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Home   About   Scholarships   Meetings   Publications   Resources   Feb. 26, 2013

 



Anti-HIV drug effort in South Africa yields dramatic results
Los Angeles Times
An intensive campaign to combat HIV/AIDS with costly anti-retroviral drugs in rural South Africa has increased life expectancy by more than 11 years and significantly reduced the risk of infection for healthy individuals, according to new research. The two studies, published recently in the journal Science, come as wealthy Western nations are debating how best to stretch limited AIDS funding at a time of economic stress.
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Canadian OB-GYN groups: 25 is too late to start testing for cervical cancer
The Canadian Press via CTV
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada and two related medical organizations are taking issue with a national task force's recommendations that women wait until age 25 to start cervical cancer screening. In a newly released position paper, the SOGC, the Society of Gynecologic Oncology and the Society of Canadian Colposcopists say age 25 is too late to begin Pap testing because precancerous and cancerous lesions may have developed earlier in some women.
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New breast cancer drug helps in advanced cases
NBC News
The Food and Drug Administration approved a new "smart bomb" drug that can help women with one of the most hard-to-cure types of breast cancer. The new drug added several months of life to women with a type of breast cancer called HER2-positive breast cancer, whose tumors had spread despite treatment. While it wasn't a cure, it did add some healthy months of life to patients whose outlook was otherwise hopeless.
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In US, flu vaccine worked in just over half of those who got it
Reuters
A U.S. government analysis of this season's flu vaccine suggests it was effective in only 56 percent of people who got the shot, and it largely failed to protect the elderly against an especially deadly strain circulating during flu season. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the findings underscore the need for more effective weapons in the fight against influenza, which kills between 3,000 and 50,000 people in the United States each year depending on the severity of the flu season.
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Molecule helps nanoparticles sneak past immune system
MIT Technology Review
Taking a cue from nature, researchers have designed nanoparticles that can avoid being destroyed by the immune system by convincing immune cells that the particles are part of the body. The advance represents a fundamentally new way to address a major obstacle facing nanoparticle-based drug delivery.
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Health IT use lags in infection prevention efforts
Medscape Medical News
As U.S. hospitals increasingly use health information technologies to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare delivery, many hospital infection preventionists lag in awareness and engagement in those activities, according to an article published online in the American Journal of Infection Control. The lack of awareness and engagement could amount to "missed opportunities" to improve infectious disease reporting efficiency and promote disease prevention, according to Brian E. Dixon, MPA, Ph.D., from the School of Informatics and Computing, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, and colleagues.
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Families push for new ways to research rare diseases
The Wall Street Journal
Parents with children who have rare and debilitating diseases are pushing to change how researchers develop medicines to treat the conditions. The parents want different scientists researching the diseases to share data about the patients so the children won't need to participate in so many studies. In the case of Sanfilippo syndrome, a fatal, metabolic disorder, some parents have offered to raise $550,000 to cover the cost of a medical study as long as the information is shared.
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Overseas Opportunities: Medical Laboratory Scientists
U.S. Department of State: Live and work abroad, administering tests and procedures that aid in the medical care of U.S. diplomats and their families. careers.state.gov/MLS13


HIV linked to sudden loss of hearing
MedPage Today
Having HIV appears to increase the risk of sudden sensorineural hearing loss, at least among younger patients, researchers reported. Compared with HIV-negative controls, people living with HIV who were 35 or younger had double the risk of sudden hearing loss, according to Yung-Song Lin, M.D., of Taipei Medical University in Taiwan, and colleagues.
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Artificial ear built by 3-D printer and living cartilage cells
Smithsonian
Cornell doctors and engineers presented a lifelike artificial ear made of living cells, built using 3-D printing technology. Their product, described in a paper published in PLOS ONE, is designed to help children born with congenital defects that leave them with underdeveloped outer ears, such as microtia.
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Researchers: Mosquitoes can become desensitized to Deet
National Monitor
Researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine have learned that mosquitoes can become desensitized to the insect repellent Deet. Though the majority of insects are repelled by the smell of Deet, previous studies by this research group have revealed that some flies and mosquitoes carry a genetic change in their odor receptors that dulls their ability to pick up this smell.
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Tuberculosis outbreak in downtown Los Angeles sparks federal effort
Los Angeles Times
Public health officials have launched a new, coordinated effort to contain a persistent outbreak of tuberculosis in downtown Los Angeles' skid row, including searching for more than 4,500 people who may have been exposed to the disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have dispatched scientists to Los Angeles to help local health officials figure out why the disease is spreading and how to stop it.
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New breast cancer drug helps in advanced cases
NBC News
The Food and Drug Administration approved a new "smart bomb" drug that can help women with one of the most hard-to-cure types of breast cancer. The new drug added several months of life to women with a type of breast cancer called HER2-positive breast cancer, whose tumors had spread despite treatment. While it wasn't a cure, it did add some healthy months of life to patients whose outlook was otherwise hopeless.

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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 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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Mini microscopes see inside the brains of mice
NBC News
Mini microscopes embedded into the brains of genetically engineered mice are providing researchers a window onto the inner workings of the mammalian mind. The tool provides an unprecedentedly wide field of view on the mouse brain — in one mouse, for example, the team recorded the firing of more than 1,000 individual neurons — and it can record for weeks on end, allowing scientists to study how brain activity evolves over time.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Combining synthetic, natural toxins could disarm cancer, drug-resistant bacteria (Rice University via The Medical News)
Alcohol contributes to 3.5 percent of cancer deaths (HealthDay News via Doctors Lounge)
Hepatitis E outbreak infects 6,000 in refugee camps (The Associated Press via CBS News)
An optimistic era for global infectious disease control (The Atlantic)
CDC: Sex diseases cost $16 billion a year to treat (Bloomberg)

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


Dallas doctor helps regrow man's broken leg
WFAA-TV
VideoBriefThree years ago, a motorcycle accident left 28-year-old Will McCraney sprawled out on the side of an interstate, nearly dead. Six inches of his leg bone sat beside him on the pavement. "What made Will very unique was he was able to feel and move his toes," said Methodist Dallas orthopedic trauma surgeon Dr. Usha Mani, "which immediately made him a candidate for limb salvage versus amputation." Mani decided to try to save his leg instead of amputate.
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Doctor's illness gives new focus to her cause
The New York Times
During a talk last spring in San Francisco, Dr. Susan Love, the well-known breast cancer book author and patient advocate, chided the research establishment for ignoring the needs of people with cancer. It was an eerily prescient lecture. Less than two months later, Love was given a diagnosis of acute myelogenous leukemia. She had no obvious symptoms and learned of her disease only after a checkup and routine blood work.
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