pandemic

Jun 17 2020

When citywide shelter-in-place orders were issued, many parents stopped taking their children to the doctor to get the vaccines that would prevent them from getting diseases like influenza, measles, and mumps. But Dr. Greg Moyer, of Lake Country Pediatrics in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, wouldn't think of letting his patients miss their vaccinations, so he decided to purchase a minibus and convert it into a fully functional mobile clinic.

Source: Insider Insider

FDA Approves HPV Vaccine Gardasil As Throat Cancer Prevention

Jun 17 2020

The HPV vaccine (Gardasil 9) has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for males and females ages 9 to 45 years to prevent HPV-related genital tract and anogenital infections and cancers for several years. In 2006 it was approved for girls ages 9-26 years to prevent early HPV lesions of the cervix which could potentially become precancerous or cancerous. As cervical cancer is frequently caused by HPV, the vaccine was initially recommended solely to prevent cervical cancer in women. The current Gardasil-9 vaccine prevents nine subtypes of human papillomavirus, or HPV. These infections are commonly known as genital and anogential warts. Many of these lesions can later go on to be cancerous, making HPV infections one of the most common causes of cervical cancer in women and anal cancer in both men and women. There are just under 11,000 cases of HPV-related cervical cancer diagnosed each year. If the vaccine is given in early puberty, prior to sexual activity, the likelihood of viral transmission of this sexually transmitted infection from person to person reduces dramatically. While many skeptics raised concerns that administering this vaccine to pre-teens and teens may lead to earlier sexual activity, this has been found not to be the case.

Source: Forbes Forbes

Coronavirus vaccine will be made free for Americans who can’t afford it, U.S. officials say

Jun 16 2020

Any American who is “vulnerable, who cannot afford the vaccine and desires the vaccine, we will provide it for free,” a senior administration official told reporters during a press briefing Tuesday morning. The administration is also working with insurers, the official said. Some commercial insurers have expressed “eagerness” to cover the vaccine without a co-pay, the official said, adding most are already covering coronavirus-related services.