Jun 21, 2017

Scientists want to use photosynthetic bacteria to treat heart attacks

Sam McNeil / AP

A Stanford professor and heart surgeon has completed a proof-of-concept study showcasing the potential for photosynthetic cyanobacteria to treat the complications of heart attacks, per Smithsonian Magazine.

The traditional treatment: During a heart attack, heart tissue rapidly stops receiving blood containing oxygen and nutrients, which can lead to severe heart failure and death. So doctors try to get blood to the heart as soon as possible in order to provide critical oxygen and sugars.

The novel solution: The Stanford team injected a lab-grown strain of cyanobacteria — tiny photosynthetic organisms that use sunlight to convert carbon dioxide and water into oxygen and sugars — into a rat's heart and turned on a light. They saw increased metabolism within 20 minutes and improved heart performance in under an hour.

The drawbacks: Right now, the process requires open-heart surgery for the injection of cyanobacteria and the application of light. Additionally, the costs of outfitting hospitals with the equipment necessary for such a time-sensitive procedure might prove difficult.

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Mark Meadows considers new White House press secretary

Photos: Alyssa Farah, Defense Department; Stephanie Grisham, Alex Wong/Getty Images; Kayleigh McEnany, Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has privately discussed bringing on Pentagon spokeswoman Alyssa Farah or Trump campaign spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany as a new White House press secretary, two sources familiar with the talks tell Axios.

Why it matters: Meadows' start on Tuesday as Trump's new chief — and televised coronavirus briefings that feature President Trump himself — present a chance to overhaul a press shop that's kept a low profile since President Trump ended the tradition of daily press secretary briefings.

CNN: Fauci advises all states issue stay-at-home orders

Dr. Anthony Fauci listens to President Trump speak during a briefing on April 1. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci recommended on Thursday that all states across the U.S. implement stay-at-home orders, at a CNN town hall.

Why it matters: The recommendation stands in contrast to President Trump's calls for "flexibility." Nearly 4o states have issued stay-at-home orders to promote social distancing as a way to combat the novel coronavirus — but the orders vary in strictness and duration.

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