Contraception research: Of mice and men?
Mice lacking a special protein found only in germ-line cells results in infertility in both males and females, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Norman Hecht, PhD, Professor of Human Reproduction in Penn's Center for Research in Reproduction and Women's Health, and colleagues say that these investigations point the way to a new type of contraceptive for both men and women. They report their findings in this week's online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. more
Scientists discover how Ebola virus infects cells
Ebola virus reproduction in laboratory-grown cells is severely hampered by enzyme-inhibiting chemicals, and these chemicals deserve further study as possible treatments for Ebola virus infections in humans, report scientists supported in part by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). more
Clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer’s may be delayed, says major clinical trial
In a study of people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), those who took the drug donepezil were at reduced risk of progressing to a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) during the first year of the trial, but by the end of the 3-year study there was no benefit from the drug. Vitamin E was also tested in the study and was found to have no effect at any time point in the study when compared with placebo. more
Tamoxifen, paroxetine, and the hot flash -- a bad combination?
Tamoxifen is an effective therapy for some types of breast cancer. However, about 80 percent of women who take the drug get hot flashes. While not life-threatening, hot flashes can be so uncomfortable that people stop taking the medicine. To make this cancer-controlling drug tolerable, doctors can treat tamoxifen-triggered hot flashes with antidepressants like paroxetine. Taking both drugs together, however, may not be a good idea. more
Improving end-of-life conferences
A study in 4 intensive care units (ICUs) aimed at family conferences to discuss the withholding or withdrawing of life-sustaining therapy in critically ill patients showed that in 15 of 51 conferences physicians missed opportunities to provide either support or information to the family. more
Revealing how the body's immune response differs in sars patients
Chinese investigators have revealed that the early presence of interferon-inducible protein 10 (IP-10), an immunoregulatory protein, is a prominent characteristic of the body's immune reaction to the coronavirus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The disease itself differs from other non-SARS viral infections that cause no increase in IP-10. The researchers believe that levels of the protein could make a difference in both diagnosis and the development of an effective treatment for the disease. more
Drug can reduce bodyweight and cardiovascular risk factors in obese people
A new drug could substantially reduce the bodyweight, waist circumference, and risk factors for heart disease in obese people, according to results of a randomised trial published in this week’s issue of The Lancet. more