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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
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Monday, May 7, 2007

Today's Globe: all things BIO, disease and deployments, 'no' to drug money, Alzheimer's target, gene music, diet pill

bio conv 150.bmpPartiers get down to business at the BIO convention, while a rally in opposition to a high-security research laboratory now under construction at Boston University Medical Center fell far short of the mass demonstrations that some had predicted. On the op-ed page, Jerry Avorn urges rethinking research funding, Edward L. Glaeser suggests embracing biotechnology and Joshua Boger recommends building a system of outreach and collaboration.

A parasitic disease rarely seen in United States but common in the Middle East has infected an estimated 2,500 US troops in the last four years because of massive deployments to remote combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan, military officials said. And four types of bacteria are causing severe and hard-to-treat infections for many troops wounded there.

carlat 150.bmpThere are names for what Dr. Daniel J. Carlat (left) once was, and he does not hesitate to use them: "Drug whore," he suggested calmly. "Hired gun." Now he says 'no' to drug money and wants to limit corporate sway over psychiatry.

Most of the drugs being tested to treat or prevent Alzheimer's disease target proteins called beta amyloid, which accumulate in the brain and are suspected as a cause of the devastating dementia. But new research in mice suggests another treatment approach -- reducing levels of a protein called tau.

gene music 100.bmpThe Musical Gene Expression project at Harvard Medical School envisions a future where doctors will be able to tune in to the internal music of their patients.

Also in Health/Science, meet radiologist Nobuhiko Hata, a radiologist who invents new technologies for use in surgery, and consider whether virtual colon cancer screenings are ready for real-world usage.

In Business, Alli, the nation's first over-the-counter diet remedy approved by the Food and Drug Administration, goes on sale within weeks.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 06:26 AM
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