Tag Archives: created

Penicillin mould created by Alexander Fleming sells for over $14,000

The international auction house Bonham’s has sold a small, patchy disc of mould for $ 14,597 (£11,863).

The off-white, nearly 90-year-old swatch of microbes was first created by Alexander Fleming to make penicillin, a revolutionary discovery that brought the world its first antibiotic. Bonham’s sold the mould on Wednesday during an auction in London.

The germs are preserved in a glass case and feature an inscription by Fleming on the back, identifying it as “the mould that first made penicillin”.

That, however, may be stretching the truth; Fleming likely made dozens of the mould mementos.

Matthew Haley, director of books and manuscripts at Bonham’s, said Fleming often sent the samples out to dignitaries including the Pope and Marlene Dietrich as “a kind of holy relic.”.

In 1928 Fleming was working on cultures of staphylococcus, a bacterium which causes blood-poisoning. A mould spore accidentally fell on one of these cultures, and began to grow. Fleming noticed that the bacteria around the expanding culture began to disappear. Instead of throwing the dirty Petri dish away, he decided to look at what it was that was killing the bacteria, and it turned out to be penicillium chrysogenum.

He found that the broth in which he had cultivated it was very active against certain types of bacteria, and that it owed this property to a substance secreted by the mould. He suggested that it might be used as an antiseptic in wounds, and published an account of this work in 1929.

However, he couldn’t find a way of extracting enough of the penicillin to be of therapeutic use without it becoming ineffective. It took two Oxford University scientists, Howard Florey and Ernst Chain, to realise its full potential almost a decade later. The three men shared the Nobel prize for medicine in 1945.

First human-pig ‘chimera’ created in milestone study

Scientists have created a human-pig hybrid in a milestone study that raises the prospect of being able to grow human organs inside animals for use in transplants.

It marks the first time that embryos combining two large, distantly-related species have been produced. The creation of this so-called chimera – named after the cross-species beast of Greek mythology – has been hailed as a significant first step towards generating human hearts, livers and kidneys from scratch.

Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, who led the work on the part-pig, part-human embryos at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, said: “The ultimate goal is to grow functional and transplantable tissue or organs, but we are far away from that. This is an important first step.”

The study has reignited ethical concerns that have threatened to overshadow the field’s clinical promise. The work inevitably raises the spectre of intelligent animals with humanised brains and also the potential for bizarre hybrid creatures to be accidentally released into the wild. The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) placed a moratorium on funding for the controversial experiments last year while these risks were considered.

Izpisua Belmonte said that fears around chimeras were inspired largely by mythology rather than the realities of meticulously controlled experiments. But he acknowledged: “The idea of having an animal being born composing of human cells creates some feelings that need to be addressed.”

Creating human-pig chimera embryos

The paper, published in the journal Cell, outlines how human stem cells were injected into early-stage pig embryos, resulting in more than 2,000 hybrids that were transferred to surrogate sows. More than 150 of the embryos developed into chimeras that were mostly pig, but with a tiny human contribution of around one in 10,000 cells.

The pig-human embryos were allowed to develop to 28 days (the first trimester of a pig pregnancy) before being removed.

“This is long enough for us to try to understand how the human and pig cells mix together early on without raising ethical concerns about mature chimeric animals,” said Izpisua Belmonte.

The team believe that in future the approach could pave the way for incubating human organs, genetically matched to a patient, for use in transplants or for testing new medicines more safely and effectively.

Professor Daniel Garry, a cardiologist and head of a different chimera project at the University of Minnesota, said: “This is a significant advance that raises opportunities and ethical questions as well.”

Garry said that the rapid progress in chimera research had prompted a range of troubling questions, including whether the progeny would look more human or more pig, what would happen if a chimera had a human thought and whether it was possible for the human cells to cannibalise the pig embryo, resulting in a mostly-human, slightly-pig offspring.

“These more fantastical possibilities are not a problem in reality,” he said, adding that Izpisua Belmonte’s group had taken a “responsible approach”.

Scientists created the first rat-mouse chimeras a decade ago, but until now have struggled to combine human cells with those of a large mammal.

Professor Bruce Whitelaw, interim director of the Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh, where Dolly the sheep was created, said: “The 10 years between these two studies is a testament of how difficult it has been to achieve the human-pig result.”

One challenge is that the pig pregnancy lasts about 112 days, compared to nine months in humans, meaning that the embryonic cells are developing at completely different rates. Izpisua Belmonte’s team found that the human stem cells need to be injected at exactly the right stage in their own development for them to survive and become part of the growing animal – although even then, the efficiency was low.

Jun Wu, the paper’s lead author and a scientist at Salk, said: “It’s like if you’re going onto a highway where the cars are travelling three times faster than you are, you need to choose the right timing, otherwise you cause an accident.”

The team is hoping to boost the human contribution by switching off specific genes in the pig embryos that would prevent the pig cells from contributing to target organs, such as the heart, potentially giving the human cells a competitive advantage.

Similarly, the human cells could be engineered to prevent them contributing to the chimera brain. This safeguard was not in place in the current study, since the embryos were only allowed to reach an early stage of development and the human contribution was minimal.

“We didn’t see any human cells in the brain region, but we cannot exclude the possibility that they may have gone to the brain,” said Izpisua Belmonte.

In a separate experiment, the team also created a host of mouse-rat chimeras and showed that rat cells could develop into a gall bladder – even though rats stopped developing this organ themselves at some point in the 18 million years since rats and mice separated evolutionarily.

This reveals that our genetic code retains the instructions to turn our cells into ancestral forms that have been lost over the course of evolution, raising the intriguing question of which ancient traits might be unlocked from human DNA.

“Many animals have this extraordinary ability to regenerate,” said Izpisua Belmonte. “Humans don’t have that. [This field of work] could provide a platform for human cells to do that.”

First human-pig ‘chimera’ created in milestone study

Scientists have created a human-pig hybrid in a milestone study that raises the prospect of being able to grow human organs inside animals for use in transplants.

It marks the first time that embryos combining two large, distantly-related species have been produced. The creation of this so-called chimera – named after the cross-species beast of Greek mythology – has been hailed as a significant first step towards generating human hearts, livers and kidneys from scratch.

Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, who led the work on the part-pig, part-human embryos at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, said: “The ultimate goal is to grow functional and transplantable tissue or organs, but we are far away from that. This is an important first step.”

The study has reignited ethical concerns that have threatened to overshadow the field’s clinical promise. The work inevitably raises the spectre of intelligent animals with humanised brains and also the potential for bizarre hybrid creatures to be accidentally released into the wild. The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) placed a moratorium on funding for the controversial experiments last year while these risks were considered.

Izpisua Belmonte said that fears around chimeras were inspired largely by mythology rather than the realities of meticulously controlled experiments. But he acknowledged: “The idea of having an animal being born composing of human cells creates some feelings that need to be addressed.”

Creating human-pig chimera embryos

The paper, published in the journal Cell, outlines how human stem cells were injected into early-stage pig embryos, resulting in more than 2,000 hybrids that were transferred to surrogate sows. More than 150 of the embryos developed into chimeras that were mostly pig, but with a tiny human contribution of around one in 10,000 cells.

The pig-human embryos were allowed to develop to 28 days (the first trimester of a pig pregnancy) before being removed.

“This is long enough for us to try to understand how the human and pig cells mix together early on without raising ethical concerns about mature chimeric animals,” said Izpisua Belmonte.

The team believe that in future the approach could pave the way for incubating human organs, genetically matched to a patient, for use in transplants or for testing new medicines more safely and effectively.

Professor Daniel Garry, a cardiologist and head of a different chimera project at the University of Minnesota, said: “This is a significant advance that raises opportunities and ethical questions as well.”

Garry said that the rapid progress in chimera research had prompted a range of troubling questions, including whether the progeny would look more human or more pig, what would happen if a chimera had a human thought and whether it was possible for the human cells to cannibalise the pig embryo, resulting in a mostly-human, slightly-pig offspring.

“These more fantastical possibilities are not a problem in reality,” he said, adding that Izpisua Belmonte’s group had taken a “responsible approach”.

Scientists created the first rat-mouse chimeras a decade ago, but until now have struggled to combine human cells with those of a large mammal.

Professor Bruce Whitelaw, interim director of the Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh, where Dolly the sheep was created, said: “The 10 years between these two studies is a testament of how difficult it has been to achieve the human-pig result.”

One challenge is that the pig pregnancy lasts about 112 days, compared to nine months in humans, meaning that the embryonic cells are developing at completely different rates. Izpisua Belmonte’s team found that the human stem cells need to be injected at exactly the right stage in their own development for them to survive and become part of the growing animal – although even then, the efficiency was low.

Jun Wu, the paper’s lead author and a scientist at Salk, said: “It’s like if you’re going onto a highway where the cars are travelling three times faster than you are, you need to choose the right timing, otherwise you cause an accident.”

The team is hoping to boost the human contribution by switching off specific genes in the pig embryos that would prevent the pig cells from contributing to target organs, such as the heart, potentially giving the human cells a competitive advantage.

Similarly, the human cells could be engineered to prevent them contributing to the chimera brain. This safeguard was not in place in the current study, since the embryos were only allowed to reach an early stage of development and the human contribution was minimal.

“We didn’t see any human cells in the brain region, but we cannot exclude the possibility that they may have gone to the brain,” said Izpisua Belmonte.

In a separate experiment, the team also created a host of mouse-rat chimeras and showed that rat cells could develop into a gall bladder – even though rats stopped developing this organ themselves at some point in the 18 million years since rats and mice separated evolutionarily.

This reveals that our genetic code retains the instructions to turn our cells into ancestral forms that have been lost over the course of evolution, raising the intriguing question of which ancient traits might be unlocked from human DNA.

“Many animals have this extraordinary ability to regenerate,” said Izpisua Belmonte. “Humans don’t have that. [This field of work] could provide a platform for human cells to do that.”

The rhetoric around obesity is toxic. So I created a new language for fat people | Charlotte Cooper

There are lots of words used to describe people such as me. Medics and their allies will use some Latin or Greek to make their language appear authoritative and scientific. According to them I am obese, or someone requiring bariatric intervention. By extension, in newspapers I am part of an anonymous population blob known as “the obese”.

If I go shopping for clothes I might be called plus size. If I meet someone who finds someone with a body like mine shameful, I might be euphemistically described as big or large. Others might try to spin this shame into something more positive and pretty, like curvy. If someone tries to translate my work, they might use words such as gordo, dicke, grasso, grande. In some places there might not be words for me, either because no language exists, or because some people relate to me through a lexicon of disapproving looks and disgusted sounds.

I like to call myself, and be called, fat. This is simple and descriptive and it feels powerful to reclaim a word that is frequently used pejoratively. I am a fat activist, which is a term that can mean many things, but for me it means that I think fat is a political subject.

Fat is typically framed as a health problem but health is not apolitical, as bodies of work in the social sciences have come to reveal. Debates about the NHS, and fat people being held responsible for funding crises, are just one area in which fat is a political subject. The social hatred and scapegoating of fat people can also be seen as political.

In my most recent book, Fat Activism: A Radical Social Movement, I argue that fat activism can be anything done by anyone for any reason. It is not necessarily about self-acceptance, improving health, developing self-love or addressing stigma – though that can be part of it. It can be as much about joining organisations as tweeting; as going to a fat clothes-swap as writing and sharing a poem; as having a conversation with someone as presenting a paper at a conference. It can be weird, illegible, ambiguous and antisocial. There is no singular way of being a fat activist.


I think the experience of being fat is valuable. This is heresy to those who think fat people should not exist

In calling myself fat I am drawing on a feminist practice of naming things in order to bring them into being. This means naming myself, on my own terms, and using language to define the world around me as I experience it. I do this because I think the experience of being fat is valuable. This is heresy to those who think fat people should not exist. But the view from the margins illuminates a lot about the shadow side of conformity, norms, and fears concerning embodiment and difference, and how these are manipulated for power and profit.

Earlier this year I published a homemade dictionary of fat activist words and concepts. I wanted to subvert the language of medicine and public health to give readers a playful glimpse of a subculture. Here are some examples.

Alliteration

A literary device that is irresistible to people writing about fat, especially journalists: piling on the pounds, fat fighters, weight watchers, and so on. Maybe they do this because fat is intrinsically funny to write about, not like serious stories or hard news.

Belly

The part of your body that’s under your tits and above your privates. Can be any size, shape, texture, colour, levels of hairiness, sweatiness. A place where fat accumulates on some people. Sometimes flops around, sometimes is bold and stout. Sometimes makes gurgling noises. Sometimes has creases and stretch marks. Sometimes has a mind of its own and will not behave. A delightful, gorgeous thing, a source of physical power much maligned and fretted over. Important resource in gut-barging competitions.

Calorie

A way of talking about energy that you get through eating food. An obsession. A pretty name for a girl child.

Fathlete

A fat athlete.

Thin

A person who is not fat. A person who is better-looking, healthier, more intelligent, more likely to succeed in life, sexier, more lovable and better to be with than any fat person. A very good and virtuous and normal person.

Wings

Fat upper arms that get more wobbly and loose with age. Source of power.

I created A Fat Activist Vernacular because I am interested in language and power in relation to fat people. The weight-loss industry is worth a fortune, and there is a lot of money and status riding on the question of who gets to define fat experience – generally public health politicians and their friends and allies in the weight-loss industry and medicine. My preference would be that this is a subject for fat people to work out for ourselves by valuing and sharing our own experiences. But there are many others with vested interests in owning and wielding this information.

The language of fat activism, frequently raw and emotive when people talk about being objects of hate, is being appropriated and gentrified by academics and professionals, tidied up and made respectable, while ousting the originators. You can see this in the transformation of the activist term fatphobia into the blandly inoffensive “weight bias”, which is sure to make its way into policy sometime soon.

My own term, “headless fatty” – referring to media images of fat people whose heads have been cropped out of the frame – was also cleaned up by a prominent academic at Yale as “headless stomach”. What happens more often is that fat activist originators of language and concepts are not cited, and their ideas become appropriated and made respectable without anyone being the wiser.

Meanwhile, at the age of 46, I have found other ways of speaking about this subject. After embarking a few years ago on a lifelong ambition of becoming a contemporary dancer, in November I will be dancing a piece called But Is it Healthy? in the Wellcome Collection’s Obesity gallery. I get asked the question all the time and it is impossible to answer it in words, not least because fat people are a diverse group, health is constructed in myriad ways, and expert science is not incontrovertible. So I will dance the answer instead! This will be performed as a duet by Kay Hyatt and me to a soundtrack I have made based on archival recordings by fat feminist activists made in 1980 by Karen Stimson at the New Haven Fat Women’s Health Conference. The speakers are Diane Denne, Judy Freespirit, Aldebaran and Judith Stein; a recording of Marcia Duvall, also present on the panel, has unfortunately been lost. These women are founders of many of the ideas circulating in fat activism today, but they have been neglected historically. I would love more people to know about their work.

The dance emerged from a period of research in which Hyatt and I explored what it is like to be continually asked: “But is it healthy?”; it brings together years of activism, explaining, patient listening and deep frustration in response to this question.

Through dance I am developing a different kind of language, using my body expressively and encountering audiences who have been worn down by the rhetoric of the obesity epidemic for the past decade and a half, and want something different.

I hope that by watching us dance in the Obesity display at the Wellcome Collection, audiences will understand that there are other ways of talking and thinking about fat than those which have been dominant in recent years. It is unbelievable that fat people like me have to lobby so very hard to be seen simply as human. I hope the dancing, and its soundtrack, helps people recognise that fat people have community, histories, cultures, agency, thoughts and lives all of our own.

Charlotte Cooper and Kay Hyatt are performing on 4 November 2016 as part of the Friday Late Spectacular: Body Language at the Wellcome Collection

Breakthrough created in quest for new malaria medicines as resistance fears expand

Australian researchers have created a significant breakthrough in the race to discover new medicines to eliminate malaria, as resistance increases to the only drug left to treat the ailment.

Scientists from the Burnet Institute, Deakin University and Monash University were in a position to starve the malaria parasite of crucial proteins important to its survival, delivering a target for the improvement of new antimalarial drugs.

The malaria parasite exists inside a red blood cell – which permits it to go undetected by the immune technique, but is not an excellent atmosphere for the parasite to expand and thrive.

A co-writer of the paper, published in Nature, Tania de Koning-Ward from Deakin’s medical school, stated it meant the parasite had to “renovate” its setting by sending hundreds of its own proteins into the red blood cell for it to feed on.

“What our study has proven is individuals proteins can only get accessibility to the red blood cell via one gateway, which provides a channel for the proteins to get into the red blood cell so that it can reside and multiply,” she explained.

“We managed to alter the perform of this gateway so that these proteins can no longer get into the red blood cells, starving and killing the parasite.”

In 2009 researchers first discovered the malaria parasite obtained the proteins it essential by means of a gateway. But they were unsure whether blocking that gateway meant the parasite would basically uncover one more one. Parasites are notoriously great at adapting.

That meant convincing drug companies to invest in establishing medication to block the gateway had been a hard sell till now, De Koning-Ward explained.

“What we have shown by way of this analysis is the parasite utilizes just this a single gateway to acquire these proteins, which makes that gateway a excellent target for drug therapies.”

As parasites create resistance to drugs, researchers usually tweak them slightly to make them tougher for the parasite to battle. But the parasite often speedily develops resistance to the newer versions.

Artemisinin – the only drug left to deal with malaria – and the drug that came just before it, chloroquine, the two worked by offering the malaria parasite what was primarily a negative situation of indigestion, avoiding it from being able to eradicate a construct-up of iron that takes place right after it ingests haemoglobin.

Another co-author of the review, Dr Paul Gilson, senior investigation officer at Burnet Institute, stated the new research meant drug firms could now change their tactic totally. Alternatively of blocking the parasite’s capacity to detoxify the iron ingested, they could target the gateway it employed to get the “food”.

“It implies that when a drug that blocks the gateway is created, it may possibly get a whole lot longer for the malaria parasite to develop resistance to it, since it will never ever have witnessed a drug like this just before,” he said.

Resistance to artemisinin has previously occurred in parts of south-east Asia.

Gilson believes medicines that target the gateway could be prepared inside a few years, but explained they would then want to undergo trials that could get up to an additional ten many years.

“But the cupboard of medication obtainable to treat malaria is at present quite bare,” Gilson stated. “Our study supplies an critical new target for drug development.”

Malaria is spread via mosquitoes and its most lethal form is caused by the parasite plasmodium falciparum. More than 200 million people get malaria each and every 12 months and far more than half a million of those, mostly young children, die from the illness.

The speedy development in population movements meant there was a chance resistant malaria might reach other countries more speedily, Gilson explained. Whilst resistant malaria is not impossible to treat, it takes a whole lot longer.

The vasectomy-cancer website link created me wince. But ignorance is the genuine danger | James Mackenzie

vasectomy taboo

‘I’ve never ever heard any individual talk about currently being impotent, but the huge numbers of blue capsules can not all be going to male sex workers and the weekend-extended orgy crowd.’ Photograph: Alphafrance

When I had a vasectomy a handful of many years ago it by no means occurred to me that it might have implications for my health. I just knew I did not want youngsters. But males thinking about the snip now are likely to, as research from Harvard signifies it increases the opportunity of developing prostate cancer by 10%.

And there is worse: Harvard’s information suggests that vasectomies are connected with notably aggressive types of prostate cancer, and a 19% greater chance of dying from the illness. I challenge any guy studying this not to squirm at the concept of dealing with not just prostate cancer, but some amped-up full-fat model. I know I did.

Let’s keep in mind, percentage increases can be misleading. The all round rate of prostate cancer discovered in this trial was just in excess of 12%, while the higher fee for males with vasectomies was heading towards 14%. As for the lethal fee, that goes up from 1.6% to one.9%. Is it actually sufficient to warrant employing other kinds of contraception for decades, especially much less reliable ones? The spontaneity a vasectomy can afford is a actual advantage also.

It is not as though the female pill is one hundred% chance-cost-free either. Hormonal contraception marginally increases the incidence of breast cancer, thrombosis and other circumstances. It would be unforgivable for any guy to inform a female partner that he’s gone off the concept of a vasectomy after studying this investigation, and would rather she stayed on the pill.

Weighing up the pros and cons has got to be up to each and every personal guy, or every couple, in the context of a long-term relationship – although “my entire body my decision” definitely applies to males as well as girls. Possessing a vasectomy is frankly liberating, and it remains the most trustworthy way for men who do not want kids (or more children) to consider obligation for their very own fertility.

Even so, for as well numerous guys open discussion of their sexual overall health stays taboo. I have never ever heard any individual examine currently being impotent, yet the vast numbers of blue drugs issued every single yr can not all be going to male intercourse employees and the weekend-prolonged orgy crowd. It is not just impotence that is stigmatised, both: any suggestion that you’ve acquired “a issue with your manhood” plays into classic male insecurities.

But it is without a doubt good to talk. When I talked about my vasectomy on social media right after writing right here about my encounter of the male pill trials, a close pal asked me to walk him through the method and the aftermath. Even soon after reading through the Harvard research I would nevertheless reassure him about his major issues – even though of program if I would identified at the time, I would certainly have pointed out these small increases in threat.

I certainly never want to die of cancer if at all possible, so it’s most likely time to consider both prostate and testicular cancer much more significantly.

The classic 1980s Aids campaign said “Never die of ignorance”. The message nevertheless applies when it comes to testicular or prostate cancer. If you’re experiencing anything abnormal from this record of signs – or this one particular – get it checked out. It truly is not the end of the planet: of the males in the Harvard review who contracted prostate cancer, only 13% died from it. I have witnessed worse odds. But never sit all around and pretend it will just go away.

The pioneering surgeon who healed guys scarred by war, a new monument created in his honour – and the impressive twist of fate that hyperlinks them

In the finish McIndoe and his team in West Sussex “fixed up” 649 servicemen – men who underwent such revolutionary treatment method that they rakishly dubbed themselves The Guinea Pig Club.

Their disfigurement meant the chance of getting shunned by sweethearts and buddies, their lives blighted. So McIndoe not only treated them, he also stood up for them. “He had enormous battles with the authorities,” says Montfort Bebb, now 86. “He stated, ‘You treat my boys effectively.’ He even had a keg of beer for them in the ward. He had to give them the odd dressing-down, they were young men – they did misbehave – but they loved him.”

Such devotion suggests that handful of guys more richly deserve being immortalised in bronze than Sir Archibald McIndoe. But by the time, two years in the past, that Jacquie Pinney, chief executive of the health care analysis charity Blond McIndoe, began a campaign to erect a statue to McIndoe, his name and popularity had faded from the public eye.

The charity was founded in 1961 by the industrialist Neville Blond, who lived close to East Grinstead and noticed McIndoe’s operate there first-hand. He admired how McIndoe had taken present, primitive, plastic-surgical treatment tactics and pioneered new techniques that transformed not only the lives of his sufferers, but also the total area of reconstructive surgery.

But despite McIndoe’s achievements, there have been no statues or monuments to his honour, even in his native New Zealand. “There was practically nothing,” says Pinney. “I felt it was long overdue.”

Hence when she known as Martin Jennings, the acclaimed sculptor of the considerably-loved John Betjeman statue in St Pancras station, she was worried that he would not know who McIndoe was: “I assumed he would consider, ‘Who are these weird folks calling from East Grinstead?’”

When she got by way of to him, he went quiet on the line, apparently confirming her worst fears. She require not have anxious. “It was incredible,” says Jennings now. “She imagined that I would by no means have heard of McIndoe. But in truth I knew all about him.”

Above the program of the ensuing conversation, Martin Jennings relevant how his father, Michael, had been a tank commander in the war. On the afternoon of October 17 1944, with the Allies bearing down on the Maas canal, he was leading a troop of four tanks from the 15/19 King’s Royal Hussars on a push by means of heavily fortified German positions east of Eindhoven, in the Netherlands.

All of a sudden his Cromwell tank was hit by a shell. The driver was wounded but, determined to press on, an undaunted Jennings switched to another tank and continued the advance. He was significantly less lucky second time round. The shell that hit his commandeered tank killed its driver. As the armoured automobile erupted into flames, Jennings himself was badly burned. He had small time to reflect on his issue.

“In his diary he recorded that the Germans have been ‘coming on a bit’,” says his son. “I consider that’s a euphemism for massive numbers of them trying to kill him.”

Below hefty machine-gun fire, he produced it back to his personal lines. From there he was evacuated to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, where his head and his hands were completely bound in bandages. He was 23.

His sisters visited and fed him grapes by way of a mouth‑hole in the wrappings. But he also acquired one more visitor – Archie McIndoe, who was on one of his typical excursions of the nation to see if there had been sufferers that he may well be capable to assist.

Michael Jennings was unusual for a Guinea Pig, in that he was not an airman. None the much less, he was transferred to East Grinstead and, over the course of the next two many years, underwent a host of skin grafts and reconstructive procedures at the hands of McIndoe and his fellow surgeon, Percy Jayes.

At the outset, Michael Jennings’s morale could hardly have been reduce. His sisters found him staring into a mirror, repeating: “I’m burned to a crisp. I’m burned to a crisp.”

But, as his son notes, “McIndoe had this outstanding capacity to transfer his self confidence to his patients.”

Jack Perry can don’t forget that golden touch: “He sat on my bed and kindly spoke to me. He explained: ‘I see you play a whole lot of sport. Properly, you are going to perform once again. Perhaps not as well, but you definitely will play.’”

That ability to lift spirits was an important component of the McIndoe treatment. “His sufferers, like my father, have been such younger males,” says Martin Jennings. “They have been hoping to get married, have young children and a normal daily life. Out of the blue they have been plunged into the prospect of a existence of passivity and victimhood. But McIndoe was so upbeat. His ethos was that these horrible injuries did not mean that their lives have been over.”

Michael Jennings was 1 of individuals who, with McIndoe’s support, refused to accept that his daily life was more than. In 1952, he received married, and he and his wife had 11 young children.

These days, Martin Jennings describes his loved ones connection and the call from Jacquie Pinney as “an astonishing coincidence”. She had discovered in the sculptor a man who had lengthy nursed the concept of producing a monument to the guy who had cared for his father and overseen “significant improvement to the decrease half of his encounter – to his nose, mouth, lips”.

Certainly it is a hardly a stretch to recommend that with out McIndoe, Michael Jennings may in no way have married, and his sculptor son may possibly never have been born.

It has taken two years considering that that 2012 telephone contact for the project to come to fruition. On one particular research journey to East Grinstead, Jennings asked for data from the war. There he turned up a file featuring a familiar face. For 10 many years right after he was burned, Michael Jennings refused to be photographed. But there, in the hospital files, have been photos from that lost decade that McIndoe had taken to plan and perform his operations.

“That was really moving,” says Jennings. “I was seeking at photos of my father, and he was the exact same age in the pictures as my very own sons have been in true lifestyle. I discovered myself feeling a sense of paternal protectiveness to my own father. That was very much McIndoe’s spirit. He was a father to these guys. This is a story of fathers and sons.”

With that exact same protective spirit, McIndoe would send the men below his care into East Grinstead, to stroll the town, drink in the pubs, attend events – just like other younger guys. And the folks of East Grinstead, to their immense credit, learned to welcome these disfigured males in uniform. Now it is identified as “the town that did not stare”.

Jennings’s McIndoe memorial is, as a consequence, an arrangement of two somewhat bigger than life-size figures. Seated is a airman, his burned hands clawed collectively, his scarred encounter turned to 1 side. Standing behind him, resting a reassuring hand on every single shoulder, is the figure of McIndoe.

They are framed by a stone bench. “When the nearby individuals sit on that lengthy curved seat, they comprehensive the monument,” says Jennings. “This is a tribute to Archie McIndoe and the Guinea Pigs, but it is also a tribute to the individuals of East Grinstead.”

Michael Jennings, like numerous of the Guinea Pigs, went on to outlive by far the man who had so helped him. He died in 2002, aged 82, after a lengthy submit-war profession as a instructor. He too, will live on in the memorial. Though the figure of the airman is not based on any a single guy, Martin Jennings modelled the burned hands on individuals of his father.

The result, says Montfort Bebb, would have enormously pleased her very own father, Archie McIndoe. Not that he subscribed to theories of “greatness”.

“He mentioned that greatness is just challenging work – attention to detail and a lot of hard perform. He possibly worked himself to death. But he by no means talked about his very own health. He was just devoted to medicine and patching up these poor boys.”

Go to mcindoememorial.com to make a donation

NHS shakeup has created confusion, chaos and struggling, says Labour

NHS

Shadow care minister Liz Kendall has revealed major failings in Greater East Midlands commissioning support unit. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA

The government’s reorganisation of the NHS has led to major failings by “unaccountable bureaucrats” in the commissioning of care for highly vulnerable people, the shadow care minister Liz Kendall has said.

A new tier of commissioning groups, which were created under Andrew Lansley’s NHS reforms, employ 9,000 people and spend more than £700m, were commissioning complex care with little monitoring of quality, she claimed.

Kendall spoke out about the 18 NHS Commissioning Support Units (CSUs) in England after uncovering major failings in her own area of the east Midlands. The CSUs were created as a result of Lansley’s Health and Social Care Act because the GP-led clinical commissioning groups – the centrepiece of the reforms – were considered too small and inexperienced to commission all the healthcare.

The shadow care minister, who is MP for Leicester West, uncovered a catalogue of failings by the Greater East Midlands CSU (GEM), which has one part-time person monitoring quality standards in their domiciliary care providers even though they procure care from 84 providers.

The failings identified by Kendall included:

• An 89-year-old bed-bound man with Alzheimer’s in need of care throughout the night whose family were not told that the company appointed by the commissioning group initially did not have enough staff. When the carers did come in they failed to change the man’s incontinence pads overnight.

• A 21-year-old terminally ill man who was discharged after 10 weeks in hospital without the correct support. When Kendall spoke to the man’s caseworker she said she was not aware he had been discharged from hospital.

• A 74-year-old man with dementia who was given four days’ notice to leave his care home after his funding for NHS Continuing Care – available for those who need support in their own home or a care home – was withdrawn as part of an annual review on the grounds that he was no longer taking medication. The man’s daughter said he had stopped taking medication to assist his condition, which has worsened.

Kendall said: “The real culprit here is the government and their massive backroom NHS reorganisation. This has put unaccountable bureaucrats in charge of commissioning care for some of the most vulnerable people in this area. Labour warned the reorganisation would cause chaos and confusion and that patients would suffer – and that’s precisely what has happened.

“Ministers must apologise to families and get a grip of the mess they have created. GEM should be stripped of its role in commissioning NHS Continuing Healthcare and a single, accountable person with the right skills and experience put in charge so that these unacceptable failures can be prevented from happening again.”

Experiencing psychological illness created me a far better politician

South London and the Maudsley NHS psychological health believe in has recently been the subject of a Television series and a guide by Catherine Arnold both referred to as Bedlam. I have taken a personal and specialist curiosity in these studies since I am in the uncommon place of being a former patient and now the chair of the nearby overall health scrutiny committee overseeing the trust’s function.

Strolling into the addictions unit, exactly where I went for assist more than five years in the past, to talk to their brilliant lead Dr Mike Kelleher about services variations reminds me of how far I have come thanks to the assist I obtained from them, and other folks.

Although my encounter gives me insight it also can make me vulnerable since in all parts of our society the stigma around mental unwell well being is strong. Not like a physical ailment, psychological issues are often regarded as a signal of a flawed character, weakness or a lack of self-control. These are not perceptions that get people elected or promoted and so, understandably, most politicians do not publicise their own experiences of psychological ill health.

Getting open about my personal history of depression and dilemma consuming has been comparatively effortless because I perform for a psychological health charity, the National Survivor Consumer Network, which allows me to use my encounter as an asset. That is not to say being an “out” councillor is always easy as I was reminded when I gave an NHS Expo presentation on alcoholism last month. The event’s publicist tweeted helpfully: “@EdDavie talks about how he drank cider in graveyards and wasted taxpayers’ income.”

That won’t be going on my election leaflets this May and when the message was retweeted a couple of occasions I had a horrible vision of it going viral. Revealing all on a nationwide newspaper internet site returns the electrical power to me and it is that feeling of losing handle and becoming unfairly labelled that, I believe, stops other politicians becoming open about their own problems.

This does look to be changing and a couple of months ago I wrote about the first meeting of the nearby authority mental wellness champions in which Dorset county councillor Michael Bevan talked powerfully about his depression and suicide attempt. MPs like Charles Walker and Kevan Jones have also exposed their personal mental health problems whilst Alistair Campbell has really pushed the boundaries and shown what a driver for change mental health expertise can be.

These days I virtually come to feel like a fraud speaking about myself in these terms as it has been a long time given that I had a drink, medicine or counselling. Nevertheless I think the expertise of hitting rock bottom, of utilizing psychological wellness companies and of becoming open about it has produced me, for good and ill, the man or woman and politician I am right now. By admitting I essential assist and getting supported to take management of my life I am now happier and healthier than ever.

Individuals of us in positions of electrical power need to have to make certain that we assist stop future generations building psychological health problems by tackling poverty, supporting expectant and new mother and father and mandating emotional and social education in colleges. The latter has been proven to save £84 for each and every £1 invested and but the Division for Training eliminated wellbeing from the Ofsted inspection regime with the then colleges minister Nick Gibb describing such interventions as “ghastly” and “peripheral”.

Politicians also need to assistance efforts like Time to Adjust to reduce stigma while making sure that companies which enable men and women to take control of their very own lives and fulfil their possible are accessible all over the place they are needed, not just in Bedlam.

Edward Davie is chair of Lambeth council’s overall health and grownup social services scrutiny committee.

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Meningitis B vaccine set to be created accessible for babies in Government U-flip

“The JCVI has advised including the vaccination to the major childhood programme, which means that, if strategies progress, infants will be immunised commencing at two months of age.

”The JCVI has also recommended that the vaccine is even more extended to three and 4-month-olds as a a single-off catch-up programme when it is introduced.”

Deputy chief healthcare officer Professor John Watson mentioned: ”Infants below one 12 months of age are most at chance of meningitis B and the number of circumstances peak at close to 5 or six months of age.

”With early diagnosis and antibiotic remedy, most make a complete recovery. But it is fatal in about one in ten instances and can lead to lengthy-term wellness troubles this kind of as amputation, deafness, epilepsy and studying troubles.

”We will now be functioning closely with Novartis in the coming months and, if negotiations are productive, we hope to perform with the other United kingdom well being departments to introduce a vaccine to stop meningitis B as swiftly as possible. This would make the Uk the initial country in the planet to apply a nationwide vaccination programme.”

The JCVI at first rejected the vaccine’s use on the NHS, saying it was not a price-powerful use of resources.

But a lot more than 100 healthcare scientists and researchers wrote to Mr Hunt telling him it was”vital the JCVI’s interim conclusions are re-evaluated”.

Since then, other experts and a public petition calling for the vaccine to be introduced have additional to the stress dealing with the JCVI and Mr Hunt.

Around 1,870 people are estimated to contract meningitis B each year in the United kingdom.

The Bexsero vaccine, approved by the European Medicines Company much more than a year ago, is estimated to cover around 88% of meningitis B illness.

Right up until now, vaccines have only protected against some other bacterial kinds of meningitis.

Meningitis B is a very aggressive strain of the condition which infects the protective membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

It is a health-related emergency and, if left untreated, can cause serious brain harm and septicaemia. It can prove fatal.

A single in 3 survivors will be left with debilitating soon after-effects such as loss of limbs or brain harm.

Meningitis B is most common in young children beneath 5 and, in certain, babies underneath the age of one particular.

Preliminary signs and symptoms in infants and children contain a higher fever with cold hands and feet, feeling agitated and not wanting to be touched, continuous crying or extreme sleepiness and trouble in waking.

Kids might also appear puzzled and unresponsive. A main – and late-stage – warning indicator is a blotchy red rash that does not fade when a glass is rolled over it.

Steve Dayman, founder of the charity Meningitis Now, whose infant son Spencer died from meningitis B in 1982, said today: “This is the most monumental announcement in the fight towards the condition in the 31 many years I have campaigned to eradicate meningitis.

“It is the choice we’ve pushed for, to have the meningitis B vaccine given free of charge to all infants.

“There is no doubt that it will save 1000′s of lives and spare survivors and their households the discomfort of residing with life-shifting after-results.

“We thank our supporters for their determined campaigning and the JCVI for listening to our arguments on the true burden of this illness.”

Earlier this 12 months, a Mumsnet survey of a lot more than 1,000 mothers for Meningitis Now discovered that two-thirds of parents could not afford the jab privately but 95% had been in favour of it being introduced on the NHS.

Professor Andrew Pollard, chairman of the JCVI and professor of paediatric infection and immunity at the University of Oxford, explained: “Meningitis B disproportionately influences infants and young children and can be devastating.

“Right after really cautious consideration, JCVI concluded that use of the new vaccine would decrease cases of meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia and lead to a reduction in deaths, limb amputations and brain damage caused by the ailment.

“Right now the JCVI published its recommendation to the United kingdom wellness departments that if the new vaccine can be obtained at a minimal cost and is therefore value-effective for the NHS, it must be utilised in the regimen immunisation programme for babies in the Uk to stop condition.”

Christopher Head, chief executive of the Meningitis Study Basis, stated: “We are delighted that the JCVI have recommended vaccinating all babies against this most feared and deadly ailment.

“It’s a superb outcome which will conserve lives and spare a great number of households the trauma of seeing a loved one particular significantly disabled by the devastating after-results of meningitis B.

“We pay tribute to the individuals who have suffered from this illness, whose bitter encounter has aided demonstrate the compelling case for prevention.”

Dr Helen Bedford, senior lecturer in children’s wellness at the Institute of Little one Wellness, University College London, said: “Meningococcal B disease is extremely serious. It brings about meningitis and septicaemia, which can result in death or extended-phrase disability. Obviously its prevention is very desirable and the vaccine would be welcomed by dad and mom and well being professionals alike.”

Dr David Elliman, immunisation skilled at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, explained: “The JCVI has recommended the introduction of the meningococcal vaccine for routine use in infants, if it can be obtained at a price that is expense-successful.

“If this problem can be met, which we hope will come about soon, the choice will be universally welcomed. Children’s lives will be saved and some young children will be spared significant preventable disability.”