Astronauts are limited to spending six months on the International Space Station, around 200 miles above Earth, for a good reason. The loss of bone and muscle mass they experience in space is so profound that they cannot stay any longer. But what about the health impact of forthcoming suborbital flights for space tourists who are not fit, highly-trained individuals? According to North American scientists writing in the British Medical Journal article, GPs should be prepared to answer patients’ queries about their suitability for space travel in the near future. Yet there will be few GPs experienced enough in space medicine to provide advice. Continue reading the main story “Start Quote We don’t want to have so many medical restrictions that no one can fly, but we want to make sure we truly understand the effects of these flights” Dr Jon Scott space scientist Past research tells us that spaceflight causes changes in the physiology of the human body, but how it might affect underlying medical conditions in an unfit, 50-year-old space tourist is not yet clearly known. (via BBC News – What are the health risks of space travel?)
Posts Tagged ‘Health’
Tags: Health, Immersion, Medicine, virtula realit
A team of neurosurgeons from the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) recently stepped into CAVE2 — a next-generation, large-scale, 320-degree, immersive, 3-D virtual environment — to solve a vexing problem that presented itself in the arteries of the brain of a real patient.
The method they used could someday benefit hundreds of thousands of Americans who fall victim to brain aneurysms and strokes, the third leading cause of death in the United States.
“We were flabbergasted,” said Andreas Linninger, professor of bioengineering and lead researcher of a project that measures and models blood flow in the brains of patients with stroke.
For years, Linninger and neurosurgeons had painstakingly used laptop and desktop computers to evaluate patient-specific images, which had been interpreted by computer algorithms to represent the brain and its blood flow in 3-D. They pieced together arteries, veins and micro-vessels to create three-dimensional, full-brain models that physiologically mirrored the brains of individual patients, including a particular patient whose cerebrovascular system they were trying to accurately model.
It looks like a smiley face tattoo, but a new easy-to-apply sensor can detect medical problems and help athletes fine-tune training routines. “We wanted a design that could conceal the electrodes,” says Vinci Hung, a PhD candidate in physical and environmental sciences at the University of Toronto, who helped create the new sensor. “We also wanted to showcase the variety of designs that can be accomplished with this fabrication technique.” The tattoo, which is an ion-selective electrode (ISE), is made using standard screen printing technique and commercially available transfer tattoo paper—the same kind of paper that usually carries tattoos of Spiderman or Disney princesses. n the case of the sensor, the “eyes” function as the working and reference electrodes, and the “ears” are contacts for a measurement device to connect to. Hung contributed to the work while in the lab of Joseph Wang, a professor at the University of California, San Diego. The sensor she helped make can detect changes in the skin’s pH levels in response to metabolic stress from exertion.
Sneezing allergy sufferers try to avoid plant pollen like the plague. But U.S. military troops could end up popping vaccine pills made from tiny pollen particles into their mouths. The idea harnesses the power of pollen’s natural engineering — a tough outer shell made from a polymer that could survive the human body’s stomach acids and digestive processes. That new project by Texas Tech University has drawn military funding from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Oral vaccines skip the pain of a needle injection and don’t need trained medical personnel to administer. But researchers have struggled to create vaccine pills that can survive long enough inside the body to properly deliver the vaccine. (via Pollen ‘Pills’ Could Deliver Vaccines to Soldiers | DARPA Vaccine Pills | TechNewsDaily.com)
A treatment which corrects errors in a person’s genetic code has been approved for commercial use in Europe for the first time. The European Commission has given Glybera marketing authorisation, meaning it can be sold throughout the EU. It is a gene therapy for a rare disease which leaves people unable to properly digest fats. The manufacturers say it will be available next year. Gene therapy has a simple premise. If there is a problem with part of a patient’s genetic code then change the code. However, the field has been plagued with problems. Patients have developed leukaemia and in one trial in the US a teenager died. In Europe and the US, the therapies are used only in research labs. (via BBC News – Gene therapy: Glybera approved by European Commission)
Tags: Fertility, Health, spermatogonial stem cells
After an injection of banked sperm-producing stem cells, male primates who become sterile due to cancer drug side effects were once again fertile.
A study published in Cell Stem Cell, describes how previously frozen stem cells restored production of sperm that was able to successfully fertilize eggs to produce early embryos.
Some cancer drugs work by destroying rapidly dividing cells. Since it isn’t possible to discriminate between cancer cells and other rapidly dividing cells in the body, the precursor cells involved in making sperm can be inadvertently wiped out leaving the patient infertile, explains senior investigator Kyle Orwig, associate professor in the department of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and an investigator at Magee-Womens Research Institute.
“Men can bank sperm before they have cancer treatment if they hope to have biological children later in their lives,” he says. “But that is not an option for young boys who haven’t gone through puberty, can’t provide a sperm sample, and are many years away from thinking about having babies.”