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Friday, February 14, 2014

2/14/14 Health News: New Strategy to Fight Bacterial Infections - Virus that Kills Anthrax - Food Bug Triggers Multiple Sclerosis - Giving Ourselves Cancer

Scientists Find New Strategy to Combat Bacterial Infections
Increasing numbers of bacteria are developing antibiotic resistance. This forms a significant challenge in the battle against bacterial infections. Alvin Lo and Han Remaut (VIB/Vrije Universiteit Brussel) have identified a chemical substance with the potential of acting as a new drug to treat bacterial infections, particularly urinary tract infections. In contrast to the most popular antibiotics, this candidate drug does not destroy pathogenic bacteria, but rather disarms them. The benefit of this new strategy is that other (useful) bacteria are unharmed .Continue Reading


Anthrax Agent Killed by New, Unusually Large Virus
From a zebra carcass on the plains of Namibia in Southern Africa, an international team of researchers has discovered a new, unusually large virus (or bacteriophage) that infects the bacterium that causes anthrax. The novel bacteriophage could eventually open up new ways to detect, treat or decontaminate the anthrax bacillus and its relatives that cause food poisoning., Continue Reading


Food Bug Toxin May Trigger Multiple Sclerosis
New research presented at a scientific meeting adds to a growing body of evidence that a toxin produced by a common food bug may trigger multiple sclerosis, an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system. Dr. Jennifer Linden Said. "We provide evidence that supports epsilon toxin's ability to cause BBB [blood-brain barrier] permeability and show that epsilon toxin kills the brain's myelin producing cells, oligodendrocytes; the same cells that die in MS lesions. Continue Reading


We Are Giving Ourselves Cancer
Despite great strides in prevention and treatment, cancer rates remain stubbornly high and may soon surpass heart disease as the leading cause of death in the United States. Increasingly, we and many other experts believe that an important culprit may be our own medical practices: We are silently irradiating ourselves to death. The use of medical imaging with high-dose radiation — CT scans in particular — has soared in the last 20 years. Our resulting exposure to medical radiation has increased more than sixfold between the 1980s and 2006, according to the National Council on Radiation Protection & Measurements. The radiation doses of CT scans (a series of X-ray images from multiple angles) are 100 to 1,000 times higher than conventional X-rays. Continue Reading  

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