Health Highlights: Jan. 29, 2019
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Prepared Foods With Baby Spinach Recalled by Whole Food Markets
Prepared foods such as salads, pizza, sandwiches and wraps that contain baby spinach have been recalled in eight states by Whole Food Markets due to possible salmonella contamination.
The products were sold at stores in Connecticut, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island, and can be returned for a full refund. To date, no illnesses have been reported, according to the company.
It also said that consumers who bought items containing baby spinach from salad bars or hot bars at Whole Foods Markets in these states should throw away any such items bought up to Jan. 23, 2019.
The Whole Food Market recall is in response to a recall by Satur Farms. For more information, consumers can call 1-844-936-8255.
Thrive Market Recalls Nut Butters
All unexpired lots of Thrive Market-branded nut butters are being recalled due to possible listeria contamination.
“On January 21, 2019, one of our suppliers notified us that it was issuing a recall of all nut butters it has manufactured since January 2018 because of a positive test for Listeria monocytogenes in recent lots,” the company said in a news release.
The recalled Thrive Market-branded nut butters were distributed across the United States. A list of the recalled nut butters can be found on the company’s recall website. Anyone with the products should through them away.
Listeria monocytogenes can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in pregnant women, young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.
Antibiotic-Resistance Genes From India Found in Arctic: Study
Genes first detected in India just a few years ago were among 131 genes associated with antibiotic resistance in bacteria that were discovered in a remote location in the High Arctic, researchers say.
The genes were found in soil samples taken from the Kongsfjorden region. All of the soil samples contained antibiotic-resistance genes, but no antibiotic resistant bacteria were found, according to the study published Monday in the journal Environment International, CNN reported.
One set of genes, blaNDM-1, give bacteria resistance to multiple antibiotics, including a last-resort class called Carbapenems, which are used to treat severe infections.
First discovered in a patient in India in 2008, the blaNDM-1 genes were present in surface waters in Delhi by 2010. Five out of the eight Arctic soil samples contained blaNDM-1.
“Less than three years after the first detection of the blaNDM-1 gene in the surface waters of urban India we are finding them thousands of miles away in an area where there has been minimal human impact,” lead researcher David Graham, professor of ecosystems engineering, Newcastle University, U.K., told CNN.
The only way any of the antibiotic-resistance genes “could have got there is either though traveling wildlife or through traveling humans,” Graham said.
Antibiotic resistance is a growing threat and drug-resistant bacteria are expected to kill 10 million people a year by 2050. Scientists believe that about 70 percent of infection-causing bacteria are already resistant to at least one antibiotic used to fight them, CNN reported.
U.S. Nobel Laureate Knew About Gene-Edited Babies Long Before They Were Born
An American Nobel laureate knew about Chinese researcher He Jiankui’s claim to have created the world’s first gene-edited babies months before it became public, but remained an adviser to He’s biotech company despite objecting to the gene-editing research.
In an email sent last April, He informed Craig Mello of the University of Massachusetts about the pregnancy involving gene-edited twin girls, the Associated Press reported.
He has said he tried to alter the girls’ genes to help them resist future infection with the AIDS-causing HIV virus. When the twins were born in December, there was widespread condemnation of the experiment.
“I’m glad for you, but I’d rather not be kept in the loop on this,” Mello replied to He’s April email. “You are risking the health of the child you are editing … I just don’t see why you are doing this. I wish your patient the best of luck for a healthy pregnancy.”
The emails were obtained by the AP under a public records request.
Mello remained a scientific adviser for He’s Direct Genomics company for eight more months, until just after news of the twins’ births became public and triggered international criticism. The gene-editing work was not a company experiment.
Several U.S. researchers knew or strongly suspected He was considering trying embryo gene editing, according to the AP. Editing embryos intended for a pregnancy is not allowed in the U.S. and many other countries due to risks, such as passing the DNA changes to future generations.
Mello refused an interview, but in statements provided through the University of Massachusetts, Mello said he did not know He was “personally interested” in human gene editing or had the ability to achieve it, and that their discussions were “hypothetical and broad,” the AP reported.
Along with restating that he did not approve of He’s research, Mello said he resigned from Direct Genomics’ scientific advisory board because he felt that a company led by He could no longer be effective.
There is debate among scientists about whether and how to alert about troubling research, and the need for clearer guidelines, the AP reported.
He’s work has not been published in a scientific journal, and China’s state media last week reported that investigators concluded that He acted alone and fabricated an ethics review by others, and said he could face consequences.
Posted: January 2019
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