Alzheimer’s is a disease with a number of potential causes and therefore a number of potential targets for prevention. One of those centers on a protein call tau, which can gather in long tangles that kill off neurons in the brain. Scientists have developed what they describe as a vaccine to keep the brain clear of these dangerous clumps, and found that treating mice in this way helped stave off the kind of memory decline associated with the disease.
The venom of deadly animals mightn’t seem like a great place to look for life-saving medicines, but scientists are continually sifting through these toxins to discover compounds with huge potential. Now researchers at Stanford studying scorpion venom have identified a pair of compounds that were shown to kill off both staph and tuberculosis bacteria. And better yet, they were able to create synthetic versions in the lab.
Two fascinating new studies are shedding light on the association between the gut, the brain, and autism. The new research reveals how gastrointestinal problems can be triggered by the same gene mutations associated with autism, and a striking mouse study has demonstrated how a fecal transplant from humans with autism can promote autism-like behaviors in the animals.
Microorganisms like bacteria and fungi are increasingly becoming resistant to our best drugs, which is hurtling us towards a terrifying future where once-easily-treated infections become potentially life-threatening again. In a new approach to this problem, researchers from the University at Buffalo and Temple University have tested an alternative to antibiotics that uses existing drugs to starve a fungal infection of vital nutrients.
With a good night’s sleep being so important to our health, it’s not surprising to see so many gadgets designed to deliver us into the Land of Nod. URGOnight is a novel sleep training device designed to improve your ability to get to sleep, and stay asleep, through the use of neurofeedback and brain training. The system, comprising an EEG headset and accompanying mobile app, is currently crowdfunding on Indiegogo.
Bacteria are quickly evolving resistances to antibiotics, to the extent that our best drugs might not work in the terrifyingly-near future. Scientists are hard at work developing new antibiotics, or finding ways to make existing ones more effective. Now, researchers from Thomas Jefferson University have found a new way to weaken bacterial defenses, slowing down the development of antibiotic resistance.
For some time now, we’ve seen robotic surgical devices that can be remotely guided within the human body. And while they do make surgery more precise and less invasive, they still have to be continuously operated by a surgeon. Recently, however, a robotic catheter successfully navigated beating pig hearts on its own.