The following stories appear in full on today's Vidyya Medical News Service Web site.
Researchers have known for years that HIV can infect specialized immune system cells called macrophages, but new research suggests these cells may play a larger role in HIV infection than previously believed. In the current online early edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) report that macrophages contain and continue to produce large amounts of an HIV-like virus in monkeys even after the virus depletes CD4+ T cells, the primary HIV target in infected individuals. This discovery provides new insight on how the virus might survive in the midst of antiretroviral drugs and suggests new strategies for eliminating the virus from the body.
For more information: NIH Scientists Highlight Role Of Macrophages In HIV Infection
Researchers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences have found that a protein found in patients with Alzheimer's disease can disrupt brain signals and therefore may contribute to the memory losses of Alzheimer's disease, the scientists reported today in the Journal of Neuroscience, 2001, Vol. 21, RC 120, pp. 1-5.
For more information: Environmental Health Institute Scientists Begin To Unravel Cause Of Blocked Memory In Alzheimer's
Besides suffering severe tiredness and a host of other symptoms, some patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) find standing for long periods makes them lightheaded or even faint; eventually their blood pressure drops so low they can't remain upright, a condition known as neurally mediated hypotension (NMH). But according to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, a steroid hormone drug, fludrocortisone, often used to treat low blood pressure, by itself does not alleviate these symptoms in CFS patients any better than a placebo.
For more information: Steroid Medication No Help To CFS Patients Who Get That Faint Feeling
Potatoes with built-in insecticide. Rice with extra vitamin A. Decaf coffee beans fresh off the tree. Just when Americans have begun to digest the idea of custom-built crops, along comes another major advance in biotechnology that could make an even bigger splash onto the dinner plate: genetically engineered fish.
For more information: A New Kind Of Fish Story: The Coming Of Biotech Animals
In response to an Associated Press story by Jean Christensen released yesterday, the nonprofit American Botanical Council (ABC) clarified the safety surrounding the traditional South Pacific herb kava (Piper methysticum). It is generally safe when used responsibly according to label directions, said the research and education organization.
For more information: Alternative Medicine Watch: Kava Safe When Used Appropriately
Today's Vidyya articles are:
As always, we hope you enjoy the issue.