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Foundation to Fight H-ABC, University of Massachusetts Medical School and Yale University Initiate Gene Therapy Study Targeting Cure for Rare Disease

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ROCKVILLE, Md., Oct. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Foundation to Fight H-ABC, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness and driving development of a cure for the degenerative children’s disease, H-ABC, today announced a sponsored research agreement with the University of Massachusetts Medical School and Yale University to advance a targeted gene therapy for H-ABC.

“We have high hopes to quickly prove efficacy with this approach to move research forward and find a permanent cure for this devastating disease,” said Michele Sloan, Co-Founder, Foundation to Fight H-ABC.

H-ABC (hypomyelination with atrophy of the basal ganglia and cerebellum) belongs to a group of conditions called leukodystrophies, diseases that affect the white matter of the brain. These diseases disrupt the growth or maintenance of the myelin sheath, a protective layer that insulates nerve cells and allows for the transmission of messages between cells.

Caused by a mutation in the TUBB4A gene, H-ABC is a rare genetic disorder that affects certain parts of the brain—specifically the basal ganglia and the cerebellum, which control movement. H-ABC targets these important structures, reducing both their size and function. As a result, children who suffer from H-ABC often experience motor problems, cannot walk, talk, or sit on their own. Currently, there is no known cure for this disabling and life-threatening condition.

The teams of Dr. Guangping Gao (University of Massachusetts Medical School) and Dr. Karel Liem (Yale School of Medicine) will combine extensive expertise in the fields of Adeno-associated virus (AAV), a platform for gene delivery for the treatment of a variety of human diseases and H-ABC disease models, to develop AAV vectors to silence or outcompete the mutated TUBB4A gene.

“To date, AAV-based gene delivery system is the vector of choice for in vivo gene therapy of many currently untreatable rare diseases including H-ABC,” said Guangping Gao,

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Game ‘pre-bunks’ COVID-19 conspiracies as part of UK’s fight against fake news

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Game 'pre-bunks' COVID-19 conspiracies as part of UK's fight against fake news
Go Viral! visuals Credit: Cambridge/UK Cabinet Office

A new online game that puts players in the shoes of a purveyor of fake pandemic news is the latest tactic in efforts to tackle the deluge of coronavirus misinformation costing lives across the world.


The Go Viral! game has been developed by the University of Cambridge’s Social Decision-Making Lab in collaboration with the UK Cabinet Office and media collective DROG.

It builds on research from Cambridge psychologists that found by giving people a taste of the techniques used to spread fake news on social media, it increases their ability to identify and disregard misinformation in the future.

Go Viral! is launched on the heels of a new study from the team behind it, just published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied. The latest findings show that a single play of a similar game can reduce susceptibility to false information for at least three months.

“Fake news can travel faster and lodge itself deeper than the truth,” said Dr. Sander van der Linden, who leads the project and the Social Decision-Making Lab at Cambridge.

“Fact-checking is vital, but it comes too late and lies have already spread like the virus. We are aiming to pre-emptively debunk, or pre-bunk, misinformation by exposing people to a mild dose of the methods used to disseminate fake news. It’s what social psychologists call ‘inoculation theory’.”

The new 5-7 minute game introduces players to the basics of online manipulation in the era of coronavirus. It acts as a simple guide to common techniques: using emotionally charged language to stoke outrage and fear, deploying fake experts to sow doubt, and mining conspiracies for social media Likes.

“By using a simulated environment to show people how misinformation is produced, we can demystify it,” said Dr. Jon Roozenbeek, co-developer

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New Mexico loses ground in COVID-19 spread fight

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SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico is losing ground in efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 as newly reported daily infections hit a record of 488 cases.



Tina Arons, 32, speaks as she removed her phone from a tripod at the Harvey Cornell Rose Park Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Arons used the video recording setup to capture a dance routine with silk fan veils, draped over her shoulder, for and online she teaches. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)


© Provided by Associated Press
Tina Arons, 32, speaks as she removed her phone from a tripod at the Harvey Cornell Rose Park Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Arons used the video recording setup to capture a dance routine with silk fan veils, draped over her shoulder, for and online she teaches. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

Three additional deaths from the pandemic also were disclosed Friday by state health officials as fatalities from the pandemic surpassed 900.

Bernalillo County, with the state’s most populous urban area, accounted for 135 new cases, while Dona Ana had 81. Lea and Chaves counties together accounted for 77 new cases.

The state’s infection and positivity rates for the spread of the virus are climbing as the administration of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham holds the line on emergency public health restrictions.

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Members of the Orthodox Jewish community speak with NYPD officers, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, in the Borough Park neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York. Gov. Andrew Cuomo moved to reinstate restrictions on businesses, houses of worship and schools in and near areas where coronavirus cases are spiking. Many neighborhoods that stand to be affected are home to large enclaves of Orthodox Jews.  (AP Photo/John Minchillo)


© Provided by Associated Press
Members of the Orthodox Jewish community speak with NYPD officers, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, in the Borough Park neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York. Gov. Andrew Cuomo moved to reinstate restrictions on businesses, houses of worship and schools in and near areas where coronavirus cases are spiking. Many neighborhoods that stand to be affected are home to large enclaves of Orthodox Jews. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— President Trump credits antibody drug for quick recovery

— Spain declares state of emergency in Madrid to contain surge

— As virus fills French ICUs anew, doctors ask what went wrong

— British government will announce more support for businesses to retain staff in the coming months if they

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The Latest: New Mexico Loses Ground in COVID-19 Spread Fight | World News

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SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico is losing ground in efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 as newly reported daily infections hit a record of 488 cases.

Three additional deaths from the pandemic also were disclosed Friday by state health officials as fatalities from the pandemic surpassed 900.

Bernalillo County, with the state’s most populous urban area, accounted for 135 new cases, while Dona Ana had 81. Lea and Chaves counties together accounted for 77 new cases.

The state’s infection and positivity rates for the spread of the virus are climbing as the administration of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham holds the line on emergency public health restrictions.

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— President Trump credits antibody drug for quick recovery

— Spain declares state of emergency in Madrid to contain surge

— As virus fills French ICUs anew, doctors ask what went wrong

— British government will announce more support for businesses to retain staff in the coming months if they are forced to close because of lockdown restrictions.

— President Donald Trump says he wants to try to hold a campaign rally in Florida on Saturday, despite his recent COVID-19 diagnosis.

— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Enrolled members of the Navajo Nation will be eligible for payments of up to $1,500 as part of the tribe’s response to the coronavirus.

President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer on Friday approved the $49 million plan adopted by the tribal council. The funding comes from the tribe’s share of federal coronavirus relief funding.

Adults will be eligible for payments of $1,500 while minors are eligible for $500.

Nez said in a statement that there isn’t enough funding to cover payments

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AG Grewal: Anti-bias education will help us fight a rising tide of hate | Opinion

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By Gurbir Grewal and Rachel Wainer Apter

At last week’s presidential debate, when it seemed that the nation had exhausted its capacity for shock, President Trump hit another height in racist rhetoric, refusing to condemn white supremacy while urging far-right extremists to “stand back and stand by.” As the top officials responsible for enforcing the civil rights laws of New Jersey — one of the most populous and diverse states in the country — we have seen firsthand how the president’s push to normalize bias has led to a rising tide of hate and violence in our state.

Since 2015, the number of bias incidents being reported to law enforcement in New Jersey has skyrocketed. There were 367 reported incidents in 2015, compared to 994 in 2019 — a 170% increase. And this isn’t a problem limited to older generations — fully 46% of bias offenders were younger than 18 years old, a loud alarm that New Jersey’s diversity is not translating to tolerance in its schools.

Every one of these bias incidents is an affront to our values. Each represents a target on the back of a fellow American or resident based only on what they look like, where they come from, how they worship, or who they love. All too often, a bias incident not only traumatizes an individual but also terrorizes entire communities, as when two attackers fueled by hate planned a shootout at a kosher grocery store in Jersey City, ultimately killing several of our fellow New Jerseyans, including a police officer.

The Trump administration has shown that it is disinterested in fighting discrimination, so in New Jersey, we decided it was time to step up and take aggressive action ourselves. Last year, Gov. Phil Murphy created a task force to address the dramatic increase in

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