Posts tagged science

Tapeworm parasitic infection following daily sashimi diet for years.

The initial complaint this Chinese man presented with were a stomach ache and itchy skin. After further testing, the doctors came to the discovery that his body had been completely invaded with tapeworm parasites. 

The encysted larvae were embedded deep within the man’s tissues, save for his brain, which would have resulted in the more serious complication of neurocysticercosis.

This man turned out to be an avid sushi eater and ate raw sashimi on an almost daily basis for years. 

Woman of 24 found to have no cerebellum in her brain

A woman living in China’s Shandong Province got a bit of a surprise recently when doctors at the Chinese PLA General Hospital told her that her brain was missing one of the most important centers for motor control: the cerebellum. She had initially checked herself into the hospital because of a bad case of dizziness and nausea.

Her diagnosis helped explain some of the challenges she had experienced through the course of her life, including slurred speech, delayed onset of walking until the age of seven and troubles with maintaining balance her entire life.

The Effect of Non-Vaccination.
This year the United States is experiencing a record number of measles cases. From January 1 to August 29, there have been 592 confirmed measles cases reported to CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). This is the highest number of cases since measles elimination was documented in the U.S. in 2000.
The majority of the people who got measles are unvaccinated.
Measles is still common in many parts of the world including some countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa, travelers with measles continue to bring the disease into the U.S.
Measles can spread when it reaches a community in the U.S. where groups of people are unvaccinated.

The Effect of Non-Vaccination.

This year the United States is experiencing a record number of measles cases. From January 1 to August 29, there have been 592 confirmed measles cases reported to CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). This is the highest number of cases since measles elimination was documented in the U.S. in 2000.

  • The majority of the people who got measles are unvaccinated.
  • Measles is still common in many parts of the world including some countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa, travelers with measles continue to bring the disease into the U.S.
  • Measles can spread when it reaches a community in the U.S. where groups of people are unvaccinated.
From medresearch:
Newly discovered heart molecule could lead to effective treatment for heart failure
Researchers have discovered a previously unknown cardiac molecule that could provide a key to treating, and preventing, heart failure.
The newly discovered molecule provides the heart with a tool to block a protein that orchestrates genetic disruptions when the heart is subjected to stress, such as high blood pressure.
When the research team, led by Ching-Pin Chang, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine, restored levels of the newly discovered molecule in mice experiencing heart failure, the progression to heart failure was stopped. The research was published in the online edition of the journal Nature.
The newly discovered molecule is known as a long non-coding RNA. RNA’s usual role is to carry instructions — the code — from the DNA in a cell’s nucleus to the machinery in the cell that produces proteins necessary for cell activities. In recent years, scientists have discovered several types of RNA that are not involved in protein coding but act on their own. The role in the heart of long non-coding RNA has been unknown.
Read more »
Funding: The research was supported by the American Heart Association; the National Institutes of Health; et. al

From medresearch:

Newly discovered heart molecule could lead to effective treatment for heart failure

Researchers have discovered a previously unknown cardiac molecule that could provide a key to treating, and preventing, heart failure.

The newly discovered molecule provides the heart with a tool to block a protein that orchestrates genetic disruptions when the heart is subjected to stress, such as high blood pressure.

When the research team, led by Ching-Pin Chang, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine, restored levels of the newly discovered molecule in mice experiencing heart failure, the progression to heart failure was stopped. The research was published in the online edition of the journal Nature.

The newly discovered molecule is known as a long non-coding RNA. RNA’s usual role is to carry instructions — the code — from the DNA in a cell’s nucleus to the machinery in the cell that produces proteins necessary for cell activities. In recent years, scientists have discovered several types of RNA that are not involved in protein coding but act on their own. The role in the heart of long non-coding RNA has been unknown.

Read more »

Funding: The research was supported by the American Heart Association; the National Institutes of Health; et. al

Computer spots rare diseases in family photos

Doctors faced with the tricky task of spotting rare genetic diseases in children may soon be asking parents to email their family photos. A computer program can now learn to identify rare conditions by analysing a face from an ordinary digital photograph. It should even be able to identify unknown genetic disorders if groups of photos in its database share specific facial features.

Modified measles virus destroys cancer in early clinical trial

Promising early results from a clinical trial at the Mayo Clinic out this week suggest that a modified version of the measles virus can be used to target cancer cells and put the condition into remission.

It only took 35 years for flesh-eating bacteria to become an infectious terror

All it took for flesh-eating bacteria to go from harmless organisms to gruesome infectious pathogens was four mutations and about 35 years. That’s what an international group of researchers announced today in a study that outside experts are calling the largest bacterial genome paper ever published.

'Heart sock' could replace future implantable defibrillators

Implantable defibrillators and pacemakers have been around since the 1970s, but advances in materials science and 3-D visualization are transforming them from cumbersome life-support tools into streamlined therapies that could be props from Iron Man.

Smart skin patch knows when you need your meds

Researchers from South Korea have laid the groundwork for a dermal patch that not only dispenses medication continuously, but also knows when to stop.

A two-inch long patch made of stretchable nano-material, it can monitor muscle activity and body temperature. Current practical applications for the patch include drug delivery in patients with Parkinson’s disease, where muscle contractions and tremors can trigger medication release.

The researchers hope that in the future, more functions like wireless connectivity for remote monitoring can be achieved as the technology matures. The researchers estimate that the patch will not be ready for consumer use for another five years.

Is herd immunity a thing? Can vaccinated people get sick? — Asked by Anonymous

Herd immunity exists and it is well documented. In fact, there is a brilliant animation created by the Harvard Medical School that explains this process.

Vaccinations help prime your body to fight off a specific infection. However, it usually takes a few weeks for your body to create a reserve of immune cells for when you next encounter the infection again. Therefore, if you were infected just before or after receiving the vaccine, you might still get sick because the vaccine did not have ample time to provide any protection.

A summary of how vaccines work is available through the CDC.