Vet Clin Path Journal Fri, 13 May 2022 03:08:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Vet Clin Path Journal 32 32 UHS Board of Trustees Approves Clinical Research Course Fri, 13 May 2022 01:00:00 +0000

LAHORE: The 177th meeting of the University of Health Sciences (UHS) Council for Advanced Studies and Research was held here on Thursday under the chairmanship of UHS Vice Chancellor Professor Javed Akram.

The board approved the concept of starting a six- to nine-month certificate in clinical research course for healthcare professionals interested in clinical research, especially randomized trials, with the aim of enhancing their ability to understand various rules and guiding frameworks that will ultimately help them to contribute towards scientific innovations. This will be the first such course to be launched in the country. The certificate course will recruit medical teachers, laboratory scientists, technologists, clinical research associates, finance professionals and healthcare programmers.

The jury considered the thesis reports of Dr. Roomana Hashim MPhil (anatomy), Dr. Javeria Noor MPhil (anatomy), Dr. Anjum Iqbal MPhil (chemical pathology), Khaizran Siddique MPhil (medical laboratory sciences-microbiology), Dr. Huma MPhil ( Pharmacology), Dr Seher Naeem MPhil (Physiology), Dr Uzma Awan MHPE, Dr Saba Nosheen MHPE, Dr Khadija Khalid MHPE, Dr Sharafat Hussain MD (Cardiology), Dr Marium Iftikhar MS (General Surgery), Dr Zaeema Nasreen Akhtar MS (Obs & Gynae.), Dr. Khadija Tul Kubra MS (Pediatric Surgery), Dr. Sulochana Dahal MS (Pediatric Surgery), Dr. Abdul Basit MS (Ophthalmology), Dr. Muhammad Uzair MS (Orthopaedics) and Dr. Jiya ul Haque MS (Urology). Abstracts from 66 students were also considered for enrollment in various postgraduate courses.

US Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn vote against bill legalizing abortion Thu, 12 May 2022 17:20:29 +0000

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate on Wednesday voted against passing a bill that would have legalized the right to have an abortion, as the U.S. Supreme Court appears poised to overturn Roe v. Wade in the coming weeks.

U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz of Texas voted against the bill, which failed to win a simple majority because Senate Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia joined 50 House Republicans to oppose it.

“It promotes abortion on a scale far beyond Roe v. Wade and far beyond what the vast majority of the American people are comfortable with,” Cornyn said in remarks to the Senate before the vote.

A d

“It’s a sweeping abortion bill, which unfortunately reflects where Democrats are today,” Cruz told Fox News over the weekend.

Democrats have countered that abortion rights are accepted in mainstream American society.

“The bill before this chamber is simple: it would codify what Americans already believe, which is that the right to choose whether or not to have an abortion belongs to women, not elected politicians,” the leader said. of the Democratic majority in the Senate, Charles Schumer of New York.

The renewed urgency behind the vote comes a week after Politico reported on a leaked majority opinion draft overruling Roe vs. Wade. The Supreme Court upheld the authenticity of the draft but warned that it did not necessarily reflect a final vote. If the High Court moves to terminate Roe, Texas has a “trigger law” that would bar the proceedings in the state.

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Democratic leaders say their top priority is getting senators up to speed on abortion before the fall midterms.

“Every American will see the position of every senator,” Schumer said on Sunday, according to Reuters.

Cornyn and Cruz have made their anti-abortion stances central to their political careers over the years. But what awaits them if Roe is unseated — particularly if Republicans take control of the Senate next year — is whether they would support a federal ban on abortion rather than leaving the issue to state legislatures.

“I don’t think it’s really an appropriate subject for Congress to pass national legislation,” Cornyn said, according to CNN.

Cruz was less clear on a federal ban, telling NBC News that “contested political issues” should be resolved by “democratically elected bodies.”

A d

“I have supported many federal bills, and I’m sure there will be more federal pieces of legislation that will be considered,” Cruz said.

In a sign of heightened tension surrounding the Politico revelations, Cornyn joined Democratic Delaware Senator Chris Coons in pushing for a bill that would provide family members of U.S. Supreme Court justices with a increased security protection. It passed unanimously.

In September 2021, the House passed the Women’s Health Protection Act in response to Texas’ abortion-restricting law that went into effect September 1. This bill passed along party lines among members of the Texas U.S. House, with the exception of U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar, a Democrat from Laredo, who is his party’s only anti-abortion member in that chamber .

A d

This bill failed in a procedural Senate vote on February 28, with Cruz and Cornyn opposing the legislation.

Copyright 2022 by KSAT – All rights reserved.

MRC/UVRI and LSHTM Uganda Research Unit launch new state-of-the-art clinical research facility Thu, 12 May 2022 03:13:00 +0000

The MRC/UVRI and LSHTM Uganda Research Unit has unveiled a new state-of-the-art clinical research facility in Entebbe to further enhance its contributions to science, policy and practice in Uganda.

The facility’s commissioning ceremony was presided over by the Hon. Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, Minister of Health, in the presence of Her Excellency Kate Airey OBE, British High Commissioner to Uganda, and Professor Liam Smeeth, Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

Funded by Wellcome and the UKRI United Kingdom Research and Innovation/Medical Research Council, the solar-powered facility will be used to conduct clinical research into infectious and non-communicable diseases.

It will also support the sharing of expertise and experiences among researchers in Africa and facilitate the development of best practices in the management and conduct of clinical trials.

The MRC/UVRI and LSHTM Research Unit in Uganda has over 30 years of experience in conducting clinical research and trials that involve interactions with patients, research participants and surrounding communities to better understand a range of different fields, including disease mechanisms and natural history, translational research, diagnosis, prevention and therapeutic intervention trials, and health services research.

Professor Pontiano Kaleebu, Director of the Uganda Virus Research Institute and Director of the MRC/UVRI and LSHTM Research Unit in Uganda, said: “We are very excited about this new facility which will provide to strengthen and expand our clinical research and training to help improve the health of our people. »

The unit has solid clinical research expertise and infrastructure across all of its sites and research programs. This includes experienced research and clinical staff in Participatory Good Practice Guidelines, Human Subject Protection, Good Clinical Research Practices, Good Clinical and Laboratory Practices, and Advanced Life Support Certification.

The new research clinics will house equipment to assess research participants, pharmacies to handle investigational drugs from clinical trials, and clinical and diagnostic laboratories. There will be ongoing engagement with communities through Participant Advisory Groups and Community Advisory Councils to ensure strong links between research teams, local communities and other stakeholders.

Professor Liam Smeeth, Director of LSHTM, said: “This is an exceptional facility which cements the unit’s position as one of the leading research institutes in Africa. Combined with the talented staff and dedicated unit, the new facility will be the catalyst for more vital research that will improve the lives of Ugandans and the health of the continent.”

This new facility is another sign of the UK government’s commitment to partner with the Ugandan government and scientists to find solutions through research that will lead to better health. »

Her Excellency Kate Airey OBE, British High Commissioner to Uganda

Hon. Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, Minister of Health, said: “On behalf of the Department of Health, I would like to thank the Wellcome Trust and the UK MRC for funding this facility. This contribution builds on the long-term support and partnership with the UK Government and the outstanding research that the MRC Unit and UVRI have generated over the years. We are committed to playing our part, building a healthier nation together.

College kids learn the joys and heartbreak of caring for lambs – The Durango Herald Wed, 11 May 2022 11:03:43 +0000

Veterinary science class visits J. Paul Brown’s ranch to observe childbirth

Makenna Bard, 14, holds an orphan lamb Monday that her Escalante Middle School Veterinary Science class selected from breeder J. Paul Brown’s flock to raise in their class. Students will raise the lambs for approximately three weeks, learning about herding and comparing it to pet care. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

IGNACIO — Veterinary science students at Escalante Middle School traded kittens for lambs.

Lu Boren’s veterinary science class visited breeder J. Paul Brown’s Ignacio Ranch on Monday to collect the orphaned lambs they will now raise for about three weeks. While at Brown’s, eighth graders watched the birth of lambs and discussed raising livestock while learning the difference between caring for livestock and pets.

“The majority of kids in my class aren’t farming kids at all, they don’t have any farming background,” Boren said. “Exposing them to agriculture, it roots us all.”

Brown guided the students through the pens where the sheep lambed, explaining how he and his crews would help lamb the approximately 1,600 ewes that will lamb this week.

Local breeder J. Paul Brown explains the lambing process to Escalante Middle School staff members and veterinary science students Monday during a visit to his ranch near Ignacio. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

Jerry McBride

He explained to the students how they sorted and numbered sheep and how they would determine if a mother was strong enough to return to graze in the mountains.

With the constant baas ringing out, the students adored the newborn lambs. Some headed to a pasture to find ewe No. 77 after her lamb appeared lost, while others immediately picked out the orphaned lamb they will care for over the next few weeks, swaddling them in towels and giving them names like Billy the Kid, Bouba and Bingo.

The students assessed the condition of each of their lambs and even convinced Boren to bring a seventh lamb back to school after fears it might survive. But first they had to discuss the risks of bringing a bad lamb back to school and how they would feel if the lamb died. The students ultimately voted to bring back the lamb.

The newborn lambs stay close to their mother Monday at J. Paul Brown’s ranch near Ignacio. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

Boren’s veterinary science class will now raise the lambs at Escalante Middle School where they will live in the school’s greenhouse and garden. The teams will share the responsibility of feeding the lambs formula donated by Basin Coop in the mornings and evenings, while ensuring they are cared for on weekends.

After fostering four kittens earlier this year, students will compare their experience raising lambs to answer the question: How is caring for livestock different than caring for pets?

“Being a farm person, I think it’s really important for kids to understand that livestock is different from a pet in your house,” Boren said.

Lu Boren, a veterinary science teacher at Escalante Middle School, asks his class to vote on whether they should take a sick newborn lamb that may die in their class to raise with six other orphan lambs that they selected from J. Paul Brown’s flock of sheep on Monday during a field trip. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

“If you are in agricultural production, these animals are part of your business and part of your livelihood,” she said. “When your whole business revolves around these animals, you take care of them very well, but you take care of them differently than a cat sleeping on the end of your bed.”

Throughout the three weeks, students will continually assess the condition of their lambs while discussing the difference between pet and livestock welfare.

Boren’s veterinary science students have already started learning. On Tuesday, they identified one of the lambs that they believe is not seeing well and another that appears to be drooping.

The seventh lamb the students brought home died Monday evening, providing a lesson in death alongside birth.

Elber Conozeo Riveros, a breeder for Ignacio J. Paul Brown, moves lambs from birthing pens with the mother behind to a pasture for healthy ewes and lambs Monday during a science field trip veterinarians at Escalante Middle School. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

“We spent the class (Tuesday) talking about: Could we have done something differently? What did we do right? What did we do wrong, if we did something wrong? ‘could we have done differently to get a different result?’” said Boren.

One of the kittens also died weeks after students returned the litter to the La Plata County Humane Society after he fell ill while in student care. After the lamb died, the students discussed whether their reactions were different for the kitten or the lamb, Boren said.

While at Brown’s Ranch, Reid Ruecker, a student in the class, said he enjoyed the class and the opportunity to learn about the animals through hands-on experience.

The newborn lambs stay close to their mother Monday at J. Paul Brown’s ranch near Ignacio. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

“It’s really fun to learn about pets and livestock,” he said. “It’s super cool and also cute to spend time with animals.”

Ruecker, who had no farming experience before Boren’s veterinary science course, also found it helpful to expose students from non-agricultural backgrounds to animal husbandry and agriculture.

“I think it’s really important to be able to put yourself in the shoes of a breeder or an animal owner,” he said.

Brown reiterated the value of exposing students and people in general to agriculture.

“(Education) is something people in agriculture probably don’t really like to do; they just like to do their thing,” Brown said. “But it’s really important that we try to educate people about people’s lives in agriculture.”

The students’ visit to Brown’s ranch on Monday was not the first time they learned about ranching and farming. The veterinary science class had previously visited Brown’s operation to observe the shearing, pregnancy check and vaccination of the sheep.

This year also marks the fourth time Boren’s class has cared for orphaned lambs and worked with Brown.

Raising the lambs began as a way to give his students an experience they otherwise wouldn’t have had, Boren said.

With the introduction of kittens this year, veterinary science students can now see and participate in the full spectrum of animal care, a rarity inside and outside of classroom walls.

“It’s just such a cool experience,” Boren said.

Local breeder J. Paul Brown explains the lambing process to Escalante Middle School staff members and veterinary science students Monday during a visit to his ranch near Ignacio. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

Press release | Press releases | Writing Tue, 10 May 2022 18:28:39 +0000


WASHINGTON- US Senators Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA) and Chris Murphy (D-CT), members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, today introduced a bill to reauthorize historic federal mental health and addictions programs that were enacted in 2016 as part of their Mental Health Reform Act before they expire in September. The Mental Health Reform Reauthorization Act 2022 also addresses the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the national mental health crisis, particularly among children, building on the 2016 legislation to improve and expand these programs.

“We all have loved ones affected by mental illness. The pandemic has intensified our mental health crisis, especially in our children,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Our bill preserves and enhances the resources that have been a lifeline to so many Americans over the past five years.”

“The Mental Health Reform Act has made important strides in getting people the mental health care they need. But now, as we face a national mental health crisis exacerbated by two years of a pandemic, the programs we created are about to expire. That’s why our new bill goes further than just reauthorization — it doubles down on strengthening parity protections and expanding access to pediatric mental health. There is no time to waste, and I look forward to working with the HELP committee to ensure it is signed into law. » said Senator Murphy.

Last fall, senators sought feedback from patients, families, health care providers, advocacy organizations and state, local, tribal and territorial governments on the effectiveness of programs created by the 2016 legislation and areas for improvement to inform the drafting of this legislation. More specifically, the Mental Health Reform Reauthorization Act 2022 would like to:

Strengthen existing mental health and addictions parity laws by:

  • Authorizing $25 million to support states’ ability to enforce existing mental health and substance use disorder parity laws;
  • Prevent health insurance plans that cover frontline workers from refusing to provide joint coverage.

Improve community mental health services by:

  • Authorize a significant increase in Mental Health Services Block Grant (MHBG) funding for states to provide mental health services and promote increased quality of programs for people with serious mental illness (SMI);
  • Reauthorize HRSA’s Promotion of Integrating Primary and Behavioral Health Care (PIPBHC), which places behavioral health specialists in primary care offices.

Expand access to pediatric mental health care by:

  • Promote greater access to mental health care in schools and emergency departments through the HRSA’s Pediatric Mental Health Care Access Program (PMHCAP);
  • Expand behavioral health training for pediatricians and other primary care providers who treat children and adolescents through HRSA’s Primary Care Training and Improvement Program;
  • Reauthorize SAMHSA programs for children with severe emotional disorders.

Increase recruitment of a diverse mental health workforce by:

  • Expand SAMHSA’s Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) through increased funding and inclusion of addictions physicians to address the need for a diverse workforce for the treatment of substance abuse disorders substance use;
  • Reauthorize HRSA Mental and Behavioral Health Education and Training Grants to Increase the Supply of Behavioral Health Professionals with a Focus on Helping Children, Teens and Youth at Risk for Health Issues behavioral.

Provide a pathway to recovery for vulnerable people by:

  • Ensure that individuals served by SAMHSA’s Prison Diversion Program (JDP) grants are treated the same as any other patient by preventing unnecessary and disruptive medication changes;
  • Empower the SAMHSA Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) program to support access to desperately needed housing for homeless people with mental illness.

The bill is approved by:

  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • American Community Psychiatric Association
  • American Association for Emergency Psychiatry
  • American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
  • American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
  • American Occupational Therapy Association
  • American Psychiatric Association
  • American Psychological Association
  • American Society for Addiction Medicine
  • Association of Directors of University and College Guidance Centers
  • autism speaks
  • Association of Behavioral Health Providers
  • Bipartisan Policy Center
  • CADA of Northwest Louisiana
  • California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals
  • Connecticut Certification Board
  • Connecticut Council of Family Service Agencies, Inc.
  • Solutions Health Connections
  • Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
  • Inseparable
  • International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium
  • Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute
  • Mental Health America
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness
  • National Association for Behavioral Health
  • National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors
  • National Council of Certified and Affiliated Counselors, Inc. (NBCC).
  • Otsuka
  • Partnership to End Addiction
  • Action Alliance for Schizophrenia and Psychosis
  • Treatment Promotion Center

A clause-by-clause summary of the bill is available here.

A page from the bill can be found here.


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Study co-authored by UMass Chan researchers finds big differences in SARS-CoV-2 infectivity Tue, 10 May 2022 10:56:14 +0000

A wide variation in the amount or infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 among people in the early stages of COVID-19 may be an explanation for the phenomenon of “super spreaders”, according to a study by researchers at the UMass Chan and collaborators from several institutions which was recently published in Natural microbiology .

Laura Gibson, MD

The research provides an in-depth view of SARS-CoV-2 infection through serial viral testing by multiple methods: PCR test, antigen test, and viral culture to measure viral growth.

Nasal and saliva samples were obtained from late 2020 to early 2021 from 60 individuals at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who were asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic with COVID-19. The participants had either received a new positive PCR result within the previous 24 hours or had been exposed to someone with COVID-19 within the previous five days. The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health’s Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative.

The term super spreader refers to an infected person who contributes a disproportionately large share of SARS-CoV-2 transmission.

“Until this study, the reason why some people seem to transmit the virus to others more widely than others has not been well explained,” said co-author Laura L. Gibson, MD, professor Associate of Medicine at UMass Chan. Dr. Gibson was previously co-lead of the RADx Clinical Studies Core with David D. McManus, MD, the Richard M. Haidack Professor of Medicine and President and Professor of Medicine.

Based on the study results, Gibson said, COVID-19 appears to be like most other infectious diseases in which some people get sick and others don’t from the same infection. This clinical variability depends on many factors, including differences between pathogens, individual differences in immune responses or even the location of the virus in the oral or nasal cavities.

The current study was performed on individuals with no known immunity to SARS-CoV-2. They had not been infected before, and because the study took place before the vaccine was widely available, none had received a COVID-19 vaccine.

The researchers measured the dynamics of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in several ways through daily sampling of participants for up to 14 days.

First, they tested nasal swabs using the sample from one nostril for a PCR test, which detects viral genetic material whether the virus is dead or alive, and from the other nostril for an antigen test. , which detects viral proteins. The PCR nasal sample was also tested in viral culture, a laboratory test that detects virus that is alive and replicating and therefore could spread to the next person.

Gibson explained, “The unique aspect of this approach was to use multiple testing modalities on samples obtained on the same day and to repeat these measurements daily throughout the SARS-CoV-2 infection.”

To analyze the data from these samples, the researchers used mathematical models to map the longitudinal dynamics of viral shedding based on data from PCR tests and viral culture performed during infection. The models not only described viral expansion and clearance, but also viral shedding, which generally indicates infectious activity when the virus is released from the body.

“Daily sampling of participants provided robust granular data for this modeling,” Gibson said. “We found that individuals differ significantly in terms of viral infectivity, and that such heterogeneity likely depends on human and viral factors and supports the idea of ​​super spreaders.”

The researchers also compared PCR test results in saliva and nasal samples and found surprising differences between the two anatomical locations, even though they are connected at the back of the throat. “We found virus in saliva at least a day before nasal swabs in approximately 85% of participants,” Gibson said.

The authors of the paper did not suggest that saliva testing was better than nasal testing, “But it supports the argument that if you want to catch infected people earlier, you might be better off testing the saliva – with a PCR test authorized for this use – rather than nasal swabs.But there are many caveats with this approach, and people should only use diagnostic tests with the specific type of sample for which they are designed.

Although the study took place when the alpha and previous variants were circulating, Gibson said the general conclusions would likely still apply to other variants because the researchers did not see differences in viral dynamics depending on the variants assessed in this study.

Additionally, the study found differences between participants that were not fully explained by virus test results, Gibson said. “The general conclusion was that people vary in the amount or duration of virus in samples, regardless of how the virus is tested, and not all of this variation has been explained by virus measurements. Human factors – for example the level of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the nose – are likely important and could be measured as a clinical tool.

Other UMass Chan Medical School researchers who authored the paper along with researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and bioengineering were: Alyssa N. Owens, PhD, research coordinator; John P. Broach, MD, MPH, MBA, assistant professor of emergency medicine; Bruce A. Barton, PhD, Professor of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences; Peter Lazar, Application Database Developer; and Dr. McManus.

Current articles related to UMass Chan:
Participants wanted for new digital study of COVID-19 home testing
New research shows the value of home antigen testing in slowing the spread of COVID-19

Study investigates cause of lymphopenia as seen in COVID-19 patients Mon, 09 May 2022 10:40:00 +0000

In a recent study published on Research Square* preprint server, researchers explored the underlying mechanism leading to thymic atrophy and subsequent lymphopenia in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Study: SARS-CoV-2 and its variants, but not Omicron, induce severe thymic atrophy and impaired T-cell development. Image Credit: erhanyelekci/Shutterstock

Previous studies have reported dysregulated T cell function and lymphopenia in COVID-19 patients. However, the literature does not shed light on the immunological and pathological alterations of the thymus after infection with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2).

The thymus is the primary site of T cell development; aging, pathogenic infections, nutritional deficiencies, cancer and hormonal changes impact its health, which is defined by its performance. Peripheral thymocyte escape, developmental pathway arrest, or increased apoptosis are all responsible for thymic atrophy due to pathogenic infection.

About the study

In the current study, researchers intranasally infected human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2)-Tg transgenic hamsters or mice with 105 PFU of live SARS-CoV-2. The viral inoculum for hamsters and mice was 100 μl for hamsters and 50 μl for hACE2-Tg mice. The control group received Dulbecco’s Modified Eagle’s Medium (DMEM) instead of live virus, and untested animals received injections of phosphate buffered saline (PBS).

From the day before viral challenge to day three after infection, animals in the test group received a subcutaneous (sc) injection of remdesivir (RDV) at 25 mg/kg body, and animals in the control group received injections of PBS.

They used an anti-mouse interferon-gamma (IFNγ) antibody for IFN-γ neutralization at a dose of 10 mg/kg body mass at two time points one day before the SARS-CoV-2 challenge and two days after the challenge by intraperitoneal injections. The control group received only the immunoglobulin G antibody.

The team recorded the animals’ body mass daily post-challenge. Similarly, they sacrificed six animals from the test and control groups, and their thymuses were extracted and examined for any gross morphological changes.

The researchers analyzed thymus sections using immunofluorescence microscopy for the nucleocapsid (N) protein. A trained pathologist scored the hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stained sections on a scale of 0 to 5, where a score of 5 indicated the highest pathologic feature. They also performed immunophenotyping of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC).

The team also isolated ribonucleic acid (RNA) from homogenized thymus cells, transcribed it into complementary deoxyribonucleic acid (cDNA), and performed quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). They used the cloned transcript (as a template) to generate a standard curve to estimate the RNA copy number of the SARS-CoV-2 N gene. The researchers used the trypan blue exclusion method to determine the number of living cells of the thymus and lymph nodes.

Researchers compared and analyzed thymus and body mass, gene expression, and enzyme immunoassay (ELISA) results using either one-way ANOVA or two-way ANOVA.

Study results

hACE2-Tg mice infected with Wuhan-Hu strain 1 SARS-CoV-2 developed profound thymic atrophy with seven- to eight-fold reduced size, primarily arresting developing thymocytes at double-negative stage 1 (DN1). Additionally, intriguingly, SARS-CoV-2-induced thymocyte apoptosis resulted in increased cell death.

qPCR data showed the presence of SARS-CoV-2 N gene RNA in all thymocyte cell subpopulations. Immunofluorescence microscopy also detected the presence of virus in the cellular compartments of thymocytes. However, the investigation could not identify the exact mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 entry into thymocytes.

Therefore, the authors hypothesized that either infected progenitor T cells were migrating to the thymus, thus disseminating the infection, or the virus was migrating to the thymus by direct impoundment.

Remarkably, IFN-γ adequately induced thymic atrophy because neutralizing IFN-γ by neutralizing monoclonal antibodies rescued thymic atrophy. In contrast, interleukin 17 (IL-17), IL-4, granzyme B (GzB), and perforin-1 (Prf-1) had limited roles in SARS-CoV-induced thymic atrophy -2. Interestingly, RDV antiviral therapy effectively rescued mice from SARS-CoV-2-related thymic atrophy.

Also, not Omicron but severe Delta-induced thymic atrophy worse than the ancestral strain in Delta-infected mice, with profoundly impaired T-cell development.

Anti-SARS-CoV-2 P4A2 monoclonal neutralizing antibody therapy initiated at an early stage of infection helped inhibit thymic pathology and rescued the infected animal by restoring the T cell developmental pathway.


Overall, the study demonstrated that thymic dysregulation and thymic atrophy cause SARS-CoV-2-related lymphopenia and changes in peripheral T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire. Given that thymic atrophy leads to a loss of the peripheral TCR repertoire, study results could improve understanding of how T cell response was reduced during COVID-19 and help develop new vaccine candidates. .

*Important Notice

Research Square publishes preliminary scientific reports that are not peer-reviewed and, therefore, should not be considered conclusive, guide clinical practice/health-related behaviors, or treated as established information.

A look at SECURE and more Mon, 09 May 2022 02:13:35 +0000

Well, that sounds familiar: Capitol Hill is considering a SECURE law. But this time it’s SECURE 2.0. In a recent webcast, Robert M. Richter, Retirement Education Advisor for the American Retirement Association, provided an update regarding the provisions of SECURE 2.0 as well as other legislation relevant to pension plans, plan members and professionals.

HR 2954, the Securing a Secure Retirement Act of 2022 – aka SECURE 2.0 – was given the green light by the House on March 29, 2022, in a landslide vote of 414 to 5. Here are the highlights of the provisions of the bill and Richter’s observations and ideas about them.

Automatic registration

The bill establishes an automatic enrollment requirement in new defined contribution deferral plans, including 401(k) and 403(b) plans, but not for SIMPLE plans. The default rate would be 3% of salary, increasing to a maximum of 15%. However, there would be exceptions:

  • employers with 10 or fewer employees;
  • new employees who have been in service for less than three years;
  • government plans; and
  • church plans.

“It’s a mandate, but it has bipartisan support,” Richter said. He added that there’s a “strong chance” that the provision will make it into the final form of the bill, but that “we don’t know what the Senate will do.”


When it comes to long-term, part-time employees (LTPT), Richter said, “People ask – ‘Where’s the IRS advice? The answer is, who knows? adding, “The IRS is working on it. He noted that SECURE 2.0 calls for changes to the LTPT definition and provides 500 hours for two (not three) consecutive years to meet the definition. Additionally, it provides that prior service for vesting would not apply, which the American Retirement Association had advocated. He added that the ARA was working on fixes, including vesting if an employee who is LTPT becomes a full-time employee, and a very onerous exemption for certain ADP testing security plans.


Richter noted that SECURE 2.0 calls for new start dates required for required minimum distributions (RMDs); it would adjust it to age 73 from 2027 and age 75 from 2033. It would also increase the catch-up contribution cap to $10,000, but to $5,000 for SINGLES – and people age 62, 63 and 64 would qualify.

But Richter indicated that this may not all be set in stone. “It’s very costly, from a revenue perspective, to increase the required start date,” he said. “It’s more than likely that those will be changed” as the House and Senate begin to consider the revenue impact of this provision, he said.

“These are easily editable,” he said; however, Richter indicated that some sort of change is likely. “There is a consensus that the age should be increased beyond 72,” he said.

Paper statements

SECURE 2.0 would impose a mandate that at least one quarterly benefit statement should be delivered on paper. It’s a provision that “we’re definitely not happy with,” Richter said; however, he said, “we have still made a lot of progress in delivering the required notices electronically.” It’s “very unlikely” to go away, he added.

Additional Provisions

SECURE 2.0 would also allow:

  • Reduce excise tax penalties for failed RMDs – this would halve the excise tax penalty from 50% to 25%; and it would further reduce the tax penalty to 10% if an IRA’s RMD is corrected in a timely manner.
  • Eliminate the disclosure requirement for unregistered participants.
  • Provide that stock attribution rules do not apply to spouses with separate businesses in communally owned states; nor would they apply to spouses with separate businesses due to a minor child.
  • Increase the mandatory withdrawal threshold from $5,000 to $7,000.
  • Address student loan matching programs by allowing matching contributions based on repayment of student loans. It would also include an ADP test disaggregation provision.
  • Allow penalty-free withdrawals from retirement accounts for victims of domestic violence, up to the lesser of $10,000 or 50% of the account balance.
  • Allow multiple employer 403(b) (MEP) plans.
  • Comply with existing hardship allocation rules for 401(k)s through 403(b) plans.

Don’t hold your breath

Richter stressed that the provisions of SECURE 2.0 are preliminary. “We don’t really expect some kind of overall agreement between the committees that is ready to be included in a larger bill before the end of the year,” Richter said. There are four congressional committees — in the House of Representatives, Ways and Means, Education and Labor, and in the Senate, Finance and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions — that have a role to play in the measurement. To complicate matters further, Richter said, the Senate is not as advanced as the House in its idea of ​​what SECURE 2.0 should include.

Beyond SECURE 2.0

While important, SECURE 2.0 is not the only pending legislation, nor the only proposal, relevant to pensions. Here are the highlights of the additional questions addressed by Richter.

United States Retirement Security Protection Act (HR 7310). The House Education and Labor Committee passed the bill on April 5, 2022, in a 29-21 vote, Richter said. He noted that spousal consent would be required for distributions from all plans and re-enrollment every three years. “Don’t get too excited,” Richter said, adding that he didn’t expect this to be part of SECURE 2.0. Still, he said, “don’t expect this problem to go away.”

Portman Cardin. Richter noted that this legislation includes provisions that call for:

  • a new safe harbor for stretched matches;
  • a credit matching contribution from the saver;
  • RMDs are not required for accounts under $100,000 or designated Roth accounts;
  • allow up to 10% employer contribution to SIMPLE accounts; and
  • retirement planning services qualify as a non-taxable benefit.

It’s “everyone’s guess” whether these things will be incorporated into SECURE 2.0, Richter said.

Emergency savings. The goal, Richter said, is to allow emergency withdrawals from 401(k) or 403(b) plans without tax penalties and to allow reliance on participants’ statements. He said two different approaches are being considered: (1) withdrawal from the deferral account and (2) a separate side fund. That really equates to an early cast, Richter said.

There’s a proposal for a new pension plan emergency distribution option of up to $1,000 for emergencies, Richter said; the amount would have to be replenished before another distribution or distribution could take place for three years.

As for the sidecar proposal, Richter said, there would be a $2,500 limit on annual contributions to the account. Monthly withdrawals would be permitted; they would be after-tax but treated as carryforward for matching purposes.

Plan design expenses. Currently, Richter said, plan design expenses are settlor expenses that cannot be paid from plan assets. However, he noted, there is a proposal that would allow the plan design fee to be paid from plan assets.

RMD regulations. Richter discussed the proposed RMD regulations published on February 24, 2022. He stated that it is considered a reasonable interpretation of the SECURE Act to apply them now.

The main takeaways, he said, include:

  • the age of majority is 21;
  • relief in determining the disability of a minor; and
  • detailed rules on the look-through trusts.

The IRS is seeking comments on the 403(b) disaggregation rule, Richter added.

Rules of Deputies/EPP. Richter noted that the IRS released draft regulations on the Unified Plan Rule — aka the Rotten Apple Rule — on March 25, 2022. It does not apply to open MPs who are not PEPs, said he declared. The regulations require notices (a series of three 60-day notices instead of the 90-day notices that were in the 2019 proposal). And while those regulations are in the proposed form, they can still be invoked, Richter said.

W-4P and/or W-4R. Mandatory use of W-4P and/or W-4R is deferred to 2023, Richter said, noting that W-4R is the new withholding certificate for non-periodic payments and qualifying rollover distributions.

Notice 2022-6. In that notice, Richter said, the IRS provides guidance on substantially equal periodic payments. It comes into effect in 2023, but can be used in 2022. The guidelines retain three methods – RMD, annuity or amortization – but impose a 5% interest rate cap on the annuity or amortization methods.

Cryptocurrency. The Department of Labor released Compliance Assistance Release 2022-01 on March 10, 2022, Richter noted. It states that investing in cryptocurrency is not prohibited; however, he said, there is a very strong inference that it is reckless and violates fiduciary duties in defined contribution plans with participant-directed investments. Plan trustees charged with overseeing these investment options or authorizing these investments through brokerage windows should expect to be questioned on how they can reconcile their actions with their duties of care and loyalty, did he declare.

Available on demand

This ASPPA webcast, “ASPPA Webcast: Washington Update – The Latest from the Hill and Agencies”, is available on demand here.

Citations for the four 2022 honorary degree recipients Sun, 08 May 2022 14:30:40 +0000

One of the highlights of the opening ceremony is the presentation of honorary degrees to individuals for their outstanding achievements and service to the world. This year, President Vincent Price conferred degrees on a medical missionary, a scientist turned entrepreneur, a former NASA engineer who led the Girl Scouts and a Nigerian economist who works to improve lives across Africa.

Below are the quotes Price read about the recipients at the start.

Sylvia Acevedo

Rocket scientist and nonprofit leader Sylvia Acevedo has been a tireless advocate for women and girls in STEM fields.

Ms. Acevedo began her career as an engineer at IBM and NASA, where she worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the Solar Probe and Voyager 2 space missions. She later held senior positions at Dell, Autodesk and Apple, where she oversaw the Asia/Pacific region.

In 2016, Ms. Acevedo took on the role of CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, where she championed initiatives to close the gender gap in STEM and train girls in skills such as cybersecurity, literacy, and education. automotive engineering, entrepreneurship, coding, robotics and leadership. More than 1.5 million girls have earned Associate Scout badges, inspiring them to explore new interests and activities.

In 2010, President Barack Obama named her Chair of the White House Initiative for Excellence in Hispanic Early Childhood Education. For her efforts to increase the involvement of Hispanic and underserved families in education, the Mexican government awarded Ms. Acevedo its highest civil rights honor, the Ohtli.

Sylvia, for your extraordinary leadership and service, I am delighted to confer upon you the honorary degree of Doctor of Science.

Akinwumi Adesina

A world-renowned development economist, Akinwumi Adesina is currently the 8th elected President of the African Development Bank Group, Africa’s multilateral financial institution.

As President, Dr. Adesina launched High 5s, an initiative that has impacted the lives of over 350 million Africans by improving access to energy, industrialization and food security. He is commissioner of the World Climate Commission on Adaptation, leading international efforts to help prepare countries to respond to the current and future impacts of climate change. He is also one of 23 world leaders leading a United Nations initiative to help end world hunger and malnutrition.

Before becoming president, Dr. Adesina served as Nigeria’s agriculture minister, where he led efforts to end corruption, attract billions in private investment and helped tackle food insecurity. For his efforts, Dr. Adesina was the recipient of the 2017 World Food Prize.

Akinwumi, for your international leadership and achievements, I am delighted to award you the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.


Patrick Brown is the founder and visionary director of Impossible Foods, which creates nutritious foods with the goal of protecting the environment and feeding a growing world population. While on sabbatical from a professorship at Stanford University, Dr. Brown came up with the idea of ​​creating plant-based meat, and the company he founded has since produced the burger. Impossible and other innovative foods that have won fans around the world.

Before founding Impossible Foods, Dr. Brown was a professor of biochemistry at Stanford University School of Medicine, where he and his colleagues developed microarrays, a new technology that can monitor the activity of all the genes in a genome. He also pioneered the use of gene expression models to better classify cancers and improve the prediction of their clinical course.

In recognition of his life-saving scholarship, Dr. Brown is a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine, and he was awarded the American Cancer Society Medal of Honor .

Pat, for your ingenuity and for leading the way into the future of sustainable food, I am delighted to bestow on you the honorary degree of Doctor of Science.


Tom Catena is the medical director and sole surgeon at Mother of Mercy Hospital in the Nuba Mountains of central Sudan, the only referral surgical hospital in an area the size of Austria with a population of over one million inhabitants.

When civil war broke out in Sudan in 2011 and the hospital was bombed, Dr Catena refused to leave, arguing it would mean his life was more important than the lives of his patients. Despite an active confrontation, he continues to treat hundreds of patients a day for everything from disease, cancer, malnutrition, wounds and wounds from the civil war.

Dr. Catena began his medical career in the United States Navy, serving four years as a flight surgeon. After his residency, he spent six years in hospitals in Kenya, before moving to Sudan in 2007 to co-found the hospital he runs today. For his courageous efforts, he was named one of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.

I am extremely proud that Tom graduated from Duke University School of Medicine in 1992 and has already received the school’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

Upfront: Linda Martin on almost becoming a vet and a certain song contest Sun, 08 May 2022 01:30:00 +0000

Linda Martin has been a professional singer since the age of 16. She represented Ireland twice in the Eurovision Song Contest and won in 1992 with “Why Me?”, composed by Johnny Logan. Born in East Belfast, she lives on the Dublin-Meath border.

How were you as a young girl?

I was determined and a little lonely, in the sense that I was only interested in animals. My earliest memory is of being set up on a windowsill outside a house and a dog next to me. He was the first dog we ever had. I wasn’t particularly girly and I didn’t play with dolls.

What or who do you attribute your love of animals to?

It’s from my dad because he used to bring home stray dogs. My mom said when she needed to pick me up, if she saw a dog somewhere, she knew I’d be around. As I got older, I got a job at the local stables. In this way, I was able to take riding lessons. I was ready to go to vet school, but I auditioned.

How was your family?

I was the eldest of three – I have a brother and a sister. I was born into a working class family in East Belfast. My father worked in a shipyard and my mother was a cleaner until her last years. She got bored when we all flew away and she got a job at the local supermarket. She adored him.

Three words to describe you?

Loyal, professional and kind.

What motivates you ?

Video of the day

Work ethic. Some people would call this a Protestant work ethic. This is how I was raised and it has never left me.

How did you get into showbiz?

My father didn’t believe in handing out money willy-nilly. That’s why I got into show business. If he had been really generous, I would not have sought a part-time job. I answered an ad in the newspaper and got a job singing in the band Chips when I was 16. It was just Saturday afternoon and I hit a five. It was huge money. Then I had the bug.

What are your role models?

My mother because of the way she raised us. She was the nicest person ever, but she was able to get you in line without roaring or shouting. Our house was an open house. It didn’t matter what religion you were or what you were doing. If you were a decent person, she brought you in and fed you.

The best advice given?

Keep your feet on the ground and treat people the way you would like to be treated.

When did the singing start?

The choir of the church. Looking back, I learned so much. But what child wants to be in a church choir? It is the arrogance of youth.

Did you play an instrument?

I was taught the piano but to my great regret I was not very interested. I can play a song if I’m forced, but I won’t come back now. As I get older, things get more difficult, but also my fingernails are too long. I have no intention of cutting them.

What are you working on now?

I’m filming ‘Reeling in the Showband’ with Red Hurley, Ronan Collins and our band, The Conquerors. It is extremely pleasant. We’ve been doing everything since the 1950s and 1960s; the audience knows the words to each song.

Any advice for Brooke Scullion at Eurovision on Thursday?

Make sure your voice is in tune, but enjoy it. The Eurovision Song Contest is the most amazing platform in the world for someone to get noticed. Where else would you have 300 million people listening and watching you in one night?

How was it to win?

It’s the best thing that ever happened to me in my musical life and I’m still living for it. It’s been so nice to me.

Strange fans?

Diehards are lovely but I got a stalker. He traveled regularly from France to Dublin, took a taxi to the office and when told that I was not there, he returned to France. It was never something that worried me. His toes are probably curled up at this point.

“Reeling in the Showband Years” is at the National Concert Hall in Dublin on May 11;