Monday, January 31, 2011

Flu and You: Virus widespread in half the states

Half of the states have widespread flu activity, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

From January 16 to 22, flu activity increased and three flu-related deaths were reported in children, according to the CDC. During this flu season, which started in October, there have been 13 confirmed pediatric deaths.

The highest levels of flu-like activities were reported in the South and Southeast, including Alabama, Louisiana, Virginia and North Carolina.


Friday, January 28, 2011

CDC Reports 1 in 6 Get Sick from Foodborne Illnesses Each Year

About 48 million people (1 in 6 Americans) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die each year from foodborne diseases, according new estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The figures are the most accurate to date due to better data and methods used. The data are published Wednesday in two articles in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.

The papers provide the most accurate picture yet of what foodborne pathogens are causing the most illness, as well as estimating the proportion of foodborne illness without a known cause. The reports are the first comprehensive estimates since 1999 and are CDC's first to estimate illnesses caused solely by foods eaten in the United States.

"We've made progress in better understanding the burden of foodborne illness and unfortunately, far too many people continue to get sick from the food they eat," said CDC Director Thomas Frieden, M.D, M.P.H. "These estimates provide valuable information to help CDC and its partners set priorities and further reduce illnesses from food."

Monday, January 24, 2011

Vision: Making Inroads in Macular Degeneration

In 2004, scientists at the National Eye Institute predicted that as the population aged, the rate of macular degeneration, an incurable eye disease with no known cause, would increase substantially. They appear to have been wrong.

An analysis of data from the 2005-8 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey has found that since the previous survey, finished in 1994, the prevalence of the disease has decreased more than 9 percent. The scientists speculate that the change was caused by reductions in smoking and improvements in diet, exercise and blood pressure.

For UHM users only:


PMID: 21220632 [PubMed - in process]

Friday, January 21, 2011

A novel proprietary technology which stabilizes vaccines

Stabilitech has developed a novel proprietary technology which stabilizes vaccines, biopharmaceuticals and other biological products. Currently, to ensure potency, vaccines and biopharmaceuticals require storage and transport under strictly controlled temperatures in a cold chain. Stabilitech’s technology will enable long term stable storage of vaccines and other biological products over a wide range of temperatures. The technology has been successfully applied to live viral vaccines, inactivated viruses and sub-unit vaccines as well as to antibodies, peptides, enzymes, growth factors and other proteins. Stabilitech’s approach involves the addition of carefully selected excipients at optimized concentrations and ratios, followed by freeze drying. The excipients have all been previously used in clinical settings, and are relatively inexpensive and readily available.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Broad Racial Disparities Seen in Americans’ Ills

White people in the United States die of drug overdoses more often than other ethnic groups. Black people are hit proportionately harder by AIDS, strokes and heart disease. And American Indians are more likely to die in car crashes.
To shed more light on the ills of America’s poor — and occasionally its rich — the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday released its first report detailing racial disparities in a broad array of health problems.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Library closed January 15th-17th for the Martin Luther King holiday.

The Medical Education Building including the Health Sciences Library will be closed from Saturday, January 15th through Monday, January 17th, 2010. Monday is the Martin Luther King holiday.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

Cancer Can Develop in Catastrophic Burst

Cancer Can Develop in Catastrophic Burst

New rapid methods of decoding DNA have brought to light a catastrophe that can strike human cells: a whole chromosome may suddenly shatter into pieces.

If the cell survives this disaster, something worse may ensue: the cell becomes cancerous.

The finding marks a striking exception to the current theory of how cancer develops. Cells are thought to become cancerous over many years as they collect, one by one, the mutations required to override the many genetic restraints on a cell’s growth. It now seems that a cell can gain all or most of these cancerous mutations in a single event.

The discovery is reported in the current issue of Cell by a team led by Peter J. Campbell of the Sanger Institute near Cambridge, England.

For UHM use only:
Cell Journal through UH Manoa Gateway:

Massive Genomic Rearrangement Acquired in a Single Catastrophic Event during Cancer Development

Cell, Volume 144, Issue 7, 27-40, 7 January 2011

Friday, January 07, 2011

Wakefield's article linking MMR vaccine and autism was fraudulent.

“Science is at once the most questioning and . . . sceptical of activities and also the most trusting,” said Arnold Relman, former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, in 1989. “It is intensely sceptical about the possibility of error, but totally trusting about the possibility of fraud.”1 Never has this been truer than of the 1998 Lancet paper that implied a link between the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine and a “new syndrome” of autism and bowel disease.
Authored by Andrew Wakefield and 12 others, the paper’s scientific limitations were clear when it appeared in 1998.2 3 As the ensuing vaccine scare took off, critics quickly pointed out that the paper was a small case series with no controls, linked three common conditions, and relied on parental recall and beliefs.4 Over the following decade, epidemiological studies consistently found no evidence of a link between the MMR vaccine and autism.5 6 7 8 By the time the paper was finally retracted 12 years later,9 after forensic dissection at the General Medical Council’s (GMC) longest ever fitness to practise hearing,10 few people could deny that it was fatally flawed both scientifically and ethically. But it has taken the diligent scepticism of one man, standing outside medicine and science, to show that the paper was in fact an elaborate fraud.
  1. Fiona Godlee, editor in chief,
  2. Jane Smith, deputy editor,
  3. Harvey Marcovitch, associate editor

For UHM users only:

PMID: 21209059
BMJ. 2010 Feb 2;340:c696. doi: 10.1136/bmj.c696.

How the case against the MMR vaccine was fixed

PMID: 21209060

BMJ. 2011 Jan 5;342:c7452. doi: 10.1136/bmj.c7452.

Wakefield's article linking MMR vaccine and autism was fraudulent.

Autism Fraud-New York Times Editorial

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Health Fair in the Library Fri, Jan 7th

The JABSOM Health Fair will be held throughout the Medical Education Building, including the Health Sciences Library, from Noon to 3pm on Friday, January 7, 2011. It's free and will include:
  • Eye exams
  • Blood pressure screening
  • Glucose screening
  • Flu shots
  • Yoga demonstration
  • Meditation class
  • Food samples
  • Live music and hula
  • Raffles
  • And more!!
Public computers in the Library will not be available after 10am.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Clostridium Difficile in Kids: The Extent of the Problem

Much has been written about the growing problem of Clostridium difficile, a bacterium that, like antibiotic-resistant staph, is posing a health threat in hospitals. One study found that C. diff is infecting more than 1 in 100 hospital inpatients.

And now there is a clearer picture of how C. diff is specifically affecting kids. Researchers report in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine that infection of hospitalized children by the bacterium increased by about 15% a year between 1997 and 2006.