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IBM’s artifical intelligence program Watson is helping medical research

It might not have the charm of Martin Freeman, but IBM’s cognitive computing program Watson could even out-think Sherlock Holmes. Three years ago, it beat US quiz show Jeopardy’s most successful contestant of all time, Ken Jennings. In future, it could help cure diseases. This week, scientists from the Baylor College of Medicine in Texas…

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Diane ShipleyIBM’s artifical intelligence program Watson is helping medical research
computers-predict-heart-attacks

Now computers can predict heart attacks more quickly than doctors

The team behind a new algorithm claims that it can predict someone’s chance of having a heart attack up to four hours before doctors see the early warning signs. Heart attacks are hard to forecast, but doctors rely on a scorecard system called the Modified Early Warning Score which looks at indications like a patient’s…

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Diane ShipleyNow computers can predict heart attacks more quickly than doctors
psychosis-patch-replaces-medication

The first antipsychotic patch could replace medication

The NHS has begun a trial of the world’s first antipsychotic patch. As Mental Health Today reports, it will deliver a medication called asenapine, which is used in the treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and schizoaffective disorder (a condition which includes elements of both bipolar and schizophrenia). Though the term is often confused with being…

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Diane ShipleyThe first antipsychotic patch could replace medication
Google-Baseline-Study-health

Google’s Baseline Study will find out what makes us healthy

Google wants to map every aspect of a healthy human body. (I mean, why not? It’s not like they’re busy.) The company’s ambitions are right there in its mission statement: ‘to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful’. Thinking small, we once thought they were just referring to text on the…

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Diane ShipleyGoogle’s Baseline Study will find out what makes us healthy
possible-brain-cancer-cure

Possible brain cancer cure found by scientists

Metastatic brain cancer, caused when cancer from another site spreads to the brain, is one of the deadliest forms of the disease (even more so than when cancer starts in the brain). It affects between 10 and 30% of adult cancer patients, there are no treatment options, and it’s almost always fatal. But a new…

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Diane ShipleyPossible brain cancer cure found by scientists
sound-cell-analysis-research

Sound could be the key to better cancer diagnosis

We usually think of medical tests as involving sight or touch, but it turns out that in some cases, sound might provide a faster way to get a diagnosis – without invasive procedures or the need for a specialist referral. A study from research network GÉANT, Birmingham City University, and the University of Central Lancashire…

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Diane ShipleySound could be the key to better cancer diagnosis
new-safer-IVF

Safer IVF is on the way

Twelve babies have been born after researchers tested a new, safer way of stimulating ovulation for women undergoing IVF. Scientists from Imperial College London and doctors at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust worked together to trial the technique. They recruited 53 women who were healthy but experiencing infertility, and injected them with the adorably-named natural…

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Diane ShipleySafer IVF is on the way
nanojuice-gut-diagnosis

New ‘nanojuice’ could diagnose gut problems

Researchers have developed a juice containing nanoparticles 10,000 times smaller than a human hair to help improve diagnosis of intestinal issues. Sure, it might not be the most glamorous field of medical research, but it’s an important one. According to the NHS, 10-20% of people experience IBS at some point in their lives, and more…

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Diane ShipleyNew ‘nanojuice’ could diagnose gut problems
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Bubble wrap doubles as test tubes, who knew?

Bubble wrap might just seem like a fun toy an incredibly useful way to wrap things so they don’t get broken but it turns out, it has a scientific purpose, too. A new report by scientists in the journal Analytical Chemistry shows that it can actually be used to contain, protect and transport medical samples.…

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Diane ShipleyBubble wrap doubles as test tubes, who knew?
biological-pacemaker-grow-own

Grow-your-own pacemakers are coming (eventually)

Researchers at Cedars Sinai Heart Institute in L.A. have developed a biological pacemaker that’s powered by nothing more than cells. Conventional pacemakers are implanted into the chest and use electrical impulses to regulate the heartbeat. But this new development uses gene therapy to turn heart cells into more specialist cells designed to keep the heart…

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Diane ShipleyGrow-your-own pacemakers are coming (eventually)
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New self-assembling nanoparticle makes MRIs more effective

Scientists from Imperial College London have developed a nanoparticle that activates and expands when it comes into contact with cancer cells, making MRIs more effective. The nanoparticle has a protein coating which seeks out signals given off by cancerous tumours. When it comes into contact with cancer cells, this strips off its protein coating, causing…

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Diane ShipleyNew self-assembling nanoparticle makes MRIs more effective
immunosignaturing-cancer-diagnosis

Early cancer diagnoses could increase thanks to sophisticated new test

Cancer research has traditionally focused on the early warning signs of cancer, called biomarkers, which can alert doctors to the presence of the disease before patients even have symptoms. For years, scientists have attempted to spot these biomarkers increasingly early but their progress has been slow. Now a new study from Arizona State University's Biodesign…

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Diane ShipleyEarly cancer diagnoses could increase thanks to sophisticated new test
skin-detects-aromas-research

Clever skin cells can detect aromas to accelerate wound healing

You might think that your nose is the only part of your body that smells things, but you’d be wrong. Oh, so very wrong. Olfactory receptors (i.e. the things that detect odours) are also found in the colon – which seems unfortunate – and, if you’re a man, in the prostate and sperm (yep, that’s…

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Diane ShipleyClever skin cells can detect aromas to accelerate wound healing
light-switch-brain-research

Scientists have discovered your brain’s on/off switch

Scientists from George Washington University have discovered a way to switch human consciousness on and off – and they weren’t even looking for it. As New Scientist reports, lead researcher Mohamad Koubeissi and his team were monitoring an epileptic patient’s brain activity by sending high frequency signals to deep brain electrodes, to try to identify…

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Diane ShipleyScientists have discovered your brain’s on/off switch
scrunchies-testosterone-experiment

Researcher wants to treat men’s low testosterone with women’s scrunchies

So much scientific research, especially when it comes to sex hormones, seems to boil down to one essential question: clever or creepy? And, as with so much scientific research, this proposed experiment could well be both. Thomas David Kehoe from Casa Futura Technologies has designed an experiment that will involve giving young women a scrunchie…

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Diane ShipleyResearcher wants to treat men’s low testosterone with women’s scrunchies
clotting-balls-blood

Scientists have developed tiny clotting balls to stop bleeding and save lives

Scientists have developed tiny clotting balls that could help stop catastrophic bleeding, saving millions of people’s lives. US researchers at Case Western Reserve University, Wayne State University, and Virginia Tech wanted to address the fact that there are few effective treatment options for profuse bleeding, which is a leading cause of military deaths, and the…

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Diane ShipleyScientists have developed tiny clotting balls to stop bleeding and save lives
lab-miniature-hearts

Scottish scientists have grown miniature hearts to treat disease

Here’s something cute and potentially life-saving that also sounds just a little bit creepy, especially if you're a Margaret Atwood fan: scientists at Abertay University in Scotland have grown thousands of miniature hearts for medical research. Yes, thousands. The tiny tickers were grown from stem cells and measure 1mm across. They beat together in a…

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Diane ShipleyScottish scientists have grown miniature hearts to treat disease

No more sleeping with your mobile on your pillow, says study

Let me guess - this morning, you woke up with your phone by your bed, because you use it as an alarm. Or you were whispering sweet nothings to your sweetheart. Whichever it was, your days of sleeping with your phone may be numbered. According to the latest in depressing research, the radio waves from…

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Susi WeaserNo more sleeping with your mobile on your pillow, says study