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Traditional thought in microbiology has assumed that bacterial resistance to an antibiotic should disappear if its use is discontinued. However, a study conducted at the Royal London Hospital, UK found that about 20% of enterobacteria were resistant to streptomycin, although the antibiotic has been rarely used in the hospital since the 1950s and 1960s. The researchers have not yet found clues to explain this phenomenon.
Source: Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (1998;41:247-251)
Research being conducted at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York have linked signature mRNA molecules as an earlier indicator when cancer has spread beyond the prostate. It is expected that mRNA detection in the lymph nodes of prostate cancer patients could become a useful guide to treatment, if it turns out to predict which patients are vulnerable to relapse. The researchers have started a five-year study to find out. In the meantime, a second study found that their test is positive more often in patients judged at high risk for relapse than those at lower risk. The risk is based on microscopic examination of the tumor.
Eli Lilly and Company is collaborating researchers from Columbia University, New York; the Institut de Biologie de Lille, France and the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, London, England to study the genetic basis of type 2 diabetes and obesity.
German researchers have found that hemochromatosis is at least as common as anemia in the general population and is often overlooked. They reported the results of a prospective hemochromatosis and iron deficiency screening study involving more than 3,000 asymptomatic employees and about the same number of primary care outpatients. They found that iron overload occurred almost as frequently as iron deficiency, 0.4% versus 0.5%, respectively in male participants. Female employees had iron deficiency more often than iron overload, 6.0% versus 0.2%, respectively. They concludes that "the time has come to establish the use of ferritin levels and transferrin saturation values for the universal screening of hemochromatosis in asymptomatic persons."
Source: Annals of Internal Medicine March 1998;128
Research at the University of California, Irvine, has shown that staining PAP smears for MN/CA9 antigen expression might prevent many false negative results, where premalignant or malignant changes are reported as normal. They have found that the MN/CA9 antigen is expressed in all cervical cancers is also associated with dysplasias and adenocarcinoma in situ, making it useful in detecting these abnormalities in ambiguous Pap smears. Although the functional significance of MN/CA9 is unknown they conclude that MN/CA9 protein expression is a very useful biomarker in detecting dysplasia and carcinoma and a multicenter, blinded trial will be initiated in the near future.
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