The Health News United Kingdom January 31 2018

  • Scientists have used a device that fits in the palm of the hand to sequence the human genome. They say the feature, detailed in the journal Nature Biotechnology, opens up exciting possibilities for using genetics in routine medicine. It is a far cry from the effort to sequence the first human genome which started in 1990. The Human Genome Project took 13 years, laboratories around the world and hundreds of millions of dollars. Since then there has been a revolution in cracking the code of life.
  • New research led by the University of Liverpool has found that childhood vaccination against rotavirus has greatest benefit in the most deprived communities and could contribute to reducing health inequalities in the UK. The infectious stomach bug, which can lead to severe diarrhoea, vomiting and fever, is most common in the under-5s. An oral rotavirus vaccine was introduced in the UK in 2013 and is given as 2 doses for babies aged 8 and 12 weeks.
  • Almost one-third of those with legal problems in the UK report developing a stress-related or physical illness as a result of their experience, according to a new international survey comparing people’s perceptions of justice around the world. In the UK, 31% of respondents with a legal problem over the past 2 years said they had become ill, the same figure as Canada and 1% higher than in the United States. Of the 45 countries surveyed, Ethiopia came out highest in this category at 41%.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 31st of January 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-42838821

Scientists have used a device that fits in the palm of the hand to sequence the human genome.
They say the feature, detailed in the journal Nature Biotechnology, opens up exciting possibilities for using genetics in routine medicine. It is a far cry from the effort to sequence the first human genome which started in nineteen ninety. The Human Genome Project took thirteen years, laboratories around the world and hundreds of millions of dollars. Since then there has been a revolution in cracking the code of life.

Professor Nicholas Loman, one of the researchers and from the University of Birmingham, UK, told the BBC: “We’ve gone from a situation where you can only do genome sequencing for a huge amount of money in well equipped labs to one where we can have genome sequencing literally in your pocket just like a mobile phone.
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Sequencing technology has the potential to change the way we do medicine. Analysing the mutated DNA of cancers could be used to pick the best treatment. Or inspecting the genetic code of bacteria could spot antibiotic resistance early. Professor Loman used the handheld device to track the spread of Ebola during the outbreak in West Africa.
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The handheld device used in the study was developed by the company Oxford Nanopore.

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The building blocks of DNA are four bases known by their letters A, C, G and T. As each passes through the pore it creates a unique electrical signal that allows researchers to determine the DNA sequence. The research group say the approach was around ninety nine point five percent accurate, but also allowed them to look at parts of human DNA that had been poorly studied.
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Professor Matthew Loose, from the University of Nottingham, UK, said the nanopore tech analysed longer strands of DNA so “we can read parts of the genome not seen before”.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-01/uol-rvc012918.php

New research led by the University of Liverpool has found that childhood vaccination against rotavirus has greatest benefit in the most deprived communities and could contribute to reducing health inequalities in the UK. The infectious stomach bug, which can lead to severe diarrhoea, vomiting and fever, is most common in the under-fives. An oral rotavirus vaccine was introduced in the UK in two thousand thirteen and is given as two doses for babies aged eight and twelve weeks.

In a new study published in BMC Medicine, a team from the University’s Institute of Infection and Global Health evaluated the impact that the rotavirus vaccination has had on communities in Merseyside in relation to socioeconomic deprivation.

Using routine health data collected by GPs, walk-in centres and hospitals, the researchers found that the incidence of gastrointestinal disease has decreased across all levels of the health-care system in children aged five and under since the vaccine’s introduction. For example, rotavirus hospitalisations reduced by eighty percent, and walk- in centre and GP attendances for infectious gastroenteritis reduced by thirty two percent and thirteen percent, respectively.

Importantly, vaccine impact was found to be greatest among the most deprived populations despite lower vaccine uptake in these areas. For infants in the most deprived communities, the hospitalisations averted for acute gastroenteritis was double that found in the least deprived communities. Lead author Dan Hungerford, said: “Rotavirus vaccine is proving to be highly effective at preventing severe childhood gastroenteritis caused by rotavirus in the UK.

https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2018/jan/29/one-in-three-people-with-legal-problems-in-uk-develop-health-issues-report

Almost one-third of those with legal problems in the UK report developing a stress-related or physical illness as a result of their experience, according to a new international survey comparing people’s perceptions of justice around the world. In the UK, thirty one percent of respondents with a legal problem over the past two years said they had become ill, the same figure as Canada and one percent higher than in the United States. Of the forty five countries surveyed, Ethiopia came out highest in this category at forty one percent.

The Access to Justice survey, produced by the World Justice Project (WJP) ahead of its annual Rule of Law Index, also reveals that, of those who had experienced any kind of legal problem, one in ten respondents from the UK suffered a relationship breakdown and nearly one in five ( eighteen percent) lost their job, faced financial strain or were forced to relocate.

The research comes five years after the biggest cuts to the legal aid scheme in the UK since it was introduced after the second world war. The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act removed around six hundred million pounds from the legal aid budget – which stood at around two point two billion pounds in two thousand eleven – by cutting entire areas of law from its scope. The legal aid budget now stands at around one point six billion pounds.

According to findings from the World Justice Project, eight percent of UK respondents reported suffering harassment at work; one in twenty (five percent) experienced difficulties related to bullying or harassment of their children at school; and one in ten (ten percent) was behind on credit card payments, utility bills or loan repayments. Of those surveyed, twelve percent faced problems with gangs, vandalism, or the consumption of drugs or alcohol in their neighbourhood.

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