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A normal nerve cell, with the myelin (brown) intact (Image: Shutterstock)

In multiple sclerosis, the body’s immune system attacks and damages myelin, which is the insulating layer on nerves in the spinal cord, brain and optic nerve. Just as would happen with an electrical cord with compromised insulation, this causes the nerves to short-circuit and cease functioning properly. An international team of scientists, however, have recently reported success in the first phase of clinical trials in which MS victims’ immune systems were conditioned to become much more tolerant of myelin.  Read More

A microbubble-enhanced ultrasound image of a beating heart

When someone has a heart attack, it’s crucial that they receive treatment as soon as possible. Emergency medical technicians, however, are limited in how detailed of an on-the-spot diagnosis they can make of a patient’s condition. This means that actual treatment often has to wait until they get the patient to a hospital. That could be changing, however, as a scientist with GE Global Research is now looking into the use of “microbubbles” as a mobile means of imaging the heart and possibly even treating it.  Read More

Visitors enter the submarine spa via an underwater corridor

Though at first glance Huvafen Fushi may resemble a James Bond villain’s undersea lair, it is in fact the world's only submarine spa. First opened in 2004, the über-exclusive spa, located in the Maldives' North Male Atoll, was recently redesigned by UK architects Studio RHE.  Read More

The Kinsa Smart Thermometer in use

When someone is feeling sick, you take their temperature to see if they’re running a fever. That’s the way it’s been for decades. However, all that a regular thermometer will tell you is their body temperature – it won’t tell you what they might have, or what you should do. The Kinsa Smart Thermometer, while not quite a medical tricorder, is designed to do those things.  Read More

Heart muscle cells aligning and stretching within the MeTro gel material (Image: Khademhos...

One of the things that makes heart disease so problematic is the fact that after a heart attack occurs, the scar tissue that replaces the damaged heart tissue isn’t capable of expanding and contracting – it doesn’t “beat,” in other words. This leaves the heart permanently weakened. Now, however, scientists from Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) have developed artificial heart tissue that may ultimately provide a solution to that problem.  Read More

An illustration of the edible micro-battery, that could power ingestible medical devices

Over the past several years, scientists have developed so-called “camera pills,” that can be swallowed by patients and then transmit video from within their bodies. While such non-digestible gadgets could serve as an invaluable means of imaging, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are now looking into tiny electronic medical devices that could be swallowed and partially digested, providing non-invasive treatment in the process.  Read More

The Lumbia device in use

While lower back pain can have a variety of causes, poor posture is one of the most common culprits. Already there are a number of wearable devices available – such as the Lumoback and iPosture pendant – that detect when the user’s posture is improper, and alert them to the situation so they can correct it. The new Lumbia is one other product that performs this service, although it also provides data to therapists to assist in the treatment of back problems.  Read More

Scientists have been able to instantly cure rats of cocaine addiction, by applying laser l...

Like so many other illicit drugs, cocaine can be extremely, destructively addictive. Recent research suggests, however, that ridding people of such addictions may be as simple as zapping them on them scalp. In a study conducted at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and at the Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center at UC San Francisco, scientists were able to turn cocaine addiction on and off in rats via pulses of laser light to their brains.  Read More

Mark Kris, MD, Chief of Thoracic Oncology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (left) a...

IBM's Watson supercomputer has long held out the promise of being a partner in our endeavors rather than simply being a better search engine. Now an improved version of Watson has joined the oncology staff at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.  Read More

A new approach to surgical weight-loss installs a self-operated stomach pump  (Photo: Shut...

There's good news and bad news in the fight against morbid obesity. The good news is that there is a new approach to surgical weight-loss which is far less invasive than conventional operations. The bad news is how it works.  Read More

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