In a surprising result, Michigan State University researchers looking at the effects of diet on bowel disease found that mice on a calorie-restricted diet were more likely to die after being infected with an inflammation-causing bacterial pathogen in the colon. read more..
Thursday, 22 March 2012
Sugary drinks are the single biggest contributor to the obesity epidemic in the United States, and according to the Centers for Disease Control, two-thirds of adults and one-third of the children in the U.S. are overweight or obese. Registered dietician Leah Holbrook, Coordinator of the Long Island Center for Pediatric Obesity Prevention in the Department of Family Medicine at Stony Brook School of Medicine, says that these sobering statistics and the fact that beverages account for nearly half of the added sugars in our diet are a wakeup call for Americans to reduce their sugary drink intake. read more..
Tuesday, 20 March 2012
Hive Health Media has recently published an article that presents several tips for those individuals who are seeking anti-aging solutions. As a cultural movement, as well as a healthcare trend, anti-aging has become a popular activity among many generations. read more..
Sunday, 18 March 2012
Ever wonder why two people who are the same age may look years apart? While extrinsic factors such as sun exposure and smoking can contribute to skin aging, intrinsic factors - namely the genes inherited from our parents - can have an even greater influence on how our skin ages. read more..
Recent research found that microneedle vaccine patches are more effective at delivering protection against influenza virus in mice than subcutaneous or intramuscular inoculation. A new, detailed analysis of the early immune responses helps explain why the skin is such fertile ground for vaccination with these tiny, virtually painless microneedles. read more..
Wednesday, 7 March 2012
An article by researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), New York Medical College (NYMC), and the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons (CCPS) reviews evidence that yoga may be effective in treating patients with stress-related psychological and medical conditions such as depression, anxiety, high blood pressure and cardiac disease. read more..
Saturday, 3 March 2012
Promoting immunizations as a part of routine office-based medical practice is needed to improve adult vaccination rates, a highly effective way to curb the spread of diseases across communities, prevent needless illness and deaths, and lower health care costs, according to a new study. read more..
New information for flu fight: Researchers study RNA interference to determine host genes used by influenza for virus replication
Influenza virus can rapidly evolve from one form to another, complicating the effectiveness of vaccines and anti-viral drugs used to treat it. By first understanding the complex host cell pathways that the flu uses for replication, researchers are finding new strategies for therapies and vaccines, according to a new study. read more..
Genetics has provided surprising insights into why vaccines used in both the UK and US to combat serious childhood infections can eventually fail. The study, which investigates how bacteria change their disguise to evade the vaccines, has implications for how future vaccines can be made more effective. read more..
Targeted DNA vaccine using an electric pulse
The vaccines of the future against infections, influenza and cancer can be administered using an electrical pulse and a specially produced DNA code, new research suggests. The DNA code programs the body's own cells to produce a super-fast missile defense against the disease, researchers say. read more..
Research roundup: The push for hospital quality and concerns about disparities; Rating physicians online
Researchers wondered if pay-for-performance (P4P) programs, which reward hospitals for meeting quality targets, have unintentional effects on racial and/or ethnic disparities. Using federal patient-level quality data, researchers found that "many hospitals treat Whites and minorities equitably" but they noted that since many minorities tend to seek care at hospitals that "perform poorly on common quality score composites, the pay for performance efforts could unintentionally penalize hospitals serving high numbers of minorities. read more..
From The Vaccine Exchange:
We have been writing about the anthrax vaccine here at Vaccine Xchange for some time. It seems clear that Emergent BioSolutions, the maker of the only human anthrax vaccine (BioThrax) currently available in the US, is working to aggressively market the vaccine, including ensuring that its vaccine is authorized for use for use after inhaling anthrax, as well as before an exposure, despite serious concerns about its safety and effectiveness. Earlier this year, the company was awarded a $1.25 billion contract to supply the U.S. Government with 44.75 million additional doses of the vaccine over a five year period. A few weeks ago, a story in MarketWatch informed us that Emergent BioSolutions has announced a new study evaluating the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine for future treatment of individuals after they have been exposed to anthrax. This story follows on the heels of the Department of Health and Human Services backpedalling on conducting a trial of the same vaccine on children.The study, which is funded by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), could potentially expand the use of BioThrax beyond its current use as a pre-exposure vaccine so that it will be used along with antibiotics as an adjunct to treat people who have been exposed to anthrax spores.It is obvious that such an expansion in the use of the vaccine would be heavily profitable for Emergent BioSolutions. However, it seems unnecessary – it has been demonstrated in many studies that early treatment of anthrax with antibiotics is very effective. Is it really necessary to replace this (reliable) treatment with a treatment that is not only highly expensive but also proven to have significant risk of adverse reaction?Emergent BioSolutions does not intend the vaccine to work alone, but in tandem with antibiotics. This would have to be done because the vaccine is given in three doses two weeks apart post-exposure. This means that peak antibody levels will not occur until at least 35 days after beginning the vaccine course. In other words, you wouldn’t expect the vaccine to work until at least 35 days after starting taking the vaccine. But the reason Emergent BioSolutions has given for using vaccines post-exposure is to decrease the amount of time patients are on antibiotics. With the vaccine only beginning to work after 35 days at the earliest, there really does not seem to be a good reason to take the vaccine, particularly since vaccines have been shown to be less effective than antibiotics for anthrax (unless the anthrax strain has been made resistant to multiple antibiotics, which is theoretically possible but has never occurred). In any case, the CDC and the FDA would both still recommend a full 60-day regimen of the antibiotics, even if the patient is vaccinated, so the amount of time the patient is on the antibiotics will not be affected at all.Not only this, but the data they are examining in this study – immunogenicity, which refers to antibody levels or similar blood parameters – is unreliable at predicting whether the vaccine will actually be effective upon a person’s exposure to the actual disease. In addition, similar data already exists, gathered in the trial conducted by the Center for Disease Control a few years ago. It seems puzzling that the government is investing even more taxpayer dollars to gather the very same data gathered by the CDC in its 2002-2007 clinical trial about this vaccine which has long been found to be unsafe and questionably effective.However, for Emergent BioSolutions, this study could be extremely lucrative (particularly since it is being funded by the government, and therefore costing them nothing). If there is, God forbid, a biological attack using anthrax in the United States, and some people agree to take the vaccine, they would currently have to be studied, since this would be an unlicensed use of the vacc read more..
Scientists have tested a new 'therapeutic vaccine' against HIV on volunteers. The participants were 'so to say' vaccinated with their own cells. The immune system of the testees was better than before in attacking and suppressing the virus, the scientists have reported. read more..
'Universal' vaccines could finally allow for wide-scale flu prevention
Scientists have found that an emerging class of long-lasting flu vaccines called "universal" vaccines could for the first time allow for the effective, wide-scale prevention of flu by limiting the virus' ability to spread and mutate. A computational model showed that the vaccines could achieve unprecedented control of the flu virus both seasonally and during outbreaks of highly contagious new strains. read more..
IFHP releases 2011 Comparative Price Report
The International Federation of Health Plans today released its 2011 Comparative Price Report detailing its annual survey of medical costs per unit. Designed to showcase the variation in healthcare costs around the world, the report examines the costs of medical procedures, tests, scans and treatments in nine countries. read more..
Immunizations are a valuable tool for controlling infectious diseases among populations both in the U.S. and globally. Routine immunizations and supplemental immunization activities, such as immunization campaigns, are designed to provide immunization coverage to entire populations. Current measurements used to determine the success and rates of immunization can be flawed and inconsistent. According to a new study, estimates of vaccination coverage can be significantly improved by combining administrative data with survey data. read more..
Teenagers with healthy behaviours more likely to have higher levels of happiness
Teenagers who turn their backs on a healthy lifestyle and turn to drink, cigarettes and junk food are significantly unhappier than their healthier peers. New research also shows that 12-13 is a catalyst age when young people turn away from the healthy habits of their younger years and start to get involved in risky behaviours. read more..
Researchers have made progress toward a vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus. They have demonstrated that a plant-derived vaccine for Ebola provided strong immunological protection in a mouse model. If early efforts bear fruit, an Ebola vaccine could be stockpiled for use in the United States, should the country fall victim to a natural outbreak or a bioterrorism event in which a weaponized strain of the virus were unleashed on soldiers or the public. read more..
CLR01 blocks toxic aggregations of proteins in mouse model of Parkinson's
Millions of people suffer from Parkinson's disease, a disorder of the nervous system that affects movement and worsens over time. As the world's population ages, it's estimated that the number of people with the disease will rise sharply. Yet despite several effective therapies that treat Parkinson's symptoms, nothing slows its progression. read more..