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Politics and medicine: Vaccine attitude rises and falls with ideology

Political views and a person’s trust in the government play a role in whether or not they get vaccinated, a study has found. A person’s ideology directly impacts who they trust, allowing the person to selectively credit information related to vaccine risks and benefits in ways that reflect their ideology, said researchers at the University of Idaho in the US. An individual with strong conservative political views is less likely to vaccinate than a person with strong liberal political views, according to the study, as is someone who holds lower…

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GM vaccine for malaria without side effects soon

A potent malaria vaccine with virtually no side-effects has cleared clinical trials. The new “highly protective” malaria vaccine was successful in humans and can pave the way for treatment of other parasitic diseases. Scientists from the US genetically engineered the plasmodium parasite that causes the disease, after being passed on from mosquitos, to remove three genes that lead to infection. Although they can’t multiply , they live in the liver and stimulate the body’s defences to repel a real infection. Plasmodium parasites first infect the liver and then blood, leading…

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Vaccine shows promise in fight against breast cancer

An experimental vaccine is safe and effectively stimulates the immune system leading to regression of early-stage breast cancer, show results of a clinical trial. The researchers created the vaccine from immune cells called dendritic cells that are harvested from each individual patient to create a personalised vaccine. The immune cell vaccine targets the HER2 protein on breast cancer cells. The HER2 protein is overexpressed in 20-25 per cent of all breast cancer tumors and is associated with aggressive disease and poor prognosis. Researchers had previously shown that immune cells are…

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World’s first Chikungunya vaccine developed

US researchers have developed a vaccine for chikungunyafever made from an insect-specific virus that does not have any effect on people, making the vaccine safe and effective. The study indicated that the vaccine quickly produces a strong immune defense and completely protects mice and nonhuman primates from disease when exposed to the chikungunya virus. The findings were published in journal of Nature Medicine. “This vaccine offers efficient, safe and affordable protection against chikungunya and builds the foundation for using viruses that only infect insects to develop vaccines against other insect-borne…

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Kids Need Just Two Doses of Cancer Vaccine

Kids aged 11-12 should get only two doses of a vaccine to prevent cancers caused by human papillomavirus, instead of the previously recommended three shots, US health authorities said Thursday. The updated recommendation from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is based on research that shows younger adolescents can get similar protection that way, and may be more likely to get vaccinated if fewer shots are required. HPV is a common sexually transmitted infection that can cause cancers of the head, neck, cervix, penis and anus. Some…

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Cocaine addiction vaccine a step closer

Brazilian researchers working to develop a vaccine against cocaine addiction have begun test trials on animals. The vaccine has been under development for more than two years, one of the lead researchers, Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday citing local media. “We are developing a molecule to stimulate the production of antibodies by the immune system against cocaine,” said Professor Angelo de Fatima, of the Organic Chemistry department at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, at Belo Horizonte, in the state of Minas Gerais, in Brazil. “These antibodies bind to…

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