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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

Microbiologist Emma Allen-Vercoe and her lab team, whipping up a batch of RePOOPulate

If the clostridium difficile bacterium becomes over-abundant in a person’s colon, the results can include gastrointestinal problems such as severe diarrhea. Ordinarily, c. difficile populations are kept in check by the usually-present beneficial gut bacteria. If those “good” bacteria are killed off as a side effect of taking antibiotics, however, the nasties can take over. The treatment? Well ... it often involves having another person’s stool implanted in your gut via enema. Yikes. Fortunately, a less icky treatment is in the works, that involves the use of a “synthetic poop” known as RePOOPulate.  Read More

Electric stimulation of the brain through the skull has been found to release a powerful, ...

Twenty to thirty percent of the world's population suffers from some sort of chronic pain, which is far more difficult to control than, say, the pain of a cut or bruise. A great deal of effort has gone into the search for medically acceptable ways to control such pain, with few good answers emerging. Now medical researchers at the University of Michigan have directly demonstrated that transcranial electrical stimulation of a patient's brain causes the release of a natural opiate that dulls or eliminates the perception of pain.  Read More

Anopheles mosquito after taking a snack (Photo: US Center for Disease Control and Preventi...

A small company in the U.K. is developing an affordable, hand-held device that will not only diagnose malaria in the field, but will also read DNA markers that suggest which antimalarial drugs will be most effective for treatment. If fielded, such a device could help alleviate the 200+ million cases of malaria per year, as well as prevent some of the nearly one million deaths associated with malarial illness.  Read More

A team of scientists has devised a new approach to treating type II diabetes (Photo: Shutt...

According to the World Health Organization, there are currently 347 million diabetics worldwide, with 90 percent of those people having type II diabetes specifically. It occurs when fat accumulates in places such as muscles, blood vessels and the heart, causing the cells in those areas to no longer be sufficiently responsive to insulin. This insulin resistance, in turn, causes blood glucose levels to rise to dangerous levels. Ultimately, it can result in things such as heart disease, strokes, blindness, kidney failure, and amputations. Fortunately, however, an international team of scientists has just announced a new way of treating the disease.  Read More

A solution containing skin cells and proteins has been shown to speed the healing of venou...

According the UK’s National Health Service, one person in 50 over the age of 80 will develop venous leg ulcers. The ulcers occur when high blood pressure in the veins of the legs causes damage to the adjacent skin, ultimately resulting in the breakdown of that tissue. While the ulcers can be quite resistant to treatment, a team of scientists is now reporting success in using a sort of “spray-on skin” to heal them.  Read More

Newly-developed skin patches could be used to wirelessly deliver acupuncture-like treatmen...

For a good 2,000 years or so, many people have sworn by acupuncture as a means of relieving aches and pains, and treating various other disorders. In order to receive treatment, however, they have had to go to clinics and get jabbed with needles. Now, New York College of Health Professions chairman Donald Spector has created a wirelessly-controlled wearable skin patch, that he claims is able to deliver acupuncture-like treatment on demand.  Read More

The IEM helps patients and doctors monitor medicine-taking behavior (Photo: Dvortygirl)

Taking a pill seems like the easiest thing in the world. Pill, glass of water and swallow, right? For many people, however, it isn’t that simple. For them, it’s very easy to take the incorrect dosage at the incorrect time. To help prevent this, Proteus Digital Health of Redwood City, California has developed an ingestible chip that can be embedded in pills and other pharmaceuticals.  Read More

A new cancer treatment targeting cellular 'protein factories' is set to begin clinical tri...

Researchers at Melbourne’s Peter MacCallum (Peter Mac) Cancer Centre are set to begin clinical trials of a cancer treatment they say represents a major shift in molecular approaches to treating the disease. The treatment, which has proven successful in the lab against lymphoma and leukemia cells, targets the production of proteins within the heart of cancer cells, while leaving healthy cells relatively unaffected.  Read More

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