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April 7, 2012 | By David Colker
It sounds like the stuff of urban legends, but the official Chinese Xinhua News Agency is reporting that five people have been arrested for alleged involvement in the removal and selling of a teenager's kidney for transplant, according to the Associated Press. The Xinhua story said the 17-year-old student, identified only by his surname Wang, gave up his kidney for money, some of which was used buy two of Apple's most popular products -- an iPad and an iPhone. Could this be true, or an apocryphal story in a rapidly growing country where there is increasing concern over materialism?
March 8, 2012 | Eric Sondheimer
Smiling, giggling, laughing — watching Chad Eaton play baseball, you'd never know that his senior season is about to end only three weeks after it began. "What I admire about him is being brave, strong and mentally tough, being able to wake up and find a sanctuary on the baseball field and giving 100%," North Hollywood Campbell Hall Coach Juan Velazquez said. "It puts a smile on my face every day. " On Saturday, Eaton will take the mound as the starting pitcher for Campbell Hall in a 1:30 p.m. home game against Glendale Hoover.
January 16, 2012 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Nurses often go above and beyond the call of duty to help patients, but they usually don't go to the lengths Allison Batson did. She donated a kidney to one. The recipient is 23-year-old Clay Taber, who had been treated at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta for kidney failure in 2010. The Auburn University graduate was diagnosed with Goodpasture's syndrome, a rare autoimmune disease that can result in severe damage to the kidneys and lungs. Taber eventually would up in the transplant unit at Emory, where Batson, a transplant nurse, was working.
January 4, 2012 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Actor Nick Cannon is in the hospital with what his wife, Mariah Carey, says is mild kidney failure. Carey tweeted a photo of the two of them in Cannon's hospital bed in Colorado, and according to the Ministry of Gossip , Carey posted on her blog, "We're trying to be as festive as possible under the circumstances but please keep Nick in your thoughts because this is very painful. " Although information on Cannon's particular condition is scarce, we got some information on the condition from Dr. Bryan Becker, immediate past president of the National Kidney Foundation . In the medical community, Becker said via a media rep, there really is no term called "mild kidney failure," but he speculates that Cannon might have been hospitalized for some decrease in kidney function.
September 30, 2011 | By Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times
One of the most widespread groundwater contaminants in the nation is more dangerous to humans than earlier thought, a federal agency has determined, in a decision that could raise the cost of cleanups nationwide, including large areas of the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys. The final risk assessment for trichloroethylene by the Environmental Protection Agency found that the widely used industrial solvent causes kidney and liver cancer, lymphoma and other health problems.
September 9, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Kidney disease affects about 20 million Americans, many of whom end up on dialysis. But there may be a way to identify and treat severe cases earlier in the course of the disease. In a study published Friday, researchers said that measuring a hormone called FGF-23 can predict which patients will end up needing dialysis. The hormone, fibroblast growth factor-23, was discovered fairly recently and has attracted a lot of attention from researchers for its crucial role in regulating phosphorus in the body.
August 21, 2011 | By Brittany Levine, Los Angeles Times
One Marine's tragedy became another's lifeline this month as medical staff on opposite sides of the country worked quickly on an out-of-the-ordinary kidney donation. The fast-paced transplant underscores the deep bond among service members and their families, according to friends and relatives. As Sgt. Jacob Chadwick prepared to leave the hospital Aug. 11, hundreds of police cars and motorcycles escorted 2nd Lt. Patrick Wayland's casket through his hometown of Midland, Texas, where thousands lined the streets waving American flags.
July 27, 2011 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times/For the Booster Shots blog
More than 20,000 of the roughly 82,000 people waiting for a kidney transplant in the United States have the odds stacked against them because they are what doctors call “HLA sensitized.” That means that a previous transplant, blood transfusion or pregnancy has primed their immune systems to reject a donor organ that isn't a perfect match. But a work-around developed at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore could improve the fortunes of these patients. Researchers there have figured out a way to erase their bodies' memory of being HLA sensitized, in most cases clearing the way for a successful transplant from a donor who isn't a perfect match.
June 3, 2011 | By Noam N. Levey and Henry Chu, Los Angeles Times
A deadly outbreak of food-borne illness in Europe is being caused by an unusually virulent strain of E. coli that scientists haven't seen before and that may be dramatically more dangerous, global health officials said Thursday. The new strain has killed at least 17 people in Germany and Sweden and sickened 1,614 in 10 countries in Europe, the World Health Organization said. Unlike typical forms of the bacterium, which can cause severe diarrhea, this strain in many cases is resulting in a more severe reaction known as hemolytic uremic syndrome , or HUS. The syndrome occurs when toxins released by the bacteria destroy blood cells, which then clog the kidneys, leading to kidney failure.
April 21, 2011 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
A high-fat "ketogenic" diet may reverse the kidney damage caused by diabetes, a study published online Wednesday by the journal PLoS One reports. Past research has shown that lowering blood sugar through diet can prevent kidney failure but not reverse it in patients with diabetes.  Lead author Charles Mobbs, a neuroscientist at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, said that this study -- in which mice were fed a high-fat diet of...
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