In a proof of concept study, bioengineers have created a designer cell able to release an effective, apparently non-addictive analgesic, triggering its release by smelling a volatile component of spearmint.
For some time now, researchers have known that being bilingual is beneficial both culturally and cognitively. A recent study sheds more light on how knowing a second, or perhaps even a third, language can help your brain, especially when it comes to cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease.
The highly unconventional, unregulated trials of Rational Vaccines' Theravax herpes vaccine were very big news once it became known that the late Bill Halford, MD, the inventor of the vaccine, tried the vaccine in people without the prior approval of an institutional review board. But does it work? One of the participants, Richard Mancuso thinks so. He spoke with us about his experience.
How do migratory birds, sometimes travelling thousands of miles from where they live, find their way back to the same place where they ride out each winter?
It's been an ongoing mystery for the ages, and researchers in the field of ornithology have been trying to zero in on specifically where this navigation system resides in their heads. Previously, it's been determined that it's found somewhere in the bird's eye, but now a team of European scientists believe that a particular protein in the retina, known as a cryptochrome, serves as a bird's center of navigation.
Recently the incidence of syphilis has been increasing in newborn babies and pregnant women, and the United States Preventive Services Task Force has suggested that it be universally mandatory for pregnant women to be screened for the disease. It's relatively easy to cure the disease with antibiotic treatment, and caught early it would prevent devastating effects on both babies and moms.
In Europe, technical matters which should be science-based, such as the authorization of marketing for chemicals or genetically engineered plants, quickly turn highly political. Even after having received as a prerequisite a green light from the European safety agencies, their authorization is dependent on a vote under a “qualified majority rule” of the 28 members states. This usually opens the door to demagoguery and domestically focused political calculations, with little consideration on the advice provided by scientific agencies.
One of the top trending Google searches at the time of this writing was "asparagine," one of the roughly 20 amino acids that make up the proteins in our bodies and in our food.
Why was this rather boring molecule that biology majors are forced to memorize grabbing international headlines? Because, according to the media, it causes cancer. And where can you find asparagine? It can be found in any food that contains protein -- which is a lot of foods -- including asparagus, the vegetable after which it was named.
Thus, asparagus causes cancer.
One of the many problems with academia is that it allows nutcases to flourish.
Out of more than 140,000 contestants vying to become the 2018 Gerber Spokesbaby, Lucas Warren from Georgia will be the first with Down Syndrome in the competition’s roughly 90 year history. What took so long!
Exposure at an early age might increase the likelihood of developing an allergy to the family kitty, according to some researchers. But according to others, it could be protective against such an allergy. Which is it? A recent study indicates it depends on the age at which the allergy is assessed.
Guys, don't eat Mickey D fries because you think your hair will grow back. It won't. You'll just look even more hideous than you do now. What's the deal with the magic fries chemical? Pretty clever, actually.
Heartburn does not involve the heart or a burn, although the discomfort may be described as burning. What underlies this common complaint?
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb released a statement condemning the use of kratom - a plant-based mixture of chemical compounds, some of which are opioids. The evidence is strong that kratom does contain multiple opioid drugs and therefore carries with it some risk. But people who use the drug to treat pain are adamant about needing it. Who is right? Maybe both sides.
An answer, in part, to physician job dissatisfaction.
The Winter Olympic Games are set to begin this week, but, the organizers have been thrown a last minute headache - well more of a stomachache, actually. Dozens of members of the security detail in the Olympic facilities have come down with norovirus or "the stomach flu." This is making for a nail-biter of a finish - waiting to see if any of the athletes are affected - and the competition hasn't even started yet!
It may be the height of the flu season but diagnosing flu remains a challenge for physicians.
Tho' Nature, red in tooth and claw
These words of Alfred Lord Tennyson have come to represent Darwinian "survival of the fittest." But how do you survive when you have neither tooth or claw? Bacteria use chemical weapons, and using E. Coli as a model; researchers sought to understand how simple regulators might produce multiple combat strategies. The investigation also asked whether strategy would provide a survival advantage.
E. Coli’s chemical defenses
A new study says that among high-risk women, how they approached treatment and prevention was clearly related to whether they personally knew of family members or friends who died of breast cancer. Those who did were more likely to take aggressive measures to battle the disease; those who didn't took a more conservative approach.
The recently-published “Social Justice Warrior Handbook,” which satirizes people who promote liberal, multicultural, anti-capitalist, anti-globalization, politically correct views, could have had Indian activist and mountebank Vandana Shiva on the cover. She opposes the tools and practices of modern agriculture and science--and well, modernity in general—and advocates retrogressive policies that will cause widespread malnourishment, deprivation and death to the very people she claims to champion.
Why hire a PhD or a person with a bachelor's degree in science when it's cheaper and easier to hire a social media intern who has spent the last few years copying-and-pasting press releases about scary toxins and miracle vegetables?