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Mon, 27 Sep 2021
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Health

South Africa: Failure to Test Helps Spread of Deadly TB

Health authorities' failure to test tuberculosis (TB) patients for drug susceptibility appears to have inadvertently fuelled the spread of deadly drug-resistant strains of the disease in KwaZulu- Natal, scientists report in the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal.

Health

Medicine stopping any bleeding invented in Turkey

Turkish scientists have created a drug stopping any bleeding in a few minutes, which means it could be used in treating hemophilia, the Sabah newspaper reported Saturday.

"The preparation we created has overturned our knowledge of the mechanism that stops hemorrhage. It stops any bleeding in a few minutes. By using this drug, we can reduce the number of deaths from blood loss around the world," Professor Ibrahim Haznedaroglu from the Hacettepe University, where the medicine was created and tested, told the newspaper.

X

We're One Step Closer to Creating Genetically Enhanced Humans

A new Nobel laureate's work shows that the prospect of genetically engineering children is controversial but no longer just a fantasy.

It's Nobel Prize season, and the Nobel scientists are very much in the news. James Watson, awarded the laureate in 1962 for helping to deduce the now-iconic double-helix structure of DNA, is currently embroiled in controversy after making a series of blatantly racist remarks in the UK Sunday Times this month.

But related views espoused by one of this year's laureates have gone unnoticed. In early October, the Nobel Prize for biology went to three scientists whose talent and persistence gave us "knockout mice," the genetically engineered lab animals widely used by researchers to model and study human diseases. In the words of a Nobel committee member, these designer mice have "led to penetrating new insights" in several biological fields.

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Think Healthy: Scientists discover a direct route from the brain to the immune system

It used to be dogma that the brain was shut away from the actions of the immune system, shielded from the outside forces of nature. But that's not how it is at all. In fact, thanks to the scientific detective work of Kevin Tracey, MD, it turns out that the brain talks directly to the immune system, sending commands that control the body's inflammatory response to infection and autoimmune diseases. Understanding the intimate relationship is leading to a novel way to treat diseases triggered by a dangerous inflammatory response.

Dr. Tracey, director and chief executive of The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, will be giving the 2007 Stetten Lecture on Wednesday, Oct. 24, at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. His talk - Physiology and Immunology of the Cholinergic Anti-inflammatory Pathway - will highlight the discoveries made in his laboratory and the clinical trials underway to test the theory that stimulation of the vagus nerve could block a rogue inflammatory response and treat a number of diseases, including life-threatening sepsis.

People

Cult of the Body: Huge numbers willing to go under knife to alter their appearance, study finds

Most women, and large numbers of men, are interested in having cosmetic surgery, UCLA scientists report in the October issue of the Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Forty-eight percent of women surveyed said they would be interested in cosmetic surgery, liposuction or both, and another 23 percent said they would possibly be interested.

Among men, 23 percent said they would be interested in surgery, with 17 percent expressing possible interest.

"Interest in cosmetic surgery is far more widespread than we had anticipated," said David Frederick, a UCLA psychology graduate student and lead author of the study. "The majority of women expressed some interest in cosmetic surgery, and more than one-third of men expressed some degree of interest, which I found really surprising. We know there is tremendous pressure for women to be thin and have a certain appearance and for men to be fit and muscular, but I would not have guessed that so many people would be interested in surgical body alteration."

Health

I'll Have My Cosmetics With a Side of Infertility, Please

Author Stacy Malkan reveals the dangerous truth about everyday products we put in our hair and on our skin.

Carcinogens in cosmetics? Petrochemicals in perfume? If only this were an urban legend. Unfortunately, it's a toxic reality, and it's showing up in our bodies.

In 2004, scientists found pesticides in the blood of newborn babies. A year later, researchers discovered perchlorate, a component of rocket fuel, in human breast milk. Today, people are testing positive for a litany of hazardous substances from flame retardants to phthalates to lead.

Syringe

Jabbed by fear: Thousands exposed to Hep A in Calgary, Canada

Thousands of Calgarians are at risk of contracting hepatitis A after a food-handler at a southeast McDonald's tested positive for the disease.

Comment: As the website Vaccination Information and Choice Network says, "Make an informed choice."


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Recognizing someone's name but forgetting how you met them is all in your head

New research from The University of Western Ontario suggests the sometimes eerie feeling experience when recognizing someone, yet failing to remember how or why, reveals important insight into how memory is wired in the human brain.

In research published recently in one of the world's most-cited multidisciplinary scientific publications, "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA," Western psychology graduate student Ben Bowles and psychology professor Stefan Köhler have found that this feeling of familiarity during recognition relies on a distinct brain mechanism and does not simply reflect a weak form of memory.

Magic Wand

Study reveals how the brain generates the human tendency for optimism

A neural network that may generate the human tendency to be optimistic has been identified by researchers at New York University. As humans, we expect to live longer and be more successful than average, and we underestimate our likelihood of getting a divorce or having cancer. The results, reported in the most recent issue of Nature, link the optimism bias to the same brain regions that show irregularities in depression.

The study was conducted by a team of researchers from the laboratory of NYU Professor Elizabeth Phelps. The lead author is Tali Sharot, now a post-doctoral fellow at University College London.

Clock

Daylight savings time disrupts humans' natural circadian rhythm

When people living in many parts of the world move their clocks forward one hour in the spring in observance of daylight saving time (DST), their bodies' internal, daily rhythms don't adjust with them, reports a new study appearing online on October 25th in Current Biology, a publication of Cell Press. The finding suggests that this regular time change - practiced by a quarter of the human population - represents a significant seasonal disruption, raising the possibility that DST may have unintended effects on other aspects of human physiology, according to the researchers.

"When we implement small changes into a biological system which by themselves seem trivial, their effects, when viewed in a broader context, may have a much larger impact than we had thought," said Till Roenneberg of Ludwig-Maximilian-University in Munich, Germany. "It is much too early to say whether DST has a serious long-term impact on health, but our results indicate that we should consider this seriously and do a lot more research on the phenomenon."