Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

HighWire Launches Six Mobile Web Sites in Collaboration with the American Heart Association

highwire press

 

From the HighWire news release

Stanford, California – November 29, 2010 HighWire Press is pleased to announce the launch of the HighWire Mobile Web Interface for six American Heart Association journals. The Mobile Web Interface is a publication website optimized for the small screen of smartphone devices. This is the first of a suite of mobile products from HighWire, which includes an iPhone and iPad full text app as well as a RSS- driven iPhone app and full text Amazon Kindle support. Users accessing sites through an iPhone or Droid smartphone will be detected and automatically sent the HighWire Mobile Web interface…

November 30, 2010 Posted by | Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Health Education (General Public), Health News Items | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Universal flu vaccine focus for Adelaide scientist

From a November 2, 2010 Eureka news alert

Vaccine partnership between Australia and Indonesia

University of Adelaide researcher is leading a collaboration between Australia and Indonesia on the production of a universal flu vaccine.

“The frequent arising of new influenza strains represents the greatest challenge to health authorities as it renders currently available vaccines ineffective,” says Dr Mohammed Alsharifi, the Head of the Vaccine Research Group at the School of Molecular and Biomedical Science, University of Adelaide.

“While annual vaccine reformulation appears to be effective against closely matched strains of influenza, the current method is not effective against drifted strains as well as new pandemic strains, as illustrated by the recent H1N1 pandemic. This raises the need for a new technology,” he says.

Dr Alsharifi says the recent experience of swine flu and the continuing fears of the medical, scientific and world health communities of the sudden emergence of a deadly bird flu strain, means that a new approach to flu vaccines needs to be contemplated.

“What we need is some protection against all influenza virus A strains, including any emergent pandemic virus,” he says…

“What we need is some protection against all influenza virus A strains, including any emergent pandemic virus,” he says.

A new technology, invented by Dr Alsharifi (University of Adelaide) and Professor Arno Müllbacher (Australian National University), has helped to generate a new influenza vaccine – GammaFlu™ – that provides cross-protection against current influenza viruses as well as any other unknown strains that may arise in the future.

“Our technology is expected to change the world of vaccination, as it can be implemented to produce many other vaccines,” Dr Alsharifi says.

To translate their basic scientific discoveries into clinical application, both scientists established the company Gamma Vaccines Pty Ltd in July 2009. Gamma Vaccines is now commercializing its gamma-irradiated influenza vaccine to capture part of the global market for flu vaccines, which is estimated at US$4 billion annually….

 

 

November 30, 2010 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Health News Items | , , | 1 Comment

Cinnamon can replace harmful chemicals used to create nanoparticles

From a November 29, 2010 Eureka news alert

MU scientists make strides in green nanotechnology

IMAGE: University of Missouri researcher Kattesh Katti has found a method that could replace nearly all of the toxic chemicals required to make gold nanoparticles.

Click here for more information. 

COLUMBIA, Mo. ¬¬¬–Gold nanoparticles, tiny pieces of gold so small that they can’t be seen by the naked eye, are used in electronics, healthcare products and as pharmaceuticals to fight cancer. Despite their positive uses, the process to make the nanoparticles requires dangerous and extremely toxic chemicals. While the nanotechnology industry is expected to produce large quantities of nanoparticles in the near future, researchers have been worried about the environmental impact of the global nanotechnological revolution….

The usual method of creating gold nanoparticles utilizes harmful chemicals and acids that are not environmentally safe and contain toxic impurities. In the MU study, Katti and researchers Raghuraman Kannan, the Michael J and Sharon R. Bukstein Distinguished Faculty Scholar in Cancer Research, assistant professor of radiology and director of the Nanoparticle Production Core Facility; and Nripen Chanda, a research associate scientist, mixed gold salts with cinnamon and stirred the mixture in water to synthesize gold nanoparticles. The new process uses no electricity and utilizes no toxic agents.

“The procedure we have developed is non-toxic,” Kannan said. “No chemicals are used in the generation of gold nanoparticles, except gold salts. It is a true ‘green’ process.”..

The study was published this fall in Pharmaceutical Research (full text at this link)
 

 

November 30, 2010 Posted by | Health News Items | , , , , | Leave a comment

How authentic is your pomegranate juice?

Cynthia Larive, a chemist at UC Riverside, is beginning to find out through molecular fingerprinting.

IMAGE: Cynthia Larive (left) and her graduate student Daniel Orr examine pomegranate juice samples in the laboratory.

November 30, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Acupuncture changes brain’s perception and processing of pain

From a November 30, 2010 Eureka news alert

CHICAGO – Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), researchers have captured pictures of the brain while patients experienced a pain stimulus with and without acupuncture to determine acupuncture’s effect on how the brain processes pain. Results of the study, which the researchers say suggest the effectiveness of acupuncture, were presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA)….
….”Activation of brain areas involved in pain perception was significantly reduced or modulated under acupuncture,” Dr. Theysohn said.

Specifically, fMRI revealed significant activation in the contralateral supplementary motor area, somatosensory cortex, precuneus bilateral insula and ipsilateral somatomotor cortex during electrical pain stimulation without acupuncture. During acupuncture, activation in most of these pain-processing areas of the brain was significantly reduced.

According to Dr. Theysohn, in addition to the assumed specific effects on the pain signal, acupuncture also affected brain activation in areas governing the patients’ expectations of pain, similar to a placebo analgesic response.

The anterior insula, for example, plays a role in transforming pain sensation to cognition and represents a subjective component of pain sensation. The reduction in activation of the primary somatosensory cortex and the insula during acupuncture indicates an acupuncture-induced modulation of the sensory encoding of the painful stimulus.

“Acupuncture is supposed to act through at least two mechanisms—nonspecific expectancy-based effects and specific modulation of the incoming pain signal,” Dr. Theysohn said. “Our findings support that both these nonspecific and specific mechanisms exist, suggesting that acupuncture can help relieve pain.”

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Coauthors are Kyung-Eun Choi, M.Sc., Elke Gizewski, M.D., Ph.D., Thomas Rampp, M.D., Gustav Dobos, M.D., Ph.D., Michael Forsting, M.D., Ph.D., and Frauke Musial, Ph.D.

Note: Copies of RSNA 2010 news releases and electronic images will be available online at RSNA.org/press10 beginning Monday, Nov. 29.

RSNA is an association of more than 46,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related scientists committed to excellence in patient care through education and research. The Society is based in Oak Brook, Ill. (RSNA.org)

Editor’s note: The data in these releases may differ from those in the published abstract and those actually presented at the meeting, as researchers continue to update their data right up until the meeting. To ensure you are using the most up-to-date information, please call the RSNA Newsroom at 1-312-949-3233.

For patient-friendly information on fMRI, visit RadiologyInfo.org.

November 30, 2010 Posted by | Health News Items | , | Leave a comment

Should we be teaching information management instead of evidence-based medicine?

From the full text article at the publisher’s Web site

[via a Medlib-L posting on November 29, 2010 by Julie Esparza, Clinical Medical Librarian, LSU]

Shepard R. Hurwitz1 and David C. Slawson2

(1) Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7055, USA
(2) University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, VA, USA

Shepard R. Hurwitz
Email: shurwitz@abos.org
Published online: 22 May 2010

Abstract
Background
To encourage high-quality patient care guided by the best evidence, many medical schools and residencies are teaching techniques for critically evaluating the medical literature. While a large step forward in many regards, these skills of evidence-based medicine are necessary but not sufficient for the practice of contemporary medicine and surgery. Incorporating the best evidence into the real world of busy clinical practice requires the applied science of information management. Clinicians must learn the techniques and skills to focus on finding, evaluating, and using information at the point of care. This information must be both relevant to themselves and their patients and be valid.
Where are we now?
Today, orthopaedic surgery is in the post-Flexner era of passive didactic learning combined with the practical experience of surgery as taught by supervising experts. The medical student and house officer fill their memory with mountains of facts and classic references ‘just in case’ that information is needed. With libraries and now internet repositories of orthopaedic information, all orthopaedic knowledge can be readily accessed without having to store much in one’s memory. Evidence is often trumped by the opinion of a teacher or expert in the field.
Where do we need to go?
To improve the quality of orthopaedic surgery there should be application of the best evidence, changing practice where needed when evidence is available. To apply evidence, the evidence has to find a way into practice without the long pipeline of change that now exists. Evidence should trump opinion and unfounded practices.
How do we get there?
To create a curriculum and learning space for information management requires effort on the part of medical schools, residency programs and health systems. Internet sources need to be created that have the readily available evidence-based answers to patient issues so surgeons do not need to spend all the time necessary to research the questions on their own. Information management is built on a platform created by EBM but saves the surgeon time and improves accuracy by having experts validate the evidence and make it easily available.
Each author certifies that he or she has no commercial associations (eg, consultancies, stock ownership, equity interest, patent/licensing arrangements, etc) that might pose a conflict of interest in connection with the submitted article. Dr. Slawson is a paid consultant for Wiley & Son publisher.

November 30, 2010 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Librarian Resources, Professional Health Care Resources | , , , | Leave a comment

   

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