Polio Shots Backed

Over Oral Vaccine

The government yesterday endorsed polio shots for children instead of the oral vaccine because of the very small chance that the oral dose can lead to a polio infection.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta followed the advice of an advisory panel that decided last summer the benefits of the oral polio vaccine no longer outweigh the risks.

The agency publishes its recommended immunization schedule each January as a guide for state and local health departments and pediatricians. This year's guide also added a recommendation that children get a hepatitis A vaccine in western states with historically high rates of the virus. Hepatitis A is a relatively mild form of the virus.

'Cardiac Stunning'

Scientists have discovered that a small molecular glitch leaves some hearts unable to squeeze out a proper beat, a finding that could help develop medicines to get patients out of intensive care faster or even prevent this "cardiac stunning."

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University and Queen's University in Ontario discovered that a protein called troponin-I, or TnI, is vital for making the heart contract. The researchers genetically engineered mice whose hearts harbored defective TnI. The mice developed enlarged hearts that looked just like "stunned" human hearts, the researchers report in today's issue of the journal Science.

In line for study are some experimental drugs that might inhibit those enzymes that damage TnI.