Health Highlights: Nov. 21, 201211/21/12
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
New Type of Flu Vaccine Approved by FDA
The first seasonal flu vaccine made using animal cell
technology, instead of the standard egg method, has been approved
by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Novartis' Flucelvax was approved for use in people 18 years and
The new animal cell method is faster than egg-based vaccine
production and could increase manufacturing speed in the event of a
With the new technique, small amounts of flu virus are placed in
fermenting tanks with nutrients and cells derived from mammals. The
virus is then inactivated, purified and placed into vaccine vials,
In the egg method, virus samples are injected into specialized
chicken eggs and incubated. Later, the egg fluids are collected,
concentrated and purified into the flu vaccine.
Dogs Regain Ability to Walk After Nose Cell Transplant:
Paralyzed dogs regained the use of their hind legs after they
received injections of cells grown from the lining of their nose,
U.K. researchers say.
They're cautiously optimistic that the approach could be used to
restore movement in people with spinal cord injuries,
The Cambridge University team took olfactory ensheathing cells
from the lining of the noses of 23 pet dogs with spinal injuries
that prevented them from using their hind legs. The cells were
grown and expanded for several weeks in the laboratory and then
injected into the dogs' spinal injury sites.
Many of the dogs showed significant improvement and were able to
walk on a treadmill with the help of a harness. Eleven other
paralyzed dogs that were injected with a neutral fluid showed no
The study, published in the journal
Brain, is the first to test this type of transplant in
"real-life" injuries, rather than in laboratory animals.
"Our findings are extremely exciting because they show for the first time that transplanting these types of cell into a severely damaged spinal cord can bring about significant improvement," said study co-author Professor Robin Franklin, BBC Newsreported.
"We're confident that the technique might be able to restore at least a small amount of movement in human patients with spinal cord injuries but that's a long way from saying they might be able to regain all lost function," Franklin added.
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