Sunday, September 29, 2013

British scientists discover new universal flu vaccine

On September 23rd 2013, scientists say they have found a new scientific breakthrough that could help protect the people of Britain from the flu. The found vaccine will protect from all forms of the flu too, not just the most common strain. The foundation for the new vaccine was found by scientists, led by Professor Ajit Lalvani, at the Imperial College London.

This vaccine attacks the core of the virus, which would effectively kill the existing kind of flu and also kill future strains, hopefully preventing future pandemics from occurring, such as the historical 1918 Spanish flu outbreak that killed millions of people all throughout Europe.

Because of the thousands of people in Britain who die every winter because of the flu, this new flu vaccine is sought to save lives.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Chinese create much more effective water filter

The most recent report by the World Health Organization (WHO) states that the scarcity of available safe and pure potable water is increasingly becoming a reality in many countries. The WHO is linking this problem of less safe water to the increase in deaths from water borne diseases. Ningbo Qingin, a Chinese Electric Appliance Company, however, has announced that they have created a very efficient and highly potent water filter system that will give the consumers safe to drink pure and hygienic water.

Usually, filtering out tiny impurities and microorganisms is extremely difficult. But reverse osmosis experts at Ningbo Qingin say that their new water filters overcome this problem by taking the filtering process through multiple steps, including specific treatment for each type of impurity and microorganism.

Ningbo Qingin supplies water dispensers to many consumers every month, worldwide.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

No magic cure for TBI

A recent study by the Pentagon and the Department of Veteran Affairs concluded yesterday that the use of a hyperbaric chamber did not help with mild cases of traumatic brain injury (TBI). The hyperbaric chamber is a pressurized chamber that forces oxygen into the subject's brain, and the study was conducted on tens of thousands of combat veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

These combat veterans were 60 Marines who suffered mild brain injuries in roadside bombs and mortars or rocket-propelled grenades. According to the Pentagon, over 230,000 troops have suffered mild TBI cases since 2000.

Breathing pressurized oxygen raises the oxygen levels in the subject's brain, which boosts the health of damaged brain cells, improving brain functions and combating TBI. This system is similar to decompression chambers used on divers to combat decompression sickness and the bends.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Curiosity rover finds more evidence of water on Mars

On September 18th, the Curiosity rover, first touching down on Mars last August, found significant evidence that water once existed on Mars, and the habitat at that time could have supported microbial life. Curiosity first found mudstone, a rock containing clay that is made of fine minerals that settle slowly, usually caused by water and wind.

The rover also found small sulfate veins on the surface that suggests a flow of water transported these sulfate-rich minerals to these veins from their original location. This process is very common in ancient rivers on Earth, so scientists believe these veins are a result of rivers on Mars’ surface millions to billions of years ago.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Massive aquifers found under drought-stricken northern Kenya

On Wednesday, September 11th 2013, UNESCO drilling and the Kenyan government found two large aquifers of underground water, estimated at 200 billion cubic meters. This discovery was found using advanced satellite exploration technology.

This water is hoped to help the drought-stricken north region of Kenya, where just two years ago a drought pushed the malnutrition rate up to a staggering 37 percent. 17 million of Kenya’s 41 million population lack access to safe drinking water and 28 million lack proper sanitation.

UNESCO says that further studying is needed to learn of exactly how large the two aquifers are, and the United Nations are concerned about the quality of the water. Also, the UN is ‘seeking to confirm the presence of a further three aquifers in the region.’

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Russian scientists create compound to fight autism and schizophrenia in newborns

Back in 2011, a young Russian named Malyshev, a graduate of Moscow State University, came up with the idea of artificially producing peptides, a compound of amino acids, of breast milk that would help the nervous system in young children develop normally. These peptides would, if successful, eliminate autism and schizophrenia in newborns.

The peptides are planned to be added into the ingredients of breast milk formulas in companies that are willing to partake in the study. The product, Lactocore, has so far partnered with a major dairy producer in Russia and is planning to launch its product by the end of 2013. A second partnership in Belarus is being formed.

Since the startup, it has raised about $70,000 in grant money to cover current research and wages. To start up an international expansion though, the group is looking for international partners along with $1.6 million for final testing, patenting, and marketing.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Genetically engineered Israeli plants resistant to drought?

Last month, a team of scientists from Israel accidentally came across new technology that might allow plants to survive droughts worldwide. The team, led by the Chancellor of Kinneret College: Professor Shimon Gepstein, were testing the longevity and shelf-life of vegetables by cutting off the tips of tobacco leaves when their genetically engineered tobacco plants lived three times longer than the normal plants.

To further test the phenomenon, the team left their genetically enhanced tobacco plants alone without water for three weeks. Normal tobacco plants need water every one to two days, but the genetically engineered plants, receiving water after the three weeks, began again to grow, showing no damage during the ‘drought period’.

These genetically engineered plants also proved to only needed one-third of the water usually required to keep tobacco plants alive.

This new technology is very important for countries with low annual rainfall, so it is no surprise that many international firms are interested in the technology for the safety and security of their nations.

E-cigarettes are as effective as nicotine patches

A new study, led by Professor Chris Bullen of New Zealand's University of Auckland, states that e-cigarettes are as effective as nicotine patches in helping smokers kick the habit.

According to the team’s findings, 7.3% of e-cigarette users had quit smoking after 6 months, whereas 5.8% of people using the patch had done the same. There is no evidence of e-cigarettes being more effective in helping smokers quit completely; but after 6 months, 57% of e-cigarette users had halved the amount of cigarettes smoked each day. The nicotine patch users had a 16% less success rate in doing the same.

One of the most interesting aspects of the study is that, according to popular response, e-cigarettes are more attractive to smokers than nicotine patches, which may lead to an even higher rate of use.

Because e-cigarettes are a relatively new phenomenon, Professor Bullen suggests long-term studies on the effects and consequences of using e-cigarettes.