Posts Tagged ‘Medicine’

Lab-grown organ transplanted into rats

April 17, 2013

Scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston have fitted rats with kidneys that were grown in a lab from stripped-down kidney scaffolds. When transplanted, these ‘bioengineered’ organs starting filtering the rodents’ blood and making urine just as a normal kidney would.

AMAZING !!!

Learn more here, here or here.

Bugs live in the pores of our facial skin !!!

November 23, 2012

There are tiny bugs closely related to spiders living in the pores of your face. They have long been considered mere passengers, doing no harm beyond upsetting the squeamish. But they may be causing an ancient skin disease that is estimated to affect between 5 and 20 per cent of people worldwide, and 16 million in the US alone.

People aged between 30 and 60, especially women, sometimes develop rosacea: red inflamed skin, with swelling, roughness and fine, visible blood vessels, usually in the central zone of the face. Severe cases can resemble acne, irritate the eyes and lead to the bulbous red nose seen in caricatures of the elderly.

Scientists now think they have discovered the cause ….

Tiny mites – eight-legged arachnids related to spiders – live in the pores of our facial skin. They are particularly fond of the hair follicles of eyebrows and eyelashes, and the oily pores most common on the nose, forehead and cheeks. Called Demodex, the mites eat sebum, or facial oil, and colonise your face at puberty.

They crawl about your face in the dark to mate, then crawl back into pores to lay their eggs and die. Healthy adults have around one or two mites per square centimetre of facial skin. People with rosacea, however, can have 10 times as many, says Kavanagh. Research suggests that the stress that causes flare-ups of rosacea changes the chemicals in sebum, making it better food for mites. Learn more here.

Physical inactivity kills as many people as smoking

November 19, 2012

If ever you needed a shock to the system to make you get off your backside and into a pair of trainers, this is it: Lack of physical activity kills roughly as many people as smoking. That is the shocking message from a series of scientific papers.

The papers suggest that more than 5.3 million deaths would be avoided each year if all inactive people exercised, about the same toll as the 5 million deaths annually from smoking.

The deaths could have been avoided if people reached a weekly target of 150 minutes or more of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking. Learn more here.

Makes this video seem extremely relevant …

Have Scientists Found A Cure For Malaria?

November 2, 2012

Researchers have created a pill that can wipe out malaria with a single dose. It’s a development that could save millions of lives in Africa alone, not to mention the rest of the world. But there’s a teensy weensy little hurdle that must first be overcome: human testing.

Unlike conventional multidrug malaria treatments that the malaria parasite has become resistant to, Scientists now believe that they have discovered a drug that over 18 months of trials “killed these resistant parasites instantly”. Animal tests also showed that it was not only safe and effective, but there were no adverse reported side effects. Clinical tests are scheduled for the end of 2013. If this tablet is approved in coming years, this achievement will surely usher in a new age for science in Africa. It will save millions upon millions of lives on the continent, helping avoid at least 24 per cent of child deaths in sub-Saharan Africa. Learn more here.

Black mamba venom makes a great painkiller

October 15, 2012

One bite from a black mamba can kill a person within half an hour. Strangely though, venom from what’s arguably the world’s deadliest snake could actually be a painkiller on a par with morphine.

Pain-relieving compounds—called mambalgins—isolated from the venom of Africa’s black mamba snake are as strong as some opiates, including morphine, without the risk of respiratory distress and other side effects common with pain-reducing drugs.

Venom from snakes and other creatures like spiders and scorpions have long been used for medicinal purposes, and much modern research has focused on the development of the poisonous substance into pharmaceuticals for a wider market.

Aspects of king cobra, copperhead, rattlesnake, and viper venom have been found to have an effect on a wide range of medical maladies, ranging from the dissolution blood clots to possibly slowing the growth of cancer cells. Learn more here, here or here.

Causes of death: 1900 and 2010

August 21, 2012

An editorial in the 200th anniversary issue of the New England Journal of Medicine looks at mortality and health through the centuries, and includes this chart of causes of death from the turn of the last century, which makes for quite a comparison.

Learn more here.

What is the single best thing we can do for our health?

July 12, 2012

A must watch !!!

Save babies by treating them like kangaroos

May 7, 2012

As many as 450,000 lives could be saved each year by taking a cue from marsupials. If parents of premature babies in poor countries were to continuously carry infants against the skin in a similar way to “kangaroo pouches” and increase breastfeeding and regular medical monitoring, we might save more of the 15 million babies born too soon each year. That is the message from the most comprehensive global survey of premature births yet.

Most premature births are in poor countries – two-thirds in south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa alone. Yet only 10 per cent of premature newborns survive there, compared with 90 per cent in rich nations. Research has shown that the Kangaroo Mother Care technique could save almost half of the 1.1 million babies that die after premature birth each year. It’s about keeping the babies warm, breastfeeding, and treating any new infections with antibiotics. Learn more here.

Man survives without a pulse

March 11, 2012

Doctors have successfully replaced a patient’s heart with a device that keeps the blood flowing, thereby allowing him to live without a detectable heartbeat or even a pulse.

Here’s how it works:

The turbine-like device, that are simple whirling rotors, developed by the doctors does not beat like a heart, rather provides a ‘continuous flow’ like a garden hose.

Craig Lewis was a 55-year-old, dying from amyloidosis, which causes a build-up of abnormal proteins. The proteins clog the organs so much that they stop working.

But after the operation, with the ‘machine’ as his heart’s replacement, Lewis’ blood continued to spin and move through his body.

However, when doctors put a stethoscope to his chest, no heartbeat or pulse can be heard (only a ‘humming’ sound)—which by all criteria that we conventionally use to analyze patients, means he is dead.

This is proof that human physiology can be supported without a pulse. Learn more here.

HIV vaccine on the way ???

May 25, 2011

A while ago an HIV antibody was discovered and this year the HIV virus was visualised.

Now, for the first time, a vaccine has completely protected monkeys against infection with SIV, a virus related to HIV that infects the animals.

Out of 24 immunised rhesus macaques, 12 had long-term protection, with no signs of SIV a year after they were deliberately infected with the virus.

It puts back on the agenda the possibility that HIV can be controlled by the human immune system. Learn more here.


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