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  • Remdisivir and the NIH (#2)
  • Waste PPE (#18)
  • Medical supply chains (#7)
  • COVID blood-clotting mystery (#19)


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Undark

A few weeks ago, I received an unsettling email. The staff at my daughter’s pediatrician’s office — a family-run private practice in Brooklyn that serves more than 3,800 patients — was shifting to part time. The practice had applied for the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, meant to help small businesses weather the economic turmoil brought by the Covid-19 pandemic. But the money wasn’t coming, at least in the initial round of funding.


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STAT News

The drug maker Gilead Sciences released a bombshell two weeks ago: A study conducted by a U.S. government agency had found that the company’s experimental drug, remdesivir, was the first treatment shown to have even a small effect against Covid-19.


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Deutsche Welle

A recent study suggested young adults ages 20-24 are primarily responsible for the transmission of the coronavirus. But the reality of how the virus spreads is more complicated.


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Press Trust of India

The researchers believe that a future phase 3 trial will confirm or refute the usefulness of this candidate drug as a backbone treatment for COVID-19.


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The Telegraph (UK)

New study analysing dozens of actual Covid-19 clusters from around the world shows enclosed spaces are hotbeds of the virus


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The Hindu

India needs to blend acute disaster management strategies with longer-term public health measures


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Quartz

As more coronavirus patients were admitted to intensive care, Drayton Hammond, a clinical pharmacist in Chicago, Illinois, frantically tried to order more sedatives. At one point, his hospital was down to a single day’s supply of propofol, one of the main anesthetics used to keep Covid-19 patients comfortable while they’re connected to ventilators in intensive care. The hospital’s use of this drug had increased fivefold since the pandemic hit, forcing staff to ration supplies and use alternative drugs with worrying side effects.


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Boston Globe

On a recent spring evening, Caroline Brinkert held her 4-day-old daughter, Aila, up to a glass door. Aila was meeting her grandparents for the very first time. The baby’s grandmother leaned in and pressed her hand up to the glass, as if she might just be able to squeeze her tiny finger. Brinkert longed to let her in-laws inside her Natick home. She wanted to experience this moment as she’d always imagined it, before COVID-19 turned the world upside down. But everyone understood that the door must remain shut.


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New mothers now face the increased stress of spending the first few months with their newborns in the middle of a pandemic . Here the Boston Globe looks at a push to change the way that the “fourth trimester” is treated and efforts that began before the current situation.

The Wire

Bengaluru: In the last week of March, Sreenivas , a 30-year-old nurse, heard that the Mumbai government hospital where he worked was giving resident doctors a course of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ). The hospital said it was following a one-page advisory from India’s apex medical-research agency – the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) – on March 22 to administer the drug as prophylaxis for COVID-19.


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Medpage Today

Communities across the country must enact policies to ensure that hospitals and intensive care units have the resources – beds, ventilators, personal protective equipment – to manage COVID-19 patient surges. But our continued fight also brings another reality into focus: to beat the virus, we must preserve and improve primary care — in particular, by changing how we pay for it.


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The Conversation

The COVID-19 pandemic – and the resulting lockdowns – have had a major impact on research at institutions across the world, and universities in particular. Research is one of the pillars of academia. Important discoveries are made, careers are built and the opportunities to train students are virtually unlimited. Research is a way of life for many, their findings being fundamental to progress in all scientific fields which supports a vast range of industries and communities.


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Bloomberg

The WHO is seeking a new mission to China to hunt for the pathogen’s source


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University of Helsinki

Mutations in white blood cells can contribute to abnormal immune profile after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.


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STAT News

It was after midnight on a late summer night in 2017, and they had less than eight hours to get the cells by ambulance, private plane, and another ambulance from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston to Weill Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan. If it took longer, the cells would almost certainly be DOA, and so might the researchers’ plan to carry out an experimental transplant surgery unprecedented in the annals of medicine: replacing the dysfunctional brain cells of a Parkinson’s disease patient with the progeny of an extraordinary type of stem cell. Created in the lab from a patch of the patient’s own skin, these cells, it was hoped, would settle into the brain like they belonged there and permanently restore the patient’s ability to walk and move normally.


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One of the most fascinating areas of medicine is transplant, though it has moved beyond traditional organs such as kidneys. Here STAT’s Sharon Begley looks at an effort to combat Parkinson’s, including the race to get cells from Boston to New York.

Nature

Repositories are rapidly disseminating crucial pandemic science — and they’re screening more closely to guard against poor-quality work.


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Science

The international alarm about the COVID-19 pandemic was sounded first not by a human, but by a computer. HealthMap, a website run by Boston Children’s Hospital, uses artificial intelligence (AI) to scan social media, news reports, internet search queries, and other information streams for signs of disease outbreaks. On 30 December 2019, the data-mining program spotted a news report of a new type of pneumonia in Wuhan, China. The one-line email bulletin noted that seven people were in critical condition and rated the urgency at three on a scale of five.


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RTE

Coronavirus. A word so familiar to us all, it’s almost lost its meaning, except for the fact that it has changed our lives so drastically.


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The Conversation

All over the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen more and more people admitted to hospital, where the high infection rate of the virus makes use of personal protection equipment (PPE) vital for healthcare workers. PPE includes single-use gloves, aprons and gowns, surgical masks, respirators and face protectors in the form of glasses, goggles or face shields.


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Nature

Research begins to pick apart the mechanisms behind a deadly COVID-19 complication.


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NPR

This week, the question of mutation has been front and center in coverage of the coronavirus — from controversial claims about changes that make the virus more contagious to reassurances that any mutations are not yet consequential. Here are some of the questions being raised — and what the specialists can (and can’t yet) say to answer them.


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Deccan Herald

While the possibility for reduced spread of SARS-CoV-2 due to hot weather cannot be ruled out, it will be unwarranted to assume that COVID-19 will vanish down the summer, according to an Indian virologist.


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Nature

Close living quarters and a lack of testing among homeless people across the United States threaten the nation’s ability to control the pandemic, researchers say.


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Part of public health is identifying which populations are most vulnerable. Here Amy Maxmen reports on the plight of the homeless, and what researchers want to do to help protect them from COVID.

Scientific American

The virus that causes COVID-19 can persist in aerosol form, some studies suggest. But the potential for transmission depends on many factors, including infectiousness, dose and ventilation


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Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute

First ‘biomarker’ for regenerative medicine may help researchers identify the people most likely to benefit from stem cell treatment


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Nature

The software that powers scientific illustration The web-based tool BioRender has become a staple of biomedical research drawings.


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