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Home   About   Scholarships   Meetings   Publications   Resources   Feb. 19, 2013

 



Combining synthetic, natural toxins could disarm cancer, drug-resistant bacteria
Rice University via The Medical News
Cancer researchers from Rice University suggest that a new man-made drug that's already proven effective at killing cancer and drug-resistant bacteria could best deliver its knockout blow when used in combination with drugs made from naturally occurring toxins. "One of the oldest tricks in fighting is the one-two punch — you distract your opponent with one attack and deliver a knockout blow with another," said José Onuchic of Rice's Center for Theoretical Biological Physics. "Combinatorial drug therapies employ that strategy at a cellular level."
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New virus hits 12 globally with new British case
Reuters
A fourth person in Britain has contracted a potentially fatal SARS-like virus that was unknown in humans until a few months ago, but health officials said recently the risk to the population remained very low. This latest case brings the total number of confirmed cases globally to 12, of which four have been diagnosed in Britain, the Health Protection Agency said. Of the total, five have died. Most of the infected lived or had recently been in the Middle East.
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Hepatitis E outbreak infects more than 6,000 in South Sudan refugee camps
The Associated Press via CBS News
A hepatitis E outbreak has killed 111 refugees in South Sudan camps since July, according to the United Nations. U.N. refugee agency spokesman Adrian Edwards says the influx of people to the camps from neighboring Sudan is believed to be one of the factors in the rapid spread of the contagious, life-threatening inflammatory viral disease of the liver.
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An optimistic era for global infectious disease control
The Atlantic
The world has an "historic opportunity" to contain and end three of humanity's deadliest scourges by focusing on their "hot zones," according to Mark Dybul, the newly appointed director of the Geneva-based Global Fund to Fight HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Dybul said that a better understanding of the epidemiology of the diseases makes it clear there aren't what have been called "generalized" epidemics, even in hard-hit countries, but there are what he called "micro-epidemics."
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New computational model could provide better insight into how today's diseases might strike
Northwestern University via The Medical News
A computational model developed by Northwestern University's Dirk Brockmann could provide better insight into how today's diseases might strike. Brockmann, an associate professor of engineering sciences and applied mathematics at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, uses transportation data to develop models that better pinpoint the source of an outbreak and help determine how a disease could spread.
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CDC: Sex diseases cost $16 billion a year to treat
Bloomberg
Sexually transmitted diseases cost $16 billion each year to treat in the U.S., with 19.7 million infections diagnosed annually, the nation’s health agency found. People ages 15 to 24 account for half of the annual cases, according to reports released recently by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are about 110 million total infections among U.S. men and women of all ages, the agency said, with the most common infection human papillomavirus, a virus linked to cancer.
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Alcohol contributes to about 3.5 percent of cancer deaths
HealthDay News via Doctors Lounge
Alcohol consumption remains a major contributor to cancer mortality and years of potential life lost, according to research published online recently in the American Journal of Public Health. Breast cancer accounted for the majority of alcohol-attributable female cancer deaths (56 to 66 percent), whereas in men, upper airway and esophageal cancer deaths were more common (53 to 71 percent).
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Looking to share your expertise?
MultiBriefs
In an effort to enhance the overall content of eNewsbytes, we'd like to include peer-written articles in future editions. As a member of ASCLS, your knowledge and experience in the industry can be of great help to your fellow members. And we're hoping you'll share this expertise with your peers through well-written commentary. Because of the digital format, there's no word or graphical limit, and our group of talented editors can help with final edits. If you're interested in participating, please contact Ronnie Richard to discuss logistics.
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CDC: Sex diseases cost $16 billion a year to treat
Bloomberg
Sexually transmitted diseases cost $16 billion each year to treat in the U.S., with 19.7 million infections diagnosed annually, the nation's health agency found. People ages 15 to 24 account for half of the annual cases, according to reports released recently by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are about 110 million total infections among U.S. men and women of all ages, the agency said, with the most common infection human papillomavirus, a virus linked to cancer.

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Scientists identify taste stem cells on the tongue
Food Navigator
The discovery of until now "elusive" taste stem cells on the tongue will help researchers and industry better understand the complexities of human taste, say researchers. The breakthrough, by researchers at the Monell Chemical Sciences Center, will help to develop new techniques to grow and manipulate fully functional taste cells for use in research and clinical treatments, say the scientists behind the finding.

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Study: More mammograms could mean more problems
for older women

Los Angeles Times
Researchers examined records of about 140,000 women ages 66 to 89 who had mammograms between 1999 and 2006. Some of the women had mammograms every year, and some of them had them every other year. It turned out that having annual mammograms did not reduce women's risk of being diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer, as might have been expected.

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Diabetes treatment: Stem cells show potential
The California Aggie
In a recently published study, researchers from the UCSD School of Medicine and scientists from the San Diego-based biotech company Viacyte Inc. investigated methods to create endocrine cells, specifically pancreatic T-cells, which are important in treating diabetes through their production of insulin. The study compared two methods of generating endocrine cells from stem cells, in vitro, and through transplantation of immature endocrine cells grown from mice. The malleable nature of the stem cell makes it possible to pursue both of these methods.
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Flu trending downward, but still hitting elderly hard
USA Today
With across-the-board drops in flu-like illness nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control is getting ready to bid adieu to this year's influenza season. That doesn't mean it's over, however. "Maybe there's not as many people out there who are sick but flu is still all over," said Lyn Finelli, chief of influenza surveillance at CDC. "We have 31 states that have flu in every corner of their state."
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Diamond to shine light on infections
BBC
The U.K.'s national synchrotron facility — the Diamond Light Source near Oxford — is to become a world center for studying the structure of viruses and bacteria that cause serious disease. Diamond uses intense X-rays to reveal the molecular and atomic makeup of objects and materials. It will now use this capability to image Containment Level 3 pathogens.
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High-content drug screening key for treatment of rare diseases
Tel Aviv University via Laboratory Equipment
Personalized medicine — tailoring diagnostics and treatment according to individual genetics — is a rapidly growing field. Using advanced screening technologies, the dream of offering customized care to each patient is slowly becoming a reality, offering hope to sufferers of rare diseases, who are often left without medical support. But because each disease impacts only a handful of people worldwide, there is no commercial incentive for pharmaceutical companies to fund drug research and development.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Study: More mammograms could mean more problems
for older women
(Los Angeles Times)
Small-molecule drug drives cancer cells to suicide (Nature)
Peptide could treat cancers, neurological disorders, infectious diseases (UT Southwestern Medical Center via Science Blog)
Cells forged from human skin show promise in treating multiple sclerosis, myelin disorders (University of Rochester Medical Center via ScienceDaily)
Confirmed: MammaPrint predicts treatment in breast cancer (Medscape Medical News)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


NIAID creates initiative for new genomic centers for infectious diseases
Vaccine News Daily
The National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases recently announced a new initiative that would create Genomic Centers for Infectious Diseases as a collaborative program to use sequencing data to learn more about pathogens. The NIAID issued a funding opportunity announcement for proposals that focus on the combination of next generation, state-of-the-art genomics sequencing technologies and bioinformatics analyses to understand infectious diseases.
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TB screening is highly cost-effective in young children
Medscape Medical News
Screening for Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection in young children and offering isoniazid preventive therapy is highly cost-effective, according to findings of a decision analysis model. Although the World Health Organization recommends giving IPT to young children who are in close contact with a case of infectious TB, researchers have not previously assessed whether this recommendation is cost-effective.
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Why youths aren't getting tested for HIV
CNN
VideoBrief According to the Centers for Disease Control, 50,000 Americans are infected with HIV each year, and 25 percent of those are between the ages of 13 and 24. Sixty percent of youth with HIV don't know they have it, despite recommendations from the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
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New ways to fund science: Geneticist, panel discuss how research and public interest can intersect
Harvard University via Phys.Org
As research funding dwindles in the United States and abroad, scientists need to rethink their methods for supporting the most promising projects — and how they communicate the meaningful results of that work to the public, according to Nobel Prize-winning geneticist Paul Nurse.
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