Emerging Infectious Diseases

Emerging infectious diseases are those whose incidence in humans has increased in the past 2 decades or threaten to increase in the near future. These diseases, which respect no national boundaries, can challenge efforts to protect workers as prevention and control recommendations may not be immediately available. The occupational safety and health community can prepare for these unpredictable disease outbreaks and prevent disease transmission with these resources for protecting workers, particularly healthcare workers, nurses, doctors, and first responders.

https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/emerginfectdiseases/default.html

 

Thyroid Disease in Women

Your thyroid produces thyroid hormone, which controls many activities in your body, including how fast you burn calories and how fast your heart beats. Diseases of the thyroid cause it to make either too much or too little of the hormone. Depending on how much or how little hormone your thyroid makes, you may often feel restless or tired, or you may lose or gain weight. Women are more likely than men to have thyroid diseases, especially right after pregnancy and after menopause.

 

https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/thyroid-disease

What is the difference between CML (chronic myelogenous leukemia) become AML (acute myelogenous leukemia) and CMMoL (chronic myelomonocytic leukemia)?

 

The three diseases you mention are 3 distinct entities.

CML or chronic myelogenous leukemia is a disease in which patients have too many mature white blood cells. It is considered a myeloproliferative disorder-a condition in which the bone marrow makes too many cells. This disease is diagnosed by the presence of either the Philadelphia Chromosome or the gene made by the Philadelphia chromosome, called bcr-abl. New treatments, which target this abnormal gene, have been developed. It is considered in the list of possible diagnoses, this chromosome is looked for so that appropriate therapy is not missed.

AML or acute myelogenous leukemia is a disease in which patients have too many immature white blood cells in their bone marrow that are not capable of maturing properly. These immature cells act very rapidly and can cause life-threatening problems if the disease is not treated promptly.

CMMoL or chronic myelomonocytic leukemia is a disorder of the bone marrow where the bone marrow is making too many white blood cells called monocytes. The bone marrow appears myeloproliferative but the cells that it makes are not normal mature cells and do not function properly. This disorder is called a myelodysplatic disorder (funny looking bone marrow). Its progression and outcome is variable and can be predicted to some degree by the blood counts and bone marrow findings.

 

https://www.oncolink.org/frequently-asked-questions/cancers/leukemia/general-concerns/what-is-the-difference-between-cml-chronic-myelogenous-leukemia-become-aml-acute-myelogenous-leukemia-and-cmmol-chronic-myelomonocytic-leukemia

 

Scientists reveal how immune system tags Toxoplasma capsule

 

By

Scientists at the Francis Crick Institute have discovered how the host immune system deals with the prolific Toxoplasma parasite as it attempts to camouflage itself by hiding inside a capsule called a vacuole in human cells.

 

For the first time, they’ve revealed how a protein called ubiquitin tags the vacuole hiding Toxoplasma. The cell’s acidification system then destroys it.

Eva Frickel, the research group leader at the Crick who led the work, explains: “The parasite Toxoplasma gondii resides inside a vacuole in the cells of the organism it infects. The vacuole provides a safe haven for the parasite where it can multiply and cause damage to the host. Until now, it was unclear what defence mechanisms human cells deploy to the vacuole to clear and eliminate Toxoplasma. We have found that a human protein called ubiquitin tags the vacuole for destruction via the cell’s acidification system.”

Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite found almost everywhere. It is in soil and unwashed food, but its most important host is the cat. It causes an infection called toxoplasmosis that can cause miscarriage and is especially damaging to people who have a weakened immune system, others never know they’ve been infected.

The team used immunofluorescent microscopy to visualise each step in vacuole destruction. They learnt how a ubiquitin protein tags the vacuole and then attracts other proteins that stick on and allow it to join with an acidic compartment called the lysosome. This then destroys the vacuole and parasite.

“This work is the first demonstration of how ubiquitin tagging leads to vacuole-lysosome fusion in human cells infected with Toxoplasma,” Eva says. “Until now, it was thought the vacuoles were not susceptible. Mouse studies have shown a different route to fusion between the vacuole and lysosome. This raises questions for further studies on how vacuolar-lysosomal fusion in human cells happens and why the human cellular immune response is different from the mouse.”

Eva’s research team explores how react to Toxoplasma and what it is that makes it one of the most successful on the planet. There is no vaccine to protect against Toxoplasma infection or medicine that kills the parasite.

Eva talks about their work and shares images from the progress they are making in research in the Crick’s first public exhibition (above). How do we look? is a collection of scientific images that could be mistaken for works of art though each has been created by a scientist to solve a research problem.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-01-scientists-reveal-immune-tags-toxoplasma.html#jCp

Immune disorders impact student lives

By Hannah Lathen

_______________________________

SE student Janna Gentry lives with a mother who has Crohn’s disease and lupus, causing her to have stomach ulcers and inflamed joints.

Online student Laken Reeder has Sjogren’s syndrome, causing extreme pain and difficulties with eating.

TCC students are fighting hidden and misunderstood battles with autoimmune diseases. Even though they affect 1 in 6 people, many do not understand what they are or that they exist.

An autoimmune disease occurs in the body when one’s immune system starts attacking healthy cells. Instead of protecting the body from foreign invaders, the system starts hurting organs.

autoimmune_sjogren's_plasma_research

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month.

About 79 million Americans currently have HPV. Many people with HPV are unaware that they are infected. And each year, more than 11,000 women in the United States get cervical cancer.

Most deaths from cervical cancer could be prevented by regular screenings and follow-up care. Cervical cancer screenings can help detect abnormal (changed) cells early, before they turn into cancer.

Take the time to learn more about HPV (human papillomavirus) and cervical cancer. 

Here are several helpful links to learn more about HPV and cervical cancer prevention.

Cervical Cancer: What to Know.

HPV Vaccination & Cancer Prevention

 

Keep up with Plasma MedResearch through our facebook page. 

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5 new life-saving cancer developments New studies are paving the way for faster diagnosis, better treatment — and more lives saved.

Article Source: https://www.mnn.com/health/fitness-well-being/blogs/new-life-saving-cancer-developments
Cancer researcer

Cancer is complex, but researchers are breaking new ground in understanding the many types of the disease. (Photo: science photo/Shutterstock)

Cancer. We’re all touched by it in one way or another, whether we are survivors ourselves, or our friends or loved ones have been affected by the disease. But while the statistics are sometimes grim — the number of new cancer cases is projected to rise to 22 million within the next 20 years, according to the World Health Organization— there are also rays of light in cancer research that offers hope for better options when it comes to diagnosis, treatment and a cure.

Here’s a snapshot of four breakthroughs happening right now in cancer research that are certain to save lives in the near future.

1. New tools to fight childhood cancer

Childhood cancerBy creating maps of childhood cancer tumors and sharing them with the world, researchers have opened the door for new breakthroughs in diagnosis and treatment. (Photo: frantab/Shutterstock)

Cancer is complex, as each type causes a unique reaction within the body and reacts differently to treatment. Now, thanks to a team of U.S. scientists at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), researchers around the world will have models of 12 common types of childhood cancer that they can use to better understand these complex reactions and test how various treatments will affect different cancer cells.

The team grew cells from patient tumors in mice and created nearly 100 models of 12 types of pediatric cancer, HHMI said in a statement. They’re making the samples available for free to the scientific community by publishing their data in the journal Nature. This new wealth of information is predicted to break open many areas of childhood cancer research.

The 12 cancers they modeled are:

  • Neuroblastoma
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma
  • Retinoblastoma
  • Wilms tumours
  • Ewing sarcomas
  • High-grade sarcoma
  • Malignant rhabdoid tumour
  • Synovial sarcoma
  • Renal medullary carcinoma
  • Desmoplastic small round cell tumor
  • Epithelioid sarcoma

2. Breakthroughs in immunotherapy treatment

T cells attacking cancer cellIn this illustration, T-cells (gray) can be seen attacking a cancer cell (hot pink). (Photo: royaltystockphoto.com/Shutterstock)

Current treatment options for cancer include chemotherapy, radiation and immunotherapy, which means using the body’s own immune system to fend off the disease. Of the three, immunotherapy is the least devastating to the body as a whole because it relies on targeted cancer destruction rather than attacking all of the cells in the general area of the cancer. So a breakthrough in cancer immunotherapy treatment is a big deal. Recently, there have been two.

The Food and Drug Administration recently approved the use of a new cell-based gene therapy to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), which is a cancer of blood and bone marrow and the most common childhood cancer in the U.S. The treatment involved removing cells from a patient’s own immune system, genetically modifying them to kill cancer cells, and then sending them back into the patient to wipe out the disease.

The drug is called Kymriah, or CAR-T-cell therapy, and it is changing the outcome for patients with this type of cancer. In a clinical study, 63 ALL patients were given the treatment after their cancer failed to respond to other treatment methods. After three months, 83 percent of those patients were in remission.

In another immunotherapy research breakthrough, a team of scientists lead by researchers at the National Cancer Institute have identified the specific genes that can help improve success with the treatment. In the past, doctors have been baffled when certain tumors don’t respond to immunotherapy treatment. This study identified 100 genes that play a role in the immunotherapy process. With this information, doctors can more easily identify issues that could hinder treatment, such as a malfunction in one of the identified genes.

Researchers are hoping this study will serve as a blueprint to help cancer scientists better understand immunotherapy and develop new treatments to circumvent resistant tumors.

3. Advances in melanoma diagnoses

Dermatologist inspecting a new moleNew mole? It’s more likely to be melanoma than a mole you’ve had for a long time. (Photo: Pop Paul-Catalin/Shutterstock)

Check those moles and stay on top of what your skin looks like. A team of Italian and Greek researchers published a study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology that says new moles are more likely to pop up as the result of melanoma. The team also found that when melanoma does develop from an existing mole, it’s likely to be thinner than those that come from new moles, suggesting a better possible outcome for the patient. Armed with this new knowledge, doctors can make better and more immediate recommendations for their skin cancer patients.

4. A link between breast cancer and heart health

Woman with breast cancer ribbonCould cholesterol medications be a new option for breast cancer prevention? (Photo: Dolores Giraldez Alonso/Shutterstock)

What’s the link between breast cancer and heart health? Researchers recently presented a study at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Barcelona that found women with a history of high cholesterol tend to have lower rates of breast cancer, suggesting that statin drugs — often prescribed to treat high cholesterol — may also offer protective benefits when it comes to breast cancer.

In a review that included more than 32,000 women — half with high cholesterol and half without — researchers found that women who were taking statin medications to control their high cholesterol were 33 percent less likely to develop breast cancer than those whose cholesterol levels were normal. And the women with high cholesterol who did develop breast cancer were 40 percent less likely to die over the 14-year study period than women who had developed breast cancer but did not have high cholesterol.

The study’s authors don’t know for sure why women with high cholesterol would have a lower incidence and a higher survival rate for breast cancer, but they think it might have something to do with the statin drugs, which not only reduce cholesterol but also have been shown to reduce overall inflammation in the body. This finding could help improve treatment options for women battling the disease.

5. A pen that detects cancer during surgery

This last development in cancer research isn’t as far along as some of the others on this list, but a handheld device called the MasSpec Pen is so revolutionary that it warranted an honorable mention, so to speak.

The pen-shaped device is designed to help surgeons determine if tissue is cancerous, which means they’re able to remove more of a cancerous tumor during a surgery with less risk of leaving any cancerous tissue behind. It takes a small sample of molecules from the tissue through a drop of water at the tip of the pen, then passes them through a mass spectrometer. About 10 seconds later, it tells doctors whether the tissue is cancerous or not, and what kind of cancer it is.

“If you talk to cancer patients after surgery, one of the first things many will say is ‘I hope the surgeon got all the cancer out,’” Livia Schiavinato Eberlin, an assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Texas at Austin, who designed the study and led the team, said in a press release. “It’s just heartbreaking when that’s not the case. But our technology could vastly improve the odds that surgeons really do remove every last trace of cancer during surgery.”

This new invention is much faster than the current process, which UT Austin explains:

The current state-of-the-art method for diagnosing cancers and determining the boundary between cancer and normal tissue during surgery, called Frozen Section Analysis, is slow and sometimes inaccurate. Each sample can take 30 minutes or more to prepare and interpret by a pathologist, which increases the risk to the patient of infection and negative effects of anesthesia. And for some types of cancers, frozen section interpretation can be difficult, yielding unreliable results in as many as 10 to 20 percent of cases.

Though the pen has not yet gone through clinical trials, early tests suggest the pen is accurate about 96 percent of the time.