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New treatment to halt spread of TB; skin cancer cases triples in over 50s; and mutant mosquito experiment

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

NEW TREATMENT TO HALT SPREAD OF TB

The Guardian reports scientists have successfully tested a new tuberculosis treatment that has the potential to check an epidemic of a deadly, drug-resistant strain of the disease (p2).

The study, carried out in 85 patients in two centres in Africa, found that three drugs given in combination, killed more than 99% of patients' TB bacteria after two weeks of treatment.

If the new combination turns out to be as effective as scientists hope, doctors would be able to treat all patients with it no matter what sort of TB they have, said the study's lead author, Dr Andreas Diacon, of Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa.

SKIN CANCER CASES TRIPLES IN OVER 50s

The Daily Mail says the number of over-50s being diagnosed with the deadliest form of skin cancer has trebled in 30 years, blaming it on tanning salons and cheap holidays which boomed in the 1970s (p10).

According to Cancer Research UK, an average 25 cases of malignant melanoma are being diagnosed in the over-50s every day, with the rates trebling in the 50-59 age group and rising five-fold in the 70-70 and over 80 age groups.

MUTANT MOSQUITO EXPERIMENT

The Times has a story that residents in Key West in Florida are upset over plans to deploy British created "Franken-mosquitoes" to help fight the reappearance of the dengue fever in the U.S. after a 60 year absence (p28).

The paper says the proposal is to release up to six million lab-raised mosquitoes - genetically engineered by scientists at the University of Oxford to breed offspring that self destruct - to help eradicate the local population of Aedes aegypti mosquito that is responsible for dengue fever.

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