H5N1 controversial paper shows that bird flu is only a genetic mutation away from mammal flu

At the end of last year, controversy sparked among the medical scientific community when an unprecedented event occurred. Two separate and independent studies made by a team of scientists lead by  Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin and TIME 100 honoree Ron Fouchier of Erasmus University in the Netherlands, respectively, had their papers’ postponed and censored for publishing. The scientists research was centered on

How bad breath can save lives

An interesting conversation can instantly make a turn for the worst when bad breath hops into the scene. We’ve all had our share of bad experiences whether we were more or less forced to tolerate the repulsive stench of bad breath or we had a case of bad breath ourselves. Scientists at Nippon Dental University, however, have found that the

Menthol cigarettes double the stroke risk

I don’t smoke – and I’m grateful for that every day. But 2 billion people do smoke, and face the problems associated with this vice. I wasn’t able to find out how many of them smoke menthol, but judging from the people I know, I can guess there are a lot; according to a Canadian researcher, they a stroke risk

Red meat might be passport to untimely death

A major study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health, which involved 110.000 people, concluded that eating as little as two pieces of pork per day or one hot dog can raise the mortality rates of mortality by 20%, while showing that substituting red meat with other sources of protein, such as fish, chicken or vegetables can lower mortality

Drug used for skin cancer might provide remarkable results for Alzheimer’s patients

Researchers report that after testing on lab mice an FDA-approved drug, used as treatment for skin cancer, that significant improvements in cognitive recovery were signaled, shinning a new ray of hope for Alzheimer patients. Neuroscientists Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine discovered that bexarotene, a skin cancer drug, remarkably also appears to reverse cognitive and memory deficits, commonly associated

New vaccine against HIV tested on volunteers, showed great promise

Seropositive volunteers participated in what can turn out to be a revolutionary test, conducted in Belgium, at the Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp University Hospital and Antwerp University, involving a new therapeutic vaccine that uses cells from their own bodies; the cells are then charged and reinjected into their system. A cure for AIDS has not been found, and

Virus mutations shows natural selection theory at its best

Darwin’s theory of natural selection illustrates perfectly what evolution is all about, the survival of the fittest if you will. It’s because of natural selection that a crocodile has an armor-like skin to protect it against enemies, a chameleon can change its color and camouflage itself for protection and hunting or humans evolved a more potent brain, and brought us

Stinky Frogs to Give Their Human Predators Clues to Survive Diseases

Hyderabad, Dec 10, 2011: Believe it or not. Foul smelling frogs not only offer clues to prepare a new range of antibiotics but boost human immune system against bacterial attacks. This is despite the fact that human beings continue to haunt the frogs and butcher them for a variety of cuisine like ‘jumping legs’ in restaurants world over though the

The story of a man who shrank from 6’1″ to 5’6″ – helping improve medicine and save lives in the process

In 1926, when merchant marine captain Charles Martell checked into Massachusetts General Hospital, he had already gone down from 6’1″ to 5’6″, accusing major pain in his legs, neck and back and reporting a fine, white gravel in his urine. He was place on Ward 4, a recently opened facility focused primarily on hormone research. A dedicated team of doctors,

Study shows dogs can accurately diagnose lung and breast cancer

I recently stumbled across this study which I found absolutely mind blowing. Here’s how researchers did it. They trained 5 dogs by using a food reward system to recognize, by scent alone, the exhaled breath samples of 55 lung and 31 breast cancer patients from those of 83 healthy controls; once the dogs were trained to do this, their accuracy

Synthetic compound dissolves HIV on contact

Researchers of Texas A&M University have managed to develop a synthetic compound capable of breaking apart the AIDS inducing virus before it has the chance to infect healthy cells. While the compound doesn’t cure HIV, it may provide effective means of preventing infection. Dubbed, “PD 404,182″, the compound works by quickly ripping and dissolving the virus before it has the chance

Spinal implant causes cancer, medical company tries to cover it up

Medtronics is a medical tech behemoth worth $15 billion. Among other cutting edge medical tech and R&D SciFi prototypes, the company is responsible for manufacturing a wide range of pacemakers, anti-seizure gadgets along with a number of surgery machinery. One of their most successful products in the last decade is a spinal implant that alleviates people suffering of serious back pain,

Sympathy for the tasmanian devil

The little carnivorous animal has suffered one of the steepest population declines ever to be documented. In just 15 years, it went from being a common animal to the brink of extinction; and the cause is an unusual one: an infectious tumor. “Devil facial tumor disease has been a devastating, ongoing problem,” said Menna Jones professor of zoology at the

Black Plague genome sequenced by scientists

The black plague, or black death as it’s also referenced, is a deadly infectious disease which killed off more than a third of Europe’s population during the middle ages. The bacteria responsible for the disease has been confirmed by genetic scientists as Yersinia pestis, and recently, building off the research which found this particular strain, German scientists have successfully sequenced

Shark anti-virus compound could cure deadly infections in humans

In 1993 Michael Zasloff, of the Georgetown University Medical Center, discovered an incredible compound inside the tissue dogfish sharks (Squalus acanthus), called squalamine, which has the remarkable property of shielding sharks from viral infections by preventing them from multiplying. Almost ten years later, further research shows that the compound might provide effective treatment and even cure terribly infectious diseases in the human

Anti-cancer virus shows promise

An engineered virus injected directly in the patient’s blood has shown some remarkable promise in targeting and destroying cancer cells, in what researchers have called a first. Using viruses to attack cancer isn’t really a novel concept, but until now, they had to be injected directly into the tumour, which leads to several other complications. But this new breakthrough could

Human mating with Neanderthals made our immune system stronger

The mating between Neanderthals and modern homo sapiens has been a highly controversial matter between scientists in the anthropology scene for decades now. That was until last year, however, when anthropologists convened that the two related species did indeed mate, but the genes passed down from Neanderthals were inactive. Recently, there’s been another reason for contradiction, once with the publishing

The US is debating the use of chimps in medical research

The United States and Gabon are the only countries left in the world that are still using chimps for medical research. While research made on our closest relatives is considered invaluable by scientists studying deadly diseases such as HIV, animal rights activists are pressuring the authorities to ban the use of chimps in research labs, considered cruel by all means.

HIV treatment brings African patients to normal lifespan

It seems that recently, science is finally beginning to corner the HIV virus. Last week, two studies had the same conclusions, showing how a daily antiviral pill protects sexually active men and women from becoming infected with HIV, the virus that leads to AIDS. Now, researchers show that the life expectancy of already infected African people getting HIV treatment is

Extremely fatal monkey virus spreads to human lab worker

Adenoviruses are nonenveloped (without an outer lipid bilayer) icosahedral viruses, characterized by a particular large size compared to other types of viruses. For years, scientists have thought that each adenovirus strain could infect only one species of animal, however, a recently published report shows how the same strain that infected and decimated a titi monkey colony, also spread to a