Saturday, 27 June 2015

Herpetic whitlow

Herpetic Whitlow – An Abscess at the end of Finger 

Herpetic Whitlow or whitlow finger is a fingertip infection, an abscess at the end of the finger which is due to an infection with the herpes simplex virus. It causes blister and pain which could be intense, affecting the fleshy part of the fingertip and tends to become red andswollen, besides being painful. White blister are formed beneath the skin of the finger which could break releasing fluid and crusting over.

Two types of herpes simplex virus - HSV, type 1 and type 2, are responsible for herpetic whitlow and these viruses could also cause cold sores as well as genital herpes. If one tends to have cold sore or genital herpes and touch the sore area of the skin, transferring the virus from the mouth or genitals to the finger, the herpetic whitlow could develop as a secondary infection. It could also develop if one tends to touch the sore or blister of another person who may be infected with herpetic whitlow. Besides this if a person has a weak immune system, they could also be vulnerable to this disease.

Symptoms of the Disease 

The first symptoms of this disease begin with swelling on the finger causing mild to severe pain and the area which is affected is red and swollen. The area of the thumb or fingers tends to develop lesion and the skin of the affected area gets tender and painful. Some may even experience a burning and tingling feeling and those affected with this disease would find it difficult to function with their daily routine tasks.

Some may also suffer from painful and swollen lymph nodes which could be located under their arms and there are cases of this disease resulting in high fever though they are extremely rare. HSV infection is contagious and can spread by getting in contact with skin lesions which could be infected which tend to appear as small sores or blisters round the nose mouth, buttocks and genitals. However it could develop at any place on the skin and these sores could recur from time to time in the same areas.

Treatment & Medication

Several infections by herpes simplex are easy to diagnose but there could be instances where a swab from the infected skin would need to be tested in the lab by viral culture which would take some days to grow. Besides this,tests of the blood would also be taken. These infections would disappear on their own if not treated, though drugs could reduce the symptoms and lessen the duration of outbreaks. There is no cure for infections of herpes simplex virus.

Though herpetic whitlow symptoms tend to eventually leave on their own, the physician generally prescribes medication like antivirals to overcome the symptoms and end any infection from spreading to others. When the infection tends to get more severe, it would need oral antibiotic pills to treat the areas which are specially infected by a bacterium and though it is rare, this type of infection could return again and can be treated with the same oral antiviral drugs.

3 Good Ways to Get Rid of Mosquitoes in Your Yard

It would be very difficult for you to find a person who does does not enjoy the warm weather that summer brings with it. This is especially true for people who live in cold climates for the majority of the year. Unfortunately, summer does not only bring warm weather. In many places, it also brings annoying pests known as mosquitoes. Not only can the bites of mosquitoes be bothersome and ruin the enjoyment of being outdoors, they can also cause you to become infected with a dangerous disease such as West Nile Virus. Therefore, when you are outdoors in the summer and mosquitoes are present, you need to take precautions to protect both yourself and your family. Here are some preventative measures for mosquito bites.

1. Wear clothing that is white

If you decide to wear dark clothing, you could find yourself turning into a mosquito magnet. This is because dark colors have a tendency to attract large amount of mosquitoes. Also, dark colors attract the sun's rays, making you become much hotter on a summer day. Try to wear clothing that is either white, or as close to while as you can get. This will drastically reduce the amount of mosquitoes that harass you.

2. Mosquito control

If you are going to be having an important event that will be taking place outdoors in the near future, you need to be sure that it goes off without a hitch. You can't take the chance that mosquitoes will descend on your birthday party or wedding and turn your special occasion into a nightmare. Therefore, it would be wise for you to call a professional mosquito control service like Mosquito Squad. They are a nationwide franchise that offers solutions to mosquito and tick problems. Set up an appointment with them today. They will come to the area where your event is going to take place. After looking at the area, they will develop a plan to best eradicate any mosquitoes in the area, as well as preventing new mosquitoes from appearing. They also use green products which are not harmful to the environment. Find out more about their services at

3. Dispose of your kiddie pool

Mosquitoes love to breed in areas of standing water. Kiddie pools are a prime location for this type of activity. Therefore, throwing away your kiddie pool will reduce the amount of mosquito activity in your yard.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Diamond Blackfan Anemia

Diamond Blackfan Anemia - Associated with Birth Defect/Abnormal Features 

Diamond Blackfan Anemia – DBA is a type of rare blood disorder which is associated with birth defects or abnormal features where the bone marrow, the centre of the bone where the blood cells develop, does not develop adequate red blood cells to carry the oxygen to the various parts of the body.

This disorder is generally diagnosed during the initial stage of life and some may tend to have a family history of this ailment. Around one half of the people with this disease tend to have a known genetic cause and in most of them, the cause of DBA is not known.

Those suffering from DBA have symptoms which are common to all the other kinds of Anemia which include pale skin, rapid heartbeat, sleepiness and heart murmurs. In some cases there could be no obvious physical indications of DBA, though 30 to 47% tend to have birth defect or abnormal feature which could involve the face, hands, especially the thumbs, and the head. Several children tend to be short for their age and could start puberty later than their normal age. DBA could affect boys as well as girls and could occur in every ethnic group.

Test Conducted for DBA

Anemia got its name from the doctors Louis K. Diamond and Kenneth D. Blackfan who first documented cases of the disease in 1930s. Many tests are conducted to identify if a person is suffering from DBA, one of which is the known as a bone marrow aspirate.

A needle is inserted into the bone and a small content of bone marrow fluid is taken out and is studied under microscope. Besides this, blood tests are also done to see if there is a genetic basis for DBA or specific chemical abnormalities linked to this disorder.

To treat the low red blood cell counts in a person suffering from DBA, two common options can be adopted namely corticosteroids and blood transfusions. Stem cell transplantation/Bone marrow could also be considered. Corticosteroids are drugs which are used in treating several medical conditions and one type of it is known as oral prednisone which is one of the most effective treatments for children suffering from this disease.


There could be several side effects while using these drugs in high doses for a long period of time which would comprise of weight gain, salt and water retention, high blood pressure, muscle weakness, osteoporosis – brittle bones which could occasional lead to fractures, wounds which do not tend to heal, growth problems, headaches, problems with the eyes like cataracts and glaucoma with the disruption of hormones which regulate normal functions of the body, including diabetes.

 With blood transfusion, the person receives healthy red blood cells from a donor and this transfusion may be needed every 3 to 5 weeks. However, at times the person may tend to develop transfusion reaction with rash and fever and medication can be given prior to the next transfusion to prevent the occurrence of these symptoms.

Moreover, red cell transfusion could also lead to a build-up of additional iron in the body which could be harmful to the heart and/or liver resulting in diabetes or slowdown in the normal growth. Hence iron content needs to be checked regularly. If the iron content is too high, a process known as chelation therapy is adopted to remove excess iron content in body tissues.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Babies Possess Ability to Perceive Faces 'Years before Previously Thought

Human’s Capability in Perceiving Faces – Early in Life

Researchers from the University of Louvain in France have discovered that human’s capability in perceiving faces tends to develop quite early in life than what was believed by scientists. Bruno Rossion while talking about the interest of the team in identifying the time on the occurrence of face recognition stated that `just as language is impaired following damage to the brain’s left hemisphere, damage to the right hemisphere can impair the ability to distinguish faces and it is critical to understand how it develops’,

 Earlier, scientist assumed that the capability of perceiving faces that set us apart from non-human primates develops as the children begin to learn to read, though study from Rossion and his colleagues published in the journal eLife indicate that this ability is already `highly evolved’ in infants as young as four months old. Rossion states that `parents and guardians are aware of how rapidly the brains of babies tend to develop, but no evidence has been gathered due to the limitations of the methods used.

Difference Pronounced Between Right & Left Hemisphere

The brain activity of 15 babies, by means of caps fitted with electrodes was observed by the team and during the experiments; the babies were shown a quick sequence of picturescomprising of 48 images combined with 200 images of animals, plants and man-made objectswhile they rested on their mother’s laps.

Each image was revealed for about 166 milliseconds which was the same rate that was used for adult studies and the images of faces were different in colour, perspective, lighting and background. Related to other images, the image of the face was shown to match up with a certain spike in motivation of the right hemisphere of the brain.

The difference was quite pronounced between the right and the left hemisphere than in the similar study of adults, confusing earlier assumptions. The researchers recognized that when the picture was seen by the babies, there seemed to be a consistent rise in activity in the right hemisphere of their brains.

Face Perfect – Ability in Visually Classifying Objects

The authors debate that the face is a perfect way in understanding how humans tend to develop the ability in visually classifying objects. Consequently the team intends using the same method in examining when the ability in distinguish individuals appears and how it could grow with age. The success of the research method in babies indicates that it could be used in all ages in developing our understanding on how we tend to develop the capability of perceiving complex images.

Humans tend to outperform computer algorithms in grouping natural visual images and the face is a common and socially important stimulus in the development of humans that it is appropriate in studying how we develop the ability to visually classify objects.

An important element of face perception is our skill in telling individuals apart and the authors tend to use the same method in defining when it arises and develops with age. Earlier studies have conveyed that babies tend to have preference for face-like images instead of non-face like images from birth and at a few month of age they are more likely to pay attention to faces rather than pointless configurations.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Obesity May Lead To Type 2 Diabetes via Bacteria

Type 2 Diabetes through Staph Bacteria

Recently microbiologists from the University of Iowa have discovered that when rabbits have been chronically exposed to toxin produced by staph bacteria, they tend to develop symbols of type 2 diabetes like insulin resistance, inflammation and glucose intolerance. Patrick Schlievert, Lead researcher and professor of microbiology at the UI Carver College of Medicine, comments that they have basically produced type-2 diabetes, in rabbits merely through chronic exposure to staph super antigen. Importance of the study is how we know the changes of human microbiome with obesity and that one of these changes is based on increase in staph colonization as well as infections.

 This indicates that the bacterium could play a role in the development of type-2 diabetes and there could be a strong link between obesity and type-2 diabetes wherein the fat cells tend to contribute in the progress of the disease with changes in metabolism and chronic inflammation. Latest study indicate that obesity’s effect on the microbiome, the ecosystem of bacteria together with the other microbes which tend to live in and on our bodies could be involved in affecting our health.

Super Antigens Interacting – Fat Cells/Immune System

Study published in the journal mBio conveys the growing evidence with regards to the role of bacteria as well as the viruses that have been causing non-infectious disease like cervical cancer – human papillomavirus and stomach ulcers – H.pylori bacteria. Professor Schlievert states that `people who are colonized by staph bacteria are being chronically exposed to the superantigens, the bacteria are producing’.

The team, in their research have shown that superantigens tend to cause inflammation by interacting with fat cells and the immune system and it is the systemic inflammation which leads to insulin resistance as well as other symbols of type-2 diabetes.Individuals, when they tend to gain weight are likely to have huge amount of staph bacteria residing on their skin and those who are colonized by staph bacteria are exposed chronically to the superantigens which the bacteria produce. The team discovered that the levels of staph superantigens in individuals who were heavily colonized with the bacterium were comparable to those that caused the rabbits to develop type-2 diabetes symptoms in their study.

A Way to Intercede & Alter Course of Diabetes

Therapies were suggested which could eliminate staph bacteria or could at least neutralize the super antigens and could also prevent or treat type-2 diabetes. Prof Schlievert clarifies that they are of the opinion that there is a way to intercede and alter the course of diabetes and that they are working on a vaccine against the superantigens and believe that this type of vaccine would prevent the progress of type-2 diabetes.

The professor together with his colleagues, in their previous work, had shown that superantigens, the toxins that staph bacteria produce, tends to disrupt the immune system and are also the cause of staph infections such as toxic shock syndrome, sepsis and endocarditis could kill.

The team are now planning to experiment a gel which could be utilised to eliminate staph from human skin since the gel is known to contain glycerol monolaurate which tends to destroy staph bacteria on contact. Thereafter they are speculating to test if the use of the gel could improve blood sugar levels in pre-diabetics.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Maternal Antidepressant Use May Raise Risk Of New-Born Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension

Antidepressant Medication – Greater Risk of PPHN

Mothers of new-born who tend to use antidepressant medication at the later stage of their pregnancy could be at greater risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension as per a new study published by The Journal of the American Medical Association –JAMA. Neonatal pulmonary or persistent pulmonary hypertension in new-born – PPHN, takes place when the baby’s blood circulation does not permit them to breath properly outside the womb.

In the case of PPHN, the baby tends to experience high blood pressure in the arteries which travel to the lungs and restricts the amount of blood from flowing to them which reduces the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream.

It could also be life threatening condition and it is estimated that about 10 – 20% of infants suffering from this condition do not survive and those who tend to survive, suffer from severe lifelong illnesses like neurodevelopmental disorders and chronic lung disease. The US Food and Drug Administration – FDA had issued a public health advisory in 2006 for using the antidepressants selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors – SSRIs at the later stage of pregnancy, when a study had indicated that the use tends to increase the risk of PPHN.

SSRI & PPHN in Late Pregnancy – Conflicting Findings

Nevertheless, the FDA had updated the public health advisory on the use of SSRI in later pregnancy indicating that health care profession should not change their present treatment strategies for depression at the time of pregnancy since further research assessing the link between SSRI use in late pregnancy and PPHN tend to produce `conflicting findings’. Besides Krista F. Huybrechts of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA, and the researchers of the latest study, together with the previous research, found that no increased risk of PPHN and SSRI use in late pregnancy were small and they could have insufficient power to detect an increased risk.

Huybrechts together with her colleagues set about to assess the use between the link of SSRIs and non-SSRI antidepressants as well as the risk of PPHN with a sample of 3,789,330 pregnant women from 46 US state and Washington DC. The women were enrolled in the 2000-10 Medicaid Analytic eXtract – MAX and SSRI together with non SSRI use among the pregnant women for 90 days before they gave birth up to delivery was assessed.

Small Increased Risk of PPHN with Antidepressants, Late Pregnancy

PPHN incident in the new-borns was assessed in the 30 days after their delivery. The team recognized antidepressant use in 3.4% of the women in the last 90 days of pregnancy with 2.7% of them using SSRIs and 0.7% using non SSRIs.

When compared to those who did not use antidepressant in the later stage of their pregnancy, those who used antidepressant would probably have new-borns with PPHN and is slightly higher among infants exposed to SSRIs at 31.5 per 10,000 when compared with 29.1 per 10,000 among infants that are exposed to non-SSRIs.

Researchers also observed the risk of PPHN with SSRI as well as non-SSRI use, tend to reduce when possible confounding factors were taken into account. According to the team, their discoveries highlight a small increased risk of PPHN using antidepressants in late pregnancy especially SSRIs. They noticed that the identified risk increase is more modest than what was reported in the earlier research.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB)

Multi Drug Resistant Tuberculosis – Bacteria Resist Treatment

Multi drug resistant tuberculosis –MDR-TB could be defined as a type of TB infection that is caused by bacteria which tend to resist to treatment with at least two of the most powerful first line treatment anti TB drugs. MDR-TB has appeared due to the insufficiency of treatment. Presently, treatment for drug resistant TB takes up to two years and is quite complex, expensive and toxic with most of the people unable to get the treatment. Those who get it, more than a third tend to die.

Anti-tuberculosis drug resistance is a main public health issue threatening the progress made in TB treatment and control around the world. In 2013, around 5% of the TB cases around the world were estimated to be MDR-TB cases including 3.5% of newly diagnosed cases of TB with 20.5% previously treated TB cases. While the rates of the infections of MDR-TB cases are quite low in North America and Western Europe, they are a cause of serious problem worldwide in specific areas of Russian Federation, the former Soviet Union as well as other areas of Asia.

It could be classified as primary or acquired. Primary MDR-TB takes place in persons who have not been previously infected with TB but could get infected with a strain that is resistant to treatment while Acquired MDR-TB occurs during treatment with a drug regiment which is not effective in killing the particular strain of TB that they have been infected.

Inadequate Treatment – Single Anti TB Drug

Several of the cases of acquired MDR-TB are the result of inadequate treatment with single anti TB drug usually INH which could take place due to medical provider, in prescribing the ineffective treatment though it could also be due to taking the medication incorrectly by the patient.

 This could be due to various reasons comprising of expenses or scarcity of medicines, forgetfulness in the patients, or even stopping the treatment early when they tend to feel better. Care of MDR-TB needs treatment with second line drugs which are generally four or more anti-TB drugs for 6 months minimum, extending for 18 – 24 months if the resistance has been observed in a certain strain of TB in the person who is infected. Second-line drugs usually are less effective, more toxic and quite expensive than first line drugs and under ideal program circumstances, MDR-TB cure rate is around 70%

WHO – Developed Guidelines & Stop TB Strategy

Multidrug resistant tuberculosis is difficult in treating and there could be a shortage of information with regards to this infectious disease. World Health Organization – WHO has developed guidelines and the Stop TB Strategy for preventing, controlling as well as treatmentof MDR-TB, by utilising accessible data all over the world. However, the guidelines are theoretical knowledge which cannot be transferred into actual practice and the WMA hence volunteered to develop a learning program for the MDR-TB guidelines.

In 2010, the course was updated together with the new WHO MDR-TB strategy. The online course for MDR-TB is available as a free self-learning online tool in English and Mandarin Chinese enabling physicians all across the world to learn and test their knowledge about MDR-TB and is accredited by the South African Medical Association and the Norwegian Medical Association and hence will be recognized all over Europe.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Measles Vaccine Protects Against Other Deadly Diseases

Measles Victim – Vulnerable to Other Infections

It is said that around 140,000 people are affected by measles every year all over the world though millions of kids who tend to survive the disease are not out of danger. Latest research indicated that they tend to be vulnerable to other infections for over two years much longer than what the researcher anticipated. The outcome strengthen a hypothesis that measles virus weakens the immune system’s memory, indicating that the measles vaccine protects against other dangerous diseases also.

 Researchers have known for long that measles constraint the immune system though they usually believe this would wear off after a few months. Nevertheless where most of the cases occur, studies in children in the developing countries have indicated that measles vaccination has reduced the overall death rate from infection for up to 5 years signifying that preventing of the disease could provide protection against other ailments. A possibility of this benefit is that the vaccine for measles spurs the immune system in producing defences against the other disorders. Rik de Swart of Erasmus MC in Rotterdam, Netherlands, together with his colleagues, revealed in 2012, that the measles virus tend to kill a huge number of memory cells, white blood cells which prevent the subsequent infection by the same pathogen.

Measles Virus Impair Immune System

According to what the scientist called immunological amnesia, the measles virus impaired the immune system’s capability to remember and quickly eradicate other microbes which has already been beaten resulting in making the person vulnerable to diseases they should not be according to Michael Mina, lead author of the new paper and medical student at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. To check this explanation out a team including De Swart and Mina, postdoc at Princeton University at that time, achieved data on the numbers of measles cases and death from various other infections in the U.S.; Denmark and other part of the United Kingdom.

The researchers had statistics from before and after the introduction of measles vaccination which started in 1960s in the United Kingdom and United States and in the 1980s in Denmark. Their mathematical analysis attempted to define if there was a connection between the number of measles cases and the number of kids who had died from other disorders. If the virus tends to prevent immunity for a short time for instance, the number of deaths from other infections in a certain year could correlate to the number of measles cases during that year. However, if the virus activates a prolonged immune amnesia, the total number of deaths in a particular year could correlate to the total number of cases during that and the previous year or two.

Analysed Statistics for Whooping Cough

With the use of this approach, the researchers then calculated that children who survived the measles disease became susceptible to the other diseases for an average of 2.5 years. The team had recently reported online in Science, that the result was the same for all three countries. Mina has commented that `their results suggest that the adverse effects of measles are much more lasting’. Moreover, in order to test that the immune impairment was caused due to measles, the researchers analysed statistics for whooping cough that does not suppress the immune system.

They discovered no link between the number of whooping cough cases and mortality from the other infections conditions. Mina and his team determined that the length of vulnerable period did not make any changes in any of the three countries following the introduction of the vaccination. This result supported the idea that the measles vaccine benefits children not only because it tends to prevent them from being affected with measles but also due to the fact that it provides protection against the other disorders. Prior to the days of vaccination, this disease was responsible for around half of children deaths from other illnesses according to the team.

Possibility of Immunosuppression 

Many have presumed that measles’ impact on the immune system, faded quickly and Mina states that `when a kid tends to get pneumonia 6 months later, no one would link that to measles’. Other studies of children in West Africa did not show a lasting measles shadow. Mina together with his team observed that half of the kids in these studies died from other diseases within 2 months after they had been affected by measles that would have made it tough to detect a long term effect.

Vaccine immunologist Katie Flanagan of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, states that `there could have been a possibility of immunosuppression. However, the study `is a long way from really proving it’. For instance, researchers need to show that the kids who had measles are the ones dying from other illnesses’, she added. William Moss, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland comments that `it is indirect evidence’ and that the results are `highly suggestive’ that measles is contributing to this longer period of immune suppression. Should the researcher be right, he states that the benefits of measles vaccination are far greater than simply the reduction in measles death.

Three Tips That Can Help You Implement Wellness Corporate Solutions Successfully

Many businesses use wellness corporate solutions each day to improve their employees' productivity. This is not surprising because wellness solutions for corporations offer many benefits that can help your employees improve their health, work more efficiently and raise their morale. Here are three tips that can help you implement corporate wellness solutions successfully.  

Understand Your Employees' Wellness Needs

Understanding your employees' wellness needs is worthwhile because it can help you choose wellness solutions that offer the most long-term value to your employees. One way to gain information that can help you understand your employees' wellness needs is to complete a needs assessment that collects the following information:
  • Information about your employees' interests and schedules that can help you plan worthwhile wellness activities and choose appropriate incentives for your employees.
  • Information about your employees' health profiles that can help you assess your employees' potential health risks. (Be sure to follow state and federal employee privacy laws while collecting this information to avoid problems that can make collecting this information from your employees difficult.)
  • Information about available space for fitness programs and other wellness activities.
  • Information about potential liabilities that are covered by existing insurance programs.
Choose Incentives carefully Most successful corporate wellness solutions offer employee incentives that provide the motivation needed to participate in fitness programs and other wellness activities. As a result, it is a good idea to offer incentives to your employees that encourage them to participate in a wellness program. Some incentives that seem to especially motivate employees to participate in company wellness programs include:
  • Memberships to gyms or fitness centers.
  • Tickets to ballgames, movies or concerts.
  • Gift certificates.
Choose Wellness Activities That Everyone Can Enjoy Some employees shun participating in wellness activities because they think they need be athletic to participate in the activities. One way to resolve this problem is to choose wellness activities for your employees that everyone can enjoy. Some wellness activities that fit this definition include:
  • Yoga and meditation classes.
  • Low-impact walking exercises.
  • Low-impact aerobics classes.
As you can see, implementing wellness solutions for your firm requires choosing activities and wellness activities that suit your employees' needs wisely. As a result, feel free to use these tips to simplify the process of implementing wellness solutions for your firm successfully.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Infant Antibiotic Use Linked To Adult Diseases

A Three Way Link – Antibiotic in Infants

Researchers have come up with a newstudy at the University of Minnesota which has found a three way link in the midst of antibiotic use in infants, changes in the gut bacteria and the diseases later on in life. Dysbiosis which is the imbalances in gut microbes have been related to infectious diseases, allergies as well as other autoimmune disorders and obesity, later on in life.

The research which has been led by Biomedical Informatics and Computational Biology program graduate student, Pajau Vangay developed a predictive model with possible clinical standing for measuring healthy development of bacteria in young children’s gut.

These discoveries were announced in the scientific journal Cell Host & Microbe recently. Antibiotics are known to be the most common prescription drugs which are given to children and accounts for around one-fourth of all medications that are prescribed to children where a third of it is considered pointless. Other research have indicated profound short and long term effects on antibiotics on the range and composition of the bacteria in the bodies known as microbiome.

Disorders Connected to Metabolism/Immune System

Disorders connected to metabolism as well as the immune system are on the rise and in several cases the reason is not known as stated by Dan Knights, the study’s senior author, a computational biologist and assistant professor in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering and Biotechnology Institute.

He adds that earlier studies have showed links between antibiotic use and unbalanced gut bacteria while others showed links between unbalanced gut bacteria and adult ailment. Evidence of strong correlations between antibiotic use, changes in gut bacteria and disease in adulthood has been synthesized on hundreds of studies over the past year.

Knights along with his colleagues created a framework in order to figure out how antibiotics could be acting in the gut to cause disease later on in life. With regards to allergies, for instance, the use of antibiotics could eliminate the main gut bacteria which could help immune cells to mature and these cells could have been essential in keeping the immune system at bay whenever they have to put up with allergens.

Clinical Test & Intervention 

If the bacteria tend to return, the immune system remains weakened. With regards to obesity, antibiotic induced changes in the gut microbial causes increased levels of short chain fatty acids which can affect metabolism. Research has also examined the progress of bacteria in the gut where the researchers have demonstrated that an infant’s age can be predicted with a period of 1.3 months depending on the maturity of their gut bacteria.

This discovery could lead to a clinical test and intervention for children where their microbe development is delayed due to antibiotic or any other factor. Besides, Knights and Vangay, other researchers who are involved in the study include Tonya Ward, a postdoctoral researcher in the University of Minnesota Biotechnology Institute and Jeffery Gerber, who is a researcher with the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Knight had stated that they think these discoveries could help develop a roadmap for research in the future to determine the health consequences of antibiotic use as well as for recommendation in prescribing them. He adds that the clinical test demonstrated would also enable them to think about intervention at the initial stage.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

WHO Warns: Careful With Names of Diseases

WHO – Names of Diseases

The World Health Organization has now focused on new opponent which is names of diseases. The WHO has instructed those who name the diseases such as the scientist, national authorities, as well as news media outlets should be careful in minimizing unwanted negative effects on economies, nations and people.

Dr Keiji Fukuda, WHO executive, has explained on the organizations’ website that `they had seen certain disease names provoked a backlash against members of particular religious or ethnic communities, created unjustified barriers to travel, commerce and trade and triggered needless slaughtering of food animals. This can have serious consequences for people’s lives and livelihoods’. The instructions read like introduction on `What Not to Name Your Diseases’.

The website states that `Terms that should be avoided in disease name include geographic location, people’s name, species of animal or food, cultural, population, industry or occupational references and terms that incite undue fear’ WHO does not intent to change the diseases that have already been named, though for all the new one that may come up, the international panjandrum recommend –
  • That the name of the disease should be generic, with description of symptoms like `respiratory disease, neurologic syndrome, watery diarrhoea’
  • Information should be included on `how the disease exhibits, who get affected, its severity or seasonality.
  • Cause of the disease, if known, for instance, a virus, should be part of the name.
    The desire to discover is coordinated by the privilege of selecting a name for what is discovered. A Tennessee native spangled snail darter with orange, blue and green scales has been named Ethostoma Obama which is two-inch. Researchers take pride when the thing discovered is named after them and we have several cases of these examples such as a new tarantula species in the Brazilian jungle who had discovered it, had named it after John Lennon who also had an extinct ocean species as well as a wasp named after him.

    The Chicago Bulls three-peat, in 1993 had inspired a Chicago infectious disease doctor to name some new strain of salmonella bacteria after Michael Jordon. Professor of paediatric infectious diseases at North-western University Feinberg School of Medicine, Dr Stanford Shulman, informed that `he had a once in a life time opportunity to name something and so why not honour the greatest basketball player in history’. He chose the name `Salmonella mjordan’.

    Names of Honour – Diverse Pantheon of Celebrities 

    Likewise, astronomers who had discovered a comet had their names on it, up to 3, separated by hyphens, like the historic landing of a craft on the streaking comet – Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014. The comet was also known by the crushingly mundane Comet 67P.

    Communication to NASA was – If you want to stir interest in more comet landings, stick with names and not the numbers. WHO cannot be blamed for trying to scrub down the names of diseases in order to protect the innocent and crush the prejudice. On the Earth, a parasitic wasp was named after Lady Gaga while other insects, fish, plants together with other creatures carried names of honour of diverse pantheon of celebrities.

    Monday, 1 June 2015

    Seasons Have a Profound Effect on How Human Genes Work

    Image Credit: BBC
    Seasons – Deep Effect on Working of Human Genes

    According to scientists, the seasons tend to have a deep effect on the working of human genes which explains why some of the ailments get aggravated in winter. As per Nature Communications, they found genes involved with immunity where the body’s defence against infections seemed to be more active during the cold months.

    Though it could help in combating off viruses like flu it could also activate or worsen conditions like arthritis, where the body attacks itself, according to them. Blood and tissue samples were analysed by the international team of researchers from over 16,000 people living all over the world and out of the 22,000 genes, they scrutinised, that is almost all the genes that humans possess, clear signs of seasonal variation was shown only in a quarter of them.

    The changes in the genes which drew the attention of the researchers, the most, were the ones which were involved with the immunity and specially inflammation. These genes tend to get more active during cold winter months between December to February for those living north of the globe and June to August for those in the southern part of the world.

    Different Pattern – Immunity/Inflammation Connected to Rainy Season

    While studying people residing close to the equator, where the temperatures seems to be fairly high throughout the year, they observed a different pattern where immunity and inflammation seems to be connected to the rainy season, where ailments like malaria tend to be more common.

    According to Prof John Todd, one of the study authors based at Cambridge University in the UK observed that the findings could explain why people were prone to certain diseases at a particular time of the year. In Iceland, fewer seasonal changes were found since it is cold most part of the year.

    Inflammation tends to have an important role with regards to conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, type-1 diabetes as well as heart disease which is greatest in the winter in countries like the UK. Prof Todd informs that `in the UK, there is a rise in new cases of type-1 diabetes in January, February and March. The results indicate that part of the reason for the same is heightened inflammation and gene activity which is involved’.

    Several Factors Responsible in Developing Ailment

    He further adds that it was hard to get out exactly what was going on, since several factors tend to influence the person’s chance of developing an ailment. Similarly, other disease and factors like nutrition and stress could also affect how the genes function. Professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, Tim Spector, states that `another dimension that could of importance are the gut microbes which also tend to change between seasons and could be responsible in these changes due to seasonal changes in diet.

    Another professor, Prof Tim Hubbard also from King’s stated that there could be an evolutionary advantage behind the seasonal changes the researchers identified. He also adds that` in prehistoric humans, these seasonal changes in inflammation would help to fight infection’. The other seasonal changes they envisaged were in genes linked to metabolism, which according to Todd would help with preserving energy to survive in case of shortage of food and shelter.