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April 28, 2009
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Science Races to Parse New Virus
from The Wall Street Journal
The swine flu virus that may have killed more than 80 people in Mexico and appears to have sickened hundreds more is still a mystery contagion. But this much is known: The virus is unusually made up of genetic material from avian, pig and human viruses; it can transmit from person to person; and in many people, it only triggers mild symptoms seen in garden-variety influenza. The current virus is mainly sickening the young and the healthy, yet such bugs are notorious for their ability to evolve. Subscription required.    E-mail article

Related article: Mexico Flu Scare Empties Streets, Churches, Bars (Reuters)

Beckman Coulter

Must Cervical Screening Be Discontinued at the Age of 50?
from Medical News Today
Since the beginning of planned cervical screening programs, which started in Europe more than 40 years ago, there have always been debates about the maximum age limit for efficient screening. The study concludes that screening for cervical cancer should not stop after the age of 50, since the risk is comparable to that of younger women, even following several negative smear results. More    E-mail article

FDA Warns of Salmonella in Sprouts
from Reuters
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are warning people not to eat raw alfalfa sprouts, saying they may be contaminated with salmonella. The contamination appears to be in seeds so washing the sprouts may not help. "Other types of sprouts have not been implicated at this time," the agency said. More    E-mail article

Temporary Expansion of T Regulatory Cells Induces Long-term Graft Tolerance
from Medscape Today
In vivo expansion of immunoregulatory T (T reg) cells induces resistance to experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and acceptance of islet allografts without immunosuppression, according to a report in the Journal of Experimental Medicine. Researchers defined the features of T reg cells expanded by IL-2-monoclonal antibody complexes and presented evidence that mice pretreated with these complexes are resistant to the induction of EAE and show long-term acceptance of MHC-incompatible pancreatic islet allografts. More    E-mail article

Cattle Genes may Give Clues About Human Health
from Reuters
Scientists have created the first genetic blueprint of domestic cattle, adding that the map may lead to tastier beef, better milk and even new insights about human health. The Hereford cow's is the first mapped livestock animal sequence, and the researchers think it will help explain how cattle evolved, why they ended up with a four-chambered stomach, and why they almost never get cancer. More    E-mail article

Why Anti-HIV Antibodies are Ineffective at Blocking Infection
from Infection Control Today
Some 25 years after the AIDS epidemic spawned a worldwide search for an effective vaccine against the human immunodeficiency virus, progress in the field seems to have effectively become stalled. The reason? According to new findings from a team of researchers from the California Institute of Technology, it's at least partly due to the fact that our body's natural HIV antibodies simply don't have a long enough reach to effectively neutralize the viruses they are meant to target. More    E-mail article


Positive Phase III Clinical Results of Clonicel Used in Combination with Stimulants to Treat ADHD
from Medical News Today
Sciele Pharma, a Shionogi Company, and Addrenex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that a preliminary analysis showed positive results from a second Phase III trial of Clonicel, demonstrating that the combination of Clonicel with stimulants provided statistically significant improvements in ADHD symptoms compared to stimulant used alone. The current study of 200 children with ADHD is the second Phase III trial in a year to investigate the safety and efficacy of Clonicel, a long-acting version of clonidine hydrochloride. Subscription required.    E-mail article

Statins Guard Against Prostate Cancer
from U.S. News & World Report
Several new studies suggest statins help prevent prostate cancer and reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction. "At this point in time, there seems to be mounting evidence that there may be a future role for statins in prostate cancer treatment or prostate cancer prevention," said Dr. Lionel L. Banez, a lead author of one study. "There will definitely be more men taking statins for cardiovascular reasons, and this is a great opportunity for us to see how many of these men develop prostate cancer and whether these prostate cancers are aggressive." More    E-mail article

Eribulin Prolongs Survival in Women with Metastatic Breast Cancer
from Medscape Today
Eribulin, a nontaxane microtubule dynamics inhibitor, prolongs survival in heavily pretreated women with metastatic breast cancer, according to a report in the April Journal of Clinical Oncology. "Eribulin is a very active drug with a good toxicity profile," Dr. Linda T. Vahdat from Weill Cornell Medical College, New York. "It is a great drug and needs to get approved." Subscription required.    E-mail article

Stem Cells from Fat Tissue Offer Hope for MS Treatment
from Science Daily
A preliminary study on the use of stem cells obtained from a patient's own adipose tissue in the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) has shown promising results. The three case studies, described in BioMed Central's open access Journal of Translational Medicine, support further clinical evaluation of stromal vascular fraction (SVF) cells in MS and other autoimmune conditions. More    E-mail article

Scientists Make Super-strong Metallic Spider Silk
from Reuters
Spider silk is already tougher and lighter than steel, and now scientists have made it three times stronger by adding small amounts of metal. The technique may be useful for manufacturing super-tough textiles and high-tech medical materials, including artificial bones and tendons. More    E-mail article

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