The Daily Dose: Cyclone Idai tragedy; Time for an Alzheimer’s rethink; Questioning Google On China

Tragedy worsens: Over a week after Cyclone Idai decimate large swaths of Mozambique and Malawi, the public health crisis threatens to worsen. As the flood waters recede, it is thought that hundreds of dead bodies will be exposed, creating openings for added disease. In addition, experts predict waterborne diseases to rise since the sanitation and water systems have been destroyed. Relief officials warn that much more help is needed. His far, the confirmed dead in both countries has risen to 600.

No protection: A man in Australia has reported that he had contracted HIV even though he was on a PrEP regimen. Steven Spencer tested positive in December. He is the 7th man in the world to contract HIV while actively on PrEP. Despite the setback, he remained positive about the prophylaxis regimen. “What happened to me doesn’t change the fact that PrEP is still the most powerful HIV preventative we have ever had,” said Mr Spencer.

Another Alzheimer’s flop: Biogen and partner Eisai have abandoned their late stage Alzheimer’s drug, aducanumab. Reports indicate testing had hit “transformative failure.” According to Fierce Biotechnology, “The aducanumab phase 3 program, involving tests known as EMERGE and ENGAGE in early Alzheimer’s disease (AD), were terminated early for futility based on a recommendation from the data-monitoring committee, which found it unlikely that the primary endpoint would be met at the 18-month primary analysis.”

Time for a change: In light of the aducanumab debacle, Sharon Begley from STAT News argues that the time has come to move past the accepted amyloid hypothesis and consider alternatives. “Amyloid is likely just one piece of a more complicated puzzle,” she argues before running through possible approaches to Alzheimer’s currently being pursued.

Questioning Google’s intentions: Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is set to meet with officers at Google about their work on Artificial Intelligence in China. According to Dunford, “This is about us looking at the second and third order of effects of our business ventures in China, Chinese form of government, and the impact it’s going to have on the United States’ ability to maintain a competitive military advantage.” American companies are required to have a cell of the Chinese Communist Party present in their offices.

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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