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Combining Remdesivir With Other Meds Could Boost COVID-Fighting Power

A combination drug therapy for COVID-19 aims to both prevent the virus from spreading inside the human body as well as quelling the immune system havoc that the germ wreaks.

A U.S. federally funded clinical trial is testing whether the experimental antiviral drug remdesivir works better against COVID-19 if given with a powerful anti-inflammatory drug called baricitinib.


Could Umbilical Cord Blood Help Ease Autism?

A study testing umbilical cord blood as an autism treatment has found hints of potential benefits for some kids -- but the researchers say much more work is needed to get firmer answers.

The study, of 180 children, found that a single infusion of cord blood did not improve social or communication skills across the group as a whole. But there were positive signs in the subgroup of kids...

Smell Diminishes by Day 3 of COVID-19, Study Says

Sense of smell most often diminishes by the third day of infection with the new coronavirus, and many patients also lose their sense of taste at the same time, a new study finds.

The findings may help identify patients most likely to benefit from antiviral treatment, according to the researchers.

"The relationship between decreased sense of smell and the rest of the COVID-19...

Pandemic Is Putting Cutting-Edge Cancer Research on Hold: Survey

COVID-19 has at least temporarily shut down more than half of cancer research, according to an American Cancer Society (ACS) survey.

The survey, conducted in early April, was completed by close to 500 cancer researchers who have received ACS funding. It revealed that:

  • 54% were working from home.
  • 32% were working both at home and in their lab.
  • ...

Could Survivors' Blood Help Patients Battling COVID-19? Trials May Tell

Could blood plasma drawn from people who've recovered from COVID-19 help prevent new coronavirus infections or ease symptoms in those already infected?

Two groups of researchers aim to find out.

One clinical trial, from doctors at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, Montefiore Health System and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, will try to determine whether ...

Monkey Trials Offer New Hope for HIV Vaccine

An experimental vaccine seems to give monkeys extended protection from an HIV-like infection -- by "waking up" an arm of the immune system that vaccines normally do not.

Experts cautioned that animal research often does not pan out in humans. The decades of work toward an HIV vaccine has been a clear example. But, researchers said, this vaccine works differently, targeting two "arms" ...

A COVID-19 Vaccine by Fall Is Possible, But at What Cost?

Efforts to create a COVID-19 vaccine are proceeding at an unprecedented pace, with eight different candidates now being tested in humans around the world.

But to have a vaccine available for widespread use by early next year could entail bending some rules regarding safety and testing -- actions that might put the health, and possibly the lives, of test volunteers at risk.


Antiviral Trio Shows Mettle Against COVID-19

A triple whammy of three antiviral drugs shows promise in fighting mild to moderate COVID-19, a new, small study suggests.

Two weeks of interferon beta-1b, lopinavir-ritonavir and ribavirin -- along with standard care -- was tested in 127 adult patients in six Hong Kong hospitals.

The triple antiviral treatment was started within seven days of the patients showing COVID-19 s...

Pangolins Hold Clues to How COVID-19 Began -- and Might End

They're small spiny mammals that look like anteaters with scales.

And pangolins -- which some credit with playing a role in the emergence of the new coronavirus -- might hold clues to fighting COVID-19.

Genetic research into the new coronavirus has suggested that it originated in bats, found its way into pangolins sold at Chinese "wet markets," and then migrated into humans....

First Good Evidence That Brain Hits 'Replay' While You Sleep

If you've ever wondered what your brain is doing while you sleep, a new study gives the first direct evidence that it's busy "replaying" our waking experiences.

The finding comes from a research project called BrainGate, which is testing new technology for people who are paralyzed or have lost a limb. Participants have "micro-electrodes" implanted in their brains, to allow them to exe...

Researchers Move Toward Once-Yearly Treatment for HIV

Researchers have reformulated an HIV medication into a version they hope can eventually be taken as infrequently as once a year.

The work is only in the early stages, having been studied in lab animals. But the goal is to create an HIV drug that can be injected annually -- offering protection from infection or control of the virus in people who already have it.

The researche...

High-Tech Prosthetic Arm Melds With Patient's Anatomy

A new "mind-controlled" prosthetic arm can allow amputees to regain a sense of touch and move through their daily lives more easily, researchers report.

The success story involves just three patients in Sweden. But all have lived with the artificial limb for three to seven years -- using it for everything from work to skiing, canoeing and ice fishing.


Will Remdesivir Help COVID-19 Patients? Two Reports Provide Different Answers

Two new reports have produced conflicting results on the potential effectiveness of remdesivir, an experimental antiviral drug considered to be one of the leading hopes in the fight against COVID-19.

Disappointing results emerged from the first gold-standard clinical trial for remdesivir, which found that the drug did not help patients in China with severe COVID-19. Those findings wer...

UV Light Won't Treat COVID-19 -- But It Might Disinfect Medical Gear

Supplies of personal protective equipment remain scarce across the United States, especially the N95 respirator masks that health care workers use to protect themselves from the new coronavirus.

To help extend the useful life of available equipment, researchers and hospitals are turning to a long-known, if little-used, means of disinfection -- ultraviolet radiation.

"It's ge...

Saliva-Based COVID-19 Test Might Be Alternative to Deep Nasal Swab

Testing for the COVID-19 coronavirus can be an unpleasant affair, with a doctor or nurse shoving a cotton swab deep into your nasal cavity to get a good sample.

But results that are just as accurate can be obtained from a more easily acquired saliva sample, a new Yale study reports.

Saliva samples taken from just inside the mouth were more accurate and consistent than deep n...

He Recovered From COVID-19. Can His Blood Help Others?

Domenico Piccininni is one of the hundreds of thousands of people who have had a COVID-19 infection and recovered after a bit of misery, but with no lasting complications.

What sets him apart from many other survivors is that Piccininni is trying to help people who now have more severe COVID-19 infections.

On Thursday, the Atlanta-area resident donated his plasma. Plasma i...

Lots of Drugs Are Being Tested Against COVID-19 -- But Will Any Work?

Dozens of drugs are being investigated for their value in treating COVID-19, as desperation drives doctors and researchers to look for something that could battle the virus and save lives.

"There are really no FDA-approved medications for the treatment of COVID-19, unfortunately," said Ashley Barlow, a pharmacy resident with the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. "We'...

More Good News on Remdesivir's Power to Treat COVID-19

Preliminary data from two clinical trials using the antiviral drug remdesivir to treat COVID-19 patients is encouraging, researchers report.

One trial is providing the drug to patients with moderate illness and the other focuses on patients with severe illness.

A number of the patients are now recovering and have been released from the hospital. While it's too early to tell...

The Lowdown on COVID-19 Treatments

There's a lot of confusion about medications and COVID-19, so experts offer some answers.

There are no proven drug treatments for the illness caused by the new coronavirus, so doctors sometimes use drugs approved for other conditions to treat seriously ill COVID-19 patients. This is called off-label use.

One drug being investigated as a possible COVID-19 treatment is hydroxy...

Laser Process May Kill Bacteria on Metal Surfaces

Researchers have come up with a new twist on antibacterial technology.

By giving a metal surface a different texture, the team at Purdue University in Indiana said it may be possible to turn that surface into an immediate bacteria killer.

The technique won't kill viruses like the one responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, because they are much smaller than bacteria, the res...

Experimental Drug Shows Promise for Schizophrenia

An experimental drug may ease a range of symptoms that strike people with schizophrenia, without the side effects of existing medications, an early clinical trial suggests.

Researchers found that, over one month, the drug helped manage the different ways in which schizophrenia manifests -- from delusions and hallucinations, to flattened emotions and social withdrawal.

Among ...

Why Remdesivir Might Be a Good Bet Against COVID-19

New research sheds light on why the experimental drug remdesivir might become the most powerful weapon in the fight against COVID-19: It is highly effective against an enzyme that plays a crucial role in the spread of the new coronavirus.

Remdesivir is one of several drugs being fast-tracked in various coronavirus treatment trials around the world. Just last week, a small, "compassion...

Long Periods in Space Alter Astronauts' Brains

Long periods of time in space may cause brain volume increases in astronauts, new research shows.

Extended periods in space have long been known to cause vision problems. And more than half of International Space Station crew members have reported vision changes.

Increased pressure inside the head might contribute to vision problems, scientists have suggested.

To l...

When U.S. Re-Opens, Will Those Exposed to Coronavirus Have Lasting Immunity?

Once you've had COVID-19 and recovered, are you now immune from the virus?

That's the critical question that will help shape how the United States re-opens for business in the coming months.

Unfortunately, there's still no clear answer.

It's still too soon to tell if the first wave of COVID-19 survivors will remain immune to the virus for any appreciable length of ...

High-Tech Rings Are Tracking COVID-19 'Warning Signs'

Researchers are gathering data from thousands of Americans to create an "early warning system" that can identify people in the early stages of COVID-19.

More than 12,000 people -- including thousands of health care workers in California and West Virginia -- are already wearing specially designed Oura rings that track their temperature, breathing, heart and activity.

"Our fi...

Why Will It Take So Long for a COVID-19 Vaccine?

Public health officials have been warning that a COVID-19 vaccine will not be available to the public for 12 to 18 months, dampening hopes that there will be a quick end to the global pandemic nightmare.

But Chinese researchers cracked the virus' genetic code within weeks of its emergence late last year, and two vaccine candidates are already in early human...

Trials Begin for Potential COVID-19 Drug Remdesivir

A drug originally developed to treat Ebola is getting a second chance in the spotlight, as research teams in the United States, Asia and Europe race to test it against the new coronavirus.

The drug, called remdesivir, has already been given to a limited number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19, on a "compassionate use" basis. That included the first U.S. patient diagnosed with th...

How One Patient's Battle With COVID-19 Changed U.S. Testing Protocols

The first community-acquired case of COVID-19 in the United States posed many questions for doctors, but the answers they found led to key changes in federal guidelines for coronavirus testing, according to a case study.

The patient was an otherwise healthy woman in her 40s who was admitted to University of California (UC) Davis Health with a respiratory infection. Doctors suspected c...

Coronavirus Hangs Around Even After Symptoms Subside

Even after people with mild cases of COVID-19 feel better, new research shows that half still have the virus for up to eight days after symptoms are gone.

That's the conclusion of a small international study of 16 COVID-19 patients in China. The researchers took several throat swabs from all of them.

"The most significant finding from our study is that half of the patient...

Another COVID-19 Vaccine Being Tested in Mice

Yet another potential vaccine against the new coronavirus is in early development -- one that researchers say could be rapidly made and distributed if it proves effective.

The vaccine has only been tested in lab mice, but it's able to spur the animals' immune systems to produce antibodies against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Researchers at the University of Pittsbur...

More Evidence COVID-19 Survivors' Blood Could Help Very Ill Patients

A small study out of China bolsters the notion that transfusing the antibody-enriched blood of people who've survived COVID-19 could help patients still fighting for their lives against the disease.

The study of five critically ill patients from near the initial epicenter of the novel coronavirus pandemic found that all five patients survived COVID-19 following the transfusion.


Coronavirus Isn't Even 'Alive,' But Expert Explains How It Can Harm

It has spread across the globe in just a few short months, sickening hundreds of thousands, but the new coronavirus has the dubious distinction of not really being a living organism, biologists say.

"Viruses aren't considered alive -- in class, I call them pseudo-alive," said Eric Mendenhall, an associate professor of biological sciences at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.


An Expert's Guide to Fact-Checking Coronavirus Info Online

With bogus information about the new coronavirus spreading fast online, how can you separate fact from fiction?

A communications expert at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg said identifying reliable and useful sources of information is key. Here's her advice:

"Be skeptical of social media posts about the COVID-19 virus, even those that have the superficial look of news items, and...

Your Teeth Are a Permanent Archive of Your Life: Study

Your teeth provide a detailed account of your life, much as a tree's rings record its history, a groundbreaking study shows.

"A tooth is not a static and dead portion of the skeleton. It continuously adjusts and responds to physiological processes," said lead study author Paola Cerrito, a doctoral candidate studying anthropology and dentistry at New York University (NYU) in New York ...

Many Drugs Already Approved by FDA May Have Promise Against COVID-19

Two new studies each suggest that dozens of drugs already approved for use in the United States may prove effective against the new coronavirus.

"Repurposing these FDA-approved drugs could be a fast way to get treatment to patients who otherwise have no option," explained the co-author of one of the studies, Dr. Hesham Sadek. He's professor in the departments of internal medicine, mol...

Could COVID-19 Survivors' Blood Help Save Very Ill Patients?

As more people recover from COVID-19, that means more people should have antibodies against the virus. And it's possible that blood donations from those survivors could help protect or treat other people, according to some infectious disease experts.

The general notion is far from new. In the first half of the 20th century, doctors used "convalescent serum" in an effort to treat peopl...

New Coronavirus Wasn't Made in a Lab, Genomic Study Shows

Despite internet rumors to the contrary, the new coronavirus arose from natural causes and was not concocted in a lab, according to scientists who conducted a detailed genomic examination of the virus.

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 illness, shows zero evidence of being artificially engineered, reported a team who published their findings March 17 in Nature Medicine...

Undetected Cases May Be Driving Coronavirus Spread, Study Finds

You're a little feverish, but you feel good enough to get your shopping done and a quick workout at the gym.

If you do, you could become part of the exponential spread of the coronavirus, a new study concludes.

About 86% of COVID-19 cases in China were milder and went undetected during the two-week ramp-up of the epidemic in January, prior to the country imposing travel...

Don't Believe All the 'Science' on CBD Products

Cannabidiol -- commonly known as CBD -- might not be all it is touted to be, new research suggests.

Instead, existing evidence on the potential benefits of the compound found in marijuana and hemp has often been backed by industry, scientists said.

The researchers found that of 99 human CBD studies done since 2014, about 62% had some conflict of interest -- including in...

Could Green Tea Extract Help Fight Pulmonary Fibrosis?

A green tea extract has shown early hints of promise against a serious, progressive form of lung disease, researchers say.

The disease is called pulmonary fibrosis, where scar tissue builds up in the lungs over time, limiting the amount of oxygen the body receives. Eventually, life-threatening lung failure can develop.

There are many types of pulmonary fibrosis, but the most...

After 2nd Patient Cured of HIV, Hope Revives for an End to AIDS

The exact method that's now cured two men of HIV infection is not one that's going to be widely available to the nearly 38 million people worldwide living with the virus, experts say.

Still, the news has rekindled hopes of finally winning the war against the virus that causes AIDS.

The Berlin and London patients benefited from a combination of medical and genetic chance, the...

It's Tough for Clinical Trial Participants to Learn Results

Most clinical trial participants are not told the results of their study -- even though most people want to know, and researchers want to tell them.

The reason: Communication is a big barrier, a new study says. Simply put, researchers and subjects may not speak the same language.

Teaching researchers to make their findings understandable to the lay person could make trial p...

Brain Cancer Research Could Help Dogs -- and the Humans Who Love Them

Few heartbreaks are as devastating as when a beloved family dog falls ill with cancer.

But a new research paper could spur development of more and better treatments for a canine companion who has a brain tumor -- because it's possible that those same therapies will help human kids, too. Dogs' brain cancers are genetically akin to those found in children, a new study in the journal ...

Coronaviruses in Poultry, Livestock Pose No Danger to Humans, Expert Says

Coronaviruses that are common in poultry and livestock worldwide don't jump to humans, but those found in wildlife are another matter, an expert says.

"In wildlife, bats are known to carry over 100 different strains of coronavirus, and wild civets are the source of the coronavirus that causes SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), first reported in China in 2002-2003," said Heather...

Scientists Spot Early Markers of Coronavirus in Lungs of Patients

U.S. researchers report they have spotted early, subtle signs in the lungs that point to coronavirus infection.

This could help doctors diagnose patients in the early stages of the disease, when it may not be obvious on lung scans, according to the Mount Sinai Health System doctors.

They say they're the first U.S. experts to analyze chest CT scans of 94 patients in China wit...

How Coronavirus Raced Through Quarantined Cruise Ship

The crisis aboard the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan shows how germs can spread rapidly through air conditioning systems that can't filter out particles as small as the new coronavirus, one air quality expert says.

The quarantine ended last Wednesday, but not before the number of coronavirus cases reached 690 and three deaths were reported, according to the Asso...

Could 9 in 10 Cases of Dengue Be Prevented?

Scientists say that 90% of dengue cases could be slashed by artificially infecting mosquitoes.

Dengue viruses are spread to people by infected mosquitoes. But infecting the insects with Wolbachia bacteria blocks the dengue virus from replicating in mosquitoes and being transmitted between people, the international researchers said in a new study.

Wolbachia is found natur...

Drug Duo Speeds Regeneration of Key Cells Lost in Diabetes

A novel combination of two drugs appeared to spur faster regeneration of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas, a preliminary study in mice and human tissue found.

Beta cells are crucial to making insulin, a hormone that's deficient in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

The new drug combo pairs an already approved class of type 2 diabetes medications called GLP-...

Will the Lights of Fireflies Be Extinguished?

There is little more magical than the glow of fireflies on a still summer night, but new research suggests that light pollution threatens firefly populations worldwide.

The other major dangers putting some of the more than 2,000 different species of fireflies at risk of extinction include habitat loss and pesticides, according to firefly experts.

There's been a huge increase...

CRISPR Gene Editing Creates 'Designer' Immune Cells That Fight Cancer

In a first, scientists have used gene-editing technology to create "designer" immune system cells that can fight tumors and survive for months in cancer patients' bodies.

It's a proof of principle, the researchers say -- and an early step toward bringing the gene-editing tool known as CRISPR into cancer treatment.

CRISPR allows researchers to precisely "snip" bits of DNA wit...