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Posts Tagged ‘Disease’

Trip To Mars Could Damage Astronauts’ Brains

January 2nd, 2013 01:00 admin View Comments

Mars

Hugh Pickens writes writes “Alex Knapp reports that research by a team at the Rochester Medical Center suggests that exposure to the radiation of outer space could accelerate the onset of Alzheimer’s disease in astronauts. ‘Galactic cosmic radiation poses a significant threat to future astronauts… Exposure to … equivalent to a mission to Mars could produce cognitive problems and speed up changes in the brain that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease’ says M. Kerry O’Banio. Researchers exposed mice with known timeframes for developing Alzheimer’s to the type of low-level radiation that astronauts would be exposed to over time on a long space journey. The mice were then put through tests that measured their memory and cognitive ability and the mice exposed to radiation showed significant cognitive impairment. It’s not going to be an easy problem to solve, either. The radiation the researchers used in their testing is composed of highly charged iron particles, which are relatively common in space. ‘Because iron particles pack a bigger wallop it is extremely difficult from an engineering perspective to effectively shield against them,’ says O’Banion. ‘One would have to essentially wrap a spacecraft in a six-foot block of lead or concrete.’”

Source: Trip To Mars Could Damage Astronauts’ Brains

Brain Pacemaker Helps Treat Alzheimer’s Disease

December 9th, 2012 12:18 admin View Comments

Medicine

First time accepted submitter Press2ToContinue writes “Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is the use of a pacemaker-like device implanted in the brain to treat the symptoms of diseases like Parkinson’s, or other maladies such as depression. For the first time in the US, surgeons at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland have used this technique to attempt to slow memory loss in a patient suffering from the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. The fornix, a vital part of the brain that brings data to the hippocampus, is being targeted with this device. Essentially, the fornix is the area of the brain that converts electrical activity into chemical activity. Holes are drilled into the skull, and wires are placed on both sides of the brain. Then, the stimulator device pumps in small and unnoticeable electrical impulses upwards of 130 times per second. Half of the patients will begin the electrical treatment two weeks post-surgery, but the other half won’t have their pacemakers turned on until a full year after the surgery to provide comparison data for the study.”

Source: Brain Pacemaker Helps Treat Alzheimer’s Disease

Brain Disease Found In NFL Players

December 4th, 2012 12:11 admin View Comments

Medicine

SternisheFan sends this excerpt from ABC: “On the heels of the latest NFL suicide, researchers announced today that 34 NFL players whose brains were studied suffered from CTE, a degenerative brain disease brought on by repeated hits to the head that results in confusion, depression and, eventually, dementia. The study was released just days after the murder-suicide of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher. It’s not yet known what triggered Belcher’s action, but they mirror other NFL players who have committed suicide. Researchers at Boston University’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy published the largest case series study of CTE to date (abstract), according to the center. Of the 85 brains donated by the families of deceased veterans and athletes with histories of repeated head trauma, they found CTE in 68 of them. Of those, 34 were professional football players, nine others played college football and six played only high school football. Of the 35 professional football players’ brains donated, only one had no evidence of the disease, according to the study.” It’s a good thing we protect our youth from conditions like this.

Source: Brain Disease Found In NFL Players

Woman Successfully Grows Ear From Arm

September 30th, 2012 09:32 admin View Comments

Medicine

An anonymous reader writes “In 2008, Sherrie Walters, now 42 years old, discovered that she had rapidly spreading basal cell cancer in her ear. The disease is a type of skin cancer. The doctors pursued an aggressive treatment to combat the destructive disease, removing her ear, part of her skull, and her left ear canal. Though Walters was left without an ear, she was still able to hear with the help of a special hearing aid. A few months ago, doctors from the renowned Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore decided to try a new procedure on Walters. Using cartilage from her rib, the doctors stitched a new ear to match her right one. Then their creation was implanted under the skin of her forearm, where the ear grew for months. …Doctors attached the ear and blood vessels surgically. Another surgery, conducted this week, gave the ear shape and detail. Dr. Patrick Byrne, a revered plastic and reconstructive surgeon, says that after the swelling goes down and the ear heals, Walters will have an ear that both looks and functions normally.”

Source: Woman Successfully Grows Ear From Arm

StethoCloud Project Diagnoses Pneumonia On the Cheap

August 26th, 2012 08:26 admin View Comments

Cloud

Hugh Pickens writes “According to the World Health Organization, nearly one in five childhood deaths worldwide is caused by pneumonia, each year killing an estimated 1.4 million children under the age of 5, more than any other disease. Even in developed countries, trained healthcare professionals have trouble accurately diagnosing pneumonia because diagnosis comes after the onset of symptoms, which often must become severe before the condition is recognized as life threatening. Now Singularity Hub reports on StethoCloud, a cloud-based service that turns a Windows smartphone into a digital stethoscope. Using a specially designed microphone called a ‘stethomic’ that plugs into the smartphone’s audio jack, and an app that guides users through the proper method for listening to a patient’s breathing, early testing shows promise at accurately detecting the disease. Currently, the group is working with the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne to develop research protocols for field testing and they’ve sent the stethomics to hospitals in Ghana, Malaysia, and Mozambique. By next year, the team hopes the device will be in use in areas that need it most. The team expects its stethoscope to cost around $15 to $20, significantly cheaper than current digital stethoscopes in the market which tend to cost hundreds of dollars. The team argues that the cost of the phone itself is negligible, as smartphones are quickly becoming common even in the developing countries where childhood pneumonia is most prevalent.”

Source: StethoCloud Project Diagnoses Pneumonia On the Cheap

Bill Gates Wants To Reinvent the Toilet

August 15th, 2012 08:08 admin View Comments

News

redletterdave writes “Bill Gates, the man responsible for bringing software to the masses with Microsoft and Windows, has plans to reinvent and popularize another industry: Sanitation. Gates, whose philanthropic efforts have helped bring clean water and resources to developing countries via the foundation created by he and his wife Melinda, said at the ‘Reinvent The Toilet Fair’ in Seattle on Wednesday that he plans to build a toilet that’s better suited to developing countries in an effort to cut down on disease and death in those regions. ‘Inventing new toilets is one of the most important things we can do to reduce child deaths and disease and improve people’s lives,’ Gates said. ‘It is also something that can help wealthier countries conserve fresh water for other important purposes besides flushing.’”

Source: Bill Gates Wants To Reinvent the Toilet

Mysterious Cambodian Disease May Have a Name. But Why Is It So Lethal?

July 10th, 2012 07:44 admin View Comments
Categories: 80beats Tags: , , , ,

Scientists ‘Switch Off’ Brain Cell Death In Mice

May 7th, 2012 05:09 admin View Comments

Science

fishmike sends this excerpt from a Reuters report: “Scientists have figured out how to stop brain cell death in mice with brain disease and say their discovery deepens understanding of the mechanisms of human neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. British researchers writing in the journal Nature (abstract) said they had found a major pathway leading to brain cell death in mice with prion disease, the mouse equivalent of Creutzfeld-Jacob Disease (CJD). … Mallucci’s team found that the buildup of mis-folded proteins in the brains of mice with prion disease activated a natural defense mechanism in cells, which switches off the production of new proteins. This would normally switch back on again, the researchers explained, but in these ill mice the continued build-up of misshapen proteins keeps the switch turned off. This is the trigger point leading to brain cell death, because key proteins essential for cell survival are not made. By injecting a protein that blocks the “off” switch, the scientists were able to restore the production of the survival proteins and halt the neurodegeneration.”

Source: Scientists ‘Switch Off’ Brain Cell Death In Mice

Mad Cow Disease Confirmed In California

April 24th, 2012 04:14 admin View Comments

Medicine

New submitter wave9x writes “The United States Department of Agriculture confirmed today that the nation’s fourth case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, sometimes referred to as ‘mad cow disease’ was found in a dairy cow in California. The animal has been euthanized and the carcass is being being held under State authority at a rendering facility in California and will be destroyed.”

Source: Mad Cow Disease Confirmed In California

Is Wind Spreading a Mysterious Disease Across the Pacific?

April 6th, 2012 04:13 admin View Comments
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