Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

Politics and Policies:

  • The House Committee on Appropriations released a draft of the FY 2013 Labor, Health & Human Services, Education and related Agencies appropriations bill. It provides the funding levels for global health programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the John E. Fogarty International Center.
  • Heads of State endorse the establishment of the African Public Health Emergency Fund (APHEF).
  • New smoking law in South Africa under attack.
  • Federally funded website in Australia is offering tools and tips to those battling anxiety and depression.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Truvada as HIV prevention pill.
  • European agency backs approval of a gene therapy.
  • Atlanta curbs smoking, part of southern wave of bans.
  • The F.D.A. has approved Qsymia, a weight loss drug.


  • AIDS research road map issued by the international AIDS specialists- hope of eventual AIDS cure revived. The priorities of new cure research strategy will be- determine why HIV hibernates and persists, why people are naturally resistant, develop strategies to make them more naturally resistant etc.
  • African women to gain access to innovative contraception.  The UK Department for International Development (DFID), the US Agency for International Development, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Pfizer and PATH (the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health) partnership plans to produce 12 million doses of contraceptive between 2013 and 2016.
  • iAFya mobile health application launched in East Africa. This personal health service on phone answers everyday health questions- from basic information to professional health advice.
  • UCB launches Neupro(R) in the U.S. to treat Parkinson’s disease and Restless Legs syndrome.
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Onyx blood cancer drug Kyprolis (Carfilzomib).


  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded study suggests that egg therapy helps children to overcome their allergies.
  • The researchers at Stanford University and at the Howard Hudges Medical Institute have worked on getting genome maps from 91 sperms and were able to create a personal map of the DNA within the sperm. They were also able to capture an image of the new mutations that formed within each sperm cell as the DNA changed to create more genetic diversity.
  • Scientists have discovered a link between cancerous cervical cells and those in the esophagus. They also found out that these cancerous cells are the remnants of a process known as embryogenesis, which failed to disappear and get replace by the adult cells.
  • Tool created by the researchers help to track real time changes in the brain of patients undergoing deep brain stimulation (DBS) for the treatment of brain disorders like Parkinson’s disease, depression and Tourette.
  • The researchers at the California Institute of Technology have revealed that certain changes in the over reactive immune system of mice could cause behaviors similar to those found in autism. This study has helped to find a link between irregularities in the immune system and neurodevelopmental disorders.
  • Researchers turn skin cells to brain cells.  They have generated the type of human neuron which is specifically damaged by the Parkinson’s disease (PD) and used various drugs to stop the damage.
  • Scientists have designed a pen like tool to more effectively stop seizures.
  • The researchers at the University of Dundee have showed through their study that a cheap gout drug- allopurinol- is helpful to treat heart pain.
  • A new study shows that the vitamin C may lower gout risk in men. It showed that consuming at least 1500 milligrams per day of this vitamin reduces the odds of gout by 46 percent.
  • The researchers in the Milk Quality Improvement Program at Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences have identified the predominant spore-forming bacteria in milk and their unique enzyme activity, the knowledge of which can be used to protect the quality and shelf life of dairy products.
  • Scientists grow sweat glands from newly identified stem cells. They devised a strategy to purify and molecularly characterize the different kinds of stem cell populations that make up the complex sweat duct and gland in skin.
  • A team of researchers have demonstrated the role of Lactobacillus reuteri as a beneficial probiotic organism which produces an antimicrobial substance known as reuterin, which may protect intestinal epithelial cells from infection by the foodborne bacterial pathogen Salmonella.
  • Scientist develop a new line of approach for combination therapy against melanoma. It involves combating the interaction between the protein MDM4 and the tumor suppressor p53.
  • A research shows that Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) testing in HIV positive women may help reduce frequent cervical cancer screening.
  • A study says that bacteria outbreak (which can cause gastroenteritis) in Northern Europe is due to ocean warming.
  • Discovery of anti-inflammatory effects of abscisic acid in the lungs could prove crucial to healing influenza.
  • Latest studies have revealed that patients with spinal cord injury and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis may benefit from cell transplantation.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) fatal car crash risk highest among young drivers. Its July issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report found that about 22 percent of the motor vehicle deaths among the U.S. residents with young people ages 15 to 24.
  • A study shows that women with high stress jobs may be more likely to have a heart attack.

Diseases and Disasters:

  • Heavy rains kill about 37 people in Beijing (China).
  • U.S. whooping cough outbreak could be worst in half century.
  • The doctors say that the survivors of movie massacre likely to develop depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).