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Medical Breakthroughs of 2013

A quick round up!


HIV and genetics: Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is something to be destroyed. This is the general opinion we may have and it was dealt in that way only. Now what the Italian researchers found was that HIV can be used to treat certain life-threatening genetic conditions in children. They removed stem cells from their bone marrow, and making use of the highly effective infection mechanism of HIV, they modified the defective gene in the stem cells and reinjected them back into them. So far 6 children have been cured this way successfully.

Bacteria or virus : Quick check: Researchers of Duke University have developed a rapid and very accurate blood test for cold or flu-like symptom in patients to identify if it was a bacterial or virus infection. Our body exhibits a genetic fingerprint to ear mark the culprit during sickness. The test uses this principle and provides a result within 12 hours. In future, the scientist may make the test to be more sophisticated to provide its result much quicker. So, now antibiotic overdosing can be prevented as well pandemic detection can be made easier.

Injection so easy: Needle-less vaccine delivery through disc-shaped micro needle array, where the small projections are made of sugar mixed with vaccine. So, just press the disc against the skin, the sugar dissolves to deliver the vaccine. This research was carried by the King's College, London and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This is going to be very helpful for those who continuously have the need to inject.

New bio marker: TMAO or trimethylamine N-oxide is a byproduct of our intestinal bacteria and soon it will be a bio marker for cardiac events. Higher the TMAO level, greater is the risk for cardiac events. So, hereafter cholesterol level is not going to be the only marker for cardiac risk.

Heart protector: Serelaxin, a synthetic form of the natural human hormone is a vasodilator that can be called as a breakthrough treatment in two decades for the highly debilitating heart failure condition. When used during an episode it improves blood flow, prevents inflammation, and protects the kidneys, liver, and heart from damage.

Sensing seizures: Epileptic seizures remain uncontrolled with meds or treatment in some individuals. Surgery on the other hand is not without risks. Now there seems to be a solution for this. A surgically-implanted neurological device, NeuroPace, considerably reduces the seizure occurrence. When implanted under the skin, the device records electrocorticographic (ECog) patterns through the electrodes that are placed in the patient’s brain. So, once the device detects any oncoming seizure, immediately short electrical pulses are delivered to stop the impending seizure. This device has got the support of a FDA neurological device approval panel.

Cholesterol numbers: New cholesterol guidelines has been released by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology. According to this now apart from the cholesterol numbers various other factors of age, sex, smoking history, BP, diabetes etc are also given weightage and it is up-to the physician to decide on the efficacy of the cholesterol drug or statin on a particular person to avoid any heart issues. So, more people going to be on statins?

Upgrading of egg quality: Poor quality of eggs in women means difficulty in getting pregnant. Now Stanford University researchers have found a technique where an ovary or ovary tissue is taken out treated with proteins and other factors in the lab, that makes the immature follicles to become mature eggs. The tissue after recharging is re-implanted back. This process is called invitro activation. A couple of women have benefited already.

Fecal implant: How does it sound like to put someone's poop into your own colon? This has proved to be an effective treatment for C.difficile bacterial infections. It is believed that good bacteria in the donors gut helps in producing some proteins that help in certain diseases. Canadian researchers, however, have isolated just the good bacteria and made it in the form of oral pill, which is quite relieving.

Body temperature on iPhone: Now an infra red device called ThermoDock can be plugged to an iPhone and then place it near forehead to record the temperature. The device need not touch the skin actually. So, shall we find out how hot the coffee is? Also, room, outdoor temperatures can be recorded.

Watch the Video: More Medical breakthroughs in 2013 !

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Disclaimer: The above content is provided for information and awareness purpose only. It is not prescriptive or suggestive or meant to replaces your qualified physician's advice or consultation.