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Measles outbreak

The US is currently experiencing an outbreak of measles in over 14 states, many cases linking back to California's Disneyland  which start…

  • Posted by Claire Tighe, in  Site-Wide Forum February 3rd, 2015, 4:49pm

    Genetic engineering and "three-person babies"

    BBC health announced this morning in their article "MPs say yes to three-person babies," by James Gallagher that the UK is set to become …

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    Special Report

    Molecular Science in the News

    (For more information on the below articles, a subscription to the newspaper (and journal) may be required)

    • Friday March 27, 2015

      Ebola Outbreak News
      • Sierra Leoneans to stay home in final push to stop Ebola: "Sierra Leone's 6 million people were told to stay home for three days, except for religious services, beginning Friday as the West African nation attempted a final push to rid itself of Ebola…." (Clarence Roy-Macaulay, Associated Press)
      • Ebola virus not mutating as quickly as feared: "Throughout the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, health officials have feared that widespread transmission would give rise to an even more virulent and contagious form of the virus. However, new research published Thursday in the journal Science suggests that the virus is undergoing only limited mutational changes, and is no more virulent than when the outbreak began…." (Monte Morin, Los Angeles Times)
      • British Ebola patient cured after experimental treatment: "A 25-year-old British military nurse who was the first person in the world to be treated for Ebola with the experimental drug MIL 77 was discharged from hospital on Friday, London's Royal Free Hospital said…." (Stephen Addison, Reuters)
      • Two Experimental Ebola Vaccines Appear to Be Safe in Trial: "Two experimental Ebola virus vaccines appear to be safe, based on a trial with 600 people in Liberia, the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said Thursday. NIAID, part of the National Institutes of Health, has been testing a vaccine produced by the NIH and GlaxoSmithKline PLC, and another one developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada. That latter vaccine has been licensed to NewLink Genetics Corp. and Merck & Co…." (Thomas M. Burton, Wall Street Journal)
      Other Molecular Science News
      • FDA to scrutinize unproven alternative remedies: "Federal officials plan to review the safety and evidence behind alternative remedies like Zicam and Cold-Eeze, products that are protected by federal law, but not accepted by mainstream medicine…." (Matthew Perrone, Associated Press)
      • Pence orders short-term needle exchange to combat HIV epidemic: "Gov. Mike Pence Thursday declared the HIV epidemic in southeastern Indiana a public health emergency and gave local authorities the OK to begin a short-term needle-exchange program to help fight an outbreak that now includes 79 cases all linked to intravenous drug use…." (Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star)
      • Occupational exposure to chemicals may up lymphoma risk for men: "Men who work with hormone-mimicking chemicals for at least 30 years have a higher risk of cancers of the lymph tissue than others, according to a long-term observational study (British Journal of Cancer) in several European countries.…." (Kathryn Doyle, Reuters)
      • New study links gut microbiome with psychiatric disorders: "The role of microbes in dictating human health is an increasingly popular research subject. A new study (Biologial Psychiatry) by researchers at Louisiana State University suggests high-fat diets can cause brain inflammation and alter behavior…." (Brooks Hays, United Press International)
      • White House announces plan to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria: "The White House announced an aggressive plan Friday to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria, a mounting problem that causes an estimated 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths every year in the United States. The plan lists specific goals to fight the spread of antibiotic-resistant microbes over the next five years…." (Lena H. Sun, Washington Post)
      • In effort to halt outbreaks, protocol for cleaning medical scope is updated: "The manufacturer of a type of medical scope linked to the spread of deadly bacterial infections issued detailed new cleaning instructions for the devices Thursday, urging hospitals to implement the procedures “as soon as possible.”…." (Brady Dennis, Washington Post)
    • Thursday March 26, 2015

      Ebola Outbreak News
      Other Molecular Science News
      • House ready to pass Medicare doc bill; Senate's view unclear: "In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years with a package bearing victories for both parties…." (Alan Fram, Associated Press)
      • New Pox Discovered in Eastern Europe, but not Deadly: "Health officials have discovered a new germ in Eastern Europe that is related to the dreaded smallpox and monkeypox viruses but so far seems far less threatening…A report on the virus by health officials in Georgia and the United States was published online Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine…." (Mike Stobbe, Associated Press)
      • Air pollution takes a double toll on babies' brains: "A common pollutant in vehicle exhaust, power plant emissions and cigarette smoke can shrink white matter in fetal brains and cause developmental damage during the toddler years, a new study (JAMA Psychiatry) suggests…." (Geoffrey Mohan, Los Angeles Times)
      • In Iceland’s DNA, New Clues to Disease-Causing Genes: "Scientists in Iceland have produced an unprecedented snapshot of a nation’s genetic makeup, discovering a host of previously unknown gene mutations that may play roles in ailments as diverse as Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and gallstones…In a series of papers published on Wednesday in the journal Nature Genetics…." (Carl Zimmer, New York Times)
      • U.S. ad campaign points to dangers of dual cigarette/e-cig use: "The U.S. Centers for Disease Control is launching an ad campaign warning consumers against the dual use of e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes. E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that heat a nicotine-laced liquid to produce an inhalable vapor. Nationally, about three in four adult e-cigarette users also smoke cigarettes, the CDC said…." (Toni Clarke, Reuters)
      • New pandemic insurance to prevent crises through early payouts: "In the wake of the Ebola crisis, a quiet revolution is taking place that is set to transform the way governments and aid agencies respond to major disease outbreaks. Analysts are developing insurance schemes that could turn the humanitarian system on its head, by paying out money as soon as a disease breaks out to stop it becoming an international crisis, rather than trying to raise funds after the event…." (Alex Whiting, Reuters)
      • With diabetic nerve damage, walking can pose fall risk: "Diabetics with nerve damage are more likely to have an uneven stride and struggle to maintain their balance even when walking on flat ground, a small study (Diabetes Care) finds…." (Lisa Rapaport, Reuters)
      • WHO urges Europeans to work together to counter high drug prices: "European governments need to be better at sharing expertise about the cost-effectiveness of new medicines to counter the budget strains posed by the arrival of a wave of costly drugs, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Only a few countries across Europe have robust systems in place to evaluate whether drugs are worth using at the prices asked by manufacturers, the WHO said…." (Lisa Rapaport, Reuters)
      • Cholera will plague Haiti until water, sanitation crisis solved: experts: "Cholera will continue to kill and infect Haitians as long as they lack access to clean water and sanitation, with a thousand new cases reported each week, health experts say…." (Anastasia Moloney, Reuters)
      • Indiana governor to declare disaster for county hit by HIV outbreak: "Indiana Governor Mike Pence said on Wednesday he will declare a public health disaster in a small southern Indiana county that has seen a drastic increase in HIV cases tied to intravenous prescription drug abuse since December. "This is a public health emergency," Pence said of the declaration for rural Scott County, located about 35 miles north of Louisville, Kentucky. "Now I’m evaluating all of the issues and all of the tools that may be available to local health officials in light of a public health emergency."…." (Steve Bittenbender, Reuters)
      • Smog may be raising anxiety levels in cities around the world: "Air pollution has long been blamed for heightened rates of heart disease. Now, two new studies suggest smog levels are linked to inflated instances of stroke (BMJ 1) and anxiety (BMJ 2)…." (Brooks Hays, United Press Interntional)
    • Wednesday March 25, 2015

      Ebola Outbreak News
      • Exposure Concerns Grow in Liberia After Diagnosis of First Ebola Case in Weeks: "Worries have widened in recent days over the number of people in Liberia who may have been exposed to the country’s first Ebola case in more than two weeks, a street vendor who lived in a one-bathroom house shared with 52 others in a Monrovia suburb and who had sold food at a school where more than 1,900 students are enrolled…." (Sheri Fink, New York Times)
      • Guinea starts testing Merck vaccine in Ebola hotspots: "Guinea started testing an experimental Ebola vaccine from Merck and NewLink Genetics on affected communities this week, in a move officials hope will accelerate the end of an epidemic first detected a year ago…." (Saliou Samb and Emma Farge, Reuters)
      Other Molecular Science News
      • Science, patients driving rare disease drug research surge: "The global pharmaceutical industry is pouring billions of dollars into developing treatments for rare diseases, which once drew little interest from major drugmakers but now point the way toward a new era of innovative therapies and big profits…." (Linda A. Johnson, Associated Press)
      • Seniors rattled by endless risk of Medicare cuts to doctors: "New momentum for a lasting fix to Medicare's doctor-payment problem shows that lawmakers may finally be recognizing what has long bothered their constituents…." (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Associated Press)
      • Ugandan official: Typhoid sickens hundreds in capital: "An outbreak of typhoid fever has infected hundreds of people in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, and looks likely to spread as the rainy season gets under way, a senior health official said on Wednesday. At least 4,000 suspected cases of typhoid fever have been reported, 400 of which have been confirmed, said Dr. Anthony Mbonye, the director of health services at Uganda's Ministry of Health…." (Rodney Muhumuza, Associated Press)
      • FDA approves new drug for anthrax poisoning: "Federal health officials say they have approved an infusible drug to treat patients who have been exposed to anthrax. The Food and Drug Administration approved Anthrasil for use in combination with older antibiotics to treat inhalation anthrax, which can cause serious injury and death. The condition occurs when the bacterial spores that carry anthrax are inhaled…." (Associated Press)
      • Experts Back Angelina Jolie Pitt in Choices for Cancer Prevention: "Cancer experts said Tuesday that the actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie Pitt was wise to have had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed last week because she carries a genetic mutation, BRCA1, that significantly increases the risk of ovarian cancer, a disease so difficult to detect that it is often found only at an advanced, untreatable stage…." (Pam Belluck, New York Times)
      • Indian doctors find success in tackling the 'invisible burden' of tuberculosis: "When Indian street-food seller Kumar Pal first began treatment for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis two years ago, he quickly spiraled into depression and gave up hope of living. Weighing just 35 kg (77 lbs), shunned by his relatives and friends and in extreme pain due to the side effects of a cocktail of medicines, 40-year-old Pal spent weeks in bed…." (Nita Bhalla, Reuters)
      • Cancer patients want more info about CT risks: "Some cancer patients would like more information on the health risks of their radiology tests, a new study (Radiology) found. Most of the 30 patients questioned for the study said they looked online for information about the radiation hazards of tests like computed tomography (CT) scans, since their doctors did not explain the risks…." (Kathryn Doyle, Reuters)
      • Lack of insurance bars some from hepatitis C treatment: "Survey data from 2001 to 2010 show that lack of insurance kept some people with hepatitis C virus from getting treatment. Recently, more effective and well-tolerated drugs have been developed to treat hepatitis C, removing many of the discouraging side effects of older drugs. The infection is curable and transmission can be prevented, researchers write in the American Journal of Gastroenterology…." (Kathryn Doyle, Reuters)
      • Study identifies bean varieties immune to climate change: "Will beans be around in 50 years? Or will they be global warming's first agricultural casualty? A new study has identified several varieties of beans that are best suited to survive coming decades. It's widely forecasted that developing nations will some of the hardest hit by climate change. As the planet warms and weather systems are disrupted, researchers consider what will happen to crops in already vulnerable places (Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research Report)…." (Brooks Hays, United Press International)
      • Researchers develop non-toxic antifreeze: "Every year, some 90,000 pets and wild animals are poisoned by antifreeze. In 2012, 6,000 people were poisoned by the substance, many of them children. In unsuspecting hands, the sweet taste and smell of the toxic liquid can entice one to imbibe. And that's bad news…." (Brooks Hays, United Press International)
      • Early death rates dropping, but not in many poor areas: "The rate of early death is dropping in most parts of the country, according to county-by-county health rankings out today. However, people in many poverty-stricken areas still die young — that is, before age 75 — at a stubbornly high rate, and the percentage of children in poverty is up. One in four children lived in poverty in 2013, up from one in five in 2007, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation says in its sixth annual county health rankings…." (Jayne O’Donnell and Laura Ungar, USA Today)

    More Molecular Science in the News >

    Breaking News



    New Resources on


    • 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 '' 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

    • Bindley Bioscience Center
    Bindley Bioscience Center Organization
    • News: Bindley II exterior to be completed Fall 2013
    • Bindley Biosciences Center (BBC): The Bindley Bioscience Center provides a unique infrastructure to support interdisciplinary research. Laboratory space and high-end equipment is shared and available to support diverse projects ranging from cancer and other complex diseases to technology development and to creation of new feedstocks and catalysts for biofuels production. An expert staff provides research consultation and technical support to enable rapid and effective technology implementation, feasibility studies, and creation of pilot data in support of new project ideas. Research core support services operate in conjunction with original research projects as illustrated in the schematic to the left. See Flyer for more information about the facility
    • Bindley Bioscience Center New Strategic Plan