Minerva

Minerva

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.332.7554.1400 (Published 08 June 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:1400

In the face of an increasing incidence of prostate cancer, researchers have identified a common genetic variant that is associated with this disease in European and African populations. Follow-up of a study from Iceland has localised the variant to the long arm of chromosome 8 (8q24). A specific allele in this region might account for the greater incidence of prostate cancer in men of African-American origin than in Europeans (Nature Genetics 2006; doi: 10.1038/ng1808).

An attempt to use N-acetylcysteine (an antioxidant) to prevent kidney damage during elective abdominal aortic surgery has failed (Anesthesia and Analgesia 2006;102: 1638-45). A randomised, double blind, placebo controlled trial in 70 patients found that N-acetylcysteine offered no appreciable protection. Some degree of renal injury seems to occur before the crossclamp is applied to the aorta, even in patients with normal preoperative renal function.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa colonises the lungs of young patients who have cystic fibrosis and often causes severe respiratory tract infections. The process is aided by genetic changes that occur within the bacterium during the period of chronic infection. These changes facilitate infection by increasing virulence and conferring a high degree of resistance to antibiotics. Researchers say that some of the commonly found …

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