August 30, 2012 |
In what is almost certainly a medical first, a physician from my hometown of St. Joseph, Mo., has identified a new viral disease thought to be transmitted by ticks. The virus is related to hantaviruses, which have recently caused at least two deaths at Yosemite National Park, but so far only two confirmed cases have been observed. Because the two farmers who contracted the virus live 60 miles apart, however, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suspect there are probably many more unrecognized cases.
August 27, 2012 |
Massachusetts researchers are beginning a clinical trial using eggs from the pig whipworm parasite Trichuris suis to modulate the autoimmune attack that produces Crohn's disease, a severe form of bowel inflammation. Preliminary results suggest that the harmless worms can tamp down the immune responsethat produces Crohn's without the side effects of existing drugs, which leave patients more susceptible to infectious diseases. The eggs are also being tested against other forms of autoimmune disease, including irritable bowel syndrome and multiple sclerosis.
June 5, 2012 |
Omar Amin was browsing for books, but instead he got the boot. The 73-year-old was looking for gifts for his two grandsons in an Arizona Barnes & Noble store when he got a rude tap on the shoulder: It seems a female customer told store officials she was “uncomfortable” that a man was in the children's section unaccompanied by any minor. A store employee told the 73-year-old Amin, the director of a Scottsdale medical clinic, to leave and escorted him out of the business.
June 28, 2011 |
Duct tape – is there no end to its usefulness? Apparently not. Now we learn that using duct tape in hospitals could be a tool in the fight against infectious disease. Call it a handyman’s quarantine. An infection-prevention team at Trinity Medical Center in the Quad Cities along the Illinois and Iowa border, wanted to create safe zones in which healthcare workers could talk to patients with infectious diseases. So they used 3-foot squares of red duct tape to indicate where precisely that zone was located.
December 14, 2010 |
Life expectancy soared over the last part of the 20th century as treatments for major diseases improved and infectious diseases were quelled by vaccines and better treatment. The most recent data, however, hint that life expectancy is no longer growing. And, according to a new study, we may spend more years sick than we did even a decade ago. In a fascinating paper published Monday in the Journal of Gerontology , noted gerontologist Eileen Crimmins and her colleague Hiram Beltran-Sanchez, both of USC, suggest that the goal of a long life marked by mostly healthy years may not be possible for most of humanity.
July 10, 2010 |
Peering up into tree branches 100 feet above the floor of the jungle, Angela Maldonado spots a family of monkeys where someone with a less practiced eye would see nothing but a maze of brown and green foliage. "They're intelligent, charismatic creatures that express happiness, pain and grief. They make you feel what they are feeling," Maldonado said, squinting up at the rain forest canopy outside this sweltering Amazon port city. "They're a lot like us." Such empathy explains why Maldonado, a 36-year-old primate conservationist, has sought, as her lifework, to keep Colombia's night monkeys out of the hands of indigenous hunters who sell them to medical laboratories for infectious disease research.