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Feb. 10, 2009
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The Recession Squeeze
from Clinical Laboratory News
Although health care is often considered recession-proof, recent reports indicate that the industry—labs included—is feeling the pain of the economic downturn. New statistics released in December from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that more hospitals recorded mass layoffs in 2008 than any year in the past decade. More

Thermo Scientific

Attempts to Diversify Study Populations Lacking in Every Clinical Setting
from HemOnc Today
A lack of incentive and support are preventing the successful recruitment of minorities into clinical trials, according to results from a study presented recently at the 2009 AACR Science of Cancer Health Disparities Conference. The NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 requires that recruiters seek out minorities for inclusion in clinical trials, yet minorities are still underrepresented in studies. More

Study: Hormone Use Doubles Breast Cancer Risk
from NPR
New evidence suggests that the decline in the use of hormone therapy may be tied to a dip in the number of women diagnosed with breast cancer. A study published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine finds that women who take combined hormone therapy — estrogen and progestin — for at least five years double their risk of breast cancer. More

Researchers Examine Role of Climate Change in Disease Spread
from Infection Control Today
Ever since scientists first proposed that the planet might be experiencing widespread climate change, concerns have been raised about its implications for the spread of arboviruses – viruses carried by arthropods such as mosquitoes, midges and ticks. However, while alterations in temperature and rainfall are important factors in making new territory hospitable to an invading arbovirus, many other forces also play significant parts in new patterns of viral emergence. More

F.D.A. Approves Drug From Gene-Altered Goats
from The New York Times
Opening the barn door to a new era in farming and pharmaceuticals, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first drug produced by livestock that have been given a human gene. The drug, meant to prevent fatal blood clots in people with a rare condition, is a human protein extracted from the milk of genetically engineered goats. More

Study: Fertility Drugs Don’t Raise Ovarian Cancer Risk
from Bloomberg
Women treated with common fertility drugs sold by companies such as Schering-Plough Corp. and Merck KGaA don’t appear to have an increased risk of ovarian cancer, a Danish study showed. The risk didn’t rise even among women who underwent 10 cycles of treatment or never conceived, according to a study of 54,362 women with infertility problems led by Allan Jensen of the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology. More


Automatic Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate Reporting May Be of Limited Benefit
from Medscape Medical News
Automatic estimated glomerular filtration rate reporting may be of limited benefit, according to the results of a study reported in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. More

Potential New Herpes Therapy Studied
from Infection Control Today
A new therapy being developed at the University of Florida could, in time, produce another weapon for the fight against herpes. The gene-targeting approach uses a specially designed RNA enzyme to inhibit strains of the herpes simplex virus. The enzyme disables a gene responsible for producing a protein involved in the maturation and release of viral particles in an infected cell. More

Gene Mutations Increase Risk for Aggressive Prostate Cancer
from Science Daily
Men who develop prostate cancer face an increased risk of having an aggressive tumor if they carry a so-called breast cancer gene mutation, according to scientists. The findings could help to guide prostate-cancer patients and their physicians in choosing treatment options. More

Brain Protein May Have Potential Against Alzheimer's
from U.S. News & World Report
A naturally occurring brain protein appears able to slow or stop Alzheimer's disease in recent studies done on animal models. The brain's entorhinal cortex, which supports memory, normally produces brain-derived neurotrophic factor; however, its production appears to decrease when Alzheimer's is present. When researchers injected BDNF in lab animals that either were aged, had entorhinal cortex damage or were genetically altered to have Alzheimer's-like symptoms, they found that the animals had improved memory and cognitive skills and that cell degeneration and death was prevented or reversed. More


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