APEC University Leaders’ Forum 2022 Successfully Concludes with High-level Discussions on Preparing for the Next Pandemic

Business leaders, policy makers, and university presidents from APRU, a network of 60 leading research universities from 19 economies around the APEC region, convened at the Chulalongkorn University, Thailand, on 16 November for the APEC University Leaders’ Forum (AULF) 2022, under the theme: “Preventing the Next Pandemic.”

Should You Take Your Child to the Emergency Room, Urgent Care—or Call the Doctor?

As a parent, your number one goal is keeping your child safe and healthy. When is it time to head to the emergency department (ED)—and when is it best to call your child’s doctor, or go to an urgent care center?If it’s not an emergency, calling your pediatrician or going to urgent care are the best ways to address a variety of medical concerns.

Early Mobility Improved Survival Rates for COVID-19 Patients Receiving ECMO

Baylor Scott & White The Heart Hospital, Plano, Texas, changed its treatment paradigm for its COVID-19 patients receiving ECMO during the pandemic, finding that progressive mobility and a more aggressive application of rehabilitation therapies contributed to significantly higher survival rates.

Residents of assisted living facilities lost significant, concerning weight during the COVID-19 quarantine

Older adults residing in assisted living facilities and quarantined to their rooms during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic lost significant weight, according to gerontology care providers and researchers from McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston.

Holding Mycophenolate Mofetil for 10 Days or More May Improve COVID-19 Vaccine Response

New research presented this week at ACR Convergence 2022, the American College of Rheumatology’s annual meeting, demonstrated that withholding mycophenolate mofetil for 10 days significantly increased antibody response after 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, without a significant increase in flares.

Infants less likely to contract COVID, develop severe symptoms than other household caregivers

In one of the first studies to explore how COVID-19 specifically affects older infants, researchers from the University of Washington and at institutions at four other locations in the Western and Southern U.S. found that the number of infected people in a household was the factor most closely linked with the infant’s likelihood of being infected.

Alcoholic Pancreatitis Patients with Continued Alcohol Intake May Finally Have Therapeutic Options

Researchers at the Miller School are looking for solutions to the continued effects of alcohol use, its harmful impact, and treatment. Understanding the mechanisms of alcohol abuse has gained importance, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. Higher alcohol consumption led to an increased burden of pancreatic diseases in society.

UAlbany Study: Pandemic Had Disproportionate Impact on Female Educators

A new study by University at Albany researchers found that female educators experienced the COVID-19 pandemic more negatively than their male counterparts. The study, which was conducted by NYKids, a research-practice partnership housed within the University’s School of Education, adds to emerging research that is finding the pandemic had a disproportionate impact on women in the workforce, who have dropped out at much higher rates than men.

Miller School of Medicine Researchers Find Clues for Potential ‘Long COVID’ Therapies

A team of researchers at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have uncovered a potential approach for treating patients with serious long-term COVID conditions. In two recent studies using experimental models, they found that placing a peptide “net” around the spike protein on the virus reduced deaths from organ failure and improved overall outcomes.

COVID-19 virus-human protein network provides new tools and strategies for screening host-targeting therapies

A Cleveland Clinic-led research team used artificial intelligence to map out hundreds of ways that the virus that causes COVID-19 interacts with infected cells. Through this analysis, they identified potential COVID-19 medicines within thousands of drugs already approved by the FDA for other treatments.
The research focused on host-targeting therapies, which operate differently from other antivirals by disrupting the mechanisms viruses use to multiply and survive, rather than just blocking specific proteins within the cell. The research, published in Nature Biotechnology, presents a network called an “interactome,” the interactions between COVID-19 virus proteins and host cell proteins.

Other SARS-CoV-2 Proteins are Important for Disease Severity, Aside from the Spike

University of Maryland School of Medicine researchers have identified how multiple genes of SARS-CoV-2 affect disease severity, which could lead to new ways in how we develop future vaccines or develop newer treatments. The genes control the immune system of the host, contributing to how fiercely the body responds to a COVID-19 infection.

Study Provides Further Evidence That Immune Cell Dysregulation is a Driver of COVID-19 Severity Study Provides Further Evidence That Immune Cell Dysregulation is a Driver of COVID-19 Severity

In one of the largest single-center COVID-19 cohort studies to date, researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, using samples collected during the peak of the pandemic in New York City, have identified a key driver of COVID-19 disease severity.

Incidence of Myocarditis/Pericarditis Following mRNA COVID-19 Vaccination Among Children and Younger Adults in the United States

In this population-based surveillance, the authors found that myocarditis/pericarditis 0 to 7 days after mRNA vaccination in persons aged 5 to 39 years occurred in approximately 1 in 200,000 doses after the first dose and 1 in 30,000 doses after second dose of the primary series, and 1 in 50,000 doses after the first booster. The incidence varied markedly by age and sex, however, with a disproportionate number of cases occurring in male persons, notably among adolescents after dose 2 and first boosters.

Can I Get the Flu From Touching Surfaces? Rutgers Researcher Says No.

In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, the coronavirus was everywhere – stuck to our cellphone screens, smeared on our mail, dangling from doorknobs, even clinging to our cereal boxes. Except that it wasn’t.

Despite public health guidance suggesting surfaces be disinfected to stop the spread of COVID-19, the virus wasn’t significantly transmitted through inanimate surfaces and objects, what microbiologists call “fomites.” As with all respiratory viruses – from the flu to the common cold – transmission was and remains almost exclusively airborne.

Emanuel Goldman, a professor of microbiology at the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, was among the first scientists to challenge conventional wisdom by warning that hygiene theater – overzealous disinfection of surfaces – had “become counterproductive” for public health.

Long COVID in Kids: A Path to Recovery

A new service at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is providing comprehensive care for children with a debilitating post-COVID condition. Some teens can’t get back to the sports they love. Other children can no longer get through a school day—or even walk up a flight of stairs. Still others feel “off”—and anxious and depressed, too.

A smartphone’s camera and flash could help people measure blood oxygen levels at home

Conditions like asthma or COVID-19 make it harder for bodies to absorb oxygen from the lungs. In a proof-of-principle study, University of Washington and University of California San Diego researchers have shown that smartphones are capable of detecting blood oxygen saturation levels down to 70%. This is the lowest value that pulse oximeters should be able to measure, as recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Lab experiments support COVID-19 bradykinin storm theory

A new paper published in Nature Communications adds further evidence to the bradykinin storm theory of COVID-19’s viral pathogenesis — a theory that was posited two years ago by a team of researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Cleveland Clinic Researchers Discover New Signal for Triggering Human Immune Response

Researchers from Cleveland Clinic’s Florida Research and Innovation Center (FRIC) found that disruption of a cellular structure, known as the actin cytoskeleton, is a “priming signal” for the body to respond to a virus. These findings, published in Cell this week, potentially lay the groundwork for development of new anti-viral vaccines and treatments.

UCLA leads CDC-funded study on effectiveness of vaccines, boosters in ‘next phase’ of COVID

The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA has been awarded a $13.6 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to continue to study the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines and the long-term impact of infection among U.S. health care workers. The new yearlong grant project follows the 2020–21 Preventing Emerging Infections Through Vaccine Effectiveness Testing study, or PREVENT I, which was among the first to demonstrate the real-world benefit of mRNA vaccines in preventing symptomatic infection following their authorization by the Food and Drug Administration.

Hurricane Harvey’s hardest hit survivors five times as likely to experience anxiety from COVID-19 pandemic

Researchers at the University of Notre Dame with collaborators at Rice University and the Environmental Defense Fund, deployed new surveys to assess the economic and health impacts of the pandemic nationally, but with a special focus on those hit by back-to-back climate disasters.