Key to baby-soft skin could be cheesy

For nine months before birth, infants soak in a watery, urine-filled environment. Just hours after birth, however, they have near-perfect skin. How is it that nature enables infants to develop ideal skin in such seemingly unsuitable surroundings? A new study by researchers at the Skin Sciences Institute of Cincinnati Children?s Hospital Medical Center shows that the answer may be vernix — the white, cheesy substance that coats infants for weeks before they are born, then is wiped off and discarded immediately after birth. If they?re right, the healthcare implications for newborns and adults could be remarkable.

Immune cells may help deliver cancer vaccines for children

In a finding that could lay the groundwork for future cancer vaccines for children, cancer researchers working in cell culture have shown that modified immune cells can efficiently deliver genetic material to stimulate a desirable immune response.
Researchers from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute at the University of Pennsylvania manipulated immune cells called CD40-activated B cells to carry RNA produced by tumors and viruses. The RNA, which carries genetic codes from DNA, was obtained either from tumor or viral proteins. The researchers adapted an approach used in research on adults to one more appropriate for children.

Santillan Dies at Duke Hospital

Following a series of tests, doctors at Duke University Hospital determined that Jesica Santillan, 17, meets the criteria for the declaration of brain death. She was pronounced dead at 1:25 pm today (Feb. 22). “All of us at Duke University Hospital are deeply saddened by this,” said William Fulkerson, M.D., CEO of the hospital. “We want Jesica’s family and supporters to know that we share their loss and their grief. We very much regret these tragic circumstances.”

French use robot arm to remotely diagnose patient at sea

French researchers say they have for the first time demonstrated the use of a teleoperated robotic arm for echographic diagnosis in a remote situation. The objective of the project was to demonstrate how teleoperated echographic diagnosis can be carried out on patients at remote locations. A radiologist at St Anne’s Hospital in Toulon used the teleoperated robotic arm to diagnose a test patient on board the ship stationed at sea. With the robotic arm, videoconferencing equipment and satellite communications, the radiologist was able to assess the severity of medical problems from the remote site. This has important implications for spaceflight and research as it means that astronauts on board the international space station can receive diagnostic attention without returning to Earth.