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British Veterinary AssociationGuide To Partnerships In Veterinary Practice, UK
Continuing efforts to help its members form lasting and profitable partnerships and pre-empt disputes in veterinary practice, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) has revised its "Guide to partnerships in veterinary practice". It will be of particular interest to vets buying into a partnership for the first time and will also be helpful to partners revising their existing agreement.

Researchers Suggest That Oxidative Stress Is Strongly Evident In The In-Utero Environment Of The Fetus With Down Syndrome
A paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Tufts Medical Center and Tufts University researchers reports that amniotic fluid surrounding Down syndrome fetuses shows oxidative stress, a condition that could harm fetal cells and play a role in affected individuals. The results demonstrate secondary adverse consequences of Down syndrome and suggest potential prenatal therapies.
News of the day
Minimal Important Differences In Melanoma-Related Quality Of Life
Quantitative assessments of patient quality of life are becoming increasingly important in the context of clinical trials. In addition to establishing benchmark score differences that are useful when interpreting study results, Minimal Important Differences (MIDs) inform discussions of clinically meaningful change in patient status.

Medical Devices

Medtronic Microdebrider Turbinoplasty Is A Significantly More Effective, Long-Term Treatment Than Coblation® Radiofrequency For Nasal Obstruction

Medtronic (NYSE: MDT) announced that results of a study published in the February issue of the Laryngoscope were favorable toward the use of Medtronic"s Straightshot® M4 Microdebrider for powered inferior turbinoplasty. Written by Liu et al from Taipei Medical University, "Microdebrider-Assisted Versus Radiofrequency-Assisted Turbinoplasty," states that patients treated with Medtronic"s microdebrider experienced significantly better long-term outcomes than those who received treatment with a Coblation® radiofrequency device in what is the first three-year study directly comparing long-term efficacy of the two techniques.1

Junior Doctors Across The NHS On Course To Meet New Working Time Target, UK

The overwhelming majority of all junior doctor rotas will be compliant with the requirements of the European Working Time Directive (EWTD) by 1st August 2009, Health Secretary Andy Burnham announced today.

Minimal Important Differences In Melanoma-Related Quality Of Life

Quantitative assessments of patient quality of life are becoming increasingly important in the context of clinical trials. In addition to establishing benchmark score differences that are useful when interpreting study results, Minimal Important Differences (MIDs) inform discussions of clinically meaningful change in patient status.

Michigan Lawmakers Introduce Bills Package To Expand Access To Health Care To State\'s Uninsured

Michigan lawmakers introduced health reform packages this week, the Detroit News reports. On Thursday, state senators introduced a bipartisan package of health care bills aimed at expanding health insurance coverage to the state"s 1.2 million uninsured residents. The package, named MI Health, would establish two state health plans that provide the residents with more affordable and accessible coverage options.MI Access would expand the state Medicaid program to include residents with annual incomes under 200% of the federal poverty level, and beneficiaries would contribute copayments for services and medications. MI Coverage would provide subsidized coverage options for residents with annual incomes at 200% to 300% of the poverty level. Fees for residents under MI Coverage would be set according to their health levels and habits (Bouffard, Detroit News, 5/14). The proposed legislation package also would create a state fund that pays for insurance claims exceeding $25,000, or up to $250,000 per year, with health plans making contributions to the fund. In addition, the package proposes to bar commercial insurers from rejecting coverage for applicants with chronic conditions or increasing their premiums if they have been previously diagnosed with a chronic condition (Anstett, Detroit Free Press, 5/15).

Bronx Campaign Boosts HIV Testing; Fauci Issues Statement Regarding National Testing Day

A three-year initiative launched last year by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to test every adult in the Bronx for HIV has boosted testing by 28 percent, according to city health officials, the New York Times" blog "City Room" reports. The "Bronx Knows" campaign began with an effort to make voluntary HIV testing routine in emergency departments and clinics, where city officials said, "cumbersome consent procedures required by state law have deterred doctors from offering the tests," according to "City Room" (Chan, "City Room," New York Times, 6/24). The initiative - which involves clinics, hospitals and community organizations - tested nearly 160,000 Bronx residents in the past 12 months (United Press International, 6/24). The city also is participating in National HIV Testing Day on Saturday ("City Room," New York Times, 6/24).

AdvanDx Receives FDA 510(k) Clearance For GBS PNA FISH(R) For Rapid Detection Of Group B Strep From Lim Broths

AdvanDx announced it received FDA 510(k) clearance for GBS PNA FISH® for detection of Streptococcus agalactiae, aka Group B Strep, from turbid Lim Broths inoculated with vaginal and rectal swabs obtained from pregnant women between 35 and 37 weeks gestation. The 90 minute molecular diagnostic test enables rapid and highly sensitive detection of Group B Strep from Lim Broths to help detect colonization in pregnant women.

European Medicines Agency Recommends First Marketing Authorisation For Cell-Based Medicine That Repairs Femoral Condyle Cartilage Defects

The European Medicines Agency has recommended the first marketing

Is P90RSK A New Therapeutic Target For Liver Fibrosis?

Cirrhosis is a world wide, bad prognosis liver disease and characterized by excessive collagen deposition and liver function damage. In our previous work, p90RSK is observed significantly up-regulated in association with elevated collagen type I levels in rat liver fibrosis. But detail mechanism of this phenomenon is still unknown.

Denver Post Examines Efforts To Establish Needle-Exchange Programs In Colorado

The Denver Post on Friday examined efforts to establish needle-exchange programs in Colorado to reduce the risk of HIV and hepatitis C among injection drug users. According to the Post, 185 cities in Colorado have needle-exchange programs, but legislation that would have legalized needle exchanges statewide did not advance in the Legislature this year. "The issue is more complex than it perhaps first appears," Evan Dreyer, a spokesperson for Gov. Bill Ritter (D), said, adding that "law enforcement and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment both expressed serious reservations" about a proposal that would have legalized needle-exchanges statewide. A coalition of public health officials, treatment providers and advocates are increasing efforts to establish a needle-exchange program in Denver, the Post reports. The Denver Drug Strategy Commission in February recommended that Mayor John Hickenlooper consider a pilot needle-exchange program, DDSC Director Karla Maraccini said. The commission is looking at different programs to develop a model following Hickenlooper"s request for additional research. However, Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey has concerns that a local needle-exchange program would violate state law, according to Morrissey"s spokesperson Lynn Kimbrough. Eric Brown, a spokesperson for Hickenlooper, added, "Anything in contradiction to city or state law would have to be carefully considered." Proponents of needle-exchange programs say they prevent HIV and hepatitis C, but opponents say they condone injection drug use. Mark Thrun, director of HIV prevention for Denver Public Health, said, adding that needle-exchange programs prevent IDUs from "getting these chronic, potentially fatal diseases" and give public health workers "an opportunity to link them into treatment; and it lessens the economic burden on the already overburdened health care system." Thrun noted that several studies have found that needle-exchange programs do not encourage or prolong injection drug use and make IDUs more likely to seek treatment. In addition, a 2005 CDC study found that 86% of exchange programs make treatment referrals and that more than 80% offer counseling and testing for HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C.Nancy Steinfurth, executive director of the Hep C Connection, noted that an estimated 10% of HIV cases and 70% of hepatitis C cases are transmitted through needles (Auge, Denver Post, 5/15).

Partner Issues Significantly Influence Women\'s Sexual Activity In Later Years, UCSF Study Shows

As a woman gets older, physical problems are less likely to influence whether she is sexually active than her partner"s health or interest in sex, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco and Kaiser Permanente.

Cimzia(R), The Only PEGylated Anti-TNF, Recommended For Approval In The EU For Rheumatoid Arthritis

UCB announced that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) has issued a positive opinion recommending that the European Commission grants a marketing authorisation for Cimzia® (certolizumab pegol), in combination with methotrexate (MTX), for the treatment of moderate to severe active rheumatoid arthritis in adult patients when the response to disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) including MTX, has been inadequate. In these patients, Cimzia® can be given as monotherapy in case of intolerance to MTX or when continued treatment with MTX is inappropriate. Cimzia® has been shown to reduce the rate of progression of joint damage as measured by X-ray and to improve physical function, when given in combination with MTX.

Novel Handheld Device Detects Anthrax With Outstanding Accuracy And Reliability

Veritide Ltd., a developer of innovative biological identification and detection solutions, today reported that new independent data to be presented at the Biodetection Technologies 2009 conference confirm the exceptional accuracy of its Ceeker™ (pronounced "seeker") portable bacterial detection device in discriminating between anthrax spores and similar-looking hoax substances. The data show that in over two weeks of testing at the Midwest Research Institute in Florida, the company"s Ceeker scanner accurately identified 100% of the anthrax samples used and was correct in 95% of tests involving hoax substances. These test results are consistent with similar results produced last year by a New Zealand forensic testing agency, Environmental Science and Research (ESR).

Good Males Are Bad Fathers

Contrary to predictions, males of high genetic quality are not very successful when it comes to fertilizing eggs. A new study on seed beetles by Swedish and Danish scientists Goran Arnqvist and Trine Bilde shows that when a female mates with several males, the males of low genetic quality are the most successful in fertilizing eggs. The study is published in this week"s issue of Science.

Yerkes Researchers Identify Parallel Mechanism Monkeys And Humans Use To Recognize Faces

Researchers at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, have demonstrated for the first time rhesus monkeys and humans share a specific perceptual mechanism, configural perception, for discriminating among the numerous faces they encounter daily. The study, reported in the June 25 online issue of Current Biology, provides insight into the evolution of the critical human social skill of facial recognition, which enables us to form relationships and interact appropriately with others.

Stem Cell Surprise For Tissue Regeneration

Scientists working at the Carnegie Institution"s Department of Embryology, with colleagues, have overturned previous research that identified critical genes for making muscle stem cells. It turns out that the genes that make muscle stem cells in the embryo are surprisingly not needed in adult muscle stem cells to regenerate muscles after injury. The finding challenges the current course of research into muscular dystrophy, muscle injury, and regenerative medicine, which uses stem cells for healing tissues, and it favours using age-matched stem cells for therapy. The study is published in the June 25 advance on-line edition of Nature.

New Snapshots Show States Vary Widely In Providing Quality Health Care, USA

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality"s annual release of state-by-state quality data continues to give states mixed reviews for the quality of care they provide. As in previous years, AHRQ"s 2008 State Snapshots show that no state does well or poorly on all quality measures.

NMC Statement Re Gosport War Memorial Hospital

The Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) is extremely concerned about the length of time that it is taking to resolve the issues for the families of former patients at Gosport War Memorial Hospital.

Eight Miami-Area Residents Charged In $22 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme Involving Home Health Care Agencies

Eight Miami-Dade County, Fla., residents have been indicted in connection with an alleged $22 million Medicare fraud scheme operated out of Miami businesses purporting to specialize in home health care services, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Jeffrey H. Sloman of the Southern District of Florida, and Daniel R. Levinson, Inspector General of the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). A temporary restraining order freezing assets of the indicted defendants and their companies was also filed.

New Health Snapshots Show States Vary Widely In Providing Quality Health Care

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality"s annual release of state-by-state quality data continues to give states mixed reviews for the quality of care they provide. As in previous years, AHRQ"s 2008 State Snapshots show that no state does well or poorly on all quality measures.

Total Confirmed Human Swine Flu Cases Jumps To 4,250 In The UK

An additional 535 confirmed human cases of Swine Flu A(H1N1) cases have been confirmed in the England, plus 111 in Scotland, 5 in Northern Ireland, and 3 in Wales, bringing the UK total so far since April 2009 to 4,250, says the Health Protection Agency (HPA). The HPA informs that the infection can be effectively treated with antiviral medication. The majority of UK cases have been mild, the agency says, and people have recovered fully after treatment.

Pope, Obama To Hold Meeting After G-8 Summit

Pope Benedict XVI has agreed to meet with President Obama at the Vatican on July 10, according to White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs, the AP/Boston Globe reports. The Rev. Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesperson, on Wednesday said that the pope will hold an afternoon meeting with the president and first lady Michelle Obama after the conclusion of the Group of Eight industrialized nations summit meeting, a break with a Vatican tradition of holding midday meetings. The AP/Globe reports that the Vatican "clearly sought to accommodate" the president"s schedule, an indication that Benedict is interested in meeting with Obama despite his support for abortion rights and embryonic stem cell research.Some U.S. bishops have publicly attacked Obama"s support of abortion rights and embryonic stem cell research, which has fueled anticipation of a meeting between the president and the pope. Most recently, dozens of bishops denounced the University of Notre Dame"s decision to invite Obama to deliver its commencement address and receive an honorary degree. However, L"Osservatore Romano, the Vatican"s daily newspaper, said that Obama"s speech showed that he is looking for common ground on issues related to abortion. Obama also received a positive review from the newspaper after his first 100 days in office. An editorial in the paper said that Obama had not confirmed the "radical" direction on ethical questions he had discussed as a candidate (Simpson, AP/Boston Globe, 6/24).

California Rulings: State Can Cut Medi-Cal Benefits But Not Home Care Wages

"A federal judge on Thursday blocked a $2 hourly wage cut for California in-home care workers that was slated to begin July 1, potentially increasing California"s budget deficit by another $98 million," The Sacramento Bee reports. In an oral injunction, the judge ordered the state "to continue paying up to $12.10 in wages and benefits to In-Home Supportive Services workers, according to parties on both sides of the suit. As part of the February budget deal, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Legislature approved a cut to $10.10 per hour - $9.50 in wages and 60 cents in benefits." The lawsuit was filed by The Service Employees International Union, which represents IHSS workers. "IHSS advocates say the system saves the state money because recipients would otherwise use more costly care provided by nursing facilities. But the Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes this year also found that the IHSS program lacks sufficient oversight and suffers from fraud and abuse" (Yamamura, 6/26).

VOA News Examines Malaria In Southern Sudan

VOA News examines malaria in southern Sudan. In the region, malaria is "widespread" and accounts for "up to 30 percent of all diseases treated by health facilities." It is the "number one killer of children in southern Sudan," though there are "no reliable statistics on the number in southern Sudan who suffer, or die from, malaria," VOA News reports.

Columnists Discuss HIV Statistics, National Testing Day

"It"s getting harder to convince people of the urgency, that knowing your HIV status is better than not knowing, that this is still a serious problem," columnist Wendi Thomas writes in the Memphis Commercial Appeal. She writes that some people "assume being HIV positive is no big deal" because former National Basketball Association player Earvin "Magic" Johnson has lived with HIV since 1991 and appears to be healthy. "But if you are HIV positive and delay finding out, the virus could progress" to a point where it becomes "much more difficult to treat," Thomas adds (Thomas, Memphis Commercial Appeal, 6/25). Philadelphia Inquirer columnist George Curry today discussed HIV statistics and findings from a recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey that looked at U.S. residents" views on HIV/AIDS. He said, "It"s time to refocus our attention on HIV and AIDS. And a good way to do that is by getting tested tomorrow" on National HIV Testing Day (Curry, Philadelphia Inquirer, 6/26).

Proportion Of Fatal Crashes Increases

An emergency rule intended to reduce the number of deaths and injuries associated with Hawaiian air tours was followed by a 47 percent reduction in sightseeing crashes, according to a new study by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health"s Center for Injury Research and Policy.

New Study Shows Similar Benefits, No Additional Risks For Seniors Who Have Gastric Bypass

Morbidly obese seniors, age 65 and over, who had laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery lost nearly 76 percent of their excess weight after two years and had low complication rates and short hospital stays comparable to younger surgical patients, according to a new study presented today at the 26th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).

American Public Health Association Applauds House Passage Of Climate Change Bill

The American Public Health Association (APHA) applauds the House for today passing a comprehensive climate change bill that includes important provisions to protect the health of the public.

Plan To Reduce Red Tape Will Benefit Patients, Australia

Draft proposals by the Productivity Commission designed to reduce the red tape burden on medical practices will benefit patients, the AMA said today.

First International Conference On Cancer Of Unknown Primary To Be Held London October 15

When a patient is diagnosed with metastatic disease the primary site of the cancer is usually, but not always, evident. When the origin of the cancer is not identified it is described as a Cancer of Unknown Primary site, or CUP.

DOD, VA, Congress Should Take Stronger Steps Toward Eliminating Tobacco Use In Military Populations, VA Medical Centers

Because tobacco use impairs military readiness, harms the health of soldiers and veterans, and imposes a substantial financial burden on the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, these agencies should implement a comprehensive strategy to achieve the Defense Department"s stated goal of a tobacco-free military, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine. DOD should gradually phase in a ban on tobacco use in the military, starting at military academies and officer training programs and among new recruits, the report says. DOD should also stop selling tobacco products in Army and Air Force commissaries -- Navy and Marine Corps commissaries already do not sell them -- and should stop selling them at a discount in military exchanges and other stores. In addition, Congress should allow VA to establish tobacco-free medical centers.

Microproteinuria: Indicator To Monitor CNI-Related Nephrotoxicity In Liver Transplant Recipients?

Deterioration of renal function with CNI therapy has been widely reported in liver transplant recipients. Microproteinuria has been used to monitor the early changes of nephropathy in renal disease or cardiovascular events. However, whether microproteinuria could be used as an early and sensitive indicator to monitor CNI-related nephrotoxicity in liver transplant recipients has not been unequivocally addressed.

Changing Paradigms In Hereditary Angioedema: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis And Treatment

Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is an autosomal dominant disease affecting between 4,000 and 10,000 people in the United States. HAE causes recurrent attacks of intense localized edema involving the skin, airway, and visceral organs. While chronic therapy with attenuated androgens or plasmin inhibitors has been the mainstay of HAE therapy, many new therapies for prophylaxis and acute treatment are on the horizon. It is important for physicians to understand the diagnostic strategies in HAE as well as the conventional and emerging therapeutic options available for HAE prophylaxis and acute attacks.

AlphaRx And Gaia BioPharma Report Positive Efficacy Results In A Pre-Clinical Trial Of GAI-122 Injectable Nano-emulsion For Post-operative Delirium

AlphaRx Inc. (OTCBB: ALRX) and Gaia BioPharma Limited reported positive pre-clinical results on GAI-122 injectable nanoemulsion in multiple in vitro and in vivo studies of memory impairment after prolonged anesthesia.

Four Out Of 106 Heart Replacement Valves From Pig Hearts Failed

Pig heart valves used to replace defective aortic valves in human patients failed much earlier and more often than expected, says a report from cardiac surgeons at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. This is the first report to demonstrate this potential problem, the researchers say.

Medicare Part D Healthy For Enrollees

Medicare beneficiaries" activities of daily living (ADL) improved in their first year of the Medicare Part D senior prescription drug plan, according to a ground-breaking study presented at the Annual AcademyHealth meetings in Chicago today.

Triathletes\' Sperm Being Damaged By High Levels Of Cycling Training

The high-intensity training undertaken by triathletes has a significant impact on the quality of their sperm, the 25th annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology heard 29 June. Professor Diana Vaamonde, from the University of Cordoba Medical School, Cordoba, Spain, said that the triathletes who did the most cycling training had the worst sperm morphology.

Embryo Movement Stimulates Joint Formation

A new study uncovers a molecular mechanism that explains why joints fail to develop in embryos with paralyzed limbs. The research, published by Cell Press in the May issue of the journal Developmental Cell, answers a longstanding question about the influence of muscle activity on developing joints and underscores the critical contribution of movement to regulation of a signaling pathway that is important during development and beyond.

Newsweek, Boston Globe Examine Ways To Combat Mosquito-Borne Illness

Newsweek Examines Efforts To Stop Disease Spread By Genetically Modifing Mosquitoes

HIV Testing Can Save Thousands Of Lives, CDC Official Says

"Although HIV/AIDS continues to pose a serious threat to the nation"s health, HIV testing is a powerful weapon against the disease," Kevin Fenton, director of CDC"s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, writes in a CNN.com opinion piece. Fenton writes that every 9 1/2 minutes someone in the U.S. becomes infected with HIV. "That"s 56,000 people every year," Fenton writes, adding, "But there"s something we can all do to help protect ourselves and our partners from this disease - get tested for HIV." He continues, "By increasing the number of people who know their HIV status, we can decrease the number of new HIV infections, and help save thousands of lives" (Fenton, CNN.com, 6/26).

European Society Of Cardiology Congress 2009: 29 August To 2 September, 2009

The latest news on procedures, drugs and equipment in the field of cardiology will be presented at the European Society of Cardiology congress which will take place in Barcelona, from 29 August to 2 September.

Eat Right, Stay Bright This Winter

"Beware the winter" warn dietitians as research shows more Australians turn to comfort foods at this time of

News From The American Chemical Society, June 24, 2009

Potential new drugs: 970 million and still counting

RCP\'s Response To Lord Darzi\'s Report, High Quality Care For All, Our Journey So Far.

Responding to the publication of High Quality Care for All, Our journey so far, Professor Ian Gilmore, President of the Royal College of Physicians, said

Science Magazine Spotlights 20 Years Of CF Research

An article in Science magazine this month highlights several promising new CF therapies, including VX-770 and VX-809 developed by Vertex Pharmaceuticals, as part of a look back at key moments in CF research since the discovery of the CF gene 20 years ago.

An Official End To WorkChoices - ANF Celebrates

The Australian Nursing Federation joined other unions in celebrating the end of WorkChoices.

Applied Infectious Disease Epidemiology Conference, Stockholm, Stockholm, October 26-28, 2009

"Epidemiology is always important and topical, though sometimes unsung," says Professor Johan Giesecke, Chief Scientist at ECDC, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, "but the third applied Infectious Disease Epidemiology Conference in Stockholm in October this year will be an opportunity to put Epidemiology and infectious disease prevention and control into the spotlight; delegates will have the opportunity to discuss and share information on current and emerging infectious diseases, including influenza A (H1N1)v. The call for abstracts closes on July 3rd so there is no time to lose."

Chalenges Faced By HIV Patients Living Longer Lives Due To New Therapies

New HIV therapies have prolonged lives and improved health for patients with HIV, but the treatments have also brought the longer-term effects of the disease into sharper focus.

BMA Scotland Chairman Urges MSPs Not To Play Politics With Public Health

Speaking at the Annual Conference of the British Medical Association (BMA), Dr Peter Terry, chairman of the BMA Scotland urged MSPs to put party politics aside and stand together to improve health. He also underlined the need for legislation on the price of alcohol as an effective measure to tackle Scotland"s drink problem.

XCounter Announces Positive Results Following Independent Clinical Evaluation Of XC Mammo -3T Prototype

XCounter AB (publ) (AIM:XCT), a technology leader in the development of tomosynthesis-based 3D medical imaging, announced positive initial results from the first clinical evaluation of its innovative breast screening device XC Mammo - 3T. The device is the world"s first dedicated 3D digital mammography system for the detection of breast cancer, the most common form of cancer found in women.

Researchers Say Stress In The Womb Can Last A Lifetime

Visitors can see how their stress levels could affect the heart rate of their unborn baby and find out why pregnant women should reduce their anxiety, at a new exhibit at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition, which opens today (30 June 2009).

Doctors Concerned That NHS Will Fail To Achieve New Hours Limit, Scotland

Doctors have warned that the NHS is not prepared for the introduction of the European Working Time Directive (EWTD) limit on working hours in August this year. Although figures published today show that 99.8% of doctors in training do not exceed the maximum average of 56 contracted hours per week, data from the end of May showed that 38% of posts were still not compliant with the 48 hour working week. In light of these figures, BMA Scotland is concerned that, with just over one month to go, the implementation of a 48 hour week will see a massive rise in the number of junior doctors working in non-compliant posts.

70% Of Brits Do Not Practice \'Safe Sun\'

With the heat wave hitting all corners of the UK this week, millions of adults will be flocking to the seaside in search of sun, sea, sand and a much needed snooze. Unfortunately many are likely to end up needing medical treatment for severe burning, prickly heat or heatstroke. As seven out of ten Brits will not be practicing "safe sun" and will foolhardily be going without wearing any sun cream.

Sutent Significantly Improved Progression-Free Survival For Patients With Advanced Pancreatic Islet Cell Tumours

Pfizer announced preliminary results

New Data Supports Significant Economic And Clinical Value Of MENOPUR(R) In IVF

New data from an economic analysis presented today at this year"s European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) congress showed that, within the parameters of the simulation model used, the in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment MENOPUR (highly-purified human menopausal gonatropin or HP-hMG) offered considerable cost-savings over recombinant follicle stimulating hormone (rFSH).1 The cost-effectiveness of HP-hMG compared with rFSH suggested by this data could make it a more attractive choice for use in infertility treatment within a fixed healthcare budget.

First Human Receives Cardiac Stem Cells In Clinical Trial To Heal Damage Caused By Heart Attacks

Doctors at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute announced today the completion of the first procedure in which a patient"s own heart tissue was used to grow specialized heart stem cells that were then injected back into the patient"s heart in an effort to repair and re-grow healthy muscle in a heart that had been injured by a heart attack. The minimally-invasive procedure was completed on the first patient on Friday, June 26.

New Measures To Promote Quality In Darzi\'s One Year On Progress Report, UK

Plans to scrap some centrally driven targets and proposals for giving doctors and nurses control of their budgets were announced by Health Minister Lord Darzi today.

Laughter - The Best Medicine? Spain Hosts The Most Renowned International Symposium On Sense Of Humor And Its Applications

Spain hosts this week, for the first time in history, this event, the most renowned international symposium on humour and laughter, where scientists and experts from four continents will discuss the latest advances and research of this field of study. The ninth occasion of the "International Summer School and Symposium on Humour and Laughter: Theory, Research and Applications" is being hosted by the University of Granada, and they will analyse the relationship between sense of humour and different fields such as anthropology, sociology, medicine or philosophy.

Bio-Matrix Scientific Group Targets Hospitals Needing Cord Blood Storage

Bio-Matrix Scientific Group, Inc. (OTCBB:BMSN), a San Diego-based biotechnology company, announced today the launch of a national marketing program aimed at hospitals in need of storing umbilical cord blood specimens for future transplantation. The firm"s state-of-the-art 15,000 square foot cryogenic banking and processing facility serves a niche in the "storage" of adult stem cells from umbilical cord blood of patient donors" specimens.

SCOTUS Ruling Reversing Decision From Sotomayor\'s Court Not Expected To Affect Nomination

The Supreme Court"s 5-4 reversal of a decision endorsed by a three-judge appellate panel that included Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor is attracting criticism from the judge"s conservative opponents but is not expected to have a significant effect on delaying her confirmation, the Washington Post reports. The appellate panel in 2008 upheld New Haven, Conn."s decision to discard a promotion test for firefighters after no blacks and only two Hispanics qualified for advancement after taking the test (Markon/Kane, Washington Post, 6/30). The panel"s ruling affirmed a lower court"s decision that the city had a right to discard the test based on a segment of civil rights law involving actions that have a "disparate impact" on minorities. A group of white and Hispanic firefighters who would have received promotions under the test sued, alleging reverse discrimination. Democrats and legal analysts said that Sotomayor was following legal precedent in the 2008 ruling and that it was the Supreme Court, which has the ability to exercise more discretion, that chose to make law by reversing the decision (Friedman, CongressDaily, 6/29). The Supreme Court typically reverses about 75% of the cases it reviews, according to legal experts. The court previously has reversed four of Sotomayor"s rulings and upheld three of her decisions, the Post reports. Tom Goldstein, a lawyer and founder of the SCOTUSblog Web site, said, "I don"t think it will persuade anybody who is inclined one way or another to change their views about Sotomayor" (Washington Post, 6/30). Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said, "The main charge against Sotomayor is that she will be an activist judge, but this decision clearly shows that she won"t." He said that the results of the case "won"t change things a wit," adding that "in fact, it bolsters (the claim) that she is mainstream" (CongressDaily, 6/29). Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said the New Haven case "sharpens our focus on [Sotomayor"s] troubling speeches and writings" that "indicate ... that personal experiences and political views should influence a judge"s decisions." He added that the issue "will clearly be the subject of questioning" at Sotomayor"s confirmation hearing, which is scheduled to begin on Monday (Phillips, "The Caucus," New York Times, 6/29).

CytRx Reports Favorable Progress Update For Its Pivotal Phase 2 Trial With Tamibarotene As A Third-Line Treatment For Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia

CytRx Corporation (NASDAQ: CYTR), a biopharmaceutical research and development company engaged in the development of high-value human therapeutics, provided a favorable progress update for its ongoing Phase 2 STAR-1 registration clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of orally administered tamibarotene as a third-line treatment for acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL).

UK Dementia Research Funding Must Triple, Say Experts

The UK"s leading dementia charities united with eminent scientists to urge the government to commit to a national dementia research strategy and triple annual investment to чЈ96 million in five years.

Group Wants Legislators\' Pledge To Read Entire Health Care Bill

A conservative group wants every lawmaker to pledge to read the entire bill for comprehensive health reform before voting.

Five Communities Selected For Alabama Physical Activity And Nutrition Grant

Five Alabama communities have been selected to receive grants of $3,000 each to stimulate

Karen Burgin, CNM, MA, Named To American College Of Nurse-Midwives Fellowship

Karen Black Burgin, CNM, MA, of Montclair, New Jersey was inducted into the Fellowship of the American College of Nurse-Midwives (FACNM) at the ACNM"s 54th Annual Meeting in Seattle this past spring.

RCN Responds To Publication Of Lord Darzi\'s Progress Report

Responding to the publication of Lord Darzi"s report, High Quality Care for All: Our Journey So Far, Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive & General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), said:

Marco Pierre White Supports Global Call To Action To Reduce Dietary Salt Intake And Improve Heart Health On World Hypertension Day

Internationally acclaimed Michelin-starred chef Marco Pierre White is supporting a global campaign launched today by the World Hypertension League to encourage more people to adopt a healthy, low salt diet to tackle the problem of high blood pressure. High blood pressure affects over 1.5 billion people around the world1. Excess salt raises blood pressure2, which is the number one risk factor for cardiovascular disease, the number one cause of death worldwide3.

AVMA Applauds U.S. House Of Representatives For Introducing Veterinary Public Health Legislation

The nation"s largest veterinary association applauded four members of the U.S. House of Representatives for introducing legislation that confronts public health threats by investing in the public health veterinary workforce

BVA Asks Defra To Abandon Separation Of Animal Health From Animal Welfare

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has called on Defra to abandon its plans for a new animal health body that will give responsibility for animal health to an independent board and leave responsibility for animal welfare with ministers.

Top Hospitals For Women\'s Health/Maternity Care Have Lower Mortality/Morbidity: HealthGrades Study

Wide gaps in quality outcomes for women persist, not only when compared to men, but among hospitals and states, according to a new study released by HealthGrades, the leading independent healthcare ratings organization. The Sixth Annual HealthGrades Women"s Health in American Hospitals study identifies patient outcomes for maternity care and inhospital treatment of 16 procedures/diagnoses concerning women"s health. Ratings for individual hospitals have been posted at www.healthgrades.com.

Forest Biotechnology Obstructed By Anti-Biotech Groups

The potential of forest biotechnology to help address significant social and environmental issues is being "strangled at birth" by the rigid opposition of some groups and regulations that effectively preclude even the testing of genetically modified trees, scientists argue in a new report.

Innovative Technology Shatters The Barriers Of Modern Light Microscopy

Researchers at the Helmholtz Zentrum MГшnchen and the Technische UniversitГ¤t MГшnchen are using a combination of light and ultrasound to visualize fluorescent proteins that are seated several centimeters deep into living tissue. In the past, even modern technologies have failed to produce high-resolution fluorescence images from this depth because of the strong scattering of light. In the Nature Photonics journal, the Munich researchers describe how they can reveal genetic expression within live fly larvae and fish by "listening to light". In the future this technology may facilitate the examination of tumors or coronary vessels in humans.

Examining The Risk Of Tuberculosis From Arthritis Medication

Treatment with anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) agents is recognized as a risk factor for tuberculosis (TB) in patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn"s disease, psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis. Most TB cases develop as a result of reactivation of a latent TB infection, and health authorities worldwide recommend screening for latent TB and treating patients before initiating anti-TNF treatment. A new study examined cases of TB associated with anti-TNF therapy and found that the risk of TB is higher for patients receiving anti-TNF monoclonal antibody therapy (infliximab or adalimumab) than for those receiving soluble TNF receptor therapy (etanercept). The study is published in the July issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

MPs Debate \'Blatant Discrimination\' Of Oyxgen Users, UK

Yesterday MPs debated the discrimination that people with a lung condition can experience when they travel on planes. People with lung conditions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Pulmonary Hypertension often require additional supplementary oxygen due to the low levels of oxygen in their blood. However, due to the policies set by airline companies, it is both expensive and difficult for people who need supplementary oxygen to plan and use air travel.

BMA Reaffirms Opposition To Assisted Suicide, UK

Doctors have reaffirmed their opposition to assisted suicide following a debate at the BMA"s Annual Conference in Liverpool yesterday. Doctors rejected calls from Thameside doctor, Kailash Chand to change legislation to allow the choice of an assisted death by patients who are terminally ill and who have mental capacity.

Newborn ICUs Seeing More Antibiotic-Resistant Staph Infections

The rate of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections in U.S. neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) has more than tripled in recent years, reports a study in the July issue of The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health, a leading provider of information and business intelligence for students, professionals, and institutions in medicine, nursing, allied health, pharmacy and the pharmaceutical industry.

Chromosomal Problems Affect Nearly All Human Embryos; Discovery May Explain Low Fertility Rates In Humans

For the first time, scientists have shown that chromosomal abnormalities are present in more than 90% of IVF embryos, even those produced by young, fertile couples. Ms Evelyne Vanneste, a PhD student in the Centre for Human Genetics and the University Fertility Center, Leuven University, Belgium, told the 25th annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology today (Wednesday July 1), that the surprising finding meant that current techniques used in preimplantation genetic screening (PGS), where embryos are screened genetically in order to select the best embryo for transfer, do nothing to improve pregnancy and live birth rates. Indeed, it can lead to potentially viable embryos being discarded, she said.

Microbial Analysis, Micropatterning Methods Featured In Cold Spring Harbor Protocols

Microbial populations have traditionally been studied in carefully controlled, laboratory-grown cultures. New metagenomic approaches are being developed to study these organisms in environmental or medical samples. The July issue of Cold Spring Harbor Protocols presents a method developed by Holger Daims from the University of Vienna for quantifying populations of microorganisms in a variety of naturally occurring conditions such as plankton samples or biofilms. Use of Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization and the daime Image Analysis Program for the Cultivation-Independent Quantification of Microorganisms in Environmental and Medical Samples combines fluorescent in situ hybridization using rRNA-targeted probes with digital image analysis. The results show an organism"s "biovolume fraction" in a given sample; this indicates the share of biochemical reaction space occupied by the quantified population and can be more relevant ecologically than absolute cell numbers. The article is freely available on the website for Cold Spring Harbor Protocols.

Gefitinib Receives European Licence For The Treatment Of Lung Cancer For Patients With EGFR Activating Mutation Positive Tumours

AstraZeneca announced that it has received a licence by the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) for its oral targeted anti-cancer drug, gefitinib, for EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor-tyrosine kinase) activating mutation positive patients with Non Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC). NSCLC is the most common type of lung cancer and accounts for 80% of all lung cancer cases. [1] The licence means that for the first time, thousands [2] of patients undergoing first line treatment of NSCLC in the UK may benefit from a more effective, [3] oral alternative to doublet chemotherapy (UK standard of care) without many of the side effects associated with chemotherapy. [3]

UCB\'s CIMZIA(R) (certolizumab Pegol) Approved By The U.S. FDA For Adult Patients Suffering From Moderate To Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis

UCB announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Cimzia®, the only PEGylated anti-TNF (Tumor Necrosis Factor), for the treatment of adult patients with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Cimzia® can be dosed at 400 mg initially and at weeks two and four, followed by 200 mg every other week; for maintenance dosing, 400 mg every four weeks can be considered.

Roche To Offer Developing Countries Discounted Tamiflu

The pharmaceutical company Roche on Wednesday announced a program to help ensure developing countries have access to its antiviral Tamiflu, for "the management of a novel influenza strain defined by the WHO as having significant and current pandemic potential," Reuters reports (Egenter, 7/1). The program will make Tamiflu, which has been shown to be effective against the H1N1 (swine flu) virus, available to developing countries for "half the price normally charged," Dow Jones Newswires/Wall Street Journal reports (Mengewein, 7/1).

NARAL Endorses Sen. Gillibrand\'s 2010 Bid For Full Senate Term

NARAL Pro-Choice America on Monday announced its endorsement of appointed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) in her bid for a full term in 2010, Politico reports. New York Gov. David Paterson (D) in January appointed Gillibrand to fill the Senate seat vacated by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.NARAL"s political action committee to date has contributed $5,000 to Gillibrand"s campaign, and it plans to organize its more than 63,000 members on her behalf, according a press release from the group. The release calls Gillibrand "a rising star among pro-choice leaders in the Senate." It adds, "She is a resilient campaigner whose fully pro-choice voting record reflects an unwavering commitment to the values of freedom and privacy." NARAL endorsed Gillibrand in her successful 2006 and 2008 House election campaigns (Abrahamson, Politico, 6/30).

New York Times Editorial Lauds Appointment Of White House Adviser On Violence Against Women

"Domestic violence is a serious law enforcement and public health problem affecting as many as one in four women in this country," but "Washington has devoted too little attention to reducing domestic violence and sexual assaults generally," a New York Times editorial states. The editorial continues, "We welcome President Obama"s decision to create a new post, White House adviser on violence against women, and his appointment" of former National Network To End Domestic Violence Executive Director Lynn Rosenthal, "a seasoned advocate for victims to fill it." According to the editorial, Rosenthal will report to Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, "whose keen interest in the issue dates from his days in the Senate and his key role in enacting the 1994 Violence Against Women Act." The "challenge" facing Rosenthal and the Obama administration "will be to improve the carrying out of existing laws intended to protect women, starting with better coordination of the activities of all the government bureaucracies involved," including the Department of Justice, HHS and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the editorial states. It notes that a national survey of domestic violence shelters released in May found "a significant increase in the number of women seeking assistance since last fall, a rise largely attributable to the stresses of the economic crisis and rising unemployment." The editorial recommends that states create more emergency shelters, establish more transitional housing for "people fleeing violent situations" and "do more to help these victims rebuild their lives." Rosenthal "will need to tackle bureaucratic and legal hurdles and find more money to help states, localities and charitable groups address those needs," the editorial states. In addition, Rosenthal must "help end the scandal of the thousands of rape kits sitting untested in crime labs and police storage facilities across the country, allowing countless criminals to escape punishment." The editorial concludes, "All of this will require strong and creative leadership" from Rosenthal, Biden and Obama (New York Times, 7/1).

New Poll Suggests Slim Majority Favors Obama Plan

A new poll conducted by CNN and the Opinion Research Corporation released Wednesday says that 51 percent of people favor the president"s health reform plan while 45 percent oppose it, CNN reports.

Texas Medical Association Agrees: Texas Children Need Access To Health Care

Statement from Texas Medical Association President William H. Fleming III, MD, in response to today"s press conference by Sen. Eliot Shapleigh (D-El Paso) and Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-Houston). Senator Shapleigh and Representative Coleman called on Governor Rick Perry to add legislation that would expand the Children"s Health Insurance Program in the special session.

The United Nations To Launch "Texting4Health" In Uganda

The UN is launching, on Wednesday the 1st of July 2009, a ten-day initiative intended to reach out to 10,000

Closer Working Between GPs And Community Pharmacists Would Save Lives And Improve NHS Cost Effectiveness And Care Quality

The NHS Chief Executive has recently warned that the NHS could have to

When Husbands Work In US, Mexican Wives\' Mental Health Dives

Selected highlights from a new study on immigration, health and gender roles:

Immune System Link To Schizophrenia Identified By UCLA Collaboration

Schizophrenia is a devastating mental disease, thought to be caused by the interaction of both genetic and environmental factors. Because there is no biochemical test that can identify the disorder, physicians rely upon the recognition of its symptoms - which can include auditory hallucinations and paranoia - in order to make their diagnosis.

Nearly Half Of Rheumatoid Arthritis Sufferers Feel Early Treatment Would Have Given Them More Independence

A UK survey of 575 rheumatoid arthritis sufferers highlights the importance of maintaining independence and the significant impact that early diagnosis and treatment can have. Over 94% of those surveyed claimed that their independence was compromised in some way, with over 60% saying it was compromised significantly. With earlier treatment of their disease, nearly half of the respondents felt that they would have been more independent today, making it vital that people are aware of the significance of early intervention.

Updated Position Paper On Vegetarian Diets Released By The American Dietetic Association

The American Dietetic Association has released an updated position paper on vegetarian diets that concludes such diets, if well-planned, are healthful and nutritious for adults, infants, children and adolescents and can help prevent and treat chronic diseases including heart disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes.

Clear Difference In Quality, Type Of Lung Cancer Info Available In US And Japan

A study published in the July 2009 issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology revealed that internet-based lung cancer information was of a higher quality in the United States (US) than in Japan. Dr. Yasushi Goto of the National Cancer Center Hospital in Tokyo and his team of researchers from both the US and Japan evaluated 150 Web sites and determined noticeable differences in the quality and type of information on lung cancer available over the internet in the two countries.

Impact Of Medicare Part D On Medical Spending Addressed By NEJM Study

After enrolling in Medicare Part D, seniors who previously had limited or no drug coverage spent more on prescriptions and less on other medical care services such as hospitalizations and visits to the doctor"s office, according to a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health study. Published in the July 2 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, the study also found that seniors who had relatively good drug benefits prior to enrolling in Medicare Part D spent somewhat more on prescriptions and, at the same time, increased their spending on other medical care services.

Triggering Muscle Development -- A Therapeutic Cure For Muscle Wastage?

Scientists in the UK and Denmark have shown that if elderly men were given growth hormone and exercised their legs showed an appreciable muscle mass increase. Dr. Geoff Goldspink (Royal Free and University College Medical School, UK) says: "This raises the question: Can age-related loss of muscle strength and increased fragility be ameliorated by the therapeutic application of mechano growth factor (MGF)?". There is hope that MGF can also help sufferers of diseases such as muscular dystrophy, ALS, renal disease or cancer, for whom intensive exercise is not an option. It may even prove useful to ameliorate muscle loss resulting from long periods in zero-gravity conditions during space travel. Dr. Mark Lewis (University College London, UK) will present their latest results on how MGF exerts its effects during his talk at the Society of Experimental Biology Annual Meeting in Glasgow.

Cutting Calories May Be Key To Evolutionary Fitness

Charles Darwin and his contemporaries postulated that food consumption in birds and mammals was limited by re levels, that is, animals would eat as much as they could while food was plentiful and produce as many offspring as this would allow them to. However, recent research has shown that, even when food is abundant, energy intake reaches a limit, even in animals with high nutrient demands, such as lactating females. Scientists at the Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology in Vienna suggest that this is due to active control of maternal investment in offspring in order to maintain long-term reproductive fitness.

Brain Malformations Significantly Associated With Preterm Birth

New research out of Wake Forest University School of Medicine provides for the first time a solid scientific answer for the long-standing question of whether there is an association between preterm birth and brain malformations.

Lancet Examines Obama Administration\'s Progress On HIV/AIDS-Related Campaign Pledges

The July issue of the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases examines whether President Obama is fulfilling his campaign promises to tackle HIV/AIDS abroad and domestically. The article states that Obama"s recent appointments of "lauded experts," including Jeffrey Crowley as the new director of the Office of National AIDS Policy, indicate that the U.S. "seems poised to deliver on election promises." Crowley is charged with developing a national strategy for HIV/AIDS aimed at "reducing incidence, increasing the number of people in care, and lowering disparities in care," according to the Lancet. In addition, the Lancet notes other measures the administration has taken to address HIV/AIDS in the U.S., including a joint meeting held in April between the administration, CDC and various federal, civil, and private agencies, at which a new national five-year campaign, "Act Against AIDS," was announced. The Lancet also discussed concerns voiced by advocates and others that available federal funding is not adequate to address the epidemic (Morris, July 2009).

Wellcome Trust To Give $50M To Boost Health Research In Africa

The Wellcome Trust on Thursday pledged 30 million pounds or about $50 million to support health research at more than 50 African institutions, Nature reports (Nayar, 7/1).

Physical Therapists Say Appropriate Exercises Can Help Keep Weekend Warriors On The Ice

The excitement of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs will inspire young players and weekend warriors to hit the ice. But, traveling up to 30 miles an hour on a quarter inch blade of steel and stopping instantly will put anyone at risk for injury. According to American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) spokesperson Mark Mortland, PT, ATC, team physical therapist of the Pittsburgh Penguins, there are special precautions one can take to help avoid the multiple injuries that can occur in this high-speed, high-impact sport.

National Alliance On Mental Illness Observes Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reminds Americans that July is Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, a time for public education about serious mental illness in diverse communities.

Number Of Abortion Procedures Continues To Decline In Minnesota And Wisconsin

The following summarizes news coverage of state abortion statistics in Minnesota and Wisconsin.~ Minnesota: The number of abortions performed in Minnesota decreased for the second consecutive year in 2008, according to an annual report from the state Department of Health, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Except for a one-time increase in 2006, the number of abortions in Minnesota has trended downward since a peak in 1980, when 19,028 procedures were performed. The new report found that 12,948 abortions were performed in the state in 2008, a decrease of 895 from 2007. Women ages 20 to 24 accounted for about one-third of the procedures, the most among any age group. The number of procedures among teenagers continued a decline that began in the 1990s but had leveled off slightly earlier this decade, the report found. The report also found that less than one-third of women reported using contraception and about one in seven was married at the time of conception (Von Sternberg, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 7/1).~ Wisconsin: Wisconsin abortion providers performed 8,229 procedures in 2008, the lowest number since the state began collecting statistics in 1974, according to an annual report by the state Department of Health Services, the AP/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports. The number of abortions has declined annually since 2003, when 10,557 procedures were performed. State law requires abortion providers to provide DHS with the data. According to the report, slightly more than half of abortions took place in the first eight weeks of pregnancy. Women who had never been married accounted for about three-fourths of all procedures. The report found that 12% of abortions occurred among women ages 35 and older; 34% were among women ages 20 to 24; 11% were among women ages 18 and 19; and 6% were among girls ages 15 to 17. The number of abortions among minors decreased from 551 in 2007 to 500 in 2008, with parents providing consent in 452 of those cases (Richmond, AP/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 6/30).

Clinical Psychologists Welcome Lord Layard\'s Call For More Child Therapists

The British Psychological Society"s Division of Clinical Psychology has welcomed Lord Layard"s call for 1,000 more child therapists to be employed by the NHS to improve access to evidence-based psychological interventions for children.

Work Status Changes More Common Among Women Receiving Chemotherapy For Breast Cancer, Study Says

Women with breast cancer who receive chemotherapy appear more likely than those treated with radiation therapy to experience a major change in work status, according to a study published in the journal Cancer, Reuters reports. For the study, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researcher Michael Hassett and colleagues used a large health insurance claims database to identify 3,233 women who were first diagnosed with breast cancer between 1998 and 2002. All of the women were younger than age 64, insured, and working full time or part time as of diagnosis. About 54% of the women received chemotherapy, and 58% received radiation therapy.Hassett said that most of the women did "not experience a significant change in their employment after cancer diagnosis and treatment." However, of the 6.6% who experienced such a change, those who received chemotherapy had a 1.8-fold greater risk of leaving work, retiring or going on long-term disability leave in the subsequent year. Sixty-seven percent of women who experienced a change went from full-time employment to early retirement, while the rest went from full-time employment to long-term disability or retirement, or their status was unknown. Although the study looked at many factors, only chemotherapy and older age were associated with an increased likelihood of a change in employment. Hassett said that most of the participants in the study worked for large employers that offered health insurance. He added that further research is needed to evaluate the effect of cancer diagnosis and treatment on work status for women who are self-employed or work for smaller companies (Hendry, Reuters, 6/30).

National Pharmacy Association Project To Improve NHS Commissioning, UK

The NPA is working with LPCs and PCTs to develop a process for assuring the quality of commissioning of community pharmacy services. The aim of the project is to increase constructive dialogue between contractors and commissioners, increase the level of local investment in pharmacy services and improve PCT performance right the way around the commissioning cycle.

Automated Tissue Engineering On Demand

Skin from a factory - this has long been the dream of pharmacologists, chemists and doctors. Research has an urgent need for large quantities of "skin models", which can be used to determine if products such as creams and soaps, cleaning agents, medicines and adhesive bandages are compatible with skin, or if they instead will lead to irritation or allergic reactions for the consumer. Such test results are seen as more meaningful than those from animal experiments, and can even make such experiments largely superfluous.