Health Science & Human Biology

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Genome editing: how to modify genetic faults – and the human germline

The biggest funders of scientific research in the UK have called for a renewed debate on the ethics of genetically modifying human embryos and other tissues, in an effort to prevent serious diseases. There has been rapid progress in developing a powerful tool called genome editing, which has the …

Life Sciences

Fighting the Second Skeleton

Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva is an incredibly rare disease, striking just one out of every two million people. It’s also an incredibly astonishing disease. A single mutation to a single gene causes muscles to spontaneously turn into new bones. Over time, people with fibrodysplasia …

Cool Stuff

Blood cells, honed in the lab to kill cancer, lead to four-year remissions

Four years after being treated with modified versions of their own blood cells, three of 14 cancer patients are in complete remission. And they haven’t had any additional treatment in that time.

The report published in Science Translational Medicine is a follow-up to a study published in 2011, which …


Medical specialists urge more debate on gene-editing technology

LONDON (Reuters) - Medical researchers called on Wednesday for detailed, thoughtful debate on future use of new genetic technology that has the potential to create "designer babies".

The technology, called CRISPR-Cas9, allows scientists to edit virtually any gene they target, including in human …

Medical Technology

Your heart is probably much older than you think, the CDC warns

You may feel young at heart, but with apologies to Frank Sinatra, that’s probably a fairy tale. A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the average American man has a heart that’s 7.8 years “older” than his chronological age; for women, the comparable “heart age” is …

Frank Sinatra

Medical specialists are getting very worried about a gene-editing technology that could create 'designer babies'

LONDON (Reuters) - Medical researchers called on Wednesday for detailed, thoughtful debate on future use of new genetic technology that has the potential to create "designer babies".

The technology, called CRISPR-Cas9, allows scientists to edit virtually any gene they target, including in human …

Medical Technology

GM embryos: time for ethics debate, say scientists

Leading UK research funders are calling for an urgent national debate on the ethics of genetically modifying human embryos and other tissues to prevent serious diseases.

The plea has been prompted by scientists’ rapid progress in developing a powerful tool called genome editing, which has the …

Medical Technology

Wasp study finds sting in the tail for cancer cells

The venom of the Brazilian wasp Polybia paulista contains a powerful “smart” drug that selectively targets and destroys tumour cells without harming normal cells, a study has shown.

In laboratory tests, the poison has been shown to suppress the growth of prostate and bladder cancer cells, as well as …


Why is the NHS vaccination for meningitis B not provided to everyone?

Bacterial meningitis is the worst nightmare of every parent roused by a screaming child at three in the morning. And with good reason: although relatively rare, affecting about 3,200 people in the UK each year, it kills one in ten of those infected. Although it can kill at any age, babies are the …


New Study: Testosterone Changes the Brain 

How much do hormones impact our brains?Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images However much we’d like to think of gender as a social construct, …

The Brain

Medical News Today: Study identifies symptoms of suicide risk for people with depression

A major multinational study has identified some of the behaviors that come before a suicide attempt. People who show these behaviors are a …


In his last months of life, Oliver Sacks left us with powerful thoughts on death

Oliver Sacks, a world-renowned neurologist and author, died on Sunday Aug. 30 at the age of 82.

When diagnosed with terminal cancer, Dr. Sacks didn't hide away. He opened up and announced his fate in February, beginning a spurt of writing — arguably some of his best work — contemplating life, love, …

Oliver Sacks

Gene therapy rescues dying cells in the brains of Alzheimer's patients

An experimental gene therapy reduces the rate at which nerve cells in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients degenerate and die, according to new results from a small clinical trial, published in the current issue of the journal JAMA Neurology.

Targeted injection of the Nerve Growth Factor gene into the …

The Brain

Borderline personality traits linked to lowered empathy


Those with borderline personality disorder, or BPD, a mental illness marked by unstable moods, often experience trouble maintaining …

Scientific Research

Marc Lewis: the neuroscientist who believes addiction is not a disease

For decades the medical profession has largely treated addiction as as a chronic brain disease. The US government’s National Institute on Drug Abuse characterises addicts as compulsive drug seekers and users who continue taking drugs despite harmful and unwanted consequences. “It is considered a …


When Breast Cancer Strikes Without Symptoms

My childhood best friend, Olivia, called me last week to tell me her big birthday news: At 26, she's been diagnosed with breast cancer so severe she needed an immediate double mastectomy. "You felt the lump and just knew?" I asked, waiting for gut-wrenching details about the breast self-examination …


This Experiment First Cracked the Genetic Code—But Most People Have Never Heard of It

One of the most important experiments in the world manages to fly under most people’s radar. After years of patient experimental work, two scientists …


Oxytocin Delivering Nasal Device to Treat Mental Illness

Researchers have developed a new intranasal device that delivers oxytocin directly to the brain.

The Brain

4 Ways Sci-Fi Tech Is Already Revolutionizing Medicine

The next time you have surgery, your doctor might have practiced on you in virtual reality first.

You might not get a robot best friend, or a trip around the world in virtual reality any time soon. But in one field, some of these ultra-hyped trends are actually looking like the technologies of today.

Health Care Technology

Is our desire for genetic answers cultural rather than scientific?

The last few decades have seen what some describe as a “genetic revolution”. Advances in genetic science have seen genes become all-encompassing in political and scientific discussion.

Do a quick survey of recent stories, for example, and you will find research that claims “intelligence, creativity …

Scientific Research

Man found to have been shedding virulent strain of polio for 30 years

A British man with an immune deficiency has been shedding a highly virulent, mutant strain of polio virus for nearly 30 years as a result of childhood vaccinations.

The discovery has prompted scientists to warn of other patients who could unwittingly trigger fresh outbreaks of the disease in regions …


Study delivers bleak verdict on validity of psychology experiment results

A major investigation into scores of claims made in psychology research journals has delivered a bleak verdict on the state of the science.

An international team of experts repeated 100 experiments published in top psychology journals and found that they could reproduce only 36% of original findings.


Why is heart disease still killing young women?

Heart disease deaths among older Americans have fallen dramatically over the past 40 years, but the same is not true for younger people—especially …

Heart Disease

Researchers inch closer to a universal flu vaccine

Someday, patients may no longer have to get a new flu shot each year, tailored to the particular strains expected to dominate in a given season. That's because scientists are homing in on new methods of formulating vaccines that will be able confer immunity against multiple varieties of influenza …


Why sunlight could protect against multiple sclerosis

A new study suggests that people with natural vitamin D deficiency, the chemical produced by sunlight, are more likely to develop multiple sclerosis

Spending more time in the sun could cut the chance of developing multiple sclerosis after scientists found that people with low vitamin D levels are at …


Thousands of microbes found in house dust

The dust in our homes contains an average of 9,000 different species of microbes, a study suggests.

Researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder analysed the dust found in 1,200 households across the United States.

They discovered that the types of bacteria and fungi varied depending on …


Yellow gets greener in summer

Remember winter, when everything was cold and grey? Right now, when all around is lush and green, the contrast couldn’t be greater. But is everything really as it seems? New research shows that we see things differently in winter compared with summer.

Our eyes perceive four pure, unmixed colours – …

Entertainment (UK)

A Drug Meant For Narcolepsy Can Boost Brain Function

In addition to keeping you awake

In 1998, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug modafinil as a treatment for narcolepsy, a condition in which the brain has trouble regulating its sleep-wake cycle that results in sudden “sleep attacks” where a person falls asleep at unwanted or …

Scientific Research

Even doctors are urging people to stop using plastic food wrap

Even Cancer Research UK, which has so far been sceptical, is now warning that cling film should not be allowed to touch the food it is covering …