Author Archive for Pharmboy

When will there be a coronavirus vaccine? 5 questions answered

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When will there be a coronavirus vaccine? 5 questions answered

A security guard wears a mask as she keeps watch at arriving passengers at Manila’s international airport in the Philippines on Jan. 23, 2020, as part of efforts to contain the coronavirus. Aaron Favila/AP Photo

Courtesy of Aubree Gordon, University of Michigan and Florian Krammer, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Editor’s note: The coronavirus that started in Wuhan has sickened more than 4,000 people and killed at least 100 in China as of Jan. 27, 2020. Thailand and Hong Kong each have reported eight confirmed cases, and five people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with the illness. People are hoping for a vaccine to slow the spread of the disease.

Is there a vaccine under development for the coronavirus?

Work has begun at multiple organizations, including the National Institutes of Health, to develop a vaccine for this new strain of coronavirus, known among scientists as 2019-nCoV.

Scientists are just getting started working, but their vaccine development strategy will benefit both from work that has been done on closely related viruses, such as SARS and MERS, as well as advances that have been made in vaccine technologies, such as nucleic acid vaccines, which are DNA- and RNA-based vaccines that produce the vaccine antigen in your own body.

Was work underway on this particular strain?

No, but work was ongoing for other closely related coronaviruses that have caused severe disease in humans, namely MERS and SARS. Scientists had not been concerned about this particular strain, as we did not know that it existed and could cause disease in humans until it started causing this outbreak.

How do scientists know when to work on a vaccine for a coronavirus?

Work on vaccines for severe coronaviruses has historically begun once the viruses start infecting humans.

Given that this is the third major outbreak of a new coronavirus that we have had in the past two decades and also…
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Snakes could be the original source of the new coronavirus outbreak in China

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Snakes could be the original source of the new coronavirus outbreak in China

Chinese cobra (Naja atra) with hood spread. Briston/Wikimedia, CC BY-SA

Haitao Guo, University of Pittsburgh; Guangxiang “George” Luo, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Shou-Jiang Gao, University of Pittsburgh

Snakes – the Chinese krait and the Chinese cobra – may be the original source of the newly discovered coronavirus that has triggered an outbreak of a deadly infectious respiratory illness in China this winter.

The many-banded krait (Bungarus multicinctus), also known as the Taiwanese krait or the Chinese krait, is a highly venomous species of elapid snake found in much of central and southern China and Southeast Asia. Briston/Wikimedia, CC BY-SA

The illness was first reported in late December 2019 in Wuhan, a major city in central China, and has been rapidly spreading. Since then, sick travelers from Wuhan have infected people in China and other countries, including the United States.

Using samples of the virus isolated from patients, scientists in China have determined the genetic code of the virus and used microscopes to photograph it. The pathogen responsible for this pandemic is a new coronavirus. It’s in the same family of viruses as the well-known severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), which have killed hundreds of people in the past 17 years. The World Health Organization (WHO) has named the new coronavirus 2019-nCoV.

We are virologists and journal editors and are closely following this outbreak because there are many questions that need to be answered to curb the spread of this public health threat.

What is a coronavirus?

The name of coronavirus comes from its shape, which resembles a crown or solar corona when imaged using an electron microscope.

The electron microscopic image, reveals the crown shape


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Why telling people with diabetes to use Walmart insulin can be dangerous advice

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Why telling people with diabetes to use Walmart insulin can be dangerous advice

A vial of insulin. Prices for the drug, crucial for those with diabetes, have soared in recent years. Oleksandr Nagaiets/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Jeffrey Bennett, Vanderbilt University

About 7.4 million people in the U.S. require manufactured insulin to stay alive. I’m one of them. I’ve lived with Type 1 diabetes for over 15 years and inject two kinds of insulin every day. These insulins are notoriously expensive, and even with health insurance, people with diabetes regularly struggle to make ends meet.

The price of some insulins is now seven times more expensive than it was two decades ago. Studies find that upwards of one in four people with diabetes ration their insulin to stretch prescriptions, putting themselves at risk of dying. As a result, advocacy groups ranging from the American Medical Association to T1International are calling the situation a crisis.

In place of political or corporate action that would make insulin readily available, an unusual social media phenomenon is developing that puts the onus on people with diabetes to stay well. Those with diabetes are being confronted with “alternatives” to high-priced insulin. The most widespread of these appears to be so-called Walmart insulin, an older and much cheaper insulin.

These older insulins have been thrust into the spotlight because of a widely circulated meme on social media that suggests people could manage their disease better if they simply purchased these products. Such insulins cost US$25 a vial and can be obtained without a prescription. However, these insulins do not present a solution to the current health care crisis. Worse, they may put some people’s lives at risk.

I’m a communication scholar who specializes in the rhetoric of health and medicine. My research focuses on how public understandings of diabetes affect political and cultural responses to the disease. I recently published a book-length study about competing conceptions of diabetes “management” and how that term guides our thinking about the disease, which can be seen as easily controlled…
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The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

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The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

Courtesy of  , Visual Capitalist

INFO

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

As evidence of cannabis’ many benefits mounts, so does the interest from the global pharmaceutical industry, known as Big Pharma. The entrance of such behemoths will radically transform the cannabis industry—once heavily stigmatized, it is now a potentially game-changing source of growth for countless companies.

Today’s infographic comes to us from CB2 Insights, and explores how and why the notorious Big Pharma are interested in the nascent cannabis industry.

Who are “Big Pharma”?

The term refers to some of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, considered especially influential as a group. To give a sense of their sheer size, the market cap of the top 10 Big Pharma companies is $1.7 trillion—Johnson & Johnson being the largest, with a market capitalization of $374 billion.

So far, Big Pharma has watched the cannabis industry from the sidelines, deterred by regulatory concerns. What we are seeing now is the sleeping giant’s takeover slowly intensifying as more patents, partnerships, and sponsored clinical trials come to fruition.

Could Cannabis be Sold Over the Counter?

The cannabis plant has been used in medicine for 6,000 years. However, there is still considerable debate around the role it plays in healthcare today. There are currently almost 400 active and completed clinical trials worldwide surrounding cannabidiol (CBD), a type of cannabinoid that makes up 40% of the cannabis plant’s extract.

Cannabis relies on CBD’s therapeutic properties, and recent studies suggest it may be useful in combating a variety of health conditions, such as:

  • Epilepsy
  • Schizophrenia
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Migraines
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer side effects

As of 2019, 33 states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for medical use. Its potential for pain management has led some experts to recommend it as an


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DNA testing companies offer telomere testing – but what does it tell you about aging and disease risk?

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DNA testing companies offer telomere testing – but what does it tell you about aging and disease risk?

A telomere age test kit from Telomere Diagnostics Inc. and saliva. collection kit from 23andMe. Anna Hoychuk/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Patricia Opresko, University of Pittsburgh and Elise Fouquerel, Thomas Jefferson University

Over the past few years direct-to-consumer genetic tests that extract information from DNA in your chromosomes have become popular. Through a simple cheek swab, saliva collection or finger prick, companies offer the possibility of learning more about your family tree, ancestry, or risk of developing diseases such as Alzheimer’s or even certain cancers. More recently, some companies offer tests to measure the tips of chromosomes, called telomeres, to learn more about aging.

But what exactly are telomeres, what are telomere tests, and what are companies claiming they can tell you? Age based on your birthday versus your “telomere age”?

Telomeres play a big role in keeping our chromosomes and bodies healthy even though they make up only a tiny fraction of our total DNA. The Greek origins of the word telomere describes where to find them. “Telo” means “end” while “mere” means “part.” Telomeres cap both ends of all 46 chromosomes in each cell, and protect chromosomes from losing genetic material. They are often compared to the plastic tips at the ends of shoelaces that prevent fraying.

We are molecular biologists studying how chemicals, agents from the environment and metabolism damage telomeres and affect their lengths and function, and how damaged telomeres affect the health of our cells and genome. The idea of offering telomere length as part of a genetic test is intriguing since telomeres protect our genetic material. But equating telomere length with something as complex as aging struck us as tricky and overly simplistic.

Telomeres get shorter with each round of cell division. Kateryna Kon/Shutterstock.com

Link between telomere length and human diseases

Telomeres are important for human health and despite their protective…
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Consumer genetic testing customers stretch their DNA data further with third-party interpretation websites

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Consumer genetic testing customers stretch their DNA data further with third-party interpretation websites

If you’ve got the raw data, why not mine it for more info? Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Sarah Catherine Nelson, University of Washington

Back in 2016, Helen (a pseudonym) took three different direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic tests: AncestryDNA, 23andMe and FamilyTreeDNA. She saw genetic testing as a way to enhance her paper trail genealogy research, and it panned out when she matched with several new relatives.

DTC companies extract DNA profiles from saliva samples users send in. Sarah Weldon/Shutterstock.com

Helen is one of over 26 million individuals who have reportedly taken a DTC genetic test. That’s a lot of spit in tubes being mailed to companies that promise customers information about their health, ancestry and family trees.

Notably, the search for genetic insights doesn’t always stop with the interpretations provided by the DTC companies. One of Helen’s matches on AncestryDNA told her how she could stretch her personal genomic information further: by downloading her raw genetic data, that long list of As, Cs, Gs and Ts at each of the DNA sites the DTC company measured, and then uploading it to third-party interpretation tools online such as GEDmatch and DNA.land to find more relatives.

Helen enthusiastically did so and joined Facebook groups dedicated to helping people use their genetic data to flesh out their family trees. While Helen wasn’t initially seeking health information, on these forums she learned about the third-party tool Promethease and decided to upload her data there as well. She thought, “Well, for five dollars – we’ll see what it says.”

Researchers don’t have a very clear or comprehensive picture of how DTC customers use their raw data and these kinds of third-party tools. As a genetics researcher interested in the ethical and social implications of genomics in research, clinical care and everyday life, I think it’s important to address this knowledge gap – particularly given questions about whether and to what extent these…
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DNA as you’ve never seen it before, thanks to a new nanotechnology imaging method

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DNA as you've never seen it before, thanks to a new nanotechnology imaging method

File 20190424 121241 96r4oz.jpeg?ixlib=rb 1.1

A map of DNA with the double helix colored blue, the landmarks in green, and the start points for copying the molecule in red. David Gilbert/Kyle Klein, CC BY-ND

Courtesy of David M. Gilbert, Florida State University

The first revealing image of DNA taken using X-ray diffraction. Raymond Gosling/King's College London

The helical DNA staircase. The building blocks of DNA, or bases, lie horizontally between the two spiraling strands. Richard Wheeler, CC BY-SA

For biologists everywhere, April 25 is auspicious. It is DNA Day and commemorates the date in 1953 when scientists Francis Crick, Rosalind Franklin, James Watson and Maurice Wilkins published seminal scientific papers describing the helical structure of the DNA molecule. In 2003, April 25 was used to announce the completion of the Human Genome Project. Now annual festivities on this day celebrate the molecule of life with new discoveries. What better time to provide a new picture of DNA.

I am DNA DAVE (or at least my license plate since 1984 says so), and one of the things my lab likes to do is to “see” DNA. We take images of DNA so that we can directly measure things that are difficult to quantify using indirect methods that usually involve sequencing the four chemical units of DNA, called bases.

For example, I would like to know where on each chromosome the process of DNA replication begins. Error-free duplication of DNA is essential for producing healthy cells. When this process is incomplete or disrupted, the result can cause cancer and other diseases.

In our image that familiar double helix staircase is not visible because this perspective is zoomed out – like looking at the map of a country versus a city. Also each of these molecules is equivalent…
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No cure for Alzheimer’s disease in my lifetime

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No cure for Alzheimer's disease in my lifetime

File 20190403 177181 1xjl0a1.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

In most cases, scientists are still unsure of what causes Alzheimer’s disease. FGC / Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Norman A. Paradis, Dartmouth College

Biogen recently announced that it was abandoning its late stage drug for Alzheimer’s, aducanumab, causing investors to lose billions of dollars.

They should not have been surprised.

Not only have there been more than 200 failed trials for Alzheimer’s, it’s been clear for some time that researchers are likely decades away from being able to treat this dreaded disease. Which leads me to a prediction: There will be no effective therapy for Alzheimer’s disease in my lifetime.

Clinically, I am an emergency physician. But my research interests include diagnostic biomarkers, which are molecular indicators of disease, and a diagnostic test for Alzheimer’s is something of a holy grail.

Alzheimer’s sits right at the confluence of a number unfortunate circumstances. Stick with me on this – it’s mostly bad news for anyone middle-aged or older, but there’s a reward of sorts at the end. If you understand why there won’t be much headway on Alzheimer’s, you’ll also understand a bit more why modern medicine has been having fewer breakthroughs on major diseases.

We don’t know what causes this disease

For decades it was widely believed that the cause of Alzheimer’s was the build-up of abnormal proteins called amyloid and Tau. These theories dominated the field and led some to believe we were on the verge of effective treatments – through preventing or removing these abnormal proteins. But had the theories been correct we would likely have had at least one or two positive clinical trials.

In retrospect, the multi-decade amyloid fixation looks like a mistake that could have been avoided. Although there is a correlation between amyloid and risk of Alzheimer’s, there are elderly people whose brains have significant amounts of the protein and yet are cognitively intact. Versions of this observation date back to at least the
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Marijuana is a lot more than just THC – a pharmacologist looks at the untapped healing compounds

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Marijuana is a lot more than just THC – a pharmacologist looks at the untapped healing compounds

File 20190311 86693 ga1zx.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

Assorted cannabis bud strains. Roxana Gonzalez/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of James David Adams, University of Southern California

Medical marijuana is legal in 33 states as of November 2018. Yet the federal government still insists marijuana has no legal use and is easy to abuse. In the meantime, medical marijuana dispensaries have an increasing array of products available for pain, anxiety, sex and more.

The glass counters and their jars of products in the dispensary resemble an 18th century pharmacy. Many strains for sale have evocative and magical names like Blue Dream, Bubba Kush and Chocolope. But what does it all mean? Are there really differences in the medical qualities of the various strains? Or, are the different strains with the fanciful names all just advertising gimmicks?

Rafael, a Chumash who shared Californian Native American cultural knowledge with anthropologists in the 1800s. Leon de Cessac

I am a professor in the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy. I have lived in California a long time and remember the Haight-Ashbury Summer of Love. While in graduate school, I worked with professor Alexander Shulgin, the father of designer drugs, who taught me the chemistry of medicinal plants. Afterwards, while a professor at USC, I learned Chumash healing from a Native American Chumash healer for 14 years from 1998 until 2012. She taught me how to make medicines from Californian plants, but not marijuana, which is not native to the U.S. Currently, I am teaching a course in medical marijuana to pharmacy students.

If there is one thing about marijuana that is certain: In small doses it can boost libido in men and women, leading to more sex. But can marijuana really be used for medical conditions?

What are cannabinoids?

New research is revealing that marijuana is more than just a source of cannabinoids, chemicals that may bind to cannabinoid receptors in our…
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Can a genetic test predict if you will develop Type 2 diabetes?

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Can a genetic test predict if you will develop Type 2 diabetes?

File 20190312 86703 cjfm0t.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

A woman uses a lancet on her finger to check her blood sugar level with a glucose meter. Behopeful/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Mylynda Massart, University of Pittsburgh

When I got home after work I was surprised to find my husband and three children sitting by the television and watching the news. They had just learned that the direct to consumer genetic testing company 23andMe was now offering a report that assessed the customers’ risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. “Is it true?” my husband asked. “Can they now study my genes and predict whether I will get Type 2 diabetes?”

As a primary care physician who is exploring how to integrate genetic testing into traditional family medicine – a combination we now describe as precision medicine – I was excited to explain the science behind this new report and the barriers to using 23andMe’s new diabetes risk score in current clinical care.

As a family physician, I am eager to identify my patients most at risk for developing diabetes, as this is a very costly and debilitating disease with numerous health consequences such as kidney failure, heart disease, painful neuropathy and limb amputation. In the U.S. alone more than 30 million Americans have Type 2 diabetes and of these 7.2 million are undiagnosed and unaware of their condition. Another 84.1 million adults older than 18 are at high risk and considered prediabetic. So how did 23andMe calculate this risk score, and would it help the millions who were unaware of their state of health?

Calculating risk of Type 2 diabetes

The cost of diabetes. American Diabetes Association, CC BY-SA

As my family sat down to a carbohydrate-rich dinner of pasta, my famous pesto pizza rolls and a salad, I explained how this direct-to-consumer testing service was calculating the risk of this complex disease that is caused by the interaction of diet, environment and thousands…
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Phil's Favorites

When will there be a coronavirus vaccine? 5 questions answered

Reminder: We are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

When will there be a coronavirus vaccine? 5 questions answered

A security guard wears a mask as she keeps watch at arriving passengers at Manila’s international airport in the Philippines on Jan. 23, 2020, as part of efforts to contain the coronavirus. Aaron Favila/AP Photo

Courtesy of Aubree Gordon, University of Michigan and Florian Krammer, ...



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Biotech

When will there be a coronavirus vaccine? 5 questions answered

Reminder: We are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

When will there be a coronavirus vaccine? 5 questions answered

A security guard wears a mask as she keeps watch at arriving passengers at Manila’s international airport in the Philippines on Jan. 23, 2020, as part of efforts to contain the coronavirus. Aaron Favila/AP Photo

Courtesy of Aubree Gordon, University of Michigan and Florian Krammer, ...



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Zero Hedge

Stocks Soar To Best Day In 4 Months As "Devil"-Virus Death-Count Spikes

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

The death toll in China has soared past 100 while the number of confirmed cases doubled overnight. Health officials around the world have confirmed more than 4,500 cases, more than triple the number from Friday.

And domestically, while 'soft' data improved - headline consumer confidence ticked up and Richmond Fed saw its 2nd biggest rebound in its 27 year history, 'hard' data collapsed as Durable Goods orders were a disaster...

All of which explains (not...



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Insider Scoop

JPMorgan Downgrades Beyond Meat On Valuation

Courtesy of Benzinga

One of Beyond Meat Inc's (NASDAQ: BYND) earliest bull analysts downgraded the stock on Tuesday.

The Analyst

Ken Goldman downgraded the plant-based food maker's stock from Overweight to Neutral with a price target lowered from $138 to $134.

The Thesis

Goldman was among the first Street analysts to initiate coverag...



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Chart School

Top Patterns for Retail Investors

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Retail investors are last in line for market leading research, no matter, the retail investor can profit from these secret sauce patterns..

Well not so secret now, the main point is you do not have to climb Mount Everest to be called a mountain climber, there are many other hills to climb to make your mark. Just like stocks.

You do not have to battle with the high frequency traders to win in the markets, there are long and slow methods to do just as well.  

More from RTT Tv







Some charts from the video


...

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The Technical Traders

The Wuhan Wipeout - Could It Happen?

Courtesy of Technical Traders

News is traveling fast about the Corona Virus that originated in Wuhan, China. Two new confirmed cases in the US, one in Europe and hundreds in China. As we learn more about thispotential pandemic outbreak, we are learning that China did very little to contain this problem from the start. Now, quarantining two cities and trying to control the potential
outbreak, may become a futile effort.

In most of Asia, the Chinese New Year is already in full swing.  Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Malaysia, India and a host of other countries are already starting to celebrate the 7 to 10 day long New Year.  Millions of people have already traveled hundreds of thousands of miles to visit family...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Bad News For Crude Oil Should Come From This Pattern, Says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

It’s a good idea for investors to be aware of key indicators and inter-market relationships.

Perhaps it’s watching the US Dollar as an indicator for precious metals or emerging markets. Or watching interest rates for the economy. Experience, history, and relationships matter. And it’s good to simply add these to our tool-kit.

Today, we look at another relationship that has signaled numerous stock market tops and bottoms over the years, and especially the past several months, Crude Oil.

When crude oil tops or bottoms, it seems that ...



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Members' Corner

The War on All Fact People

 

David Brin shares an excerpt from his new book on the relentless war against democracy and how we can fight back. You can also read the first, second and final chapters of Polemical Judo at David's blog Contrary Brin.

The War on All Fact People 

Excerpted from David Brin's new book, the beginning of chapter 5, Polemical Judo: Memes...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

 

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

Courtesy of  

The repo market problem isn’t the problem. It’s a sideshow, a diversion, and a joke. It’s a symptom of the problem.

Today, I got a note from Liquidity Trader subscriber David, a professional investor, and it got me to thinking. Here’s what David wrote:

Lee,

The ‘experts’ I hear from keep saying that once 300B more in reserves have ...



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Digital Currencies

Cryptos Have Surged Since Soleimani Death, Bitcoin Tops $8,000

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Bitcoin is up over 15% since the assassination of Iran General Soleimani...

Source: Bloomberg

...topping $8,000 for the first time since before Thanksgiving...

Source: Bloomberg

Testing its key 100-day moving-average for the first time since October...

...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union

...

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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