Bees use caffeine to boost memory and remember plants better

Honeybees are extraordinary animals, and for years scientists have looked at them for inspiration to develop new technologies from artificial hive mind computers to explosive detectors. Bees have been truly gifted by nature, and we’re only starting to unravel the many abilities these fantastic insects possess. Recently, researchers at Newcastle University have found that bees enjoy a good “cup of java”

3D printed skull implant is ready for surgery

3D printing is the stuff of the future – today. It’s one of the most stunning pieces of relatively accessible technology; most notably in medicine, the precision offered by 3-D printing can make tiny surface details on the replacement part that encourage the growth of cells and allow the bone to attach more easily. In a specific case, 3D printing

“Adam” figure of all men is 340.000 years old

You may understand that all people are different, but it takes a lot of genetics to understand just how different humans really are. Albert Perry for example has something spectacular in his genome: his Y chromosome is so distinct, so easily identifiable that it basically revealed new information about our species. Working their way around this chromosome, researchers were able

A scientific explanation for the “phantom limb”

Every once in a while, some people who have had a limb, organ or some other body part amputated or removed still experience it, feel its pain and experience the sensation that it’s still attached to the body and is moving appropriately with other body parts. This sensation is typically referred to as  phantom limb. Now, researchers at Oxford University have

Vaccine that works for newborns might save millions of babies

Babies need to wait until they’re at least two months old for vaccines to work, which leaves  a lot of newborn babies in the world at risk of infections like rotavirus or pneumococcus. Researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital have developed small-molecule compounds that target a particular receptor to generate an immune response. The vaccine is so effective that in some

How the brain loses and gains consciousness

For more than two centuries physicians have been using general anesthetics to perform surgeries, however even now in the 21st century scientists know very little about what happens to the brain when the patient moves to and fro a state of consciousness. This becomes even more important when you consider the very rare but frightening cases in which some patients

Cicada wing destroys bacteria solely through its physical structure

The veined wing of the clanger cicada kills bacteria is able to destroy bacteria by its structure alone – one of the first structures ever found that can do this. The clanger cicada is an insects that looks like something between a fly and a locust; its wings are covered with a vast hexagonal array of ‘nanopillars’ – basically blunted

Wireless brain-interface boasts promising start

We’ve showed you some incredible brain-computer interface scientific advances in the past few weeks alone, be it the merged rat brain organic computer or flexible electronic “tattoo” that might enable functioning telepathy, and the field is only growing. We couldn’t be more happy, you can imagine, since the potential medical uses alone for this kind of technology are simply staggering.

Bacteria clogging of medical devices is more serious than previously thought

A team of researchers at Princeton University have devised an experimental set-up that closely mimics the flow of bacteria through working medical devices. Their findings show that bacteria clog medical devices extremely fast – much faster than previously thought – and warrant new strategies and designs in order to counter machine failure. The researchers used time lapse cameras to monitor fluid

Why some people get pimples and others don’t

A new study that may bring a smile to the face of teenagers concluded that not all zit bacterias are bad – on the contrary, some can make your skin glow. Everyone’s skin is crawling with this type of bacteria – everyone’s! The thing is, only about 1 in 5 people develop acne, and why only they get it has

First documented case of child cured of HIV

In what may very well become a historic day, Dr. Deborah Persaud of Johns Hopkins University described the first documented case of a child cured of HIV. Dr. Persaud, an amfAR grantee, detailed the case of a two-year-old child in Mississippi diagnosed with HIV at birth; the child was immediately put on antiretroviral therapy for 18 months. However, after this

Analysis of King Richard’s mummified heart reveals preservation process

A group of French researchers have published a paper in which they reveal how King Richard I, also known as Richard the Lionheart, had its heart mummified after he succumbed from gangrene in 1199.  Apparently the great monarch’s heart was preserved in mercury, mint and frankincense, among other sweet-smelling plants. As it was customary at the time, Richard’s heart was removed and preserved

Virus steals bacteria immune system and kills it

Researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine came across a particular strain of bacteriophage – a virus that infects and replicates within bacteria – that had stolen the functional immune system of the cholera bacteria.  The virus used the bacteria’s immune system against it to replicate and eventually kill the bacteria. The findings hint to the prospect of developing new phage therapies against bacterial diseases

Pessimists live longer than optimists, study finds

While brighter expectations of the future might help most of  us battle the harsh realities of life, a recent study conducted by German researchers has found that pessimists, who tend to have lower expectations about the future, live on average longer and are less inclined to develop disease or disabilities than optimists. Data collected between  1993 to 2003 by the national German Socio-Economic Panel, an

Cutting healthcare costs by giving up on patients

When you hear most discussions about healthcare, they almost always revolve around cost-cutting and saving money, as if the purpose of the health industry is to make money – newsflash, it isn’t. It’s about having healthy, long lived people, and that’s an investment that will more than pay for itself in the long run. But that’s not only a US,

Sugar-coated scaffolding guides and differentiates stem cells

One of the miracles of modern day medicine science, stem cells, are regarded by scientists as the basic building blocks for devising treatments, cures or transplants for some of today’s yet incurable diseases like Alzheimer or diabetes. The biggest hurdle researchers face is differentiating stem cells so that they may grow into a specific type of cell. Researchers at Manchester

Sterilizing with the Sun

Using nothing more than sunlight, researchers and students from the MIT are trying to change how medical equipment is sterilized in remote clinics which don’t have many alternatives; they’ve started a pilot project in Nicaragua, one that’s working out pretty fine for them. Nicaragua is a mostly rural country of six million is served by some 11 hospitals, dozens of

Science confirms: Mediterranean diet is really good for heart disease

A Mediterranean diet high in olive oil, nuts, fish and fresh fruits and vegetables helps prevent strokes and other heart issues. Now before you put on your “Captain obvious” t-shirts, you should know that while (many other) previous studies have suggested that people who eat a Mediterranean-like diet have healthier hearts, they haven’t ruled out other differences associated with this

Baby’s ability to interpret languages is innate, research shows

Despite having brains that are still “under construction”, babies are able, even three months before full term, to distinguish between different syllables. It was recently shown that full born babies, even just a few days after they are born, display remarkable linguistic sophistication: they can distinguish between two different languages [1], they can recognizes their mother’s voice[2], and they can

Stealth nanoparticles sneak past immune system’s defences

Most of the time, when you’re sick, you want to deliver drugs and imaging agents to diseased cells or tumours where they’re needed most – that’s a problem researchers have solved quite a while ago, we can get particles pretty much wherever we want to. The thing is, most of the time, these agents are stopped by your immune system,