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Sept. 30, 2008
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Medical Imaging Nuclear Waste Piles Up
from Health Imaging News
Tubes, capsules and pellets of used radioactive material are piling up in hospitals and research centers across the United States, raising concerns that the stockpile could get lost, or stolen by terrorists and turned into dirty bombs. The Associated Press reported that for years, low-level nuclear waste, such as rice-size radioactive seeds for treating cancer and pencil-thin nuclear tubes used in industrial gauges, were sealed in the concrete and buried at a rural South Carolina landfill. More

Thermo Scientific

Eighth New Jersey Patients Has Legionnaires' Disease
from Newsday
St. Peter's University Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J., reports that an eighth patient has tested positive for the bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease. Two have died. More

Ascitic Fluid Lactoferrin Level an Accurate Indicator of Bacterial Peritonitis
from Reuters via Medscape
In patients with cirrhosis and ascites, lactoferrin concentration in ascitic fluid represents a potential new test for diagnosing spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, investigators report in the September issue of Gastroenterology. More

Researchers Report Stem Cell Advance
from The Washington Post
Scientists reported last week that they have overcome a major obstacle to using a promising alternative to embryonic stem cells, bolstering prospects for bypassing the political and ethical tempest that has embroiled hopes for a new generation of medical treatments. The researchers said they found a safe way to coax adult cells to regress into an embryonic state, alleviating what had been the most worrisome uncertainty about developing the cells into potential cures. More

FDA Reviewing Deaths in Anemia Drug Study
Reuters via the New York Times
Federal health officials said that they were reviewing a higher rate of deaths among patients treated with a Johnson & Johnson anemia drug in a German study of stroke patients. Sixteen percent of patients who were treated with the drug, Eprex, had died three months after the study began, compared with 9 percent who were given a placebo, the Food and Drug Administration said in a statement. More


Hormone Therapy May Be Safe for Postmenopausal BRCA Mutation Carriers
from Science Daily
The use of hormone therapy was associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women who carry BRCA mutations, according to a case-control study. Women who carry a mutation in the BRCA1 gene may opt to have their ovaries removed to lower their risk of developing breast cancer. The surgery, however, induces menopause, and thus some women opt to take hormone therapy to reduce its symptoms. More

Breath Test More Accurate Than Serology in Diagnosing H. Pylori Infection
from Reuters via Medscape
The results of a study conducted in two peptic ulcer populations and in healthy controls suggest that the carbon-14-urea breath test (C14-UBT) is more accurate than serology in diagnosing Helicobacter pylori infection. With sensitivity values of up to 98 percent, serology assays are, however, very good at ruling out infection. The relatively low accuracy is the result of low specificity, according to the report in the August 28th issue of the World Journal of Gastroenterology. More

Hospital Deaths of 40 Newborns Shocks Turkey
from Newsweek
Outside the Zekai Tahir Burak maternity hospital in Ankara, Turkey, stands a bronze statue of a mother nursing a baby with an inscription from the Prophet Mohammed: "Paradise lies at the feet of the mother." In July, the Ankara facility became the scene of any parent's hell. A total of 27 newborns died there within two weeks, most of them from infection. More

U.S. OKs Cepheid Test for Drug-resistant Infection
from Reuters
U.S. regulators have approved Cepheid's test to rapidly screen for drug-resistant bacterial infections in less than one hour. The test, called Xpert, aims to detect infections of staphylococcus aureus in skin and soft tissue, including those resistant to antibiotic drugs. More

Black Patients, Especially Women, at Higher Risk for Colon Polyps vs Whites
from Medscape
Black men and women are more likely to have one or more large colon polyps than their white counterparts, according to a new study of asymptomatic adults who received colonoscopy screening in the United States. "The difference is especially striking for black women," said David A. Lieberman, MD, professor of medicine, Oregon Health and Sciences University in Portland, Ore. More


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