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Thursday, March 23, 2006


Heartburn Fuels Rise in Esophageal Cancer: Study

New research suggests that chronic heartburn may be fueling a 6-fold
increase in the number of patients with esophageal adenocarcinoma over the
last 20 years. The increase gives new urgency to scientists who are
exploring possible treatments that would both curb severe acid reflux damage
and block the cancer from forming. One such treatment involves the use of a
balloon device snaked inside the esophagus so lasers can burn away Barrett's
tissue, the cancer-prone tissue that forms as a result of chronic acid
As Reported by MSNBC

Petting Zoos Can Spread E. Coli: Report

A study of people who visited Florida petting zoos concluded that the
potentially deadly E. coli bacteria could be transmitted through contact
with animals. Another study conducted in South Carolina found that 28% of
who left the petting zoo did not wash their hands at facets provided by the
zoo. "The major takeaway is to wash your hands after visiting the zoo, wash
your hands before eating after a zoo visit, and inform yourself," said
Daniel Chertow, a Florida Department of Health official.
As Reported by ABC News

New Stab at Allergy Shots

Allergy shots take a long time to work, are expensive, and can be
potentially dangerous for some patients. Thus, a team of researchers at the
University of California-Los Angeles has developed a prototype for an
allergy shot that uses a protein that fuses a cat allergen with an antibody
to shut down histamine-producing mast cells. So far, the protein fused
allergy shot has proven effective in mice.
As Reported by USA Today

Hand Sanitizers: Good or Bad?

Several studies have shown that the use of alcohol-based rubs on hands that
aren't visibly soiled are particularly helpful in curbing the spread of bad
stomach and intestinal bugs. However, a study published this month in
Emerging Infectious Diseases found that at least one brand-- and some
recipes for homemade versions circulating on the Web--contain significantly
less than the 60% minimum alcohol concentration that health officials deem
necessary to kill most harmful bacteria and viruses.
As Reported by The New York Times

Bird Flu Virus Now Has Two Strains

Prior to 2005, every known human case of bird flu had been caused by a
particular subtype of the H5N1 virus. The latest analysis by the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed the identity of a genetically
distinct variant which appears to have emerged last year, infecting people
in Indonesia. Health officials fear that this could increase the risk to
humans and complicate the search for an effective vaccine.

As Reported by BBC News


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