30 June – 27 July 2012

Highlights:  21 –27 July 2012

Independent preview of the 2012 Showcase and the archives of Ronald Ross: “In his notebook he made rough drawings of the cells seen under his microscope which for the first time established malaria was transmitted through the blood-sucking bugs rather than coughing or close human contact. His notes, books, blood slides and beautiful brass microscope open to the public next Wednesday at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.”

Brendan Wren tells the Sun that post-antibiotic apocalypse is around the corner: “I wouldn’t say months but maybe within a couple of years we won’t be able to use antibiotics any longer. It’s really just a question of time, as we know they are becoming resistant. There are all sorts of diseases that we may not be able to treat — MRSA and other hospital infections. Tuberculosis is a very good example.”

Saidi Kapiga tells Reuters about clinical trials of a monthly vaginal ring for HIV prevention: “It is acceptable. The fact that they use it only once in four weeks was a major advantage.” Also covered by NBC News, Seattle Times, Huffington Post and over 425 titles worldwide.

Alison Grant speaks to SciDevNet about the rise of drug-resistant HIV in Africa and solutions to make it easier to test resistance in rural communities: “We need to find a way to make it [surveillance] happen, so that the extraordinary success of ART roll-out is sustained.”

Martine Collumbien on Oregon Public Broadcasting on the cost of giving anti-retroviral drugs to everyone with HIV: “Who should pay for it? The rich countries, probably. But we know in this current climate, that’s not going to happen.”

Lori Heise on Modern Ghana discussing the launch of the STRIVE Research Consortium at the International AIDS Conference in Washington DC this week: “We need to keep our eyes on the prize of enabling factors to make sure those technologies work.”

Toby Lesliethought leaderfeature in News Medical, discussing new research on malaria misdiagnosis in Afghanistan: “Misdiagnosis and treatment of malaria has been found in almost all areas where researchers have looked for it. Our data is comparable to other studies in Africa and Asia and this shows that it is an urgent, worldwide problem.” Research also featured in a number of online publications.

Val Curtis speaks to Huffington Post about disgust and facial disfigurement: “Fear evolved to keep you away from large animals that want to eat you from the outside. Disgust evolved to keep you away from smaller animals that kill you from the inside.”

BBC News reports that LSHTM research contributed to the decision to offer annual flu vaccinations to all two to 17-year-olds in the UK. Also covered by NHS Choices, BMJ and numerous other titles worldwide.

Stephen Lawn in Medical News Today on addressing the challenges to transform the HIV-TB response. 

Highlights:  16 –20 July 2012

Ian Roberts’ biomass study used to create interactive global fat scale on BBC News, which was then featured in the Independent, New York Times and Huffington Post.

Vikram Patel in Eastern Eye discussing cross-cultural factors in high suicide rates for Asian women in India and Britain: “It’s to do with the lesser autonomy and lesser freedoms they [women] have in Asian culture, to make decisions about who they marry, their education and employment decisions.”

Vikram Patel  in the New York Times on how to effectively treat mental health issues in rural areas:  “The question was how do you close treatment gaps where there are hardly any professionals. It got people thinking: how have other people closed treatment gaps in maternal and child health for the last 15 years?”

James Logan in the Scotsman on a GM mosquito plan to fight Dengue fever: “It is important to find new ways to control these mosquitoes as Dengue is a growing problem in the tropics and is now becoming a threat to countries much closer to home.”

Helen Hogan in News Medical new thought leaders series explaining her recent hospital deaths research: “I think it is important for hospitals to measure the rate of severe harm and death caused by problems in care and track these numbers over time. It is also important to look in more detail at cases where things have gone wrong and understand how to prevent such harm in the future.”

Chris Drakeley speaks to Ars Technica about RTS,S malaria vaccine: “I would not expect RTS,S to have much of an effect on transmission.”

Matt Cairns tells SciDev.Net how combined malaria drugs could cut child deaths: “Where this approach has been used, it has worked very well and prevented around eight out of every ten malaria cases, and a similar number of severe cases which resulted in children needing to be admitted to hospital.” Also covered by Reuters AlertNet.

Guardian blog on how the LSHTM epidemiology course helped deliver measles vaccines by motorbike.

Highlights:  7 –13 July 2012

Helen Hogan in the Independent on new LSHTM research that reveals true picture of preventable deaths in hospitals: “We found medical staff were not doing the basics well enough – monitoring blood pressure and kidney function, for example. They were also not assessing patients holistically early enough in their admission so they didn’t miss any underlying condition. And they were not checking side-effects… before prescribing drugs.” Also in the Daily Telegraph, Mirror, Sky News, Daily Mail, Daily Express, Evening Standard, News Medical and over 150 other titles.

Jan vanderMeulen speaks to the Daily Telegraph about new LSHTM research that says one in five women with breast cancer have a repeat operation after breast conserving surgery: “A 20 per cent re-operation rate is higher than a lot of people had expected.” Also covered by BBC News, Daily Mail, Times and over 140 other titles.

John Cleland explains to BBC Breakfast how improving access to contraception could reduce maternal deaths: “Hundreds of thousands of women and children have died unnecessarily, simply because contraception has not been promoted as strongly as it was in the 70s and 80s.” Also in the Independent, Economist, Reuters TrustLaw, Seattle Times, NBC News and over 60 other titles worldwide.

Simon Croft speaks to SciDevNet about key tropical diseases suffering funding neglect: “Let’s not just ask for more funding from the pharmaceutical industry — let’s be more specific and realistic”.

Peter Piot on BBC Radio 4 Today discussing ‘No Time To Lose’: “One of the lessons of recent history is when we become complacent, we see an increase in new infections…The father of modern microbiology, Louis Pasteur, said in the nineteenth century ‘Sirs, the bacteria will always have the last word’ and with viruses it may be the same thing. (Interview at 49 mins) Also interviewed by PRI’s The World, Radio New Zealand and New Scientist CultureLab.

Ron Behrens and James Logan give the Mail on Sunday top tips for travellers to stay healthy abroad: “As many as 60 per cent of travellers to tropical climates suffer diarrhoea. Many also suffer nausea and vomiting and it usually lasts two or three days. Ensure you replace lost fluids by drinking lots and taking rehydration tablets.”

Heidi Larson in the New York Times on how the C.I.A. vaccine ruse may have harmed the war on polio.

Highlights:  30 June – 6 July 2012

Peter Piot recalls key moments from his career, as he speaks to Metro about the release of his memoirs, ‘No Time To Lose’: “I was in training in biology in the lab, learning how to isolate viruses. We got a sample coming from what was then called Zaire in central Africa in a blue thermos. It was brought from a Catholic nun who had died from a mysterious disease they thought was yellow fever. We isolated the virus and it was unlike any other that was known.” Also on BBC World Service Outlook and Daily Beast.

Gaby Judah speaks to Evening Standard and Camden New Journal about volunteers setting up ‘mini laboratories’ in their homes: “This technology is a very exciting tool and could have benefits to public health, especially if it could be adapted for the home.”

Vikram Patel on Radio Australia discussing high suicide rates in India: “Most suicides are concentrated in young adults… (We need to) improve access to the treatment for mental illness, particularly depression and drinking problems.”

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