A Woman Grows Bones Out of Her Eyes After Stem Cell Face-Lift

Plus: Lubricant study shows higher STD risk; Amoxicillin not effective; and more health headlines.

A woman gets a $20,000 “stem cell face-lift” in Beverly Hills. Three months later, bones are growing out of her eyes. The mesenchymal stem cells used in the face-lift can turn into bone, cartilage, or fat, among other tissues. It was mixed with her own fat and injected back into her face, especially around her eyes. Her doctors also injected some dermal filler, used safely for more than 20 years to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. The main component of the fillers is calcium hydroxylapatite, a mineral with which can turn mesenchymal stem cells to turn into bone—a fact that escaped the woman’s clinicians. It took six and a half hours of surgery to get the bone growth out of her eyes. You can’t make this stuff up. [Scientific American]

Personal lubricant study shows that lubricants can increase risk for diseases like herpes and chlamydia. After examining mouse vaginal cells, the researchers discovered that when the mice were exposed to high-osmolality (a parameter describing the overall concentration of molecular ingredients in a product) lubricants followed by herpes simplex virus, the rodents were more susceptible to infection. For example, K-Y Warming Jelly, which has an osmolality more than 30 times the body’s own fluid, increased herpes transmission more than ninefold in rodents. And women everywhere sigh in disbelief. [Chemical and Engineering News]

Amoxicillin is not effective in treating sinus infections when tested against a placebo, according to a new study published in The Lancet. We’ve all taken this antibiotic countless times. Researchers recruited 2,061 patients 18 years and older (across a dozen European countries) who went to their doctor for a lower-respiratory infection. Half were given Amoxicillin and half a placebo. The severity and length of the symptoms were the same for both groups. [Scientific American]

HIV is still a serious health problem, and about 47,500 people were newly infected with the virus in the U.S. in 2010, according to the CDC. In a new report, two trends stood out: A decrease in new HIV infections among black women (21 percent decrease between 2008 and 2010), and an increase in new infections among young gay and bisexual men (22 percent increase over the same time period). It is troubling that with everything we know about prevention this is still a major issue. According to the report, about 50,000 new cases of HIV are diagnosed yearly since the mid-1990s. [CDC]

The FDA is recommending new rules to regulate compounding pharmacies after the outbreak of fungal meningitis that infected 620 people and killed 39. FDA officials held a meeting this week to discuss how to better regulate pharmacies. A category of ‘nontraditional’compounding has evolved in the last decade that the FDA believes requires additional oversight. Included in that group is the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, the pharmacy at the center of the outbreak. It was licensed as a compounding pharmacy, which means it was supposed to mix and distribute drugs only on an individual, prescription-by-prescription basis. But investigations have shown it worked on a much larger scale. [NBC News]