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Madagascar Is Fighting a Deadly Plague

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The World Health Organization has delivered more than a million doses of antibiotics to Madagascar amid a raging epidemic of plague in which at least 33 people have died and 230 others have been infected, the BBC reported.

The first confirmed death from the epidemic began on August 28th in the town of Moramanga,.“Plague is curable if detected in time. Plague first arrived in Madagascar from Indian steamboats in 1898 before spreading through other harbors and then into the mainland along railroad construction lines. 

 

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More Medical Schools Going Bookless

AILEEN MCCRILLIS
NYU health sciences library

The Association of American Medical Colleges predicted that by 2030, the United States would have a shortage of up to 104,900 physicians. To try to curb this impending crisis, a wave of new medical schools have opened in the last decade. Eleven schools have been accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education in the last five years, and eight more are currently under consideration.

As a condition of accreditation, these new schools must provide access to “well-maintained library resources sufficient in breadth of holdings and technology” to support the school’s educational mission, however, many medical schools are deciding that large print collections are no longer a vital component of those resources.

Paperless Libraries

Charles Stewart, associate dean and chief librarian of City College of New York, of the City University of New York system, said that his institution chose to go a paperless route for the newly opened CUNY School of Medicine on the City College campus for much the same reason — 24-7 access. “Stewart says they chose the all-electronic option since their medical school clearly wanted instant e-access to all their resources.

 

The Frank H. Netter School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University, which accepted its first students in 2013, is designed as a paperless institution. The school has a library space where students can read and study, but the vast majority of the library’s resources are online. Bruce Koeppen, dean of the school, said that by making most of the library’s holdings electronic, it ensured that students and faculty could access information “anywhere and anytime, even when the library is closed.”

Hybrid Approach

The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, opened in 2010, with just 50 books on its shelves, however, the students quickly pushed to expand this collection to 4,000 books, saying that they preferred to use physical materials for studying. The school noted, however, that it did not want to increase its print collection beyond the current level.

Fay Towell, director of libraries at the Greenville Hospital System, said that it was interesting that students at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville, which opened in 2012, frequently requested access to both print and electronic resources. Given the small size of the library, and the prohibitive cost of providing both print and online versions of texts, Towell said the library had to be selective. She noted that often journals might cost more electronically than in print — “if a journal cost is $4,000 electronically and $400 in print, then the library makes space for print,” she said.

Roger Schonfeld, director of the Library and Scholarly Communication Program for Ithaka S+R, pointed out that when medical libraries thin their print collections, it does not necessarily mean that the campus loses access to those physical materials. “Whether the collections are moved to an off-site facility, or the library participates in a shared print program, it is almost always still possible to provide access to a print version on those occasions when it is necessary to do so.” The trend for thinning print collections is not unique to medical libraries, said Schonfeld — many science and engineering libraries have done the same.

7-UP Gets 8th Ingredient In Mexico – Some Sickened

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7Up—now has a troubling eighth ingredient in Mexico: methamphetamine.

Health professionals in Arizona are warning travelers to the Mexicali area to be aware of possibly contaminated sodas there. The warning comes days after medical toxicologists and emergency doctors received reports of soda tampering in the area.

According to the Attorney General of the State of Baja California, seven people were sickened and one died from the spiked soft drinks. Officials requested that merchants there suspend sales of 7Up and clear the product from their shelves. There is currently an investigation in progress to figure out how the illicit stimulant got into the soda.

Chris Barnes, a spokesperson for Dr Pepper Snapple Group, told Arizona news outlet AZCentralthat 7Up products in the US were safe. “None of the 7Up products sold in the US are affected by the issue being reported in Mexico,” Barnes said. “Dr Pepper Snapple owns and licenses the 7Up brand only in the US and its territories. We do not market, sell, or distribute the brand internationally.”

Health professionals recommended travelers stay watchful of the beverages they buy. “It is important to check that the seal for any food and drink consumed is still intact and show no signs of tampering,” Dr. Daniel Brooks, a poison and drug expert with Banner Health, said in a statement. “If you notice any difference in color, taste, or smell, throw it out.”

Symptoms of consuming meth-laced soda include: burning to the esophagus or abdomen, nausea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, and fast or irregular heartbeat.

 7Up contained a potent drug when the soda was first released in the 1920s. It contained lithium citrate, a mood-stabilizing psychiatric drug that’s used to treat manic states in people with bipolar disorder. Some have theorized that the soda got its name from the atomic mass of lithium, which is roughly seven.

Hackensack Meridian Health Invests $25M in Tech Incubator

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New Jersey-based Hackensack Meridian Health has teamed up with the New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJIT) to open a health incubator with a design similar to the reality show ”Shark Tank,” in which companies pitch healthcare innovation ideas to a panel of experts. The incubator, Agile Strategies Lab, is the first of its kind for healthcare advances in New Jersey, according to officials. The lab, located on the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) campus in Newark, is designed to help create and launch the next wave of problem-solving in healthcare through better devices, improved technology and more efficient services to provide a higher quality of care, lower costs, and an enhanced patient experience, officials said in an announcement.

Hackensack Meridian Health has committed $25 million, a new revenue stream to help companies develop trailblazing products and services. This seed money will help launch ideas to the point where they can become viable and receive financing through venture capitalists. And the organization’s vast network—13 hospitals in seven counties, and more than 100 outpatient centers and 6,000 physicians—will look to serve as a vehicle to test some of the innovations once they are advanced enough as determined by a panel of experts from multiple disciplines.

FDA Cracks Down On Doctor Who Created Three Parent Baby

In a technique called spindle nuclear transfer, the nucleus of a donor egg is removed and the DNA of another woman’s egg is injected.

The FDA is taking a hard stance on a controversial fertility technique that involves genetically modifying embryos.

The New York-based doctor who helped a couple have a child using DNA from three people has been told by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to stop the clinical trials meant to test the technique.

Last year, John Zhang, the founder of New Hope Fertility Center, pioneered a new type of in-vitro fertilization that involves transferring DNA from the mother’s egg into a hollowed-out egg donated by a younger woman. But the work violates federal legislation that forbids implanting genetically modified embryos, so after fertilizing the egg with the father’s sperm, Zhang went to Mexico, where he inserted the embryo into the mother’s womb. A healthy baby boy was born in April 2016.

FDA sends Zhang a letter

Zhang then requested a meeting with the agency to ask permission to carry out a clinical trial using the technique in the U.S. The agency subsequently denied the meeting. Zhang has since been marketing his fertility procedure to women with certain genetic diseases and older women having trouble conceiving through a new company called Darwin Life. Modifying embryos in a lab is not illegal under U.S. law as long as federal funds are not used to carry out the work. But implanting one in a woman’s womb so that a baby can develop is prohibited.

They Say Not To Worry About Superhuman Babies But Fear Who Will Be Doing The Genetic Engineering

Sir Venki Ramakrishnan says risks and benefits of germline therapy, which is banned in Britain, should be debated

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Sir Venki Ramakrishnan, president of the Royal Society. Photograph: Andy Hall for the Observer

An international team of scientists, led by researchers at the Oregon Health and Science University, has used genetic engineering on human sperm and a pre-embryo. The group says is doing basic research to figure out if new forms of genetic engineering might be able to prevent or repair terrible hereditary diseases. Congress has banned federal funding for genetic engineering of sperm, eggs, pre-embryos or embryos. That means everything goes on in the private or philanthropic world here or overseas, without much guidance. It should be determined who should own the techniques for genetic engineering. Important patent fights are underway among the technology’s inventors. Which means lots of money. is at stake. And that means it is time to talk about who gets to own what and charge what. Finally, human genetic engineering needs to be monitored closely: all experiments registered, all data reported on a public database and all outcomes — good and bad — made available to all scientists and anyone else tracking this area of research. Secrecy is the worst enemy that human genetic engineering could possibly have. Today we need to focus on who will own genetic engineering technology, how we can oversee what is being done with it and how safe it needs to be before it is used to try to prevent or fix a disease. Plenty to worry about.

LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robot Can Eliminated Hospital Germs

 

Hospitals around the world are constantly for new and innovative ways to battle deadly pathogens and kill multidrug resistant organisms that can cause hospital-acquired infections (HAI).

Saint Peter’s University Hospital has implemented a LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robot that emits waves of ultraviolet (UV) light to destroy hard-to-kill bugs in hard-to-clean places.

Their goal is to prevent infection & provide a clean, safe environment for their patients,  families and employees. The latest technology provides an added level of protection in combating HAI’s caused by pathogens such as Clostridium difficile and Staphylococcus aureus.

The Xenex robot is a new technology that uses pulsed xenon, a high-intensity UV light that penetrates the cell walls of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, mold, fungus and spores. Their DNA is fused, rendering them unable to reproduce or mutate, effectively killing them on surfaces without contact or chemicals.

The system is effective against even the most dangerous pathogens, including Clostridium difficile (C. diff), norovirus, influenza, Ebola and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, better known as MRSA. Over 400 hospitals, Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense facilities in the U.S., Canada, Africa, Japan and Europe are using Xenex robots, which are also in use in skilled nursing facilities, ambulatory surgery centers, and long-term acute-care facilities.

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