Medicine

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Blue illuminated ventilation tube reduces risk of infection
Blue illuminated ventilation tube reduces risk of infection
Credit: Copyright Technische Hochschule Ulm

In intensive care units, artificial respiration causes most infections with antibiotic-resistant hospital germs. In his bachelor's thesis, medical technology student Ben Sicks researched the killing of germs and pathogens by irradiation with blue LEDs and found that the blue illumination of a tube caused a 99.9% reduction in the concentration of bacteria. For this discovery he was awarded the Applied Photonics Award by the Frauenhofer Institute Jena.

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Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine goes to three virologists
Michael Houghton, one of the three winners
Michael Houghton, one of the three winners Credit: Julio.frasneli.silva / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The virologists Harvey J. Alter (USA), Michael Houghton (Großbritannien) and Charles M. Rice (USA) have received the Nobel Prize for Medicine for their work discovering the hepatitis C virus.

The Nobel Committee stated that "prior to their work, the discovery of the Hepatitis A and B viruses had been critical steps forward, but the majority of blood-borne hepatitis cases remained unexplained. The discovery of Hepatitis C virus revealed the cause of the remaining cases of chronic hepatitis and made possible blood tests and new medicines that have saved millions of lives".

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Germany: More than 1,000 police officers fell ill due to Corona
Germany: More than 1,000 police officers fell ill due to Corona
Credit: Leon Seibert

Police units are apparently exposed to a higher corona risk than other professional groups. According to a query by the "Rheinische Post" at the state interior ministries and the federal police, more than 1,000 officials have probably contracted Corona since March. The state of Bavaria leads the list with 274 registered cases.

The police union suspects the reasons is the lack of precautions.

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Berlin: 470 fines against mask grouches
Berlin: 470 fines against mask grouches
Credit: BVG

Between the beginning of July and the beginning of September, the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) imposed only 470 contractual penalties for violating the mouth and nose covering. This emerges from a request to the Berlin Senate from an AfD MP. If the acceptance was 70% at peak times, according to the BVG, around 95% of passengers would now adhere to the Corona regulations.

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Munich public transport company states 90% of passengers wear mask
Munich public transport company states 90% of passengers wear mask
Credit: unsplash.com / Dominik Martin

The head of corporate security at the Munich Transport Company (MVG) commented in an interview with "Die Zeit" about mouth and nose covering and passenger acceptance. Around 90% of these would adhere to the regulations and the MVG would have achieved the desired effect. The effort to achieve 100% acceptance would be too high, especially with possible limited success.

He sees the imposition of fines and fines critically and as a state task.

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Berlin: 30,000 passengers without face mask in public transportation
Berlin: 30,000 passengers without face mask in public transportation
Credit: unsplash.com/Soroush Karimi

After about a month into the enforcement of the mandated mask requirement, the Berlin Transport Authority (BVG) has counted 30,000 passengers who were travelling without a mask. In just 200 cases, contractual penalties of €50 were imposed and in 80 cases there were violent attacks on security personnel.

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Pfizer and US reach $1.95 billion deal for Covid-19 vaccine
Pfizer and US reach $1.95 billion deal for Covid-19 vaccine
Credit: Rhoda Baer (Photographer) / Public domain

The US government has agreed to pay $1.95 billion for 100 million Covid-19 vaccine doses to American pharmaceutical company Pfizer and German biotechnology company. The vaccine called BNT162 is currently still in development and early clinical trials. The agreement further states that the US could buy another 500 million doses, provided that the vaccine is both safe and effective as well as approved b the US Food and Drug Administration.

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UK, US & Canada warn of Russian spies trying to steal Covid-19 vaccine research
UK, US & Canada warn of Russian spies trying to steal Covid-19 vaccine research
Credit: unsplash.com/Louis Reed

American, British and Canadian governments have warned of Russian hackers trying to steal Covid-19 vaccine research by exploiting software flaws to access computer systems. While the UK's National Cyber Security Centre is "almost certain" that the attack came from a "part of Russian intelligence services", Russia has denied these claims.

"We do not have information about who may have hacked into pharmaceutical companies and research centres in Great Britain. We can say one thing - Russia has nothing at all to do with these attempts," so Dmitry Peskov, spokesperson of President Putin.

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Study: Brain inflamation, psychoses and stroke linked to Covid-19 also with mild symptoms
Brain images from patients on the study
Brain images from patients on the study Credit: Reproduction

Scientist from UCL (University College London) published that mild Covid-19 disease can have serious consequences. Also for young patients who can hope for a milder course of the disease. A Covid-19 disease can cause consequential damages like nerve damage, brain infections, delirium, psychoses and strokes. Damage was also found in those who had already been cured. The study is published in the medical journal "Brain".

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Gilead announces start of clinical testing for an inhaled solution of Remdesivir
Gilead announces start of clinical testing for an inhaled solution of Remdesivir
Credit: unsplash.com/CDC

Biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences Inc. announced that trials for its inhaled solution of Remdesivir have begun. The randomised, placebo-controlled trial will be tested on 60 healthy patients between the ages of 18-45 to determine the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of the drug.

"With promising data emerging from the randomized, clinical trials of intravenous remdesivir administered to hospitalized patients, it became clear that efforts were needed to investigate the drug’s potential in the outpatient setting. Significant research efforts have been undertaken to deliver remdesivir in an inhaled, nebulized format," so Chief Medical Officer Dr. Merdad Parsey.

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Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG): Private security forces will check if people wear masks
Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG): Private security forces will check if people wear masks
Credit: BVG

Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe will be one of the first transport operators to relieve the police and monitor compliance with the mask requirement. Two hundred security forces will also punish a refusal ith a € 50 contractual penalty. The decision is intended primarily to relieve the state police, which, in addition to the subways and buses, must also check compliance in other public places.

There will be no controls at Deutsche Bahn AG and thus within the area of responsibility of the Federal Police.

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Stuttgart: Criminologist sees Corona as factor for the riots
Stuttgart: Criminologist sees Corona as factor for the riots
Credit: NTV (Reproduction)

Christian Pfeiffer, the criminologist and former SPD Minister of Justice of Lower Saxony, sees the corona restrictions as a possible cause for the riots in Stuttgart. Pent-up anger from the contact restrictions and frustration are apparently the cause of the events, but not political motives.

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German corona emergency clinic: Guarding costs more than € 200,000

Guarding the German Ludwigshafen Covid-19 emergency clinic costs around € 200,000. The provisional clinic with 200 beds in an event hall is available as emergency quarters for the relief of the local hospitals and has so far caused costs of half a million euros.

However, the security service has not been in use since May 20, as the security-worthy materials are stored outside the hall.

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German Red Cross: More violence against medical personnel

Since March 2020, more than 200 cases in the Middle East have been documented - e.g. Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, but also Venezuela. Basically, however, more cases have to be assumed, since the documentation in such crisis areas is difficult.

However, it can be said that the behavior of people in conflict areas does not change due to a pandemic.

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France stops the use of hydroxychloroquine for Covid-19 treatment

France has revoked a decree that authorised the usage of hydroxychloroquine for Covid-19 treatments. The move comes after the World Health Organization suspended a global drug trial due to safety concerns. Furthermore, a study by the British medical journal The Lancet found the drug to increase mortality rates and frequency of irregular heartbeats in patients.

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World Medical Association warns of attacks against hospital staff

With clinic and health personnel needed more than ever due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Medical Association warns of increasing attacks against medical personnel.

According to the association inappropriate anger, fear and misinformation could be the greatest drivers of violence during the pandemic.

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University of Oxford Plans to Roll Out Covid-19 Vaccine by September if Trials Successfull
University of Oxford
University of Oxford Credit: unsplash.com/Tetiana SHYSHKINA

In his Sunday briefing, Business Secretary Alok Sharma said clinical trials for the Covid-19 vaccine by the University of Oxford were progressing well. The trial is currently in phase one and all participants have received their doses. Oxford has received over £47 million by the government so far and Sharma announced another £84 million in new funding.

Sharma added: "This means that if the vaccine is successful AstraZeneca (a British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company) will work to make 30 million doses available by September for the UK as part of an agreement for over 100 million doses in total."

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Johnson & Johnson aiming to produce 1 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines in 2021

Johnson & Johnson, multinational medical and pharmaceutical corporation, said in a statement on Sunday that they "aim to deliver 1 billion (Covid-19) vaccines next year". According to Paul Stoffels, chief scientific officer, the company is starting clinical trials in September and is planning to upscale their manufacturing to be able to start producing the vaccine late this year. Stoffel added “We will have some vaccine available this year, but it will depend on the authorities – the FDA and others – to decide whether it can be used earlier, before efficacy data are available".

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Remdesivir trial results show efficacy in Covid-19 treatment

The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has been running a trial of Remdesivir on 1,063 randomly assigned patients hospitalised with Covid-19. The group who got the Remdesivir treatment showed a median time of recovery of 11 days, while those who got a placebo averaged on a 15 day recovery. Mortality rate was 8% for the Remdesivir group and 11.6% for the placebo group.