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NIH Record  
Vol. LXVII, No. 15
  July 17, 2015
 Features
Image-Guided Therapy Helps Surgeons See Procedures
Network Upgrade Improves Scientific Data File Transfers
Rwandan Minister To Give Barmes Global Health Lecture, July 29
PRAT Fellows Showcase Scientific Diversity
Trailblazers in Biomedical Technology Development Meet
NINR Partners with NLN to Host Research Roundtable
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E-Cigarettes: Are Advocates Just Blowing Smoke?

Dr. Stanton Glantz of UCSF speaks at NIH.

Dr. Stanton Glantz of UCSF speaks at NIH.

Debates are heating up about electronic cigarettes. Proponents claim these “e-cigs” are less toxic, offer a safer alternative to smoking conventional cigarettes and may even help longtime smokers kick their habit altogether. But their utility and safety remain clouded in controversy. Are e-cigs really any safer for people and the environment?

E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that heat a chemical solution and produce an aerosol. There are many different kinds—disposable, rechargeable, refillable, larger vapor pens that burn much hotter—many of which contain nicotine, formaldehyde and other carcinogens. The vapor of chemicals gets inhaled then released into the air.

The aerosol from e-cigs contains ultrafine particles—more and tinier particles than cigarettes—that penetrate the body and can pose a health risk. “These particles trigger inflammatory processes…they go very deep into your lungs; they go right across the alveoli into your bloodstream and they’re carrying all of these chemicals with them,” said Dr. Stanton Glantz, a distinguished professor at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine.


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Ebola Update
Ebola Rates Decline in West Africa, But Further Study, Vigilance Remain Urgent

Dr. Mark Kieh

Dr. Mark Kieh

Two days before the World Health Organization would declare Liberia Ebola-free—after 42 days with no new cases—NIAID and a Liberian doctor reflected on their collaborative work to contain the deadly virus and described ongoing clinical research efforts in Liberia and surrounding West African countries.

“Last year, around June, we were in a frantic mode,” recounted Dr. Mark Kieh, principal investigator for Ebola vaccine trials at Redemption Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia, speaking at a recent seminar in Masur Auditorium. “Liberians were afraid, like anyone else in Guinea and Sierra Leone. We saw the surge, then a plateau, then a surge until October and then we gradually began to see a decline.”


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