Coronavirus reaches US, death toll climbs: Everything we know about the virus
medical gloved hand holding test tube labeled coronavirus

Scientists have yet to fully understand how destructive the new virus, known as 2019-nCoV, might be. A never-before-seen virus, detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has claimed 17 lives and infected hundreds of Chinese citizens with a pneumonia-like illness, according to China’s National Health Commission. The virus was first reported to the World Health Organization on Dec. 31 and has been under investigation since then. Chinese scientists have linked the disease to a family of viruses known as coronaviruses, the same family as the deadly SARS and MERS viruses.

Researchers and investigators are just beginning to understand where it originated, how it’s transmitted, how far it has spread and what its symptoms look like.

As of Jan. 22, case numbers have skyrocketed to over 544 in China and abroad. Chinese authorities also confirmed health workers have been infected with the virus, suggesting that it has achieved human-to-human transmission. As a result, authorities are taking steps to guard against its spread. On Jan. 23, the WHO will reconvene an emergency committee to explore whether the virus constitutes a public health emergency.

The situation is rapidly evolving. We’ve collated everything we know about the mystery virus, what’s next for researchers and some of the steps you can take to reduce your risk.

What is a coronavirus?

Coronaviruses belong to a family of viruses known as Coronaviridae and look like spiked rings under an electron microscope. They are so named because of these spikes, which form a halo around their viral envelope.

Coronaviruses contain a strand of RNA within their envelope and cannot reproduce without getting inside living cells and hijacking the machinery found within. The spikes on their viral envelope help them bind to cells, which gives them a way in. It’s like blasting the door open with C4. Once inside they turn the cell into a virus factory, using its molecular conveyor belt to produce more viruses which are then shipped out. The virus progeny infect another cell and the cycle starts anew.

Typically, these types of viruses are found in animals ranging from livestock to household pets and wildlife such as bats. When they make the jump to humans, they can cause fever, respiratory illness and inflammation in the lungs. In immunocompromised individuals, such as the elderly or those with HIV-AIDS, such viruses can cause severe respiratory illness.

Continue on to CNET to read the complete article.

A viral image of a Black fetus is highlighting the need for diversity in medical illustrations
medical illustration of a Black fetus in the womb.

By Harmeet Kaur, CNN

At first glance, the image looks like a standard drawing that could easily be found in the pages of a medical textbook or on the walls of a doctor’s office.

But what sets apart the illustration of a fetus in the womb that recently captured the attention of the internet is a simple, yet crucial, detail: its darker skin tone.

The image, created by Nigerian medical student and illustrator Chidiebere Ibe, struck a chord with countless people on social media, many of whom said that they had never seen a Black fetus or a Black pregnant woman depicted before. It also brought attention to a larger issue at hand: A lack of diversity in medical illustrations.

(While most fetuses are red in color — newborns come out dark pink or red and only gradually develop the skin tone they will have for life — the medical illustration is intended to represent patients who aren’t used to seeing their skin tones in such images.)

Ibe said in an interview with HuffPost UK that he didn’t expect to receive such an overwhelming response — his fetus illustration was one of many such images he’s created as a medical illustrator, most of which depict Black skin tones. But it underscored the importance of a mission he’s long been committed to.
“The whole purpose was to keep talking about what I’m passionate about — equity in healthcare — and also to show the beauty of Black people,” he told the publication. “We don’t only need more representation like this — we need more people willing to create representation like this.”

CNN reached out to Ibe for comment, but he did not expand on the topic further.
Ni-Ka Ford, diversity committee chair for the Association of Medical Illustrators, said that the organization was grateful for Ibe’s illustration.
“Along with the importance of representation of Black and Brown bodies in medical illustration, his illustration also serves to combat another major flaw in the medical system, that being the staggering disproportionate maternal mortality rate of Black women in this country,” she wrote in an email to CNN.

What medical illustration is
Medical illustrations have been used for thousands of years to record and communicate procedures, pathologies and other facets of medical knowledge, from the ancient Egyptians to Leonardo da Vinci. Science and art are combined to translate complex information into visuals that can communicate concepts to students, practitioners and the public. These images are used not just in textbooks and scientific journals, but also films, presentations and other mediums.

There are fewer than 2,000 trained medical illustrators in the world, according to the Association of Medical Illustrators. With only a handful of accredited medical illustration programs in North America, which tend to be expensive and admit few students, the field has historically been dominated by people who are White and male — which, in turn, means the bodies depicted have usually been so, too.

Click here to read the full article on CNN.

A Second HIV Patient Has Cleared the Virus Without Antiviral Drugs
Computer animated HIV virus

According to a report published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, a now 31-year-old woman who was diagnosed with HIV in 2013 only took antiretroviral therapy for six months during pregnancy to prevent transmitting the infection to her baby. Yet multiple sophisticated tests looking for genetic evidence of HIV in the patient’s blood showed no intact virus in her cells, says Dr. Xu Yu, who led the research team reporting on the case. She’s a principal investigator at the Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT and Harvard, as well as an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. The findings suggest that the patient’s immune system was even able to clear the reservoirs of HIV that allow the virus to continue replicating for decades. Current anti-HIV drugs can lower virus levels to undetectable levels but can’t completely rid the body of these lingering reservoirs of the virus.

“There is no way to ever say we have proof that there is not a single virus in this patient,” says Yu. “The only thing we can say is that after analyzing a large number of cells from the patient, with the technology in our lab we cannot reject the hypothesis that the patient probably reached a sterilizing cure by natural immunity.”

There have been previous reports of patients who stopped taking anti-HIV medications and achieved undetectable virus levels for years, including Timothy Ray Brown, who’s also known as “the Berlin patient,” and Adam Castillejo, “the London patient.” Both, however, had been diagnosed with cancer and benefited from having a stem cell transplant to treat it, which replaced their immune cells with ones from donors that included cells that could block HIV infection. They also likely continued to harbor latent reservoirs of HIV, which have been eliminated in the patient Yu is describing.

The woman is the second patient to apparently clear the virus in this way. Yu’s team described the first person, known as “the San Francisco patient,” in 2020. This second patient, who’s from Esperanza, Argentina, is working with Yu’s team and continues to provide blood samples for ongoing research studies. She is currently pregnant with her second child, and Yu and the patient’s doctors are discussing whether her remarkable, apparently virus-free condition means she won’t need to take anti-HIV drugs before and during delivery (which guidelines currently recommend for pregnant women who are HIV positive). The Esperanza patient will also provide the team with samples of her breast milk so the scientists can determine if it contains any virus.

Yu’s team has analyzed 1.5 billion blood and tissue cells from the Esperanza patient since 2017, searching for any hints of whole genetic virus material that would indicate a virus that could potentially still be active and replicate again. But they failed to find such evidence. They did, however, find fragments of viral genes that indicated this patient was infected with HIV at one point. They found similar clues in the San Francisco patient.

Yu cautions that the findings may not be generalizable to most HIV patients. Both of her patients belong to a group known as elite controllers, or people who are able to suppress HIV at very low, often undetectable levels with their immune systems, without the help of anti-HIV drugs. Researchers around the world are studying these people intensively; it’s not clear what percentage of those infected with the virus are able to naturally contain it with their immune systems, but Yu believes that the two patients she described suggest that there may be more. She’s hoping that hearing about the first two will encourage others to get tested and studied, so scientists can better understand what aspect of their immune systems are providing such an effective way to block HIV.

“Many immune factors could be playing a role,” she says. “Now that we have a second case, there are probably many cases out there that may not know they have a sterilizing cure. Some may not even be aware they are infected. We are hoping to attract more patients; if we have a cohort of these extremely rare cases, then that will allow us to really analyze their immune responses in more depth and breadth and hopefully give us a hint about what immune factors contribute most to this status. Then we can apply what we learn to the general population.”

Click here to read the full article on Time.

Scientists took the first steps toward pig-to-human kidney transplants
For the first time, surgeons successfully attached a kidney from a genetically modified pig to a human patient


For the first time, surgeons successfully attached a kidney from a genetically modified pig to a human patient — a major scientific breakthrough, and one that could open up a new way to provide organs to sick people.

Scientists got the kidney from a pig genetically engineered so that it wouldn’t produce a sugar called alpha-gal, which the human immune system attacks and would trigger the body to reject the organ. Surgeons at NYU attached the organ to a brain-dead patient on a ventilator whose family agreed to the experimental procedure. It was connected outside of her body to blood vessels on her leg, and observed over a period of 54 hours.

The recipient’s body didn’t immediately reject the kidney, and the kidney functioned normally for the hours it was attached. “There didn’t seem to be any kind of incompatibility between the pig kidney and the human that would make it not work,” said Robert Montgomery the director of the NYU Langone Transplant Institute, according to The New York Times. “There wasn’t immediate rejection of the kidney.”

There are still many open questions: it’s not clear if the organ would last over an extended period of time inside the body. While the kidney worked for the time it was attached, organ rejection can happen over years — and can happen even if the donor and the recipient are perfect matches. The details of the procedure haven’t been reviewed or published in a medical journal.

Experts are also considering the ethical implications of this type of animal-to-human procedure. Karen Maschke, a research scholar at the Hastings Center, has a grant to develop ethics and policy recommendations for clinical trials of these transplants.

But the procedure was still a landmark step in efforts to perform animal-to-human transplants, called xenotransplantation. Animal heart valves have been used in human procedures for decades, but those can be chemically treated to kill living cells and prevent rejections. Organs, made of living tissue, are more complicated. Proponents of the efforts envision a steady supply of organs from animals, which could help the thousands of people on waitlists for transplants. They could be a lifeline for the hundreds of thousands of people with kidney failure who rely on dialysis.

Click here to read the full article on the verge.

Visual representation of darker skin is key
doctor showing a darker skinned patient some information on a digital tablet

MNT spoke with Dr. Nada Elbuluk, a dermatologist specializing in skin of color, about education, trust, and the underrepresentation of People of Color in research.

Disparities and inequities pervade every area of health, and dermatology is no exception. In fact, insufficient visual representation of conditions that affect darker skin, coupled with many other inequities in healthcare, has led to particularly stark disparities in health outcomes for People of Color.

Although skin cancer tends to affect more non-Hispanic white people than non-Hispanic Black or Asian people, when it does affect People of Color, doctors tend to diagnose it at a much later stage.

For example, doctors diagnose around one-quarter of melanoma cases in African American people when the cancer has already spread to nearby lymph nodes. This is according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

The condition is harder to treat at these later stages, resulting in poorer outcomes for People of Color. The 5-year survival rate for people with skin cancer that has not spread to the lymph nodes is 99%, but this drops to 66% if it does spread.

According to the most recent statistics from the American Cancer Society, white adults in the United States with melanoma have a 5-year survival rate of 92%, while this rate drops to just 67% for African American people.

Systemic discrimination and the bias that the medical community displays toward white skin also mean that white people are twice as likely to see a dermatologist, for example, than Black and Hispanic individuals. This is according to a study from 2018.

Furthermore, the current pandemic has made cancer screenings even more infrequent, which could exacerbate these disparities. For instance, diagnoses of melanoma dropped by more than 67% in 2020 as a result of COVID-19.

In this context, Medical News Today spoke with Dr. Nada Elbuluk — a skin of color expert, practicing dermatologist, and dermatology professor at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles — about the causes of health disparities in dermatology and how to remedy them.

We also spoke with Dr. Elbuluk about Project IMPACT. This is a global initiative that she helped launch to reduce racial disparities and bias in dermatology education and medical practice. Dr. Elbuluk is Project IMPACT’s director of clinical impact.

Continue on to Medical News Today to read the complete article.

Fauci wins Webby ‘Person of the Year’
Dr Anthony Fauci standing behind a podium speaking with an american flag behind him


Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical adviser and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), has been named Webby’s “Person of the Year.”

The company announced the news on Tuesday, saying Fauci was given the distinction for his efforts serving as a trusted voice during the COVID-19 pandemic, by fact-checking false coronavirus claims from former President Trump and for doing interviews with celebrities spreading information about the virus.

“By taking interviews with influencers, celebrities and YouTube creators on their platforms, Dr. Fauci has provided authoritative information on COVID-19 and vaccine development to younger audiences across the Internet,” Webby said in its announcement.

“For his selfless work in combating harmful misinformation about the global spread of COVID-19 as one of the few credible sources, it is our great privilege to honor Dr. Anthony Fauci as the 2021 Webby Person of the Year.”

The award is given annually to “an individual or group of individuals who have instigated and catalyzed great achievement on the Internet,” according to its website.

Past Webby “Person of The Year” winners include late-night host Stephen Colbert, comedian Louis C.K. and singer-songwriter Frank Ocean, among others.

Click here to read the full article on The Hill.

U.S. Will Protect Gay And Transgender People Against Discrimination In Health Care
The Biden administration says the government will protect gay and transgender people against sex discrimination in health care. In this 2017 photo, Equality March for Unity and Pride participants march past the White House in Washington.

By Becky Sullivan and Selena Simmons-Duffin, NPR

Gay and transgender people will be protected from discrimination in health care, the Biden administration announced Monday, effectively reversing a Trump-era rule that went into effect last year.

The announcement from the Department of Health and Human Services concerns one of the most notable parts of the Affordable Care Act — the provision in Section 1557 that prevents health care providers and insurance companies from discriminating on the basis “race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in certain health programs and activities.”

Effective immediately, the agency says it will interpret that provision to encompass discrimination against someone on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity in health care.

“Fear of discrimination can lead individuals to forgo care, which can have serious negative health consequences,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement. “It is the position of the Department of Health and Human Services that everyone — including LGBTQ people — should be able to access health care, free from discrimination or interference, period.”

Officials at HHS framed the change as updating the agency’s interpretation of existing law to bring it into alignment with Bostock v. Clayton County, last year’s landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. That ruling found that LGBTQ people are protected by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 banning discrimination on the basis of sex.

“It is impossible to discriminate against a person for being homosexual or transgender without discriminating against that individual based on sex,” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote in the ruling.

That decision last June came down just a few days after the Trump administration finalized a rule removing nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people in health care. Though it technically took effect in August, multiple courts have since issued preliminary injunctions blocking some parts of the rule.

“The Supreme Court has made clear that people have a right not to be discriminated against on the basis of sex and receive equal treatment under the law, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation. That’s why today HHS announced it will act on related reports of discrimination,” Becerra said.

HHS joins other federal agencies in implementing similar guidance after President Biden signed an executive order called “Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation” on his first day in office. The departments of Housing and Urban Development and Justice both issued memoranda earlier this year; in March, the Pentagon overturned the Trump-era rules that effectively banned transgender people from serving in the military.

At HHS, the new interpretation announced Monday puts the agency in position to more aggressively investigate and enforce LBGTQ discrimination complaints.

“We are open for business,” Robinsue Frohboese, acting director in the HHS Office for Civil Rights, said in an interview with NPR. “Ensuring the protections of individuals, of non-discrimination based on their gender identity and sexual orientation, is a critical part of our civil rights mission.”

The Biden administration has yet to put forward a formal rule on this issue. Normally, federal agencies must follow a lengthy process for issuing new rules and regulations. The Trump administration’s rule, which took effect in August, took about a year to finalize and is still technically on the books.

“This is a policy announcement by the administration to say that this is the way that they read the statute and the way that they’ll enforce it — and they can begin doing that without a rule,” said Valarie Blake, a law professor at West Virginia University. “But I anticipate that they’ll promulgate a new rule anyway that gives a little more shape to what sex discrimination means.”

Frohboese declined to say whether the agency is planning to propose a new rule, saying only that the administration is “actively considering” doing so.

The Trump-era rule was itself a reversal of an Obama-era executive action. The Trump administration had worked to define protections against sex discrimination throughout government to exclude LGBTQ people.

When that rule was finalized last year, LGBTQ people and advocates criticized the change, saying it could have a chilling effect on gay and transgender people seeking needed health care.

“Our mission as the Department of Health and Human Services is to enhance the health and well-being of all Americans, including LGBTQ individuals and everyone. Everyone needs access to health care. No one should be discriminated against in this. This change in rules and regulations will help us do that,” said Dr. Rachel Levine, assistant secretary for health, who in March became the first openly transgender person to serve in a Senate-confirmed position.

Advocacy groups such as the ACLU and Lambda Legal applauded Monday’s announcement but continued to push for a full rollback of the Trump administration’s rule. In addition to limiting the definition of sex discrimination, the change under Trump included a number of other provisions, such as eliminating a requirement to include notice of nondiscrimination policies in multiple languages in health-related mailings and reducing the number of entities covered by the law’s nondiscrimination provision.

“The significant step taken today is just one step in what is a long road to undo the undermining of health care protections for all people under the Trump administration,” Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, an attorney with Lambda Legal, said in a statement.

Click here to read the full article on NPR.

First baby in U.S. born with antibodies against COVID-19 after mom receives dose of Moderna vaccine while pregnant
A needle is being filled with the COVID-19 vaccine. The hand holding the vaccine bottle is wearing a purple glove.


At 36 weeks pregnant, a South Florida frontline health care worker received her first shot of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. She gave birth three weeks later to a healthy baby girl — with COVID-19 antibodies.

Doctors believe the newborn marks the first known case of a baby born with coronavirus antibodies in the U.S., which may offer her some protection against the virus.

Photo : Getty Images

Dr. Paul Giblert and Dr. Chad Rudnick presented their findings in a preprint study, meaning it has not yet been peer-reviewed. They found that the antibodies were detected at the time of delivery, after analyzing blood from the baby’s umbilical cord taken immediately after birth and before placenta delivery.
“We have demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies are detectable in a newborn’s cord blood sample after only a single dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine,” they concluded. “Thus, there is potential for protection and infection risk reduction from Sars-CoV-2 with maternal vaccination.”

The doctors emphasize, however, that more research is needed to verify the safety and efficacy of the coronavirus vaccines during pregnancy.

It was already known that mothers previously infected with COVID-19 can pass antibodies on to their newborns. Additionally, the passage of antibodies from mother to baby through the placenta is well documented in other vaccines, including that for influenza, so doctors were hopeful the same newborn protection would be possible after maternal vaccination against COVID-19.
“It really starts aligning the COVID vaccine with those vaccines that we already use in pregnant women like the flu vaccine,” Dr. Neeta Ogden, an internal medicine specialist and immunologist, told CBSN on Wednesday. “We really need, and it is clear that we need, significant data on how safe it is in pregnant women.”
These early results may help give pregnant women more reason to consider getting the vaccine.

“This also is hopeful because it offers a level of protection to one of the most vulnerable populations, the newborn,” Ogden said, emphasizing the need to further study in pregnant women during this pandemic.

Since we don’t have COVID vaccines approved for children yet, she said, “If we can see this kind of safe maternal transmission of antibodies from the vaccine to newborns, I think that’s really a great step in the right direction.”
Other recent studies, also shared in preprint and not yet peer-reviewed, support the findings.

Massachusetts General Hospital recently studied 131 women — 84 pregnant, 31 breastfeeding and 16 non-pregnant — who all received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. They found equally strong immune responses in the pregnant and lactating women as the control group. Additionally, antibodies were present in the placenta and breastmilk of every sample taken.

“Maternal vaccine-generated antibodies were detected in the umbilical cord blood of all 10 babies who delivered during our study period,” co-author Dr. Andrea Edlow, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital, told CBS News on Wednesday. “Our data suggest that receiving both shots of the mRNA vaccine leads to improved antibody transfer to newborns.”

Read the full article at  CBSNEWS.

Gaming healthcare: Virtual reality gives surgeons life-like training
Shot of male professor and four medical students wearing VR goggles and studying human bones anatomy. Multiethnical team of doctors exam human

By , Tech Republic

Gamer-turned-doctor created a company that helps physicians become better at their jobs, especially during a pandemic.

TechRepublic’s Karen Roby spoke with Dr. Justin Barad, surgeon, CEO, and co-founder of Osso VR, about using virtual reality to train surgeons. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation.

Karen Roby: Tell us about how VR is helping when it comes to training physicians and then we’ll get into how you got into this.

Justin Barad: We really try and lead by problem, at Osso VR, we practice something called need-based innovation. I think describing how training works in healthcare today can help explain what we’re trying to do at Osso. The problem that we’re facing when it comes to training healthcare professionals, and this is anything really from putting in an IV to doing complex robotic surgery, are really four dynamics currently. The first is, there is simply too much to learn, so in a way, we’re victims of our own success.

If you think about it, scientific and technological progress are constantly expanding the library of procedures healthcare professionals are just expected to know how to do on-demand. I always tell this story, this is a very extreme example, but I was one day just eating lunch minding my own business when I was paged urgently to the zoo to operate on a gorilla that had been pushed off a cliff, we’re driving down to the zoo, I didn’t know I was expected to be able to operate on gorillas, there’s a lot of Googling going on and that went great. That’s a whole other probably interview for another time.

The view inside a virtual reality training surgery on a leg. TechRepublic's Karen Roby spoke with Dr. Justin Barad, surgeon, CEO and co-founder of Osso VR, about using virtual reality to train surgeons
The view inside a virtual reality training surgery on a leg. TechRepublic’s Karen Roby spoke with Dr. Justin Barad, surgeon, CEO and co-founder of Osso VR, about using virtual reality to train surgeons. Image: Osso VR

What that highlighted for me is that every day in healthcare, we’re dealing with a gorilla-like situation, either a surgery we’ve never done before, a type of pathology or anatomy that we’re unfamiliar with or haven’t seen in a while. That was a really eye-opening moment for me. The second part of the problem is that modern procedures, modern surgery is a lot more complicated than those of the past, so learning curves are getting a lot longer, in some cases, 10 times longer. A recent study showed that to become proficient in a modern, minimally invasive procedure for something like maybe hip replacement, you have to do the surgery 50 to a 100 times to do it proficiently. And that wasn’t people in training, that was a fully trained specialized joint surgeon, still needed to do it 50 to 100 times, yet the way that we train is still the same. It’s a century old.

The third part of the problem, and this is often very shocking to people outside of healthcare, is that there is almost no assessment of technical skills whatsoever at any point. To give you an example, in my career as a surgeon and I can’t wait to tell you the story of how this all came to be, but the only time I’ve really been objectively assessed for my technical ability, I was asked to play the board game operation and remove the funny bone piece without buzzing, which I did and I’m very proud of.

Click here to read the

12 Important Updates For World Cancer Day
watercolor colorful world map

Today is World Cancer Day. The theme of this year’s observance is “Together, all our actions matter.”

The message supports the understanding that everyone can take steps — big or small — to reduce the worldwide cancer burden.

This goal may be even more important due to the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on cancer care.

“It appears quite certain that disruptions to cancer services in the past year will lead to diagnosis at later stages, which — in turn — will translate into higher cancer-related mortality,” Prof. Anil D’Cruz, president of Union for International Cancer Control and director of oncology at Apollo Hospitals in India, said in a press release. “Worse still, the wider economic impact of the pandemic on cancer care in all probability will be felt for many years to come, even in high-income countries. In low- and middle-income countries, the impact is unfathomable. However, it is heartening to see the incredible response of the cancer community to mitigate these consequences. … Their stories are inspiring and these organizations need all the support we can provide to keep doing their incredible work.”

Union for International Cancer Control created World Cancer Day in 2000.

Part of the effort focuses on healthy lifestyle choices, such as getting sufficient physical activity, following a healthy diet, protecting against sun exposure, limiting alcohol consumption and avoiding tobacco.

Other objectives include educating the public about the signs and symptoms of cancer to ensure early detection and treatment, encouraging elected representatives to commit ample resources to reduce cancer mortality, and increasing awareness that lifestyle behaviors can have a considerable effect on cancer risk.

In conjunction with World Cancer Day, Healio and HemOnc Today present the following updates that provide insights into strategies that could help reduce the global cancer burden.

  1. Adhering to the basic principles of a Mediterranean diet prevented disease progression among men with localized prostate cancer on active surveillance. Read more.
  2. A coalition of 76 cancer organizations released an open letter urging Americans to make cancer care a priority amid the COVID-19 pandemic, emphasizing the benefits of screening and timely treatment far outweigh the risks. Read more.
  3. Greater adherence to a diabetes risk-reduction diet appeared associated with increased OS among a cohort of breast cancer survivors. Read more.
  4. Obesity-associated cancers are an emergent problem among younger adults. Read more.
  5. Patients who underwent lung cancer screening had a significant reduction in mortality associated with the disease, although it came with the potential for overdiagnosis. Read more.
  6. A poor-quality diet appeared associated with an increased risk for early-onset, high-risk distal and rectal adenomas. Read more.
  7. Physical activity before and after breast cancer treatment appeared associated with significant reductions in recurrence and mortality rates among a cohort of patients with high-risk disease. Read more.
  8. An updated American Cancer Society guideline increases the amount of weekly physical activity recommended to reduce cancer risk. The guideline also suggested individuals reduce consumption of red and processed meat, sugar-sweetened beverages, processed foods and alcohol. Read more.
  9. Recreational physical activity appeared associated with improved survival outcomes among women with endometrial cancer. Read more.
  10. Cancer survivors often overestimate the quality of their diets, reporting a higher-than-actual intake of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Read more.
  11. A healthy diet appeared associated with a decreased risk for prostate cancer. Read more.
  12. The risk for colorectal cancer increased with cigarette smoking. Read more.

Read the full article at Healio.

Artificial Kidney Could Supplant Dialysis, The Decades-Old Standard Treatment For Kidney Failure
Image of kidneys blue background

Ira Kurtz, MD, chief of Nephrology at UCLA Health, believes the kidney is the human body’s most fascinating organ — even smarter, he says, than the brain.

For Dr. Kurtz and his colleagues, the holy grail long has been the development of a wearable and an implantable artificial kidney to replace the cumbersome dialysis process that has been the standard treatment for renal failure since the 1950s.

Now, after a five-year collaboration between the US Kidney Research Corporation, the University of Arkansas and UCLA Health, Dr. Kurtz and a team of researchers are on the verge of achieving that goal with the introduction of an artificial kidney that can be worn inside a backpack. If things proceed as hoped, within a few years a similar device could be implanted in the body as an artificial organ.

In July 2019, U.S. nephrologists celebrated when then-President Donald Trump announced in an executive order that his administration wanted to transform the care for 37 million Americans suffering from kidney disease, which kills more people annually than most cancers.

“It made a major splash in the renal community because it was the first time kidney care had really reached that kind of level in the government,” Dr. Kurtz said.

With the U.S. government spending an estimated $114 billion in Medicare payments each year to care for patients with kidney disease, it seemed like a prudent move.

“The total amount the federal government spends on kidney care is approximately 20% of Medicare’s trillion a year budget,” Dr. Kurtz said. “It’s billions with a B. So this is one reason the federal government wants changes to be made. For the first time, all the forces started coming together. The government, universities, and industry-recognized we have to do something. We can’t continue managing patients the same way we have for 50 years or more. Everything we do is the same as when I was trained in the ’70s. There’s nothing new. It’s the same hemodialysis, the same peritoneal dialysis.”

The lack of progress over the years in treating people with kidney failure can be attributed, in part, to the characteristics that Dr. Kurtz finds most interesting about the organ. The kidneys act as a complex chemistry and biology lab – recognizing numerous substances (water, ions, and organic molecules) that need to be excreted in the urine, thereby keeping the blood chemistry relatively constant. That makes the human heart seem like a much simpler organ, “just a pump,” he said.

Read the full article at UCLA Health.

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Upcoming Events

  1. City Career Fair
    January 19, 2022 - November 4, 2022
  2. AEC Next Technology Expo & Conference, International Lidar Mapping Forum, and SPAR 3D Expo & Conference
    February 6, 2022 - February 8, 2022
  3. From Day One
    February 9, 2022
  4. The Small Business Expo–Multiple Event Dates
    February 17, 2022 - December 1, 2022
  5. From Day One
    February 22, 2022
  6. CSUN Center on Disabilities 2022 Conference
    March 13, 2022 - March 18, 2022