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Archive for the ‘health’ category

Nov 15, 2018

Flaws in industry-funded pesticide evaluation

Posted by in categories: food, health, neuroscience

The company-funded animal test was performed to ascertain how neural development is affected by the pesticide chlorpyrifos, which is used on a wide variety of crops around the world, including some 20 EU countries. The test laboratory concluded that there was no such effect, even at high doses.


Academic researchers have examined raw data from a company-funded safety evaluation of the pesticide chlorpyrifos. They discovered an effect on the brain architecture of the exposed laboratory animals at all tested doses, which was not included in the reported conclusions. Karolinska Institutet in Sweden led this independent study, which is published in the scientific journal Environmental Health.

All pesticides must be evaluated in terms of their safety and potential risks for human health before they can officially be approved. Normally the companies that manufacture the products cover the cost of such evaluations and commission test laboratories to perform the necessary animal tests.

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Nov 15, 2018

Scouting out bacterial defences to find new ways to counter-attack antibiotic resistance

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

Research led by the University of Bristol has begun to unpick an important mechanism of antibiotic resistance and suggest approaches to block this resistance.

Antibiotic resistance is the ability of bacteria to defend against antibiotic attack, and the spread of these resistance mechanisms amongst bacteria is a global public health concern. A form of resistance caused by a family of bacterial proteins, the Verona Imipenemase (VIM) beta-lactamases, is of acute clinical concern because it can inactivate (penicillins and related agents) that comprise over half of the global antibacterial market.

A team of researchers led by the University of Bristol have uncovered near-atomic level structural detail of VIM proteins. The research is published today [Thursday 15 November] in The FEBS Journal.

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Nov 14, 2018

New cholesterol guidelines for heart health: What you need to know

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S.

The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, who have medical experts from around the nation on the writing committee, have released updated guidelines on managing cholesterol to minimize the risk of heart attack, stroke, and death. The new guidelines advocate for more aggressive treatment with statin therapy and getting LDL cholesterol counts, commonly referred to as “bad cholesterol” to your target level –- in general, less than 100mg/dL; for those with risk factors, less than 70mg/dL.

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Nov 14, 2018

Privacy concerns as Google absorbs DeepMind’s health division

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, ethics, health, privacy, robotics/AI

Privacy advocates have raised concerns about patients’ data after Google said it would take control of its subsidiary DeepMind’s healthcare division.

Google, which acquired London-based artificial intelligence lab DeepMind in 2014, said on Tuesday that the DeepMind Health brand, which uses NHS patient data, will cease to exist and the team behind its medical app Streams will join Google as part of Google Health.

It comes just months after DeepMind promised never to share data with the technology giant and an ethics board raised concerns over its independence.

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Nov 14, 2018

Designer Babies, and Their Babies: How AI and Genomics Will Impact Reproduction

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, health, information science, robotics/AI

“We’re going to get these massive pools of sequenced genomic data,” Metzl said. “The real gold will come from comparing people’s sequenced genomes to their electronic health records, and ultimately their life records.” Getting people comfortable with allowing open access to their data will be another matter; Metzl mentioned that Luna DNA and others have strategies to help people get comfortable with giving consent to their private information. But this is where China’s lack of privacy protection could end up being a significant advantage.

To compare genotypes and phenotypes at scale—first millions, then hundreds of millions, then eventually billions, Metzl said—we’re going to need AI and big data analytic tools, and algorithms far beyond what we have now. These tools will let us move from precision medicine to predictive medicine, knowing precisely when and where different diseases are going to occur and shutting them down before they start.

But, Metzl said, “As we unlock the genetics of ourselves, it’s not going to be about just healthcare. It’s ultimately going to be about who and what we are as humans. It’s going to be about identity.”

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Nov 14, 2018

Facebook, Twitter and Google team up to form an AI-powered anti-drug coalition

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, robotics/AI

The tech firms plan to use AI to combat the spread of drug use.

Health.

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Nov 12, 2018

The Risk That Ebola Will Spread to Uganda Is Now ‘Very High’

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

With the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo continuing to spread, neighboring Uganda deploys its health care defenses.

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Nov 11, 2018

Albert Camus and the Absurd — Life Extension and the Big Picture

Posted by in categories: existential risks, futurism, health, life extension, philosophy

This paper explores Albert Camus’s notions of the absurd in The Myth of Sisyphus and draws correlations with the movement for indefinite life extension and the big picture of existence.

Calorie vacuums playing in the mud, isn’t that what we are when it comes down to it? We guess our way through much of life, trying not to spend too much time thinking about how trivial it all may or may not be so as to see about keeping the levels of despair down, waiting for our turn on the chopping block… We try to make sense of this life but in the end, can never fully convince ourselves that we have because we never fully do. That challenge is a mountain whose top hasn’t been seen yet.

People are drawn to understand what the most sensible things to do with life are, or as Albert Camus writes “the meaning of life is the most urgent of questions”. It’s a ballpark question. People thirst to make sense of their being, to understand what’s going on, for meaning, to track down and engage the most profound implication. Is thirst proof that water exists, as Gaston Bachelard says? Even rocks mean profound things, and we are self-aware supercomputers in a space filled with variables and has no known walls. It is very improbable that there is not a fundamentally profound implication within such circumstances.

How might we ever make sense of our existence? Masses of people are desperate with this “hope of another life one must ‘deserve’” and often take an irrational “leap”, as Camus says, to “some great idea that will transcend it, refine it, give it a meaning, and betray it.” Many rest on the hope that they’ll land a job they really love and can shine in someday but don’t put serious effort into figuring out what that would specifically be let alone work to make it happen.

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Nov 10, 2018

Material scientists create fabric alternative to batteries for wearable devices

Posted by in categories: energy, health, wearables

A major factor holding back development of wearable biosensors for health monitoring is the lack of a lightweight, long-lasting power supply. Now scientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst led by materials chemist Trisha L. Andrew report that they have developed a method for making a charge-storing system that is easily integrated into clothing for “embroidering a charge-storing pattern onto any garment.”

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Nov 10, 2018

Researchers Uncover A Circuit For Sadness In The Human Brain

Posted by in categories: health, neuroscience

Sadness Circuit Found In Human Brain : Shots — Health News When people are feeling glum, it often means that brain areas involved in emotion and memory are communicating. Researchers now have observed the circuit in action in humans.

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