Volume 8 Issue 4
Published - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 4-Jan-2006 
Next Update - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 5-Jan-2006

Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
Vidyya.
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Black baby girls more likely to live when born very premature

Black baby girls born weighing 2.2 pounds or less are more than twice as likely to survive as white baby boys born at the same weight, when many preemies are still too tiny to make it on their own, University of Florida researchers have found. more  

Study sheds new light on causes of common STD

Oral sex may be a risk factor for nongonococcal urethritis (NGU), one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases affecting both men and women, according to a new study in the February 1 issue of the Journal of Infectious Diseases, now available online. more

Psychotropic drug prescriptions for teens surge 250 percent over 7 year period

Psychotropic drug prescriptions for teenagers skyrocketed 250 percent between 1994 and 2001, rising particularly sharply after 1999, when the federal government allowed direct-to-consumer advertising and looser promotion of off-label use of prescription drugs, according to a new Brandeis University study in the journal Psychiatric Services. more  

New 'self-exploding' microcapsules could take sting out of drug delivery

Belgian chemists have developed "self-exploding" microcapsules that could one day precisely release drugs and vaccines inside the human body weeks or even months after injection. The study, by researchers at Ghent University and the Universit? Catholique de Louvain, is scheduled to appear in the Jan. 9, 2006, print issue of the American Chemical Society's journal Biomacromolecules. more

The impact of smoking and genes on rheumatoid arthritis 

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is one of the most common systemic autoimmune diseases, and one of the least understood. Smoking is the major known environmental risk factor for RA, though little is known about the mechanisms involved. HLA-DR shared epitope (SE) genes are a widely recognized genetic risk factor for RA, though little is known about how these genes affect autoimmune reactions that lead to chronic inflammation and progressive joint and organ damage. more

New evidence to support combination therapy for achieving remission of early rheumatoid arthritis  

A chronic and potentially crippling inflammatory disorder, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) progressively wears away the cartilage and bone. Joint erosions are routinely seen within 6 months of RA's onset, and occur more rapidly earlier in the course of the disease. Moderate disability within 2 years of diagnosis is not uncommon. While conventional DMARD (disease-modifying antirheumatic drug) therapies have been shown to slow joint destruction, they are powerless to stop RA's progression or reverse joint damage. more

New study challenges previous reports of cannibalism as a worldwide selective force

In a new study published by the journal Genome Research, a team of scientists reports that 'mad cow'-like diseases have not been a major force in human history, nor have been cannibalistic rituals that are known to be associated with disease transmission. Prof. Jaume Bertranpetit, a scientist at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, and his colleagues used a fresh set of genetic data to show that balancing selection associated with cannibalism has not been a major selective driving force on the prion protein gene, as has recently been proposed. more

 

Baby girls of both races have the strongest advantage when born weighing less than 1,000 grams (about 2 pounds). Girls have twice the odds of surviving as boys. Black infants have a slight survival advantage over whites.