A study published in the March issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals reveals that total extraperitoneal inguinal hernioplasty (TEP), a minimally invasive surgery for hernia repair, is linked to lower damage of inguinal (groin) sensation, higher patient satisfaction, as well as less chronic pain than open Lichtenstein repair. Although hypoesthesia (reduced sensitivity) and chronic pain are measured following inguinal hernia repair, there have been insufficient studies conducted that compare TEP with Lichtenstein repair. Hasan H. Eker, M.D., of Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and colleagues enrolled 660 individuals to participate in the prospective multi-center randomized clinical trial. The researchers randomly assigned 336 participants to receive TEP and 324 participants to received Lichtenstein repair.
Every new imaging technology has an aura of magic about it because it suddenly reveals what had been concealed, and makes visible what had been invisible. So, too, with photoacoustic tomography, which is allowing scientists to virtually peel away the top several inches of flesh to see what lies beneath. The technique achieves this depth vision by an elegant marriage between light and sound, combining the high contrast due to light absorption by colored molecules such as hemoglobin or melanin with the spatial resolution of ultrasound. Lihong V. Wang, PhD, the Gene K. Beare Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis, summarizes the state of the art in photoacoustic imaging in Science. He is already working with physicians at the Washington University School of Medicine to move four applications of photoacoustic tomography into clinical trials.
Twenty million Americans get sick from norovirus each year according to data released last week by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Often called vomiting illness, it can spread rapidly on cruise ships, and in dormitories and hospitals. Recent data from the CDC shows deaths from gastrointestinal infections have more than doubled and have become a particular threat to the elderly. The virus is shed in the stool of the infected individual, has a short incubation period and can spread quickly if proper hand washing and other measures are neglected. While researchers say that vaccines for intestinal infections are among the most difficult to develop, a recent discovery may provide the critical information needed for success. "Sometimes atomic structure gives us clues on how viruses work and how to make better vaccines, " said Dr.
When poet Walt Whitman wrote that we "contain multitudes, " he was speaking metaphorically, but he was correct in the literal sense. Every human being carries over 100 trillion individual bacterial cells within the intestine - ten times more cells than comprise the body itself. Now, David Artis, PhD, associate professor of Microbiology, along with postdoctoral fellow David Hill, PhD, from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and collaborators from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and institutions in Japan and Germany, have found that these commensal bacteria might play an important role in influencing and controlling allergic inflammation. The commensal relationship that develops between humans and internal bacteria is one in which both humans and bacteria derive benefits.
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a devastating disease caused by mutations in the CFTR gene. In Canada, one in every 3, 600 children born has the disease. Researchers have long been puzzled as to how individuals who carry the same CFTR mutations can experience such different courses of disease. Patients with CF are affected in multiple organs such as the lungs, pancreas and liver, to varying degrees. An international team led by The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and the University for Toronto (U of T) has found a potential answer to this puzzle. The team has discovered multiple genes associated with meconium ileus, a severe intestinal obstruction present at birth in 15 per cent of patients with CF. The study is published online in Nature Genetics. "Because meconium ileus is inherited, present at birth, and subject to limited environmental influence, it provides an ideal focus for identifying other contributors beyond CFTR that could result in differences in CF disease, " says the study's principal investigator Dr.