A promising vaccine candidate, new mutual-aid networks, and more COVID-19 updates

A roundup of the top stories you may have missed this week.

The coronavirus crisis is unique. Addressing it will require new ideas, new perspectives, and new voices. That’s our mission at Freethink.

In our weekly “Coronavirus News Roundup,” we’re highlighting the most important stories from the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19. Stories that inform, challenge, and inspire.

Here are our must reads for today, April 4, 2020.

1. Pitt Unveils New Vaccine Candidate That Creates Antibodies in Mice

This week, a promising new candidate emerged in the global hunt for an effective coronavirus vaccine — and it comes in the form of a microneedle patch. We explore why this unique delivery method could make the vaccine easier to scale-up.

2. Colorado Launches Antibody Testing Project That Could Help End Lockdown

Colorado’s San Miguel County has launched a first-of-its-kind coronavirus antibody testing project — and it could ensure life in places disrupted by the COVID-19 outbreak returns to normal as soon as possible.

3. Researchers Join Forces to Protect Workers Reusing N95 Masks

Until the shortage of new N95 masks is resolved, healthcare workers are going to continue to reuse the ones they have — and the efforts of the people highlighted in this article will help ensure they do so in the safest way possible.

4. Silicon Valley Fixes Hundreds of Broken Ventilators for California Hospitals

Working ventilators for coronavirus patients are in short supply — so engineers from San Jose’s Bloom Energy have taught themselves how to refurbish and repair old ones for the state of California.

5. Volunteers Use Tech to Help Their Communities During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Thousands of volunteers across the globe are joining forces to support the most vulnerable members of their communities during the coronavirus pandemic — and they’re doing so with more than a little help from modern technology.

New drug for fatty liver disease cuts fat by 65%
A new NASH treatment, efruxifermin, significantly reduced liver fat when combined with a GLP-1 drug in a small trial.
Lung cancer drug slashes patients’ risk of death by 51%
Osimertinib, an FDA-approved lung cancer drug, slashes the risk of death for certain patients by 51%, according to new trial results.
The placenta may play a role in the genetic risk of schizophrenia
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have found that genes associated with schizophrenia risk may impact the placenta, not just the brain.
Gain-of-function research is more than just tweaking risky viruses
Gain-of-function experiments in the lab can help researchers get ahead of viruses naturally gaining the ability to infect people in the wild.
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