LHSC announces added measures to curb growing University Hospital COVID-19 outbreak

London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) says it’s implementing additional health and safety measures in a bid to clamp down on a growing multi-floor coronavirus outbreak at one of its hospitals.



a tall building in a city: University Hospital on the campus of Western University in London, Ont, on May 13, 2020.


© THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Mark Spowart
University Hospital on the campus of Western University in London, Ont, on May 13, 2020.

In addition, organization officials stress that despite the outbreak, as well as cases involving at least 28 staff members, its facilities remain a safe place to seek and receive care.

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“We are actively working in collaboration with our partners at Middlesex-London Health Unit to address the COVID-19 outbreaks at University Hospital and I want to thank everyone whose efforts are helping to reduce transmission,” said LHSC CEO Dr. Woods in a statement Friday.

For more than two weeks, LHSC has been grappling with outbreaks at its University Hospital (UH) campus that have impacted a total of seven units and infected a total of 61 people, according to the health unit. Eleven of the 17 cases reported by the health unit on Friday were linked to the hospital,

“Regrettably there have been two deaths associated with these outbreaks and LHSC shares its thoughts and sympathies with the families during this difficult time,” Woods said.

Read more: ‘Majority’ of Canadians should be vaccinated against coronavirus by September: Trudeau

Local health officials first declared an outbreak at UH on Nov. 10 in the hospital’s 4IP General Medicine unit. The next day, on Nov. 11, a separate outbreak was declared in 9IP Orthopedics.

While the Nov. 11 outbreak has since resolved and was only tied to six cases, the Nov. 10 outbreak in 4IP General Medicine has continued to grow, and as of Friday, encompassed at least six units on multiple floors of the hospital.

The two most recent units to be impacted by the Nov. 10 outbreak were reported on Friday: 4TU Multi-Organ Transplant Unit and 6IP Cardiovascular Surgery.

They join 4IP General Medicine, 6IP Acute/Decant Medicine, 9IP Sub-Acute Medicine, and 10IP Palliative Care/Sub-Acute Medicine as units the outbreak has affected in the 17 days it has been active.

Coronavirus: Ontario COVID-19 data shows hospitalizations increased 63 per cent over 4 weeks

At least 55 cases and two deaths have been linked to the expansive Nov. 10 outbreak, the health unit says, making it the largest outbreak to be seen in London and Middlesex during the pandemic, according to the region’s medical officer of health, Dr. Chris Mackie.

A number of those infected have been staff at the hospital, he says, with transmission being driven by people letting their guard down, such as during work breaks.

LHSC reported Friday that at least 28 staff members in its organization were currently infected with the virus, while at least 26 inpatients with COVID-19 were in its care.

“The major breakdown was personal protective equipment between staff,” Mackie said of the ongoing outbreak.

Read more: Former NATO mission head to lead Canada’s coronavirus vaccine rollout

“I really empathize with the

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Sand Springs Education Foundation announces annual grants for district teachers, classrooms | News



Pratt Elementary

Pratt Elementary Counselor Mindy Lee had two grants approved through the Sand Springs Education Foundation. SSEF approved 36 grants across the district worth a combined $63,000.


Shawn Hein



Christmas came early for several Sand Springs teachers on Monday, Nov. 23.

The Sand Springs Education Foundation dispersed its annual grants for teachers and classrooms around the district. SSEF approved each of the 36 requested grants which totaled approximately $63,000, according to SSEF Director Tirita Montross.

The program awards grants to Sand Springs teachers and principals for projects or items they wouldn’t otherwise be able to fund.

“It’s like a Christmas present,” Montross said. “They dream big and a wish is granted. It’s so exciting.”

In previous years, SSEF members have celebrated the occasion by surprising teachers in their classrooms with their gifts. However, due to social distancing restrictions, site principals presented teachers with their commemorative checks.

“It’s definitely a let down on a personal level to not see the smiles and the appreciation in person,” Montross said. “But I’ve already gotten thank yous and emails. The board always feels the appreciation.”

The amount of the individual grants ranged from approximately $300 to $7,000.

Here are a few of those that were granted:

Clyde Boyd Middle School science teacher Janet Johnson wrote a grant for an aerial botball program for her robotics class.

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Holcomb announces pick for new Indiana education secretary

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has tapped his senior education advisor to serve as the state’s first secretary of education, marking the first time in more than a century the state schools superintendent position isn’t decided by voters.

Katie Jenner will officially take on the role Jan. 11 after current Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick leaves office. Jenner will immediately focus on helping schools navigate the coronavirus pandemic, in addition to shaping state policy on education funding, school accountability and testing, according to the governor’s office.

“This is an incredibly important time for education in Indiana,” Holcomb said in a statement Thursday. ”(Jenner) has focused her entire career on investing in students, teachers and staff, and she will continue to build the relationships needed to move our state forward in constructive ways.”

Under new state law, the state schools chief was removed from the ballot in November. Instead, a secretary of education — largely charged with implementing and administering policy — is chosen by the governor. Unlike the voter-elected state superintendent, the education secretary will report directly to Holcomb as a member of the cabinet.

The switch to a governor-appointed state education secretary was originally approved by Indiana’s General Assembly, with a planned start date of 2025. Lawmakers filed legislation last year to move the change up to 2021 after McCormick announced that she would not seek a second term in 2020.

Less than two weeks before the November election, however, McCormick switched her position and accepted a nomination tap from Democratic gubernatorial candidate Woody Myers to ensure “continuity” within the state’s education department, especially amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Her “outrage” over “woefully underfunded” teachers and schools across the state also influenced her desire to remain in office, she said.

McCormick’s endorsements of Myers and Democrats during her tenure laid bare her split from Holcomb and GOP legislative leaders since she was elected to be state schools superintendent in 2016 with Republican Party support. She has disagreed with Republican legislators on several education issues including the use of standardized testing to rate schools and teachers, and her support for increased scrutiny of charter and voucher schools that receive state money.

McCormick has accepted a position as senior vice president with EES Analytics, a data analytics company that will launch in January, according to a Wednesday news release.

Until now, Holcomb had remained quiet about any potential appointment picks, previously saying he would wait to review recommendations until after Election Day.

Jenner has previously served as a vice president at Ivy Tech Community College. She additionally worked as a career and technical education teacher in Kentucky, and as an administrator for Madison Consolidated Schools in Indiana. Currently, Jenner is also on the governor’s commission tasked with making recommendations for how to improve teacher salaries.

“My priorities are to ensure high quality education for all students and families, and to provide solution-focused support for our teachers and educational leaders,” Jenner said in a statement Thursday.

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What Is ‘Patriotic Education?’ Trump Announces Strange Program On Eve Of Election Day

KEY POINTS

  • Donald Trump has signed an executive order on the eve of the presidential election promoting “patriotic education” 
  • It stands in direct opposition to efforts like the 1619 Project to reframe U.S. history with a focus on civil rights and slavery
  • Critics were quick to decry the move as essentially straight from the playbooks of fascist and authoritarian regimes, but his supporters seemed pleased

With Election Day just hours away, President Donald Trump on Monday signed an executive order to establish a “1776 Commission” to promote “patriotic education.”

The purpose of “patriotic education” through the commission’s creation is to “better enable a rising generation to understand the history and principles of the founding of the United States in 1776 and to strive to form a more perfect Union.”

The framing of the order and its stated contents stand in direct opposition to the New York Times’ 1619 Project, which seeks to reframe U.S. history through the consequences of slavery.

The executive order — it comes the day before an election in which Trump trails in polls — drew bold opinions along partisan lines. Some users on social media were quick to note the similarities to fascist and authoritarian regimes.

Trump announced the signing on his Twitter account, citing the “radical indoctrination” of students.

The text of the order itself is no less strident, decrying “a series of polemics grounded in poor scholarship [that] has vilified our founders and our founding.”

The text appears to be thinly veiled references to the 1619 Project, an effort by the Times on the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in the Virginia colony in 1619.

Like Trump’s executive order, the 1619 Project has sought to influence education in the U.S., partnering with schools to change civics classes to include information on slavery. 

Before Trump’s order, the 1619 Project had faced its share of scrutiny. An opinion piece by Times columnist Bret Stephens noted that many U.S. history scholars see the 1619 Project to some degree as reductionist, unnecessary or even factually incorrect. The project has given a partial response, noting the difficulties and complexities of managing such an ambitious undertaking.

Objections from scholars, however, are mild compared to how some on the political right view the project. The project has been slammed as nothing short of an attempt by liberal elites to discredit American values, a belief reflected in the language of this newest order. It prompted Sen Tom Cotton, R-Ark., to introduce legislation banning schools from teaching the curriculum through the Saving American History Act of 2020. 

The text of  “the President’s Advisory 1776 Commission” document states that without “common faith,” subsequent generations will be “in jeopardy of a crippling self-doubt” that would, somehow, inevitably lead to authoritarianism.

Many on Twitter accused Trump himself of leading that authoritarian charge, noting the similarities between this order and the hyperpatriotic regimes of Nazi Germany and Mao Communism in China. 

Others attacked Trump for attempting to score political points with his

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Ascendis Pharma A/S Announces Third Quarter 2020 Financial Results and Business Update Conference Call on November 11

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Nov. 02, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ascendis Pharma A/S (Nasdaq: ASND), a biopharmaceutical company that utilizes its innovative TransCon™ technologies to address unmet medical needs, today announced that the company will hold a conference call and live webcast on Wednesday, November 11, 2020 at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) to review its third quarter 2020 financial results and provide a business update.

Conference Call Details

Date

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Time

4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. Pacific Time

Dial In (U.S.)

844-290-3904

Dial In (International)

574-990-1036

Access Code

8955314

A live webcast of the conference call will be available on the Investors and News section of the Ascendis Pharma website at www.ascendispharma.com. A webcast replay will be available on this website shortly after conclusion of the event for 30 days.

About Ascendis Pharma A/S

Ascendis Pharma is applying its innovative platform technology to build a leading, fully integrated biopharma company focused on making a meaningful difference in patients’ lives. Guided by its core values of patients, science and passion, the company utilizes its TransCon™ technologies to create new and potentially best-in-class therapies.

Ascendis Pharma currently has a pipeline of three independent endocrinology rare disease product candidates in clinical development and is advancing oncology as its second therapeutic area of focus. The company continues to expand into additional therapeutic areas to address unmet patient needs. Ascendis is headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, with additional offices in Heidelberg and Berlin, Germany, and in Palo Alto and Redwood City, California.

For more information, please visit www.ascendispharma.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included in this press release regarding Ascendis’ future operations, plans and objectives of management are forward-looking statements. Examples of such statements include, but are not limited to, statements relating to (i) Ascendis’ ability to apply its platform technology to build a leading, fully integrated biopharma company, (ii) Ascendis’ product pipeline and expansion into additional therapeutic areas and (iii) Ascendis’ expectations regarding its ability to utilize its TransCon technologies to create new and potentially best-in-class therapies. Ascendis may not actually achieve the plans, carry out the intentions or meet the expectations or projections disclosed in the forward-looking statements and you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Actual results or events could differ materially from the plans, intentions, expectations and projections disclosed in the forward-looking statements. Various important factors could cause actual results or events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements that Ascendis makes, including the following: unforeseen safety or efficacy results in its oncology programs, TransCon hGH, TransCon PTH and TransCon CNP or other development programs; unforeseen expenses related to the development and potential commercialization of its oncology programs, TransCon hGH, TransCon PTH and TransCon CNP or other development programs, selling, general and administrative expenses, other research and development expenses and Ascendis’ business generally; delays in the development of its oncology programs, TransCon hGH, TransCon PTH and TransCon CNP

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Applied DNA Announces Linear DNA Orders from New Contract Research Customers for Use in RNA Vaccine and Adeno-Associated Virus Applications

– Company also Secures Follow-on Order from Existing Contract Research Customer for Adoptive Cell Therapy (CAR T) Application –

Applied DNA Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: APDN) (“Applied DNA” or the “Company”), a leader in Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)-based DNA manufacturing, announced that it received orders for its linear DNA to be evaluated in an RNA vaccine and Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV) production from two new contract research customers, respectively. The Company also received a follow-on order for linear DNA from an existing contract research customer for a preclinical CAR T therapy. The follow-on order marks the third order from the existing customer for use across multiple applications. All orders are to be shipped by the end of calendar 2020.

Applied DNA’s unique large-scale PCR production of linear DNA is made capable by its LinearDNA™ platform, a proprietary process that enables large, gram-scale production of single- or double-stranded DNA for diagnostics; therapeutics, such as CAR T; vaccines, such as those made of RNA and DNA; and improves the agility of virus production, such as AAV. Some COVID-19 vaccines utilize AAV as the vector for delivery of a synthetic gene that causes the transfected cell to release antigens that promote immunity to SARS-CoV-2. The Company announced in August 2020 that it filed a new U.S. patent application for the manufacture of AAV via its LinearDNA™ platform.

“Our LinearDNA manufacturing platform is paving a new path for nucleic acid-based drug development that, to date, is largely reliant on plasmid-based production that is lengthy, prone to toxin contamination, promulgating antibiotic resistance, accidental inclusion of non-target DNA, and genomic integration. To our knowledge, we are the only company to pursue the commercialization of linear DNA for diagnostic and therapeutic applications via large-scale PCR. We believe this makes us applicable to every preclinical or clinical nucleic acid-based drug production program being pursued by the industry’s leading companies. The addition of new development customers and repeat orders for linear DNA, we believe, suggests a growing appetite for a market-ready alternative to plasmids,” stated Dr. James A. Hayward, president and CEO, Applied DNA.

About Applied DNA Sciences

Applied DNA is a provider of molecular technologies that enable supply chain security, anti-counterfeiting and anti-theft technology, product genotyping, and pre-clinical nucleic acid-based therapeutic drug candidates.

Visit adnas.com for more information. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn. Join our mailing list.

The Company’s common stock is listed on NASDAQ under ticker symbol ‘APDN’, and its publicly traded warrants are listed on OTC under ticker symbol ‘APPDW’.

Applied DNA is a member of the Russell Microcap® Index.

Forward-Looking Statements

The statements made by Applied DNA in this press release may be “forward-looking” in nature within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements describe Applied DNA’s future plans, projections, strategies and expectations, and are based on assumptions and involve a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are

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ProQR Announces Virtual Presentations at American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO)

LEIDEN, Netherlands & CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Nov. 02, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — ProQR Therapeutics N.V. (Nasdaq:PRQR), a company dedicated to changing lives through the creation of transformative RNA therapies for severe genetic rare diseases, today announced virtual poster presentations at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) held November 13-15, 2020.

ProQR’s presentations

Presentation title: Phase 1b/2 trial results of intravitreal sepofarsen RNA therapy in Leber congenital amaurosis 10 (LCA10)

Presenter: Stephen R. Russell, MD, Professor and Director of Vitreoretinal Diseases and Surgery Service, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Iowa

Date: The poster presentation will be available on the AAO meeting portal starting November 11, 2020

Presentation title: Full-field stimulus testing (FST) to assess sepofarsen patient response in Leber congenital amaurosis type 10 (LCA10)

Presenter: Allen Ho, MD, Professor of Ophthalmology, Wills Eye Hospital, Thomas Jefferson University

Date: The poster presentation will be available on the AAO meeting portal starting November 11, 2020

About Sepofarsen
Sepofarsen (QR-110) is being evaluated in the pivotal Phase 2/3 Illuminate trial and is a first-in-class investigational RNA therapy designed to address the underlying cause of Leber congenital amaurosis 10 due to the p.Cys998X mutation (also known as the c.2991+1655A>G mutation) in the CEP290 gene. The p.Cys998X mutation leads to aberrant splicing of the mRNA and non-functional CEP290 protein. Sepofarsen is designed to enable normal splicing, resulting in restoration of normal (wild type) CEP290 mRNA and subsequent production of functional CEP290 protein. Sepofarsen is intended to be administered through intravitreal injections in the eye and has been granted orphan drug designation in the United States and the European Union and received fast-track designation and rare pediatric disease designation from the FDA as well as access to the PRIME scheme by the EMA.

About ProQR
ProQR Therapeutics is dedicated to changing lives through the creation of transformative RNA therapies for the treatment of severe genetic rare diseases such as Leber congenital amaurosis 10, Usher syndrome and autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa. Based on our unique proprietary RNA repair platform technologies we are growing our pipeline with patients and loved ones in mind.
*Since 2012*

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This press release contains forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements, which are often indicated by terms such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “goal,” “intend,” “look forward to”, “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “will,” “would” and similar expressions. Such statements include those relating to our presentations at AAO. Forward-looking statements are based on management’s beliefs and assumptions and on information available to management only as of the date of this press release. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements for many reasons, including, without limitation, the risks, uncertainties and other factors in our filings made with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including certain sections of our annual report filed on Form 20-F. Given these risks, uncertainties and other factors, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, and

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ESPN college football analyst Desmond Howard announces he’s tested positive for coronavirus

ESPN college football analyst Desmond Howard announced Thursday that he has tested positive for COVID-19.

“I’m under strict quarantine right now, because yesterday I tested positive for COVID,” Howard said in a video posted to Twitter.

Howard detailed that he’s experiencing a cough and muscle soreness but has not had a fever.

“You have to take this very seriously, because it’s a very tricky virus — extremely unpredictable and tricky virus,” Howard said. “So you have to continue to do all the things that you can to maintain your health even if you start to feel good.”

Howard tweeted that he will be doing College GameDay from home this week and not at Penn State, where the 18th-ranked Nittany Lions will host No. 3 Ohio State.

This is not the first time College GameDay has had an analyst do the show remotely this season because of coronavirus protocols. In September, Kirk Herbstreit came in contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus. Although Herbstreit tested negative, he was not on the road with the show when Miami hosted Florida State, but he still appeared on College GameDay and was a part of the game broadcast.

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TFF Pharmaceuticals Announces Positive Preclinical Results with University of Georgia Universal Influenza Vaccines

Company’s Thin Film Freezing dry powder was equivalent to the liquid universal influenza formulated vaccine in preclinical immunogenicity and efficacy testing

TFF Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: TFFP), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative drug products based on its patented Thin Film Freezing (TFF) technology platform, today announced that in collaboration with the University of Georgia’s (UGA) Center for Vaccines and Immunology (CVI) obtained positive preclinical immunogenicity and efficacy data from TFF formulated UGA universal Influenza hemagglutinin (HA) recombinant vaccines.

In April of 2020, TFFP and the University of Georgia’s CVI entered into a Research and Development Agreement to test the immunogenicity and efficacy of universal influenza HA recombinant vaccines following the TFF process. Animals were vaccinated with HA vaccines with or without adjuvants and challenged with H1N1 and H3N2 influenza viruses. The TFF HA vaccines elicited equivalent neutralizing antibodies and protection against influenza virus infection compared to liquid formulations. Currently, the level of neutralizing antibodies and amount of virus in the lung are being analyzed, in addition to long term stability testing of the TFF HA vaccine.

Researchers in the University of Georgia’s CVI are world-leaders in vaccine development. In 2019, the National Institutes of Health awarded UGA researchers up to $130 million to develop a new universal flu vaccine designed to protect against multiple strains of influenza virus in a single dose.

Influenza is a contagious viral infection that attacks the respiratory system infecting the nose, throat and sometimes the lungs. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza results in tens of thousands of deaths annually in the US since 2010 and hundreds of thousands of deaths globally.

“Based on these results, we believe the TFF process and resulting dry powder allows protein vaccines to be more stable and long-lasting than in liquid solution, therefore improving stability and removing logistical cold chain challenges,” said Glenn Mattes, CEO of TFF Pharmaceuticals. “Unfortunately, there is a significant financial burden considering that cold-chain storage alone accounts for most of the vaccination cost. There is an urgent need to develop technologies that would eliminate the cold-chain and allow for better drug delivery options.”

“Our goal is to identify vaccines that are broadly protective against most variants of the influenza virus that infect humans, particularly for those populations that are most vulnerable and susceptible to the virus,” said Ted M. Ross, Director of the University of Georgia Center for Vaccines and Immunology. “Hand-in-hand with that goal is to develop a delivery mechanism that can make the vaccine easier to ship, store and administer to this population around the globe. The results observed with Thin Film Freezing converting our liquid influenza HA vaccine to a dry powder can bring us closer to achieving this goal.”

TFF Pharmaceuticals’ testing suggests that Thin Film Freezing maintains a potential vaccine’s particle size distribution and immunogenicity, is robust for extended periods at room temperature, withstands unintentional freezing, and can be stored and shipped free of cold-chain handling, displays extended

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NASA Announces They’ve Found Water On The Moon

Earth’s orbiting body is much more than the desert-like satellite. NASA has confirmed that it has found water on the surface of the Moon. It’s unknown if said water is usable at this time, but this is very important news.

NASA made the announcement in a video on Twitter, which you can see below. As posted by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, water was found on a sunlit portion of the Moon for the very first time using the SOFIA telescope, which is located on an airplane.

The Clavius crater–one of the largest crater formations on the Moon–is where scientists found the water, which was visible from Earth. “The detection is very unique for molecular water,” says planetary scientist at the University of Hawaii Shuai Li, who is co-author of one of the new studies about this finding (via CNET). Based on the findings, it could not be anything else.

The reason NASA used a flying telescope was because of the amount of water vapor in the air, as the lower part of the atmosphere on Earth has plenty of water vapor already in it. The SOFIA telescope flies high in the air, cutting out most of the water vapor in the lower atmosphere.

NASA wants to head back to the moon and establish a base on the surface with the Artemis program, mentioned in the video above. And they want to be there by the end of the next decade. “Water on the surface of the moon can be used for several very important things, such as sustaining astronauts, creating oxygen and hydrogen for rocket fuel or power generation, or conducting horticulture experiments,” said computational modeling expert at Australia’s science agency, CSIRO, Craig Lindley.

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