The Daily Dose: Doctors bear brunt of fallout from Alzheimer’s drug approval.

Doctors who care for patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease are feeling pressured thanks to the Food and Drug Administration granting conditional approval to the first new Alzheimer’s drug in 18 years. According to STAT, “‘Families have been calling, [saying,] “You have to understand how this is a devastating disease,” said Sharon Brangman, a geriatrician and director of the Upstate Center of Excellence for Alzheimer’s Disease at SUNY Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, N.Y. The medical staff was getting so many inquiries that doctors crafted a statement for nurses to relay to families, saying the drug is not yet available for prescription, nor is the infrastructure needed to appropriately prescribe and monitor this medication.” https://bit.ly/3gngpNB


Another COVID-19 vaccine is set to hit the market. According to the Associated Press, “Vaccine maker Novavax said Monday its COVID-19 shot was highly effective against the disease and also protected against variants in a large study in the U.S. and Mexico, potentially offering the world yet another weapon against the virus at a time when developing countries are desperate for doses. The two-shot vaccine was about 90% effective overall, and preliminary data showed it was safe, the American company said. That would put the vaccine about on par with Pfizer’s and Moderna’s.” https://bit.ly/3pTRWSQ


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There’s a potentially dangerous situation developing with a nuclear reactor run jointly by China and France. According to Al-Jazeera, “A Chinese nuclear power plant is raising concerns on Monday after the facility’s minority French owner said it had been informed of a leak in one of the power station’s reactors and has called a meeting with its Chinese partner to discuss it.” Officials are still investigating the situation, https://bit.ly/35llzDq

New Images from Mars never get old. More have been beamed back from China’s rover. Per Nature, “China’s Zhurong rover has been snapped by powerful cameras aboard several spacecraft circling Mars. One of the images — a high-resolution colour shot (above) taken by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) — offers scientists an extremely detailed view of the landing site. ‘It’s incredible!’ says Peter Grindrod, a planetary scientist at the Natural History Museum in London. The image, taken on 6 June, also reveals Zhurong has made reasonable headway, travelling 22 metres from the lander. ‘Driving on Mars appears to be going OK,’ he says.” https://go.nature.com/3gntnKW

American scientists are calling out a section of the proposed bill that is aimed at improving American competitiveness with China. According to Science, “Buried in a 2400-page bill approved last week by the U.S. Senate to help the United States compete with China is language that is drawing fire from human genome researchers. It would require the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop new security protocols aimed at preventing the misuse of U.S.-funded genomic data by China and other nations. The provision is not based on any substantiated security risks, and “could slow biomedical advances and impose unintended burdens,” the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) warned last week in a letter to lawmakers. The Association of American Medical Colleges cautioned in a statement that “any additional protections or restrictions … should be commensurate with the actual risk.” https://bit.ly/3gNIMUb

Thanks for reading. Let’s be careful out.


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