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Scientists have long suspected that respiratory viruses play a critical role in the development of chronic lung diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Studying mouse and cell models of this process, researchers now have shown how immune cells dispatched to the lung to destroy a respiratory virus can fail to disperse after their job is done, setting off a chain of inflammatory events that leads to long-term lung problems.

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Scientists, including researchers from Washington University School of Medicine, have found antibiotic resistance genes in the bacterial flora of a South American tribe that never before had been exposed to antibiotic drugs. The findings suggest that bacteria in the human body have had the ability to resist antibiotics since long before such drugs were ever used to treat disease.

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Transit stops close to home and workplace incentives are associated with higher likelihood that commuters will choose public transportation, according to research from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The study is co-authored by Aaron Hipp, PhD, assistant professor at the Brown School.MORE

John W. Olney, MD, the John P. Feighner Professor of Psychiatry and professor of pathology and immunology, died Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at his home in St. Louis after a battle with lung cancer and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). He was 83.

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Smokers with a specific genetic variation are more likely to keep smoking longer than those who don’t have the gene variant. They’re also more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer at a younger age, according to new research from Laura Jean Bierut, MD (left), and Li-Shiun Chen, MD, at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

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While in Ethiopia as a Fulbright scholar, L. Lewis Wall, MD, DPhil, met a woman who is trying to change the experience of adolescent girls in rural Ethiopia by providing them with reusable sanitary pads and education about menstruation. Wall and his wife, Helen, decided they had to do something to support the mission.

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A new study finds that that 1.2 percent of American preschool children on Medicaid are using psychotropic drugs, including antidepressants, mood stabilizers and medications for attention-deficit disorder. Using 2000-2003 Medicaid Analytic Extract data from 36 states, a group of researchers at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis and at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found preschoolers are receiving psychotropic medications despite limited evidence supporting safety or efficacy.MORE
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Joni Westerhouse
Associate Vice Chancellor, Executive Director Medical News
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westerhousej@wustl.edu