Hans Rosling’s enlightening TED talks about world population and world health

Hans Rosling is one of the most remarkable people on the face of the Earth – even the most educated, well traveled and insightful have their perspectives shifted by Rosling. A professor of global health at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute, a member of Time’s most influential 100 people, as well as an accomplished sword swallower, he currently focuses on dispelling myths

Malaria genome sequence shows the disease is more challenging, yet offers opportunities

Two recently released studies by teams of international researchers sequenced the genomes of two major strains of the parasitic disease known as malaria. Their findings show that malaria is a lot more resistant than previously thought, but at the same time helps paint a broader picture which will certain aid in developing more effective treatment, which might one day lead

Leg ulcer spray accelerates healing

Leg ulcers are nasty problems – and hard ones to get rid of. Now, according to a team of Canadian and American doctors, spraying leg ulcers with a mixture of skin cell mixture may speed up healing, even for nasty cases. Typically, such ulcers develop when high blood pressure in the veins from the legs damages the skin, causing it

Chemical lets blind mice see instantly – no surgery, chips or genetic alteration

Remarkably, researchers University of California, Berkeley  have discovered that a chemical called AAQ can temporarily restore the vision in blind mice. The find might help people suffering from inherited genetic blindness or age-related macular degeneration, and bring back light into their world. The process isn’t quite as easy as applying eye drops, but it’s a whole lot less intrusive than surgery, bio-chips or optogenics,

Fluoride in tap water lowers IQ and hampers child brain development

According to the Fluoride Action Network there are at present 24 independent studies which have a direct link between fluoride contamination from city tap water and reduced IQ, especially in children who are more vulnerable due to developing brains. The most recent one comes from Harvard University, which also came to the same conclusion, namely that of “the possibility of adverse

HIV prevention drug approved by the FDA, decision criticized by AIDS support organization

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently gave its seal of approval for the introduction of  Truvada on the pharmaceutical market, a drug which allegedly can prevent HIV infection with an effectiveness rate as high as 75 percent when used in combination with safe sex practices. The Aids Healthcare Foundation (AHF), which is largest Aids support organisation in the world, however called the

US on track to approve more cancer drugs

While a definite cure for cancer is still miles away, researchers and doctors are using more and more tactics to successfully corner the disease, and as a result, more and more cancer drugs are being developed and produced. As we have a better understanding of the molecular makeup of the disease, novel techniques and treatments are being developed, including targeting

New study connecting coffee with longevity is hardly conclusive

I’ve recently been bombarded with e-mails regarding a recent study which seemed to conclude that coffee consumption can be linked with longevity. The study was not funded by the coffee industry, and was published in the highly regarded New England Journal of Medicine – so everything seemed to be fine. However, going for an extra coffee cup because of this

Drinking energy drinks is like bathing your teeth in acid

Energy and sports drink do give you a quick rush when you might feel like nothing else can do the trick for you – but at a huge cost. Aside from all the other downsides, which include heart and stomach issues, researchers have now shown that people who drink this kind of drinks are essentially ‘bathing their teeth in acid’.

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