A study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases that observed 55 Brazilian Zika-infected pregnant women found that four of the infants whose mothers were infected one to two weeks prior to giving birth had central nervous system lesions discovered through medical imaging. The babies did not have microcephaly and were born with a normal length and weight, and researchers say they will continue to monitor the infants to determine the future effects of Zika in these children.
Tissue-banking organization LifeNet Health provides about 40,000 bioimplants a month for patients in need of tissue transplants and 40 to 60 organs for transplants. The nonprofit facilitated 467 organ recoveries and 462,000 tissue transplants last year, up from 385 and 389,000 in 2011.
The US Agency for International Development plans to provide $30 million in grants to several companies with innovative ideas to help fight the Zika virus and other deadly infectious diseases. Among the recipients are two firms, WeRobotics and Vayu, that will design drones for transport of medical supplies and blood samples from remote areas and for delivery of batches of sterile mosquitoes to regions where Zika-carrying mosquitoes thrive.
Zika virus transmission was confirmed Thursday by Florida Gov. Rick Scott in a new area of Miami-Dade County where five people were infected. Scott requested the CDC work with the Miami-Dade Mosquito Control District to identify the best strategies to halt further transmission of Zika in the area.
Israeli firm Gamida Cell announced the FDA granted breakthrough therapy designation for the expanded cell graft product NiCord. In preliminary studies, use of the treatment for high-risk hematological cancers resulted in fewer infections, shorter hospital stays and speedier platelet engraftment.
The FDA has cleared the use of allograft bone with Spineology's Rampart Interbody Fusion Devices, which come sterile-packed and include large graft windows to promote healing. The bone grafting solution has fibers that offer an inductive and osteoconductive matrix.
Caitlyn Miller, director of discretionary programs at HHS, discussed how the $1.1 billion in Zika funding approved by Congress will be disbursed in 2017. Aside from returning borrowed funds from other programs, health agencies such as the NIH and CDC will receive large portions for research, vaccine development, mosquito control and other Zika-related initiatives, and states and cities will have to bid for funding.
Genetically engineered mosquitoes are being tested for the prevention of insect-borne diseases including dengue, chikungunya and Zika in Brazil. Oxitec and the nonprofit Eliminate Dengue are conducting separate studies.
A study in the journal Nature Communications found that temporomandibular joint stem cells proliferated and grew into cartilage and bone in mice. Researcher Mildred Embree said treatment options for TMJ disorders are lacking, and her team hopes to develop a drug that can be injected into the joint.
University of Wisconsin researchers have developed a real-time intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging system for use in guiding stem cell treatments for Parkinson's disease, according to a study to be published in the journal Cell Transplantation. In tests involving animals, the system was associated with greater graft and survival rates for induced pluripotent stem cells.
AATB's 2017 Quality and Donor Suitability Workshop will be held May 8-10, 2017, at the JW Marriott in Indianapolis, Ind. This workshop will be educational and interactive, providing attendees with a better understanding of not only significant steps involved with donor screening, but also effective practices in implementing a quality program.