Genome of Clostridium botulinum reveals the background to world's deadliest toxin
The genome of the organism that produces the world's most lethal toxin is revealed today. This toxin is the one real weapon in the genome of Clostridium botulinum and less than 2 kg — the weight of two bags of sugar — is enough to kill every person on the planet. Very small amounts of the same toxin are used in medical treatments, one of which is known as Botox®.
New insights into chronic inflammation and atherosclerosis
Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and other inflammatory rheumatic diseases are associated with a high rate of death from heart disease. One explanation is a greater susceptibility to atherosclerosis. Although atherosclerosis is linked to inflammation in healthy individuals as well, the mechanism of inflammation and the reason for accelerated atherosclerosis in patients with inflammatory rheumatic disease remain unclear. Does atherosclerosis result from systemic inflammation, a hallmark of these rheumatic diseases, or from local inflammation of vessels? more
Most pediatric chemotherapy mistakes reach patients
The vast majority of chemotherapy errors identified in children reach patients, according to one of the first epidemiological studies of cancer drug errors in children. Published in the July 1, 2007 issue of Cancer, the study concluded that the antimetabolite class of chemotherapeutic agents are most likely associated with errors, and that errors in drug administration and errors in drug dosing and frequency were the most common mistakes made and consequently, the most potentially harmful. more
Want to improve your relationship? Do the dishes because you really want to
If you do something positive for your mate, does it matter why? The answer is yes, according to new research from University of Rochester research assistant professor Heather Patrick. She will unveil a study at a Toronto conference later this month that shows both small sacrifices, like doing the dishes for your partner, and big ones, like moving across the country for a new job he or she really wants, mean more if you do them because you genuinely want to. more
Withdrawn MS drug returns to market
Just months after receiving FDA approval, natalizumab, a medication for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) and other inflammatory disorders, was voluntarily withdrawn by its manufacturers after three patients developed a brain infection known as Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML). Natalizumab has recently been re-approved by the FDA, and a comprehensive article published in the latest issue of CNS Drug Reviews provides a timely overview of the drug, its pharmacological properties, clinical efficacy, safety and toxicology.
ICU nurse working conditions linked to increase in patient infections
Hospitals that have better working conditions for nurses are safer for elderly intensive care unit (ICU) patients, according to a recent report, led by Columbia University School of Nursing researchers that measured rates of hospital-associated infections. Hospital associated infections are the number six cause of death in the United States (CDC March 2007). Nurses, as the largest workforce in the nation's hospitals, are in a unique position to positively impact the safety of ICUs if systematic improvements to their working conditions can be made. more
New guideline for treating Lyme disease
A guideline developed by the American Academy of Neurology finds conventionally recommended courses of antibiotics are highly effective for treating nervous system Lyme disease. However, there is no compelling evidence that prolonged treatment with antibiotics has any benefit in treating symptoms that persist following standard therapy. The guideline is published May 23, 2007, in the online edition of Neurology®, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology. more
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