Blood Tests That Detect Cancers Create Risks for Those Who Use Them

The tests screen for cancers that often go undetected, but they are expensive and some experts worry they could lead to unnecessary treatments without saving patients’ lives.

#blood, #cancer, #clinical-trials, #prostate-gland, #tests-medical

We don’t know why, but being in space causes us to destroy our blood

We don’t know why, but being in space causes us to destroy our blood

Enlarge (credit: NASA)

Space isn’t easy on humans. Some aspects are avoidable—the vacuum, of course, and the cold, as well as some of the radiation. Astronauts can also lose bone density, thanks to a lack of gravity. NASA has even created a fun acronym for the issues: RIDGE, which stands for space radiation, isolation and confinement, distance from Earth, gravity fields, and hostile and closed environments.

New research adds to the worries by describing how being in space destroys your blood. Or rather, something about space—and we don’t know what just yet—causes the human body to perform hemolysis at a higher rate than back on Earth.

This phenomenon, called space anemia, has been well-studied. It’s part of a suite of problems that astronauts face when they come back to terra firma, which is how Guy Trudel—one of the paper’s authors and a specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation at The Ottawa Hospital—got involved. “[W]hen the astronauts return from space, they are very much like the patients we admit in rehab,” he told Ars.

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#anemia, #blood, #hemolysis, #rehabilitation, #science, #space, #space-anemia

Sickle Cell Math Is Brutally Simple, but Not Widely Taught

An inexpensive blood test can warn couples if they face one in four odds of having a baby with the disease. No one ever told Lametra Scott and Rickey Buggs about it.

#babies-and-infants, #black-people, #blood, #debaun-michael-r, #discrimination, #genetics-and-heredity, #nashville-tenn, #pregnancy-and-childbirth, #race-and-ethnicity, #sickle-cell-anemia, #tests-medical, #volunteers-and-community-service

Family in Nigeria Lost 3 Daughters to Sickle Cell. Can They Save a Fourth?

About 150,000 babies are born each year in Nigeria with sickle cell, a deadly disease. Tens of thousands of them die annually before their fifth birthdays.

#africa, #blood, #children-and-childhood, #deaths-fatalities, #debaun-michael-r, #drugs-pharmaceuticals, #genetics-and-heredity, #kano-nigeria, #lancet-the-journal, #national-institutes-of-health, #nigeria, #sickle-cell-anemia, #stroke, #tests-medical

Study of Covid Booster Shot Benefits Fans Debate Over Extra Doses

Independent experts, including government scientists, were skeptical of the research from Israel, which included limited data over a short period.

#antibodies, #blood, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #deaths-fatalities, #disease-rates, #drugs-pharmaceuticals, #elderly, #food-and-drug-administration, #immune-system, #new-england-journal-of-medicine, #pfizer-inc, #preventive-medicine, #united-states, #united-states-politics-and-government, #vaccination-and-immunization, #your-feed-science

A Hot Fitness Trend Among Olympians: Blood Flow Restriction

Some athletes in Tokyo are indulging in a trendy technique to enhance the effects of training and stimulate recovery. Credit a Japanese former power lifter.

#andrew-michael-1999, #blood, #exercise, #olympic-games-2020, #rupp-galen, #sato-yoshiaki, #swimming

There’s a ‘Severe Blood Shortage’ in the U.S., Red Cross Says

The American Red Cross said rising trauma cases, transplants and surgeries had led hospitals to ask for more blood than expected.

#american-red-cross, #blood, #blood-donation, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #emergency-medical-treatment, #hospitals, #shortages, #shutdowns-institutional, #transfusions, #transplants

AstraZeneca Shots Carry Slightly Higher Risk of Bleeding Problem, New Study Says

But the research, involving 2.53 million adults in Scotland, found that the vaccine’s benefits outweighed the small risks.

#astrazeneca-plc, #blood, #blood-clots, #content-type-service, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-risks-and-safety-concerns, #johnsonjohnson, #nature-medicine-journal, #oxford-university, #pfizer-inc, #research, #scotland, #vaccination-and-immunization, #your-feed-healthcare

‘On That Edge of Fear’: One Woman’s Struggle With Sickle Cell Pain

Cures for a disease that mostly afflicts Black people seem near, but may come too late for Lisa Craig, who lives with an agony like knives stabbing her bones.

#addiction-psychology, #black-people, #blood, #chronic-condition-health, #doctors, #opioids-and-opiates, #pain, #pain-relieving-drugs, #race-and-ethnicity, #sickle-cell-anemia, #vanderbilt-university-medical-center

The Covid-19 Plasma Boom Is Over. What Did We Learn From It?

The U.S. government invested $800 million in plasma when the country was desperate for Covid-19 treatments. A year later, the program has fizzled.

#american-red-cross, #antibodies, #blood, #blood-donation, #clinical-trials, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #food-and-drug-administration, #government-contracts-and-procurement, #health-and-human-services-department, #united-states-politics-and-government, #your-feed-healthcare, #your-feed-science

How Worried Should You Be About the J&J Vaccine and Blood Clots?

Out of an “abundance of caution,” the F.D.A. is advising doctors to pause the Johnson & Johnson vaccine while it investigates extremely rare blood clots.

#astrazeneca-plc, #blood, #blood-clots, #centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #food-and-drug-administration, #johnsonjohnson, #regulation-and-deregulation-of-industry, #vaccination-and-immunization

Getlabs, an at-home medical labs company, launches with a $3 million raise

When you’re not feeling well and your doctor asks you to get labs drawn, you know that can increase the time between a diagnosis and care. But Getlabs, a company that brings the lab to you with its at-home, blood-drawing service, is aiming to eliminate that friction, and today announced a $3 million seed round led by PivotNorth Capital. The funding will be used to launch in Phoenix, Philadelphia, and Dallas, all of which have been soft launches so far.

“Seventy percent of all medical decisions are based on lab results, yet 30% of patients are non-compliant and skip their lab orders,” Getlabs said in a statement. For many, getting their labs drawn is just one more tedious step in getting the care they need.

With Getlabs, once a phlebotomist draws your blood, it can get processed in any lab of your choice, though the company has partnerships with Labcorp and Quest Diagnostics.

The company charges for drawing the labs, but insurance pays for the blood work to be processed, as it normally would. To get your blood drawn at home, Getlabs charges the patient between $29-$49, and it’s based on when you want them to come to you. 

“[Brick and mortar] labs usually charge a $25 blood drawing fee, which isn’t covered by insurance, so the $29 fee charged by Getlabs is only a couple more dollars,” Kyle Michelson, Getlabs founder and CEO, told TechCrunch.

Kyle Michelson, founder and CEO, Getlabs. Image Credits: Getlabs

Getlabs is the result of a challenge Michelson himself faced.

“I needed my labs done all the time while I was in Y Combinator [for another idea],” he said. “I was there for three months, and you’re scrambling to build a business, and I had no time, and the little time I had I spent driving to the lab and waiting for an hour. So it was just a miserable experience,” he said.

“I started looking into why people didn’t get their labs done, and the top reason was inconvenience,” he added.

Getting healthcare today often includes four trips: going to the doctor, the lab, back to the doctor and then the pharmacy. But with the massive growth of virtual care and with companies like Capsule, Amazon Pharmacy and PillPack (owned by Amazon) offering prescription delivery to your door, Michelson saw a gap in the market for a more convenient lab service, too.

Getlabs, which is fully remote and has 37 employees, plans to use the funding to expand to Phoenix, Philadelphia and Dallas and also to expand to other verticals of home health. Other investors in the round include Tusk Venture Partners, Rosecliff Ventures, Liquid 2 Ventures, CityLight Capital, Karlin Asset Management and angel investor Matthew Dellavedova.

“I believe Getlabs is the final step in delivering at-home healthcare that will be so crucial as more organizations and individuals see the benefits of telemedicine,” said Tim Connors, founder and managing partner at PivotNorth Capital.

While not all ailments can be treated virtually, when possible, “The end goal for Getlabs is to fully partner with telemedicine services so patients never have to leave the home,” the company said. 

According to Edvard Engesaeth, co-founder of Nurx, “Getlabs could play an important part for healthcare companies like Nurx to treat more complex conditions where in-person blood draws are required by providing remote care in the home.”

#apps, #blood, #funding, #getlabs, #health, #pivotnorth-capital, #recent-funding, #startups, #tc

AstraZeneca Vaccine and Blood Clots: What Is Known So Far

In rare cases, an immune reaction has led to antibodies that caused a serious clotting disorder. But public health experts maintain the vaccine’s benefits far outweigh the risks for most people.

#blood, #blood-clots, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #european-medicines-agency, #research, #vaccination-and-immunization, #your-feed-healthcare

These Shoes Contain a Drop of Human Blood. Nike Does Not Approve.

As a follow-up to its “Jesus Shoes,” the company MSCHF will sell 666 pairs of “Satan Shoes” in collaboration with the rapper Lil Nas X.

#blood, #lil-nas-x-rapper, #sneakers

Nobody Wants Cancer. But a ‘Big C’ Label Has Surprising Upsides.

Classifying a rare blood disorder as a cancer opened new doors for disease investigation, treatment and hope for a cure.

#blood, #bone-marrow, #cancer, #clinical-trials, #drugs-pharmaceuticals

Study Says Blood Plasma Reduces Risk of Severe Covid-19 if Given Early

Thousands of people received convalescent plasma as an experimental treatment for Covid. A new study shows that it works — but only when given within a few days of the onset of illness.

#antibodies, #blood, #clinical-trials, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #research

Atlanta-based Sanguina wants to make fingernail selfies a digital biomarker for iron deficiency

Sanguina, an Atlanta-based health technology developer, is launching its a mobile app in the Google Play Store that uses pictures of fingernails to determine whether or not someone is getting enough iron.

The app measures hemoglobin levels, which are a key indicator of anemia, by analyzing the color of a person’s fingernail beds in a picture.

These fingernail selfies could be used to determine anemia for the more than 2 billion people who are affected by the condition — including women, children, athletes and the elderly.

Iron deficiencies can cause fatigue, pregnancy complications, and in severe cases, even cardiac arrest, the company said. AnemoCheck is the first smartphone application to measure hemoglobin levels, the company said — and through its app people can not only determine whether or not they’re anemic but also use the app’s information to address the condition, the company said.

Sanguina’s technology uses an algorithm to determine the amount of hemoglobin in the blood based on an examination and analysis of the coloration of the nail bed.

Created by Dr. Wilbur Lam, Erika Tyburski, and Rob Mannino, the company was born out of research conducted at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University.

“This non-invasive anemia detection tool is the only type of app-based system that has the potential to replace a common blood test,” said Dr. Lam, a clinical hematologist-bioengineer at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, associate professor of pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine, and a faculty member in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Emory University and Georgia Tech.

So far, Sanguina has raised over $4.2 million in funding from The Seed Lab, XRC Labs, as well as grants from The National Science Foundation and The National Institutes of Health, according to a statement.


#atlanta, #blood, #cardiac-arrest, #fatigue, #georgia-institute-of-technology, #google, #google-play-store, #healthcare, #national-science-foundation, #smartphone, #tc, #xrc-labs

Think You Have ‘Normal’ Blood Pressure? Think Again

Even levels of blood pressure that are generally considered “normal” may be high enough to foster the development of heart disease, new research shows.

#blood, #blood-pressure, #cholesterol, #diet-and-nutrition, #heart, #hypertension, #salt

Trump Pressed for a Plasma Treatment. Officials Worry, Is a Vaccine Next?

New details of how the president has demanded faster action from health agencies help explain the intensifying concern that he could demand pre-Election Day approval of a vaccine.

#azar-alex-m-ii, #birx-deborah-l, #blood, #clinical-trials, #collins-francis-s, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #drugs-pharmaceuticals, #food-and-drug-administration, #hahn-stephen-m-1960, #health-and-human-services-department, #kushner-jared, #marks-peter, #mayo-clinic, #meadows-mark-r-1959, #national-institutes-of-health, #presidential-election-of-2020, #republican-national-convention, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government, #vaccination-and-immunization

We Don’t Know Enough About Convalescent Plasma

More than 70,000 Covid-19 patients have received it. We have no idea whether it helps.

#blood, #clinical-trials, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #drugs-pharmaceuticals, #food-and-drug-administration, #placebos, #research, #united-states

Emily Miller and Another P.R. Expert Ousted At F.D.A. After Blood Plasma Fiasco

The agency’s chief spokeswoman, Emily Miller, was removed from her position just 11 days into the job. And the contract was terminated of a consultant who had advised the F.D.A. chief to correct misleading claims about plasma’s benefits.

#apco-worldwide, #appointments-and-executive-changes, #azar-alex-m-ii, #blood, #convalescent-plasma, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #drugs-pharmaceuticals, #food-and-drug-administration, #hahn-stephen-m-1960, #health-and-human-services-department, #miller-emily-j, #pines-wayne-l, #trump-donald-j, #vaccination-and-immunization

F.D.A. Allows Expanded Use of Convalescent Plasma to Treat Coronavirus Patients

The move came on the eve of the Republican convention and after President Trump pressed the agency to move faster to address the pandemic.

#blood, #clinical-trials, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #drugs-pharmaceuticals, #food-and-drug-administration, #hahn-stephen-m-1960, #marks-peter, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government

Does Blood Type Affect Your Risk Of Coronavirus? Probably Not, New Studies Say

New studies show that people with Type A blood are not at greater risk of getting sick, as previous studies had suggested.

#blood, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-risks-and-safety-concerns, #research, #your-feed-science

Four New Insights About the Coronavirus

A look at what scientists have learned about how the virus takes hold in the body and where the risk of infection is highest.

#blood, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-reopenings, #coronavirus-risks-and-safety-concerns, #deaths-fatalities, #education, #mcneil-donald-g-jr, #quarantines

How to Donate Blood

What you need to know about donating in a time of crisis.

#american-red-cross, #blood, #blood-donation, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #food-and-drug-administration, #new-york-blood-center, #quarantines, #shortages, #university-of-minnesota

Genes May Leave Some People More Vulnerable to Severe Covid-19

Geneticists have turned up intriguing links between DNA and the disease. Patients with Type A blood, for example, seem to be at greater risk.

#blood, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #franke-andre, #genetics-and-heredity, #immune-system, #medrxiv, #research, #your-feed-science

Uncertain Results in Study of Convalescent Serum for Covid-19

Do antibodies from patients who have recovered actually help those struggling with the disease?

#antibodies, #blood, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #johns-hopkins-hospital-baltimore-md, #mount-sinai-medical-center, #your-feed-science

Microsoft built a ‘Plasma Bot’ to tell you if you can donate plasma to help fight COVID-19

Plasma taken from the blood of recovered COVID-19 patients stands a real change of being one of the more effective short-term measures feasible in the ongoing effort to control the global coronavirus pandemic. The FDA has issued a broad call for donation from eligible individuals, and now Microsoft has built an online screening tool on behalf of the CoVIg-19 Plasma Alliance (which is funded in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation).

The ‘CoVIg-19 Plasma Bot’ that Microsoft created for the foundation is just the latest COVID-19-related bot built by Microsoft using its technology, and its symptom self-checker for the CDC was one of the earliest large-scale efforts of its kind in the U.S. The Plasma Bot takes you through a series of simple questions to determine your eligibility, from the perspective of both your ability to meet the actual biological and health requirements, to your willingness and a ability to participate in the plasma collection process itself at a donation center.

Use of convalescent plasma, or the liquid part of blood taken from people who have had, and subsequently fully recovered from, COVID-19, is a key treatment avenue being explored by a number of different scientists and researchers. The investigations into its use take two main paths: First, direct use of the plasma injected into coronavirus patients and high-risk individuals in order to boost their own immune system for either prevention or faster recovery; and development of what are known as hyperimmune therapies, which concentrate the antibodies from donated plasma to develop treatments that are potentially easier and more effective to administer at scale.

The biggest bottleneck to overcome for the trials and therapeutics in development related to convalescent plasma is definitely the plasma itself, which can only come from patients who’ve had COVID-19 and are now fully recovered and healthy, and who also meet other standard, existing requirements for donating blood and plasma.

Unlike a lot of other treatments under investigation and development to address COVID-19, convalescent plasma has been shown to have been effective in treating other respiratory infections, and it has a long history of use for such applications.

#anatomy, #astrophysics, #bill, #biotech, #blood, #blood-donation, #coronavirus, #covid-19, #fda, #health, #microsoft, #plasma, #tc, #united-states

FDA debuts new online portal to encourage donation of plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients

One of the avenues currently being pursued in terms of developing an effective treatment for COVID-19 is through the use of convalescent plasma. Basically, that means using the liquid component of blood from people who have had, and already recovered fully from COVID-19 to produce treatments that hopefully translate the antibodies they developed over the course of fighting off the virus to others. The FDA has created a dedicated new website seeking recovered COVID-19 donations, and explaining its potential uses.

Use of convalescent plasma is hardly a new concept: It’s been in use since the late 1890s, in fact, and was employed during the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, albeit with “mixed results.” Modern methods could help improve the efficacy and potential of recovered plasma as a treatment method, and there are a number of drugs in development that use plasma (both animal and human) as the basic active ingredient of their approach.

The new FDA website around COVID-19 plasma donation defines what it is, and why it’s under investigation as a possible treatment. It also outlines what conditions need to be met in order for an individual to be qualified to donate (no symptoms for at least 28 days prior to donation, or at least 14 days when combined with a confirmed negative lab test for active COVID-19 viral presence), and it directs you to donate via an American Red Cross or local blood center nearby.

Why is so much COVID-19 patient plasma needed, if it’s not yet even proven to be effective in treatment of the virus? Mainly because there are a lot of efforts underway to determine whether it actually can help with efforts to combat the virus, including clinical trials for a number of different treatments, as well as single-patient treatment authorizations through what are known as emergency investigational new drug (eIND) one-off usage approvals from the FDA.

As with every potential treatment and vaccine in development to address COVID-19 at this stage, recovered plasma remains unproven, and it’s unlikely ongoing efforts to study its effectiveness will bear definitive proof one way or another in the near term. Still, there’s a growing need for plasma supplies to help further that work, hence the FDA’s decision to spur more donations with dedicated informational resources like this one.

#american-red-cross, #biotech, #blood, #coronavirus, #covid-19, #fda, #health, #medicine, #plasma, #science, #tc