Posts from the ‘health’ Category


A large majourity of viruses display full icosahedral symmetry – argubally the highest and most aestetically pleasing symmetry that appears in nature.  

Viruses are just too sweet to the OCD crowd.

A breakdown of how we died in 1900 and how we do so now. It’s great to see that we’ve almost halved the number of deaths. The huge increases in heart disease and cancer deaths are interesting; I think smoking and diet are probably the main contributors to that.

NPR covers Coconut Water and why it isn’t a miracle health drink

Researchers at Vanderbilt University have developed a quick and simple process of extracting disease markers from blood samples to run through a diagnostic chip. He says that in many developing countries people often go to hospitals just to check if they are sick and take away from real patients, and that this quick diagnosis can be used in the remote towns to save the hospitals time.  Similarly, I was talking to Dr. Chen of the University of Florida the other day, and he was describing the importance of this kind of miniaturization of medical technology. In particular, how mass spectrometers have approached the level of portability that they can be used to identify specific bacterial presence on skin, which helps to diagnose infections. Though still expensive ($200,000 for one) they could soon be used in remote hotspots.  

Cheap, portable diagnosis of disease

The things we are able to create naturally, without any synthetics, is incredible. It saved this young girl from having to have major surgery, removing important tissue from elsewhere, and risking disorders in lower limbs.

Ten-year-old’s vein is regrown from her own stem cells

The Joggobot is designed to either accompany or help train you on your runs. It can either float along next to you so you have “company,” or stay a distance in front of you and be set to go a certain pace. Fun idea, I think it would have issues with turns if it automatically shuts off if the colors on the shirt disappear, making running along winding paths difficult. Whether it could keep up at fast speeds might also be a problem. I don’t think I would use it personally, but if it does work for some people then it’s whatever gets you out there!

The zebrafish,Danio rerio, is a tropical fish belonging to the family Cyprinidae. This species is a popular aquarium fish and is also an important model organism in scientific research. It has the amazing ability to regenerate fins, skin, the heart and the brain. A new study in the Journal of Neuroscience describes the role of a protein in the remarkable self-healing ability of the fish. The finding could eventually lead to ways to stimulate spinal cord regeneration in humans.
Our medicinal discoveries depend so much on the study of this kind of phenomena. Obviously we are lacking any sort of large-scale regeneration right now, but the possibilities are obviously there!

Little zebrafish can regrow its spine after injury, we learn how

Some of these prices are incredible. More than a quarter of a million for a kidney, and $157,000 for a liver? Then only $1,525 for a pair of eyeballs…supply and demand in effect I suppose. For those wondering (few, I’m sure), all of your skin would net you ~$23,000, give or take depending on a number of factors.


Add some lime juice to quickly improve the quality of your water 

Research published in the journal American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene has found that solar disinfection of water can be improved by the addition of a twist of lime. Using this method levels of harmful E.coli strains were shown to be reduced to safe levels after 30 minutes, an efficiency similar to that of disinfection through boiling. This obviously has large implications in the cheap production of safe drinking water in developing countries.

It is thought that the acidity of the lime juice interacts synergistically with UV radiation to accelerate the inactivation of microbes. So next time you are sipping your Mojito in the summer sun you can be safe in the knowledge that your drink is harmful microbe free.

Primary Research