Medical science

Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine racket

By Bryan Dyne, 30 July 2020

Moderna’s exorbitant price point for its taxpayer subsidized vaccine exemplifies the corporate-financial elite’s exploitation of the coronavirus catastrophe for its selfish private gain.

Canadian medical experts provide ideological justification for homicidal back-to-work drive

By Laurent Lafrance, 25 July 2020

Exploiting their professional qualifications to give their arguments credibility, the experts have fully endorsed the corporate elite’s reactionary dictum: “The cure cannot be worse than the disease.”

The nationalist hijacking of the race for a vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus

By Benjamin Mateus, 24 July 2020

Vaccine nationalism is driving the fury to capitalize on being the first nation to produce a viable cure against the coronavirus.

White House in disarray as coronavirus numbers explode

By Patrick Martin, 16 July 2020

The one-day total of infections has set a new record of 71,670 and deaths are once again climbing.

Trump wages war against science and Dr. Fauci, not coronavirus

By Patrick Martin, 14 July 2020

At an appearance Monday, Trump continued to deny that the coronavirus is actually spreading in the United States, claiming the skyrocketing number of cases is due entirely to more testing.

Pandemic surges in the Americas as the global death toll nears 560,000

By Kate Randall, 11 July 2020

The United States is leading the global toll of new COVID-19 cases and deaths, with nearly 3.2 million cases and 134,092 deaths as of Friday evening, about a quarter of the global total.

The COVID-19 vaccine and the drive for profit

By Frank Gaglioti, 8 July 2020

As the pandemic rages across the planet, the struggle to develop a vaccine has become an urgent task. But the vaccines will be weaponized for geopolitical purposes, not to provide the treatments equitably on a global scale.

The inequality pandemic: How American capitalism puts profits over lives

By Andre Damon, 2 July 2020

The resurgence of COVID-19 is the outcome of a policy, led by the Trump administration but supported by the entire political and media establishment, of subordinating society’s needs to the interests of the financial oligarchy.

Pandemic profiteering: Gilead Sciences cashes in on COVID-19

By Bryan Dyne, 1 July 2020

Gilead’s declaration that it will charge over $3,000 per patient for the drug remdesivir sends a clear message that pharmaceutical companies plan to use the COVID-19 crisis to make billions of dollars.

The poor in Germany have a higher risk of falling sick from COVID-19

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 30 June 2020

The poorest people in Germany, including the long-term unemployed and recipients of Hartz IV social welfare, have an 84 percent higher risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19 and requiring hospitalization.

Dutch government exposed by disastrous handling of COVID-19 pandemic

By Harm Zonderland and Parwini Zora, 30 June 2020

When the pandemic hit the Netherlands, the Dutch government adopted a reckless wait-and-see posture, even when it was clear that COVID-19 was potentially fatal.

Contact tracing and capitalism’s response to the pandemic

By Benjamin Mateus, 27 June 2020

As the globe rapidly approaches ten million cases of COVID-19, the United States continues to ignore any public health measures to contain the pandemic.

UK: Legal action highlights social-Darwinist policies against the disabled during COVID-19 pandemic

By Alice Summers, 16 June 2020

Numerous medical guidance documents published during the pandemic suggest that coronavirus patients can be denied or deprioritised for medical care solely on the basis of their age or existing mental or physical disabilities.

The World Health Organization comes under new US attack for its relationship to China

By Benjamin Mateus, 9 June 2020

China and the WHO are useful scapegoats for the systematic neglect of the health and lives of millions of people on the part of the Trump administration and other imperialist governments

White House Coronavirus Task Force effectively ended by Trump

By Bryan Dyne, 3 June 2020

Now that all fifty states have begun reopening in some form, the pandemic is considered over by the US ruling elite even as coronavirus infections and deaths continue to climb.

Democratic Governor Whitmer lifts major COVID-19 restrictions in Michigan

By Kevin Reed, 3 June 2020

The announcement rescinds the stay-at-home order, along with a series of other restrictions even though most of the state remains in the “flattening” phase of the pandemic.

Canada’s governments ignored 2006 pandemic preparedness report

By Dylan Lubao, 3 June 2020

The 550-page “Canadian Pandemic Influenza Plan for the Health Sector” is further proof that the COVID-19 pandemic was both foreseeable and foreseen.

COVID-19 pandemic exposes a rapidly developing global health crisis

By Benjamin Mateus, 2 June 2020

The pandemic has caused severe disruptions in the delivery of health care in fragile health systems the world over.

UK: Allowing mass-attended sporting events to go ahead led to COVID-19 deaths

By Margot Miller, 2 June 2020

Ignoring the WHO’s announcement on January 30 that the emergence of the novel coronavirus represented a “public health emergency of international concern,” the Conservative government made no preparations to stop its spread in Britain.

Discredited policy of coronavirus “herd immunity” placed in stark relief

By Benjamin Mateus, 1 June 2020

Much of the population of the globe remains susceptible to coronavirus infection, exposing the pursuit of herd immunity as a horrifically deadly policy.

Rise in deaths attributed to pneumonia suggests official US coronavirus death toll is grossly undercounted

By Bryan Dyne and Benjamin Mateus, 29 May 2020

The actual number of COVID-19 dead in the United States is likely to be at least 150,000, 50 percent more than what has been officially reported.

Dow Jones hits 25,000 as pandemic death toll reaches 100,000

By David North, 27 May 2020

The Wall Street surge anticipates the shutdown of all restraints on corporate operations and capitalist profiteerring.

Reports question undercounting of COVID-19 deaths in US and globally

By Bryan Dyne, 27 May 2020

There is increasing evidence that the actual fatalities caused by the pandemic are up to three times the numbers officially reported.

Sweden’s “herd immunity” policy produces one of world’s highest fatality rates

By Jordan Shilton, 27 May 2020

Sweden’s policy has been praised by reactionary political forces and the corporate media internationally to bolster their criminal back-to-work campaigns.

Protests by medical workers grow as hospitals overwhelmed across Mexico

By Andrea Lobo, 27 May 2020

The protests are part of an international wave of unrest among medical workers demanding personal protective equipment, medicines, respirators, testing and staffing.

Executives of vaccine developer Moderna cash in, cut corners

By Benjamin Mateus, 26 May 2020

In March, while the global economy was facing an implosion, CEO Stéphane Bancel became a billionaire based on the valuation of his nine percent stake in the publicly traded company.

Hydroxychloroquine: New scientific study refutes the quack-in-chief

By Benjamin Mateus, 23 May 2020

President Trump claimed this week he had been taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventive measure. His statements demonstrate both ignorance and hostility to science.

New analysis predicts US coronavirus deaths will triple by end of year

By Bryan Dyne, 20 May 2020

There is evidence that the Florida government, and possibly others, are censoring the data needed to accurately study the development of the pandemic.

Capitalism vs. science: The lessons of the 36-hour Moderna vaccine frenzy

By Benjamin Mateus, 20 May 2020

It took just 36 hours for the media’s frenzied promotion of a “breakthrough” treatment for the coronavirus to collapse under its own weight.

US steps up witch hunt against Chinese scientists

By Shuvu Batta, 19 May 2020

The US federal government has arrested researchers and scientists of Chinese descent as part of an accelerated crackdown on alleged participants of China’s “Thousand Talents” program.

Spike in Kawasaki-like disease linked to coronavirus in France and Italy, one child dies

By Will Morrow, 18 May 2020

This is a damning indictment of capitalist governments internationally which are reopening schools and asserting that the virus does not harm children.

Malnutrition is leading cause of death and ill-health worldwide

By Jean Shaoul, 15 May 2020

A recent report confirms that various forms of malnutrition are the result of inequities in food distribution and health care systems but only hints at the criminal indifference of all national governments to these issues

The Trump administration vs. science

By Patrick Martin, 15 May 2020

The president’s attack on his top coronavirus advisor, Anthony Fauci, is part of an appeal to the most backward and reactionary forces to support the deadly policy of “reopening” the US economy.

The 2003 SARS epidemic: How Canada’s elite squandered the chance to prepare for the COVID-19 pandemic

By Omar Ali, 15 May 2020

Canada’s disastrous response to the pandemic is all the more criminal given the impact of SARS and the repeated government vows that the country’s health system would be well-prepared for any future novel virus.

Kawasaki-like disease afflicting young children and teens after infection with SARS-CoV-2

By Benjamin Mateus, 13 May 2020

Around 100 children in New York may have been afflicted by complications of COVID-19 infection, now called Pediatric Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome, with possibly five dead.

Governments globally reopen schools, ignoring scientists’ warnings of coronavirus impact on children

By Will Morrow, 11 May 2020

Governments see reopening schools as essential as a false symbol of a return to normal, and so that they can herd parents back into their workplaces.

Children in US and UK dying from syndrome linked to COVID-19

By Jacob Crosse, 9 May 2020

At least two children in the US and one in the UK have died from the newly identified Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome, which is believed to be related to COVID-19.

With over 1 million coronavirus cases and 60,000 fatalities in the US, markets eager to get back to business

By Benjamin Mateus, 29 April 2020

The markets are clamoring for a rapid reopening of businesses, regardless of concerns about the impact of a second wave of the coronavirus.

Ugandan government touts malarial drug chloroquine as a COVID-19 cure

By Stephan McCoy, 15 April 2020

Uganda’s government has taken a leaf from US President Donald Trump’s playbook in promoting the untested drug as a potential lifesaver.

Science vs. Trump: The dangerous promotion of hydroxychloroquine in treating COVID-19

By Benjamin Mateus, 13 April 2020

Neither chloroquine nor hydroxychloroquine has been proven to deliver any benefit against the impact of the coronavirus.

World Health Organization warns against premature ending of social distancing measures

By Bryan Dyne, 8 April 2020

The warnings come as the number of deaths worldwide approaches 82,000 and the number of officially confirmed cases burst past 1.4 million.

An interview with four Chinese physicians at the epicenter of the pandemic in Wuhan

By Benjamin Mateus, 3 April 2020

Four doctors who went through the worst of the COVID-19 epidemic in China recently spoke with the WSWS about their experiences and the lessons for the wider world.

Statistical lies used to justify continued inaction, paint the US epidemic as nearly over

By Don Barrett, 2 April 2020

The US ruling class turns to bad statistics to justify its continued inaction and paint a picture that the worst is just ahead.

Research explains how the measles virus destroys immune “memory”

By Frank Gaglioti, 27 December 2019

The measles virus is particularly dangerous as it wipes out immunity previously acquired after exposure to other microbes in a process known as “immune amnesia.”

The 2019 Nobel Prize in Medicine awarded for research in cellular responses to oxygen

By Benjamin Mateus, 10 October 2019

Everyone understands the general need for oxygen, but how cells actually use it has not been well understood.

Bone marrow transplant removes HIV from a second patient

By Benjamin Mateus, 29 March 2019

The “London patient” will be considered cured if free of the virus for three to four more years.

The centenary of the “Spanish Flu”—Lessons for today

Part two

By Benjamin Mateus, 20 November 2018

This is the second part of a two-part series. The first part was posted on November 19.

The centenary of the “Spanish Flu”—Lessons for today

Part one of a two-part series

By Benjamin Mateus, 19 November 2018

The influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 was the deadliest outbreak of disease in human history, killing as many as 100 million people.

Johns Hopkins researchers find toxic levels of heavy metals in e-cigarette vapors

By Benjamin Mateus, 28 February 2018

Electronic cigarettes have high concentrations of heavy and toxic metals in their vapors caused by the release of these metals from the heating coils.

Insights into a new class of HIV retroviral drugs

By Benjamin Mateus, 30 December 2017

Recent investigation into the process of the HIV virus capsid maturation suggests a new method of disrupting its ability to infect.

A health statistics system in shambles

The real maternal mortality rate in the United States

By Benjamin Mateus, 24 November 2017

The true scope of maternal mortality rate in the US remains uncertain due to inconsistent and under-reporting on death certificates.

Nobel Prize in Medicine awarded for discoveries on the circadian rhythm

By Benjamin Mateus, 4 October 2017

The three scientists explored the molecular processes through which the body adapts physiologically to the Earth’s rotation, including the sleep-wake cycle and much more.

FDA recommends approval of new leukemia treatment

By Benjamin Mateus, 23 September 2017

This is the first time that white blood cells have been successfully engineered to fight off a cancer.

Inherited genetic disorder corrected in human embryos

By Benjamin Mateus, 2 September 2017

New research in the study of the human genome has provided a new way to reduce or potentially eliminate inherited genetic disorders by correcting harmful genetic mutations while the subject is still an embryo.

As World Health Organization, drug companies meet

Why is there no vaccine for Ebola?

By Patrick Martin, 25 October 2014

There are several reports that after the US National Institutes of Health developed an Ebola vaccine that worked in monkeys, major drug companies refused to develop it further because it was not profitable.

Nobel Prize for Medicine for gastric ulcer breakthrough

By Perla Astudillo, 6 March 2006

Last year’s Nobel Prize for medicine was awarded in December to two Australian scientists who revealed the bacterial basis for the world’s second most prevalent disease—gastritis and peptic ulcers. Ulcers were previously connected to bad diet or a stressful lifestyle—to the point that it pervaded popular culture, including in film and literature. The breakthrough paved the way for relatively straightforward treatments for a debilitating and potentially fatal disease.

Research reveals link between tiny genetic structures and cancer

By Perla Astudillo, 5 September 2005

The complex connection between genes and cancer has been further clarified in fascinating findings published in the June 9 edition of the British science journal Nature. Separate studies by three major US cancer research laboratories have positively correlated the relationship between over 200 types of miRNA (also called microRNA) and the development of cancer tumours.

Nanotechnology and the treatment of cancer

By Perla Astudillo, 20 June 2005

Recent successful medical trials of a cancer treatment involving the use of “nanotechnology” may open up important new avenues for the diagnosis and treatment of other cancers and diseases.

New malaria study reveals huge underestimation of disease

By Barry Mason, 31 March 2005

A new study using epidemiological, geographical and demographic data has demonstrated that there are over 500 million cases of malaria each year. This figure is more than double that previously estimated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) of around 210 million. Of these cases, 70 percent occur in Africa and 25 percent in Southeast Asia. Around 2 billion people, i.e., a third of the world’s population, are at risk of contracting the disease.

Scientists identify a gene that may block HIV

By Perla Astudillo, 6 May 2004

Scientists at the Harvard Medical School in the United States have identified a human gene, known as TRIM5-alpha, which is capable of preventing the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) from replicating inside cells. While the discovery, announced in February, is unlikely to lead to any immediate medical breakthrough, it is an important step in understanding the life cycle of HIV and has the potential to enable the future development of a drug to block HIV infection.

Hormone replacement therapy: Study reveals increased dementia risk

By Joanne Laurier, 4 June 2003

Postmenopausal women over the age of 65 using combined hormone therapy face significantly increased risks of dementia and strokes, according to new findings from a sub-study of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI). The research, part of the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study (WHIMS) and reported in the May 28 issue of Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), found that older women taking Prempro, the most commonly used form of estrogen plus progestin, were twice as likely to develop dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, than their placebo-taking counterparts.

The science and sociology of SARS

Part 2: Science, internationalism and the profit motive

By Joseph Kay, 13 May 2003

The outbreak of a new virus responsible for what is known as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) raises a number of scientific, medical and social problems. Thanks in part to the quick response and collaborative effort of a team of international scientists, the virus has remained fairly well contained. However, it has infected 7,000 people worldwide and has killed over 500. It is still an enormous health risk in China, and there is still the possibility of an international epidemic that would have devastating consequences.

The science and sociology of SARS

Part 1: Viruses and the nature of present outbreak

By Joseph Kay, 12 May 2003

The outbreak of a new virus responsible for what is known as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) raises a number of scientific, medical and social problems. Thanks in part to the quick response and collaborative effort of a team of international scientists, the virus has remained fairly well contained. However, it has infected 7,000 people worldwide and has killed over 500. It poses an enormous health risk in China, and there is still the possibility of an international epidemic that would have devastating consequences.

Britain: Report highlights BSE danger from infected sheep

By Barry Mason, 21 January 2002

The risk to humans developing variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) could be far greater if the brain-wasting disease Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) has entered the sheep population. This was the conclusion of a study published in the British science magazine Nature on January 10.

Gene therapy trials shut down at University of Pennsylvania following patient death

By Tom Bishop, 13 March 2000

The promising field of gene therapy was rocked by the September 17, 1999 death of 18-year-old patient Jesse Gelsinger. Gelsinger had volunteered to participate in a gene therapy trial for the rare genetic disease ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency (OTC) at the Institute for Human Gene Therapy at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia (Penn). On January 21 the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) shut down all gene therapy trials at the institute.

Promising new insights into early cancer growth

By Perla Astudillo, 3 March 2000

In a significant advance in cancer research, US scientists have pioneered a new technique to record the earliest stages of a tumour's development. Using microscopic pictures, Duke University scientists recorded the tumour's early growth through glass “windows” placed in the sides of live mice. The results showed that tumours began to sprout blood vessels—a process known as angiogenesis—at a much earlier stage than previously thought.

What is involved in the Genetically Modified Food debate?

By Chris Talbot, 9 August 1999

Hardly a week goes by in Britain without headlines related to genetically modified (GM) food, usually opposed to it. This week the Church of England decided that growing GM products in field tests on its land was unethical. Last week the aristocrat leader of Greenpeace, Lord Melchett, was arrested and jailed over night for leading a group who trashed a field full of GM crops which was part of government field tests. Britain was the one country where the big corporations manufacturing GM seeds, Monsanto, Novartis, etc., had hoped for a favourable response to give them a lead into the rest of Europe.

US study establishes link between dioxin and cancer

By Perla Astudillo, 1 June 1999

A recent study published in the journal of the US National Cancer institute provided conclusive evidence of the direct relationship between industry and the cancer-causing effects of the chemical dioxin. Generally ignored by the mainstream press, the study revealed that many thousands of workers in the US chemical industry died of all types of cancer-related illness as a result of exposure to the dioxin known as 2,3,7,8-tetrachorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD).

Genes that kill malignant skin cancer cells

By Kaye Tucker, 28 April 1999

Is it possible that our own genes hold the key to finding new ways to fight cancer? Researchers at London's Brunel University think so. In February, they announced the discovery of two new genes that dramatically halt the growth of malignant melanoma, a type of skin cancer. It is hoped that by unlocking the secrets of how these genes work, scientists will be able to develop new ways to treat this deadly disease.

Further evidence that chemical crop sprays cause adverse health effects

By Paul Mitchell, 17 April 1999

Recent scientific research has pointed again to the far-reaching health effects of chemicals such as pesticides and weed killers. The results are published in New Scientist magazine. In an article, "It's raining pesticides", Stephan Müller and Thomas Bucheli of the Swiss Federal Institute for Environmental Science show that rain water often contains pesticides above the limits allowed in drinking water. It is already well known that crop sprays drain into rivers and underground supplies, but the Swiss scientists say they can also evaporate from fields and become absorbed into clouds. The highest concentrations of such pollutants are found in the first rainfall after long dry periods.

Origins of HIV virus identified

Impact of the pandemic continues to worsen

By Barry Mason, 19 February 1999

A recent article in the scientific magazine Nature explains that the main type of human immunodificiency virus, HIV-1, which causes AIDS, originates in a subspecies of chimpanzees from equatorial West Africa. The February 4 report details the work carried out by a group of researchers at the Department of Medicine and Microbiology at the University of Alabama, Birmingham led by Feng Goa. Monkeys carry viral infections similar to HIV, called simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV).

International scientists raise concerns over genetically modified food

British Labour government rushes to defend biotech industry

By Keith Lee and Richard Tyler, 17 February 1999

The Labour government has been rocked by a dispute over the possible health dangers posed by genetically modified food. Last week 20 scientists from 13 countries issued a memorandum supporting their colleague Dr. Arpad Pusztai's research into the possible harmful effects of genetically modified (GM) food.

A promising breakthrough in cancer research

By Perla Astudillo and Peter Symonds, 28 May 1998

New research by US medical scientist Dr Judah Folkman into the effect of two drugs, angiostatin and endostatin, on mice may prove to be a significant breakthrough in treating a broad range of cancers in humans.

A new type of breast cancer drug

By Kaye Tucker, 26 May 1998

At the recent annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Dr Angelo Bianco announced the results of clinical trials, demonstrating the effectiveness on a new type of anti-cancer drug, Herceptin, in fighting advanced breast cancer.