Anatomy, Biology, Diseases, News

Heart rate variability keeps the body in optimal shape


The heart regularly speeds up or down its beating frequency to adjust to the body’s needs. Even in stable conditions (when you’re not particularly active or your active for a constant time), the amount of time between heart beats is variable. A team of doctors and engineers at Caltech’s Division of Engineering and Applied Science have now found a better way to assess…

Diseases, Health & Medicine, News

Children needlessly prescribed antibiotics at an alarming rate

Image via Medscape.

In many cases, doctors prescribe antibiotics to children, but most of the time, those viruses don’t even respond to antibiotics, a study finds. When you have a cold, or a headache, there’s a good chance you might just shrug it off, or fight it with an aspirin or some Tylenol – but if your child is suffering, the odds are you…

Diseases, Health & Medicine, News

Hepatitis C drug in India to cost 1% of the US price

Image via Gilead.

Sofosbuvir is a very effective drug against Hepatitis C, effectively curing the disease in over 90 percent of all cases. Sofosbuvir is a component of the first all-oral, interferon-free regimen approved for treating chronic hepatitis C.Interferon-free therapy for treatment of hepatitis C reduces the side effects associated with use of interferon. However, a 24 week treatment in the US costs $84,000 –…

Diseases, News

Ebola vaccine trial begins

The vaccine will start human trials sooner than planned due to the urgency of the outbreak. Image via BBC.

We might be dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history – even though no one would have predicted this a few years ago. Hastened by the urgency of the matter, a trial of an experimental vaccine against the Ebola virus is to begin in Oxford. Normally, it would take another couple of years of testing before such a vaccine would…

Biology, Chemistry, Diseases, News

Skin-penetrating ionic liquids mixed with antibiotics provide better way of killing microbes


As microbes become more and more resistant to antibiotics and cleaning products, it’s crucial that we find better, more efficient way of fending them off. Dr. Samir Mitragotri from the University of California at Santa Barbara has led a team which showed that ionic liquids (ILs), also known as liquid salts, dramatically improve the treatment of microbial biofilm skin infections, while also…

Diseases, Health & Medicine, News

New Technology for Monitoring Glaucoma: Microfluidic Implant And Smart Phone App Monitoring

Image credits: Araci et al.

Stanford Professor of Bioengineering and Applied Physics, Stephen Quake, and Head of the Ophthalmic Science and Engineering Lab at Bar Ilan University Dr. Yossi Mandell teamed up and created a new device which allows glaucoma patients to continuously monitor pressure levels in their eyes – this provides not only a better monitoring, but it also means that patients don’t have…

Biology, Diseases, Health & Medicine, News

The origin of fever: study shows it stems from the brain

Researchers have described the mechanism of formation for a key substance that triggers fever. Image: Flickr

Occasionally we’re hit by fever. Nobody likes it, most sane people actually hate it, but it’s important to note that it’s an important part of the healing process. Fever is a result of the immune response by your body to foreign invaders like viruses, bacteria, fungi, drugs, or other toxins. Research showed that it is triggered by an onset of the…

Diseases, Health & Medicine, News

Plant-based solution makes hemophilia treatments more effective


Patients with hemophilia are often forced to live in a bubble. Even the smallest cut can cause significant blood loss, and often times these minor accidents can also cause internal bleeding that affects organs and threatens life. Some treatments have proven effective at keeping hemophilia at bay, at least to a degree, yet some groups of patients do not respond…

Diseases, Health & Medicine, News

Scientists stumble upon a vaccine which blocks HIV in monkeys – human trials planned

T-lymphocyte. Image via David Darling.

Scientists were surprised when they unexpectedly stumbled upon a relatively simple vaccine which blocks infection with SIV – the monkey equivalent of HIV – and stops the spread of the virus in already infected monkeys. How it works All efficient vaccines against a viral infection elicit virus-specific neutralizing antibodies and sometimes also cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (CTL) that prevent virus infection or…

Diseases, News

Drug saves monkeys from Marburg virus – a close relative of Ebola


A medicine administered even up to 3 days after infection can save monkeys from the Marburg virus – an incredibly dangerous pathogen closely related to Ebola. “This clearly starts to move into the realm of being a therapy, rather than a post-exposure treatment,” says virologist Gene Olinger, principal science adviser for contract-research organization MRIGlobal in Kansas City, Missouri, who was…