Early CHIS 2021 Data Estimates Show how Californians Dealt With COVID-19

With California state vaccination rates slowing, and guidelines on mask wearing and social gatherings changing, the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research (CHPR) has released new data from the 2021 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) that sheds light on Californians’ views on getting the vaccine and following suggested safety protocols.

Out of Many COVID-19 Tests, Which One to Choose?

Curbing the coronavirus pandemic relies heavily on how quickly a potentially exposed individual can be tested and quarantined. However, the current diagnostic techniques vary in reliability and relevance, so an understanding of which test is most appropriate for a given circumstance is necessary to avoid false reports. Researchers evaluated the available diagnostic techniques and determined key steps required for better testing moving forward. They present their findings in the journal APL Bioengineering.

Arizona State University releases first comprehensive survey on how companies are protecting their employees from COVID-19

A new global business survey conducted by the College of Health Solutions at Arizona State University (ASU) and the World Economic Forum (WEF), with support from The Rockefeller Foundation, finds that less than 20% of employers report testing their workers for COVID-19, and 35% have permanently reduced their workforce. The survey, which was completed by 1,125 employers from 29 countries with the majority over a period of six weeks, September to October, found that for companies with employees onsite at the workplace, many are taking some steps to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Nearly three-fourths (74%) of these companies report they require masks for their employees, and nearly 80% make masks and hand sanitizer available.

Rush University Medical Center Surpasses 100,000 COVID-19 Tests

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Rush University Medical Center has been a leader in the Chicago area in developing, expanding and evolving testing efforts. On Friday, Nov. 13, the Medical Center performed its 100,000th test for COVID-19.

New Device Can Measure Toxic Lead Within Minutes

Rutgers researchers have created a miniature device for measuring trace levels of toxic lead in sediments at the bottom of harbors, rivers and other waterways within minutes – far faster than currently available laboratory-based tests, which take days. The affordable lab-on-a-chip device could also allow municipalities, water companies, universities, K-12 schools, daycares and homeowners to easily and swiftly test their water supplies. The research is published in the IEEE Sensors Journal.

Asymptomatic Testing Central to UC San Diego’s Return to Learn for Fall Quarter

The University of California San Diego today announced the next step in its Return to Learn program, which will guide an incremental repopulation of the campus while offering broad, asymptomatic testing for faculty, staff and students on a recurring basis to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

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.

LLNL providing critical assistance in addressing national swab shortage for COVID-19 testing

To address the nationwide shortage of specialized nasal swabs used for COVID-19 diagnoses, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory engineers formed an ad hoc, rapid response team that tested more than a dozen novel, 3D-printed swab designs from a grassroots coalition of commercial and academic partners. The mechanical tests performed at the Lab provided valuable feedback that improved the designs, enabling them to meet requirements for COVID-19 testing. The Lab’s work on swabs is continuing with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and expanding into other 3D-printed components for COVID-19 test kits.

Mount Sinai Health System and Renalytix Form Joint Venture, Kantaro Biosciences, To Develop and Scale Production of COVID Antibody Test Kits

– Kantaro Biosciences partners with Bio-Techne for manufacturing and global kit distribution
– Scaled kit production to enable clinical laboratories to conduct 10M tests per month is planned to begin in July

FDA Approves First At-Home Saliva Collection Test for Coronavirus

Rutgers’ RUCDR Infinite Biologics received an amended emergency use authorization from the FDA late Thursday for the first SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus test that will allow people to collect their own saliva at home and send to a lab for results. The decision follows the FDA’s recent emergency approval to RUCDR Infinite Biologics for the first saliva-based test, which involves health care workers collecting saliva from individuals at testing sites.

A New Way to Accurately Estimate COVID-19 Death Toll

A Rutgers engineer has created a mathematical model that accurately estimates the death toll linked to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States and could be used around the world. The model, detailed in a study published in the journal Mathematics, predicted the death toll would eventually reach about 68,120 in the United States as a result of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes COVID-19. That’s based on data available on April 28, and there was high confidence (99 percent) the expected death toll would be between 66,055 and 70,304.

UCLA Biodesign Fellow Focuses Surgical, Medical and Biomedical Engineering Insights on a Weak Link in COVID-19 Testing: Swabs Shortage

When the COVID-19 outbreak became a pandemic, and the scarcity of testing supplies became a crisis, the leaders of UCLA Biodesign saw the experience and background of Gabriel Oland, MD, as the ideal combination to help reinforce one link in the strained supply chain: the nasopharyngeal swabs used to collect patient specimens for testing.

Coriell Institute for Medical Research Fills Gaps in COVID-19 Testing Materials Supply

Answering the growing need for additional testing, and in direct response to shortages encountered in testing kit supply pipelines, the Coriell Institute for Medical Research is now offering services to create viral testing collection tubes containing different media and/or buffer formulations, for use in COVID-19 testing kits. Coriell is also exploring the feasibility of saliva as a means for testing for the new coronavirus.

New Rutgers Saliva Test for Coronavirus Gets FDA Approval

The FDA has granted emergency use authorization (EUA) to Rutgers’ RUCDR Infinite Biologics and its collaborators for a new collection approach that utilizes saliva as the primary test biomaterial for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, the first such approval granted by the federal agency. The new saliva collection method, which RUCDR developed in partnership with Spectrum Solutions and Accurate Diagnostic Labs (ADL), will allow for broader population screening than the current method of nose and throat swabs.

How Old are Whale Sharks? Nuclear Bomb Legacy Reveals Their Age

Nuclear bomb tests during the Cold War in the 1950s and 1960s have helped scientists accurately estimate the age of whale sharks, the biggest fish in the seas, according to a Rutgers-led study. It’s the first time the age of this majestic species has been verified. One whale shark was an estimated 50 years old when it died, making it the oldest known of its kind. Another shark was an estimated 35 years old.

Rutgers Launches Genetic Testing Service for New Coronavirus

Rutgers’ RUCDR Infinite Biologics has launched a test for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and is using its automation experience and infrastructure to test as many as tens of thousands of samples daily. RUCDR has also submitted an emergency use authorization request for a saliva collection method that will allow for broader population screening.

Mount Sinai Developing an “End-to-End” Diagnostics Solution for COVID-19 That Incorporates Diagnosis, Treatment Selection, and Monitoring of Disease Course

An expert team of researchers and clinicians have been working together to design, validate, and implement an “end-to-end” clinical pathology laboratory solution that will allow for the testing of approximately several hundred people per day in order to rapidly diagnose and help guide the selection of treatment and monitor disease course.

New Software Tests Asphalt Performance More Efficiently

New Brunswick, N.J. (Feb. 26, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick researchers have created a software tool that more efficiently analyzes how asphalt performs, saving transportation agencies time and money. As performance testing for asphalt pavement has evolved, the focus has shifted…

Validating NIH Toolbox to help evaluate cognitive processing in people with intellectual disability

Cognitive processing in people with intellectual disability can now be accurately assessed thanks to UC Davis Health researchers who updated and validated series of tests, part of the NIH Toolbox Cognitive Battery.

LLNL develops 3D ‘brain-on-a-chip’ device capable of long-term recording of neural activity

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory engineers and biologists have developed a “brain-on-a-chip” device capable of recording the neural activity of living brain cell cultures in three-dimensions, a significant advancement in the realistic modeling of the human brain outside of the body.