Science

Researchers Focus On T Cells In COVID Vaccine Hunt

Reuters reports: As scientists question whether the presence, or absence, of antibodies to the novel coronavirus can reliably determine immunity, some are looking to a different component of the immune system, known as T cells, for their role in protecting people in the pandemic. Recent studies show that some recovered patients who tested negative for coronavirus antibodies did develop T …

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STUDY: Lockdowns Saved Up To 370,000 US Lives

Axios reports: As many as 250,000 to 370,000 deaths may have been averted between March and May 15 as a result of the statewide stay-at-home orders enacted to mitigate spread of the coronavirus, a study published Thursday in Health Affairs projects. Lockdown restrictions have largely been lifted, but the coronavirus pandemic keeps getting worse all across the country. New modeling …

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WHO Sets Up Panel To Review Its COVID Response

Reuters reports: The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday it was setting up an independent panel to review its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the response by governments worldwide. The announcement follows strong criticism by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration, which accused the WHO of being “China-centric”, and U.S. formal notification on Tuesday that it was withdrawing from …

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Scientists Warn Of COVID-Related Brain Disorders

The Guardian reports: Doctors may be missing signs of serious and potentially fatal brain disorders triggered by coronavirus, as they emerge in mildly affected or recovering patients, scientists have warned. Neurologists are on Wednesday publishing details of more than 40 UK Covid-19 patients whose complications ranged from brain inflammation and delirium to nerve damage and stroke. In some cases, the …

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Injectable Drug More Effective For PrEP Than Truvada

The Washington Post reports: A long-acting drug injected every two months is more effective at preventing HIV than the pills most commonly used by people at risk of acquiring the infection, according to research released Tuesday at an international AIDS conference. The drug cabotegravir was tested on more than 4,500 cisgender men who have sex with men and transgender women …

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Study Shows COVID “Herd Immunity” May Be Unlikely

CNN reports: Spain’s large-scale study on the coronavirus indicates just 5% of its population has developed antibodies, strengthening evidence that a so-called herd immunity to Covid-19 is “unachievable,” the medical journal the Lancet reported on Monday. The findings show that 95% of Spain’s population remains susceptible to the virus. Herd immunity is achieved when enough of a population has become …

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Brain-Eating Amoeba Emerges In Florida Because 2020

The Daily Beast reports: Health officials in Florida have sounded the alarm over the discovery of a rare, brain-eating amoeba in the county that encompasses Tampa and several other cities. The Florida Department of Health announced the news Friday that a person in Hillsborough County had suffered a confirmed infection of naegleria fowleri, a single-celled living amoeba that can lead …

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Researchers Debate “Challenge Trials” For Vaccines

The New York Times reports: One way to quickly see if a coronavirus vaccine works would be to immunize healthy people and then deliberately expose them to the virus, some researchers are suggesting. Proponents say this strategy, called a human challenge trial, could save time because rather than conducting tests the usual way — by waiting for vaccinated people to …

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“Superspreader” Incidents Are Causing Most Infections

Scientific American reports: As scientists have learned more about COVID-19, it has become clear that so-called superspreader incidents—in which one person infects a disproportionate number of other individuals—have played an oversized role in the transmission of the virus that causes the disease. A Boston conference and the funeral in Georgia were among several superspreader events that played “a notable role …

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CHINA: New Swine Flu Strain Has “Pandemic Potential”

Agence France-Presse reports: Researchers in China have discovered a new type of swine flu that is capable of triggering a pandemic, according to a study published Monday in the US science journal PNAS. Named G4, it is genetically descended from the H1N1 strain that caused a pandemic in 2009. It possesses “all the essential hallmarks of being highly adapted to …

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POLL: 87% Say They’ve Worn Masks In The Past Week

Just in from Ipsos Polling: Concern with potential coronavirus infection has rebounded in the latest ABC News/Ipsos poll as the number of cases in the South and West surge, even as more Americans are leaving the home. This trend is connected to increases in protective actions and decreased willingness to engage in certain ‘routine’ activities. Americans are increasingly concerned with …

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WHO Warns Of “New Dangerous Phase” In Pandemic

The Washington Post reports: The World Health Organization warned Friday that “the world is in a new and dangerous phase” as the global pandemic accelerates. The world recorded about 150,000 new cases on Thursday, the largest rise yet in a single day, according to the WHO. Nearly half of these infections were in the Americas, as new cases continue to …

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Cheap Steroid Hailed As COVID Breakthrough [VIDEO]

Reuters reports: Dexamethasone, a cheap and widely used steroid, has become the first drug shown to be able to save lives among COVID-19 patients in what scientists hailed as a “major breakthrough”. Results of trials announced on Tuesday showed dexamethasone, which is used to reduce inflammation in other diseases, reduced death rates by around a third among the most severely …

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Experts Want New Studies On COVID Testing Accuracy

The Associated Press reports: How accurate are the coronavirus tests used in the U.S.? Months into the outbreak, no one really knows how well many of the screening tests work, and experts at top medical centers say it is time to do the studies to find out. When the new virus began spreading, the Food and Drug Administration used its …

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Potential COVID Vax To Enter Final Testing Stage In July

The Hill reports: The final testing stage for a potential coronavirus vaccine developed by Moderna is set to begin in July, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. John Mascola, the director of the vaccine research center at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told the Journal that the trials will involve about 30,000 people at more than 50 …

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Study Estimates Lockdown Prevented 60M US Infections

The Washington Post reports: Shutdown orders prevented about 285 million novel coronavirus infections in China and about 60 million in the United States, according to a research study published Monday that examined how stay-at-home orders and other restrictions limited the spread of the contagion. A separate study from epidemiologists at Imperial College London estimated that the shutdowns saved approximately 3.1 …

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Human Trials Begin For First New COVID Medication

STAT News reports: Researchers have begun testing what appears to be the first new medicine developed specifically against Covid-19, in a milestone for drug companies aiming to combat the disease, the medicine’s makers said Monday. The medicine, a human-made antibody against the coronavirus that causes the disease, was discovered by a Vancouver company, AbCellera, and is being developed by Eli …

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SpaceX Capsule Successfully Docks At Space Station

CNN reports: Astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley have officially arrived at the International Space Station. After a historic launch from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Saturday, the astronauts aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft synched up with the space station Sunday morning. The spacecraft made a careful approach, easing its way toward its destination over the course of 19 …

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Manned SpaceX Rocket Launches Successfully [VIDEO]

The New York Times reports: The United States opened a new era of human space travel on Saturday as a private company for the first time launched astronauts into orbit, nearly a decade after the government retired the storied space shuttle program in the aftermath of national tragedy. Two American astronauts lifted off at 3:22 p.m. from a familiar setting, …

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LIVE VIDEO: Second Try For Joint SpaceX-NASA Launch

Axios reports: At 3:22 p.m. ET today, SpaceX is expected to launch NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station for the first time. Why it matters: The liftoff — should it go off without a hitch — will be the first time a private company has launched people to orbit. It will also bring crewed …

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