Posts Tagged With: medicine

Brain-Eating Amoeba Kills California Woman in Reno, Nevada

brain-eating amoeba

A rare brain-eating amoeba that causes primary amoebic meningoencephalitis has claimed the life of a California woman.

According to WCNC News [1]:

The woman was flown to Renown Regional Medical Center, where she experienced cardiac arrest and died on June 20.

Her name is not being released by her family, Richard Johnson, M.D., of Inyo Public Health said.

The resident first felt symptoms on June 16 including headache, nausea and vomiting, a report from the Division of Health & Human Services of Inyo County said [2].

Humans are infected by the amoeba, Naegleria fowleri, when swimming or diving in fresh, warm water. The amoeba then migrates through the nose and skull, where it reaches the brain and begins to destroy brain tissue.

“This is a very unusual biology lesson, but an extremely tragic one,” Johnson said.


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AIDS: New Vaccine from Johnson and Johnson Shows Promising Results in Non-Human Trials

The quest for a vaccine to address the AIDS problem appears to be progressing in the right direction.  On Thursday, scientists reported that an experimental vaccine was able to protect half the monkeys in batch against a virus similar to that of AIDS.

New strain of HIV mutating fast into aggressive AIDS found in Cuba

Johnson and Johnson, a household name for long is involved with this research and has already been trying the vaccine in humans.  According to experts in vaccine, a new approach is essential to protect from a virus that has resisted every effort to stop it.

Mitchell Warren of HIV vaccine and treatment advocacy group said that it was quite promising according to him. He added that in the 20 years history of AVAC a bunch of products have been examined but they never reached the stage of efficacy trials and most of them eventually failed. Warren however did not participate in the latest studies.

According to the two studies reported in journal Science, the two step vaccine not only protected half the monkeys, but their bodies also produced antibodies that were measurable thus demonstrating how well the monkeys were protected.


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A History of the Ice Pick Lobotomy

It was decreed “the worst idea on the mind” in history in a public debate at the Royal Institution in 2006. Yet it seemed like such a good idea at the time—so good, it won its devisor the Nobel Prize. Portuguese neurosurgeon Dr Egas Moniz—whose gout-scoured face one graced the 10,000 Escudo banknote—won the most prestigious award in science in 1949 for developing the “leucotomy”.

Better known as “lobotomy” (a new label conjured up by American psychiatrists), the revolutionary technique seemed to be the first way psychiatrists could dramatically alleviate madness and suffering in people thought to be incurably deranged, violent, and psychotic. Extreme but—in its way—effective, the technique involved slicing tiny slivers through the frontal lobes of the brain, which surgeons reached through holes bored in the top of the skull.

Grim it may sound, but before antipsychotics, sedatives, and all the other ingredients in our pharmaceutical repertoire, psychiatrists had few options to treat any form of severe mental illness. Moniz theorized that obsessive, depressive, and delusional behaviours were caused by excessively tight associations between neural circuits, which could be alleviated by slicing through the deep white matter of the frontal cortex, “soft as warm butter”.

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Doctors find 50-year-old calcified 4.4 lb baby inside 92-year-old woman


Doctors in Chile, made a shocking discovery when an elderly woman was brought in to a hospital to be treated for bruises.

Hospital director Margo Vargas Lazo said that the calcified fetus was discovered inside the 92-year-old woman of San Antonio, and doctors believe that it has been there for 50 years.

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Boob tubes: Breast grown in lab will test cancer treatments

(Image: Eric Van Den Brulle/Getty)

It’s not quite a lab-grown boob, but it’s close. Mammary glands have been created using cells donated after breast reduction operations.

During puberty the mammary gland forms a network of milk-ducts that are repeatedly reshaped through a woman’s life to allow her to provide milk for any children she may have. But the regenerative processes that enable this to happen are poorly understood. Unravelling them could help us better tackle breast cancer as it is the cells of this mammary gland network that usually go awry.

Christina Scheel at the Helmholtz Centre for Health and Environmental Research in Munich and her team took mammary gland cells from donated human tissue and added them to gels made of collagen fibres, a common type of connective tissue. The cells spread out and connected to these fibres, pulling on them. This generated a physical force that enabled the cells to grow into a new mammary gland network inside the Petri dish.


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