Archive for the ‘health’ category: Page 4

Apr 4, 2022

Reclaiming City Spaces With “Tactical Urbanism”

Posted by in category: health

From guerilla gardening to pop-up parks, tactical urbanism is catching the world by storm. The growing movement is characterized by the temporary altering of city infrastructure through citizen-led initiatives. These efforts are inexpensive and intended to improve the functionality, safety, and enjoyability of neighborhoods and gathering places.

At its core, tactical urbanism is a commitment to community carried out by residents who care about the health of their cities. It was born out of frustrations with the slow and complex process of city-approved infrastructure improvements, and it’s turned into a channel for activists to accelerate change in their communities.

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Apr 4, 2022

Deleting a Protein May Prevent Heart Attacks and Strokes

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

Macrophages travel through our arteries, gobbling fat the way Pac-man gobbled ghosts. But fat-filled macrophages can narrow blood vessels and cause heart disease. Now, UConn Health researchers describe in Nature Cardiovascular Research how deleting a protein could prevent this and potentially prevent heart attacks and strokes in humans.

Macrophages are large white blood cells that cruise through our body as a kind of clean-up crew, clearing hazardous debris. But in people with atherosclerosis—fatty deposits and inflammation in their blood vessels— macrophages can cause trouble. They eat excess fat inside artery walls, but that fat causes them to become foamy. And foamy macrophages tend to encourage inflammation in the arteries and sometimes bust apart plaques, freeing clots that can cause heart attack, stroke, or embolisms elsewhere in the body.

Changing how macrophages express a certain protein could prevent that kind of bad behavior, reports a team of researchers from UConn Health. They found that the protein, called TRPM2, is activated by inflammation. It signals macrophages to start eating fat. Since inflammation of the blood vessels is one of the primary causes of atherosclerosis, TRPM2 gets activated quite a bit. All that TRPM2 activation pushes macrophage activity, which leads to more foamy macrophages and potentially more inflamed arteries. The way that TRPM2 activated macrophage activity was surprising, says Lixia Yue, a UConn School of Medicine cell biologist.

Apr 2, 2022

Salton Sea Unit

Posted by in categories: energy, engineering, health, sustainability

The U.S. still imports lithium from other countries like Argentina, Chile, Russia, and China. Geothermal energy has long been the forgotten member of the clean energy family, overshadowed by relatively cheaper solar and wind power, despite its proven potential. But this may soon change – for an unexpected reason.

DWR’s Salton Sea Unit supports the California Natural Resources Agency’s Salton Sea Management Program (SSMP), created by then-Gov. Jerry Brown’s Salton Sea Task Force to address the urgent public and ecological health issues resulting from the drying and shrinking of the Salton Sea. The issues include air quality impacts from dust emissions and loss of important wildlife habitat.

While the SSMP is a long-range program, its immediate focus is on the development and implementation of the Phase I: 10-Year Plan. We support the SSMP and the Phase I Plan by providing planning, engineering, and environmental expertise for design and implementation of dust-suppression and habitat projects. The Phase I Plan includes projects that will be completed as early as the end of 2022. Proposition 1 provided $80 million in funding for SSMP implementation.

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Apr 1, 2022

CRISPR and HIV: New technique in human blood unveils potential paths toward cure

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

Scientists at Northwestern Medicine are using new advances in CRISPR gene-editing technology to uncover new biology that could lead to longer-lasting treatments and new therapeutic strategies for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

The HIV epidemic has been overlooked during the COVID-19 pandemic but represents a critical and ongoing threat to with an estimated 1.5 million new infections in the last year alone.

Drug developers and research teams have been searching for cures and new treatment modalities for HIV for over 40 years but are limited by their understanding of how the virus establishes infection in the . How does this small, unassuming virus with only 12 proteins—and a genome only a third of the size of SARS-CoV-2—hijack the body’s cells to replicate and spread across systems?

Apr 1, 2022

Mojo Vision unveils latest augmented reality contact lens prototype

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, biotech/medical, computing, health, mobile phones, virtual reality, wearables

Mojo Vision said it has created a new prototype of its Mojo Lens augmented reality contact lenses. This smart contact lens will bring “invisible computing” to life, the company believes.

The Mojo Lens prototype is a critical milestone for the company in its development, testing, and validation process, and is an innovation positioned at the intersection of smartphones, augmented reality/virtual reality, smart wearables, and health tech.

The prototype includes numerous new hardware features and technologies embedded directly into the lens — advancing its display, communications, eye tracking, and power system.

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Apr 1, 2022

NHS England » NHS runs world-first test into ‘sci-fi like’ artificial pancreases

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

Almost 1,000 adults and children with type 1 diabetes have been given a potentially life-altering ‘artificial pancreas’ by the NHS in England as part of the first nationwide test into the effectiveness of this technology in the world.

Health and high quality care for all, now and for future generations.

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Mar 31, 2022

Researchers’ novel tool to help develop safer pesticides

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, computing, economics, ethics, health

The majority of commercial chemicals that enter the market in the United States every year have insufficient health and safety data. For pesticides, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency uses a variety of techniques to fill data gaps in order to evaluate chemical hazard, exposure and risk. Nonetheless, public concern over the potential threat that these chemicals pose has grown in recent years, along with the realization that traditional animal-testing methods are not pragmatic by means of speed, economics or ethics. Now, researchers at the George Washington University have developed a new computational approach to rapidly screen pesticides for safety, performance and how long they will endure in the environment. Moreover, and most importantly, the new approach will aid in the design of next-generation molecules to develop safer pesticides.

“In many ways, our tool mimics computational drug discovery, in which vast libraries of chemical compounds are screened for their efficacy and then tweaked to make them even more potent against specific therapeutic targets,” Jakub Kostal, an assistant professor of chemistry at GW and principal investigator on the project, said. “Similarly, we use our systems-based approach to modify to make them less toxic and more degradable, while, at the same time, making sure they retain good performance. It’s a powerful tool for both industry and that can help design new, safer analogs of existing commercial agrochemicals, and so protect human life, the environment and industry’s bottom line.”

Using their model, the team analyzed 700 pesticides from the EPA’s pesticide registry. The model considered a pesticide’s likely persistence or degradation in the environment over time, its safety, and how well it performed at killing, repelling or controlling the target problem.

Mar 31, 2022

How to get a Cuban COVID jab in 1,000 easy steps

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

On Valentine’s Day 2022 in Havana, Cuba, I received the Soberana Plus booster shot, one of the island nation’s five homegrown COVID-19 vaccines. The jab had been a long time coming.

For the past year, I had been fixated on the idea of being injected with a made-in-Cuba coronavirus vaccine. While obviously not offering protection against the imperial machinations of my homeland and Cuba’s chief antagonist, the United States, the Cuban serums were at least being developed in the interest of global public health rather than pharmaceutical profit or “vaccine apartheid”, as World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has described it.

The story of how I finally got my made-in-Cuba booster in Havana.

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Mar 30, 2022

The Potential of CRISPR/Cas9 Gene Editing as a Treatment Strategy for Alzheimer’s Disease

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

Despite a wealth of knowledge gained in the past three decades concerning the molecular underpinnings of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), progress towards obtaining effective, disease modifying therapies has proven to be challenging. In this manner, numerous clinical trials targeting the production, aggregation, and toxicity of beta-amyloid, have failed to meet efficacy standards. This puts into question the beta-amyloid hypothesis and suggests that additional treatment strategies should be explored. The recent emergence of CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing as a relatively straightforward, inexpensive, and precise system has led to an increased interest of applying this technique in AD. CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing can be used as a direct treatment approach or to help establish better animal models that more faithfully mimic human neurodegenerative diseases. In this manner, this technique has already shown promise in other neurological disorders, such as Huntington’s disease. The purpose of this review is to examine the potential utility of CRISPR/Cas9 as a treatment option for AD by targeting specific genes including those that cause early-onset AD, as well as those that are significant risk factors for late-onset AD such as the apolipoprotein E4 (APOE4) gene.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease, CRISPR/Cas9, Gene editing, Treatment, Huntington’s disease, iPSC neurons.

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is a progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disorder that primarily affects older adults and is the most common cause of dementia [1]. Currently it afflicts 5.5 million Americans and that number is expected to triple by 2050. At the present time, it is the third leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer, with an estimated 700,000 Americans ages65 years will have AD when they die [2]. In addition, the cost of the disease is substantial with $259 billion health care dollars going to manage the disease currently, and by the middle of the century costs are predicted to soar over $1.2 trillion, which will completely bankrupt the healthcare system in the USA [3]. Worldwide, 47 million people live with dementia and that number is projected to increase to more than 131 million by 2050 with an estimated worldwide cost of US $818 billion [4].

Mar 24, 2022

How Can Quantum Computing Change the World?

Posted by in categories: business, climatology, computing, health, quantum physics

Every industry will be affected by quantum computing. They will alter the way business is done and the security systems in place which protect data, how we battle illnesses and create new materials, as well as how we tackle health and climate challenges.

As the race to build the first commercially functional quantum computer heats up, here we discuss a handful of the ways quantum computing will alter our world.

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