California Approves Ballot Measure on Stem-Cell Research
Following Thursday’s vote count update, Proposition 14 had a 325,000-vote lead and 51% of the votes. It was the narrowest margin of victory for any of this year’s 12 ballot questions, AP reports.
California Approves Billions For Stem-Cell Research
California voters have granted the state’s nearly broke first-of-its-kind stem-cell research program a desperately needed $5.5 billion cash infusion. Following Thursday’s vote count update, Proposition 14 had a 325,000-vote lead and 51% of the votes. It was the narrowest margin of victory for any of this year’s 12 ballot questions. (Rogers, 11/13)
In other science and research news —
Study Finds Black And Asian People In The US, Britain Have Higher Coronavirus Risk
A study published Thursday concluded that Black and Asian people in the U.S. and Britain are at higher risk of coronavirus infection than white individuals. The study, which was published in one of the Lancet medical journals, reviewed records from more than 18.7 million patients across 50 studies to determine that Black people in both countries are twice as likely to die from COVID-19 than white people. (Coleman, 11/12)
Study: Only 1 Of 32 COVID Survivors Testing Positive Had Live Virus
A JAMA Internal Medicine research letter today finds that 18% of recovered COVID-19 patients test positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, but only 3% (1 of 32) carry replicating virus in their respiratory tract. Italian researchers studied 176 recovered COVID-19 patients admitted for post-acute follow-up treatment at Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS in Rome from Apr 21 to Jun 18. Patients had discontinued isolation according to current criteria—no fever for 3 consecutive days, improvement in symptoms, and two negative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test results for the virus, 24 hours apart. (Kuebelbeck Paulsen, 11/12)
Cancer Patients Hesitant To Participate In Trials Amid Covid-19 Concerns
Cancer clinical trials have seen a drastic drop in patient enrollment since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, driven in part by some institutions pausing recruitment in order to prevent the spread of the virus. Bringing enrollment numbers back up safely will prove crucial for researchers running clinical trials and the drug companies that sponsor them. (Runwal, 11/12)
Clots, Strokes And Rashes: Is COVID A Disease Of The Blood Vessels?
Whether it’s strange rashes on the toes or blood clots in the brain, the widespread ravages of COVID-19 have increasingly led researchers to focus on how the novel coronavirus sabotages blood vessels. As scientists have come to know the disease better, they have homed in on the vascular system — the body’s network of arteries, veins and capillaries, stretching more than 60,000 miles — to understand this wide-ranging disease and to find treatments that can stymie its most pernicious effects. (Stone, 11/13)
‘Breakthrough Finding’ Reveals Why Certain COVID Patients Die
Dr. Megan Ranney has learned a lot about COVID-19 since she began treating patients with the disease in the emergency department in February. But there’s one question she still can’t answer: What makes some patients so much sicker than others? Advancing age and underlying medical problems explain only part of the phenomenon, said Ranney, who has seen patients of similar age, background and health status follow wildly different trajectories. (Szabo, 11/13)
The New York Times:
These Researchers Tested Positive. But The Virus Wasn’t The Cause.
In mid-June, Timothy Wannier tested positive for the coronavirus. Within 48 hours of receiving his jarring result, he felt almost certain there had been a mistake. “The evidence was overwhelmingly obvious,” said Dr. Wannier, a geneticist at Harvard University. At the time, case numbers were down in Massachusetts, where he, his wife and two young children had been vigilantly sheltering in place for months. Dr. Wannier had no symptoms, and neither did any of his close contacts. To his knowledge, he had not been around the coronavirus at all. He had, however, spent the last couple days in a room teeming with pieces of the pathogen’s genetic material. (Wu, 11/12)