WHATS THE BUZZ

Simple ways to protect from swine flu

As swine flu continues to infect school kids, parental anxieties have stirred up with each one trying to be cautious enough to avoid the spread of HINI virus that has caused severe illness and deaths worldwide.
Dr Galit Holzmann-Pazgal, University of Texas Medical School, Houston, suggest parents can ease their anxieties by arming themselves with facts about H1N1 and using some commonsense tips.
Washing your hands is the single-most important step to prevent the spread of H1N1. The virus is spread by droplets from coughs and sneezes as well as touching hands and objects contaminated with these droplets such as each other’s phones, computer keyboards, iPods and video games.
Main symptoms of swine flu are fatigue and fever. Others include body aches, runny or stuffy nose, cough, sore throat and fever, headache, chills, diarrhea and vomiting
Keep your sick child at home for at least 24 hours after his fever is gone (without the use of a fever-reducing medicine) except to get medical care or for other necessities, according to the CDC.

Implantable device for drug delivery

Combining magnetism with nanotechnology, researchers have developed a small implantable device that can be repeatedly turned on and off to deliver and adjust doses of medications inside a patient’s body.
Daniel Kohane, Children’s Hospital Boston, has revealed that the tiny device encapsulates the drug in a specially engineered membrane, embedded with nanoparticles composed of magnetite, a mineral with natural magnetic properties.
When a magnetic field is switched on outside the body, near the device, the nanoparticles heat up, causing the gels in the membrane to warm and temporarily collapse. This opens up pores that allow the drug to pass through and into the body.

Comics to explain about diseases

A pair of health experts have produced a series of superhero comics to educate children about diseases and their treatments. Kate Hersov joined forces with fellow medic Kim Chilman-Blair to create ‘Medikidz’.
She made this decision after a 12-year-old patient asked for help understanding his newly diagnosed leukaemia.
She says that she was growing increasingly frustrated by what she perceives as a worrying lack of child-focused information. “He said ‘I can hardly pronounce it, let alone understand it,” she said.
“Often when we made a diagnosis of a young child we felt helpless that we had nothing to give the child themselves to understand what we had just told them,” she added.
Kate said that it was out of their ‘frustration as clinicians’ that she and Chilman-Blair created Medikidz.
The ‘Medikidz’ are a gang of five larger-than-life superheroes, designed to educate children through a wide range of media.

How HIV escapes immune system

Researchers at the Emory Vaccine Centre have shown that HIV relies upon a number of strategies rather than use any preferred escape route to escape immune system pressure.
The human immune system has the ability to temporarily overpower HIV in early infection.
Studies conducted in the recent past have shown that most newly infected patients develop neutralising antibodies. These are blood proteins that glob onto the virus and would allow patients to defend themselves — if they were facing only one target.

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