Tag Archives: Health

Poison? Potion? — Snake venom as heart attack treatment

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Snakebites can be deadly, but their poisons could be a lifesaver.

Eastern green mamba

This glossy green snake is an Eastern green mamba (Dendroaspis angusticeps), found throughout the eastern Africa. Don’t be fooled by its lack of flashy red stripes or other visual warnings: its bites are highly poisonous. While you would want to avoid venomous snakes like the green mamba out in the wild, they are a treasure trove for some medical researchers. Continue reading –>

 

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Filed under Animals in Science, Health, Technology

Mothers, take it slow! — Mother’s stress may slow child’s learning & Fast food is associated with lower IQ

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Here are two recent studies that show how parents can affect children’s intellectual development.

Photo credit: Debby Lewis-Harrison / Science Photo Library

In one study, researchers tested how children’s learning ability is affected by mother’s environment during pregnancy. They used stickleback fish carrying eggs as a model and gave stress to one group while leaving another group stress-free. (You may wonder how the fish got “stressed.” The researchers imitated predator attack by chasing the fish for 30 seconds a day with a stick.) Continue reading –>

 

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Filed under Health

Nanoparticles that clear blood clot — Shear-activated nanotherapeutics

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Blood-vessel blockages are one of the leading causes of death worldwide and often lead to long-term adult disability, if not death. The major threats are the obstructions in the blood vessels of the brain (ischemic stroke), heart (coronary infarction), and lungs (pulmonary embolism).

Fortunately, there is treatment available for these conditions, although it can be problematic. The treatment for blood vessel clots involves the administration of thrombolytic drugs. These drugs break down blood clots – an action referred as “clot busting.” The caveat is the risk of bleeding since thrombolytic drugs are distributed throughout the body, breaking down even the good blood clots that prevent us from bleeding to death and promote injury repairs. Another issue is that the drugs typically need to be applied within few hours of the onset of symptoms, but the drugs are usually administered in hospital settings, making immediate treatment difficult.

To circumvent these issues with the current treatment option, a team of scientists in Boston has developed a potentially more efficient treatment, which they call shear-activated nanotherapeutics. Continue reading –>

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Filed under Health, Technology