Combining probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG supplements with aloe vera may slash cholesterol levels by over 40%, suggests a new study with lab rats.
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In heart surgery, ...practitioners use external ultrasound to view blockages. The images are useful, but they are only good enough to serve as a general guide. Georgia Tech researchers, led by Professor F. Levent Degertekin, think they can improve the situation and even reduce the frequency of invasive heart surgery.
The group is building a tiny wired ultrasound device that surgeons can snake through arteries to provide a 3D, front-facing image of blockages in real time—the “equivalent of a flashlight” in the heart’s lightless passageways.
According to the World Health Organization, there were approximately 207 million cases of malaria worldwide in 2012, 627,000 of which proved fatal. Unfortunately, the disease most often occurs in developing nations, where diagnostic equipment may not be available. This means that doctors can't determine the particular strain of malaria from which a patient is suffering, and thus don't know which medication will work best. Manu Prakash, an assistant professor of bioengineering at the Stanford School of Medicine, hopes to change that ... using his disposable folding paper microscope.
Known as the Foldscope, the device can be assembled on site by the user in just a few minutes, from flat-packed components.
Alzheimer's disease represents the most common form of dementia, with the early stages of the disease generally characterized with short term memory loss and learning difficulties that increase in severity as the patient progresses in age.
Scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, California, have discovered that with regular treatments of the antioxidant fisetin, they were able to prevent memory loss in mice with genetic mutations linked to Alzheimer's.
A group of medical researchers working at Georgetown University, the University of Rochester and UC-Irvine have developed a blood test which predicts with 90 percent accuracy if an individual will develop Alzheimer's disease or mild cognitive impairment (MCI) within three years.
The test, which looks for a set of ten lipid markers, will allow treatments to be sought that may be effective during this early, asymptomatic stage of the disease.
When a patient is undergoing rehab for a condition that compromises their gait or sense of balance, the process certainly isn't helped by the constant worry that they might fall. In fact, even the caregivers themselves can be injured when trying to move patients around. That's why California-based rehabilitative tech firm Bioness developed its Vector Gait and Safety System. It involves suspending the patient below a robotic trolley, that moves with them to hold them up.
Patients using the system wear a harness, which incorporates two shoulder straps that are attached to an overhead bar. That bar in turn has a cable running from it to a winch in the trolley. Using a wireless control unit, therapists can use that winch to pull harness-wearing patients up out of their wheelchairs, into a comfortable standing position.
A strategy to genetically modify cells from people infected with HIV could become a way to control the virus that causes AIDS without using antiviral drugs, according to results from an early-stage trial that were published on Wednesday.
Data from the small study of the Sangamo BioSciences therapy, known by the code name SB-728-T, were issued in the New England Journal of Medicine, the first publication of data from a human trial of a technology called "gene editing."
University of Washington scientists and engineers are developing a low-cost device that could help pathologists diagnose pancreatic cancer* earlier and faster.
The prototype can perform the basic steps for processing a biopsy, relying on fluid transport instead of human hands to process the tissue.
“This new process is expected to help the pathologist make a more rapid diagnosis and be able to determine more accurately how invasive the cancer has become, leading to improved prognosis,” said Eric Seibel, a UW research professor of mechanical engineering and director of the department’s Human Photonics Laboratory.
Human Longevity Inc. (HLI), a genomics and cell therapy-based diagnostic and therapeutic company focused on extending the healthy, high performance human life span, was announced today by co-founders J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., Robert Hariri, M.D., Ph.D., and Peter H. Diamandis, M.D.
The company, headquartered in San Diego, California, is being capitalized with an initial $70 million in investor funding.
Largest human sequencing operation
HLI’s funding is being used to build the largest human sequencing operation in the world to compile the most comprehensive and complete human genotype, microbiome, and phenotype database available to tackle the diseases associated with aging-related human biological decline.
It’s March, National Nutrition Month, when the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spotlights the important role of healthful eating and physical activity to control weight and prevent chronic disease. But these aren’t snap-your-fingers, easy-to-achieve goals to execute in fast-paced, convenience-driven Washington.
Here are tips from nutritionists that will help you with healthful eating, physical activity and more.
Ray and Terry's 's insight:
Don't forget to snack. Eat (lightly) often, eat well.
Using pneumatic artificial muscles, scientists have replicated the 3D twisting motion of the beating heart.
The research could lead to better-functioning cardiac implants, among other things.
The scientists, from Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, started with what is known as a pneumatic artificial muscle (PAM). Modeled after the striated muscle fibers found in the heart, it was made from silicone elastomer embedded with braided mesh, hooked up to an air tube.
When air was pumped into the PAM, it responded by twisting and thus becoming shorter. This is similar to the natural fibers, which also contract by twisting and shortening.
Researchers in Houston have developed a cost effective method for printing living cells, claiming almost a 100 percent survival rate. The method, which is akin to a modern version of ancient Chinese wood block printing, allow cells to be printed on any surface and in virtually any two dimensional shape. And while current inkjet printers adapted to print living cells can cost upwards of US$10,000 with a cell survival rate of around 50 percent, this simple new technique could see the cell stamps produced for around $1.
While Block-Cell-Printing, BloC-Printing for short, has its limitations, it is much slower and more labor intensive than inkjet and is as yet unable to print in three dimensions, the technology is still in its infancy.
For scientists to determine if a cell is functioning properly, they must destroy it (with X-rays), possibly giving false accounts of how the cell actually works.
Now, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have created a new probe that freezes cells to “see” at greater detail without damaging the sample.*
Johns Hopkins researchers have trained the immune systems of mice to fight melanoma, a deadly skin cancer, by using nanoparticles designed to target cancer-fighting immune cells, The experiments, described in ACS Nano February 24, represent a significant step toward using nanoparticles and magnetism to treat a variety of conditions, the researchers say.
“By using small enough particles, we could, for the first time, see a key difference in cancer-fighting cells, and we harnessed that knowledge to enhance the immune attack on cancer,” said Jonathan Schneck, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of pathology, medicine and oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine‘s Institute for Cell Engineering.
Schneck’s team has pioneered the development of artificial white blood cells...
When it comes to thoroughly assessing the condition of someone's eyes, it's usually necessary to utilize large, expensive contraptions such as those found in an ophthalmologist's office. While that's OK in some situations, physicians in rural areas or developing nations might not have access to such technology. Additionally, emergency room personnel typically need information on-the-spot, ASAP. That's why two scientists from Stanford University have created the EyeGo system, which allows smartphones to do the job.
Developed by assistant professor of ophthalmology Dr. Robert Chang and ophthalmology resident Dr. David Myung, the system consists of two adapters that are simply added to an existing smartphone camera – one of them gets shots of the front surface of the eye, while the other focuses light through the pupil to get pics of the retina, along the back of the eye.
By twisting fishing line and thread like a rubber band, the scientists produced artificial muscle 100 times stronger than human muscle.
Current artificial muscles in robots tend to be hydraulically powered. Creations out of epic robotics firm, Boston Dynamics, move jerkily and are either tethered to a power source or run on noisy, gas-powered internal combustion engines. As an alternative to hydraulics, the University of Tokyo built an upper body exoskeleton whose muscles do work by expanding and contracting rubber bladders (pneumatic muscles) with air.
The National Cancer Institute (INCan) has progressed from a rate of nine months of survival to 30 with personalized treatments for patients diagnosed with lung cancer in metastatic stage, i.e., when the disease has spread to different parts of the...
A European project coordinated by Ikerlan and CIC microGUNE is developing a James Bond-style automated laboratory called "LABoratory skin patches and smart cards based ON FOILs and compatible with a smartphone" (LABONFOIL). Using lab-on-a-chip technology and smart patches to detect a wide variety of substances and diagnose diseases, the goal of the project is to create a cheap, portable laboratory that can interact with smart devices.
The product of 13 partners in 8 countries, the LABONFOIL is designed to be simple, sensitive, fast, and “ultra-low-cost.” It’s an extremely flexible system based on smart cards and patches that connect to a common portable reader either directly or over a wireless network.
Health monitoring start-up Azoi has announced the availability of a significant product in the form of the Wello, a thin lightweight smartphone case embedded with sensors that measures blood pressure, electrocardiography (ECG), heart rate, blood oxygen, temperature, and lung functions to a high level of accuracy.
The US$199 Wello case will be initially available for iPhone 4S, 5 and 5S, but for those who don’t have one of those phones, the case will still work with any IOS or android device which has Bluetooth LE functionality – you just won’t be able to use the case on your phone.
Air pollution is a major risk to human health.
The World Health Organization estimates that dirty air kills some two million people per year worldwide, and that the number is climbing (WHO 2011).
A pair of studies published nine years ago found that heart rate variability improved after participants who routinely breathed air polluted with particulate matter took omega-3 fish oil supplements (Holguin F et al. 2005; Romieu I et al. 2005).
Researchers at London's Great Ormond Street Hospital aim to grow a human ear via stem cells taken from a patient's fat tissue. Relatively little attention has been given to the reconstruction of damaged cartilage around the cranial area, however the new method is hoped to modernize this area of reconstructive surgery.
Currently to repair damaged or non-existent cartilage in the ear, an operation is usually carried out when the patient is a child. Cartilage is extracted from the patient's ribs and painstakingly crafted into the form of an ear, before being grafted back onto the individual.
Whilst this method of reconstruction achieves good results, it also has some unpleasant side effects.
U.S. and Italian researchers tracked thousands of adults during nearly two decades and found that those who ate a diet high in animal proteins during middle age were four times more likely to die of cancer than contemporaries with low-protein diets — a risk factor, if accurate, comparable to smoking. They also were several times more likely to die of diabetes, researchers said.
Activating a protein called sirtuin 1 extends lifespan, delays the onset of age-related metabolic diseases, and improves general health in mice. The findings, which appear online February 27 in the Cell Press journal Cell Reports, point to a potentially promising strategy for improving health and longevity.
Sirtuin 1, or SIRT1, is known to play an important role in maintaining metabolic balance in multiple tissues, and studies in various organisms have shown that activating the protein can lead to many health benefits. Also, drugs that increase SIRT1 activity have been found to slow the onset of aging and delay age-associated diseases in several animal models.
Ray and Terry's 's insight:
Resveratrol may activate SIRT1
When it comes to monitoring the electrical activity of the heart, or delivering electrical stimulation to it (as in the case of pacemakers), most current technologies rely on electrodes that make contact with the organ in just a few locations. That doesn't necessarily provide a very detailed picture of what's going on, nor does it deliver stimulation all that evenly.
Now, scientists have created a sensor-laden three-dimensional elastic membrane that can be pulled over the whole heart, to provide a large number of contact points.
My boys love to talk about the biggest bone in their body (the femur) and the largest muscle (the gluteus maximus). What is it with boys and big? I stumped them recently when I asked them to name the body’s largest organ. They debated between the large intestine and the liver. Nope, neither.
Our skin is our largest organ. It protects us from harsh temperatures, sunlight and chemicals, and also prevents infections from entering our bodies. It makes Vitamin D and has sensors that tell our brains what is happening in the world outside our bodies. Our skin also excretes toxins and waste products — pounds of them a day. And for the aged, it can often tell a story right on our faces!
Omega-3s from fish are essential to brain function and health.
Omega-3 EPA and DHA abound in virtually every human cell, and in seafood … and DHA is by far the dominant fat in human brains, where it plays many essential roles.
Some, though not all, population studies link higher fish intake to lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other forms of dementia.