February 8, 2019

New Hope for Cleaning Up Our Oceans?

Plastic is ubiquitous in our society, it is one of the most useful classes of materials we utilize in our everyday lives, and we are surrounded by it on more ways than one.  (more…)
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November 9, 2018

Merck Backs Out of Vaccine Commitment to Africa

What is the responsibility of pharmaceutical companies to provide life saving medicines to countries that cannot afford top dollar prices? Merck & Co. Inc. recently received approval to sell their rotavirus vaccine, RotaTeq, in China, while simultaneously ending a long-term agreement to supply the vaccine for children in West Africa.  Rotavirus is the leading cause of death due to diarrhea, and is responsible for half a million deaths annually, half of which are in Africa. Worldwide, most children are exposed to rotavirus by the time they are 5 years old. In the Western world, rotavirus can be severe but is rarely lethal.  Contrast the 70 deaths per year reported in industrialized nations versus the more than 500,000 deaths reported in developing nations. In 2011, Merck agreed to sell its rotavirus vaccine to low-income countries, via Gavi, a vaccine alliance, for a steep discount — about $3.50 per dose as opposed to the approximate cost of $70 per dose for the United States. For six years, Merck…
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October 1, 2018

HIV Controlled by Antibody Therapy

Today, an estimated 1.1 million people are living with HIV in the United States, and improvements in antiretroviral therapy have turned HIV into a manageable condition.  Thanks to better treatments, people with HIV are now living longer—and with a better quality of life—than ever before.  Yet even the most effective drugs only suppress the virus, which hides in the body, ready to rise to dangerous levels should a patient stop their medication regime. To continue suppression of HIV, patients must adhere to strict daily medication schedules, which can be burdensome and expensive.   (more…)
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September 26, 2018

Latest Research Offers Alternative to Addictive Opioids

  The misuse of and addiction to opioids—including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl—is a growing national crisis affecting public health and creating an enormous burden on the healthcare system.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the total economic impact of prescription opioid misuse in the United States is $78.5 billion a year, including healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement. (more…)
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September 14, 2018

How Does Talking to Babies Make Them Smarter?

Young children who are regularly engaged in conversation by adults may have stronger connections between two developing brain regions critical for language, according to a study of healthy young children that confirms a hypothesis registered with the Open Science Framework. This finding, published in JNeurosci, suggests that talking with children from an early age could promote their language skills. (more…)
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health, diet
September 5, 2018

The Link Between Vegetables and Colon Cancer

Could a diet rich in green vegetables help prevent colon cancer? Chemicals produced by vegetables such as kale, cabbage and broccoli could help to maintain a healthy gut and prevent colon cancer, a recent study from the Francis Crick Institute shows.  The study, published in Immunity, shows that mice fed on a diet rich in indole-3-carbinol (I3C) were protected from gut inflammation and colon cancer.  (more…)
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disease, research
August 28, 2018

New TB Study Has Hopeful Results

Tuberculosis (TB), an infectious disease targeting the lungs, is the second biggest killer, globally.  In 2015, 1.8 million people died from the disease, with 10.4 million falling ill, despite the development of vaccines and effective drug treatment.  At one point, the United Nations predicted that TB would be eliminated worldwide by 2025, but treatment options remain surprisingly sparse.  The only vaccine for TB was developed nearly a century ago, and offers limited protection.  Even worse,  patients are becoming increasingly resistant to available drugs. (more…)
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