Does Football Cause Heart Deformities? (Abstract Science: March 4-8)
Also a second patient may be cured of HIV, and scientists move one step closer to finding a universal flu vaccine
(Apoorva Mandavilli, The New York Times, 3/4/2019)
Scientists are cautiously optimistic that a second case of long-term remission of HIV has been achieved, 12 years after the first such case was reported. Both cases involved bone marrow transplants for the patients that were unrelated to their HIV. Such transplants are not likely to be widely adopted for HIV treatment, since current drug treatments are very effective, and bone marrow transplants come with significant risks. However, a modified treatment using the data from these two cases could someday get us even closer to a cure.
(Jesse Hicks, Men’s Health, 3/6/2019)
Researchers from Tulane University School of Medicine found evidence of heart deformities associated with high blood pressure in retired NFL players. Large-bodied football players were even more likely to have “athlete’s heart,” which includes symptoms like enlarged left ventricles and lower resting heart rate. The trend was the same for recent retirees and those who had retired decades before.
(Robert Service, Science, 3/8/2019)
Building on an earlier discovery of a class of so-called broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) in humans that can bind to and disable multiple flu strains, researchers reported this week that they've developed an experimental oral medicine that protects mice from a wide range of influenza viruses. If it works in humans, it could lead to a new pill to fight one of the deadliest infections humanity faces. The findings were published this week in Science.
—Mary Parker and Regina McEnery compiled these posts.