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Harvard Breaking Down Bacterial Walls

In this artist's rendition of a bacterium, the blue dots represent the cell wall-building protein RodA...
In this artist’s rendition of a bacterium, the blue dots represent the cell wall-building protein RodA – and disrupting that protein’s function could be key to a new class of antibiotic(Credit: Harvard Medical School)

Bacteria can be hardy little creatures, thanks mostly to their strong cell walls that can protect them against drugs, viruses and other dangers. Finding ways to disarm these defenses is a key component of antibiotics, and now researchers at Harvard Medical School have identified a structural weakness that seems to be built into a range of bacterial species, potentially paving the way for a new class of widely-effective antibacterial drugs. read more

STINGel Doesn’t Give Cancer a Chance

A scanning electron microscope image of the injectable cancer-fighting hydrogel, dubbed STINGel
A scanning electron microscope image of the injectable cancer-fighting hydrogel, dubbed STINGel(Credit: Hartgerink Research Group/Rice University)

The cure for cancer might have been inside us all along – our own immune system. The trick is to give it a boost to find and destroy those rogue cells, and that’s the focus of the field of immunotherapy. To that end, a new hydrogel has been developed that can be injected directly to the site of a tumor, where it stays to slowly release its payload of immunotherapy drugs for longer.

Put the two into a ring, and the immune system will win every round against cancer. To give itself a fighting chance, the Big C instead focuses its attention on stealth attacks, using a variety of tactics to evade detection by the immune system until it can grow strong enough to overwhelm the body. read more

First Artificial Eye

The complex nanostructures give the eye an iridescent sheen
The complex nanostructures give the eye an iridescent sheen(Credit: Alan She/Harvard SEAS)

Harvard has reported a breakthrough flat artificial eye just 30 microns in depth which can exceed the capabilities of the human eye. The technology, which builds on so-called metalens technology by adding electrically-controlled flexible muscles, could make a real impact in all manner of optical fields, including those in cameras, telescopes, microscopes, glasses and even virtual reality. read more

Stunning – Lab Grown Kidneys

A stunning medical breakthrough has seen human kidney tissue capable of producing urine grown in the lab, in a world first.

Experts used stem cells to create mini-kidneys that were implanted into mice, with tests revealing they were able to filter and excrete waste.

The research will allow medical researchers to model kidney diseases using the new structures, advancing our understanding of a number of conditions.

It is also a key step in creating working kidneys for transplant, grown from a patient’s own tissue, a more realistic possibility in the future.

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New Flu Pill Works in One Day – And You Can’t Have It

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

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Many of us don’t think much of the flu, other than the warnings on commercials for various remedies, that it’s cold and flu season. It’s never been thought of as a killer disease or affliction.

However, the fact is that Worldwide, the flu has become an epidemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, “these annual [flu] epidemics to result in about 3 to 5 million cases of severe illness, and about 290 000 to 650 000 deaths.”

Up to 650,000 deaths worldwide from an illness, that until recently we’ve put in the same class as the common cold.

But one might say – okay, that’s worldwide, and worldwide means a lot more third world nations with poor healthcare than developed nations. Yes, to some extent this is true, and it skews the curve as it were, but even here in America, influenza kills about 50,000 per year. That’s 137 Americans dying every day. In fact, it’s number eight of the top 10 killer diseases in America – above kidney disease and approaching the same level as number seven, diabetes.

But fear not, for a Japanese pharmaceutical company, Shionogi & Co. has developed a drug that is capable of killing the flu virus in a single day. That’s right – one pill – one day. read more

New Single Dose Flu Vaccine Works in One Day

from the Daily Mail:

Experimental flu drug could kill the virus in ONE day – but the medicine won’t be available until next year

A new medicine can rid flu suffers of their symptoms in as little as a day, but the drug will be no good to this year’s epidemic because it won’t be available to the United States until 2019.

Scientists in Japan said they have developed an experimental pill that kills the influenza virus in 24 hours, three times faster than what it takes Tamiflu to rid the virus in sick patients. Tamiflu is one of the most popular drugs to treat people sick with the flu.

Researchers said a late-stage trial on American and Japanese flu patients showed that Shionogi & Co. compound wiped out the virus in as little as a day, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Scientists in Japan developed a new flu drug that is said to kill the virus in 24 hours 

Superhumans in 50 Years

Our entire bodies could be swapped out with robotic parts as soon as 2070, says robotics journalist and expert Chris Middleton.

He says we’re not far from a future where anyone can buy upgraded body parts that provide superhuman powers.

‘Biohackers’ are already upgrading their bodies with implants such as chips that let them open doors with a wave of the hand, so the predictions aren’t too far-fetched.

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Hope for Alzheimer’s Patients

from Sky News:

Patients have been implanted with a tiny “brain pacemaker” in an attempt to slow the progress of Alzheimer’s disease.

Three patients were fitted with the device, which fires electric pulses into surrounding cells, as part of the ground-breaking trial.

 Doctors report that it reduced the speed at which their brain function declined. In two patients, the effects were significant. read more

Wearable Technology Can Spot Cancer

Wearable technology that can predict cancerous growths ‘several months’ before they form are just around the corner, according to one technology expert.

Nokia’s chief says the firm is working on a scanning device that will pick up on biomarkers that indicate the conditions needed for abnormal cell growth to happen.

A number of other medical innovations have also been envisaged that will make use of ultra-fast 5G mobile internet networks in the future.

That includes remote surgery conducted from across the world, as well as ambulances that are able to transmit data to a hospital ahead of its arrival.

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First Cloned Monkey

Two monkeys have followed in the footsteps of Dolly the Sheep by becoming the world’s first primates to be cloned from transferred DNA.

Identical long-tailed macaques Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua were born eight and six weeks ago respectively at a laboratory in China.

The success marks a watershed in cloning research and raises major ethical questions.

The scientists hope to pave the way for populations of genetically uniform monkeys that can be customised for ground-breaking research into human diseases.

But the cloning of monkeys will be seen by some as a step toward the creation of human clones.

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