• Swine flu kills 60 in Mexico, spreads to U.S.

    Sixty people in Mexico have so far died of swine flu, and the World Health organization says the disease has spread to the United States; disease regularly hits pigs but rarely affects humans

  • New Ebola vaccine protects against lethal infection in animal models

    Ebola virus is the the cause of severe hemorrhagic fever in humans and nonhuman primates; it is transmitted through direct contact of bodily fluids with infected individuals resulting in death up to 90 percent of the time; no licensed vaccines or antivirals are available against EBOV; researchers say new vaccine shows promise

  • Taliban renews opposition to polio vaccination

    Taliban in Pakistan’s northwest territories and Afghanistan renew their campaign against vaccination of children against polio; clerics describe vaccination as “Western plot”; Taliban fighters have attacked vaccination teams in Pakistan’s Swat valley; Islamic clerics in northern Nigeria have embarked on similar campaign

  • Hundreds of patients in Illinois exposed to TB

    A medical residents on hospital rotations unknowingly exposes hundreds of patients to TB; o far, no one has tested positive for the disease

  • U.S. food poisoning cases held steady in 2008

    CDC says in a new report that United States did not suffer more food poisoning last year despite high-profile outbreaks involving peppers, peanut butter, and other foods

  • Smart bandage tells doctors about state of wound healing

    Dutch researchers develop a smart bandage which updates doctors about the wound healing process; bandage made of printed electronic sensors; the researchers’ next goal: add an antenna to transmit information about the patient’s health remotely to the attending physician

  • Digital security companies eye emerging e-health care market

    Gemalto joins SAFE-BioPharma Association; company said it will contribute its expertise in smart card-based solutions for authentication, network security, and digital signature — all essential elements of creating electronic health care business environment by 2012

  • California pistachio growers worry about big losses from FDA recall

    California produces 96 percent of the U.S. pistachios; the entire $540 million-a-year industry is under threat as a result of FDA’s pistachios recall last week

  • Targeting mosquito larvae to control malaria

    Larvicides were used in the early twentieth century, but the successful introduction of the pesticide DDT to kill adult mosquitoes meant that larvicides fell out of favor; new Tanzania study reopens debate on whether we should go back to targeting larvae

  • Predicting population of disease-carrying mosquitoes

    Researchers at University of Adelaide in Australia create a model predicting population peaks of disease-carrying mosquitoes; model will help in developing cost-effective mosquito control policies

  • Disease maps may help turn Zimbabwe's health crisis around

    The government of Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe destroyed the country’s health care system and shut down water treatment facilities; the result has been an uncontrolled cholera outbreak; international aid organizations launch a Web site to help the poor people of Zimbabwe find disease-related information — because their government not only would do nothing to curb the epidemic, it also conceals crucial information from the citizenry

  • Drug industry uneasy with Obama's choice for FDA deputy

    Food, pharmaceutical, and medical device groups said they were happy with Margaret Hamburg, President Obama’s pick to lead the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); these groups are less comfortable with Joshua Sharfstein, the nominee to be her deputy; Sharfstein worked under Henry Waxman (D-California)

  • Dedicated band for medical devices

    Making medical records digital, and transmitting medical information among doctors, pharmacies, and insurance companies, would save a lot of money and avoid many medical mistakes; the same with allowing patients to stay at home and have the medical equipment they rely upon monitored and activated from afar; trouble is, such digital system is susceptible to network congestion and hacking

  • Deadly avian flu virus found in wild duck in Germany

    German authorities discovered the virus in a wild duck shot during a hunt near Starnberg, in Bavaria; this is the first case of a virus found in a wild bird for over a year

  • Innovative pandemic flu vaccine effective against H5N1 in mice

    The current method of growing seasonal influenza vaccines in chicken eggs is slow and inefficient; Emory University scientists have developed an alternative: virus-like particles, empty shells that look like viruses but do not replicate