Press Highlights

Deadly Bacteria Transmitted by Duodenoscopes

Duodenoscopes and endoscopes used in retrograde cholangiopancreatography are causing infections with carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae (CRE) and possibly other bacteria throughout the US. While medical societies and journals scramble to increase awareness of infection risks, medical centers are already taking precautions to avoid further infections. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA),

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How Good Gut Microbes Resist Inflammation

Gut commensal bacteria survive inflammation by making a simple switch to their protective coats, researchers show. When harmful microbes like salmonella infect the gut, the innate immune system produces antimicrobial peptides to kill them. But these pathogenic microbes are often similar to the commensal microbes that live in the gut—it was

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  • Leptin Mutation Causes Early-Onset Extreme Obesity

Leptin Mutation Causes Early-Onset Extreme Obesity

A mutation in the gene encoding the appetite-controlling hormone leptin (LEP) found to cause extreme obesity in a young child, researchers report. Martin Wabitsch et al describe insatiable appetite and early-onset extreme obesity in a 2-year old caused by a homozygous transversion in LEP.  The boy had a high serum

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  • Better Outcomes for Barrett’s Patients

Better Outcomes for Barrett’s Patients

Clinical outcomes of patients undergoing endoscopic therapy for Barrett’s esophagus-related neoplasia have improved significantly over the past 6 years, researchers report from the UK. Barrett’s esophagus-related neoplasia has a risk of progressing to adenocarcinoma of up to 60%. If detected early, the cancer can be treated, most commonly by endoscopy.

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No Government Spending Increase for the NIH

Research budgets at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will remain flat in 2015, according to a spending deal reached by lawmakers in the US Senate and House of Representatives this week. However, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will receive a small boost. On December 9, the House Appropriations Committee

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New Programs Track Off-Label Use of Targeted Cancer Drugs

Two programs are underway to track off-label use of targeted cancer drugs and patient outcomes, as well as facilitate patient access to these agents. According to Nature News, more than 60% of US prescriptions for cancer drugs are for off-label use—often because patients have a tumor with a feature or

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New Ways to Treat HCV Infection After Liver Transplant

New direct-acting agents against hepatitis C virus (HCV) can cure the infection when it recurs in patients with liver transplants. Researchers reported findings from 3 separate studies at the 65th Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases last week in Boston. HCV is the leading

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  • Mini-Stomachs Grown from Stem Cells

Mini-Stomachs Grown from Stem Cells

Three-dimensional human gastric tissues grown from human stem cells provide a new system for studying human stomach development and disease, scientists report. Gastric diseases, such as ulcers and gastric cancer, affect 10% of the world’s population. However, species differences in embryonic development and the architecture of the adult stomach make it

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  • UK Aims to Combat Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria

UK Aims to Combat Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria

The world’s first charity to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria, formed this month in the UK, aims to raise sufficient funds (estimated at £30m) over the next 5 years to bring at least 1 new antibiotic to the market. Antibiotic Research UK (ANTRUK) has assembled a group of scientific experts from 14

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New Insights Into Constipation, NAFLD Prevention, and IBS Treatment

Researchers reported on factors that can prevent nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and reduce symptoms of chronic constipation or diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-D) at the American College of Gastroenterology’s annual meeting last week in Philadelphia. In an oral presentation, Huafen Shen (Nassau University Medical Center) described the association between

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