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Yemen Cholera Cases Could Hit 1 Million by Year-End: Red Cross

September 29, 2017

(Reuters) – The humanitarian situation in Yemen is a “catastrophe”, and cholera cases could reach a million by the end of the year, the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Friday. Warring parties in Yemen – including the western-backed Saudi-led coalition – are all using disproportionate force, leading to “very excessive” civilian casualties, said Alexandre Faite, the head of the Red Cross delegation in Yemen. In addition, suspected cases of cholera have reached 750,000, with 2,119 deaths, Faite said, and the Red Cross expects at least 900,000 cases by the end of the year.

Uganda’s Doctors and Nurses Are Seeking Greener Pastures–in War-Torn Lybia

September 29, 2017

(Quartz) – In the past few years, thousands of Ugandans, mainly domestic workers and laborers have sought greener pastures, mainly in the Middle East. Many of them, particularly female maids, have ended up being mistreated and exploited by employers. Health workers have joined this exodus: according to a 2014/2015 report by the Ministry of Health, one third of the country’s 81,000 health workers were unemployed or had emigrated. Botswana and South Africa were the main destinations for those who had left.

Egg Donors and Surrogates Need High-Quality Care

September 29, 2017

(The Conversation) – Health Canada recently sought public input into new regulations for the use of assisted human reproduction. The consultation process covered everything from in-vitro fertilization (IVF) to egg and sperm donation and surrogacy. The consultation document prioritizes the health and safety of men and women engaged in family-making projects using assisted human reproduction. It also prioritizes the health and safety of children born of reproductive technologies. Meanwhile, the interests of those who contribute substantially to family-making — egg donors, sperm donors and surrogates — are repeatedly overlooked.

For Some Refugees, Women’s Health Care Is a Culture Shock

September 29, 2017

(Kaiser Health News) – Perhaps the most distressing of those checkups for many conservative Muslim women is a Pap smear, a screening test for cervical cancer. The test is rare in the developing world, according to global health experts, and for traditional Muslim women, like Manty, who are expected to be virgins until they marry, the invasive procedure is a profound threat.

DNA Surgery on Embryos Removes Disease

September 29, 2017

(BBC) – Precise “chemical surgery” has been performed on human embryos to remove disease in a world first, Chinese researchers have told the BBC. The team at Sun Yat-sen University used a technique called base editing to correct a single error out of the three billion “letters” of our genetic code. They altered lab-made embryos to remove the disease beta-thalassemia. The embryos were not implanted. The team says the approach may one day treat a range of inherited diseases.

Final Frontier: Managing Acute Delirium in Last Days of Life

September 29, 2017

(Medscape) – Delirium at the end of life is common, and many patients with delirium become agitated and restless, causing distress for the patient as well as the patient’s family and caregivers. The main treatment options are neuroleptics and benzodiazepines, but use of the latter is controversial. Now, there is evidence from a placebo-controlled trial that the addition of the benzodiazepine lorazepam (Ativan, Pfizer) to the neuroleptic haloperidol (Haldol, Ortho-McNeil) may control agitation better than haloperidol alone. The study was conducted in 90 hospitalized patients with advanced cancer and persistent delirium.

Many Kids Dying of Cancer Get Intense Care at End of Life

September 29, 2017

(Reuters) – Nearly two-thirds of children and teens with terminal cancer receive intense care at the end of life, often in hospitals and intensive care units, a U.S. study suggests.  Certain patients, including kids under age 5 and teens aged 15 to 21 as well as ethnic minorities and patients with blood malignancies were more likely to receive aggressive care than other children, the study also found.

This Is How Much of Autism Is Genetic

September 28, 2017

(TIME) – In a study published in JAMA, researchers say they have come up with the most accurate figure to date for the role that genes play in autism. Led by Sven Sandin, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, the scientists re-analyzed existing data from all children born in Sweden between 1982 and 2006. The team had looked at the same data previously, focusing on pairs of siblings, both of whom were diagnosed with autism. But this time, they applied a different method for tracking the diagnosis.

To Have and to Hold: The Rise of Surrogacy in Britain

September 28, 2017

(Vogue) – There has long been controversy surrounding the ethics of certain surrogacy arrangements abroad, but even in Britain surrogacy is far from straightforward, with laws being dubbed outdated and confusingly complex by many in the field. For example, surrogacy is legal in this country, but it is illegal to pay someone to do it. “Reasonable expenses”, however, are permissible, as are “gifts”. But what is a reasonable expense? Can someone give up work to focus full-time on the pregnancy and have the intended parents pay? Yes. What about massages and private healthcare? Also admissible.

Half of World’s Abortions Deemed Unsafe by WHO

September 28, 2017

(UPI) – More than 25 million unsafe abortions are performed worldwide each year, a new study says. That means nearly half of the 55.7 million abortions that take place annually aren’t safe, said researchers led by the World Health Organization, or WHO, and the Guttmacher Institute in New York City. The vast majority of these dangerous pregnancy terminations occur in Africa, Asia and Latin America, they found.

Study Shows How Scar Tissue Can Be Turned into Healthy Heart Muscle

September 28, 2017

(UPI) – Researchers from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill have found ways to reprogram scar tissue cells into healthy heart muscle cells. A major challenge for doctors is that the heart is unable to regenerate healthy cells, known as cardiomyocytes, after a heart attack, so muscles damaged after heart attacks stay damaged. UNC School of Medicine researchers compared two leading reprogramming techniques, finding that one method leads to the creation of cardiomyocytes with genetic signatures that mimic those found in healthy adult heart muscle cells.

Research Shows Insulin as Key Determinant of Embryonic Stem Cell Potency

September 28, 2017

(News-Medical) – New research conducted at the stem cell center, DanStem, at the University of Copenhagen shows that insulin is a key determinant of embryonic stem cell potency in mammals. When large amounts of Insulin are around, stem cells retain their ability to make all the cell types in the body. However, too little insulin leads to embryonic stem cells being transformed into a new type of stem cell, one that can make tissues that support the fetal development and helps make the different internal organs. As embryonic stem cells come from embryos around the time they implant into the mother, this study suggests that maternal insulin and diet maybe be important for the earliest stages of pregnancy. This study also points to new ways that stem cells can be made and differentiated to help treat degenerative diseases.

Genetic Mutation Made Zika Virus More Dangerous, Study Says

September 28, 2017

(The Wall Street Journal) – When Zika swept through the Americas and thousands of infants were born with horrifying birth defects, many scientists and health experts wondered if a virus once thought to be benign had mutated to become more dangerous. Now, some say it did. In a study published Thursday in the journal Science, a multidisciplinary team of researchers at several Chinese institutions identified a genetic mutation they say gave Zika the ability to disrupt brain development, leading to a congenital condition called microcephaly in which a baby’s brain and head are abnormally small.

A New Edition of Qualitative Health Research Is Now Available

September 28, 2017

Qualitative Health Research (Vol. 27, No. 7, 2017) is available online by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “Navigating the Decision Space: Shared Medical Decision Making as Distributed Cognition” by Katherine D. Lippa, Markus A. Feufel, F. Eric Robinson, and Valerie L. Shalin
  • “Case Study Observational Research: A Framework for Conducting Case Study Research Where Observation Data Are the Focus” by Sonya J. Morgan et al.

 

A New Edition of Ethics and Information Technology Is Now Available

September 28, 2017

Ethics and Information Technology (vol. 19, no. 2, 2017) is available online by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “Post-Mortem Privacy and Informational Self-Determination” by J. C. Buitelaar

 

A New Edition of JAMA Is Now Available

September 28, 2017

JAMA (vol. 317, no. 19, 2017) is available online by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “Replacing the Affordable Care Act: Lessons From Behavioral Economics by Jonathan S. Skinner amd Kevin G. Volpp

 

New Articles for International Journal of Human–Computer Interaction Are Now Available

September 28, 2017

International Journal of Computer-Human Interaction has new articles available online by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “Acceptance of Health-Related ICT among Elderly People Living in the Community: A Systematic Review of Qualitative Evidence” by Lars Tore Vassli and Babak Farshchian

 

New Articles for New Genetics and Society Are Now Available

September 28, 2017

New Genetics and Society has new articles available online by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “‘Participating Means Accepting’: Debating and Contesting Synthetic Biology” by Morgan Meyer

 

Cheap, Fast Test for Zika and Dengue Could Cost Just $1

September 27, 2017

(STAT News) – A new blood test can cheaply and quickly distinguish between the mosquito-borne Zika and dengue viruses, researchers reported Wednesday, giving public health officials a valuable tool to track the spread of outbreaks and prepare for the possible consequences of the different infections. The test, which was described in the journal Science Translational Medicine, relies on a simple paper strip, and researchers hope it can eventually be purchased for less than $1. The scientists who developed the test are at work to commercialize it and production would need to be scaled up before it could be deployed widely.

What Should Doctors Do When Parents Request ‘Second Best’ Treatments for Their Children?

September 27, 2017

(Eurekalert) – What should doctors do when parents request treatments for their children that are less effective than those recommended? In the Journal of Medical Ethics today, leading experts explore the boundaries of parental choice and identify thresholds of acceptable levels of harm and cost. There has been research into the ethics of parental refusal of treatment, for example, Jehovah’s Witness parents who refuse a blood transfusion for their children. In cases where the life of the child is at risk, it is widely accepted that doctors should over-ride parents’ wishes. But the question of what doctors should do when parents are not refusing treatment, rather requesting a substitute ‘second best’ treatment, has attracted less attention.

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