The Health News – 9 May 2014


Overview

  • After the death of Rugby league player Ryan Tandy, there has been reflection on the characters around him who may have played a role in his fall and the links between organised crime and sport in Australia.
  • Sperm engineered from human skin cells might offer hope to those men who suffer from infertility, according to a new study, published in the journal Cell Reports.
  • State health officials reported that a man hospitalized in Indiana with the first U.S. case of a deadly respiratory virus is improving. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS initially surfaced in the Middle East two years ago.

Health News on HPR.

NRL player’s death highlights links between organised crime and sport
http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2014/s4000978.htm
Reporter: Dylan Welch – Australian Broadcasting Corporation

After the death of Rugby league player Ryan Tandy,  there has been reflection on the characters around him who may have played a role in his fall and the links between organised crime and sport in Australia.

In February last year, the Australian Crime Commission and the anti-doping regulator announced a sweeping investigation into the use of performance-enhancing supplements. It was called the blackest day in sport. At the time, the Justice Minister, Jason Clare, warned that professional sport is highly vulnerable to infiltration by organised crime and that links with criminals mean players risk getting caught up in match fixing. Ryan Tandy was the first person convicted in Australia of fixing a game and he was later accused of being the standover man in a drug-related kidnapping. Tandy died recently at the age of 32 of a suspected overdose of prescription drugs and was buried on the New South Wales Central Coast. where hundreds of friends and family gathered to remember a once-promising athlete whose life spiralled out of control including being charged with trying to rig a match as part of a betting scam and also charged with holding someone against their will on the Central Coast.  Tandy first played in the NRL in 2003, but it was in 2009 when he joined Melbourne Storm during their premiership-winning season that his career began to take off. In 2010, Tandy moved to the Bulldogs where he bet on his first match when the Dogs played the Gold Coast Titans. NRL rules prohibit players from gambling on the sport. In October, 2011, Tandy was convicted of dishonestly attempting to obtain a financial advantage his manager and others. Tandy was the only person convicted. The NRL also banned him for life. Tandy was due to face court on charges of kidnapping when he was found dead last month. Hundreds of family, friends and associates turned out  for his funeral remembering him not as a criminal, but as a talented athlete, loving son and friend.

Sperm Made From Human Skin Cells For The First Time
http://www.rttnews.com/2313939/sperm-made-from-human-skin-cells-for-the-first-time.aspx?
by RTT Staff Writer

Sperm engineered from human skin cells might offer hope to those men who suffer from infertility, according to a new study, published in the journal Cell Reports.

The study, found that after being implanted into the testes of mice, the samples generated into early-stage sperm cells. Scientists said that although “cell precursors” were insufficient to support conception, the breakthrough suggests that in future, the method could be used to grow fertile sperm from infertile men. The trials, run by Stanford University, involved three men suffering from such defects. When their tissue samples were genetically engineered and then implanted into the testes of mice, cells were successfully generated. The findings indicate that Y chromosome infertility occurs relatively late in the maturing process of sperm cells.

1st U.S. MERS Patient Improving, Officials Say
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=178298&ecd=mnl_day_050514
By Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter

SUNDAY, May 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) — State health officials reported that a man hospitalized in Indiana with the first U.S. case of a deadly respiratory virus is improving. 

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERSt initially surfaced in the Middle East two years ago. The unidentified patient is a health care professional who had been working in Saudi Arabia which officials say is the epicenter of the viral outbreak of MERS. No other cases have been identified according to the Associated Press. MERS has sickened hundreds of people in the Middle East, and kills about a quarter of the people who contract the virus.  In some countries, the virus has spread from person to person through close contact, such as caring for or living with an infected person. But, there’s currently no evidence of sustained spread of MERS in general settings, the CDC said. CDC and Indiana health officials said  that they didn’t yet know how the man had been infected with the virus and don’t know how many people had close contact with the patient, but say there is no evidence at this time that the virus has spread to anyone else. The man took a plane on April 24 from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to London, then from London to Chicago. He next took a bus from Chicago to Indiana. On April 27, he started experiencing “respiratory symptoms,” and was admitted to the Indiana hospital the next day, the CDC said. The CDC is working with the airline and the bus company to track down people who may have come in contact with the patient, Schuchat said. To date, there have been 401 confirmed cases of MERS in 12 countries, but all the cases originated in six countries in the Arabian Peninsula. Ninety-three people have died. Officials don’t know where the virus came from or how it spreads. Currently, there is no available vaccine or recommended treatment for the virus, the CDC said.