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Reasons Why Nurses Are Secretly Angels Living Among Us (Part 2)

 

6. …but people still expect them to show up the second they ring the call bell.

...but people still expect them to show up the second they ring the call bell.

7. Sometimes they’re working so hard, they can go entire shifts without eating, drinking water, or sitting.

Lunch break? What’s that?

8. Ditto going to the bathroom.

9. Some patients will incessantly hit on them.

27 Reasons Why Nurses Are Secretly Angels Living Among Us

10. Others will expose themselves for no clear medical reason.

Others will expose themselves for no clear medical reason.
Flickr: eflon / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: eflon

“Your arm is broken… so why is your dick out?”

Source: www.buzzfeed.com

Seattle Children's Hospital Patients Congratulate the Seahawks

 

By SYDNEY LUPKIN

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Seattle Children's Hospital hallways erupted in cheers and applause this weekend as the Seattle Seahawks played a nail-biter of a game against the Green Bay Packers and officially locked down their spot in Super Bowl XLIX.

And 8-year-old Maria Moore's room was no exception. The recovering leukemia patient watched the game while wearing her Seahawks hat and clutching her signed football. On the table next to her, she propped up a photo of herself with Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who visited her at the hospital in November.

At one point, Maria was so bummed that her team appeared to be losing, she shed a little tear, her dad told ABC News. He told her not to worry, that Wilson and the Seahawks would come back. And they did.

"We were just totally shouting and applauding and hollering and giving high fives to each other," Thomas Moore told ABC News. "It was an amazing gave to watch. She was super excited."

Marie was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in September and initially didn't respond to chemotherapy, but the doctors at Seattle Children's and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center helped get her treatment "recipe" just right, he said. Marie underwent a cord blood transplant on Jan. 2, and is in remission, but should be at the hospital a few more weeks, he said.

"We’ll probably be watching [the Super Bowl] from the hospital, but that's OK," he said. "As long as she's doing well, that’s fine by me."

Nearly every Tuesday, the team's star quarterback, Russell Wilson, visits Seattle Children's Hospital to meet with patients, said hospital spokeswoman Kathryn Bluher. So the team holds an extra special place in the hearts of patients and their families.

Wilson visited Maria the day after flying back from an East Coast game in November, and she was "all smiles," Moore said.

"It makes a bigger fan out of me. I really can't say enough," Moore said. "[Wilson] is a down to earth, really nice guy. He takes time talk to the kids, do pictures, sign some things."

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After Sunday's win, patients at Seattle Children's Hospital took photos with "Congratulations" signs from their hospital beds to show their support.

"It takes their mind of things," Moore said. "It gives them something fun to think about."

Source: http://abcnews.go.com

How This Terminally Ill 'Super Fan' Scored Front-Row Patriots Tickets

 

By LIZ NEPORENT

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Cathy Nichols and son Jason were front and center at the National Football League playoff game last Sunday to witness her beloved New England Patriots clinch a spot in this year’s Super Bowl.

The Fayette, Maine, resident, 59, had been diagnosed with terminal cancer just two days before the big game. She said it was the support of a close-knit community, and the generosity of the Patriots, that brought her to what she believed will be the last football game she will attend.

“My son and I are super fans and when I got the diagnosis, I told him we probably weren’t going to get to go to many more games,” Nichols told ABC News today. “Now, not only did I get to see them play, but I was at a playoff game; it was just unbelievable.”

Nichols’ worship of Tom Brady and all things Patriots is well known at Spruce Mountain High School in Jay, Maine, where she works as a special education teacher. So when she confided in several work friends about her illness, they immediately contacted a local sportscaster, who, in turn, reached out to the Patriots.

By Friday night, a team representative had called Nichols to offer her two tickets in the owner’s box to the playoff game.

Despite her rollercoaster of a week, Nichols said she was touched by the outpouring from friends and strangers alike.

“It isn't just the tickets, they’re doing fund-raisers and I’m getting calls from students and athletes I coached more than 25 years ago,” the former cheerleader coach said.

At Sunday’s game she not only had the best seats in the house, she was given field passes so she could watch the pregame warm-ups. Team owner Robert Kraft even called down to the field to make sure she was having a good time, before she returned to the box.

Nichols said she knows an invite to the Super Bowl was in the works but she put a stop to it. Doctors believe the disease may have already spread from her pancreases to her liver, she said, and she may only have six months to live. She doesn't feel strong enough to make the trip to Arizona for the February game.

But Nichols said she isn't bitter. Far from it.

“I am a very fortunate woman to have all this support and it makes me determined to be here as long as I can,” she said. “But I've lived a good life and I want to focus on quality of life over quantity.”

Source: http://abcnews.go.com

Gotta Dance

 

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Moments after Jacob "Jake" Boddie woke from surgery to remove a tumor in his pelvis, his father, Kyle Boddie, said to his 2-year old son, "Hey, Jake, bust a move!" Although he was still groggy, the toddler smiled. One tiny shoulder, then the other, wiggled in time to a beat. 

Kyle and Jake's mother, Ashley McIntyre, say Jake started dancing long before he could walk. "And now that's all he does," Kyle said. "He loves it. You can't stop him."

During his yearlong treatment for a rare cancer, Jake danced with his nurses, child life specialists and doctors at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital. He boogied in his hospital room, in the hallways, and even on the way to the operating room. His parents say dance helped Jake recover from his treatments and surgery. It helped them cope with their son's illness. 

"Even though Jake went through so much, he uplifted us," Ashley said. "We thought, if he can have fun through all of this, why can't we?"

Kyle and Ashley knew something was wrong when Jake wasn't acting like himself at a Fourth of July picnic in 2013. Agitated and restless, the toddler wasn't his "silly self" and refused to dance or play with the other children. A few days later he began limping. An ultrasound performed in the emergency room at Comer Children's Hospital showed a large mass resting in the lower part of his abdomen and reaching into his pelvis.

A biopsy revealed the mass to be a sarcoma, a fast-growing cancer. "The tumor was 4 inches in diameter, about the size of a small grapefruit," said pediatric oncologist Navin Pinto, MD, an expert on sarcoma treatment. In addition to his clinical work, Pinto leads a personalized medicine initiative at Comer Children's Hospital that is sequencing the genetic makeup of pediatric tumors from every patient to help guide treatment.

For Jake, several rounds of chemotherapy were needed to shrink the tumor to half its original size. It was then small enough to be removed, but Jake's surgery would be complicated. The tumor was wrapped around critical blood vessels as well as the right ureter, a tube that brings urine from the kidney to the bladder. 

On the morning of the surgery in January 2014, Ashley and Kyle danced with Jake to the song "Happy" as they headed toward the operating room doors; there they turned him over to the surgical team. "Jake knew something was going on," Ashley recalled, "but I think it made him feel better to see us laughing and dancing."

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Pediatric urologist Mohan Gundeti, MD, and pediatric surgeon Grace Mak, MD, worked together in the surgical suite. First, Gundeti used an endoscopic approach, placing a stent in the ureter to mark its location and keep the fragile tube open. Mak then surgically removed as much of the tumor as possible, meticulously separating it from the vessels and ureter while avoiding nearby nerves. 

"Jacob recovered beautifully and bounced back quickly after the operation," Mak said, adding, "he was eating -- and doing his moves -- a few days later."

Completing Jake's treatment required both chemotherapy and radiation to eliminate any lingering cancer cells. In addition, the lower section of the right ureter had narrowed, leading to pressure on the right kidney, and needed attention before it became completely obstructed. 

Gundeti performed reconstructive surgery, moving the right kidney down a few centimeters and making a new tube for the ureter using a flap from the bladder. Again, Jake recovered quickly from an extensive surgery.

Today, the 3-year-old visits Comer Children's Hospital regularly for follow-up care with the nurses and doctors who cared for him. 

"He feels comfortable at the hospital; he's always laughing and having a good time," Kyle said. "Everyone knows him now. And everyone dances with him."

Source: www.uchicagokidshospital.org

Freakishly High Definition Future of Body Scanning

 

By Dan Kedmey

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General Electric released images on Wednesday from its first clinical trial of a next generation body scanner that captures bones, blood vessels and organs in high-definition.

The patients ride into the chamber of the scanner, dubbed “Revolution CT,” where a fan-shaped beam of x rays passes down their bodies and a computer reconstructs a digital model of the body, slice-by-slice. The scanner can build an image of a heart in the time it takes for a single heartbeat, according to GE.

The snapshots below, provided by GE, may look like an artist’s rendering from an anatomy textbook. In fact, they were taken from living patients at West Kendall Baptist Hospital in south Florida, the first hospital to test the new scanner in the field.

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Source: http://time.com

Get the Job Before Your Interview Starts!

 

By Bridgid Joseph

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Changing jobs can be a stressful process for some because of the dreaded interview process. But there are a few pretty simple tips that can help put you, and your interviewer, at ease to make for a much better experience, and lead you closer to that new job you’ve been wanting! Stop letting the interview process paralyze your career.

For most people, the worst part of thinking about changing positions, or getting a new job, is the interview process. Maybe you are someone who gets nervous and sweats, shakes, or just can’t focus on the questions being asked, which makes the interviewing process torturous for you, something you dread, and guess what?

If you feel awkward and uncomfortable, so does the person interviewing you. As someone who has moved around quite a bit, interviewed for numerous jobs, and scored an offer each time (not to toot my own horn), I have learned some tricks to interview well, that are applicable to most people. And as someone who now interviews applicants, I have a whole new perspective of what and interviewer “sees” during an interview; there are some small Do’s and Don’ts that can make you appear more poised and ready than you may feel!

DO Dress the Part:

Even though you may be coming in for an interview for your first job as a nurse, Medical Assistant (MA), Patient Care Technician (PCT), etc. you want to dress as if you are coming in for a job as a Director or the Chief Nursing Officer. I am not telling you to spend a ton of money on some fancy suit, but you want to look nicely put together with clothes that fit you well and look nice.

I was walking from my car to an interview and I was wearing these great fitted pants that I found on sale at one of my favorite stores and couldn't believe they were 60% off, they looked great, fit great, and with a top that I already owned, and a pair of smart black shoes, I felt (and looked) like a million bucks. Until I tripped a little, looked down, and realized the hem gave away on one of my pant legs (probably why such an amazing pair of pants were on such a super sale in my size), so I acted quickly, hobbled quickly to my car, did a little “runway” hem with some tape that I had in my car (i.e. I taped up the hem inside of my pants), and went back on my way. 

Even though it was a bit of smoke and mirrors show, no one knew that my pants were taped together, and I even got complimented on how great my outfit looked. You don’t need to spend a lot, to look like a lot, but looking neat in nicely fitting clothes, shows that you are putting in the effort to put your best foot forward and show yourself in the best light. 

DON’T Dress for a Night Out or a Day of Work:

If you are applying for a clinical job, yes it is awesome that we get to wear scrubs to work everyday, and it does make those of us that work clinically, at a deficit for “business” attire in our wardrobes, but it doesn't make it acceptable for us to wear scrubs to an interview. You also want to make sure that you aren't wearing something that you would choose to wear out to a bar/nightclub with your friends. 

I have seen quite a few outfits in my time that make me think twice about the applicants common sense. Don’t make the interviewer question your common sense; that means you have set yourself up to have to prove your intelligence and critical thinking skills, despite what your resume might say!

(I realize I put this in twice, but I can’t tell you how many times I have seen people really inappropriately dressed for interviews!!)

DO Have Good Posture: 

Did you know that sitting straight up and keeping your shoulders back make you appear smarter, attentive, and more of a leader?

Well, it does. I may be interviewing you for a position in an entry level, but I am more apt to hire someone that shows me they can be a leader within their position and will work hard and role model their leadership skills. And if they stay in their position, they will hopefully move up the ranks quickly.

DON’T Oversell Yourself: 

A big mistake interviewees make is overselling their skills. If you don’t have a certain skill set for a job you are interviewing for, that’s OK. Not everyone is an expert in their field when they first start, right? 

We all start somewhere. So when you are asked, for example, “How comfortable are you taking care of a patient on with an intraaortic balloon pump?” and you think “A WHAT?!?!?”

Don’t sweat it, and give an honest response such as, “I haven’t had the experience of taking care of such a patient, but I have extensive other skills, such as [insert skills here] that I learned quickly, and I would love the opportunity to learn more about those patients and their specific needs. Is this a common patient type on your unit?” 

You do two things with that answer...

You let me look back at your resume to review your skills, and you also show that you are interested in this experience and willing to learn. I may be looking for a more experienced nurse, but I will definitely consider you and your willingness to learn as a huge asset; I would rather hire someone motivated to learn and improve than someone who is stagnant in their learning process and no longer feels excited about their role. 

DO Be Honest on Your Resume: 

Sometimes it is glaringly obvious when people tell mistruths on their resumes, and sometimes it isn't, but it usually becomes obvious during an interview. I have had perspectives that added some skills into their resume that they don’t have, and through standard interview questions, it got quite awkward as I realized they did not have the skills they boasted about. (see don’t oversell yourself!)

DO Be Positive: 

As with all experiences in life, if you walk in feeling positive, confident, with a big smile on your face, and an open mind, you can win over almost anyone! There is no need to be nervous as the worst thing that can happen is that the job isn't a match; so think positively and imagine that you already have the job, and your interview will be a great experience. 

If you want a change in your career/life, send out those resumes and get your interview smile on and go get that new job! 

Source: http://allnurses.com

Legal Battle Rages Over Whether to Force 17-Year-Old Cancer Patient to Have Chemo

 

By SYDNEY LUPKIN

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A court will determine whether a 17-year-old girl, under something called the "mature minor doctrine," can be forced to undergo chemotherapy after she refused treatment for her cancer.

How do you feel about this?

The case will go to the Connecticut Supreme court this week to determine whether the teen, identified in court papers as Cassandra, has "the fundamental right to have a say about what goes on with your [her] body," attorney Michael Taylor, who represents the teen's mother, told ABC News. Taylor was appointed by the public defender's office, and Cassandra has her own court-appointed lawyer, but they've filed joint appeals.

Cassandra was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in September, but decided she didn't want to complete the prescribed treatment, according to a court summary. Her mother supported this decision, but the Department of Children and Families stepped in and ordered her mother to comply with the doctor's treatment recommendation.

"It's really for all the reasons you might imagine," said Taylor, adding that he couldn't go into more detail.

Although chemotherapy is a drug that destroys cancer cells, its side effects include hair loss, nausea, pain and fertility changes, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Cassandra underwent two chemotherapy treatments in November and then ran away from home and refused to continue treatments, according to the court summary.

A court hearing ensued in which Cassandra's doctors testified, and she was removed from her mother's home and placed in state custody so that the state could make medical decisions for her.

She has been has been living at Connecticut Children's Medical Center and forced to undergo chemotherapy for about three weeks.

The Hartford Courant reported that Cassandra has an 80 to 85 percent chance of surviving her cancer if she continues with her chemotherapy.

The state Department of Children and Families issued the following statement:

"When experts -- such as the several physicians involved in this case -- tell us with certainty that a child will die as a result of leaving a decision up to a parent, then the Department has a responsibility to take action. Even if the decision might result in criticism, we have an obligation to protect the life of the child when there is consensus among the medical experts that action is required. Much of the improvements in Connecticut's child welfare system have come from working with families voluntarily to realize solutions to family challenges. Unfortunately that can't happen in every situation, especially when the life of a child is at stake."

"No one is disputing that it's very serious," Taylor said. He said there's "a good chance" Cassandra could survive her cancer with treatment, and "there's a good chance she could die if she doesn't. None of us disagree about that."

Taylor said they're trying to argue that because Cassandra is competent, she should be allowed to make this decision for herself through something called the "mature minor doctrine," which has been adopted in Illinois and a few other states but rejected in Texas. The doctrine holds that some children are mature enough to make key life decisions for themselves.

Source: http://abcnews.go.com

Gates Foundation Uses Art to Encourage Vaccination

 

By MELENA RYZIK

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Artists, it’s fair to say, usually don’t know much about bacteria. Vik Muniz is an exception. Mr. Muniz, the Brazilian-born photographer known for his unorthodox materials, has been working with the M.I.T. bioengineer and designer Tal Danino on a series of trompe l’oeil images of microscopic organisms: cancer cells, healthy cells and bacteria.

At first glance, they look like ornate and colorful patterns. In reality, they represent teeming, living things. Among his latest: a pink print that could pass for floral wallpaper. But it’s made up of liver cells infected with the Vaccinia virus, which is used to make the smallpox vaccine.

“Normally, patterns are soothing structures,” Mr. Muniz said, “and all of a sudden, there’s a lot of drama.”

The work now has another meaning. It will be used in a new online campaign, The Art of Saving a Life, sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The intent is to promote vaccination just in time for an international effort to raise funds to inoculate millions, especially in poor nations.

The campaign, to be released online on Wednesday, is the first time that the foundation has commissioned artists in the service of a cause. The global roster includes photographers (Annie Leibovitz, Sebastião Salgado, Mary Ellen Mark); writers (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie); filmmakers (Luc Jacquet, director of the documentary “March of the Penguins”); and bands (Playing for Change).

The intent is that their work will spread virally — in the digital sense — and be shared on social media with the hashtag #VaccinesWork to inspire a dialogue and donations.

“We want to get the buzz and the conversation going, because it’s easy to take these important lifesaving tools for granted,” said Dr. Christopher Elias, president of the global development program at the Gates Foundation. Art, the foundation hopes, will serve as a reminder to people “who aren’t going to read the editorial in Science,” Dr. Elias said. If the program is successful, he said, it could serve as a model for other Gates Foundation projects.

The idea came from Christine McNab, a consultant to the foundation. In brainstorming new ways to promote vaccines, she considered “what makes me cry, what makes me think,” she said. “It’s films, it’s books, it’s galleries.”

Ms. McNab and her team invited the artists in and suggested which diseases or issues to address. But they had no control over what was created. Some artists were paid a small fee to cover expenses; some retained their copyright, and others donated their work.

Ms. Leibovitz snapped a black-and-white portrait of people involved in vaccine development. Fatoumata Diabaté, a photographer from Mali, captured the last phase of trials for an Ebola vaccine. The German painter Thomas Ganter paid tribute to the little-sung medical aides who administer the shots, with his oil on canvas of “The Unknown Health Worker.”

The project is timed to lead up to a Jan. 27 meeting of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, an international public-private partnership in Berlin. Some images will be displayed at the conference, which aims to raise $ 7.5 billion from donors for Gavi’s next phase of development. Separately, the Gates Foundation has funded many immunization-related grants, at a cost of millions — far greater, a spokeswoman said, than the budget for the art initiative, which she would not disclose.

As the project developed in the last year, the anti-vaccination movement, in the United States and other Western countries, only gained steam. Though the programs that the Art of Saving a Life supports are targeted elsewhere, “in some ways what we’re hoping for is not just a broader debate about vaccination and immunization, but a more informed debate,” Dr. Elias said.

Countering the anti-vaccination rhetoric was part of the reason that Alexia Sinclair, a photographer from Australia, participated, she said. “I have a young daughter, and it’s quite a hot topic here,” she said, adding that she thought that producing a work of art “allows the conversation to happen in a clearer way.”

After learning that the Chinese characters for smallpox mean “heavenly flowers” — because the pustules bloom on the body, and the sufferers eventually die — Ms. Sinclair, who makes historically-inspired tableaus, created a scene of an 18th-century doctor administering a vaccination, surrounded by grass and blossoms. It brings a fashion-y aesthetic to an ugly disease. “I wanted to create something that looked at smallpox, but did it in a way that didn’t repulse people,” she said.

In an era when viewers are image-saturated, the campaign’s success, and how to measure it, are an open question. “We’ll look at the metrics,” Dr. Elias said. But, he added, the project has already proved valuable inside the Gates Foundation, as a new perspective on old problems.

“The phenomenal response” from artists, he said, “suggests that we have tapped a set of interests and voices that we perhaps should’ve been paying attention to sooner.”

Source: www.nytimes.com

Pets May Help Improve Social Skills Of Children With Autism

 

By Carolyn Gregoire

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Having a family pet can be beneficial for child development in a number of ways, including keeping kids active and promoting empathy, self-esteem and a sense of responsibility. But dogs may be particularly beneficial for kids with autism, acting as a "social lubricant" that helps them build assertiveness and confidence in their interactions with others, according to new research from the University of Missouri. 

The researchers surveyed 70 families with autistic children between the ages of eight and 18, all of whom were patients at the MU Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Nearly 70 percent of the participating families had dogs, half had cats, and some owned other pets including fish, rodents, rabbits, reptiles and birds. 

The study's lead author Gretchen Carlisle, a research fellow at the University of Missouri, observed that autistic children are were likely to engage socially in social situations where pets were present. While previous research has focused specially on the ways that dogs benefit the development of autistic children, Carlisle found that pets of any type were beneficial for the childrens' social skills.

"When I compared the social skills of children with autism who lived with dogs to those who did not, the children with dogs appeared to have greater social skills," Carlisle said in a statement. "More significantly, however, the data revealed that children with any kind of pet in the home reported being more likely to engage in behaviors such as introducing themselves, asking for information or responding to other people's questions. These kinds of social skills typically are difficult for kids with autism, but this study showed children's assertiveness was greater if they lived with a pet."

Carlisle observed the strongest attachments between the children and small dogs, although parents also reported strong attachments between their children and other pets, such as cats and rabbits. 

“Dogs are good for some kids with autism but might not be the best option for every child,” Carlisle said. “Kids with autism are highly individual and unique, so some other animals may provide just as much benefit as dogs. Though parents may assume having dogs are best to help their children, my data show greater social skills for children with autism who live in homes with any type of pet.”

Carlisle's research joins a body of work demonstrating the benefits of animal interaction among autistic children. A 2013 review of studies found that specially trained dogs, horses and other animals can facilitate increased social interaction and improved communication among autistic children, as well as decreased stress and problem behavior. 

Source: www.huffingtonpost.com


Can software predict the resistance of superbugs to new drugs?

 

By Catharine Paddock PhD

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The rise of drug-resistant bacteria - such as MRSA - is making it increasingly difficult to control even common infections like pneumonia or urinary tract infections with standard antibiotics. After repeated exposure, the bugs mutate into strains that are immune to the drugs that once killed them.

There is clearly a desperate need for new drugs to fight these superbugs. But there is also another option - to extend the useful life of a drug. Now, researchers have developed a computer algorithm that can help in this area.

Imagine the war against a superbug as a chess game, with each move that your opponent makes being a mutation in the superbug that makes it more drug-resistant. 

To stand a good chance of winning, it helps to anticipate your opponent's most likely counter-moves.

Now, a team of researchers - including members from Duke University in Durham, NC - has developed a computer algorithm that stands a good chance of beating a superbug at its own game.

The software - called OSPREY - predicts the most likely mutations that a bug develops in response to a new drug before the drug is even given to patients.

Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team describes how they tested OSPREY with the superbug MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). 

The researchers programmed the algorithm to identify the genetic changes that MRSA would have to undergo in order to become resistant to a promising new class of experimental drug. And when they exposed MRSA to the new drugs, they found some of the genetic changes the software had predicted actually arose.

"This gives us a window into the future to see what bacteria will do to evade drugs that we design before a drug is deployed," says author Bruce Donald, a professor of computer science and biochemistry at Duke.

The team hopes the approach they are developing will give drug designers a head start in the race against superbugs, as co-author and Duke graduate student Pablo Gainza-Cirauqui explains:

"If we can somehow predict how bacteria might respond to a particular drug ahead of time, we can change the drug, or plan for the next one, or rule out therapies that are unlikely to remain effective for long."

Resistant forms of Staphylococcus aureus now kill 11,000 people in the US every year - more than HIV. In 1975, around 2% of infections caused by the bacterium were resistant to treatment - rising to 29% in 1991 - and now the proportion is 55%.

Depending on the drug, it can take up to 20 years for resistant strains to emerge. Sometimes it only takes 1 year.

Ability to anticipate new mutations beats searching 'libraries' of known mutations

The team believes approaches like OSPREY beat the current method where scientists have to look up "libraries" of previously observed resistance mutations - an approach that is not necessarily satisfactory for predicting future mutations. Prof. Donald explains:

"With a new drug, there is always the possibility that the organism will develop different mutations that had never been seen before. This is what really worries physicians."

OSPREY - which stands for Open Source Protein REdesign for You - is based on a protein design algorithm. It identifies changes to DNA sequences in the bacteria that would enable the resulting protein to block the drug while still being able to work normally.

The team tested OSPREY with a new class of drugs called propargyl-linked antifolates that attack a bacterial enzyme called dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), used for building DNA and other tasks. The drugs - still to be tested in humans - are showing promise as a new treatment for MRSA infections.

Using OSPREY, the team came up with a ranked list of possible mutations. They picked out four - none of which had been seen before.

One predicted mutation reduced drug effectiveness by 58%

When they treated MRSA with the new drugs, they found more than half of the bacteria that survived carried the mutation they predicted would give the organism the greatest amount of resistance: a tiny change in the bacterial DNA that reduced the effectiveness of the new drugs by 58%.

"The fact that we actually found the new predicted mutations in bacteria is very exciting," Prof. Donald says, adding that the approach could be expanded to anticipate the bug's responses more than one move ahead:

"We might even be able to coax a pathogen into developing mutations that enable it to evade one drug, but that then make it particularly susceptible to a second drug, like a one-two punch."

The team is now enhancing OSPREY to predict resistance mutations to drugs designed to treat E. coli and Enterococcus infections.

They believe OSPREY will be useful for predicting drug resistance in cancer, HIV, flu and other diseases where culturing resistant strains is harder than it is with bacteria.

Prof. Donald and colleagues are developing OSPREY in open source format so it is freely available for any researcher to use.

In September 2014, Medical News Today learned about a study that showed how an  old drug may lead to a potential new class of antibiotics . The study showed that lamotrigine - currently used as an anticonvulsant - can inhibit the assembly of ribosomes in bacteria.

Source: www.medicalnewstoday.com

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