Monday, July 13, 2015
(From American Journal Of Kidney Diseases
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
It seems these days you can’t walk into a grocery store or a pharmacy without seeing a free blood pressure machine tucked away in a back corner. As kids, we all used to beg our parents to let us give them a try, just because they were fun and free. But many individuals rely on these free machines in order to make critical decision about their health, whether for the convenience, or because the cost of seeing a health professional is just too high. Are drug store and grocery store blood pressure machines reliable enough to bear such a responsibility?
Your doctor has requested that you undergo Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring (ABPM). ABPM may be done to get a more accurate measurement of your average blood pressure, or because you have different readings in the doctor’s office than at home, or for other reasons. This test has been available for years, and many thousands of patients have undergone this test without difficulty. This is a safe and painless test. You will wear a portable blood pressure monitor on your arm for 24 hours. For your visit, please wear a shirt or blouse with loose fitting sleeves
Saturday, June 13, 2015
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Friday, May 29, 2015
By Robert F. Service 28 May 2015 4:00 pm 3 Comments Most of us think of bacteria as the enemy, but each of our bodies harbors trillions of microbes, most of them beneficial or benign. Now, you can add two new friendlies to the list. This week, two groups of synthetic biologists seeking to repurpose living microbes for human benefit report genetically modifying bacteria to detect cancer in mice and diabetes in humans. Clinicians have sought to exploit microbes for more than a century. Beginning in 1891, an American bone surgeon named William Coley injected more than 1000 patients with bacterial colonies in hopes that they would shrink inoperable tumors. The treatment sometimes worked, in part because the microbes preferentially seek out tumor tissue, which is rich in nutrients yet has few immune cells to knock out any pathogens. But the results were uneven, and with the rise of radiation and chemotherapy, the approach fell out of favor. More recently, synthetic biologists have begun to modify bacteria to fight cancer and other diseases—engineering them to secrete toxins inside tumors, for example. A couple of these therapies have even made it into clinical trials, though none have been approved yet. Far less effort has been directed at using bacteria as a test for disease. Sangeeta Bhatia, a biomedical engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, and her colleagues previously worked on cancer detection using metal nanoparticles. In the presence of a tumor, the particles would release snippets of proteins called peptides that could be detected in the urine. Unfortunately, Bhatia says, the signal was often too weak to serve as a clear indicator of disease. Bhatia’s team then realized that bacteria offered a potentially superior option. The researchers knew that microbes with a taste for tumor often penetrate the masses as they grow and replicate. So Bhatia’s group joined up with a team led by Jeff Hasty, a bioengineer at the University of California, San Diego, to reprogram bacteria that could be fed to mice and, in the presence of cancer, would produce a luminescent signal with a simple urine test. They started with a harmless strain of bacteria called Escherichia coli Nissle 1917, which is commonly added to yogurt and other foods as a probiotic to promote digestive health. First, they fed the bacteria to mice and confirmed that the microbes crossed the gut and colonized tumors in the liver. They engineered the bacteria to produce a naturally occurring enzyme called LacZ when they encountered a tumor. Next, the researchers injected mice with compounds that were precursors for light emitters. These were two-part molecules made up of a sugar linked to luciferin, a luminescent molecule. When bound together, the pair doesn’t emit light, but LacZ acts like a pair of scissors that cuts the two apart. So, in mice that had liver cancer populated by E. coli, the LacZ produced by the microbes released the luminescent compound, which was then excreted in the animals’ urine, turning those samples from yellow to red. What's more, Bhatia and her colleagues report in the current issue of Science Translational Medicine this week, while conventional imaging techniques struggle to detect liver tumors smaller than 1 square centimeter, this approach was able to flag tumors as small as 1 square millimeter.
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