tech and geek stuff
IBM to investigate role of microbiome in autoimmune disorders
We still don’t fully understand how the bacteria inside us affect our healthSteve Gschmeissner/Science Photo LibraryIBM has announced plans to study the human microbiome and its role in autoimmune diseases....
Doctors say this start-up could revolutionize how we fight infectious diseases
A three-year-old child in the Bay Area was recently admitted to the hospital with a rash. The child was sent home with a diagnosis of hand-foot-and-mouth disease, a common virus that typically resolves...
Blood test detects Alzheimer’s plaques building up in brain
Early screeningDeyan Georgiev / EyeEm / GettyBy Andy CoghlanA blood test can detect whether plaques of beta-amyloid are building up in a person’s brain – a sign that they may develop Alzheimer’s disease....
Higher IQ in childhood is linked to a longer life
Higher intelligence (IQ) in childhood is associated with a lower lifetime risk of major causes of death, including heart disease, stroke, smoking related cancers, respiratory disease and dementia, finds...
Best evidence yet that Parkinson’s could be autoimmune disease
Parkinson’s begins with abnormal clumping of a protein called synuclein in the brainR. Bick, B. Poindexter, UT Medical School/SPLBy Alice KleinEVIDENCE that Parkinson’s disease may be an autoimmune disorder...
Parkinson's is partly an autoimmune disease, study finds
The study, led by scientists at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) and the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, was published today in Nature. "The idea that a malfunctioning immune system...
Thousands of genes influence most diseases, researchers report
The gene activity of cells is so broadly networked that virtually any gene can influence disease, the researchers found. As a result, most of the heritability of diseases is due not to a handful of core...
Mindfulness and meditation dampen down inflammation genes
Hush those genesplainpictureBy Jo MarchantMeditation and tai chi don’t just calm the mind – they seem to affect our DNA too. There’s evidence that such “mind-body practices” dampen the activity of genes...
Pig brain cells implanted into brains of people with Parkinson’s
The disease is caused by the gradual loss of dopamine-producing cellsGJLP/Science Photo LibraryBy Clare WilsonWould you have pig cells implanted in your brain? Some people with Parkinson’s disease have,...
Call obesity a disease and food a pathological agent? No thanks
The language of food can be contentiousSally Anscombe/GettyShould obesity be recontextualised as a “chronic relapsing progressive disease process”, with food as the “pathological agent”? Yes, says the...
Could Parkinson's disease start in the gut?
Parkinson's disease may start in the gut and spread to the brain via the vagus nerve, according to a study. The vagus nerve extends from the brainstem to the abdomen and controls unconscious body processes...
Iceland's genetic goldmine, and the man behind it
The records are useful for more than avoiding accidentally dating a cousin; deCODE is able to marry such extensive knowledge about family connections with genetic information about disease to seek new...
Selfies could help diagnose rare genetic disease
Could diagnosing rare genetic disorders one day be as simple as snapping a picture with a smartphone? That’s what a new study suggests.Researchers with the National Institutes of Health’s National Human...
ALS linked to occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields
High exposure to low frequenciesWerner Bartsch/PlainpictureBy New Scientist staff and Press AssociationWorkplace exposure to electromagentic fields is linked to a higher risk of developing the most common...
Empathy from the sick may be critical to halting disease outbreaks
A little empathy can go a long way toward ending infectious disease outbreaks. That's a conclusion from researchers who used a networked variation of game theory to study how individual behavior during...
Common yeast may worsen IBD symptoms in Crohn's disease
During the past decade, the gut has experienced a renaissance as investigations focus on the role of the microbiome on human health. While most studies have focused on bacteria, the dominant microbial...
Can this breath test tell if you have cancer or one of 16 other diseases?
If you’re a hypochondriac and are looking for a quick and non-invasive way to detect diseases early, doctors in Israel say the technology they’ve developed might be right for you. Their breath test device...
Goat plague wipes out 10 per cent of endangered antelopes
By Alice Klein The deadly virus has never been seen in wild antelope beforeSERGEI KHOMENKO/New York Times / Redux / eyevineSave the saiga. Hundreds of Mongolia’s iconic antelopes have died after contracting...
Wearable biosensors can flag illness, Lyme disease, risk for diabetes; low airplane oxygen
Can your smart watch detect when you are becoming sick? A new study indicates that this is possible. By following 60 people through their everyday lives, researchers found that smart watches and other...
Prawn imports banned indefinitely
Queensland prawns infected with white spot disease. Picture: Jamie Hanson THROWING a shrimp on the barbie could be about to get a whole lot more expensive. Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has this...
Gunshot wounds are contagious; bullets spread like the flu, study finds
Enlarge / An evidence marker sits next to a rifle casing at the scene of a fatal shooting in the 4500 block of South Hermitage Avenue Monday, Labor Day, September 5, 2016, in the Back of the Yards neighborhood...
Ash tree genome aids fight against disease
Researchers have successfully decoded the genetic sequence of the ash tree, to help the fight against the fungal disease, ash dieback. Tens of millions of ash trees across Europe are dying from the Hymenoscyphus...
Study confirms 'sniff test' may be useful in diagnosing early Alzheimer's disease
Tests that measure the sense of smell may soon become common in neurologists' offices. Scientists have been finding increasing evidence that the sense of smell declines sharply in the early stages of Alzheimer's,...
Missing links that connect human DNA variation with disease discovered
Scientists have discovered the hidden connections in our genomes that contribute to common diseases. Using a pioneering technique, the results are beginning to make biological sense of the mountains of...
Xencor’s experimental drug shows promise
Xencor’s experimental drug shows promise Xencor Inc.’s experimental treatment for a rare immune disorder helped reduce the severity of the disease for 82 percent of patients, according to data from a...
A psychological link between disease and gender equality
Enlarge / In the movie Children of Men, declining public health leads to extreme social inequality. reader comments 5 Share this story Levels of disease in the environment may be linked to gains in women's...
Power outage in the brain may be source of Alzheimer's
In a new study, researchers investigate the role of mitochondria in Alzheimer's disease pathology. Mitochondria act as energy centers for cells and are of central importance in health and disease. The...
Tiny gold particles could be key to developing a treatment for pancreatic cancer
A diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is often a death sentence because chemotherapy and radiation have little impact on the disease. In the U.S. this year, some 53,000 new cases will be diagnosed, and 42,000...
Dr House goes digital as IBM’s Watson diagnoses rare diseases
Like Dr House but less meanAndrew Spear for The Washington Post via GettyBy Paul MarksDoctor House is going electronic. Medics charged with diagnosing the kind of extremely rare diseases that Hugh Laurie’s...
Two distinct genetic subtypes found in Crohn's disease patients
Crohn's disease can have devastating consequences and is notoriously hard to treat. Now, scientists have made a discovery that could explain why Crohn's is so variable: the disease has at least two distinct...
Genome engineering paves way for sickle cell cure
A team of physicians and laboratory scientists has taken a key step toward a cure for sickle cell disease, using CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing to fix the mutated gene responsible for the disease in stem cells...
Pressure mounts on Apple over ‘touch disease’
Matthew Dunn reviews: iPhone 7 Pressure is mounting on Apple to address the ‘touch disease’ problem with the iPhone 6. Picture: Sean Gallup PRESSURE is mounting on Apple to acknowledge a technical problem...
Symptoms of Parkinson's disease can be detected from keyboard use
The second most common neurological disorder in the world is Parkinson's disease. About 60,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with it every year. There's no cure, but it's possible to treat...
Kenya Develops TB Treatment for Children
Tuberculosis is one of the most dangerous and deadly diseases in the world. The Centers for Diseases Control estimates about one-third of the world's population has the disease, and it was responsible...
Dog stool microbiome predicts canine inflammatory bowel disease
A pattern of microbes that is indicative of inflammatory bowel disease has been identified in dogs. With more than 90 percent accuracy, the team used that information to predict which dogs had IBD. However,...
How baby's genes influence birth weight and later life disease
Genetic differences have been found that help to explain why some babies are born bigger or smaller than others. It also reveals how genetic differences provide an important link between an individual's...
Everything you wanted to know about ‘3-parent’ babies
Stephanie Uhlenbrock/PlainpictureBy Jessica HamzelouA baby boy has been born using DNA from three people – the first ever birth resulting from a new technique that helps people with rare genetic diseases...
Fighting disease goes viral as Zuckerberg and Chan pledge billions to the cause
Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan have pledged $3 billion to fight disease as part of their Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.The Silicon Valley luminaries will use the fund over the next...
Zuckerberg pledges $3bn to stop 'all disease'
The Facebook founder and his wife, paediatrician Priscilla Chan, said the goal was to "cure, prevent or manage all disease within our children's lifetime".Investment will go towards research into cancer...
Gene-reading software to cut TB diagnosis from months to minutes
Know the genome, kill TBZackary Canepari/PanosBy Hal HodsonA DOCTOR in Mumbai, India, puts a spit sample into a handheld device. It whirs away briefly, then a few minutes later a nearby laptop pings....
SF biotech firm Tobira bought by Allergan
Allergan’s agreement to buy San Francisco’s Tobira Therapeutics for as much as $1.7 billion sent biotech stocks soaring Tuesday, as investors bet that buyers will emerge for other companies developing...
Zika virus may persist in eyes: Disease may spread from infected eyes
Zika virus is capable of infecting the eye, according to a new study. The study, in mice, helps explain why some people with Zika virus develop eye disease, and suggests that contact with infected eyes...
Eye Test May Reveal Parkinson’s Disease Earlier
Parkinson's disease is usually discovered too late in patients for effective treatment. But now there's a new eye test that could diagnose the devastating condition much earlier. The degenerative condition...
Superfast evolution could save Tasmanian devils from extinction
David Wall/Alamy Stock PhotoBy Alice Klein No time to muck around. Extreme evolutionary pressures seem to have caused Tasmanian devils to develop resistance to a deadly cancer in just a few generations....
Plaque-clearing drug shows promise in people with Alzheimer’s
Could it slow decline?Peter Byrne/PABy New Scientist staff and Press AssociationAn antibody has significantly reduced levels of beta amyloid protein in people with Alzheimer’s disease, spurring hopes...
Heart disease deaths have fallen by 70 per cent in a generation
A rarer sightRyan McVay/GettyBy New Scientist staff and Press AssociationThe number of people in the UK dying from heart disease and stroke has fallen dramatically, from 341,000 in 1979 to 155,000 in...
Catalog of DNA helps find roots of rare diseases
A huge catalog of human DNA is helping researchers find tiny glitches that cause disease, in part by pointing out some false leads.The database, with genetic codes from more than 60,000 people, is aimed...
Pill for Menstrual Pain Restores Memory in Mice with Alzheimer's
A surprising discovery has been made in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. An anti-inflammatory drug used to treat menstrual pain completely reversed memory symptoms in mice with Alzheimer's. The drug,...
Gene signature in healthy brains pinpoints the origins of Alzheimer's disease
Researchers have discovered a gene signature in healthy brains that echoes the pattern in which Alzheimer's disease spreads through the brain much later in life. The findings could help uncover the molecular...
Study links rising temperatures to increase in waterborne illnesses
WASHINGTON D.C. -- A new study clearly connects rising temperatures to increases in waterborne food-poisonings and other infections.About a dozen species of vibrio bacteria make people sick from eating...
Flesh-eating disease plagues Melbourne
Mosquitoes have been linked to the buruli ulcer. A FLESH-eating ulcer that can result in limb amputations has made its way to Melbourne’s southeast suburbs, The Age reports. The Buruli ulcer has hit record...
New biochip-based blood test detects elevated risk for Alzheimer’s disease
Researchers today unveiled results from a new blood test to help identify which patients are at an elevated risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The findings showed that the biochip test, which allows multiple...
First diagnosis of dinosaur arthritis shows it lived in pain
Tough lifeAllen Creative / Steve Allen / AlamyBy New Scientist staff and Press AssociationA dinosaur has been diagnosed with severe arthritis 70 million years after its death. Scientists believe the hadrosaur,...
Ice Bucket Challenge Leads To ALS Breakthrough
The Ice Bucket Challenge was a phenomenon in the summer of 2014 and saw celebrities such as Mark Zuckerberg, Lewis Hamilton, Justin Timberlake, Bill Gates and Tom Cruise getting in on the act.Amyotrophic...
Immune system autocorrect feature reverses autoimmune disease in mice
A human T cell under a scanning electron microscope. NIAID/NIHThe human immune system—the powerful, complex network of cells that watches over and defends the body—just got a new weapon: autocorrect....
Little to no association between butter consumption, chronic disease or total mortality
An epidemiological study analyzing the association of butter consumption with chronic disease and mortality finds that butter was only weakly associated with total mortality, not associated with heart...
Teen's photos of Crohn's disease renew questions on social sharing
The Facebook profile picture of Aimee Rouski, who shared images of how Crohn's disease had affected her body.(Photo: Aimee Rouski) When it comes to disclosing illness on social media, how soon is too soon,...
Scientists unpack how Toxoplasma infection is linked to neurodegenerative disease
Toxoplasma gondii, a protozoan parasite, infects a third of the world's population. Working on mice, biomedical scientists report that Toxoplasma infection leads to a disruption of neurotransmitters in...
First gene mutation explaining development of multiple sclerosis
Although multiple sclerosis is known to run in certain families, attempts to find genes linked to the disease have been elusive. Now for the first time researchers are reporting a gene mutation that can...
Genentech wins approval for immunotherapy drug
Federal regulators on Wednesday approved Genentech Inc.’s new therapy to treat bladder cancer, clearing the way for the South San Francisco drugmaker’s first agent that uses the body’s own immune system...
I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its component fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers. That is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark