Archive for the ‘health’ category: Page 10

Feb 2, 2024

A type of plastic that can be shape-shifted using tempering

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, military

A team of molecular engineers have developed a type of plastic that can be shape-shifted using tempering. In their paper published in the journal Science the team, from the University of Chicago, with a colleagues from the US DEVCOM Army Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, the National Institutes of Standards and Technology and the NASA Glenn Research Center, describe how they made their plastic and how well it was able to shape shift when they applied various types of tempering.

Haley McAllister and Julia Kalow, with Northwestern University, have published a Perspective piece in the same issue of Science outlining the work.

Over the past several years, it has become evident that the use of plastics in products is harmful to not only the environment but also —bits of plastic have been found in the soil, the atmosphere, the oceans, and the human body.

Feb 2, 2024

Gene Editing Technology Approved in US for Sickle Cell Disease

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics, health

A gene editing tool using a system known as CRISPR-Cas9 has recently been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for sickle cell disease. The drug is known as Casgevy and the media has hailed this treatment as a ‘cure’ for sickle cell anemia patients. While it is still unclear if the drug completely cures these patients, clinical trials show exciting efficacy.

Sickle cell disease is a genetic blood disorder affecting thousands of US citizens. Many of these patients are African American and Hispanic. In sickle cell disease, hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that helps carry oxygen throughout the body, is mutated. As a result, blood cells change shape in the form of a sickle, giving the disease its name. Unfortunately, the mutated cells cause disruption of blood flow and prevent other blood cells from delivering oxygen to the body. This disease is extremely rare and can lower the quality of life in patients. Previously, there were limited treatments options including transfusions and medications for pain management. However, Casgevy provides a new option to help treat the patient and relieve pain for over a year after a single treatment.

One-time treatment using Casgevy improved life quality for sickle cell patients. A single-arm trial was conducted at multiple health centers in adults and adolescents. These patients were screened for two vaso-occlusive crises (VOCs) which are described as severely painful events due to a lack of oxygen delivery from sickle cell blood cells blocking blood flow. The primary measure of success in the trial was the number of VOCs after treatment. In total, 44 patients received Casgevy and 33 were able to follow up and be evaluated. Of the 33 patients that made it through the trial, 29 of them did not experience any VOCs for 12 months. This is a 93.5% success rate based on the number of patients that were analyzed. All 44 patients were able to successfully undergo treatment without any graft rejection. In addition, researchers concluded that this treatment was not only effective, but safe with few side effects.

Feb 1, 2024

How Modernity Made Us Allergic

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

Our very old immune systems can’t keep up with modern lifestyles and diets, leading to increases in all sorts of chronic health problems like allergies and obesity.

Feb 1, 2024

Hybrid Intelligence: The Workforce For Society 5.0

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

Hybrid Intelligence, an emerging field at the intersection of human intellect and artificial intelligence (AI), is redefining the boundaries of what can be achieved when humans and machines collaborate. This synergy leverages the creativity and emotional intelligence of humans with the computational power and efficiency of machines. Let’s explore how hybrid intelligence is augmenting human capabilities, with real examples and its impacts on the human workforce.

Hybrid intelligence is not just about AI assisting humans; it’s a deeper integration where both sets of intelligence complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses. While AI excels in processing vast amounts of data and pattern recognition, it lacks the emotional intelligence, creativity, and moral reasoning humans possess. Hybrid systems are designed to capitalize on these respective strengths, leading to outcomes that neither could achieve alone.

In the healthcare sector, hybrid intelligence is enhancing diagnostic accuracy and treatment efficiency. IBM’s Watson Health, for example, assists doctors in diagnosing and developing treatment plans for cancer patients. By analyzing medical literature and patient data, Watson provides recommendations based on the latest research, which doctors then evaluate and contextualize based on their professional judgment and patient interaction.

Feb 1, 2024

Using Generative AI To Analyze Your Sleeping Dreams And Reveal Hidden Secrets About Yourself

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

In today’s column, I am continuing my ongoing series about the impact of generative AI in the health and medical realm.

You can use generative AI to analyze your sleeping dreams, but do so with caution and a keen eye. This close up look tells you how to best proceed.

Feb 1, 2024

What is ‘Disease X’? World leaders discuss next pandemic risk

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), will be joined by policymakers and members of the health industry to consider how to prepare for the emergence of an unknown pathogen.

Michel Demaré, chair of the board of pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, Brazilian health minister Nisia Trindade Lima and two other executives will also be on the panel, as will Shyam Bishen, a New York-based healthcare executive and member of the WEF’s executive committee.

He told CNBC on Monday that the forum had calculated that preparing the global health system for another pandemic would require “close to a trillion dollars,” describing the topic as a “big question.”

Feb 1, 2024

Experts Confirm: US Is Dealing With an ‘Out-of-Control’ STI Epidemic

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

The US is dealing with an “out-of-controlepidemic of sexually transmitted infections, according to the National Coalition of STD Directors.

The warning comes after the release of an annual data report on STIs by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The exasperation of public health officials can be felt in the very first sentence of the online announcement.

Jan 31, 2024

Harnessing Native Microbes for Green Roof Soil Health

Posted by in categories: biological, health

In this urban rooftop setting, we saw more diversity in the fungal communities of the inoculated soil,” said Dr. Paul Metzler. “The long-term and consistent effects of the inoculum were quite surprising, as it’s not necessarily something you would expect when working with such small microorganisms.

How can urban rooftops, also known as green roofs, be improved to better help the environment? This is what a recent study published in New Phytologist hopes to address as a team of researchers led by Dartmouth College investigated how the right amount of soil microbes on urban rooftops could be used to strengthen urban rooftops. Traditionally, such rooftops use less-than-ideal methods that result in their positive environmental impact reducing over time, including the use of non-native plants in infertile soil. This study holds the potential to help scientists, city planners, and the public better understand the positive environmental impacts of urban rooftops.

For the study, the researchers built their own green roof in Chicago using locally obtained mycorrhizal fungi into the soil to produce an inoculation effect. Studies have shown that mycorrhizal fungi enhance plant life by trading much-needed nutrients to the plants for plant sugar. Over the next two years, the team actively managed the mycorrhizal fungi communities to ascertain their impact on the urban rooftop soil communities, whereas urban rooftops are traditionally passively managed. In the end, the researchers not only found that mycorrhizal fungi provide more robust and diverse soil communities, but they also found that active management was the ideal method for ensuring the mycorrhizal fungi maintain their development, and even accelerates it.

Continue reading “Harnessing Native Microbes for Green Roof Soil Health” »

Jan 30, 2024

Small yet mighty: Showcasing precision nanocluster formation with molecular traps

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

Nanoclusters (NCs) are crystalline materials that typically exist on the nanometer scale. They are composed of atoms or molecules in combination with metals like cobalt, nickel, iron, and platinum, and have found several interesting applications across diverse fields, including drug delivery, catalysis, and water purification.

A reduction in the size of NCs can unlock additional potential, allowing for processes such as single-atom catalysis. In this context, the coordination of organic molecules with individual transition-metal atoms shows promise for further advancement in this field.

An innovative approach to further reduce the size of NCs involves introducing metal atoms into self-assembled monolayer films on flat surfaces. However, it is crucial to exercise caution in ensuring that the arrangement of metal atoms on these surfaces does not disrupt the ordered nature of these monolayer films.

Jan 30, 2024

25-Year old dancer dies after eating mislabeled cookies

Posted by in categories: food, health

FARE National Ambassador Mike Lade speaks about the matter of life and death when it comes to food allergies and EpiPens.

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