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Future of Medicine #18

  • “Prescribing” nature
  • Ultraviolet light disinfectant
  • Skepticism on HIV breakthrough
  • Communication with gaming
Published every Wednesday

MedPage Today

What Evidence Is Aiding School Reopening Decisions?

As school officials debate whether to reopen this fall, physicians, teachers, and a prominent ethicist markedly disagreed on whether sending children back into the classroom is safe for their communities.

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Kaiser Health News

Analysis: How a COVID-19 vaccine could cost Americans dearly

Yes, of course, Americans’ health is priceless, and reining in a deadly virus that has trashed the economy would be invaluable.

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University of Pennsylvania

Access to nature requires attention when addressing community health needs

While access to nature is an established social determinant of health with clear benefits to physical, mental, and social health, it does not receive as must attention by health care providers or health systems as other social concerns, according to a new piece by a Penn Medicine physician published today in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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Editor’s Note:

Social determinants of health are receiving increased attention in the search for preventing health problems in the first place. Here researchers at UPenn look into “prescribing” nature.


Coronavirus Sparks New Interest In Using Ultraviolet Light To Disinfect Indoor Air

High up near the ceiling, in the dining room of his Seattle-area restaurant, Musa Firat recently installed a “killing zone” — a place where swaths of invisible electromagnetic energy penetrate the air, ready to disarm the coronavirus and other dangerous pathogens that drift upward in tiny, airborne particles.

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Stuff NZ

Coronavirus: So you’ve designed a vaccine. Then what?

If vaccine discovery is the glamour first leg of the relay – the dramatic lunge out of the starting blocks – logistics is the next three baton changes. The hard slog that comes after. Unless manufacturers, distributors and vaccinators are ready to go when the inventors thrust out their batons, the mad race for a Covid-19 vaccine will stop dead.

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Editor’s Note:

This newsletter regularly covers the trials of vaccines for COVID, though that is only part of the story. Here Nikki Macdonald looks at the systems of production around treatments such as a vaccine.

Newcastle University

Research offers new hope for kidney revival prior to transplantation

New research has demonstrated that kidneys can be revived prior to transplantation by delivering a cell therapy directly to the organ.

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The Conversation

Aerosols may play a larger role in COVID-19 transmission than previously thought

When someone coughs, talks or even breathes, they send tiny respiratory droplets into the surrounding air. The smallest of these droplets can float for hours, and there is strong evidence that they can carry live coronavirus if the person is infected.

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Scientific American

A Rush to Reopen Could Undo New Yorkers Hard Work against COVID-19

For three months, the COVID-19 pandemic did what nobody imagined possible: shut down the city that never sleeps. Businesses boarded up, public transport screeched to halt, and Times Square was quiet. Those weeks were emotionally and financially painful. But the drastic measures worked.

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University of Alabama Birmingham

Altimmune COVID-19 vaccine candidate tested at UAB shows positive preclinical results

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Altimmune, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, has announced positive results from the preclinical studies conducted in mice at the University of Alabama at Birmingham of its intranasal COVID-19 vaccine candidate, AdCOVID.

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Deutsche Welle

Brazilian HIV patient cured: Can this be true?

At the 23rd International AIDS Conference, a case was presented in which a patient in Sao Paulo showed no trace of HIV for over a year after he stopped therapy. Scientists are skeptical about the case.

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Editor’s Note:

One of our highlighted pieces last week was on the Brazilian man who eliminated HIV with an experimental treatment. Here Deutsche Welle also covers the case, though looks more closely at the limitations.


A day in the life of a science gaming entrepreneur

Carla Brown discovered her passion for health and science communication as a teenager. One day when she was in her doctor’s office, she remembers looking at a poster on the wall, which listed instructions for washing hands. She said to her mom, “When I’m older, I’m going to do stuff like that, but way better,” Brown says. She has since embarked on a career that aims to communicate health information in an unconventional way — using gaming technology.

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Brookings Institution

The laws governing COVID-19 test payment and how to improve them

Clarifying and enforcing existing law is important, but more is also needed to guarantee financing for COVID-19 testing that promotes public health goals. This blog aims to clarify the existing laws and guidance governing payment for COVID-19 testing, highlight ambiguities, and suggest improvements.

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