Synthetic Organs, Nanobots, and DNA ‘Scissors’: The Future of Medicine

Nanobots that patrol our bodies, killer immune cells hunting and destroying cancer cells, biological scissors that cut out defective genes: these are just some of technologies that Cambridge researchers are developing which are set to revolutionise medicine in the future. 10.12.2017 In a new film to coincide with the recent launch of the Cambridge Academy of[…]

Human Ancestors Had the Same Dental Problems as Us – Even Without Fizzy Drinks and Sweets

Teeth fossils with evidence of dental lesions from Australopithecus africanus. Ian Towle, Author provided Prehistoric humans and their predecessors may have had a very different diet but their teeth suffered in similar ways to ours. By Dr. Ian Towle / 03.01.2018 Sessional Lecturer in Anthropology Liverpool John Moores University Dental erosion is one of the most common tooth problems in the world today. Fizzy[…]

In a World with No Antibiotics, How Did Doctors Treat Infections?

Bloodletting was treatment for infection in the past. Wellcome Library, London, CC BY While some ancient therapies proved effective enough that they are still used in some form today, on the whole they just aren’t as good as modern antimicrobials at treating infections. By Dr. Cristie Columbus / 01.29.2016 Associate Dean Campus – Dallas Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine Texas A&M University The development of antibiotics and[…]

The Health of Children and Youth in Early Modern England

Scene from frontispiece to EPB/47966/A: Jane Sharp, The compleat midwife’s companion: or, the art of midwifry improv’d (London: J. Marsall [sic], 1724). Wellcome Images L0028111. / Wellcome Library By Dr. Linda Payne Inaugural Sirridge Missouri Endowed Professor in Medical Humanities and Bioethics University of Missouri-Kansas City Children and youth in early modern England (1500-1800) were[…]

‘Coffee Naps’ and How They Help You Power through the Day

Just five more minutes … can a coffee before a nap really help you pay back your sleep debt? from www.shutterstock.com Can drinking a cup of coffee before taking a short nap really give you the energy you need to see you through the day? By Dr. Chin Moi Chow / 04.02.2017 Associate Professor of Sleep and Wellbeing University of Sydney Caffeine and napping have something[…]

Can Coffee Drinking Reduce Your Dementia Risk?

Many reasons that weren’t explored may account for the findings that women who drank coffee decreased their risk of dementia. Tim Wright/Unsplash, CC BY A study was reported to show caffeine protects older women from dementia. But looking closer at the research, we can’t truly claim coffee was the reason some of the women had a lower risk of dementia.    By Dr.[…]

Three or Four Cups of Coffee a Day Does You More Good than Harm

Nobuhiro Asada/Shutterstock.com A new analysis shows that coffee is associated with a host of positive health effects. By Dr. Robin Poole / 11.22.2017 Specialist Registrar in Public Health University of Southampton Drinking moderate amounts of coffee – about three or four cups a day – is more likely to benefit our health than harm it, our latest research shows. This is important to know[…]

Going to Ground: How Used Coffee Beans Can Help Your Garden and Your Health

Coffee’s usefulness doesn’t have to end here. Yanadhorn/Shutterstock.com Plenty of cafes these days will let you take home some used coffee grounds, to put on your garden. It’s a versatile material with loads of potential uses – as long as you treat it properly first. By Dr. Tien Huynh / 01.31.2018 Senior Lecturer in the School of Sciences RMIT University Did you[…]

How Vaccination is Helping to Prevent Another Flu Pandemic

Nurse B.K. Morris gives a flu shot to Winifred Quinn during a press event on the flu vaccine, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015, at the National Press Club in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) By Dr. Nicole Iovine, M.D., PhD / 03.06.2018 Associate Professor, Infectious Diseases University of Florida Researchers believe that over 50 million people worldwide died in[…]

How Historical Disease Detectives are Solving the Mystery of the 1918 Flu

     By (left-to-right) Dr. Gerardo Chowell, Dr. Cecile Viboud, and Dr. Lone Simonsen / 03.05.2018 Chowell: Professor of Mathematical Epidemiology, Georgia State University Viboud: Senior Research Scientist, National Institutes of Health Simonsen: Professor of Population Health Science, Roskilde University One hundred years ago, a novel pandemic influenza virus spread rapidly around the world. It killed about[…]

Loneliness is Bad for Your Health

Social isolation is linked to increased blood pressure and depression. By Dr. Jed Magen / 02.26.2018 Associate Professor of Psychiatry Michigan State University Imagine a 65-year-old woman who sees her physician frequently for a variety of aches and pains. She might complain of back pain on one visit, headaches another time, and feeling weak on[…]

Plague Bacteria Hiding in Soil and Water Microbes, Waiting to Emerge

Children at a school in Antananarivo, Madagascar, during a plague outbreak, Oct. 3, 2017. AP Photo/Alexander Joe By David Markman / 02.26.2018 PhD Candidate in Biology (Biosecurity and Infectious Disease) Colorado State University Plague is a highly contagious disease that has killed millions of people over the past 1,400 years. Outbreaks still sporadically occur in as[…]

When Chocolate was Medicine: Colmenero, Wadsworth, and Dufour

Poseidon taking chocolate from Mexico to Europe, a detail from the frontispiece to Chocolata Inda by Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma, 1644 — National Institute of Health Chocolate has not always been the common confectionary we experience today. When it first arrived from the Americas into Europe in the 17th century it was a rare and mysterious substance, thought[…]

How Rejuvenation of Stem Cells Could Lead to Healthier Aging

Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock.com By Dr. Elisa Lazarri / 01.16.2018 Postdoctoral Associate in Biomedical Sciences Cornell University “Rampant” and “elderly” are words rarely used in the same sentence, unless we are talking of the percentage of people over 65 years old worldwide. Life expectancy has considerably increased, but it is still unknown how many of those years are going to[…]

Influenza Pandemics Now, Then, and Again

In 2005, Dr. Terrence Tumpey, a Center for Disease Control Microbiologist, examines recreated 1918 Pandemic Influenza Virus to help understand its particularly deadly effects. By studying past pandemics, and the successes and failures of social and medical responses to end them, policy-makers and scientists hope to ameliorate the ill effects of the next flu pandemic[…]

Schizophrenia’s Tangled Roots

Symptoms of schizophrenia and related disorders likely arise from a perplexing interplay of social, environmental, psychological, and biological factors. / Apfelshaft123, Flickr, Creative Commons As an increasingly complex picture of schizophrenia emerges, researchers are recognizing that a more individualized and humane approach is needed to better understand and treat the condition. By Michael Balter /[…]

Going Viral: How Social Media Can Create Worse Epidemics

In the age of social media, fears and rumors about outbreaks and epidemics can quickly spread out of control. How can health officials help contain the panic? By Mike Ives / 10.28.2016 In the spring of 2014, Vietnam’s state-controlled news media reported that dozens of children had died after turning up at hospitals in the[…]

As Emerging Diseases Spread from Wildlife to Humans, Can We Predict the Next Big Pandemic?

Photo courtesy of PREDICT/Mike Cranfield Two ambitious projects aim to understand when and how the next human disease will emerge from wildlife, and what we can do to minimize harm when it does. By Karl Gruber / 12.07.2017 PhD Candidate in Biological Sciences University of Western Australia Earlier this month, the World Health Organization (WHO)[…]

The Curious Relationship between Altitude and Suicide

Does living at a higher altitude affect your mental health? VAndreas/shutterstock.com By Dr. Hoehun Ha / 11.05.2017 Assistant Professor of Geography Auburn University at Montgomery Suicide is one of the top 10 causes of death in the U.S. In the next 20 years, it’s expected to cause more than 2 million deaths per year worldwide, ranking 14th in the world[…]

The Mystery of a 1918 Veteran and the Flu Pandemic

Beds with patients in an emergency hospital in Camp Funston, Kansas, during the influenza epidemic around 1918. National Museum of Health and Medicine., CC BY By Dr. Ruth W. Craig / 11.09.2017 Emerita Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology Dartmouth College Vaccination is underway for the 2017-2018 seasonal flu, and next year will mark the 100-year anniversary of[…]

Believing in the Kindness of Strangers

When rain from Hurricane Harvey flooded Houston and surrounding areas, some people were more eager to volunteer than others. michelmond/Shutterstock.com By Dr. Kristin Brethel-Haurwitz / 11.12.2017 Postdoctoral Researcher in Cognitive Neuroscience University of Pennsylvania Would you risk your life for a total stranger? While you might consider yourself incapable of acts of altruism on that scale,[…]