The Health News – 28 July 2015

Overview:

• Australian National University researchers found a new molecule called RaxX seen in rice immune system, bacterial leaf blight that it can destroy 80% of crop in some countries if it develops early, and it has similar molecular mechanisms to that of HIV according to Dr. Benjamin Schwessinger.

• The New South Wales Premier Mike Baird and Medical Research Minister Pru Goward were given a tour of the Calvary Mater hospital where the trials for Australia’s first medical cannabis for terminally ill adults were taking place. The trial involves using both vaporised leaf cannabis and a pharmaceutical and the first results are expected next year.

• More should be done to address alcohol advertising in sports in the Northern Territory, and a good place to start would be Darwin’s famous Beer Can Regatta, a leading emergency medicine doctor Dianna Egerton- Warburton says, from the Monash Medical Centre in Victoria.

Health News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 28TH July 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-27/new-rice-disease-molecule-found-to-help-hiv-research/6651804

A new molecule discovered in a common rice disease could help in the battle against HIV, biologists have said.

A team of international researchers found a new molecule seen in rice disease, bacterial leaf blight, has similar molecular mechanisms to that of HIV.

Researchers found the rice plant’s immune system is triggered by a molecule called RaxX, which is secreted by the disease.

The disease is detrimental to rice crops across the globe, with half … the world’s population reliant on the grain for food security.

Bacterial leaf blight can destroy up to 80 per cent of a crop in some countries if it develops early.

Australian National University researcher Dr Benjamin Schwessinger said the discovery may give insight into human health, as the “chemistry is similar to that of HIV entering human cells”.

He said the chemical properties of RaxX … have a wider significance than just rice diseases.

“Several major human diseases, for example HIV, involve tyrosine-sulfated proteins. The sulfation stabilises the molecules but its role in binding and cell entry is not precisely understood,” he said.

“The new understanding could lead to the development of novel methods to block such diseases.”

Dr Schwessinger said the molecule “has never been seen before”, and could boost crop yields and lead to more disease-resistant types of rice.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-27/nation-first-cannabis-study-announced-at-newcastle-hospital/6650832

The New South Wales Premier Mike Baird says he is excited about the prospects of Australia’s first medical cannabis trial for terminally ill adults.

Mr Baird and Medical Research Minister Pru Goward were given a tour of the Calvary Mater hospital … where the trial is taking place.

Ms Goward said treatment will begin early next year.

“The intention of this trial is to test whether or not medical cannabis can improve the quality of life of patients in their final stages,” she said.

The trial involves using both vaporised leaf cannabis and a pharmaceutical and the first results are expected next year.

Mr Baird said the research will improve the quality of life for thousands of terminally ill patients.

The study will look at how cannabis can potentially alleviate symptoms in terminally ill patients including fatigue, loss of appetite and insomnia.

It is expected once the initial results are known the second stage of the trial will be rolled out to patients across metropolitan and regional hospitals.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-27/emergency-doctors-warning-over-darwins-beer-can-regatta/6652106

More should be done to address alcohol advertising in sports in the Northern Territory, and a good place to start would be Darwin’s famous Beer Can Regatta, a leading emergency medicine doctor says.

Associate Professor Dr Diana Egerton-Warburton, from the Monash Medical Centre in Victoria, has been attending a biannual symposium held by the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine in Alice Springs.

Dr Egerton-Warburton has led a project collecting data on patients with alcohol-related harm presenting to emergency departments, which will wind up in August.

“I think advertising in sport is one of the key areas [of concern], especially an area like the NT, with all the young people,” she said.

“Emergency clinicians, we’re not wowsers. We don’t want to take the fun out of life but we do want to make things that are inappropriate not be in a relationship together. So children and alcohol, shouldn’t mix.”

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