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Latest Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical and Healthcare News from Discover Magazine

12:16 EST 10th December 2018 | BioPortfolio

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Showing News Articles 1–25 of 284 from Discover Magazine

Friday 7th December 2018

Living in Space Makes Our Bodies More Susceptible to Infections

Even just 30 days in space can significantly reduce our immune system’s ability to fight infection, suggests a new analysis of mice that spent a month aboard an orbiting spacecraft. The research, which was published December 6 in the journal Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, is a recent analysis of data from the Bion-M1 mission, which was a collaborative project carri...

Thursday 6th December 2018

Scientists Discovered The Oldest Human Plague. It Took Down Neolithic Farmers And Changed Europe’s History

Buried among 77 other people from her village in western Sweden are the bones of a 20 year-old woman. Now an analysis of DNA extracted from her teeth reveals what likely killed her. An international team of researchers has discovered the woman, who died some 5,000 years ago, had the oldest known case of the plague. The finding suggests the world’s first plague epidemic took out her community ...

Scientists Achieve Breakthrough on Path to Pig-to-Human Heart Transplants

Although 54 percent of adults in the United States have registered as organ donors, just one in three people die in a way that allows for organ donation. That leaves more than 100,000 people in the United States waiting for a transplant. Many will die waiting. Because demand for organs outpaces supply and probably always will, researchers have looked to xenotransplantation — placing animal org...

Wednesday 5th December 2018

A Compound that Makes Bees Into Queens Could also Aid Human Stem Cell Therapies

Scientists have announced a breakthrough in stem cell research that could have major implications for medical treatments that involve regenerating human cells. And their discovery came from an unlikely source: royal jelly. It's the same substance honey bees use to turn a common bee larvae into a queen. Royal Jelly A queen bee starts her life just like any other bee – a larva in the honey bee hiv...

This New App Can Diagnose Anemia Using Just a Picture

Nearly 25 percent of the world is anemic. Now researchers have created a smartphone app that can detect the condition with a photo. The new tech could mean diagnosing and monitoring the blood disorder without a finger poke or blood draw. “This is a way for anyone to screen themselves for anemia and all they have to do is download an app,” said Wilbur Lam, a bioengineer and pediatric hematolog...

Tuesday 4th December 2018

Why Don't We Have an AIDS Vaccine?

I mentioned to a friend, a gay man nearing 60, that World AIDS Day, which has been observed on Dec. 1 since 1988, was almost upon us. He had no idea that World AIDS Day still exists. This lack of knowledge is a testament to the great accomplishments that have occurred since World AIDS Day was created 30 years ago. It is also due to an accident in the timing of his birth that my friend escaped th...

Monday 3rd December 2018

CRISPR Babies Raise an Uncomfortable Reality — Ethical Guidelines Don't Guarantee Ethical Research

Uncertainty continues to swirl around scientist He Jiankui’s gene editing experiment in China. Using CRISPR technology, He modified a gene related to immune function in human embryos and transferred the embryos to their mother’s womb, producing twin girls. Many questions about the ethical acceptability of the experiment have focused on ethical oversight and informed consent. These are importa...

Friday 30th November 2018

Moms Aren’t the Only Ones who Pass on Mitochondrial DNA

If you think way, way back to your high school biology class, you might remember a little cellular structure called the mitochondrion. Its claim to fame is that it’s the “powerhouse” of the cell — the organelle in charge of creating energy. But it also contains its own DNA, separate from the traditional DNA we think of, which lives in the nucleus of a cell. That nuclear DNA contains geneti...

Wednesday 28th November 2018

Scientists Have Created Artificial Mini-placentas in the Lab

More than 800 women die every day from complications during pregnancy and childbirth. Part of the reason for this is that scientists still don't well understand how the placenta works, including how it is implanted into the uterus during a pregnancy. Now, researchers from the University of Cambridge have created mini-placentas that grow in a dish. The advance provides researchers the ability to ...

Chinese Scientist Who Says He Edited Human Babies Presents His Research

HONG KONG -- Chinese researcher He Jiankui, who claims to have edited the genomes of twin infant girls to protect them from HIV while they were embryos, presented his work today at a conference at the University of Hong Kong. The controversial claim was first reported Sunday by the The Associated Press and through a series of YouTube videos, though no paper has yet been published, and the twins...

Tuesday 27th November 2018

A New Freeze-dried Polio Vaccine Could Help Finally Eradicate the Disease

Polio once paralyzed more than 350,000 people each year worldwide. Today, vaccines have dropped the number of reported cases to just 407 in 2013, according to the CDC. But the disease still lurks in developing countries because vaccine storage and transport requires refrigeration. Now, scientists find freeze-drying a polio vaccine keeps it stable for as long as four weeks even in hot temperatures...

The Long History of America's Anti-Vaccination Movement

Skipping vaccination isn't new. And like today, many in the 19th Century anti-vaccination movement hailed from large cities, were educated and earned a decent living.

Monday 26th November 2018

Chinese Scientist Claims He's Created World’s First Gene-Edited Babies

A Chinese researcher says he used the gene editing technology CRISPR to alter the DNA of twin girls born earlier this month when the babies were embryos. If the scientist’s claims prove true, the newborns are the world’s first humans to be genetically modified as embryos. It would be a significant step, and it's raised widespread ethical concerns among researchers. He Jiankui, the scienti...

Wednesday 21st November 2018

Brain-computer Interface Lets Paralyzed People Control Tablet Devices

For the first time, three tetraplegic people are able to control a commercial tablet device with their thoughts thanks to a brain-computer interface. The research suggests that people who lose the capacity to speak may be able continue to communicate with the technology. Mind-controlled Mouse The three study participants are part of a clinical trial to test a brain-computer interface (BCI) calle...

What We Know about Why We Itch

From dogs to giraffes, humans aren’t the only ones who know the glorious relief that comes from scratching an itch. But the science around itchiness is still kind of hazy. Especially when it stems from skin diseases like psoriasis or eczema, which each affect more than 3 million people in the U.S. yearly. To try and get experts on the same page, researchers at the Washington University School ...

Gut Feelings

Every November, millions of Americans tuck into a tasty Thanksgiving dinner, most often a traditional roast turkey with all the trimmings. Come December, they feast all over again. Few of the holiday diners realize, however, that their bodies will continue tasting that meal long after they’ve swallowed it. Scientists are finding that the same taste receptors lining the tongue and palate also oc...

Friday 16th November 2018

The Bitter Truth: Coffee Lovers’ Love of Caffeine is Wired in their DNA

Are you a coffee drinker? This banal get-to-know-you question becomes strange when you really think about the anticipated dichotomy of a firm yes or no answer. A few people might dabble in the delicious, charming, soul-warming beverage (you can see where my allegiances lie), but many more seem to either love or hate the bitter stuff. People on either end of the coffee spectrum might think of the...

Simply Seeing and Smelling Food Preps the Liver for Digestion

After a long day’s work, sometimes you can’t help but drool over that hot, tempting meal sitting in front of you. Well, it turns out that your liver can’t either. A new study published in Cell Reports on November 15 suggests that simply seeing and smelling food preps your body for delicious digestion. The research shows that the specific neurons activated in freshly-fed mice were also activ...

Skeletal Studies Show Sex, Like Gender, Exists Along a Spectrum

She wasn’t especially tall. Her testosterone levels weren’t unusually high for a woman. She was externally entirely female. But in the mid-1980s, when her chromosome results came back as XY instead of the “normal” XX for a woman, the Spanish national team ousted hurdler María José Martínez-Patiño. She was ejected from the Olympic residence and deserted by her teammates, friends, and bo...

While a Storm Races Inside a Patient's Brain, Doctors Race to Save Her

A healthy 29-year-old collapses and remains in a coma despite months of treatment.

A New Treatment for Alzheimer's? It Starts With Lifestyle

Armed with big data, researchers turn to customized lifestyle changes to fight the disease.

Thursday 15th November 2018

The U.S. May Ban Kratom. But Are its Effects Deadly or Lifesaving?

Across America, thousands of people are throwing away their prescription drugs and picking up kratom, a plant-based drug from Southeast Asia usually brewed as a tea. Within the leaves of this tropical tree are opioid-like compounds that users say provide pain and anxiety relief, and the ability to wean off street drugs like heroin. But some health organizations warn kratom can be addictive itself ...

Wednesday 14th November 2018

Women Fed Soy Formula As Babies Suffer Worse Menstrual Cramps

Many women accept menstrual cramps as a fact of life. But researchers say that some women have it worse than others and that it may be related to what they were fed as infants. Female babies fed soy formula are prone to more painful periods during their young adult years, according to a new study published this week from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The research, published in Human ...

Monday 12th November 2018

WHO Report Finds Large Gap In Global Antibiotic Use

The World Health Organization (WHO) released a new report Monday that finds large disparities in antibiotic consumption worldwide. Consumption rates documented in the report vary by as much as 16 times between countries. The discovery suggests some countries are likely overprescribing whereas others may not have appropriate access to the medicines. “Overuse and misuse of antibiotics are the le...

Not Just the Flu: Chickenpox, Measles and Polio Are Also Seasonal

(Inside Science) — During the height of the polio epidemic in the U.S. in the 1940s and '50s, parents often kept their children away from swimming pools, concerned that the disease, which peaked in the summer, was frequently spread through the water. But this fear couldn’t account for the summertime outbreaks around the world where public pools were not as common. Then in 2001, Scott Dowell, ...


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