News Pouch: 23 October 2019

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Pandemic Threats and Health Emergencies

News Pouch: 23 October 2019

Welcome to this issue of the newsletter where we highlight key latest news and literature relevant to health emergencies preparedness and response research and policy, tagged by thematic area.

If you have thoughts, feedback, story ideas, or questions you would like to share please send a note Dr. Chadia Wannous via email to  

Wishing you useful reading!

  • Spotlight: Ebola Outbreak Situation
  • Updates and News on Outbreaks
    • Priority Infectious Diseases
      • Influenza
      •  VBD, and more
  • One Health
    • Biodiversity and ecosystem
    • Food Security and Safety
    • AMR
    • Health in Emergencies and Disasters
    • Health and Climate Change
    • Urban Health
    • Migration Health
    • Global Health
    • Contact us


    Ebola Outbreak Situation

    External Situation Report 64: 22 October 2019
    In the past week, from 14 to 20 October, 21 new confirmed Ebola virus disease (EVD) cases were reported from five health zones in two affected provinces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The incidence of new confirmed EVD cases remains substantial in parts of North Kivu and Ituri provinces – in particular in the Biakato Mine Health Area, Mandima Health, with the majority (76%) of newly confirmed cases linked to this health area.
    As of 20 October 2019, a total of 3243 EVD cases were reported, including 3127 confirmed and 116 probable cases, of which 2171 cases died (overall case fatality ratio 67%). Of the total confirmed and probable cases, 56% (1821) were female, 28% (923) were children aged less than 18 years, and 5% (163) were healthcare workers.
    click here to download the complete situation report (PDF).

    WHO: Ebola in DRC still a global public health emergency
    The Ebola emergency committee recommended to uphold the Public Health Emergency of International Concern status for Ebola, which will extend for another three months, after a meeting on Friday in Geneva. The PHEIC declaration, first made in July, has become a source of ongoing debate in the global health community. Some experts expected it would inspire much-needed funding for the response, but three months later, the disbursement of promised dollars remains slow.
    Predicting Ebola outbreaks by understanding how ecosystems influence human health

    Cross-border collaboration framework
    The event in Goma was organized by the DRC, the WHO, and the African Union Commission. It was attended by health ministers and senior officials from Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, DRC, Rwanda, South Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania, and Zambia. The member states agreed to strengthen mechanisms for the timely and accurate information on Ebola preparedness and response and other health security risks. And they noted that withholding or falsifying information on Ebola violated International Health Regulations.The framework didn't contain any funding commitments for emergency response or preparedness, but the WHO and the African Union encouraged countries to invest more in the areas.
    Oct 21 WHO African regional office press release
    Defeating Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo motivates a community to confront other diseases with handwashing
    From one Ebola front line to another in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
    Influencing Factors in the Development of State-Level Movement Restriction and Monitoring Policies in Response to Ebola, United States, 2014-15
    Read Now
    Highly Diluted Dose of Ebola Vaccine Shown Effective in Primate Study. 
    A single dose of VSV-Ebola virus vaccine—approximately one-millionth of what is in the vaccine being used in the outbreak outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo —remains fully protective against disease in experimentally infected monkeys, according to National Institutes of Health scientists. The NIH investigators completed the vaccine dosage study using cynomolgus macaques and an updated vaccine component to match the EBOV Makona strain that circulated in West Africa from 2014-16.

    Ebola outbreak in Africa finally slows
    More than a year after it began, the Ebola outbreak in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo is waning. The number of people diagnosed with the virus dropped to 50 between 25 September and 15 October, says the World Health Organization. During the peak in April, roughly 300 new infections were reported in 3 weeks. More than 2,150 people have died in the outbreak. Most specialists agree that the event would have been much worse without an experimental Ebola vaccine produced by Merck, which was given to 240,000 people considered to be at risk.
    Nature | 3 min read
    Ebola Lessons from Sweden: Health Care Preparedness is Vital
    The outbreak of Ebola virus disease continues in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), as cases surpass 3210, and 2146 deaths.

    Social Science and Behavioural Data Compilation (No. 4)

    Priority Diseases

    New tropical disease detected in Brazil defies treatment

    • New disease damages liver, spleen and skin and is resistant to available treatments
    • Caused by a parasite, disease combines symptoms of visceral and cutaneous leishmaniasis
    • It is unknown where the parasite lives or how it is transmitted
    Building Biosafety Capacity in Our Nation's Laboratories
    Read Now
    Battelle awarded two-year contract for CDC influenza strain vaccines
    The global nonprofit research and development organization Battelle won a two-year contract with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week, for research on vaccines for influenza strains.

    The H5N8 HPAI Global Situation Update from FAO/EMPRES – Animal Health 
    No H5N8 HPAI events reported since the last update;
    Updated map on H5Nx HPAI events worldwide;
    4 relevant publications;
    Vector-Borne Diseases (VBD)
    A Biosynthetic Platform for Antimalarial Drug Discovery
    More broadly, our data show that bacterial synthetic biosynthesis is a suitable platform for antimalarial drug discovery with potential applications in high-throughput and cost-effective drug screening with otherwise chemically-intractable natural products.
    CDC-Supported Study Launches to Track Infectious Disease in Central America & Caribbean
    To better understand, detect and respond to emerging infectious disease threats such as dengue, chikungunya, Zika, Chagas disease, and malaria, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is supporting studies to better understand acute febrile illnesses (AFIs) in Belize, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic.
    CDC travel notice: Dengue in Spain and France
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued a travel notice for travelers to the Mediterranean region, in particular to France and Spain due to autochthonous dengue fever reported in these two countries.

    Preventing Sexual Transmission of Zika Virus Infection during Pregnancy, Puerto Rico, USA, 2016
    Overall, <25% of women reported consistent condom use during pregnancy. However, healthcare provider counseling was associated with a 3-fold increase in consistent use, reinforcing the value of provider counseling in Zika prevention efforts.

    Dengue Fever in the Darfur Area, Western Sudan
    Large outbreak of tularaemia, central Sweden, July to September 2019
    In 2019, Sweden is experiencing its largest outbreak of tularaemia in over 50 years. The outbreak started in July and as at 6 October 2019, a total of 979 cases have been reported.
    African Swine Fever Will Impact Global Protein Market for Years
    African Swine Fever (ASF) continues to roil protein markets in Asia, especially China, and other parts of the world. The disease continues to spread and impacts are growing and very dynamic in nature. However, the latest data from USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA-FAS) shows that the pattern of impacts on global protein markets is beginning to be revealed. No doubt numbers will change with more time.
    Measles making a deadly comeback across Africa
    Measles is having a deadly resurgence across Africa, where, as of September, about 44% of this year’s cases worldwide have been recorded. That’s due in large part to a massive outbreak in the island nation of Madagascar off the coast of Mozambique, where more than 150,000 cases have been reported and more than 1,000 people have died due to low vaccination rates and a vaccine shortage once the outbreak took hold.
    Economic burden of cholera in Asia
    The economic burden data can provide a basis to inform investments in cholera control and prevention activities. However, treatment costs and productivity loss due to cholera are not well studied.
    Evidence links poliolike disease in children to a common type of virus
    A new analysis of young patients’ spinal fluid now offers evidence linking a group of common viruses known as enteroviruses to AFM. But questions remain about how such viruses damage nerves and why they seem to do so only rarely.

    Two down, one to go: After decades-long campaign, type 3 polioviruses are set to be eradicated
    After months of bad news, the international army of people who have been working for decades to eradicate polio will likely have something to celebrate this week. A global commission is expected to announce that type 3 polioviruses have been eradicated.
    Polio Cases Reported in Zambia, Chad and Tongo
    Circulating vaccine-derived polio virus type cases have been confirmed in 10 African countries through Oct. 16 this year. Now the World Health Organization (WHO) is reported three additional countries from the continent that more recently reported circulating vaccine-derived polio virus type 2 (cVDPV2) cases- Zambia, Chad and Togo.
    Disease Fighters to Mark Partial Victory in Polio Eradication Battle
    Global health officials will on Thursday announce a partial victory in the decades-long fight to end polio, with a second of three strains of the crippling virus certified as eradicated worldwide.

    Most countries are falling short on HIV prevention targets despite targeted Global Fund investments
     Of 26 reporting countries in the Global HIV Prevention Coalition, only two are “virtually on track” to achieve a 75% reduction in new infections by 2020, the Coalition’s Second Progress report states. Progress in the rate of decline in new infections is too slow to meet the 2020 targets set in the 2016 Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS. This article showcases the experience of Malawi’s civil society in adopting the Prevention 2020 Roadmap.

    One Health  

    Scaling better and faster: towards a new framework for international livestock research

    What Asia Can Do to Protect against Animal-Borne Diseases
    Preventing and controlling the spread of deadly diseases from animals to humans require a collaborative, multisectoral, and transdisciplinary approach.

    Workshop inaugurates surveillance project on human and animal diseases in Kenya
    Funding Opportunity
    Detection and Characterization of Emerging Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Pathogens in Indonesia - Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - ERA. 
    The purpose of this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is to support research to enable rapid and accurate identification of emerging vector-borne and zoonotic threats in Indonesia by building upon the scientific and laboratory infrastructure established under two previously awarded NOFOs. Indonesia is a recognized “hotspot” for emerging pathogens. Remarkably, little is known about these diseases in Indonesia or their potential for movement within and from the country.
    Biodiversity and Ecosystem

    Multi-Scale Estimation of Land Use Efficiency (SDG 11.3.1) across 25 Years Using Global Open and Free Data
    results show that (i) the Global Human Settlement Layer (GHSL) framework allows us to estimate land use efficiency (LUE) for the entire planet at several territorial scales, opening the opportunity of lifting the LUE indicator from its Tier II classification; (ii) the current formulation of the LUE is substantially subject to path dependency; and (iii) it requires additional spatially-explicit metrics for its interpretation. We propose the Achieved Population Density in Expansion Areas and the Marginal Land Consumption per New Inhabitant metrics for this purpose. The study is planetary and multi-temporal in coverage, demonstrating the value of well-designed, open and free, fine-scale geospatial information on human settlements in supporting policy and monitoring progress made towards meeting the SDGs.

    Understanding extinction — humanity has destroyed half the life on Earth
    Trump official says wild horses, not climate change, are “existential threat” to federal lands
    The extraction and use of fossil fuels from federal lands are responsible for about one quarter of all US greenhouse gas emissions. But according to the acting director of the US Bureau of Land Management, it's wild horses and burros that pose the biggest challenge.
    Read more.
    Policy brief: The role of green infrastructure in managing urban flood
    There is increasing recognition of the potential of natural ecosystems to provide valuable services to urban areas. These ecosystem services may include flood control, water purification, slope stabilization, and erosion prevention. In addition, ecosystems may help to reduce urban temperatures, providing cooling and shade; as well as providing cultural and recreational amenities for nearby urban residents.
    Unlocking the potential for transformative climate adaptation in cities
    Cities are increasingly integrating climate adaptation priorities into development policies and plans. However, there remains a gap in understanding how incremental urban adaptation solutions can lead to more transformative change over the long term. Transformative adaptation reorients urban climate actions around addressing entrenched equity and climate justice challenges.

    Wilderness areas could reduce extinction risks by more than half
    For all its philosophical troubles, wilderness—big, contiguous places with minimal human footprints—is still enormously important to prevent extinctions.
    Read More

    The future of our oceans
    Europe has 194 coastal cities. But our seas and oceans are under constant threat. BlueHealth experts stress that we need to make substantial and rapid policy changes now.  
    Read the full story ►

    A new comprehensive rangeland management tool for dryland areas can help promote sustainable land use
    Food Safety and Security

    Analysing Rural Household Multi-Indicator Survey (RHoMIS) data to identify pathways towards food security

    New study explores the role of livestock products for nutrition in the first 1000 days of life
    CGIAR Launches Seed Breeding Initiative for SDGs 

    Enhancing food security through sustainable livestock systems

    WHO Practical Toolkit: Antimicrobial Stewardship Programmes in Health-Care Facilities in Low- and Middle-Income Countries”
    Health workers’ education and training on antimicrobial resistance: curricula guide
    Four New Drugs May Help Fight the Growing Threat of Fatal Fungi
    Martin Hoenigl, a specialist in fungal infections at the University of California, San Diego, sees half a dozen patients a year infected with a rare mold called Lomentospora prolificans that is resistant to all available antifungals. Doctors use combinations of two or three drugs in high doses to try to stop the infection, but usually to no avail. “Most of these patients die,” Hoenigl says.
    Development of CRISPR-Cas13a-based antimicrobials capable of sequence-specific killing of target bacteria
    Emergence of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria is an increasingly serious threat to global health, necessitating the development of innovative antimicrobials. We established a series of CRISPR-Cas13a-based antimicrobials, termed PhagoCas13a(s), capable of sequence-specific killing of carbapenem-resistant Escherichia coli and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus through promiscuous RNA cleavage after recognizing corresponding antimicrobial resistance genes.
    Cancer-causing Superbug has Become twice as Hard to Kill
    Antibiotic resistance to a superbug that causes cancer has more than doubled in just 20 years, according to new research. The finding is based on drugs that treat Helicobacter pylori – a potentially deadly bacteria linked to peptic ulcers and the gastric tumour lymphoma.
    Pulling Together to Beat Superbugs:  Knowledge and Implementation Gaps in Addressing Antimicrobial Resistance.
    Review of Progress on Antimicrobial Resistance.
     FAO Livestock Technical Network Newsletter No. 50 is a special edition on AMR;8a4a60ec.1910&S=
    Antibiotic-Free or Organic Poultry Half as Likely to Be Contaminated with Multidrug-Resistant Salmonella,
    Poultry raised with antibiotics more likely to be contaminated with resistant pathogens.

    Tracking Antimicrobial Resistance in the Sustainable Development Goals
    Without progress on antimicrobial resistance, attainment of the SDGs will fall short. 

    Stewardship / Resistance Scan for Oct 22, 2019

    • Stewardship in low-income nations
    • G20 health leaders' AMR commitment
    • Veterinary stewardship progress

    More »

    Stewardship / Resistance Scan for Oct 21, 2019

    • Stewardship in ambulatory settings
    • Rising resistance in H pylori
    • Costs of antibiotic development incentive
    • Rapid diagnostic test evaluation
    • Antibiotic Rx and chronic disease

    More »
    Free online course:
    The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is hosting a free online course on "The Role of Diagnostics in the AMR Response." The course will begin on Nov 4
    The recording of a forum on "Drug-Resistant Infections: Confronting an Escalating Crisis,"
    Webinar on "Tackling AMR in Europe's Healthcare Facilities," along with slide sets from presenters.
    Call for consultants:
    The WHO WSH team is seeking consultants (individual or institutions) to support the WSH team’s work on WASH in health care facilities, calculation of burden of disease estimates, WASH monitoring, tracking of finance and financial flows for WASH, and improving drinking-water safety.

    Emergencies and Disasters

    WHO AFRO - Outbreaks and Emergencies Bulletin - Week 42/2019
    The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 72 events in the region. This week's edition covers key new and ongoing events, including:

    • Measles outbreak in Ethiopia
    • Humanitarian crisis in North East Nigeria
    • Ebola virus disease in Democratic Republic of the Congo
    • Circulating vaccine-derived polio virus type 2 (cVDPV2) outbreak in Zambia.
    201 pandemic simulation exercise
    The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation hosted Event 201, a high-level pandemic exercise on October 18, 2019, in New York, NY. The purpose of the exercise was to illustrate the pandemic preparedness efforts, response decisions, and cooperation required from global businesses, governments, and public health leaders that the world will need to diminish the large-scale economic and societal consequences of a severe pandemic.
    Read more

    We're Not Ready for the Next Pandemic
    If the seeds of a pandemic illness were planted tomorrow, how would the world fare? Well, according to a simulation carried out on Friday by Johns Hopkins University, the answer is: terribly.

    The World Knows an Apocalyptic Pandemic Is Coming. But nobody is interested in doing anything about it.
    Pandemic Preparedness Financing- STATUS UPDATE

    Californians will be warned ahead of quakes
    Everyone in earthquake-prone California will soon be able to receive alerts on their mobile phones a few seconds in advance of a tremor. The warnings rely on a network of US Geological Survey sensors, which can detect fast-moving ‘P waves’ that arrive in advance of the powerful ‘S waves’ that cause shaking. People farther away from the epicentre will have a few seconds more warning — for example, fans attending the fateful World Series baseball game on 17 October 1989 would have been alerted about 15 seconds before they felt the devastating Loma Prieta earthquake.
    Buzzfeed News | 6 min read
    California power shutoff: How PG&E's actions hit the medically vulnerable the hardest
    Florida names its first mental health coordinator for hurricanes, disaster recovery
    Factors associated with healthcare workers willingness to participate in disasters: A cross-sectional study in Sana'a, Yemen
    The study found that self-efficacy was associated with willingness to participate in disaster response for any type of disasters (OR 1.319, 95% CI 1.197 to 1.453), natural disasters (OR 1.143, 95% CI 1.069 to 1.221) and influenza pandemic (OR 1.114, 95% CI 1.050 to 1.182). The results further show that willingness is associated with healthcare workers being young, male and having higher educational qualifications.
    Work accidents which become disasters: mine tailing dam failures in Brazil
    The recent Vale S.A. dam failure in 2019 is one of the most serious work accidents ever in Brazil and is becoming a milestone for mining risk management systems in the country. It is characterized as an incident with irreversible and hard-to-manage intensive and direct impacts on workers and extensive impacts in space and time. Despite their low frequency, dam failures are not rare, but represent an open fracture in an universe in which abnormalities...

    Deadly typhoon forces Japan to face its vulnerability to increasingly powerful storms
    Millions of young lives at risk due to humanitarian funding shortfall: UNICEF
    “Substantial” shortfalls in humanitarian funding are placing the lives of millions of children in areas affected by conflict and disaster at risk, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned on Tuesday.
    UNICEF Advocates WASH Investment for Children in Conflict Zones 

    Climate Change

    Climate Change Hampers Progress on Fighting Epidemics: Global Fund
    Climate change is making it harder to eradicate deadly epidemics, with rising temperatures helping mosquitoes spread malaria in higher places in Africa, the head of a global health fund said on Tuesday.

    Lawsuits put attribution science to the test
    Climate campaigners are turning to attribution science to put fossil-fuel companies on the hook for the damage caused by climate change. The tools used to attribute heatwaves and downpours to global warming are complex, and still untested as legal levers. But it might not matter, if science wins the argument in the court of public opinion.
    Politico | 15 min read
    Read more: Pinning extreme weather on climate change is now routine and reliable science (Nature, from 2018)

    Is the humanitarian health sector prepared for climate change?

    Qatar's workers are at risk of heat stress for half the day during summer, finds UN
    A third of workers in study experienced dangerously high body temperatures, despite working ban during hottest periods

    Governing borderless climate risks: moving beyond the territorial framing of adaptation
    This article looks at the paradoxes, challenges and opportunities in trying to govern often borderless climate risks through national or local adaptation policy.
    Read the complete Article on weADAPT

    Air Pollution and Preterm Birth Risk in Second Pregnancy
    Mandate for Climate and Clean Air Coalition Extended through 2030 

    Guardian Series: Harmed by Heat
    New Guardian series of investigative reports highlights stories of heat stress in the workplace, and uncovers the link between heat and deaths of hundreds of migrant workers in Qatar.
    Read more >

    How to keep cool in a blackout during a heatwave
    If there is no power for air-conditioning, and tap water is the only resource available, spreading it across the skin is the best way to prevent the body overheating irrespective of the climate, according to a new study from the University of Sydney. 
    Read more >

    The Role of Humidity in Associations of High Temperature with Mortality: A Multicountry, Multicity Study 
    Important findings from new MCC study for thinking about how and why we use heat indices by clarifying the potential contribution of humidity an addition to temperature in predicting daily mortality in summer. 

    Quantifying the health costs of climate-sensitive events in the US, including extreme heat
    The increasing costs of climate change to health care cannot be ignored. In a new study - Estimating the Health-Related Costs of 10 Climate-Sensitive U.S. Events During 2012” (GeoHealth) - the health impacts and costs of 10 climate-sensitive events affecting 11 US states in 2012 were examined, including extreme heat in Wisconsin. The health costs of the 10 case studies totalled an estimated $10 billion. Follow the below links to learn more about how extreme heat costs are estimated, how higher temperatures are linked to other health risks, and the importance of understanding economic impacts of climate change on the health sector for decision-making for low carbon futures. 
    Bitter Pill: The High Health Costs of Climate Change (summary factsheet)
    - NRDC blog on the study’s findings 

    New Risk-informed Early Action Partnership to increase heat warnings launched at UN Climate Action Summit 
    The Risk-informed Early Action Partnership (REAP) aims to protect a billion people in the developing world from extreme weather, including heatwaves, was launched at the UN General Assembly in New York. 
    Read more

    Urban Health

    Green roofs improve the urban environment – so why don’t all buildings have them?
    India: Urban flooding: The case of drowning cities and rising vulnerability
    While the untimely heavy rains can be attributed to a delayed retreat of the monsoon, as a part of climate variability; the massive urban flooding is largely an unplanned urbanisation problem.
    OPINION: The IPCC’s Special Report on Oceans and Cryosphere – What it means for Africa’s coastal cities
    City resilience program: Program brief: Catalyzing urban resilience
    This City Resilience Program (CRP) is driven by the belief that a resilient future for our cities is possible. CRP aims to empower cities to pursue comprehensive investment programs to strengthen resilience, and to access a broad range of financing options. Strengthening urban resilience is a complicated process. CRP works to effectively bring in the broad set of World Bank Group’s sectoral expertise to help cities integrate climate and risk...

    Inspiring Climate Action in African Cities
    This paper contains 17 case studies, each providing creative ways that various stakeholders have found to adapt to complext, interwoven climatic and social challenges.
    Policy brief: The role of green infrastructure in managing urban flood
    There is increasing recognition of the potential of natural ecosystems to provide valuable services to urban areas. These ecosystem services may include flood control, water purification, slope stabilization, and erosion prevention. In addition, ecosystems may help to reduce urban temperatures, providing cooling and shade; as well as providing cultural and recreational amenities for nearby urban residents. Economic studies in other countries have...

    Creating cooler cities for extreme heat - policy case studies for the built environment 
    Preparedness for extreme heat futures must include investments in more heat resilient built environments. Several cities across the world have set temperature reduction targets. Los Angeles’s goal is to reduce UHI by 1.7°F by 2025 and average temperature 3°F by 2035.  Melbourne, Australia’s target is to reduce the city’s average temperature 7°F by 2030.
    Read more about how cities plan to achieve these reductions and more in the Urban Land Institute's new report, SCORCHED.
    See also: Asia Pacific Report 

    Migration Health

    SOMALIA: 2.6 Million IDPs in Need of Water, Shelter and Health Care Services
    Read more
    Burundi-Baseline survey report: Strengthening disaster risk reduction capacity for communities hosting IDPs and returnees
    International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), 2019
    The population of Burundi is more than 90% rural with a young population (44% under 15 years) and a high fertility rate, even if in decrease compared to previous statistics (5.5 per woman - DHS 2016-2017). Burundi has made significant progress in human development and poverty reduction since mid-2000.
    The health risks for Rohingya children in Bangladesh, two years on.

    Global Health

    See The Return On Investing In Global Health Research
    The Global Health Technology Council created an informative tracker that showcases the return on investments in global health research and development for all 50 states. Strengthening US leadership and investments in global health is critical for continuing innovation and improving the well-being of all individuals. This is a good resource to use when connecting with policy makers and the public.
    Check out the tracker here:

    Super-precise new CRISPR tool
    A gene-editing tool called prime editing gives researchers more control over DNA changes than ever before, clearing a path to potentially treating a plethora of genetic diseases. Prime editing is more accurate and flexible than the wildly popular CRISPR–Cas9 method, which is prone to errors and unintended effects. Both methods work by cutting DNA at a specific point in the genome. But whereas CRISPR-Cas9 relies on the cell’s own repair system to patch the damage and make the edits, prime editing allows researchers to neatly write new genetic information into a section of DNA.
    Nature | 5 min read
    Reference: Nature paper
    Meeting report: Global vaccine and immunization research forum, 2018
    Every two years, the Global Vaccine and Immunization Research Forum takes stock of global research in vaccines and immunization. As in prior years, the 2018 meeting addressed vaccine discovery, development, decision-making, and deployment. This time, however, it also featured two overarching themes: “Innovating for Equity” and “End-to-End Integration."

    Health Agencies Launch Plan for Cooperation on SDG Targets
    Twelve multilateral agencies have launched a ten-year global action plan detailing how they will jointly support countries to achieve health-related aspects of the SDGs. 

    Australian women sidelined for funding
    Female scientists in Australia were less likely to win a major type of medical-research grant this year than their male counterparts. The funding imbalance, which was especially severe for senior-level women, comes despite an overhaul of the country’s science funding that was supposed to address gender inequity. Only 5 out of 17 senior women who applied for the first-ever round of National Health and Medical Research Council ‘investigator grants’ were successful, compared with 37 out of 75 senior male applicants with the same experience. Men also received more money in total, partly because they won more grants than women.
    Nature | 4 min read
    Reference: NHMRC investigator grants outcomes



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