Saturday, February 25, 2012

Weekend News Ticker:Video/Treating hepatitis C

Girl Reading - By Pablo Picasso

Good Morning Folks,
I'm off to take my mother out to lunch, a weekend treat I so look forward to. If you have an elderly parent living alone, don't send them flowers, send yourself instead.

Today on the blog is short video on treating hepatitis C, and few updates from NATAP. This invaluable website has been in existence since 1997, thank you executive director Mr. Jules Levin for continuing to advocate for all people living with HIV/AIDS and HCV, you are sincerely appreciated.

Lastly, an alarming article discussing the difficulty hospitals have sterilizing intricate surgical instruments. The article points out that officials don't know how often dirty instruments are the cause of hospital-acquired infections. Dr. Melissa Schaefer from the CDC remarked the cases of hospital infections they hear about are only the tip of the iceberg.  Also a few entries from my favorite stem cell blog,and an article from spoonful of medicine, which is a blog from the scientific journal Nature.

Have a lovely weekend !

Uploaded by on Feb 24, 2012
Hepatitis C New Treatments are discussed by Naveen Surapaneni of the Houston gastroenterologists at Bay Area Gastroenterology.

Updates @ NATAP
Abstracts Presented at the 22nd Conference of the Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver (APASL)
Taipei, Taiwan
February 16-19, 2012


 Filthy Surgical Instruments: The Hidden Threat In America’s Operating Rooms
By Joe Eaton
It seemed simple enough at the time. In 2009, John Harrison, a 63–year-old oil industry sales manager in Mission, Texas, had surgery to repair the rotator cuff in his right shoulder, a routine procedure that usually requires at most a single night’s stay in the hospital, followed by physical therapy. For Harrison, however, there was nothing routine about the ordeal that ensued.

 In the weeks following the surgery, his scar turned bright red, hot to the touch, and oozed thick fluid that looked “like butter squeezed from a bag.” Alarmed, Harrison’s wife, Laura, called The Methodist Hospital in Houston, where the surgery was performed. The doctor urged Harrison to immediately make the seven-hour drive back to Houston for an emergency checkup.
A larger problem
Was the Methodist case a fluke? Hardly. Filthy, dangerous medical implements have been showing up in hospitals and outpatient surgery centers with alarming regularity. In 2009, the Department of Veterans Affairs admitted that 10,737 veterans in Florida, Tennessee and Georgia were given endoscopies or colonoscopies between 2002 and 2009 with endoscopes that may have been improperly cleaned. Some of those patients later tested positive for HIV, hepatitis C, or hepatitis B. Several lawsuits filed against the VA by veterans are currently working their way through the courts, and attorneys expect many others to follow. Investigation of a 2008 hepatitis C outbreak that sickened at least six people in Las Vegas revealed that an outpatient surgery center was improperly cleaning endoscopes and reusing biopsy forceps designed for a single use. Following that outbreak, a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) pilot program inspected 1500 outpatient surgery centers and cited 28 percent for infection control deficiencies related to equipment cleaning and sterilization.
Charles Hancock, an independent medical device sterilization consultant in New York who has worked in the industry since the 1960s, said some central sterile departments are clean and efficient, while others are dirty and overcrowded with a “dungeon mentality.” Most, he said, are somewhere in the middle.
Continue Reading Here...

Weekend Reading-Stem Cells @ 
Knoepfler Lab Stem Cell Blog

The war propaganda myth of adult versus embryonic stem cells hurts everyone
If someone is not in a war, but someone else declares war on them or actually attacks them, I would say the reality is that war has started and there are two opposing sides.
However, has that happened when it comes to stem cells?
Why I am still blogging
 I’m by no means the only one who blogs about stem cells, but it is just that professors still are reluctant in the stem cell field to blog. Two outstanding blogs that tied for first place in my 2011 stem cell awards are the Stem Cell Network of Canada and Stem Cell Assays, by Drs. Gunn and Bersenev. As I said in my awards post, also worth noting is the CIRM Research Blog by the super Amy Adams, the winner of our 2010 Blog of the Year Award and the California Stem Cell Report by David Jensen, who is focused on CIRM predominantly.

Updates @ Spoonful of Medicine

Companies these days use crowdsourcing for everything from striking gold to marketing facial moisturizer. Now a new startup, Transparency Life Sciences, hopes to harness that collaborative power to make clinical trials more effective and efficient by asking the opinions of doctors as well as patients and their families. The company, launched last month and based in New York, is the latest in a string of so-called ‘open innovation’ drug development initiatives. But until now most of these efforts have only crowdsourced from a limited group: researchers.

Back in 2009 Indiana-based Eli Lilly launched its Open Innovation Drug Discovery program, an online platform for researchers to submit small molecules for drug screening. “The goal of this kind of program is to attract researchers with new molecules and ideas in an unbiased way,” says Alan Palkowitz, vice president of discovery chemistry research and technologies at Eli Lilly.

Other big pharmaceutical companies have also established a handful of open innovation platforms for preclinical drug development. New York-based Pfizer has been building partnerships with institutions through its Centers for Therapeutic Innovation program since 2010, and Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline funds the non-profit open innovation organization Tres Cantos Open Lab Foundation. Most recently, in October, the United Nations World Intellectual Property Organization partnered with seven major drug companies in an intellectual property sharing consortium targeting neglected tropical diseases.
Read more 

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