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Fighting cancer and Ebola with nanoparticles

CNN  by

In medicine, finding a substance that attacks cancerous tumors without destroying the healthy tissue around it has long been the Holy Grail.

From targeted remedies such as monoclonal antibodies to surgery, cancer has still managed to elude a treatment that discretely and separately attacks it alone.

Nanotechnologies, however - the manipulation of matter at a molecular and even atomic scale to penetrate living cells -- are holding out the promise of opening a new front against deadly conditions from cancer to Ebola.

According to Dr Thomas Webster, the chair of chemical engineering at Northeastern University in Boston, research into medical nanotechnology is gaining pace and the medical establishment is starting to sit up and pay attention.

Read complete story.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/25/tech/webster-nanoparticles-cancer-mci/

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Fighting cancer and Ebola with nanoparticles

CNN  by

In medicine, finding a substance that attacks cancerous tumors without destroying the healthy tissue around it has long been the Holy Grail.

From targeted remedies such as monoclonal antibodies to surgery, cancer has still managed to elude a treatment that discretely and separately attacks it alone.

Nanotechnologies, however - the manipulation of matter at a molecular and even atomic scale to penetrate living cells -- are holding out the promise of opening a new front against deadly conditions from cancer to Ebola.

According to Dr Thomas Webster, the chair of chemical engineering at Northeastern University in Boston, research into medical nanotechnology is gaining pace and the medical establishment is starting to sit up and pay attention.

Read complete story.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/25/tech/webster-nanoparticles-cancer-mci/

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Strengthening the Detection of and Early Response to Public Health Emergencies: Lessons learned from, the Ebola outbreake

PLOS MEDICINE by Mark J. Siedner, Lawrence O. Gostin, Hilarie H. Cranmer,and John D. Kraemer                        March 24, 2015

In-depth paper on lessons learned from the West Africa Ebola outbreak

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Study announces a durable vaccine for Ebola

MEDICAL EXPRESS                                                                                             March 25, 2015

A new study shows the durability of a novel 'disseminating' cytomegalovirus (CMV)-based Ebola virus (Zaire ebolavirus; EBOV) strategy that may eventually have the potential to reduce ebolavirus infection in wild African ape species.

These are western lowland gorillas, one of the great ape species threatened by Ebola. Credit: Copyright 2012 Chris Whittier

A cytomegalovirus (CMV)-based vaccine provides long-lasting protective immunity against Ebola virus, and has potential for development as a disseminating vaccine strategy to prevent ebolavirus infection of wild African ape populations.

The multi-institutional study is led by Dr Michael Jarvis at Plymouth University, and is published today, 25th March 2015, in Vaccine.

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Pandemic Disease: Never again

As the Ebola epidemic draws gradually to its close, how should the world arm itself against the risks of insurgent infections?

 THE ECONOMIST                                                                                        March 21,  2015

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The Ebola detectives

The BBC   by Hans Rosling                                                                    March 23, 2015
Interview with Swedish statistician and global health professor Hans Rosling who spent three months working as an epidemiologist in the Liberian Health Ministry helping to tackle the Ebola crisis.

 

                  Hans Rosling flanked by Maj Morris Hunh (China), to his right, and Gen Gary Volesky(U.S.) to his left

Excerpt from BBC interview:

The curve turned around because enough Ebola treatment units were built. Medecins Sans Frontieres ran the biggest. When that was not enough, Liberian doctors and nurses added the next treatment unit. But the race against time in September to provide treatment and isolation for all patients, when the epidemic curve climbed to 30, 40 and 50 patients per day, was won by the WHO.

 By the end of September, Dr Atai from Uganda opened the so-called Island Clinic which meant beds could be offered to all Ebola patients.The curve was curbed for four reasons:

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Fighting Ebola with a holistic vision of big data

TECH REPUBLIC  by Mary Shaklett                                                                         March 24, 2015

Big data practitioners are learning that the laboratory know-how of computer scientists and statisticians must be matched with a holistic, 360-degree vision of the problem to be solved. TheEbola crisis is a prime example....

If big data is going to help solve health issues like Ebola, it must be incorporated into analytics that consider all of the factors shaping the epidemic. These are three of the ingredients that should be factored into Ebola analytics.

1: There are political barriers that stand in the way of obtaining data from cell phone providers that could assist researchers in determining where the disease will strike next.

2: Even if disease researchers could obtain this data, there is a need to "correct" the data for what it doesn't reveal. For example, if less than 50% of a country's population has access to mobile phones and individuals are constantly moving from village to village, how will researchers be able to verify the quality of the data they're getting unless there are people "on the ground" who can verify or provide corrective factors to the data?

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Liberians overcome fear to volunteer for Ebola vaccine trial

ASSOCIATED PRESS  by Jpnathan Paye-Layleh             March 22, 2015

MONROVIA, Liberia — Liberians are overcoming their fears of Ebola to volunteer for a vaccine trial...

One year after the World Health Organization declared the Ebola outbreak, vaccine trials are under way in Liberia and Guinea. Sierra Leone will start a trial later this month.

In Liberia, scientists have fanned out across the country to explain the studies and reduce the fear and confusion that have stymied efforts to contain Ebola.

Dr. Stephen Kennedy, the Liberian lead investigator for the study, was among the first people to volunteer for the vaccine trial, getting his injection in front of the media. Similarly, in Guinea, authorities started the study by injecting a series of prominent officials, including the head of the country's Ebola response.

The outreach worked in Liberia, where more than 700 people have volunteered, well beyond the 600 required, according to Kennedy.

Read complete story.
http://news.yahoo.com/liberians-overcome-fear-volunteer-ebola-vaccine-trial-120848405.html

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How to stop the next epidemic

THE ECONOMIST                                                                                    May 19, 2015

..when the next epidemic breaks out, how do we prevent it from spreading around the world? It is easier said than done.
 
First: Early detection is critical, and it relies on good surveillance. But only 64 of the 194 member states of the World Health Organisation (WHO) have the surveillance procedures, laboratories and data-management capabilities required by the International Health Regulations. Improvements in things like basic public health infrastructure are needed...

Second: A swift response to an outbreak – which might involve getting skilled people, equipment and money to the right places – can potentially save more lives than drugs and vaccines. ... The World Health Organisation and the global community were slow to recognise that there was an international public health emergency.

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Ebola-proof tablet designed by Google rolled out in Sierra Leone disease centre

THE TELEGRAPH by Aislinn Laing                                                                         March 20, 2015

An Ebola-proof tablet that can survive being doused in chlorine and can be used while wearing gloves has been developed by Google and technology volunteers for use by health workers in Sierra Leone.

 

MSFStaff testing one of the Clinical Management Tablets at the Magburaka treatment centre in Sierra Leone Photo: MSF

The Android device, based in a waterproof Sony Xperia with an extra protective casing, allows medics to safely record and share patient temperatures and symptoms over days and weeks....

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