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.
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.
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.
There's a seemingly endless variety of traditional hangover cures, but researchers at Australia's CSIRO now claim to have uncovered one that actually works. Thankfully it's not dried bull penis or even a raw egg, but something far more palatable – the juice of the humble Korean (or Asian) pear.
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
For people with a serious obesity problem, dieting and exercising may not be enough on their own. Taking a pill that replicates the effects of exercise may be one solution, but scientists from the University of Kansas are developing what could be another – compounds that keep the fat in foods from being absorbed by the body.
The residents of New York's South Bronx suffer from relatively high levels of diabetes, childhood asthma and pedestrian injuries. A new initiative called the Haven Project is planning to use green open spaces to combat these issues, not only by creating infrastructure conducive to health and wellbeing, but also by tracking the results.
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.
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.
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.