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NEWS
July 28, 1985
On Jan. 10, 1985, four U.S. Olympic Committee doctors, following a two-month investigation, confirmed that a third of the 24-member U.S. Olympic cycling team--including five medal winners--received blood doping transfusions before their events in the '84 Games. At the time, the practice of blood doping (also referred to as blood packing or blood boosting) was not illegal by International Olympic Committee or U.S.
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SCIENCE
November 20, 2013 | By Karen Kaplan, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
The next time you take a coffee break, you might want to consider a triple espresso. The extra caffeine may reduce your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. A study presented Wednesday at the American Heart Assn.'s Scientific Sessions meeting offers new evidence that coffee boosts the function of small blood vessels in people who are already healthy. Researchers in Japan recruited 27 young adults in their 20s to participate in the study. None of them were regular coffee drinkers, but they agreed to consume two 5-ounce cups of joe for the sake of science.
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BUSINESS
July 12, 1994
Amgen Inc., the Thousand Oaks-based biotechnology company, said it has received government approval for expanded use of its red blood cell-producing factor Epogen. The drug can now be given to patients experiencing only moderate loss of red blood cells. Previously, Epogen use was restricted to patients with severe red blood cell loss. Epogen is commonly given to replenish the red blood cells of patients receiving kidney dialysis.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 17, 2013 | Thomas H. Maugh II
In the first half of the 20th century, about 10,000 American infants - and as many as 200,000 worldwide - died each year from a lethal immune reaction, called Rh disease, produced by their mother's body during childbirth. Perhaps twice that many suffered severe medical issues caused by the immune incompatibility, also known as Rhesus D hemolytic disease of the newborn, or RhD HDN. During the 1960s, however, immunologist William Pollack of Ortho Pharmaceutical Co. and Dr. Vincent J. Freda and Dr. John G. Gorman of Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center developed a vaccine that could be given to pregnant women to prevent development of the disease.
BUSINESS
July 7, 1998 | BARBARA MURPHY
Medicare has decided to broaden its criteria for payment of Amgen's top drug, the anemia treatment Epogen. The Health Care Financing Administration, which runs Medicare, indicated in March that it would raise the limit on red blood cell production for Epogen users. The agency recently sent a letter to insurers about the change, Amgen said. "It's the first time they agreed to the change in writing," said David Kaye, a spokesman for the Thousand Oaks-based Amgen.
BUSINESS
January 7, 1997 | LEO SMITH
A drug manufactured by Amgen of Thousand Oaks to aid the production of red blood cells has received approval from the federal Food and Drug Administration to be used prior to surgery. The drug, Procrit, is marketed by Ortho Biotech Inc., a unit of New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson. Procrit is a genetically engineered version of a natural human hormone, erythropoietin, which stimulates bone marrow to produce red blood cells.
HEALTH
March 29, 1999
Anemia, the most common type of blood disorder, occurs when there is a significant drop or deficiency in the number of red blood cells in the bloodstream, and therefore in the amount of oxygen making its way through your body. Red blood cells are lost too rapidly or are produced too slowly. The condition also strikes when the supply of hemoglobin (the protein-iron compound transported by red blood cells and which carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues) is diminished.
SCIENCE
August 20, 2008 | Karen Kaplan, Times Staff Writer
Scientists said Tuesday that they had devised a way to grow large quantities of blood in the lab using human embryonic stem cells, potentially making blood drives a thing of the past. But experts cautioned that although it represented a significant technical advance, the new approach required several key improvements before it could be considered a realistic alternative to donor blood. The research team outlined a four-step process for turning embryonic stem cells into red blood cells capable of carrying as much oxygen as normal blood.
BUSINESS
April 11, 1989 | From United Press International
A former research associate with a biotechnology company was sentenced to 15 months in prison Monday for stealing the company's secrets and trying to sell them to a competitor. John Stephen Wilson, 33, of Santa Barbara, who worked at the genetics company Amgen Inc. in Thousand Oaks, received his sentence for orchestrating a mail fraud scheme to sell Amgen's proprietary information to Genetics Institute of Cambridge, Mass., which was competing with Amgen for a patent to make EPO, a substance Amgen developed to combat anemia by enhancing the body's ability to produce red blood cells.
NEWS
May 13, 2011 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times/For the Booster Shots blog
Hydroxyurea, the cancer drug long used for treating sickle cell disease in adults and adolescents, is just as effective and safe for treating the disease in infants under the age of 19 months, according to a major new study to be published Saturday. The new findings suggest that physicians should begin using the drug in infants as soon as they begin showing signs of the disease. "There are now strong reasons for healthcare professionals to consider starting children who have sickle cell disease as early as possible with hydroxyurea," said Dr. Susan B. Shurin, acting director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, which sponsored the six-year study.
NEWS
January 10, 2011 | By Eryn Brown
One of red blood cells' remarkable characteristics, among many, is their ability to deform and squish their way through blood vessels -- even blood vessels tinier than they are -- to deliver oxygen throughout the body.  Scientists believe this flexibility contributes to red blood cells' ability to circulate for an average of 120 days. Now researchers at the University of North Carolina have synthesized red blood cell-sized and -shaped nanoparticles that mimic this flexibility and longevity.
NEWS
September 8, 2010
An initiative launched by the National Collegiate Athletic Assn. to screen close to 167,000 college athletes for "sickle cell trait" is "full of potential pitfalls" and should be recast before taking effect, two experts from the National Human Genome Research Institute and a leading pediatrician have warned.  The NCAA program -- the first large-scale effort to use genetic information to reduce injuries -- is likely to be a...
HEALTH
September 28, 2009 | Melissa Healy
A victim of severe trauma who gets as little as a single unit of blood that's been stored for more than a month is twice as likely to die as an equally injured patient transfused with fresher blood, a study found. Red blood cells stored longer than 28 days significantly increased trauma patients' risk of developing fatal deep vein thrombosis or multiple-organ failure for six months after transfusion, a team of pediatric intensive-care specialists in Connecticut reported Wednesday in the journal Critical Care.
SCIENCE
August 20, 2008 | Karen Kaplan, Times Staff Writer
Scientists said Tuesday that they had devised a way to grow large quantities of blood in the lab using human embryonic stem cells, potentially making blood drives a thing of the past. But experts cautioned that although it represented a significant technical advance, the new approach required several key improvements before it could be considered a realistic alternative to donor blood. The research team outlined a four-step process for turning embryonic stem cells into red blood cells capable of carrying as much oxygen as normal blood.
HEALTH
July 28, 2008 | Karen Ravn, Special to The Times
When three cyclists got caught using the banned drug EPO this month, they were forced to take an abrupt detour from the Tour de France -- and perhaps from their riding careers. Of course, even as some ponder the psychological motivations driving elite athletes, others are left wondering about more basic issues, such as: What is EPO? EPO is the acronym for erythropoietin, a hormone that stimulates bone marrow to produce red blood cells. Everybody needs this hormone.
HEALTH
December 15, 2003 | Jane E. Allen
Anemia is nothing to ignore in later years. It doubles the risk of dying and boosts the risk of hospitalization by 40%, new research shows. A reduction in the number of red blood cells that fuel the body with oxygen, anemia occurs in about 13% of adults older than 70. In some cases, deficiency in iron or vitamin B-12 is to blame. Cancer, liver or kidney disease also can thwart production of red blood cells. Nearly a third of cases remain unexplained.
NEWS
May 22, 1990 | EDWIN CHEN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A new genetically engineered kidney-disease drug, already one of biotechnology's best-selling products, is threatening to become an undetectable killer of athletes who misuse it to enhance their performance. The year-old designer drug, known as "go juice" among anemic dialysis patients, is widely feared to have already killed a handful of European bicyclists, although sports officials and researchers concede they may never know for sure.
HEALTH
May 14, 2007 | Alan Zarembo, Times Staff Writer
IT is 4:01 a.m. The red glow of the digital clock is clearly visible through the clear plastic walls surrounding my bed. It is mid-March, and the Boston Marathon is more than a month away. If everything works as planned, I will finish it in less than three hours. For several nights now, I've been sleeping in a giant plastic bubble as part of an unscientific but increasingly common experiment on athletic performance.
BUSINESS
April 18, 2007 | From Reuters
For-profit dialysis chains treating the bulk of kidney disease patients in the U.S. are more aggressive in using lucrative anemia drugs compared with their nonprofit peers, a study released Tuesday said. The Journal of the American Medical Assn. study compared prescribing patterns at nonprofits versus big corporate chains and found that doctors at chains gave patients bigger increases and total doses of epoetin.
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