Synchrotron yields 'safer' vaccine

27 March 2013 Last updated at 18:00 ET

Fergus Walsh, Medical correspondent Article written by Fergus Walsh Medical correspondent

Diamond Light SourceDiamond is sited on the Harwell science campus just south of Oxford

Producing vaccines against viral threats is a potentially hazardous business and that’s why manufacturers have to operate strict controls to ensure that no pathogens escape.

British scientists have developed a new method to create an entirely synthetic vaccine which doesn’t rely on using live infectious virus, meaning it is much safer.

What’s more the prototype vaccine they have created, for the animal disease foot-and-mouth, has been engineered to make it more stable.

Synchrotron yields ‘safer’ vaccine

27 March 2013 Last updated at 18:00 ET

Fergus Walsh, Medical correspondent Article written by Fergus Walsh Medical correspondent

Diamond Light SourceDiamond is sited on the Harwell science campus just south of Oxford

Producing vaccines against viral threats is a potentially hazardous business and that’s why manufacturers have to operate strict controls to ensure that no pathogens escape.

British scientists have developed a new method to create an entirely synthetic vaccine which doesn’t rely on using live infectious virus, meaning it is much safer.

What’s more the prototype vaccine they have created, for the animal disease foot-and-mouth, has been engineered to make it more stable.

Consultants warn of A&E ‘meltdown’

28 March 2013 Last updated at 02:47 ET

Ambulances queue outside Wrexham Maelor hospitalThese ambulances were queuing outside Wrexham’s Maelor Hospital

A&E departments in Welsh hospitals are at the point of meltdown and patients are dying as a result, say consultants.

Almost half of the country’s A&E consultants have signed a joint letter to new Health Minister Mark Drakeford to express their concerns.

They say serious overcrowding is putting patient safety at risk.

The Welsh government said one of Mr Drakeford’s priorities was to look at ways of easing the pressures on unscheduled healthcare.

Health Highlights: March 27, 2013

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Study: Antidepressant Use in Pregnancy May Not Affect Baby's Growth

WEDNESDAY, March 20 (HealthDay News) — Taking antidepressants during pregnancy does not have an impact on an infant’s growth during the first year of life, a new study says.

Previous research suggested that depression during pregnancy could slow infant growth, but there were concerns that prescribing antidepressants to pregnant women might also hinder a baby’s physical development.

In this study, Northwestern University researchers found that infants born to mothers who took selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants during pregnancy had a similar weight, length and head circumference over the first year as babies born to mothers who did not have depression and did not take antidepressants during pregnancy.

Study: Antidepressant Use in Pregnancy May Not Affect Baby’s Growth

WEDNESDAY, March 20 (HealthDay News) — Taking antidepressants during pregnancy does not have an impact on an infant’s growth during the first year of life, a new study says.

Previous research suggested that depression during pregnancy could slow infant growth, but there were concerns that prescribing antidepressants to pregnant women might also hinder a baby’s physical development.

In this study, Northwestern University researchers found that infants born to mothers who took selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants during pregnancy had a similar weight, length and head circumference over the first year as babies born to mothers who did not have depression and did not take antidepressants during pregnancy.

Prebiotics in baby formula and eczema: mixed picture

By Andrew M. Seaman

NEW YORK | Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:16pm EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – There’s some evidence to suggest that putting prebiotics in baby formula protects children against the skin condition eczema, according to a fresh look at past research.

The theory is that babies who can’t breastfeed can drink formula fortified with prebiotics, which are food particles that promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria or flora, and build immunity against some allergens.

Scientists criticize Italy for allowing unproven stem cell therapy

By Catherine Hornby

ROME | Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:13pm EDT

ROME (Reuters) – Scientists have criticized an Italian government decree allowing a group of terminally-ill patients to continue using an unproven stem cell treatment, saying such therapies may cause harm and risk exploiting desperate people.

The treatment, created by the privately-owned Stamina Foundation, was banned by Italian medicines regulator AIFA last year after it inspected their laboratories, leading to a series of legal challenges by families of patients.

Devices Coated with Paclitaxel Help Leg Arteries

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38125

Peripheral Artery Disease

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By Chris Kaiser, Cardiology Editor, MedPage Today

Published: March 27, 2013

Reviewed by F. Perry Wilson, MD, MSCE; Instructor of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Action Points

  • Note that in these two studies of patients with in-stent restenosis after femoropopliteal stenting, the use of paclitaxel-containing devices led to favorable outcomes.
  • Be aware that neither study enrolled a control group, limiting the ability to draw firm conclusions about the role of paclitaxel-eluting devices in this population.

Sticking to Meds for Heart Disease Pays Dividends

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38117

Atherosclerosis

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By Todd Neale, Senior Staff Writer, MedPage Today

Published: March 27, 2013

Reviewed by F. Perry Wilson, MD, MSCE; Instructor of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Dorothy Caputo, MA, BSN, RN, Nurse Planner

Action Points

  • Note that this systematic review demonstrated improved costs and outcomes among adherent patients in studies of primary or secondary prevention of coronary artery disease.
  • Be aware that few studies contained an adequate control group to adjust for a “healthy adherer” effect.