Health Status of Vulnerable Gopher Tortoises Revealed in Southeastern Florida

In previously unstudied gopher tortoise aggregations, researchers found that overall, 42.9 percent had circulating antibodies to an infectious bacterium that causes upper respiratory tract disease. Physical examination showed that 19.8 percent had clinical signs consistent with upper respiratory tract disease and 13.2 percent had some form of physical abnormality. None of the tortoises tested positive for Ranavirus or Herpesvirus, which represents important baseline data, since these viruses are thought to be emerging pathogens of other tortoise and turtle species.

Flu shot associated with fewer, less severe COVID cases

People who received a flu shot last flu season were significantly less likely to test positive for a COVID-19 infection when the pandemic hit, according to a new study. And those who did test positive for COVID-19 had fewer complications if they received their flu shot.

Precision medicine, digital technology hold potential as powerful tools against tuberculosis

The global fight against tuberculosis is gaining some powerful tools. Precision medicine — already used to personalize diagnosis and treatment of noncommunicable diseases such as cancer — and health care technologies such as telemedicine have the potential to advance the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis, says Zelalem Temesgen, M.D., an infectious diseases expert and medical director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Tuberculosis.

Human Lung and Brain Organoids Respond Differently to SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Lab Tests

UC San Diego School of Medicine researchers are using stem cell-derived organoids to study how SARS-CoV-2 interacts with various organ systems. Their findings may help explain the wide variety in COVID-19 symptoms and aid the search for therapies.

Biomaterials Could Mean Better Vaccines, Virus-Fighting Surfaces

Advances in the fields of biomaterials and nanotechnology could lead to big breakthroughs in the fight against dangerous viruses like the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. In APL Bioengineering, researchers from the Indian Institute of Science describe possibilities being explored by scientists, combining biomaterials and nanotechnology, to make vaccines more effective and build surfaces that could fight and kill viruses on their own.

Alzheimer’s microbe hypothesis gets major NIH funding

After years of paltry funding, research on the possible role of microbes in the causation of Alzheimer’s disease will now get a major infusion of grants from the NIH’s National Institute on Aging

Black churches are trusted messengers of COVID-19 information to their communities, Mayo study finds

U.S. public health officials have reported that Black communities are disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with higher infection and mortality rates than the general population. Now as the number of COVID-19 cases across the U.S. surge, Mayo Clinic researchers are working closely with Black churches on disparities in emergency preparedness and providing access to culturally relevant, evidence-based health information.

AI platform developed by NUS researchers finds best combination of available therapies against COVID-19

Researchers from the National University of Singapore have utilised a ground-breaking AI platform to find an optimal combination of available therapies against COVID-19. The research team identified the drug combination from over 530,000 possibilities within two weeks, cutting down the number of tests typically needed by hundreds of thousands.

Pacific Symphony working with UCI public health experts on COVID-19 plan

Irvine, Calif., Dec. 8, 2020 — University of California, Irvine public health experts are providing consulting services to Pacific Symphony to enable the Orange County ensemble to once again play music together – which hasn’t happened since early March because of the coronavirus pandemic. In the past months, Pacific Symphony has held online events – including virtual concerts, living room concerts on video, internet interview programs, and KCET and PBS SoCal’s “Southland Sessions Presents Pacific Symphony” series – featuring offerings from the orchestra’s archival vaults.

Research News Tip Sheet: Story Ideas From Johns Hopkins Medicine

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Johns Hopkins Medicine Media Relations is focused on disseminating current, accurate and useful information to the public via the media. As part of that effort, we are distributing our “COVID-19 Tip Sheet: Story Ideas from Johns Hopkins” every other Tuesday.

UCLA Health infectious disease experts tout critical role mask wearing plays in limiting spread of COVID-19

With thousands of new cases logged daily and a vaccine to fight COVID-19 still in development, UCLA Health infectious disease experts are encouraging people to continue to wear masks as the best method of protecting against virus transmission.

Population distribution can greatly impact COVID-19 spread, UCI-led study finds

Irvine, Calif., Oct. 1, 2020 — Uneven population distribution can significantly impact the severity and timing of COVID-19 infections within a city or county, leading individual communities to have vastly different experiences with the pandemic, according to a recent study led by the University of California, Irvine. Findings published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences show that the heterogeneous spatial features of interpersonal connections may produce dramatic local variations in exposures to those with the illness.

Flu Season Returns As The COVID-19 Pandemic Continues

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues with no end in sight, the annual flu season emerges once again. Cases of the flu have already begun to surface around the nation, and there are some reports of co-infection with COVID-19. Johns Hopkins Medicine experts say now is the time to take action to fight against the flu. Doctors recommend that everyone age 6 months and older get the flu vaccine each year to prevent infection from the virus or reduce the severity of the illness.

UCI researchers launch first-of-its-kind coronavirus statistics portal

Irvine, Calif., Aug. 10, 2020 — Scientists at the University of California, Irvine have unveiled a public website that provides up-to-date statistics on coronavirus infections in Orange County, with comparisons to neighboring and other California counties. The site displays information collected from the California Open Data Portal in an easily comprehended format, giving visitors quick access to the most relevant data on hospitalized patients with COVID-19, intensive care unit patients, new daily cases and new daily deaths caused by the disease.

Rutgers Expert Can Discuss Global Climate Change Mortality Study

New Brunswick, N.J. (Aug. 3, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor Robert E. Kopp is available to discuss a major study released today on the global consequences of climate change on death rates. The study by the Climate Impact Lab,…

FAU Now Offers COVID-19 Contact Tracing and Risk-Reduction Public Health Certificate

In response to the high demand for one of the fastest-growing jobs in the U.S., FAU has launched a new, online public health certificate course on COVID-19, contact tracing and risk-reduction. The five-week, 15-hour course does not require a college degree and is scheduled from June 29 to Aug. 7. The program is open to the general public for adults age 18 and older with a high school diploma or equivalent and a variety of work experiences and educational backgrounds.

Research and innovation as an essential function amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Necessity being the mother of invention, Houston Methodist clinicians, researchers and staff have collaborated on a number of clinical device and research innovations in response to COVID-19. Houston Methodist Academic Institute leadership has continually emphasized translational research in new technologies.

Loss of Smell Associated with Milder Clinical Course in COVID-19

Researchers at UC San Diego Health report in newly published findings that olfactory impairment suggests the resulting COVID-19 disease is more likely to be mild to moderate, a potential early indicator that could help health care providers determine which patients may require hospitalization.

Artificial Intelligence Enables Rapid COVID-19 Lung Imaging Analysis at UC San Diego Health

With support from Amazon Web Services, UC San Diego Health physicians are using AI in a clinical research study aimed at speeding the detection of pneumonia, a condition associated with severe COVID-19.

UC San Diego Health Launches Clinical Trial to Assess Antiviral Drug for COVID-19

Researchers at four University of California Health medical centers have begun recruiting participants for a Phase II clinical trial to investigate the safety and efficacy of treating adult patients with COVID-19 with remdesivir, a drug that has shown promising activity against multiple viruses.

U.S. Workers Need Paid Sick Leave to Help Stop the Spread of Coronavirus

One-third of Americans do not have access to paid sick leave. Only the U.S. and Japan do not mandate a national sick leave benefit. Currently, seven states in the U.S. mandate that employers provide paid sick leave benefits. Given the latest information from the U.S. CDC regarding the potential impact that the coronavirus could have on the nation, researchers urge that it is critical to consider the role paid sick leave has in stopping the spread of a contagious virus.

As U.S. Struggles to Get Coronavirus Testing Up and Running, AACC Calls on FDA to Allow Clinical Labs to Develop Their Own Tests for the Virus

In a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), AACC is urging the agency to allow clinical laboratories to develop coronavirus tests without going through FDA review. Lifting this regulatory requirement is key to ensuring that all patients have access to high-quality coronavirus testing and that healthcare workers have the tools they need to control the spread of this disease in the U.S.

Thinking about a cruise in light of the novel coronavirus? Here are health tips from experts at University Hospitals Roe Green Center for Travel Medicine

Doctors from the University Hospitals (UH) Roe Green Center for Travel Medicine provide the following health tips for vacationers thinking about a cruise in light of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. 1. As always, the best infection control measure is…

New Tool for an Old Disease: Use of PET and CT Scans May Help Develop Shorter TB Treatment

Experts believe that tuberculosis, or TB, has been a scourge for humans for some 15,000 years, with the first medical documentation of the disease coming out of India around 1000 B.C.E. Today, the World Health Organization reports that TB is still the leading cause of death worldwide from a single infectious agent, responsible for some 1.5 million fatalities annually. Primary treatment for TB for the past 50 years has remained unchanged and still requires patients to take multiple drugs daily for at least six months. Successful treatment with these anti-TB drugs — taken orally or injected into the bloodstream — depends on the medications “finding their way” into pockets of TB bacteria buried deep within the lungs.

UAB experts involved with COVID-19 vaccine research available to comment on outbreak, what’s being reported, where concerns lie

Experts from the University of Alabama at Birmingham are avaliable to comment on the state of COVID-19, including the development of an investigational compound  at UAB, next steps for a vaccine, what the state of the outbreak looks like, what…

Most Rehabilitating Sea Turtles with Infectious Tumors Don’t Survive

Fibropapillomatosis (FP) is the most significant infectious disease affecting sea turtle populations worldwide. FB leads to tumors on the turtles’ eyes, flippers and internal organs and is widespread in warmer climates like Florida. A large-scale study evaluated tumor score, removal and regrowth in rehabilitating green sea turtles with FP in the southeastern U.S. from 2009 to 2017, and found that 75 percent did not survive following admission into a rehabilitation facility, irrespective of whether or not tumor regrowth occurred after surgery.

Johns Hopkins Researchers: Climate Change Threatens to Unlock New Microbes and Increase Heat-Related Illness and Death

The Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI) recently published “Viewpoint” articles by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine professors who warn that global climate change is likely to unlock dangerous new microbes, as well as threaten humans’ ability to regulate body temperature.

Zika Virus’ Key into Brain Cells ID’d, Leveraged to Block Infection and Kill Cancer Cells

Two different UC San Diego research teams identified the same molecule — αvβ5 integrin — as Zika virus’ key to brain cell entry. They found ways to take advantage of the integrin to both block Zika virus from infecting cells and turn it into something good: a way to shrink brain cancer stem cells.

Taking One for the Team: How Bacteria Self-Destruct to Fight Viral Infections

UC San Diego School of Medicine researchers have discovered how a new immune system works to protect bacteria from phages, viruses that infect bacteria — new information that could be leveraged to improve treatment of multidrug-resistant bacterial infections by refining phage therapy.

FY 2020 Spending Bill Funds Critical Initiatives While Neglecting Urgent Priorities

The spending bill passed today is a welcome step forward. Allocations in the bill will strengthen public health and research efforts during the year ahead and will provide critical support for important goals. At the same time, the legislation in its final form also brings inadequate responses to current and urgent challenges with the potential for long-term and costly consequences.

Researchers identify ‘Achilles’ heel’ of drug-resistant superbug

Researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) have identified a protein that allows vancomycin-resistant enterococci to defy antibiotic treatment and immune system attacks. Their discovery opens the door for future treatment options in the fight against antibiotic resistance.