Blood from patients with coronavirus will help find a vaccine against this disease; scorpion venom treats children with alcohol syndrome; life expectancy depends on hair color. The latest medical news in a brief overview of Present Time.
The blood of convalescing patients in the fight against coronavirus
While some are desperate to find a way to slow the spread of infection and the most effective treatments, others suggest recalling how many infectious diseases were treated with blood transfusions during previous pandemics. This method has been used against diphtheria, Spanish flu, measles and Ebola.
American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave the go-ahead to use this method in the treatment of patients who are at a critical stage of the disease.
Previously, WHO emphasized that convalescence plasma is one of the reliable methods of combating deadly infections.
Reconvalescence plasma acts on human immunity differently than a vaccine. With the introduction of vaccines in humans, their protective mechanisms begin to develop. This is called active immunity. Plasma from an ill person provides passive immunity. With the introduction of such blood, the human body borrows foreign antibodies that can successfully fight the disease. This method does not provide lifelong immunity, but can save from death sick person.
In February, Chinese doctors have already successfully used this method in the treatment of five seriously ill patients.
Fetal alcohol syndrome and scorpion venom
American scientists are sure that the drug is based on scorpion poison may I help in the treatment of children with a diagnosis of fetal alcohol syndrome. This syndrome develops in the fetus if a woman abuses alcohol during pregnancy. Possible consequences are often irreversible and may include delayed physical development, mental retardation, birth defects. To date, there has been no effective treatment for fetal alcohol syndrome.
The idea to use the poison of Indian red scorpion as a conductor of therapeutic substances for the unborn child was proposed by employees of the National Children’s Hospital in Washington (USA). In the study, scientists used the drug tamapin, which was created on the basis of this poison. The scientific team noted that this medicine significantly reduces the toxic effects of alcohol and helps to “tune” the work of damaged cells again.
A preclinical model for the treatment of fetal alcohol syndrome in mice has been developed. But, despite this, the discovery of American scientists gives hope to many children born to parents with alcohol dependence, to develop normally.
Lifetime depends on hair color
Life expectancy is affected not only by our lifestyle, diet and love of morning runs. British scientists have suggested that hair color is also can influence for the duration and quality of our lives.
The study involved more than 200 thousand people. Scientists studied the genome of all participants in the study and came to the conclusion that in men with dark hair, puberty begins earlier, and early puberty, according to scientists, is primarily an adverse factor for health. This factor negatively affects the development of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and even cancer. Experts believe that pigment production and maturity have similar biological mechanisms. These processes are regulated by one of the most important glands in the human body – the pituitary gland. The more active is the production of hormones by the pituitary gland, the faster the maturation of the gonads and intense pigmentation of the skin and hair occur. A similar pattern was observed in women.
Weightlessness expands the bones of the skull of astronauts
The scientific team found something unusual in astronauts: weightlessness “makes” some of the bones of the skull expand, causing dizziness and stuffy ears. Space travel became a reality in 1961. Since then, more than 200 people have traveled to space, and the length of stay has increased from two hours to more than a year. But few people know what the cost of these trips are for health.
In a new study, scientists from Japan and the United States examined the most common symptoms that astronauts experience in space: dizziness, disorientation in space, nasal congestion, and a feeling of stuffy ears. After studying the data of computer resonance imaging of 35 astronauts and comparing the condition of the sinuses of the nose, ears and bones of the skull before and after flying into outer space, scientists were able to find the cause of the malaise. An important point was how long a person was in space. Some of the astronauts spent less than 30 days in space, while others had a longer space flight aboard the International Space Station. The results of the study came as a surprise to physicians. It turned out that microgravity (weightlessness) is able to influence the cells of the skull bones, expanding them. At the same time, the auditory canal was compressed and the astronauts had the above complaints. Interestingly, changes were noted in those astronauts who made long-term flights.
Scientists learn to read minds
University of California U.S. scientists
San Francisco got the opportunity “read” other people’s thoughts and convert them into sentences. The purpose of the scientists was to “decipher” the silent “speech” of those who lost the opportunity to speak for one reason or another. This technology has helped to translate the signals of hundreds of thousands of neurons into words and type the desired sequence of words in the computer interface in real time. The accuracy rate was 97%.
The study involved four patients with a diagnosis of epilepsy. All participants in the experiment had brain implants installed to monitor their condition and were asked to read certain sentences in order to read electrical activity from different parts of the brain. Using a neural network of artificial intelligence, these signals were converted into separate words.
Although scientists have noted some limitations in the innovative “mind reading” technique, they believe that this technique can be an alternative communication for people with speech impairment.