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Daily Rounds: Meningitis Death; Meditation For Pain; Another Preterm Birth Drug; Portrait Of A Vaccine Discovery

Ashby man dies from bacterial meningitis at UMass Memorial "Benjamin, a commuter student at Franklin Pierce, had complained Friday of a sore throat after attending a music concert at the university. Later on Friday, he started complaining of achy, flu-like symptoms that lasted through the weekend, his father said. He went to his doctor in Gardner Tuesday, with everyone all along thinking it was just a regular virus, Steven Plante said.
But later on Tuesday, Mr. Plante said, he came home to find his son still very sick and in what Benjamin described as the worst pain of his life." (telegram.com)

Even Beginners Can Curb Pain With Meditation : Shots - Health Blog : NPR "A little over an hour of meditation training can dramatically reduce both the experience of pain and pain-related brain activation," Fadel Zeidan, a neuroscientist and the study's lead author, tells Shots. That finding's a first, Zeidan says." (npr.org)

Progesterone gel prevents preterm births in some women - Daily Dose - Boston.com "On the heels of a pricing controversy over a new progesterone injection to prevent premature births, a different — and far cheaper — treatment appears useful as well — at least in some pregnant women who are at risk. A new study funded by the National Institutes of Health found that pregnant women with a short cervix, which put them at higher risk of premature birth, could benefit from using a vaginal progesterone gel to extend their pregnancies." (boston.com)

Baruch S. Blumberg,Who Helped Make Hepatitis Vaccine, Dies - NYTimes.com "Dr. Blumberg’s discoveries are credited with saving millions of patients from ever developing liver cancer. But in his scientific autobiography, “Hepatitis B: The Hunt for a Killer Virus” (Princeton University Press, 2002), he observed ruefully that hepatic disease was still killing 1.5 million people a year worldwide — despite the widespread availability of the vaccines he helped develop — and that 350 million were chronically infected. Still, he was hopeful. “Life — and death — are full of surprises,” he wrote, “and while it may be tempting fate to be too optimistic, it appears likely that within the next few decades this virus will be effectively controlled.” (There is still no vaccine for the blood-borne hepatitis C, one of the five known hepatitis viruses.)" (nytimes.com)

This program aired on April 7, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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