First Artificial Heart Transplant
A surgical team at Duke University Hospital, led by Drs. Jacob Schroder and Carmelo Milano, successfully implanted a new-generation artificial heart in a 39-year-old man with heart failure, becoming the first center in North America to perform the procedure.
For the first time, a U.S. patient received an Aeson total artificial heart device implant. The device was created in 2008, initially approved in Europe in 2012, was the first total artificial heart to receive FDA approval. In July of 2021, the company also made its 1st sale in Europe. The company did have trial setbacks before, in 2014 their first transplanted patient died 75 days after the operation.
The operation lasted more than eight hours as part of a clinical trial at Duke University Hospital—beginning just after midnight and ending around 8:30 a.m.— The surgery team placed the Aeson total artificial heart created by a French medical technology company called Carmat.
Carmat designer and developer are aiming to provide a therapeutic alternative for people suffering from end-stage biventricular heart failure, today announced the first implant of its Aeson bioprosthetic artificial heart in a commercial setting. The surgeons said the biggest problem is fitting the device into the heart, which will limit the first generation of applicability like for small patients.
Heart Failure occurs when the heart can no longer carry out its essential function as a “blood pump” to provide a sufficient cardiac output to satisfy the metabolic needs. It primarily affects the left chamber of the heart, then the right chamber leading to biventricular heart failure. At this stage, vital organs such as the brain, liver, and kidneys do not receive enough nutrients and oxygen to function properly.
Heart failure is a global pandemic affecting at least 26 million people and is increasing in prevalence. Despite significant advances in therapies and prevention, approximately 5% of this population have terminal heart failure, described as end-stage heart failure, refractory to current medical treatment.
As heart failure is a progressive disease, the prognosis is poor: less than 50% survival five years after diagnosis.
The device consists of two ventricular chambers and four biological valves ensuring that the prosthetic not only resembles the human heart but also functions like one.
The heartbeat is created by an actuator fluid that the patient carries in the bag outside the body and the heart is pumped using micropumps in response to the patient’s needs as determined by the sensors and microprocessors on the heart itself. Two outlets connect the artificial heart to the aorta, which is a major artery in the body, as well as the pulmonary artery that carries blood to the lungs to oxygenate it.
As part of efforts to lead a near-normal life, the recipient will have to carry around almost a nine-pound (four kgs) bag that consists of a controller and two chargeable battery packs that work for approximately four hours, before requiring recharging.
The device currently has been approved for use in Europe for bridge patients who are diagnosed with Bi-ventricular failure and need a heart transplant in the next 180 days.
Full Youtube video on Dukes Surgeons and the implant
Lab Leak Hypothesis
The Lab Leak theory of COVID-19 Origins. Back in May, a group of scientists – shifted the debate about the origins of COVID-19, they published a letter in the journal of science saying the lab-leak theory needs to be taken more seriously by the scientific community.
Due to the previous administration and other political influencers, it was denounced as an anti-Chinese and anti-science conspiracy by almost all scientists as well as by most of the media: only right-wing outlets covered it at the time.
A few weeks ago, Anthony Fauci, Biden’s chief medical adviser, asked Chinese officials to release the hospital records of WIV staff members. Others have asked for blood samples from WIV staff members, and access to WIV bat and virus samples, laboratory notebooks, and hard drives.
Email to Fauci from Kristain Anderson, one of the fiercest public critics of the lab leak theory and its proponents, discussed with Fauci in February 2020 if SARS-CoV2 was “engineered“:
“The unusual features of the virus make up a really small part of the genome (<0.1%) so one has to look really closely at all the sequences to see that some of the features (potentially) look engineered.
“We have a good team lined up to look very critically at this, so we should know much more at the end of the weekend. I should mention that after discussions earlier today, Eddie, Bob, Mike, and myself all find the genome inconsistent with expectations from evolutionary theory“
A virus that came from nowhere
A zoonotic origin of COVID-19, i.e directly from bats or via another intermediate animal host, is scientifically the most logical theory. Problem is, that despite all these investigations, no clues in this regard were found. The virus appeared as if from nowhere, already perfectly adapted to humans, sometime in November 2019.
All searches of Wuhan’s “wet markets” where live animals poached from the wild are sold, delivered exactly nothing. No animal host, no traces of SARS-CoV2 antibodies anywhere in the blood, animal or human, prior to November/December 2019.
Wall Street Journal cited US intelligence sources: “Three researchers from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology became sick enough in November 2019 that they sought hospital care, according to a previously undisclosed U.S. intelligence report”
Conflict of interest
In early 2021 WHO deployed a team to China in early 2021, led by Peter Daszak, a British zoologist. Daszak had a conflict of interest about the size of a planet: his EcoHealth Alliance was for years channeling almost 40 million US funding money from NIH and Pentagon to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) for the purpose of coronavirus research.
In 2019, the Daszaks team and Wuhans lab of virology (WIV) began conducting gain of function research. The gain of function research, where naturally occurring coronaviruses were manipulated in the lab to make them more pathogenic for humans, the idea is to develop a universal coronavirus vaccine. WIV was doing viral experiments like state-of-the-art genetic manipulation and virus passaging in human cell culture or in genetically manipulated (“humanized”) mice, all to make the coronaviruses more pathogenic to humans.
Beijing is seeking to counter the hypothesis
Earlier in the pandemic, the Chinese government flouted the pangolin theory, claiming to have found SARS-CoV2 antibodies in poached pangolins sold on Chinese markets. Alina Chan and her colleague proved that research was badly drawn at best: the exact same pangolin virus genome was published by various papers as independent isolations.
Per published paper: “To our knowledge, all of the published pangolin CoV genome sequences that share a nearly identical Spike receptor binding domain with SARS-CoV-2 originate from this single batch of smuggled pangolins. This raises the question of whether pangolins are truly reservoirs.”
Call it a tale of two laboratories: the Fort Detrick Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in the US, the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China, and a competing narrative about the origins of Covid-19.
In August 2019, Fort Detrick’s BSL-4, or top security, lab was shut down by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention for safety violations related to the disposal of dangerous materials. It was reopened in April 2020, but the closure became the main topic in China’s tightly controlled domestic information environment.
The hashtag for Fort Detrick’s Chinese name has over 270 million hits on Weibo, a Twitter-like platform, usually on themes of the US hiding bioweapons and researching deadly viruses.
From Global times in China “Combining more than 8,000 pieces of news reports related to the lab-leak theory, the Global Times found that as many as 60 percent of the coverage was from the US alone.”
By 2010, researchers published it as fact: “The most famous case of a released laboratory strain is the re-emergent H1N1 influenza-A virus which was first observed in China in May of 1977 and in Russia shortly thereafter.” The virus may have escaped from a lab attempting to prepare an attenuated H1N1 vaccine in response to the U.S. swine flu pandemic alert. The virus reappeared after a 20-year absence. Genetic analysis indicated that this strain was missing decades of nucleotide sequence evolution, suggesting an accidental release of a frozen laboratory strain into the general population.
What’s next for lab-leak investigations
The Chinese government rejected the World Health Organisation’s plan for the second phase of investigation into the origins.