News Features

HIV- AIDS Update: HIV vaccine efficacy study begins
The first HIV vaccine efficacy study to launch anywhere in seven years is now testing whether an experimental vaccine regimen safely prevents HIV infection among South African adults. The study, called HVTN 702, involves a new version of the only HIV vaccine candidate ever shown to provide some protection against the virus. HVTN 702 aims to enrol 5,400 men and women, making it the largest and most advanced HIV vaccine clinical trial to take place in South Africa, where more than 1,000 people become infected with HIV every day.
ZIKA Virus Update: Study finds Zika virus replicates and persists in foetal brains and placentas
Zika virus can make thousands of copies of itself in foetuses’ brains and in the placentas of pregnant women, which may help explain how the virus causes devastating birth defects and pregnancy losses even if a woman had only a minor illness. A new study by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the first to show Zika virus RNA replicating in brain tissues of infants with microcephaly who later died and in placentas of women who suffered pregnancy losses.
Yemen Update:Millions go hungry as country on brink of collapse
The past year has seen widespread destruction and overall deterioration of conditions, with more than 14 million Yemenis going to bed hungry at night. The price of staple food is now 20% higher than before the conflict started last year. Projections for 2017 indicate that, if the situation does not change, an extra 2.5 million people will be left without enough to eat. That will mean that a staggering 60% of the entire population will struggle to put food on the table.
Syria Update: Brave doctors risk it all to save lives
The situation on the ground in Syria changes on a daily basis as the war continues, making it difficult to report current events in a bimonthly magazine such as Middle East Health. However, the life and experience of doctors working in this war zone deserves reporting no matter that some detail may be outdated or overtaken by new events. Their brave deeds to save lives in the face of such terror must be told.The air strikes came just minutes apart that morning, shattering a large, Doctors Without Borders-supported hospital in Syria’s Idlib province.
Healthcare IT: Cybercrime is increasing in the healthcare sector
Intel security warns that the market for stolen healthcare data and the business of cybercrime is growing in the healthcare sector. However, it adds that the value of stolen healthcare data has not yet eclipsed that of stolen financial data. Intel security has recently released a report which warns the healthcare industry to be aware of and take appropriate precautions against the growing threat of cybercrime. The warning is made clear in their recently released McAfee Labs report – ‘Health Warning – Cyberattacks are targeting the health care industry’.
Big Data can be used to predict disease outbreaks
A team of scientists led by the US National Institutes of Health reviewed the growing body of research on the subject of big data modelling for infectious disease threats and has published its analysis in a special issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 1 December 2016. Traditional infectious disease surveillance – typically based on laboratory tests and other data collected by public health institutions – is the gold standard.But, the authors note it can have time lags, is expensive to produce, and typically lacks the local resolution needed for accurate monitoring. Further, it can be cost-prohibitive in low-income countries.
Prepare for the Internet of ‘Healthcare’ Things
Hospitals in the region are increasingly looking to technology solutions to proactively advance patient care and improve outcomes. We can expect to see network-connected healthcare “aides” playing an ever-greater role in delivering healthcare. Just imagine, “smart beds” that automatically detect if they’re occupied – or if a patient has gone walkabout – and can track the quality of the patient’s sleep. Wearables and implants can measure a patient’s vital statistics, continuously log data and report, in real-time, any abnormalities to the appropriate clinical staff.
World first: Neural prosthetic used to restore walking movement in paralyzed primate
An international team of scientists has used a wireless “brain-spinal interface” to bypass spinal cord injuries in a pair of rhesus macaques, restoring intentional walking movement to a temporarily paralyzed leg. The researchers, who describe their work in the journal Nature, say this is the first time a neural prosthetic has been used to restore walking movement directly to the legs of nonhuman primates.The study was performed by scientists and neuroengineers in a collaboration led by Ecole Polytechnique Federale Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland.

Date of upload: 17th Jan 2017
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