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SARS And MERS: What’s Next?
It may be difficult to remember now, but when SARS was first recognized in February 2003, people were scared. This heretofore unknown disease was killing people—nearly 10 percent of those infected with what came to be recognized as the SARS-associated coronavirus. Before the end of the year, cases were reported in 29 countries.
“The original source of SARS was undoubtedly bats,” said Julian Leibowitz, MD, PhD, a professor at the Texas A&M College of Medicine, who studies coronaviruses. “It crossed over to humans and then spread person-to-person.”
But almost as quickly as it started, the outbreak was over. There hasn’t been a case of SARS reported since 2004, but is it really gone?
SARS, which stands for severe acute respiratory syndrome, is caused by a type of virus called a betacoronavirus. “Up until the SARS outbreak, the human coronaviruses were associated with only a mild upper re
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Mayo Clinic Researchers Discover Link Between Aging, Devastating Lung Disease
A Mayo Clinic study has shown evidence linking the biology of aging with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a disease that impairs lung function and causes shortness of breath, fatigue, declining quality of life, and, ultimately, death. Researchers believe that these findings, which appear today in Nature Communications, are the next step toward a possible therapy for individuals suffering from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
“Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a poorly understood disease, and its effects are devastating,” says Nathan LeBrasseur, PhD, director, Healthy Aging and Independent Living program, Mayo Clinic Robert and Arlene Kogod Center on Aging and senior author of this study. “Individuals with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis express difficulty completing routine activities. There are currently no effective treatment options, and the disease leads to a dramatic decrease in health sp
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Resveratrol May Be An Effective Intervention For Lung Aging And The Ultimate Development Of Chronic Lung Disease
In a study led by Barbara Driscoll, PhD, of The Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, researchers demonstrate, for the first time that inhaled resveratrol treatments slow aging-related degenerative changes in mouse lung. Lung aging, characterized by airspace enlargement and decreasing lung function, is a significant risk factor for chronic human lung diseases. The study is published online in the journal Thorax.
“We believe that ours is the first study to demonstrate a beneficial effect of lung-directed resveratrol treatments on aging lung function,” said Driscoll.
Resveratrol (RSL), a chemical found in red wine, is an antimicrobial chemical substance produced by plants to protect against infection and stress-related changes. It has previously been shown to support muscle metabolism when delivered orally.
RSL prophylaxis by inhalation was a novel measure taken
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Yeast Found In Babies’ Guts Increases Risk Of Asthma
University of British Columbia microbiologists have found a yeast in the gut of new babies in Ecuador that appears to be a strong predictor that they will develop asthma in childhood. The new research furthers our understanding of the role microscopic organisms play in our overall health.
“Children with this type of yeast called Pichia were much more at risk of asthma,” said Brett Finlay, a microbiologist at UBC. “This is the first time anyone has shown any kind of association between yeast and asthma.”
In previous research, Finlay and his colleagues identified four gut bacteria in Canadian children that, if present in the first 100 days of life, seem to prevent asthma. In a followup to this study, Finlay and his colleagues repeated the experiment using fecal samples and health information from 100 children in a rural village in Ecuador.
Canada and Ecuador both have high rates of asth