Health and Medicine

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Dr Kristin Parent | Bacteriophage Hunting: Searching for the Tiny Viruses That Kill Harmful Bacteria

Dr Kristin Parent | Bacteriophage Hunting: Searching for the Tiny Viruses That Kill Harmful Bacteria

Shigellosis is an infection of the Shigella bacteria with over 164 million cases each year leading to 1.1 million deaths. The ever-increasing antibiotic resistance of the bacteria means we need alternatives or supplements to existing antibiotics. Dr Kristin Parent from Michigan State University is working on exciting, collaborative projects hunting for bacteriophages to be used in novel therapeutics.

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Sarah Leighton | Can Psychiatric Assistance Dogs Help Military Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder?

Sarah Leighton | Can Psychiatric Assistance Dogs Help Military Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder?

Psychiatric assistance dogs trained to help with mental health symptoms have become increasingly popular as a complementary intervention for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Sarah Leighton and her colleagues from Purdue University and the University of Arizona in the USA are exploring the effectiveness of psychiatric assistance dog partnerships for military veterans with PTSD.

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Professor Derrick Robinson | Using Intrabodies to Induce Cell Death in Trypanosome Parasites

Professor Derrick Robinson | Using Intrabodies to Induce Cell Death in Trypanosome Parasites

Trypanosomes are single-celled parasites that cause life-threatening diseases in humans, domestic livestock and wild animals. In sub-Saharan Africa, infection with a species called Trypanosoma brucei or T.brucei causes African sleeping sickness, which results in organ failure and eventually fatal coma if left untreated. There are limited diagnostic tests and treatments available and much of trypanosome biology remains undiscovered.

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Dr Tamas Feher | Understanding Myopia-26: A Rare Visual Disorder

Dr Tamas Feher | Understanding Myopia-26: A Rare Visual Disorder

Myopia – better known as short-sightedness – is a global health problem in which the eye grows too long, meaning it cannot produce clear images of objects in the distance. The common form of myopia is readily treated through the wearing of glasses, contact lenses or conducting laser surgery. It is also polygenic, meaning that many genes are likely to be involved in its inheritance through generations.

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Strategies to Ensure the Worldwide Elimination of Tetanus in Mothers and Neonates | Dr Syed Ahsan Raza

Strategies to Ensure the Worldwide Elimination of Tetanus in Mothers and Neonates | Dr Syed Ahsan Raza

Tetanus is a serious, potentially fatal disease of the nervous system caused by Clostridium tetani bacteria entering the body. It is characterised by severe stiffness, muscle spasms and breathing difficulties. In some developing countries, tetanus unfortunately still occurs and presents a significant healthcare challenge, particularly in relation to maternal and neonatal (newborn) deaths.

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Raymond Palmer | Improving Indoor Air Quality Lessens the Symptoms Associated with Chemical Intolerance

Raymond Palmer | Improving Indoor Air Quality Lessens the Symptoms Associated with Chemical Intolerance

Chemical intolerance is on the rise, currently afflicting around 20% of the American population. Common triggers include low-level exposure to indoor air contaminants such as combustion products from gas stoves and smoking, and indoor volatile organic compounds from products including disinfectants and air fresheners, as well as chemicals from paint and construction materials.

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Dr Michael Schutz | Musical Alarms: Improving Medical Environments by Studying Sound

Dr Michael Schutz | Musical Alarms: Improving Medical Environments by Studying Sound

Medical devices in hospitals use auditory interfaces to keep doctors and nurses updated while keeping their eyes focused on patients. These auditory alarms are crucial for complex procedures, such as placing a breathing tube. Unfortunately, the specific sounds used in current systems are highly problematic. The lack of sophistication in these tones render them annoying and distracting, harming communication amongst medical staff and posing risks for patient care. An FDA survey has revealed hundreds of deaths annually resulting from poorly designed alarms! Although there are many ways to improve their use, one solution has received little attention thus far – improving the quality of the sounds themselves.

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The 2022 Prince Mahidol Award Conference: Building the World We Want

The 2022 Prince Mahidol Award Conference: Building the World We Want

Humanity is facing many challenges, ranging from COVID-19 to climate change, and from natural resource depletion to social inequity. The Prince Mahidol Award Conference is an annual event held in Bangkok, where leaders and experts meet to discuss global challenges. This year, the theme was ‘The World We Want: Actions Towards a Sustainable, Fairer and Healthier Society’.

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Revolutionising Understanding of the Myometrium to Prevent Preterm Birth

Revolutionising Understanding of the Myometrium to Prevent Preterm Birth

Preterm birth refers to the birth of a baby before 37 weeks of completed gestation. An estimated 15 million babies are born prematurely each year and sadly, this prevalence is rising. Approximately 1 million die as a result of premature birth, and those who survive are at risk of lifelong disabilities. Dr Buxton and his team at the University of Nevada, Reno, are studying the role of the smooth muscle of the uterus to elucidate its role in preterm labour and birth.

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Using Machine Learning to Predict Bacterial Growth According to the Media Components

Using Machine Learning to Predict Bacterial Growth According to the Media Components

Bacterial growth depends on the complex interactions of a multitude of chemical components. Microbiologists have long attempted to predict bacterial growth according to culture media components, and have employed a variety of mathematical and computational models to this end. Dr Bei-Wen Ying and her colleagues at the University of Tsukuba, Japan, successfully applied machine learning to understand the contribution of media culture components to bacterial growth. Their work makes a significant contribution to growth prediction and demonstrates that machine learning can be employed in the exploration of the complex dynamics that regulate living systems.

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Controlling the Worldwide chaotic Spreading of COVID-19 Through Vaccinations | Dr Aldo Bonasera

Controlling the Worldwide chaotic Spreading of COVID-19 Through Vaccinations | Dr Aldo Bonasera

Amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, we face challenges that require innovative and strategic responding. Dr Aldo Bonasera at Texas A&M University in the USA and Laboratori Nazionali del Sud, Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare in Italy, and Dr Hua Zheng at the School of Physics and Information Technology, Shaanxi Normal University in China, have taken a mathematical approach to compare the current COVID-19 pandemic with the Spanish Flu. Their findings have led to important recommendations for managing the current pandemic through vaccination programmes.

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