Whether you’re at the doctor’s office or taking medicine at home, future injections could be a lot less painful with this new gadget developed at MIT. Instead of a sterile metal point penetrating your skin, it fires a jet of medicine through your skin at the speed of sound.
The British scientist responsible for starting the autism-MMR vaccine hoax not only falsified his data, but sought to profit from it, according to a report published Tuesday in the British Medical Journal.
Researchers have found a novel method for stopping the spread of influenza viruses, a finding that could lead to a universal treatment for flu. The method involves stopping the genetic process by which the virus replicates itself. Researchers can essentially flip a switch that stops RNA in its tracks.
Flu season in the Southern Hemisphere is almost over—and now it’s heading back our way. At the time this issue went to press, there were more than 162,000 confirmed cases and 1,154 deaths worldwide from “novel H1N1,” a.k.a. swine flu, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believes this figure is a gross underestimate, especially since only a fraction of people who have the flu go to the hospital.
After over 25 years of failed formulas, an HIV vaccine has, for the first time, displayed the ability to confer some immunity against the virus. Deployed in a clinical trial in Thailand, the vaccine managed to prevent infection in a significant minority of volunteers. However, scientists involved in the study caution that they cannot fully explain the success, and that the vaccine only worked in a portion of those who received it.
With the White House Council of Advisors on Science and Technology estimating that this winter's swine flu outbreak could lead to 30,000 to 90,000 deaths in the US (on top of the usual 30,000 deaths that occur from seasonal flu), the government has ramped up its effort to vaccinate as many Americans as possible against H1N1. In fact, the vaccination effort is so large, it may constitute the largest vaccination program in human history.
Researchers at North Carolina State University have found a surprising potential weapon against the conjectural "biological terrorism" of the imminent future. Sorry, what's that? We have self-inflicted domestic dangers on our hands that are more real and pressing than... terrorism? How things change. In any case, if suspicious white powders do happen to show up in your mailbox, you'll be prepared to defend yourself against them. It'll be as simple as crushing a pill and stirring it up in yogurt. Just like Mom used to make. Or something like that.
A half-decade study to track the flu's travels could lead to better vaccines
By Dawn Stover
Posted 04.16.2008 at 2:59 pm 2 Comments
Flu travel patterns:Seasonal influenza strains typically emerge in Asia and spread to the rest of the world along the routes shown here. Courtesy of NASA/University of Cambridge
Where does the flu come from? Scientists at the University of Cambridge and the World Health Organization's Global Influenza Surveillance Network tracked the migrations of flu viruses and discovered that the most common originate in East and Southeast Asia and spread in a distinctive pattern around the world. Understanding how these viruses evolve and travel will lead to better vaccines against flu epidemics that currently infect 5 to 15 percent of the world's population each year.
The ills of factory farming reach beyond the ethical as immunologists grow increasingly concerned about a vaccine-resistant virus
By Matt Ransford
Posted 03.25.2008 at 6:44 pm 7 Comments
One of the dire consequences of factory farming is that it encourages the spread of disease due to the close quarters in which the animals live. Thats why theyre fed antibiotics and other medicines when they arent sick. This overuse of antibiotics, while beneficial to the flocks and herds in the short term, leads to stronger and more drug-resistant bacteria in the long term. The effect has been widely reported by popular authors like Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser. What we havent heard much about are how viruses can thrive in this environment.
The most effective drug delivery system isn't a hypodermic needle
By Gregory Mone
Posted 02.07.2008 at 1:13 pm 0 Comments
German scientists have demonstrated that the tattoo needle may be a more effective way of delivering vaccines than the standard injections. In tests on mice, the tattoo technique proved more successful in stimulating an immune response—tattooing a vaccine produced 16 times more antibodies in the mice.
A new way to lose fat, gain it, and even turn it into medicine
By Eric Mika
Posted 12.01.2006 at 3:00 am 0 Comments
One-Shot Fat FixWant to fight fat? Eat less, exercise more-and get vaccinated. A fat vaccine is in the works at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, where tests have led to leaner lab rats. The trick is blocking ghrelin, a hormone that slows down the body´s metabolism. The vaccine triggers the immune system to release antibodies that attack the hormone, enabling you to burn more fat. But don´t pass the holiday ham just yet. Human trials are several years away.
Don’t tell anyone, but Doug Ausenbaugh has built an underground drug farm—in bucolic southern Indiana, no less. It’s cleverly cached in an old limestone mine near the hamlet of Marengo. There, carefully cultivated stalks flourish under the glare of artificial lights and the rainlike spatter of drip irrigation.
A supersonic gun takes the ouch out of vaccine drug delivery
By Kalee Thompson
Posted 06.02.2005 at 6:00 pm 0 Comments
Take your medication with a gun made by PowderMed in Oxford, England, and the drugs will blast into your skin at 1,500 miles per hour. “You hear the sound, so you know it’s gone off,” explains Mark Kendall, a mechanical engineer at the University of Oxford and co-inventor of the flashlight-shaped disposable device.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.