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Health & Wellbeing

Nicotine-gobbling enzyme could help smokers quit

Nicotine replacement therapy, such as pills, gum and patches, can make the road to quitting smoking a little less rocky, but these aren't always effective and a tremendous amount of discipline still plays the major role. A team of US-based researchers has now uncovered an enzyme found in nature they say could greatly improve on the effectiveness of smoking cessation aids, by devouring nicotine in smokers before it can deliver its "reward" to the brain.Read More

New therapy to help addicts put memories of meth use behind them

Even after a lengthy period of abstinence, putting lingering memories of methamphetamine use to rest is a difficult and often impossible task for former users. Therapies are available to help people stay clean, but for many the lure remains irresistible with incredibly high relapse rates of more than 90 percent, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. But a research team is hoping to help addicts stay away from the devastating drug for good by developing a way to safely erase drug-associated memories.Read More

Ebola vaccine shown to be 100 percent effective in field trials

Ebola is one of the most frightening viruses of modern times and the recent outbreak in West Africa sparked a worldwide effort to contain it. Though it is far from under control in much of the region, there is a glimmer of hope as the World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that in trials, a vaccine called VSV-EBOV has proven to be 100 percent effective in protecting individuals.Read More

Low-cost prosthetic knee could let the impoverished walk normally

Some higher-end prosthetic legs are equipped with things like gyroscopes and accelerometers, in order to guide their knee joint through a more natural bending motion. In developing nations, however, such expensive prostheses usually aren't an option. That's why a scientist from MIT is developing a knee that could allow inexpensive legs to perform like the fancy ones.Read More

Opternative's online eye-testing service returns prescriptions in 24 hours

Taking time out of your day to make an appointment and see an optometrist isn't always that agreeable, and that's before they blow those little puffs of air onto your eyeballs. But one Chicago-based startup has visions of making eye examinations a lot more accessible. Since 2012, Opternative has been developing an online eye tester that lets users obtain prescriptions for glasses and contacts from the comfort of the home or office. And now with clinical trial success under its belt, it's rolling the service out to the public.Read More

"Compound 14" mimics the effects of exercise without setting foot in the gym

Enjoying the health benefits of a back-breaking workout without actually working out sure is a tantalizing prospect. This goes a long way to explaining the torrent of exercise equipment that promises to do more for our figures with less of our sweat and tears, and recently, the development of drugs that could imitate the beneficial effects of exercise. The latest advance in this area is the development of a molecule that mimics the effects of exercise by influencing the metabolic process, giving it the potential to treat type 2 diabetes and obesity.Read More

Nourish creates daily nutritional supplements based on users' needs

While some people take off-the-shelf supplements, others use products that are formulated to their own unique nutritional needs. According to the folks at Boston-based startup FitNatic, however, that's still not specific enough. Their Nourish device keeps track of its user's states of health and fitness, then serves up nutritional supplements that are custom-blended on a daily basis.Read More

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