New pill could cure allergy to cats
A team of British researchers have discovered how and why animals, in particular cats, can trigger allergic reactions in humans.
They are now hopeful that a new pill could cure millions of pet lovers of their cat allergy and reunite them with their feline companions.
Researchers at the University of Nottingham have found a protein component which initiates an allergic reaction to cats.
They discovered that when microscopic flakes of dander (cats’ skin) are breathed in, they are wrongly identified as being a threat by the immune system.
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The ‘watchmen’ cells (dendric cells) of the immune system then trigger a defence and attack the intruder, causing the symptoms of an allergy.
The protein, which is known as the mannose receptor, is on the surface of the dendric cells and it is also responsible for causing allergies to dogs and dust mites.
By understanding the cause of the cat allergy, Dr Amir Ghaem-Maghami, one of the researchers, is certain a pill could be developed to cure pet allergies.
“Most treatments at the moment are symptomatic – you have the allergy and then you try to stop the symptoms,” he said in an interview.
“What we are saying is that if you understand what happens at the time the irritant interacts with the body, you can intervene early on.”
He therefore believes that a pill that targets the reactions of the protein on the dendric cells could act as a cure for cat allergies.
“There has been a sharp increase in the prevalence of allergies over the past few decades and allergic asthma among children has reached epidemic proportions,” said Ghaem-Maghami.
“One of the main problems with allergic disease is the impact on quality of life. For those who are suffering, it is a very big deal,” he added.
Ghaem-Maghami has already started researching and testing potential treatments for cat allergies.
One of the most common pet-related allergies, a cat allergy causes sneezing, itchy eyes and rashes and can trigger an asthma attack in asthma sufferers.
LG launches purpose-built smart TV for hospitals
LG Business Solutions USA has announced two new hospital TVs that are designed to improve patient management and engagement while adhering to critical safety standards for healthcare facilities.
One of the TVs is LG's biggest ever screen for a hospital - the 65-inch 4K Ultra HD model. It has LG’s NanoCell display technology, enabling it to display vivid pictures, and provides built-in support for hospital pillow speakers and embedded broadband LAN capability, so hospitals can deliver video on demand without requiring a separate set-top box in the patient room.
It also includes configuration software with an intuitive interface for setting up the TV to work in a hospital setting, plus a software-enabled access point feature that turns the TV into a Wi-Fi hotspot.
The second TV screen is the 15-inch Personal Healthcare Smart Touch TV with a multi-touch screen. It is designed to be installed on an adjustable arm for use in shared spaces or smaller patient rooms and will support LG's new, modular LG AM-AC21EA video camera, and HD video communication.
Both include support for video conferencing, and are UL Certified for use in healthcare facilities, a global safety standard. They also feature LG’s integrated Pro:Centric hospital management solutions, allowing hospitals and LG’s patient engagement development partners to personalise a patient's room, providing entertainment, hospital information, services, patient education, and more.
Additionally its communication platform makes it possible to conduct video calls between patients and clinicians or family.
“Our newest LG hospital TVs reflect ongoing feedback from the industry and include capabilities integrated to meet the unique needs of a critical market” said Tom Mottlau, Director of Healthcare Solutions, LG Electronics USA.
“Our healthcare patient engagement development partners requested an upgradable version of webOS for our Pro:Centric smart TV platform so they could more easily introduce new features for their hospital customers. For the latest versions of webOS, LG worked closely with our partners to make their request a reality and to deliver a hospital TV platform that can evolve over time.”