In Shadow Of Coronavirus Vaccine Rush, Experts Wonder Why There Isn’t One For Herpes
In 2016, two-thirds of the world's population under 50 — about 3.7 billion people — had herpes simplex virus type 1. But scientists have been struggling to come up with a vaccine for at least 40 years and have failed. In other health news: cancer treatments, global AIDS funding, prosthetic arms, and more.
Herpes Virus Infects Billions Of People Worldwide. Why Isn't There A Vaccine Yet?
Billions of people around the world are living with herpes infections, prompting the World Health Organization to call for a vaccine against the incurable virus. About half a billion people ages 15 to 49 have genital herpes infections, which are mostly caused by herpes simplex virus type 2, which can raise the risk of HIV. Herpes infections can lead to recurring, often painful, blisters. Genital herpes infections plays a significant role in the spread of HIV globally, WHO researchers said in a report released May 1. (Carroll, 5/4)
Cellular ‘Backpacks’ Keep Immune Cells In Attack Mode Against Tumors
In a study recently published in Science Advances, Samir Mitragotri’s team at Harvard’s Wyss Institute engineered a new way to make one of the body’s own immune cells overcome a tumor’s defenses — the primary goal of immunotherapy. The immune cells are macrophages, quick-change artists that can flip from attack mode (good for battling attackers like cancer) to healing mode (good for promoting growth), depending on chemical cues in the microenvironment around them. (Cooney, 5/5)
The Associated Press:
Money For Worldwide AIDS Fight At Issue In Supreme Court
The Supreme Court’s second day of arguments by phone is devoted to a new version of a case it decided seven years ago involving federal money to fight AIDS around the world. The justices are taking up the Trump administration’s appeal to force the foreign affiliates of U.S.-based health organizations to denounce prostitution as a condition of receiving taxpayer money. As they did Monday, the justices and two lawyers representing the administration and the organizations will meet by telephone, with live audio available to the public. The court scheduled the arguments by phone because of the coronavirus pandemic. (Sherman and Gresko, 5/5)
Prosthetic Arm Enables Patients To Feel The Objects They Grip
When electrician Rickard Normark lost his left arm after being electrocuted at work in 2011, he thought he had no other option than to endure the pain and discomfort of a conventional prosthesis. It would often slip off during his daily activities, and he scratched the irritated skin under the socket so much with his healthy hand that it began to lose sensation. Then three years ago, Normark received a new kind of brain-controlled prosthetic that was surgically attached to the bone, muscles, and nerves of his upper arm, allowing him to not only grip objects intuitively with his hand but feel the sensation of touching them. “You cannot even compare how things have changed for me,” Normark, 47, told STAT from his home in Sweden. (Zia, 4/30)
Bangor Daily News:
With An Intellectual Disability, She Faced Months In Jail. How A Maine Court Created A New Path Out.
Two jurisdictions in Maine — Cumberland County and Kennebec County, where Thibodeau’s case was resolved in February — have created streamlined processes to handle cases like hers to minimize the amount of time severely ill defendants spend in jail and to try to ensure they do not return. (Ferguson, 5/5)
Bangor Daily News:
1 Mainer Chose ‘Death With Dignity’ In New Law’s First 3 Months
A longtime Maine resident with prostate cancer was the only person to end their life using the state’s new death with dignity law last year, according to a new report. The death with dignity law, which allows terminally ill patients to end their own lives by requesting medication from a doctor, passed the Maine Legislature with close votes last year after previous unsuccessful attempts. It went into effect in September after Gov. Janet Mills signed it into law. (Andrews, 5/4)