Health/Food Posts Tagged as 'Discovery'
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New syndrome in kids could change fate of schools reopening in fall, Cuomo says
The growing number of New York children diagnosed with a serious inflammatory syndrome possibly connected to COVID-19 may impact whether schools reopen in the fall, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday.
Health officials are investigating more than 120 cases of pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome in New York, according to the governor.
“This is a syndrome that we are only just discovering,” Cuomo said. “I think the numbers are going to be much, much higher.”
The illness, which causes the inflammation of blood vessels, has been identified in children across 16 states and at least five countries, according to Cuomo. At least three children have died in New York, health officials have said.
Symptoms of PMIS include a persistent fever, rash, abdominal pain and vomiting. Parents should call their pediatrician immediately if their children exhibit symptoms.
Doctors raise hopes of blood test for children with coronavirus-linked syndrome
Gene Therapy In Mice Builds Muscle, Reduces Fat
Exercise and physical therapy often are recommended to help people who have arthritis. Both can strengthen muscle — a benefit that also can reduce joint pain. But building muscle mass and strength can take many months and be difficult in the face of joint pain from osteoarthritis, particularly for older people who are overweight. A new study in mice at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, however, suggests gene therapy one day may help those patients.
The research shows that gene therapy helped build significant muscle mass quickly and reduced the severity of osteoarthritis in the mice, even though they didn’t exercise more. The therapy also staved off obesity, even when the mice ate an extremely high-fat diet.
The Latest Artificial Hand Lets You Feel What You’re Grabbing
The latest artificial hand purportedly responds to thoughts, creates the impression of feeling, and anchors directly the wearer’s bones. The e-OPRA might not be flesh and bone, but it’s apparently getting closer. And that could be good news for amputees.
The e-OPRA, developed by Swedish firm Integrum, reportedly combines several major advancements in prosthesis technology to produce a replacement hand that the company claims is more comfortable, more precise, and easier to control than old-style artificial limbs.
The Daily Beast
Why Are Smokers Being Hospitalized Less Often From Coronavirus?
The Chinese smoke. Well over half the nation's men are smokers, and the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that one third of the planet's cigarettes are smoked in China. But earlier this year, Konstantinos Farsalinos noticed something odd: Very few of those hospitalized for the coronavirus in the country appeared to be smokers.
Farsalinos, a cardiologist and tobacco harm-reduction specialist in Greece, has since been wondering if nicotine, the chemical substance found in tobacco, could be preventing people from getting COVID-19, or stopping the symptoms from becoming worse.
While no conclusions can yet be drawn, Farsalinos' prevailing hypothesis is essentially that nicotine has certain anti-inflammatory effects. The most severe COVID-19 symptoms seem to come from an overreaction of the body's immune system known as a "cytokine storm." During that storm, the immune system targets an infection, say in the lungs, and they can become inflamed, leading to difficulty breathing. Nicotine, Farsalinos reasons, might be able to at least lessen that intensity.
Plant Disease Primarily Spreads Via Roadsides
An analysis based on mathematical statistics more precise than those previously carried out uncovered the reason why powdery mildew fungi on Åland are most abundant in roadsides and crossings. Identified as the specific cause was that traffic raises the spores found on roadsides efficiently into the air.
The researchers are interested in disease transmission, as it helps explain the occurrence and biology of diseases. There are plant diseases that spread along riversides, bird migration routes, ocean currents or, for example, air traffic networks, much like human diseases that spread through social networks.
The transmission process determines the abundance and location of occurrence, while the method of transmission determines how the diversity of the disease branches off temporally and spatially, and, in the end, how the disease evolves through natural selection.
The Pandemic Has Led to a Huge, Global Drop in Air Pollution
The coronavirus pandemic is shutting down industrial activity and temporarily slashing air pollution levels around the world, satellite imagery from the European Space Agency shows.
One expert said the sudden shift represented the “largest-scale experiment ever,” in terms of the reduction of industrial emissions.
Readings from ESA’s Sentinel-5P satellite show that over the past six weeks, levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) over cities and industrial clusters in Asia and Europe were markedly lower than in the same period last year.
Nitrogen dioxide is produced from car engines, power plants and other industrial processes and is thought to exacerbate respiratory illnesses such as asthma.
The coronavirus did not escape from a lab. Here's how we know.
As the novel coronavirus causing COVID-19 spreads across the globe, with cases surpassing 284,000 worldwide today (March 20), misinformation is spreading almost as fast.
One persistent myth is that this virus, called SARS-CoV-2, was made by scientists and escaped from a lab in Wuhan, China, where the outbreak began.
Here's why: SARS-CoV-2 is very closely related to the virus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which fanned across the globe nearly 20 years ago. Scientists have studied how SARS-CoV differs from SARS-CoV-2 — with several key letter changes in the genetic code. Yet in computer simulations, the mutations in SARS-CoV-2 don't seem to work very well at helping the virus bind to human cells. If scientists had deliberately engineered this virus, they wouldn't have chosen mutations that computer models suggest won't work. But it turns out, nature is smarter than scientists, and the novel coronavirus found a way to mutate that was better — and completely different— from anything scientists could have created, the study found.
Some People Can Detect Earth's Magnetic Field, Which Sounds Like a Pretty Sweet Party Trick
Could some humans be able to sense the Earth’s magnetic field? Evidence suggests that in addition to quite a few animal species, humans could be—yes, this is the real term—magnetoreceptors. In a recent study, scientists conducted an experiment that measured how alpha waves interacted with a trace mineral that they believe registers magnetism.
Once upon a time, scientists thought animal magnetoreception was impossible, too. As they started to understand that birds and other animals used magnetoreception to navigate in the world, they still thought there was no way humans could do it.
But that assumption seems up for grabs too. In an experiment last year—hat tip to Gizmodo for unearthing it again—researchers built a specially equipped Faraday cage where subjects were fitted with EEG sensors. Inside the structure of the cage, they arranged coils that generate a magnetic field when active. The coils could be switched into a “sham mode” with no magnetic field, but that still looked and felt the same otherwise.
Why outbreaks like coronavirus spread exponentially, and
how to “flatten the curve”
After the first case of covid-19, the disease caused by the new strain of coronavirus, was announced in the United States, reports of further infections trickled in slowly. Two months later, that trickle has turned into a steady current.
This so-called exponential curve has experts worried. If the number of cases were to continue to double every three days, there would be about a hundred million cases in the United States by May.
That is math, not prophecy. The spread can be slowed, public health professionals say, if people practice “social distancing” by avoiding public spaces and generally limiting their movement.
Still, without any measures to slow it down, covid-19 will continue to spread exponentially for months. To understand why, it is instructive to simulate the spread of a fake disease through a population.
Scientists edited genes inside of a live patient for the first time
For the first time ever, scientists edited the DNA inside a living human being. Doctors at Harvard edited the unruly cellular material of a live patient — who has a rare genetic disorder that causes blindness — inside the patient’s body, reported NPR. CRISPR, the technology used to edit the cellular sequence, isn’t brand new. But usually in order to use it for DNA editing, doctors first remove cells from a patient’s body, edit the genes inside them, and then put the edited genes back into the patient. Not anymore, though, apparently. CRISPR has now been used to modify DNA without first removing the cells, according to NPR.
In order to achieve this groundbreaking medical feat, doctors injected the patient’s eye with a combination of viruses and a set of CRISPR-created instructions for editing the gene, NPR reported. The viruses themselves are harmless. They are used as messengers to deliver the gene edits to the cells. The tool sent by the viruses is intended to cut out the defect that causes blindness in the patient. According to NPR, scientists hope that by cutting out the malfunctioning part of the cell, the patient’s body will respond by producing necessary proteins that prevent the death of cells in the retina and will also revitalize other cells, thus restoring vision.
A hormone found in chocolate may boost men’s sex drive
Doctors in the future may treat men suffering from low sex drive with an injection of a hormone found in chocolate.
A new study has just found kisspeptin boosted how men’s brains respond to attractive faces and scent.
It could help the one-in-three people who suffer from ‘psychosexual disorders’. These include not getting aroused or satisfied by sex.
Scientists use stem cells from frogs to build first living robots
Be warned. If the rise of the robots comes to pass, the apocalypse may be a more squelchy affair than science fiction writers have prepared us for.
Researchers in the US have created the first living machines by assembling cells from African clawed frogs into tiny robots that move around under their own steam.
One of the most successful creations has two stumpy legs that propel it along on its “chest”. Another has a hole in the middle that researchers turned into a pouch so it could shimmy around with miniature payloads.
“These are entirely new lifeforms. They have never before existed on Earth,” said Michael Levin, the director of the Allen Discovery Center at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. “They are living, programmable organisms.”
CES 2020: The bandaid for your taint promises to fix premature ejaculation
The taint bandaid is only partially bandaid. Attached to the bandaid part is a battery connected to electrodes designed to send mild electrical impulses to whatever area of the flesh it's attached to. Traditionally, electrodes like this are used to relieve muscle pain, but the taint bandaid is different. It's designed to stimulate and confuse the nervous system with one goal in mind: delaying male ejaculation during sexual intercourse.
In short, the taint bandaid is an innovation designed to help men who suffer from premature ejaculation, a condition that affects up to 30% of the male population. The root cause of premature ejaculation still isn't fully understood. Current treatments range from behavioral techniques to anesthesia to drug therapy.
"It's is the No. 1 male sexual dysfunction," explains Jeff Bennett, "but many men don't want to talk about it."
Much of the research examining identity has focused on traits or dynamics that are considered universal for all human beings (e.g., self-esteem, introversion-extraversion, and levels of anxiety) regardless of race, culture, gender, sexual orientation, or class. At this level, researchers and clinicians treat human experiences as being similar, for example, the experiences of aging, coping with life stress, and interpersonal relationships. However, the extent to which any one of these traits and dynamics may be high or low, prominent, amplified, or muted differs as a result of sociodemographic categories such as culture, class, gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.
Identity, Self-Esteem and Self-Compassion
This spray-on nanofiber ‘skin’ may revolutionize burn and wound care
Imagine if bandaging looked a little more like, well, a water gun?
Israeli startup Nanomedic Technologies Ltd., a subsidiary of medical device company Nicast, has invented a new mechanical contraption to treat burns, wounds, and surgical injuries by mimicking human tissue. Shaped like a children’s toy, the lightweight SpinCare emits a proprietary nanofiber “second skin” that completely covers the area that needs to heal.
All one needs to do is aim, squeeze the two triggers, and fire off an electrospun polymer material that attaches to the skin.
The Nanomedic spray method avoids any need to come into direct contact with the wound. In that sense, it completely sidesteps painful routine bandage dressings. The transient skin then fully develops into a secure physical barrier with tough adherence. Once new skin is regenerated, usually between two to three weeks (depending on the individual’s heal time), the layer naturally peels off.