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Prolonged Space Travel may Damage the GI Tract

Cosmic radiation could adversely affect the digestive tracts of astronauts on a future manned mission to...
Cosmic radiation could adversely affect the digestive tracts of astronauts on a future manned mission to Mars(Credit: NASA)

In more bad news for future voyagers to Mars, a team of scientists at the Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) has found the kind of Galactic Cosmic Radiation (GCR) that astronauts will encounter on long space voyages can cause heavy damage to their gastrointestinal (GI) tract. read more

Battle Against Dementia – Clearing Zombie Brain Cells

Zombie cells, aka senescent cells, have been found to accumulate in the brain ahead of the...
Zombie cells, aka senescent cells, have been found to accumulate in the brain ahead of the toxic protein build-ups that are generally implicated in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia(Credit: Mayo Clinic)

Researchers from the Mayo Clinic have identified a new target in the battle against dementia and age-related cognitive decline – zombie cells. More formally known as senescent cells, these are cells that have stopped dividing but don’t die, and tend to accumulate with age. The new research reveals that many pathological signs of neurodegenerative disease can be eliminated by removing these cells from the brain. read more

Ultrasound Blood Pressure Patch

The ultrasound patch's island-bridge structure allows it to be deformed without damage to the electronics
The ultrasound patch’s island-bridge structure allows it to be deformed without damage to the electronics(Credit: Chonghe Wang/Nature Biomedical Engineering)

Earlier this year, we heard how scientists from the University of California San Diego had developed a flexible ultrasound patch that allows users to see the inner structure of irregular-shaped objects. Well, now they’ve made one that measures a patient’s blood pressure from deep within the body. read more

Asteroid Cancer Killer

Iridium, a rare metal brought to Earth by asteroids, has been found to be an effective...
Iridium, a rare metal brought to Earth by asteroids, has been found to be an effective cancer-killer(Credit: Shad.off/Depositphotos)

Over 65 million years ago, an asteroid some 10 km (6 mi) wide crashed into the Earth and wiped out the dinosaurs. Strangely, the legacy of this huge space rock could include a treatment for cancer after scientists from the UK and China demonstrated that iridium – a rare metal delivered to Earth by the asteroid – can be enlisted to kill cancer without harming healthy cells. read more

New Gel Neutralizes Snake Venom

A new nanogel could make for a better snake antivenom, by sequestering the toxins within the...
A new nanogel could make for a better snake antivenom, by sequestering the toxins within the bloodstream(Credit: SURZet/Depositphotos)

According to the World Health Organization, snakes bite an estimated 5 million people each year, killing more than 100,000 of those victims and permanently injuring hundreds of thousands more. Current antivenoms might not be saving lives as efficiently as they could be, given that they’re difficult and expensive to produce, distribute and administer. Now, researchers at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) have developed a synthetic alternative with a long shelf-life that can neutralize the venom from several species of snakes. read more

Spinal Cord Injuries Could be a Thing of the Past

A 3D-printed device, loaded with neuronal stem cells, that can be implanted into an injured spinal...
A 3D-printed device, loaded with neuronal stem cells, that can be implanted into an injured spinal cord to help “bridge” the damage(Credit: University of Minnesota)

Spinal injuries can be like downed power lines – even if everything on either side of the injury is perfectly functional, the break can effectively shut down the whole system. Now, researchers at the University of Minnesota have designed a device that could link everything back together again. A silicone guide, covered in 3D-printed neuronal stem cells, can be implanted into the injury site, where it grows new connections between remaining nerves to let patients regain some motor control. read more

Google Glass for Autism

Clinical research coordinator Jessey Schwartz (left) watches as 9 year-old Alex and his mother, Donji Cullenbine...
Clinical research coordinator Jessey Schwartz (left) watches as 9 year-old Alex and his mother, Donji Cullenbine (right), use a Google Glass-connected smartphone app(Credit: Steve Fisch)

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often find it difficult to gauge other people’s emotions based on their facial expressions – this can in turn lead to problems in communicating with those people. Scientists at Stanford University, however, are seeing new hope in an approach that utilizes Google Glass smart glasses. read more

Gut Bacteria the Key to Weight Loss?

Not all calories are created equal, as a new study highlights how gut bacteria can alter...
Not all calories are created equal, as a new study highlights how gut bacteria can alter how effectively our bodies metabolize carbohydrates

A new study from researchers at the Mayo Clinic may shed some light on why certain people can lose more weight than others despite adhering to the same regime of exercise and caloric restriction. Alongside a myriad of other recent medical discoveries, the secret may lie in the unique make-up of our gut bacteria. read more

Lung Cancer Advancements

A chance meeting may lead to a combination therapy that actually reduces side effect damage while...
A chance meeting may lead to a combination therapy that actually reduces side effect damage while improving effectiveness of chemotherapy in the treatment of lung cancer(Credit: muratart/Depositphotos)

Cancer treatment is often a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul. You may well have some success with chemotherapy, but subsequent damage to otherwise healthy organs and tissue is a trade-off that clinicians and patients have had to juggle with for decades. But, thanks to a chance meeting at the Hudson Institute in Melbourne, lung cancer patients could be looking at more effective chemo with fewer side effects. read more

Gut Bacteria Alters Metabolism

Researchers have found that removing a single gene from a gut bacteria species can have dramatic...
Researchers have found that removing a single gene from a gut bacteria species can have dramatic effects in the host’s metabolism(Credit: AnatomyInsider/Depositphotos)

The bacteria that call your gut home can have a tremendous impact on your overall health, but exactly how the bugs do so is a web that’s still being untangled. To investigate, researchers at Harvard Medical School have deleted a single gene from one gut bacteria species and found that it alters the metabolism of the host, reducing their weight gain. read more