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Home    About    Scholarships    Meetings    Publications    Resources July 27, 2010
ASCLS eNewsBytes
July 27, 2010
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Gulf oil dispersants unlikely to be endocrine disruptors and have relatively low cell toxicity
Science Daily    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Government scientists are reporting that eight of the most commonly used oil dispersants used to fight oil spills, such as the massive episode in the Gulf of Mexico, appear unlikely to act as endocrine disruptors — hormone-like substances that can interfere with reproduction, development, and other biological processes. More

Gene transfer may correct monogenic blood disease in young patients
Medscape Medical News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
Preclinical trials of a genetic treatment for β-thalassemia have demonstrated the potential to successfully correct the genetic error underlying this disease. The normal β-globin gene was inserted into patients' hemopoietic cells from bone marrow aspirates, increasing β-globin production to levels typically found in carriers of the mutation. The study, led by an Italian group based at the San Raffaele Scientific Institute in Milan, was reported online in EMBO Molecular Medicine. More

CDC confirms danger in airborne fungal infection
MedPage Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With 60 cases of Cryptococcus gattii infection reported through July 1 in the northwestern U.S., the fungus has become enough of a danger that clinicians should be alert for it, according to the CDC. A report and accompanying editorial in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report called on physicians to "consider C. gattii as a possible etiology of infection when treating patients (particularly those who are HIV negative) who have signs and symptoms of cryptococcal infection." Among 45 patients with known outcomes, a total of 15 died. More

Growing body parts
60 Minutes via CBS News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Thousands wait in vain for organ transplants; soldiers return from battle horribly maimed. There is only so much medicine can do, but we may be on the path to a new technology in which quite literally, we will be growing new body parts. It's called "regenerative medicine," where cells in the human body are manipulated into regrowing tissue. As we first reported last December, researchers have so far created beating hearts, ears and bladders.

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WHO guidelines call for prompt HIV testing and treatment of newborns
Medscape Medical News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Infants born to mothers who are HIV-positive should have their HIV status determined at birth or soon after, with a diagnosis of HIV infection confirmed within four to six weeks of age, so that treatment can be initiated as early as possible, according to new guidelines issued by the World Health Organization. The guidelines are available at on the WHO website. As many as one third of HIV-infected infants die before their first birthday, WHO officials said here at AIDS 2010: XVIII International AIDS Conference, in announcing the new treatment guidelines. More

Report: Gene-test services mislead public
Bloomberg via Businessweek    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Four gene-testing companies are misleading U.S. consumers by providing unclear or conflicting information on the risk of disease, according to a government investigator who sampled the services on the Internet. More

Benefit confirmed in "bubble boy" treatment
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A 10-year study of nine boys born without the ability to ward off germs has found that gene therapy is an effective long-term treatment, but it carries a price: four of them developed leukemia. The technique is designed to help boys with X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency disease, or SCID, a rare mutation that prevents the body from making mature T cells or natural killer cells, which are vital tools for fighting infections. More

Basophil activation test helps predict safety of oral challenge in milk allergy
Reuters Health via Medscape Medical News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Before risking an oral challenge to see if a child has outgrown a milk allergy, French researchers recommend using a basophil activation test (BAT). Using this test, "we were able to correctly identify 94 percent of the newly tolerant children as well as 94 percent of the persistently allergic," coauthor Dr. Mylene Vivinus-Nebot from Hopital l'Archet 1 in Nice told Reuters Health by e-mail. In an online report in Allergy, she and her colleagues caution that neither the BAT alone nor a combination of the BAT, skin prick testing and specific IgE measurement totally eliminate false-negative results, so medical supervision is still mandatory during oral challenges. More

Hope against hepatitis C
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
New medicines are being developed that are expected to transform the care of patients with hepatitis C, making treatment far more effective and far less grueling. The new drugs, which could start reaching the market as early as next year, could help subdue a virus that infects roughly four million Americans, most of them baby boomers, and 170 million people worldwide. More
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