LONDON (Reuters) – Official talk in Saudi Arabia of racing to develop a vaccine against a deadly new virus may be a way to reassure a fearful population, but it is scientifically wide of the mark and makes little sense in public health terms.
Experts in virology say the biochemical know-how is there to create a vaccine against Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, but question why authorities would want to spend millions immunizing an entire population against a disease that has affected only a few hundred people.
LONDON, April 10 (Reuters) – Researchers who have fought for
years to get full data on Roche’s flu medicine Tamiflu
said on Thursday that governments who stockpile it are wasting
billions of dollars on a drug whose effectiveness is in doubt.
In a review of trial data on Tamiflu, and on
GlaxoSmithKline’s flu drug Relenza, scientists from the
respected research network the Cochrane Review said that while
the medicines can shorten flu symptoms by around half a day,
there is no good evidence behind claims they cut hospital
admissions or lessen complications of the disease.
LONDON (Reuters) – Researchers who have fought for years to get full data on Roche’s flu medicine Tamiflu said on Thursday that governments who stockpile it are wasting billions of dollars on a drug whose effectiveness is in doubt.
The row has drawn in the drugmaker as well as industry regulators and independent scientists. Supporters of Tamiflu said the researchers’ conclusions were flawed and insisted the drug is both safe and effective.
LONDON (Reuters) – British scientists have for the first time used regenerative medicine to fully restore an organ in a living animal, a discovery they say may pave the way for similar techniques to be used in humans in future.
The University of Edinburgh team rebuilt the thymus – an organ central to the immune system and found in front of the heart – of very old mice by reactivating a natural mechanism that gets shut down with age.
LONDON (Reuters) – The party drug ketamine could one day be used to help some people suffering from severe depression, according to British scientists who gave infusions of the narcotic nicknamed “special K” to patients.
Researchers who tested the drug on 28 people with major depressive disorder found ketamine quickly helped relieve the condition for some – and made a number of them completely well again for up to several weeks.
LONDON (Reuters) – Men who start smoking before the age of 11 risk having sons who are overweight, British researchers have found, adding to evidence that lifestyle factors even in childhood can affect the health of future offspring.
The scientists said the findings, part of ongoing work in a larger “Children of the 90s” study, could indicate that exposure to tobacco smoke before the start of puberty in men may lead to metabolic changes in the next generation.
LONDON (Reuters) – Banning smoking in public places has helped to cut premature births by 10 percent, according to new research from the United States and Europe.
A study in The Lancet medical journal found that while the impact of anti-smoking laws varies between countries, the overall effect on child health around the world is positive.
LONDON, March 27 (Reuters) – Almost 40 years after the Ebola
virus was identified in humans by scientists in a microbiology
laboratory in Belgium, pharmaceutical researchers have yet to
develop an effective drug or vaccine to fight it.
Part of the problem is that the deadly virus is rare and its
victims are often poor people living in rural areas of Africa
without well-functioning health systems. But there is also
little incentive for major pharmaceutical companies to invest in
medical solutions when there is little chance of a return.
LONDON (Reuters) – A large international team of scientists has built the clearest picture yet of how human genes are regulated in the vast array of cell types in the body – work that should help researchers target genes linked to disease.
In two major studies published in the journal Nature, the consortium mapped how a network of switches, built into human DNA, controls where and when genes are turned on and off.
LONDON (Reuters) – Peter Piot was 27, newly qualified and working in a microbiology lab in Antwerp when he received a flask of human blood contaminated with a mysterious pathogen that had been killing people in the forests of Zaire.
If he’d known then what he was to discover – that inside was Ebola, one of the most lethal infectious diseases now known in humans – he would have taken more safety precautions.