Gene Therapy Helps Children in German Study

Wiskott-Aldrich-syndromeResearchers in Germany were able to use gene therapy to correct a rare blood disorder which affects children to devastating results.

Scientists ‘fixed’ a malfunctioning gene which is the cause of Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, a rarely seen but highly serious childhood illness that causes prolonged bleeding from even the mildest of cuts. This disease also leaves children extremely vulnerable to dangerous infections and some cancers.

“The study shows proof-of-principle that gene therapy with stem cells in a genetic disorder like this has strong potential,” added Paul Sanberg, a stem cell specialist who is director of the University of South Florida Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair in Tampa.

Lap-Band Might Not be for Everyone

The FDA is considering expanding the use of the surgically implanted Lap-Band device to people with BMI ratings as low as 30 if they also have a related health problem. Without a health problem the person’s BMI would have to be at least 35. At the moment a BMI rating of even 39.3 is not enough to allow implantation to take place.

Experts emphasize that the insertion of Lap-Band is not magic, and for the procedure to be useful it must be accompanied by changes in highly ingrained eating behaviors. The cost of the procedure might also prevent many potential recipients of the treatment from obtaining the implant.

Over 30% of all Americans are considered to be obese. Approximately 15 million of them are eligible for gastric banding surgery according to the present criteria. Today’s criteria are having a BMI of 40 or more, or a BMI of 35 with an accompanying related health condition.

If the standards were lowered to include patients with 35 BMI or 30 with a health condition, the number of eligible patients would rise to about 27 million Americans, according to health data supplied by the federal government.

Lap-Band Device Can Help Obese People Lose Weight

Lap-bandLap-Band is a flexible, small apparatus which is designed to be inserted as a band around a person’s stomach to force him to eat less, and thus helping him to lose considerable weight. At the moment the device is approved only for morbidly obese patients, but the FDA is considering expanding its use to include less obese people, including people like Angela Denson who has been struggling with obesity for 20 years, since she first began having children.

Angela, 37 years old, would like to lose about 85 pounds. However, she is discouraged due to her failure to lose weight until now, despite having tried many strategies for losing weight.

“I’ve tried diet pills. I’ve tried Weight Watchers … all different types of diet plans,” she said.

Ms. Denson is not overweight enough for surgery to implant Lap-Band now, but if the FDA approves its use for less obese patients, and then she would indeed be eligible, along with about 12 million additional obese patients.

Great Thanksgiving Leftovers Recipe

Meat-LoafHere is the last recipe for the extra stuffing from Thanksgiving called “Stuffing Meat Loaf with Marmalade Glaze.”


• 1 1/2 pounds ground beef (preferably chuck)
• 2 cups cooked stuffing, roughly chopped
• 1 large egg, beaten
• kosher salt and black pepper
• 1/4 cup orange marmalade
• 1/4 cup whole-grain mustard
• 10 ounces baby arugula (about 6 cups)
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


1. Heat oven to 400° F.
2. In a large bowl, combine the beef, stuffing, egg, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Transfer the mixture to a rimmed baking sheet and form it into a 9-inch loaf (about 2 1/2 inches thick). Bake for 30 minutes.
3. In a small bowl, combine the marmalade and mustard. Spread on the meat loaf and continue to bake until cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
4. Divide the arugula among plates. Drizzle with the oil and vinegar. Serve with the meat loaf.

Great Ideas for Thanksgiving Leftovers

Have you got some leftovers from Thanksgiving that you would hate to throw away? Here are some fast, easy and tasty ideas for your uneaten turkey, which, if you are anything like me, there is plenty of.
How about “Barbecue Turkey Sandwiches with Celery Salad?”
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
• 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese (about 2 ounces)
• kosher salt and black pepper
• 1 bunch celery, thinly sliced on the diagonal
• 4 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
• 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
• 1 pound cooked turkey, shredded (about 3 cups)
• 3/4 cup store-bought barbecue sauce
• 6 sandwich rolls, split and toasted
1. In a large bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar, ¼ cup of the cheese, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper until smooth.
2. Add the celery, scallions, and parsley and toss to combine. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons cheese. Set aside.
3. In a large skillet, combine the turkey and barbecue sauce and cook over medium heat until heated through, 3 to 4 minutes.
4. Sandwich the turkey mixture in the rolls and serve with the celery salad.