Washington, DC - The ever-changing “head” of an influenza virus protein has an unexpected Achilles heel, report scientists funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), one of the National Institutes of Health. The team discovered and characterized the structure of a naturally occurring human antibody that recognizes and disrupts a portion of the hemagglutinin (HA) protein that the virus uses to enter and infect cells. The investigators determined that the antibody, FluA-20, binds tightly to an area on the globular head of the HA protein that is only very briefly accessible to antibody attack. The site was not expected to be vulnerable to such a strike.

Washington, DC - Disparities in health care delivery and health outcomes present distressing challenges to underserved populations, who often experience a greater burden of chronic diseases and are more likely to show signs of poor disease management. Health information technology (IT) tools may serve a vital role in reducing such disparities in the clinical care setting. In the Medical Care June supplement, “Addressing Health Disparities Through the Utilization of Health Information Technology,” authors discuss the potential application of health IT in reducing disparities by increasing access to care, improving quality of healthcare and by promoting better patient-clinician communication.

West Lafayette, Indiana - A few years ago, when Dianne Little was leading a horse around the corner of a barn, she was suddenly met by a piece of construction equipment with a tarp flapping heavily in the wind. The horse spooked, rearing up on its hind legs, and tried to head for the hills. Little held tight, refusing to lose control of the horse, but she left the barn that day with a partially dislocated shoulder and a torn rotator cuff.

Dallas, Texas - Preliminary laboratory tests show that functionalized magnetic beads successfully reduced blood levels of a harmful molecule that is elevated during preeclampsia, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension.

Washington, DC - A large study of more than 21,000 people finds that training emergency medical services (EMS) agencies to implement prehospital guidelines for traumatic brain injury (TBI) may help improve survival in patients with severe head trauma. The findings were published in JAMA Surgery, and the study was supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health.

Washington, DC - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Ruzurgi (amifampridine) tablets for the treatment of Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS) in patients 6 to less than 17 years of age. This is the first FDA approval of a treatment specifically for pediatric patients with LEMS. The only other treatment approved for LEMS is only approved for use in adults.