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‘Making It All the Way to the Moon on the First Try:’ What We Heard This Week

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“It’s like launching a rocket ship in the hope of just getting into orbit, but making it all the way to the moon on the first try.” — Kiran Musunuru, MD, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania, describing an intravenous CRISPR infusion that lowered levels of a disease-causing protein in vivo for the first time in humans.

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

“When you consider all applicants, the same number of people match as they did 10 years ago. They just have to apply to twice as many programs and spend twice as much money doing it.” — Bryan Carmody, MD, of Eastern Virginia Medical School, on the crowded residency application landscape.

“One of the key things is allowing people to have the opportunity to have their questions answered and their concerns addressed.” — Jennifer Dillaha, MD, of the Arkansas Department of Health, discussing COVID-19 vaccine ‘holdouts’.

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

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

“There are still breakthrough infections after vaccination — and more so with Delta — but current vaccines do still provide excellent protection against sickness and death compared to no vaccination.” — Christina Pagel, PhD, of 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 younger cancer survivors were hesitant to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

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COVID-19 Booster Shots Can Wait

Vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 are proving quite safe and highly effective in the prevention of COVID-19, especially severe and/or fatal disease.

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