In the news / Respiratory

NEWS
Researchers at the University of Arizona are testing a connection between an enzyme similar to rattlesnake venom and deadly cases of COVID-19. UArizona scientist Floyd Chilton is looking at the evidence the enzyme might drive severe forms of the virus. His research could open a new front in the fight against COVID.
 
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While the Coronavirus continues to be ever-present in daily life, for many Americans with compromised immune systems, a third shot of one of the mRNA vaccines may provide additional protection from the virus.
 
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Vaccines leave an immunological impression that can last for years or decades after an injection. UArizona researcher Dr. Deepta Bhattacharya adds that antibody levels have a sweeping increase at the beginning and over time decline.
 
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Inside a lab at the University of Arizona's BIO5 Institute, students aren't just preparing for their future. Recently they've made groundbreaking discoveries about COVID-19 and the effect it has on the human body. Dr. Ski Chilton led a team that discovered distinct patterns in people who died from the disease.
 
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So, how long does immunity last after two doses of the vaccine and how much protection is left over time? A series of new studies suggest that mRNA vaccines like those from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna trigger the immune system to establish long-term protection against severe COVID-19 — protection that likely will last several years or even longer.
 
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Rght after vaccination, this initial round of antibodies has a few problems. The antibodies are a bit wimpy. They're not that well trained at killing SARS-CoV-2, and they're not very durable, but that is the reason for a second shot- to provide more help to our antibodies.
 
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Recent University of Arizona research suggests there's a link between an enzyme in our bodies similar to rattlesnake venom and deadly cases of COVID-19, and there’s a chance this information may save lives. Stony Brook University, Wake Forest School of Medicine and UA researchers pooled together to analyze blood samples from people who died of the disease.
 
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University of Arizona researchers trying to save COVID-19 patients have made what they believe is a critical discovery: an enzyme that typically defends the body is instead shredding cell membranes in organs of people with severe disease. In some cases, this may cause death or could contribute to 'long-COVID' cases, which refers to those who have health issues that continue long after the infection peaked.
 
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As the pandemic dominated headlines, Dr. Deepta Bhattacharya, professor in the Department of Immunobiology at the College of Medicine – Tucson, discusses what we know so far about COVID-19 vaccines, the interactions between the vaccines and the latest variants, and strategies for staying healthy and safe.
 
NEWS
The coronavirus pandemic is intersecting with another respiratory illness endemic to Arizona: Valley Fever. Spread the word to anyone you know who has visited our area and now has coronavirus-like symptoms. It could be another respiratory illness we know all too well in Southern Arizona.
 
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New data from an ongoing University of Arizona Health Sciences research study show that the COVID-19 vaccines remain effective following the predominance of the delta variant, although at a lower rate than prior to its emergence.
 
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An enzyme that can tear cell membranes to shreds may contribute to the organ damage that ultimately kills some people with severe COVID-19. The enzyme, called "secreted phospholipase A2 Group IIA" (sPLA2-IIA), normally protects the body from invaders, such as bacteria, by grabbing hold of specific fats in the microbes' membranes and tearing them apart, said senior author Dr. Floyd Chilton, a biochemist, and director of the Precision Nutrition and Wellness Initiative at the University of Arizona.
 
NEWS
There is a cohort of people across the U.S. who do not want to put off a booster shot as the delta variant rages and “normal life” still seems remote. Public health experts including UArizona immunologist Dr. Deepta Bhattacharya, explain that third doses will likely work much better after fully vaccinated people lose some of the antibodies in their systems.
 
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University of Arizona Immunobiologist Dr. Deepta Bhattacharya says the vaccine is proving to wane a little against the original variants after eight months. He says it goes from about 96% effective down to about 84%.
 
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Analogies, metaphors, similes, and the like are evocative and memorable and help transform the abstract into the concrete. Unfortunately, a lot of the ideas we link to COVID-19 vaccines don’t totally hit the mark and skate over one of the greatest benefits of immunization: a boost in wellness at the community level, by cutting down on transmission and, by extension, illness for everyone else.
 
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Tucson is a place of innovation and ever-changing scientific endeavors. CyVerse has received a $1.3 million grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to help transform farming with artificial intelligence. This will aid in the expansion of resilient farming. Additionally, a sleep study is being conducted to utilize breathing exercises to reduce blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health in adults with obstructive sleep apnea.
 
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The Global Health Equity Scholars (GHES) fellowship program, a year-long research training program funded NIH Fogarty International Center, sends a new cohort of students to conduct research in low-and-middle-income countries around the world every year. This year, six fellows working with faculty mentors at UAZ MEZCOPH will pursue global health research around the world as part of this year’s program.
 
NEWS
The CoVHORT research study provides crucial data to understand which individuals are most susceptible to severe infection and the long-term health consequences of COVID-19. For this study, the estimated prevalence of post-acute sequelae of COVID-19, or PASC, is only slightly less than prevalence estimates reported for hospitalized individuals.