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First-ever study: do e-cigarettes cause damage to gum tissue?

First-ever study: do e-cigarettes cause damage to gum tissue?

Electronic cigarettes are as equally damaging to gums and teeth as conventional cigarettes, a new study proposes. The study provides the first scientific study to address e-cigarettes and their detrimental effect on oral health on cellular and molecular levels. A University of Rochester Medical Center study suggests that electronic cigarettes are as equally damaging to gums and teeth as conventional cigarettes. The study, published in Oncotarget, was led by Irfan Rahman, Ph.D. professor of Environmental Medicine at the UR School of Medicine and Dentistry, and is the first scientific study to address e-cigarettes and their detrimental effect on oral health on cellular and molecular levels. Electronic cigarettes continue to grow in popularity among younger adults and current and former smokers because they are often perceived as a healthier alternative to conventional cigarettes. Previously, scientists thought that the chemicals found in cigarette smoke were the culprits behind adverse health effects, but a growing body of scientific data, including this study, suggests otherwise. “We showed that when the vapors from an e-cigarette are burned, it causes cells to release inflammatory proteins, which in turn aggravate stress within cells, resulting in damage that could lead to various oral diseases,” explained Rahman, who last year published a study about the damaging effects of e-cigarette vapors and flavorings on lung cells and an earlier study on the pollution effects. “How much and how often someone is smoking e-cigarettes will determine the extent of damage to the gums and oral cavity.” The study, which exposed 3-D human, non-smoker gum tissue to the vapors of e-cigarettes, also found that the flavoring chemicals play a role in...
Groundbreaking study discovers 1,445 viruses, including several new families

Groundbreaking study discovers 1,445 viruses, including several new families

A pioneering study of invertebrates reveals people have only scratched the surface of the world of viruses. A groundbreaking study of the virosphere of the most populous animals — those without backbones such as insects, spiders and worms and that live around our houses — has uncovered 1445 viruses, revealing people have only scratched the surface of the world of viruses — but it is likely that only a few cause disease. The meta-genomics research, a collaboration between the University of Sydney and the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in Beijing, was made possible by new technology that also provides a powerful new way to determine what pathogens cause human diseases. Professor Edward Holmes, from the Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases & Biosecurity and the School of Life and Environmental Sciences, who led the Sydney component of the project said although the research revealed humans are surrounded by viruses in our daily lives, these did not transfer easily to humans. “This groundbreaking study re-writes the virology text book by showing that invertebrates carry an extraordinary number of viruses — far more than we ever thought,” Professor Holmes said. “We have discovered that most groups of viruses that infect vertebrates — including humans, such as those that cause well-known diseases like influenza — are in fact derived from those present in invertebrates,” said Professor Holmes, who is also based at the University’s multidisciplinary Charles Perkins Centre. The study suggests these viruses have been associated with invertebrates for potentially billions of years, rather than millions of years as had been believed — and that invertebrates are the true...
Administering epurposed drug to treat TB given via lungs vs orally

Administering epurposed drug to treat TB given via lungs vs orally

Tuberculosis (TB) is responsible for more than 1.8 million deaths each year, according to the World Health Organization, yet there has been little significant improvement in therapies in the past 20 years. This chronic disease is systemic, meaning it affects not only the lungs but also other organs, such as the lymph nodes and spleen. But a promising new treatment may be on the horizon. New research being presented today at the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) Annual Meeting and Exposition demonstrates that administering a commonly used drug to treat TB via the lungs as opposed to oral administration is as effective at a fraction of the dose — estimated up to 10 times less — used in the standard treatment of care. The research also shows this treatment has the potential to reduce toxicity to the body and its organs. The 2016 AAPS Annual Meeting and Exposition is taking place in Denver Nov. 13 — 17. Pyrazinamide (PZA), a first line agent used in treating TB, is administered orally. PZA is thought to act as a “prodrug,” converting to pyrazinoic acid (POA), which is the “active moiety” (the part of a drug that makes the drug work the way it does), by microbial enzymatic action. A significant mechanism of PZA resistance is a mutation of the enzyme associated with the conversion to POA. It has historically been determined that oral POA is not effective against disease, and even recent research has shown limited antituberculosis activity for high oral doses. Delivery of POA and its hydrolysable ester, n-propyl POA (PAE), can provide the active moiety, mitigating resistance. Given...
Benefiting from Pulmonary Embolism Response Teams

Benefiting from Pulmonary Embolism Response Teams

Patients with massive or sub-massive pulmonary embolisms (PEs) often face poor survival odds—not necessarily due to the severity of their disease, but because their treatment is often suboptimal or treated too conservatively. This patient population is critically ill but often misdiagnosed as having acute myocardial infarction (MI). These factors may contribute to PE being one of the most common causes of death in the United States. In order to reverse high mortality rates associated with PE, the Detroit Medical Center created a PE Response Team (PERT) in 2014. The team was designed to treat PE patients as quickly as possible using advanced modalities, including ultrasound-accelerated, catheter-directed thrombolysis. For a study published in Cath Lab Digest, Mahir Elder, MD, and colleagues assessed more than 1,500 cases of patients hospitalized with acute PE. “We found that patients who were treated with standard systemic thrombolysis had higher in-hospital mortality and intracranial hemorrhage than those who were treated with catheter-directed thrombolysis,” says Dr. Elder. “To date, the 250 patients who have been treated by our PERT team—called Clotbusters—have a 10% mortality rate, whereas patients at our institution with massive or sub-massive PE who received systemic tPA or heparin have a 60% mortality rate.”   All About PERT The Detroit Medical Center PERT includes interventional cardiologists, nurses, cardiovascular technologists, and radiation therapists. Initially, referrals to Clotbusters came from emergency physicians with hypotensive patients who needed immediate treatment. “Now, pulmonologists, oncologists, and surgeons with ICU patients who develop PEs activate the pager that mobilizes our team 24 hours per day, 7 days per week,” says Dr. Elder. “We also get referrals from many emergency departments...
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