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Gladstone Scientists Identify Key Factor That Controls HIV Latency
Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes of Virology and Immunology (GIVI) have found another clue that may lead to eradication of HIV from infected patients who have been on antiretroviral therapy. A real cure for HIV has been elusive because the virus can "hide" in a latent form in resting CD4-T cells. By understanding this "latency" effect, researchers can identify ways to reactivate the virus and enable complete clearance by current or future therapies.
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WHO Network Supports Efforts To Address Noncommunicable Diseases In Development Goals
Noncommunicable diseases such as heart attacks, strokes, cancers, diabetes, respiratory diseases, and common injuries account for the vast majority of all global deaths, but because they are not yet included as priorities in the global development agenda, donors and international organizations have yet to pledge support to help developing countries address these leading health problems.

Medigap Plans In Illinois To Benefit From Medicare Advantage Reimbursement Cuts.

HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of managed care market intelligence, reports that planned cuts to Medicare Advantage reimbursement will benefit organizations offering Medicare supplement plans in Illinois. According to the recent Illinois Health Plan Analysis, the shift from Medicare Advantage to Medicare supplement plans, also known as Medigap plans, will likely benefit Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, the state"s top Medigap insurer. Medicare Advantage plans have traditionally not been strong in the Illinois market because of the state"s generous retirement benefit culture. In June 2009, the penetration rate for Medicare Advantage in Illinois was 10 percent, well below the national average of 24 percent. However, in recent years, companies such as HealthSpring entered the state with Medicare Advantage plans that offered many of the same benefits as Medicare supplement policies at a lower price, prompting growth in the state"s Medicare Advantage market.

Presentation At AAPM Meeting On Nanoparticles That Package Cancer-killing Isotopes And Deliver Them Into Cancer Cells.

A group of researchers at Johns Hopkins University has designed nanoparticles that can carry cancer-treating radioisotopes through the body and deliver them selectively to tumors. Today in Anaheim, CA, they will report the latest results of their research, including studies in animal models, at the 51st meeting of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM). The nanoparticles are made with a commercially available product known as "liposomes" -- small chemical spheres made of fatty molecules that can package drugs and other chemicals. Liposomes are a powerful emerging tool in medicine because they can be designed to carry many different drugs and manipulated to control how long they stay in the bloodstream. One type of liposome, Doxil, is already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for delivering Doxorubicin, a chemotherapeutic that is toxic to the heart. The Hopkins scientists are using liposomes that have been modified with antibodies, a class of immune system proteins that recognize and bind to many different microscopic targets -- bacteria, viruses, other proteins, and human cells.

Canadian Lung Association Launches New Online Tools To Help People With Lung Disease Find Local Programs.

Want to find an asthma education centre or a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) clinic near you? Need to get a lung function test and don"t know where to go? The Canadian Lung Association is making it easier for Canadians to find help in their area with new online tools: searchable databases of lung disease programs and services available in Canada. By entering your town or city or postal code, you will find programs or lung testing sites near you. For each program listed, you"ll get an interactive map that shows its location. You"ll find out who qualifies for the program, whether you need a doctor"s referral, contact information and hours of operation. "These new online tools make it really easy for people with lung disease to get connected to local services" says Melanie Wise, Consumer Health Information Manager for The Lung Association.

One Force Behind The MYC Oncogene In Many Cancers Uncovered By Fox Chase Researchers.

DLX5, a gene crucial for embryonic development, promotes cancer by activating the expression of the known oncogene, MYC, according to researchers from Fox Chase Cancer Center. Since the DLX5 gene is inactive in normal adults, it may be an ideal target for future anti-cancer drugs, they reason. Their findings are published in the July 31 edition of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, available online now. Previously the researchers found that a chromosomal inversion - a genetic misalignment, where part of the chromosome containing the DLX5 gene gets flipped around during cell division - cooperates with another known oncogene, AKT2, to drive cancer in mice. In the current paper, the researchers discover that DLX5 binds to and actively promotes the activity of a gene known as MYC, which evidence has demonstrated is a potent factor in numerous cancers, including lymphoma, lung and pancreatic cancer.