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How to Deal with Asthma?

asthmaAsthma is really a long-term ailment that has simply no cure. The particular goal associated with asthma therapy is to manage the condition. Right there are the most of asthma symptoms and treatment:
·Prevent chronic plus troublesome signs and symptoms, for example breathing problems and shortness of breathing
·Reduce your own requirement for quick-relief medicines
·Help you preserve good lung perform
·Let you preserve your regular activity degree and rest through the particular night
·Prevent asthma episodes that can lead to a good emergency area visit or even hospital remain
To handle asthma, companion with your physician to control your asthma or your own child's asthma. Children old 10 or even older-and younger kids who are usually able-should consider an energetic function within their asthma care.
Using an energetic function to manage your own asthma requires:
·Working along with your physician to deal with other circumstances that may intervene with asthma management.
·Avoiding things that will worsen your own asthma (asthma triggers). Nevertheless, one cause you must not prevent is actual physical activity. Physical exercise is an essential portion of the healthy life-style. Talk along with your physician regarding medicines that will can assist you keep active.
·Working along with your physician as well as other wellness care suppliers to generate and stick to an asthma plan of action.
A good asthma motion plan offers guidance in obtaining your drugs properly, staying away from asthma sets off (except actual physical activity), monitoring your height of asthma control, reacting to deteriorating symptoms, plus seeking crisis care as needed.
Asthma is usually treated along with two varieties of medications: long-term handle and quick-relief medicines. Long lasting control medications help decrease airway irritation and stop asthma symptoms. Quick-relief, or "rescue, " medications relieve asthma symptoms that will may surface.
Your preliminary treatment is determined by the intensity of your own asthma. Followup asthma treatment is determined by just how well your own asthma activity plan is usually controlling your own symptoms plus preventing asthma attacks.
Your height of asthma handle can differ as time passes plus with adjustments in your own home, college, or function environments. These types of changes can modify how usually you're subjected to the elements that may worsen your own asthma.
Your own doctor might need to increase your own medicine when your asthma doesn't remain under manage. However, when your asthma is properly controlled for a number of months, your physician may reduce your medicine. These types of adjustments for your medicine can help you maintain the particular best manage possible along with the minimum amount associated with medicine essential.
Asthma therapy for many groupings of people-such as kids, pregnant females, or individuals for who exercise provides on asthma symptoms-will end up being adjusted in order to meet their particular special requirements.
Follow a good Asthma Plan of action
You may work together with your own doctor to produce a personal asthma action program. The master plan may describe your own daily remedies, such like which medications to consider plus when to consider them. The master plan also can explain whenever to contact your physician or even navigate to the crisis room.
In case your child provides asthma, all the people who else take care of your pet or the girl ought to know regarding the kid's asthma plan of action. This contains babysitters plus workers from daycare facilities, schools, plus camps. These types of caretakers may help your kid follow their action program.
Avoid Items That Can easily Worsen Your own Asthma
Several common items (called asthma triggers) may set away from or aggravate your asthma symptoms. As soon as you understand what these types of things are usually, you may take procedure for control most of them.
For illustration, contact with pollens or atmosphere pollution will make your asthma worse. If you are, try in order to limit time period outdoors whenever the degrees of these elements in the particular outdoor air flow are higher. If pet fur sets off your asthma symptoms, maintain pets along with fur out there of your own home or even bedroom.
A single possible asthma trigger a person shouldn’t prevent is physical exercise. Physical exercise is an important component of a proper lifestyle. Talk to your physician about medications which will help a person stay energetic.
In case your asthma symptoms are usually clearly associated to contaminants in the air, and a person can't prevent contact with individuals allergens, your own doctor might advise a person to obtain allergic reaction shots.
A person may require to visit a specialist in case you are thinking regarding getting allergic reaction shots. These types of shots may lessen or even stop your asthma symptoms, yet they aren't cure your own asthma.
Many health circumstances could make asthma harder in order to manage. These types of conditions consist of runny nasal area, sinus bacterial infections, reflux condition, psychological tension, and stop snoring. Your physician will deal with these circumstances too.
Your physician may consider several things whenever deciding which usually asthma drugs are very best to suit your needs. He or she or the lady will verify to notice how properly a medication works. After that, she or he may adjust the particular dose or even medicine since needed.
Asthma medicines may be consumed pill type, but many are used utilizing a device called a good inhaler. A good inhaler enables the drugs to look straight to your own lungs.
Not every inhalers are utilized the exact same way. Request your physician or even another physician to present the correct method to make use of your inhaler. Review how you use your own inhaler from every healthcare visit.
Long lasting Control Medications
Most individuals who may have asthma require long lasting control medications daily in order to help avoid symptoms. The very best long-term drugs reduce respiratory tract inflammation, which usually helps avoid symptoms through starting. These types of medicines may provide you with fast respite from signs and symptoms.

Institute for Health Technology Transformation Announces Health IT Summit in Denver July 24-25

The iHT2 Health IT Summit in Denver, will bring together C-level, physician, practice management, and IT decision-makers from North America’s leading provider organizations and physician practices. For two full days, executives interact with a national audience of peers, national leaders and solutions providers featuring the latest solutions for practice management, mobility, telemedicine, outsourcing, IT infrastructure, next-generation electronic medical records, disease management, and more.

The Summit will feature keynote presentations from Peter Fine, FACHE, President & CEO, Banner Health, and Bernard Harris, Jr., MD, MBA, President & CEO, Vesalius Ventures, and President, American Telemedicine Association.

Featured Speakers include: Dana Moore, SVP & CIO, Centura Health; Gregory Veltri, CIO, Denver Health; Russell Leftwich, MD, CMIO, Tennessee Office of eHealth Initiatives; Neal Ganguly, VP & CIO, CentraState Healthcare System; Andrew Steele, MD, MPH, Director, Medical Informatics, Denver Health; Jonathan Gold, MD, MHA, MSc, Regional CMIO, Catholic Health Initiatives; Charles Doarn, MBA, Research Professor and Director, Telemedicine & e-Health Program, University of Cincinnati; Mark Caron, SVP & CIO, Capital BlueCross, and many more.

Panel Discussions for the Health IT Summit in Denver include: Accountable Care Organizations: Taking on Risk & Identifying Critical Tools, Leveraging Data to Improve Outcomes & Safety, Preparing for 2013: Organizational Strategies for the Transition to ICD-10, Breach Avoidance: Strategies to Protect Patient Data, HIE Performance: Defining Your Objectives & Measuring Progress, Meaningful Use Stage 2: Reaching the Next Stages of Quality & Care, and Mobile Health: Leveraging Data at the Point of Care.

The full agenda can be viewed by visiting:

Sponsors and Partners include: ICA, Quantix, Extract Systems, SLI Global Solutions, Nuance, Comcast, Altus, Rubbermaid Healthcare, VMware, Healthcare IT News, CMIO, FierceHealthIT, ADVANCE, NASCIO, AMDIS, eHealth SmartBrief, Frost & Sullivan, IDC Health Insights, Mobile Healthcare Today,, and more.

Institute for Health Technology Transformation Appoints New Health IT Leaders to Advisory Board

The Institute for Health Technology Transformation (iHT²) announced ten new members to their Advisory Board this week. These members represent some of the brightest minds in healthcare information technology, and they will work to provide thought leadership and valuable industry connections to expand and improve the quality of the Institute’s initiatives throughout the year.

The Institute’s Advisory Board is a group of health care thought leaders representing the diverse stakeholders involved in the integration of health information technology. This esteemed group provides iHT² with insight and guidance throughout the year on how it can better serve the health care industry in their goal of fostering the adoption and implementation of health IT.

“Members of the iHT² Advisory Board greatly enhance our ability to offer health IT leaders superior educational and collaborative opportunities,” said Barry P. Chaiken, MD, MPH, Senior Fellow & Health IT Chair, Institute for Health Technology Transformation, CMO, DocsNetwork & former HIMSS Chair. “The insight provided by these distinguished professionals allows iHT² to keep pace with developing trends in healthcare, and offer conferences, webinars and publications that satisfy the needs of a wide range of industry professionals.”

The new members join a board of over twenty health IT leaders representing organizations throughout the country including: Kaiser Permanente, Catholic Health Initiatives, Capital BlueCross, Visiting Nurse Service of New York, Delaware Health Information Network, and more.

The newly appointed members are:

  •     Samantha Burch, VP, Quality & Health IT, Federation of American Hospitals
  •     Mary Carroll Ford, MBA, VP & CIO, Lakeland Regional Medical Center
  •     Dick Gibson, MD, Chief Health Intelligence Officer, Providence Health & Services
  •     Fred Galusha. CIO & COO, Inland Northwest Health Services
  •     Chris Jaeger, MD, VP, Medical Informatics, Sutter Health
  •     Elizabeth Johnson, SVP, Applied Clinical Informatics, Tenet Healthcare
  •     Bill Phillips, CIO, University Healthcare System
  •     Justin Graham, CMIO, NorthBay Healthcare
  •     Andy Steele, MD, Medical Director, Informatics, Denver Health
  •     Doris Crain, CIO, Broward Health
  •     John Santangelo, Director of IT, Cleveland Clinic Florida

“The Advisory Board contributes invaluable industry insight that results in some of the most comprehensive, intimate, and informative programs taking place year after year,” said Waco Hoover, CEO, Institute for Health Technology Transformation. “The accomplishments and dedication of the Advisory Board is what truly separates the Institute apart from other organizations.”

Intermountain Healthcare, Partners Healthcare System, and Kaiser Permanente to Deliver Keynote Presentations at the Health IT Summit in San Francisco

The Institute for Health Technology Transformation announced the keynote presenters for the Health IT Summit in San Francisco, which will take place March 27-28th at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport. The keynote presenters at the annual program will be Mark Probst, CIO, Intermountain Healthcare, Blackford Middleton, MD, Corporate Director of Clinical Informatics Research & Development, Partners Healthcare System, and Hal Wolf, SVP & COO, The Permanente Federation, Kaiser Permanente.

The iHT2 Health IT Summit, will bring together C-level, physician, practice management, and IT decision-makers from North America’s leading provider organizations and physician practices. For two full days, executives interact with a national audience of peers, national leaders and solutions providers featuring the latest solutions for practice management, mobility, telemedicine, outsourcing, IT infrastructure, next-generation electronic medical records, disease management, and more.

“We are dedicated to continuous improvement that enhances patient care. I look forward to learning from health care leaders and sharing our experience in improving outcomes by putting advanced health IT in the hands of clinicians, care teams, and patients,” said Hal Wolf, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of The Permanente Federation, Kaiser Permanente.

Panel discussions for the Health IT Summit in San Francisco include: Accounting for Assumptions: Taking a deeper look at reforming our healthcare delivery system, HIE & HIX: The convergence of healthcare information, Securing Electronic Personal Health Information (ePHI): From the Data Warehouse to the Point of Care, Analytics in Healthcare: Improving Outcomes Through Data Management, The Cloud in Healthcare, Stage 2 Meaningful Use: Leveraging Technology to Improve Outcomes & Efficiency, Patient Management Without Walls: Enabling mHealth and Telemedicine, and more.

“Healthcare I.S. leadership is consumed with the demands of ARRA HITECH (meaningful use), ICD-10 (maybe we are going to get some relief) and a barrage of requests to meet the demands of a changing healthcare landscape,” said Mark Probst. “I believe that even though the demands are great – as I.S. leaders, we must not simply follow and adopt aging solutions, rather we have the responsibility to innovate.”

Sponsors and Partners include: ICA, InnerWireless, CloudPrime, Accellion, ICW, SLI Global Solutions, VMware, athenahealth, Comcast, InterSystems, LANDesk Software, Pano Logic, Aventura, Key Info, AUXILIO, Somansa Technologies, Inc.,, EMC2, AMDIS, The California Association of Healthcare Leaders (CAHL), California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (CAPH), CMIO, DOTmed, eHealth SmartBrief, Executive Insight, Frost & Sullivan, Healthcare IT News, IDC Health Insights, MarketsandMarkets, NASCIO, ReportsandReports,, and more.

Health Care Thought Leaders Release Research Report Finding Automation Is Key to Population Health Management

The Institute for Health Technology Transformationtoday released findings from an Automating Population Health Research Project, which seeks to educate the healthcare industry on how best to apply technology in meeting the challenges of population health management.

Prepared in consultation with a broad range of industry experts, the Population Health Management: A Roadmap for Provider-Based Automation in a New Era of Healthcare report finds that population health management requires healthcare providers to develop new skill sets and new infrastructures for delivering care. To make the transition from fee-for-service reimbursement to accountable care, which depends on the ability to improve population health, providers will need to automate many routine tasks, ranging from identification of care gaps and risk stratification to patient engagement, care management, and outcomes measurement.

“In the era of healthcare reform, provider organizations must change their traditional approach and embrace new ways of thinking about their mission,” said Waco Hoover, CEO of the Institute for Health Technology Transformation. “They must not only care for the sick, but also strive to keep their patient populations healthy. Information technology is the key to doing this cost efficiently, and automation can enable care teams to identify and work with the patients who truly need their help.”

Report coauthor Paul Grundy, MD, Global Director of Healthcare Transformation for IBM, and President of Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative, commented, “Patient-centered medical homes based on primary care are the building blocks of accountable care, and information technology is the key to successful medical homes. With the help of registries, electronic health records, health information exchanges, and other tools for care coordination and automation, healthcare providers can manage their populations effectively and keep their patients as healthy as possible.”

Andy Steele, MD, MPH, Director of Medical Informatics at Denver Health, and another of the report’s contributing authors, said, “Given potential health care reform and efforts to increase quality and efficiency of care in the setting of persistent fiscal limitations, the importance of leveraging information technology and focusing on population health management has become a top priority for many health care institutions. Our goal for the project is to provide resources that health care providers can utilize as they are considering and implementing population health management initiatives.”

Richard Hodach, MD, MPH, PhD, Chief Medical Officer of Phytel and chair of the report’s research committee, commented, “This important new report underscores the message that Phytel has been spreading among physician groups for the past several years. By using technology to identify subpopulations and patients who are at risk, to reach out to those patients, and to automate care management, healthcare providers can provide optimal preventive and chronic care to their patient populations. Providers can also use technology to engage patients in their own care, which is the real key to lowering costs and improving population health. We are proud of our participation in this project, and we hope that the report will be helpful to providers who plan to move in this direction.”

Among the healthcare thought leaders who contributed to the Automating Population Health Research Project are Alide Chase, MS, Senior Vice President for Quality and Service, Kaiser Permanente; Robert Fortini, Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer, Bon Secours Health System; Connie White Delaney, PhD, RN, School of Nursing Professor & Dean, Academic Health Center Director, Associate Director of Biomedical Health Informatics, and Acting Director of the Institute for Health Informatics, University of Minnesota; Richard Hodach, MD, MPH, PhD, Chief Medical Officer, Phytel; Paul Grundy, MD, MPH, Global Director of Healthcare Transformation, IBM; Margaret O’Kane, President, National Committee for Quality Assurance; Andy Steele, MD, MPH, Director of Medical Informatics, Denver Health; and Dan Fetterolf, Principal, Fetterolf Healthcare Consulting.

Institute for Health Technology Transformation Appoints Jay Srini Senior Fellow & Innovation Chair

The Institute for Health Technology Transformation announced today that Jay Srini, Chief Strategist at SCS Ventures has been appointed Senior Fellow & Innovation Chair for the Institute’s 2012 series of educational programs and meetings.

Jay Srini is an internationally recognized thought leader on national and international trends that are changing the face of healthcare. In her current role at SCS Ventures, Jay works with startup companies internationally to help them with their business development, technology strategy, and expansion. She also advises established companies on their strategies to enter and grow their healthcare vertical.

“We’re thrilled to work with Jay in a concerted effort to move our health system forward with programs that foster the more innovative use of information technology,” said Waco Hoover, the Institute’s CEO. “Jay has a wealth of industry expertise that will make a meaningful and lasting impact on programs and initiatives developed at the Institute.”

In Jay Srini’s role as Senior Fellow and Innovation Chair she will work with the Institute’s Advisory Board and other industry leaders to program and develop leading educational programs and collaboration opportunities for health care leaders. In tandem with the Institute’s mission to promote the effective use of technology across the U.S. health system, Mrs. Srini will engage leaders from the community to ensure the Institute continually provides timely and relevant resources.

“We are in the midst of tectonic shifts in healthcare on all fronts ranging from new discoveries to new payment models and new stakeholders entering the healthcare sector,” said Jay Srini. “Finding innovative ways to deliver cost effective patient centered health care has never been as important as now. Innovation is virtually impossible without collaboration! I am honored and excited to take on this new role at iHT2 to develop new programs and platforms to drive innovation in healthcare through collaboration knowledge acquisition and knowledge dissemination.”

Jay’s prior experience includes her role as Chief Innovation Officer for UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) Insurance Services Division as well as her role as Vice President of Emerging Technologies for UPMC. Jay was Managing Director for e-Health Initiatives at Internet Venture Works where she led technology and industry assessments of opportunities presented by strategic partners, investors and external sources and served in executive management roles for its’ portfolio companies. She has served on several healthcare boards including HIMSS (, PRHI ( and is a frequent speaker on International Healthcare forums. She serves on several HHS (Health and Human Services – related advisory panels and serves in an advisory capacity to International healthcare Institutions and Venture capitalists.

Jay has a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from New York University and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Bucknell University and her executive education from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She also serves as one of the commissioners at CCHIT (Certification Commission of HealthCare Information Technology) in addition to her role as adjunct faculty Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh and advisory board of the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University.


About iHT2

The Institute for Health Technology Transformation is the leading organization committed to bringing together private and public sector leaders fostering the growth and effective use of technology across the healthcare industry. Through collaborative efforts the Institute provides programs that drive innovation, educate, and provide a critical understanding of how technology applications, solutions and devices can improve the quality, safety and efficiency of healthcare.

The Institute engages multiple stakeholders:

• Hospitals and other healthcare providers
• Clinical groups
• Academic and research institutions
• Healthcare information technology organizations
• Healthcare technology investors
• Health plans
• Consumer and patient groups
• Employers and purchasers
• Device manufacturers
• Private sector stakeholders
• Public sector stakeholders

Is The Changing Definition Of Autism Narrowing What We Think Of As ‘Normal’?

Health and Medicine
Photo credit: Is normal behavior being pathologized? Elizabeth Albert/Flickr, CC BY

I first learned about autism in 1997 in my high school psychology course. It was relegated to a small paragraph in a chapter on childhood disorders. The film Rainman had come out a decade earlier, publicizing the condition to a degree. But autism still wasn’t well-known – or well-understood, at the time.

That certainly isn’t the case today.

Since then I have been a special educator, an autism consultant, and, most recently, an autism advocate and researcher. I explore how both culture and ethics influence autism as a concept, diagnosis and lived experience. One thing that is clear is that the way we think about autism has changed.

As the power and recognition of modern psychiatry as a medical field have expanded, so has the way we think about and define different conditions, including autism. The diagnostic criteria for autism have gotten broader, helping it go from a rare disorder to one that affects one in 68 children in just a few decades.

And this shift isn’t unique to autism. The most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental...

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The Boys Who Only Develop A Penis When They Hit The Age Of 12

Health and Medicine
Photo credit: It's in around week eight that a fetus starts to develop its genitals. Creations/Shutterstock


When born, to all intents and purposes they appear to be female. But when the children referred to as “Guevedoces” in an isolated village in the Dominican Republic reach puberty, things start to change. They develop muscles, their chests start to grow, and by the age of 12, they sprout testes and a penis.

This extraordinary intersex condition, known medically as “5-alpha-reductase deficiency,” has been documented for a new BBC2 series “Countdown to Life,” which takes a look at how we develop in the womb and how early changes impact us for the rest of our lives. In the program, they meet one of these Guevedoces, which literally translates as “penis at 12,” called Johnny.

Talking to presenter and journalist Dr Michael Mosley, Johnny describes his childhood and being brought up as a girl called Felecitia by his parents. “I never liked to dress as a girl and when they bought me toys for girls I never bothered playing with them – when I saw a group of boys I would stop to play ball with them.” When he started to develop as male during...

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‘Food Comas’, Or Why Eating Sometimes Makes You Sleepy

Health and Medicine
Photo credit: Here’s a clue: what you eat is just as important as the size of your meal. Dave Chiu/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND

We’ve all done it, enjoyed a delicious meal only to nod off in a comfy chair for a while. For some of us, this is just a habit. But for others, it’s unavoidable. So what is it about food that can make us so sleepy?

When we’re eating, the stomach is producing gastrin, a hormone that promotes the secretion of digestive juices. As the food enters the small intestine, the cells in the gut secrete even more hormones (enterogastrone) that signal other bodily functions, including blood flow regulation.

But what does this have to do with sleepiness? Well, as we’re digesting our meal, more of our blood is shunted to the stomach and gut, to transport away the absorbed newly digested metabolites. This leaves less blood for the rest of the body and can cause some people to feel a bit “light-headed” or tired.

Still, the body is a lot more sophisticated than that; it doesn’t respond to food volume alone. What you eat is just as important as the size of your meal.

Biochemistry And Sleep

For many years now, researchers have been...

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Vaccines Back In The Headlines – Here’s What The Experts Say

Health and Medicine
Photo credit: A woman receives an MMR injection. Rebecca Naden/Reuters

September 16th’s Republican debate put vaccines back in the headlines, when Ben Carson, a former neurosurgeon, was asked to comment on Donald Trump’s statements linking vaccinations to autism. Carson said:

We have extremely well-documented proof that there is no autism associated with vaccinations, but it is true that we’re giving way too many in way too short a time and a lot of pediatricians recognize that.

This has sparked a flurry of reminders from physicians, scientists and others that vaccines are safe and that vaccines do not cause autism.

This is a discussion that we have covered again and again and again at The Conversation.

Yet these messages don’t seem to have counteracted misinformation about vaccines. That’s because these explanations often repeat the very falsehoods they are trying to correct. As Norbert Schwarz and Eryn Newman from the University of Southern California write:

[M]edia reports that intend to correct false information can have the unfortunate effect of increasing its acceptance. Using anecdotes and images makes false information easier to...

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Antidepressant Trial Failed To Mention Numerous Suicide Attempts

Health and Medicine
Photo credit: A controversial study of antidepressants for teenagers failed to report numerous suicidal incidents and privileged investigator assessments over how the participants felt. Credit: Mykola Ivashchenko/Shutterstock


Clinical notes from a trial of the antidepressant paroxetine, reported as finding it to be both safe and effective for adolescents, in fact showed the opposite, researchers have claimed. The largest re-examination of clinical data from a high profile trial has found a terrifyingly high rate of suicidal behavior that failed to be reported in the controversial study. The revelation could influence the prescription of similar drugs and will add to pressure to change the conduct of clinical drug trials, particularly for antidepressants.

In 2001 the pharmaceutical company SmithKline Beecham (now GlaxoSmithKline) published a paper claiming that a trial, known as Study 329, had found the antidepressant paroxetine was safe for adolescents with depression, and more effective than either a placebo, or the competing drug imipramine.

Also marketed as Aropax, Paxil and Seroxat, paroxetine is a Selective Serotonin Reuptake...

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Study Finds People Can Be Identified By The Bacteria They Breathe Out

Health and Medicine
Photo credit: We all emit millions of bacteria from our breath and clothes. Jessmine/Shutterstock

Everywhere we go, we leave little traces in the form of the bacteria we carry and the skin and hair we shed. In some cases, it’s even possible to follow these bacterial breadcrumbs back to the person who left them. But that’s not the only way we leave our microbial mark. We also emit what is called a “microbial cloud,” and researchers have found that it is also unique enough to be able to identify individual people.

“We expected that we would be able to detect the human microbiome in the air around a person,” explained James Meadow, who led the study published in PeerJ, “but we were surprised to find that we could identify most of the occupants just by sampling their microbial cloud.” They found that participants of the experiment could be identified within four hours by analyzing the particulates suspended in the air, and looking at the unique combination of bacteria present.

We emit this microbial cloud from our breath, but it’s also made up of the bacteria found on our clothes, skin and hair. Previous studies have already found that the...

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This Guy Just Raised The Cost Of An HIV Drug By 5000%

Health and Medicine
Photo credit: Martin Shkreli, the chief executive of Turing Pharmaceutical

Daraprim is used to fight a parasitic infection called toxoplasmosis, which is potentially life-threatening for people with weakened immune systems, such as those with AIDS or cancer. But just last month, the price shot up more than 5,000%, from $13.50 (£8.70) a tablet to $750 (£485) per pill, USA Today reported last week. That means the annual cost of the treatment could be hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Toxoplasmosis is a leading cause of death by a foodborne illness in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The single-celled parasite Toxoplasma gondii infects most animals, though it only reproduces in cats. People become infected by consuming contaminated water or meat and unwashed fruits and vegetables, using contaminated knives and cutting boards, and coming into contact with the feces of infected cats. More than 60 million Americans carry the parasite yet very few show symptoms thanks to their immune systems. However, babies born to women infected while pregnant and anyone with a compromised immune system could suffer severe...

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Why Bigger Isn’t Always Better In The World Of Muscle Building

Health and Medicine
Photo credit: Study finds quality trumps quantity when it comes to muscle strength. EPA/

The huge muscles sculpted by bodybuilders, action movie stars and other serious gym-goers can make them look like comic-book superheroes. And we tend to equate big muscles with being strong and powerful. But new research has found that – at a cellular level – the large, defined muscles seen on bodybuilders don’t fare well against those of power athletes (such as weight lifters or sprinters, whose sport requires high forces produced quickly) or even men who don’t train at all.

The research, published in Experimental Physiology, was carried out on individual muscle cells taken from a group of volunteers comprising 12 bodybuilders, six power athletes and 14 control subjects (average men, physically active but not performing weight training). The researchers, led by Hans Degens of Manchester Metropolitan University, stimulated the cells and assessed the size and speed of the force produced from the resulting isometric contractions...

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Does A Lack Of Vitamin D Put You At Greater Risk Of Multiple Sclerosis?

Health and Medicine
Photo credit: A debilitating disease. MS by Shutterstock

People with a combination of genes linked to lower vitamin D levels appear to be at greater risk of developing multiple sclerosis, according to the authors of a recent study. The paper’s researchers used data from a very large genetic study of 14,000 people with MS (specifically looking at a chemical produced from vitamin D) and compared their genetic backgrounds to people without the disease. The results showed that people with decreased vitamin D due to their genetics were twice as likely to develop multiple sclerosis – although the risk was still very low.

The finding sheds further light on a previously suggested link between MS and sunshine levels, a common source of vitamin D. But what does this mean for our understanding of the causes of MS? And more importantly, does this help us in the quest to develop new and better treatments for the disease?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a complex disease, with many different symptoms and a propensity to come and go (relapse and remit as doctors would say). But when it strikes it can be devastating, often completely incapacitating the...

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How Does The Immune System Learn?

Health and Medicine
Photo credit: The only thing standing between invaders such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi and our devastation is our immune system. kurtxio/Flickr, CC BY-SA

We’re outnumbered by bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi that can make us ill. And the only thing standing between them and our devastation is our immune system.

The immune system does such a good job most of the time that we only really think about it when things go wrong. But to provide such excellent protection against a whole host of pathogens, our immune system must constantly learn.

Parts Of The Whole

The immune system is made up of two equally important parts: innate immunity and adaptive immunity.

Innate immunity rapidly responds to invaders; innate immunity cells deal with more than 90% of infections, removing them within hours or days. These cells recognise invaders by looking for broad shared patterns, such as common molecules on the surface of most bacteria. They might look for lipopolysaccharides (LPS), for instance, a molecule found in many bacterial cell walls.

When the innate response fails to fend off an invasion, the invaders are handled by adaptive...

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New way found to combat brain cancer

Scientists have discovered an innovative way that may stop the spread of the most lethal and aggressive brain cancer glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). In laboratory studies, scientists demonstrated that activating a specific family of proteins halted cancer cell migration into healthy tissue.

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Pregnancy complications may signal later risk of heart disease death

Women who experience pregnancy complications, especially those with multiple complications, are at greater risk of dying from heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases later in life. Researchers suggest women who experience complicated pregnancies should be targeted for early, aggressive preventive cardiovascular disease intervention.

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Prion disease detected soon after infection, in surprising place in mouse brains

Prion diseases -- incurable, ultimately fatal, transmissible neurodegenerative disorders of mammals -- are believed to develop undetected in the brain over several years from infectious prion protein. In a new study, NIH scientists report they can detect infectious prion protein in mouse brains within a week of inoculation. Equally surprising, the protein was generated outside blood vessels in a place in the brain where scientists believe drug treatment could be targeted to prevent disease.

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Scientists create rice variety with high folate stability

Researchers have succeeded in stabilizing folates in biofortified rice in order to prevent their degradation upon long term storage. They used two strategies: by linking folates with folate binding proteins and by extending the tail of the folate molecules. These approaches can offer a solution to serious health problems caused by folate deficiency in developing countries.

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Bugs in space: How microbes are surviving on astronauts

Bugs are winning out, and that's a good thing according to NASA's Human Research Program. As part of NASA's One-Year Mission, researchers are studying how microbes living on astronauts' skin, inside their bodies and on the International Space Station impact their health. To prepare for a journey to Mars, it is important to understand how long-duration spaceflight affects microorganisms because changes to this complex ecosystem could be detrimental to future missions.

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New Device Could Revive Dead Hearts

Health and Medicine
Photo credit: Artist's impression of a heart. Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock.

In the past, organs were traditionally cooled to preserve them for transplantation. However, cold is old and warm is where it's at for heart transplants. The Organ Care System, or "heart in a box," is a new heart-storage system that keeps hearts warm and beating while they are being transferred from a donor to a new patient.

Designed by Transmedics, the system consists of a transportable cart that keeps the heart at the appropriate temperature and humidity while supplying it with oxygen, blood and nutrients. These are fed through tubing clamped to the heart to help it continue to beat. Currently, "heart in a box" costs $250,000 – too expensive to be distributed to every hospital at this stage of the design. 

The device allows surgeons to take hearts from donors that would not have been eligible in the past. The pool of possible donors was rather limited since hearts were taken from brain-dead individuals whose bodies were still healthy. But the "heart in a box" can reanimate a heart that has stopped beating in a body that has undergone "circulatory death," where the...

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Poo Transplants Can Eliminate Two Superbugs From The Gut: Mice Study

Health and Medicine
Photo credit: Tests on mice have shown certain antibiotic-resistant gut bacteria can be treated with faecal transplants. Rick Eh/flickr

Two of the most common antibiotic-resistant bacteria circulating in hospitals can be wiped out by transplanting faeces from a healthy animal into the gut of an infected one, a study on mice has found.

The study, published today in the journal PLOS Pathogens examined two antibiotic resistant bugs: vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE) and multi-drug resistant Klebsiella pneumonia.

The study, published today in the journal PLOS Pathogens examined two antibiotic resistant bugs: vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium(VRE) and multi-drug resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae.

A research team led by Eric Pamer, Chief of Infectious Diseases at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre in New York found that the bacteria can share the same location in the gut, but that “transplantation of a diverse faecal microbiota eliminates both VRE and K. pneumoniae from the gut.”

Mark Morrison, Chair of Microbial Biology and Metagenomics at the University of Queensland said the study revealed some new insights into how...

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Can You Be Allergic To Your Wi-Fi?

Health and Medicine
Photo credit: Wireless networks are everywhere: can you really be allergic to wi-fi? Flickr/Kārlis Dambrāns, CC BYWireless networks are everywhere: can you really be allergic to wi-fi? Flickr/Kārlis Dambrāns, CC BY

Electromagnetic fields are all around us. They are a part of our natural environment, produced by the Earth and the sun. But they are also becoming increasingly prominent with advancements in technology, such that we are surrounded daily by many different sources of electromagnetic energy.

Mobile phones, Wi-Fi, personal computers, smart meters, radio, television and even the TV remote control – they all emit this kind of energy. Mobile phone base stations are continually being installed, and Wi-Fi hotspots are increasing all of the time.

Cafés and restaurants, libraries, hotels and even some city centres and parks now offer free Wi-Fi. But with all of this new infrastructure it is also getting harder to avoid exposure to the electromagnetic fields that these technologies emit.

And the question often asked is what does all of this exposure mean for our health?

It is an issue that has continued to gain exposure, culminating this...

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New Study Suggests HIV-Prevention Pill May Be 100% Effective

Health and Medicine
Photo credit: Jeffrey Beall/Wikimedia CC BY-SA 3.0

Researchers working with 600 people who use the HIV prevention pill Truvada have just revealed their striking results: after more than two-and-a-half years, no new HIV infections have been detected. The work was published in Clinical Infectious Diseases this week.

The daily pill Truvada is what’s known as an HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Green-lit by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in July 2012, it’s the first drug approved that reduces the risk of infection in uninfected individuals who may engage in sexual activity with HIV-infected partners. When the person is exposed to HIV, two anti-retroviral medicines (called tenofovir and emtricitabine) contained within the pill work to keep the virus from establishing a permanent infection when taken consistently, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Early on, the blue pill was criticized for encouraging unsafe sex because of a false sense of security, SFGate reports. However, a published study that looked at sexual risk compensation in those taking PrEP found this not to be the case, and in fact observed a

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THC In Marijuana Delays Organ Transplant Rejection In Mice

Health and Medicine
Photo credit: Stephane Bidouze / Shutterstock

A new study suggests the active ingredient in marijuana delays the rejection of incompatible organs in mice. The results were published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology.

For the study, researchers transplanted the skin from one group of mice to a group of genetically different mice. The incompatible skin was treated with either a placebo or THC, the active compound in cannabis.

Due to the genetically different nature of the transplants, the mice's immune systems should have recognised the tissue as foreign and rejected it. However, the THC-treated transplants delayed rejection of the skin grafts when compared to the placebo group.

"We are excited to demonstrate for the first time that cannabinoid receptors play an important role in the prolongation of rejection of a foreign graft by suppressing immune response in the recipient," said Mitzi Nagarkatti, co-author of the study from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, in a statement.

If the same holds true for humans, THC could be used as an anti-rejection therapy – especially for patients whose transplanted organ is not adapting...

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New Test Determines How Fast You're Aging

Health and Medicine
Photo credit: People age at different rates, and a "gene signature" could be used to predict risk of cognitive decline. oneinchpunch/Shutterstock

Even when people are born in the same year, they can often look very different as they age. Some appear younger, and others older than their chronological age. But it's not just looks - earlier this year researchers were able to show that people do indeed age at different rates. Now another group of scientists claims to have developed a way of testing how well a person is aging, and could help health professionals to predict who might be at a higher risk of dementia or other age-related conditions.

“We use birth year, or chronological age, to judge everything from insurance premiums to whether you get a medical procedure or not,” explained James Timmons, who led the study, published in Genome Biology, in a statement. “Most people accept that all 60 year olds are not the same, but there has been no reliable test for underlying 'biological age'.”

That is, according to the researchers, until now. They say that they have determined a "gene signature" present in the blood that indicates if an...

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New Bandage Sucks Bacteria Out Of A Wound

Health and Medicine
Photo credit: Bandage of boy's leg. Chepko Danil Vitalevich/Shutterstock.

Bandages are an important barrier between the wound and the world. They prevent bacteria entering the body and causing infection. However, what about bacteria that have already found their way into a scratch? Introducing the bandage that's a total rip-off. It "sucks out" bacteria from a cut, allowing them to be removed along with the bandage.

The technology, in development at the Swinburne University of Technology in Australia, hasn't been tested on human skin yet, only on tissue-engineered skin models. The results can be seen in Applied Materials & Interfaces and Biointerfaces.

The bacterial species investigated included Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, both of which are known to cause chronic wound infection.

The bandage is created from a mesh of polymer filaments. Each strand is so fine that it is 100 times thinner than a human hair. They are made by squeezing the material out of an electrified nozzle in a technique called electrospinning.

When first tested on a film of S. aureus, a bacterium frequently found on the skin, the researchers found that the...

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A New Way To Test Your ‘Biological’ Age

Health and Medicine
Photo credit: Still going strong. VinothChandar/flickr, CC BY

From denying that age is important to obsessively monitoring the calorific content of our diets, humans obsess one way or another about getting older. How we define ageing or when you become “old” is not trivial. In biomedical studies, particular those focused on the molecular mechanisms of growing older, loss of function and biomarkers of disease are used to define how much you have aged. From my perspective, this is almost certainly misleading.

In humans, chronological age defines the time since you were born. Whether you are considered old within your community, depends on many factors. For example, when I grew up in Glasgow in the 1970s, a 60-year-old man was very old, but a 60-year-old man in Stockholm today could be almost considered middle-aged. An alternative definition for old age, articulated by Warren Sanderson and Sergei Scherbov defines when, for example, you have ten years of life expectancy left.

So the average life expectancy varies from community to community, reflecting a mix of genetics, environment and randomly determined factors. Why you wish to define “old”...

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When Should You Take Antibiotics?

Health and Medicine
Photo credit: The more we take antibiotics, the more likely we are to have superbugs down the line. Brandice Schnabel/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND

Antibiotic-resistant superbugs are on the rise and we’re being urged to forgo antibiotics wherever possible to limit their spread. But serious bacterial infections can only be dealt with effectively using these drugs.

So when should you take antibiotics? The easy answer, of course, is when your doctor tells you to. But there’s more to it.

We know that rates of bacterial resistance track antibiotic usage rates. So, as a community, the more we take these drugs, the more likely we are to have superbugs down the line. And Australia may face a bleak future in these terms.

Antibiotic Myths And Facts

The Australian government’s 2015-2019 National Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy highlighted some interesting, if somewhat disturbing, facts:

• a 2014 poll of Australian workers showed 65% believed taking antibiotics would help them recover faster from a cold or flu

• 20% of people expect antibiotics for viral infections, such as a cold or the flu

• nearly 60% of GPs surveyed would prescribe antibiotics to meet...

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New Prion Disease Raises Questions About Whether Alzheimer’s And Parkinson’s Could Be Infectious

Health and Medicine
Photo credit: rion diseases are a rare class of brain disorders that are transmissible between animals of any species, including humans. djneight/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND

Research published last week has identified the first new human prion disease in 50 years. The paper’s lead author, Stanley Prusiner, who won the Nobel prize in 1997 for his discovery that Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) could be transmitted by a “misfolded” protein, says this new disease is also potentially infectious.

Prion diseases are a rare class of brain disorders that are transmissible between animals of any species, including humans. The archetypal such disease is kuru, which spread through cannibalistic rituals in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea.

Rare And Deadly

Kuru affected mostly women and children of the Fore tribe, who ate brains and spinal cords of deceased relatives, and subsequently developed body tremors, balance problems and slurred speech. There’s no cure for kuru and sufferers always died. But it no longer strikes as cannibalism in the region has been eliminated.

Other prion diseases include scrapie in sheep and goats and bovine spongiform...

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Improving wheat varieties in Kazakhstan

Wheat farmers in Kazakhstan lose anywhere from from 10 percent to as much as 50 percent of their wheat crop due to tan spot and Septoria leaf blotch. A research scientist will screen new wheat varieties to improve resistance to these common fungal diseases.

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Thinking people are born fat or born thin is bad for your health

Though the belief that DNA determines weight is highly debated, it appears to be shaping people's lives. A new study finds that those who believe that weight is outside of their control have less healthy BMIs, make poorer food choices, and report lower levels of personal wellbeing than those who don't.

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The Achilles' heel of HIV

Researchers have discovered how cells in the body can detect the genetic material of so-called retroviruses. The pathogen of the immunodeficiency disease AIDS, the HI-1 virus, also belongs to this group. At the same time, HIV appears to circumvent this important defense mechanism.

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