Phys .org: The impact of human mobility on disease spread. “In a paper publishing on Tuesday in the SIAM Journal of Applied Mathematics, Daozhou Gao of Shanghai Normal University investigated the way in which human dispersal affects disease control and total extent of an infection’s spread. Few previous studies have explored the impact of human movement on infection size or disease prevalence—defined as the proportion of individuals in a population that are infected with a specific pathogen—in different regions. This area of research is especially pertinent during severe disease outbreaks, when governing leaders may dramatically reduce human mobility by closing borders and restricting travel. During these times, it is essential to understand how limiting people’s movements affects the spread of disease.”
Washington Post: China and Russia are ahead in the global coronavirus vaccine race, bending long-standing rules as they go. “China’s Sinopharm announced this week that it would provide emergency doses of one of its two trial vaccines to the United Arab Emirates, prioritizing the U.S. ally over the vast majority of Chinese. China is now the sole supplier of coronavirus vaccine to the Middle East. Meanwhile, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund signed a deal this week to supply India with 100 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine.”
BBC: Coronavirus: WHO sets rules for testing African herbal remedies. “The World Health Organization (WHO) has agreed rules for the testing of African herbal remedies to fight Covid-19. Sound science would be the sole basis for safe and effective traditional therapies to be adopted, it said. Any traditional remedies that are judged effective could be fast-tracked for large-scale manufacturing.”
Horizon: ‘So far, so good’: The view from inside a coronavirus vaccine trial. “Dr Lidia Oostvogels is feeling the pressure. After nearly two decades of working in vaccine development, seeing the subject of her work – coronavirus – in the news every single day is a first for her ‘It’s very exciting and very motivational, but there is a lot of pressure,’ she said. Dr Oostvogels is steering the human trials of a coronavirus vaccine for German biopharmaceutical firm CureVac, where she is head of their infectious diseases programme and leads its development of vaccines and therapies.”
EurekAlert: Human Brain Project launches ‘Brain Matters’ webinar series. “The hour-long sessions will focus on different areas of brain research and feature expert speakers, with the goal of highlighting the HBP’s scientific achievements and the state-of-the-art services offered by its new infrastructure for brain research, EBRAINS.” The webinars are free and open to the public.
New York Times: Call Me the Joan of Arc of Coronavirus Vaccine Trials. “I am Patient 1133. I’ve never been in a medical trial before and I never wanted to be. As someone who suffers from pretty significant anxiety about my health, I am, in theory, the last person who should ever do any medical trial at all, and, on the way, up to the hospital, this thought occurred to me numerous times. But on Tuesday, Sept. 8, I did it anyway. I drove up to Yale New Haven Hospital to get my first of two doses of the experimental Pfizer coronavirus vaccine.”
New York Times: Covering Ebola Didn’t Prepare Me for This: I Volunteered for the Covid-19 Vaccine Trial. “I hadn’t thought of the placebo part of the vaccine trial when I signed up. I am a Type 1 diabetic — a chronic autoimmune disorder I have had since I was 15, with asthma to boot, so I am firmly in the high-risk category. That had been made clear to me by Dr. Fauci himself in early March when I ran into him in the green room for NBC’s ‘Meet the Press.’ ‘What happens if I get Covid?’ I had asked him. ‘I’m not saying you’re a dead duck,’ he replied, ‘but I cannot stress enough that you really need to not get it.'”
STAT News: AstraZeneca resumes Covid-19 vaccine trials in the U.K.. “A large, United Kingdom-based Phase 2/3 study testing a Covid-19 vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca has been restarted, according to a statement from the company. News that the trial is resuming comes four days after the disclosure that it had been paused because of a suspected serious adverse reaction in a participant.”
Zawya: COVID-19: Egypt launches website for vaccine volunteers. “Egypt launched an online portal on September 13th to receive all requests from those who want to volunteer for taking the coronavirus vaccine clinical trials, according to an official statement.”
New York Times: How the Coronavirus Attacks the Brain. “A new study offers the first clear evidence that, in some people, the coronavirus invades brain cells, hijacking them to make copies of itself. The virus also seems to suck up all of the oxygen nearby, starving neighboring cells to death. It’s unclear how the virus gets to the brain or how often it sets off this trail of destruction. Infection of the brain is likely to be rare, but some people may be susceptible because of their genetic backgrounds, a high viral load or other reasons.”
Reuters: Exclusive: Vaccine group says 76 rich countries now committed to ‘COVAX’ access plan. “Seventy-six wealthy nations are now committed to joining a global COVID-19 vaccine allocation plan co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO) that aims to help buy and fairly distribute the shots, the project’s co-lead said on Wednesday.” The list does not include the United States.
Arab News: Database gathers 2,000 items of virus-related info for Saudi researchers. “The library of data includes study documents, print and online news articles, videos, and other relevant content from sources around the world. The comprehensive COVID-19 database has been compiled by the Center for Research and Knowledge Networking in Riyadh and covers a range of medical, economic, and social fields linked to the global virus outbreak.”
MIT Technology Review: New standards for AI clinical trials will help spot snake oil and hype. “An international consortium of medical experts has introduced the first official standards for clinical trials that involve artificial intelligence. The move comes at a time when hype around medical AI is at a peak, with inflated and unverified claims about the effectiveness of certain tools threatening to undermine people’s trust in AI overall.”
Purdue University: Purdue Scientists Join in Launch of Cloud-based Canine Cancer Database to Benefit Humans and Their Best Friends. “The National Cancer Institute has announced the development of the Integrated Canine Data Commons (ICDC), which has significant ties to the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine. Developed by the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, the cloud-based repository of spontaneously arising canine cancer data was created with the goal of advancing human cancer research by enabling comparative analysis of canine cancer.”
STAT News: Pharma drew a line in the sand over Covid-19 vaccine readiness — because someone had to. “The vaccine makers that signed this pledge — Pfizer, Merck, AstraZeneca, Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline, BioNTech, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, and Novavax — are rushing to complete clinical trials. But only Pfizer has indicated it may have late-stage results in October, and that’s not a given. Yet any move by the FDA to greenlight a Covid-19 vaccine without late-stage results will be interpreted as an effort to boost Trump — and rightly so.”