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The future of medicine and health
all that concerns the rapid evolution of medicine and health
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Technology can’t take the place of a doctor who listens to you

Data are everywhere. But in medicine, data aren’t everything.

From online symptom-checking websites to web-based professional medical resources, both patients and practitioners are able to answer many of their medical questions with the click of a mouse or touch of a screen. For those questions that require further investigation, new laboratory tests and high-tech medical imaging can help support (or refute) potential diagnoses.

Yet some diagnoses fall through the cracks of these modern investigative tools.

For example, a patient who walks in with abdominal discomfort and irregular bowel habits may ultimately walk out several visits later with a diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)—a gastrointestinal disorder that may affect up to 10% of the global population. This syndrome is typically not associated with any abnormalities on x-rays, invasive procedures, or lab tests.
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We Can Rebuild Him: Patient Receives 3D Printed Titanium Ribs and Sternum - Singularity HUB

We Can Rebuild Him: Patient Receives 3D Printed Titanium Ribs and Sternum - Singularity HUB | The future of medicine and health |
It’s a bit like a Marvel superhero comic or a 70s sci-fi TV show—only it actually just happened. After having his sternum and several ribs surgically removed, a Spanish cancer patient took delivery of one titanium 3D printed rib cage—strong, light, and custom fit to his body.

It’s just the latest example of how 3D printing and medicine are a perfect fit.

The list of 3D printed body parts now includes dental, ankle, spinal, trachea, and even skull implants (among others). Because each body is unique, customization is critical. Medical imaging, digital modeling, and 3D printers allow doctors to fit prosthetics and implants to each person’s anatomy as snugly and comfortably as a well tailored suit.

In this case, the 54-year-old patient suffered from chest wall sarcoma, a cancer of the rib cage. His doctors determined they would need to remove his sternum and part of several ribs and replace them with a prosthetic sternum and rib cage.

Titanium chest implants aren’t new, but the complicated geometry of the bone structure makes it difficult to build them. To date, the typically used flat plate implants tend to come loose and raise the risk of complications down the road.

Now, we can do better. We have the technology.

Complexity is free with 3D printing. It’s as easy to print a simple shape as it is to print one with intricate geometry. And with a 3D model based on medical scans, it’s possible to make prosthetics and implants that closely fit a patient’s body.
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Self-control saps memory resources

Self-control saps memory resources | The future of medicine and health |
In an infamous set of experiments performed in the 1960s, psychologist Walter Mischel sat pre-school kids at a table, one by one, and placed a sweet treat – a small marshmallow, a biscuit, or a pretzel – in front of them. Each of the young participants was told that they would be left alone in the room, and that if they could resist the temptation to eat the sweet on the table in front of them, they would be rewarded with more sweets when the experimenter returned.

The so-called Marshmallow Test was designed to test self-control and delayed gratification. Mischel and his colleagues tracked some of the children as they grew up, and then claimed that those who managed to hold out for longer in the original experiment performed better at school, and went on to become more successful in life, than those who couldn’t resist the temptation to eat the treat before the researcher returned to the room.

The ability to exercise willpower and inhibit impulsive behaviours is considered to be a core feature of the brain’s executive functions, a set of neural processes - including attention, reasoning, and working memory - which regulate our behaviour and thoughts, and enable us to adapt them according to the changing demands of the task at hand.

Executive function is a rather vague term, and we still don’t know much about its underlying bran mechanisms, or about how different components of this control system are related to one another. New research shows that self-control and memory share, and compete with each other for, the same brain mechanisms, such that exercising willpower saps these common resources and impairs our ability to encode memories.
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This gene variant delays Alzheimer's by 10 years - Futurity

This gene variant delays Alzheimer's by 10 years - Futurity | The future of medicine and health |
When researchers sequenced the genomes of more than 100 members of a Colombian family affected with early-onset Alzheimer’s, they discovered a mechanism that seems to delay the disease.

The family members have a rare gene mutation that leads to full-blown disease around age 49. However, in a few outliers, the disease manifests up to a decade later.

“We wanted to study those who got the disease later to see if they had a protective modifier gene,” says Kenneth S. Kosik, a biology professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “We know they have the mutation. Why are they getting it so much later when the mutation so powerfully determines the early age at onset in most of the family members?

“We hypothesized the existence of gene variant actually pushes the disease onset as much as 10 years later.”
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Lipid DNA origami may lead to advanced future nanomachines | KurzweilAI

Lipid DNA origami may lead to advanced future nanomachines | KurzweilAI | The future of medicine and health |
Kyoto University scientists in Japan have developed a method for creating larger 2-D self-assembling DNA origami* nanostructures.

Current DNA origami methods can create extremely small two- and three-dimensional shapes that could be used as construction material to build nanodevices, such as nanomotors, in the future for targeted drug delivery inside the body, for example. KurzweilAI recently covered advanced methods developed by Brookhaven National Laboratory and Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute.
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Booze makes these neurons crave more booze - Futurity

Booze makes these neurons crave more booze - Futurity | The future of medicine and health |
Drinking alcohol changes the shape of “go” neurons, a part of the brain that makes you want to act—in this case, pour another drink—new research shows.

And binge drinking over time makes it easier for these neurons, called D1, to activate, which causes you to crave more booze.

“If these neurons are excited, you will want to drink alcohol,” says Jun Wang, an assistant professor in the neuroscience and experimental therapeutics at the Texas A&M College of Medicine. “You’ll have a craving.”

That is to say, when neurons with D1 receptors are activated, they compel you to perform an action. This then creates a cycle, where drinking causes easier activation, and activation causes more drinking.
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Completely paralyzed man steps out in robotic exoskeleton

Completely paralyzed man steps out in robotic exoskeleton | The future of medicine and health |
Working with a team of UCLA scientists, a man with protracted and complete paralysis has recovered sufficient voluntary control to take charge of a bionic exoskeleton and take many thousands of steps. Using a non-invasive spinal stimulation system that requires no surgery, this is claimed to be the first time that a person with such a comprehensive disability has been able to actively and voluntarily walk with such a device.

Leveraging on research where the UCLA team recently used the same non-invasive technique to enable five completely paralyzed men to move their legs, the new work has allowed the latest subject, Mark Pollock, to regain some voluntary movement – even up to two weeks after training with the external electrical stimulation had ended.

Pollock, who had been totally paralyzed from the waist down for four years prior to this study, was given five days of training in the robot exoskeleton, and a further two weeks muscle training with the external stimulation unit. The stimulated and voluntary leg movements have not only shown that regaining mobility through this technique is possible, but that the training itself provides a range of health benefits in itself, especially in enhanced cardiovascular function and improved muscle tone.
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UK national sperm bank has just nine donors - BBC News

UK national sperm bank has just nine donors - BBC News | The future of medicine and health |
Just nine men are registered as donors a year after the opening of Britain's national sperm bank in Birmingham.

It is now planning a recruitment drive, with chief executive Laura Witjens saying that appealing to male pride may be an effective way to boost donations.

She has suggested a new campaign featuring a cartoon superhero, echoing a successful strategy in Denmark.

A change in UK law in 2005, removing anonymity for sperm donors, is thought to have led to a drop in volunteers.

Ms Witjens said she hoped adopting the "superman" message would help, but it could still take five years before the national sperm bank had enough donors.

She told the Guardian: "If I advertised saying 'Men, prove your worth, show me how good you are', then I would get hundreds of donors.

"That's the way the Danish do it. They proudly say, this is the Viking invasion, exports from Denmark are beer, Lego and sperm. It's a source of pride."
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Diet Advice That Ignores Hunger

Diet Advice That Ignores Hunger | The future of medicine and health |
TOWARD the end of the Second World War, researchers at the University of Minnesota began a legendary experiment on the psychology and physiology of human starvation — and, thus, on hunger. The subjects were 36 conscientious objectors, some lean, some not. For 24 weeks, these men were semi-starved, fed not quite 1,600 calories a day of foods chosen to represent the fare of European famine areas: “whole-wheat bread, potatoes, cereals and considerable amounts of turnips and cabbage” with “token amounts” of meat and dairy.

As diets go, it was what nutritionists today would consider a low-calorie, and very low-fat diet, with only 17 percent of calories coming from fat.

What happened to these men is a lesson in our ability to deal with caloric deprivation, which means, as well, a lesson in any expectations we might have about most current weight-loss advice, and perhaps particularly the kind that begins with “eat less” and “restrict fat.”

The men lost an average of a pound of body fat a week over the first 12 weeks, but averaged only a quarter-pound per week over the next 12, despite the continued deprivation. And this was not their only physiological reaction. Their extremities swelled; their hair fell out; wounds healed slowly. They felt continually cold; their metabolism slowed.

More troubling were the psychological effects. The men became depressed, lethargic and irritable. They threw tantrums. They lost their libido. They thought obsessively about food, day and night. The Minnesota researchers called this “semi-starvation neurosis.” Four developed “character neurosis.” Two had breakdowns, one with “weeping, talk of suicide and threats of violence.” He was committed to the psychiatric ward. The “personality deterioration” of the other “culminated in two attempts at self-mutilation.” He nearly detached the tip of one finger and later chopped off three with an ax.
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Study delivers bleak verdict on validity of psychology experiment results

Study delivers bleak verdict on validity of psychology experiment results | The future of medicine and health |
A major investigation into scores of claims made in psychology research journals has delivered a bleak verdict on the state of the science.

An international team of experts repeated 100 experiments published in top psychology journals and found that they could reproduce only 36% of original findings.

The study, which saw 270 scientists repeat experiments on five continents, was launched by psychologists in the US in response to rising concerns over the reliability of psychology research.
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Overthinking could be driving creativity in people with neurotic disorders

Overthinking could be driving creativity in people with neurotic disorders | The future of medicine and health |
People who suffer from neuroticism – a condition characterised by anxiety, fear and negative thoughts – are extremely tuned in to looking for threats. For that reason, you may expect them to perform well in jobs requiring vigilance: stunt pilots, aviators and bomb defusement. Yet, the evidence suggests they are actually more suited to creative jobs.

Exactly what drives neuroticism and the creativity it is associated with is not known. But researchers have now come up with a theory which suggests that it could be down to the fact that people who score highly on neuroticism tests, meaning they are prone to anxiety or depression, tend to do a lot of thinking – often at the expense of concentrating at the task at hand.
Past, present and future

The hypothesis, which is yet to be experimentally verified, is an extension of what we already know. People who have neurotic traits typically look for things to worry about (a mechanism dubbed “self-generated thinking”). For example, people who get depressed are consumed by such self-generated negative thoughts that they forget what they are supposed to be doing. In other words, they are not very tuned in to the ”here and now”, which is pretty important if you need somebody to concentrate on defusing a bomb.

What the new research helps to do is explain the underlying brain mechanisms that interfere with “on the job thinking”. A certain amount of brain arousal is great for concentration but too much interferes with clear thinking and that’s what you want when performing stunts, flying planes, and disposing of bombs.

So where does the creativity come in? The authors argue that people who engage in self-generated thinking are creative because they are not rooted in reality – they are away with the fairies. Indeed, they may resist attempts to get them to concentrate on reality whilst they focus on their own thoughts. It is hardly a surprise, then, that their ideas can be new, whacky and original.

So while people scoring high on neuroticism may struggle with a lot of stress, they can still have a successful working life. They may actually be able to find creative solutions to problems that didn’t exist in the first place, and in the process come with some pretty useful and imaginative stuff. Rather like Billy Liar, in his escape from his tedious existence conjuring up some fairly exciting daydreams.
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‘Tricorder’-style handheld MouthLab detects patients’ vital signs, rivaling hospital devices | KurzweilAI

‘Tricorder’-style handheld MouthLab detects patients’ vital signs, rivaling hospital devices | KurzweilAI | The future of medicine and health |
Inspired by the Star Trek tricorder, engineers and physicians at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have developed a hand-held, battery-powered device called MouthLab that quickly picks up vital signs from a patient’s lips and fingertip.

Updated versions of the prototype could replace the bulky, restrictive monitors now used to display patients’ vital signs in hospitals and actually gather more data than is typically collected during a medical assessment in an ambulance, emergency room, doctor’s office, or patient’s home.

The MouthLab prototype’s measurements of heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, breathing rate, and blood oxygen from 52 volunteers compared well with vital signs measured by standard hospital monitors. The device also takes a basic electrocardiogram. The study was published in the September issue of the Annals of Biomedical Engineering.

Early warning for non-doctors

“We see it as a ‘check-engine’ light for humans,” says the device’s lead engineer, Gene Fridman, Ph.D., an assistant professor of biomedical engineering and of otolaryngology–head and neck surgery at Johns Hopkins. “It can be used by people without special training at home or in the field.” He expects the device may be able to detect early signs of medical emergencies, such as heart attacks, or avoid unnecessary ambulance trips and emergency room visits when a patient’s vital signs are good.
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Digital pen technique can diagnose dementia faster and earlier

Digital pen technique can diagnose dementia faster and earlier | The future of medicine and health |
Noting that most current methods of diagnosing cognitive diseases can only detect impairment after the disorders have taken hold, researchers at MIT have combined digital pen technology and some custom software to develop an objective model for early detection.

The new system, still in its concept stage, is a development on the Clock Drawing Test (CDT) that doctors use to screen for illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. In this test patients are asked to draw a clock face showing the time as 10 minutes past 11, and then asked to copy a pre-drawn clock face showing the same time. The results are then examined for signs of problems by a doctor.

Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) swapped out the ink pen used in current tests for the Anoto Live Pen, a digitizing ballpoint pen that, with the help of a built-in camera, can measure its position on the paper more than 80 times a second. Rather than only relying on the final drawing for subjective analysis by medical practitioners, the pen can pick up on all the patient's hesitations and movements.

Working at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center, the CSAIL researchers helped produce analysis software for the Live Pen version of the test, resulting in what the team calls the digital Clock Drawing Test.
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Heart 'in a box' could save more organs for transplant - Futurity

Heart 'in a box' could save more organs for transplant - Futurity | The future of medicine and health |
Medical programs are testing a new device that may improve the availability of donor hearts for transplants.

It’s an ex vivo (out-of-body) circulatory system that has come to be called “heart in a box.” (See a video of a heart in the device here.)

“The technological advance of this device is that it circulates blood into the aorta and the coronary arteries, and the heart will be beating again all the way to its new home,” says Jason Smith, a cardiothoracic surgeon and transplant specialist at the University of Washington Medical Center. The Regional Heart Center there is one of seven medical programs testing the device, which is made by TransMedics of Andover, Massachusetts.

When someone dies and their heart is made available for transplant, a four- to six-hour window exists between harvest and implant. That’s how long the organ can be packed in an icy saline slush in a hand-held cooler—the standard of care for decades—and still be reliably restarted.

That window of viability dictates the distance from which transplant centers accept donor hearts.

“The idea with heart in a box is that because blood is perfusing the heart, you can keep the organ out of the body considerably longer. In Europe, they’ve gone up to 11 hours on the machine and still had a successful transplant,” Smith says.
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How music can help relieve chronic pain

How music can help relieve chronic pain | The future of medicine and health |
As the 17th-century English playwright William Congreve said: “Music has charms to soothe a savage breast.” It is known that listening to music can significantly enhance our health and general feelings of well-being.

An important and growing area of research concerns how music helps to mitigate pain and its negative effects. Music has been shown to reduce anxiety, fear, depression, pain-related distress and blood pressure. It has been found to lower pain-intensity levels and reduce the opioid requirements of patients with post-operative pain.

Music has helped children undergoing numerous medical and dental procedures. And it has been demonstrated to work in a variety of other clinical settings such as palliative care, paediatrics, surgery and anaesthesia.

So what makes music so effective at making us feel better? The research has often drawn on theories around how nerve impulses in the central nervous system are affected by our thought processes and emotions. Anything that distracts us from pain may reduce the extent to which we focus on it, and music may be particularly powerful in this regard. The beauty is that once we understand how music relates to pain, we have the potential to treat ourselves.

Music attracts and holds our attention and is emotionally engaging, particularly if our relationship with the piece is strong. Our favourite music is likely to have stronger positive effects than tracks we don’t like or know. Researchers have demonstrated that the music we prefer has greater positive effects on pain tolerance and perception, reduces anxiety and increases feelings of control over pain. In older people with dementia, listening to preferred music has been linked with decreasing agitated behaviour.

Alongside the benefits of listening to what you prefer, the nature of the music has also been shown to be important in enhancing how emotionally engaging it is for patients. Recent research has demonstrated this in relation to dynamics, brightness, arousal levels and other acoustic attributes. Music which is bright, with low intensity and slower tempo has been shown to have the most positive effect on the degree of pain that we experience, for example.
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Nanomesh dressings may draw bacteria from chronic wounds

Nanomesh dressings may draw bacteria from chronic wounds | The future of medicine and health |
We've previously heard about wound dressings that kill bacteria, but now researchers at Australia's Swinburne University of Technology are taking a different approach. They're creating a dressing material that attracts bacteria out from within the wound, so that the material and the microbes can then just be pulled off and discarded.

Led by PhD candidate Martina Abrigo, the Swinburne team started by electrospinning polystyrene fibers that were up to 100 times thinner than a human hair. Meshes of these were then placed over films of Staphylococcus aureus, a bacteria that frequently infects wounds.
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Gene Editing Is Now Cheap and Easy—and No One Is Prepared for the Consequences - Singularity HUB

Gene Editing Is Now Cheap and Easy—and No One Is Prepared for the Consequences - Singularity HUB | The future of medicine and health |
In April 2015, a paper by Chinese scientists about their attempts to edit the DNA of a human embryo rocked the scientific world and set off a furious debate. Leading scientists warned that altering the human germ line without studying the consequences could have horrific consequences. Geneticists with good intentions could mistakenly engineer changes in DNA that generate dangerous mutations and cause painful deaths. Scientists — and countries — with less noble intentions could again try to build a race of superhumans.

Human DNA is, however, merely one of many commercial targets of ethical concern. The DNA of every single organism — every plant, every animal, every bacterium — is now fair game for genetic manipulation. We are entering an age of backyard synthetic biology that should worry everybody. And it is coming about because of CRISPRs: clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats.

Discovered by scientists only a few years ago, CRISPRs are elements of an ancient system that protects bacteria and other single-celled organisms from viruses, acquiring immunity to them by incorporating genetic elements from the virus invaders. CRISPRs evolved over millions of years to trim pieces of genetic information from one genome and insert it into another. And this bacterial antiviral defense serves as an astonishingly cheap, simple, elegant way to quickly edit the DNA of any organism in the lab.
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Test shows how old your body really is - BBC News

Test shows how old your body really is - BBC News | The future of medicine and health |
Scientists say they have developed a way of testing how well, or badly, your body is ageing.

They say it could help predict when a person will die, identify those at high-risk of dementia and could affect medicine, pensions and insurance.

The team at King's College London say looking at "biological age" is more useful than using a date of birth.

However, the work, published in Genome Biology, provides no clues as to how to slow the ageing process.

The test looks for an "ageing signature" in your body's cells by comparing the behaviour of 150 genes.

It was developed by initially comparing 54,000 markers of gene activity in healthy, but largely sedentary, 25 and 65-year-olds and then whittling them down to a final 150.

Prof Jamie Timmons, from King's College London, told the BBC News website: "There's a healthy ageing signature that's common to all our tissues, and it appears to be prognostic for a number of things including longevity and cognitive decline.

"It looks like from the age of 40 onwards you can use this to give guidance on how well an individual is ageing."
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Life expectancy climbs worldwide but people spend more years living with illness and disability | KurzweilAI

Life expectancy climbs worldwide but people spend more years living with illness and disability | KurzweilAI | The future of medicine and health |
The good news: as for 2013, global life expectancy for people in 188 countries has risen 6.2 years since 1990 (65.3 to 71.5). The bad news: healthy life expectancy (HALE) at birth rose by only 5.4 years (56.9 to 62.3), due to fatal and nonfatal ailments (interactive visualization by country here).

In other words, people are living more years with illness and disability. Ischemic heart disease, lower respiratory infections, and stroke cause the most health loss around the world.

That’s according to a study published in the medical journal The Lancet on August 27, conducted by an international consortium of researchers working on the Global Burden of Disease study, led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington.

“The world has made great progress in health, but now the challenge is to invest in finding more effective ways of preventing or treating the major causes of illness and disability,” said Professor Theo Vos of IHME, the study’s lead author.

For dozens of countries — including Botswana, Belize, and Syria — healthy life expectancy in 2013 was not significantly higher than in 1990. In some of those countries, including South Africa, Paraguay, and Belarus, healthy life expectancy has actually dropped (by as much as 10 years) since 1990.

Causes of health loss

The fastest-growing global cause of health loss between 1990 and 2013 was HIV/AIDS, which increased by 341.5%. But this dramatic rise masks progress in recent years; since 2005, health loss due to HIV/AIDS has diminished by 23.9% because of global focus on the disease. Ischemic heart disease, stroke, low back and neck pain, road injuries, and COPD have also caused an increasing amount of health loss since 1990.The impact of other ailments, such as diarrheal diseases, neonatal preterm birth complications, and lower respiratory infections, has significantly declined.

Across countries, patterns of health loss vary widely. The countries with the highest rates of DALYs are among the poorest in the world, and include several in sub-Saharan Africa: Lesotho, Swaziland, Central African Republic, Guinea-Bissau, and Zimbabwe. Countries with the lowest rates of health loss include Italy, Spain, Norway, Switzerland, and Israel.

The number of DALYs due to communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional disorders has declined steadily, from 1.19 billion in 1990 to 769.3 million in 2013, while DALYs from non-communicable diseases have increased steadily, rising from 1.08 billion to 1.43 billion over the same period.
mediadd's curator insight, September 3, 12:37 PM

Nuestra esperanza de vida es mayor, pero con más discapacides y enfermedades

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GM embryos: time for ethics debate, say scientists

GM embryos: time for ethics debate, say scientists | The future of medicine and health |
Leading UK research funders are calling for an urgent national debate on the ethics of genetically modifying human embryos and other tissues to prevent serious diseases.

The plea has been prompted by scientists’ rapid progress in developing a powerful tool called genome editing, which has the potential to transform the treatment of genetic conditions by rewriting the DNA code of affected cells.

Although UK law bans genetic modification of embryos for clinical uses, it is permitted in research laboratories under licence from the fertility regulator, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) – provided the embryos are destroyed after 14 days.

In a position statement published on Wednesday, five leading biomedical funders declare support for genome-editing research and certain therapies that might follow, such as infusions of modified immune cells that are tailor-made to attack patients’ tumours.
But they add that altering the DNA of human sperm and eggs, known as “germ cells”, and human embryos should become the focus of a broad ethical debate that fully explores the potential benefits and pitfalls of the procedure.
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Bioengineered heart tissue can be stuck together like Velcro

Bioengineered heart tissue can be stuck together like Velcro | The future of medicine and health |
A new system for growing heart tissue in the lab may make future heart, liver, and lung repair much easier. University of Toronto scientists have developed asymmetrical honeycomb-shaped 2D meshes of protein scaffolding that stick together like Velcro and imitate the environments in which tissue and muscle cells grow in the body.

The meshes are made from a flexible polymer called POMaC (which is short for this mouthful: "poly(octamethylene maleate (anhydride) citrate)"). T-shaped posts bonded onto the top of the mesh act like the tiny hooks on velcro strips – they loop through the holes in a mesh placed above and lock the two together. The researchers tested with both two and three-sheet-thick mesh scaffolds in a variety of configurations (i.e. with them lined up in different ways).

"As soon as you click them together, they start beating," says project lead Milica Radisic, referring to the way the heart muscle cells contract together and bend the polymer meshes. "And when we apply electrical field stimulation, we see that they beat in synchrony."

The way the scaffold bends and stretches as it "beats" helps the heart cells grow tougher and more robust, which makes them more likely to survive the ravages of life in an actual heart. That's the long-term plan – to get these flexible, modular mesh scaffolds producing artificial tissue that can be used to repair damaged hearts.

"If you had these little building blocks, you could build the tissue right at the surgery time to be whatever size that you require," Radisic says. Surgeons could then graft the scaffold onto the patient's heart, and after a few months the patient would be left with a repaired heart (and no scaffold, as that gradually gets absorbed by the body as harmless waste).
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Cognitive scientists discover clues in the brain to an extraordinary memory glitch in healthy people

Cognitive scientists discover clues in the brain to an extraordinary memory glitch in healthy people | The future of medicine and health |
Imagine living a healthy, normal life without the ability to re-experience in your mind personal events from your past. You have learned details about past episodes from your life and can recite these to family and friends, but you can’t mentally travel back in time to imagine yourself in any of them.

Cognitive scientists from Baycrest Health Sciences’ Rotman Research Institute in Toronto had a rare opportunity to examine three middle-aged adults (two from the U.S., the other from the U.K.) who essentially live their lives in the “third person” because of a condition known as lifelong severely deficient autobiographical memory (SDAM).

The intriguing findings are posted online in the journal Neuropsychologia, ahead of the print edition.

“Many of us can relate to the idea that people have different abilities when remembering events. What is unique about these individuals is that they have no personal recollection,” said Dr. Brian Levine, senior scientist at Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute, and senior author on the paper.

“Even though they can learn and recall information normally and hold down professional careers, they cannot re-experience the past with a vivid sense of personal reliving. It’s as if their past was experienced in the third person.”
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Electromagnetic hypersensitivity: science behind 'gadget allergy' (Wired UK)

Electromagnetic hypersensitivity: science behind 'gadget allergy' (Wired UK) | The future of medicine and health |
A French woman has won a court-ordered disability grant after claiming to suffer from a 'gadget allergy' due to electromagnetic radiation.

Marine Richard, who lives in the mountains of southwest France to avoid electronics, said that the ruling was a "breakthrough" for people who claim to suffer from Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS).

Sufferers say they experience symptoms including headaches, nausea, tiredness and 'tingling' sensations when exposed to electromagnetic radiation from cellphones, WiFi or even just batteries, screens and other elements of technology which give off electromagnetic radiation. In the UK several forums and groups exist to help self-identified sufferers, including ES UK

Richard's disability allowance was granted by the court in Toulouse, though the ruling does not mean that EHS is formally considered an illness.

Scientific studies have not demonstrated a clear link between the type of radiation emitted by household gadgets and health problems in humans. EHS is not a recognised condition in the UK, and Public Health England has said there is no evidence that these low-level fields damage health. The government does recognise the minor health impacts of some very high-level electromagnetic radiation exposure however, such as from power lines.
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No, You Do Not Have to Drink 8 Glasses of Water a Day

No, You Do Not Have to Drink 8 Glasses of Water a Day | The future of medicine and health |
If there is one health myth that will not die, it is this: You should drink eight glasses of water a day.

It’s just not true. There is no science behind it.

And yet every summer we are inundated with news media reports warning that dehydration is dangerous and also ubiquitous.

These reports work up a fear that otherwise healthy adults and children are walking around dehydrated, even that dehydration has reached epidemic proportions.

Let’s put these claims under scrutiny.

I was a co-author of a paper back in 2007 in the BMJ on medical myths. The first myth was that people should drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. This paper got more media attention (even in The Times) than pretty much any other research I’ve ever done.

It made no difference. When, two years later, we published a book on medical myths that once again debunked the idea that we need eight glasses of water a day, I thought it would persuade people to stop worrying. I was wrong again.
Many people believe that the source of this myth was a 1945 Food and Nutrition Board recommendation that said people need about 2.5 liters of water a day. But they ignored the sentence that followed closely behind. It read, “Most of this quantity is contained in prepared foods.”
Nicolas Chevrey's curator insight, August 28, 4:22 AM

Déshydratation : l'épidémie estival ! certains mythes ont la vie dure !

Cynthia Cardenas's curator insight, September 1, 12:52 AM

The author of this article goes into detail about the myth "You should drink eight glasses of water everyday." Aron Carol a pediatrician proves to his audience that water is in other foods. According to his research he goes into detail about how he decides if children are dehydrated by the amount of their urine measurement. It is accurate to say that some children need to be better hydrated than others. Aron Carol ends with an important point, that people need to drink water depending on what food they have consumed that has water, it also depends on how big the person is, as well as where the person lives. I believe that this is information that should be taken in consideration when thinking about what everyone says that is true. This article is a reliable source because the New York Times is internationally influential as it is distributed world wide through news papers.

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How to optimise your brain's waste disposal system

How to optimise your brain's waste disposal system | The future of medicine and health |
The human brain can be compared to something like a big, bustling city. It has workers, the neurons and glial cells which co-operate with each other to process information; it has offices, the clusters of cells that work together to achieve specific tasks; it has highways, the fibre bundles that transfer information across long distances; and it has centralised hubs, the densely interconnected nodes that integrate information from its distributed networks.

Like any big city, the brain also produces large amounts of waste products, which have to be cleared away so that they do not clog up its delicate moving parts. Until very recently, though, we knew very little about how this happens. The brain’s waste disposal system has now been identified. We now know that it operates while we sleep at night, just like the waste collectors in most big cities, and the latest research suggests that certain sleeping positions might make it more efficient.
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