Tag Archives: georgia

Findings bolster fiber’s role in colon health

The finding helps explain why a high-fiber diet reduces the risk of colon problems and indicates that when fiber is lacking, niacin, or vitamin B3, just may help keep the colon healthy as well, said Dr. Vadivel Ganapathy, Chairman of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University and a corresponding study author. The study found that mice lacking the receptor, Gpr109a, were prone to inflammation and cancer of the colon, said Dr. Nagendra Singh, MCG immunologist, member of the Cancer Immunology, Inflammation and Tolerance Program at the GRU Cancer Center, and a corresponding study author. …

Researchers use nanoparticles to fight cancer

The findings were published recently in the early online edition of ACS Nano. The human body operates under a constant state of martial law. Chief among the enforcers charged with maintaining order is the immune system, a complex network that seeks out and destroys the hordes of invading bacteria and viruses that threaten the organic society as it goes about its work. The immune system is good at its job, but it’s not perfect. …

Facebook helped boost organ donor registration

Raising awareness of organ donation on social media websites can help boost donation rates, according to a new study. Facebook began allowing users to make their status as organ donors visible in their profiles in May 2012, and on the first day of the change, about 13,000 people in the U.S. registered to become organ donors 20 times more than the average number of daily registrations. The effect of the social media initiative on its first day varied across states, ranging from a seven-fold increase in registrations in Michigan, to 100-fold increase in Georgia, the results showed. The findings mean that social media might be an effective tool for encouraging organ donation, as well as tackling other public health problems in which communication and education are essential, the researchers said. Our research speaks to on-going efforts to address the organ availability crisis in the United States. It also suggests that social media and social networks may be valuable tools in re-approaching refractory public health problems, said study researcher Dr. Andrew Cameron, the surgical director of liver transplantation at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. Today, more than 118,500 people in the U.S. are on the waiting list for organs, and one name is added to the list every ten minutes, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing. On average, 18 people die every day waiting for an organ. Despite countless previous efforts, organ donation rates in the United States have not grown, while need for transplants has risen dramatically. Therefore, new efforts are needed to boost organ donation through public education, the researchers said. The Facebook initiative t let users add their organ-donation status to the timeline for their friends and family to see. It also directed people to the official organ donation registry websites of their states. The results showed high registration rates following the Facebook initiative, compared with usual rates at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The boost may stem from the fact that people are more open to making decisions about sensitive and difficult topics when they are in an environment “amongst friends,” compared with the environment at the DMV, the researchers said. However, after the initial spike, registration rates diminished over the following weeks. The researchers said this shows more work is needed to find ways to sustain the increase. “The next challenge for efforts like the organ donor initiative will be utilization of social media applications like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram more effectively and more durably,” the researchers wrote in the study, which was published today (June 18) in the American Journal of Transplantation. Copyright 2013 LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/06/18/facebook-helped-boost-organ-donor-registration/

Vaccine blackjack: IL-21 critical to fight against viral infections

The results are published in the Journal of Virology. "Our findings highlight how IL-21 could be important in the development of antiviral vaccines," says research associate Ata Ur Rasheed Mohammed, PhD, the first author of the paper. The senior author is Rafi Ahmed, PhD, director of the Emory Vaccine Center and a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar…

Flesh-eating bacteria victim Aimee Copeland gets new bionic hands

Last summer, the nation was captivated by the story of Aimee Copeland, a University of West Georgia graduate student who lost both her hands and a leg to a terrible bout with flesh-eating bacteria, which she contracted during a zip-lining accident.   Now, a little over a year later, 25-year-old Copeland has been fitted with a new pair of prosthetic hands, which allow her to wipe down tables, fold towels and even straighten her hair, WLTX.com reported.   Thanks to a gift from Touch Bionics in Hilliard, Ohio, Copeland is the first woman in the world with bilateral upper limb amputations to be fitted with iLimb Ultra Prosthetic Hands.  According to the company, the prosthetic hands cost $100,000 each, but Touch Bionics gave them to Copeland free of charge, as she had run out of insurance to pay for them herself. To date, the iLimb hands are the most advanced and most versatile high-tech prosthetic hands available, and Copeland has spent the past week in Hilliard getting them fitted and learning how to use them.  In a video from WXIA of Columbus, Ohio, she was able to delicately pick up a single M&M. “It feels amazing, because you know, with the other arms I had, they really didn’t feel like an extension of my body,” Copeland told WXIA.  “This just feels very freeing; it’s more light-weight. And the hand actually… it seems like this could be my actual hand.” Copeland’s ordeal began in May 2012, when she was enjoying a trip kayaking down a creek with some of her friends in Carrollton, Ga.  But when Copeland stopped to ride on a homemade zip line along the water, the line snapped and cut a large gash in her left calf.   Doctors ultimately had to staple her leg up with 22 staples, and they told her to take pain medication.  But the pain did not subside, so a friend drove Copeland to the emergency room the next day, where doctors diagnosed her with necrotizing fasciitis – the infection and destruction of a layer of tissue right underneath the skin.  The bacteria had entered Copeland’s body through the gash she had received during the zip-lining accident.   Despite her initial odds of survival being “slim to none,” then 24-year-old Copeland eventually pulled through, but both her hands and her entire left leg had to be amputated in order to ensure her survival.  After two months in the hospital and two months of rehabilitation, Copeland returned to her renovated home in Snellville, Ga., where she began physical therapy. Click for more from WLTX.com.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/17/flesh-eating-bacteria-victim-aimee-copeland-gets-new-bionic-hands/