Health News 

Scientists Crack HIV Coating, Leading to Possible AIDS Cure

Scientists have completely mapped the structure of the protein that encases HIV’s critical genetic information, a development that could eventually lead to new drugs to fight AIDS. A research team from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine was able to use a supercomputer from the University of Illinois known as “Blue Waters” to reveal “seams” in the HIV’s capsid, the protein casing of a virus that holds its DNA. In order to be effective, the capsid has to be strong enough to protect the virus’ DNA while it is…

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Newly discovered virus takes more lives, spreads

(CNN) — A new SARS-like virus recently found in humans continues to spread — with the worldwide total now at 49, the World Health Organization said Wednesday. Of the 49 known infections with the MERS-CoV virus, 27 have resulted in death, the organization said. The latest deaths were reported in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi health ministry said Wednesday that three people died from their infections in the country’s eastern region. The virus is “a threat to the entire world,” the WHO’s general director said Monday. It “is not a problem that any single…

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Midwives shortage hits Ghana

Research has revealed a shortfall of midwives by 29 percent in Ghana. This  means the country needs 1,459 additional midwives to cushion this deficit and make advancement to achieving the 95 percent Skilled Birth Attendants (SBA) coverage by 2015. The research further showed that 69 percent of maternal deaths and 61 percent of neonatal deaths could be averted by 2015 if all women delivered at health facilities which had midwives as well as fully-functioning Basic Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care. The research which was conducted by MamaYe, a campaign aimed…

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OHSU research team successfully converts human skin cells into embryonic stem cells

The breakthrough marks the first time human stem cells have been produced via nuclear transfer and follows several unsuccessful attempts by research groups worldwide (EurekAlert) PORTAND, Ore. – Scientists at Oregon Health & Science University and the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC) have successfully reprogrammed human skin cells to become embryonic stem cells capable of transforming into any other cell type in the body. It is believed that stem cell therapies hold the promise of replacing cells damaged through injury or illness. Diseases or conditions that might be treated…

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Embryonic stem cells: Advance in medical human cloning

(BBC)Human cloning has been used to produce early embryos, marking a “significant step” for medicine, say US scientists. The cloned embryos were used as a source of stem cells, which can make new heart muscle, bone, brain tissue or any other type of cell in the body. The study, published in the journal Cell, used methods like those that produced Dolly the sheep in the UK. However, researchers say other sources of stem cells may be easier, cheaper and less controversial. Opponents say it is unethical to experiment on human embryos…

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My Medical Choice

MY MOTHER fought cancer for almost a decade and died at 56. She held out long enough to meet the first of her grandchildren and to hold them in her arms. But my other children will never have the chance to know her and experience how loving and gracious she was. We often speak of “Mommy’s mommy,” and I find myself trying to explain the illness that took her away from us. They have asked if the same could happen to me. I have always told them not to worry, but the…

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Kermit Gosnell guilty of three murders in late-term abortions

A Philadelphia doctor has been found guilty of the murders of three babies born alive and killed with scissors after late-term abortions. Dr Kermit Gosnell, 72, was acquitted on another charge of killing a fourth baby, who let out a whimper before he cut its neck, prosecutors said. But he was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter of an adult patient who died of an overdose. The case became a flashpoint in the US debate over abortion. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Gosnell. ‘House of horrors’ Former staff members…

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Soy And Tomato Combination May Help Prevent Prostate Cancer

Soy and tomato foods are probably better at preventing prostate cancer when eaten in combination than alone, researchers from the University of Illinois reported this week. John Erdman, professor of food science andnutrition, and colleagues used genetically engineered laboratory mice for their study. They were engineered to develop a fast-progressing aggressive form of prostate cancer. Half the mice that were give tomato and soy had no cancerous lesions in their prostates at the end of the study, compared to ALL the mice in the control group. The control group were given…

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More Americans using retail health clinics

As wait times to see a doctor for simple problems like sinusitis and urinary tract infection lengthen, more and more Americans are turning to retail health clinics—walk-in medical facilities located in pharmacies, grocery stores, and retailers such as Walmart and Target. The number of visits to such clinics quadrupled from 1.48 million in 2007 to 5.97 million in 2009, according to a study published in the journal Health Affairs, and topped 10 million last year. What is driving this migration to retail health clinics? “For the majority of patients it is convenience,”…

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Lead poisoning in China: A health and human rights crisis

Jane E. Cohen and Joseph J. Amon Abstract Acute and chronic lead poisoning is occurring throughout China and is a major cause of childhood morbidity. The Chinese government’s emphasis on industrial development and poverty reduction has, over the past three decades, decreased by 500 million the number of people surviving on less than one dollar per day, but has caused significant environmental degradation that threatens public health. Drawing upon in-depth interviews conducted in 2009 and 2010 with families affected by lead poisoning, environmental activists, journalists, government and civil society organization…

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