Thanks to the presidential election, it has been a while since the medical industry has been “above the fold,” as they say in the journalism world. But, that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been any news about medical research, trends or treatments.
In fact, there have been some pretty important stories written about the medical industry over the past month. Here’s a look at five of the most fascinating medical news stories you may have missed while the world was preoccupied with the race for the White House:
Researchers may soon have a new tool in the effort to learn more about respiratory disease, which is responsible for nearly one in five deaths around the world. Scientists at the University of Michigan have successfully transplanted lab-grown mini lungs into mice, according to a story in Science Daily.
The 3-D models of lungs were created from stem cells and transplanted into immunosuppressed mice, where the structures not only survived, but also grew and matured.
Researchers say the transplanted mini-lungs were virtually indistinguishable from human adult tissue, which is important because it will allow scientists to test and screen drugs, gain a better understanding of gene function and possibly generate transplantable tissue.
Read more about the mini-lung breakthrough on the University of Michigan website.
The Zika virus isn’t making headlines like it did last summer, but researchers are still busy looking for ways to combat the illness’s devastating effects–and they may have made an important breakthrough.
Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Washing University School of Medicine in St. Louis say they have isolated a human monoclonal antibody that “markedly reduced” Zika virus infection in a mouse model.
According to researchers, an antibody called ZIKV-117 protected the fetus in pregnant mice that were infected with Zika.
The breakthrough offers hope to the thousands of people in the United States (including at least 11 in New Hampshire) who have been infected with the virus, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
Read more about the study in the journal, Nature.
In one of the most fascinating and inspiring medical news stories of the year, doctors at Children’s Hospital in Houston successfully removed a fetus from the womb, performed emergency surgery and placed the baby back inside her mother for another 20 weeks.
And it worked.
CNN recently published a story about the baby who was “born twice.” The baby was diagnosed with Sacrococcygeal teratoma when her mother was 16 weeks into the pregnancy. While the condition, which causes a tumor to develop and grow from the baby’s coccyx prior to birth, is fairly common and often treatable after the baby is born, this case presented with complications. The fetus had blood-flow problems that could have led to heart failure.
Physicians made the difficult decision to remove the fetus from her mother and perform the surgery. After placing the fetus back inside the womb, the baby grew normally and was successfully brought into the world at 36 weeks.
That’s the type of inspiring medical news that reminds physicians why they chose a career in medicine–and reminds the world of the value of innovative health care and doctors committed to innovating.
Read more about the baby “born twice” on CNN.com.
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