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Preseasonal treatment with omalizumab prevents fall asthma exacerbations

Preseasonal treatment with omalizumab prevents fall asthma exacerbations

Temporarily adding omalizumab to the standard care for asthma reduces fall asthma exacerbations in inner-city youth. That is the conclusion of a group of paediatricians who published a paper in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. The beneficial effect was most notable in children who had recently experienced an exacerbation. Continue reading

‘Cancer screening never been shown to save lives’

‘Cancer screening never been shown to save lives’

The claim that cancer screening saves lives is based on the reduction in disease specific mortality. Two doctors and a journalist argue in the British Medical Journal that this is the wrong way of measuring the effect of screenings. According to them, we should use the overall mortality. Continue reading

PLOS supports reproducible biomedical research

PLOS supports reproducible biomedical research

The leading biomedical scientific journal PLOS Biology recently introduced a new section that focuses on meta-research. According to the editors of this section, more attention for this type of studies is necessary because biomedical research too often lacks transparency in terms of data and protocol availability, and funding. Continue reading

Risk of childhood wheeze from antibiotic use in third trimester of pregnancy

Risk of childhood wheeze from antibiotic use in third trimester of pregnancy

Antibiotic use during the third trimester of pregnancy leads to an increased risk of childhood wheeze, according to an article published in the European Respiratory Journal. Antibiotic use in pregnancy and the risk of wheeze is a widely debated topic and a new study has evaluated whether confounding factors could explain this suggested association. But an excess risk of wheezing after antibiotic exposure during the third trimester of pregnancy remained after adjustment for confounding factors. Continue reading

Mutation causes impulsivity influenced by alcohol intake

Mutation causes impulsivity influenced by alcohol intake

Finnish researchers discovered a genetic mutation causing reckless and impulsive behaviour in carriers under the influence of alcohol. This behaviour is more extreme for what may be expected based on the alcohol use. According to the researchers, these behavioural changes are caused by a mutation in the serotonine 2B receptor gene. The results of their research is published in Translational Psychiatry. Continue reading

Cancer-associated mutations are common in patients with unexplained low blood counts

Cancer-associated mutations are common in patients with unexplained low blood counts

Patients with unexplained low blood counts often have abnormally mutated cells that are typical of blood cancers, such as myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) or acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Researchers recently reported this in the journal Blood. They suggest to describe these patients as having clonal cytopenias of undetermined significance (CCUS). Continue reading

Novel genetic markers discovered for testicular cancer

Novel genetic markers discovered for testicular cancer

British scientists from the Institute of Cancer Research discovered four novel genetic markers that are associated with an elevated risk of testicular cancer. That is written in Nature Communications. Including these four, a total of 25 markers have been discovered, allowing for an easier identification of men with an elevated risk of testicular cancer. Continue reading

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