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Health Roundup: GSK signs gene-editing pioneers; Father's smoking during pregnancy tied to asthma in kids

Reuters | Updated: 14-06-2019 10:54 IST | Created: 14-06-2019 10:30 IST
Health Roundup: GSK signs gene-editing pioneers; Father's smoking during pregnancy tied to asthma in kids
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Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

GSK signs up gene-editing pioneers in drug discovery alliance

British drugmaker GSK said it has struck a research deal with the early pioneers of a prominent gene-editing technology at the University of California, in a boost to its prospects for developing new drugs. GlaxoSmithKline, Britain's largest drugmaker, will pay up to $67 million over a five-year period for the new Laboratory for Genomics Research, which will be jointly run with the University of California and led by researchers such as Jennifer Doudna, a co-inventor of the CRISPR gene-editing technology.

Many epinephrine self-injectors still potent long after expiration date

EpiPens and other autoinjectors filled with epinephrine to treat severe allergic reactions may still be potent enough to work many months past their labelled expiration date, according to a new study that concludes patients might need expensive refills less often. These autoinjectors contain a pre-set dose of epinephrine, a life-saving drug used by people at risk of experiencing anaphylaxis, a severe allergy attack. Untreated, anaphylactic shock can be fatal because blood pressure can drop suddenly and airways can narrow, making it difficult to breathe.

Prosecutors drop Flint, Michigan water charges over 'flawed' probe

Michigan prosecutors on Thursday dropped all criminal charges over the deadly contamination of the city of Flint's water, saying a more thorough investigation was needed before they could proceed with the case. The charges were brought by the Office of Special Counsel (OSC), a federal prosecutorial agency, and were based on an investigation that state prosecutors described as "flawed."

Mesh implants work for bladder leakage, long-term safety unclear

Several different types of mesh implant surgery may be effective for treating bladder leaks, but the long-term safety and effectiveness of the procedures aren't yet clear, a new analysis suggests. Researchers examined data from 175 clinical trials that randomly assigned a total of 21,598 women with stress urinary incontinence to receive different types of surgical treatments.

Father's smoking during pregnancy tied to asthma in kids

Children who are exposed to tobacco smoke from their fathers while they're in the womb may be more likely than those who are not to develop asthma by age 6, according to a study of chemical changes to DNA. While prenatal smoke exposure has long been linked to an increased risk of childhood asthma, the current study offers fresh evidence that it's not just a pregnant mother's smoking that can cause harm.

Ebola not known to be spreading in Uganda: WHO

There has been no known person-to-person spread of Ebola in Uganda despite the deaths of two people there who arrived with the disease from Congo, the top World Health Organization (WHO) expert told Reuters on Thursday. Dr Mike Ryan, head of WHO's emergencies program, said that he expected Uganda to approve the use of experimental therapeutic drug treatments, to be shipped "in coming days". Monitoring and vaccination had been stepped up, but there had been "no panic reaction" so far to the cases there.

Female soldiers wanting to suppress periods face barriers

Military women wanting to stop menstruating while they are deployed may face a number of barriers, a new commentary suggests. The majority of surveyed military women say they would like to suppress menstruation during deployment but very few are doing so, according to the paper in Obstetrics & Gynecology that explores why more military women are not accessing that option.

The family sent back to DR Congo after two dies of Ebola in Uganda

Authorities repatriated the relatives of two people who died of Ebola in Uganda back to the Democratic Republic of Congo on Thursday, including a 3-year-old boy confirmed to be suffering from the disease, the Ugandan health minister said. The cases marked the first time the virus has crossed an international border since the current outbreak began in Congo last August. The epidemic has already killed 1,390 people in eastern Congo.

Brazil's Minerva suspends furlough at the beef plant as China ban ends

Brazilian meat processor Minerva SA said on Thursday it has suspended a furlough announced last week for its Barretos beef processing facility, following news that a ban to exports to China has ended. Brazil's government said on Thursday it has lifted a suspension of beef exports to China after dealing with an atypical case of mad cow disease.

Brazil lifts the suspension of beef exports to China

Brazil's government said on Thursday it has lifted a suspension of beef exports to China after dealing with an atypical case of mad cow disease, sending shares of Marfrig Global Foods, Minerva SA and other Brazilian meatpackers soaring. The suspension had been in effect since June 3 after a case was reported in a 17-year-old cow in the state of Mato Grosso. Cases can arise spontaneously in cattle herds, usually in animals 8 years old or older.


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