Archives for Medicine

Big Medical News: Use of Cellphones While Pregnant Risks Damage to Baby

A new study has found that using a cell phone 2 or 3 times a day while pregnant is potentially harmful to future child development. The risk level is on par with that of alchohol and tobacco.

Scientists found that mothers who did use the handsets were 54 per cent more likely to have children with behavioural problems and that the likelihood increased with the amount of potential exposure to the radiation

Women who use mobile phones when pregnant are more likely to give birth to children with behavioural problems, according to authoritative research.…

A Bottle That Purifies Enough Water for a Year

This is a really great invention — a hand held water bottle that can purify a year’s worth of water. It removes not only parasites and bacteria, but also viruses. It was just announced recently at a defense industry tradeshow and was a big hit among military commanders who need a better way to get water to their troops.…

Axons Process Information

I just heard about a very interesting new discovery in neuroscience:. The basic gist is that it appears that axons process information. Until now it has been thought that only the cell body of neurons was the part that processed information.…

Networked Genome — New Finding Shatters Current Thinking

A new finding has discovered that the human genome may be highly networked. That is, genes do not operate in isolation, but rather they are networked together in a far more complex ecosystem than previously thought. It may be impossible to separate one gene from another in fact.…

Some Sunscreens are Hazardous to Your Health

Just in time for the 4th of July, here is a comprehensive report on sunscreens which may be potentially unsafe to use. Yes, it turns out there are several new ingredients now being used in sunscreens which are not FDA approved and may cause unknown effects on humans.…

New Aspartame Concerns — Study Finds Link to Cancer At Lower Levels

Suspicions of a link between Aspartame (the commonly used artificial sweetener) and various forms of cancer have received another boost from a new Italian study. The study found that even at relatively low levels of consumption, rats exposed to Aspartame had a significantly increased risk of several types of cancer.…

Open-Source Medicine

There are thousands of promising drugs for treating diseases that are simply not getting studied or brought to market because they are derived from natural or common substances that can’t be patented. The dirty little secret of the pharma business is that even a miracle cure for cancer won’t be invested in if it can’t be defended as a proprietary product.…

New Cancer Cure May Not Get Funded Due to Lack of Patent

New cancer treatment hailed as a breakthrough, but since it’s based on a common, non-patented drug, it may be hard to find money for clinical trails:

A simple molecule, used for decades to treat children with rare
metabolic diseases, commits "immortal" cancer cells to a natural death
and could soon be used to treat many forms of cancer, according to a
new study.

Scientists Encode Message into Bacterial DNA

Japanese scientists have developed a technique that can encode 100-bit messages into the DNA of common bacteria. The bacteria replicate and pass the message down from generation to generation for at least thousands of years. Because there are millions or more copies of the message it can survive gradual degradation or mutuations (so they claim).…

New Findings Overturn our Understanding of How Neurons Communicate

Thanks to Bram for pointing me to this article about how new research indicates that communication in the brain is quite different than we thought. Essentially neurons may release neurotransmitters all along axons, not just within synapses. This may enable new forms of global communication or state changes within the brain, beyond the "circuit model" of neuronal signaling that has been the received view for the last 100 years.…

GM Grapes and Toxic Wines

This is a somewhat scary article about the hazards of genetically modified grapes and the wines they may be used to produce. The article is from the extreme anti-genetic-engineering perspective, and so I don’t know how balanced it is or what the opposing view might say.…

Frequent Mobile Phone Use Linked to Tumor

If you or your children use cell phones frequently, consider getting earphones…

Long-term users of mobile phones are significantly
more likely to develop a certain type of brain tumour on the side of
the head where they hold their handsets, according to new research.

New Cancer Wonder Drug: No Pharma Will Fund It Because it Can't be Patented

A new "miracle drug" appears to cure many types of cancers in a novel way. But the catch is no pharmaceutical company will fund research in it because it can’t be patented! Maybe it’s time to start a government agency or a non-profit that funds research and development, and distribution of, wonder drugs that are not patentable, for the public good.…

Major Breakthrough Revolutionizes Genetics

Scientists have discovered a dramatic variation in the genetic
make-up of humans that could lead to a fundamental reappraisal of what
causes incurable diseases and could provide a greater understanding of
mankind.

       
         
         
            

The discovery has astonished scientists studying the human genome – the
genetic recipe of man.…

Cryotherapy — Freeze Yourself, For Health

And now for some other science news. A new technique called cryotherapy is emerging in which people subject themselves to short bursts of extreme cold, in order to rejuvenate the body:

It’s minus 120 degrees and all I’m wearing is a hat and socks.

A World Without Elephants

This is so sad. Elephants are increasingly being wiped out due to encroachment by nearby human populations, and also by inept human attempts to help them — and of course by poaching. As their species is increasingly backed into a dead-end corner, and as older elephants are separated from their herds, younger elephants are developing psychological disorders and are becoming violent.…

Could Memory Loss Be Caused by a Virus?

New research seems to indicate that memory loss may be related to common viral infections that cross the blood-brain barrier and chip away at cognitive function. Over a person’s lifetime, after two or three of these infections a year, it starts to add up to significant memory loss.…

Playing Proteins as Songs Helps Researchers Hear Patterns

All living things are made up of proteins. Each protein is a string of
amino acids. There are 20 different amino acids, and each protein can
consist of dozens to thousands of them.

Scientists write down these amino acid sequences as series of
text letters.

The Next Sexual Revolution?

This article is an over-the-top and somewhat gonzo review of an experimental nasal-spray that promises to revolutionize sex. It is currently in clinical trials. The very idea of nasal spray would seem to be one of the bigger turn-offs there is, but in this case they’ve found the override button.…

Man Doesn't Know Who He Is

This is fascinating. A man is interviewed in this CNN video segment because he doesn’t know who he is and hopes someone watching will recognize him. So strange. Here is further footage from the full story for this man. He was found in Denver with no memory except a few clues that came out under hypnosis.…

New Viral Cure for Cancer Invented

Researchers in South Korea may have discovered a new cure for cancer — a genetically engineered  form of a virus that causes colds. By injecting this in animals with cancer it kills 90% of all cancer cells within 60 days, with no other side-effects.…

Is There Room for The Soul? – Good Article on Cognitive Science

This is a surprisingly good article on the nature of consciousness — providing a survey of the current state-of-the-art in cognitive science research. It covers the question from a number of perspectives and interviews many of the leading current researchers.

New Study: TV May Cause Autism

This study is strange. But plausible.

Today, Cornell University researchers are reporting
what appears to be a statistically significant relationship between
autism rates and television watching by children under the age of 3.
The researchers studied autism incidence in California, Oregon,
Pennsylvania, and Washington state.

A Proposal to Make the Media (and Society) Better

I am concerned by what I’m viewing in our national media lately. Viewed from outside (and also from within the USA), it would appear that our nation is obsessed with, and plagued by, an increasing spree of horrible crimes and abuses of human rights.…

Some Women See in More Colors Than the Rest of Us

This article discusses an interesting fact — some women have extra color receptors enabling them to distinguish a vastly larger range of colors than everyone else. Instead of seeing in 3 colors, they see in 4 — enabling them to tell the difference between 100 million different colors.…

Study: Woman in Coma Able to Respond With Thoughts

Wow…

A severely brain-damaged woman in an unresponsive, vegetative state
showed clear signs of conscious awareness on brain imaging tests
,
researchers are reporting today, in a finding that could have
far-reaching consequences for how unconscious patients are cared for
and diagnosed.

A Possible Cure for Comas – Electrical Stimulation

This article discusses the potential of using electrical stimulation to revive people from comas. It has been shown to work many times, but American doctors are still not paying attention. A small group of doctors is trying to get some buzz around this idea.…

RNAi — The Next Revolution in Medicine?

This article discusses RNA interference (RNAi), a technique which can selectively turn genes off, which is currently in the early stages of testing. It shows promise for treating a broad spectrum of diseases.

A Village Where Aging is Sped Up

Here’s an interesting video about a village in India where men have been stricken for over a decade with a disease that causes them to age much faster. Nobody knows what is causing this. Men in their 30’s appear to be 80.…

New Discovery: Enzymes Capable of Quantum Tunneling

Drug discovery meets quantum mechanics in this article about recent evidence for quantum tunneling in enzymes:

SYDNEY, 25 August 2006: British scientists have found that enzymes
cheat time and space by quantum tunnelling – a much faster way of
travelling than the classical way – but whether or not perplexing
quantum theories can be applied to the biological world is still hotly
debated.

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