Timing of immune response to COVID-19 may contribute to disease severity

A new USC study suggests that temporarily suppressing the body’s immune system during the early stages of COVID-19 could help a patient avoid severe symptoms. That’s because the research, just published online in the Journal of Medical Virology, shows that an interaction between the body’s two main lines of defense may be causing the immune…

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Schizophrenia drug combined with radiation shows promise in treating deadly brain tumors

Researchers at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and colleagues have found that adding a drug once commonly used to treat schizophrenia to traditional radiation therapy helped improve overall survival in mice with glioblastoma, one of the deadliest and most difficult-to-treat brain tumors. The findings, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, show…

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Hydroxychloroquine linked to increased risk of cardiac arrhythmias

Boston, Mass. — Since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a Public Health Concern of Global Interest on January 30, more than one million have tested positive for the illness in the United States, and more than 62,000 have died. With no FDA-approved treatments available to date, the anti-malarial drug, hydroxychloroquine, has emerged as a…

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Infectious disease modeling study casts doubt on impact of Justinianic plague

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Many have claimed the Justinianic Plague (c. 541-750 CE) killed half of the population of Roman Empire. Now, historical research and mathematical modeling challenge the death rate and severity of this first plague pandemic. Researchers Lauren White, PhD and Lee Mordechai, PhD, of the University of Maryland’s National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC),…

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NIH invests in rapid innovation and development for COVID-19 testing

UMass Medical School and UMass Lowell will perform a key role in a new National Institutes of Health initiative aimed at speeding innovation, development and commercialization of COVID-19 testing technologies via their Center for Advancing Point of Care Technologies collaboration. With a $1.5 billion investment from federal stimulus funding, the newly launched Rapid Acceleration of…

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New targets for childhood brain tumors identified

People with the genetic condition neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) are prone to developing tumors on nervous system tissue. A new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has found that the development and growth of such tumors are driven by nearby noncancerous neurons and immune cells. The findings point to potential new…

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Labs Across U.S. Join Federal Initiative to Study Coronavirus Genome

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday announced a national initiative to speed research into how the coronavirus was spreading around the country, bringing together at least 75 public health, academic and commercial institutions studying its genome. As the virus replicates, tiny mutations accumulate in its genetic code. Those differences help scientists trace…

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Female Genital Mutilation Outlawed in Sudan

CAIRO — Sudan’s new government has outlawed the practice of female genital mutilation, a move hailed as a major victory by women’s rights campaigners in a country where the often dangerous practice is widespread. The United Nations estimates that nearly nine in 10 Sudanese women have been subjected to the most invasive form of the…

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