Health & Medicine

Category: Health & Medicine

The Public Health Agency of Sweden has developed a method of typing that can allow laboratories to faster establish the presence of hospital outbreaks of the intestinal bacterium Clostridium difficile. The findings are now published in PLOS ONE.

In the most comprehensive study ever on the impact of smoking on cardiovascular disease in older people, epidemiologist Dr. Ute Mons from the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) analyzed 25 individual studies, compiling data from over half a million individuals age 60 and older.

Poor quality medicines are a real and urgent threat that could undermine decades of successful efforts to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, according to the editors of a collection of journal articles published today. Scientists report up to 41 percent of specimens failed to meet quality standards in global studies of about 17,000 drug samples. Among the collection is an article describing the discovery of falsified and substandard malaria drugs that caused an estimated 122,350 deaths in African children in 2013. Other studies identified poor quality antibiotics, which may harm health and increase antimicrobial resistance. However, new methodologies are being developed to detect problem drugs at the point of purchase and show some promise, scientists say.

Genetically modified versions of patients' own immune cells successfully traveled to tumors they were designed to attack in an early-stage trial for mesothelioma and pancreatic and ovarian cancers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The data adds to a growing body of research showing the promise of CAR T cell technology. The interim results will be presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2015, April 18-22.

There are two chemotherapies commonly used to treat bone cancer in dogs: doxorubicin and carboplatin. Some dogs respond better to one drug than to the other. But until now, the choice has been left largely to chance. New work by University of Colorado Cancer Center members at Colorado State University Flint Animal Cancer Center presented today at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2015 demonstrates a gene expression model that predicts canine osteosarcoma response to doxorubicin, potentially allowing veterinary oncologists to better choose which drug to use with their patients. The approach is adopted from and further validates a model known as COXEN (CO-eXpression gEne aNalysis), developed at the CU Cancer Center by center director Dan Theodorescu, MD, PhD, which is currently in clinical trials to predict the response of human tumors to drugs.

Identifying molecular changes that occur in tissue after chemotherapy could be crucial in advancing treatments for ovarian cancer, according to research from Magee-Womens Research Institute and Foundation (MWRIF) and the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI), partner with UPMC CancerCenter, presented today at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2015.

Mutations of the KRAS gene are commonly known to lead to cancer. However, deeper understanding of exactly how they do this continues to be explored by cancer researchers.

Early indicators of the malaria parasite in Africa developing resistance to the most effective drug available have been confirmed, according to new research published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

Many people still dangerously underestimate the health risks associated with smoking even a few cigarettes a day, despite decades of public health campaigning, French researchers have reported at the European Lung Cancer Conference (ELCC) in Geneva, Switzerland.

Using a novel methodology of epigenetic quantitative analysis, Dartmouth-Hitchcock's Norris Cotton Cancer Center's interdisciplinary team of investigators led by Camilo Fadul, MD, found no correlation between regulatory T cells (Tregs) and survival in the tumor microenvironment or blood, even when adjusting for well-known prognostic factors. Titled, "Regulatory T Cells Are Not a Strong Predictor of Survival for Patients with Glioblastoma," the findings were published in Neuro-Oncology.


The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine is a monthly peer-reviewed journal published online with Open Access options and in print. The Journal provides observational, clinical, and scientific...
Malaria is a critical health problem in West Africa, where traditional medicine is commonly used alongside modern healthcare practices. An herbal remedy derived from the roots of a weed, which was traditionally used to alleviate malarial symptoms, was combined with leaves and aerial portions from two other plants with antimalarial activity, formulated as a tea, and eventually licensed and sold as an antimalarial phytomedicine. The fascinating story and challenges behind the development of this plant-based treatment are presented in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine website until May 14, 2015.

Researchers at Uppsala University have, together with researchers from Turku and Bergen, discovered a new biomarker which makes it possible to identify women with uterine cancer who have a high risk of recurrence. The findings were recently published in the journal Gynecologic Oncology.

A team of biologists from San Diego State University has developed a platform for identifying drugs that could prove to be effective against a variety of viral diseases. In a pair of recent articles in the Journal of Biomolecular Screening and the Journal of Visualized Experiments, the researchers describe how the methodology works, using dengue virus as an example, and they identify a novel drug which may someday be used to combat the disease.

Researchers at UC Davis have found that a gene, which is not active in some mothers, produces a breast milk sugar that influences the development of the community of gut bacteria in her infant. The sugars produced by these mothers, called "secretors," are not digested by the infant, but instead nourish specific bacteria that colonize the babies' guts soon after birth.


The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston's Scott Weaver, globally recognized for his expertise in mosquito-borne diseases, has been studying chikungunya for more than 15 years.
The mosquito-borne chikungunya virus has been the subject of increasing attention as it spreads throughout South America, Central America, the Caribbean and Mexico. This painful and potentially debilitating disease is predicted to soon spread to the U.S.


Rats exposed to lead had a lower cell density of parvalbumin-positive neurons compared with controls.
A study of the brains of rats exposed to lead has uncovered striking similarities with what is known about the brains of human schizophrenia patients, adding compelling evidence that lead is a factor in the onset of schizophrenia.

Health & MedicineFebruary 24, 2015 04:27 AM

When diagnosing a case of Ebola, time is of the essence. However, existing diagnostic tests take at least a day or two to yield results, preventing health care workers from quickly determining whether a patient needs immediate treatment and isolation.

A large Australian study of more than 200,000 people has provided independent confirmation that up to two in every three smokers will die from their habit if they continue to smoke.

Single-letter genetic variations within parts of the genome once dismissed as 'junk DNA' can increase cancer risk through wormhole-like effects on far-off genes, new research shows.

Scientists at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) have discovered a promising new approach to treat multiple sclerosis (MS). In a new study, they've identified a previously unknown change in the spinal cord related to MS, and a way to alter this change to reduce the nerve cell damage that occurs with the disease.


Herbert W. Virgin, MD, PhD (left), and Thad Stappenbeck, MD, PhD, have shown that mothers can pass a trait to their offspring through the DNA of bacteria.
It's a firmly established fact straight from Biology 101: Traits such as eye color and height are passed from one generation to the next through the parents' DNA.

Genomic profiling of cancer of an unknown primary site (CUP) found at least one clinically relevant genomic alteration in most of the samples tested, an indication of potential to influence and personalize therapy for this type of cancer, which responds poorly to nontargeted chemotherapy treatments, according to a study published online by JAMA Oncology.

Physicians at Henry Ford Hospital successfully suctioned a cancerous tumor from a major vein in a patient with metastatic kidney cancer, clearing the way for him to undergo a minimally-invasive kidney removal. This allowed him to participate in a clinical trial using genetic material from his tumor to produce a vaccine to help fight his metastatic disease.

Scientists protected 75 percent of rhesus monkeys infected with Ebola virus that were treated with a compound targeting the expression of VP24, a single Ebola virus protein--suggesting that VP24 may hold the key to developing effective therapies for the deadly disease.

IVF only has around a 25% success rate, largely due to the high rates of failure when embryos try to implant. Some women suffer from recurrent implantation failure, where the embryo is transferred but fails to attach to the endometrium - the mucus membrane of the uterine wall. This is a significant cause of the failure of IVF as most embryo losses occur at this early stage.

Eczema wreaks havoc on its sufferers' lives with health problems that are more than skin deep. Adults who have eczema -- a chronic itchy skin disease that often starts in childhood -- have higher rates of smoking, drinking alcoholic beverages and obesity and are less likely to exercise than adults who don't have the disease, reports a new Northwestern Medicine® study.

Interbreeding of two malaria mosquito species in the West African country of Mali has resulted in a "super mosquito" hybrid that's resistant to insecticide-treated bed nets.


Glioblastoma is a notoriously difficult-to-treat brain cancer with an often poor prognosis. Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute scientists are developing innovative cross-disciplinary therapies to treat the cancer.
At the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, three scientists are planning to create a virus capable of destroying brain cancer.

A new study identifies a gene that is especially active in aggressive subtypes of breast cancer. The research suggests that an overactive BCL11A gene drives triple-negative breast cancer development and progression.


Dr. Jalees Rehman is an associate professor of medicine and pharmacology, UIC College of Medicine.
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have discovered a novel molecular mechanism that tightens the bonds between the cells that line blood vessels to form a leak-proof barrier. The mechanism presents a potential new target to treat acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), an often fatal condition in which fluid leaks out of blood vessels into the lungs.

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