U.S. military veteran receives world's first total penis and scrotum transplant

A U.S. serviceman severely injured several years ago in an IED blast in Afghanistan has received the world's first total penis and scrotum transplant, surgeons at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine announced Monday. The man, whose identity was not released, is recovering well and expected to regain both urinary and sexual function, Richard Redett, who led the transplant team, said at a Monday telephone news conference. Click here to read the story on USAToday.com The patient did not receive testicles from his donor to avoid the ethical issues that might ensue if he later had children, said Damon Cooney, another transplant team member. The testicles would have contained sperm fro

New York Mice Are Crawling With Bacteria and Viruses

Mice that live in the basements of New York City apartment buildings — even at the most exclusive addresses — carry disease-causing bacteria, antibiotic-resistant bugs and viruses that have never been seen before, a new study from Columbia University finds. Researchers collected feces from more than 400 mice captured over a year in eight buildings in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. The team then analyzed the droppings for bacteria and viruses. The viruses included nine species that had never been seen before and others that have not been known to cause human disease, according to the study, published Tuesday in the journal mBio. But in a second study focused on bacteria, the resea

Healing process after breast cancer surgery may trigger cancer to spread, study says

Doctors have long wondered why breast cancer patients are more likely to see their cancer spread within the first 18 months after a lumpectomy or mastectomy. A new study suggests the wound healing that follows surgery may trigger this spread. As the immune system works to heal the surgical scar, it stops restraining cancer cells that have wandered far from the tumor site, according to the study published Wednesday in Science Translational Medicine. Without this brake, those cancer cells are free to grow and become new, more dangerous tumors. “It's not the actual surgery, but instead, it's the post-surgical wound response,” said Robert Weinberg, the paper’s senior author and a biologist at th

At 88, this doctor won’t give up on a long-ignored treatment for strokes and heart attacks

He’s a professor at Harvard Medical School, but in many ways, Dr. Victor Gurewich is an outsider. His research is funded by a small family foundation, and he hasn’t tried for a federal grant in decades. He’s a primary care doctor whose work tramples on the terrain of cardiologists and neurologists. So it’s perhaps not surprising that, more than 20 years after figuring out a combination therapy that he believes is a safer, more effective way to treat heart attacks and strokes, he’s had little success getting anyone to listen. Now at age 88, Gurewich is still trying to convince his medical peers that he’s right, and a tiny company he started in 2006 is about to launch a clinical trial in Europ

About me

Cover COVID-19 

and patient safety

for USA Today.

Former long-time health/science

journalist, contributing to The

New York Times, The Washington Post, 

Scientific American.com, and others. Journalism educator and book author.

Contact:

kweintraub@usatoday.com

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