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U of M research confirms effectiveness of remdesivir treatment for COVID-19

Plus: one in nine Minnesotans face food insecurity; creek reroute project near Vadnais Heights; why Halima Aden stopped modeling; and more.

Remdesivir is a drug that inhibits the coronavirus enzyme that makes copies of the viral RNA genome. It acts by causing premature stoppage or termination of the copying and ultimately blocks the virus from replicating.
REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

New research on COVID. KARE’s Jennifer Hoff reports: “Doctors at the University of Minnesota are announcing major discoveries about COVID-19 and their research focuses on treating the virus. … Doctors agree that vaccines are the best line of defense in a pandemic. … Part of the new study shows how SARS-CoV-2 infects two main cells in our airway and quickly. The ciliated cells and goblet cells are responsible for moving things out of your air space and the other cells produce mucus. …‘It also, unfortunately, tells us the course of the disease in SARS-CoV-2 starts early,’ said Dr. Ryan Langlois, an associate professor of microbiology and immunology with the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Center for Immunology. ‘I think that’s a critical finding here and that the earlier you can start interventions the better.’ … For example, remdesivir is an FDA approved drug used to care for COVID patients — even former President Trump took it. While the World Health Organization said there wasn’t enough evidence to show it did any good, Dr. Langlois’ research shows it decreased the infected cells.

Food need still acute. KSTP’s Callan Gray reports: “During this pandemic, an increasing number of people are facing food insecurity. Second Harvest Heartland says COVID-19 has undone a decade’s worth of progress in the fight against hunger. … Inside the organization’s Brooklyn Park headquarters, stacks of packaged food and essentials are stacked high. Volunteers have been assembling emergency food boxes, which are ready to go out to families in need. … Currently, one in nine Minnesotans are dealing with food insecurity. One in six Minnesota children are facing hunger.

Up a creek. The Star Tribune’s Shannon Prather reports: “In the heart of winter, crews are reshaping a murky ditch in northern Ramsey County into a more natural stream full of twists and turns — and, eventually, clearer water. … Crews are more than halfway through a process scientists call ‘meandering,’ or re-sculpting about 2,000 feet of Lambert Creek, also called Ditch 14, in Vadnais Heights. … The goal is to improve water quality and natural habitat in that stretch of creek, which is on city property, said Dawn Tanner, a conservation biologist and program development coordinator with the Vadnais Lake Area Watershed Management Organization (VLAWMO), which is overseeing the project. The new curves will slow the water speed, allowing more sediment to settle out of it and improve water quality, she said. … ‘It makes for cleaner water reaching East Vadnais Lake, which is a reservoir for drinking water for the city of St. Paul,’ Tanner said.”

Minnesotan former-model Halima Aden on why she left the business. NPR’s Ziad Buchh reports (via MPR): “For Halima Aden, the decision to walk away from a career as the world’s first supermodel to wear a hijab was fairly clear cut. She’s felt used for so long, she says — by the modeling industry and by UNICEF, the organization she was photographed by as a child in a refugee camp in Kenya and later served as an ambassador for. … Aden has been featured on the covers of Vogue, Elle and Allure magazines. And she walked the runway for Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty and Kanye West’s Yeezy. … She tells Morning Edition host Rachel Martin she wanted to be a role model for young girls while being true to herself, but she wasn’t accomplishing either. Modeling, she realized, was in ‘direct conflict’ with who she is.

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In other news…

Not just a tempeh-rary victory:Vegan Butcher Shop Wins Nestlé Trademark Battle” [VegNews]

Cool project:In subzero temps, Lakeville mom finds positivity in eye-catching igloo” [KARE]

Hot cold take:Don’t Be “That” Minnesotan” []

Just cool:

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