Tag Archives: disease

Deaths That Don’t Have to Happen: The Relationship Between Knowledge and Health

Editor’s note: As part of  a writing class I took this summer, I had to do a group project addressing a social issue within our society. Part of that assignment was writing an essay that promotes activism to address the issue.The research inspired me, so I decided to share that essay with you. Hope you enjoy!  Knowledge, and the desire to use it to better our own lives, as well as the lives of everyone else. This is what has made our species

Groundbreaking New Malaria Vaccine Could Receive Approval as Soon As 2015

Every minute, a child dies from malaria. According to the World Health Organization, 3.4 billion people, nearly half of the Earth’s entire population, are at risk for the disease. Though malaria rates have dropped by 42% since 2000, the disease is still expected to kill anywhere from 600,000 to 800,000 people this year, with the majority of them being children under the age of five. In fact, malaria is the third largest killer of children worldwide. And while improving medical technologies and practices

These “Hero Rats” Are Saving Countless Lives By Detecting Land-mines and Tuberculosis (Video)

As a boy, Bart Weetjens loved to play with his pet rats. One thing that always stuck in his memory was the rat’s strong sense of smell and the ease at which they could be trained. Bart recalled these skills years later as a student at the University of Antwerp in Belgium, where he was working on an analysis of the global land-mine detection problem (ie. how to find all of the unexploded mines left over from countless wars around the world).

Despite All the Depressing News, The World Is Not Getting Worse, It’s Getting Much, Much Better

Today, I woke up and skimmed the world news headlines. 80% of the stories were about the Israeli-Palestinian crisis or the Malaysian aircraft shot down in Ukraine. The other 20% was mostly news on the Air Algerie flight which disappeared earlier this morning and ISIS’s exile and persecution of the Christians in Mosul. It was a very depressing experience. But then, I thought to myself: are things really that bad? And I realized, the answer is undoubtedly NO. What we must realize here

China Seals Off 30,000 People After A Man Dies of Bubonic Plague

The Chinese government has sealed off about 30,000 residents in parts of Yumen, a city in northeast China. The move comes a week after a 38-year-old man died from the bubonic plague (also known as the black death). The man is said to have contracted the disease after coming in contact with a marmot- a rodent similar to the groundhog. Residents have been told they cannot leave the area, and police have set up roadblocks to enforce that decree. Yumen has a

New Discovery: HIV Can “Cut and Paste” In Our Genome, Allowing Us To Use It to Repair Genetic Conditions

Researchers in the Department of Biomedicine at Aarhus University in Denmark just did something truly amazing: they altered particles of the HIV virus to simultaneously “cut and paste” within our genome. Here’s Jacob Giehm Mikkelsen, associate genetics professor at Aarhus: “Now we can simultaneously cut out the part of the genome that is broken in sick cells, and patch the gap that arises in the genetic information which we have removed from the genome. The new aspect here is that we can

Illustrating the Epic Battle Between Cells and Viruses Using a Sweet Cartoon (Video)

If you’re not familiar with the TED organization, you really ought to be. TED, which stands for technology, education and design, is a series of conferences where great minds give presentations (known as TED talks) on the topics I just mentioned. While browsing videos of these presentations on their website, TED.com, I stumbled upon this awesome illustrated video which shows what happens inside your body when it is attacked by a virus. It’s a great way to understand a pretty complex scientific process,

How Scientists Are Using Genetically Modified Mosquitos to Combat Disease

Jacobina is a small farming town in the eastern Brazilian state of Bahia. Like in many other places in Brazil, Jacobina is plagued by dengue fever The most serious form of the disease, known as dengue hemorrhagic fever, can cause shock, comas and death. The disease is primarily carried by the Aedies aegypti species of mosquito and is one of the leading causes of illness and death in Brazil. The people of Jacobina had tried out all sorts of different strategies to combat the disease-carrying

If You Don’t Believe In the Transformative Power of Music, Watch This Video

Meet Henry. In his younger days he was a vibrant, fun-loving man who was always full of energy. As Henry grew older and his health began to deteriorate, however, he became more and more depressed and withdrawn. It got to the point where Henry was almost completely unresponsive. Enter Dan Cohen. Dan is a social worker who came up with the genius idea of giving iPods to seniors, customized with music from their era. This video (an excerpt from the documentary

So You’re Telling Me That the Tobacco Plant Holds the Key to Destroying Cancer??

As crazy as it sounds, it sure looks like it. Scientists led by Dr. Mark Hulett of the La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science in Melbourne, Australia, have been examining the inner defense mechanisms of the tobacco plant. Recently, they identified a molecule known as NaD1 which the plant typically uses to fight off fungi and bacteria, but they were shocked to find that it also destroys cancer cells. The molecule basically forms pincers which attach themselves to lipids in the cell membrane

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