ZMapp Drugs ‘Cured’ 100 Monkeys

first_imgMultiple news agencies announced Saturday, that ZMapp had cured 100 percent of monkeys that were inoculated with a different strain of Ebola in a Canadian study of the virus.According to researchers, health officials and medical teams, the vaccine has not undergone the normal human clinical trial stages. However, a small handful of infected people agreed to be injected with the vaccine.CBCNews.com reported yesterday that one Ebola survivor now pleads with the vaccine manufacturer to hurry with the production of the drug.The drug that is being referred to as a “monumental achievement,” only had about 20 doses in stock, and all have been exhausted.Researchers said once a living host has been sick for too long, there are those instances wherein possible treatments cannot turn back the damage already done to the body by the hemorrhagic virus.According to USA Today, a newspaper circulated across that country, of the small amount of people who have received the vaccine, only two have died.  These were “a Spanish priest and a Liberian doctor.” This  means it could be that they may have received the vaccine too late, the newspaper said.The monkeys which were given a lethal strain of Ebola recovered, and were given the drug five days after infection.With only a small number of Ebola patients testing the drug, it is hard for researchers to conclude whether it is the main reason for the patient’s recovery.In the wake of numbers of Ebola cases increasing in West Africa, health officials, medical teams and pharmaceutical researchers have scrambled to find a treatment of the virus to help reduce and contain the spread of the epidemic in the West African affected countries.Thomas Geisbert, an Ebola expert, said one of the infected Americans, Kent Brantly, didn’t just receive the vaccine but he also had a blood transfusion from an Ebola patient who survived — so his case isn’t one hundred percent ZMapp.The research report,  published in the Journal Nature, states that humans should receive three scheduled doses to optimize the efficacy for recovery. While the World Health Organization (WHO) has estimates that the current outbreak will infect more than 18,000 people, Gary Kobinger, who works for Canada’s Public Health Agency, said the drug is manufactured by a bio processing plant in Kentucky, and can only produce 20 to 40 doses per month. But the question remains, does Zmapp work for humans? Kobinger told The Washington Post, “I think it strongly supports that concept, but it’s not proven.”The spokesman for the owner of the Kentucky Bio processing plant believes that the three doses are theory.  Since conclusive human studies have not been done, the real issue is to have everyone’s focus on the clinical, and development steps to help find the correct dosing requirements, and speed up processing, he said.ZMapp could obtain approval of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in six month, maybe less, under their accelerated review titles.So far, Kobinger said, none of the animals tested has  shown any side effects. He also indicated that the Zaire Ebola strain now appears to be mutating as it moves from host to host, and researchers can’t be sure that Zmapp will solve the Ebola problem.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Plastic bag charge could change use

first_imgIn an effort to curb the overuse of plastic bags, some Fort St. John retailers have begun charging a small fee for the single use bags.In September 2009, the Northern Environmental Action Team conducted a reusable bag education campaign on behalf of the City, says Beth Thompson, program co-ordinator for NEAT.Thompson says the organization did a community plastic bag assessment from 42 businesses in the city over a one week period.- Advertisement -She says participating retailers distributed approximately 307,000 plastic bags to customers, adding that the worst offenders were grocery stores. Before the study began, there were already some stores that were charging a fee for plastic bags and, since then, several other stores have begun charging for plastic bags. Thompson says feedback from residents has varied. She says Staples was one business that received negative feedback from its customers after it began charging for the bags.Advertisement The number of plastic bags distributed by city retailers is comparable to provincial numbers. According to the Retail Council of Canada, approximately 1.5 billion plastic bags are distributed across the provinceNEAT is hoping to do a follow-up campaign to determine if the new charges have forced residents alter their use of plastic bags. In general, participating retailers charge five cents per plastic bag.The concept of charging customers for single use plastic bags is not new. Toronto has had a mandatory charge in place for all retailers for over a year and municipal government in Fort McMurray, Alberta has recently implemented a widespread plastic bag ban across the city.Advertisementlast_img read more

Students to learn jobs by shadowing

first_imgSANTA CLARITA – Whether Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow or not, employers across Santa Clarita will see theirs this Groundhog Day during the ninth annual National Groundhog Job Shadow Day, hosted locally by the Santa Clarita Valley School & Business Alliance. Throughout Santa Clarita, students will spend a half-day Feb. 2 shadowing scientists, firefighters, graphic designers, doctors, architects, teachers, government employees and myriad other professionals in order to experience the workplace firsthand. The national event was established in 1997 in an effort to get young people into the workplace to find out what skills and level of education are required to succeed in the job market. Last year, more than a million young people, including 20,000 students in Southern California, took part in job-shadowing activities across the country. The alliance estimates that more than 300 students will participate in local job-shadowing activities this year and that thousands of students will job-shadow during the school year. For students and educators, job shadowing provides an answer to the question, “Why do I have to learn this?” “Groundhog Job Shadow Day provides a unique opportunity to make the world of work come alive for Santa Clarita students,” said Ann Kerman, executive director of the SCV School & Business Alliance. “They get to see how academics are applied in the workplace and be inspired and motivated to be successful adults.” More than 50 Santa Clarita businesses have already committed to participating in the event. “I think this is a great opportunity for us to demonstrate the link between school and the workplace, and really give kids a hands-on experience of what it takes to succeed in a profession or industry,” said Marc Emmer, president of The SST Group and chairman of the alliance. Businesses that would like to host a student Feb. 2 are asked to call Kerman at the Santa Clarita Valley School & Business Alliance office at (661) 259-0033, Ext. 776. Students who would like to participate can pick up an application in their high school’s career center. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Why humans are the fat primate

first_imgBonobos, endangered great apes considered—along with chimpanzees—the closest living relative to humans, spend most of each day climbing through trees, collecting fruit and leaves. Compare that with the lives of early humans who traversed hot, barren landscapes and it begins to make sense why we’re the fattier, less muscular primate. Over the past 3 decades, two researchers analyzed the hard-to-come-by bodies of 13 bonobos that had died in captivity and compared them with already collected data on 49 human bodies donated by means of autopsy to help understand how evolution drove this change. Although some captive bonobos have become obese, the researchers found that, on average, the apes’ body mass—which is thought to resemble that of the closest common ancestor we share with them—is composed of 10% to 13% skin, whereas humans have only 6% skin. This thinner skin, the team hypothesizes, probably arose around the same time that Homo sapiens gained the ability to sweat, allowing more time spent in hot, open areas. The scientists also found that we pack on more fat than our ape relatives: Female and male humans average 36% and 20% body fat, whereas female and male bonobos average 4% and close to 0% body fat, respectively. Increased fat, the researchers hypothesize, allowed our species to survive—and reproduce—during times of low food availability. As for muscle, the team reports online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, bonobos come out on top, especially when it comes to upper body muscles needed for tree climbing and swinging, which became unnecessary when humans went strictly bipedal. The new findings, the researchers say, help illustrate the forces of natural selection that may have affected H. sapiens’s soft tissues even before our brains started expanding in size and tool use shaped the species.last_img read more