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Penicillin Redux: Rearming Proven Warriors For The 21st Century

Penicillin, one of the scientific marvels of the 20th century, is currently losing a lot of battles it once won against bacterial infections. But scientists at the University of South Carolina have just reported a new approach to restoring its combat effectiveness, even against so-called “superbugs.”

Bacteria have been chipping away at the power of the penicillin family of drugs since their first wide-scale use as antibiotics in the 1940s. For example, the staph infection, brought about by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus, was once readily treated with penicillin and its molecular cousins.

But that bug has changed. In the 1960s, a new strain arrived, termed MRSA for methicillin- (or sometimes multidrug-) resistant S. aureus. It has become a serious public health problem because the earliest deployed antibiotics are often useless against the new strain, and its prevalence has only increased since it was first observed. MRSA (pronounced mer-suh) is sometimes called a superbug because of the difficulty physicians have in treating infected patients.

Studies Show Lab-Grown Body Parts Working Well

In this photo issued by Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine and taken in April 2014, Yuanyuan Zhang, M.D., Ph.D, assistant professor at the Institute, demonstrates the process to engineer a vaginal organ in a laboratory in Winston Salem, N.C. Scientists report in two separate studies they have made vaginas and part of the nose, providing more evidence that growing organs in the laboratory is possible. Researchers have previously made windpipes, bladders, tear ducts and other organs in the lab. The two latest papers were published online Friday April 11, 2014 in the journal, Lancet. (AP Photo/WFBMC Photography)

Two new studies describe the latest achievements in growing body parts in a lab and transplanting them into people, this time with nostrils and vaginas.

Windpipes, bladders, blood vessels and other structures have previously been created in part from a patient’s own cells and then implanted. Eventually, scientists hope to tackle more complicated things like lungs and kidneys with this strategy, which is aimed at avoiding rejection of transplanted organs.

The latest experiments were published online in the journal Lancet.

First Patient In US To Receive MRI Scan In Clinical Study Of MRI-Compatible Pacemaker

Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center is the first hospital in the nation to conduct an MRI scan of a patient implanted with a new MRI-compatible pacemaker – a breakthrough because metal implants often exclude patients from this imaging because of the strong magnetic force.

PHSSJMCCardiothoracic surgeon Raymond Schaerf, MD, implanted the Accent MRI™ Pacemaker and Tendril MRI™ Lead in Karolyi Fenyvesi, 82, of Burbank, who last week successfully underwent magnetic resonance imaging.

Led by Dr. Schaerf, Providence Saint Joseph in Burbank was part a global clinical study to help determine if a patient can safely and effectively undergo a full-body, high-resolution MRI scan with the Accent MRI system.

Ex-NBA Pro’s Ortho Med Device Invention A Marketplace Slam Dunk

JBIT MedPro device designed to aid in the relief of chronic shoulder, back, hip, knee, joint and sciatica pain.
Source: JB3 Innovations

Rapid sales, market share and corporate growth reported for ‘JBIT MedPro’—a medical device company led by former pro-athlete turned successful CEO, Jonathan Bender; Ex-NBA player’s clinically-proven invention provides relief of chronic shoulder, back, hip, knee, joint and sciatica pain when used alone or as complement to formal medical rehabilitation, physical therapy, and fitness regimens.

JB3 Innovations, a product development company focused on medical rehabilitation, physical therapy, and fitness training solutions that’s spearheaded by former NBA pro turned inventor and entrepreneur Jonathan Bender, today announced the company is realizing extraordinary demand and sales growth for its therapeutic JBIT MedPro device designed to aid in the relief of chronic shoulder, back, hip, knee, joint and sciatica pain. Having launched in December 2013 as an enhanced version of the company’s flagship JB Intensive Trainer device continues to be merchandised nationally in brick-and-mortar “Relax the Back” retail stores among other outlets, the addition of the upgraded JBIT MedPro device has catapulted the company over the past six months, having realized exponential 60% growth, month over month, and established a direct sales pipeline-based forecast of 40% growth through the end of the June.

In another notable new development, the JBIT MedPro also now includes an optional home therapy service, providing even more options for consumers. The company’s newly launched Boost Therapy program avails affordable on-line therapy sessions on the website for people to follow while using their equipment either at home or while traveling. The company is currently releasing three unique physical therapy videos per week that all focus on reducing osteoarthritis, lower back, hip and shoulder pain caused by injury or overexertion.  The entire Boost Therapy program video series features advice and instruction by a licensed doctor of physical therapy.

New Technique Takes Cues From Astronomy And Ophthalmology To Sharpen Microscope Images

Imaging shows a membrane-labeled subset of neurons in the brain of a living zebrafish embryo. This image shows what one would see with adaptive optics (AO) and deconvolution turned on.
Source: Eric Betzig Lab, HHMI Janelia Farm Research Campus

The complexity of biology can befuddle even the most sophisticated light microscopes. Biological samples bend light in unpredictable ways, returning difficult-to-interpret information to the microscope and distorting the resulting image. New imaging technology developed at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute‘s Janelia Farm Research Campus rapidly corrects for these distortions and sharpens high-resolution images over large volumes of tissue.

The approach, a form of adaptive optics, works in tissues that do not scatter light, making it well suited to imaging the transparent bodies of zebrafish and the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans, important model organisms in biological research. Janelia group leader Eric Betzig says his team developed the new technology by combining adaptive optics strategies that astronomers and ophthalmologists use to cancel out similar distortions in their images.

In a report published in the journal Nature Methods, Betzig, postdoctoral fellow Kai Wang, and their colleagues show how the technique brings into focus the fine, branching structures and subcellular organelles of nerve cells deep in the living brain of a zebrafish. These structures remain blurry and indistinct under the same microscope without adaptive optics. “The results are pretty eye-popping,” Betzig says. “This really takes the application of adaptive optics to microscopy to a completely different level.”

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