Epidemics have plagued human populations for thousands of years, but there are very few clues as to what pathogens may have caused massive epidemics in the past. Scientists are using new techniques to extract and analyze ancient DNA, and what they have found may give us information about how things happened nearly 500 years ago.
Since the Industrial Age fuel exhaustion caused air pollution. When smog accumulates in the air in high enough concentrations, people start to feel unpleasant consequences. According to the World Health Organization, in 2014, 92% of the world population was living in places where the air quality guidelines levels were not met. The situation is especially difficult in China, where citizens often use the word airpocalypse to describe living in the grey world of smog.
US researchers just discovered a novel gene associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) that compromises motor neuron function in mice and zebrafish. The UBQLN4 genetic variant impairs nerve development through the excessive accumulation of beta-catenin, a realization that opens a new window for targeted treatment of ALS.
A new clinical study showed that cannabidiol, a common compound found in cannabis, could help reduce seizures in epilepsy patients by more than 40 percent. The 14 weeks treatment proved very beneficial both in adults and children suffering from severe epilepsy known as LGS.
Researchers at Harvard University developed an effective personalized cancer vaccine that seems to have prevented early tumour relapse in 12 skin cancer patients. The vaccine targeted 20 tumour-specific proteins unique to each of the patients enrolled, keeping all free of cancer over 2 years after the trial.
A group of US researchers proposed a cutting edge alternative for eliminating resilient bacteria in the form of a “CRISPR pill”. The drug can specifically target harmful bugs using a combination of bacteria-seeking viruses and a cocktail of probiotics, making it more potent than most antibiotics.
A new breast cancer drug combination significantly shrunk and eliminated tumours in 28% of women tested in just 11 days. The novel treatment involves a combination of pre-chemotherapy drugs lapatinib and trastuzumab that target HER2-positive tumours.
A pilot study set to uncover the potential of reversing type II diabetes resulted in remission of the disease in 40% of the patients taking part. The treatment involved a combination of intensive lifestyle interventions, oral medication, and insulin therapy.
British scientists developed a revolutionary method for screening cancer using breath-analyzing technology. In a preliminary study involving more than 300 patients the instrument was capable of diagnosing those with esophageal and stomach cancer with 85% accuracy.
The largest genome-wide study of baldness identified over 250 novel genetic variants involved in its onset. Male pattern baldness is a major source of anxiety and depression among men and has been linked to serious cardiovascular diseases and prostate cancer.