disease & medicine

Lawyersandsettlements.Com Reports A 107 Percent Increase In Traffic For Gardasil Legal News As Students Head Back To School

Lawyersandsettlements.Com Reports A 107 Percent Increase In Traffic For Gardasil Legal News As Students Head Back To School

Yahoo! – As debate continues over whether states should mandate HPV vaccinations for girls entering sixth grade, LawyersandSettlements.com reported a 107 percent increase in 2012 traffic over prior year for readers seeking information on Gardasil side effects and HPV vaccine legal news. The increase in traffic comes at a time when annual immunizations are at the forefront of many parents’ minds as children head back to school. Read article

On The Road: Reporting On Lead Poisoning In Nigeria

NPR – If you want to witness the health consequences of unsafe gold mining in northwestern Nigeria, the first thing you have to do is get to the mines. There’s a crisis of severe lead poisoning near the mines that’s killed hundreds of children and made thousands more sick. Read article

Blocking Key Protein Could Halt Age-Related Decline in Immune System, Study Finds

ScienceDaily — The older we get, the weaker our immune systems tend to become, leaving us vulnerable to infectious diseases and cancer and eroding our ability to benefit from vaccination. Now Stanford University School of Medicine scientists have found that blocking the action of a single protein whose levels in our immune cells creep steadily upward with age can restore those cells’ response to a vaccine. Read article

Gua sha: Scraping of back is said to relieve pain and ease other medical problems

WP – When Jason Hamacher and Jenny Luu’s daughter was born in May 2010, things didn’t go exactly as planned. Luu had to opt for a Caesarean section rather than the natural delivery she’d hoped for; Hamacher had a wicked cold that quickly worsened. … That’s when Buu Tran, Hamacher’s mother-in-law, made an unusual proposition: She would scrape his back with a kitchen spoon. It’s a technique that she learned as a child growing up in Asia. Tran, an ethnic Chinese, emigrated to the United States from Vietnam in 1977. Read article

Monsanto’s Modified Corn Should Be Banned in S. Africa, ACB Says

Bloomberg – Monsanto Co. (MON)’s genetically engineered NK603 corn is hazardous to the health, said South Africa’s African Centre for Biosafety, which called on the authorities to ban its cultivation, import and export. “We urge the South African government to take the necessary steps to protect its citizens,” the ACB said in a letter to the minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries. The modified corn has been shown to cause tumors as well as liver and kidney damage in laboratory rats, it said. Read article

Russia Suspends Use of Genetically Modified Corn

WSJ – Russia’s consumer-rights watchdog said Tuesday it has suspended the import and use of a genetically engineered corn made by Monsanto Co. following a study’s findings that suggested the crop might cause cancer. The consumer-rights watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, said the country’s Institute of Nutrition has been asked to assess the validity of the study. The study, conducted by France’s University of Caen and published last week, found that rats fed over a two-year period with the U.S. … Read article

Unlike SARS, New Virus Doesn’t Transmit Easily, WHO Says

HedPage Today – A novel coronavirus – a member of the same family as the pathogen that caused SARS — does not appear to pass easily among people, according to the World Health Organization. “From the information available thus far,” the agency said in a statement, “it appears that the novel coronavirus cannot be easily transmitted from person-to-person. “Read article

Related article: Finding a new virus: Spit, sequencing and serendipity

Tobacco giant Philip Morris plans plant flu vaccine for China

FP – A Canadian company has joined forces with cigarette giant Philip Morris in an unusual project to sell flu vaccine to the huge Chinese market, a potentially major step forward for the controversial science of producing medicines in plants. Medicago Inc. said Tuesday it is licensing its system for making vaccine in tobacco to Philip Morris Products SA, which will develop, test and, it hopes, market the products in China, where it already sells a much different item — Marlboro cigarettes. Read aritcle

Finding a new virus: Spit, sequencing and serendipity

Reuters – Professor Maria Zambon’s first thought when her team of scientists matched a virus from a patient’s sputum to one never before seen in humans was: “Oh no, this is going to be tricky.” In her north London laboratory last Saturday, an email came in from another specialist virology team in The Netherlands with a 99.5 percent match to a virus from the same family as SARS, a disease that emerged in 2002 and killed 800 people. Her thoughts moved swiftly to the risk of an international outbreak. Read article

Yosemite hantavirus outbreak may offer clues to rare disease

Reuters – California researchers and public health officials have launched what they describe as a groundbreaking series of studies of a rare mouse-borne virus that has infected at least nine Yosemite National Park visitors, killing three of them, since June. By using the 1,200-square-mile (3,100-square-km) park and its rodent and human populations as a giant natural laboratory, scientists hope to gain new insights into how hantavirus is transmitted, how varied it might be and why certain people seem more susceptible than others. Read article

Bayer’s Stivarga OK’d for Colon Cancer

MedPage Today – Regorafenib (Stivarga), an inhibitor of multiple kinase enzymes, has been approved for use in treatment-refractory, metastatic colorectal cancer, the FDA announced Thursday. Approval was based primarily on the 760-patient CORRECT trial, in which patients treated with regorafenib had a median overall survival of 6.4 months compared with 5 months in a placebo group (P=0.005). Patients in the study had metastatic colorectal cancer that was progressing after treatment with approved standard therapies. All patients received best supportive care in addition to regorafenib or placebo. Read article

Another 400 West Nile cases reported in U.S. in past week: CDC

Reuters – More than 400 new U.S. cases of West Nile virus emerged in the last week, in an outbreak that remains the second worst on record but has begun to show signs of slowing. So far this year, 3,545 cases have been reported to federal health officials as of September 25, up from 3,142 reported the week before, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in its weekly update of outbreak data.

Russia suspends import and use of American GM corn after study revealed cancer risk

Daily Mail – Historically, biotech companies have proved the safety of GM crops based on trials involving feeding rats for a period of 90 days. However, experts at the University of Caen conducted an experiment running for the full lives of rats – two years. The findings, which were peer reviewed by independent experts before being published in a respected scientific journal, found raised levels of breast cancer, liver and kidney damage. Read article

Amnesty, Greenpeace urge prosecution in I.Coast dumping

AFP – Britain must launch a criminal probe into the multinational firm Trafigura and its role in the 2006 deadly dumping of toxic waste in Ivory Coast’s economic capital Abidjan, Amnesty International and Greenpeace said Tuesday. Ivory Coast says the toxic waste, which came from the Probo Koala ship chartered by Trafigura, killed 17 people and caused thousands of cases of poisoning. Read article

Doubts on Ginkgo Biloba as a Memory Aid

NY Times – Ginkgo biloba extract is widely marketed as a preventive for Alzheimer’s disease, but a new randomized placebo-controlled study indicates it does not work. French researchers studied 2,820 mentally healthy people over age 70 who had complained to their family physicians of memory problems, randomly assigning 1,406 to take the plant extract and 1,414 to take an identical placebo. Read article

Study Divides Breast Cancer Into Four Distinct Types

NY Times – In findings that are fundamentally reshaping the scientific understanding of breast cancer, researchers have identified four genetically distinct types of the cancer. And within those types, they found hallmark genetic changes that are driving many cancers. These discoveries, published online on Sunday in the journal Nature, are expected to lead to new treatments with drugs already approved for cancers in other parts of the body and new ideas for more precise treatments aimed at genetic aberrations that now have no known treatment.Read article

New Ways to Protect Female Fertility

ScienceDaily — New research offers hope to women whose fertility has been compromised by the side-effects of cancer therapy or by premature menopause. In a study published in Molecular Cell, researchers from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI), Monash University and Prince Henry’s Institute of Medical Research found that two proteins, PUMA and NOXA, cause the death of egg cells in the ovaries. Blocking the activity of the proteins may lead to new strategies to protect women’s fertility. Read article

War causes mental illness in soldiers

EurekAlert – One in every two cases of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in soldiers remains undiagnosed. This is the conclusion reached by a working group led by Hans-Ulrich Wittchen et al. They report their study in the current issue of Deutsches Ärzteblatt International (Dtsch Arztebl Int 2012; 109(35): 559), which is a special issue focusing on the prevalence of psychological stress in German army soldiers. In a second original article, results reported by Jens T Kowalski and colleagues show that more female soldiers contact the psychosocial support services provided by Germany’s armed forces than their male colleagues (Dtsch Arztbl Int 2012; 109 (35): 559). Read article

West Nile virus kills 5 in Balkans, dozens in hospital

Reuters – At least five people in the Balkans have died from West Nile virus and several dozen others have been hospitalized in the past four weeks, according to health authorities in Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia and Croatia. West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne disease usually found in temperate and tropical regions. While many cases are mild and have no symptoms, severe disease symptoms can include headaches, high fever, neck stiffness, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis. Read article

Fat and getting fatter: U.S. obesity rates to soar by 2030

Reuters – If Americans stick to their eating and exercise habits, future historians will look back on the early 21st century as a golden age of svelte. Using a model of population and other trends, a new report released on Tuesday by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation projects that half of U.S. adults will be obese by 2030 unless Americans change their ways. Read article

Condoms ‘too big’ for Indian men

BBC – A survey of more than 1,000 men in India has concluded that condoms made according to international sizes are too large for a majority of Indian men. The study found that more than half of the men measured had penises that were shorter than international standards for condoms. Read article

China to cut prices of cancer, immunology and blood drugs

Reuters – China will cut the maximum retail prices of 95 cancer, immunology and blood-related drugs by about 17 percent to try to reduce the growing number of chronic, ageing-related diseases in the country and make healthcare more affordable. Healthcare is viewed as a flashpoint of social unrest in China and the central government has been trying for the past decade to revamp the lumbering public healthcare system to make it more accessible. Read article

In Discarding of Kidneys, System Reveals Its Flaws

NY Times — Last year, 4,720 people died while waiting for kidney transplants in the United States. And yet, as in each of the last five years, more than 2,600 kidneys were recovered from deceased donors and then discarded without being transplanted, government data show. But many experts agree that a significant number of discarded kidneys — perhaps even half, some believe — could be transplanted if the system for allocating them better matched the right organ to the right recipient in the right amount of time.Read article