Tuesday, April 28, 2009

14 Year old Black Boy Creates Surgery Technique

He will present his findings today to the medical community.

A Jacksonville researcher has developed a way of sewing up patients after hysterectomies that stands t;o reduce the risk of complications and simplify the tricky procedure for less-seasoned surgeons.

Oh, and he's 14 years old.

Feel free to read that again.

Tony Hansberry II is a ninth-grader who, as it happens, will be presenting his findings today before an auditorium filled with doctors just like any of his board-certified - and decades older - colleagues would. He would say he was following in the footsteps of "Doogie Howser, M.D." - if he weren't too young to have heard of the television show.

Instead, he says that his remarkable accomplishments are merely steps toward his ultimate goal of becoming a University of Florida-trained neurosurgeon.

"I just want to help people and be respected, knowing that I can save lives," said Tony, the son of a registered nurse mom and an African Methodist Episcopal church pastor dad.

To be sure, he had some help along the way, but, then again, most researchers do. The seeds of his project were planted last summer during his internship at the University of Florida's Center for Simulation Education and Safety Research, based at Shands Jacksonville.


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Black Health: Swine Flu Gets Out of Hand

Cases of swine flu were confirmed early today in Israel and New Zealand, the first definitive proof that the dangerous new virus has spread to Asia.

The World Health Organization, which yesterday raised its pandemic threat level from 3 to 4, two levels below a full-scale pandemic, will not meet today to consider another increase, a spokesman said at a news conference.

While the agency said people should think carefully before traveling to or from areas known to be affected by the flu virus, spokesman Gregory Hartl said it considers formal travel restrictions and border closures ineffective because people who would be screened could be infected but not yet showing symptoms.

"Border controls don't work. Screening doesn't work," Hartl said, according to Reuters news service, describing the economically-damaging travel bans as basically pointless in public health terms.



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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Your Black Health: Swine Flu is Taking Over

A group of nuns walk wearing surgical masks in the Zocalo plaza ...

The World Health Organization warned countries around the world Saturday to be on alert for any unusual flu outbreaks after a unique new swine flu virus was implicated in possibly dozens of human deaths in North America.

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said the outbreak in Mexico and the United States constituted a "public health emergency of international concern."

The decision means countries around the world will be asked to step up reporting and surveillance of the disease, which she said had "pandemic potential" because it is an animal virus strain infecting people. But the agency cannot at this stage say "whether or not it will indeed cause a pandemic," she added.


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Monday, April 13, 2009

African Americans Less Likely to get Proper Cancer Treatment

Black patients with lung cancer are less likely than white patients to receive recommended chemotherapy and surgery, a new study finds.

Disparities in lung cancer treatments were as large in 2002 as they were back in the early 1990s, even though there have been efforts to decrease those inequalities in treatment, the study said.

"This study shows what most of the previous research has shown -- that disparities in treatment patterns [still exist] between blacks and whites," said Katherine S. Virgo, director of health services research the American Cancer Society, who was not involved in the study.

The findings were published online April 13 in the journalCancer.

For the study, Dale Hardy, of the University of Texas School of Public Health, and colleagues collected data on 83,101 people 65 and older with non-small cell lung cancer -- the most common form of lung cancer -- between 1991 and 2002.


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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Your Black Health: Can Gay Men Now Have Children?

The UK’s Daily Mail is now claiming that:

British scientists are ready to turn female bone marrow into sperm, cutting men out of the process of creating life.
The breakthrough paves the way for lesbian couples to have children that are biologically their own.
Gay men could follow suit by using the technique to make eggs from male bone marrow.
Researchers at Newcastle upon Tyne University say their technique will help lead to new treatments for infertility.
But critics warn that it sidelines men and raises the prospect of babies being born through entirely artificial means.
The research centres around stem cells - the body's 'mother' cells which can turn into any other type of cell.
According to New Scientist magazine, the scientists want to take stem cells from a woman donor's bone marrow and transform them into sperm through the use of special chemicals and vitamins.