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Month: December 2011

For the Herd’s Sake, Vaccinate

For the Herd’s Sake, Vaccinate

West Hartford, Conn. I HAVE chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Three months ago, I underwent an allogeneic stem-cell transplant, in which my wise, 52-year-old white blood cells were replaced by bewildered, low-functioning cells from an anonymous European donor. For the next seven months or so, until those cells mature, I have a newborn’simmunity; I am prey to illnesses like chickenpox, the measles and the flu. These diseases are rarely fatal, unless you’re a newborn or someone with a suppressed immune system like me. My newborn buddies and…

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“Gold standard” stem cells created by British scientists

“Gold standard” stem cells created by British scientists

British scientists have created the first known batch of “gold standard” stem cells which could one day lead to a new wave of treatments for degenerative diseases. The stem cells, taken from human embryos and grown in the lab, are of unprecedented quality and could be offered to researchers before the end of next year for eventual use in clinical trials. Previous embryonic stem cell (ESC) trials in humans have used lower-quality “research grade” cells, which are manipulated and reclassified…

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Boys need the cervical cancer jab too

Boys need the cervical cancer jab too

Few politicians will ever admit they are wrong, so I salute health ministers who have finally capitulated to medical opinion and last month announced a U-turn on the cervical cancer vaccine that is given to 12- and 13-year-old girls. Until now, Cervarix, which protects against two strains of the human papilloma virus (HPV) that are a factor in at least 70 per cent of diagnoses, has been the NHS vaccine of choice. However, another vaccine, Gardasil, also protects against a…

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