Scientists have swapped bits of defective DNA in a human egg with the equivalent DNA from a healthy egg, a technique that could prevent women from passing on several rare and potentially deadly disorders to their children.
We at Cloudera are tremendously excited by the power of data to effect large-scale change in the healthcare industry. Many of the projects that our data science team worked on in the past year originated as data-intensive ...
A new wave of imaging technologies, driven by the falling cost of computing, is transforming the way doctors can examine patients.
Today a new wave of imaging technologies is again transforming the practice of medicine. They include new pathology tools to give doctors an instantaneous diagnosis, as well as inexpensive systems, often based on smartphones, that can extend advanced imaging technologies to the entire world. On the horizon is magnetic imaging technology that will combine the speed of X-ray-based computerized tomography, or CT, with the ability of M.R.I. systems to image soft tissues. The advances are being driven largely by the falling cost of computing, as well as the increasing availability of other miniaturization technologies, including nanotechnology.
Advances in digital imaging are also transforming conventional laboratory tools. In a lab at Columbia University Medical Center, Matthew Putman shows how software can speed the work of a human pathologist. Dr. Putman specializes in the design of advanced polymers. However, his research requires advanced imaging software, and that has led to the development of new computerized analysis tools. His nSPEC pattern recognition software can automatically scan 12 slides and generate the same results in just 15 minutes. The software can be trained to identify a wide variety of biological structures ranging from neurons in the brain to pathogens.
Other traditional imaging technologies are being rapidly transformed by computation. For example, similar to Dr. Contag’s research with endoscopes, the electronics corporation Philips has developed an advanced ultrasound system that is inserted through a patient’s mouth into the esophagus. Known as three-dimensional transesophageal echocardiography, or 3-D TEE, the technique produces an image of the heart from inside the patient’s rib cage, which often prevents ultrasound from capturing clear images. Computer processing of the data, which is transported by a fiber-optic cable from the sensor, creates stunning high-resolution 3-D videos of beating hearts.
More recently, Philips has used computation extensively in its Heart Navigator system, which provides a three-dimensional map for a cardiologist. Only recently certified in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration, it has made the implantation of replacement heart valves by catheter routine in Europe.
having been online, blogging and doing other social media, it has become increasingly clear to me that I need to be there—and that more doctors need to be there with me.
The main reason? Because that’s where the patients are.
We need more doctors and other health professionals writing good content, but getting online doesn’t necessarily mean writing. It could mean finding good websites and sharing them. It could mean commenting when we see something that we agree with—or don’t. It could mean engaging in one of the many conversations going on in social media about health.
It seems like most of the conversation about doctors being online involves concern about ethics and professionalism. I admit that I’ve seen some stuff on Facebook and Twitter that has made me cringe, and clearly it’s not a good idea to give specific medical advice online (nothing can replace a good history and physical examination). But this is all manageable.
Dr. Katherine Chretien did a study of Tweets sent by doctors and found that only 3% might be considered unprofessional, and less than one percent had any private patient information. Overall, these are small numbers. As my doctor-blogger colleague Wendy Sue Swanson says, we are way worse on elevators than we are online. It’s easy enough to come up with guidelines and education to help doctors navigate the online space ethically, professionally and safely. Another doctor-blogger friend of mine, Bryan Vartabedian, who writes a great blog called 33 Charts, has some really good ideas about this, including a recent post about how he handles online questions from patients.
Circadian clocks govern a wide range of cellular and physiological functions in various organisms. Recent evidence suggests distinct functions of local clocks in peripheral mammalian tissues such as immune responses and cell cycle control. However, studying circadian action in peripheral tissues has been limited so far to mouse models, leaving the implication for human systems widely elusive. In particular, circadian rhythms in human skin, which is naturally exposed to strong daytime-dependent changes in the environment, have not been investigated to date on a molecular level. A research team has now presented a comprehensive analysis of circadian gene expression in the human epidermis. Whole-genome microarray analysis of suction-blister epidermis obtained throughout the day revealed a functional circadian clock in epidermal keratinocytes with hundreds of transcripts regulated in a daytime-dependent manner. Among those, the group identified a circadian transcription factor, Krüppel-like factor 9 (Klf9), that is substantially up-regulated in a cortisol and differentiation-state-dependent manner. Gain- and loss-of-function experiments showed strong antiproliferative effects of Klf9. Putative Klf9 target genes include proliferation/differentiation markers that also show circadian expression in vivo, suggesting that Klf9 affects keratinocyte proliferation/differentiation by controlling the expression of target genes in a daytime-dependent manner.
That ethnological distinction does not exist. (Deleuze and Guattari: A Thousand Plateaus). The blurring of the line between myth and reality in the sphere of human memory and imagination renders myth to be inferential in much the same way reality is. Both reality and myth have to be considered objectively and are directed by the same semiotic principles in their essence as is understood by classical Kantian rationalism, Platonic forms. This idea may be contra Stephen Jay Gould and his Science + Religion = Non-overlapping magisteria, or NOMA, yet there must be cracks in this model as it has yet to be modelled scientifically. Dark NOMA matter maybe?
The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.~ - Rabindranath Tagore (1861 - 1941)
The most common measure of intelligence in animals, brain size relative to body size, may not be as dependent on evolutionary selection on the brain as previously thought, according to a new analysis by scientists.
Researchers have discovered that a form of oxytocin—the hormone responsible for making humans fall in love—has a similar effect on fish, suggesting it is a key regulator of social behaviour that has evolved and endured since ancient times.
Normally speaking when we hear an individual is blind we automatically assume he or she cannot see anything at all. However, new research refutes this notion, suggesting there are alternative ways blind individuals see.
Nanotechnology is a rapidly evolving field that encompasses the fabrication and application of materials at the nanometer scale using either top-down approaches or bottom-up assembly. In the biological world, a large number of highly ordered structures and nanomachines made up of macromolecules have evolved to perform many diverse biological functions. Their intriguing configurations have inspired many biomimetic designs. DNA, RNA, and proteins have unique intrinsic characteristics at the nanometer scale and therefore can serve as the building blocks for the bottom-up design and construction of nano scale structures and devices. Seeman pioneered the concept 30 years ago of using DNA as a material for creating nanostructures; this has led to an explosion of knowledge in the now well-established field of DNA nanotechnology. The potential of using peptides and proteins for nanotechnological applications has also been extensively explored. Recently, RNA molecules have become increasingly attractive. The field of RNA nanotechnology is rapidly emerging. RNA can be manipulated with the simplicity characteristic of DNA to produce nanoparticles with a diversity of quaternary structures by self-assembly. Additionally RNA is tremendously versatile in its function and some RNA molecules display catalytic activities much like proteins. Thus, RNA has the advantage of both worlds. However, the instability of RNA has made many scientists flinch away from RNA nanotechnology. Other concerns that have deterred the progress of RNA therapeutics include the induction of interferons, stimulation of cytokines, and activation of other immune systems, as well as short pharmacokinetic profiles in vivo. This review will provide some solutions and perspectives on the chemical and thermodynamic stability, in vivo half-life and biodistribution, yield and production cost, in vivo toxicity and side effect, specific delivery and targeting, as well as endosomal trapping and escape.
Neuroscience - the science of the brain and how it works - is taking the stand and beginning to challenge society's notions of crime and punishment.
And experts say it's almost inevitable that neuroscience and law will become yet more intertwined. After all, while neuroscience seeks to find out how the brain functions and affects behavior, the law's main concern is with regulating behavior.
Yet many are uneasy about the use in courts of law - and in matters of life and death - of basic science that is only just creeping out of the lab.
"All sorts of types of neuroscience evidence are being used for all sorts of types of claims," says Teneille Brown, a professor of law at the University of Utah. "The question is, is this technology really ready for prime time, or is it being abused? . . . Neuroscience is being used by serious scientists in real labs, but the people trying to apply it in courts are not those same people."
Seena Fazel, a clinical senior lecturer in forensic psychiatry at Oxford University, says he's uncomfortable with the long-term implications and wonders . . .
TSince the beginning, IBM also mentioned that Watson could be a useful tool for the healthcare industry, especially when it comes to making diagnoses. (The company also formed a research partnership with Nuance last year to help prepare Watson for health care purposes.) Going mobile would further Watson’s usefulness for doctors and patients alike.
Expectant mothers are used to fuzzy images on ultrasound monitors and blood tests to screen for potential health problems in their unborn babies. But what if one of those blood tests came back with a readout of the baby's entire genome? What if a simple test gave parents every nuance of a baby's genetic makeup before birth?
Recent studies show that it's possible to sequence an entire fetal genome from a sample of the mother's blood (see "Using Parents' Blood to Decode the Genome of a Fetus"). In the future, doctors may be able to divine a wealth of information about genetic diseases or other characteristics of a fetus from the pregnant mother's blood. Such tests will raise ethical questions about how to act on such information. But they could also lead to research on treating diseases before birth, and leave parents and their doctors better prepared to care for babies after birth.
The new bioengeneering diaspora are shifting away from the Darwinian model to an older paradigm with a qualitatively different linear constellation of forms in much the same way the the atomic table is veering towards a Tesla driven foci...
Humans inherit more than three times as many mutations from their fathers as from their mothers, and mutation rates increase with the father's age but not the mother's, researchers have found in the largest study of human genetic mutations to date."The mitrochondrinal significance of the fathers spermenoza IGF in the complex constellating of protein pions in prenatal development is finally getting to the fore, yet why?