Time Has Finally Come for Sickle Cell Advancements

As a child, the pain crises of his sickle cell disease often landed Stephine McCants in the hospital for weeks at a time. “I didn’t know how to deal with it,” he says. “I used to blame God. I used to blame everything -- because the pain would be that bad.” Now McCants, 28, says the pain today is duller, though more frequent. The Philadelphia musician only ends up hospitalized once or twice a year. He takes medication, works out hard, drinks lots of water, and eats a healthy diet. He gets frequent massages from his sister, a massage therapist, and tries to avoid getting cold and wet, which he says can trigger an attack. Stephine McCants, 28, of Philadelphia, has had sickle cell disease since

Meet the pigs that could solve the human organ transplant crisis

The facility lies midway between Munich’s city center and its international airport, roughly 23 miles to the north. From the outside, it still looks like the state-run farm it once was, but peer through the windows of the old farmhouse and you’ll see rooms stuffed with cutting-edge laboratory equipment. In a newer building at the back of the farm, Barbara Kessler pulls off her sneakers and sprays her bare feet and hands with antiseptic. The wiry veterinarian steps over a taped line in the shower room, leaving behind everything she can from the outside world: clothes, watch, earrings. She scrubs her body and hair—a buzz cut, so it’s easier to manage these frequent washings. After the shower,

Measles Infection Could Leave Kids Vulnerable to Other Diseases

Getting sick with measles does not just result in a dangerous infection that causes itchy blisters. It can leave the immune system vulnerable to other infections for some time to come, a new study has found. Although there had been earlier hints of such "immune amnesia," this study is the first to show how the process might work. The researchers analyzed antibodies to essentially the entire repertoire of viruses that humans face, in drops of blood taken from 77 unvaccinated Dutch children just before and just after they came down with the measles. The children live in a part of the Netherlands where many families forgo vaccination for religious reasons, and the researchers took advantage of

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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