The Daily Dose: Researchers in China inch closer to identifying pathogen responsible for pneumonia outbreak

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Researchers in China have partially identified the mysterious pathogen responsible for over 60 cases of pneumonia in Wuhan province. According to Nature, “Chinese state media reported that scientists have identified a new coronavirus as the likely cause of a pneumonia-like illness that has sickened dozens of people. Researchers have sequenced the virus’s genome, and fifteen patients have tested positive to the virus, according to Xinhua news agency.” The memory of SARS has many public health officials wringing their hands. https://go.nature.com/2QCZZDO

In honor of the 20th anniversary of the annual J.P. Morgan biotechnology conference, STAT news has compiled a year-by-year look back at the event. According to the article’s authors, “What emerged was not just a series of recollections about a conference, but the history of an industry, chock-full of lessons about management, leadership, and communication.” A must-read for any biotechnology industry novice. http://bit.ly/36Dp8DO

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is experiencing the worst measles outbreak around the world. More than 300,000 people have been infected and now, 6000have perished. Unfortunately, encouraging news is some ways off. Acccording to the World Health Organization, “Lack of funding remains a huge impediment to successfully curbing the outbreak. So far, US$ 27.6 million have been mobilized. However, a further US$ 40 million are required for a six-month plan to extend the vaccination to children between six and 14 years and to reinforce elements of the outbreak response beyond vaccination.” http://bit.ly/2QCLY92

Terrible news continues to come out of Australia where they have been experiencing devastating wildfires across the country. Setting aside the human toll for a moment, the disaster has put many of the countries wild animals in grave danger. “More than 1 billion mammals, birds and reptiles nationwide — some of them found nowhere else on Earth — may have been affected or killed by the fires sweeping across Australia, according to a University of Sydney estimate. The potential toll is far greater when other types of animals are included.” The story keeps getting worse and worse. https://wapo.st/2T8E5tD

Note: Cover image is of the corona virus responsible for SARS.

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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