CRISPR Gene Editing My Help Scale Up Coronavirus Testing – An inexpensive assay based on the technique can provide yes or no answers in under an hour—perhaps even in the home soon @ Researchers rush to test coronavirus vaccine in people without knowing how well it works in animals – By ERIC BOODMAN @ericboodman – MARCH 11, 2020 @ Beating Pandemics Like COVID-19 Requires More Medical Laboratory Professionals, This Virologist Explains @ The first modern pandemic – The scientific advances we need to stop COVID-19. By Bill Gates| April 23, 2020 @ ´´The process and practice of creating such images is called photography. The word photograph was coined in 1839 by Sir John Herschel and is based on the Greek φῶς (phos), meaning “light,” and γραφή (graphê), meaning “drawing, writing,” together meaning “drawing with light.”[1]´´ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photograph @ ´´Graphics (from Greek γραφικός graphikos, “belonging to drawing”) are visual images or designs on some surface, such as a wall, canvas, screen, paper, or stone to inform, illustrate, or entertain. Graphics often combine text, illustration, and color.´´@ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphics

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  • – > Mestrado – Dissertation – Tabelas, Figuras e Gráficos – Tables, Figures and Graphics´´My´´ Dissertation @ #Innovation #energy #life #health #Countries #Time #Researches #Reference #Graphics #Ages #Age #Mice #People #Person #Mouse #Genetics #PersonalizedMedicine #Diagnosis #Prognosis #Treatment #Disease #UnknownDiseases #Future #VeryEfficientDrugs #VeryEfficientVaccines #VeryEfficientTherapeuticalSubstances #Tests #Laboratories #Investments #Details #HumanLongevity #DNA #Cell #Memory #Physiology #Nanomedicine #Nanotechnology #Biochemistry #NewMedicalDevices #GeneticEngineering #Internet #History #Science #World

Pathol Res Pract. 2012 Jul 15;208(7):377-81. doi: 10.1016/j.prp.2012.04.006. Epub 2012 Jun 8.

The influence of physical activity in the progression of experimental lung cancer in mice

Renato Batista Paceli 1Rodrigo Nunes CalCarlos Henrique Ferreira dos SantosJosé Antonio CordeiroCassiano Merussi NeivaKazuo Kawano NagaminePatrícia Maluf Cury


Impact_Fator-wise_Top100Science_Journals

GRUPO_AF1GROUP AFA1 – Aerobic Physical Activity – Atividade Física Aeróbia – ´´My´´ Dissertation – Faculty of Medicine of Sao Jose do Rio Preto

GRUPO AFAN 1GROUP AFAN1 – Anaerobic Physical ActivityAtividade Física Anaeróbia – ´´My´´ Dissertation – Faculty of Medicine of Sao Jose do Rio Preto

GRUPO_AF2GROUP AFA2 – Aerobic Physical ActivityAtividade Física Aeróbia – ´´My´´ Dissertation – Faculty of Medicine of Sao Jose do Rio Preto

GRUPO AFAN 2GROUP AFAN 2 – Anaerobic Physical ActivityAtividade Física Anaeróbia´´My´´ Dissertation – Faculty of Medicine of Sao Jose do Rio Preto

Slides – mestrado´´My´´ Dissertation – Faculty of Medicine of Sao Jose do Rio Preto

CARCINÓGENO DMBA EM MODELOS EXPERIMENTAIS

DMBA CARCINOGEN IN EXPERIMENTAL MODELS

Avaliação da influência da atividade física aeróbia e anaeróbia na progressão do câncer de pulmão experimental – Summary – Resumo´´My´´ Dissertation Faculty of Medicine of Sao Jose do Rio Preto

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22683274/

Abstract

Lung cancer is one of the most incident neoplasms in the world, representing the main cause of mortality for cancer. Many epidemiologic studies have suggested that physical activity may reduce the risk of lung cancer, other works evaluate the effectiveness of the use of the physical activity in the suppression, remission and reduction of the recurrence of tumors. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of aerobic and anaerobic physical activity in the development and the progression of lung cancer. Lung tumors were induced with a dose of 3mg of urethane/kg, in 67 male Balb – C type mice, divided in three groups: group 1_24 mice treated with urethane and without physical activity; group 2_25 mice with urethane and subjected to aerobic swimming free exercise; group 3_18 mice with urethane, subjected to anaerobic swimming exercise with gradual loading 5-20% of body weight. All the animals were sacrificed after 20 weeks, and lung lesions were analyzed. The median number of lesions (nodules and hyperplasia) was 3.0 for group 1, 2.0 for group 2 and 1.5-3 (p=0.052). When comparing only the presence or absence of lesion, there was a decrease in the number of lesions in group 3 as compared with group 1 (p=0.03) but not in relation to group 2. There were no metastases or other changes in other organs. The anaerobic physical activity, but not aerobic, diminishes the incidence of experimental lung tumors.

Graphics – Dissertation – Future – Ages – Metabolism – Biochemistry – Physiology – Monograph – Control Groups – Study Groups – Research – Information – Details – Researches – Impact – Issue – Journals – Ranking – Diseases – Time – Mind – Health – Humans – Genetics – DNA – Mice – Longevity – History – Lives – Countries – References – Projects – Methodology – Results – Innovations – Ideas – Money – Work – Age – Experiences – RNA – Thoughts – Books – Papers – Articles – Tempo – Energy – Thinking – Pensamento – Communications – Words – Speak – Read – Listen – Write – Type – Analysis – Actions – Feelings – Memory – Respect – Intentions – Internet – Links – E-mails – Strategies – Improvements – Team – Ways – Reading – Investigations – Facilities – Person – Cities – Probabilities – Pesquisa – Objectives – Goal – Statistics – Websites – Scientific Discovery – Topics – Videos – Blog — time @ ´´Graphics (from Greek γραφικός graphikos, “belonging to drawing”) are visual images or designs on some surface, such as a wall, canvas, screen, paper, or stone to inform, illustrate, or entertain. In contemporary usage, it includes a pictorial representation of data, as in c manufacture, in typesetting and the graphic arts, and in educational and recreational software. Images that are generated by a computer are called computer graphics. Examples are photographs, drawings, line art, graphs, diagrams, typography, numbers, symbols, geometric designs, maps, engineering drawings, or other images. Graphics often combine text, illustration, and color.´´

´´A photograph (also known as a photo) is an image created by light falling on a photosensitive surface, usually photographic film or an electronic image sensor, such as a CCD or a CMOS chip. Most photographs are created using a camera, which uses a lens to focus the scene’s visible wavelengths of light into a reproduction of what the human eye would see. The process and practice of creating such images is called photography. The word photograph was coined in 1839 by Sir John Herschel and is based on the Greek φῶς (phos), meaning “light,” and γραφή (graphê), meaning “drawing, writing,” together meaning “drawing with light.”[1] History Main article: History of photography The first permanent photograph, a contact-exposed copy of an engraving, was made in 1822 using the bitumen-based “heliography” process developed by Nicéphore Niépce. The first photographs of a real-world scene, made using a camera obscura, followed a few years later, but Niépce’s process was not sensitive enough to be practical for that application: a camera exposure lasting for hours or days was required.[2] In 1829 Niépce entered into a partnership with Louis Daguerre and the two collaborated to work out a similar but more sensitive and otherwise improved process.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photograph

https://www.gatesnotes.com/Health/Pandemic-Innovation?WT.mc_id=20200423090000_Pandemic-Innovation_BG-FB_&WT.tsrc=BGFB&fbclid=IwAR1ztv1OhwFao8b-pAuk0cQwEi-M246gzy71scT3-qglMiKEA8zYJkDFW0o

https://www.forbes.com/sites/coronavirusfrontlines/2020/04/22/beating-pandemics-like-covid-19-requires-more-medical-laboratory-professionals-this-virologist-explains/?fbclid=IwAR3nWUraNyIuD4XpiP_ewP1gqRZl2r0RnNjyRFHXj_yDmZj84BrXTF74d9o#4bedd3f66e32

Researchers rush to test coronavirus vaccine in people without knowing how well it works in animals

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/crispr-gene-editing-may-help-scale-up-coronavirus-testing/?fbclid=IwAR3H7eahutbvs7E2kx9m8Pt3ki5JOHKJDRnYWQJWwGpRaEQIGvF7qesSIlg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphics

 

Graphics

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Graphics (from Greek γραφικός graphikos, “belonging to drawing”) are visual images or designs on some surface, such as a wall, canvas, screen, paper, or stone to inform, illustrate, or entertain. In contemporary usage, it includes a pictorial representation of data, as in c manufacture, in typesetting and the graphic arts, and in educational and recreational software. Images that are generated by a computer are called computer graphics.

Examples are photographsdrawingsline artgraphsdiagramstypographynumberssymbolsgeometric designs, mapsengineering drawings, or other images. Graphics often combine textillustration, and colorGraphic design may consist of the deliberate selection, creation, or arrangement of typography alone, as in a brochure, flyer, poster, web site, or book without any other element. Clarity or effective communication may be the objective, association with other cultural elements may be sought, or merely, the creation of a distinctive style.

Graphics can be functional or artistic. The latter can be a recorded version, such as a photograph, or interpretation by a scientist to highlight essential features, or an artist, in which case the distinction with imaginary graphics may become blurred. It can also be used for architecture.

History[edit]

The earliest graphics known to anthropologists studying prehistoric periods are cave paintings and markings on boulders, bone, ivory, and antlers, which were created during the Upper Palaeolithic period from 40,000–10,000 B.C. or earlier. Many of these were found to record astronomical, seasonal, and chronological details. Some of the earliest graphics and drawings are known to the modern world, from almost 6,000 years ago, are that of engraved stone tablets and ceramic cylinder seals, marking the beginning of the historical periods and the keeping of records for accounting and inventory purposes. Records from Egypt predate these and papyrus was used by the Egyptians as a material on which to plan the building of pyramids; they also used slabs of limestone and wood. From 600–250 BC, the Greeks played a major role in geometry. They used graphics to represent their mathematical theories such as the Circle Theorem and the Pythagorean theorem.

In art, “graphics” is often used to distinguish work in a monotone and made up of lines, as opposed to painting.

Drawing[edit]

Drawing

Drawing generally involves making marks on a surface by applying pressure from a tool or moving a tool across a surface. In which a tool is always used as if there were no tools it would be art. Graphical drawing is an instrumental guided drawing.

Printmaking[edit]

Woodblock printing, including images is first seen in China after paper was invented (about A.D. 105). In the West, the main techniques have been woodcutengraving and etching, but there are many others.

Etching[edit]

Etching is an intaglio method of printmaking in which the image is incised into the surface of a metal plate using an acid. The acid eats the metal, leaving behind roughened areas, or, if the surface exposed to the acid is very thin, burning a line into the plate. The use of the process in printmaking is believed to have been invented by Daniel Hopfer (c. 1470–1536) of AugsburgGermany, who decorated armour in this way.

Etching is also used in the manufacturing of printed circuit boards and semiconductor devices.

Line art[edit]

Line art is a rather non-specific term sometimes used for any image that consists of distinct straight and curved lines placed against a (usually plain) background, without gradations in shade (darkness) or hue (color) to represent two-dimensional or three-dimensional objects. Line art is usually monochromatic, although lines may be of different colors.

Illustration[edit]

An illustration of a character from a story; also, an illustration of illustrations

An illustration is a visual representation such as a drawingpaintingphotograph or other work of art that stresses subject more than form. The aim of an illustration is to elucidate or decorate a story, poem or piece of textual information (such as a newspaper article), traditionally by providing a visual representation of something described in the text. The editorial cartoon, also known as a political cartoon, is an illustration containing a political or social message.

Illustrations can be used to display a wide range of subject matter and serve a variety of functions, such as:

  • giving faces to characters in a story
  • displaying a number of examples of an item described in an academic textbook (e.g. A Typology)
  • visualizing step-wise sets of instructions in a technical manual
  • communicating subtle thematic tone in a narrative
  • linking brands to the ideas of human expression, individuality, and creativity
  • making a reader laugh or smile
  • for fun (to make laugh) funny

Graphs[edit]

A graph or chart is an information graphic that represents tabularnumeric data. Charts are often used to make it easier to understand large quantities of data and the relationships between different parts of the data.

Diagrams[edit]

A diagram is a simplified and structured visual representation of concepts, ideas, constructions, relations, statistical data, etc., used to visualize and clarify the topic.

Symbols[edit]

A symbol, in its basic sense, is a representation of a concept or quantity; i.e., an ideaobject, concept, quality, etc. In more psychological and philosophical terms, all concepts are symbolic in nature, and representations for these concepts are simply token artifacts that are allegorical to (but do not directly codify) a symbolic meaning, or symbolism.

Maps[edit]

A map is a simplified depiction of a space, a navigational aid which highlights relations between objects within that space. Usually, a map is a two-dimensional, geometrically accurate representation of a three-dimensional space.

One of the first ‘modern’ maps was made by Waldseemüller.

Photography[edit]

Photo

One difference between photography and other forms of graphics is that a photographer, in principle, just records a single moment in reality, with seemingly no interpretation. However, a photographer can choose the field of view and angle, and may also use other techniques, such as various lenses to choose the view or filters to change the colors. In recent times, digital photography has opened the way to an infinite number of fast, but strong, manipulations. Even in the early days of photography, there was controversy over photographs of enacted scenes that were presented as ‘real life’ (especially in war photography, where it can be very difficult to record the original events). Shifting the viewer’s eyes ever so slightly with simple pinpricks in the negative could have a dramatic effect.

The choice of the field of view can have a strong effect, effectively ‘censoring out’ other parts of the scene, accomplished by cropping them out or simply not including them in the photograph. This even touches on the philosophical question of what reality is. The human brain processes information based on previous experience, making us see what we want to see or what we were taught to see. Photography does the same, although the photographer interprets the scene for their viewer.

Engineering drawings[edit]

Image of a part represented in First Angle Projection

An engineering drawing is a type of drawing and is technical in nature, used to fully and clearly define requirements for engineered items. It is usually created in accordance with standardized conventions for layout, nomenclature, interpretation, appearance (such as typefaces and line styles), size, etc.

Computer graphics[edit]

There are two types of computer graphics: raster graphics, where each pixel is separately defined (as in a digital photograph), and vector graphics, where mathematical formulas are used to draw lines and shapes, which are then interpreted at the viewer’s end to produce the graphic. Using vectors results in infinitely sharp graphics and often smaller files, but, when complex, like vectors take time to render and may have larger file sizes than a raster equivalent.

In 1950, the first computer-driven display was attached to MIT’s Whirlwind I computer to generate simple pictures. This was followed by MIT‘s TX-0 and TX-2, interactive computing which increased interest in computer graphics during the late 1950s. In 1962, Ivan Sutherland invented Sketchpad, an innovative program that influenced alternative forms of interaction with computers.

In the mid-1960s, large computer graphics research projects were begun at MITGeneral MotorsBell Labs, and Lockheed CorporationDouglas T. Ross of MIT developed an advanced compiler language for graphics programming. S.A.Coons, also at MIT, and J. C. Ferguson at Boeing, began work in sculptured surfaces. GM developed their DAC-1 system, and other companies, such as DouglasLockheed, and McDonnell, also made significant developments. In 1968, ray tracing was first described by Arthur Appel of the IBM Research Center, Yorktown Heights, N.Y.[1]

During the late 1970s, personal computers became more powerful, capable of drawing both basic and complex shapes and designs. In the 1980s, artists and graphic designers began to see the personal computer, particularly the Commodore Amiga and Macintosh, as a serious design tool, one that could save time and draw more accurately than other methods. 3D computer graphics became possible in the late 1980s with the powerful SGI computers, which were later used to create some of the first fully computer-generated short films at Pixar. The Macintosh remains one of the most popular tools for computer graphics in graphic design studios and businesses.

Modern computer systems, dating from the 1980s and onwards, often use a graphical user interface (GUI) to present data and information with symbols, icons, and pictures, rather than text. Graphics are one of the five key elements of multimedia technology.

3D graphics became more popular in the 1990s in gamingmultimedia and animation. In 1996, Quake, one of the first fully 3D games, was released. In 1995, Toy Story, the first full-length computer-generated animation film, was released in cinemas. Since then, computer graphics have become more accurate and detailed, due to more advanced computers and better 3D modeling software applications, such as Maya3D Studio Max, and Cinema 4D.

Another use of computer graphics is screensavers, originally intended to prevent the layout of much-used GUIs from ‘burning into’ the computer screen. They have since evolved into true pieces of art, their practical purpose obsolete; modern screens are not susceptible to such burn in artifacts.

Web graphics[edit]

In the 1990s, Internet speeds increased, and Internet browsers capable of viewing images were released, the first being Mosaic. Websites began to use the GIF format to display small graphics, such as banners, advertisements, and navigation buttons, on web pages. Modern web browsers can now display JPEGPNG and increasingly, SVG images in addition to GIFs on web pages. SVG, and to some extent VML, support in some modern web browsers have made it possible to display vector graphics that are clear at any size. Plugins expand the web browser functions to display animated, interactive and 3-D graphics contained within file formats such as SWF and X3D.

Signature art used on web forums

Modern web graphics can be made with software such as Adobe Photoshop, the GIMP, or Corel Paint Shop Pro. Users of Microsoft Windows have MS Paint, which many find to be lacking in features. This is because MS Paint is a drawing package and not a graphics package.

Numerous platforms and websites have been created to cater to web graphics artists and to host their communities. A growing number of people use create internet forum signatures—generally appearing after a user’s post—and other digital artwork, such as photo manipulations and large graphics. With computer games’ developers creating their own communities around their products, many more websites are being developed to offer graphics for the fans and to enable them to show their appreciation of such games in their own gaming profiles.

Uses[edit]

Graphics are visual elements often used to point readers and viewers to particular information. They are also used to supplement text in an effort to aid readers in their understanding of a particular concept or make the concept more clear or interesting. Popular magazines, such as TIMEWired and Newsweek, usually contain graphic material in abundance to attract readers, unlike the majority of scholarly journals. In computing, they are used to create a graphical interface for the user; and graphics are one of the five key elements of multimedia technology. Graphics are among the primary ways of advertising the sale of goods or services.

Business[edit]

Graphics are commonly used in business and economics to create financial charts and tables. The term Business Graphics came into use in the late 1970s, when personal computers became capable of drawing graphs and charts instead of using a tabular format. Business Graphics can be used to highlight changes over a period of time.

Advertising[edit]

Advertising is one of the most profitable uses of graphics; artists often do advertising work or take advertising potential into account when creating art, to increase the chances of selling the artwork. Most importantly, graphics give a good look to artwork whenever it is applied. Graphics contribute to the general outlook of a designed artwork, this, in turn, lure interested members of the public to look at the work of art or purchasing it. Any graphical work (especially advertisement) or any work of art that is poorly designed will not persuade the audience. therefore, for an advertisement to persuade and convince readers or viewers, it must be well designed with needed graphical tools so as to bring profit to the designer or advertiser.

Political[edit]

The use of graphics for overtly political purposes—cartoons, graffiti, poster art, flag design, etc.—is a centuries-old practice which thrives today in every part of the world. The Northern Irish murals are one such example. A more recent example is Shepard Fairey‘s 2008 U.S. Presidential election Barack Obama “Hope” poster. It was first published on the web, but soon found its way onto streets throughout the United States.[2]

Education[edit]

Graphics are heavily used in textbooks, especially those concerning subjects such as geographyscience, and mathematics, in order to illustrate theories and concepts, such as the human anatomy. Diagrams are also used to label photographs and pictures.

Educational animation is an important emerging field of graphics. Animated graphics have obvious advantages over static graphics when explaining subject matter that changes over time.

The Oxford Illustrated Dictionary uses graphics and technical illustrations to make reading material more interesting and easier to understand. In an encyclopedia, graphics are used to illustrate concepts and show examples of the particular topic being discussed.

In order for a graphic to function effectively as an educational aid, the learner must be able to interpret it successfully. This interpretative capacity is one aspect of graphicacy.

Film and animation[edit]

Computer graphics are often used in the majority of new feature films, especially those with a large budget. Films that heavily use computer graphics include The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, the Harry Potter filmsSpider-Man and War of the Worlds.

Graphics education[edit]

The majority of schools, colleges, and universities around the world educate students on the subject of graphic design and art.

The subject is taught in a broad variety of ways, each course teaching its own distinctive balance of craft skills and intellectual response to the client’s needs.

Some graphics courses prioritize traditional craft skills—drawing, printmaking, and typography—over modern craft skills. Other courses may place an emphasis on teaching digital craft skills. Still, other courses may downplay the crafts entirely, concentrating on training students to generate novel intellectual responses that engage with the brief. Despite these apparent differences in training and curriculum, the staff and students on any of these courses will generally consider themselves to be graphic designers.

The typical pedagogy of a graphic design (or graphic communication, visual communication, graphic arts or any number of synonymous course titles) will be broadly based on the teaching models developed in the Bauhaus school in Germany or Vkhutemas in Russia. The teaching model will tend to expose students to a variety of craft skills (currently everything from drawing to motion capture), combined with an effort to engage the student with the world of visual culture.

Noted graphic designers[edit]

Aldus Manutius designed the first italic type style which is often used in desktop publishing and graphic designApril Greiman is known for her influential poster design. Paul Rand is well known as a design pioneer for designing many popular corporate logos, including the logo for IBMNeXT and UPSWilliam Caslon, during the mid-18th century, designed many typefaces, including ITC Founder’s CaslonITC Founder’s Caslon OrnamentsCaslon GraphiqueITC Caslon No. 224Caslon Old Face and Big Caslon.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Appel A. (1968). Some Techniques for Machine Rendering of Solids, AFIPS 1968 Spring Joint Computer Conference, Vol. 32, pp. 37-45
  2. ^ Steven Heller and Seymour Chwast (2011). Graphic Style: From Victorian to New Century. Abrams.

External links[edit]

As they race to test an experimental coronavirus vaccine, researchers aren’t waiting to see how well it prevents infection in animals before trying it in people, breaking from the usual protocol.“I don’t think proving this in an animal model is on the critical path to getting this to a clinical trial,” said Tal Zaks, chief medical officer at Moderna, a Cambridge, Mass.-based biotech that has produced a Covid-19 vaccine candidate at record speed. He told STAT that scientists at the National Institutes of Health are “working on nonclinical research in parallel.” Meanwhile, the clinical trial started recruiting healthy participants in the first week of March.That isn’t how vaccine testing normally happens. Regulators require that a manufacturer show a product is safe before it goes into people, and while it isn’t enshrined in law, researchers almost always check that a new concoction is effective in lab animals before putting human volunteers at potential risk.

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“This is very unusual,” explained Akiko Iwasaki, a Yale University microbiologist who studies the immune response to viruses. “It reflects the urgency to develop vaccines to counter the Covid-19 pandemic.”

To some, the sweep of outbreak is emergency enough to justify simultaneously working on steps that would normally be done sequentially. To others, jumbling the order of the recipe seems morally questionable, because there could potentially be unknown hazards and it’s unclear how effective this particular formulation is.

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“The traditional vaccine timeline is 15 to 20 years. That would not be acceptable here,” said Mark Feinberg, president and CEO of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, whose work as chief public health and science officer at Merck Vaccines was instrumental in the development of the immunization against Ebola. “When you hear predictions about it taking at best a year or a year and a half to have a vaccine available … there’s no way to come close to those timelines unless we take new approaches.”

He knows that it’s important to see how well a new vaccine can stop infection in animals, but to him, given the current emergency, it makes sense to start human safety testing before those studies are finished. “I personally think that’s not only appropriate; I think that’s the only option we have,” Feinberg went on.

Yet ethicists aren’t so sure that the eventual benefits of rushing this unproven vaccine into clinical trials will outweigh the risks. “Outbreaks and national emergencies often create pressure to suspend rights, standards and/or normal rules of ethical conduct. Often our decision to do so seems unwise in retrospect,” wrote Jonathan Kimmelman, director of McGill University’s biomedical ethics unit, in an email to STAT.

The question is complicated by the newness of the science at play. The technology that has allowed Moderna to craft an experimental vaccine so fast has not yielded a single immunization that’s made it to market so far. It’s a trendy idea: Instead of injecting people with a weakened pathogen or proteins from the surface of a pathogen, so that our bodies will learn to fight off such infections in the future, scientists are betting on a kind of genetic hack, a lab-made concoction that gets the body to produce its own virus-like bits which it will then train itself to combat.

At the center of it all is a molecule called messenger RNA, or mRNA. Inside of us, its normal function is to transmit the instructions contained within our DNA to the cellular protein-making factories that carry them out. In Moderna’s recipe, the mRNA is synthetic, programmed with the goal of getting our inner machinery to produce certain coronavirus-like proteins — the very proteins that the pathogen uses to gain entry into our cells. Once those homemade dummy virus particles are there, the thinking goes, our bodies will learn to recognize and clobber the real thing.

The method’s greatest advantage is its speed. The virus behind the outbreak that began in Wuhan, China, was identified on Jan. 7. Less than a week later — on Jan. 13 — researchers at Moderna and the NIH had a proposed sequence for an mRNA vaccine against it, and, as the company wrote in government documents, “we mobilized toward clinical manufacture.” By Feb. 24, the team was shipping vials from a plant in Norwood, Mass., to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in Bethesda, Md., for a planned clinical trial to test its safety.

Though sponsored by NIAID, the first-in-human experiment is taking place in Seattle, at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute. Researchers began recruiting healthy volunteers in early March. Their plan is to enroll 45 people between 18 and 55, who will get two shots of Moderna’s investigational vaccine, about a month apart. For their trouble, participants will get $100 for each in-person study visit, for a total of $1,100.

That doesn’t mean the scientists have sped past animal testing entirely. Virologists at NIAID tried the new vaccine on run-of-the-mill lab mice, the institute told STAT by email, on the same day that the trial began enrolling participants. Barney Graham, director of NIAID’s vaccine research center, later added that those mice showed the same sort of immune response generated by a similar mRNA vaccine against MERS, another coronavirus. “That level of immune response was sufficient to protect mice from MERS CoV infection,” Graham wrote.

The trouble is, your average lab mouse doesn’t seem susceptible to the new virus. While the bug behind Covid-19 has no trouble co-opting molecules on human cells to get inside and start multiplying, it isn’t so good at latching onto the mouse equivalent. Although Graham can say the response produced in everyday mice looks similar to one that helped mice combat the virus in their bodies when infected with MERS, he can’t yet say the same thing for the new coronavirus, because the mice susceptible to this pathogen aren’t ready yet.

These pathogen-susceptible rodents were specially engineered in the wake of another coronavirus outbreak: SARS, in the early 2000s. To make them easier to infect, scientists adorned their cells with the human molecule that allows certain coronaviruses to slip inside. But when coronavirus research slowed between outbreaks, scientists couldn’t justify the expense of keeping many of them; so while these mice seem to be susceptible to the new virus, too, there aren’t currently enough for experiments to start.

“Those mice in the U.S. are being bred so that the colony can be enlarged,” explained Graham, adding, that they “will be available for experiments within the next few weeks.”

The researchers have not said outright that they’ll start dosing humans before they have results showing how well the vaccine works in virus-susceptible animals, but when asked whether they would, Graham replied, “Safety and product integrity are the primary criteria for starting a Phase 1 trial and mRNA has now been used in several clinical trials and shown to be safe and well tolerated.”

Kaiser Permanente did not reply to STAT’s request for the informed consent form that trial participants are signing, which is supposed to describe the risks they will face, and like Moderna, referred all questions about preclinical testing for this vaccine to NIAID.

To Holly Fernandez Lynch, assistant professor of medical ethics at the University of Pennsylvania, starting human experiments before finishing all of the usual animal testing first raises a serious question. “We may not be able to minimize the risks as much as we would hope to, because we have the time pressure of the outbreak,” she said. “Are the remaining risks acceptable in relation to the benefits of the research?”

The potential benefits are to have a vaccine against Covid-19 ready for general use as soon as possible. That won’t happen for a year at least. That timeline, Lynch went on, is “insanely fast,” but it probably won’t be fast enough to help slow the current outbreak.

If this research meant a vaccine might be ready by this June, she said, people would probably be all for it in spite of the cut corners. “If we’re talking about us getting a vaccine in June of 2021 rather than March of 2021, that’s a much more uncertain scenario,” she said. “We shouldn’t delude ourselves into thinking that skipping over steps is going to get a vaccine into our hands by next week or next month.”

Even if researchers decide it’s worth forging ahead and testing a new vaccine’s safety in people while still figuring out whether it works to prevent infections in susceptible animals, they need to be ready to stop the human trial if the results don’t look good in mice, said Karen Maschke, a scholar at the Hastings Center, a nonpartisan think tank in Garrison, N.Y., and the editor of the journal Ethics & Human Research — whether that’s because there are bad side effects or simply because the immunization doesn’t work.

“There’s no reason to put people at risk in a study if there’s no efficacy,” she said, “even if it’s just the burden of being in a study. You don’t burden people to be in a study if the intervention is not going to help.”

Then again, she pointed out, animal studies are often lousy predictors of what will be effective in people.

Moderna itself acknowledges that the task is daunting, and this effort might not succeed. “We have not previously tested our rapid response capability and may be unable to produce a vaccine that successfully treats the virus in a timely manner, if at all,” the company wrote in a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

What the company doesn’t say is that it has not yet brought a single product to market, even in non-emergency times. The majority of candidate vaccines fail. If against all odds, this rushed project does work out, then the company needs to be extra careful about monitoring what happens to those people who get it, said Arthur Caplan, head of medical ethics at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine. “The more you speed it up … the greater the obligation you have to track what’s going on when you get it out into the real world.”

He doesn’t see it as inherently unethical for animal efficacy studies and human safety studies to happen at the same time, though he said vaccine skeptics might use this as fodder.

To vaccine-makers, though, Covid-19 may well simply be a test case for other outbreaks to come. As Feinberg, of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative put it, “This is a world where we’re going to see infectious diseases we’ve never seen before, and we need to get really good at developing vaccines against them quickly.”

Damian Garde contributed reporting. 

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2 Comments

  1. Today, I went to the beachfront with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is totally off topic but I had to tell someone!

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