Equity and Vaccine Allocation: Beyond Ethics in Prioritization to Equitable Production, Distribution, and Consumption

In a new paper in Ethics & International Affairs, Binghamton University Professor of Philosophy Nicole Hassoun first considers existing proposals for equitable vaccine allocation focusing on the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) facility. She then argues that to better promote…

Population-specific diversity within fungi species could enable improved drug discovery

Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Wisconsin–Madison have discovered that genetically distinct populations within the same species of fungi can produce unique mixes of secondary metabolites, which are organic compounds with applications in medicine, industry and agriculture.

Using Computation to Improve Words: Model Offers Novel Tool for Improving Serious Illness Conversations

Conversations between seriously ill people, their families and palliative care specialists lead to better quality-of-life. Understanding what happens during these conversations – and how they vary by cultural, clinical, and situational contexts – is essential to guide healthcare communication improvement efforts. To gain true understanding, new methods to study conversations in large, inclusive, and multi-site epidemiological studies are required. A new computer model offers an automated and valid tool for such large-scale scientific analyses.

UCI professor wins Spain’s prestigious Princess of Asturias award for scientific research

Irvine, Calif., June 24, 2021 — Philip Felgner, Ph.D., professor in residence of physiology & biophysics at the University of California, Irvine, is one of seven scholars worldwide to win Spain’s prestigious Princess of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research in recognition of their contributions to designing COVID-19 vaccines.

Bio-inspired hydrogel protects the heart from post-op adhesions

A hydrogel that forms a barrier to keep heart tissue from adhering to surrounding tissue after surgery was developed and successfully tested in rodents by a team of University of California San Diego researchers. The team of engineers, scientists and physicians also conducted a pilot study on porcine hearts, with promising results.

They describe their work in the June 18, 2021 issue of Nature Communications.

Renowned Alzheimer’s Clinical Trials Researcher Available to Comment on June 7 FDA Approval of Aducanumab

The Food and Drug Administration on June 7 approved Aducanumab, which will carry the brand name Aduhelm, as the first new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease in nearly 20 years. Dr. Jeffrey L. Cummings, UNLV research professor and leading expert on Alzheimer’s clinical trials, calls…

Covid-19 vaccines also protect unvaccinated family members

Researchers at the Helsinki Graduate School of Economics have found that the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines protect both vaccinated individuals and their unvaccinated adult household members against SARS-CoV-2 infections. The study, not yet peer-reviewed, used Finnish administrative datasets to examine the link between mRNA-based Covid-19 vaccines and infection risk among vaccinated individuals as well as their unvaccinated family members.

Efforts to treat COVID-19 patients chronicled in UC Health medications data

Irvine, Calif., May 21, 2021 – A record of medicine utilization patterns assembled by an interdisciplinary team of researchers at the University of California, Irvine and the UC San Diego School of Medicine reveals the thought, care and scientific rigor clinicians at UC Health medical centers applied in their treatment of patients with COVID-19 in 2020.

UCI biomedical engineers spotlight disparities in knee and jaw joint treatments

Irvine, Calif., May 5, 2021 – If you haven’t had knee surgery, you may have a friend or relative who has. But do you know anyone who has had an operation on their jaw? Although the temporomandibular joint is crucial to speaking, chewing and even breathing, treatments for TMJ disorders are far less common than those for the knee.

Rutgers Champion of Student Health and Wellness is Retiring

When Melodee Lasky joined Rutgers University 19 years ago, behavioral and mental health services were scattered across the individual colleges with little coordination. Psychiatry and the Alcohol and Other Drug Assistance Program were part of student health, but counseling services were separated and college-affiliated. Lasky, a physician who recognized the connection between physical and emotional wellness, recommended that mental and behavioral health be integrated within the framework of student health. That led to the creation of CAPS – Counseling, Alcohol and Other Drug Assistance Program & Psychiatric Services – a program that helps about 4,500 students each year.

University of Chicago scientists design “Nanotraps” to catch and clear coronavirus from tissue

Researchers at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME) at the University of Chicago have designed a completely novel potential treatment for COVID-19: nanoparticles that capture SARS-CoV-2 viruses within the body and then use the body’s own immune system to destroy it.

Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss Spring Allergy Season in N.J.

New Brunswick, N.J. (April 20, 2021) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick allergy specialist Leonard Bielory is available for interviews on the spring allergy season in New Jersey. “One can expect a brisk allergy season this year since we had a lot…

UCI to lead transfer of UC COVID-19 patient information to federal database

Irvine, Calif., March 24, 2021 – Vaccines are here, but as COVID-19 cases continue and variants spread, researchers need easy access to a wide variety of data to better understand the disease. Led by the University of California, Irvine, UC hospitals have received a $500,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to make this possible.

Do You Know the Way to Berkelium, Californium?

Scientists at Berkeley Lab have demonstrated how to image samples of heavy elements as small as a single nanogram. The new approach will help scientists advance new technologies for medical imaging and cancer therapies.

Speakers Announced for Virtual Experimental Biology 2021 Meeting

Renowned scientists—including Nobel laureates, research pioneers and celebrated educators—will speak at the virtual Experimental Biology (EB) 2021 meeting, to be held April 27–30. Bringing together thousands of life scientists in one interdisciplinary community, EB showcases the latest advances in anatomy, biochemistry, molecular biology, investigative pathology, pharmacology and physiology.

Psychedelic Science Holds Promise for Mainstream Medicine

A team of UNLV neuroscientists are uncovering how psychedelics affect brain activity. Their work, published recently in Nature: Scientific Reports, shows a strong connection in rodent models between brain activity and behaviors resulting from psychedelic treatment, a step forward in the quest to better understand their potential therapeutic effects.

Leveraging Modeling and Simulation in Medicine at VisualizeMED

ASME’s VisualizeMED: Modeling and Simulation in Medicine will take place on April 14-15, 2021. This two-day virtual event is enabling the transformation of modeling and simulation in medicine by bringing together industry experts of technology and masters of technique who are effectively implementing it with the goal to increase the application and adoption on a global scale.

Rutgers University’s Resilient, Innovative Year Confronting COVID-19

The last year, which has been unlike any other in Rutgers’ 254-year history, has centered on keeping the Rutgers community safe, providing top-notch health care, developing the first saliva test for the coronavirus and helping society cope with the biggest global public health crisis since the 1918 influenza pandemic.

Researchers watch anti-cancer drug release from DNA nanostructures in real time

A team of researchers from Finland and Germany have found a way to study the endonuclease-driven digestion of drug-loaded DNA nanostructures in real time. As the team investigated the binding of anti-cancer drug doxorubicin (Dox) to the DNA structures in great detail, they discovered that the majority of previous studies have vastly overestimated the Dox loading capacity of DNA origami.

Press Registration Now Open for Virtual Experimental Biology 2021 Meeting

Complimentary press passes are now available for the virtual Experimental Biology (EB) 2021 meeting, to be held April 27–30. EB is the annual meeting of five scientific societies bringing together thousands of scientists and 25 guest societies in one interdisciplinary community.

University of Northern Colorado Associate Professor Nick Pullen Provides Expertise on COVID-19 Vaccinations

Nick Pullen, Ph.D., an associate professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC), provides expertise regarding the topic of COVID-19 vaccinations and immunity.  Pullen’s research centers around the body’s immune response, specifically chronic inflammation, asthma and allergies.…

Radioactive bone cement found to be safer in treating spinal tumors

Irvine, Calif., Feb. 16, 2021 — A radioactive bone cement that’s injected into bone to provide support and local irradiation is proving to be a safer alternative to conventional radiation therapy for bone tumors, according to a study led by University of California, Irvine researchers. The study shows that this brachytherapy cement can be placed into spinal bones to directly irradiate tumors without harming the spinal cord, and the radioactive material will stay localized in the bones, which promises to virtually eliminate side effects.

Mexico’s poor have little luck obtaining opioids intended for palliative care

Despite a Mexican government initiative launched in 2015 to improve access to prescription opioids among palliative care patients, the country has seen only a marginal increase in dispensing levels, and inequities in dispensing have left many of the nation’s poorest residents without comfort in their final days

Federal COVID-19 response taps UCI Health as a model for delivering monoclonal antibody therapy

Irvine, Calif., Feb. 9, 2021 — Monoclonal antibodies are showing promise for improving outcomes for COVID-19 patients, but when a hospital is already beyond capacity, administering them can be a challenge. As hospitalizations soared across California, clinicians with UCI Health created a system for delivering monoclonal antibodies that is keeping hospital beds available for patients with the greatest need.

Nutrition, companionship reduce pain in mice with sickle cell disease, UCI-led study finds

Irvine, Calif., Feb. 1, 2021 — Researchers from the University of California, Irvine and the University of Minnesota have found that an enriched diet and companionship can reduce pain in mice with sickle cell disease by increasing serotonin. They also discovered that duloxetine, an antidepressant that boosts serotonin levels, could be an alternative to opioids in treating chronic pain.

Healthworx and LifeBridge Health Launch Startup Incubator: 1501 Health

Healthworx, the innovation and investment arm of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, is partnering with LifeBridge Health to launch 1501 Health, an incubator for healthcare startups. 1501 Health will provide investment and resources to help early-stage companies, located regionally or nationally, develop their healthcare solutions. Companies participating in the program will receive up to $100,000 in investment and have access to unique mentorship and support from payer and provider experts, along with networking and educational events with other startups, investors and stakeholders.

New Platform to Mobilize Volunteer Health Care Professionals During COVID-19 Launches

A new online platform to help mobilize volunteer health care professionals to treat patients during COVID-19 has officially launched, just as the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths are increasing across the country. Provider Bridge (ProviderBridge.org), supports license portability by making it easier to connect volunteer health care professionals with state agencies and health care entities in order to quickly increase access to care for patients in rural and underserved communities.

UCI researchers create model to calculate COVID-19 health outcomes

Irvine, Calif., Dec. 17, 2020 —University of California, Irvine health sciences researchers have created a machine-learning model to predict the probability that a COVID-19 patient will need a ventilator or ICU care. The tool is free and available online for any healthcare organization to use. “The goal is to give an earlier alert to clinicians to identify patients who may be vulnerable at the onset,” said Daniel S.