ASCLS eNewsBytes
Aug. 19, 2008
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Early Test for Cancer Isn’t Always Best Course
from The New York Times
For years patients have been told that early cancer detection saves lives. So it might have seemed surprising when a panel of leading medical experts recently offered exactly the opposite advice. They urged doctors to stop screening older men for prostate cancer, which will kill an estimated 28,600 men in the United States this year. More

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Researchers Discover Common Bacterial Strain Causing Lyme Disease in the U.S. and Europe
from Infection Control Today Magazine
Researchers at Stony Brook University Medical Center have discovered a single common strain of the bacteria that causes Lyme disease in the U.S. and Europe. This strain has been associated with more severe Lyme disease and its identification on both sides of the Atlantic suggests that it is highly adaptable and may be responsible for the increase in symptomatic Lyme disease cases over the past decade, the researchers hypothesize. More

Prescriptions for Health, the Environmental Kind
from The New York Times
Dr. Natalie Jeremijenko, an Australian artist, designer and engineer, invites members of the public to her New York University clinic to discuss personal environmental concerns like air and water quality. Sitting at the consultation desk, she also offers them concrete remedies or “prescriptions” for change, much as a medical clinic might offer prescriptions for drugs. More

Researchers Find Genes That Influence West Nile Virus
from the Washington Post
Researchers have zeroed in on more than 300 human genes that appear to impact West Nile virus infection of human cells. Finding ways to interfere with how these genes work may provide ways to treat or even prevent infection. More

Harvard Scientists Create New Stem Cell Lines
from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Harvard scientists have reprogrammed the cells of patients with various genetic illnesses back to an embryonic state, creating a bank of cells that researchers can use to study and fight disease. The 20 new cell lines span 10 different diseases, including Parkinson’s and Down syndrome. More

New Maggot Juice May Save Your Life
from Discover Magazine
Larva therapy, a method used to clean out wounds for centuries, is making a comeback in modern medicine. In the latest development, researchers claim they have purified an antibiotic from maggot secretions that kills many strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), as well as other bacteria. More


Physician Groups Earn Performance Payments for Improving Quality of Care for Patients with Chronic Illnesses
from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced recently that all physician groups participating in the Physician Group Practice Demonstration improved the quality of care delivered to patients with congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, and diabetes mellitus during performance year two of the demonstration. As a result, the 10 groups earned $16.7 million in incentive payments under the demonstration that rewards health care providers for improving health outcomes and coordinating the overall health care needs of Medicare patients assigned to the groups. More

Bacteria Played a Role in 1918 Pandemic Flu Deaths
from The Los Angeles Times
Most deaths in the 1918 influenza pandemic were due not to the virus alone but to common bacterial infections that took advantage of victims' weakened immune systems, according to two new studies that could change the nation's strategy against the next pandemic. More


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