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Category Archives: South Carolina Stem Cells

Colonial Heights community rally to find missing dog while owners are out of state – Progress Index

Posted: July 21, 2021 at 2:24 am

COLONIAL HEIGHTS - A beloved seven-year-old Shih Tzu named Pedro went missing for four days. The Phelps family was vacationing out of state when it happened.

"My father was watching Pedro, and he got away from him," said Troy Phelps. "He lives behind Carini's. He tried to track him down and wasn't able to find him."

"I felt horrible and just wanted Pedro home," said Troy and Crystal's 18-year-old son Collin.

On Thursday, July 15, the Phelps received the devastating news. Theydid what they could from afar, but as one would imagine, they wished they were home so they could help with the search.

The community went into action to help bring Pedro home to the family who holds a special place in their hearts.

Last year during the unprecedented time when people were fighting for equality and weathering COVID-19, Crystal Phelps initiated a kindness movement in our readership area.

Founder Gini Bonnell of Richmond had many angels across the nation follow her lead of making "Be Kind" signs and sharing them with friends, neighbors, businesses, schools, etc. to spread the message of love and kindness.

Over 6,000 "Be Kind" signs have been produced by volunteers in the Bonnell's garage so far. From time to time, Pedro rides in Crystal Phelps's bicycle basket to help deliver them.

A year ago, Troy Phelps donated stem cells to save a stranger's life.

"We met the recipient Dalton Grizzle in May, and they invited us on their family vacation," shared Crystal Phelps. "He said that if he lived he wanted to be able to have one family vacation, and he invited us to be a part of it. That's where we were when Pedro ran off."

Grizzle, diagnosed with aplastic anemia, needed a stem cell transplant to survive.

Thankful for Crystal's uplifting mission that produces miles of smiles and Troy's act of becoming a miracle blood stem cell donor the community rallied together to find Pedro.

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Gina Hope Trainor of Chester who had lost her dog Bashy in the past went into action and created a "Let's Find Pedro" Facebook account. Trainor encouraged followers to post sightings and share Pedro's photos and information across social media platforms.

Trainor also provided tips such as not to congregate or park at or near stop signs and not to affix signs to light poles, city signs, or city property.

The Colonial Heights Animal Services had been notified and were on the lookout. And, an experienced tracker was providing advice on how to proceed with the search so as not to frighten Pedro.

"We are in South Carolina trying our fastest to get there! I will get my bike and ride once we arrive. My husband will take our vehicle," posted Crystal Phelps on Facebook. "Words can't describe how blessed and loved we feel as we feel so helpless."

"We didn't get back into town until Saturday," said Troy Phelps.

Unfortunately, storms took place over the weekend which caused more concern for Pedro's well-being.

As soon as I heard about Pedro's disappearance, I reached out to pay it forward to this family that has made such a positive impact in the lives of many.

On the fourth day since Pedro had bolted, I met with the distressedcouple who were out distributing flyers holding out hope.

The three of us created a video to help find Pedro.

Moments before I was ready to publish the story to get the word out, my phone rang and a beautiful melody played in my ear...Pedro was safe and sound!

On his adventure, Pedro wandered across Boulevard's four lanes. On Friday morning, two friends, Alston Chamberlain and Joseph Clark discovered the thrill-seeking canine across the street from Carini's.

"He came right to us," said Chamberlain.

Since Pedro's new amigos couldn't locate his owners, they decided to care for him themselves until the shelter opened on Monday.

According to Clark's mom, her son and Chamberlain spoiled Pedro and took him to Petsmart to get supplies. When she spotted a post about Pedro on social media, she promptlyprovided the phone numbers to her son.

Collin Phelps expressed his gratitude for the community'sefforts and support.

"Thank you everyonefor the amazing support we received," said Crystal Phelps. "I am truly humbled and greatly appreciative that everyone did to help us in the search for Pedro."

"Pedro was a little stunned when he was reunited after being gone for several days," said Crystal Phelps. "He is so happy to be home."

Upon his return,Pedro enjoyed a treat andtook a much-needed nap.

"Thank you to each of you that have helped," posted Jeri Nicole. "There really are KIND folks."

Nicole thanked the trappers and anyone who worked on flyers,prayed, and rode around at all hours.

The Phelps family gave a shout-out to the following people for helping them:Karen Thomlinson, Gina Trainor, Adam Whittemore, Kelly Jones, Nicole Clendinning, Tonya Tucker, Rob Ruxer, Susan, Chris andKatelyn Lane, prayer warriors, church family, and countless others they dont even know.

"We are floored by the outpouring of support from this community and surrounding area," said Troy Phelps.

"I can't thank you enough for helping this sweet family. Pedro is healthy and happy," added Nicole. "As a community, Colonial Heights folks came together to love each other and unite for one common bring Pedro HOME!"

- Kristi K. Higgins aka The Social Butterfly columnist is the trending topics and food Q&A reporter at The Progress-Index. Have a news tip on local trends or businesses? Contact Kristi (she, her) at, follow @KHiggins_PI on Twitter, and subscribe to us at

Colonial Heights community rally to find missing dog while owners are out of state - Progress Index

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Cancer Stem Cells Market Production, Sales And Consumption Status And Prospects Professional Automotive Information and Safety System Market Research…

Posted: at 2:24 am

The global Cancer Stem Cells market is driven by the various factors, a detailed analysis of which is included in the report. The report provides valuable recommendation to the companies in order to help them adapt winning strategies. It comprises the information pertaining to the opportunities and threats that the global Cancer Stem Cells market is projected to witness during the forecast period. Industry-leading tools are used to provide detail information regarding the companies profiled. The report also provides in-depth analysis of the competition prevailing in the global Cancer Stem Cells market.

The product portfolio, strategies, and financial reports of leading companies are analyzed in this report. SWOT analysis is conducted to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that these companies forecast to witness during the forecast period. The data is obtained from various trusted sources which includes industry experts and analysts. This report serves as the must have tool for all the companies in the Cancer Stem Cells industry across the world.

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Market Segmented are as Follows:

Segmented by Category:

Cell Culturing Cell Separation Cell Analysis Molecular Analysis Others

Segmented by End User/Segment:

Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment Prostate Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment Colorectal Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment Lung Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment Others

Key manufacturers included in this survey:

Thermo Fisher Scientific Stemline Therapeutics Stemcell Technologies Sino Biological Promocell Oncomed Pharmaceuticals Miltenyi Biotec Merck Kgaa Macrogenics Lonza Irvine Scientific Biotime Bionomics Abbvie

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Cancer Stem Cells Market Regional Analysis Includes:

Table of Contents:

Chapter 1: Product Introduction and Overview

1.1 Product Definition

1.2 Product Specification

1.3 Global Market Overview

1.4 Market Drivers, Inhibitors

Chapter 2: Global Cancer Stem Cells Supply by Company

Chapter 3: Global and Regional Cancer Stem Cells Market Status by Category

3.1 Cancer Stem Cells Category Introduction

3.2 Global Cancer Stem Cells Market by Category

3.3 North America: by Category

3.4 Europe: by Category

3.5 Asia Pacific: by Category

3.6 Central & South America: by Category

3.7 Middle East & Africa: by Category

Chapter 4: Global and Regional Cancer Stem Cells Market Status by End User/Segment

Chapter 5: Global Cancer Stem Cells Market Status by Region

Chapter 6: North America Cancer Stem Cells Market Status

Chapter 7: Europe Cancer Stem Cells Market Status

Chapter 8: Asia Pacific Cancer Stem Cells Market Status

Chapter 9: Central & South America Cancer Stem Cells Market Status

Chapter 10: Middle East & Africa Cancer Stem Cells Market Status

Chapter 11: Supply Chain and Manufacturing Cost Analysis

Chapter 12: Global Cancer Stem Cells Market Forecast by Category and by End User/Segment

12.1 Global Cancer Stem Cells Sales Volume and Sales Value Forecast (2022-2027)

12.2 Global Cancer Stem Cells Forecast by Category

12.3 Global Cancer Stem Cells Forecast by End User/Segment

Chapter 13: Global Cancer Stem Cells Market Forecast by Region/Country

Chapter 14: Key Participants Company Information

Chapter 15: Conclusion

Chapter 16: Methodology

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Some of the vital questions related to the development of the global Cancer Stem Cells market have been addressed in the research report. Some of them are:

Contact Us:

Mart Research5708 Copper Creek Court Charlotte,North Carolina 28227, USA


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Cancer Stem Cells Market Production, Sales And Consumption Status And Prospects Professional Automotive Information and Safety System Market Research...

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Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) Market Analytical Overview, Growth Factors, Demand and Trends Forecast to 2027 The Manomet Current – The Manomet Current

Posted: at 2:24 am

A thorough overview of the global Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) market has been presented in this market intelligence study in order to provide a strong understanding of the market. The research report offers a comprehensive analysis of the lucrative opportunities and latest trends within the global Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) market. In addition, the study comprises strategic business policies that have been adopted by the leading players operating in the global Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) market, along with the key growth drivers, limitations, challenges, regulatory ecosystem, and future estimates of the global Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) market throughout the forecast period.

The research study talks about the competitive landscape of the global Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) market and offers a detailed analysis for the same. In order to provide a clear picture of the market, the research study has provided a list of all the leading players operating in the market across the globe and also provide coronavirus pandemic impacts analysis. Additionally, the product segmentation, SWOT analysis, and financial overview of these players have been mentioned in the research study.

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Market Segmented are as Follows:

Segmented by Category:

CellSearch Others

Segmented by End User/Segment:

Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment Prostate Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment Colorectal Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment Lung Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment Other Cancers Diagnosis and Treatment

Key manufacturers included in this survey:

YZY Bio Silicon Biosystems ScreenCell Qiagen On-chip Miltenyi Biotec Janssen IVDiagnostics Ikonisys Gilupi Fluxion Fluidigm CytoTrack Cynvenio Creatv MicroTech Clearbridge Biomedics Celsee BioView Biofluidica Aviva Biosciences Corporation ApoCell Advanced Cell Diagnostics AdnaGen

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Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) Market Regional Analysis Includes:

Table of Contents:

Chapter 1: Product Introduction and Overview

1.1 Product Definition

1.2 Product Specification

1.3 Global Market Overview

1.4 Market Drivers, Inhibitors

Chapter 2: Global Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) Supply by Company

2.1 Global Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) Sales Volume by Company

2.2 Global Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) Sales Value by Company

2.3 Global Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) Price by Company

2.4 Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) Production Location and Sales Area of Main Manufacturers

2.5 Trend of Concentration Rate

Chapter 3: Global and Regional Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) Market Status by Category

Chapter 4: Global and Regional Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) Market Status by End User/Segment

Chapter 5: Global Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) Market Status by Region

Chapter 6: North America Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) Market Status

Chapter 7: Europe Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) Market Status

Chapter 8: Asia Pacific Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) Market Status

Chapter 9: Central & South America Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) Market Status

Chapter 10: Middle East & Africa Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) Market Status

Chapter 11: Supply Chain and Manufacturing Cost Analysis

11.1 Supply Chain Analysis

11.2 Production Process Chart Analysis

11.3 Raw Materials and Key Suppliers Analysis

11.4 Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) Manufacturing Cost Analysis

11.5 Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) Sales Channel and Distributors Analysis

11.6 Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) Downstream Major Buyers

Chapter 12: Global Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) Market Forecast by Category and by End User/Segment

12.1 Global Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) Sales Volume and Sales Value Forecast (2022-2027)

12.2 Global Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) Forecast by Category

12.3 Global Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) Forecast by End User/Segment

Chapter 13: Global Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) Market Forecast by Region/Country

14 Key Participants Company Information

15 Conclusion

16 Methodology

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The research report has addresses several questions related to the growth of the global Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) market. Some of them are mentioned as below:

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Mart Research5708 Copper Creek Court Charlotte,North Carolina 28227, USA


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Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) Market Analytical Overview, Growth Factors, Demand and Trends Forecast to 2027 The Manomet Current - The Manomet Current

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The Chronicle of the Horse – The Chronicle of the Horse

Posted: December 12, 2020 at 6:55 pm

Mattie Worsham couldnt believe her luck the day her trainer suggested she hop aboard Scout. The brown warmblood of unrecorded breeding held superstar status, with the likes of John French, Archie Cox and Liza Boyd competing him at the most prestigious shows.

I can still remember very clearly the first day when I was training with Terry Brown, and he had come into her barn, said Worsham. I can remember the first day where she told me, Go get on Scout. And I was like, Are you sure? Do you really mean Scout? He sort of was and is the big name in the barn.

Worsham was only 13, and she quickly discovered that, despite his talent and training, or perhaps because of it, Scout was no pushbutton pony. I got on him, and I could not make him canter for the life of me, said Worsham. That remained a very big theme in our early years together and sometimes today.

But in 2015, Worshams last junior year, she finally felt like shed reached Scouts level. The pair was consistently champion in the small junior division and had qualified for Devon (Pennsylvania) for the first time.

The week before Devon, Worsham received a call from Brown. Scout had torn a hind suspensory, and theyd discovered osteoarthritis in both front fetlocks. Not only was Devon out of the picture, but it also looked like his performance days might be over for good.

I was so much more devastated at the time to lose a partner who I was so close with, to lose him to retirement and right on the cusp of everything, said Worsham. It was so much harder to think about not being able to ride than going to Devon and things like that.

Worshams parents, Penny and Hugh Worsham, DVM, and Brown helped her see past her sorrow. [They] could really empathize with how hard it was and what I was going through, but [they] also helped me to know that, even at that point, Id already had so many amazing moments with that horse, and he taught me so much, Mattie said. He challenges me, and he inspires me every single day, and he had already [done that]. So, they really helped me see that.

Mattie brought him home to retire at her parents farm near Atlanta. The Worshams didnt have a companion for Scout, so Mattie brought out the wheelbarrow and slept in it next to his stall so he wouldnt spend the night alone.

It was fine except for the fact that at 3 a.m. hed start pulling on my hair, said Mattie. I was within reach right outside the stall. Apparently, he can stretch out and grab me. More than any other horse I ended up sleeping in the stall/outside the stall for this horse.

While the prognosis for his injuries was poor, the Worshams werent ready to give up. Hugh had used Pro-Stride APS, an autologous protein solution made from the horses blood, for an unrelated injury earlier in Scouts career, and hed had good results. Hugh decided to try it again with Scouts fetlocks.

We call it a regenerative product or an ortho-regenerative injection, said Hugh. You harvest 60 ccs of blood off a horse. And theres a centrifuge that we take to the barn, its stall side, and we spin the blood down with these kits that Owl Manor provides.

Commonly used regenerative therapies include stem cells, interleukin-1 receptor antagonist protein (IRAP) and platelet-rich plasma (PRP). The Pro-Stride process produces a concentrated solution of cells, platelets, growth factors and anti-inflammatory proteins from the horses blood, and then the veterinarian injects them back into the point of interest.

Hugh injected Scout a few times, but they didnt put him into a focused rehabilitation program.

He just came home, and he got turned out, and my dad and my mom both worked on him and just never gave up, said Mattie. My dad was the veterinary care, and my mom was the day to day. I was at school at the time for undergraduate.

But then one day in 2018, Hugh saw Scout trotting around.

We can see the field from the deck of our house where we used to live, said Hugh. And Im watching him trotting around like a million bucks with this mini one day. Im thinking, Man, you are way too sound to just be living out here.

Three years after his injury, they pulled Scout out and pointed him toward a coop in the field. With his miniature horse companion Nugget running behind him, Scout jumped it and landed with ease. So the Worshams came up with a plan to get him back into shape, returning to the show ring in September in the adult amateur, 18-35, division.

The funny thing about it, when we brought him out of retirement, I havent fallen off in probably a year or two, said Mattie. And after we brought Scout out of retirement, it was like every week for a while. Our very first show back after three years, he bucked me off in the first class. I really wanted to do right by this horse because he was three years older, but so was I. Instead of being 18, I was 21, and I was in a very different place in my life. I felt like I was finally ready to give just everything that I had into doing right by this horse and trying not to let him down ever.

This fall, at 19 years old and five years after his first retirement, Scout traveled with Mattie to Tryon, North Carolina, to compete in the WIHS Adult Hunter Finals. After Scout laid down a second-round score of 86 to win the class and wear the Washington International cooler, Mattie knew this was the curtain call he deserved.

It was so redemptive and cathartic and just unrealI still dont even really believe itthat I could do that with this horse whos been my partner for so long and who I spent every single day with, said Mattie. I live in the barn [in Aiken, South Carolina,] right beside him. I can see his window from my window. It was really a strangely sublime moment, and [I felt] uncontainable gratitude for everything that I have with him. I just knew in that moment, This is the way I want to remember showing him. Being there with my trainer Courtney Goldstein, and my mom was there also, and getting to share that moment with them, thats the way that I want to remember showing this horse who was my junior hunter and then my adult hunter.

The way that he retired the first time was so unexpected and kind of a mess, and it wasnt on our own terms, continued Mattie. So getting to do it on our terms and walking out of the show ring with a win like that, on a horse who is very well known in the show world from his days even before I bought him, it felt really nice for him to get to end on top like that.

And while the win to close out his career was wonderful, just having those extra seasons with Scout is what Mattie will treasure. I had just as much fun when I was winning with him as when he was bucking me off in the ring because I was just so grateful to be showing this horse that I never thought I would show again, Mattie said. It really feels like this unexpected gift, and I wish I could go back and tell my 18-year-old self that this isnt the end. Its going to get better, and this horse is always going to be there for you. Hes never going to let you down.

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SC Stem Cell: Regenerative Medicine: Columbia, SC

Posted: December 9, 2020 at 1:56 am

About Us

SC Stem Cell provides innovative regenerative medicine therapies and nonsurgical treatments for pain to patients throughout Columbia, South Carolina. With a passion for safe, effective pain care, SC Stem Cell can treat damaged tissues, injuries, arthritis, and slow-healing wounds with a variety of minimally invasive, nonsurgical treatments. We use a Doctor of Anesthesiology whose licenses and experience cover far more direct precise procedures. With an actual treating physician's license, we can cover hips, spines, discs, etc.

As a practice focusing on regenerative medicine and nonsurgical techniques, SC Stem Cell proudly offers its patients stem cell therapy. This groundbreaking treatment taking stem cells and injectingthem directly into an injury site, such as arthritic knees, torn rotator cuff or herniated disc, to stimulate the bodys natural healing response. Over time, the body begins to heal injuries at the source for lasting pain relief without surgery.

Along with stem cell therapy, SC Stem Cell uses hyperbaric oxygen therapy to speed up healing. While oxygen-rich blood in the body helps heal damaged tissues, it often isnt enough if an injury isnt healing properly. During hyperbaric chamber therapy, patients breathe in pure oxygen inside a pressurized chamber to promote faster recovery.

SC Stem Cell also has board-certified chiropractors on staff to relieve back pain, improve flexibility and mobility, and restore function to damaged tissues with massage therapy. To meet every patients unique needs and health goals, the practice provides Swedish, lymphatic, and deep tissue massages at their office.

Call SC Stem Cell or book an appointment online today to learn more about your regenerative medicine options.

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Impact Of Outbreak Of Coronavirus (Covid-19) On Synthetic Stem Cells Market 2020 Growth Factors | Strategic Analysis | Increasing Demand With Top Key…

Posted: September 5, 2020 at 11:50 pm

Global Synthetic Stem Cells Market 2020: Business Growth Rate, Manufacturing Analysis, Size, Share, Cost Structure, and Forecast to 2026

The Market Data Analytics published a recent report on the globalSynthetic Stem Cells market, which was studied by the research analysts for months. The report includes information from trusted primary and secondary resources along with detailed examination from the research analysts. Based on the analysis, research analysts have concluded that the global demand for the global Synthetic Stem Cells market was USD XX Million in 2019 and is anticipated to reach USD XX Million by the end of 2026. The expected CAGR for the market is around XX%.

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Final Report will add the analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on this Industry.

The other factors that the report delivers is the revenue estimations, sales volume, industry size, and other important aspects, which includes market segmentation, growth factors, restraints, opportunities, challenges, and the market players.

The global Synthetic Stem Cells market incorporates information such as the basic overview of the industry, which includes definition, segmentation, and the industry structure. The global Synthetic Stem Cells market is segmented on the basis of{Cardiovascular Diseases, Neurological Disorders, Other Diseases}; {Cancers, Wounds and Injuries, Musculoskeletal Disorders, Blood disorders}. Along with this the product types and the applications of the Synthetic Stem Cells market are also discussed. Other data that is provided includes developmental trends, regional analysis of the Synthetic Stem Cells market, and the technological advancements. The developmental policies that have been updated are all discussed in the report.

Browse Full Report with More Professional and Technical Insights Including COVID-19 Impact@

Some of the top most key players that are enlisted in the report areNorth Carolina State University, Zhengzhou University, . The details that are represented in the report includes the cost structures, manufacturing process methodology, import and export consumption, supply and demand patterns, gross margins, recent developments made in the business, revenue analysis, and gross margins.

The report offers a comprehensive understanding of market dynamics across key regions, namely North America (United States, Canada and Mexico), Europe (Germany, France, United Kingdom, Russia and Italy), Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, Korea, India, Southeast Asia and Australia), Latin America (Brazil, Argentina), and the Middle East & Africa (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and South Africa).

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Key Questions Answered In The Report:

What is the growth potential of the global Synthetic Stem Cells market? Which regional market will emerge as a frontrunner during the forecast period 2020-2026? Which application segment will grow at a robust rate? What are the growth opportunities that may emerge in the industry in the years to come? What are the key challenges that the global market may face in the future? Which are the main companies in the global Synthetic Stem Cells market? Which are the growth strategies considered by the players to sustain hold in the global market?

Why Go For Market Data Analytics Research?

Market Data Analytics is a leading global market research and consulting firm. We focus on business consulting, industrial chain research, and consumer research to help customers provide non-linear revenue models. We believe that quality is the soul of the business and that is why we always strive for high quality products. Over the years, with our efforts and support from customers, we have collected inventive design methods in various high-quality market research and research teams with extensive experience.

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Impact Of Outbreak Of Coronavirus (Covid-19) On Synthetic Stem Cells Market 2020 Growth Factors | Strategic Analysis | Increasing Demand With Top Key...

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Feliciano receives $667K DOD grant to explore developmental disorder that causes tumors in the body and brain – Clemson Newsstand

Posted: July 8, 2020 at 3:55 am

The research team includes (from left) Victoria Neckles, David Feliciano, Tori Riley, Aidan Sokolov and Jennie Holmberg.Image Credit: College of Science

CLEMSON, South Carolina College of Science associate professor and researcher David Feliciano has received a $667,000 grant from the Department of Defense to explore the cellular underpinnings of Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC), a developmental disorder characterized by the growth of benign tumors throughout the body, most notably in the brain.

Young children with TSCoften have seizures, learning disabilities, behavioral issues, and a high rate of autism. A hallmark of the disorder is the presence of growths in the brain called subependymal giant cell astrocytomas (SEGAs). SEGAs can block cerebrospinal fluid flow resulting in hydrocephalus, behavioral changes, nausea, headaches, seizures, and are a cause of mortality. SEGAs can be surgically removed, however, their presence in infancy usually precludes immediate removal. Early intervention improves prognosis.

About a third of the TSC cases are inherited from a parent, while about two thirds of cases arise during in utero development, said Feliciano, of biological sciences. There are clues leading to a TSC diagnosis. For example, an infant may have seizures characterized by a head bobbing motion that almost looks like he or she is nodding off, skin lesions, and red bumps comprised of blood vessels on the face, especially on the nose and cheeks.

According to Feliciano, scientists know that TSC occurs because of a mutation on either the TSC1 or TSC2 gene. These genes normally produce proteins that stop cell growth via the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway. However, TSC1 or TSC2 mutations result in excessive mTOR activity and cell growth.

Coronal section of a mouse brain olfactory bulb genetically modified by in vivo neural stem cell electroporation (blue, old neurons; cyan, young neurons; magenta, nuclei of all cells).Image Credit: Courtesy of Victoria Riley

In the course of the three-year project, Feliciano will generate a novel mouse model of TSC, characterize the molecular pathways in this model, and test two potential drug therapies to evaluate their effectiveness on treating these harmful SEGAs.

The model will have mutations engineered in the neural stem cells of newborn mice. When these stem cells divide, the cellular progeny will be deficient in the Tsc2 gene, mimicking the human disease. These mice will also express an inducible fluorescent protein allowing the altered cells to be tracked by microscopy.

Well be able to closely examine how the SEGAs form in this model, Feliciano said. We can examine the cell types and cellular processes that are altered, and we can study how the biochemical pathways are altered within the SEGA cells.

While we have developed other models of TSC, none to date fully recapitulate SEGAs, Feliciano added. Having a SEGA model is important because it allows one to interrogate the molecular pathways and identify mechanisms of pathogenesis. In the final step of the project, Feliciano will test the effectiveness of two potential therapies which may stop the formation of SEGAs.

TSC is a relatively rare disorder, occurring in one out of every 6,000 births. TSC provides a framework to understand the pathways that orchestrate normal brain development. Many other diseases are also characterized by changes to the same pathways, although the causative genes are unknown. Therefore, the results of this research will be applicable to additional diseases, said Feliciano, citing cancer and epilepsy as two examples.

This research is supported by the Department of Defense Award Number W81XWH-19-TSCRP-IDA. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the DoD.

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Feliciano receives $667K DOD grant to explore developmental disorder that causes tumors in the body and brain - Clemson Newsstand

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The Latest: UN urges $2.4 billion in aid for war-torn Yemen – The Associated Press

Posted: June 4, 2020 at 9:49 am

The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.


UN urgently appeals for $2.4 billion to help Yemen cope with war and virus.

State in Australia to allow as many people in churches as pubs after archbishops complaint.

Philippine president relaxing lockdown in Manila next week.

South Korea reports 58 new virus cases, China none.


UNITED NATIONS The U.N. humanitarian chief is urgently appealing for $2.4 billion to help millions in war-torn Yemen cope with the conflict and COVID-19, saying programs are already being cut and the situation is alarming.

Mark Lowcock told a briefing Thursday that the U.N. has only received $516.6 million of the $3.4 billion it needs until the end of the year, amounting to just over 15%.

The United Nations and Saudi Arabia are co-hosting a virtual pledging conference for Yemen on Tuesday seeking $2.4 billion, including $80 million to respond to the pandemic.

Lowcock and the heads of 10 U.N. agencies and several U.N. officials and humanitarian organizations issued a joint statement Thursday saying COVID-19 is spreading rapidly across the country already experiencing the worlds largest humanitarian crisis as a result of the war, and expressing increasing alarm about the worsening situation.

Tragically, we do not have enough money to continue this work, they said. Of 41 major U.N. programs in Yemen, more than 30 will close in the next few weeks if we cannot secure additional funds.

This means many more people will die, they warned.

The 17 signatories said they have the skills, staff and capacity to meet the difficult challenges of delivering aid in Yemen, but no money. And time is running out.

We ask donors to pledge generously and pay pledges promptly, they said.


SYDNEY An Australian state government has announced that as many people will be allowed in churches as in pubs after an archbishop complained of unfair pandemic rules.

Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher on Thursday encouraged Catholics to sign a petition calling on the New South Wales government to treat churches the same as pubs by increasing capacity limits from 10 to 50 people beginning June 1.

State Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced Friday that churches will also be allowed to increase congregation sizes from 10 on Monday in line with relaxed restrictions on pubs, cafes and restaurants.

It is crucial that worshippers remember to follow health advice. This is particularly important for people with co-morbidities aged over 50 and people aged over 70, Berejiklian said.

The government had been wary of adjusting the restrictions on places of worship after COVID-19 outbreaks in churches and church choirs overseas.

The states chief health officer, Kerry Chant, said places of worship need to find alternatives to practices that might spread the virus, like singing, sharing books and passing around collection plates.

Communal singing and chanting should not occur because of the high risk of transmission, Chant said.


MANILA, Philippines The Philippine president is relaxing a lockdown in the capital, the countrys epicenter of coronavirus infections, in a tightrope move amid an economic downturn and massive government spending to help feed millions of poor families restricted to their homes.

President Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday night that metropolitan Manila will be placed under a more relaxed quarantine Monday after more than two months of police- and military-enforced lockdown that restrained public mobility and most economic activities. The economy contracted in the first quarter in its weakest run in two decades.

Under the new arrangement, more work and business operations, along with public transport, will be allowed to resume, but physical distancing, face masks and other safeguards will continue to be required. Classes will remain suspended.

Duterte made the televised announcement hours after the Department of Health reported a single-day spike of 539 infections, more than 60% of them in the congested capital. That brought the total number of infections to 15,588, including 921 deaths.

Duterte warned the danger is far from over.

Remember that the entire nation is still under quarantine, Duterte said. The state has every right to control your movement if you pass on a contagion to the population.


SEOUL, South Korea South Korea has reported 58 new cases of the coronavirus, all in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, as officials scramble to stem transmissions linked to a massive e-commerce warehouse near the capital.

The figures announced Friday by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention brought national totals to 11,402 infections and 269 deaths.

Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun called for officials to examine working conditions at warehouses of online shopping companies, which have seen orders surge during the pandemic, and other congested workplaces where infection risks may be high.

Health authorities on Thursday said they found at least 82 infections linked to workers at a warehouse operated by local e-commerce giant Coupang in Bucheon, near Seoul. Officials had planned to complete testing on 4,000 workers and visitors to the warehouse.

South Korea has reported 177 new COVID-19 cases over the past three days, a resurgence that threatens to erase some of its hard-won gains against the virus and worsen a massive shock to the countrys trade-dependent economy.


BEIJING China on Friday again reported no new coronavirus cases or deaths.

Just 70 people remain hospitalized for treatment of COVID-19 and another 414 are being isolated and monitored as possible cases or after testing positive without showing symptoms. China has reported 4,634 deaths from the disease among 82,995 cases.


CAIRO Yemens Houthi rebels have acknowledged for the first time that the coronavirus has spread to multiple governorates under their control.

The Houthi health ministry buried the admission in a muted statement Thursday, saying only that authorities are working to trace and isolate infected cases that have been recorded in the capital, Sanaa, and several provinces across the war-torn country.

The rebels have officially reported just four cases, including one fatality, and have muzzled doctors and journalists who try to speak out about a dramatic surge in deaths among those with COVID-19 symptoms.

The statement accused the World Health Organization of sending inaccurate and deficient tests, and said it would reveal the results in the coming days.

Yemens internationally recognized government has reported 278 cases and 58 deaths. A major outbreak is threatening to overwhelm the countrys health system, which has been devastated by five years of war.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Thursday announced the end of a 10-week stay-at-home order meant to stem the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

The Democrat said that on Friday the state will move to the third phase of his five-stage recovery plan, meaning manufacturing and retail business will resume and there will be outdoor dining and small social gatherings.

Chicago, the nations third-largest city, which has been battered by the pandemic, will move more slowly. Mayor Lori Lightfoot says restrictions will be loosened next week, with city offices, parks and libraries to reopen in coming weeks.


HARRISBURG, Pa. A state lawmakers decision to keep his COVID-19 diagnosis a secret is dividing the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

Democrats say the Republican legislator needlessly put peoples health at risk.

The fight spilled onto the House floor on Thursday as Democrats denounced how it was handled by the lawmaker and the majority Republican leadership.

Republicans defeated a Democratic effort to end the legislative session so there would be time to change policies on disclosing illnesses. And the state attorney general declined requests by fellow Democrats to criminally investigate how the diagnosis was handled. He urged lawmakers to demonstrate common decency.


WASHINGTON Emergency management officials briefed President Donald Trump Thursday about the challenges of preparing for what is expected to be an above-average hurricane season amidst a coronavirus pandemic.

During an Oval Office meeting, officials reported that the Atlantic hurricane season is expected to have 13 to 19 named storms and six to 10 of those storms could develop into hurricanes.

Vice President Mike Pence says that when people are displaced by tropical storms or hurricanes, they are used to congregating at local schools or gyms. He says there will be different challenges now and that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has provided recommendations to local and state officials on how to respond to natural disasters during a pandemic.

Recommendations include encouraging evacuees to plan on staying with friends and families rather than end up in shelters.


SAN FRANCISCO San Franciscos mayor has announced plans to reopen the city on June 15 for outdoor dining and indoor shopping, religious services, and sporting events without spectators.

Mayor London Breed says local coronavirus statistics are positive enough to restart the local economy, but she warned that residents must continue wearing masks and shelter in place.

Breeds guideline allows for barbershops and hair salons to reopen in July, and nail salons, tattoo parlors, gyms and bars scheduled to reopen in August.

San Francisco is one of six Bay Area counties that coordinated a shutdown in mid-March. All reopening dates are tentative.


ATLANTA Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Thursday announced plans to allow bars and nightclubs to reopen, overnight summer camps and summer schools to begin and professional and amateur sports to resume operations and practices, all with social distancing and sanitation restrictions in place.

The Republican also extended a public health state of emergency, describing the road ahead as a slow and careful transition to a new normal.

The continued easing of restrictions comes as public health experts warn that new daily confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in Georgia are ticking upward after weeks of decline.


CAIRO Sudans public prosecutor says that another two senior officials of ousted autocrat Omar al-Bashirs regime have contracted the coronavirus in detention.

The attorney general said that former vice president Ali Muhamed Taha and former defense minister Abdel Raheem Muhammad Hussein tested positive while imprisoned in the capital of Khartoum.

Both are in their 70s and are the latest of four former party leaders to be infected, raising fears the virus is spreading rapidly through the cells of Kober prison. They were transferred to isolation centers for treatment.

Officials have ramped up testing of other political figures who landed in jail after a sweeping protest movement toppled al-Bashir in April last year.

Sudan has released over 4,000 low-risk prisoners to prevent a major outbreak. But freeing former leaders could prove politically explosive as the country makes a fragile transition to democracy.


ROME Italys education minister is promising students they will return to school in September.

Minister Lucia Azzolina told RAI state TV Thursday evening that come September all the nations school children will hear the school bell ring again. She said students older than six will have to wear protective masks at school and stay a safe distance apart from classmates.

Schools were closed as a safety measure after Italy started seeing hundreds of cases before the entire nation went into lockdown in early March. The COVID-19 outbreak in Europe began in Italy.

While the Italian government eased restrictions this month on many sectors of daily life, including allowing museums and all retail shops to open, restaurants to resume dining-in service and people to frequent parks, school buildings will stay shuttered for the rest of the school year. The only exception is high school students in their final year. They will return to school on June 17 to have individual oral exams needed for graduation.


BOGOT, Colombia The U.N. childrens agency is warning that Latin America could see a devastating jump in childhood poverty.

UNICEF and Save the Children warned Thursday that 46% of children in the region could be living in poor households by the end of the year as a result of the new coronavirus pandemic. That would make Latin America the second hardest hit region in the world.

An additional 16 million children are projected to live in poor households this year.

Monica Rubio, UNICEF s social policy adviser, says such a rise would significantly reverse gains made in reducing childhood poverty in the past two decades.

The United Nations estimates that the regions economy could contract 5.3% this year, a downturn that would be worse than the Great Depression.

The World Food Program says upward of at least 14 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean could go hungry this year.


RALEIGH, N.C. North Carolinas Democratic governor says his administration hasnt received the written safety plan for the upcoming Republican National Convention that his health secretary asked for amid friction with President Donald Trump on the events capacity.

Gov. Roy Cooper said during a Thursday afternoon briefing that his administration has yet to see plans for how the RNC envisions safely holding the convention in Charlotte in August amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trump threatened in a tweet Monday to move the convention unless Cooper could guarantee a full-capacity gathering. Trump reiterated the idea by saying he wanted an answer from Cooper within a week, or hed be forced to consider moving the convention somewhere else.

Cooper said his administration required a similar written plan from NASCAR ahead of its recent race in the Charlotte area that was run without fans. He said hes in similar discussions with other sports teams, including the NFLs Carolina Panthers.


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Q&A on COVID-19 Antibody Tests –

Posted: April 27, 2020 at 2:47 pm

Much of the focus on COVID-19 testing thus far into the pandemic has been on tests that can determine whether someone is actively infected with the novel coronavirus, or SARS-CoV-2. But, in his drive to open up America again, President Donald Trump has turned his attentionto blood-based antibody tests, which can show whether someone was previously infected with the virus.

This will help us assess the number of cases that have been asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic, and support our efforts to get Americans back to work by showing us who might have developed the wonderful, beautiful immunity, Trump said at anApril 17 press conference.

The tests do have the potential to relay valuable information about who might already have immunity and how widely COVID-19 has spread. But so far, the tests are not widely available and many of those that are available do not work as advertised.

The U.K., for instance, spent $20 million on antibody tests from China that the government subsequently found were not accurate enough to use. An emergency room in Laredo, Texas, also dropped half a million dollars on tests from China that were too unreliable to deploy.

Other tests are better but, like any test, will still miss some people who have antibodies or incorrectly tag others as having antibodies when they dont. And more fundamentally, experts told us too little is known about how the immune system responds to the new virus to know for sure whether antibodies actually protect a person from contracting the disease.

Well run through how the tests work and why its so hard to interpret what the results might mean.

What are antibodies and why is it useful to check for them?

Antibodies are specialized proteins that help clear the body of invading microbes. Made by immune cells known as B cells shortly after infection, antibodies specifically recognize pathogens, binding to the surfaces of viruses and stopping them from entering cells, for example, or marking them for destruction by other parts of the immune system.

The proteins dont exist until at least a few days into an acute infection, and often arent detectable until a week or more after symptoms appear, Rangarajan Sampath, the chief scientific officer of the nonprofit Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics, told us.

But because some antibodies persist for months if not years after someone has recovered, they offer a glimpse into the past and can reveal whether someone was previously infected, potentially even if that person never had symptoms.

The earliest antibodies that B cells pump out known as immunoglobulin M, or IgM may overlap with infection, Sampath said. IgM antibodies bind a bit less well to pathogens, but are the first on the scene, peaking within several weeks or so andthen declining. The most common antibody, IgG, takes longer to ramp up, but is more finely tuned to recognize microbes and is longer-lasting. Other antibody types, including IgA, which is present in the respiratory tract, are also delayed.

Because of the time lag, antibody tests are not very good at determining whether someone is infected with SARS-CoV-2.

The antibody test by itself cannot tell you whether youre currently active with a live infection or not, said Sampath. You could be. You cannot rule it out. But its also possible that what you had was a past infection, as recently as a few days ago.

For this reason, the Food and Drug Administration says antibody tests should not be used as the sole basis to diagnose COVID-19. Molecular tests, which check for the presence of viral RNA, are needed to diagnose an infection.

Its worth mentioning that different antibodies have different functions, and most antibody tests cannot discriminate between those that may be able to bind to the virus, but arent able to prevent infection the way so-called neutralizing antibodies can.

These tests are just looking for the presence of antibodies that are able to recognize SARS-CoV-2, said Lisa Gralinski, a virologist who studies human coronaviruses at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Theyre not telling us anything about the quality of those antibodies, so we dont know if theyre neutralizing.

Usually we would expect that they are, but in the case of an ongoing pandemic, she added, we dont want to be providing people with false confidence or incorrect information.

This is one reason why health experts have been cautious about making sweeping claims that antibody tests can necessarily identify those who are immune, even if scientists think its highly likely that a person with antibodies will have at least partial immunity for some period of time.

In the context of the current pandemic, a persons antibodies may also be valuable as a possible COVID-19 treatment. Scientists are exploring delivering antibody-rich blood, or whats called convalescent plasma, from people who recovered from COVID-19 to help patients still struggling with the disease.

How do COVID-19 antibody tests work?

Precisely because antibodies are highly specific and bind to certain features of a pathogen for example, the spike protein that sticks out from the surface of the COVID-19 virus its possible to design tests that can fish them out and say whether a person has them in their blood. (Antibody tests are also known as serological tests, since antibodies are found in the serum portion of the blood.)

As Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security explains, this can be done in the lab with whats called an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, or ELISA. Scientists attach some SARS-CoV-2 surface protein to a plastic plate, then add a bit of patient serum. If there are antibodies in the serum that recognize the viruss surface protein, they will stick to the protein, which can then be seen by adding a lab antibody that recognizes human antibodies and has the ability to trigger a color change.

Other tests try to do something similar, but in a more user-friendly platform. Many rapid serology tests, for instance, look a bit like pregnancy tests, but instead of using a urine sample, require the user to add a small amount of blood. As the liquid moves through the test strip, SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, if present, encounter viral proteins, and can even be sorted according to whether they are IgM or IgG, with a positive result popping up as a colored band.

The rapid tests typically take 10-30 minutes per sample, whereas the lab-based ELISAs take several hours, but can test many samples at once.

How accurate are COVID-19 antibody tests?

Poor accuracy has plagued many of the first tests that companies developed. Sampath said the problems boil down to bad reagents, or the materials the tests use, and a general lack of validation to know whether the tests work.

Many of the tests that came out initially came out in a hurry, he said. And many of them were not tested widely. They were tested on a very small set of, lets say, highly positive patients that may have looked like this was really good. But now, when you start testing them on a broader population, you start finding that they didnt really have the performance that was needed.

One issue, Sampath said, is that some tests, especially the rapid ones, may be falsely detecting antibodies to other coronaviruses, including those that cause common colds. That could yield a high false positive rate, which could be dangerous if people are led to believe they might be immune. Tests, too, may not be sensitive enough to detect SARS-CoV-2 antibodies when they are present, producing false negatives.

Indeed, the two measures that dictate how reliable a test is are sensitivity, or how many people are correctly labeled as having antibodies, and specificity, or how many people are correctly told they lack them.

Many manufacturers report these figures based on small-scale, in-house tests, but those reports may not reflect reality on the ground, as some governments have found.

In one preliminary evaluation, posted as a preprint to medRxiv, nine commercially available rapid tests were found to miss as many as 35% to 45% of samples that were positive. The rapid tests generally produced fewer false positives 7% or less but even that performance may not be good enough, especially if the tests are used in a population in which few people have been infected.

This gets at a strange quirk of testing, in which test performance depends not just on the quality of the test, but also on the population its being tested in. A test thats 95% specific, for example, might sound pretty good, but if only 1% of people are infected, then 85% of the positive results could be wrong.

Sampaths organization, FIND, is working on independently evaluating a variety of antibody tests. The FDA is also partnering with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health to assess serological tests. According to a CDC website, results are expected in late April.

Sampath, however, said he thought it would still be several months before there would be enough data on tests used for patient management. And until then, many bad tests are still out there. Many of those tests are still circulating, he said, and many of them continue to add to this noise and confusion.

Whats the status of COVID-19 antibody tests in the U.S.?

For most people, antibody tests are not yet available, although numerous companies are now making them, and some cities are beginning to roll out tests to determine how many people in the community have already been infected.

As of April 24, the FDA has given emergency use authorization, or EUA, to four antibody tests, including a point-of-care cartridge test from Cellex, a lab-based ELISA from Mount Sinai and a high-throughput test from Ortho Clinical Diagnostics.

Many more antibody tests are on the market, but have not received an EUA. The FDA permits this under a special emergency policy, as long as the test is validated by the manufacturer and test results do not claim the ability to diagnose COVID-19. At this time, the FDA does not allow any serological tests to be performed at home, so all tests must be conducted in clinical labs or by health care workers.

One such non-EUA test is from Abbott, which runs on existing machines in hospitals and reference labs, and has been mentioned by name by the president. The company has said it expects to be able to ship 4 million tests by the end of April and 20 million tests per month, starting in June.

Experts, however, are skeptical that companies will be able to meet the demand for serological tests anytime soon. Were really entering into this era of antibody testing, and were not anywhere close to where we need to be, said Michael Mina, an epidemiologist at Harvard Universitys T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in a press call. Its really going to make the demand for PCR testing look minimal, he added, referring to the molecular diagnostic tests for COVID-19.

Sampath also warned that none of the tests had been fully vetted yet. Even the EUA, its a really quick and dirty way of getting something in front of the FDA for an evaluation. Its not a true FDA-approved test that they would normally do.

And while some of the tests may work fine, Sampath said there was too little data to go on.

There are perhaps a handful of tests that may be on the border of being good enough, but we dont know, he said. And we dont know that because we only have the manufacturers claim.

Will someone be protected from being infected again if they have antibodies to the virus?

Its quite likely that someone with SARS-CoV-2 antibodies will have some degree of immunity to the virus because its a sign the body has seen and responded to the pathogen before and because its typical of most viruses that spark short-term infections.

Generally we know with infections like this, that at least for a reasonable period of time, youre going to have antibody levels that will be protective, said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in an April 8 interview with the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Scientists nevertheless caution that protection is not a given. UNCs Gralinski said immunity would be very likely, but because the virus is new and there isnt direct evidence yet it cant be known for certain.

The World Health Organization also warned against assuming antibodies confer immunity to the virus. Noting in an April 24scientific brief that there has yet to be any study showing that antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 prevent a second infection in humans, the group advised against policies that use antibody tests to identify individuals with immunity.

At this point in the pandemic, there is not enough evidence about the effectiveness of antibody-mediated immunity to guarantee the accuracy of an immunity passport or risk-free certificate,' the WHO said. People who assume that they are immune to a second infection because they have received a positive test result may ignore public health advice. The use of such certificates may therefore increase the risks of continued transmission.

Reports out of South Korea and other parts of Asia have raised concerns about reinfection or viral reactivation a term usually reserved for when viruses go dormant inside cells since some people who recovered from COVID-19 have tested positive again for the virus.

But many scientists are doubtful of those claims. Gralinski said coronaviruses dont reactivate, and rather than people becoming reinfected, its more likely that as patients eliminate the virus from their bodies, the amount of swabbed virus hovers around the diagnostic tests threshold of detection.

My suspicion is that were dealing with sensitivity issues, where people are kind of on the low edge of detectability with their infection as theyre clearing virus, she said. When theyre dancing around the detection limit for virus positivity, its easy to have things go down for a couple of days and then come back up.

Many other questions about potential COVID-19 immunity remain, including what antibody level might be needed to confer protection and whether people who were infected with SARS-CoV-2 but never developed symptoms are any less protected than those with more severe cases.

How long might someone be immune to COVID-19?

Scientists cant know with any certainty how long someone who contracted COVID-19 might be protected, but they can look to other human coronaviruses for clues.

In one experiment, volunteers were intentionally infected with a coronavirus that causes a common cold, and after a year, some participants were susceptible to infection again, although many did not develop noticeable symptoms.

Other studies of patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, in 2003 indicate antibodies begin to wane after about four months, but stick around in most people for two years. By year three, though, up to a quarter of patients no longer had detectable antibodies, and after six years,almost noone did.

If SARS-CoV-2 behaves like its predecessor, Gralinski said it might be possible to expect perhaps a couple of years of immunity, but not much more.

Reasonable guesses are that on the short end there might be partial protection for about a year or close to a year. And on the long end it might be longer it might be several years of good protection, said Marc Lipsitch, an epidemiologist and director of Harvards Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics, in a call with reporters. But its really speculative at this point.

Its worth noting that immune protection doesnt just stem from circulating antibodies, nor is it a simple on or off switch. As Vineet Menachery, a coronavirus researcher at the University of Texas, explained in a Twitter thread, there are other ways the body remembers the pathogens it has encountered. This includes so-called memory cells that can swing into action more quickly if a microbe returns. So, even if a person loses their neutralizing antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 and can become reinfected, theyre likely to at least be less sick the second time around.

What do antibody studies say so far about how much COVID-19 has spread?

In the U.S., a few so-called serosurvey or seroprevalence studies are beginning to be done that get at how many people in certain areas have already been infected.

Many of the results, however, are highly preliminary or lack sufficient detail for scientists to fully understand them.

New York state, for example, announced on April 23 that of its first phase of 3,000 antibody tests, 13.9% were positive, with a higher 21.2% positive rate in New York City.

A small survey of 200 people in Chelsea, Massachusetts, found that 64 people, or 32%, tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.

Another study, in Santa Clara, California, estimated that 2.5% to 4.2% of all people in the county had been infected with COVID-19, and suggested that the number of COVID-19 cases could be some 50 to 85 times higher than the confirmed count.

The Santa Clara work, however, which has not yet been peer-reviewed and was posted to the preprint site medRxiv, has been heavily criticized for its data analysis and its methodology. Critics argue the population sample, which was recruited from Facebook, may have been biased, and that statistically, the researchers cant actually rule out that all of the positive antibody tests were false positives.

Experts say its important that these studies be done, but some are worried that they are not being done carefully enough. As A. Marm Kilpatrick, a professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz who studies infectious disease dynamics, said on Twitter of the Santa Clara study, We need these kinds of studies and data badly. Unfortunately this paper is badly misleading.

Part of the reason why its so important is because the information can be used to make a more accurate estimate of how dangerous COVID-19 is. If far more people have been infected than expected, that would lower estimates of how deadly COVID-19 is, which could influence public policy decisions about how important it is to keep instituting stringent physical distancing and other public health measures.

The other main reason to keep tabs on the figure is because it can say how close a community might be to achieving herd immunity, or the point at which people who are susceptible to the virus can still be protected because so many other people around them are already immune. This is based on how contagious a disease is, and since people with SARS-CoV-2 infect an average of two to three other people, youd need around 50% to 67% of the population to be immune to get herd immunity.

No results yet indicate any population is close to that. And in fact, most studies from around the world have suggested relatively few people have contracted COVID-19.

As the WHO noted on April 20, many studies indicate only 2% to 3% of people have been infected.

We absolutely must remain vigilant because what were learning fromthese early serologic studies, even with all of their faults and all of the limitations, said WHO scientist Maria Van Kerkhove, is that a lower proportion of people are actually, it appears, are infected. And that means a large proportion of the public remains susceptible.

Update, April 27: We updated the article to include a scientific briefing released by the WHO. does not accept advertising. We rely on grants and individual donations from people like you. Please consider a donation. Credit card donations may be made throughour Donate page. If you prefer to give by check, send to:, Annenberg Public Policy Center, 202 S. 36th St., Philadelphia, PA 19104.

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Q&A on COVID-19 Antibody Tests -

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Another year in isolation? That’s great news for one San Diego family – The San Diego Union-Tribune

Posted: April 11, 2020 at 8:44 pm

On a recent grocery run, Katie Luckesen noticed something new: she wasnt the only shopper wearing a face mask and gloves.

And this time, she added, I didnt get any funny looks!

If anyone was ready for the current era of social distancing and hyper-cleanliness, it was the Luckesens. For more than two years, this South San Diego family has lived in lockdown to protect their youngest member.

Charlie Luckesen was born in November 2017 without a thymus, the gland that transforms stem cells into T cells able to fight infections and disease. Lacking this essential piece of the immune system, the child could be killed by even a minor illness.

This is a rare condition: athymia afflicts only five out of every 1 million babies born in the U.S. Theres only one cure, a transplant, and only one place in the U.S. that performs this operation, Duke University.

On March 10, Charlie became that North Carolina medical centers 102nd thymus tissue transplant. Hes home now, yet the Luckesens will self-quarantine until the new organ produces a full set of robust T cells. That may take up to a year.

Another 12 months in lockdown? To Charlies mom, that prospect is thrilling.

I finally feel like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, she said.

Faith has played a major role in Charlies story. It has sustained Katie Luckesen and her husband, Lt. J.D. Luckesen, a Navy chaplain. It has steeled them for the possibility of losing their son. And it has reminded them on this Easter Sunday that with faith, miracles can happen.

Katie Luckesen said the past two years have been a trial and a test of her faith. She couldnt have gotten through it without what she calls a lively hope, a line from Chapter 1, Verse 3, of the Bibles First Epistle of Peter, about the miraculous resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter morning.

Easter is a reminder to myself that even if Charlie would die that it wasnt the end, she said. I praise God for the knowledge of the resurrection that reminded me that mortal separations are temporary, and this gave me the hope and strength to carry on when days were hard.

The atonement of Christ becomes even more personal this Easter as I think that he suffered so that he could succor me in all of my trials, she said. I have come to realize the power and peace of the praying for courage to have the strength to say not my will, but thine be done ... We didnt come this far, only to come this far.

For most of his young life, Charlie had been on Dukes transplant waiting list. These were tense times for the Luckesens who, through social media, shared their trials and triumphs with other families engaged in the same struggle.

All pray for a transplant, but not all of these prayers are answered. The average lifespan of someone born without a thymus is two years. Last November, on Charlies second birthday, one of these children died. A week later, another followed.

I feel like we are living on borrowed time, Luckesen said then.

Complicating matters was a Food and Drug Administration ruling in December, withholding approval of RVT-802, a patented process used to culture thymus tissue and prepare it for transplantation. In the end, Duke won the FDAs permission to continue using the method under a research protocol.

Finally, the day came. On Feb. 17, Charlie had a quick checkup with his pediatrician, Dr. Katie Lively Swartz of Balboa Naval Medical Center Just to make sure things went smoothly, the doctor said. Then the boy and his mother boarded an air ambulance for the cross-country flight to Dukes campus in Durham, N.C.

There, Charlie underwent a battery of tests and was treated with pre-transplant medications.

He had a strong reaction to that, a big seizure, Luckesen said. He was able to power through it.

The toddler had recovered when a fever racked his body. Worried that this might indicate a serious ailment, doctors at Duke ordered a full body CT scan.

This was the worlds most expensive sinus infection diagnosis, she said.

On March 10, Charlie was wheeled into an operating room in Duke. The long-awaited procedure took a mere three hours.

Its a really minor, anti-climatic surgery for how monumental it is in our lives, Luckesen said. They put tiny pieces of thymus up and down his leg.

Dr. M. Louise Markert, a Duke professor of pediatrics and immunology, pioneered this technique in 1993, inspired by infants who undergo heart surgery.

At birth, the thymus is located over the heart. When heart surgeons operate on infants, they often need to remove some thymus tissue to gain access to the heart.

The material that is cut away can be used in a thymus tissue transplant, but only when parents agree to literally donate part of their own child to strangers.

Katie Luckesen holds infant Charlie in the NICU at Rady Childrens Hospital in San Diego in May 2018.

(Nelvin C. Cepeda / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

This is a wonderful story of parents who, and you can imagine the stress they are under, are able to think about someone else, Markert said. The only way this can be done is through the goodness of peoples hearts.

Donated tissue, which is tested to ensure its compatibility to the recipient, is usually implanted in the thigh muscle. In Charlies case, about 40 pieces of thymus tissue were stitched into his left thigh.

It went according to plan, Markert said of Charlies operation. I think this one went very smoothly.

When Charlie and his mother arrived in North Carolina in February, the coronavirus was just beginning to disrupt life in the U.S. A month later, with Charlie recovering at Duke, Luckesen worried the pandemic would delay their trip home.

In fact, an air ambulance flew mother and child back to San Diego on March 26. Charlies long-term prospects are bright the survival rate for thymus tissue transplant recipients is 72 percent, which includes patients with other health issues.

Deaths, Markert said, are rare once a transplant patient survives the first year or two.

The Luckesens will remain in isolation as Charlies newly-acquired thymus tissue equips him with functioning T cells. This may mean another year of stringent precautions. Charlies father is remaining at his post at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, rather than risk infecting his wife and children.

Were treating this like a deployment, she said.

This adds another layer of stress on the entire family, she acknowledged. But this is the best we can protect Charlie.

Charlie,2 and his mother, Katie Luckesen recently returned from North Carolina where Charlie underwent Thymus transplant procedure at Duke University Hospital.

(Nelvin C. Cepeda/Nelvin C. Cepeda/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

While most Americans are new to the demands of self-quarantining, the Luckesens have been there, done that and disinfected it all.

Were pros, Luckesen said.

Charlie was nearly 9 months old before he left his sterile room at Rady Childrens Hospital. Once the baby came home, his siblings Jack, who is now 8; William, 6; and Amelia, 5 were taken out of school. Classes are now held at home.

Visitors are rarely allowed inside, and only after slipping on hospital gloves, surgical masks, gowns and booties. These supplies are stored by the front door, alongside a stockpile of hand sanitizers and disinfectants.

Charlie Luckesen, 2, enjoyed playing with his three siblings, William, 6; Jack, 8; and Amelia, 5, during their playtime on the front yard of the familys home.

(Nelvin C. Cepeda/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

A Roomba roams the downstairs, vacuuming up stray grit, while Luckesen constantly washes, wipes, cleans.

Despite the occupation of Charlies father, the family stopped attending church services in person long ago, turning to internet services in order to avoid germs.

The children play in the backyard and on the front lawn, but only with each other. They walk in the neighborhood, but avoid other pedestrians and all crowds.

Given her hard-won expertise, Luckesen is sometimes asked how to handle social distancing and other protective measures being adopted in the coronavirus era.

My biggest advice, she said, is just to be diligent.

For this family, that means wearing gloves and face masks on any journey outside the home. On their return, they shower and change into fresh clothes, dropping the previous outfit into the washing machine.

Theres a lot of hand washing in this household, and lot of forgiveness.

You have to give yourself grace, to let things slide that dont matter as much, Luckesen said. My kids probably have too much screen time, probably watch more TV than they should. But I have to keep the house clean for Charlie.

Charlie was slow to develop, held back by his condition and his treatments. (One example: his frequent need for diuretics hindered his absorption of calcium, leading to a fractured vertebrae.)

When he came home from Duke, though, he seemed eager to make up for lost time.

Hes doing great, Luckesen said. Hes pulling himself up and he loves to take steps and walk with me, holding on.

Charlie will need close monitoring, and the family needs to live in isolation, for some time. Every week, the toddlers blood samples will be checked by physicians here. Every month, his T cells will be surveyed by specialists at Duke.

But I finally think we are starting to see the finish line of a marathon, she said.

Life is changing, in ways that allow the Luckesens to hope.

This will be the first year he wont be in the hospital for his birthday, Luckesen said of her youngest child. Nobody wants to be in the hospital for their birthday.

Today the family will celebrate Easter not only separated, with J.D. stationed on base at MCRD, but without a traditional church service. But Luckesen said she plans to connect with her family over FaceTime today and share her faith with others.

We can come together in our families at home. We can celebrate Easter without having to be in a building. We can come together through technology and worship through one of the many online church services. We can come together in reaching out virtually or over the phone with our relatives, she said.

For me the celebration of Easter means rejoicing in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and sharing my witness and testimony.

Staff writer Pam Kragen contributed to this report.

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Another year in isolation? That's great news for one San Diego family - The San Diego Union-Tribune

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