Posts tagged with "Medicine"

COVID-19 Trial Tests if Common Drug Can Keep Patients Out of Hospital

At-risk people diagnosed with COVID-19 across the United States and Canada can participate in a clinical trial testing whether a common drug can keep them from getting sicker and keep them out of the hospital.­­

The trial, conducted by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, is based on a discovery by the University of Virginia School of Medicine’s Alban Gaultier, PhD, and a former graduate student, Dorian A Rosen, PhD.

Gaultier and Rosen found last year that the antidepressant fluvoxamine may stop the deadly inflammation known as sepsis, in which the immune response spirals out of control. The drug’s apparent benefit for dampening dangerous inflammation prompted the Washington University researchers to begin investigating its potential benefit for COVID-19, which can also cause dangerous overreactions of the immune system.

“If this clinical trial is proven successful, fluvoxamine could become a standard treatment for patients newly diagnosed with COVID-19, especially patients at risk,” Gaultier said. “Even the best vaccines do not protect 100% of the population, and discovery of safe and affordable treatments to prevent COVID-19-associated complications is critical.”

Fluvoxamine and COVID-19

Earlier this year, the Washington University researchers launched their first clinical trial of the drug in patients with COVID-19. That trial compared fluvoxamine with a harmless placebo in 152 adult outpatients. None of the 80 participants who received fluvoxamine became seriously ill after 15 days, while six patients who received placebo did. Of those six, four were hospitalized, for periods ranging from four to 21 days. One was on a ventilator for 10 days.

Based on those initial results, Washington University is now launching a much larger trial open to residents across the United States and Canada. The trial is seeking approximately 880 at-risk participants, age 18 and older, who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are experiencing mild symptoms.

Participants will be provided with either fluvoxamine or a placebo for approximately 15 days. No face-to-face contact is required; everything necessary will be sent to the participants’ doorsteps.

Contactless Check-Ins

The researchers will track the patients by videochat, email or telephone to determine if fluvoxamine provides a benefit and helps keep participants out of the hospital. During brief daily check-ins, trial participants will report their oxygen levels, blood pressure and temperature, along with whether they are feeling shortness of breath or have had any other problems.

The study team will continue to follow the participants for approximately 90 days after they have finished taking fluvoxamine or the placebo.

The trial is open to people who have at least one risk factor for severe COVID-19, such as being 40 or older, being part of a high-risk racial/ethnic group (such as African-American, Hispanic, Native American or biracial), or having one or more medical conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, a lung disease or an immune disorder such as rheumatoid arthritis.

For more information about the trial, visit this website.

Breast Cancer Illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

UVA Breast Cancer Discovery

University of Virginia Cancer Center researchers have identified a gene responsible for the spread of triple-negative breast cancer to other parts of the body – a process called metastasis – and developed a potential way to stop it.

Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is an aggressive form of breast cancer that accounts for 40,000 deaths in the United States annually. The majority of these deaths result from resistance to chemotherapy and subsequent aggressive metastases. So UVA researchers asked: What causes a primary tumor to become metastatic? This is an important question in cancer biology because patients with metastatic tumors have the highest death rate.

UVA’s Sanchita Bhatnagar, PhD, and her team found that the breast cancer oncogene TRIM37 not only causes the cancer to spread but also makes it resistant to chemotherapy. A new approach she and her colleagues have developed could possibly address both, the researchers hope.

“Despite metastasis being the key reason for failure of cancer therapies, it remains poorly understood. We do not clearly understand what drives the metastatic growth in patients,” said Bhatnagar, who was the first to identify TRIM37 as a breast cancer oncogene. “In general, several genes are altered during tumorigenesis. However, whether targeting the same genes will prevent metastatic transition remains to be addressed.”

Promising research from Bhatnagar’s team shows that targeting TRIM37 prevents metastatic lesions in mouse models. Those findings form the foundation of her lab’s current work exploring the role of TRIM37 in racial disparities in triple negative breast cancer. Incidence of the disease is disproportionately higher in African-American women compared with other races, with a 5-year survival rate in African-American patients of only 14% compared with 36% in non-African-American women.

Targeting Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Bhatnagar and UVA’s Jogender Tushir-Singh, PhD, have developed a new approach to stop the effects of TRIM37 and, hopefully, prevent or significantly delay the spread of triple-negative breast cancer. This could also lower the disease’s defenses against chemotherapy.

Blocking the gene could benefit approximately 80% of triple negative breast cancer patients, the researchers estimate.

Bhatnagar and Tushir-Singh’s approach uses nanoparticles – microscopic balls of fat – to deliver treatment to block TRIM37. These nanoparticles are paired with specially engineered antibodies that bind to the cancerous cells but not to healthy cells. “As soon as the antibody finds the triple negative breast cancer cell, it binds to the receptor and is taken up by the cell,” explained Tushir-Singh, of UVA’s Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics.

“It is a kiss of death,” Bhatnagar said, “that selectively reduces the expression of TRIM37 in cancer cells and prevents the spread.”

The approach could be used to deliver targeted treatments for many other cancers as well, the researchers report. “That would not only get the treatment where it needs to be but, hopefully, help prevent unwanted side effects. Besides preventing metastases, it adds selectivity,” Bhatnagar said.

“A problem in the field is, how will you give [a nanoparticle treatment] to the patients? Most of these nanoparticles are cleared by the liver, so they never have a chance to really do their job,” she said. “In this study, researchers bypassed this issue by delivering nanoparticles by nasal route, increasing the rate of uptake in the lungs – one of the most common metastatic target sites in TNBC patients.”

The development of the new approach is in its early stages, but tests with lab mice have offered encouraging indications. “The lungs showed dramatic reduction in metastatic lesions after the treatment in comparison to the mice that received no treatment,” Bhatnagar said.

Next Steps

To verify that TRIM37 targeting might offer a potential treatment approach, Bhatnagar teamed up with Tushir-Singh, her husband, to test it in the lab. “And we find that our targeted nanoparticles significantly reduce metastatic lesions in the lungs of spontaneous metastatic murine [mouse] models – both immune compromised and immune sufficient,” she said. “This is an important proof-of-concept much needed for the bench-to-clinic transition of these important findings.”

Clinically, most women in the early stages of breast cancer are treated with surgery, followed by radiation or chemotherapy. However, metastasis remains a challenging medical problem. Bhatnagar’s research offers a potential way to target a driver of metastasis that she hopes will prevent or slow metastatic progression and improve overall survival.

Much more work needs to be done, but Bhatnagar’s research is being noticed by pharmaceutical companies interested in exploring the approach’s potential. “This is a delivery platform, not only for targeting our protein of interest but for many other chemotherapeutic drugs that can be packaged into the nanoparticles and selectively delivered,” Bhatnagar said.

Findings Published

The researchers have published their findings in the scientific journal Cancer Research. The research team consisted of Piotr Przanowski, Song Lou, Rachisan Djiake Tihagam, Tanmoy Mondal, Caroline Conlan, Gururaj Shivange, Ilyas Saltani, Chandrajeet Singh, Kun Xing, Benjamin B. Morris, Marty W. Mayo, Luis Teixeira, Jacqueline Lehmann-Che, Jogender Tushir-Singh and Sanchita Bhatnagar.

Bhatnagar, a Hartwell Investigator, is supported by the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Breakthrough Award (BC170197P1, BC190343P1) and Metavivor Translational Research Award. A provisional patent has been filed for the molecularly targeted nanoparticle design engineered by the Bhatnagar and Tushir-Singh laboratories.

To keep up with the latest medical research news from UVA, subscribe to the Making of Medicine blog.

Therapies Developed to Reduce Lung Fibrosis

A new treatment option for lung fibrosis is being developed by Purdue University scientists. Lung fibrosis has been a concern for COVID-19 patients.

People with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) have a life expectancy of fewer than five years. Fibrotic diseases cause organ failure that leads to about 45% of all deaths in the United States. Existing therapies do little to slow progression.

Now, Philip S. Low, Purdue’s Ralph C. Corley Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Presidential Scholar for Drug Discovery, has led a team to develop two targeted therapies for people with IPF. The two different therapeutic approaches are published in Science Translational Medicine and EMBO Molecular Medicine.

“This is a horrible disease that claimed the lives of my next-door neighbor and a good friend’s wife,” Low said. “We developed two targeted therapies that allow us to use powerful drugs with high toxicities because we specifically deliver them to diseased cells without harming healthy ones.”

The first of the Purdue team’s novel targeted molecules is designed to slow fibrosis and extend life. The second IPF therapy suppresses fibrosis-inducing cytokine production.

The two therapies will be moving into human clinical trials within the next several months. The developments come as a number of people with COVID-19 or who have recovered from COVID-19 experience lung fibrosis or other related conditions.

The therapy technologies are licensed through the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization and optioned to MorphImmune, a startup co-founded by Low. For more information on licensing a Purdue innovation, contact the Office of Technology Commercialization at otcip@prf.org.

About Purdue Research Foundation

The Purdue Research Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation created to advance the mission of Purdue University. Established in 1930, the foundation accepts gifts; administers trusts; funds scholarships and grants; acquires property; protects Purdue’s intellectual property; and promotes entrepreneurial activities on behalf of Purdue. The foundation manages the Purdue Foundry, Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization, Purdue Research Park, Purdue Technology Centers and University Development Office. In 2020, the IPWatchdog Institute ranked Purdue third nationally in startup creation and in the top 20 for patents. The foundation received the 2019 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Award for Place from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. For more information on licensing a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization at otcip@prf.org. For more information about involvement and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at foundry@prf.org.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked the No. 5 Most Innovative University in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at purdue.edu.

Writer: Chris Adam, cladam@prf.org
Source: Philip Low, plow@purdue.edu

Suraj U. Hettiarachchi, Yen-Hsing Li, Jyoti Roy, Fenghua Zhang, Estela Puchulu-Campanella, Spencer D. Lindeman, Madduri Srinivasarao, Konstantin Tsoyi, Xiaoliang Liang, Ehab A. Ayaub, Cheryl Nickerson-Nutter, Ivan O. Rosas and Philip S. Low

Loose Standards Undermined Research on COVID-19 Test Accuracy

The COVID-19 pandemic was met with a rush of research on the many factors related to the crisis, including the accuracy of different testing methods. However, many of the studies conducted in the early stages of the pandemic did not meet the usual rigorous scientific standards, according to researchers at Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine.

In “The estimation of diagnostic accuracy of tests for COVID-19: A scoping review,” which will appear in an upcoming edition of the Journal of Infection, authors Dierdre Axell-House, Richa Lavingia, Megan Rafferty, Eva Clark, E. Susan Amirian and Elizabeth Chiao found that better-designed studies are needed to appropriately evaluate the different types of COVID-19 tests.

They reviewed 49 articles published between Dec. 31, 2019, and June 19, 2020, that evaluated the validity of different types of coronavirus testing. These studies were assessed using elements of the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies (QUADAS-2) guidelines, which are used to evaluate if bias could be playing a role in the results of studies on diagnostic test accuracy.

Amirian, an epidemiologist at Rice’s Texas Policy Lab (TPL), said when it comes to conducting studies on testing accuracy, design is critically important. She said the major limitations found in the design of most of the studies they examined could lead to erroneous or misleading results.

“Without rigorous evaluations of which tests are the most accurate, it’s hard to know which tests are more likely to lead to false negatives, which could contribute to greater spread of the virus,” said Rafferty, a health data analyst at the TPL. “Although it’s difficult to say, some of the quality issues may have resulted from these studies being streamlined in response to the immediate need for timely information.”

“COVID-19 has now been a health crisis for nearly a year,” Amirian said. “With regard to research, the academic community needs to move away from being in acute emergency mode and think about how we’re going to handle this as a chronic crisis. When researchers are in emergency mode, we tend to be more open to sacrificing a lot of the strict quality standards for conducting research that we usually uphold.”

The paper is available online here.

CBD vape cartridge illustration for 360 MAGAZINE

Who Can Use CBD Vape Cartridges


Vaping is a method of taking CBD that became popular in the last years, and there are many reasons for this. The leading one is the effectiveness of this compound and its health benefits. Then, there is the ease of use, convenience, and swift action of CBD after inhaling.

The safety of cannabidiol use is also one of the main reasons why this substance is a buzz. Vaping, as explained on Cheef Botanicals, is a way to administer CBD that has the least side effects. If you use vape gear and cartridge according to the instructions, the risk of abuse is minimal.

Whether this natural remedy is used as a supplement or adjunct to conventional therapy, it is suitable for both healthy and sick people. Still, in some people, vaping will have an excellent effect. This method of CBD ingestion is especially recommended to them.

People Suffer from Anxiety

Depression and anxiety are common conditions that can have devastating effects on health and well-being. These mental issues always lead to many difficulties in all areas of life. Sufferers try to keep these conditions under control using medication.
Still, no matter how effective, conventional drugs often have many side effects. Even worse, they can be addictive. Natural remedies like CBD have minimal side effects and are safe for use whenever you feel upset or depressed.

CBD is proving to be an excellent choice for relieving all the symptoms of anxiety. The healing properties of this compound reflect in its positive effect on receptors in the brain. CBD ingested through vaporizers can affect how these receptors respond to serotonin. That way, it reduces nervousness, stress, and depression.

Everyone with Sleep Issues

Sleep issues don’t always manifest as a disease, but these are not normal condition as well. In some people, poor sleep can be an acute problem. It can occur for various reasons – night work, rest, time zone changes, etc. Also, insomnia can be directly related to stress and anxiety. People who feel anxious have trouble falling asleep and sleeping continuously. That is why it’s necessary to act first on the cause of insomnia and then on this condition.

As described in the previous paragraph, CBD’s soothing effect will help anxious people improve their mood and get rid of anxiety. As for sleep, that means it will be easier to fall asleep and have more extended periods of sleep without interruption.
Why people need a quality night’s rest, read on the following source:
https://www.popsci.com/why-we-need-sleep/ 

People with Arthritis

Arthritis is the leading condition among many others that occur as a result of inflammation. There is still no cure for this disease, and those currently in use can have harmful effects on inner organs. That is why more and more patients turn to natural remedies that can be used along with prescribed therapy. They don’t damage the kidneys, pancreas, and heart.

Some receptors in the endocannabinoid system are responsible for the proper functioning of the immune system. They also keep the inflammations under control. CBD affects these receptors, which means it directly treats the cause of arthritis. It also reaches the painful place where it ‘fixes’ the damage.

Cancer Patients

Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that gives outstanding results but often has some side effects. Read more about them on this web source. They are not risky, but they reduce the quality of life of a cancer patient.
 Sometimes it can last for years after treatment is completed. These are most often neuropathic pain, chills, appetite disorders, nausea, fainting, and many others. CBD can help people struggle with these adverse effects of chemo. 

Thanks to its anti-inflammatory and analgesic features, this compound acts as pain relief. Thus cancer patients who vape CBD don’t feel neuropathic pain. They are in a better mood, have a healthier appetite, and so on. All these mean these people can return to daily activities soon after chemo.

Inhaling CBD is a safe way to provide your body with the dose of cannabidiol needed to treat or prevent disease. This substance affects many processes in the body, which means it can help treat and fix the damages resulted from diseases.

23 Vitals

Illustration by Kaelen Felix

Get the total immune support your body needs to stay healthy all in one cost-effective place!

23 Vitals was created in response to founder Tom Elliott wanting the best immunity support on the market without the cost or hassle of buying multiple products and taking handfuls of pills or powders a day. After talking to several leading doctors in nutritional medicine and realizing most immune products out there simply weren’t good enough, Elliott realized a better solution was needed. Working with his team of experts, they created an all-in-one, best-in-class product that supports your immune system and makes sure it is working optimally with the breakthrough 23 Vitals.

Highlights include:

•  23 Key Ingredients for Total Immune Support, Overall Health & Vitality in a ready-to-mix powder

• One scoop, one time a day is all it takes to get 23 immune-enhancing vitamins and nutrients!

• Other products fall short of addressing the critical players of the immune system with low-value conventional ingredients, while 23 Vitals is the Ultimate Immune Solution with premium, clinically studied nutrients

• Add to your smoothie, yogurt, water- you choose!

• Two delicious flavors include Strawberry Lemonade or Orange Creamsicle (yum)!

Before 23 Vitals, if you were to try to buy all of the same immune support ingredients individually, it would cost you over $350 (!!!) and you would have to take over 30 pills and a couple of powders each day.  So, 23 Vitals got to work with a collective of expert formulators and physicians to craft a product of naturally occurring “Immune-Potentiating” ingredients to help train, remodel, and rejuvenate the Immune System – all in one great-tasting, ready-to-mix formula. 

Premium, clinically studied world-class ingredients include ResistAID (an amazing Larch tree extract for optimizing Innate and Adaptive Arms of the Immune System!), Wellmune (one of the most clinically studied beta-glucan ingredients for immune health!), 23 Vitals Immune FactorsTM  (Lactoferrin enriched colostrum proteins that protect and “train” immune cells), Bl-04 (specific probiotic strain with proven Immune, Microbiome & Gut health benefits), OptiMSM and N-Acetyl Cysteine (maintains healthy inflammation response, antioxidant & cellular health), ActivAloe (amazing source of Acemannan prebiotic for supporting gut and immune cells), VasoDrive-AP (unique tripeptide to support healthy blood flow and circulation), Other immuno-resilient nutrients, vitamins and minerals like Elderberry, Quercetin, Astragalus, Vitamin C, D3, Zinc, Selenium, Copper and many more!  

Buyer’s say:

“23Vitals has changed my vitamin regimen for the better from day one.” 

“With 23Vitals, I’m able to adhere to a simple daily regimen that ensures my body has everything it needs to stay healthy. If you’re on the fence about this one, give it a go. Your body and your taste buds will thank you!”

“It’s so easy – just one scoop once a day and then I am all set for the day. I definitely recommend this product and will continue to use it!”

23Vitals was created out of our love for our families, our parents, our communities, and our bodies’ amazing ability to keep us safe when we give it the love it deserves. This all-encompassing ultimate immune solution lets your body prepare, defend, support, and recover from day-to-day stress and seasonal challenges. It goes beyond just supporting since it contributes to rejuvenating and remodeling the immune system into a more effective and resilient one. 

Ready to make your immune system resilient and antifragile with 23 essential vitamins, minerals & premium ingredients in one easy step? 

Check out 23 Vitals!

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 $99 for 30 servings – Available on https://23vitals.com/

And coming soon on Amazon!

DARPA selects Continuity Pharma to fund manufacturing technology

The COVID-19 pandemic has created supply chain gaps in critical drug products, especially those needed for the most critical patients in intensive care units across the country.

DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Project Agency) has selected Continuity Pharma, a Purdue University-affiliated company, to develop continuous manufacturing technology. The company was selected for a $1.5 million grant.

DARPA has established a competitive review process, awarding grant funding to companies presenting advanced manufacturing technologies.

Continuity Pharma’s mission is to apply novel continuous manufacturing capabilities to reshore generic drug products to the U.S., with specific focus on drugs in short supply.

“We are thrilled to be selected by DARPA to further our development efforts,” said David Thompson, a Purdue professor of organic chemistry and co-founder and chief scientific officer at Continuity. “We are one step closer to ensuring the availability of essential medicines to patients in need. It is an exciting time for Continuity Pharma.”

Grant specifics include development funding over the next 24 months, with additional funding for commercialization in the subsequent 12 months. Focus areas include capabilities for multiple API manufacturing in the Integrated Continuous Manufacturing System, with demonstrated efficiencies for rapid changeover and manufacturing efficiencies.

Continuity Pharma leaders are working with Purdue Research Foundationofficials to secure additional lab space in Purdue Research Park in West Lafayette.

About Continuity Pharma

Continuity Pharma was formed with the mission to ensure a consistent supply of high-quality essential medicines for patients in need. The company accomplishes this by applying analytical and process design expertise to create modular and portable continuous manufacturing systems for synthesizing essential generic medicines. Using high throughput methodologies, they identify the ideal reaction conditions for preparing the active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) to be manufactured efficiently in continuous flow. The result is a high yield of medical-grade API with the least toxic waste and the best opportunity for production on scale. For additional information or questions, contact the company at contact@continuitypharma.com or call 812-805-0038.

About Purdue Research Foundation

The Purdue Research Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation created to advance the mission of Purdue University. Established in 1930, the foundation accepts gifts; administers trusts; funds scholarships and grants; acquires property; protects Purdue’s intellectual property; and promotes entrepreneurial activities on behalf of Purdue. The foundation manages the Purdue Foundry, Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization, Purdue Research Park, Purdue Technology Centers and University Development Office. In 2020, the IPWatchdog Institute ranked Purdue third nationally in startup creation and in the top 20 for patents. The foundation received the 2019 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Award for Place from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. For more information on licensing a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization at otcip@prf.org. For more information about involvement and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at foundry@prf.org.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked the No. 5 Most Innovative University in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at purdue.edu.

SAMI-Aid Offers Free Appointment to Those Affected by Wildfires

California telehealth company wants to ensure people’s health needs are met during historic wildfire crisis

SAMI-Aid, a patient-focused telemedicine platform and healthcare concierge company, announced that it is offering free telehealth appointments to those who have been affected by the wildfires raging across the state of California and other western states. The California-based company saw an opportunity to use its platform to help those who have been affected by the fires.

“As a San Jose-based company, we’ve seen firsthand how this summer’s wildfire season has affected Californians in the Bay Area and across the state,” said Bijan Farhangui, SAMI-Aid Founder and CEO. “Whether you’ve been displaced by the wildfires or aren’t able to visit your doctor’s office due to the poor air quality, we realized we could do something to help ensure people’s health needs were met during this difficult time.”

According to the California Air Resources Board, particulate matter is the largest health concern relating to wildfires. Particles from wildfire smoke can be inhaled into different parts of the lung, potentially resulting in negative lung and heart health effects. Those who suffer from respiratory issues or illnesses have been advised to remain indoors as much as possible while particulate matter from the wildfires remains a concern.

“Patients in need of prescriptions, medical advice, or regular behavioral health consultations should not have to sacrifice their health and wellbeing because of the wildfires,” added Farhangui. “Our telemedicine platform can help Californians get the health services they need in a safe and easy way.”

Those who have been affected by the California wildfires can call SAMI-Aid at 844-726-4243 to redeem the code for a free consultation through their telehealth platform. SAMI-Aid offers on-demand access to medical professionals of a variety of specialties including general physicians as well as mental and behavioral health specialists. SAMI-Aid also recently launched its new at-home COVID-19 testing program where patients can confirm their COVID-19 status from the safety and convenience of their own home. More information is available at samiaid.com.

About SAMI-Aid:

Founded in 2014, SAMI-Aid is an online healthcare concierge platform that features a searchable medical procedure pricing database, a dedicated call center for patient support, and 24/7 access to telemedicine doctors and nurses. Its platform is secure, HIPAA-compliant, user-friendly, and mobile-friendly, offering members 24/7 access to doctors and nurses, and exclusive medical pricing information which helps them save money on care. Based in San Jose, California, SAMI-Aid serves the entire US. The acronym SAMI stands for Smart Affordable Medical Information. For more information, visit samiaid.com.

Jean Button illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

Covid-19 on Clothes

By Eamonn Burke

As a relatively new virus, new information is coming out about Covid-19 every day. While much is known, such as the fact that it spreads through air and is most dangerous to the elderly, there is much that remains unknown.

One of these unanswered questions is that if clothing: can the coronavirus survive on clothing? What we do know from evidence is that the virus can in fact live on other surfaces like plastic and steel for up to nine days. There is no evidence, however, that answers the question about clothes.

What we do know is that viruses similar to Covid – MERS, SARS – do not survive on clothes, as they are porous surfaces that can trap the virus and dry it out. A study from Johns Hopkins Medicine corroborates this, finding the probability of the virus being transferred through clothing is low. However, another study did find that the virus can live on shoes.

While the most important protective measures against COVID-19 remain social distancing and wearing masks, the CDC still recommends to air on the side of caution and wash clothes, specifically on the warmest setting to dry them out. The findings also pose issue for companies who need to handle clothing returns. Many large companies like Macy’s and Gap have amended their return policies to consider this, but it is also important for small businesses to do the same.

Covid and health illustration

Oxford Vaccine Shows Promising Signs

By Eamonn Burke

A vaccine developed by The University of Oxford in the UK and major pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has shown early signs of being a potential success. According to data posted today in The Lancet medical journal, a strong immune response was invoked by early testing of the vaccine in a large human trial of over 1,000 participants.

The vaccine, named ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, produced higher levels of antibodies and T-cells that fight the virus, according to the data. In other words, “We’re stimulating both arms of the immune system,” says Oxford’s head of the Jenner Institute Adrian Hill.

By no means does this data guarantee an effective vaccine, but human testing is a major step in the right direction, especially one with positive results. Another good sign is the lack of serious side effects, with most volunteers only reporting fatigue, headache, and soreness at the injection site. Big questions that remain, however, are how the body will react once infected, and if someone can get infected again.

AstraZenaca has received support from the U.S., pledging $1.2 billion dollars to vaccine work, and from the U.K., who has made a deal for 90 million doses of it. It is one of over 100 being developed globally, with 23 in the human trial phase. One of them is Moderna’s, which also showed promising signs in data last week and is set to start a Phase 3 of development on July 27.