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WHO: New SARS-like virus can probably pass person-to-person
Reuters via Fox News
World Health Organization officials said it seemed likely a new coronavirus that has killed at least 18 people in the Middle East and Europe could be passed between humans, but only after prolonged contact. WHO Assistant Director-General Keiji Fukuda told reporters in Saudi Arabia, the site of the largest cluster of infections, there was no evidence so far the virus was able to sustain "generalized transmission in communities" — a scenario that would raise the specter of a pandemic.
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The next contagion: Closer than you think
The New York Times
In the wake of the spread of two recent infectious agents, we face a third, and far more widespread, ailment that has gotten little attention: call it "contagion exhaustion." News reports on a seemingly unending string of frightening microbes — bird flu, flesh-eating strep, SARS, AIDS, Ebola, drug-resistant bugs in hospitals, the list goes on — have led some people to ho-hum the latest reports.
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Can surface-anchored bacteriophages eliminate microbial infections?
American Chemical Society
In a new disease-fighting role, viruses that infect and kill bacteria — used to treat infections in the pre-antibiotic era a century ago and in the former Soviet Union today — may have a new role in preventing formation of the sticky "biofilms" of bacteria responsible for infections on implanted medical devices.
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Bird flu expert working on vaccine that protects against multiple strains
Purdue University via Medical Xpress
As the bird flu outbreak in China worsens, a Purdue University expert is working on vaccines that offer broader protection against multiple strains of the virus. Suresh Mittal, a professor of comparative pathobiology in Purdue's College of Veterinary Medicine, has developed a new vaccination method that incorporates genes from multiple strains of the virus and creates protection that could persist through different mutations, he said.
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19th century technique turns old mouse hearts young
Science Now
Drawing on an odd experimental technique invented more than a century ago but rarely done now, researchers have found that a blood-borne protein makes old mouse hearts appear young and healthy again. It's not clear yet whether humans would react the same way, but scientists are hopeful that this discovery may help treat one of the heart's most frustrating ailments.
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Atmospheric conditions influence outbreaks of disease in Europe
Discovery
Researchers in France and the United Kingdom studied 2,058 outbreaks occurring in 36 countries from 114 infectious diseases from 1950 to 2009 and found that climatic variations and seasonal changes in air pressure across the continent attributed to the NAO influenced the outbreak occurrences of eleven diseases. Every conceivable route of transmission — by air, food, water and vector — was influenced by North Atlantic Oscillation conditions.
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Use of theranostic nanoparticles nanoparticles for cancer treatment drugs
By Archita Datta Majumdar
In ongoing global research for combating cancer, new theories constantly surface to fuel newer dimensions of treatment and therapy. Perhaps none has generated as much hope as the latest theory of using nanoparticles to create new-age cancer drugs. A recent study by Swedish scientists reveals the possibilities hitherto unthought of — effective delivery of cancer drugs to the tumor cells through "theranostic nanoparticles," a method that combines therapy and diagnostics in one single nanomaterial.
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Industry Pulse: Do you think nanoparticles will lead to safer, more effective cancer treatment?
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HCC risk persists 8 years after HCV eradication
Healio
The long-term risk for hepatocellular carcinoma among patients with hepatitis C remains up to 8 years after sustained virological response to antiviral therapy, researchers reported in Clinical Infectious Diseases. Researchers conducted a prospective study that included patients who had HCV-related cirrhosis. Among the 351 patients, 110 reached SVR, 193 did not and 48 were untreated.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Study reveals natural process that blocks viruses (Los Angeles Times)
Violence as an infectious disease? A program that worked (Medscape Medical News)
Cancers share gene patterns, studies affirm (The New York Times)
Tiny Faroe Islands to begin sequencing genomes of all 50,000 residents (Dark Daily)

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


Malaria mosquito dosed with disease-fighting bacteria
Science News
In a long-sought step toward building a safer mosquito, researchers have infected the insects with bacteria that sabotage their malaria-causing parasites. Researchers would like to use Wolbachia bacteria to keep malaria parasites from thriving inside a mosquito. In theory, a mosquito with the right bacterial infection could bite people without delivering the parasites that cause malaria.
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Researchers to use BioMark equipment to test for infectious diseases
Saskatchewan Disease Control Laboratory via The Medical News
Saskatchewan, Canada, patients will benefit from faster, more accurate disease identification, thanks to a ground-breaking new technology in infectious disease testing at the Saskatchewan Disease Control Laboratory. Health Minister Dustin Duncan recently announced a new testing method using BioMark equipment, which allows the SDCL to quickly and definitively test for many diseases at the same time, rather than doing separate tests for one specific disease.
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Prices cut for cervical cancer vaccines in poor countries
The New York Times
The two companies that make vaccines against cervical cancer announced that they would cut their prices to the world's poorest countries below $5 per dose, eventually making it possible for millions of girls to be protected against a major cancer killer. The World Health Organization, which has been pressing for faster progress in maternal health, greeted the news as "a great step forward for women and girls."
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TRENDING ARTICLE
Atmospheric conditions influence outbreaks of disease in Europe
Discovery
Researchers in France and the United Kingdom studied 2,058 outbreaks occurring in 36 countries from 114 infectious diseases from 1950 to 2009 and found that climatic variations and seasonal changes in air pressure across the continent attributed to the NAO influenced the outbreak occurrences of 11 diseases.

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Federal panel: Everyone 15 to 65 should have HIV test
Los Angeles Times
Citing recent evidence that HIV infections are best managed when treated early, an influential panel of medical experts has finalized its recommendation that all people ages 15 to 65 be screened for the virus that causes AIDS.

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Malignancy less likely in incidentally discovered thyroid nodules
Medscape Medical News
Thyroid nodules found on clinical examination were much more likely to be malignant than were those seen incidentally during imaging studies for other reasons, according to a new review of 200 consecutive patients referred to a thyroid center.

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Seeking clues to heart disease in DNA of an unlucky family
The New York Times
An extraordinary federal research project is using genetic sequencing to find factors that increase the risk of heart disease beyond the usual suspects — high cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking and diabetes. The aim is to see if genetics can explain why heart disease strikes apparently healthy people.
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Bacterial infections diagnosed in hours with new DNA test
Medscape Medical News
A nanoparticle DNA hybridization device described in separate articles published online May 5 in Nature Nanotechnology and in Nature Communications identifies bacterial pathogens in less than 2.5 hours. Millions of people die from bacterial infections annually, despite the availability of treatments, largely because of delayed diagnosis.
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Ignorance of tick-borne Lyme disease 'costing lives'
BBC News
A group of individuals calling themselves Worldwide Lyme Protest UK is highlighting the devastating impact of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases when they are misdiagnosed. Nicola Seal, from Aberdeen, who has co-ordinated the U.K. protest, says the disease is not understood by the vast majority of medical professionals, leaving thousands of patients without the appropriate treatment.
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