Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Health News

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Health News

Article excerpt

ANTIBIOTICS

Altered Genes Fix Resistant Bacteria

Researchers have found a way to turn off the genes that make bacteria resistant to antibiotic drugs - a discovery that could help head off a major medical crisis in the treatment of infections.

Bacteria have been growing increasingly resistant to antibiotics. Many infections - including meningitis - no longer respond well to drugs that once worked against them.

"This method could restore the full usefulness of today's front-line antibiotics, thus bypassing the tremendous expense of developing new a ntibiotics," said Nobel Prize laureate Sidney Altman, who led the Yale University team that made the discovery.

The team found a way to insert artificial genes into bacteria, thus making the germs highly sensitive to two widely used antibiotics, chloram phenicol and ampicillin.

Altman cautioned, however, that the technique has been demonstrated only in laboratory cultures and could take five more years of research before it is ready for testing in human patients.

BLOOD CLOTS

Heart Attack Drugs Help Lung Embolisms

Clot-busters, drugs widely used to stop heart attacks, also can save the lives of people with blood clots in their lungs, a study has found.

Use of this treatment for people with lung clots, also known as pulmonary embolisms, is controversial for patients without severe symptoms because of the bleeding problems it can cause.

But in one of the largest studies to date, German researchers found that patients in that group who were treated with clot-busters lived longer and were less likely to get new clots in their lungs.

"I'd call this a landmark paper," said Dr. Samuel Z. Goldhaber of Harvard Medical School, who wrote an editorial accompanying the study in the American Heart Association journal Circulation. "It shows that clot-busting therapy can be extended to a much wider group of patients."

More than 300,000 Americans annually are treated for blood clots that can travel to the lungs.

BABY WALKERS

Infants Continue To Be Hurt In Devices

Despite publicity about the hazard, infants continue to be injured while playing in baby walkers, even under supervision, according to a study. …

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