COFFEE BREAK NEWS FOR LIFE SCIENTISTS

stream

Bugs on Drugs: Devastating Effects of Pharmaceutical Pollution

An international team of researchers detected a vast sixty-nine pharmaceutical compounds in stream insects. When these insects emerge as flying adults, they can pass these drugs further to spiders, fish, birds, bats, and other streamside foragers. This way, drug pollution moves up food webs and in some cases exposes even top predators to therapeutically-effective doses.

air pollution

Air Pollution Is the New Tobacco

Air pollution has become one of the biggest threats to public health worldwide. Now, the World Health Organisation (WHO) brought together government officials and health experts in the first-ever international air pollution conference. This silent public health emergency is killing 7 million people every year and damaging the health of many more.

repelent surface

“Smart” Surfaces That Repel Harmful Microorganisms

Researchers from McMaster University in Canada have engineered “smart” surface coatings that can repel almost everything, including bacteria, viruses, and living cells. A new feature of this technology is the possibility of modifying the coating to permit beneficial exceptions. These surfaces create the promise of safer implants and more accurate diagnostic tests.

kimchi dish

Kimchi-Derived Probiotics: A Remedy for Eczema?

Most people who have been to Korean restaurants will be familiar with a signature Korean dish called Kimchi. This traditional dish has been consumed for thousands of years and is made from a mixture of Chinese cabbage, herbs and spices which is then fermented by naturally occurring lactic acid bacteria. Apart from giving kimchi its distinctive taste, it turns out that these probiotic bacteria might also be good for our health.

nerve system

Wireless Implant That Heals Damaged Nerves and Self-Destructs

Researchers have developed an implantable, bioabsorbable, wireless device that speeds recovery in rats by stimulating injured nerves with electricity. It accelerates the regrowth of nerves and enhances the recovery of muscle strength and control. The device, the size of a dime and thick as a paper, degrades in a few weeks. This new approach to treating peripheral nerve injury could mean a world to people with tingling, numbness, and weakness in their arms, hands, and legs.

drugs

Fed Up with Pharma, Hospitals Are Making Drugs Themselves

A group of major American hospitals established a nonprofit generic drug company, Civica Rx, to battle long-lasting shortages of critical medicines and their high prices. Their goals are providing stable supplies for 14 generic drugs used in hospitals and price transparency. This will allow hospitals to save time and money while providing patients with better health care.