Health Highlights: Sept. 10, 201309/10/13
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Bill and Melinda Gates, 5 Scientists Share Lasker Awards
This year's recipients of the prestigious Lasker Awards for
medical research and contributions to public health include Bill
and Melinda Gates, three researchers who developed implants that
enable deaf people to hear, and two scientists who revealed how
brain cells communicate.
The winners of the $250,000 prizes in the different categories
were announced Monday by the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation. The
awards will be presented Sept. 20 in New York City, the
The clinical medical research award will be shared by Australian
researcher Graeme Clark, Austrian Ingeborg Hochmair, and Blake
Wilson of Duke University in North Carolina for their roles in
developing the modern cochlear implant, which benefits more than
320,000 people around the world with severe hearing loss.
The award for basic medical research will be shared by Richard
Scheller of the biotech company Genentech and Dr. Thomas Sudhof of
Stanford University. They discovered how brain cells release
chemical messengers to communicate with each other, the
Their research is helping scientists learn more about serious
brain conditions such as Parkinson's disease, the foundation
Bill and Melinda Gates won the public service award "for leading
a historic transformation in the way we view the globe's most
pressing health concerns and improving the lives of millions of the
world's most vulnerable," according to the foundation, the
The Gateses have donated more than $26 billion to their
philanthropic foundation and often team up with agencies that can
provide diverse expertise, the foundation said.
Motrin Infants Formula Recalled
About 200,000 bottles of Motrin Infants formula, which is used
to treat fever and aches and pains in children 2 years old and
younger, are being recalled because they may contain tiny plastic
particles, Johnson & Johnson says.
The recall covers three lots of Motrin Infants' Drops Original
Berry Flavor. The lot numbers of the recalled half-ounce bottles
are DCB3T01, DDB4R01 and DDB4S01, the
The recalled products may contain tiny bits of PTFE, which is a
plastic used in Teflon coatings. It's unclear if the recalled
bottles actually contain the particles, which were found in a
different product during the manufacturing process, J&J's
McNeil unit said, the news service reported.
Both products contain the same shipment of ibuprofen from a
third-party supplier, the company explained.
"From our perspective, during the manufacturing process at the third party supplier, that's when the particles got into the ibuprofen," McNeil Vice President Ed Kuffner told the AP. He would not identify the supplier that made the ibuprofen.
No illnesses or injuries associated with the affected medicine
have been reported to date, according to the company.
McNeil has told retailers to remove the recalled lots from their
shelves. Consumers should stop using the products and call McNeil
for a refund at 1-877-414-7709, the
Drug Cocktail Protects Monkeys Against MERS: Study
A combination of two antiviral drugs protected monkeys against
the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS) and
could potentially be used to save people infected with the virus, a
new study says.
Researchers at the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and
Infectious Diseases gave ribavirin and interferon to three of six
rhesus monkeys eight hours after they were infected with MERS,
The New York Timesreported.
The three monkeys that received the drug cocktail had lower
levels of virus in their blood, no breathing problems and only
minimal X-ray evidence of pneumonia, while the untreated monkeys
became severely ill, according to the study in the journal
The findings are "not a game changer, but an important
observation," according to institute director Dr. Anthony Fauci,
He noted that it was a small study, treatment started soon after
the monkeys were infected, and that drugs that are effective in
monkeys sometimes fail in humans. However, Fauci added that "if I
were a doctor with MERS patients, and I had nothing else to give
them, I wouldn't hesitate. If someone has advanced disease, there's
50 percent mortality."
Most of the MERS cases have occurred in Saudi Arabia. Doctors
there have already tried this two-drug combination on patients, but
it did not work well, Dr. Ziad Memish, Saudi Arabia's deputy health
minister, told the
However, this may have been because the drug treatment was
started late, when patients were hospitalized and already very ill,
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