Archive for the ‘health’ category

Nov 30, 2023

Treatment of Unresectable Stage 3 Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

The Lung Cancer Webinar Series Presentation held on August 31, 2022 on “Treatment of Unresectable Stage 3 Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer” moderated by: Hatim Husain, M.D., Medical Oncologist, Associate Professor of Medicine, UC San Diego Health and discussants: Edward B. Garon, M.D., MS, Professor of Medicine at David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology and Aaron E. Lisberg, M.D., Assistant Clinical Professor at David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology.

Nov 29, 2023

Pollution from cigarette butts cost world US $186 billion in 10 years

Posted by in categories: health, materials

The new study estimates $25.7 billion lost annually in waste management and damage to marine ecosystems.


Cigarette filters were marketed under the guise of addressing health concerns by providing a false impression of safety. These filters, made of a material called cellulose acetate, don’t actually reduce health risks and can even harm the lungs. The cellulose acetate fibers have been shown to deposit into the lungs of smokers.

Nov 28, 2023

Ransomware attack prompts multistate hospital chain to divert some emergency room patients elsewhere

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cybercrime/malcode, finance, health, law enforcement

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A ransomware attack has prompted a healthcare chain that operates 30 hospitals in six states to divert patients from at least some of its emergency rooms to other hospitals, while putting certain elective procedures on pause, the company announced.

In a statement Monday, Ardent Health Services said the attack occurred Nov. 23 and the company took its network offline, suspending user access to its information technology applications, including the software used to document patient care.

The Nashville, Tennessee-based company said it cannot yet confirm the extent of any patient health or financial information that has been compromised. Ardent says it reported the issue to law enforcement and retained third-party forensic and threat intelligence advisors, while working with cybersecurity specialists to restore IT functions as quickly as possible. There’s no timeline yet on when the problems will be resolved.

Nov 26, 2023

Brain network hubs: maps, molecules, and models

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, health, neuroscience

Nervous systems are complex networks, comprised of billions of neurons connected by trillions of synapses. These connections are subject to specific wiring rules that are thought to result from competitive selection pressures to minimise wiring costs and promote complex, adaptive function. While most connections in the brain are short-range, a smaller subset of metabolically costly projections extend over long distances to connect disparate anatomical areas. These long-range connections support integrated brain function and are concentrated between the most highly connected network elements; the hubs of the brain. Hub connectivity thus plays a vital role in determining how a given nervous system negotiates the trade-off between cost and value, and natural.
selection may favour connections that provide high functional benefit for low cost.

Consistent with this view, Professor Alex Fornito will present evidence.
that hub connectivity is under strong genetic control. He will show that the strength of connectivity between hubs in the human brain is more heritable than connectivity between other nodes, and that the genetic variants influencing hub connectivity overlaps with those implicated in mental illness and intelligence. He will also discuss the progress and challenges of developing generative models that evaluate the role of different cost-value trade-offs in driving complex brain topology.

Continue reading “Brain network hubs: maps, molecules, and models” »

Nov 25, 2023

‘Adopt an axolotl’ campaign launches in Mexico to save iconic species

Posted by in categories: habitats, health

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Ecologists from Mexico’s National Autonomous university on Friday relaunched a fundraising campaign to bolster conservation efforts for axolotls, an iconic, endangered fish-like type of salamander.

The campaign, called “Adoptaxolotl,” asks people for as little as 600 pesos (about $35) to virtually adopt one of the tiny “water monsters.” Virtual adoption comes with live updates on your axolotl’s health. For less, donors can buy one of the creatures a virtual dinner.

In their main habitat the population density of Mexican axolotls (ah-ho-LOH’-tulz) has plummeted 99.5% in under two decades, according to scientists behind the fundraiser.

Nov 25, 2023

Gene editing will change medicine—and maybe health investing too

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, chemistry, genetics, health

The groundbreaking gene-editing technology known as Crispr, which acts like a molecular pair of scissors that can be used to cut and modify a DNA sequence, has moved rather quickly from the pages of scientific journals to the medical setting. Earlier this month, about three years after Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for describing how bacteria’s immune system could be used as a tool to edit genes, regulators in the U.K. approved the first Crispr-based treatment for sickle cell disease and beta-thalassemia patients. The treatment, from Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Crispr Therapeutics, could be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration early next month for sickle cell patients.

While many obstacles lie ahead for the nascent field, such as how to pay for treatments that typically cost more than $1 million, these regulatory approvals are just the start as newer gene-editing technologies such as base and prime editing make their way through human studies. In an interview, Prof. Doudna says the approval is “a turning point in medicine because it really shows how genome editing can be used as a one-and-done cure for disease.”

Gene editing is part of a broader therapeutic revolution that encompasses genetic and cellular medicine. The pills and injections we are all familiar with generally target proteins or pathways in the body to treat disease. With gene and cell therapy, we can now target the root cause of disease, sometimes curing patients.

Nov 24, 2023

Search algorithm reveals nearly 200 new kinds of CRISPR systems

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, information science

Microbial sequence databases contain a wealth of information about enzymes and other molecules that could be adapted for biotechnology. But these databases have grown so large in recent years that they’ve become difficult to search efficiently for enzymes of interest.

Now, scientists at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, and the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the National Institutes of Health have developed a new search algorithm that has identified 188 kinds of new rare CRISPR systems in , encompassing thousands of individual systems. The work appears in Science.

The algorithm, which comes from the lab of CRISPR pioneer Feng Zhang, uses big-data clustering approaches to rapidly search massive amounts of genomic data. The team used their algorithm, called Fast Locality-Sensitive Hashing-based clustering (FLSHclust) to mine three major public databases that contain data from a wide range of unusual bacteria, including ones found in coal mines, breweries, Antarctic lakes, and dog saliva.

Nov 23, 2023

Networking nano-biosensors for wireless communication in the blood

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, health, internet, nanotechnology, robotics/AI

Biological computing machines, such as micro and nano-implants that can collect important information inside the human body, are transforming medicine. Yet, networking them for communication has proven challenging. Now, a global team, including EPFL researchers, has developed a protocol that enables a molecular network with multiple transmitters.

First, there was the Internet of Things (IoT) and now, at the interface of computer science and biology, the Internet of Bio-Nano Things (IoBNT) promises to revolutionize medicine and health care. The IoBNT refers to biosensors that collect and , nano-scale Labs-on-a-Chip that run medical tests inside the body, the use of bacteria to design biological nano-machines that can detect pathogens, and nano-robots that swim through the bloodstream to perform targeted drug delivery and treatment.

“Overall, this is a very, very exciting research field,” explained Assistant Professor Haitham Al Hassanieh, head of the Laboratory of Sensing and Networking Systems in EPFL’s School of Computer and Communication Sciences (IC). “With advances in bio-engineering, , and nanotechnology, the idea is that nano-biosensors will revolutionize medicine because they can reach places and do things that current devices or larger implants can’t,” he continued.

Nov 23, 2023

Progress in wastewater treatment via organic supramolecular photocatalysts under sunlight

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, economics, health

Refractory organic pollutants, including phenols, perfluorinated compounds, and antibiotics, are abundant in various industrial wastewater streams such as chemical, pharmaceutical, coking, and dyeing sectors, as well as municipal and domestic sources. These pollutants pose significant threats to ecological well-being and human health.

The imperative to achieve complete removal of organic contaminants from water and facilitate water recycling is paramount for enhancing and ensuring sustainable economic and social progress. Addressing the efficient removal of recalcitrant organic pollutants in water is not only a focal point in environmental chemical pollution control research but also a pivotal technical challenge constraining industrial wastewater reuse.

Advanced oxidation processes (AOPs), especially heterogeneous AOPs, yield strongly including ·OH, ·O2-, and ·SO4- to oxidize organic pollutants under ambient conditions, are appealing wastewater treatment technologies for decentralized systems. AOPs often need excessive energy input (UV light or electricity) to activate soluble oxidants (H2O2, O3, persulfates), thus more cost-effective AOPs are urgently required.

Nov 23, 2023

Invisible No More: Tiny Bubbles Could Reveal Immune Cell Secrets and Improve Treatments

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering, health

Macrophages, small but essential cells in the immune system, hold promise for cell-based therapies in numerous health conditions. Unlocking the full potential of macrophage therapies depends on our ability to observe their activities within the body. Now, researchers from Penn State have potentially developed a method to monitor these cells in action.

In a study published in the journal Small, the Penn State researchers report a novel ultrasound imaging technique to view macrophages continuously in mammal tissue, with potential for human application in the future.

“A macrophage is a type of immune cell that is important in nearly every function of the immune system, from detecting and clearing pathogens to wound healing,” said corresponding author Scott Medina, the William and Wendy Korb Early Career Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering. “It is a component of the immune system that really bridges the two types of immunity: innate immunity, which responds to things very quickly but in a not very precise way, and adaptive immunity, which is much slower to come online but responds in a much more precise way.”

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