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On the front lines of food safety
The New York Times
With piles of fresh strawberries beckoning consumers at markets and stores this season, an alliance of a major retailer, fruit growers and farm workers has begun a program to promote healthy produce and improve working conditions. The initiative, unfolding along neatly planted rows of berries at the Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce's Sierra Farm, is an effort to prevent the types of bacterial outbreaks of salmonella, listeria or E.coli that have sickened consumers who ate contaminated cantaloupes, spinach or other produce.
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Related story: Frozen fruit mix suspected in hepatitis A outbreak (CNN)




Study: Disinfect all ICU patients to reduce 'superbug' infections
NPR
Hospitals can sharply reduce the spread of the drug-resistant bacteria in their intensive care units by decontaminating all patients rather than screening them and focusing only on those found to be infected already, researchers reported recently. A study involving more than 74,000 patients in 74 intensive care units nationwide found that cleaning all ICU patients with a special soap and ointment reduced all infections, including MRSA, by 44 percent.
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Researcher admits mistakes in stem cell study
Times LIVE
A blockbuster study in which U.S. researchers reported that they had turned human skin cells into embryonic stem cells contained errors, its lead author has acknowledged. Shoukhrat Mitalipov nevertheless adamantly stood by the conclusions of the study published recently in journal Cell, which reported that human stem cell lines for the first time had been created via cloning.
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Spared death, aging people with HIV struggle to live
The New York Times
Not long ago, it would have seemed unthinkable: HIV is becoming a disease of the middle-aged. Nearly half of New Yorkers with HIV are now 50 or older, ages many never dreamed of reaching. They are the people who were told that they would be dead by 30, who watched their friends or lovers die, who lived to see sufferers on their death beds return to health almost overnight.
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MERS coronavirus: Tracking the outbreak
ABC News
Saudi health officials say three more people have died from the MERS coronavirus, bringing the death toll in Saudi Arabia to 24. The country has seen the highest number of MERS cases since the outbreak started last year, with 38 known infections. Infections have also emerged in Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Tunisia, Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Italy. All of the cases have ties to the Middle East, according to the World Health Organization.
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Breast cancer genes may explain poor outcomes for black women
Bloomberg
One in 5 black women with breast cancer were found to have inherited mutations on at least 1 of 18 genes linked to the disease, in a study that may explain the earlier onset and more-aggressive malignancies in that group. Researchers from the University of Chicago used genome sequencing to study the DNA of 249 black women, 56 of whom had at least one mutation that mattered for their cancer, according to a study presented at the American Society for Clinical Oncology's meeting in Chicago.
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New vaccine protects kids against hand, foot and mouth disease
Reuters
Chinese scientists have developed the first vaccine to protect children against a virus called enterovirus 71, or EV71, that causes the common and sometimes deadly hand, foot and mouth disease. The new inactivated EV71 vaccine, made by Beijing Vigoo Biological, was developed for use in the Asia-Pacific region, which accounts for most of the serious cases of the disease that can cause potentially fatal meningitis and encephalitis.
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Drug combos are the future of melanoma treatment
Medscape Medical News
Giving experimental agents known as immune checkpoint blockers together or sequentially leads to improved outcomes in metastatic melanoma, according to the results of 2 studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The studies are both phase 1 trials, and therefore the outcomes are limited in their authority. However, the results are encouraging, especially the findings that the drug combinations did not result in a higher rate and severity of adverse events compared with the individual drugs alone, observed James Riley, Ph.D., of the Abramson Cancer Research Center at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
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Accessory turns iPhone into high-tech lab
Tech News Daily
A new biosensing tool puts the power of a high-tech laboratory in the pockets of researchers in the field. This iPhone-enabled device could be used in pop-up clinics, waste management sites, refugee camps and anywhere else the mobile testing of biological materials such as blood is necessary.
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Researchers develop mathematical models to better combat HIV
Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics via Infection Control Today
The first few hours to days following exposure to human immunodeficiency virus can be of critical importance in determining if infection occurs in a patient. But the low numbers of viruses and infected cells at this stage makes it very difficult to study these events in humans or animal models. Theoretical mathematical models can help analyze viral dynamics in this early phase, and hence offer insights into therapeutic and prevention strategies, as evidenced by a paper published in the SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics.
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Shape-shifting nanoparticles flip from sphere to net in response to tumor signal
University of California, San Diego via R&D Magazine
Scientists at the University of California, San Diego have designed tiny spherical particles to float easily through the bloodstream after injection, then assemble into a durable scaffold within diseased tissue. An enzyme produced by a specific type of tumor can trigger the transformation of the spheres into net-like structures that accumulate at the site of a cancer, the team reports in Advanced Materials.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

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


Cancer: The No. 1 health concern among middle-income Americans
The Medical News
Cancer is the No. 1 health concern among our country's middle-income Americans, according to a new study released by Washington National Institute for Wellness Solutions. The study, Middle-Income America's Perspectives on Critical Illness and Financial Security, which surveyed 1,001 Americans ages 30 to 66 with an annual household income of between $35,000 and $99,999, found that 79 percent are somewhat concerned or very concerned about a cancer diagnosis, followed by heart disease, stroke and Alzheimer's disease.
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Therapy for bone tumors lessens patients' pain
Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals via aboratory Equipment
If radiation therapy doesn't work to reduce cancer patient's pain, a second, effective option now exists. Mark Hurwitz, Director of Thermal Oncology for the Department of Radiation Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals reports that a new treatment, magnetic resonance image-guided focused ultrasound ablation therapy, significantly reduced pain in 67 percent of patients who received the treatment.
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On the front lines of food safety
The New York Times
With piles of fresh strawberries beckoning consumers at markets and stores this season, an alliance of a major retailer, fruit growers and farm workers has begun a program to promote healthy produce and improve working conditions.

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WHO warns countries not to hoard secrets of coronavirus
Reuters
The World Health Organization warned countries with possible cases of the SARS-like novel coronavirus that they must share information and not allow commercial labs to profit from the virus, which has killed 22 people worldwide.

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Rare gene variants have little effect on autoimmune disease
Medscape Medical News
Six autoimmune diseases result from complex interactions of many small-effect, common gene variants, rather than large effects from rare variants, according to results from a study published online in Nature.

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Pressure grows to create drugs for 'superbugs'
The New York Times
Government officials, drug companies and medical experts, faced with outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant “superbugs,” are pushing to speed up the approval of new antibiotics, a move that is raising safety concerns among some critics. The need for new antibiotics is so urgent, supporters of an overhaul say, that lengthy studies involving hundreds or thousands of patients should be waived in favor of directly testing such drugs in very sick patients.
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College, hospital create institute to use genome sequencing to individualize cancer treatment
Dark Daily
Following several years of experience with whole genome sequencing of tumors, two premier medical institutions announced their intent to move to the next step and establish an institute to support precision medicine. Weill Cornell Medical College and New York-Presbyterian Hospital established a new, cutting-edge translational medicine research facility called the Precision Medicine Institute, which will use patients' unique genetic profiles to develop individualized approaches for treating prostate cancer.
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