December 06, 2012

Research Roundup: What we’re reading this week

Communications Officer

In this regular feature on Breakthroughs, we highlight some of the most interesting reads in global health research from the past week.

Outgoing Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) this week released a bill that aims to reform US foreign assistance efforts, including those focused on global health. Among other goals, the new bill would promote research and innovation in US foreign assistance efforts.

A new clinical trial will examine an investigational drug’s early efficacy in patients newly diagnosed with drug-sensitive tuberculosis. The clinical trial—sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health—is led by researchers at the Tuberculosis Research Unit at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

A new report from Médecins Sans Frontières and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative finds that despite important progress in research and development for global health over the past decade, only a small fraction of new medicines developed between 2000 and 2011 were for the treatment of neglected diseases.

Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the United Nations, withdrew her name from consideration for secretary of state this week. In a letter to President Barack Obama, she said "the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive, and costly—to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities. That trade-off is simply not worth it to our country."

A new report finds a decline in deaths from malnutrition and infectious diseases has caused a shift in global mortality patterns over the past 20 years, with more of the world’s population now living longer and dying from diseases mostly associated with wealthy countries, like cancer and heart disease.

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