How to Help (Abstract Science, March 29 – April 4)
Ways to help during the coronavirus – also US Army research and fetal surgery for spina bifida
(Michelle Ma, The Wall Street Journal, 4/1/20)
In an ongoing series on how to help others during the coronavirus pandemic, Ma discusses how to support local food banks. Most food banks are seeking monetary donations to support increased demand instead of food donations. One of the largest food bank networks, Feeding America, offers a local food bank finder on their website.
(Eric Niiler, WIRED, 4/1/20)
The article discusses the efforts of the US Army Institute of Infectious Diseases, or USAMRIID, to research the SARS CoV-2 virus. USAMRIID has researched many previous outbreaks from Ebola to Rift Valley fever, but their focus now is on the coronavirus. Since this is a novel virus, their team and anyone working on treatments and vaccines need to develop new testing strategies to ensure any treatments are safe and effective.
(Susan Buckles, Mayo Clinic, 4/1/20)
Performing surgery on a fetus suffering from spina bifida could help improve brain structure and brain anatomy, according to research conducted by the Mayo Clinic's Division of Maternal and Fetal Medicine. The improvement is in comparison with post-birth spinal surgery for patients with myelomeningocele, which is the most serious form of spina bifida. Only three babies were involved in this research, but all three were delivered on schedule by c-section with no complications.