Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Mount Sinai researchers develop new gene therapy for heart failure & related general gene therapy Web sites and resources

DNA vaccine and Gene therapy techniques are si...

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From the 28 June 2011 Eureka news alert

 

Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have found in a Phase II trial that a gene therapy developed at Mount Sinai stabilized or improved cardiac function in people with severe heart failure. Patients receiving a high dose of the therapy, called SERCA2a, experienced substantial clinical benefit and significantly reduced cardiovascular hospitalizations, addressing a critical unmet need in this population. The data are published online in the June 27 issue of the American Heart Association journal Circulation.

SERCA2a is delivered via an adeno-associated virus vector—an inactive virus that acts as a medication transporter—into cardiac cells. The therapy stimulates production of an enzyme within these cells that enables the heart to pump more effectively in people with advanced heart failure. After one year, patients who were administered a high dose SERCA2a demonstrated improvement or stabilization. Gene therapy with SERCA2a was also found to be safe in this sick patient population, with no increases in adverse events, disease-related events, laboratory abnormalities, or arrhythmias compared to placebo….

A sampling of general gene therapy resources

  • Genes and gene therapy (MedlinePlus) has links to overviews, latest news, specific conditions, organizations, directories, and more
  • Genetics home reference (US National Institutes of Health) with links to information on over 600 conditions/diseases, information on over 600 genes, a handbook with basic gene related information, a glossary, and links to additional resources
  • Genetics education center (University of Kansas) with links to education resources, Human Genome Project materials, activities, and more
  • Learn Gentics  (University of Utah) includes basic information and research related concepts. Extensive animations and videos.

 

June 29, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Finding Aids/Directories, Medical and Health Research News, Tutorials/Finding aids | , , | Leave a comment

The promise of stem cell-based gene therapy & General Stem Cell Web Sites/Resources

Diagram of stem cell division and differentiat...

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Stem cell division and differentiation. A – stem cell; B – progenitor cell; C – differentiated cell; 1 – symmetric stem cell division; 2 – asymmetric stem cell division; 3 – progenitor division; 4 – terminal differentiation
[From Wikipedia - Stem Cell]


The promise of stem cell-based gene therapy….Will depend on novel gene delivery tools

From the 29 June 2011 Eureka news alert

New Rochelle, NY, June 29, 2011—Sophisticated genetic tools and techniques for achieving targeted gene delivery and high gene expression levels in bone marrow will drive the successful application of gene therapy to treat a broad range of diseases. Examples of these cutting-edge methods are presented in a series of five provocative articles in the latest issue of Human Gene Therapy, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. (www.liebertpub.com). The articles are available free online at www.liebertpub.com/hum

Barese and Dunbar highlight the advances in gene marking techniques that are enabling selection and targeting of specific immune cell populations for cell and gene therapy. The success of marking studies will help optimize gene transfer for immunotherapeutics and improve patient survival, conclude the authors in the review article “Contributions of Gene Marking to Cell and Gene Therapies.“….

A sampling of General Stem Cell Web Sites/Resources

June 29, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Finding Aids/Directories, Medical and Health Research News | | 3 Comments

Ten Great Public Health Achievements — Worldwide, 2001–2010

From the 24 June 2011 MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report) of the CDC (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Worldwide, a child born in 1955 had an average life expectancy at birth of only 48 years (1). By 2000, the average life expectancy at birth had increased to 66 years and, if past trends continue, is projected to rise to 73 years by 2025 (1). These improvements in longevity have resulted from improved living conditions overall, advances in medical science, and a number of population-level interventions. However, major disparities persist. During the past decade, in low-income countries, average life expectancy at birth increased from 55 to 57 years (3.6%), while increasing from 78 to 80 years (2.6%) in high-income countries (2). Analogous to the recent MMWR report highlighting 10 public health achievements that occurred in the United States over the first 10 years of the new century, this report describes global public health achievements during the same period (3). Experts in global public health were asked to nominate noteworthy public health achievements that occurred outside of the United States during 2001–2010. From them, 10 have been summarized in this report. As with the previous report, the 10 global public health achievements are not ranked in any order. Additional information regarding these achievements is available athttp://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6019a5_addinfo.htm….

Click here for more of the summary

And a short  listing…with links…to these Top 10

 

Learn more about the CDC science and programmatic work that went into the “Ten Great Public Health Achievements — Worldwide, 2001–2010” at these links:

 

June 29, 2011 Posted by | Public Health | , , | Leave a comment

Mapping the Quality of Care From Hospitals and Doctors

The Alfred Hospital, Commercial Road, Melbourn...

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From the 28 June 2011 Wall Street blog item by Katherine Hobson

How’s the diabetes treatment in Wisconsin? Or the access to after-hours medical care in California?

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has rolled out a new online directory** of 224 health-care quality reports that compare local physicians and hospitals.

The idea is that consumers can get localized, quantitative information on measures such as how often patients in a certain medical practice receive their recommended screening tests or how long mothers typically spend in a given hospital after a cesarean section. The specific measures will vary by report.

Note the emphasis on “quantitative.” These reports, 197 of which cover specific states, all use performance data based on nationally recognized standards on quality and cost. All are freely available. The more subjective picture offered by sites such as RateMDs.com or Yelp aren’t on the map….

…The reports mainly focus on quality; the cost of health-care services is tougher to measure, says Painter. For example, are you looking for the price that would be charged to a patient, the cost breakdown of certain elements of care or something else? Some reports do include cost data; we’ve written separately about sites that tackle the cost issue…

**For example, go to  Comparing Health Care Quality: A National Directory to compare hospital data in Ohio

  • Click on the state of Ohio in the interactive map, then click on View these (Ohio) resources
  • Click on View Report to the left of  the Ohio Department of Health (one higher in the list)
  • Use the options to select counties, hospitals, locations to find out information about one or more hospitals

You can also select one or more quality measures for one or more hospitals (as infection prevention, heart failure, knee
surgery)

Related Resources (from the Comparing section of  the Tulane University Health Management LibGuide***)


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A more general resource for health information and much, much more
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LibGuides are free topic specific guides to Web sites and books by library specialists.

Currently  one can “Search and explore 168,085 guides by 32,658 librarians at 2269 libraries worldwide!”

Library types include academic, public, and K-12.
Have a topic or subject in mind? There is most likely a related library guide in the LibGuide collection.Related articles

Related Articles (for Mapping the Quality of Care from Hospitals and Docs)

June 29, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Finding Aids/Directories, health care, Librarian Resources, Public Health | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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