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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)

  • Tuesday May 26, 2015

    Ebola Outbreak News
    • Ebola set to persist in 2015, but funds for aid are lacking: WHO : "The Ebola outbreak in Guinea and Sierra Leone is expected to take all of 2015 to stamp out and may persist even longer because of dwindling financing, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Tuesday…." (Stephanie Nebehay, Reuters)
    • 'Achilles heel' of Ebola virus found in study: "Researchers (mBio) have identified the protein that the Ebola virus requires in order to invade cells and infect a victim, which they hope will allow the development of treatments to prevent the spread of the disease and more deaths from it…." (Stephen Feller, United Press International)
    Other Molecular Science News
    • Study: Europeans to Suffer More Ragweed With Global Warming: "Global warming will bring much more sneezing and wheezing to Europe by mid-century, a new study says. Ragweed pollen levels are likely to quadruple for much of Europe because warmer temperatures will allow the plants to take root more, and carbon dioxide will make them grow more, says a study (Nature Climate Change) published Monday…." (Seth Borenstein, Associated Press)
    • Study Peeks Into Healthy Brains to Hunt Alzheimer’s Culprit: "Sticky plaque gets the most attention, but now healthy seniors at risk of Alzheimer's are letting scientists peek into their brains to see if another culprit is lurking. No one knows what actually causes Alzheimer's, but the suspects are its two hallmarks - the gunky amyloid in those brain plaques or tangles of a protein named tau that clog dying brain cells. New imaging can spot those tangles in living brains, providing a chance to finally better understand what triggers dementia…." (Lauran Neergaard, Associated Press)
    • Ohio Bill Would Allow Patients to Get STD Meds for Partners: "A bill in Ohio seeks to expand access to treatment for certain sexually transmitted diseases by allowing doctors to prescribe medication to their patients' partners without examining them…." (Ann Sanner, Associated Press)
    • Living at High Altitude Is Linked to Higher SIDS Risk: "Living at high altitude is associated with increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome, a new report (Pediatrics) has found. Researchers studied Colorado birth certificate and death registries from 2007 to 2012, and assessed the link to altitude using maternal residential addresses for nearly 395,000 infants…." (Catherine Saint Louis, New York Times)
    • USDA chief vet says bird flu cases waning, sees end by July: "The number of cases of bird flu in the United States has started to decline and the epidemic is likely to be over within a couple of months, helped by warm weather in the summer, the U.S. chief veterinary officer said on Tuesday…." (Reuters)
    • Fight over hot new cholesterol drugs may be won in milligrams: "Two powerful and innovative cholesterol drugs likely to be approved this summer both target the same protein and have been shown to sharply lower LDL in high-risk patients.  But there is at least one significant difference between the two offerings: the dosages in which they will be sold…." (Deena Beasley, Reuters)
    • CDC steps in after New Jersey man dies of rare viral disease Lassa: "he Centers for Disease Control, along with New Jersey disease and health experts, are working to track people who came into contact with a man who died of Lassa, a hemorrhagic fever rarely seen in the United States. The 55-year-old man, who had recently returned to New Jersey from Liberia, died in a New Jersey hospital Monday…." (Amy R Connolly, United Press International)
    • Discovery of pain-sensing gene may lead to new pain relief: "Researchers have discovered a gene that is essential to the way humans process pain, which may lead to new and improved methods of pain relief. A study at the University of Cambridge (Nature Genetics) used genome mapping to compare the genetic makeup of 11 families with congenital insensitivity to pain, a genetically inherited condition that inhibits the person from feeling pain…." (Stephen Feller, United Press International)
    • Cognitive issues increase risk for elderly with heart failure: "Elderly patients with cognitive impairments and heart failure issues face a tougher prognosis than those without such impairments, at least partially because they are worse at adhering to medications…." (Stephen Feller, United Press International)
    • Summertime, and Risk Grows for Kidney Stones: "Summer is a big season for kidney stones. Doctors say more people suffer the condition when the weather is hot and dry and people become dehydrated. That can encourage minerals in the body to crystallize in the kidneys. When the so-called stones move to other parts of the urinary tract they can cause severe pain depending on their size…." (Sumathi Reddy, Wall Street Journal)
    • Hospitals Find New Ways to Monitor Patients 24/7: "Hospitals are trying new early-warning systems to monitor patients for subtle but dangerous signs of a worsening condition. After surgery or during hospitalization for illness, patients are at risk for complications that can quickly turn fatal, such as a depressed breathing rate that can lead to cardiac arrest caused by over-sedation or an adverse reaction to narcotic pain medications. Among the strategies hospitals are adopting is a…." (Laura Landro, Wall Street Journal)
  • Friday May 22, 2015

    Ebola Outbreak News
    • Guinea families transport bodies in public taxis: "Relatives of Ebola victims are transporting their bodies on public transportation in Guinea, seating the corpses upright between other passengers to skirt health controls and contributing to the spread of the deadly disease here, authorities said…." (Boubacar Diallo, Associated Press)
    • Ebola-free Liberia allowed to host internationals: "Liberia can host international soccer matches again after being declared free of the deadly Ebola virus, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) said on Friday. CAF, however, said the bans on Guinea and Sierra Leone would remain in place…." (Nick Said, Reuters)
    Other Molecular Science News
    • Cholera infects 3,000 Burundian refugees, UN calls for help: "An outbreak of cholera has infected 3,000 people in a Tanzanian border region where refugees fleeing political unrest in Burundi have massed, the U.N. Refugee Agency said Friday. Some 300 to 400 new cases of cholera are being reported daily. At least 31 people - 29 refugees and two Tanzanians - already have died of the disease, according to UNHCR…." (Rodney Muhumuza, Associated Press)
    • 53 people in 9 states sickened after eating raw tuna: "A salmonella outbreak likely linked to raw tuna has sickened 53 people in nine states, health officials said Thursday. Most of the cases - 31 - are in California, officials at the California Department of Public Health said. Other affected states include Arizona, Illinois, Mississippi, New Mexico, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin…." (Associated Press)
    • Indiana approves 1st needle-exchange program under new law : "Indiana approved a yearlong needle-exchange program Thursday for a rural county at the center of an HIV outbreak that spurred a new state law allowing such programs to curb the spread of diseases among intravenous drug users…." (Rick Callahan, Associated Press)
    • Study: Severe Vision Loss is Most Common in the South: "Health officials say bad eyesight in the U.S. is most common in the South. A new report (MMWR) found the South was home to three-quarters of the U.S. counties with the highest prevalence of severe vision loss…." (Mike Stobbe, Associated Press)
    • Listeria: FDA Finds Problems at Ohio Ice Cream Plant: "A government investigation of Ohio-based Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams found inadequate testing and cleaning in its Columbus plant that had become contaminated with listeria…." (Mary Clare Jalonick, Associated Press)
    • Bayer CEO sees multinational state aid for antibiotics: "German drugmaker Bayer expects the world's largest economies to pool billions of euros in funding for the development of antibiotics against the growing threat of drug-resistant superbugs, its chief executive said on Friday. "I expect a multinational fund for antibiotics research. One country alone can't shoulder it," CEO Marijn Dekkers told Germany's Der Spiegel magazine, according to an excerpt of an interview provided to Reuters on Friday…." (Ludwig Berger, Reuters)
    • Exclusive: Iowa bird-flu farms fall short on containment measures: "Measures to control the worst bird flu outbreak in U.S. history are not being enforced at several farms at its epicenter in northwestern Iowa, potentially increasing the risks that the disease could spread further, spot checks by Reuters show…." (Tom Polansek and P.J. Huffstutter, Reuters)
    • Gastric bypass helps treat diabetes, but has risks: "Two years after surgery, people who have had gastric bypass have better control of their type 2 diabetes than people who did not, but also had higher risk of infections and bone fractures, according to a new international study (The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology)…." (Kathryn Doyle, Reuters)
    • Research links fast heart rate, diabetes: "Researchers have concluded after a four-year study (International Journal of Epidemiology) that a faster resting heart rate could be used to identify people with the potential to develop pre-diabetes and diabetes. At the beginning of the study, researchers measured the heart rates of 73,357 Chinese adults, excluding those who had diabetes at the outset in 2006. During follow-up exams over the following four years, including glucose tests every two years…." (Stephen Feller, United Press International)
    • Texas confirms first case of West Nile virus in 2015: "A patient in Harris County, Texas, has been confirmed to have the West Nile neuroinvasive diesease, the first case of the mosquito-borne virus found in 2015…." (Stephen Feller, United Press International)
    • Middle-ear infections helped by anti-stroke drug: "In a study at Georgia State University, the anti-stroke drug Vinpocetine suppressed inflammation and mucus overproduction in the middle ear, easing one of the most common types of bacterial infection found in children (Journal of Immunology)…." (Stephen Feller, United Press International)
    • New compound found for treating rheumatoid arthritis: "Researchers at Montana State University have identified a chemical compound that stopped the destruction of cartilage and bone that leads rheumatoid arthritis patients to lose joint function and mobility (Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics)…." (Stephen Feller, United Press International)
    • Early childhood vaccine reduces leukemia risk: "The Haemophilus influenzae Type b, or Hib, vaccine helps prevent the most common type of childhood cancer, in addition to its primary mission of preventing ear infections and meningitis that are caused by the Hib bacterium, according to a new study (Nature Immunology)…." (Stephen Feller, United Press International)
    • Link Found Between Breast-Cancer Genes, Prostate Cancer: "Mutations in two genes well known for increasing the risk of breast and ovarian cancer may also play an important role in advanced prostate cancer, researchers said, an unexpected discovery that could lead to new treatments for some men with the disease. Analysis of DNA from tumor tissue obtained from 150 men with late-stage prostate cancer revealed mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes in about 15% of cases (Cell)…." (Ron Winslow, Wall Street Journal)
  • Thursday May 21, 2015

    Ebola Outbreak News
    • West Africa's health systems need rebuilding post-Ebola: WHO: "Health care systems in West Africa that collapsed during the Ebola epidemic must be rebuilt urgently to provide basic services and confront other killer diseases, the World Health Organization said on Thursday. Recovery plans in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone will cost $2.3 billion, only half of which has been pledged, and donors will need confidence in good governance to provide more funds, a senior WHO official said…." (Stephanie Nebehay, Reuters)
    Other Molecular Science News
    • WHO: Cholera kills 30 Burundi refugees in Tanzanian camp: "A cholera outbreak has killed at least 30 people in a Tanzanian refugee camp for Burundians, a World Health Organization official said Thursday, underscoring the dire circumstances of masses of people who are fleeing political unrest…." (Rodney Muhumuza, Associated Press)
    • South Korea confirms 3 cases of Mideast respiratory virus: "South Korea said Thursday it has confirmed three cases of a respiratory virus that has killed hundreds of people in the Middle East…." (Associated Press)
    • Severe Mental Illness Found to Drop in Young, Defying Perceptions: "The rate of severe mental illness among children and adolescents has dropped substantially in the past generation, researchers reported Wednesday, in an analysis (The New England Journal of Medicine) that defies public perceptions of trends in youngsters’ mental health…." (Benedict Carey, New York Times)
    • House committee approves bill to speed new drugs to market: "A U.S. House of Representatives committee on Thursday unanimously approved a bill to speed new drugs to the market, overcoming last-minute wrangling over how to pay for the legislation. The bill, known as the 21st Century Cures Act, requires the Food and Drug Administration to incorporate patient experience into its decision-making, streamline its review of drugs for additional uses, and consider more flexible forms of clinical trials…." (Toni Clarke, Reuters)
    • Thailand could stop thousands of HIV deaths with more tests and treatment: experts: "Thailand could prevent more than 5,000 HIV-related deaths in the next decade if it expanded HIV testing and treatment among gays in Bangkok, where about one in three males who have sex with men is infected, researchers said…." (Alisa Tang, Reuters)
    • Bluebird's gene therapy continues to show promise in early study: "Biotech firm Bluebird Bio Inc said its experimental gene therapy continued to exhibit a positive effect in an ongoing early-stage study of patients with rare types of blood disorders. The product, LentiGlobin, is being tested in patients with beta-thalassemia major and those with severe sickle cell disease (SCD), two hereditary conditions…." (Samantha Kareen Nair, Reuters)
    • Doctors may not fully explain risks of common heart procedure: "Patients mulling whether to get a common procedure to unclog blocked arteries may not get enough information from their doctors to make the best choice, a small study (JAMA Internal Medicine) suggests. Researchers analyzed recordings of 59 conversations between cardiologists and patients about a common procedure called percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), which is done to reopen arteries and restore blood flow to the heart - and found…." (Lisa Rapaport, Reuters)
    • Depression linked with development of Parkinson's disease: "Depression may be an early indicator of Parkinson's disease, or a risk factor for it, researchers said after studying patient records that spanned more than 20 years. The study (Neurology) found people with depression were 50 percent more likely than those without it to develop Parkinson's…." (Stephen Feller, United Press International)
    • Acetaminophen may lower testosterone in unborn boys: "The main drug used during pregnancy for pain relief and fever has been found in lab tests to lower the exposure of unborn boys to testosterone…"This study (Science Translational Medicine) adds to existing evidence that prolonged use of paracetamol in pregnancy may increase the risk of reproductive disorders in male babies…." (Stephen Feller, United Press International)
    • New therapy could halt multiple sclerosis progress: "Researchers at the University of Montreal have discovered a treatment that can potentially stop the progression of multiple sclerosis. The melanoma cell adhesion molecule, or MCAM, was found to be a crucial element in the attacks on the nervous system which slowly incapacitate people with multiple sclerosis. In vitro tests in humans, as well as tests in mice, showed that MCAM can be blocked, delaying onset of the disease and potentially slowing its progress (Annals of Neurology)…." (Stephen Feller, United Press International)
    • Patients who lose an eye may feel like they still 'see' light, color: "Some patients who lose an eye to cancer surgery feel as if they can still see out of the missing eye, a phenomenon known as "phantom eye syndrome," according to a study (Opthamology) published today…." (Liz Szabo, 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