Diseases, Health & Medicine, News

Fight fire with fire: toxic gut bacteria used against itself

Clostridium difficile bacteria sickens roughly a half million people in the United States each year.
DAVID PHILLIPS/VISUALS UNLIMITED/CORBIS

Clostridium difficile is a bacterium that can cause numerous medical problems, including colitis or colon inflammation; in severe cases, it can actually be fatal. Now, doctors have tried a new approach in dealing with it – they tried not to eliminate it, but to replace it with its friendlier cousins.

Diseases, Health & Medicine, News

WHO: The world is not prepared to deal with antibiotic resistance

Image via New Perth Animal Hospital.

Drug-resistant bacteria are one of the biggest challenges mankind has to face in the near, as well as distant, future. In a recent survey conducted by the World Health Organization it was revealed that only 34 out of 133 questioned countries have even a basic plan to combat the misuse of antibiotics fuelling drug resistance and encouraging the development of superbugs.

Diseases, Health & Medicine, News

Homeopathy doesn’t treat any health condition, most comprehensive study to date finds

homeopathy debunked

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Australia’s top medical research body, found that homeopathy does improve or alleviate any medical condition after systematically studying 225 research papers on homeopathy. While it’s true some people might feel better after a so-called homeopathic treatment, the researchers conclude that these benefits are no better than ingesting a sugar pill – a placebo.

Diseases, Health & Medicine, News

The average adult catches a flu only twice a decade

Image via NY Post.

Sick, got the flu? Well, maybe what you think is the flu really isn’t the flu… a new study has found that while children catch a flu once every two years on average, the rate goes down significantly in adults – the average adult only gets it once every 5 years.

Diseases, Health & Medicine, News

Graphene shows potential as anti-cancer agent

Graphene oxide flakes interacting with cell membranes. Image credits: K. Novoselov

A while ago I wrote that the applications for graphene are endless, and it seems like scientists just want to make prove me right – University of Manchester scientists have used graphene to target and neutralise cancer stem cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed.

Diseases, News

Exonerate the rats – it was gerbils that brought the Black Plague

Gerbils may be responsible for bringing the Black Plague to Europe. Image via Pet Info Club.

It’s always the cute ones – a team of Norwegian researchers found that the Black Plague, which arrived in Europe in the 14th century and wiped out up to 200 million people was brought by gerbils, not by rats.

Diseases, Health & Medicine, News

Want to fight peanut allergies? Eat peanuts

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In 2000, the American Academy of Pediatrics advised parents to keep children as far away from peanuts as possible, in order to avoid potential allergies – it seemed like a good idea at the time. But now, a new study has found that in the long run, that actually did more harm than good, and if we want to fight allergies, we should be feeding our children peanuts.

Diseases, Health & Medicine, News

We could cut HIV transmission rate by 90%, CDC says

Outside of Africa, only India and the US have over 1 million inhabitants infected with HIV.

Almost 70% of HIV-infected people in the US are either undiagnosed or not receiving care; this population is responsible for 91.5 percent of all infections, according to the CDC.

Diseases, News

Drug-Resistant Malaria Could Pose Huge Global Threat

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The ability to keep malaria under control is crucial – the disease is highly contagious and the potential health hazards are immense. Efforts have been somewhat successful, with fatalities dropping from over 1 million in 2000 to 584,000 in 2014. But the protozoans that are causing the disease are starting to become immune to the drugs we are using, and that’s a huge problem.

Diseases, News

Climate Change Will Cause More Infectious Diseases

Image via WHO.

A new study has found that as the climate continues to warm, we will be dealing with more infectious and parasitic diseases. Ultimately, we’ll have to face epidemics caused by climate change, researchers say.