CHICAGO - As much as doctors would like to deny it, subtle attention from friendly drug sales representatives can have a big impact on what drugs they prescribe, according to two U.S. studies published on Monday.
Paul Bignall, Will Dowling and Jude TownendBelfast Telegraph
Tue, 24 Apr 2007 11:22 UTC
So far only a few, faint warnings have been raised, mainly by people who are so sensitised to the electromagnetic radiation emitted by mobiles, their masts and Wi-Fi that they become ill in its presence. The World Health Organisation
estimates that up to three out of every hundred people are " electrosensitive" to some extent. But scientists and doctors - and some European governments - are adding their voices to the alarm as it becomes clear that the almost universal use of mobile phones may be storing up medical catastrophe for the future.
Mark HendersonThe Times
Mon, 23 Apr 2007 22:21 UTC
A pill that can correct a wide range of faulty genes which cause crippling illnesses should be available within three years, promising a revolution in the treatment of thousands of conditions.
DAMIEN HENDERSONThe Herald
Fri, 30 Mar 2007 08:57 UTC
Parents of autistic children have reported feelings of anxiety and guilt over whether they should give their children the MMR vaccine, a new study has found.
They have told researchers they felt they had "let their children down" by deciding to give their children the triple vaccine to ward against measles, mumps and rubella, despite assurances from scientists and doctors that it is safe.
Mon, 23 Apr 2007 18:38 UTC
A major immunisation campaign is to take place in Iraq in a bid to prevent an outbreak of measles.
The World Health Organization and Unicef are overseeing the work of 8,000 volunteers who aim to give up to 3.9 million children the MMR vaccine.
The children, aged one to five, have missed out on their routine jabs because of the instability in Iraq.
Serotonin is a major signaling chemical in the brain, and it has long been thought to be involved in aggressive behavior in a wide variety of animals as well as in humans. Another brain chemical signal, neuropeptide Y (known as neuropeptide F in invertebrates), is also known to affect an array of behaviors in many species, including territoriality in mice. A new study by Drs. Herman Dierick and Ralph Greenspan of The Neurosciences Institute in San Diego shows that these two chemicals also regulate aggression in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster.
In a series of studies that used drug treatments and genetic engineering we have produced flies that make increased or decreased amounts of serotonin, or whose nerve cells that use serotonin or neuropeptide F are silent or inactive. Our investigations showed that the more serotonin a fly makes, the more aggressive it will be towards other flies. Conversely, presence of neuropeptide F has an opposite modulatory effect on the flies' behavior, reducing aggression. Serotonin and neuropeptide F are part of separate circuits in the brain, circuits which also differ to some extent between males and females. Male flies are much more aggressive.
Both of these chemical modulators affect aggression in mammals, and finding these effects in flies suggests that the molecular and neural roots for this complex social behavior are of ancient evolutionary origin.
Scientists in the Greene Infectious Disease Laboratory of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and colleagues in the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory in Melbourne, Australia and 454 Life Sciences have discovered a new virus that was responsible for the deaths of three transplant recipients who received organs from a single donor in Victoria, Australia.
The previously unknown virus, which is related to lymphocytic choreomeningitis virus (LCMV), was found using rapid sequencing technology established by 454 Life Sciences and bioinformatics algorithms developed in the Greene Laboratory with support from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Known strains of LCMV have been implicated in a small number of cases of disease transmission by organ transplantation, however, the newly discovered virus is sufficiently different that it could not be detected using existing screening methods.
A naturally occurring compound found in many fruits and vegetables as well as red wine, selectively kills leukemia cells in culture while showing no discernible toxicity against healthy cells, according to a study by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. These findings, which were published online March 20 in the Journal of Biological Chemistry and will be in press on May 4, offer hope for a more selective, less toxic therapy for leukemia.
"Current treatments for leukemia, such as chemotherapy and radiation, often damage healthy cells and tissues and can produce unwanted side effects for many years afterward. So, there is an intensive search for more targeted therapies for leukemia worldwide," said corresponding author Xiao-Ming Yin, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of pathology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
Leukemia is not a single disease but a number of related cancers that start in the blood-forming cells of the bone marrow. Meaning literally "white blood" in Greek, leukemia occurs when there is an excess of abnormal white blood cells. There are both acute and chronic forms of leukemia, each with many subtypes that vary in their response to treatment. According to the National Cancer Institute, about 44,000 new leukemia cases will be diagnosed in the United States in 2007, and there will be about 22,000 leukemia-related deaths.
A Mendocino County child is recovering and doing well after being diagnosed with infant botulism earlier this month, the Public Health Department reported Tuesday.
According to a press release, the child's mother reported that, in addition to being breastfed, the infant was fed Earth's Best Organic baby food.
While there is no confirmed link between this case and the baby food, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has initiated an ongoing recall for the following jars of Earth's Best baby food because of the risk of contamination with Clostridium botulism, a bacterium which can cause botulism.
The affected baby food is:
In the final months of Rebecca Riley's life, a school nurse said the little girl was so weak she was like a "floppy doll."
The preschool principal had to help Rebecca off the bus because the 4-year-old was shaking so badly.
And a pharmacist complained that Rebecca's mother kept coming up with excuses for why her daughter needed more and more medication.
None of their concerns was enough to save Rebecca.
Rebecca - who had been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity and bipolar disorder, or what used to be called manic depression - died Dec. 13 of an overdose of prescribed drugs, and her parents have been arrested on murder charges, accused of intentionally overmedicating their daughter to keep her quiet and out of their hair.