Medical

Proteomics discovers link between muscle damage and cerebral malaria

Main Point:

Malaria-related complications remain a major cause of death for children in many parts of the world. Why some children develop these complications while others don’t is still not understood.

Published in:

PLOS Pathogens

Study Further:

A multidisciplinary group of scientists and clinicians under the direction of Peter Nilsson (SciLifeLab and KTH, Sweden), Mats Wahlgren (Karolinska Institutet, Sweden), Delmiro Fernandez-Reyes (Brighton & Sussex Medical School, UK) and Olugbemiro Sodeinde (College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria), report results of a systematic proteomics approach to the question in PLOS Pathogens. They compared proteins in the blood of uninfected children with those in the blood of infected ones, and also proteins in blood from children with different severe malaria syndromes with proteins in blood from uncomplicated cases.

The researchers analyzed over 1000 proteins in more than 700 children. To make the study more rigorous, the samples were divided into “discovery” and “verification” sets, and only associations that were found in both were reported. There were 41 proteins that could distinguish between malaria patients and uninfected children from the same community. Most of these were components of the inflammatory response.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by saypeople - April 18, 2014 at 2:00 am

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How the immune system prevents repeated malaria fever episodes in highly exposed children

Main Points:

Children in Mali (and many other regions where malaria is common) are infected with malaria parasites more than 100 times a year, but they get sick with malaria fever only a few times. To understand how the immune system manages to prevent malaria fever in most cases, Peter Crompton, from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and colleagues in the US and in Mali, analyzed immune cells from healthy children before the malaria season and from the same children after their first bout of malaria fever during the ensuing malaria season.

Published in:

PLOS Pathogens

Study Further:

As reported in PLOS Pathogens, the researchers exposed both sets of immune cells to parasite-infected red blood cells and found that their responses were different: When confronted with parasites before the malaria season, the children’s immune cells produced large amounts of molecules that promote inflammation (which results in fever and other malaria symptoms). After a malaria fever episode, the immune cells responded by producing more anti-inflammatory molecules (which dampen the strength of the inflammatory response) and showed evidence of an enhanced ability to recognize and destroy parasites.

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Tracking flu levels with Wikipedia

Main Points:

Can monitoring Wikipedia hits show how many people have the flu? Researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital, USA, have developed a method of estimating levels of influenza-like illness in the American population by analysing Internet traffic on specific flu-related Wikipedia articles.

Published in:

PLOS Computational Biology

Study Further:

David McIver and John Brownstein’s model, publishing in PLOS Computational Biology on April 17th, estimates flu levels in the American population up to two weeks sooner than data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention becomes available, and accurately estimates the week of peak influenza activity 17% more often than Google Flu Trends data.

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New gene variant found that increases the risk of colorectal cancer from eating processed meat

Main Points:

A common genetic variant that affects one in three people appears to significantly increase the risk of colorectal cancer from the consumption of processed meat, according to study published today in PLOS Genetics.

Published in:

PLOS Genetics

Study Further:

The study of over 18,000 people from the U.S., Canada, Australia and Europe represents the first large-scale genome-wide analysis of genetic variants and dietary patterns that may help explain more of the risk factors for colorectal cancer.  Dr Jane Figueiredo at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, explained that eating processed meat is associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer and for about a third of the general population who carry this genetic variant, the risk of eating processed meat is even higher compared to those who do not. “Our results, if replicated by other studies, may provide us with a greater understanding of the biology into colorectal carcinogenesis,” said Dr Ulrike Peters of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s Public Health Sciences Division.

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Weight Gain in Children Occurs After Tonsil Removal, Not Linked to Obesity

Main Points:

Weight gain in children after they have their tonsils removed (adenotonsillectomy) occurs primarily in children who are smaller and younger at the time of the surgery, and weight gain was not linked with increased rates of obesity.

Published in:

JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery

Authors:

Josephine A. Czechowicz, M.D., and Kay W. Chang, M.D., of the Stanford University School of Medicine, California.

Background:

About 500,000 children in the United States have their tonsils removed each year. The childhood obesity rate prompted reevaluation of the question of weight gain after adenotonsillectomy.

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