The viruses are spread differently, ranging from contaminated food and water (like hepatitis A) to blood transfusions and shared needles (hepatitis C). The plan lists five main goals for the next five years:Prevent new viral hepatitis infections. Improve viral hepatitis–related health outcomes of people with viral hepatitis. “The nation is losing ground in the fight against viral hepatitis despite safe and effective hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines, and a hepatitis C cure that works after an eight-week course of medicine.”The AIDS Institute, a national nonprofit, said the new plan lays the groundwork for eliminating hepatitis. People living with HIV often have problems that affect the liver, including viral hepatitis and fatty liver.
As the COVID-19 pandemic heads for a showdown with vaccines it’s expected to lose, many experts in the field of emerging infectious diseases are already focused on preventing the next one. Experts predict it would cost about $700 billion to institute these and other measures, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society. He is setting up the Global Virome Project to catalog viruses in wildlife in order to predict which ones might ignite the next pandemic. One case study for how viruses emerge from nature to become an epidemic is the Nipah virus. “A road will facilitate a transport of goods and people and create economic incentive,” said Walzer, of the Wildlife Conservation Society.
After recently making headlines for his ongoing divorce battle, Dr. Dre, age 55, is in the news again. The hip-hop artist and producer was hospitalized January 4 for a brain aneurysm, reports NBC News. A brain aneurysm is a bulge, or ballooning, in a blood vessel in the brain that can leak or rupture, leading to bleeding in the brain, better known as a hemorrhagic stroke. It’s unknown whether Dre’s brain aneurysm did, in fact, rupture. “Send love and your prayers to the homie Dr. Dre,” tweeted Ice Cube, who, along with Dre, was a member of the rap group N.W.A.
Funeral director Kevin Spitzer has been overwhelmed with COVID-related deaths in the small city of Aberdeen, South Dakota. They watched as New York hospitals and funeral homes marshaled refrigerated trucks to store bodies. “Morticians and funeral homes are overflowing as well. The clinic, which has just two morgue spaces, has dealt with 80 COVID deaths, including seven on the weekend after Thanksgiving. Native communities have not only been among the hardest hit with COVID illnesses and deaths, but their grieving rituals have been among the most seriously disrupted.
Safety Net Primary Care ProvidersThe findings come from a 2019 health care provider survey by Afiba Manza-A. Before adjusting variables to account for the small number of responses, that low knowledge was associated with a 91% decreased likelihood of prescribing PrEP. “Providers had a high awareness of PrEP and were willing to prescribe PrEP if given additional information,” wrote the study authors. “Providers in our survey endorsed interest in receiving educational trainings on PrEP and integrating PrEP services into primary care. This finding is encouraging because [primary care providers] and HIV specialists often disagree about whom should be responsible for prescribing PrEP.”Click here to read the study.
Even before there was a vaccine, some seasoned doctors and public health experts warned, Cassandra-like, that its distribution would be “a logistical nightmare.”After Week 1 of the rollout, “nightmare” sounds like an apt description. Why should vaccine distribution be any different? From there, an inscrutable mix of state officials, public health agencies and lobbyists seem to be determining where the vaccine should go. But Pfizer — which did not fully participate in Operation Warp Speed — is shipping much of the vaccine itself. The National Health Service will let everyone else “know when it’s your turn to get the vaccine ” from the government-run health system.
“Remember that a bipartisan $900 billion #COVID19 relief bill became law just 18 days ago,” tweeted Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. But Biden said that was only a down payment, and he promised another major bill next month, focused on rebuilding the economy. His relief bill would be paid for with borrowed money, adding to trillions in debt the government has already incurred to confront the pandemic. Biden has called for setting up mass vaccination centers and sending mobile units to hard-to-reach areas. “There is a commitment the (incoming) administration has articulated to address the needs of communities.”Biden has set a goal of administering 100 million shots in his first 100 days.
Compared to white, Asian or Latino individuals, Black people have worse survival rates for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common type of liver cancer. Hepatitis B or C, heavy alcohol use, fatty liver disease and other causes of liver injury can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer. In comparison to white individuals, Black people had significantly poorer liver cancer survival. On the other hand, Asian and Latino individuals had better overall survival than white people. Click here to learn more about liver cancer.
What A Year It Was for Science Advances! Here’s a quick rundown of all the pioneering advances in biomedical research, both NIH and non-NIH funded:Shots of Hope. This breakthrough has the potential to accelerate the fields of structural biology and protein research, fueling progress throughout the sciences. That’s why the editors and writers at Science singled out “a second pandemic of misinformation” as its Breakdown of the Year. Links:COVID-19 Research (NIH)2020 Science Breakthrough of the Year (American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, D.C)
DNA Base Editing May Treat Progeria, Study in Mice ShowsPosted on January 7th, 2021 by Dr. Francis CollinsCredit: Progeria Research FoundationMy good friend Sam Berns was born with a rare genetic condition that causes rapid premature aging. That’s what makes some more recently developed DNA editing agents and approaches so important. Here’s how it works: Instead of cutting DNA as CRISPR does, base editors directly convert one DNA letter to another by enzymatically changing one DNA base to become a different base. Our three labs (Liu, Brown, and Collins) first teamed up with the Progeria Research Foundation, Peabody, MA, to obtain skin cells from kids with progeria.  Programmable base editing of A•T to G•C in genomic DNA without DNA cleavage.
Making Personalized Blood-Brain Barriers in a DishPosted on June 27th, 2019 by Dr. Francis CollinsCredit: Vatine et al, Cell Stem Cell, 2019The blood-brain barrier, or BBB, is a dense sheet of cells that surrounds most of the brain’s blood vessels. To help look for solutions to these and other problems, researchers can now grow human blood-brain barriers on a chip like the one pictured above. In close association are supportive brain cells known as astrocytes (green), which help to regulate blood flow. The BBB chips also show electrical resistance and permeability just as would be expected in a person. Reference: Human iPSC-Derived Blood-Brain Barrier Chips Enable Disease Modeling and Personalized Medicine Applications.
Accelerating Cures in the Genomic Age: The Sickle Cell ExamplePosted on December 11th, 2018 by Dr. Francis CollinsCredit: Jill George, NIHForty-five years ago, when I was a first-year medical student, a lecturer introduced me to a young man with sickle cell disease (SCD). Sickle cell disease is the first “molecular disease”, with its cause having been identified decades ago. In fact, it inspired some of my earliest research on human hemoglobin disorders, which I conducted as a postdoctoral fellow. Somatic cell gene editing is associated with ethical issues that are much more in line with decades of deep thinking about benefits and risks of therapeutic trials. December 3, 2018Links:Sickle Cell Disease (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute/NIH)Cure Sickle Cell Initiative (NHLBI)John Tisdale (NHLBI)Somatic Cell Genome Editing Program (Common Fund/NIH)What are genome editing and CRISPR-Cas9?
More Progress Toward Gene Editing for Kids with Muscular DystrophyPosted on February 26th, 2019 by Dr. Francis CollinsCaption: Muscles of untreated mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (left) compared to muscles of similar mice one year after gene-editing treatment (right). This “in vivo” approach to gene editing successfully restored production of functional dystrophin proteins, strengthening animals’ muscles within weeks of treatment. It’s important to emphasize that this gene editing research aimed at curing DMD is being done in non-reproductive (somatic) cells, primarily muscle tissue. The NIH does not support the use of gene editing technologies in human embryos or human reproductive (germline) cells, which would change the genetic makeup of future offspring. As such, the Duke researchers’ CRISPR/Cas9 system is designed to work optimally in a range of muscle and muscle-progenitor cells.
Uterine fibroids are benign (noncancerous) growths or tumors found in the uterus. The cause of uterine fibroids is unknown, but family history is a risk factor for their development. The presence of high levels of hormones—as are seen during pregnancy—helps fibroids grow bigger. African-American women are more often affected by fibroids; additionally, in Black women, fibroids tend to appear at a younger age and grow more quickly. Because women may lack symptoms, uterine fibroids are often discovered during a routine gynecological pelvic exam or through image studies.
Like many women with uterine fibroids, Sateria Venable experienced monthly periods marked by heavy bleeding. “The bleeding was just even too extreme for me, so I went to see an ob-gyn and was diagnosed with uterine fibroids at age 26,” Venable says. “I realized that women really wanted to share their stories, and I realized that there were many other women also suffering,” she says. There are many reasons why the condition isn’t more talked about and relatively few investigations have identified opportunities to prevent uterine fibroids. “This foundational garment is for a company that I’m developing, Comferie Lingerie—a line of comfortable lingerie for all women,” Venable explains.
A dozen states are reporting drops of 25% or more in new COVID-19 cases and more than 1,200 counties have seen the same, federal data released Wednesday shows. Nationally, new cases have dropped 21% from the prior week, according to Department of Health and Human Services data, reflecting slightly more than 3,000 counties. Officials with the California Department of Public Health acknowledged that testing has fallen off, but overall rates of positive COVID tests are falling, suggesting the change is real. New cases also fell significantly in Wyoming, Oregon, South Dakota and Utah, with each state recording at least 30% fewer new cases. “The concern is that everything could change,” said Kate Yeiser, spokesperson for the Multnomah County Health Department.
The J&J vaccine requires only a single injection, doubling the number of people who can be vaccinated with a given supply. The J&J vaccine uses a weakened human adenovirus—similar to viruses that cause the common cold—as a vector to deliver genes encoding the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. An interim analysis showed that the vaccine was 66% effective overall at preventing moderate and severe COVID-19 at 28 days after the single dose. The J&J vaccine was well tolerated with no significant safety concerns, according to the company. COVID-19 vaccines from other companies produce antibody levels similar to or several times higher than those resulting from natural infection.
Public health officials “are not ready” for the onslaught of news and social media stories to come, he cautioned. “Coincidence is turning out to be quite lethal to COVID vaccine recipients,” Kennedy wrote. California authorities have recommended pausing vaccinations with a particular batch of COVID vaccines made by Moderna because of a high rate of allergic reactions. “They have said public health is public enemy No. COVID vaccines, which require two doses for full protection, did not arrive in time to save the residents’ lives.
A. Plante , S. R. Royal , J. Swanstrom , T. P. Sheahan , R. J. Pickles , D. Corti , S. H. Randell , A. Lanzavecchia , W. A. Marasco , R. S. Baric , SARS-like WIV1-CoV poised for human emergence . B. Stuart , Y.-H. Wan , J. Feng , R. E. Whaley , S. Singh , M. Boeckh , K. W. Cohen , M. J. McElrath , J. B. McDermott , J. R. Mascola , B. S. Graham , Mosaic nanoparticle display of diverse influenza virus hemagglutinins elicits broad B cell responses . Park , N. Wang , D. Amengor , J. J. Lavinder , G. C. Ippolito , J. A. Maynard , I. J. Finkelstein , J. S. McLellan , Structure-based design of prefusion-stabilized SARS-CoV-2 spikes .
Cancer ranks as a leading cause of death in every country in the world, and, for the first time, female breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer, overtaking lung cancer, according to a collaborative report, Global Cancer Statistics 2020, from the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The report appearing in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, shows an estimated 19.3 million new cancer cases and almost 10 million cancer deaths occurred in 2020. Female breast cancer was the most commonly diagnosed cancer, with an estimated 2.3 million new cases (11.7%), followed by lung (11.4%), colorectal (10.0%), prostate (7.3%), and stomach (5.6%) cancers. The incidence of breast cancer is increasing in countries where rates of breast cancer have been historically low. Efforts to build a sustainable infrastructure for the dissemination of proven cancer prevention measures and the provision of cancer care in transitioning countries are critical for global cancer control.
At Wellness Axis we want to encourage habits of wellness, Increase awareness of factors and resources contributing to well-being, Inspire and empower individuals to take responsibility for their own health, and to support a sense of community. Wellness can be thought of as the quality or state of being in good health.