“Get to the moon on the first try:” what we heard this week

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“It’s like launching a rocket in the hope of going into orbit, but reaching the moon on the first try.” – Kiran Musunuru, MD, PhD, University of Pennsylvania, describing an intravenous infusion of CRISPR that reduced levels of a pathogenic protein in vivo for the first time in humans.

“Imagine a fully loaded jumbo jet with 220 passengers and crew crashing down today, and the same thing has happened tomorrow and every day of next week and every day of next month”, – David Williams, PhD, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, on the degree to which structural racism has contributed to poorer health outcomes for black Americans.

“When you look at all the applicants, the same number matches as 10 years ago. They just have to apply to twice as many programs and spend twice as much money to do so.” – Bryan Carmody, MD, of Eastern Virginia Medical School, on the crowded landscape of residency applications.

“One of the key elements is allowing people to have the opportunity to get their questions and concerns answered.” – Jennifer Dillaha, MD, Arkansas Department of Health, discussing “reluctance” from the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Overall, this is stressful on our system. We are not done with the pandemic yet. We have severe staff shortages across the country and around Portland.” – Bory Kea, MD, of Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine, on the heat wave in the Pacific Northwest.

“The findings could open the door to new approaches to manage pain in humans, but we still know very little.” – Christopher Ramsden, MD, National Institute on Aging, about a study showing that a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids reduced the frequency and severity of headaches in migraine patients.

“There are still breakthrough infections after vaccination – and more with Delta – but current vaccines still offer excellent protection against disease and death compared to no vaccination.” – Christina Pagel, PhD, University College London, on the Delta COVID-19 variant.

“It’s the region that really matters here.” – Archie Bleyer, MD, of Oregon Health & Science University, discussing a survey in Mountain West states showing that more than a third of young cancer survivors are reluctant to be vaccinated against COVID-19.


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