The Health News – 25 August 2016

Overview:
• Researchers at UNSW, The University of Adelaide and Free University of Brussels have developed a new growth factor called Cumulon that allows eggs to be retrieved earlier than in IVF, and matured outside the womb. The findings are being presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society for Reproductive Biology on Queensland’s Gold Coast.

• A diagnostic tool that attaches to a mobile phone will replace the role of a GP according to Professor Kirill Alexandrov of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) who developed it. He said the tool could also be used to immediately detect serious disease outbreaks anywhere in the world.

• An article in the medical journal Thorax recorded the case of a 61- year-old man who played the bagpipes daily but had struggled with a dry cough and breathlessness for seven years. The doctors treating him to took samples from inside the pipes and these revealed a host of different fungi growing in the moist bag, neck and mouthpiece area of the instrument, which the man had been inhaling when he played.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  25th of August 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-24/in-vitro-treatment-avoids-hormone-injections-researchers-say/7778908

Scientists in Australia and Belgium have developed an enhanced method of in-vitro maturation (IVM) that researchers hope will one day provide a more affordable option to couples seeking fertility treatment, without the need for hormone injections.

In-vitro fertilisation (IVF) is a more common fertility treatment, in which women are given hormones to stimulate egg growth before they are removed from the ovaries and fertilised.

Researchers at UNSW, The University of Adelaide and Free University of Brussels have developed a new growth factor called Cumulon that allows eggs to be retrieved earlier than in IVF, and matured outside the womb.

One of the lead researchers on the project, UNSW Associate Professor Robert Gilchrist said it was an alternative treatment which may help eliminate drugs from infertility treatment.

The research, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, showed the process resulted in a 50 per cent boost in the number of embryos compared to regular IVM, with minimal use of drugs.

The findings are being presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society for Reproductive Biology on Queensland’s Gold Coast.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-23/mobile-phone-diagnostic-tool-replace-gp-brisbane-researcher-says/7778590

A diagnostic tool that attaches to a mobile phone will replace the role of a GP, and one day even specialised doctors, according to the Brisbane-based scientist who developed it.

Professor Kirill Alexandrov of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) said the tool could also be used to immediately detect serious disease outbreaks anywhere in the world.

To create the device, he re-engineered the existing technology behind simple blood glucose monitors used to monitor diabetes.

From this, Professor Alexandrov developed a biosensor that could track other serious diseases such as HIV, Zika virus or influenza through a DNA swab.

Professor Alexandrov and his team recently won a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to further develop the technology.

He said patients simply placed a blood or saliva sample onto a stick-like sensor then inserted it into a small electronic device that was then inserted into a mobile phone to read the diagnosis.

Professor Alexandrov said it was cheap, portable and bypassed slow and costly laboratory tests, making it ideal for infectious diseases in third world countries.

Professor Alexandrov said the device could also be used to monitor stress levels and more common illnesses, and had direct implications for diagnostics in a progressively electronic world where health costs were unsustainable.

He said this would enable accurate self-diagnosis and replace the role of a GP.

Fellow researcher Dr Wayne Johnston said the biosensor was technology that had been “crying out for ages” to be available.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-23/bagpipe-lung-death-prompts-warning-for-wind-musicians/7778700

Musicians have been warned to clean their wind instruments regularly after British doctors reported that “bagpipe lung” had killed a man who inhaled fungi growing inside his pipes.

An article in the medical journal Thorax recorded the case of a 61-year-old man who played the bagpipes daily but had struggled with a dry cough and breathlessness for seven years.

His condition improved rapidly when he went on a three-month trip to Australia, leaving his bagpipes at home.

This prompted doctors treating him to take samples from inside the pipes.

These revealed a host of different fungi growing in the moist bag, neck and mouthpiece area of the instrument, which the man had been inhaling when he played.

Despite treatment, the man died in …2014 and a post-mortem examination showed he had suffered extensive lung damage.

This is thought to be the first reported case of a bagpipe player being exposed to fungi which may have triggered hypersensitivity pneumonitis, the inflammatory lung disease which the man suffered from.

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