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New Insights On An Ancient Plague Could Improve Treatments For Infections

Dangerous new pathogens such as the Ebola virus invoke scary scenarios of deadly epidemics, but even ancient scourges such as the bubonic plague are still providing researchers with new insights on how the body responds to infections.

d_medicine_horz_rgbIn a study published online in the journal Immunity, researchers at Duke Medicine and Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore detail how the Yersinia pestis bacteria that cause bubonic plague hitchhike on immune cells in the lymph nodes and eventually ride into the lungs and the blood stream, where the infection is easily transmitted to others.

The insight provides a new avenue to develop therapies that block this host immune function rather than target the pathogens themselves – a tactic that often leads to antibiotic resistance.

Scientists Discover “Dimmer Switch” For Mood Disorders

Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified a control mechanism for an area of the brain that processes sensory and emotive information that humans experience as “disappointment.”

UCSDhealth_logoThe discovery of what may effectively be a neurochemical antidote for feeling let-down is reported the online edition of Science.

“The idea that some people see the world as a glass half empty has a chemical basis in the brain,” said senior author Roberto Malinow, MD, PhD, professor in the Department of Neurosciences and neurobiology section of the Division of Biological Sciences. “What we have found is a process that may dampen the brain’s sensitivity to negative life events.”

Ladies: Don’t Slack On Your Preventative Health Care, Says USciences Prof

As young women across the United States adapt to their busy college lifestyles, physician assistant studies professor Joan Ward, MS, PA-C, at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, urges them to stay on top of their preventative health screenings.

USciences_logo“Many students assume their young age makes them invincible to diseases and conditions, like cancer,” said Ward, chair of the Department of Physician Studies at USciences. “By staying proactive with your health, you’re more likely to avoid illness and maintain a healthier and enjoyable lifestyle for many years to come.”

An Update On Bacterial Meningitis And Other Important Vaccine News

With school underway and flu season not far behind, vaccinations are on people’s minds again, or at least they should be – according to experts such as George DiFerdinando Jr. who keep track of how disease spreads and the best ways to prevent it.

DiFerdinando is an adjunct professor of epidemiology at Rutgers School of Public Health, as well as a former deputy New Jersey health commissioner and member of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Epidemiology Intelligence Service.

Rutgers Today asked DiFerdinando what people need to know this fall about several dangerous diseases and the vaccines designed to prevent them.

Responsible Use Of X-Rays In Dentistry For Children Is Aim Of New Education And Awareness Initiative

Children need smaller portions – this is true when it comes to eating meals, and when addressing topics such as imaging. It is under this premise that the profession of dentistry is joining the Image Gently campaign to raise awareness about special considerations needed for pediatric dental radiology, and to promote radiation safety.

University-of-Louisville-logoWilliam C. Scarfe, BDS, FRACDS, MS, professor and director, Radiology and Imaging Science, Department of Surgical and Hospital Dentistry, University of Louisville School of Dentistry, along with an international team of dental and medical radiologists and dental specialists discuss the implications of the campaign in an article published in Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology and Oral Radiology

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