Medicine (category filter × )

Scientists discover powerful antibiotic using AI

bbc.com
  • In what MIT researchers call a first-of-its-kind discovery, a neural network AI algorithm helped scientists find a new type of drug.
  • It’s halicin, and it’s suspected to be one of the most powerful antibiotics discovered to date.
  • The algorithm analysed 6,000 chemical compounds, and isolated one special molecule.
  • Just a few weeks ago, a different drug molecule, also discovered by AI, became the first to be used in human trials.
  • This study is important because it adds proof that AI can be very helpful in discovering new substances, and it’s a big step in the battle against drug resistance.

Could your visual cortex be responsible for migraines?

sciencefocus.com
  • Experiment with 60 volunteers (half with a migraine problem) shows that migraine sufferers have a hyper-excitable visual cortex.
  • The vision anomalies we experience before migraines might indicate that migraines are caused by differences in how our brains process visuals.
  • But it’s not clear, as some participants also reported visual anomalies, but didn’t suffer from migraines.
  • This study is the first to prove a connection between vision cortex anomalies and migraines.
  • It brings scientists one step closer to understanding the cause of migraines, which is still unknown.

Even 15,000 steps a day won’t help you lose weight, but it will make you healthier

news.byu.edu
  • Step-counting experiment tracked caloric intake and weight of 120 participants throughout 24 weeks of walking different amounts of steps a day for 6 days per week
  • Participants gained 1.5 kg (3.5 lbs) on average during the experiment, even those who walked 15,000 steps a day
  • While their weight wasn’t affected, they did notice positive changes in their physical activities, and reduced sedentary time.
  • Overall, the more steps we walk, the better.
  • Step-a-day goals are great to get up and get moving, but if you need to lose weight, you must do other things as well.

Using the 4th state of matter – plasma – to immobilize viruses in the air

theconversation.com
  • Researchers from University of Michigan are working on a device that could immobilize airborne viruses in enclosed spaces.
  • It’s a nonthermal plasma reactor – initial lab and livestock facility tests show that it can ‘turn off’ 99% of infectious viruses in an airstream, making them unable to infect.
  • However, the viruses stay in air, they’re not completely destroyed, and the team needs further studies to understand this phenomenon.
  • Unfortunately, based on what the researchers are saying, it's not sure if reactors like this will ever be used in public spaces.

Nanoparticle chomps away plaques that cause heart attacks

sciencedaily.com
  • New nanodrug consists of a nanoparticle that stimulates the removal of diseased/dead cells, reducing plaque that leads to heart attacks.
  • The treatment activates macrophages to selectively eat plaque cells, and scientists expect only minimal side effects.
  • It awaits clinical trials, but the creators are already planning to market it later this year.

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