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And so the emerging value of smartphones as a tool for diagnosing various medical conditions continues to grow. Recent advances have raised the possibility of using phones to detect ailments like ear infections, cervical cancer, HIV and syphilis. Now, researchers at the University of Washington (UW) have created an app they claim can detect sleep apnea with similar accuracy to available methods, potentially removing the need for expensive equipment and overnight hospital stays. Read More
A new study suggests that RTS,S/AS01, the prime candidate for a malaria vaccine and the first one to reach large-scale clinical testing, is partially effective especially among young African children for a period of up to four years after vaccination. The vaccine could potentially prevent millions of cases of clinical malaria, particularly in areas of high transmission like sub-Saharian Africa, and in the age group in which malaria is known to be the most lethal. Read More
Though a range of cancers can cause pain for sufferers, studies have shown tumors in the head, neck and prostate to cause the most discomfort. New research has shed more light on the source of this pain, identifying a certain gene as the trigger and giving scientists hope of developing better targeted pain relief therapies. Read More
A promising new treatment for epilepsy directly targets the nerve cells, deep within the brain, that cause seizures. The treatment uses an electronic micropump and an anticonvulsant drug to inhibit the relevant areas of the brain without affecting healthy brain regions. It has had promising initial results on mice in vitro and will now be tested on live animals. Read More
While there are a large number of approved cancer treatments, identifying which drugs are best suited to individual patients is extremely difficult for doctors. A team of MIT researchers has developed a small, implantable device that aims to change this by allowing scientists to measure the effectiveness of different drugs, on a patient-by-patient basis. Read More
Sufferers of asthma live with a constant unease that an attack can strike at any time. Equally disconcerting is our lack of understanding of its causes and where a cure might come from. But researchers at Cardiff University may have just lifted the veil on this condition, claiming to have not only uncovered its root cause, but drugs that can curtail its symptoms. Read More
There are already beverage cans that contain chemically-activated chilling modules. Now, three students from Houston's Rice University are working at applying the same principle to hypodermic needles. Instead of keeping the medication in the syringe cool, however, the idea is that a special needle cap could be used to first chill and numb the patient's skin, making the subsequent injection relatively painless. Read More
At present, diagnosing malaria can be a difficult process involving powerful microscopes and careful scanning of blood samples for tiny parasites in a technique discovered in 1880. But a more accessible method may be in the works. A team of Australian scientists has discovered that certain chemicals are present and can be detected in the breath of sufferers, raising the possibility of a cheap breath test to diagnose the deadly disease. Read More
Though the pain they cause is minor and fleeting, a lot of people still find something pretty unsettling about needles. When it comes to conducting a routine blood test, US-based company Tasso Inc. believes that these unpleasant pricks can be removed from the equation completely. Its ping pong ball-sized HemoLink blood sampler can be operated by the patient at home, and needs only to be placed against the skin of the arm or abdomen for two minutes to do its job. Read More
Scientists working in the area of pancreatic cancer research have uncovered a technique that sees cancerous cells transform back into normal healthy cells. The method relies in the introduction of a protein called E47, which bonds with particular DNA sequences and reverts the cells back to their original state. Read More
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