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The US is currently experiencing an outbreak of measles in over 14 states, many cases linking back to California's Disneyland which start…
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Molecular Science in the News
(For more information on the below articles, a subscription to the newspaper (and journal) may be required)
Monday March 2, 2015
Ebola Outbreak News
- Sierra Leone’s Vice Presiden in Quarantine for Ebola: "Sierra Leone's vice president has put himself in quarantine following the death from Ebola of one of his security guards. Vice President Samuel Sam-Sumana is set to become acting president later Sunday when President Ernest Bai Koroma leaves Sierra Leone to attend a European Union conference on Ebola in Belgium. Sam-Sumana will carry out his presidential duties from his home.…." (Clarence Roy-Macaulay, Associated Press)
- Africa's medicine men key to halting Ebola spread in Guinea: "In a land where witchcraft is sought after more than science for curing illness, medicine men in Guinea say the Ebola epidemic would be over by now if they had been properly included in the outbreak response. From broken bones to impotence to madness, these traditional healers say they have a potion, spell or touch for many ailments Western doctors can't treat. But there's only one cure for Ebola they say: knowledge…." (Misha Hussain, Reuters)
- Texas Ebola nurse says hospital failed her and her colleagues: "The first person infected with Ebola in the United States, nurse Nina Pham, said she was used for publicity purposes by her hospital, which also invaded her privacy and did not properly train her, the Dallas Morning News reported on Sunday.…." (Jon Herskovitz and Lisa Maria Garza, Reuters)
- North Korea ending Ebola travel restrictions: tour firms: "North Korea is ending a ban on foreign tourists imposed more than four months ago because of worries about the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, two tour operators and a source in regular contact with North Korean officials said on Monday…." (James Pearson, Reuters)
- Exclusive: Guinea says Ebola patients sent home after botched blood tests: "Health officials botched more than 20 Ebola blood tests in January and February which led to the release of at least four positive patients, two of whom later died, Guinea's anti-Ebola coordinator and other health officials told Reuters…." (Emma Farge, Reuters)
Other Molecular Science News
- Psychiatric Drug Overuse Is Cited by Federal Study: "Federal investigators say they have found evidence of widespread overuse of psychiatric drugs by older Americans with Alzheimer’s disease, and are recommending that Medicare officials take immediate action to reduce unnecessary prescriptions…." (Robert PearNew York Times)
- Most Doctors Give In to Requests by Parents to Alter Vaccine Schedules: "A wide majority of pediatricians and family physicians acquiesce to parents who wish to delay vaccinating their children, even though the doctors feel these decisions put children at risk for measles, whooping cough and other ailments, a new survey has found…." (Catherine St. Louis, New York Times)
- U.S. minors easily buy e-cigarettes online: UNC study: "Teenagers in North Carolina who try to buy electronic cigarettes online are likely to succeed even though selling the devices to minors is illegal in the state, researchers reported on Monday.…." (Kathryn Doyle, Reuters)
- Peanuts may lower risk of death from heart disease: "Peanuts may reduce the risk of death from heart disease, a large study (JAMA Internal Medicine) found, suggesting that the health benefits of this low-cost nut may be similar to pricier options like almonds and pistachios. While previous studies have linked nut consumption to a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure, the earlier research focused mostly on wealthier white people in the U.S. and Europe.…." (Lisa Rapaport, Reuters)
- Study finds evidence Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a biological illness: "Researchers from Columbia University and elsewhere have found evidence Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, officially known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS), is a biological illness. The researchers used data from two studies comprised of a total of 298 ME/CFS patients and 348 healthy controls to find 51 immune biomarkers in blood plasma samples that identify biological patterns related to the illness (Science Advances)…." (Thor Benson, United Press International)
- New migraine treatment shows promise: "According to physicians at Albany Medical Center, in New York, a new minimally invasive intervention for patients dealing with recurring migraines was able to reduce the severity of symptoms and diminish the need for migraine meds. The doctors, who partnered with researchers at University New York Empire State College in Saratoga Springs, shared the details of the new treatment on Monday at the annual meeting of the (Society of Interventional Radiologists), held in Atlanta…." (Brooks Hays, United Press International)
- Ultra-small bacteria detailed in new microscope imagery: "Over the last two decades, scientists have gone back and forth on whether or not ultra-small bacteria exist. But now, for the first time, there's photographic proof. Researchers at Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley, have captured detailed images of the micro-bacteria. The images, produced by high-powered microscopes, detail what scientists say is an example of life at its smallest state…." (Brooks Hays, United Press International)
Friday February 27, 2015
Ebola Outbreak News
- Obama meets with Liberian leader to discuss Ebola recovery: "President Barack Obama says that because of the efforts of the U.S., Liberia and other partners, the world has made "extraordinary strides in driving back Ebola."…." (Associated Press)
- UN plans decision in August on mass Ebola vaccine program: "The World Health Organization says a decision will be made in August whether to recommend a program of mass vaccination against Ebola in affected countries. The U.N. health agency says an independent expert group will weigh the results of ongoing clinical trials, the state of the epidemic and the logistical challenges of carrying out such a program…." (Associated Press)
- Fatality Rate Is Falling in West African Ebola Clinics: "As the Ebola epidemic in West Africa wanes, physicians from Doctors Without Borders are confronting a mystery: More of their patients are surviving. They do not know why…." (Donald G. McNeil, Jr., New York Times)
- U.S., Liberia kick off trial of Ebola drug ZMapp: "U.S. and Liberian researchers have started a clinical trial to test the safety and effectiveness of Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc's Ebola drug ZMapp, an experimental treatment that has already been tried in a handful of Ebola patients, including two U.S. missionaries…." (Julie Steenhuysen, Reuters)
- Ebola halts HIV progress in Sierra Leone, says U.N.: "The West African Ebola outbreak has halted progress in tackling HIV in Sierra Leone, shutting health clinics and scaring patients from being tested or seeking treatment, the United Nations has said…." (Misha Hussain, Reuters)
- Compound from Chinese medicinal herb shows promise for Ebola: " A drug derived from a Chinese medicinal herb is showing promise for combating Ebola infection, effectively imprisoning the virus inside cells so it cannot do its usual damage, scientists said on Thursday (Science). The researchers said the compound, called tetrandrine, blocked infection of human white blood cells in lab dishes and prevented Ebola virus disease in lab mice…." (Will Dunham, Reuters)
Other Molecular Science News
- Experts blame anti-vaccine lobby for Bosnia measles outbreak: "Medical experts are warning that the anti-vaccination lobby is growing in Bosnia, often using scientifically discredited arguments to stoke parental fears in the worst-affected country in Europe's measles outbreak…." (Associated Press)
- Millions of young risk hearing loss from loud music, UN says: "The World Health Organization says millions of young people around the world are at risk of hearing loss from loud music. The U.N. agency said Friday that a review of data from middle- and high-income countries shows almost half of all 12 to 35-year-olds listen to unsafe levels of music…." (Associated Press)
- Heat blamed for spray vaccine's failure against swine flu: "The makers of the nasal spray version of the flu vaccine say now they know why it has failed to protect young U.S. children against swine flu - fragile doses got too warm. The AstraZeneca FluMist vaccine works well for most flu strains, but small studies found it didn't work very well against the swine flu bug that first emerged in 2009…." (Mike Stobbe, Associated Press)
- U.S. Push for Abstinence in Africa Is Seen as Failure Against H.I.V.: "The $1.3 billion that the United States government has spent since 2005 encouraging Africans to avoid AIDS by practicing abstinence and fidelity did not measurably change sexual behavior and was largely wasted, according to a study presented on the last day of an AIDS conference (Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) 2015) here…." (Donald G. McNeil, Jr., New York Times)
- Watch out for nasty global flu surprises, WHO warns: "The world remains highly vulnerable to a possible severe flu pandemic and governments should increase surveillance, vigilance and preparedness, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday. "Nothing about influenza is predictable - including where the next pandemic might emerge and which virus might be responsible," the United Nations health agency warned…." (Kate Kelland, Reuters)
- Food supplements crucial to reduce child malnutrition: "The addition of highly nutritious foods and supplements to the diets of poor mothers could help reduce child mortality and malnutrition in Africa and South Asia, food experts said on Thursday. With breastfeeding, fortified foods, including wheat-based products like porridge and micronutrient powders, are critical for children in the first two years of life, according to the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), a group of governments, businesses and non-governmental organizations working to reduce malnutrition…." (Kieran Guilbert, Reuters)
- Bristol hep C drug helps cure 97 percent of HIV coinfected patients: study: "Ninety-seven percent of hepatitis C patients also infected with HIV were cured of the liver-destroying virus after 12 weeks of treatment with Bristol-Myers Squibb's daclatasvir and Gilead Sciences' Sovaldi, according to data from a study (Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) 2015) presented on Thursday…." (Bill Berkrot, Reuters)
- Nasal flu vaccines may be safe for kids with egg allergies: "Nasal-spray flu vaccines appear to be safe for children over age two who have egg allergies or asthma, say UK researchers (Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology). No systemic or severe allergic reactions were seen among 282 egg-allergic children who received the vaccine. Eight kids had mild reactions, such as a runny nose and 26 reported coughing or wheezing up to three days after the vaccine…." (Shereen Lehman, Reuters)
- Parasite colonizing Florida snails could pose health risk: "University of Florida researchers have confirmed the presence of a deadly parasite in three non-native species of snails that have colonized South Florida. The parasite, rat lungworm (Angiostrongylus cantonensis), is a tiny worm that can sicken humans and animals including horses, dogs and birds. The study (Journal of Parisitology) that confirmed the parasite's presence in three of five tested snail species…." (Brooks Hays, United Press International)
- Biggest U.S. Health Insurer Tightens Rules on Hysterectomy Coverage: "The nation’s largest health insurer is imposing tighter controls on its coverage for hysterectomies after more than a year of debate over a medical device that was found to spread hidden cancer in some women undergoing the procedure. As of April, UnitedHealth Group Inc. will require doctors to obtain authorization from the insurer before performing most types of hysterectomies, according to a bulletin sent to physicians and hospitals…." (Jennifer Levitz and Jon Kamp, Wall Street Journal)
Thursday February 26, 2015
Ebola Outbreak News
- Panel: Base quarantines, other outbreak decisions on science: "Attempts to quarantine health workers returning from Ebola-stricken West Africa were a mistake, the president's bioethics advisers said Thursday. The U.S. has a moral responsibility, as well as a self-interest, in helping to fight public health emergencies around the globe, said the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. The panel examined the U.S. response to the Ebola outbreak…." (Lauran Neergaard, Associated Press)
- Ebola doctor: Media, politicians fueled the public's fear: "A doctor who contracted the deadly Ebola virus and rode the subway system and dined out before he developed symptoms said the media and politicians could have done a better job by educating people on the science of it instead of focusing on their fears…." (Tom McElroy, Associated Press)
- FDA approves Corgenix's Ebola test for emergency use: "Diagnostics company Corgenix Medical Corp said on Thursday U.S. health regulators had approved its rapid Ebola test for emergency use, in response to the world's worst outbreak of the virus that killed more than 10,000 so far…." (Natalie Grover, Reuters)
- Guinea's Conde replaces key minister to boost Ebola fight: "Guinean President Alpha Conde on Tuesday replaced the minister of territorial administration with an army general in a move the government said was necessary to strengthen the fight against an Ebola outbreak in the West African nation…." (Saliou Samb, Reuters)
Other Molecular Science News
- Panel: Use New Meningitis Vaccines Only For Outbreaks: "A federal panel is recommending that two new meningitis vaccines only be used during outbreaks and not be given routinely to teens and college students…." (Mike Stobbe, Associated Press)
- A Faster Way to Try Many Drugs on Many Cancers: "Chemotherapy and radiation failed to thwart Erika Hurwitz’s rare cancer of white blood cells. So her doctors offered her another option, a drug for melanoma. The result was astonishing…." (Gina Kolata, New York Times)
- Researchers Warn on Anesthesia, Unsure of Risk to Children: "Faced with mounting evidence that general anesthesia may impair brain development in babies and young children, experts said Wednesday that more research is greatly needed and that when planning surgery for a child, parents and doctors should consider how urgently it is required, particularly in children younger than 3 years (The New England Journal of Medicine)…." (Denise Grady, New York Times)
- University of Oregon meningitis vaccination will be largest in US since approval of new drug: "The mass vaccination effort at the University of Oregon next week will be the biggest in the nation since a vaccine against a common form of meningococcal disease, strain B, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration less than four months ago.…." (Betsy Hammond, The Oregonian)
- Healthy diet linked to lung health: "Among its many rewards, eating a healthy diet might help protect against the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, according to a new study (BMJ)…." (Roxanne Nelson, Reuters)
- Myanmar culls chickens, quail to contain H5N1 outbreak: "Myanmar has culled thousands of poultry to try to contain an outbreak of H5N1 bird flu in Monywa, west of the commercial center of Mandalay, health officials said on Thursday…." (Aung Hla Tun, Reuters)
- In landmark FDA tobacco study, e-cig questions likely to linger: "The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is poised to release initial data from a landmark study into how Americans use tobacco products, but researchers expect many key questions about e-cigarettes to remain unanswered…." (Toni Clarke, Reuters)
- Study links common food additives to Crohn's disease, colitis: "Common additives in ice cream, margarine, packaged bread and many processed foods may promote the inflammatory bowel diseases ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease as well as a group of obesity-related conditions, scientists said on Wednesday (Nature)…." (Will Dunham, Reuters)
- HIV prevention saves over $250,000 over lifetime: "Preventing the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in one person living in the U.S. saves more than $250,000 over their remaining lifetime, according to a new analysis (Medical Care). Based on estimates of lifespan and medical costs from age 35 onward, researchers found that avoiding infection with the virus that causes AIDS saves from $229,800 to $338,400, depending on the amount of care a person receives…." (Andrew M. Seaman, Reuters)
- Dangerous infections now spreading outside hospitals: "Life-threatening infections caused by bacteria called Clostridium difficile now sicken nearly half a million Americans a year, health officials said Wednesday. The number of these infections — which can cause "deadly diarrhea" and damage to the colon — doubled between 2000 and 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (New England Journal of Medicine)…." (Liz Szabo, USA Today)
- Indiana HIV outbreak linked to prescription drug abuse: "A quickly spreading outbreak of HIV in southeastern Indiana is being linked to injection of the powerful painkiller Opana — raising concern among health officials across the region and nation as they face an epidemic of prescription drug abuse…." (Laura Ungar, USA Today)
- CDC HEALTH ADVISORY (CDC HAN 0360 January 15, 2014): Human Infection with Avian Influenza A (H5N1) Virus
New Resources on MolecularHUB.org
- Healthmap: HealthMap, a team of researchers, epidemiologists and software developers at Boston Children's Hospital founded in 2006, is an established global leader in utilizing online informal sources for disease outbreak monitoring and real-time surveillance of emerging public health threats. The freely available Web site 'healthmap.org' and mobile app 'Outbreaks Near Me' deliver real-time intelligence on a broad range of emerging infectious diseases for a diverse audience including libraries, local health departments, governments, and international travelers. .
- dbGaP: The database of Genotypes and Phenotypes (dbGaP) was developed to archive and distribute the results of studies that have investigated the interaction of genotype and phenotype.
- Personal Genome Project UK: Personal Genome Project UK: Almost all current public data from PGP sites is from the Harvard site. As new sites grow we expect to share more data from around the world.
- Harvard PGP Data: In addition to whole genome sequencing, the Harvard PGP has a variety of donated genetic data (ranging from externally-performed genomes and exomes to direct-to-consumer genotyping).
- E-Bug: A place for children, teens, and adults to play games and learn about microbes.
- 100K Food Pathogen Project: In the Genome Project for Food Pathogens project, FDA has partnered with U.C. Davis and Agilent to map the DNA of 100,000 pathogen strains to stop foodborne illness outbreaks faster.
- Cellminer: CellMiner™ is a web application generated by the Genomics & Bioinformatics Group, LMP, CCR, NCI that facilitates systems biology through the retrieval and integration of the molecular and pharmacological data sets for the NCI-60 cell lines. The NCI-60, a panel of 60 diverse human cancer cell lines used by the Developmental Therapeutics Program of the U.S. National Cancer Institute to screen over 100,000 chemical compounds and natural products (since 1990)
- BAM files: Index of /projects/nci60/wes/BAMS/
- DTP Drug Screen: The In Vitro Cell Line Screening Project (IVCLSP) is a dedicated service providing direct support to the DTP anticancer drug discovery program.
- DTP Molecular Targets: Thousands of molecular targets have been measured in the NCI panel of 60 human tumor cell lines. Measurements include protein levels, RNA measurements, mutation status and enzyme activity levels. You can choose to search for a target of interest, or you may browse through a list of targets. Follow the links for a target to retrieve the 60 cell line data (either text or graphical), to run COMPARE (find Targets or Compounds whose patterns correlate with a Target of interest) and to link to various databases with information (function, sequences, disease associations) about the target
- Influenza Primer Design Resource: A program from Medical College of Wisconsin designed to aid researchers in translating the vast amounts of influenza sequence information into highly effective influenza diagnostics. IPDR consists of a database of all influenza nucleotide sequences and variety of bioinformatic analyses that aid in the development of primers and probes that can be used in diagnostic assays
Other Purdue News and Websites
- Oncological Sciences Center
- Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI): accelerating clinical and translational research in healthcare
- cceHUB.org: Cancer care engineering
- CatalyzeCare.org: Transforming healthcare delivery
- The Center for Global Research and Intervention in Infectious Disease (C-GRIID)
- nanoHUB.org: A resource for nanoscience and nanotechnology, nanoHUB.org was created by the NSF-funded Network for Computational Nanotechnology
- pharmaHUB.org: pharmaHUB was created as an NSF-funded Engineering Virtual Organization with a mission to facilitate collaborative creation and sharing of information, knowledge and modeling tools that support innovations in product and process development and manufacturing methodology for pharmaceutical products
- Communities and Universities Addressing Health Disparities (CUAHD.org) : CUAHD (Communities and Universities Addressing Health Disparities) is a collaboration between Purdue University, the Indiana Minority Health Coalition (IMHC), and the African American communities in Lake and Marion Counties of Indiana working to address the disparities in heart health in the African American community