Ebola vaccine results 'remarkable'

Ebola vaccine is ‘potential game-changer’

By James Gallagher
Health editor, BBC News website
  • 31 July 2015
  • From the section Health
Man being vaccinated

A vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus has led to 100% protection and could transform the way Ebola is tackled, preliminary results suggest.

There were no proven drugs or vaccines against the virus at the start of the largest outbreak of Ebola in history, which began in Guinea in December 2013.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said the findings, being published in the Lancet, could be a “game-changer”.

Experts said the results were “remarkable”.

HIV flushed out by cancer drug

HIV flushed out by cancer drug

By James Gallagher
Health and science reporter, BBC News website
  • 31 July 2015
  • From the section Health
HIV

HIV can be flushed out of its hiding places in the body using a cancer drug, researchers show.

The cornerstone of treatment, anti-retroviral therapy, kills the virus in the bloodstream but leaves “HIV reservoirs” untouched.

The study, published in PLoS Pathogens, showed the drug was “highly potent” at reactivating hidden HIV.

Experts said the findings were interesting, but it was important to know if the drug was safe in patients.

For seniors, sexual activity is linked to higher quality of life


(Reuters Health) – Older adults who value sexual activity and engage in it have better social lives and psychological well-being, according to a small study in Scotland

Older adults said “they miss and want to engage in sexual behaviors, whether that be a kiss to intercourse,” said study coauthor Taylor-Jane Flynn in an email. “For many, these behaviors remained an important element in their life.”

Flynn, a psychology PhD candidate at Glasgow Caledonian University, said the study was inspired by her work as a health care assistant for elderly people.

Vaccine success holds hope for end to deadly scourge of Ebola

A member of the French Red Cross disinfects the area around a motionless person suspected of carrying the Ebola virus as a crowd gathers in Forecariah January 30, 2015. REUTERS/Misha Hussain
A member of the French Red Cross disinfects the area around a motionless person suspected of carrying the Ebola virus as a crowd gathers in Forecariah January 30, 2015.

Reuters/Misha Hussain


The world is on the verge of being able to protect humans against Ebola, the World Health Organization said on Friday, as a trial in Guinea found a vaccine to have been 100 percent effective.

    Initial results from the trial, which tested Merck (MRK.N) and NewLink Genetics’ (NLNK.O) VSV-ZEBOV vaccine on some 4,000 people who had been in close contact with a confirmed Ebola case, showed complete protection after 10 days.

New national survey finds lack of COPD knowledge among patients

In a new national survey of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients, Health Union reveals a surprising lack of awareness of risk factors and knowledge of diagnosis stage among patients. Results demonstrate a severe impact on quality of life, employment, and ability to afford treatment.

COPD, the third most common cause of death in the United States, describes a group of lung conditions that severely impact the breathing of nearly 15 million people in the U.S. (or six percent of the population) and more than 65 million worldwide. Only 38% of respondents were aware of COPD or its risk factors prior to their diagnosis. Almost one-third did not know their initial or current diagnosis stage. Additionally, at diagnosis about two-thirds wished they knew more about the potential impact of COPD and how to stop or slow down its progression.

Prostate cancer: Five types 'found'

Prostate cancer: Five types ‘found’

  • 30 July 2015
  • From the section Health
Dividing prostate cancer cells seen through scanning electron micrograph

Scientists have identified five types of prostate cancer, each with a distinct genetic signature.

And by comparing 250 samples removed in surgery with the patients’ subsequent progress, they have identified some types that are more likely to recur.

Until now, there has been no reliable way to know which patients have the more aggressive cancers requiring the most urgent and intensive therapy.

But much larger trials are still needed to be certain of these early results.

Olympic athletes not worried about polluted waters

Men work on the construction site of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games athletes village in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil July 21, 2015. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes
Men work on the construction site of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games athletes village in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil July 21, 2015.

Reuters/Ricardo Moraes


Olympic sailors are not worried about getting sick during the Rio Olympics next year in spite of reports that waters where the sailing events will take place have pollution levels equivalent to raw sewage, competitors told Reuters on Thursday.

Tests conducted by the Associated Press found levels of disease-causing viruses as much as 1.7 million times the level that would be considered hazardous on a Southern California beach.

Abbott strikes deals with heart valve replacement companies

An Abbott Laboratories sales staff checks the serial number of a powder milk tin during a production recall at a milk shop outside Hanoi August 6, 2013.  REUTERS/Kham
An Abbott Laboratories sales staff checks the serial number of a powder milk tin during a production recall at a milk shop outside Hanoi August 6, 2013.

Reuters/Kham


Abbott Laboratories (ABT.N) on Thursday said it would buy a small private company and has invested in another, with an option to buy, as it places bets on the future growth potential of minimally invasive systems to replace diseased heart valves.

Abbott said it has agreed to acquire the equity in Minnesota-based Tendyne Holdings Inc that it does not already own for $225 million plus future payments tied to regulatory milestones. Abbott already had a 10 percent stake in the company worth about $25 million.

Low blood level of 4 proteins can help diabetics protect against immune attack

Patients with type 1 diabetes have significantly lower blood levels of four proteins that help protect their tissue from attack by their immune system, scientists report.

Conversely, their first-degree relatives, who share some of the high-risk genes but do not have the disease, have high levels of these proteins circulating in their blood, said Dr. Jin-Xiong She, director of the Center for Biotechnology and Genomic Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University.

Healthy individuals without the risky genes also have higher levels of the four proteins, IL8, IL-1Ra, MCP-1 and MIP-1β, according to the study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Endocrine Society recommends removal of tumor as first-line treatment for endogenous Cushing's syndrome

The Endocrine Society today issued a Clinical Practice Guideline (CPG) on strategies for treating Cushing’s syndrome, a condition caused by overexposure to the hormone cortisol.

The CPG, entitled “Treatment of Cushing’s Syndrome: An Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline,” was published online and will appear in the August 2015 print issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM), a publication of the Endocrine Society.