Archived 2021 Articles

San Diego scientists return to war footing as Omicron variant poses new threat

December 4, 2021 – Read more.

As Omicron threat looms, local health care leaders take wait-and-see approach

November 29, 2021 – "Early preparation is much better than late reaction," says Scripps Research scientist. Read more.

Could COVID-19 end up being worse than the flu year after year?

November 13, 2021 – Read more.

San Diego research centers receive $15 million to train next generation of scientists

October 27, 2021 – Three San Diego research institutions have been awarded nearly $15 million from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) to train the next generation of scientists in regenerative medicine, a field of research that holds great promise for generating transformative medicines. Read more.

Virtual Village Treats HIV-associated Loneliness in Novel UC San Diego Health Trial

October 21, 2021 – Most patients are living longer, but without support groups. Read more.

New UC San Diego Health Study Addresses Loneliness in Patients with HIV

October 21, 2021 – A new clinical trial designed by Dr. Maile Young Karris, a board-certified internal medicine physician and infectious disease specialist at UC San Diego Health, seeks to discover whether Givens, and others living with HIV, can benefit from emotional support offered by a virtual community, and from physical support and services delivered by community volunteers. Read more.

The coronavirus is still mutating. But will that matter? ‘We need to keep the respect for this virus.’

October 18, 2021 – A drop in infections offers hope that the end of the pandemic is in sight. The virus may have something to say about that. Read more.

Charting Shots

October 7, 2021 – The history of vaccines, including hesitancy, is pointedly and painfully familiar. Read more.

Column: New evidence undermines the COVID lab-leak theory — but the press keeps pushing it

September 28, 2021 – Despite mounting evidence that the virus reached humans through natural pathways — from infected animals such as bats — the lab-leak hypothesis recently jumped back into the news, thanks to CNN, the investigative news site the Intercept, and the Atlantic. Read more.

Covid-19 origins: Why the search for the source is vital

September 19, 2021 – While Covid-19's origin story is currently defined by a lack of hard evidence and data, scientists around the world continue their search for answers to how the pandemic began. Read more.

Germs Spill From Animals To Humans All The Time—Even In New York

August 20, 2021 – Next week, U.S. intelligence agencies are expected to release a report on the origins of COVID-19. The report is meant to address a heated public debate on whether the SARS-CoV-2 virus behind the pandemic was released from a lab or through natural spillover from an animal host. Read more.

Live Blog: Surge Tents Return To Scripps Encinitas

August 9, 2021 – San Diego County's public health officials reported 869 new COVID-19 cases as a surge in infections in the county continues to increase dramatically and the military prepares to require servicemembers get the vaccine. Read more.

How to stay safe as covid-19 cases from the delta variant are on the rise

July 28, 2021 – Why the CDC recommends that even vaccinated people wear masks in indoor public spaces in some places. Read more.

A Group of Scientists Presses a Case Against the Lab Leak Theory of Covid

July 10, 2021 – Read more.

Six Months of COVID Vaccines: What 1.7 Billion Doses Have Taught Scientists

July 8, 2021 – At a pivotal moment in the pandemic, Nature explores key questions about the vaccines that countries are racing to deliver while viral variants spread around the globe. Read more.

Coronavirus almost certainly came from an animal, not a lab leak, top scientists argue

July 7, 2021 – The coronavirus pandemic almost certainly originated from an animal, probably at a wildlife market in China, and not from a laboratory leak, a group of virus experts said. Read more.

Over 20,000 Years Ago, a Coronavirus Epidemic Left Marks in Human DNA

June 30, 2021 – The oldest modern coronavirus is about 820 years old, but humanity has been fighting similar viruses for millennia. Read more.

The lab leak theory is a tragic hall of mirrors that’ll probably never have a satisfying answer

June 25, 2021 – There's always another technicality, no matter how much evidence researchers find. Read more.

COVID-19 gene data removed from NIH database on Chinese researchers' request

June 23, 2021 – The NIH confirmed that it deleted the sequences after receiving a request from a Chinese researcher who had submitted them three months earlier. Read more.

Conversation, compassion and community: Planning for healthy futures with HIV

June 9, 2021 – HIV has changed. As a result of advances in antiretroviral therapy, many people living with HIV, with access to treatment, are now living longer, healthier lives than ever before. Yet, with these extended lifespans comes the importance of continuously re-evaluating current and future treatment needs as they evolve, based on individual risks of comorbidities, co-existing conditions, and concomitant medications. As such, there is a need for healthcare providers to engage in comprehensive discussions with people living with HIV about wider lifestyle and treatment considerations, including psychosocial factors, technology barriers, and how medication needs may evolve over a lifetime. Read more.

Rising STD Trend, Interrupted

June 14, 2021 – The pandemic caused a temporary dip in 2020. But as public health spending has decreased, sexually transmitted disease trends have increased. Read more.

Coronavirus Origins Theory

June 8, 2021 – "It seems more plausible than a lab leak." Finding a coronavirus closely related to Covid-19 circulating in wild animals would likely quell suspicions that the pandemic virus was created in a lab, says UCSD's Joel Wertheim. Watch the video.

Experts weigh in on the Wuhan lab leak hypothesis

May 19, 2021 – The hypothesis that Covid-19 was leaked from a Wuhan lab has leaped from its original host — Trump administration officials and people dismissed as conspiracy theorists — into the body of mainstream debate. Last week, 18 leading scientists published a letter in the academic journal Science calling for further investigation to determine the origin of the pandemic that has killed 3.4 million people worldwide. Read more.

So your kid barely had the sniffles this past year. Will that last?

May 12, 2021 – COVID-19 restrictions dramatically decreased how often children got sick. Here’s what it will take to keep that up. Read more.

Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Hopefuls Turned Off by Recent Blood Clot Concerns

April 14, 2021 – The doctor who led Johnson & Johnson vaccine trials in San Diego stressed the pause was recommended out of an abundance of caution, and county leaders say the shortage won't severely impact vaccinations locally. Read more.

Here’s How Getting Vaccinated Helps Protect Your Kids Too

April 13, 2021 – New research finds that getting vaccinated doesn’t just help protect you from COVID-19, it also helps protect those around you who haven’t yet been vaccinated — including young kids. Read more.

How Well Do COVID-19 Vaccines Actually Work Over the Longer Term?

April 11, 2021 – A clinical trial of college students, including those at UC San Diego, will try to answer that question, and whether vaccinated persons might still pose an infection risk to others. Read more.

STD Rates During COVID-19 Pandemic are Concerning

April 9, 2021 – The most recent data available suggests reported cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) have declined. This may sound like good news, but experts at University of California San Diego AntiViral Research Center say that the drop in reported STD rates may be the result of decreased testing during COVID-19 restrictions and could rise again as restrictions are lifted. Read more.

Opinion: San Diego’s sexual health programs need better resources to be sustainable, now and post-pandemic

April 7, 2021 – Opinion piece authored by Susan Little, MD. Read more.

How Well do COVID-19 Vaccines Work Over the Longer Term?

April 1, 2021 – A clinical trial of college students, including those at UC San Diego, will try to answer that question, and whether vaccinated persons might still pose an infection risk to others. Read more.

Lab leak Covid-19 theory is like something out of a comic book, virologist says

March 31, 2021 – Theories about a laboratory leak being the source of the coronavirus pandemic sound like something out of a comic book, one virologist says. Read more.

Cases of sexually transmitted diseases decline in pandemic, but research suggests they could rise again soon

March 29, 2021 – Data collected during the COVID-19 pandemic suggests reported cases of sexually transmitted diseases have declined, but experts at UC San Diego's AntiViral Research Center on Monday said rates could soon be on the rise again. Read more.

Fauci and others look ahead to the holidays: Put another leaf in the table

March 27, 2021 – Features Constance Benson, MD, and Robert Schooley, MD. Read more.

Novel Coronavirus Circulated Undetected Months before First COVID-19 Cases in Wuhan, China

March 18, 2021 – Study dates emergence to as early as October 2019; simulations suggest in most cases zoonotic viruses die out naturally before causing a pandemic. Read more.

COVID-19 heart problems may persist for months; smartphone oxygen meters prove helpful

February 19, 2021 – ​The following is a roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. Read more.

Can Current Smartphone Technology Tell You When a Pandemic Might Come Calling?

February 9, 2021 – Optical tool in many smartphones found effective at assessing blood-oxygen levels and could be used to identify persons with worsening respiratory function. Read more.