Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
New Gene Scan Pinpoints Causes of Rare Diseases
A newer gene sequencing technique can reveal genetic flaws that
cause unexplained health problems in some patients, researchers
Investigators at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston used
the newer type of sequencing -- just the DNA segments that contain
the instructions for all the proteins required by the body -- on
250 adults and children patients with mystery diseases and found
that 62 of them had gene flaws, the
The findings were published online Wednesday in the
New England Journal of Medicine.
The Baylor team has used the gene sequencing technique on 1,700
patients so far and found gene flaws in 1 out of 4, study leader
Dr. Christine Eng told the
That rate is much higher than the less comprehensive gene tests
currently in use, according to Rebecca Nagy, a scientist at Ohio
State University and president of the National Society of Genetic
"For some of these conditions there could be treatments that are lifesaving," she told the AP.
FDA Bans Arsenic Drugs Used in Animal Feed
Three of four arsenic drugs used in animal feeds have been
banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The drugs -- roxarsone, carbarsone and arsanilic acid -- were
added to feed for chicken, turkeys and pigs to prevent disease and
promote growth. However, recent studies showed levels of arsenic in
chicken that exceeded amounts that occur naturally,
The New York Timesreported.
Nearly four years ago, the Center for Food Safety and several
other advocacy groups filed a petition seeking to ban the four
drugs in animal feed.
The fourth drug, nitarsone, is the only known treatment for
blackhead (histomoniasis), a disease that can kill turkeys. The FDA
said it will continue to study the effects of nitarsone,
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