Health

2:25pm

Fri October 5, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Your Verdict On Getting A Genome Test? Bring It On

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 3:24 pm

Each strand of DNA is written in a simple language composed of four letters: A, T, C and G.
iStockphoto.com

The news that the cost of personal genome sequencing will soon drop as low as $1,000 has generated a quite a bit of interest and concern — from medical researchers, biotech companies, bioethicists and the average consumer alike.

NPR's Rob Stein explored many of the implications of this technology in his four-part series "The $1,000 Genome." They're complicated, to say the least.

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2:16pm

Fri October 5, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

After Ebola Fades, What Happens To The Quarantined?

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 2:25 pm

After testing negative for Ebola, Magdalena Nyamurungi returns home with a new set of belongings from the World Health Organization. Medical workers burned and buried her possessions when they suspected she was infected.
B. Sensasi Courtesy of WHO

The Ebola outbreak in Uganda, which started two months ago, has come to a close.

"The Ministry of Health [of Uganda] has been very prudent of declaring the outbreak over," Gregory Hartl, a World Health Organization spokesman, tells Shots. The last case was detected over 42 days ago — or twice the incubation period for the hemorrhagic fever — so new infections are highly unlikely.

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12:16pm

Fri October 5, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

In-Depth Genome Analysis Moves Toward The Hospital Bed

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 3:47 pm

Rapid whole genome sequencing could provide timely treatment options for infants in intensive care.
iStockphoto

Whole genome sequencing has become an essential tool for researchers. But slow speeds and high costs have helped keep the technology from becoming a routine diagnostic test for doctors.

But that's starting to change. And results from two studies published this week suggest that in-depth personalized genome sequencing could be inching closer to clinical reality.

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9:17am

Fri October 5, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Botulism Outbreak Tied To Contaminated Prison Hooch

A hoarded baked potato appears to have been the source of botulism in some prison-made hooch.
iStockphoto.com

Behind bars, nothing says party quite like "pruno."

Pruno is a kind of homebrew made from whatever prisoners can get their hands on. Some fruit, a little water and sugar are usually enough to make alcohol-producing yeast happy.

But it seems a baked potato saved for weeks before it was added to a pruno batch last year at a Utah prison caused the second-largest botulism outbreak in the U.S. since 2006.

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3:12pm

Thu October 4, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Ketamine Relieves Depression By Restoring Brain Connections

A rat neuron before (top) and after (bottom) ketamine treatment. The increased number of orange nodes are restored connections in the rat's brain.
Ronald Duman/Yale University

Scientists say they have figured out how an experimental drug called ketamine is able to relieve major depression in hours instead of weeks.

Researchers from Yale and the National Institute of Mental Health say ketamine seems to cause a burst of new connections to form between nerve cells in parts of the brain involved in emotion and mood.

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