One in 10 Antibiotic Treatments Fail
Over a 22 year period, more than one in 10 of all antibiotic treatments in a primary care setting have failed. This rate has increased and continues to rise, according to a new study that analyzed almost 11 million antibiotic prescriptions in the UK. Much data has been gathered about antibiotic resistance in hospitals, but virtually nothing is known about the frequency and pattern of antibiotic failure in primary care.
Researchers from Cardiff Univ. therefore set out to assess antibiotic treatment failure rates in UK primary care with particular focus on four of the most common kinds of infection: upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs), lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs), skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) and acute otitis media (AOM – middle-ear infection).
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/one-10-antibiotic-treatments-fail
Bacteria’s Communication System Can Kill Cancer
Cancer, while always dangerous, truly becomes life-threatening when the cancerous cells begin to spread to different areas throughout the body. Now, researchers at the Univ. of Missouri have discovered that a molecule used as a communication system by bacteria can be manipulated to prevent cancer cells from spreading. Senthil Kumar, an assistant research professor and assistant director of the Comparative Oncology and Epigenetics Laboratory at the MU College of Veterinary Medicine, says this communication system can be used to “tell” cancer cells how to act, or even to die on command.
“During an infection, bacteria release molecules which allow them to ‘talk’ to each other,” says Kumar, the lead author of the study. “Depending on the type of molecule released, the signal will tell other bacteria to multiply, escape the immune system or even stop spreading. We found that if we introduce the ‘stop spreading’ bacteria molecule to cancer cells, those cells will not only stop spreading; they will begin to die as well.”
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/bacterias-communication-system-can-kill-cancer
Designer Proteins Fight Alzheimer’s, Cancer
Chemists at the Univ. of Leicester have reported a breakthrough in techniques to develop new drugs in the fight against diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s.
The team has developed an innovative process allowing them to generate a particular type of synthetic amino acid — and a particular type of designer protein — that has not been done before.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/designer-proteins-fight-alzheimer%E2%80%99s-cancer
Changes Needed to End-of-life Care
The U.S. health care system is not properly designed to meet the needs of patients nearing the end of life and those of their families, and major changes to the system are necessary, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine. The 21-member committee that wrote the report envisioned an approach to end-of-life care that integrates traditional medical care and social services and that is high-quality, affordable and sustainable. The committee called for more “advance care planning” for end-of-life by individuals, for improved training and credentialing for clinicians and for federal and state governments and private sectors to provide incentives to patients and clinicians to discuss issues, values, preferences and appropriate services and care.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/changes-needed-end-life-care
Ebola Drugs to be Fast-tracked in West Africa
Potential new treatments for Ebola are to be tested in West Africa for the first time as part of an international initiative to fast-track trials of the most promising drugs against the disease that has already led to over 2,600 deaths.
The new initiative will allow candidate Ebola treatments to be assessed rapidly in patients, so that those proving safe and effective may be adopted for use as soon as possible.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/ebola-drugs-be-fast-tracked-west-africa
Immune System is Ally in Cancer Cyberwar
Research by Rice Univ. scientists who are fighting a cyberwar against cancer finds that the immune system may be a clinician’s most powerful ally.
“Recent research has found that cancer is already adept at using cyberwarfare against the immune system, and we studied the interplay between cancer and the immune system to see how we might turn the tables on cancer,” says Rice Univ.’s Eshel Ben-Jacob, co-author of a new study in PNAS.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/immune-system-ally-cancer-cyberwar
Today in Lab History: September 19, 1915- Elizabeth Stern Shankman
Elizabeth Stern Shankman was a Canadian-born American, born Sept. 19, 1915, who was one of the first pathologists to work on the progression of a cell from normality to cancerous. Her breakthrough studies of cervical cancers changed the disease from fatal to one of the most easily diagnosed and treatable. Her studies showed that a normal cell advanced through 250 distinct stages before becoming cancerous and thus is the most easily diagnosed of all cancers.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2012/09/today-lab-history-elizabeth-stern-shankman
Wild Berry Extract May Boost Cancer Drug
A wild berry native to North America may strengthen the effectiveness of a chemotherapy drug commonly used to treat pancreatic cancer, reveals research published online in the Journal of Clinical Pathology.
The study by researchers at King’s College Hospital and the Univ. of Southampton suggests that adding nutraceuticals to chemotherapy cycles may improve the effectiveness of conventional drugs, particularly in hard to treat cancers, such as pancreatic cancer.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/wild-berry-extract-may-boost-cancer-drug
Radiosurgery Tech Provides Better Treatment, Less Discomfort
A new stereotactic radiosurgery system provides the same or a higher level of accuracy in targeting cancer tumors – but offers greater comfort to patients and the ability to treat multiple tumors at once – when compared to other radiation therapy stereotactic systems, according to researchers at the Henry Ford Health System.
The study shows the Edge Radiosurgery Suite is able to target cancer tumors within one millimeter, providing sub-millimeter accuracy with extreme precision.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/radiosurgery-tech-provides-better-treatment-less-discomfort
Research May Help Fight Bacterial Biofilms
New research findings point toward future approaches to fighting bacterial biofilms that foul everything from implantable medical devices to industrial pipes and boat propellers.
Bacteria secrete a mucus-like “extracellular polymeric substance” that forms biofilms, allowing bacterial colonies to thrive on surfaces.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/research-may-help-fight-bacterial-biofilms
Doctors in many U.S. hospitals are unnecessarily prescribing multiple antibiotics for several days when just one would do the job, a new study released this week suggests.
Health officials have sounded alarms that overuse of antibiotics is helping to breed dangerous bacteria that are increasingly resistant to treatment. Much of the attention has been on doctor offices that wrongly prescribe bacteria-targeting antibiotics for illnesses caused by viruses.
The new study focuses on a different issue — when hospital doctors throw more than one antibiotic at a mystery infection.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/many-hospitals-are-too-liberal-antibiotics
Researchers at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute infused antibody-studded iron nanoparticles into the bloodstream to treat heart attack damage. The combined nanoparticle enabled precise localization of the body’s own stem cells to the injured heart muscle.
The study, which focused on laboratory rats, was published today in the online peer reviewed journal Nature Communications. The study addresses a central challenge in stem cell therapeutics: how to achieve targeted interactions between stem cells and injured cells.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/nanoparticles-magnets-steer-stem-cells-injuries
Working Through Depression Can Be Beneficial
Attending work while suffering a depressive illness could help employees better manage their depression more than taking a sickness absence from work, a new study has found.
The collaborative study between the Univ. Melbourne and the Menzies Research Institute at the Univ. of Tasmania is the first to estimate the long-term costs and health outcomes of depression-related absence as compared to individuals who continue to work among employees with depression in Australia.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/working-through-depression-can-be-beneficial
Treating Autistic Infants Reduces Symptoms
Treatment at the earliest age when symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) appear – sometimes in infants as young as six months old – significantly reduces symptoms so that, by age three, most who received the therapy had neither ASD nor developmental delay, a UC Davis MIND Institute research study has found.
The treatment, known as Infant Start, was administered over a six-month period to six- to 15-month-old infants who exhibited marked autism symptoms, such as decreased eye contact, social interest or engagement, repetitive movement patterns and a lack of intentional communication. It was delivered by the people who were most in tune with and spent the most time with the babies: their parents.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/treating-autistic-infants-reduces-symptoms
Study of Cannabis Paves Way for New Drugs
A revolutionary nanotechnology method could help improve the development of new medicine and reduce costs. Researchers from the Nano-Science Center and the Department of Chemistry at the Univ. of Copenhagen have developed a new screening method that makes it possible to study cell membrane proteins that bind drugs, such as cannabis and adrenaline, while reducing the consumption of precious samples by a billion times.
About 40 percent of all medicines used today work through the so-called “G protein-coupled receptors.” These receptors react to changes in the cell environment, for example, to increased amounts of chemicals like cannabis, adrenaline or the medications we take and are therefore of paramount importance to the pharmaceutical industry.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/study-cannabis-paves-way-new-drugs