Saturday, 27 August 2016

Thought-Controlled Nanoscale Robots in a Living Host

Nanoscale Robots

A strategy life like

A man has been able to control nanorobots residing inside living things with the sole use of his thoughts for the first time. The equipment released a drug within the cockroach in reaction to the man’s brain action – a strategy that may be of help for curing disorders related to the brain like ADHA and schizophrenia. Getting drugs to the target site could be a great challenge.

A majority of drugs are spread in the body or transported via the blood stream over time –and you have to helplessly bear the side effects in anticipation of the drug to wear off. Two groups in Israel, one in Ramat Gan and another in Herzliya called, Bar Ilan University and Interdisciplinary Centre respectively, have come up with a scheme that permits specific control when a drug is not passive in the body.

The team has constructed nanorobots with the help of DNA, creating shell-like figures that drugs can be secured in. These bots have gates which bear locks formed from nanoparticles of iron oxide. With the help of the heat formed using electromagnetic energy, the lock can be opened up and the drug can be exposed at the target site. Since the drug stays bound to the DNA, the opening and closing of the gate controls a body’s exposure to the drug.

Mind medicine

In order to make the DNA bots respond to the thoughts of a person, the group educated a computer algorithm to differentiate between a human’s brain activity when at rest and when conducting mental arithmetic. The group then introduced a luminous drug to the bot and was injected into a cockroach which sat in an electromagnetic coil.

An EEG cap was given to a person to wear that measured brain activity, either stay at rest or to conduct calculations mentally. The electromagnetic coil was connected to this cap, thus powering it on when the person calculated and off when he was at rest. The team confirmed that the technique worked by observing as to when the luminescence was shown inside several cockroaches.

A member of the team at the Interdisciplinary Centre, Sachar Amon says that the algorithm could be more skilled to track down other forms of activity of the brain. “It is possible to tracecircumstances of the brain which could be responsible for schizophrenia or ADHD, for instance. It could be revised to suit the needs of the individual.”

The clue would be to spontaneously activate the release of a drug when in need. Take for instance; people would not always know as to when they would need medication – prior to an intense occurrence of schizophrenia. If it could be detected by an EEG that it was to arrive, it would probably stimulate the discharge of a preventive drug.

Triggered release

The mechanism should be able to reduce the unwanted side effects that come along, since the bots can conveniently close and open their gates as per requirements. Fine tuning the DNA bots could also give assurance that they would be target specific regarding to the cells in the body, therefore subsidizing harmful reactions elsewhere within the body.

This could be achieved by fastening molecules that could bind to receptors on the exterior of definite types of cells to the surface of the bots. But this kind of scientific machinery is not yet ready to be tried in humans.

The formation needs a smaller, more transportable process of quantifying brain activity; something Amon believes is not a long way to go. The group sees a person wearing a tiny, EEG device which looks similar to that of a hearing aid, to keep note of brain activity and identify when a drug would be needed.

An example would be, when a person having ADHD, has a concentration which is about to lapse, the electromagnetic field necessary to discharge the drug dose of Ritalin would be triggered by a smart watch creating it. Such type of permutations of various devices could come of aid to treat the depressed and other people suffering from conditions of the brain that could be a great task to deal with.

Not only that, but it would also permit people to consciously trigger when they willingly want a drug to be discharged by calling upon particular thoughts. Again when asked Amon commented that, “This could be directed by people in various orders. Picture if you could supply the precise amount of alcohol that you would wish to keep yourself in a joyful state but not too much to be drunk. It is kind of silly, but such things are possible and can take place.

I think so far we have initiated the briefest research to discover something concealed.” In no time, they would possibly hit the ground running and so would be those who are schizophrenic and suffering from ADHD.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Knuckle-Cracking is Actually Good For You


Of Myths and Results

Tanya Johnson is an outstanding nurse, but has been driving her boss, Dr Robert Szabo nuts for 15 years with her never ending knuckle cracking which makes him want to choke her. Szabo is the former president of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and is also a hand surgeon at the UC Davis Medical Centre. Johnson was constantly told by Szabo to stop with the cracking of her knuckles by saying it wasn’t good for her to which she replied asking him to prove it. But Szabo was unable to.

When Dr Robert Boutin, his colleague who is a radiologist at the same centre asked him to work together on a knuckle-cracking study, Szabo grabbed the opportunity. They together gathered people, along with Johnson herself, who were driven with the needed habit, and perform the action under ultrasound so as to observe what really happened inside the joint. Not only were the knuckles examined before and after the cracking of them, but also the knuckles of a number of those who do not crack their knuckles were also considered, to observe problems inclusive of swellings and weakened grip strength.

Szabo felt certain that the test would prove to his nurse that the cracking of her knuckles had to stop as it was bad. But this didn’t fall in his favour. They found no hand problems in those who cracked their knuckles frequently. As a matter of fact, when a knuckle was cracked, the individual showed an increased range of movement as compared to those whose knuckles hadn’t cracked. The study was presented at a meeting in December of the Radiological Society of North America, although it has not been published.

What causes the crack?

More than simply knowing the pros and cons of knuckle cracking, Szabo and Boutin were keen to know what exactly happened inside the joint that had been cracked. The researchers found something remarkable, by looking at the ultrasounds of around 400 knuckles. They found that when a knuckle was cracked, there was characteristic and a sudden flash in the joint.

They though that when a knuckle is cracked, two surfaces of the joint is being pulled apart, which lowers the amount of pressure in the joint. That pressure lets gas which is mixed with the fluids within the joints to be liberated, and the bright flash observed is a bubble of gas forming. Boutin says that he thinks that is why a joint has more motion post cracking. Maybe lowering the pressure permits the joint to be a little loose and relaxed.

The mythology behind knuckle-cracking

If knuckle cracking is proved to not be bad for you, then how did it come around with a negative approach? A rehabilitative medicine specialist, Dr Greg Kawchuk at the University of Alberta said that, everybody’s aunts and grannies say that it isn’t a good practice, but no one has an idea where that comes from. He mentioned he might know it, based on the fervent reply he received when he published his very own study on knuckle cracking last year.

He also said that they got feedbacks from a lot of people and while a few said that they felt relieved by cracking their knuckles just as many found it pretty disgusting. Perhaps, this could be the reason why generations of grannies and aunts have corrected children to stop with the practice because they simply couldn’t bear the sound. It was his person opinion, but he felt that few of the people felt gross because of it that they created such myths. But this myth does have a scientific side.

A study from 1990 showed that knuckle crackers were more prone to have swelling hands and bad grip strength. But Kawchuk and Boutin pointed out some flaws in the study from more than a one fourth of a century ago. First, if the researchers knew which individual cracked knuckles and which did not and not having known that could have made their evaluations biased.

Secondly, the writers did not maintain transparency as to how they judged grip strength and swelling. Be that as it may, Szabo and Boutin are the first to say that their test wasn’t a final study on cracking knuckles, especially as they observed only short term and not prolonged effects. They say that in the coming years, a greater and better study may refute their findings.

Boutin typed an email saying ‘Knuckle kerfuffles are numerous’ adding an emoji of a smiling face at the end of the sentence. But in the bargain, it clicked to Szabo that he has no valid reason telling his nurse to put an end to cracking her knuckles. He said at the end, that after he reviewed the science behind it, he had a strong opinion that knuckle cracking was on the whole not harmful.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

'Bagpipe lung' warning for wind musicians


Harbouring in the damp

In the journal Thorax, UK doctors warn that people who play wind instruments like bagpipes, trumpets and saxophones can have damaged lungs. They explained an unusual but deadly scenario in a patient who was 61 years old, called ‘bagpipe lung.’ The late man is believed to have cultivated a reaction against fungi and moulds prowling inside the damp interiors of his bagpipes.

Doctors are advising others to be better sanitized. They recommend a routine clean-up of the instruments to avoid the growth of yeast and other microscopic organisms. If a player feels breathlessness and has a cough, he should ponder on the possibility that his symptoms could have been aggravated because of their practice in music.

Many other familiar reports have been documented with regards to trombone and saxophone players facing lung problems. Gratefully, the symptoms and caused were diagnosed at an early stage and were treated and cured at the earliest.

Irreversible scarring

Doctors explain that lung damage occurs when the immune system of the body get overridden. The pathogen that are inhaled cause inflammation, and if is not treated, can cause an increasing and irreversible scarring. The doctors at the Wythenshawe Hospital mentioned that they had an intuition that the person’s bagpipes could be the root of his problems.

The man was a dedicated piper and used to practice music daily. He had been sick for a few years, except for a few months when he went abroad and his bagpipes were left at home. They were then sent to the laboratory to be tested and prove the doctor’s intuition to be true. When the results came back it declared that the instrument was a haven for moist-loving fungi and mould, the ones that doctors are aware can cause problems related to the lungs.

The impairment that was previously done to the man’s lung was permanent as a result of which his condition worsened and led to his death. A member of the Wythenshawe group who had a role in this case called Dr Jenny King said that unfortunately the damage was lethal. If the diagnoses are predicted early and its activation could be stopped then these people can be cured and the prognosis is truly great. These pathogens are in the air around us but are not usually at a high possible standard to create problems.

This type of problems with respect to the lungs is seen especially with those who work on farms and work near or around plenty of mouldy hay. Andrew Bova is an expert bagpiper in Glasgow at the National Piping Centre. He suggests that he would certainly recommend giving the woodwind instrument a swab after every use when it comes to hygiene.

Moisture can settle in the nooks and corners and we wouldn’t want that. Moisture as it is damages wooden articles so a swab would do the work of keeping it clean. Andrew makes use of brushes to keep his blowpipe clean and shares that he also gives a complete rinse with hot water once in six months to avoid any possible problems in the future.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Golfers Have Unusual Hips, Study Suggests

Different joints

Researchers have recently found that golfers who play at a professional level are expected to have extraordinarily shaped joints of the hip. The team from The University of Warwick had selected 55 top players for medical MRI scans, and they were surprised with what they found.

The scans showed that right joint had an egg shaped hip and the left joints were generally in the shape of a ball. It was not clear whether such a deformity in both the joints of golfers was caused due to the sport, they mentioned in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Nearly, one out of every five people of the 2015 Scottish Hydro Challenge experienced hip pain.

Professor Damian Griffin who is the lead researcher said that the mismatch in the shape between the hips could explain the reason why golfers experience pain. Specialist sports doctor, Dr Andrew Murray, for the European golf tour said that on a whole, we are aware that golf can give significant health benefits, along with possible upgraded durability and improved mental and physical health. However, golf puts great force on the hips every time the club is swung by the player.

Symptoms and causes

While a golfer swings his club, both the hips move in different angles and at different velocities. In 16% of right hips of right-handed golfers, the egg shape was visible on some of the scans near the rear hip, and 4% on the left hip during the swing of the club in players who played at a professional level.

This condition caused by the action is known as cam rotation, which decreases the natural angle of movement of the hip. Dr Edward Dickson, a co-researcher said that their results found out new questioned to find answers to. What is left to be found out is whether the professional players cultivate these shapes due to the way they angle their hips and also the movement of them or whether the golfers with these hip deformities are more prone to play at a professional level.

The hip pain caused due to constant playing of the sport is due to the large amount of pressure built up not only on the joint but also its surrounding muscles when the player swings the club. The outer rotation of the hip area during a swing can induce a tremendous strain on the joint and the surrounding part when practiced often, as professional players do on an average an 18 whole course.

The speed at which the club is swung can also be another reason of stress caused on the hip if the swing is not precise or even. The pain may persist in the hip and pelvic region of the player’s body and may arise from overstretching of the joint. It also has a chance of increasing during actions which involve twisting. Situations where a catch in the hip joint when tries to change position, for instance, when getting up from a sitting position can also be experienced by professional golfers.

Injected Drug May Help Fight Osteoporosis in Women


New Drug – Decrease Risk of Bone Fractures – Women with Osteoporosis

A latest study has found a new drug which is said to decrease the risk of bone fractures in postmenopausal women having osteoporosis, much better than a placeboand the drug is presently made available. In this stage three trial supported by the maker of the drug, Radius Health, less women on the injectable drug abaloparatide had spine fracture than women who received a placebo and somewhat less than those taking the same injectable drug, teriparatide.

In the case of postmenopausal women having osteoporosis with the risk of fracture, regular injection of the drug abaloparatide for a period of 18 months significantly could reduce the risk of new vertebral as well as non-vertebral fractures when compared with placebo as per a study in the August 16 issue of Journal of the American Medical Association - JAMA.

Osteoporosis is linked with considerable economic, social and public health problems and based on the 2010 U.S. Census data; the study has estimated the prevalence of osteoporosis in women between 50 to 69 years, at 3.4 million. It has also been assessed that the lifetime danger of osteoporotic fracture for a 60 year old women is said to be 44%. Moreover, therapies are essential in the prevention of osteoporotic fractures.

Abaloparatide/Forteo – Synthetic Peptides

Lead researcher, Dr Paul Miller of the Colorado Centre for Bone Research had informed that if they get the approval then this would be the second drug which would be available in treating high-risk osteoporosis. He believes that Forteo had been used for the past 16 years.

 Abaloparatide tends to work differently from Forteo and recovers bone density more than Forteo. Miller also mentioned that several spine fractures are painless and the patients are frequently unaware about it till a doctor tends to measure their height and finds that they are up to an inch shorter than before.

Miller informs that Abaloparatide and Forteo are both synthetic peptides which seem to assist in growth and strengthen the bone.He adds that together with the construction of bone density, they are also the only one which tends to increase the quality of the bone and bone quality is an important feature of bone power, the capacity to survive a breakdown.

Need of Large Head-to-Head Trail between Forteo/Abaloparatide

He envisages that when abaloparatide is on the market it would compete with Forteo, bringing down the price of both the drugs. Miller had informed that he is hoping to have a second drug available which would help in reducing the cost.

The cost of Forteo is around $2,500 a month if one does not have insurance. And if a patient is insured, the monthly co-pays could range from $30 to $400. Forteo is said to be covered by Medicare.The director of the Centre for Pituitary and Neuroendocrine Disorders at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, Dr Caroline Messer is keen for further study.

She informed that there is a need of a large head-to-head trail between Forteo and abaloparatide to actually see which drug could be better. She added that everybody wants to know if this is inferior or superior to Forteo. This being an early study, it shows more bone building and fewer fractures than Forteo though whether it would replace that drug is still uncertain.

An editorial associated with the study stated that which drug is selected may be less important than recognizing and beginning an accepted treatment.

How Alcohol Consumption and Alcoholism Are Affecting Young Individuals

How Alcohol
Most individuals are interested in scientific studies that relate to their life somehow. However, not everyone is always completely convinced that a study proves a point one way or another, especially if the study was short. Many individuals have shown an interest in a recent study that was completed by the Baker Institute for Public Policy, which is in association with Rice University. They have released the results of a 40 year study that proves that alcohol is a gateway drug. It underscores the importance of helping alcoholics enroll in an alcohol detox program to get the help they need.

This study revealed many interesting facts. One of the interesting things that this study pointed out is that most individuals begin experimenting with alcohol when they are young teenagers, some as young as 12 years old. Even though there is no doubt about the fact that illicit drugs are addictive and cause a wide variety of problems for addicts, the study showed that alcohol can do far greater damage. This is especially the case when an individual begins drinking alcohol when they are young.

There are many factors that may contribute to individuals beginning to drink alcohol when they are young. Some say that advertisements that promote alcohol use are partially to blame. It is true that in addition to the fact that alcohol is advertised online, on television, in magazines, and in other areas, alcohol consumption is usually painted in a good light. It makes an individual look cool, like they can fit in socially, and like they can relax and just be themselves. Of course, drinking in moderation is not always a problem. However, since alcohol is an addictive substance for many, when individuals begin to consume alcohol when they are very young, it can lead to a life of addiction.

One of the very best steps to help individuals, no matter their age, it is education. Most young individuals taste their first sip of alcohol from their parents. And, of course, each parent has the right to provide alcohol education to their child, but part of this education needs to be helping their child understand the dangers that can come from over drinking and the potential for alcohol addiction as they get older. Thankfully, more and more information is becoming available and the topic of alcoholism is becoming something that is easier to talk about. These and other factors are making it easier for individuals to enroll in detox programs and begin a recovery journey.

For many people who are addicted to alcohol, getting the help they need begins with admitting they have a problem. This can be one of the most difficult steps that an alcoholic can take. However, when they realistically look at what alcohol has done to their life, how it has affected their career, and how it has affected their family, they begin to see that they need to make changes in their life if their life is going to get better.

Deciding on a recovery program does not need it to be a challenge. Detox and recovery programs are going to vary from location to location. However, most of them are going to help an individual get to the root problem of their alcoholism or their drug addiction. Most emphasize the importance of therapist in recovery. This is something that is extremely important because the vast majority of individuals who overindulge in alcohol and who are addicted to it do not do so for fun. It is something that they turn to when they are depressed or experiencing problems in their life. Therapists will be able to help the individual recognize these problems and then take steps to avoid them during their recovery.

Some individuals feel nervous about enrolling in a detox and recovery program. They think that it may be embarrassing for them to talk about the problem with their family, their coworkers, or other individuals in their community who may find out about their problem. First, you should know that the work that takes place in detox and recovery programs is confidential. Second, even if other individuals find out about your problem with alcohol, they are likely going to applaud you for taking steps to recover. Third, you should know that you are working with caring individuals who are licensed and trained professionals. They will help you get through detox and walk with you as you are on your journey to sobriety.

Viruses 'More Dangerous in the Morning’

Morning sickness 

Studies conducted in University of Cambridge suggest that Viruses could be more hazardous when they come in contact with their victims in the morning. As published in PNAS, the findings showed that these viruses could be more successful up to 10 times if the infection began in the morning.

Tests with animals showed that an interrupted body clock which can be caused due to being jet lagged or working in shifts can always be prone to the infection. Scientists believe that these findings could lead to ways of ending pandemics. Unlike parasites and bacteria, viruses completely depend on taking over the mechanism inside the cells so as to replicate. However, these cells change vividly as a portion of a 24 hour cycle termed as the body clock.


For the study, mice were either exposed to influenza or herpes virus, which caused flue or a range of diseases including cold sores respectively. The viral intensities of those that were infected in the morning were 10 times more than those that were infected in the evening. After continuously trying to hijack the cells, the late viruses efforts were waning after all the labourers had gone home.

One of the researchers, Professor Akhilesh Reddy, spoke with BBC news website stating that there is a big difference. If the virus does not get all the mechanisms readily available, it may not get off the ground ever. Even a small amount of infection in the morning could propagate faster and take control of the body. He is certain that the results can help control an epidemic of diseases.

In a condition where a disease is prevailing over a country, staying indoors during the day could be important and save people from being infected. Further studies showed that the animal’s body clock being disrupted intended that they were being trapped in to a state that allowed the viruses to grow and spread. The first author, Dr Rachel Edgar said that this is an indication that people who work in shifts, that is, working during some nights and rest for some nights have a disturbed body clock, are susceptible to be infected to viral diseases.

Then they could be major applicants for receiving the yearly flu vaccinations. Only two types of viruses were used for the study. Yet the two very different one being a DNA virus while the other an RNA virus. Which directs the researchers to believe the morning threat may be a wide range principle that spreads across a large number of viruses.

The study was focused on a particular clock gene, Bmal1, which has its topmost activity in the noon in both, people and mice. Professor Reddy added that it is the link with this gene that is vital, since it is low early in the morning one could be liable to the infection. Interestingly, during the winter Bmal1 is less active, indicating that it may have a hand in the larger risk of infections at that particular time in the year.