Page 20«..10..19202122..3040..»

You are currently browsing the Nano Medicine category

Eight strains of the coronavirus are circling the globe. They’re giving scientists clues – Stuff.co.nz

§ March 29th, 2020 § Filed under Nano Medicine Comments Off on Eight strains of the coronavirus are circling the globe. They’re giving scientists clues – Stuff.co.nz

At least eight strains of the coronavirus are making their way around the globe, creating a trail of death and disease that scientists are tracking by their genetic footprints.

While much is unknown, hidden in the virus'unique microscopic fragments are clues to the origins of its original strain, how it behaves as it mutates and which strains are turning into conflagrations while others are dying out thanks to quarantine measures.

KATHRYN GEORGE/STUFF

Scientists are tracking eight strains of the coronavirus by their genetic footprints.

Huddled in once bustling and now almost empty labs, researchers who oversaw dozens of projects are instead focused on one goal: tracking the current strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that cause the illness Covid-19.

Labs around the world are turning their sequencing machines, most about the size of a desktop printer, to the task of rapidly sequencing the genomes of virus samples taken from people sick with Covid-19. The information is uploaded to a website called NextStrain.org that shows how the virus is migrating and splitting into similar but new subtypes.

READ MORE:* Three months into the pandemic, here is what we know about the coronavirus* Coronavirus isn't alive and that's why it's so hard to kill* Coronavirus vaccine hunters: meet the scientists racing to find a cure* Key terms of the coronavirus outbreak, explained: From asymptomatic to zoonotic

While researchers caution they're only seeing the tip of the iceberg, the tiny differences between the virus strains suggest shelter-in-place orders are working in some areas and that no one strain of the virus is more deadly than another. They also say it does not appear the strains will grow more lethal as they evolve.

"The virus mutates so slowly that the virus strains are fundamentally very similar to each other," said Charles Chiu, a professor of medicine and infectious disease at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus first began causing illness in China sometime between mid-November and mid-December. Its genome is made up of about 30,000 base pairs. Humans, by comparison, have more than 3 billion. So far even in the virus's most divergent strains scientists have found only 11 base pair changes.

That makes it easy to spot new lineages as they evolve, said Chiu.

"The outbreaks are trackable. We have the ability to do genomic sequencing almost in real-time to see what strains or lineages are circulating," he said.

So far, most cases on the USWest Coast are linked to a strain first identified in Washington state. It may have come from a man who had been in Wuhan, China, the virus' epicentre, and returned home on January 15. It is only three mutations away from the original Wuhan strain, according to work done early in the outbreak by Trevor Bedford, a computational biologist at Fred Hutch, a medical research centrein Seattle.

On the East Coast there are several strains, including the one from Washington and others that appear to have made their way from China to Europe and then to New York and beyond, Chiu said.

BEWARE PRETTY PHYLOGENETIC TREES

This isn't the first time scientists have scrambled to do genetic analysis of a virus in the midst of an epidemic. They did it with Ebola, Zika and West Nile, but nobody outside the scientific community paid much attention.

"This is the first time phylogenetic trees have been all over Twitter," said Kristian Andersen, a professor at Scripps Research, a nonprofit biomedical science research facility in La Jolla, California, speaking of the diagrams that show the evolutionary relationships between different strains of an organism.

The maps are available on NextStrain, an online resource for scientists that uses data from academic, independent and government laboratories all over the world to visually track the genomics of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It currently represents genetic sequences of strains from 36 countries on six continents.

While the maps are fun, they can also be "little dangerous" said Andersen. The trees showing the evolution of the virus are complex and it's difficult even for experts to draw conclusions from them.

"Remember, we're seeing a very small glimpse into the much larger pandemic. We have half a million described cases right now but maybe 1000 genomes sequenced. So there are a lot of lineages we're missing," he said.

MANU FERNANDEZ/AP

Health workers applaud in support of the medical staff that are working on the Covid-19 virus outbreak in Spain.

DIFFERENT SYMPTOMS, SAME STRAINS

Covid-19 hits people differently, with some feeling only slightly under the weather for a day, others flat on their backs sick for two weeks and about 15 per centhospitalised. Currently, an estimated 1 per centof those infected die. The rate varies greatly by country and experts say it is likely tied to testing rates rather than actual mortality.

Chiu says it appears unlikely the differences are related to people being infected with different strains of the virus.

"The current virus strains are still fundamentally very similar to each other," he said.

The Covid-19 virus does not mutate very fast. It does so eight to 10 times more slowly than the influenza virus, said Anderson, making its evolution rate similar to other coronaviruses such as Ebola, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

It's also not expected to spontaneously evolve into a form more deadly than it already is to humans. The SARS-CoV-2 is so good at transmitting itself between human hosts, said Andersen, it is under no evolutionary pressure to evolve.

GETTY IMAGES

The Covid-19 virus does not mutate very fast. It does so eight to 10 times more slowly than the influenza virus.

SHELTER IN PLACE WORKING IN CALIFORNIA

Chiu's analysis shows California's strict shelter in place efforts appear to be working.

Over half of the 50 SARS-CoV-2 virus genomes his San Francisco-based lab sequenced in the past two weeks are associated with travel from outside the state. Another 30 per centare associated with health care workers and families of people who have the virus.

"Only 20 per centare coming from within the community. It's not circulating widely," he said.

That's fantastic news, he said, indicating the virus has not been able to gain a serious foothold because of social distancing.

It's like a wildfire, Chiu said. A few sparks might fly off the fire and land in the grass and start new fires. But if the main fire is doused and its embers stomped out, you can kill off an entire strain. In California, Chiu sees a lot of sparks hitting the ground, most coming from Washington, but they're quickly being put out.

An example was a small cluster of cases in Solano County, northeast of San Francisco. Chiu's team did a genetic analysis of the virus that infected patients there and found it was most closely related to a strain from China.

At the same time, his lab was sequencing a small cluster of cases in the city of Santa Clara in Silicon Valley. They discovered the patients there had the same strain as those in Solano County. Chiu believes someone in that cluster had contact with a traveller who recently returned from Asia.

"This is probably an example of a spark that began in Santa Clara, may have gone to Solano County but then was halted," he said.

The virus, he said, can be stopped.

CHINA IS AN UNKNOWN

So far researchers don't have a lot of information about the genomics of the virus inside China beyond the fact that it first appeared in the city of Wuhan sometime between mid-November and mid-December.

The virus's initial sequence was published on January 10 by professor Yong-Zhen Zhang at the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center. But Chiu says scientists don't know if there was just one strain circulating in China or more.

"It may be that they haven't sequenced many cases or it may be for political reasons they haven't been made available," said Chiu. "It's difficult to interpret the data because we're missing all these early strains."

Researchers in the United Kingdom who sequenced the genomes of viruses found in travellers from Guangdong in south China found those patients' strains spanned the gamut of strains circulating worldwide.

"That could mean several of the strains we're seeing outside of China first evolved there from the original strain, or that there are multiple lines of infection. It's very hard to know," said Chiu.

THE VIRUS DID NOT COME FROM A LAB

While there remain many questions about the trajectory of the Covid-19 disease outbreak, one thing is broadly accepted in the scientific community: The virus was not created in a lab but naturally evolved in an animal host.

SARS-CoV-2's genomic molecular structure - think the backbone of the virus - is closest to a coronavirus found in bats. Parts of its structure also resemble a virus found in scaly anteaters, according to a paper published earlier this month in the journal Nature Medicine.

Someone manufacturing a virus targeting people would have started with one that attacked humans, wrote National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins in an editorial that accompanied the paper.

Andersen was lead author on the paper. He said it could have been a one-time occurrence.

"It's possible it was a single event, from a single animal to a single human," and spread from there.

- USA Today

Excerpt from:
Eight strains of the coronavirus are circling the globe. They're giving scientists clues - Stuff.co.nz

Read the Rest...

In Covid-19 lockdown, what can protect you from coronavirus and why – India Today

§ March 29th, 2020 § Filed under Nano Medicine Comments Off on In Covid-19 lockdown, what can protect you from coronavirus and why – India Today

It is very unusual for a Reserve Bank of India governor to emphasise practising hygiene. RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das did that on Friday while announcing monetary and fiscal policy interventions to square-off the novel coronavirus infection which is ravaging Indian businesses and economy.

"Stay clean, stay safe," said Das underscoring that "we are fighting an invisible assassin".

Novel coronavirus truly remains invisible except under microscopic lens. Its spread is super-fast and by the time victims come to know about them having been hunted by this invisible assassin, they already are firing salvos at other unsuspecting preys.

Given that there is no medicine to kill novel coronavirus, disease Covid-19 remains invincible in a sense. It runs its course in an infected person and then leaves the body like other viruses. During the course of stay, novel coronavirus aggravates many of existing health conditions, particularly those related to heart, lungs, kidney, cancer and diabetes.

The only way, health experts have been saying, is to stay clear of novel coronavirus. Don't let it reach your respiratory tract. On the basis of what health experts suggest, here is what can protect you from novel coronavirus:

DISTANCE

Keep Distance: Driving in any city of India, you must have read this on the back bumper of trucks. In Delhi, even some e-rickshaw-wallahs too have got it painted on their vehicles. This is a powerful message. For vehicles on roads, it reminds fellow drivers that fatal accidents may happen if they don't heed the advice.

In the times of novel coronavirus pandemic, doctors give the same advice. Social distancing: This is the phrase they use. This is the principle that was used in China earlier and has been used in India now to enforce lockdown.

People with exposure for novel coronavirus and those without were all mingling in the streets. Since the virus travels fast from one human body to another through cough and sneeze, helped by its ability to stay alive on all kinds of surfaces that we touch, the government thought it better to lockdown a billion-plus nation.

Stay indoors is the mantra for survival. If you go out, novel coronavirus may come home.

NEW BAD TOUCHES

Our hands are the most useful tools. Earlier, people used to walk long distances for their daily work. Now, with computers, laptops and smartphones in, fingers walk longer distances than a person's legs on an average.

Some studies have found the keyboard of our computers and laptops carrying more bacteria and viruses than the lavatory seats. Our hands have picked all these viruses and bacteria from all kinds of surfaces and deposited them there.

The hands can do the same for novel coronavirus. So, beware when you go out. Make sure you don't touch any surface if you can do without. A few billion novel coronaviruses may be resting on those surfaces. This is a bad touch.

A vendor offers hand sanitiser to a customer in Nagpur, Maharashtra to mitigate chances of spread of novel coronavirus infection. (Photo: PTI)

The next bad touch, or rather worse touch would be when your hands go to your face and touch mouth, nose or eyes. Experts working on human behaviour say that a person touches one's face up to 30 times an hour. That is, a person is taking risk of infecting oneself 720 times a day.

So, touching face is another bad touch. Add this to your list of lesson on bad touches that your may have learnt in your or if not then in your daughter's school. While the conventional bad touch is lesson on morality, ethics and crime, the new ones may lead to a person death. There is a simple rule to avoid this: keep your hands below shoulder level all the time.

HYGIENIC RESPIRATION

Well any yoga teacher or a physician may diagnose that your respiration is not proper. But hygiene in respiration is different thing here. This is behavrioural rather than physiological.

Cover your mouth and nose with tissues, clean handkerchief or if you don't have either with your bent elbow. Why bent elbow? It cannot reach your nose or mouth unless you take it there deliberately. This reduces the chances of novel coronavirus infection.

SOAP

Soap has a unique chemistry with viruses including novel coronavirus, bacteria and most of microscopic pathogens hiding in grime on our hands and clothes. Viruses have a multipurpose layer of lipid (fat) and are sticky. Soap molecules are love oil or fat.

So, when you use soap to foam your hands, the soap molecules entangle with the fatty layer of millions of viruses on your hands. The viruses lose their protective layer, get disintegrated and washed away with soap.

SANITISERS

Hand sanitisers are like substitutes for soap but only if it has at least 60 per cent of alcohol. They also work like an anti-virus programme. The alcohol present in hand sanitisers dissolves the fatty layer around virus leading to its disintegration.

The issue with hand sanitisers is that alcohol, experts say, does not wash away inactive viruses from hand like the water does when we use soap. Sufficient quantity of hand sanitisers should be used for effective protection.

MASK

A mask can mask the threat of infection if worn casually by a healthy person. If someone keeps touching the mask - out of the old habit of touching one's face frequently - the person may keep depositing bacteria and viruses in the breathing pores in the mask, which may become a den of pathogens.

However, medical masks, if worn properly, can help to prevent spread of novel coronavirus. But it is advised that only those people who are in close contact with patients who are suspected or confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection should wear these masks.

On the other hand, all Covid-19 patient and those suspected of having exposure to novel coronavirus must wear masks so that they don't release the virus into air through coughing and sneezing. Any other person breathing in the same air may inhale some of the droplets released by the patient.

Still, if someone develops symptoms such as dry cough, breathlessness and high fever, the person must call the Covid-19 helpline numbers 011-23978046/ 1075 / 1800-112-545

Continue reading here:
In Covid-19 lockdown, what can protect you from coronavirus and why - India Today

Read the Rest...

China claims to have developed nanomaterial that can absorb and deactivate coronavirus with 96.5-99.9 percent efficiency – report – International…

§ March 29th, 2020 § Filed under Nano Medicine Comments Off on China claims to have developed nanomaterial that can absorb and deactivate coronavirus with 96.5-99.9 percent efficiency – report – International…

Will this be the ultimate coronavirus cure that the world has been waiting for? Reports out of China claim that a team of scientists in the country has developed a novel method to fight the new coronavirus strain that causes COVID 19.

The deadly coronavirus (COVID 19) that has now turned into a global pandemic has killed close to 33,000 people in the world.

According to the report first published in China's Global Times, the Chinese scientists have developed a new weapon to combat the Coronavirus."

"They say they have found a nanomaterial that can absorb and deactivate the virus with 96.5-99.9 percent efficiency," Global Times reported.

A Reuters report on the nanomaterial revealed that the Chinese research institute that developed the nanomaterial wants to work with companies to use it in making air purifiers and face masks.

The report highlighted that lab tests were conducted at a branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is a leading national public health institute of the United States, located in China's Anhui province.

The nanomaterial deactivated 96.5-99.9% of the coronavirus, the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics under state think tank Chinese Academy of Sciences said in a statement.

What are nanomaterials?

Nanomaterials are have proved their use in a variety of fields and in healthcare, Nanozymes, which are nanomaterials with enzyme-like characteristics is a field of potential.

According to the US NIH, scientists have not unanimously settled on a precise definition of nanomaterials, but agree that they are partially characterized by their tiny size, measured in nanometers.

A nanometer is one-millionth of a millimeter - approximately 100,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair.

Nano-sized particles exist in nature and can be created from a variety of products. Most nanoscale materials are too small to be seen with the naked eye and even with conventional lab microscopes.

Northeastern chemical engineer Thomas Webster, who has been using nano-scale medicine and technology to treat diseases is working on ways to find and neutralize viruses using nanomedicines.

Webster, who is part of a team contributing ideas to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to fight the COVID-19 outbreak has proposed to develop a way to use nanomaterials that could attach to SARS-CoV-2 viruses, disrupting their structure with a combination of infrared light treatment. "That structural change would then halt the ability of the virus to survive and reproduce in the body," Webster told Nano Werk.

Coronavirus cure

Researchers across the globe are still working on developing a vaccine or antiviral medicines specifically to treat the new coronavirus that causes COVID 19. Healthcare workers currently are majorly focusing on helping in relieving the symptoms through breathing assistance. Though most cases do not require assistance, critical patients need to be put on ventilators.

Here is the original post:
China claims to have developed nanomaterial that can absorb and deactivate coronavirus with 96.5-99.9 percent efficiency - report - International...

Read the Rest...

What Does It Mean to Be a Good Doctor? – Scientific American

§ March 28th, 2020 § Filed under Nano Medicine Comments Off on What Does It Mean to Be a Good Doctor? – Scientific American

A few years ago, I was shadowing a neurologist at a hospital just down the road from my family home in Connecticut. It was a relatively slow day for the doctor, full of chart reviews and sifting through brain images for abnormalities. As she went about her paperwork, the neurologist shared her insights with me, especially when something exciting popped up. Even then, I remember finding it strange that the human body can be a medical educatorsomething to be studied, even marveled at.

I learned what an ischemic stroke looked like on a CT scan. I saw what electronic health records looked like across an assortment of patients and their health statuses, annotated by past and present health care providers. I read what doctors considered to be objective truths about their patients, truths including data points and test results that were worthy of being documented. I read the things that mattered to insurance companies and provided the doctors their paychecks. I saw a complicated system of documentation that put the medical record and physician reimbursement at the heart of patient-centered health care.

And I read snippets of patients subjective realities of their ailments that the chart authors annotated with phrases like patient insists [x] or patient seems convinced of [y] or even patient comes in frequently, seeking attention. It was as if the narrative of a persons own lived experience was not trustworthy enough for science, or at least not relevant enough to be taken seriously within our fee-for-service model of health care. There was no way a patient could be the first author in their own story, a coveted role reserved for the educated, the objectivethe clinicians.

In the medical field, we often talk about the fine balance between personal responsibility and social determinism in influencing health behaviors. But when patients with real concerns and conditions take their health into their own hands, they are judged, and labeled attention-seekers, when science has no answers for them. Maybe its because objective data is comforting to analytic, medical minds. But when no data exist to explain particular illnesses and when time is money, it becomes easier to view the body in front of you as one of a hypochondriacal, noncompliant or attention-seeking person than to truly listen and strengthen the bond of a doctor-patient relationship. Unfortunately, this attitude doesnt make for good medical care because somehow, while looking through even the most mundane of reading materials that daya patient chart riddled in complicated medical jargon and some abbreviations that I still have to google as a medical studentI could almost hear the chat's author scoff in judgement.

With the rise of electronic health records and ever-improving technology, one might be inclined to believe that these changes bring more benefit than harm to health care. While on the surface this might seem true, like everything else in our world, its not that simple. It means patients get significantly less time with doctors and feel more neglected than ever. It means people are living longer but with more chronic conditions. It means patient-centered care is being swapped for patient-centered charts. It means care providers are less focused on patients and more concerned with the bottom line.

As a result, they are suffering from more burnout than ever before. In fact, a 2018 survey by the Physicians Foundation found that six out of every 10 doctors surveyed (9,000 total) were either very or somewhat pessimistic about the future of the medical profession, citing electronic health record design and the patient-physician relationship for their marked dissatisfaction. In large part, this pervasive issue owes itself to shifts in medical culture from house calls and bedside manner in the early 1900s to 15-minute check-ins and a focus on profit margins in 2020.

Fortunately, however, not all health care professionals treat their patients and their bodies as medical specimens. Some physicians, like the neurologist I was shadowing, take the time to know their patientsand their familiesbeyond medical charts and insurance documentation. Because it can be difficult to mentally construct patients lives and narratives from the medical lingo of their charts, the doctor filled in the gaps for me that day. She gave life and meaning to abridged notes and otherwise apathetic paperwork. She told me about a young man who was likely taking his last breaths following a combined alcohol/cocaine/narcotics overdose.

While I was there, she was called to the ICU to examine him for the nth time in as many days. On the elevator ride up, she told me he was a college student who had been doing careless college student things. Her motherly disappointment was laced with a hint of sadness. I figured cases like these were commonplace for her, but it was humbling to see her humanness, especially since I didnt know what I was walking into that day. I wondered what it meant to be an overdose patient in a culture that was full of overmedicating, over-testing and over-charting, none of which offered an iota of humanity to a patient on the verge of death or a family nearing an irreplaceable loss.

She led me to her patients room in the ICU. He was no more than a year or two older than I was at the time. As I watched the ventilators help his limp body inhale and then exhale, I imagined he might have had a bright future ahead of him. I thought about the college party that allegedly landed him in this place. I wondered if he had been addicted or couldve been helped. I wondered who he would be leaving behind. I said a silent prayer for him as the doctor examined him, once again confirming a poor prognosis.

Quick footsteps approached. The doctor stepped into the hall to greet her patients mother. It became clear that his mother was just as much in need of the doctors warmth and care as he was. And because the neurologist was what I considered to be a good doctor, maybe even a rare one, she recognized it too. I listened as the doctor relayed a difficult prognosis. I watched the mother clutch her prayer beads so tightly her knuckles turned white. I learned that her son attended an Ivy League university and would be leaving behind a seemingly supportive and, at the moment, extremely distraught family. I know hell be okay she argued. She had seen him move. I remembered learning that overdose-related comas can result in elevated levels of motor activity due to the drugs effects on the brain stem. Contrary to what a hopeful mother might believe, this was not a reflection of consciousness or active motor reflexes.

The doctor, though she spoke matter-of-factly, delivered her professional opinion with patience and kindness. She was present for the mother. She understood that the lifeless young man in front of her was not just a body or another looming overdose death. He was someone with a family, a life that was worth living. She also saw a grieving mother before her who would soon have to make peace with this tragedy. Observing their interaction, I could see that most of the medical information the doctor shared flew past the womans ears. She was a mother, and she knew what she had seen; she fully believed that her son was on the cusp of waking up again. As a physician, the neurologist knew he wasnt going to get better; the damage was too far gone.

That day, I saw that ultimately it is not the language of science or evidence-based medicine that consoles real human beings facing real loss. It is not the objective medical gaze or microscopic view of the body as a specimen that provides comfort or reassurance. It is not the contrived form of empathy we are taught to show our patient-actors in our clinical skills courses that builds trust between doctors and their real patients. A scripted Oh, Im sorry to hear that. That must be so tough for you, only goes so far when youre caring for the sick and dying and their family members. In the end, the reality of medical practice and the doctor-patient relationship is about the impulse of being human, the vulnerability of being ill, and the process of healing, all of which we share in but so often forget in the process of becoming professionals.

But in this instance with the neurologist, I saw what it meant to look beyond a patients chart and to deviate from the feigned sympathy script of a medical school doctoring course. I saw a young man as a patient, a person with his own story; a mother in sorrow, no less a patient in that moment; and a doctor with oodles of knowledge standing quietly in solidarity with her patients mother. The neurologist reached her hand out and the mother graciously accepted her show of comfort, genuine and uncontrived. That, to me, is patient-centered care. Id be curious to see how a medical school might script that or how an electronic health record or insurance company might capture it for reimbursement.

Read more from the original source:
What Does It Mean to Be a Good Doctor? - Scientific American

Read the Rest...

Stop the Coronavirus: The Science of Washing Your Hands – Chicago Health

§ March 28th, 2020 § Filed under Nano Medicine Comments Off on Stop the Coronavirus: The Science of Washing Your Hands – Chicago Health

It seems surreal: Twenty seconds of handwashing with plain soap and water are powerful enough to destroy microscopic coronavirus particles and help prevent the spread of the disease to yourself and others.

But the science is real. Thanks to their molecular makeups, soap and water, combined with regular handwashing, can kill the coronavirus and other germs.

While coronavirus news changes minute-to-minute, health organizations around the world continue to stress the importance of practicing good hygiene including frequent, thorough handwashing for children, teens and adults.

Experts believe the coronavirus primarily spreads through respiratory droplets when someone sneezes or coughs. A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that coronavirus can linger in the air and survive on some surfaces. If someone touches a contaminated surface and then touches their eyes, mouth or nose, they may contract the virus.

Thats why frequent handwashing is key. Soap, water and thorough handwashing rid hands of the virus, explains Bryan Dickinson, PhD, associate professor of chemistry at the University of Chicago.

Think about how soap can take grease or oil stains off your clothes, make them dissolve and wash away, he says. This is because soaps are amphiphilic, meaning they can interact both with water and lipid phases of solutions. Its the same idea.

The coronavirus, Dickinson says, has a shell-like structure that soap is able to penetrate. The virus particles are enclosed by fatty lipids, which the soap molecules can easily tear apart.

They break apart the noncovalent bonds between the lipids, rupturing the virus particle and destroying it, Dickinson says. The soap molecules dissolve the virus shell, and the rest of the viral material is washed away.

Handwashing needs to last at least 20 seconds and include the fronts and backs of hands, wrists, nails and in between your fingers. The water does not need to be hot to be effective; cold water works too, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC recommends handwashing at these key times:

Drying your hands after washing them is also important, because germs can transfer more easily to and from wet hands, the CDC says.

Constant handwashing can leave skin dry and cracked. Those cracks leave you vulnerable to germs. To help prevent irritation, wash hands with a gentle soap and lukewarm not hot water, says Jill Cotseones, DO, a dermatologist at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital.

By changing your hand soap to a gentle, fragrance-free, formaldehyde-free cleanser, you are significantly decreasing your risk for irritation. Fragrance- and formaldehyde-containing products are frequent sources of allergic reactions that can also lead to flares of hand eczema, Cotseones says.

She recommends that people moisturize their hands with a hand cream that contains petrolatum or glycerin. Moisturizers should also be gentle and fragrance-free. Ingredients like glycerin and petrolatum, she says, restore the skin barrier and soothe dry, cracked hands.

Good hygiene is, of course, important for people of all ages.

Chicagoans Heather and Tyson Roan, the parents of three young daughters, have experimented with different songs to help their children spend enough time washing their hands.

We heard on the news to sing the Happy Birthday song twice. That led to discussion as to how fast they should sing the song. One daughter was rushing through at lightning speed, which wasnt adding up to the 20 seconds, Heather says.

Although their oldest daughters are now 8 and 10 years old, theyve revisited a song they learned in preschool, set to the tune of Frere Jacques.

That songs lyrics: Tops and bottoms, tops and bottoms, in between, in between. Then we wash our thumbs. Then we wash our thumbs. Now were clean. Now were clean.

For a fun approach, make a handwashing poster with the lyrics to your favorite song at washyourlyrics.com.

And keep in mind that if soap and water are not immediately available such as after touching a gas pump hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol are a good backup. Products with lesser amounts of alcohol are not as effective at killing germs, according to the CDC.

To effectively use hand sanitizer, read the label to learn the correct amount to apply, and then apply the product to the palm of one hand, the CDC says. Rub all over the surface of your hands front and back until they are dry.

Debra Chandler Landis is a former correspondent for The State Journal-Register in Springfield, Ill., and a retired college media adviser.

Go here to read the rest:
Stop the Coronavirus: The Science of Washing Your Hands - Chicago Health

Read the Rest...

Deep Cleaners Have Their Day in a Nation Paralyzed by a Pathogen – Scientific American

§ March 28th, 2020 § Filed under Nano Medicine Comments Off on Deep Cleaners Have Their Day in a Nation Paralyzed by a Pathogen – Scientific American

As it travels between hosts, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, appears as a tiny, spiky orb, between 50 and 200 billionths of a meter across. Expelled from the human body by a cough, say, or a well-placed sneeze the virus can settle on surfaces, where it sits, microscopic and immobile, for hours or even days. If something comes along and touches the surface, the virus can travel with it to a human hand, then from a hand to a face, and from there into the body.

Unless, that is, something destroys it first.

We're working 24 hours, said Reuven Noyman, the owner of NYC Steam Cleaning, which has four crews sanitizing buildings across New York City and the suburbs. Standing in a clients gym in Gravesend, Brooklyn, Noyman gestured to one of his lead technicians, Harrison Marx, an actor who cleans to pay his bills. He was working until one oclock at night last night.

As the Covid-19 pandemic overwhelms hospitals and shuts down American cities, it has also placed new demands on janitors and specialized cleaners. Theyre overwhelmed. Theyre being called all the time, said Patty Olinger, the executive director of the Global Biorisk Advisory Council, a division of ISSA, a cleaning industry trade association.

Cleaners with no experience with disinfection, Olinger said, are suddenly being asked to treat buildings. And opportunists are rushing to open new businesses to serve the boom in demand an effort sometimes hampered by a shortage of equipment. The lack of experience worries Olinger. To really clean, from a scientific standpoint, from a technique standpoint, is really an art for a lot of folks, she said. An inept cleaner will miss pathogens. And taking off protective equipment incorrectly can expose cleaners to infection something Olinger saw while working during the Ebola crisis.

In recent weeks, GBAC has rushed out online trainings and certifications to help prepare frontline workers during the pandemic. And for many Americans, that often-invisible work has suddenly come to seem essential, as officials scramble to contain the virus pandemic and people grapple with fears of a lurking pathogen.

Noymans crews do use cloth and elbow grease to clean, but their core business involves more specialized equipment. They lug 100-pound carpet cleaners up stairs. They hose down whole rooms with jets of scalding steam from a $4,900 Italian-made machine. They also use spray guns that mist surfaces with electrically-charged droplets of a chemical disinfectant.

Crews like this one are now servicing Wall Street offices, buses, and schools. Just recently, Noyman said, they have treated a Ferrari dealership; the embassy of a large island nation; the five-story office of a Chinese bank; the headquarters of a trendy fitness startup; and a fleet of delivery trucks parked in New Jersey. They work for A-listers who live in eight-figure apartments and make them sign non-disclosure agreements.

Four weeks ago, when Noyman started getting Covid-19-related calls, it was just people taking precautions: Were worried about the virus, please come clean our office. That soon changed. The last week, every place were going to had a case, Noyman said. There was a building with a doorman who got sick; a crew deep-cleaned the lobby. A nail salon called after a customer tested positive. Noyman sent a crew.

Standing in the Gravesend gym, Noyman, Marx, and another technician at the company, Samuel Esquivel, demonstrated some of their equipment.

The steam cleaner is bulky but simple: essentially a water tank, a 5-liter stainless steel boiler, a heating rod, and a nozzle. The hot cone of steam, emerging at 220 to 240 degrees Fahrenheit, scalds a surface and quickly cools. Marx and Noyman have scars on their forearms from brushing the hot tip.

The electrostatic sprayers are lighter and more nimble, but they require more care: the sprayer wears a respirator and now, in places with the potential presence of Covid-19, full-body ProGard coveralls. Crews enter a potentially contaminated building in full gear, and they often spray themselves down before undressing, in case theyve picked up something on the way. Each device mists a solution of chloride-based disinfectant essentially, bleach or a close chemical relative. As the mist emerges from a nozzle, a small electrode near the tip applies a powerful electric charge to the spray. The charge causes the spray droplets to repel each other, but to be attracted to virtually any other surface around, like hair clinging to a staticky balloon.

The attraction is strong enough that the droplets, each around 400 times larger than a coronavirus, will actually float upward and coat the undersides of surfaces.

The charge helps [the droplets] line up next to each other and not pool or puddle, so they cover surfaces completely, wrote Heidi Wilcox, a microbiologist and commercial cleaning consultant, in an email. The user can wave the sprayer under a hospital bed and it will get into the cracks and small spaces of the springs and other parts of the bed.

Once there, the chemicals begin to act on any microbes. Chlorides are powerful oxidizers, meaning they snag electrons from other molecules, unraveling proteins and damaging membranes. Once there, given enough time, these disinfectants will damage the virus, neutralizing it.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine last week found that SARS-CoV-2 can persist on some surfaces for up to three days in amounts sufficient to get someone sick. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that people concerned about spreading the virus regularly wipe down frequently touched surfaces, like doorknobs and light switches, with a strong disinfectant.

Whether full-room disinfections are necessary is not always clear. Certainly, its not sufficient to keep a space safe: The virus can also be transmitted from droplets floating in the air, not just surfaces. As Noyman points out, the moment cleaners leave, passers-by begin to undo all their work.

And some cleaning methods have only mixed support. The Environmental Protection Agency has put out a list of approved disinfectants for use against SARS-CoV-2, but steam does not appear among them. Olinger said that, based on current evidence, while steam can kill the virus, it needs a lengthier application time than some users may realize. At this point during the pandemic I would not use steam at all, Wilcox wrote, citing a lack of strong evidence. Some industry representatives, including Wayne Delfino, whose family owns Advanced Vapor Technologies of Everett, Washington, however, insist that steam works. The companys non-chemical, Thermo Accelerated Nano Crystal Sanitation technology, he wrote in an email, has been tested and proven effective on harder-to-kill viruses and on a similar human coronavirus.

While opinions vary, thorough cleaning of any kind can offer some peace of mind and many techniques do kill pathogens. Any time you can minimize your exposure, you're helping yourself out, said Jonathan Sexton, an environmental microbiologist at the University of Arizona who studies disinfection.

As SARS-CoV-2 spreads through New York, demand for cleaning is high. Meeting that demand may only get more challenging. Some of Noymans staff are already working 16 and 17-hour days. It is getting difficult to secure the chemicals they use in electrostatic systems. Noyman recently ordered a truckload, and received only five boxes. Hes being careful with what stock he has. I'm not keeping them in trucks, Noyman said. I'm keeping them in the warehouse in case someone breaks into a truck.

People are stealing anything they could now, he added. We're not leaving masks in the truck.

For now, work continues, as crews chase the virus all over the countrys biggest city and pandemic epicenter. Over the years, Noyman said, it can feel like he has been everywhere.It's a big city," he said, "but it's not that big.

This story was jointly produced by Scientific American and Undark.

Read more about the coronavirus outbreakhere.

Read the original here:
Deep Cleaners Have Their Day in a Nation Paralyzed by a Pathogen - Scientific American

Read the Rest...

How a Canadian Research Team Isolated the Coronavirus – The National Interest

§ March 28th, 2020 § Filed under Nano Medicine Comments Off on How a Canadian Research Team Isolated the Coronavirus – The National Interest

As most people rush to distance themselves from COVID-19, Canadian researchers have been waiting eagerly to get our (gloved) hands on the hated virus.

We want to learn everything we can about how it works, how it changes and how it interacts with the human immune system, so we can test drugs that may treat it, develop vaccines and diagnostics and prevent future pandemics.

This is what researchers live to do. Much of our everyday work is incremental. Its important and it moves the field forward, but to have a chance to contribute to fighting a pandemic is especially inspiring and exciting.

The secret lives of viruses

Viruses are fascinating. They are inert microscopic entities that can either hide out, innocuous and undetected, or wreak pandemic havoc.

They are simultaneously complex and simplistic, which is what makes them so interesting especially new, emerging viruses with unique characteristics. Researching viruses teaches us not only about the viruses we study, but also about our own immune systems.

The emergence of a new coronavirus in a market in Wuhan, China, in December 2019 set in motion the pandemic we are now witnessing in 160 countries around the world. In just three months, the virus has infected more than 360,000 people and killed more than 16,000.

Viral isolation

The outbreak sent researchers around the world racing to isolate laboratory specimens of the virus that causes COVID-19. The virus was later named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2.

In countries that experienced earlier outbreaks, including China, Australia, Germany and the United States, researchers were able to isolate the virus and develop their own inventories of SARS-CoV-2, but logistical and legal barriers prevented them from readily sharing their materials with researchers beyond their borders.

What Canadian researchers needed to join the fight in earnest was a domestic supply of clean copies of the virus preferably from multiple Canadian COVID-19 cases. Even in a pandemic, developing such a supply is not as easy as it might sound, and multiple teams in Canada set out to isolate and develop pure cultures of the virus, not knowing which would be successful, or when.

Ultimately two teams in Canada would isolate the virus for study: one at the University of Saskatchewan and one that featured researchers from McMaster University, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and the University of Toronto.

Arinjay Banerjee, a postdoctoral research fellow at McMaster who typically works in my virology lab, volunteered his special expertise. We were proud to have him share his talent with the team in Toronto, where he set to work with physicians and researchers Samira Mubareka, Lily Yip, Patryk Aftanas and Rob Kozak.

For Banerjee, it was like a batter being called to the plate with the score tied in the bottom of the ninth. He had come to work at McMaster because of its Institute for Infectious Disease Research and its Immunology Research Centre, and because the university maintains a research colony of bats.

Banerjees PhD work at the University of Saskatchewan, and now at McMaster, has focused on bats and how their viruses, including coronaviruses, interact with bat and human antiviral responses. Over the past few years, studies have shown that bat coronaviruses have the capacity to infect human cells. Multiple researchers had predicted a coronavirus that would evolve and jump into humans.

Ideal viral conditions

Isolating a virus requires collecting specimens from patients and culturing, or growing, any viruses that occur in the samples. These viruses are obligate intracellular parasites, which means that they can only replicate and multiply in cells. To isolate a particular virus, researchers need to provide it with an opportunity to infect live mammalian cells, in tiny flasks or on tissue culture plates.

Viruses adapt to their hosts and evolve to survive and replicate efficiently within their particular environment. When a new virus such as SARS-CoV-2 emerges, it isnt obvious what particular environment that virus has adapted to, so it can be hard to grow it successfully in the lab.

We can use tricks to draw out a virus. Sometimes the tricks work and sometimes they dont. In this case, the researchers tried a method Banerjee and the team had previously used while working on the coronavirus that causes Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome: culturing the virus on immunodeficient cells that would allow the virus to multiply unchecked. It worked.

Since specimens from patients are also likely to contain other viruses, it is critical to determine if a virus growing in the culture is really the target coronavirus. Researchers confirm the source of infection by extracting genetic material from the virus in culture and sequencing its genome.

They compare the sequence to known coronavirus sequences to identify it precisely. Once a culture is confirmed, researchers can make copies to share with colleagues.

All this work must be done in secure, high-containment laboratories that mitigate the risk of accidental virus release into the environment and also protect scientists from accidental exposure. The more versions of a virus that can be isolated, the better. Having multiple virus isolates allows us to monitor how the virus is evolving in humans as the pandemic progresses. It also allows researchers to test the efficacy of vaccines and drugs against multiple mutations of the virus.

Canadian viral strains

Both the Saskatchewan and Ontario teams are now able to make and share research samples with other Canadian scientists, enabling important work to proceed, using a robust domestic supply that reflects the evolving virus in its most relevant mutations.

That in turn gives Canadian researchers a fighting chance to deliver a meaningful blow to COVID-19 while there is still time. Im glad our colleagues at other Canadian institutions will also have versions of the virus to use in their research.

There is still so much work for all of us to do.

Karen Mossman, Professor of Pathology and Molecular Medicine and Acting Vice President, Research, McMaster University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Image: Reuters.

Read more from the original source:
How a Canadian Research Team Isolated the Coronavirus - The National Interest

Read the Rest...

Entertainment is the best medicine – India Today

§ March 28th, 2020 § Filed under Nano Medicine Comments Off on Entertainment is the best medicine – India Today

8 WAYS TO ENTERTAIN YOURSELF

MY NEW EVERYDAY LIFE

Surviving Corona, one show at a time.

Richa Chadha, actress

For the first few days, I watched Contagion, the Netflix show Pandemic and TedX talks by people who saw the outbreak coming. Then I binge-watched 10 seasons of Curb Your Enthusiasm because I wanted some comedy. Now I intend to watch a host of Oscar-nominated films which I missed out on when they released and also the Netflix show Delhi Crime. My publisher will kill me if I am caught only watching stuff on Netflix and Amazon Prime, so I will be using the time to finish transcribing interviews and researching for my book which features anecdotal essays. I also bought a whole bunch of books. Currently, I am reading Blueprint for Revolution, a non-fiction title by Serbian author Srdja Popovic. I am taking an online dance course in tribal fusion and if the lockdown goes beyond March, I will start with guitar lessons too. I have also been regularly tracking the site covid19info.live for statistical updates about the pandemic.

MAKING SENSE OF NOW

A watchlist for the weary by Vikramaditya Motwane, director of Trapped, Udaan

Children of Men: The Alfonso Cuaron-directed futuristic thriller is frighteningly real as it offers a stark, vivid depiction of a society surviving in a chaotic time.

28 Days Later: Danny Boyles 2002 dystopian horror is the benchmark of how to get a zombie film right.

Moon: The science-fiction drama by Duncan Jones is an exemplary study of isolation shown through the life of an astronaut.

APOCALYPSE NOW?

Thinking of doomsday scenarios? These three films were well ahead of the curve

FUTURE FILMS

THE WANDERING EARTH (2019)

COVID-19 might have been Chinas biggest release in 2020, but last year, they had a different kind of blockbuster. The countrys first big-budget sci-fi epic, The Wandering Earth, imagines a world where the Sun will soon expand to swallow the Earth. (Netflix)

SNOWPIERCER (2013)

Bong Joon-hos end-of-the-world film Snowpiercer shows a world destroyed by a climate change experiment gone wrong. The remnants of humanity now survive on a train where the poor live in squalid conditions and the rich in extravagance. Familiar? (Netflix)

SHAUN OF THE DEAD (2004)

Given how some have been ostracising those returning from overseas, the zombie metaphor suddenly seems apt. Were there to be a zombie apocalypse, Shaun of the Dead, a hilarious film about two slackers saving the world, is your best point of reference. Where, for instance, would you first look for refuge? The pub, obviously.(YouTube)

BINGING BLUES AWAY

THE RAIN (NETFLIX)

After a virus wipes out almost all human life in Scandinavia, Danish siblings Simone and Rasmus stay in a bunker for six years. They finally emerge to go looking for their father who had left them there.

GOOD OMENS (AMAZON PRIME)

Based on a novel by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, the series follows the demon Crowley and the angel Aziraphale, representatives of heaven and hell on Earth, who try very hard to prevent Armageddon.

THE LEFTOVERS (HOTSTAR)

A global event results in two per cent of the worlds population disappearing. As people struggle with loss, religious cults emerge, one led by a man who views himself as the Second Coming of Jesus.

Reading Till the End

The Plague

By Albert Camus; Penguin Rs 499; 256 pages

Lets face it. the term existential crisis was coined for times like these, and Albert Camus, the most dapper of all existentialists, certainly has a ton of good advice in the Plague. When the plague begins in Oran, its largely unheeded by the people of the town. But as it slowly tightens its grip, driving people to suffering and madness, we are also able to see manifestations of resilience and compassion.

The age of Miracles

By Karen Thompson Walker Simon and Schuster. Rs 274; 400 pages

If you have recently told your- self that the world seems to have slowed down, you might want to pick up this book to see that thought made literal. Julia, one Saturday, wakes up to see that something has happened to the rotation of the Earth. the days and nights are growing longer and gravity, much like human behaviour, isnt following the set rules. a great read for when everything is in disarray.

Blindness

By Jose Saramago; Penguin. Rs 599;320 pages

After a city is hit by an epidemic of white blindness, the blind are moved into an empty mental hospital, which is soon overrun by criminal elements stealing rations and assaulting women. its finally a doctors wife, someone who can still see, who leads people to safety.

VIRTUALLY FREE

A roundup of all the arts and culture that Corona has freed of cost

Being free of the coronavirus might take some time, but while you are holed up at home, there is plenty of art and culture you can enjoy, all of which has been made free as various countries go into lockdown. Rome and Paris might now seem more distant than ever, but virtual tours of the Louvre (www. louvre.fr) and the Sistine Chapel (www. museivaticani.va) are bringing Europe closer home. Use the code BERLINPHIL to unlock the digital library of the Berlin Philharmonic (www.berliner-philhar- moniker.de) for 30 days, or log on to the youtube page of the Royal Opera House for a free programme of curated online broadcasts, musical masterclasses and cultural insights. Follow @metopera, the Metropolitan operas twitter handle, to know which production it is streaming. In the event you prefer the screen to the stage, the International Documentary Film festival Amsterdam (www.idfa.nl) is giving you 300 documentaries to choose from, while the National Board of Film Canada (www.nfb.ca) has made life easier by creating playlists you can binge on. Lastly, put your feet up and download the Juggernaut app. you wont have to pay a dime to access its catalogue that includes writings by William Dalrymple and Sunny Leone.

PAY FOR VPN

If you are tired of browsing Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hotstar, not excited by any option, in particular, it might be time to sign up for a Virtual Private Network (VPN) account. By circumventing your geo-restrictions and connecting to a proxy server, VPN technology opens up whole new possibilities of entertainment, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, etc. theres Nord VPN, ExpressVPn, but also the easy CyberGhost.

STANDING UPTO COVID-19

When he isnt playing with his cats, cooking and cleaning, lyricist, screenwriter and stand-up comic Varun Grover is obsessively reading about COVID-19. My biggest lesson is that the superiority complex of our species is such a sham, he says. It takes a microscopic particle to hold the most powerful states to ransom. He recommends four specials to beat the blues.

Nanette By Hannah Gadsby

(Netflix)

The only comedy special that I can call life-changing on a personal level. heartfelt, surprising, opening up a new world of inquiry, and brimming with raw energy only a true work of art can hold, Nanette is a must-watch for any fan of comedy or cinema.

A speck of dust by Sarah Silverman

(Netflix)

Edgy, effortless and very sharp. Sarah Silverman knows how to mix wicked and existential in a single joke.

Pata nahin par bolna hai By Karunesh Talwar

(Amazon Prime)

My favourite among all the Indian comedy specials released in recent years, Karuneshs brilliant premises, elevated further by his genuinely curious observations into their weirdness, gives us a special thats constantly, endlessly funny.

Mitch Hedberg

(YouTube)

One of the greatest,funniest, strangest comics ever. Mitch Hedberg's clips are all over YouTube. Since he does only one-liners, it doesn't really matter that no special(with a narrative arc) exists.

Here is the original post:
Entertainment is the best medicine - India Today

Read the Rest...

The 1918 Spanish FluHow the Flu Came Back to America – The Great Courses Daily News

§ March 28th, 2020 § Filed under Nano Medicine Comments Off on The 1918 Spanish FluHow the Flu Came Back to America – The Great Courses Daily News

By Bruce Fleury, Ph.D. for The Great CoursesWalter Reed Hospital flu ward during the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918-19. (Image:Everett Historical/Shutterstock)

Note from the editor:

This is the second article in a series of three that covers the flu of 1918. In his 24-lecture series, Mysteries of the Microscopic World, Dr. Bruce Fleury covers the world of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other organisms, collectively known as microbes.

In Lecture 12 of the series, (the second of three lectures on the deadliest epidemic of all time), he speaks aboutthe mutated form of the 1918 flu as it reached American shores and killed an estimated 675,000 people out of a population of 105 million.

Even though when this course was produced we were still years away from the first reported cases of COVID-19, it gives context to our current climate to look back on this stage of our world history and witness how it affected the entire world. Below, you can read his lecture in its entirety, and watch the full video.

Ms. Olsen, a passenger on the Bergensfjord, was one of the first to die in America in that second wave of the flu. Over half a million Americans followed her into the grave. This scene was repeated over and over again, as the flu that America had sent overseas returned with a vengeance. In June of 1918, the City of Exeter arrived from Liverpool and docked in Philadelphia with 28 people ill. The victims from the City of Exeter were rushed into strict quarantine and the city was spared for a little while.

The Somali, arriving from India with 89 sick crewmen, put ashore at Grosse Isle in Canada. All of these port cities, all of the cities with large military installations turned out to be most vulnerable. Boston was an early target. One story is that a group of 106 sailors in Boston called in sick at the Commonwealth Pier; 26 of them died and the flu spread rapidly from there.

Camp Devens in Boston was especially hard hit. Col. Victor Vaughan, former AMA president,was among those who were sent by the army to Camp Devens to investigate theoutbreak. Vaughan saw:

Hundreds of stalwart young men in the uniform of their country coming into the wards of the hospital in groups of 10 or more. They are placed on the cots until every bed is full, yet others crowd in. Their faces soon wear a bluish cast; a distressing cough brings up the bloodstained sputum. In the morning the dead bodies are stacked about the morgue like cord wood.

One of the first cases at Devens was a young soldier from the Forty-Second Infantry. He ached so badly that he screamed whenever anyone touched him. He was misdiagnosed with meningitis, along with several others. In a single day at Camp Devens, 1,543 soldiers reported sick. Needless to say, the medical staff was soon overwhelmed. Then the doctors and nurses started to sicken and die. One doctor at Devens describes it:

One can stand it to see one, two or 20 men die, but to see these poor devils dropping like flies. It takes special trains to carry away the dead. For several days there were no coffins and the bodies piled up something fierce. It beats any sight they ever had in France after a battle.

From sailors andsoldiers in coastal cities, the flu spread inland following the rivers andrailroads. It ravaged the Great Lakes Naval Training Station nearChicago. One of the nurses recalls wrapping still-living men in winding sheetsand putting death tags on their toesbecause it saved time and they were utterly exhausted. In her nightmares, shewondered what it would be like to be that boy who was at the bottom of thecord wood in the morgue.

This is a transcript from the video seriesMysteries of the Microscopic World.Watch it now, on The Great Courses Plus.

Camp Grant, near Rockford, Illinois, was jammed with over 40,000 troops. Col. Charles Hagadorn, who was the commander of Camp Grant, decided to ignore the army regulations against overcrowding. The camp medical staff objected, but they were overruled. On September 21, the first soldier who reported sick was from an infantry training group that included officers from Camp Devens. Within a week, he was joined by 4,102 soldiers; 1,810 soldiers reported sick in a single day.

On that same day that the first soldier died of flu at Camp Grant, Col. Hagadorn ordered a crowded troop train to leave Camp Grant for Camp Hancock, near Augusta, Georgia. He ignored demands for a quarantine of the camp. Hundreds of men were packed into each car, and the flu spread very rapidly onboard that overcrowded train. Two thousand of the 3,100 soldiers on that train got the flu, with a death rate estimated at over 10 percent. When the death toll at Camp Hancock passed 450 men, Col. Hagadorn instructed his staff to clear the building, shut himself in his office, and shot himself.

One of the reasons the flu was so terrifying at that time is that no one had any real idea of what had caused it. Researchers followed several bacterial dead ends. In the wake of the 18891890 flu pandemic, Dr. Richard Pfeiffer had isolated a new species of bacterium which he called Bacterium influenzae, also known as Pfeiffers bacillus.

Learn how ecological disturbances, both natural and human-made, can benefit harmful microbes.

Its now known as Haemophilus influenzae, and it was thought by many, including the Public Health Service, to be the causative agent. This one comes a little bit too close to home for me because I nearly lost my only child to Haemophilus influenzae when he was six months old. Babys first Christmas was a rather anti-climactic event.

When you ask a doctor about the odds of fatality for any disease and they cant look you in the eye, you should be very, very concerned. We discovered, to our horror, that this is a major killer, especially of children. Its a very dangerous disease, but not, as it turned out, the cause of the 1918 Flu. The bacterium could easily kill hosts in the lab, but the symptoms werent quite identical to those of influenza.

Nevertheless, Dr. Pfeiffer insisted that he had found the culprit, and his sterling reputation and his high standing in the scientific community managed to convince many of his colleagues that he was correct. But despite improved culture techniques, the bacterium was not always present in flu victims and was usually found together with several other pathogens.

By 1919, the bacterial hypothesis had been rejected and researchers were concluding that whatever the cause, it must be viral. That was a controversial conclusion because it was based entirely on negative evidencethe gradual elimination of all the alternative hypotheses.

Remember thatviruses back in 1918 were still a big mystery. The first influenza virus wasntisolated and observed until 1934. The first flu vaccinations didnt come alonguntil 1944. So, was the whole thing a fiendish German plot? Maybe German spieshad mined Boston Harbor with influenza-sprouting germs. Maybe it was startedby Germans put ashore from U-boats, setting germs loose in theaters and otherpublic places. There was no cureeven secondary bacterial infections likebacterial pneumonia were untreatable (sulfa drugs and antibiotics had not yetbeen invented).

Medical treatment consisted mostly in comforting, and, whenever possible, isolating the patientin other words, basic nursing. Treatments included: bleeding, saline or glucose injections, enemas, alcohol, camphor oil, heroin, morphine, mustard plasters, castor oil, sulfur smoke, lard mixed with camphor and chloroform, ormy favoritelard mixed with turpentine. That will cure you or kill you.

Public health responses included: fumigating trains, buses, passengers, and luggage; urging people to wear gauze masks; campaigns against spitting and sneezing; warnings about public gatherings; and a general prescription of rest, fresh air, and reporting cases to the authorities. Folk cures abounded; they included: stuffing salt up childrens noses, magic charms, wearing goose grease poultices, hanging little bags of garlic or onions around your neck (something my mom made me do when I was a very little boy), and gargling with disinfectants. Snake oil salesmen were everywhere.

By mid-October the full, tragic potential of the epidemic had been realized. Many American cities and towns were hard hit with unprecedented mortality rates. Families were devastated and all public life ground to a halt. William Sardo, of Washington, D.C., said:

People were afraid to kiss one another, to eat with one another; they were afraid to have anything that made contact because thats how you got the flu. You were constantly afraid, you were afraid because you saw so much death around you. It wiped out entire families from the time that the day began in the morning to bedtime at night. There was an aura of constant fear.

One Ottawa newspaper writes: Street cars rattled down Banks Street with windows open and plenty of room inside. Schools, vaudeville theaters, movie palaces [were] dark; pool halls and bowling alleys deserted.

Philadelphia was typical of most big cities ravaged by the flu. The Philadelphia Navy Yard was booming; the Hog Island shipyard, the worlds largest shipyard with over 35,000 workers, had just opened that year. Munitions factories, Midvale Steel, Baldwin locomotivethe city, like many American cities at the time, was bursting at the seams.

The war industries added 300,000 people to the citys population of 1.7 million, and housing was nearly nonexistent. Boy Scouts patrolled the city to locate shelter for new arrivals. Boarding houses and apartments were jammed to capacity, with workers on separate shifts often sharing a single bed. Overcrowding, inadequate social services, and squalid living conditions among the poorall of these made Philadelphia a powder keg for the flu.

City government was so bad at that time, and so corrupt, that Lincoln Steffens called it the worst-governed city in America. Its machine-appointed health director, Dr. Wilmer Krusen, was honest but inexperienced, over-cautious, and in the end, completely ineffective. Despite frequent warnings, despite mounting military cases, he made no plans for an epidemic, he made no stockpiles of medicine or equipment, and he didnt even draw up a list of first-responders (doctors and nurses to contact in an emergency).

The news of the epidemic raging in Boston arrived in Philadelphia too late to put the city on alert. And besides, the AMA Journal had announced in September that the flu was nothing special, and had already practically disappeared from the allied troops.

On September 28, 1918, life in Philly was great. The biggest local news story was the ongoing coal miner strike and the upcoming parade. The Liberty Loan Parade, designed to sell war bonds, was to be the biggest parade in the citys history. Flu had already arrived in the city, hitting the Navy Yard in mid-September. The day before the parade, over 200 flu cases were reported, 123 of them civilian.

Navy personnel tried to stop the parade, but with no successmorale trumped public health. Dr. Krusen continued to insist that there was no danger of an epidemic; it was only, as he called it, old-fashioned influenza or grippe. That enormous crowd of several hundred thousand were packed together for hours as that two-mile long parade flowed by. Airplanes flew overhead and anti-aircraft guns fired live shells rigged to explode at a low altitude.

Learn how different cells have evolved to distinguish self from non-self, providing the first line of defense against infection.

I had to miss Mardi Gras parades this year to record these lectures, but I managed to squeeze in a few parades before I left. As I was standing on St. Charles Avenue watching muses flow down the street, watching float after float after float, I couldnt think about all the people with their hands in the air saying, Throw me something, Mister! All I could think about was the Liberty Loan Parade, and looked around to see who was coughing and sneezing.

The flu incubation period is typically 24 to 48 hours. Within a day or two of the parade, several hundred people fell ill. The hospitals began to fill and lines of desperate people formed, waiting to get in, offering nurses bribes of $100 or more to be admitted. Crosby said:

Visiting nurses often walked into scenes resembling those of the plague years of the 14th century. One nurse found a husband dead in the same room where his wife lay with newly born twins. It had been 24 hours since the death and the births, and the wife had eaten no food but an apple which happened to lie within reach.

Twelve emergency hospitals would eventually open to receive the growing number of the sick and dying. Like most big cities, Philadelphia had a severe shortage of doctors and nurses; 850 of them were away on war duty. In Philadelphias General Hospital, 54 nurses ended up as patients (thats 43 pecent of the entire nursing staff), and 10 of them died. The call went out for retired doctors, even medical students. All five Philadelphia medical schools closed and sent their third- and fourth-year students to help.

On October 3, Dr. Krusen finally ordered all schools, churches, and theaters to close, and banned all public gatherings. Most grocers were closed and few stores of any kind were open. The closing of the schools and the churches, in particular, further isolated citizens from one another and contributed to a growing climate of fear. An editorial in the Philadelphia Inquirer asked:

Since crowds gather in congested eating places and press into elevators and hang to the straps of illy-ventilated street cars, it is a little difficult to understand what is to be gained by shutting up well-ventilated churches and theatres. The authorities seem to be going daft. What are they trying to doscare everybody to death?

Shutting down bars and taverns created some unusual problems because now you could only get whiskey at the drugstore and only with a prescription. Drugstores became crowded with long lines of people buying whiskey. A few unscrupulous pharmacies pushed the price of whiskey as high as $52 a gallona princely sum in 1918.

So many people took the ferry to nearby Camden because the bars there were still open that the City of Camden shut down all of its taverns to stem the tide of new customers who were bearing the flu. In retrospect, the closings were probably unnecessary. For cities like Philadelphia that shuttered public places, the case rate and the death rate were no better than the statistics for cities that left the bars open.

As the true horror of the flu took hold, Philadelphia became a city of the dead. Isaac Starr, a University of Pennsylvania student, wrote that the life of the city had almost stopped. Absentee rates ran from 20 to 40 percent for those businesses and factories that still remained open. The local press and public health officials continued to lie to the public about the epidemic, insisting that the worst was over. They created a prevailing attitude of public mistrust of government at every level. In early October, Dr. Krusen insisted, These deaths mark the high water mark in the fatalities, and it is fair to assume that from this time until the epidemic is crushed the death rate will constantly be lowered. The next day, 428 people died, and the body count kept going higher and higher.

Citizens took tohanging crepe paper on their doors to show that someone had died. White papermeant that a child or young adult had died; black meant that the victim wasmiddle-aged; grey was used to mark the death of the elderly. In the suburb ofWest Manayunk, a mob of weeping housewives actually blocked the car of a localdoctor making a house call, and would not let him leave until he had treatedevery child in the neighborhoodall 57 of them.

So many phone workers were out sick that calls were limited to emergencies only. Bell Telephone took out ads in the local papers to announce that no calls would be accepted other than absolutely necessary calls compelled by the epidemic or by war necessity. One such ad stated:

Telephone Service Faces a CrisisThe situation is one which the public must meet squarely800 operators27% of our forceare now absent due to the influenza. It is every persons duty to the community to cut out every call that is not absolutely necessary that the essential needs of the government, doctors, and nurses may be cared for.

Crosby tells us that Dr. Krusen empowered the phone company to cut service to any customers that made unnecessary calls; about 1,000 people were disconnected for violating that rule.

As the casualties continued to mount, orphans and starving children became a problemthere was no one left alive to feed them. As the epidemic peaked during the week of October 16, 4,597 people died759 of them in a single day (October 10).

With a severe shortage of undertakers and gravediggers, the bodies piled up rapidly. Prisoners, seminary students, and clergymen were pressed into service. To bury its poorest citizens, the city finally resorted to trench graves dug by steam shovels in Potters Field. Some undertakers took to profiteering, raising rates up to 600 percent. Some cemetery workers and gravediggers demanded an extra fee of $15 or more and even insisted after being bribed that the customers dig their families graves themselves.

Citizens were left with wooden boxes and instructed to leave their dead on the front porch. In some cases, the bodies were simply tossed in a heap on wagons, reminiscent of the plague years in medieval Europe. Many people were forced to live with the deadoften for several daysclosing them off in a separate room if they had the luxury, or just wrapping them in a sheet and leaving them in a corner.

Citizens became increasingly isolated, huddled behind closed doors. Ambulances were supplemented with private cars, police cars, anything with wheels. Taxi drivers were pressed into service, and to their infinite credit, not a single taxi driver in Philadelphia refused to carry the sick and dying to the hospital.

Every social agency in the city, public and private, chipped in to help as best they could, without regard to race, creed, or color. Idled teachers volunteered in droves, along with nuns, priests, Boy Scouts, firemen, policemen, and hundreds and hundreds of private citizens. Archbishop Dennis Dougherty sent 1,000 Sisters of Saint Joseph out into the community to help care for the sick.

By October 18, the worst was over and emergency hospitals began to close. On Sunday the 27th, churches were reopened; schools started the next day. On the 30th, the bars and the theaters reopened, followed by a noticeable spike in arrests for drunk and disorderly conduct.

As many as 500,000 citizens had been infected, and at least 12,897 had died. Those numbers are very conservative, as thousands of cases went unreported in the chaos that had descended upon the city. All across America, in the aftermath of the flu, the fate of the survivors became a major problem. Many families were impoverished, with one or more bread winners sick or dead. The flu left behind a world filled with widows and orphans21,000 orphans from the flu in New York City alone.

Deaths of 15- to 34-year-olds rose to 20 times the normal rate in a flu epidemic, so it wasnt just the very young or the very old who died, this time. More elderly people survived than usual, we think because they might have been exposed to a similar virus earlier in their lives. That initial attack may have been so mild it wasnt noticed, but it left them with at least partial immunity to the new, related virus.

Influenza is a little unusual in that new strains are fiercely competitive with one another. This is an interesting example of competitive exclusion. One competitor is so successful that it drives the other into local extinction. The flu triggers the bodys immune response against any and all strains of the flu that that person has ever come in contact with. So, an existing strain that tries to re-infect someone will find the door already closed, and will rapidly die out as a result; only one subtype of flu can exist in the human population at one time.

Learn how a few hundred genes can easily make more than 100 million different antigen receptors, specific to any foreign invader that enters the body.

As time goes on,fewer and fewer people are creating antibodies for other forms of the flu, so afresh strain now has an open playing field. Competing strains usually coexistfor a brief period, a few months perhaps. The only way to trace the path of theflu is by serological archaeologywhat a fascinating fieldtaking blood samplesfrom various age groups and examining the antibodies to see what strains eachage group had been exposed to, and trying to link those up with recordedinstances of epidemics or pandemics.

The third and final wave followed in late 1918 and into early 1919. The flu, at this point, seems to have gradually mutated into a weaker strain, because the third wave was short and sharp but relatively mild compared to that killer second wave. The final toll was grim. Estimates of Americans who died run up to 675,000, and thats out of a population of 105 million. Britain lost 228,000 to the flu. The best global estimate out of 1.8 billion is 50 to 100 million dead, and that comes from Nobel laureate and flu expert Dr. Macfarlane Burnet.

Native populations of people were especially hard-hit. Many isolated populations do not have regular contact with common viruses, and that leaves them highly vulnerable in pandemics because they have no immunity whatsoever. American Samoa, on the other hand, survived without a single victim because of its early and very effective quarantine.

Australia had the lowest global death rate, also thanks to an early quarantine. At the very end, a troopship with 90 sick soldiers did finally sneak into port, but by then the virus had weakened. In Chiapas, Mexico, 10 percent of the population died. In the Fiji Islands, 14 percent of the population died in 16 days. In Nome, Alaska, out of 300 Inuits, 176 died. Many Inuit villages were completely wiped out, with some villages sustaining 85 percent casualties or more.

Over 20 million people are now thought to have died in India alone. One Delhi hospital treated 13,190 flu patients, only to watch over 7,000 of them die. An estimated one-third of the entire population of Labrador died, in Okak, Labrador: 266 citizens, only 59 survivors. Hebron: One hundred fifty Inuits dead out of 220. In many rural and isolated areas, packs of wild dogs became a serious problem.

Starving dogs often broke into dwellings to feast on the dead, or on those too sick to fight back. The Rev. Andrew Asboe shot over 100 dogs before he was rescued. The virus killed an estimated 7 percent of the entire population of Russia and Iran. These kinds of epidemics are sometimes called virgin soil epidemics. Everyone on Earth at one time was probably exposed to that virus.

Those who survived the infection formed an immune reaction. In the end, the virus had no place left to go; it couldnt maintain itself in the human population. Fortunately for the flu virus, it doesnt need humanity to sustain itself. Birds are its primary host, and as long as bird populations are healthy, the flu will always find a home.

At the height of the second wave, Victor Vaughan nearly lost hope. He wrote, If the epidemic continues its mathematical rate of acceleration, civilization could easily disappear from the face of the Earth within a matter of a few more weeks. But by late November of 1918, the crest of influenza deaths had passed.

It was the worst epidemic in the history of mankind. Many great cities like Philadelphia ground to a halt for several weeks during the pandemic; and as the City of Brotherly Love reminds us, these disasters bring out both the best and the worst in humanity.

View post:
The 1918 Spanish FluHow the Flu Came Back to America - The Great Courses Daily News

Read the Rest...

What to Eat When You Can’t Sleep – Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic

§ March 28th, 2020 § Filed under Nano Medicine Comments Off on What to Eat When You Can’t Sleep – Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic

We live in a world of verbs. We eat and drink. We work. We play. We scroll. We run, read and riff about the latest news coming out of D.C. We love, listen and learn. Every moment of every day is about doing. These verbs no matter which you engage in form and define our lives.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.Policy

Yet, wellness expertMichael Roizen, MD, says we treat one of the most vital verbs of every 24-hour cycle sleep as a footnote, rather than the main text.

Sleep has become a cultural sacrificial lamb, Dr. Roizen says. Wed rather work late than get enough ZZZs. Wed rather binge on Bravo. Wed rather stalk social media. Or maybe our bodies just cannot shut down, or health problems make it hard to fall or stay asleep.

In any case, the reality is a harsh one, he says. Our lack of sleep isnt just a boon for the coffee shop industry. Its slowly killing us, Dr. Roizen says.

Dr. Roizen doesnt take a lack of sleep lightly. In fact, he says people dont put lack of sleep in the same category as cigarettes or obesity because fatigue is more of a behind-the-scenes health threat one that has a steady, creeping effect on our bodies. But the risks associated with lack of sleep are big.

Heres how it works: While youre sleeping, your body and brain cycle through various stages ranging from light sleep to deep sleep. You go through that cycle several times a night. It sure feels like nothing is going on after all, youre not aware of anything, except maybe that wacky dream about a tornado, a marching band and your seventh-grade math teacher. Thats maybe one of the reasons people dont give sleep as much attention as they should: They dont feel anything the way they feel exercise or a change in eating habits. So its easy to think that sleep is, well, just a whole lot of nothing.

But thats not the case. When youre closed for business, your bodys cells start their work. Think of the inside of your body as a big factory of shift workers, Dr. Roizen says. Cells clock in when you shut down. All day long, your body at work, during exercise, while youre going about your day has been put through a series of cellular stresses. For example, when you use your muscles, they can experience little microscopic tears. That same kind of stress happens all over your body in all kinds of organs, tissues and systems throughout the day.

To maintain itself and recover from these cellular insults, your body needs a repair crew. Enter your shift workers. While youre sleeping, theyre repairing your muscles, growing and strengthening neurons in your brain, fortifying your bodys damaged cells, he explains. These cells cannot do their jobs optimally unless your body is shut down and in deep sleep.

So you can imagine what happens if you dont give these cellular fixers enough time to work. Your body never gets fully repaired, making you weaker, more susceptible to further insults, and a lot less healthy. In practical terms, Dr. Roizen says, that means lack of sleep can contribute to immune problems, memory issues, higher stress levels and even obesity. Because your brain never fully rids of its waste products (the poop from your brain cells is removed at night, and is done more efficiently the longer you sleep), you can develop inflammation in your memory centers as well.

Yes, perhaps one of the greatest effects of lack is sleep is a high inflammatory response, which is your bodys way of fighting problems. When this response is at high levels all the time because it never shuts down, Dr. Roizen says that leads to a sort of friendly fire within the body: Your attacking immune cells begin to damage the healthy ones (and not just in your brain) putting you at an increased risk for heart disease, diabetes and arthritis. (Heck, research has even shown that lack of sleep even increases hostility in relationships; the fallout can trigger higher stress, which has damaging effects on overall health).

These bodily damages work in various ways, Dr. Roizen says. But if you think about your bodys function as a massive game of dominoes, you can see how it plays out. When you dont get enough sleep, you feel fatigued. When you feel fatigued, your body wants to raise energy levels, so it reaches for the fastest solution: sugar. When you reach for sugar, you gobble up stacks of cookies. And when you do that day after day after day, you gain a lot of weight.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, you say. Youve heard it all before. Get more sleep. Sleep eight hours. Easier said than done, especially if you have a complex cocktail of problems that make is difficult to sleep (pain, hormonal issues, obesity, urge to urinate, and so many other things can disrupt sleep cycles). Like many other health issues, Dr. Roizen emphasizes that sleep is one in which you may need to consider lifestyle and medical tactics to determine what will work best for you.

But you can also use food and nutrients to ease into some possible solutions to help change your verbs from tossing and turning to sweet dreaming. (As long as that sweet dreaming doesnt actually include sweets!)

MVPs: No magic sleep-inducing piece of fruit or secret ingredient will induce drowsiness (though, as youll see in the following, some are better than others). But Dr. Roizen says setting yourself up with a good last meal of the day can help prepare your body for sleep. Research shows that having meals high in fiber and low in foods with saturated fat and simple carbs (sugar) should help. So thats why a dish like beans, grilled fish or chicken, and a large side of vegetables is the best meal choice to help your body prepare to shut down (and as weve learned, the earlier you eat it, the better).

One recent study in The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that this kind of meal was associated with people falling asleep faster in less than 20 minutes, in fact. When subjects consumed more saturated fats and sugar, the process took closer to 30 minutes. If you have the choice (and you do!), make your protein fish, which, when eaten regularly, has been linked to helping prevent poor sleep.

Key Players: The two nutrients most associated with better sleep are magnesium and tryptophan. Youve heard of tryptophan; its all over the headlines in late November as the reason why you want to zonk out after eating a big plate of Thanksgiving turkey. Although tryptophan may not actually make you tired after a big holiday meal, the food that contain it, or magnesium, are certain good options if youre trying to improve your sleep quality. Tryptophan is an amino acid that converts to the body clock regulating hormone and melatonin. Foods that contain it include egg whites, soybeans, chicken and pumpkin seeds. And when you choose your vegetables for dinner, consider a leafy green like spinach that contain magnesium.

Cut From the Team: Feeling cravings at night? Dont be tempted by a midnight snack. Research on circadian rhythm and eating cycles reveals that midnight is actually the worst time to eat even if you think you just need a little something to make yourself more comfortable. Instead, have a fiber-rich dessert before the sun sets for example, a big bowl of berries or a pear. The fiber will slow things down so you feel full longer and thus less likely to crave something later at night.

The Sub Shop: Snooze Foods

This article was adapted from the best-selling book What to Eat When by Michael F. Roizen, MD, and Micheal Crupain, MD, MPH with Ted Spiker (2018 National Geographic Books)

Read the original:
What to Eat When You Can't Sleep - Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic

Read the Rest...

Now is the Time to Promote Produce – PerishableNews

§ March 28th, 2020 § Filed under Nano Medicine Comments Off on Now is the Time to Promote Produce – PerishableNews

By Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, Ms, RDN President and Chief Executive Officer Produce For Better Health Foundation (PBH)

To say that we are in unprecedented times is an understatement. Up until a few months ago, most Americans had likely never heard of a coronavirus. Today, this microscopic particle is changing the trajectory of businesses and complete sectors; necessitating the cancellation of major social and professional events, including our annual PBH Consumer Connection Conference among many others; and occupying consumers airwaves, shopping habits and food choices.

What is our key to thriving as a produce industry while trying to effectively react to the current uncertainty facing our nation? We must be out there supporting our consumers. We must be effectively and convincingly communicating the benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption to health and overall well-being. In a word, we must not rest on our laurels. The time to promote produce is now. Heres why:

There is not one, but rather two, public health crises occurring right now. In retrospect, the coronavirus may very well be viewed as a very serious, yet short-term, health event. Conversely, consumption of fruits and vegetables has been, and remains to be, persistent and pervasively below recommended levels. In fact, fruits and vegetables consistently comprise 2 out of 3 of the under-consumed food groups on the plate, and 9 out of 10 Americans dont get enough. Some might say Americans under-consumption of produce is a seriously chronic condition. We can end this consumption crisis, but we need to work together.

Along with a multitude of other health and well-being benefits, fruits and vegetables are critical in supporting a healthy immune system. While consumers already know that produce is healthy we must remind them that fruits and vegetables should continue to be staples in their household at this time andwhy. It also doesnt hurt to mention that, based on emerging research and PBH consumer insights, fruit and vegetable intake is associated with increased happiness and long-term life satisfaction a huge selling point when someones lifestyle and social connections have drastically changed overnight. Check outFruitsandveggies.orgfor PBHs insights onhappiness and well-beingand latest series on theimmune-boosting power of produce.

Americans are more knowledgeable than ever about the health virtues of produce. Yet, consumption remains flat chronically flat. This demonstrates that a change in consumption is going to take a lot more than increasing knowledge. Novel PBH behavioral insights point to a need to shift consumersfromknowingtofeeling and doing. These insights, and others, have informed the PBH Have A Plant consumer movement.

In a pandemic, misinformation abounds. We know food safety is a top concern of producers, retailers, foodservice providers and consumers alike. Ultimately, we want to create a relationship of trust, as well as enable consumers to make decisions based on facts rather than myths. In doing so, we must directly communicate how this virus can and cannot be transmitted. At this time, it cannot be spread through food, but rather only through respiratory secretions. In times like this, consumers want and deserve a united voice among leading produce providers to reassure them fruits and vegetables are still a safe choice.

The bottom line? Dining options are increasingly limited right now. We have been asked to implement social distancing and/or limit our interactions with others. One of the few places we think we can go to is the grocery store. And what we eat is how we feel. So, lets encourage consumers to stock up on fruits and vegetables for their own health and well-being, as well as their families. Heres a plan Have A Plant!

Since 1991, PBH has invested decades into developing trended insights on attitudes toward all forms of fruit and vegetable consumption, in addition to campaigns and partnerships with government, food industry stakeholders, health professionals and other thought leaders to collaborate, facilitate and advocate for increased intake. PBHs new behavior-based call-to-action is Have A Plant. Rooted in behavioral science, PBHs transformative Have A Plant Movement is an invitation that will inspire people with compelling reasons to believe in the powerful role fruits and vegetables can play to create happy, healthy and active lives.

Be sure to join the Have A Plant Movement and get new recipes, snack hacks, meal ideas and other tips from chefs, registered dietitians, as well as food and wellness experts by visitingwww.fruitsandveggies.org. Follow us on Facebook @fruitsandveggies; on Twitter @fruits_veggies; on Instagram @fruitsandveggies; on Pinterest @fruits_veggies; and on LinkedIn atProduce for Better Health Foundation. And remember to #haveaplant.

Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, is the President and CEO of the Produce for Better Health Foundation(PBH). At PBH, she guides the Foundations efforts with hundreds of public and private partners to advance the overall effort of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption for happier, healthier lives. Under her leadership through a two-year transformation, the organization launched the Have A Plant Movement in 2019.

Prior to joining PBH, Wendy was the Global Lead for Food, Nutrition and Health Partnerships at the Monsanto Company (now Bayer Crop Science). While at Monsanto, her efforts focused on bridging the food, nutrition, culinary and agriculture communities for greater understanding and collaboration.

Prior to Monsanto, Wendy served as Senior Director of Health and Wellness at the International Food Information Council (IFIC) and IFIC Foundation in Washington, DC. While at IFIC, she directed food and nutrition communication strategies, including consumer research, opinion leader and media outreach, as well as publications and partnerships, for multiple food safety and nutrition-related issues.

Wendy earned bachelors and masters degrees in Nutrition and Exercise Science from the University of Missouri, Columbia and James Madison University, respectively. She completed her dietetic internship at Yale-New Haven Hospital an affiliate of the Yale University School of Medicine.

See original here:
Now is the Time to Promote Produce - PerishableNews

Read the Rest...

The Fashion Industry At Large Is Tackling The Coronavirus Head On – esquire.com

§ March 27th, 2020 § Filed under Nano Medicine Comments Off on The Fashion Industry At Large Is Tackling The Coronavirus Head On – esquire.com

Lombardy, the Italian region that's home to Milan (and the country's heavyweight fashion industry), has suffered the sharp end of the coronavirus pandemic. And the ramifications were immediately felt by Prada, Gucci and Giorgio Armani et al the latter even pulling a fashion show behind closed doors given the rising crisis. But as a central hub of menswear, the ripple effect was soon felt elsewhere, and a collective effort to tackle the coronavirus has been swiftly exercised in a joint effort across the board.

In recent weeks, several brands have made donations and taken action. Here's a list of contributions from the industry.

The Armani Group has donated a total of 2 million euros to several Italian hospitals, and just today, announced that production would switch to crafting single-use medical overalls to be used across the nation's health service.

In addition to a huge 2 million euro donation, an open letter from Gucci's Alessandro Michele and CEO Marco Bizzarri urged others to partake in the relief effort in a heartfelt open letter.

Founding wife-and-husband duo Patrizio Bertelli and Miuccia Prada donated two intensive care units to Milanese hospitals, and went on to produce over 80,000 medical overalls and over 110,000 masks for Italian clinical staff.

Bulgari donated an unspecified sum to Rome's Istituto Lazzaro Spallanzani towards a microscopic image acquisition system that will provide essential relief to frontline staff.

Luxury stable LVMH (home to the likes of Louis Vuitton and Loro Piana) confirmed that it would create free hand sanitiser and disinfectant gels to stave off a national shortage across France. In addition, a further $2.2 million was donated to The Red Cross Society of China.

It is in the spirit of togetherness that we will rise," said the American brand's iconic founder as Ralph Lauren committed a staggering $10 million to several causes tackling the coronavirus, including a special fund as part of the Council of Fashion Designers of America's collective effort to assist brands affected by the crisis.

Another heavyweight luxury stablemate that's behind Cartier and Montblanc, Richemont donated around $1.4 million to causes focused on halting the coronavirus globally.

Herms

Luxury leather goods maker Herms pledged 5 million yuan to the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation, a public welfare foundation dedicated to projects and activities in education, culture, health and medicine and other socially sustainable fields.

Donatella Versace and her daughter Allegra confirmed that they'd be making a personal donation of 200,000 euros to a Milan hospital intensive care unit, with Versace the brand donating a further $143,000 to the Chinese Red Cross Foundation.

Canali confirmed a donation of 200,000 euros on behalf of the brand's nonprofit foundation, the Fondazione Canali Onlus.

In partnership with the Humanitas Univesrity, Dolce & Gabbana is to fund studies and further researched on the root source of the virus, and how best it can be tackled.

The ascendant brand made a donation to a leading hospital in the French capital, the Fondation Hpitaux de France- Hpitaux de Paris, and pledged a further 10 per cent of all online sales to the World Health Organisation's Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

Though the British high street has been forced to close, Kurt Geiger has ensured that all staff have remained on full pay, and encouraged workers to volunteer for the NHS in lieu of retail shifts.

Like this article? Sign up to our newsletter to get more delivered straight to your inbox

SIGN UP

Visit link:
The Fashion Industry At Large Is Tackling The Coronavirus Head On - esquire.com

Read the Rest...

Artificial Intelligence in Medicine Market 2025: Research By Top Manufacturers with Market Size,Market Growth, Competitive Regions with Opportunities…

§ March 27th, 2020 § Filed under Nano Medicine Comments Off on Artificial Intelligence in Medicine Market 2025: Research By Top Manufacturers with Market Size,Market Growth, Competitive Regions with Opportunities…

The research report creates a full-fledged draft of overview of the global Artificial Intelligence in Medicine market considering base year as 2018 and forecast period as 2019 to 2025. The Artificial Intelligence in Medicine market report delivers an in-depth study of market size, country-level market size, region, segmentation market growth, market share, sales analysis, value chain optimization, market players, the competitive landscape, recent developments, strategic market growth analysis, trade regulations, opportunities analysis, technological innovations, and area marketplace expanding. The Artificial Intelligence in Medicine market landscape and leading manufacturers offers competitive landscape and market development status including the overview of every individual market players.

This study covers following key players:

IBMAtomwiseZebra Medical VisionCyrcadia HealthAiCureModernizing MedicineBerg HealthEsko BionicsMedasense BiometricsHindsait

Request a sample of this report @ https://www.orbismarketreports.com/sample-request/82368?utm_source=Yogi

The report delivers the detailed data of big companies with information about their revenue margins, sales data, upcoming innovations and development, business models, strategies, investments, and business estimations. The report also offers a major microscopic view at the market and identifies the footprints of the manufacturers with the help of understanding the global revenue of vendors along with price and sales.

The Artificial Intelligence in Medicine market reports delivers the information about market competition between vendors through regional segmentation of markets in terms of revenue generation potential, business opportunities, demand & supply comparison taking place in the future. Understanding the global perspective, the Artificial Intelligence in Medicine market report introduces an aerial view by analyzing historical data and future growth rate.

The Artificial Intelligence in Medicine market is categorized into several segmentation including type, application, and region. Moreover, it measures the sales and revenue during the forecast period with the help of recognizing the importance of several different factors aiding the market growth.

Report provides knowledge regarding Porters Five Forces including substitutes, potential entrants, buyers, industry competitors, and suppliers with genuine information for understanding the global Artificial Intelligence in Medicine market. Furthermore, it offers detailed data of vendors including the profile, specifications of product, sales, applications, annual performance in the industry, investments, acquisitions and mergers, market size, revenue, market share, and more.

Access Complete Report @ https://www.orbismarketreports.com/global-artificial-intelligence-in-medicine-market-growth-analysis-by-trends-and-forecast-2019-2025?utm_source=Yogi

Market segment by Type, the product can be split into:

On-premiseCloud-based

Market segment by Application, split into:

Patient CareResearch and Drug InventionDisease Diagnosis and IdentificationOthers

Looping onto the leading vendors of the Artificial Intelligence in Medicine market, the research report recognizes several key manufacturers and strategies the acquisitions and mergers players focusing on competing the global Artificial Intelligence in Medicine market.

In terms of region, the report focuses on several other key regions. The report also studies individual regional market size along with country-wise and region-wise market size during the forecast period. The report also understand the export and import, production, and consumption of every particular region holding highest market share, market size, or CAGR.

Some Major TOC Points:1 Report Overview2 Global Growth Trends3 Market Share by Key Players4 Breakdown Data by Type and ApplicationContinued

For Enquiry before buying report @https://www.orbismarketreports.com/enquiry-before-buying/82368?utm_source=Yogi

About Us :

With unfailing market gauging skills, has been excelling in curating tailored business intelligence data across industry verticals. Constantly thriving to expand our skill development, our strength lies in dedicated intellectuals with dynamic problem solving intent, ever willing to mold boundaries to scale heights in market interpretation.

Contact Us :

Hector CostelloSenior Manager Client Engagements4144N Central Expressway,Suite 600, Dallas,Texas 75204, U.S.A.Phone No.: USA: +1 (972)-362-8199 | IND: +91 895 659 5155

More:
Artificial Intelligence in Medicine Market 2025: Research By Top Manufacturers with Market Size,Market Growth, Competitive Regions with Opportunities...

Read the Rest...

Study Sheds Light on how to Best Deliver Nanoparticle Therapy – OncoZine

§ March 27th, 2020 § Filed under Nano Medicine Comments Off on Study Sheds Light on how to Best Deliver Nanoparticle Therapy – OncoZine

Presented as a remarkable technological revolution capable of delivering novel diagnostics, treatments for unmanageable diseases, and opportunities for tissue repair, the promise of rationally designed of nanoparticle-based drugs began almost half a century ago. Today, only a limited number of both diagnostic and therapeutic agents have completed the complex journey from lab to routine clinical use.

When treating patients with cancer and hematological malignancies, the delivery of anticancer drugs has often been hindered by drawbacks related to poor solubility and poor pharmacokinetics, leading to severe adverse side effects and multidrug resistance in patients. Nanoparticle-based drugs (nanosized therapeutics and imaging agents) were developed as the revolution to palliate these problems by improving drug delivery, ultimately opening the era of nanomedicine in oncology.

Nanoparticle-based drug delivery systems include a variety of cytotoxic-carrying agents, including liposomes, antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), carbon nanotubes, dendrimers, polymeric micelles, polymeric conjugates, and polymeric nanoparticles. These agents may be both passive or active targeted therapeutics designed to enhance the permeability, retention or the functionalization of the surface of the carriers.

Among these agents, liposomal agents have been by far the most used for drug delivery, with liposomal doxorubicin (Doxil) receiving approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as early as 1995.

Antibody-drug conjugates (ADC) have also been touted as effective, targeted drugs. And with seven approved drugs on the market, ADCs have become a powerful class of therapeutic agents in oncology and hematology.

Other promising nanoparticle-based drug delivery systems are currently undergoing advanced clinical trials or have received approval for clinical applications.

However, despite attractive results observed in preclinical studies, many well-designed nanoparticle-based drugs fell short of expectations when tested in patients, evidencing the gap between design and clinical translation.

Passive or Active deliveryFor decades researchers have debated whether nanoparticles can be best delivered to tumors passively, allowing the nanoparticles to diffuse into tumors and become held in place, or actively, adding a targeted antibody to bind to specific cancer cell receptors.

This debate has let to a reevaluation of how nanoparticle-based (therapeutic) anticancer-drugs can be engineered to selectively detect and destroy cancer cells in solid tumors. However, relatively little analysis of nanoparticle fate and intratumor accumulation across biological models and immune cell or tumor compartments has been completed, particularly with histology or flow cytometry. [1][2][3]

In a new study on human and mouse tumors in mice by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, supported by the Jayne Koskinas Ted Giovanis Foundation for Health and Policy, and grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute, investigated whether labeling with a cancer-specific antibody ligand (i.e. active targeting) would be superior to its unlabeled counterpart or passive targeting.

The outcome of their research suggests that the question is not easily answered and that the answer may even be more complicated, going beyond passive of active delivery of nanoparticle-based drugs.

Different modelsThe researchers tested both methods in six models of breast cancer, including five human cancer cell lines and one mouse cancer in mice. They observed that nanoparticles-based drugs coated with trastuzumab (Herceptin; Genentech/Roche), an antibody that targets human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive breast cancer cells, were better retained in the tumors than plain nanoparticles, even in tumors that did not express the pro-growth HER2 protein.

However, they also noted that immune cells of the host exposed to nanoparticles induced an anti-cancer immune response by activating T-cells that invaded and slowed tumor growth.

A description of the work will be published on March 25, 2020 edition of in Science Advances. [4]

Its been known for a long time that nanoparticles, when injected into the bloodstream, are picked up by scavenger-like macrophages and other immune system cells, noted senior study author Robert Ivkov, Ph.D., M.Sc., associate professor of radiation oncology and molecular radiation sciences at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins.

Many researchers in the field have been focused on trying to reduce interactions with immune cells because they have been trying to increase the circulation time of the nanoparticles and their retention in tumor cells. But our study demonstrates that the immune cells in the tumor collect and react to the particles in such a way to stimulate an anti-cancer response. This may hold potential for advancing beyond drug delivery toward developing cancer immunotherapies, Ivkov further explained.

In vitro experimentsAs part of their study, the researchers conducted a few in vitro experiments.

First, they applied some plain starch-coated iron oxide nanoparticles and others coated with trastuzumab to five human breast cancer cell lines. Using this approach, they noted that the amount of binding between the trastuzumab-coated nanoparticles and cells depended on how much the cancer cells expressed the oncogene HER2.

In people, HER2-positive breast cancers are among the most resistant to standard chemotherapy. Trastuzumab targets the HER2-positive tumor cells and triggers the immune system as well.

Animal modelsThese responses were, however, surprisingly different in animal models. In separate experiments, the researchers used the nanoparticles in two immune-deficient strains of mice engrafted with cells from five human breast cancer cell lines two that were HER2 negative and three that were HER2-positive.

When they studied the animals tumors 24 hours later, they noticed that nanoparticles coated with trastuzumab were found in a concentration two to five times greater than the plain nanoparticles in all types of tumors, regardless of whether they expressed the HER2 protein. They also found that the amount of trastuzumab-coated nanoparticles was even greater (tenfold) in mice that had a fully functional immune system and were bearing mouse-derived tumors.

This led the researchers to suspect that the host animals immune systems were interacting strongly with the nanoparticles and playing a role in determining retention of the particles in the tumor, whether or not a drug was added.

They concluded that intratumor retention of antibody-labeled nanoparticles was determined by tumor-associated dendritic cells, neutrophils, monocytes, and macrophages and not by antibody-antigen interactions.

Additional experiments, the researchers reported, revealed that tumor-associated immune cells were responsible for collecting the nanoparticles and that mice bred with an intact immune system retained more of the trastuzumab-coated nanoparticles than mice bred without a fully functioning immune system.

Tumor microenvironmentIn addition, inflammatory immune cells in the tumors immediate surroundings, or microenvironment, seized more of the coated nanoparticles than the plain ones. Finally, in a series of 30-day experiments, the researchers found that exposure to nanoparticles inhibited tumor growth three to five times more than controls, and increased CD8-positive cancer-killing T-cells in the tumors.

Surprisingly, Ivkov said, the anti-cancer immune-activating response was equally effective with exposure to either plain or trastuzumab-coated nanoparticles. Mice with defective T cells did not show tumor growth inhibition.

Systemic exposureThis demonstrated that systemic exposure to nanoparticles can cause a systemic host immune response that leads to anti-cancer immune stimulation, and does not require (a payload of therapeutic) nanoparticles to be inside the tumors.

Overall, our work suggests that complex interdependencies exist between the host and tumor immune responses to nanoparticle exposure, Ivkov explained.

These results offer intriguing possibilities for exploring nanoparticle targeting of the tumor immune microenvironment. They also demonstrate the exciting new potential to develop nanoparticles as platforms for cancer immune therapies, he added.

The researchers also plan to study whether the same types of immune responses can be generated for noncancer conditions, such as infectious diseases.

References[1] Marchal S, El Hor A, Millard M, Gillon V, Bezdetnaya L. Anticancer Drug Delivery: An Update on Clinically Applied Nanotherapeutics. Drugs. 2015;75(14):16011611. doi:10.1007/s40265-015-0453-3[2] Duncan R, Gaspar R. Nanomedicine(s) under the microscope. Mol Pharm. 2011;8(6):21012141. doi:10.1021/mp200394t[3] Marchal S, El Hor A, Millard M, Gillon V, Bezdetnaya L. Anticancer Drug Delivery: An Update on Clinically Applied Nanotherapeutics. Drugs. 2015;75(14):16011611. doi:10.1007/s40265-015-0453-3[4] Korangath P, Barnett JD, Sharma A, Henderson ET, Stewart J, Yu SH, Kandala SK, et al.Nanoparticle interactions with immune cells dominate tumor retention and induce T cell-mediated tumor suppression in models of breast cancer. Science Advances 25 Mar 2020 : eaay1601 [Article]

Read the original post:
Study Sheds Light on how to Best Deliver Nanoparticle Therapy - OncoZine

Read the Rest...

Precision NanoSystems Announces Partnership with Fujifilm for the Development and GMP Manufacturing of Nanoparticle Based Therapeutics – Canada…

§ March 27th, 2020 § Filed under Nano Medicine Comments Off on Precision NanoSystems Announces Partnership with Fujifilm for the Development and GMP Manufacturing of Nanoparticle Based Therapeutics – Canada…

VANCOUVER, March 24, 2020 /CNW/ - Precision Nanosystems, Inc. (PNI), a global leader in enabling transformative nanomedicinesannounced today that the companyentered into a license agreement with FUJIFILM Corporationto adopt PNI's NanoAssemblr technology and complete suite of instruments for Fujifilm'sstate-of-the-art manufacturing facility, compatible with GMP regulations of US, Europe and Japan.

As part of this agreement, Fujifilm has the rights to offer contract manufacturing services using PNI's proprietary technology andalso use PNI technology to develop and commercialize its internal therapeutic drug products. PNI and Fujifilm will work together to combine and democratize the scalable manufacturing of gene therapy and small-molecule based nanomedicines using Fujifilm's and PNI's proprietary technologies.

PNI's NanoAssemblr technology is powered by the disruptive NxGen microfluidics mixing technology designed exclusively for scalable nanomedicine development while maintaining precise control and reproducibility. The NanoAssemblr platform is comprised of the Spark, Ignite, Blaze and GMP Systems that together offer a flexible solution for accelerated, cost-effective development and scalable manufacture of high-quality gene therapy, small molecule and protein-based nanomedicine products.

James Taylor, Co-Founder and CEO of PNI said, "We are thrilled to work with Fujifilm to enable our technology in support of clinical clients as they progress their therapeutic programs from the laboratory to the clinic and commercial. Fujifilm's R&D teams will combinethe PNI platform andtheir proprietary Drug Delivery Systems technologies and we look forward to the seamless scaling up and manufacturing of innovative medicines to impact human well-being."

Nanomedicinesis one of the focus areas of Fujifilm, tapping into itsadvanced technologies such as nano-technology, process engineering technology and analysis technology. "We are excited to work with PNI to bring on board the NanoAssemblr suite of products and cutting-edge nanomedicines manufacturing technology," said Junji Okada, Senior Vice President, General Manager of Pharmaceutical products division, FUJIFILM Corporation. "Tapping into Fujifilm's state of the art technology, expertise and thefacility for the provision of pre-clinical and GMP manufacturing services, we are committed to creating innovative and high-value pharmaceutical productsnot only through internal development but also by providing high quality liposomal formulations to our partner companies."

About Precision NanoSystems Inc.

Precision NanoSystems Inc. (PNI) proprietary NanoAssemblr Platform enables the rapid, reproducible, and scalable manufacture of next generation nanoparticle formulations for the targeted delivery of therapeutic and diagnostic agents to cells and tissues in the body. PNI provides instruments, reagents and services to life sciences researchers, including pharmaceutical companies, and builds strategic collaborations to revolutionize healthcare through nanotechnology. For more information, visit http://www.precisionnanosystems.com.

About Fujifilm CorporationFUJIFILM Corporation, Tokyo, Japan is one of the major operating companies of FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation. The company brings cutting edge solutions to a broad range of global industries by leveraging its depth of knowledge and fundamental technologies developed in its relentless pursuit of innovation. Its proprietary core technologies contribute to the various fields including healthcare, graphic systems, highly functional materials, optical devices, digital imaging and document products. These products and services are based on its extensive portfolio of chemical, mechanical, optical, electronic and imaging technologies. For the year ended March 31, 2019, the company had global revenues of $22 billion, at an exchange rate of 111 yen to the dollar. Fujifilm is committed to responsible environmental stewardship and good corporate citizenship. For more information, please visit: http://www.fujifilmholdings.com.

SOURCE Precision Nanosystems

For further information: Jane Alleva, Global Marketing Manager, Precision NanoSystems, Phone: 1 888 618 0031, ext 140, mobile 1 778 877 5473

http://www.precisionnanosystems.com

See the article here:
Precision NanoSystems Announces Partnership with Fujifilm for the Development and GMP Manufacturing of Nanoparticle Based Therapeutics - Canada...

Read the Rest...

What Might be the Best Way to Delivery Nanoparticle Therapy for Cancer? – Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

§ March 27th, 2020 § Filed under Nano Medicine Comments Off on What Might be the Best Way to Delivery Nanoparticle Therapy for Cancer? – Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

Scientists in the cancer nanomedicine community debate whether use of nanoparticles can best deliver drug therapy to tumors passively, allowing the nanoparticles to diffuse into tumors and become held in place, or actively, adding a targeted anti-cancer molecule to bind to specific cancer cell receptors and, in theory, keep the nanoparticle in the tumor longer. Now, new research on human and mouse tumors in mice by investigators at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center suggests the question is even more complicated.

Laboratory studies testing both methods in six models of breast cancer; five human cancer cell lines and one mouse cancer in mice with three variants of the immune system found that nanoparticles coated with trastuzumab, a drug that targets human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive breast cancer cells, were better retained in the tumors than plain nanoparticles, even in tumors that did not express the pro-growth HER2 protein. However, immune cells of the host exposed to nanoparticles induced an anti-cancer immune response by activating T cells that invaded and slowed tumor growth. The results of the work Nanoparticle interactions with immune cells dominate tumor retention and induce T cellmediated tumor suppression in models of breast cancer, appears in Science Advances.

The factors that influence nanoparticle fate in vivo following systemic delivery remain an area of intense interest. Of particular interest is whether labeling with a cancer-specific antibody ligand (active targeting) is superior to its unlabeled counterpart (passive targeting). Using models of breast cancer in three immune variants of mice, we demonstrate that intratumor retention of antibody-labeled nanoparticles was determined by tumor-associated dendritic cells, neutrophils, monocytes, and macrophages and not by antibody-antigen interactions, write the investigators.

Systemic exposure to either nanoparticle type induced an immune response leading to CD8+ T cell infiltration and tumor growth delay that was independent of antibody therapeutic activity. These results suggest that antitumor immune responses can be induced by systemic exposure to nanoparticles without requiring a therapeutic payload. We conclude that immune status of the host and microenvironment of solid tumors are critical variables for studies in cancer nanomedicine and that nanoparticle technology may harbor potential for cancer immunotherapy.

Its been known for a long time that nanoparticles, when injected into the bloodstream, are picked up by scavenger-like macrophages and other immune system cells, explains senior study author Robert Ivkov, PhD, associate professor of radiation oncology and molecular radiation sciences at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins.

Many researchers in the field have been focused on trying to reduce interactions with immune cells, because they have been trying to increase the circulation time of the nanoparticles and their retention in tumor cells. But our study demonstrates that the immune cells in the tumor collect and react to the particles in such a way to stimulate an anti-cancer response. This may hold potential for advancing beyond drug delivery toward developing cancer immunotherapies.

The investigators conducted a few in vitro experiments in their study. First, they applied some plain starch-coated iron oxide nanoparticles and others coated with trastuzumab to five human breast cancer cell lines, finding that the amount of binding between the trastuzumab-coated nanoparticles and cells depended on how much the cancer cells expressed the oncogene HER2. In people, HER2-positive breast cancers are among the most resistant to standard chemotherapy.

Trastuzumab, sold under the name Herceptin, targets the HER2-positive tumor cells and triggers the immune system as well.

Responses were surprisingly different in animal models, the researchers report. In separate experiments, the team used the nanoparticles in two immune-deficient strains of mice engrafted with cells from five human breast cancer cell linestwo that were HER2 negative and three that were HER2 positive. When they studied the animals tumors 24 hours later, they noticed that nanoparticles coated with trastuzumab were found in a concentration two to five times greater than the plain nanoparticles in all types of tumors, regardless of whether they expressed the HER2 protein. They also found that the number of trastuzumab-coated nanoparticles was even greater (tenfold) in mice that had a fully functional immune system and were bearing mouse-derived tumors.

This led the researchers to suspect that the host animals immune systems were interacting strongly with the nanoparticles and playing a role in determining retention of the particles in the tumor, whether or not a drug was added.

More experiments, the team reports, revealed that tumor-associated immune cells were responsible for collecting the nanoparticles, and that mice bred with an intact immune system retained more of the trastuzumab-coated nanoparticles than mice bred without a fully functioning immune system.

In addition, inflammatory immune cells in the tumors immediate surroundings, or microenvironment, seized more of the coated nanoparticles than the plain ones. Finally, in a series of 30-day experiments, the researchers found that exposure to nanoparticles inhibited tumor growth three to five times more than controls, and increased CD8-positive cancer-killing T cells in the tumors.

Surprisingly, Ivkov notes, the anti-cancer immune activating response was equally effective with exposure to either plain or trastuzumab-coated nanoparticles. Mice with defective T cells did not show tumor growth inhibition. The investigators say this demonstrated that systemic exposure to nanoparticles can cause a systemic host immune response that leads to anti-cancer immune stimulation and does not require nanoparticles to be inside the tumors.

Overall, our work suggests that complex interdependencies exist between the host and tumor immune responses to nanoparticle exposure, Ivkov says. These results offer intriguing possibilities for exploring nanoparticle targeting of the tumor immune microenvironment. They also demonstrate exciting new potential to develop nanoparticles as platforms for cancer immune therapies.

The investigators say they also plan to study whether the same types of immune responses can be generated for noncancer conditions, such as infectious diseases.

See original here:
What Might be the Best Way to Delivery Nanoparticle Therapy for Cancer? - Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

Read the Rest...

A Short Introduction To Chloroquine: The Anti-Malarial Drug Being Tested As Cure For Covid-19 – Swarajya

§ March 27th, 2020 § Filed under Nano Medicine Comments Off on A Short Introduction To Chloroquine: The Anti-Malarial Drug Being Tested As Cure For Covid-19 – Swarajya

Along with this there is another way also through which the drug can work.

Chloroquine is a weak base an alkaloid. So, when it gets into a membrane-bound structures of the cell organelles (which incidentally are also attacked by the virus), the drug interferes with the acidification of the cell organelles.

The study suggests that chloroquine induces inhibition of acidity-dependent viral fusion in various cell organelles.

The cell organelles thus, including endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi bodies etc. could prevent themselves from becoming centres of viral activity inside the cell.

Favourable outcomes

The cautious optimism over the use of the drug in therapeutic use against the virus does have a scientific basis.

Other combinations of drugs have been tried to treat Covid-19 too; as in the case of a French group study published in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents on 20 March this year.

The study involves the treatment of 42 patients with Covid-19, who were treated in-house. Of these, 26 were given hydroxy-chloroquine and the remaining were given the usual care.

Of the 26, six were additionally given antibiotic azithromycin.

By the end of the fifth day, all the six were cured of Covid-19.

Then, among those who took hydroxy-chloroquine alone, seven were completely cured.

In the control group for the same period, only two tested negative for the virus.

Earlier in India, doctors from the Sawai Man Singh hospital in Jaipur had reported how they had cured three patients with a cocktail of anti-viral medicines, a combination of 200mg Lopinavir and 50 mg of Ritonavir twice a day besides Oseltamivir along with chloroquine.

Chloroquine in history

Chloroquine is a synthetic drug. Its natural form is quinine, which in turn is the bark of the cinchona plant.

The indigenous shamanic medicine of Peruvians used it for a long time in curing the illness of Peruvians.

When Christendom conquered Peru, the Jesuits learned the bark powder extraction and then took the knowledge to the West.

Later, as colonialism and Christianity spread, so did malaria to the new lands they conquered.

When the local shamanic knowledge of Peru failed to cure malaria, the missionaries demonstrated the power of their medicine and hence the superiority of their God through the white pills of quinine.

Ethno-botanist Mark J Plotkin has a telling scenario in his famous book The Shamans Apprentince .

Here is an extract from the scholastic version that explains how the missionaries used malarial pills for proselytising:

Excerpt from:
A Short Introduction To Chloroquine: The Anti-Malarial Drug Being Tested As Cure For Covid-19 - Swarajya

Read the Rest...

Hundreds of research scholars working at chem, bio labs across India want to help test COVID-19. But the govt isn’t letting them – EdexLive

§ March 27th, 2020 § Filed under Nano Medicine Comments Off on Hundreds of research scholars working at chem, bio labs across India want to help test COVID-19. But the govt isn’t letting them – EdexLive

Image for representational purpose only (Pic: PTI)

Research scholars working with pieces of equipment that are used for testing the novel Coronavirus at chemistry, biotechnology and even physics labs from across India say they would be able and are willing to help the clinics and personnel with the testing equipment train them properly and also work with them. But they need the government's permission to do so. They have written to various ministries but have not received any reply yet.

Hundreds of researchers from Pune, Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Varanasi, Kolkata, Mohali and even tier-II and tier-III cities are willing to contribute as volunteers in any way possible. "We have expertise in molecular diagnosis clinical sample handling, RNA isolation, cDNA preparation and RT-PCR data analysis. We handle such complicated equipment day in and day out in our labs. We learn and perform experiments with these types of equipment on a daily basis," said Vikas Shukla, who is working on Nanomedicine and chronic inflammatory diseases at the Department of Zoology of the Delhi University. "If we possess a skill set that can help the nation in a dire situation like this shouldn't we be allowed to help? We need approval so that we can go and help as volunteers. I understand that this involves a virus and we need to know the protocol. We can start our work with a dummy sample as well for the training," he added.

Harsha, a postgraduate in Optoelectronics and Communications from Thrissur in Kerala wants to be a part of this as well. "I want to help out in any way I can," she wrote to the researchers. But she cannot move out. She is a nursing mother of 10-month-old twins. "This is the only way we can give back to our society right now and I want to be a part of the process," she added.

The CSIR-CCMB has been training medical staff to handle the testing process of Coronavirus but Nikhil Gupta, a Research Fellow at the Centre of Biomedical Research, SGPGI, Lucknow says that the researchers can learn the procedures faster. "We already have the training to handle such equipment. We can learn faster and even spread the knowledge. We can train others when we have the know-how of the equipment. So why not trains? Won't it be more efficient?" he asked.

The researchers have written to Dr Harsh Vardhan, the Minister of Science & Technology, Health and Family Welfare and Earth Science and the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India (PSA). He has also written to the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath to allow them to participate in this war against the virus that has affected 562 individuals and claimed nine lives till now. They are now waiting for the government's green signal to start their work.

Follow this link:
Hundreds of research scholars working at chem, bio labs across India want to help test COVID-19. But the govt isn't letting them - EdexLive

Read the Rest...

Nanomedical Devices Market Capacity, Production, Revenue, Price and Gross Margin, Industry Analysis & Forecast by 2025 – Jewish Life News

§ March 27th, 2020 § Filed under Nano Medicine Comments Off on Nanomedical Devices Market Capacity, Production, Revenue, Price and Gross Margin, Industry Analysis & Forecast by 2025 – Jewish Life News

Most recent report on the global Nanomedical Devices market

A recent market study reveals that the global Nanomedical Devices market is likely to grow at a CAGR of ~XX% over the forecast period (2019-2029) largely driven by factors including, factor 1, factor 2, factor 3, and factor 4. The value of the global Nanomedical Devices market is estimated to reach ~US$ XX Bn/Mn by the end of 2029 owing to consistent focus on research and development activities in the Nanomedical Devices field.

Valuable Data included in the report:

Request Sample Report @ https://www.marketresearchhub.com/enquiry.php?type=S&repid=2161471&source=atm

Competitive Outlook

The presented business intelligence report includes a SWOT analysis for the leading market players along with vital information including, revenue analysis, market share, pricing strategy of each market players.

A complete assessment of the market share, consumption patterns, and supply-demand ratio of each product is provided backed by insightful tables, figures, and graphs. The products covered in the report include:

The resourceful market study outlines the overall prospects of the Nanomedical Devices market in the major geographies including region 1, region 2, region 3, and region 4. The most prominent market players, observable trends, opportunities, and challenges in each region is enclosed in the report.

The following manufacturers are covered:AVA Chemicals Pvt. Ltd.Triveni Interchem Pvt. Ltd.A & Z Food Additives Co., Ltd.Advance Chemical Sales CorporationEagle Chemical WorksNanjing MSN Chemical Pvt., Ltd.Hefei Joye Import & Export Co., Ltd.Ningxiang Xinyang Chemical Co., Ltd.Anhui Jinao Chemical Co., Ltd.New Alliance Dye Chem Pvt., Ltd.Jiangsu Kolod Food IngredientWuhan Rison Trading Co., Ltd.Jinan Boss Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.LSD (shanghai) International Co., Ltd.Shanghai Sychem Pharma Co., Ltd.Xiamen Vast Land Chemical Co., Ltd.

Segment by RegionsNorth AmericaEuropeChinaJapan

Segment by TypeFood GradePharmaceutical GradeIndustrial Grade

Segment by ApplicationFood AdditivesMetal Salt Reducing AgentOthers

Make An EnquiryAbout This Report @ https://www.marketresearchhub.com/enquiry.php?type=E&repid=2161471&source=atm

Important Queries Addressed in the report:

You can Buy This Report from Here @ https://www.marketresearchhub.com/checkout?rep_id=2161471&licType=S&source=atm

Why Our Clients Trust marketresearchhub?

Within a short time period, marketresearchhub has emerged as one of the most trusted and reliable market research companies in India. With a systematic and methodic approach, our analysts collect data from credible primary and secondary sources. In addition, we offer the most efficient after sales services to our customers and address their problems without any delay.

Read the rest here:
Nanomedical Devices Market Capacity, Production, Revenue, Price and Gross Margin, Industry Analysis & Forecast by 2025 - Jewish Life News

Read the Rest...

How Doctors Live with the Risks of the Coronavirus – The New Yorker

§ March 25th, 2020 § Filed under Nano Medicine Comments Off on How Doctors Live with the Risks of the Coronavirus – The New Yorker

Reports from northern Italy often lighten the news, but lately they have leadened it. Last Saturday, The New England Journal of Medicine published an alarmed dispatch from a group of doctors at the Papa Giovanni XXIII hospital, in Bergamo. Our own hospital is highly contaminated, and we are far beyond the tipping point, Dr. Mirco Nacoti and his twelve co-authors wrote. They were concerned not just about the condition of their hospital but about the safety of hospitals in generalabout the role that the medical system could play, under extreme pressure, in spreading the new coronavirus.

We are learning that hospitals might be the main COVID-19 carriers, as they are rapidly populated by infected patients, facilitating transmission to uninfected patients, the Bergamo doctors wrote. The situation in their own hospital was bad, and that of outlying hospitals in the region was worse: patients were lying on mattresses on the floor, and medications and oxygen were unavailable. Cemeteries were overwhelmed, which will create another public health problem. In the midst of an epidemic, the physicians argued, the familiar model of patient-centered care in a hospital could no longer do the job; an entirely different model, which they called community-centered care, was needed, in which more health care would be delivered outside of the hospital, through community surveillance, home care, and mobile clinics. If the first wave of concern about hospitals in the pandemic has been about their capacity to absorb the coming surge of patients, this report hinted at a second, in which the focus might be on how to prevent the hospitals, and the people who worked there, from transmitting the virus themselves.

Over the past few days, the news from American hospitals on the front lines of the pandemic has emphasized the lack of personal protective equipment. There arent nearly enough swabs, which in a dark twist turned out to be produced mainly in northern Italy. There also arent enough simple surgical masks, or the more protective N95 masks, or gowns. As the number of cases rose into the tens of thousands last week, hospitals began issuing open calls to help supply the necessary gear. Some of these efforts had a slightly whimsical flavor, such as the message on the website of Providence St. Joseph Health, which operates fifty-one hospitals, mostly in the West: For those in the Seattle area with a willing heart, the ability to sew, and a sewing machine, we have an opportunity to make masks now. Others were more pragmatic. Peter Slavin, the president of Massachusetts General Hospital, spoke with NBCs Boston affiliate to try to galvanize a grassroots development program for N95 masks. We have vast numbers of 3-D printers in this country. The formula for making these masks is available online for free, Slavin said. I spoke with Slavin on Monday morning, and he told me that he wasnt sure whether the right historical analogy was the Manhattan Project, or the Marshall Plan, or Dunkirk, but we need to unleash the imaginative energy of people around the country to solve this problem.

The public has answered these pleas, in volume. All kinds of entities, large and tiny, have been devoting themselves to the gown- and mask-making cause. I mostly talk about movies on here, a screenwriter and podcaster named Jeffrey Zhang wrote on Twitter on Friday, but here goes. We are currently pivoting our factory to solely make surgical masks and other medical garments in short supply. We can make 2 million masks a day, and are looking to help in any way possible. The head of R. & D. for a publicly traded medical-supply company in Silicon Valley sent me a direct message saying that he was cold-calling ventilator companies, offering to help with production, and was looking for leads. (Id written a piece last week about how doctors were navigating ventilator limits.) A guy in my fantasy basketball league made a similar plea on the league message boardhe was going to start manufacturing personal protective equipment, and he needed contacts.

Slavin said that so many people had responded to his call for P.P.E. manufacturers that Mass General had set up a new team to handle all of them. Every high school seemed to have a 3-D printer, and every high-school science club seemed to want to help. Slavin said, Managing this outpouring of support has, ironically, strained the system even further. He sounded relaxed, capable of noticing ironies, which may have been professional habit but was itself reassuring. Acquiring more personal protective equipment was part of a larger effort, he said, to help protect the staff and keep the hospital from becoming a vector for transmission. Units are being established for COVID-19 patients, as they are at hospitals across the country; all staff are required to wear surgical masks at all times and some entrances to the hospital have been closed, so that anyone entering can be channelled past hand-hygiene stations and put on a mask. The intent of all these changes is to provide an inward-facing form of protection, to insulate the staff against getting sick, but also an outward-facing one, to insulate the public. Slavin said, Not only do we want to keep our health-care workers safe and healthy for their own health, we also dont want them infecting patients.

The other day, another article in The New England Journal of Medicine caught my eyean essay written by a young emergency-medicine physician in San Francisco named Christian Rose, who mentioned that in Wuhan, forty-one per cent of COVID-19 transmissions had taken place within hospitals. Rose quoted a W.H.O. official named Mike Ryan, who said, Weve always said that the real point of entry for a coronavirus is a busy emergency room. Roses essay centered on his own realization that, by helping patients sick with COVID-19, he also made it more likely that he would end up transmitting the virus himself. Rose lives with his wife and mother-in-law, who has a chronic lung condition, making her especially vulnerable to COVID-19. Once Rose was potentially exposed to the virus, at Kaiser Permanentes San Francisco hospital, he stayed with a colleague until his wife set up a basement isolation room. Should he inadvertently infect his mother-in-law, Rose wrote, Her lung reserve is so low that she would most likely wind up on a mechanical respirator in an intensive-care unit, probably on the thirteenth floor at U.C.S.F., where I trained several years ago.... It is not unlikely that she would die, that this invisible invader, this microscopic enemy would be the end of her story. All this just because I came home.

I reached Rose, who has a mustache and a pensive manner, at home last week, after he had returned from a night shift at Kaiser Permanente. The hospital wasnt yet overwhelmed, he said, but there were already some logistical tensions: there were seventeen separate instructions for putting on COVID-protective gear, Rose said, and eleven separate instructions for taking them off. Last night, I had a very sick patient who needed C.P.R., and I spent almost four minutes, like two rounds of C.P.R., getting the stuff brought to me so I could go in the room, he said. The guidance about when to use protective gear and when to avoid doing so could be bewildering and stressful. Humans are fallible, Rose said. You need to not say, Hey, maybe a N95 mask works, maybe it doesnt, but it doesnt matter because we dont have enough anyway, but if you have one maybe re-use it. You should just tell them, We have them. Heres a mask. Use it. And please dont touch your eyes.

See the rest here:
How Doctors Live with the Risks of the Coronavirus - The New Yorker

Read the Rest...

« Older Entries Newer Entries »



Page 20«..10..19202122..3040..»