August 30, 2010
Geneticist Richard Lifton had been more focused on heart than skin disease, but when a former postdoc dermatologist returned to describe a baffling case, the head of Yale's genetics department was intrigued. The patient's skin was a hodgepodge of red and white patches, said Lifton. The diagnosis was a rare genetic disease called "ichthyosis en confetti," named after the diseased skin's scaly look. The red patches were inflamed skin typical of the condition, but the white patches were a mystery to Lifton and his former postdoc.
June 28, 2010 |
The eyes of a fruit fly are among the miniature marvels of biology. Each one is divided into hundreds of tiny, bulbous units, arranged neatly in row upon row, giving it the honeycombed perfection of a piece of bubble wrap. But something is wrong with the fly under Gillian Ritson's microscope. The sections of the insect's eyes are not in tidy rows, looking instead as if they've been tossed in a salad. The eyes are a pale, waxy color, not the usual red. Their hairy bristles are crazily askew.
May 21, 2010
THIS WEEK'S DVD box is full of worthwhile movies that people apparently didn't feel like dragging themselves to the theater to see. There's "Invictus," featuring Oscar-nominated Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela, using South Africa's mostly white rugby team to unite his newly minted but racially divided nation. Given the import of the subject, it's a little strange that the most entertaining featurette is about how Matt Damon learned to play rugby. Woody Harrelson was also nominated for an Oscar for his role in "The Messenger.
January 21, 2010 |
"Extraordinary Measures" will probably be slapped around for being square and clumsy, but there is also something new and fascinating about it. Yeah, in terms of style it's a Lifetime movie about one family's fight against a rare disease, but it's the prosaic details of that fight that actually make the movie worthwhile and timely, arriving as the debate over health-care policy seems about to reignite. "Measures" is the fact-based story of John Crowley (Brendan Fraser), a drug company executive quietly losing his mind because two of his children are succumbing to a rare disease - Pompe - which is degenerative and fatal.
December 2, 2009 |
LOOKING at Kyler VanNocker, whose fifth birthday was Monday, it's impossible to fathom that he could die from the disease he's battling. He's bright-eyed and energetic as he tears around the house he shares in Edgewater Park, N.J., with his parents, Paul and Maria, and siblings Kaden, 6, and Anelise, 3. He's just as active at pre-school, where he's learning his numbers and the alphabet. But the truth is, Kyler has neuroblastoma, a rare and deadly form of childhood cancer that attacks the nervous system, creating tumors throughout the body.
July 16, 2008 |
ViroPharma Inc., of Exton, says it will pay $442.9 million for anti-inflammatory drug developer Lev Pharmaceuticals Inc., of New York, plus up to $174.6 million in bonuses if a Lev drug for a rare disease meets regulatory and sales goals. That works out to $2.75 in cash and stock, plus up to $1 more if targets are met, for each Lev share. The stock closed yesterday at $1.85 in over-the-counter trading. ViroPharma shares on the Nasdaq stock market closed at $10.62, down $1.92.
July 19, 2005 |
Jill Laura Creedon, 25, of Wayne, a nursing student who helped care for patients while she was battling a fatal illness, died at home July 12 of hemangioendothelioma. Miss Creedon was diagnosed when she was 2 with the rare disease, which causes tumors to form in the blood vessels. Though doctors were doubtful she would survive, with treatment, the disease went into remission and she enjoyed an active childhood. She graduated from Notre Dame de Namur Academy in Villanova, where she played soccer and softball and ran track, and then attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute, where she played soccer.
June 27, 2005 |
It's sold as Rice Dream, but doctors at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia call it "rice nightmare. " That's because they've seen two youngsters in two years with kwashiorkor, a potentially fatal form of malnutrition rarely encountered outside the Third World. Doctors blamed Rice Dream, a nondairy rice drink that millions of people buy instead of milk. Rice Dream's makers insist it should never be used as infant formula, and their Web site and packages say that. But both children - a 7-month-old Caucasian boy and a 14-month-old Latina - were fed Rice Dream almost exclusively after they had problems with baby formula.
March 3, 2005
I READ FRANNY McLoughlin's "Smoking horror story" - and forgive me if I don't shed any tears. I'm sorry he's afflicted with this rare disease, but according to the official Web sites about Buerger's disease, just stopping use of tobacco products is enough. And regarding his assertion that he just wants to go out to dinner with family and friends and not smell cigarettes: Well, I can think of four restaurants (one Greek, one Vietnamese, one Thai, one a diner) that I frequent in Center City that are smoke-free, and a quick 10-minute search via the phone book found several more that are ENTIRELY SMOKE FREE!
November 21, 2004 |
A few weeks ago, Triton senior quarterback Mario Barel had a chemotherapy treatment that kept him hospitalized on a Monday. He stayed overnight at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in Philadelphia and returned to Triton's practice field that Tuesday. No big deal, said Barel, 17, who downplays a rare disease he has been battling since his freshman year. "I feel real good. I feel normal," he said in a recent interview. "Nothing is going to cause me not to play. " Well, almost nothing.