Medicine (category filter × )

In A 1st, Doctors In U.S. Use CRISPR Tool To Treat Patient With Genetic Disorder
  • First patient, in a study that will involve up to 45 people aged 18 - 35, has been successfully injected with over 2 billion CRISPR-edited cells.
  • The patient suffers from sickle cell -- genetic disease causing defective hemoglobin that deforms red blood cells, impairing their ability to carry oxygen.
  • Sickle cell has dramatic, long-term effects, and this treatment could help sickle cell patients lead a normal life.
  • Scientists extract bone marrow cells from the patient, edit a gene that will make them produce fetal hemoglobin, and inject them again.
  • Since it’s an experimental treatment, it will take several months to detect first signs of it, and years to understand whether it actually helped the patients.

Analysis of “old” proteins unmasks dynamic gradient of cartilage turnover in human limbs
  • Study uncovers that tissue in human leg joint cartilages has the capacity to repair itself.
  • This property could potentially be used to improve joint repair, and establish a starting point for studies into regenerating human limbs.
  • The study also found the property to be associated with limb-regenerative microRNAs.
  • Injecting these microRNAs in joints could potentially improve their ability to repair and resist joint tissue degeneration in arthritis of all types, also after injury.

In the Pancreas, Common Fungi May Drive Cancer
  • The pancreas used to be considered a sterile organ, but new studies show that it’s home to bacteria and fungi, some of which cause pancreatic cancer.
  • Different fungi reside in the pancreas than in the gut, in particular a genus of Basidiomycota called Malassezia, which the new study links to cancer.
  • Increasing its amount caused cancer cells to grow, and removing it stopped cancer from growing, indicating that fungal cells drive tumor growth.
  • This suggests that cancer isn’t only about tumor cells -- the microenvironment that tumors grow in is equally, if not more important.
  • The study is an important step towards early prevention of pancreatic cancer, as currently there are no methods for it.

Paralysed man moves in mind-reading exoskeleton
  • Man controls exoskeleton with thoughts, using two chips with 64 electrodes each, implanted into parts of his brain responsible for movement.
  • Before he was able to strap into the exoskeleton, he had to learn how to use the chips by moving around in VR.
  • The technology is limited, and still has a long way to go to be a viable solution for injured people.
  • In a world where only 15% of disabled people have access to a wheelchair or other assistive devices, exoskeletons like this will take a very long time to be viable.

Green tea could hold the key to reducing antibiotic resistance
  • Common antibiotic aztreonam, combined with Epigallocatechin (EGCG, found in green tea), shown to be more effective against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
  • It is important, because it shows that combining natural elements with antibiotics can significantly improve their efficiency.
  • This finding was confirmed with several experiments, and is an important step for fighting against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
  • Antimicrobial resistance (AMR), as it’s officially called, is a threat to global public health.
  • Antibiotic resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (which aztreonam is used for) is listed as a critical threat to human health by the World Health Organization.




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