Day: May 5, 2020

F.D.A. Orders Companies to Submit Antibody Test Data

The Food and Drug Administration announced on Monday that companies selling coronavirus antibody tests must submit data proving accuracy within the next 10 days or face removal from the market.

The antibody tests are an effort to detect whether a person had been infected with the coronavirus, but results have been widely varied. Since mid-March, the agency has permitted dozens of manufacturers to sell the tests without providing evidence that they are accurate.

The agency has also been under fire from several members of Congress, with numerous lawmakers raising

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A Coronavirus Vaccine Project Takes a Page From Gene Therapy

Researchers at two Harvard-affiliated hospitals are adapting a proven form of gene therapy to develop a coronavirus vaccine, which they expect to test in people later this year, they announced on Monday.

Their work employs a method already used in gene therapy for two inherited diseases, including a form of blindness: It uses a harmless virus as a vector, or carrier, to bring DNA into the patient’s cells. In this case, the DNA should instruct the cells to make a coronavirus protein that would stimulate the immune system to fight off future infections.

So far, the team has studied its vaccine candidates only in mice. Tests for safety and potency in monkeys should begin within a month or so at another academic center, the researchers said. But two of seven promising versions are already being manufactured for studies in humans.

The research is one of at least 90 vaccine projects

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The Pandemic May Mean the End of the Open-Floor Office

SAN FRANCISCO — The modern corporate office is renowned for open, collaborative work spaces, in-house coffee bars and standing desks with room for two giant computer monitors.

Soon, there may be a new must-have perk: the sneeze guard.

This plexiglass barrier that can be mounted on a desk is one of many ideas being mulled by employers as they contemplate a return to the workplace after coronavirus lockdowns. Their post-pandemic makeovers may include hand sanitizers built into desks that are positioned at 90-degree angles or that are enclosed by translucent plastic partitions; air filters that push air down and not up; outdoor gathering space to allow collaboration without viral transmission; and windows that actually open, for freer air flow.

The conversation about how to reconfigure the American workplace is taking place throughout the business world, from small start-ups to giant Wall Street firms. The design and furniture companies that have

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The New Language of Telehealth

As I wait for the interpreter to call the mother and then connect me into our three-way call, I berate myself for how bad my Spanish has become. I imagine it will continue to get worse. But what I am also realizing in this 30 seconds of dead airtime is that my overall communication skills are dwindling, too. I realize that in normal, non-Covid times, I do a lot of nonverbal communication with my patients. That I can’t do over the telephone.

Calling my patients at home, with or without video, has become my new normal. After 25 years of being a pediatrician, telemedicine is teaching me new ways to communicate with families. On the phone, with or without an interpreter, I try to listen carefully to the pauses in a mother’s voice, to know when it is my turn to speak and ask questions. It’s hard to tell if

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