Amidst the tumult in the nation’s capital, a quieter reckoning was taking place this week for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial. Lab Land has been hearing from Emory-affiliated study participants that they’re finding out whether they received active vaccine or placebo.
For example, Emory and Grady physician Kimberly Manning, who had written about her participation in the Moderna study in a Lancet essay, posted on Twitter Tuesday. She discovered she had received placebo, and Read more
Tetherin is a host cell factor that mechanically links HIV-1 to the plasma membrane. This is the first time anyone has imaged tethered HIV-1 by cryo-electron tomography. In doing so, we were able to learn about the length and arrangement of the tethers.
Cryo-electron tomography is an imaging technique which enables scientists to look at biological specimens in a â€œnative-likeâ€ (frozen hydrated) state, without the chemical fixatives or heavy metal stains typically used for conventional electron microscopy.
The 3D reconstruction was manually segmented to highlight the different viral and cellular components: HIV-1 virions (lavender), mature conical-cores (aqua blue), immature Gag lattice (pink), plasma membrane (peach), rod-like tethers (sea green).
Pediatric infectious disease specialist Tracey Lamb earned recognition this week for her NIH New Innovator award. The goal of Lambâ€™s project is to develop a probiotic yeast as a platform for inexpensive oral vaccines.
â€œWe have a long way to go to develop this vaccine Magliette Calcio A Poco Prezzo delivery system to the point where it is ready for testing in the clinic,â€ she says. â€œNow my lab can undertake more intensive research on this project to demonstrate that our design is effective in protecting against infection.”
1. The probiotic yeast Lamb is planning to develop as a vaccine platform is Saccharomyces boulardii, which has been tested in clinical trials as a treatment for gastrointestinal disorders such as Clostridium dificile infection and several forms of diarrhea. It was originally isolated in the 1920s from fruit in Southeast Asia.
2. Saccharomyces boulardii is very close to standard bakerâ€™s yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and is actually considered a subspecies of S. cerevisiae. Genomic differences that http://www.magliettedacalcioit.com contribute to its probiotic properties are under investigation.
3. The New Innovator program, running since 2007, is one of the ways the National Institutes of Health seeks to reward especially creative or potentially transformative research proposals. The New Innovator awards, up to $1.5 million over five years, are meant for newly independent researchers building their careers. Lamb managed to snag Emoryâ€™s first.
In Americaâ€™s battle against obesity, there is some good news. According to a study conducted by Emory researchers, Americans consumed nearly a quarter less added sugars in 2008 than they did 10 years earlier.
The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in July 2011, found that the consumption of added sugars, such as those found in sodas, sports drinks, juices and sweetened dairy products, decreased among all age groups over a decade. The largest decrease came in the consumption of sodas, traditionally the largest contributor to added sugar consumption, according to Jean Welsh, MPH, PhD, RN, study author and post-doctoral fellow in pediatric nutrition at Emory University School of Medicine.
â€œWhile we were hopeful this would be the case, we were surprised when our research showed such a substantial reduction in the amount of added sugar Americans are consuming,â€ said Welsh. â€œWeâ€™re hopeful this trend will continue.â€
So, why the change? One of Welshâ€™s partners in the study, Miriam Vos, MD, MSPH, an assistant professor of pediatrics in the Emory University School of Medicine, and a physician on staff at Childrenâ€™s Healthcare of Atlanta, attributes much of the shift to public education.
â€œOver the past decade, there has been a lot of public health awareness about obesity and nutrition, and I think people are starting to get the message about sugar,â€ says Vos. â€œWeâ€™re not trying to send a message that sugar is inherently bad. Itâ€™s more that the large amounts of sugar we consume are having negative effects on our health, including increasing our risk of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.â€
The study interpreted data of 40,000 peopleâ€™s diets collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over 10 years.Â From the surveys, researchers were able to calculate how much added sugar â€“ that is sugar that is not originally part of a food â€“ that Americans are consuming. In 1999-2000, the typical personâ€™s daily diet included approximately 100 grams of added sugar, a number that had dropped to 77 grams by 2007 and 2008.
While the study shows that the amount of added sugar Americans are consuming is lower, it doesnâ€™t mean the amount is low enough.
â€œThe American Heart Association recommends that we get about five percent of our calories from added sugars,â€ says Vos. â€œIn 1999 to 2000, people were consuming about 18 percent of their calories from added sugars. Over 10 years, that amount decreased to 14.5 percent of our daily calories, which is much better. But, clearly, 14.5 percent is still three times more than what is considered a healthy amount. Weâ€™re on the right track, but we still have room for improvement.â€
HematologistÂ Pete Lollar has devoted his career to developing treatments for hemophilia A, which is caused by a lack of blood clotting factor VIII. Lollar is a professor of pediatrics in Emory School of Medicine and director of hemostasis research at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Last week, Lollar was honored by Emoryâ€™s Office of Technology Transfer for setting in motion research that has progressed to a phase III clinical trial of a new product, OBI-1, a special form of factor VIII.
John "Pete" Lollar, MD
Along with this milestone came a dramatic story, described by OTTâ€™s assistant director Cale Lennon. The first patient to enroll in the clinical trial did so in November 2010 because of what appeared to be acquired hemophilia, which led to severe uncontrolled hemorrhaging. As a result of treatment with OBI-1, developed by Lollar and his research team at Emory, the patientâ€™s bleeding was brought under control and it saved his life. He was treated at Indiana Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center in Indianapolis.
Acquired hemophilia is a challenge for doctors to deal with because it is such a surprise. Unlike people with inherited hemophilia, those with acquired hemophilia do not have a personal or family history of bleeding episodes. Their immune systems are somehow provoked into making antibodies against their own clotting factor VIII.Â These antibodies also appear over time in about 30 percent of patients with inherited hemophilia who take standard clotting factors.
OBI-1, a special form of clotting factor VIII, is less of a red flag to the immune system. This allows treatment of patients who cannot benefit from standard clotting factor VIII, because of the presence of auto-antibodies.
Emory originally licensed OBI-1 to Octagen Corporation, a â€œhomegrownâ€ startup company founded in 1997. Octagen sublicensed the OBI-1 technology to a French biotechnology firm,Â Ipsen Biopharm in 1998. Over the next decade, Octagen and Ipsen pursued preclinical and initial clinical studies and completed a phase II clinical trial in 2006. IpsenÂ purchased the OBI-1 program outright in May 2008.
In January 2010, Ipsen developed a partnership agreement withÂ Inspiration Biopharmaceuticals, which was founded by two businessmen whose children have hemophilia. Under the agreement’s terms, Inspiration licensed OBI-1 from Ipsen and is responsible for its clinical development, regulatory approval and commercialization.