Is Healing the Blood-Brain Barrier the Key to Halting Dementia?

The results of new research that has reversed dementia in mice is impressive but some are questioning whether they will apply to humans
The results of new research that has reversed dementia in mice is impressive but some are questioning whether they will apply to humans

Two compelling new studies are building on a hypothesis suggesting age-related dementia is caused by a leaky blood-brain barrier, triggering neuro-inflammation and, ultimately, brain cell damage. The research reveals a novel anti-inflammatory drug can reverse brain aging in senile mice, but experts suggest the studies are interesting but not particularly applicable to human cases of dementia. read more

A Decade of Scientific Breakthroughs

Kepler's efforts in exoplanet hunting was one of the biggest scientific achievements of the decade
Kepler’s efforts in exoplanet hunting was one of the biggest scientific achievements of the decade
NASA/Wendy Stenzel

As we stare down the barrel of the futuristic-sounding year 2020, it’s a time for reflection on the past decade. The world has seen some pretty major scientific achievements in the last 10 years, as discoveries and developments decades in the making were finally realized. New Atlas rounds up five of the most ground-breaking, history-making milestones of the 2010s. read more

Big Government Will Lower Our Drug Prices!!

Isn’t it funny (not funny ha ha) that our government is the only one who is never to blame for price increases or shortages of any kind. It’s always Big Oil, the military industrial complex, etc. Or in this case, evil Big Pharma. We can’t name one industry that doesn’t get blamed for these occurrences (except of course, Big Education), yet the government, with its penchant for artificially picking winners and losers, escapes all scrutiny. We’re about to see it happen again. And when it has the opposite effect, we’ll all be instructed to once again blame “Big Pharma.”

from Human Events:

“Cold” Medicine: Canadian Drug Imports Will Cost Americans

The solution to drug prices is ending freeriding, not buying Canadian

In the hopes of lowering the cost of prescription drugs for Americans, the Trump Administration announced plans in late July to draft a proposal for the importation and sale of prescription drugs from Canada. The announcement was overshadowed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s drug pricing bill and the bipartisan package before the Senate in September—but is a cause for concern, nonetheless. A dozen statesCongress—even the Trump Administration, despite initial opposition—are now considering such legislation.

If “buy-Canadian” doesn’t sound like a policy consistent with Trump’s platform of putting Americans first, that’s because it isn’t. Importing drugs from Canada is an ineffectual and counterproductive policy. President Trump had it right the first time. The prohibitive drug prices that Americans deal with are not solely caused by pharmaceutical companies; they are primarily the product of a failure of government policy.

Instead of artificial fixes, the Trump Administration should directly address the global freeloading and regulatory glut that’s costing Americans—both in dollars and lives. read more

Diagnostic Contact Lens

One day, contact lenses could do much more than just correct our vision
One day, contact lenses could do much more than just correct our vision

The notion of wearing lenses over our eyes to correct our vision dates back hundreds of years, with some even crediting Leonardo da Vinci as one of the first proponents of the idea (though that remains somewhat controversial). Material science and our understanding of the human eye have come a long way since, while their purpose has remained largely the same. In the age of wearable computers, however, scientists in the laboratories of DARPA, Google, and universities around the world see contact lenses not just as tools to improve our vision, but as opportunities to augment the human experience. But how? And why? read more

Made to Order 3D Printed Prosthetics

The IMPACT hand will be available in a number of color choices
The IMPACT hand will be available in a number of color choices
Iterate UK/Ambionics

Amputees wishing to get a powered prosthetic hand – also known as a bionic hand – typically have to wait quite a while for the thing to be manufactured. Soon, however, they should be able to order a custom bionic hand that’s 3D-printed within 10 hours. read more

A Single Injection for Peanut Allergy?

Medical scientists at Stanford University have set out to explore the potential of a drug called etokimab in treating peanut allergies
Medical scientists at Stanford University have set out to explore the potential of a drug called etokimab in treating peanut allergies

The long pursuit of a treatment for peanut allergy is littered with false dawns, but there are also some promising possibilities on the horizon, including one currently on the cusp of FDA approval. Another has just emerged via a promising early trial at Stanford University, where scientists found a single injection of an antibody treatment enabled those with severe allergies to stomach peanuts for some time. read more

Alzheimer’s Drug Makes a Comeback

The pharma company claims a previous decision to discontinue research into the drug was based on incomplete Phase 3 trial data and new analysis has revealed significant success
The pharma company claims a previous decision to discontinue research into the drug was based on incomplete Phase 3 trial data and new analysis has revealed significant success

In a stunningly unusual turn of events a new Alzheimer’s drug, previously declared a failure back in March, has been resurrected with the pharmaceutical company behind the treatment suggesting the earlier decision to discontinue the research was premature and based on incorrect data analysis. read more

Amazing Prosthetic Advances

Spinal cord injury patient Buz Chmielewsk with Johns Hopkins University researcher Matt Fifer
Spinal cord injury patient Buz Chmielewsk with Johns Hopkins University researcher Matt Fifer
Johns Hopkins APL

Brain-connected machines that capture and translate electrical signals are showing great promise across a number of areas, but one with massive potential is the world of prosthetics. Scientists exploring these possibilities at Johns Hopkins University are now reporting a big breakthrough, demonstrating a system that enables a quadriplegic to control two prosthetics arms at once using only his thoughts, and also feel a sense of touch coming back the other way. read more

Walk Slow – Age Fast

A study suggests slow gait at the age of 45 may be a sign of accelerated aging
A study suggests slow gait at the age of 45 may be a sign of accelerated aging

Gait speed, or the pace at which a person walks, has long been effectively used as a biomarker for neurological and physiological health in older subjects. A fascinating new study is for the first time suggesting that gait speed may also be an effective measure of biological aging for someone in their 40s. read more

Indestructible Tardigrade – the Key to Radiation Shielding

Rendering of a tardigrade, considered the toughest animal on Earth
Rendering of a tardigrade, considered the toughest animal on Earth

It takes something truly extraordinary, like maybe the death of the Sun, to kill the near-indestructible invertebrate known as the tardigrade. Crash-landings on the Moon, a lack of oxygen and conditions in the darkest corners of the ocean don’t appear pose a threat to this critter’s livelihood. Scientists studying these so-called water bears have uncovered a neat trick they employ to endure inhospitable conditions, using a unique protein to generate protective clouds around their DNA. read more