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   Biotech / MedicalNNVC - NanoViricides, Inc.

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From: donpat6/4/2016 10:23:48 AM
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Zika virus transmitted in more ways than just mosquitoes

POSTED 8:53 PM, JUNE 3, 2016

BOSTON - While you may associate Zika with mosquitoes, there are new findings that the virus could be contracted through sexual transmission, more than previously thought.

A letter just published by the New England Journal of Medicine documents a case in France in which a man who had traveled to Brazil may have spread it to his partner through oral sex.

A 24-year-old woman referred to as Patient 1 in the article reported having sexual contact with Patient 2 over a period of time in which the episodes involved ejaculation without the use of a condom, as well as oral sex with ejaculation.

Patient 1 had not traveled to any of the regions where Zika is an epidemic nor to any tropical or subtropical areas. She also had not received any blood transfusions. Patient 1 contracted Zika and was sick for approximately 7 days.

Patient 2 reported a fever while he was in Brazil, but he felt better by the time he arrived in France to see his sexual partner.

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To: donpat who wrote (6862)6/4/2016 11:45:07 AM
From: donpat
   of 12850
NEJM article:

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From: donpat6/4/2016 11:57:59 AM
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Harvard lab develops quick, portable and cheap Zika virus test

CBC's David Common checked out the lab where test was developed

CBC News Posted: Jun 03, 2016 10:00 PM ET Last Updated: Jun 03, 2016 10:00 PM ET

A new fast, cheap test for Zika virus 4:20

Related Stories
Zika case confirmed in Ontario, may be sexually transmitted
Zika virus link to Guillain-Barré syndrome strongest yet, says CDC
Baby looks 'completely Zika affected,' U.S. doctor says

Researchers at Harvard University have developed a new test for the Zika virus that could greatly improve how quickly people can find out if they're infected.

The CBC's David Common checked out the lab where the test was made. The researchers told him that their method uses a simple material — paper — making the test not only convenient but also highly portable.

In less than an hour, anxious expectant mothers can find out if they're carrying the disease, which can lead to microcephaly, a condition in which a baby's head is smaller than expected because the brain hasn't developed properly.

The test is also more accurate, the Harvard researchers say. Traditional tests rely on examining the antibodies of the virus — problematic because the Zika and dengue viruses are nearly identical.

The test was developed with help from the University of Toronto and should soon be available in the field.

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From: donpat6/4/2016 12:08:34 PM
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Flat lens promises possible revolution in optics

By Roland Pease
BBC Radio Science Unit

3 June 2016
From the section Science & Environment

Image caption
This electron microscope image shows the structure of the lens (white line is 0.002mm long)A flat lens made of paint whitener on a sliver of glass could revolutionise optics, according to its US inventors.

Just 2mm across and finer than a human hair, the tiny device can magnify nanoscale objects and gives a sharper focus than top-end microscope lenses.

It is the latest example of the power of metamaterials, whose novel properties emerge from their structure.

Shapes on the surface of this lens are smaller than the wavelength of light involved: a thousandth of a millimetre.

"In my opinion, this technology will be game-changing," said Federico Capasso of Harvard University, the senior author of a report on the new lens which appears in the journal Science.

The lens is quite unlike the curved disks of glass familiar from cameras and binoculars. Instead, it is made of a thin layer of transparent quartz coated in millions of tiny pillars, each just tens of nanometres across and hundreds high.

Singly, each pillar interacts strongly with light. Their combined effect is to slice up a light beam and remould it as the rays pass through the array (see video below).

Computer calculations are needed to find the exact pattern which will replicate the focussing effect of a conventional lens.

The advantage, Prof Capasso said, is that these "metalenses" avoid shortfalls - called aberrations - that are inherent in traditional glass optics.

"The quality of our images is actually better than with a state-of-the-art objective lens. I think it is no exaggeration to say that this is potentially revolutionary."

Those comparisons were made against top-end lenses used in research microscopes, designed to achieve absolute maximum magnification. The focal spot of the flat lens was typically 30% sharper than its competition, meaning that in a lab setting, finer details can be revealed.

But the technology could be revolutionary for another reason, Prof Capasso maintains.

"The conventional fabrication of shaped lenses depends on moulding and essentially goes back to 19th Century technology.

"But our lenses, being planar, can be fabricated in the same foundries that make computer chips. So all of a sudden the factories that make integrated circuits can make our lenses."

And with ease. Electronics manufacturers making microprocessors and memory chips routinely craft components far smaller than the pillars in the flat lenses. Yet a memory chip containing billions of components may cost just a few pounds.

Image caption
The lens is much more compact than a traditional microscope objectiveMass production is the key to managing costs, which is why Prof Capasso sees cell-phone cameras as an obvious target. Most of their other components, including the camera's detector, are already made with chip technology. Extending that to include the lens would be natural, he argues.

There are many other potential uses: mass-produced cameras for quality control in factories, light-weight optics for virtual-reality headsets, even contact lenses. "We can make these on soft materials," Prof Capasso assured the BBC.

The prototypes lenses are 2mm across, but only because of the limitations of the Harvard manufacturing equipment. In principle, the method could scale to any size, Prof Capasso said.

"Once you have the foundry - you want a 12-inch lens? Feel free, you can make a 12-inch lens. There's no limit."

The precise character of the lens depends on the layout and composition of the pillars. Paint-whitener - titanium dioxide - is used to make the pillars, because it is transparent and interacts strongly with visible light. It is also cheap.

Image caption
The minuscule pillars have a powerful effect on light passing through
The team has previously worked with silicon, which functions well in the infrared. Other materials could be used to make ultraviolet lenses.

Or to get a different focus, engineers could change the size, spacing and orientation of the pillars. It simply means doing the computer calculations and dialling the results into the new design.

The team is already working on beating the performance of its first prototypes. Watch this space, they say - if possible, with a pair of metalenses.

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From: donpat6/4/2016 12:23:35 PM
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Do these guys not know about ZikaCide?????

Could, for a small amount of cash, be ready in about 4 - 6 weeks!

Pony up the cash - all you have to lose is a small amount of cash or the Olympic gold medals!

A no-brainer.

ZikaCide is like a hole-in-one!!

World No. 1 golfer Jason Day considering skipping Rio Olympics over Zika concerns

The continued concerns over the Zika virus at the Rio Olympics could keep a number of top players out of the event

by Robby Kalland @rkalland17h ago • 2 min read

The Zika virus is a concern for Jason Day and his growing family. USATSI

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From: donpat6/4/2016 12:30:36 PM
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Billions needed to combat Zika virus, possible vaccine by September

Susanna Heller

June 3, 2016

Yahoo News Now: Zika virus: NIAID director on the latest U.S. cases

The National Institutes of Health is “very aggressively pursuing” a potential vaccine to combat the Zika virus and hopes to have an early safety study of a vaccine by September 2016, said National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony Fauci, MD.

Fauci spoke with Yahoo guest anchor Debbye Turner Bell on Friday about the importance of President Obama’s outstanding request for $1.9 billion to combat the disease.

According to the CDC, there are currently 618 travel-associated cases of Zika in the continental U.S. and Hawaii. There are 162 confirmed cases of the virus in Florida, and 38 infected pregnant women in that state alone.

Without federally funded aid, Florida will face in impending Zika “disaster,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott warned.

The funding would be appropriated to several public health groups to combat the disease.

The NIH requires funding for basic and clinical research, such as understanding the virus’s implications for pregnancy and microcephaly in the fetus, Fauci said.

Fauci also said the NIH is actively pursuing the development of a vaccine for the virus, which they hope to be able to test by September 2016.

According to Fauci, women are the most susceptible to the infection in their first trimester, as they may not be aware of their pregnancy in its early stages. For that reason, the NIH proposes that all women of childbearing age are vaccinated prior to becoming pregnant.

The CDC would receive funds for surveillance, infection control, public health initiatives and mosquito control. He added that the CDC has sent employees to Brazil and Puerto Rico, among other South American countries where the virus is rampant, to assist in combatting it, Fauci said.

The extent to which the virus has spread in Brazil has caused many to speculate about the safety of the Olympic games, as they will be held in Rio de Janeiro this August.

U.S. Olympic cyclist Tejay Van Garderen withdrew from the Olympics on Thursday so as to avoid causing any complications to his wife’s pregnancy.

Fauci, however, does not advise athletes to pull out of the Olympics or canceling the games altogether. Instead, he recommends reading the CDC’s guidelines to prevent infection and sexual transmission of the virus.

“If you are pregnant or might be pregnant, you definitely should avoid going to an area where there is a Zika outbreak, including Brazil,” he added.

Zika, like Chikungunya and Dengue, is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito.

Zika, however, can be sexually transmitted and has been linked to complications with pregnancies and severe fetal neurological defects, including microcephaly.

An infected man can transfer the disease to a woman via unprotected sex or oral sex. There is no evidence that it has been transferred from a woman to man.

Fauci urged men to refrain from unprotected sex if they believe they have been infected for six months and to use a condom. He also said that a man must use a condom while having sex with a pregnant woman for the duration of her pregnancy.

If you have traveled to a country where Zika infection is prevalent but have remained asymptomatic, Fauci advises using a condom during sex for eight weeks.

See the full interview.

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To: donpat who wrote (6857)6/4/2016 11:11:03 PM
From: donpat
   of 12850
Rice University
8:07 PM (3 hours ago)

to me

Dr. Ferrari was previously at Rice University

Dr. Diwan got his PhD there

The late Dr Richard Smalley was also at Rice when he won the Nobel Price for the invention of the “Bucky Balls”

Eugene Seymour MD MPH
Chief Executive Officer
NanoViricides, Inc
"NNVC" on the New York Stock Exchange

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From: donpat6/5/2016 10:06:21 AM
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Characterization of CurcuEmulsomes: nanoformulation for enhanced solubility and delivery of curcumin

Figure 1Schematic drawing of CurcuEmulsome. CurcuEmulsome is composed of a solid tripalmitin core surrounded by phospholipid multi-layers. Thelipophilic load, i.e. curcumin, can locate itself in the inner core, as well as inside the phospholipid layers of the nanocarrier.

Curry Compound Kills Cancer Cells

Kelly Dickerson

Dec. 5, 2013, 7:01 PM 18,173 13

Journal of Nanobiotechnology/Ucisik, Küpcü, Schuster, Sleytr
Curcumin being incorporated into emulsomes.

Scientists have found a very unusual potential cancer-fighting technique: nanoparticles that carry curry into cancer cells. Specifically the particles were filled with curcumin, a compound found in curry.

The research by scientists from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Austria was published in the Journal of Nanobiotechnology on Dec. 6.

Curcumin comes from the turmeric plant, which is commonly used in daals and other curries, and known for its distinctive bright yellow powder.

We already knew that curcumin works as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Other research has shown that when curcumin is absorbed by tumor cells, it stops the cell's growth cycle eventually killing the cell.

The trick is getting the curcumin into the cancerous cells.

Curcumin does not easily dissolve in water, so cells are unlikely to absorb the compound on their own. That's why simply eating lots of curry won't fight cancer. So the researchers packed the curcumin into tiny fat blobs called emulsomes. Emulsomes have a solid core of fat surrounded by a lipid layer that cells absorb easily.

The researchers packed curcumin into the middle of these emulsomes and dubbed them "CurcuEmulsomes." They tested the effectiveness of CurcuEmulsomes by exposing them to cancer cells in the lab. The cells successfully absorbed the CurcuEmulsomes. As the outer emulsome dissolved, the curcumin was slowly and steadily released into the cells.

In the far right section of the graph below you can see how effective the CurcuEmulsomes were at killing the cancer cells. It took 48 hours to kill almost half of them when the curcumin was at the highest concentration level.

Journal of Nanobiotechnology/Ucisik, Küpcü, Schuster, SleytrThe graph shows the concentration of curcumin on the x-axis and the percentage of living cells on the y-axis. The left section of the graph is the control, the middle is free curcumin delivered to the cells, and the right is curcumin delivered by emulsomes.

The CurcuEmulsomes gradually releases the curcumin in the cells. This is advantageous because the curcumin isn't used up all at once; the cancerous cells have more time to absorb the curcumin, making it better able to kill more cells over time. That's better than giving the full dose all at once, which would give the cells time to recover before the next treatment.

The researchers now have to target the CurcuEmulsomes to cancerous cells inside the human body. In the meantime the research is a big step forward in the development of ways to administer other drugs that don't dissolve easily in water and which cells are unlikely to absorb.

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From: donpat6/5/2016 10:19:13 AM
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Trump’s Mission: It’s Hard to Be Great in the Middle of an Epidemic, So We Need a Cure Strategy

Yet today, one sees green shoots of fresh thinking. For instance, Robert W. Patterson, the Republican challenger of a Democratic incumbent in New Jersey’s First Congressional District, has called for a Garden State enterprise zone for “fast-tracking the discovery of cures and vaccines for such diseases as Alzheimer’s and all forms of cancer.” (Hardcore BNN readers might recall that this idea of a Medical Cure Enterprise Zone was raised here, on April 10, 2014.)

Now, Patterson has taken the idea squarely into the political arena. As he said in a debate with his opponent on May 31:

Most Americans are more concerned about their health than they are about the care they receive. This process has to be fast-tracked. We need greater incentives so that this can happen.

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From: Straynut6/5/2016 2:35:46 PM
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The true cost of Zika in the U.S. could be staggering

Last Updated Jun 3, 2016 5:12 PM EDT
While Congress continues to debate President Obama's proposal to spend $1.8 billion to fight the Zika virus, an unpleasant reality is beginning to surface. That figure could be insignificant compared to the total long-term cost if Zika runs rampant across the country this summer.
The warning signs are already here. The first "Zika baby" born in the continental U.S. at a Hackensack, New Jersey, hospital was diagnosed with a deformed head. There are 341 confirmed cases of Zika among pregnant women in the U.S. and its territories, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
"The economic cost of Zika could be very high," said Dr. Peter Hotez, microbiologist at Texas Children's Hospital and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.
Hotez will go before a closed session of the U.S. Senate on the morning of June 8 along with other top U.S. health officials to present the findings of their study of Zika, which focuses on the U.S. Gulf Coast. He said he couldn't be more specific about the potential impact of the disease until his congressional testimony.
No one, including the CDC, health insurers or those with the best handle on it, such as the Kaiser Family Foundation, seems prepared to go out on a limb and offer an estimate on the cost -- which could end up being abominably high ... or absurdly low.
This caution is admirable, but not helpful, when you consider what's at stake. Insurance companies estimate costs on the basis of past experience, and while Zika isn't a new virus, its probable connection with the birth defect microcephaly in newborns (abnormally small heads) has only recently come to light. Although the epidemic is now centered in Brazil, it's spreading around the world as the virus "hitchhikes" on migrating mosquitoes, travelers and possibly infected blood banks.
Brazil expects 2,500 cases of microcephaly this year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). And with the active transmission of the virus throughout at least 62 countries and territories, including the Southern U.S. and Puerto Rico, carrying with it the danger of microcephaly for pregnant women, it's not surprising that Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell warned that Zika "has the significant potential to affect ... the health of Americans."
But no one can predict how fast or far it will spread here. How many women in the first four to five months of pregnancy will be bitten by infected mosquitoes or be infected by sexual partners? Research has yet to show how long the virus remains in the body or whether the patient develops immunities after an initial bite.
Due to the lag between conception and birth, and since summer is the worst season for mosquitoes, many of these cases won't become known until fall or winter, when "clusters" could suddenly appear, particularly in areas that lack early detection of symptoms. Fetal abnormalities generally are detected six months after the initial infection, according to WHO.

Could these mosquitoes be largely wiped out by spraying? Right now there's no way to tell. CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden described this mosquito as "a sneaky cockroach" that can lay its eggs in a bottle cap and is a blood "sipper" that likes to bite multiple people, making it the ideal transmission vehicle.
A vaccine isn't an option until 2017 at the earliest, and it would probably be rushed with minimal testing. It's also possible that giving a vaccine to pregnant women might do more harm than good.
But two things are predictable. Without immediate forceful action, the Aedes aegypti mosquito -- which carries Zika and other dangerous viruses such as dengue fever, chikungunya and yellow fever -- will bite a lot of people, many of them poor and without window screens or access to full-time air conditioning.
In Puerto Rico, a likely hot spot for Zika this summer, estimates are that nearly a million people could be bitten and get the virus, many of them women who won't even know it before giving birth to a microcephalic child, depending on the quality of their medical care. If the mosquito and Zika epidemic aren't wiped out, one estimate is that 80 percent of the island could be vulnerable.
Avoiding pregnancy until the epidemic is over is one answer, but an estimated 20 percent of those who become pregnant there are high school girls. Preventing pregnancy in this group could prove harder than stopping Zika.

Children born with microcephaly, which has no cure, will require long-term care if they survive. Some microcephalics can live normal lives, but most suffer from severe disabilities. And while some could die early on from complications, a vast majority will need care throughout their lives.
In insurance lingo, this is referred to as a "long-tail" loss because the extent of the damage isn't known and is paid out over many years. For example, children with Down syndrome can live well into their 60s.
During a recent webinar for the Kaiser Family Foundation, the CDC's Frieden said the lifetime cost of care for a microcephalic child would be somewhere between $1 million and $10 million. Some of it would be borne by parents and relatives, but most of it would require the intervention of either private insurance or the public health care system. Many of these children would probably be institutionalized for at least part of their lives.
So here's the speculative -- and very speculative at that -- math. The Center for American Progress estimates that 2 million women in the U.S. will get pregnant this summer and fall, with nearly half of them living in areas potentially at risk of Zika. It's important to note that the public policy group's analysis isn't based on the actual prevalence of Zika around the country, while even if the virus spreads only a fraction of women are likely to be infected.
Still, if even just one in 10 gets Zika, the CDC estimates that up to 13 percent of their unborn offspring could develop microcephaly. If just 13,000 babies are born in the U.S. with this disability or to women who migrated here for better medical treatment, the cost of keeping them alive and providing for their lifetime care could range from $13 billion to as much as $130 billion.
But the saddest part of the equation is the much larger number of microcephalic children born abroad who will never have the money or resources to be kept alive.
© 2016 CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved.

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