Rebuilding heart muscle: The hypoxic bubble

Check out the recent Nature publication by Dr. Hesham Sadek‘s group in which they identify and characterize cycling cardiomyocytes in a novel transgenic mouse model. Their work was recently highlighted on KERA and highlights the role of hypoxia signalling and HIF1-alpha in maintaining cardiomyocyte proliferative capacity. This research suggests that adult mammals are capable of cardiac regeneration following ischemic injury and is an important step toward the ultimate goal: cellular therapies for human coronary ischemia!

Figure reprinted with permission by Nature Publishing Group

Cyclosporiasis again?

Our own Dr. Christian Mayorga was interviewed on KERA yesterday about the recent spike in cases of cyclosporiasis in Texas. Following outbreaks in 2013 (133 cases) and 2014 (270 cases), the Texas Department of Health State Services has already received reports of 113 cases as of July 3 with the majority of these occurring in the past two weeks.  Remember to ask your patients about fresh produce consumption and sick contacts!

Cyclospora 101

  • single-celled organism (Cyclospora cayetanensis)
  • typically found in imported fresh produce
  • dominant symptom is watery diarrhea
  • Diagnosis: acid-fast stool stain
  • Treatment: typically supportive but persistent diarrhea treated with bactrim

cyclospora_lifecycle

Figure courtesy of DPDx