In order to treat injured joints, patients are often advised to apply
heat. This typically takes the form of a hot water bottle or
microwavable hot pack (which are cumbersome and cool off) or a heating
pad (which needs to be plugged in). Now, however, scientists from Korea
and the US have created a battery-powered thin mesh that applies heat
and stays put.
When its levels are slightly off-kilter, eye fluid can create pretty big problems for our vision. When blockages occur they can lead to a build up in pressure that destroys the optic nerve and causes blindness, a condition we know as glaucoma. In contrast, a lack of fluid can cause the eye to cave in and stop functioning, a disease known as phthisis bulbi. Currently, little can be done about these irreversible conditions once they take hold, but Fraunhofer researchers have a potential solution in the works by way of a microscopic pump that can be implanted in the eyeball to regulate ocular pressure.
A micro-device lined with living human cells able to mimic the function of living organs has been declared the overall winner of the Design Museum's Design of the Year Award for 2015.
Future cancer treatments may target your genes rather than the cancerous cells themselves. A new study found that reactivating a single gene was enough to stop and reverse colorectal cancer (that's cancer of the colon, or bowels) in mice, with a return to normal intestinal functions within just four days and tumors gone within two weeks. The concept, though not the specific method, could lead to new treatments of a variety of cancers.
Nanorobots hold great potential in the field of medicine. This is
largely due to the possibility of highly-targeted delivery of medical
payloads, an outcome that could lessen side effects and negate the need
for invasive procedures. But how these microscopic particles can best
navigate the body's fluids is a huge area of focus for scientists.
Researchers are now reporting a new technique whereby nanorobots are
made to swim swiftly through the fluids like blood to reach their
Brimming with nutrients, antiooxidants and healthy fats, avocado –
otherwise known as nature's butter – carries a multitude of health
benefits inside its coarse, leathery skin. But new research is now
pointing to what could be its most valuable secret yet. A Canadian
scientist has discovered a lipid in avocado that could prove key to
battling leukemia by attacking the deadly disease at its core, namely
the highly resilient stem cells that drive the disease and make treating
it such a difficult task.
With a pivotal role in fending off infections and disease, white blood cells are the engine room of the body's immune system. But little was known about what happens exactly when these cells reach the end of their life cycles. Scientists have now captured the death of white blood cells on camera for the first time, showing that they eject much of their contents while decomposing. One reason for this could be to warn neighboring cells of dangerous pathogens in the area. The researchers say learning more about their expiration could help bring about improved health treatments in the future.
The destruction of the pancreatic cells that leads to type 1 diabetes arises when the body's own immune cells identify them as foreign targets and begin to attack them. But a new technique using tiny particles to mimic the form and function of the pancreatic cells is showing promise in halting the onset of the condition.
A new test developed by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) can test for both past and current infections by analyzing a single drop of patient blood. The researchers consider the method superior to existing techniques, which only search for a single virus at a time.
According to the American College of Rheumatology, more than one million Americans suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. The disease gives rise to swelling and pain by causing the immune system to malfunction and attack healthy tissue. No cure is available, though aggressive and varied drug treatments can curb its effects. Now, success in an early clinical trial suggests that a new form of therapy could stop these symptoms taking hold by retraining the patient's immune system to ignore a peptide it normally identifies as a foreign foe.