Author: vulgavis

Seeking and sourcing safe, fast acting macrofilaricides

Onchocerca volvulus (female and smaller male), boy with a nodule caused by onchocerciasis, second lymphatic filariasis causing gross swelling of the leg, an insect cell (red spheres are the cell nucleus) infected with Wolbachia (green spheres). Sources, Mark Taylor, Mark Taylor, Ted Bianco, Mark Taylor respectively. The filarial diseases, onchocerciasis (river blindness) and lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis), disable over 106 million people throughout the tropics and as such, are a leading cause of global morbidity. Current treatments for these diseases require long-term annual mass drug administration (MDA) to at-risk populations. Although there have been many success stories utilizing this approach,...

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BMC ‘Cancer Awareness’ poetry competition 2019 now open for submissions

© parinyabinsuk / iStock How has cancer affected you? Has your experience led you to find a creative outlet as a method of support and strength? We are looking for poets, whether first-time or experienced, to submit their work. This competition is driven by the efforts to join in awareness about how cancer affects a survivor, a patient–their surrounding family and friends–as well as the doctors and researchers involved in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Winners will have their poems promoted widely to the cancer research community through BMC news, mailing outlets and at suitable conferences in 2019. Opening...

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Albendazole for lymphatic filariasis… direct hit or misfire?

Albendazole tablets used in lymphatic filariasis treatment programs. Lymphatic filariasis Lymphatic filariasis, a disease common in tropical and subtropical areas, is spread by mosquitoes and caused by infection with parasitic filarial worms. Once infected, larval worms grow into adult worms and mate to produce microfilariae (mf). The mf are then collected by mosquitoes during a blood meal, and the infection can be spread to another person. Life cycle of parasitic worms causing lymphatic filariasis. Infection can be diagnosed using tests for circulating mf (microfilaremia) or parasite antigens (antigenemia), or by ultrasound imaging to detect live adult worms. The...

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Has the power of the Internet been a factor in crime reduction?

Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash Using Google Search Data and Uniform Crime Report Data on property crime, we set out to answer three questions. First, is higher property crime associated with increased searches for crime prevention? And, if so, are increased searches for crime prevention associated with a reduction in property crime? Finally, if there is a reduction, what is the magnitude of that reduction? To address these challenging research questions, we had to pause and apply some criminological thinking. That is, Google Search Data allows you to upload datasets and merely examine what factors correlate. However, this...

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A new cure for river blindness and elephantiasis

Lymphatic filariasis patient (Copyright: Mark Taylor, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine) Onchocerciasis (river blindness) and lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis) are neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) that cause severe disability and affect more than 106 million people, according to the latest reports from WHO. These two NTDs are caused by parasitic roundworms, the filarial nematodes Onchocerca volvulus (onchocerciasis), Wuchereria  bancrofti, Brugia malayi, and Brugia timori (lymphatic filariasis). These diseases have long-term chronic impacts on the health and wellbeing of endemic communities, including economic burden, disabilities, mental health issues and social stigmas. Onchocerciasis patient (Copyright: Mark Taylor, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine) Global...

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