New tool records and tracks microbiome growth

Over the past years, the human microbiome has gained immense popularity due to its role in shaping one’s health. It is essential for human development, nutrition, and immunity. That’s why many studies have focused on how to improve one’s health by targeting or enhancing the microbiome.

Normal flora of small intestine - Illustration Credit: Kateryna Kon / Shutterstock

Normal flora of small intestine – Illustration Credit: Kateryna Kon / Shutterstock

The bacteria living in humans are not invaders but beneficial colonizers. They provide a wide array of health benefits. Any alteration in the balance of these species has been tied to autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, fibromyalgia, and muscular dystrophy.

UC San Diego’s CMCR announces research grants to explore cannabis for medical applications

The Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR) at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, the nation’s oldest research center for scientific inquiry into the safety and efficacy of cannabis, has announced $3 million in research grants to explore new applications of cannabis for a number of novel medical applications.

The grant funding, to be allocated to five California-based research teams, will be used to study the efficacy and safety of medical cannabis as both a supplementary or alternative treatment for schizophrenia, rheumatoid arthritis, insomnia, alcohol dependence and anxiety linked to anorexia.

Study receives NCI grant to explore better treatment for brain tumors in children

Children with recurrent brain tumors or newly diagnosed, particularly aggressive tumors called diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas are being enrolled in the first study to examine the efficacy of a drug that inhibits an enzyme these tumors use to protect themselves from the child’s natural immune response.

The study, sponsored by a $3 million grant from the National Cancer Institute, is exploring whether adding an inhibitor of the enzyme indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase, or IDO, to children’s treatment will enable lower doses of chemotherapy and radiation, better quality of life during treatment and still achieve improved survival for these children.

Deer can pass tuberculosis to humans, CDC warns

Tuberculosis or TB is a highly contagious infection that usually affects the lungs, but it can spread to other parts of the body, such as the spine and brain. Commonly caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which can spread through the air from person to person. A person doesn’t know he or she is sick, as the bacteria can live in the host for years, without causing symptoms.

3D illustration of bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis.  Image Credit: Kateryna Kon / Shutterstock

3D illustration of bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Image Credit: Kateryna Kon / Shutterstock

Clinical trial to evaluate efficacy and safety of new treatment for giant cell arteritis

An international, multicenter phase II clinical trial is evaluating the efficacy and safety of mavrilimumab co-administered with a 26-week corticosteroid taper in patients with giant cell arteritis (GCA). The study is sponsored by Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), in New York City, is one of the centers participating in the research.

Anti-cancer protein promotes tumor resistance, shows study

Areas of solid tumors that have limited access to oxygen, a condition called hypoxia, are highly resilient against chemo and radiation therapy. For years, scientists have wondered why the tumor suppressor protein p53 is also ineffective against hypoxic cells of these tumors.

Now, a study reports the discovery of a mechanism that renders p53 ineffective against hypoxic cancer cells and in fact promotes their survival. These results may have important implications for future therapies.

Lack of oxygen, or hypoxia, is a biological stressor that occurs under various conditions such as wound healing and stroke. To rescue the tissue, the body has innate mechanisms that “kick in” to make the cells of the hypoxic tissue more resistant and assist in tissue repair.

New grant to improve use of bDMARDS through a consortium approach

Sep 18 2019

A new grant to improve the use of biologic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (bDMARDs) will see NPS MedicineWise and consortium partners support specialist prescribers and help consumers get the most benefit from these complex medicines.

A consortium of health organizations has been awarded the grant under the Australian Government’s Value in Prescribing program bDMARDs stream.

NPS MedicineWise CEO Adj A/Prof Steve Morris says the project will improve use of bDMARDS through a consortium approach, meaning key stakeholders will be working together in a collaborative way to ensure high quality healthcare for people taking these medicines.

Study explores link between rheumatoid arthritis widespread pain and smoking

A vast majority of patients with rheumatoid arthritis reports widespread pain or severe pain regardless of smoking status, a new study found.

A team of researchers at the Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge in Stockholm, Sweden wanted to investigate if smoking status at the time of rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis was linked with pain spread or intensity.

Published in the journal Nursing Open, the study shows that a large number of patients with rheumatoid arthritis report widespread pain or severe pain, regardless if they smoke or not. The study highlights that smoking has no effect on pain intensity among rheumatoid arthritis patients.