Cell-based Human Breast Milk Breakthrough

TurtleTree Labs sets to showcase the world’s first human breast milk using cell-based technology at their April 21, 2020 Future of Clean Milk launch. Coming off from a successful funding round, the team has brought on world class scientists like Jonathan Loh (Winner of World Technology Award and MIT TR35 Asia Pacific Awards) to accelerate the development and commercialization of their first product: human breast milk.

This will transform the $45B infant nutrition market, which is set to grow to $103B by 2026. Human breast milk as a replacement to infant formula promises to give infants identical nutritional components like the full spectrum of oligosaccharides, fats and carbohydrates as expressed by mothers. In a strategic move, Singapore attracted 4 of the world’s 5 largest infant formula companies to have production and R&D centers in the city state.

Part of TurtleTree Lab’s strategies include robust plans for driving the business across product, strategy and operations. The team has recruited top regulatory and IP attorneys in the cell-based food industry. “We are excited to have the best teams around us that also represent the likes of Memphis Meats and Impossible foods. This enables our customers to commercially license our IP for their custom use, while keeping in line with regulatory requirements,” says Fengru Lin, CEO of TurtleTree Labs.

As Singapore imports more than 99 percent of its dairy consumption needs, it has set a major initiative to ensure food security. The initiative aims to produce 30% of its nutritional needs within the island by 2030. TurtleTree Labs is in the perfect place at the right time as government bodies like Enterprise Singapore, Singapore Food Agency, A*STAR national research institute all get behind to enable the commercialization of human breast milk. Singapore has some of the top scientists in the world and their research quality ranks well above world average. Singapore is incentivizing select companies to set up their R&D centers there by subsidizing recruitment, using it as a way to stay ahead in innovation.

As the team has grown to over 30 scientists and researchers, they are still growing rapidly with expansion to the US. “Our new office in San Francisco is important as we work with regulators and industry groups to accelerate market adoption,” says Max Rye, Chief strategist of TurtleTree Labs.

Source: PR Newswire


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Hokkaido Chicken Soup Curry

Ingredients

2 carrots, peeled and quartered
1 ear of corn, husk and silk removed, cut into thick rings
1 eggplant, cut into thick wedges lengthways
1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 5 cm strips
2 king oyster (eringi) mushrooms, halved lengthways (or quartered if very thick)
4 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
1 tsp salt flakes
4 chicken legs, skin removed
1 brown onion, peeled and grated
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp garam masala
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 cup tomato passata
1 bay leaf
6 cups water or chicken stock
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sake
1 tbsp mirin
1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves, roughly torn
2 hard-boiled eggs, halved
steamed rice or thickly sliced, buttered bread, to serve

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Toss the vegetables in 2 tbsp of the oil and arrange on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Scatter with salt and bake the vegetables, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes, or until they are roasted and tender.
  3. Season the chicken with salt. Brown, two at a time, in a little oil in a large pot over high heat. Remove and set aside.
  4. Add the onion, garlic and ginger to the pot and fry over medium heat for about 2 minutes, or until softened (add a little more oil if you need to).
  5. Add the spices, tomato passata and bay leaf and fry for a further minute until fragrant. Add the water or stock, soy sauce, sake and mirin and bring to a simmer.

  6. Return the chicken to the pot and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is tender.
  7. Mix in the basil leaves.

  8. Place each chicken leg in a bowl and add the roasted vegetables and half egg.
  9. Pour over the curry soup and serve with steamed rice or thick sliced, buttered bread.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Adam’s Big Pot

Coronavirus: How Does this Outbreak End?

Brian Resnick wrote . . . . . . . . .

The World Health Organization has declared the growing coronavirus outbreak in China to be a global health emergency. It’s a recognition that the outbreak — now with nearly 10,000 cases — may continue to spread beyond China, and that the nations of the world should lend their assistance and be prepared.

Just a month ago, this virus, called 2019-nCoV, was unknown to science. Now, health officials are working furiously to understand it, trying to prevent a pandemic (a larger global spread of an infection).

These are still early days. Critical questions about the virus — namely how it spreads, and how deadly it is — remain to be firmly answered. But it’s not too soon to wonder: How does this outbreak end?

Right now, infectious disease experts are outlining three broad scenarios for the future of this outbreak. Keep in mind there’s a lot of uncertainty about how this will unfold.

1) The spread of the virus gets under control through public health interventions

This is the best-case scenario, and essentially what happened with the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) outbreak in 2003.

SARS, like this new virus, is also a coronavirus — a group of viruses that cause disease in mammals and birds. There several known coronaviruses that infect humans; others infect animals.

SARS mainly infects animals, but can jump to humans and start spreading among them. In late 2002 and 2003, SARS infected 8,096 people (mainly in China), and killed 774 people in 17 countries.

Remarkably: By 2004, SARS was basically gone. “SARS was the classic case of how various public health interventions can work and stop an outbreak,” Jessica Fairley, a professor of global health medicine at Emory University, explains.

During SARS, health authorities all worked toward identifying cases as quickly as possible, and putting infected people in isolation. That way, their immune systems can fight the virus without it spreading to anyone new. (In the unlucky cases, the virus will kill the patient, and it goes down with them.)

This takes a lot of coordination: Physicians looking out for the virus, good investigations into every case to find out who they came into contact with, and tight infection control measures in hospitals. ”And then you have more of the bigger things: travel restrictions, quarantines, or screening people at airports,” Fairley says.

It all happened fast. SARS was first reported in February 2003. By March, hundreds of people who have been exposed to SARS are quarantined in their homes. Travel advisories to the most affected areas were posted by the World Health Organization. Meanwhile, airports started screening international travelers, asking them questions about symptoms and whether they had any possible contact with the virus. And concurrently, doctors were getting more and more vigilant about diagnosing the disease, and getting patients into isolated care. By midsummer, many of the countries that had seen outbreaks were declared SARS free.

These days, SARS may still exist in animals. But it’s not spreading in humans.

Unfortunately, it might be hard to repeat the success of controlling SARS with this new outbreak. SARS was somewhat easier to contain. For one, infected people typically didn’t spread the disease until they were showing symptoms, like a fever. That means once a person got sick, they could be taken care of in quarantine, and transmission would stop there.

“If [SARS] cases were infectious before symptoms appeared, or if asymptomatic cases transmitted the virus, the disease would have been much more difficult, perhaps even impossible, to control,” a 2006 WHO retrospective on the outbreak said.

With the new outbreak, scientists are still figuring out whether the virus can be spread before symptoms arise. (Researchers now report one case where the virus was spread in this manner.) But if it can, that will make it harder to control, since some people won’t know they’re sick and may not seek medical care.

Also, in the case of SARS, health officials were a bit lucky as “it was not very efficient at transmitting outside of health care settings, and without the aid of superspreaders,” says Amesh Adalja, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. Superspreaders are rare carriers who, due to either their behavior or makeup of their immune system, are disproportionately responsible for spreading disease. With SARS, once these people were identified, and put in isolation, it was easier to stop the disease. With the new virus, it’s not yet known what role superspreaders play.

What is known: The new outbreak is already larger than SARS. A new mathematical model published in The Lancet estimates that up 75,800 people could have been infected as of January 25 in the Chinese city Wuhan where this outbreak originated, noting that “some of those infected may be undercounted in the official register.” The researchers suggest that if the transmission of the virus is reduced by a quarter, the outbreak’s growth rate would slow.

Ultimately, an outbreak can also end with the invention of a new vaccine: But even in the fastest scenario, that could take years. “So it really comes down to how good individual public health agencies are at detecting cases, getting them care, putting them into isolation, and how good the people who are infected are at their own hygiene,” Nathan Grubaugh, an epidemiologist at the Yale School of Public Health, says.

2) The virus burns itself out after it infects all or most of the people most susceptible to it

Disease outbreaks are a bit like fires. The virus is the flame. Susceptible people are the fuel. Eventually, a fire burns itself out if it runs out of kindling. A virus outbreak will end when it stops finding susceptible people to infect.

Michael Mina, an epidemiologist at the Harvard School of Public Health, offers the 2015-2016 Zika virus epidemic in Puerto Rico and South America as an example of an epidemic that essentially burned itself out. “Tons and tons of people got infected very rapidly,” he says. (There were more than than 35,000 cases in Puerto Rico in 2016.) But then the number of people susceptible to the disease dwindled. Those who were most at risk of coming into contact with the disease-carrying mosquitoes already got the disease. “And that ultimately leaves fewer people for those viruses to go in and infect.”

Zika is still circulating to a smaller degree in Brazil. But in Puerto Rico, officials report, it’s not really spreading anymore.

With the new coronavirus, it’s still hard to how it might burn out on its own. That’s because “we don’t totally know exactly who is susceptible” to the virus, Mina says. There could be people with more of an immunity to it that others — which would limit its reach. Also once the outbreak does begin to naturally burn out, public health authorities might have an easier time stamping it out with quarantines and screenings.

It’s also possible that the virus could largely burn out in China, while good surveillance keeps it from taking hold in other countries.

This isn’t a desirable scenario. It will involve many more people getting sick, possibly dying. How bad it would be depends on aspects of the disease officials are trying to understand: how many people who catch the infection get sick, how many of those people die, and how easy is it to spread from one person to the next.

“Usually with outbreaks there’s a peak, and then it comes down,” Fairley says. “The question will be if we’ll able to completely control it, or if there will be ongoing transmission.”

Which brings us to …

3) Coronavirus becomes yet another common virus

There’s a third scenario about how this outbreak ends. That it doesn’t.

This has happened before. In 2009, a new strain of the H1N1 flu virus encircled the globe in a pandemic. But, “after a while it became a part of our normal repertoire of what might come up each flu season,” Mina says.

Adalja explains there are now four coronavirus strains that commonly infect humans as common colds or pneumonia. It’s possible that this virus becomes the fifth — and like the flu, it could come and go with the seasons. Possibly, it could become a seasonal virus in China. Or, it could, like the flu, envelop the whole world.

“It may be that our policies have some impact on containing this outbreak” outside of China, he says. “In China, it may become a seasonal coronavirus.” Though, he stresses “it’s hard to say what’s going to happen.” This is just a possibility.

It’s also not a great one. Humanity doesn’t really need another common virus to contend with. “It does seem to have some capacity to cause severe disease,” Adalja says. “It’s not just causing common colds. We have people that have died from it. We have people in ICUs — all of that makes it something you want to get a handle on. It doesn’t quite seem as severe as SARS but it definitely seems more severe than the other coronaviruses that we’re used to dealing with every year.”

Source : Vox

Study: For Patients on Blood Thinners, Gastrointestinal Bleeding May Signal Colon Cancer

Robert Preidt wrote . . . . . . . . .

Gastrointestinal bleeding in patients taking blood thinners for an irregular heartbeat should prompt doctors to check for colon cancer, a new study advises.

Researchers looked at more than 125,000 patients in Denmark with the heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation (a-fib). They reported that those with gastrointestinal bleeding were 11 to 24 times more likely than others to be diagnosed with colon cancer.

The study was published in the European Heart Journal.

Between 4% and 8% of a-fib patients who had bleeding in the lower GI tract were diagnosed with colon cancer, compared to less than 1% of those without bleeding, said study leader Peter Vibe Rasmussen of the Department of Cardiology at Herlev-Gentofte University Hospital, part of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

“Our findings underline the important point that patients with gastrointestinal bleeding should always be offered meticulous clinical examination, irrespective of whether or not they are taking anticoagulants. It should not be dismissed as a mere consequence of anticoagulant treatment,” Rasmussen said in a journal news release.

He said educating patients is a must as soon as they begin taking blood thinners.

“We should tell them that if they see blood in their stools they should always consult their doctor,” Vibe Rasmussen said. “Timely examination could potentially provide early detection of [colon] cancer.”

Patients with a-fib often take blood thinners, such as warfarin, dabigatran, rivaroxaban and apixaban, to prevent clots that can cause a stroke. But bleeding from the GI tract can be a side effect in a small percentage of these patients.

There is no evidence that blood thinners cause colon cancer.

Source: U.S.News

The Flu Virus Spreading in U.S. That has Killed 10,000

Dennis Thompson wrote . . . . . . . . .

Folks fretting about the coronavirus are forgetting there’s another virus already running rampant in the United States, one that’s killed nearly 20 times as many people in this country alone.

Influenza has already taken the lives of 10,000 Americans this season, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At least 19 million have caught the flu, and an estimated 180,000 became so ill they landed in the hospital.

By comparison, there are 12 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, and just over 34,500 confirmed cases in mainland China, where the virus first emerged. More than 4,000 cases in China are critical, and 722 people there have died from complications of coronavirus infection.

“Influenza is easier to pick up and there are far, far more cases,” said Dr. Alan Taege, an infectious disease physician at the Cleveland Clinic. “It’s already much larger than coronavirus has been so far in the whole world, in our own country alone.”

It’s easy to forget the clear and present danger posed by influenza because it’s always there, sickening millions and killing thousands every year during flu season, said Dr. Bernard Camins, medical director for infection prevention at the Mount Sinai Health System in New York City.

“Currently, we have high levels of influenza in the country, which started out really early this year, around Thanksgiving,” Camins said. “Pretty much the entire country has high levels of influenza-like illness right now.”

The CDC predicts that at least 12,000 Americans will die from the flu in any given year. As many as 61,000 people died in the 2017-2018 flu season, and 45 million were infected.

And it’s even worse when a new type of flu virus emerges, mutated into a form against which humans have limited immunity, Camins added.

The H1N1 strain of influenza first appeared in 2009, and that year there were between 151,700 and 575,400 deaths caused by the new strain, Camins said.

That’s why there’s a new flu vaccine every year. Influenza is constantly mutating in a Darwinian attempt to become more infectious, and public health officials have to scramble to stay one step ahead.

On the other hand, there are a multitude of different coronaviruses but less than a handful have proven deadly, Taege noted.

“Coronavirus comes in many, many different forms, and most of them are similar to just a cold virus,” Taege said. “This will be the third known episode of a coronavirus that had a significant impact on health beyond just a cold,” the first two being SARS and MERS.

Coronavirus also appears to be much less infectious than flu, based on what is known at this point. Of the 12 cases in America, only two people caught the virus from another person inside the United States, and in both of those cases the person was infected by a spouse with whom they had constant contact.

Flu viruses travel through the air in droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks or even breathes. You can catch the flu by inhaling it in the air or by touching a surface upon which the virus has landed and then touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

It’s too early to say how deadly coronavirus will prove, given the inconsistent data coming out of China, Taege said.

“Influenza is a killer. Coronavirus can be, too,” Taege said. “We don’t have enough data yet to make across-the-board comparisons.”

In the meantime, Americans can protect themselves from the health threat already at their doorstep by getting the flu vaccine if they haven’t already, Camins and Taege said.

“The vaccine is still available, and it’s not too late to get it,” Camins said. “As we learned from last year, in some regions in the country the flu season didn’t end until the first week in May.”

Here’s how you can also protect yourself from the flu:

  • Wash your hands regularly.
  • Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Avoid crowds and stay away from sick people.

Source: HealthDay


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