SARS vaccine linked to liver damage in ferret study

first_imgDec 6, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – Researchers in Canada who found hepatitis in ferrets after injecting the animals with an experimental vaccine for SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) are urging caution as other investigators develop and test SARS vaccines.As reported in the November issue of the Journal of Virology, the study involved a vaccine developed by senior author Jingxin Cao, PhD, of the Public Health Agency of Canada’s National Microbiological Laboratory in Winnipeg, Man. Cao had created a vaccine from recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara (rMVA) and the distinctive spike protein that marks the SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV). The trial vaccine is called rMVA-S.The team chose ferrets for the study on the basis of their reported susceptibility to SARS infection, Cao told CIDRAP News.At the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health’s Biosafety Level 4 lab in Winnipeg, three ferrets were injected with the rMVA-S vaccine, three with parental MVA, and three with saline solution. They received booster immunizations 2 weeks later.Then the ferrets were exposed intranasally to the SARS virus, which infected more than 8,000 people and killed 774 between November 2002 and July 2003.On the plus side, immunization with rMVA-S induced a rapid immune response following exposure to the virus, the researchers wrote. The ferrets displayed no clinical signs of illness, but viral RNA was found in pharyngeal swabs and blood samples taken from all the ferrets.But researchers unexpectedly discovered a downside when they checked the ferrets’ liver health. Ferrets vaccinated with rMVA-S and exposed to SARS-CoV had elevated levels of an enzyme that indicates liver damage. Examination of liver sections showed that the ferrets had severe hepatitis. Only mild hepatitis was found in the ferrets injected with parental MVA or saline.It’s uncommon to perform the tests that revealed the hepatitis, said Kelly Keith, acting communications manager for the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health. This study will help ensure that any other SARS vaccine will be safer, as scientists should know to check for this possible side effect.”Extra caution should be taken in proposed human trials of SARS vaccines due to the potential liver damage from immunization and virus infection,” the research report states.Cao said he hopes that others recognize the significance of the hepatitis among the vaccinated ferrets. “For future human vaccine development, we must pay attention to that effect,” he said.The lead author of the study, Hana Weingartl, PhD, head of special pathogens for Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, said she and her fellow researchers are seeking a grant to continue their work. “We would like to look more closely at why we saw the liver damage in those animals,” she said. “It would be good to know what not to do.”The findings underscore how little is understood about SARS, which emerged in southern China in November 2002. Since its discovery, scientists have raced to contain it and develop a vaccine. Weingartl and Cao’s study is one of several vaccine investigations in various stages in several countries.Researchers need a better understanding of how the virus damages the host, Weingartl said.In an unrelated SARS vaccine investigation, the Chinese government yesterday announced that a vaccine proved safe and effective in a phase 1 clinical trial. Thirty-six volunteers who had been vaccinated reported no unusual physical reactions after 56 days, Agence France-Presse reported (AFP). In addition, antibodies were found in 24 of those vaccinated, the story said.Testing began in May with 18 men and 18 women from 21 to 40 years old following what the government termed successful animal tests, AFP reported. The vaccine won’t be ready for commercial use until two more testing phases are completed.Weingartl H, Czub M, Czub S, et al. Immunization with modified vaccinia virus Ankara-based recombinant vaccine against severe acute respiratory syndrome is associated with enhanced hepatitis in ferrets. J Virology 2004;78(22):12672-6 [Abstract]last_img read more

USC eyes tough test in hosting Gonzaga

first_imgAfter a strong showing against Biola on Tuesday night, the Women of Troy officially kick off their season with a showdown against the Gonzaga Bulldogs (1-0) at the Galen Center today at 1 p.m.In control · Junior guard Briana Gilbreath will help lead USC against a Gonzaga team that went undefeated in conference play last season. – Courtney Sandlin | Daily Trojan “[Playing against Biola] was a good game for us considering what we’re trying to do,” USC coach Michael Cooper said. “We had our lulls, but we got it together and we were able to put them away.”The Women of Troy showed off a newly fortified and healthy lineup that saw five players hit double figures in the 93-66 win.One lingering issue from last season was missing during the exhibition game as the Women of Troy outrebounded Biola 41-26 as well.“I was pleased with our rebounding against a smaller team,” Cooper said. “I was happy with the effort we made since we’ve been working on that.”Two freshmen that are expected to make significant contributions this season started off their Trojan careers on a high note. Freshman forward Cassie Harberts scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds, while fellow freshman guard Len’Nique Brown scored 11 points and grabbed six rebounds.Along with these two, the Women of Troy also received solid contributions from their returning core group of players.Senior center Kari LaPlante (20 points), sophomore forward Christina Marinacci (17 points), senior guard Jacki Gemelos (12 points) and junior guard Ashley Corral (six points, nine assists) continued their strong play from last season.Junior guard Briana Gilbreath came off the bench and saw limited action because of a lingering shoulder injury but is expected to be back in the starting lineup today.Defensively, the Women of Troy know they need to do a better job against the Bulldogs, who come into the Galen Center after a 115-51 beat down of Western Oregon University in their exhibition game last Saturday.Last season, the Bulldogs (29-5, 16-0) reeled off a perfect record in conference play on their way to the NCAA tournament, before falling in the regional semifinal game to Xavier.They return two of their four leading scorers from last year in guard Courtney Vandersloot and guard/forward Katelan Redmon and look poised to make another run at a West Coast Conference title.With these two returning, the Women of Troy know they will have their hands full.“Transition defense is big,” Corral said. “[Vandersloot] is one of the best point guards in the nation and we’ve got to get up on her early. And boxing out is always [key].”Despite a strong performance against Biola, the coaching staff believes there is room for improvement.“I was pleased with our performance in spots,” Cooper said. “I thought it was a good effort and a lot of people got to play, but there is still a long process to this.”last_img read more

Raiders’ home in 2019: Don’t rule out Oakland, plus other possibilities

first_imgThe odds that the Raiders will be playing their final game at the … ALAMEDA — So Oakland has thrown down the gauntlet, and is forcing the Raiders to leave town sooner rather than later.The Raiders have responded by rescinding their offer of $7.5 million to play in the Coliseum in 2020.No doubt the Raiders are exploring their options. Owner Mark Davis used the line several times when talking with reporters at the NFL owner’s meetings in Dallas: “All options are on the table.”last_img

Football feast for local fans

first_imgFNB Stadium is one of the legacies of the2010 Fifa World Cup. FNB Stadium sports a calabash design. Safa vice president Danny Jordaan waspart of the Afcon bidding team.(Images: Bongani Nkosi)MEDIA CONTACTS• Morio SanyaneDirector: Communications and MediaSouth African Football Association+27 82 990 0835Bongani NkosiThe legacy of the 2010 Fifa World Cup will stand South Africa in good stead, as the country prepares to stage yet another spectacular football tournament, this time the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).South Africa received the nod to host Afcon 2017 after being pipped by Morocco for the 2015 event. The two were the only nations bidding after the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) pulled out.The Confederation of African Football (Caf) announced its decision on 29 January in Lubumbashi, DRC, after evaluating bids from the two competing nations.The South African Football Association’s (Safa) delegation, comprising its president Kirsten Nematandani, vice president Danny Jordaan and outgoing CEO Leslie Sedibe, concluded their bid in a 45-minute presentation before Caf’s announcement, as did Morocco’s representatives.Safa wanted the 2015 rights as it felt the country is more than ready to host Afcon within the next four years.“Considering that we have all the resources in place, our preference was to host the tournament in 2015,” said Nematandani in a statement.The country’s 2010 Fifa World Cup infrastructure has been widely acclaimed. Dazzling venues like FNB in Soweto, Moses Mabhida in Durban, Nelson Mandela Bay in Port Elizabeth and the eye-catching Cape Town Stadium are part of the international tournament’s legacy for South Africa.Billions were spent on building new and reconstructing old stadiums. Even low-key provinces like Mpumalanga and Limpopo now have world-class venues.The 43 500-seater Mbombela Stadium in Mpumalanga was built at a cost of R1.5-billion (US$140-million). Peter Mokaba Stadium in Limpopo cost the tax-payer about R1.24-billion (US$150-million) and can accommodate more than 45 000 spectators.The football World Cup’s 64 matches were staged in 10 stadiums across eight of the nine provinces. With such a wealth of experience, South Africa will not find it difficult to prepare for 2017.“I think we’ll rely on the legacy of the World Cup.  Our stadiums are in good condition,” said Safa’s spokesman Morio Sanyane in an interview.“Our roads are also good,” Sanyane added. “We did a great job in transporting people during the World Cup.”While main roads were transformed for the international spectacle, public transport also received a major boost in cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town, where efficient Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems were introduced.Road to 2017Though Safa lost the bid for 2015 Afcon, it does not feel hard done by Caf and has congratulated Morocco.  “Safa has welcomed the decision of Caf,” Sanyane said.“We congratulate Morocco and wish them all the best in hosting this project of continental importance,” Nematandani said.Part of the preparations for the 2017 event will be to review Safa’s 2014 vision, a strategy that focuses on competitions like the 2012 Afcon in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea and the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil.“Our strategy has to incorporate various aspects that will lead to the successful hosting of the 2017 Afcon,” said Nematandani. “2017 may seem far away, but the work starts now so that we are better prepared come the time.”Safa has confirmed that they will bid for the 2014 Fifa Club World Cup tournament, whose 2010 edition was hosted by the United Arab Emirates last December.Preparing Bafana for gloryIn 2017 it will be exactly 21 years since South Africa hosted Afcon. The historic 1996 contest took place in the four host cities of Johannesburg, Cape Town, Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth, and national team Bafana Bafana snatched the top honours from Tunisia before 80 000 fans in magnificent style.But Bafana’s Afcon performance has slumped after their debut victory in the tournament. The best results the team has produced since then are runners up in 1998 and third places in 1999 and 2002. They went out in the first round in three Afcons between 2004 and 2008.Fans around the country were devastated when Bafana failed to qualify for the 2010 Afcon in Angola.However, the team started their 2012 qualifying matches rather well in 2010. Bafana, which beat France in the World Cup, went on to thump Niger 2-0 in their first Afcon qualifier at Mbombela Stadium in September 2010.They played to a 0-0 draw against Sierra Leone in an away match. The next qualifier is a contest against the resilient Egyptian team in March in South Africa.Bafana have four important home and away matches where they have to achieve top points to secure a place in next year’s tournament.Then it’s the race to qualify for the 2013 Afcon in Libya, and Bafana will also need to qualify for the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil.last_img read more

EPA Ignored OMB on Waivers

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Todd NeeleyDTN Staff ReporterOMAHA (DTN) — The White House Office of Management and Budget showed EPA how to account for biofuel gallons lost to small-refinery waivers, but the EPA ignored the OMB’s suggestions, interagency review documents show.Documents posted to regulations.gov on the 2020 Renewable Fuel Standard volumes show reviewers of the rule suggested EPA reallocate waived volumes of biofuels in the 2020 proposal.In addition, the OMB provided a possible method for restoring 500 million gallons of blending obligations that were erroneously waived in 2016. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ordered the 2016 gallons to be accounted for in future rulemaking, but the agency declined to do so in its latest volumes proposal.President Donald Trump’s EPA has waived about 4.03 billion gallons of biofuels since 2016, as a result of granting 85 small-refinery waivers.“EPA put a zero in for projected volume of gasoline for exempt small refineries and projected volume of diesel for exempt small refineries, ensuring your projected totals are not met and all actual outcomes or resulting biofuel requirements are biased to one side, lower,” an OMB reviewer said in interagency comments.“This bias appears in outcomes for every requirement, including your cellulosic-volume requirement which the court directed to you to have a ‘neutral’ estimate. You also draw a conclusion about the ability to achieve certain volumes with respect to the blend wall, while simultaneously ensuring that your calculated total is not the actual requirement, thus your requirement relative to the blend wall is wrong.”EPA had not responded to DTN’s request for comment at the time this article was posted.OMB reviewers offered a possible solution for accounting for waived gallons in order to make sure the overall total RFS volumes were met.That included providing a projection of about 12.5 billion exempted gasoline and diesel gallons in the RFS formula — or close to the actual average exempted volume of 12.8 billion gallons of gasoline and diesel during the 2016-2018 period.In addition, OMB reviewers suggested EPA should adjust renewable volume obligation percentages to incorporate projected gasoline and diesel exempted through small-refinery waivers.EPA responded, “The approach taken in this proposal is consistent with the approach first laid out in 2011 and followed since, and we have not proposed to revisit it. Whether to revisit this issue is a matter already under review at agency leadership levels and we anticipate discussing it further while this action is under review.”The OMB was critical of EPA’s decision not to abide by the court decision saying, “You reject the ACE court remand because you conclude there is no ‘room’ to incorporate it, knowing that the stated RVO will not be achieved because of the issuance, and lack of incorporation of, small-refinery waivers.”EPA’s responded, “This issue and our response to the ACE remand are the subject of ongoing discussions.”Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper said in a news release on Monday that the interagency comments show the OMB was aware of repeated concerns made known by agriculture and biofuel interests and tried to do something about it.“The revelations in these documents will only exacerbate the outrage and anger in farm country over EPA’s abuse of the small-refinery waiver provision,” he said. “The documents clearly show that EPA knowingly ignored strong recommendations from within the administration to redistribute blending volumes that were exempted via small-refinery waivers. EPA also disregarded recommendations to address a court order to restore 500 million gallons of lost blending obligations from 2016.”OMB suggested the agency could remand the 500 million gallons in increments. That would include increasing the overall RFS volumes by 75 million gallons in 2020, 175 million in 2021 and 250 million in 2022.Cooper said the agency could change course in its newly proposed renewable volume obligations currently pending before the EPA.“The solution to the small-refinery waiver problem was right in front of EPA’s face the whole time, yet they chose to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory,” he said.“The only way to begin calming the anxiety and aggravation in rural America is for EPA to immediately announce that it will resolve these issues in the upcoming 2020 RVO final rule. EPA must adopt the prospective reallocation approach recommended during the interagency review process in the 2020 rule, as well as include the 500-million-gallon remand. Anything short of that will be viewed by farmers and biofuel producers as another sellout to the oil industry and another kick in the teeth to the hardworking families in the Heartland.”Read more of interagency review documents here: https://www.regulations.gov/…Todd Neeley can be reached at [email protected] him on Twitter @toddneeleyDTN(AG/CZ)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Three Creative Responses to a Shrinking Economy

first_imgBy Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, [email protected] military families and the professionals who serve them have found themselves living on less real (after inflation) income in recent years. At the same time, household expenses such as rent, food, and out-of-pocket health care costs, have continued to rise. In addition, much has been written about shrinking economies in countries such as Greece and Japan and the decreasing middle class population in the United States.When economies shrink or income levels get smaller, spending generally decreases. People lose jobs or their wages decrease or remain stagnant. This, in turn, results in household spending cutbacks. People buy less, eat out less, buy less expensive items, and look for other ways to economize.The “official” measurement of economic growth (or lack thereof) is the gross domestic product or GDP, which is calculated on an annual and quarterly basis. Used officially since 1944, GDP measures the monetary value of goods and services produced within a country. It is tracked over time to measure economic growth or decline and to determine if a recession is occurring. For example, a government report might say “GDP grew by 2.4% in 2015.”There are also informal ways to measure economic growth, including studying current retailing trends and stories about individual and household responses to a shrinking economy. These, too, provide valuable insights into spending habits. At the 2016 meeting of the Family Economics/Resource Management Association (FERMA), the following three strategies that U.S. consumers have adopted to live in a shrinking economy were described:FreeganismAt the FERMA conference, freeganism was loosely defined as the practice of reclaiming food and other items (e.g., clothing, home furnishings, etc.) that have been discarded. This movement originally started in the 1960s with discarded food and is a mash of the words “free” and “vegan.” Not only does freeganism save people money, but it is environmentally friendly and keeps usable items out of landfills. The Youtube video, Freeganism: Living Off Trash, explains the basic tenants of freeganism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCyPv0j4bPw.The description of the video states They live for free. They eat for free. Or as close to free as they can manage. They’re more than frugal; they’re freegans. With recession woes inspiring more people to look for meaning outside the mall, freeganism is gaining ground. Methods used by freegans to obtain items at no cost include taking items set outside by others for trash pick-up, pulling items out of trash receptacles (a.k.a, “dumpster diving”), re-using family hand-me-down items, and participating in community Freecycle Network programs where people donate and receive items for free in their local community (see https://www.freecycle.org/).Tiny HousesPhoto by Jon Callas. CC BY 2.0The tiny house movement has been profiled on several reality television shows. Instead of buying a typical home that averages around 2,600 square feet, people choose to live a simpler lifestyle with fewer possessions in homes that measure 100 to 500 square feet. Home purchase costs are reduced and so are costs for utilities, property taxes, and maintenance. Obviously, living and storage space are greatly reduced also, which may require downsizing. The 30-Day Downsizing Challenge is one strategy to do this. You start by donating or gifting one item on Day 1, two items on Day 2, three items on Day 3, etc. By the end of Day 30, you will have removed 465 items from your possession.MinimalismMinimalism is just what the name implies: the practice of simple, frugal living with fewer material items and less clutter. Some have even suggested a maximum number of personal possessions, such as 100 or 200 items. For clips from a 2016 documentary film about minimalism, see http://www.theminimalists.com/five-clips/. For an article that explains the concept, see http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/07/living-with-less/374544/.last_img read more